The Sight of an Old Friend
With his ship anchored and more than around a month for his crew to get supplies for their next journey at sea, Aureliano was out and about in the town. The day was grey and cold, not at all out of character for the region. Aureliano was used the warmth of Spain, the sound of water and the smell of salt, the call of seagulls but the pastoral scenery, the seemingly small atmosphere and the quaint homes wasn’t something Aureliano was used to despite his travels. Madmoor Village had no appeal to him, it was green, yes, but it was small and filled with people who looked like they were made from porridge and butter. Every now and again, he would pick something up that sparked his interest and would place it back down on one of the tables in front of crowded shops—that was until something else caught his eye. A familiar waterfall of dark hair was seen through the bustling crowd and Aureliano then began to follow the figure, though careful not to be seen. Eyeing the person’s back, he tried to make out if it was just who he was hoping to see.
The market always caught his nerves with a fist, twisting his insides and made him feel small and vulnerable; it was full to the brim with folk, all of fair face and hair, and he felt like a queer coated deer who could never hide himself in the brush like the rest. It was once his duty to blend with them, but now that he'd broken away, he'd clung to the remnants he could retain about his old life, and had not worn a hat or tie since he was twenty. It wasn't enough, but it was all he could do, especially from a continent away. And since he had not yet been arrested, he presumed it was alright to continue.

But he had to venture out to buy feed for the animals. And carry the heavy sacks over his shoulders, sometimes needing a trip or two to get everything up the damn hill and into the barns and paddocks. He even took care of the horse feed. Someday, maybe tonight, he would ask Mrs. Benbow if something could be done about a wagon or wheelbarrow. It would do wonders for his back.

"Was this not once only ha'pence, ma'am?" He worried over his scant bag of coins, which were counted out to him from the funds the staff were given. Now he'd need a penny more than he head to get the oats. Which meant perhaps three trips. He heard the voice of old Sister Sylvester in his head say 'A fine pickle of fish indeed' which, now that he knew what a malapropism was, tickled him to no end. And was all the triumph he could now have at all to lord over her memory; I am now the cleverer one.
Aureliano’s clothing was not fit for the region. It was a long and shabby, cascading captain’s coat covered with patches, pathetically sewn by his hand. He was more accustomed to sewing men’s wounds while holding them down as the ship swayed than sewing clothes. Moving closer, squinting, he was almost certain that the figure was just who he thought it was.

Finally, beside the person, he stared down at them. He leaned into their face and began to observe every crevice and form. Turning to stand in front of them, bending just a tad, he began nodding—probably causing confusion to anyone who saw him. He then stood back, properly. “Jericho?” he said, sounding amused before slapping the man’s shoulder. “How are you, my friend? Good to see you aren’t dead.” It was a marvel to Aureliano that Jericho had survived this long in England, especially with their grubby meals and boring personalities. These pale and rosy people did not know how to cook for the life of them and Aureliano had eaten many awful meals on his ship and on islands. His eyes fell to Jericho’s bag and pointed to it. “That is a body, no?”
He nearly dropped his coins as he jolted and turned, hearing his name. From a voice he knew, but didn't make much sense hearing here.

"Captain?" Darting his gaze over him as if trying to see if he could stare through him and prove he was an illusion. Swaying a bit after the slap, not used to such physical gestures. The English did less than tip their hats most of the time.

"It is nothing but grain..." Trying to say that a bit louder than usual, the villagers would believe a body was in there as quick as they would anything else. "What on earth are you doing here?'
The market wasn’t the sort of marketplaces he was used to—or liked. He much preferred a less quaint setting and a more tropical, warming setting with hammocks, tropical trees, and wooden tables covered in fruits and appeals, and people carrying baskets of fish from the sparkling blue waters right before the soft beach. It was even better when the blazing hot sun was out and he had a good cold beer in hand, women and good-looking men that didn’t smell of bile nor had brown teeth like his crew at his side. He had thought Canada was cold but, at least, it had charm.

“Almost capsized by white whales near to Cape Horn,” said Aureliano casually. “We were left stranded for a month when our masts broke and had to rebuild. Now I’m here.” It was only partially the truth, there was so much more to be said but in private. As of then, he was more curious about the bags. Dog-faced people weren’t forcing the young man into labour, were they? He had seen enough ill things take place during his lifetime. Aureliano took a hold of one of Jericho’s bags, lifting it up and then letting it down, lifting it up and then letting it down, as if testing its weight. “You need help moving this grain somewhere?” He slung the sack over his shoulder and extended his hand for the other one.
His mouth hanging open for a moment, trying to absorb the situation as quickly as possible without wanting to cause a scene. He wanted to inquire into the whales. His crew, were they alive? This wasn't exactly a stop beside the coast, why had he come here?

