(2018-08-31) And We'll Sing
And We'll Sing
Summary: On the day of his parents' funeral, Iain Bonnar spends time with his cousins.
Date: 2018-08-31
Related: NA
NPCs: Bhaltair Reid
Scene Runner: NA
Players:
iain..fionnuala..

TP ROOM: Scotland. A funeral is not ideal for a family reunion, but it helps to see familiar faces… and share a few drinks. The location? The family homestead of Reid relations Kamden and Catriona Reid, in Stirling. A mere two hours after the burial rites of Fenella and Rhistaed Bonnar.

(OOC: Mood music - "And We'll Sing" © Runrig)

===

The sun was setting and guests were still milling around upstairs. Iain could hear them, their footfalls thudding on the floor above him as he sits down in the cellar of his aunt and uncle's house. Most footsteps were slower, reflecting the somber mood of the day. Then there came a set of fast paced steps. No doubt his aunt hurriedly rushing to make sure the food and drink supplies stayed plentiful. Heavier quick footfalls following after…that'd be his uncle being tasked into assisting.

In reality it probably wasn't as much about making sure the food was fresh as it was finding something to keep the mind off of…things. After all, that's what had led Iain to escape down here. If he had to hear one more "Sorry for your loss…" or see one more tear stained expression…he'd scream. Okay, so that made him feel like an asshole, but he also didn't care. He just needed five minutes. Five hours. Five days…you get the idea. Of space. No amount of space would separate him from this though.

He had managed to snag a pack of beer on his way down here, half a bottle downed already as he sits back against his chair and lets out a long sigh. "Fuck it why can't everybody just leave already?…" He wonders aloud to himself before closing his eyes and taking another drink.

He is still in his suit from the funeral. The one his mom had bought him last year because he needed one and "You look so handsome and grown!"…his mom's words.

It was always Aunt Catriona's way to see to it that every guest in her home, even for a funeral, were made to feel comfortable. Whatever the amount of bustling to keep drinks refilled and hot d'oeuvres stocked, the spritely woman has an indomitable amount of energy. This stems from years of keeping up with their one chick: Bhaltair Reid.

Despite the presence of family, brought together for the traditional Scottish 'send off' of the departed, it's a sad time. Not only does Cat have to keep food and drink stocked but kleenex boxes at ready as well. This family home, here in Stirling, is indeed large enough to contain the plethora of mourners: family, friends. In true Scot fashion almost everyone came together to remember and mourn the loss of such an upstanding couple.

The Reid family from the United States made it well in time for the funeral, by way of a red eye flight and much hustling. It was all a blur: the moment their feet hit the earth Ailbeart, Flora and Fionnuala Reid had to hasten to get acclimated to the deeply sorrowful situation. By the time the funeral was underway and both Fenella and Rhiseart Bonnar were committed to the earth and their remains left to the gravediggers, the jetlag was a thing of the past and the American Reids were part of the crush in Kamden and Catriona Reid's family home.

Iain shall hear footsteps descending the stairwell and no, it is not a fretful or tearful auntie or uncle or longtime family friend. It is Fionnuala, tearful and wan in a sedate black dress and her hair pulled back into a thick, sensible braid. Her wings are out —- MANY wings are out in this house — so it will come as no surprise to see both the feathered appendages dripping sunlight as her bare pantyhose-clad feed descend the stairs. If Iain looks her way, he will see her watching him with sad golden eyes before she moves to join him. They have not seen one another since they were 10 and 11-years-old, respectively.

Wordlessly, Fee will sit alongside him and.. bless her heart (it's Scotland) .. hold her hand out for one of the contraband beer.

While not as bubbly and high spirited as Fee, Iain had an energy in his own right and usually wore a mischievous grin. He was 16 after all! But now? Dressed in a suit that made him look like he was trying to pass for older…holding a beer but no hint of pride from having snuck it…and his eyes held none of that usual spunk to them as he looks towards Fee when she makes her appearance. All of it just seemed out of place for the boy.

