"Now are you two just going to stand there eye ******** each other?" asked The Spanish woman as she walked over to them. She placed a hand on Lex's shoulder and gave it a light squeeze, "Skandar, this is our tall and moody friend, Ratonhnhaké:ton."
"Ratonhnhaké:ton, this is Skandar, Behlil's older brother--Skandar?" she snapped her fingers in front of his face. She rolled her eyes and smiled at her friend, "Look at what you did Ratonhnhaké:ton, you broke him."
"I did not break him," the man stated. "And since when does Kara have more than one brother?" The voice jolted Lex out of his reverie. It was deep and had that accent to it that only Native Americans ever seemed to have--Jake had had it too, that certain odd accent.
"Rah...Rahdoonha...Rah-doon-ha-gay-doon?" he tried, stammering. "Ratohnhaké:ton?"
"... That is a first." The man nodded and looked away as he took a small step back. "You did better than Night Stalker, man gave up and--" he glanced down and stopped talking. Ratonhnhaké:ton took another step back, "And called me Tonto."
Alma snorted and shook her head; one day she will tell him what that means.
"Pffff. Tonto?" Lex snorted and pocketed his hands. He shivered, wanting nothing more than to slide his arms up his sleeves and press them to his chest. "You look more like a Kemosabe to me than a Tonto." A light flush crept up his face despite the cold, or was it because of it? He wasn't sure if the man would understand the complement, or the reference. The name was in Potawatomi after all. He sniffed, rubbing his nose into his shoulder, looking up at the man's eyes. At least, he tried to meet them. The man called Ratohnhaké:ton continued to avoid his gaze.
His eyes flicked to the woman who'd come with Alma. Slowly, he said, "Du bist Ylva, ja?"
"Honotbi, are you sure he is not related to Night Stalker instead of Kara?"
"What makes you ask that?"
"He is talking nonsense."
"And, Kemosabe? He means no harm, only teasing."
Ratohnhaké:ton rolled his eyes and continued to walk ahead of them, "Where are you go--pendejo! Wrong way!" she called after him. She tugged on the horse's reins to follow her, "Skandar, Ylva, hurry up."
"Hey, that Kemosabe was a compliment!" Skandar grumbled, mounting up quickly and trotting after the man. Putting on a Cockney accent, he asked the Native, "And do I sound English t'you? No, no, I don't." He grinned and laughed as the man finally turned to him to give him a stare that plainly read "What the ******** was that that just came out of your mouth?"
The Assassin limped as blood poured from a battle wound on her leg. She tried to stop the bleeding, but it was hard, as she had to keep moving to get to Boston.
She looked up as she heard voices on the rise above her, seeing the movement of horses and people.
"Help!" she shouted up to them. "Help me, please!"
In the distance, there was a roar. She froze in fear.
Ylva looked at the young Assassin for a long moment. Her pale eyes made an odd contrast to the dark hair she kept pretty short for a female, bound to a little tail behind her head.
"That is how people call me." she said briskly, then knelt besides the stag and with a swift movement lifted it up, putting it over her shoulders. She didn't mind the blood stains on her weatherworn cloathing.
Ratohnhaké:ton wanted to take it but she grimly shook her head, "A bet is a bet. You killed I bring it home." He raised an eyebrow. This woman wasn't easily angered, yet when she was, she mostly lost that last amount of manners she had. This evening could have been so peaceful.
A little friendlier she turned to Lex, "And despite the accent, mostly Swedish and a lot of something elses."
Noises came nearer, "That second trouble maker of your kin? Didn't know there was a family meeting to be."
"Kin?" Lex asked, confused. "Behlil or Kara?" He trotted over to look at what Ylva was seeing. Down below the rise they stood on was a shock of red hair moving through the snow. Spots of crimson were on the snow behind her, a large black, shaggy shape moving toward her. Looking skyward, he groaned, holding up his hands in supplication, "Why, God, why?"
