almosthonorable: (double-checkin')
Ben Wade ([personal profile] almosthonorable) wrote2012-02-21 08:01 pm

[[ milliways ]]

[ two weeks prior, or, once upon a time in El Paso ]

Ben's coated in sweat and grime from a fourteen-hour day when he walks into the bar.

Just across the threshold, he pauses.

This is ...


It's certainly more surreal than usual.

Stepping over and around debris — and taking care to avoid knocking into see-through patrons — Ben picks his way across the bar proper. Amid the general mayhem, a tinny, crackling song plays from what has to be a phonograph, maybe hidden somewhere in the rafters.

"Now that is unsettlin'," Ben mutters to himself.

As if on an eerie-ass cue, the floor tilts beneath his boots.

He grunts, and catches his balance with the help of a nearby stool. Righting himself, he notices the glowing red gem hovering over the counter.

"All right, you've got me," he says to Bar. "Color me curious."

A moment later, his battered brown hat is gone, and he's sporting a rough-hewed pair of decidedly feline ears.

He holds back a sigh.

"That is what killed the cat, as the sayin' goes."
lasthalfmile: (thought process)

[personal profile] lasthalfmile 2012-02-22 02:32 am (UTC)(link)
Dan had awoke earlier that week from one of his many month-long naps to find the downstairs area in a complete state of chaos.

Between the evacuation notice from Sallie and Mike to the red sky and bitter cold out back, the cracks in the bar ceiling, window, and floors, and the fact that weird magic is sprouting everywhere - Dan had considered packing up Bogart and heading for woods on his horse, in hopes of finding his way someplace that would be safer than this.

He's studying the crystal over the bar when he hears a familiar gravel-strewn voice over his shoulder; he turns in time to see the paper ears appear on Ben's head.

"Now if that ain't downright fancy, I don't know what is."

All of a sudden, Dan finds himself sporting a fine hat.
lasthalfmile: (thought process)

[personal profile] lasthalfmile 2012-02-22 02:41 am (UTC)(link)
"Look at you," he motions at his own face, indicating Ben's shaved chin. "You did get cleaned up."

He removes the top hat, looking it over before setting it on the counter. His eyes wander over the bar area again, taking in the scene.

"My afterlife seems to have gotten...complicated."
lasthalfmile: (slightly off guard)

[personal profile] lasthalfmile 2012-02-22 02:49 am (UTC)(link)
"Well...they've put up an evacuation notice. So I'd take that is bein' cause for true concern."

He nods towards the back door.

"And you should see what's happened to the lakeside."
lasthalfmile: (woah shit)

[personal profile] lasthalfmile 2012-02-22 02:54 am (UTC)(link)

"And there's cracks in the Window."
lasthalfmile: (thought process)

[personal profile] lasthalfmile 2012-02-22 03:01 am (UTC)(link)
Dan winces slightly, because he knows Ben won't be thrilled with this news:

"...this is probably an unfortunate time to mention that She ain't gettin' any sort of orders right, isn't it."
lasthalfmile: (looking)

[personal profile] lasthalfmile 2012-02-22 03:28 am (UTC)(link)
"It wouldn't be a bad idea."

But he hesitates, and while Ben may not be a father himself, he may recognize the emotion smoldering in Dan's eyes.

"I just...ain't been able to find William. I don't know if he's here or back home."
lasthalfmile: (dan & wade)

[personal profile] lasthalfmile 2012-02-22 03:38 am (UTC)(link)
For a long moment, there is silence - an unnerving silence, given the crimson glow that is being cast over them by the crystal hovering above.

And then a bag of carrots appears.

Followed by a bag of apples.

And a bag of oranges.


A bowl of dragonfruit.

Then a box of pears.

"...I don't think she's gonna be much help."


Then an idea hits.

"But we could go look in the stables. If Les is there, then he's here."

And if the horse isn't...then he's not. Or he's here without the horse - but that's worth a bit of investigation.
lasthalfmile: (damn it's cold)

[personal profile] lasthalfmile 2012-02-22 03:50 am (UTC)(link)
"Let's not press our luck."

When the door creaks open with an ungodly sound that grates against the very core of his somewhat-existant soul, Dan shivers.

And then the frigid blast of air hits, and he's wishing he had his wool hat and scarf.
lasthalfmile: (f your bs)

[personal profile] lasthalfmile 2012-02-22 04:02 am (UTC)(link)
"It's awful pleasant, ain't it," Dan grits out.

The cold never bothered him before - an advantage to being dead, he supposes - but this is different. This is wrong and it cuts like a knife jammed between his ribs.

or lead buried in his chest

He ducks his head and keeps walking a line beside Ben, praying that William's horse isn't going to be found.
lasthalfmile: (thought process)

[personal profile] lasthalfmile 2012-02-22 04:21 am (UTC)(link)
Dan can see evidence that someone has been working - the stables are practically spotless. The tension in the air is almost tangible, but Dan follows Ben inside, closing the door behind them.