He watches her walk down the stairs and follows her path to sit beside him. When her hand reaches out, he pulls one of the beers away from the rest and holds it out towards her, but stops mid-reach. "I'll give ya this if you stop looking at me all sorry like. I can't take it. Not from you…" He then hands her the beer, whether she actually changes or not. "You can be sad. Just don't be feeling sorry for me…"

Another longer drink from his own bottle and he wipes his mouth with the back of his hand, looking back to the bottle as he pulls it away from himself. "Shoulda grabbed the whiskey…" He then looks over to his cousin. "How's school been?"

Surely there will have been some aide from Bhaltair who, currently, remains upstairs with the clutch. A great many people knew of the Bonnars and therefore there's even an assortment of older ladies that need care. What better person to enlist to the cause than gregarious, handsome Bal who is used to serving (albeit in bars, etc.) .. so therefore Iain will have not had to search long or hard for a case to pilfer.

Fionnuala accepts the bottle and though she herself isn't fond of beer, she sips from the bottle in solidarity with her cousin. Iain is one of the few who happen to be one of Fee's peers in the family so naturally his loss resounds with her rather powerfully.

"It's just hard to believe.. I.." Fee blinks, feeling her eyes growing misty again. What can she say? She takes a heartier swig of the beer and winces inwardly. "I'm sad, really sad. For them and everyone. I.." again words fail the girl as she carefully dabs at her eyes.

"Can I get anything for you from upstairs? Are you hungry?" The girl asks finally.

Iain shakes his head "No ah umnae…" (No I'm not). He didn't feel hungry at least. Some more movement from upstairs has the lad glancing upwards at the cieling/floor above them. "Shite…it's like people think if they stay round' long enough ma' and da' will show up." His brow furrows deep then and he takes another drink, finishing off that bottle. He looks to the empty bottle in his hand now, staring at it silently a moment. "Kept specting' em' to walk thru' tha' door mahself the first couple nights…"

Suddenly the door leading to the upstairs opens, something is set just inside on the first step and it's closed just as quickly. A bottle of whiskey! "Bhal ya beautiful bastard…" No need to even wonder who it had come from. Iain stands up and heads towards the stairs. Retrieving the bottle he once again returns to his chair before opening the whiskey and taking a swig. The bottle is then offered over to Fee.

Compared to her cousin, Fionnuala's Scots brogue isn't quite so thick. It's there; inflections in her words that can never be Americanized away! But compared to Iain, Fee is a bit more polished. Scots Gaelic, however, is as easy as breathing and her head dips once in understanding. "Tha mi a 'tuigsinn." (I understand) She says as much, leaning back with the bottle of beer resting in her lap. It's funny how being here, in this basement.. it feels as if she has not been gone long. Since yesterday. Not a lot changes in family homesteads over here and Fee would feel comfortable .. if her aunt and uncle weren't freshly set into the ground.

Fee sits upright however as the door is opened up, immediately trying to think of where to hide the beer when she realizes what provisions have been offered up next. She doesn't even have the heart to reprimand Iain because how can the boy not have a nip or two (or seven) of the potent brew. "Bal just never changes.." She says with affection. "I bet it's one of the guest offerings… I didn't see that upstairs before." The girl muses again.

Fionnuala then sees her very first drink of whiskey, ever being offered to her. Oh crap. The beer isn't even half finished and there's whiskey. What is she to do?

She accepts the bottle, says a little prayer that she not die, and takes a swig.

IT BURNS! Fee begins to cough and sputter.

Iain takes the bottle back from her as she starts to sputter, lest they have to explain that to the adults upstairs! He can't help but laugh though "Is thon really yer first whiskey?" Shaking his head, he caps it again before setting it on the ground next to his chair. "I thawt American kids haed crazy parties an drank aw the time. Whut are they teachin ye then?"

Sitting back against his chair, Iain watches her a moment to make sure she's alright from the drink. "It's gud tae see ye, Fee…" Reason aside, he missed his family when they were away. How the hell was he going to handle going overseas to school? Still…he knew that right now it'd be easier than the alternative of staying here.

Though her throat and esophagus feel like a singular tube of BURN, Fee can't help but laugh as her eyes water… this time not from grief tears. "It's pitiful huh? If I lived here I'd have had my first drink at like.. what… 5? 6?" Fee giggles. She was, alas, born stateside but in those early years, like clockwork, visited Scotland yearly. Until her preteen years when her family moved to NH. "I'm a wimp. You would laugh at the alcohol over there." She offers meaningfully, trying to be delicate with the matter and not outright saying 'you're coming with us'. It can't be easy.