That done, he slipped from his mount, tossed his reins to the nearest person, and jumped down the hillside. The slide had turned into more of an a**-over-head, ungainly tumble by the time he reached the bottom, but it did the job all the same. Scrambling out of the powder, soaked from head to foot once more, the Sparrow stood up onto a fallen tree and whistled. The animal turned its head toward him, as did the woman. "Don't just stand there, numbnuts, run!"
Hurrying himself out along the truck, he slid and vaulted off into the snow between the animal and the bleeding woman, rising slowly, arms spread to either side. "Hey, bear." The bear gave a grumbling noise and moved forward, rising up on its hind legs. For a moment, his trembling was of fear as well as cold. Oh, s**t. Then the great paws closed around him and the bear fell back on its a**, sniffling at his hair and lapping the snow from his thrown-back hood and ruffled locks. "Guys? When did I get a plus-five modifier on animal affinity? Guys? Hello?" The boy sputtered as the warm, wet length of tongue scraped across his face.
A sharp whistle made the bear stop and stand upon his hindlegs again, sniffing.
"Leave him Hjalmar, he is neither a lady for you to court, a cub to to take of nor a morsel to chew on." The bear looked down, then towards Lex.
Almost sadly he trotted away and sat down.
Swiftly the Swedish female made it down the hill and lifted the very bedraggled sparrow to his feet.
"Forlat. she muttered, brushing the snow of the small men, "Hjalmar is harmless." She sighed. "Last week he adopted a limping wolfhound pup one of the huntsmen chased in woods. Maybe he seeks a brother for his cub."
She looked over to the Assassin female who stood leaned against a tree.
"He can't smell your blood, lass, so he will not do anything to you. His owners did something with his nose."
She made a gesture and a grim face.
"... Ylva," The man cleared his throat, "How long have you owned this bear?"
"Amigo, it would be best not to ask." the woman crouched down in front of the injured woman. She wrapped her arm around her middle and lifted her up. "I should give you an earful about what is very, very wrong with what I am looking at... but I doubt you are fully awake to hear it thanks to the blood you lost." Alma looked at the young man and the bear again, "Is he ever going to let Skandar go? I think Kemosabe is getting jealous."
"Doctor... please.." she moaned, and the woman was right, she couldn't hear anything. She looked around the group blearily as her head rolled about, trying to make sense of the hazy figures she saw, but nothing came to her mind.
"Why do you think I am putting you on my horse? To make you pretty? Ratohnhaké:ton, help me get her up." He stood where he was, "Ratohnhaké:ton, today."
He rolled his eyes and helped the woman up, Alma climbing up behind her, "You know where the tavern is, si?" Ratohnhaké:ton nodded and she gave him a look, "Yes Honotbi, I do. We will meet you back there."
Ratohnhaké:ton turned look at the cuddle pile, then at Ylva, "Are we done here?"
"Yes, we are. Come, Hjalmar." The bear lumbered after her as Lex mounted up on his horse again.
"Um, guys, I'm a doctor," he called after them. The other riders looked at him like he'd just smoked a bowl of hash and claimed to be Neil Armstrong. "Yeah, I--I am." They continued to stare at him for a good while before Ylva looked at Connor.
"Will we take the girl to the homestead then?" Connor looked between her, the girl, and Lex. The Sparrow could almost see the wheels turning in his mind. C'mon, hamsters, he thought. Sì, se puede!
"All right. We will go to the homestead." The Native man swung into the saddle and looked at him. "Skandar."
"Yeah?" Lex snapped his head up, feeling an absurd tightening in his throat when the tall man said his name. What the hell, am I having an asthma attack or something? Breathe, stupid, breathe! The man jerked his head toward where Alma and the girl were at the front of the group. The Sparrow urged his horse after them, Ylva trotting up to walk ahead of Alma's horse with Hjalmar as Connor brought up the rear behind Lex.