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3630Fic: Whisky in the Blood 6/9, R

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  • Shaz
    Oct 3 10:14 PM
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      [part 6]

      "I'm meetin' her 'ere."

      "She knows how to get here?"

      I pick at a hem of lace. "'Course we do. How else ye think a little sister
      and her mates entertain themselves on a Friday eve?"

      Jean offers a patient sigh. "Come in, Kitty. It's getting cold."

      I shake my head. Stubborn McCleve, aye that's me. "Nae. I earned it, I'll
      bloody well get used to it."

      A hand lands on my shoulder and I jump. I didnae realise she was that close
      to me, perching on the porch of the now apparent Home for Wayward Irish

      "Are the two of you going to come in and warm yourself?"

      I pause. I've never heard his voice before. I know I expected some Limey
      burke with an aristocratic lisp, or some cockney sewer drinker with slurs in
      his sentences, but him, his words roll off his tongue without a wisp of
      tongue curl. His words are proper, clear, but musical.

      Maybe I've been misjudging him a bit.

      "Just a moment, luv. Kitty?"

      "I'll nae be addressed as a driveling Mick in anyone's house."

      Leaning down, a sweep of red hair hitting my shoulder, I meet green eyes
      that've been watching out for me for years. "Kitty," Jean starts, "I'll nae
      let anyone call ye that, especially in this home."

      A male hand is offered to me. Somehow, it's rougher than I thought it would
      be. Not so pampered as the "Nae while I breathe, anyways."

      I suppose a warm fire and a chair is better to enjoy your self-imposed
      condemnation than a cold stone step. I grasp the hand and pivot on a foot
      to lock eyes-- well, eyes to chin-- with the bane of my Ma's existence. "So
      ye're Scott?"

      He smiles a little. Maybe it's the McCleve charm. or my sister's been
      talking about me again. "That I am. There's brandy and roast beef from
      last night's supper, if you're so inclined."

      "Somehow I thought ye a bit more of an ogre."


      I shrug. "Ye'd have me lie?"

      "Nae, just," she shakes her head, "just go inside. We'll be along."

      I free my hand and stare at it, nodding a little numbly at the pair of them.
      "Nae any surprises in there, eh?"

      The Englishman seems to think about it. "No, just ignore mum when she nags
      on you for being too thin."

      Bloody hell.


      "It sounds like a scary place."

      "Tis a bit rougher, I'll tell ye that much," my sister agrees. Every once
      in a while it happens, I guess. "Nae a city that's loaded to the brim with
      rats and rogues, though."

      "Aye," I add thoughtfully, staring at the map laid out on the table, "'tis
      horses and rogues instead."

      "Actually," I'm corrected, though it's nae the voice of my brother telling
      me I've gone daft so I don't immediately argue, "it's a bit better than
      that, though the locals are a tad more colourful in the regional way than
      this burgh."

      "Aye," Jean giggles through her hands, "they wear leather and spurs."

      The Anglican sports a confused look. "And what's so funny?"

      "Just picturin' the poor man who wears it in the blisterin' heat of an
      American summer."

      "There are pigs better treated than that," I murmur.

      "And they look better."

      Glancing between the two of us lasses, Scott Sumner looks to my sister,
      waiting for an explanation. All he gets is a bewitching smile.

      "Ye said ye preferred a little mystery in your life, so God provided ye a
      McCleve, luv."

      "If that's true," he pauses, "than the greater British island has been
      remiss in it's duty to woo the lasses off their native land?"

      "Bloody well has. Ye could knock off the dominance bullshitting, too."

      I glance up. There's a comment I ne'er expected out of my sister, but
      rather than an angry response to her complaint, her imperialistic chippy
      leans down from behind the chair she's in, kisses her forehead and laughs.
      "There's the fiery upstart I like. Now stop worrying about this and relax."

      Before they can go any further, I clear my throat. "I dinnae care what
      ye've already done together, but for the sake of keepin' a good roast lodged
      in my stomach, dinnae be carryin' on in my presence."

      Their response is a laugh. Lovely. About to open my mouth and give them
      my further opinion, there's a knock at the front door, and like a mare
      running from a fire, Mother Sumner brushes by us to answer it.

      "Is she always that fast?"


      Three seconds later, we hear "Miss Kitty, there's a young woman to see you!"

      I stand up and raise an eyebrow at the couple still a tad too close for my
      meal's sake. Jean feigns innocence and goes back to glancing at the map,
      pushing the little marker up and down the route to Colorado. "Comin',
      Missus Sumner."

      "Now there's respect," she smiles at me, sizing me up. I guess she fully
      intends to have me around as an in-law, Heaven help me. "Come in Miss
      Kennedy, can I offer you something?"

      Marie smiles at me and shakes her head. "Nae, I'm fine, but thank ye.
      Kitty, Kurt and I have the carriage, are ye ready?"

      Wincing and wishing I had remembered that that was so soon, I smile with an
      embarrassed slight at Mother Sumner and shake my head. "A few moments to
      gather what I've strewn about here after runnin' from Mass, please."

      "Take your time, my dear. You two should have some tea before going to keep
      warm. There's Earl Grey and a bit of Darjeeling left."

      Marie looks to me, to the elder woman, back to me and then behind her, where
      the outline of a carriage and two horses is backlit by streetlamps. "One
      cup, to get in our goodbyes, methinks."

      "I-- I-- bloody hell, all right. 'Tis only fair to wish the songbirds at
      the table well, too. At least Georgia's a bit more civilised then where
      they're off to."

      Mother Sumner chuckles and nods. "Still better than this burgh."

      Marie and I both nod. To us, and apparently a few Anglicans that we've nae
      given enough credit to, New York is a place to escape.

      Sweet God above help us all.

      [cont'd in part 7]


      "To touch is to heal
      To hurt is to steal
      If you want to kiss the sky
      Better learn how to kneel" --"Mysterious Ways," U2