".. there are crazy parties, I'm just really nerdy." Fee says without guile, actually kinda proud of it. Her big black wings twitch behind her small body as she revisits the beer, never wanting to be wasteful. "It's good to see you again too, Iain, even in these circumstances. I didn't know when I'd get back here again, with Ma being pregnant and just…" Yes, here she is. She will not disclose that she sank her savings — meant to buy her first beater car — into the plane ticket out here. She did NOT want her heartbroken parents to worry about affording her portion of the air fare. She watches Iain for a moment and smiles sadly. "I'm really sorry that this is the reason—"

The door can be heard opening again, but Gaelic precedes the arrival in a familiar, pleasant male timbre. "Tha e direach dhomhsa," (It's just me) Bhaltair Reid calls down, closing the door softly behind himself. "Deoch air!" (drink on!) … and without fanfare joins his cousins and plants all 6'4" of his lanky, be-suited body into a tattered-looking armchair. He watches his cousins with the very same baby blue eyes. "Everything ok?" He asks then in English.

Iain shakes his head with a mock serious expression, "A'd never laugh at alcohol…but ah might weep fer what was done tae it." He's not surprised at all with Fee's admission of nerd status. In fact he smirks as she sounds proud of it. "Good. Ah dun want tae have tae beat up any boys when ah get over there." So what if he was younger than her? So what if they rarely saw each other? She was still family and he was protective! Then, there she goes feeling sorry for him! "Aye! What'd ah say? Drink!" he mock orders her, pointing to her beer bottle.

The door opening again has Iain tensing a moment and sitting up straighter before Bal announces himself. Sitting back against his own chair, Iain watches their older cousin make his way to the armchair. He doesn't answer Bal's question, instead opening the whiskey bottle but offering out to Bar first this time instead of taking a drink himself. "Here. Ya have been dealin' wit them all day. Thanks fer that by tha way…" It helped having somebody run interception so he had a chance to get away.

"Completely fine," Bhaltair Reid offers gingerly… let's just imagine a thick-as-pea-soup Scots accent because his player is a derp that cannot translate said accent to typed word. Ahem!

"The old biddies are fallin' all over the poke cake like sharks. Chasing it down with rum. They won't miss me now." Bal explains, accepting the whiskey and languishing like a satisfied cat as he masterfully tips the bottle up and back to drink down the strong liquid like a boss. Barely a flinch or a flicker of his eyelashes to signify watering eyes. He holds the bottle out to Fionnuala who instinctively flinches.

Bal breaks out into intensely pleasant laughter, "Scared of a nip little cousin? You should be spending a summer here sometime, but I'm hearing you got yourself a boyfriend that you'd be hard-pressed to be apart from for long." He teases affectionately, smiling puckishly.

Fionnuala blushes, and sunlight skitters across her shoulderblades and out into her feathers. "Of course I do! He's a good boy, too, so no need to be protective. Who brought that whiskey that you two are knocking back?" Fee asks, squinting between the boys.

"Old Lady MacIntosh." Bal offers simply as he passes the whiskey back to Iain.

"Great…the crowd won be gone for a week at this rate." Iain just wanted to be alone. Well with his cousins, but alone. It made perfect sense! Bal's teasing of Fee has Iain joining in good naturedly, "Just had her first taste. Sounded like a gagged cat!" Then, there's talk of a boy. "It doesn' matter how gud he is. He's a boy an ye're our cousin. A'll be talkin to him when we get thare…" It's said matter of factly with a nod as the bottle is taken from Bal.

Iain tips his head back for another drink, longer this time and as he brings the bottle back down again his eyes close against the finely liquid but he knows better than to cough or react more than that around Bal. He looks ahead at the floor and lets his cousins talk a moment about things.

Oh Gods above, now she has two of them poised to tease her. Nevermind Fee is the 'middle' child here; however she's only a year or so older than Iain! No fair! Fee doesn't have the heart to tease back given the circumstances but she shoots the two a playfully dirty look. "Be nice.. Ollie is really, really good to me. Ma and Da, in fact, really like him. So don't be mean." Which more or less invites Iain to be 'mean' because Fee is saying NOT to! Well, not legit mean but… y'know how brothers and male cousins can be. IT's just a damned good thing that Bal, a veteran snarker, won't be there.