"I heard that there was an earthquake, too," he mentions.
lasthalfmile: (head down)

[personal profile] lasthalfmile 2012-02-22 04:33 am (UTC)(link)
He moves along the row, approaching the stall where William usually keeps Les stabled - praying to himself that the animal isn't there.

It isn't.

Dan exhales a sigh of relief.

(Even the dead can thank the Lord for small miracles.)
lasthalfmile: (thought process)

[personal profile] lasthalfmile 2012-02-22 04:43 am (UTC)(link)
"Or gettin' into fights at the schoolhouse."

Dan idly scratches at his beard, moving to the stall where Phoenix is attempting to rest - the mare tosses her head at the sight of Dan, obviously irritated.
lasthalfmile: (slightly off guard)

[personal profile] lasthalfmile 2012-02-22 04:51 am (UTC)(link)
Phoenix takes one look at Ben Wade and wrinkles her nose up, flattening her ears.

"...seems she's in a Mood today," Dan comments.
lasthalfmile: (damn it's cold)

[personal profile] lasthalfmile 2012-02-22 04:55 am (UTC)(link)
"Don't take it personally."

Dan reaches to his hip to grab his knife - with a few quick cuts and the apple is in pieces, and he hands a bite over to the mare.

"Where are you, out in your world?"
lasthalfmile: (reflection)

[personal profile] lasthalfmile 2012-02-22 05:15 am (UTC)(link)
"I'd have t'bring Bogart," he says.
lasthalfmile: (thinking about this)

[personal profile] lasthalfmile 2012-02-22 05:22 am (UTC)(link)
"...would it work, walkin' her out your door?"

If they're gonna be gone for any stretch of time, or travel anywhere, he could use the horse. But if he's only got a few days...what would the point be, aside from getting her out?

"I mean...if we can't get me back, s'just gonna mean you've got another horse t'deal with."
lasthalfmile: (damn it's cold)

[personal profile] lasthalfmile 2012-02-22 05:30 am (UTC)(link)
"If not, you just take the horse out t'the ranch for me. They could put her to good use."

He moves for the tack room.

"I left Bogart upstairs, but we can get her situated first 'fore we get him."
lasthalfmile: (footprints in dust)

[personal profile] lasthalfmile 2012-02-22 05:45 am (UTC)(link)
"Good idea," Dan says, as he moves with an armful of tack towards Phoenix's stall. "I've seen him around in the bar a few times, mostly comin' and going. He'll be more likely to get it if you leave it here...who knows where Bar might lose it to."

Once the horse is saddled and loaded up with an extra two days worth of grain, they head back for the bar.

"I figure we can tie her out to the porch for a minute or two - it won't take me long t'run upstairs."
lasthalfmile: (Default)

[personal profile] lasthalfmile 2012-02-22 05:59 am (UTC)(link)
The smirk that crosses Dan's face is glorious in nature.

"Actually," he reaches to his knee, pulling up his pant-leg to expose the futuristic prosthetic that has replaced the wood and iron that used to grace his leg-stump. "The boy got me a mighty fine Christmas present last year."
lasthalfmile: (damn it's cold)

[personal profile] lasthalfmile 2012-02-22 06:06 am (UTC)(link)
"S'some sort of cast metal that's a helluva lot lighter than the old one used t'be. S'easier t'git 'round with this one."

His fingers are practically ice as he tries to tie the reins of the horse to the porch railing.
lasthalfmile: (dan & wade)

[personal profile] lasthalfmile 2012-02-22 06:12 am (UTC)(link)
"I'll be back in just a minute."

And with that Dan heads into the bar to navigate his way through the disaster upstairs.
lasthalfmile: (bogart)

[personal profile] lasthalfmile 2012-02-22 06:21 am (UTC)(link)
Phoenix feels like she has every right to be surly - between the massive explosion, the fear on the air, the bitter cold, the changes in the atmosphere and the fact that everyone else in the stables has been just as pissy - so Ben Wade had better recognize that fact and step off.

So there.

Dan returns with a bag slung over his shoulder (inside are a few small items he couldn't stand to leave behind, as well as a solid amount of cash - he'd had the treasure from the dwarven mines converted into familiar currency months ago) and he's holding his rifle in one hand, and a leash in the other.

Said leash leads to an apparently empty harness.

"He's there," he promises, looking at the horse, and then back at Ben. "Maybe...maybe you should walk him, and I'll take her."

It may end better for everyone.
lasthalfmile: (dan & wade)

[personal profile] lasthalfmile 2012-02-22 06:28 am (UTC)(link)
"He eats better than I do," Dan protests.

There is a phantom grunt-oink from below at the mention of food. Bogart is present and accounted for, indeed.

And with everyone ready, they head into the Bar. It takes every ounce of Dan's calm to keep Phoenix from spooking horrendously; Ben has to urge Bogart to move his bacon ball ass at least six times.

(Wade feels like a fool, talking to an invisible pig on a string, but if it means they get the hell out of here before that Window shatters, then a fool he'll be and gladly.)

Ben's door works, and without further fanfare - unlike the Loompa parade moments earlier - they're gone.