"Yes. Please. It's quite heavy. You're too kind..." Deciding to leave the oats for now, as he could not afford the new price. Stablemaster might be miffed, but one day late wouldn't starve the horses...
Without another word, Aureliano took the second and slung it over his shoulder like it was nothing. He was a pirate, after all, and used to the labour and sweat. “Kind, I’m not kind at all,” said Aureliano, smiling from the side of his mouth and laughing a bit, shaking his head. Just because he helped Jericho cross the ocean and was now holding sacks for him did not mean he was nice. He had done his fair share of evil during his life, shedding the blood of others, men and women. He hoped his improvement in the English language would impress Jericho, he now knew more than broken sentences. He nodded forwards and then his eyes fell on the younger man. “So where you headed, Jericho? I cannot stand here all day, my legs are weary and I’m in search for nice lodgings. Besides, I am curious to know where you work now, how you are living, and what you eat for breakfast.”
"I work at Castle Madswitte. It's just up the hill from here..." Gesturing, but his face fell a bit, "Perhaps you ought to find a room at the tavern first, then, Captain. Rest your bones for a while? I have carried all these and more before, it should not be trouble for me." Which was not quite true but imposing on him was even worse.
Aureliano raised a brow. “Allow me to carry them this once, my good friend,” he said, Spanish accent rolling through. He assumed Jericho wanted to head to the castle so he began to head in the direction that Jericho gestured. His walk was casual and comfortable despite his dislike for the English country, no matter how picturesque it appeared from time to time. It wasn’t his scene but maybe he had to get used to it. He had just arrived, after all. “Yes, I am looking for a place to stay. Right now, I am camping in the outskirts, a little forested area, but not quite a little island in the water. If I enter the tavern then all my crew will as well, could mean business for the tavern and joys for us.” A smile stretched upon his face, he hadn’t had a good lay in a while. “Why do you carry grain?”
"Erh, well, thank you then..." And he hurried to catch up to him, still dazed and moving a few paces behind in his brain. He wondered if Aureliano had met any of the bog women out there. His crew camped out all together would be quite conspicuous...

"It's for the game, and the livestock. They are my responsibility here." Leading them up the hill to the main path, where the dirt road met the neatly trimmed lawn, then arcing around to the grounds where the paddocks were.
He understood English just fine but who would use grain for games? Aureliano much preferred drinking and card games, the types he would play when the dark sky casted her cloak upon the Caribbean and torches outside his wooden dwelling glittered, forming a warm and golden glow, and all that could be heard were the crickets in the sea of green. But using grain for games sounded boring. The way that Jericho led them was nice and twee but if only there was a little sun, the walk would have been better, thought Aureliano. “You might have to show me the tavern but where do you stay in this place?” he said, genuinely curious and panting only a bit, though he wasn’t quite tired from the sacks. “Do they treat you well here, in this place?” He nodded forwards, tone a little more serious.
"I would gladly take you there myself once we're through." Trying to summon a smile that Sandoval did indeed deserve from him, despite how difficult it was to make himself display it for him. There were undercurrents of feeling that he feared to take straight on into his heart just yet.

"I have a room in the servant's hall, but I often prefer to sleep outside. They treat me well enough, better than home, so anything is better than that." He opened the paddock door for him, where the pheasants and chickens were milling about.
Aureliano had seen farms before, only the farms were a bit different than the ones in England, a little more rundown, dirtier but it was no secret that England held most of the world’s wealth apart from America, Canada and Australia which were now growing. His brows rose. “Outside?” he said, turning back and looking outside as the door slammed shut and he was trapped inside whatever this area was. “With the rain and mosquitoes?” said Aureliano, a little more concerned this time and dropping the sacks on the ground, uncertain if it was because he thought this was there they went or if he wasn’t thinking about the sacks anymore. If they were treating him nicely, why did he insist on sleeping outside? He had to wonder. “Are you sure… that everything is well here?” From a man who strangled people to death to a man that was now caring for another, it was quite the strange transition and not one Aureliano understood himself.
Jericho carefully rolled the sacks inside the small shed within the paddock, "On clear days that is. I'm not quite that foolish." Meant more as an admonishment to himself and how odd it must sound to say that, rather than accusing Aureliano of patronizing him or something.

He straightened up, and offered him a clearer, more focused gaze, with eye contact. "It's a godsend. You were too. For taking me here." The staff could occasionally be careless with their words, and their stares, but he was paid for his labour and invited to sit at the same table and eat the same food, so it was the most respectfully he'd yet been treated in his adult life.
A godsend, Aureliano had only ever been told that he was such by drunken whores in the tavern after flipping a coin their way, as none could resist the Aureliano Sandoval, but now there was some strange guilt with being called such. His hands informally came to his hips and he casted a warm smile. “Of course, I was, that’s Aureliano Sandoval for you,” said Aureliano, sounding smug and standing all the straighter, friendly eyes meeting Jericho’s. But it wasn’t just Jericho, he had saved apparently. Back then Aureliano hadn’t cared for details, he merely helped them onto a ship and it was a simple task which required no smidgeon of bravery or compassion. Yet he believed it had been one of his kinder acts of the past. “My very good friend, how is Myrtle—no, Meril?”

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