It is Bal, in fact, who gives the two younger cousins a fond look. He is a handsome boy, considerably so; dark hair, bright blue eyes. The three here seem to resemble one another strongly in coloration. He, too, has one super parent and one unpowered so unlike Fee, Bhaltair possesses no manifested wings.

"I'm going to miss the both of ya when you're gone." Bal says in earnest, never above being forthright with the feels. "I've been to her neck of the woods, you're gonna enjoy it. Small town feel." The lanky young man offers to Iain.

Iain comes back from his thoughts as Bal is saying how he's going to miss them. Damnit, Bal! He was doing fine until that! At his older cousin's reassurance, Iain's form is tense and he just gives a quick nod of understanding. He knew it's what was right. Didn't mean it was easy…or fair. As he feels his eyes sting, he downs another drink of whiskey so that he can at least blame it on that. Damnit, maybe alcohol was a bad idea.

Poor Iain is outnumbered.. don't let Bhaltair fool you, he will cry as easily as the rest of 'em. But thankfully, he does not or will not here, despite how the whiskey boils hotly in his stomach. Though he has seen Fee perhaps twice a year since her birth, he's seen Iain many days a week, day in day out, since he came to be. So it's hard; he's losing his buddy, a little brother type who is happy to snark right along with him and drink in basements because that's just what they do in Scotland.

"You're going to be just fine." Bal offers, choosing his words carefully and not doing much else to incite Iain's tears or warrant his carefully-guarded emotions. "You have to be getting out of here for awhile, Iain, else it be too painful. It's still raw, aye?"

Fionnuala nods slowly, taking care as well to not let her deep, encompassing sadness etch itself into her pretty face. Her eyes water again but she grabs the bottle of whiskey from Iain's hands to take a swig. It seems, like her cousin, she will use alcohol as a scapegoat for her tears. Bal watches the two with a thoughtful gaze, still in his funeral suit and looking truly the part of an established young man. His lips curve crookedly, "I'll be seein' you both before you know it, ok? I'll try to come out 'round the springtime when baby cousin comes 'round," A meaningful look to Fee, then a lightbulb moment. "I got an idea, actually."

Iain looks to Bal as he speaks, and that guard comes down enough. He's young, too young to have to deal with this deep of a loss. Add to that Bal was the closest thing to a big brother he had, and well right now he was looking to the older Reid for an assurance that somehow all of this would be okay. There it is, that reassurance and Iain latches onto it like the hope that it is. A nod of confirmation about the rawness "…Aye." He knew Bal was right. He needed to get away from…all of this.

Damnit when would everybody upstairs just go home!? Then, the whiskey is taken from his hand and he blinks as he watches Fee just down the liquid. That does get a smirk out of him and a hand moves to wipe away what tears managed to escape onto his cheeks. Then, Iain looks to Bal again as the older cousin talks to them. "Whut's tha?" Asking of the idea.

"What say you of a song, one more ditty before we're all having to get down to business for the season?" Bhaltair asks outright of the two. There's no question that the Reid family — even with names changed by marriage — happens to be a musical one. Every Reid worth their salt, aside form having ties to a bird form, has some semblance of musical ability.. even just to recognize tones and appreciate music. Bhaltair is no slouch and seeing as how this is his family home and this basement, his man cave since boyhood… it's east for him to root out a fiddle. He eyes Fionnuala and Iain expectantly.

Fee perks, wiping her eyes with the heels of her palms and lips curving up tremulously. While Iain and Bal had their exchange she helped herself to a few tears. "I-I'd like that. I think I remember enough of the folk songs.." She concedes.

Iain looks over to Fee, seeing her tears and feeling the tug at his own emotions over both his own pain and seeing the pain it's causing those around him. Then, looking back to Bal he gives a nod. "Yeah…what do ya have in mind?" His fiddle is already packed away, but you better believe he's bringing it with him!

<FS3> Fionnuala rolls Singing: Great Success.

"I'll be carryin' the melody, you're both gonna sing." Bhaltair offers, pulling the beaten-up case out from beneath the chair he's sitting in (convenient!) and bringing out an old, faithful fiddle. His choice is both predictable and perfectly poignant, because it applies not only to those lost but those who carry on. Bal, a master at his craft, picks up some semblance of melody to the song that he has proposed with but a look and Fee immediately recognizes it. The girl sets down her (carefully nursed c.c ) beer and perks, never one to neglect her duty to lend voice.

"I am going away; in the hour of my days. The warm knowing place still holds you. I will see you again, in the soft summer rain; where the hills turn again, to the ocean.." Yup, it's the funeral song.. and Fionnuala's very lovely voice instills into it more of an air of hope, instead of mourning.

<FS3> Iain rolls Singing: Good Success.

As soon as the tune starts, Iain's head lowers down and he shakes it as a small laugh sounds. "Oh you fecking bastard…" It's followed by a sigh as he lifts his head back up and runs a hand over his mouth "Alright then…" He lets Fee start in with her singing before he comes in with his own accompanying melody. "Take my heart take my hand. On this ground where we stand. We're the last of the land…in our glory." He lets Fee continue for a verse as he leans over to grab the whiskey, taking his last big swig from it and letting that cough sound before joining back in. "And we'll sing! And we'll sing! Of the ties that bind forever…we will sing." His eyes slide closed as the continue the song together.

The winged girl, the product of two Supers and therefore capable of manifesting the appendages at will (and hiding them), has hinged her whole performance upon Iain's response. Were her cousin to dissolve into emotion Fionnuala would swiftly follow. But Iain, indeed a Reid despite being a Bonnar by name, carries the torch of the emotional song well. Fee's eyes, glinting with relief, close as she allows the depth of the song to take and carry her. Seamlessly she picks up where Iain leaves off, fingers twitching in her lap for want of anything better to do.. she feels oddly bereft without an instrument.

"We are old, we are young; we are one, we are strong. And we walk ever on, to our glory—" The girl sings onwards, and knows instinctively when to pass when Bhaltair sees fit to join in. He has a crisp, enjoyable timbre.

"And we'll sing, and we'll sing.. of the ties that bind forever. We will sing…" Bhaltair continues, his mettle as a musician proven as he both sings and navigates the instrument. The fiddle lends to the ponderous, sentimental song a 'faster' air but no less important.

Between the three, they will easily conclude the ballad.

The song continues, Iain's eyes staying closed so that he can focus on getting through the words that are about to come. "…So lay me down in your fields. On the pastures of green…where the clear running streams…are flowing." With those words, he slides back down to find the seat of his chair, eyes opening and he stares again at the floor but continues the song. The tribute to his parents…and to here and now with his cousins…and to his journey to come.

"And we'll sing. And we'll sing. Of the ties that bind forever. We will sing." A hand moves through his hair as a hard sniff sounds, Iain looking down at the bottle in his hand before leaning forward to set it by Bal. He'd then lean back against his chair, head tilting so his gaze rests on the ceiling/floor above them once more.

The other two know better than to clutter forth and ask if 'everything' is ok; if another song should happen. Somehow this is 'enough' and as the fiddle eases into the conclusion, Fionnuala and Bhaltair Reid are suitable quiet. The moment the bottle is set down, Bhaltair will pick it up and take a deep swig. The bottle is nowhere near empty and he will pass it back to Fionnuala. The girl, no longer scared of it, will take it into her smaller hand and indeed lift it to her lips. It's like a pact and at the 'sniffle' resonating from Iain her tears will spill though she does not sob. "It'll all be okay. Just you wait til' you see what awaits you, Iain. Your Ma and Pa will be watching the whole while." Says the sweet, sentimental girl.

Then Bhaltair, in true Bal form, offers next: "Aye.. watch whatever girl ya find y'self snogging, Iain, 'cause they'll see that too. Pick a good one." Ah, humor.. always a failsafe.

Iain looks back to Fee at her encouragement, "Aye. I know…and I'll still have mah family…" She'd be with him at the school, but he also didn't want her worrying about him the whole time. He knew how she was. So at Bal's comment, Iain' grins "Oh dun worry. I've seen tha movies and know how tha American ladies love a good accent…" Trying NOT to think about his parents watching the snogging because gah!

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License