~~~A scene taken from some casual rp in Deadwood:
It was a cool evening, and the air was startlingly clear. Geoff, the boy whose mother had left him in Deadwood and then just disappeared, was siting on the porch of the laundry, next to Dio. They were watching the stars as they came out, quietly talking about...
Then a tall shape loomed out of the darkness. Dio saw it, but was not too concerned. She could tell by the way the figure moved it was probably Roku.
It was. in fact, her friend, the part time soiled dove/other-times pistol-packing bodyguard, but wearing her regular street-clothing. In this particular guise, the only thing that set Roku apart from other working women in that scrofulous little boom-town was her height. Dio was continually amazed that Roku had survived this long: not only did she attract attention--and usually the wrong kind of attention--but she was one hell of a magnificent target.
Roku stopped in front of the porch where Geoff and Dio sat, then glanced around, seeking anything suspicious in the shadows. Satisfied, she nodded to Dio and then pointed at the boy.
“Who’s the kid with the crutches?”
Dio smiled and made the introductions. “Roku this is Geoff...Geoff this is Miss Roku...so, Roku, me an' Geoff here was talkin about the stars...”
Geoff gazed up at the tall blonde woman towering over him, and then piped up, “How do, Miss Roku...an' doncha recall? We done met before!
Roku looked unimpressed. “Sorry, kid, don’t remember. But nice meetin’ yah. So why the crutches?” She gestured towards Geoff’s crutches that were leaning against the porch post next to the boy.
“He's on the crutches cuz I shot him in the leg.” explained Dio. “Right Geoff?
Geoff laughed. “Yes'm, Miss Dio! Y'shore did!”
“Were you bein’ naughty, Geoff?” asked Roku, her face perfectly serious.
Dio wasn’t entirely sure if Roku was attempting to be humorous, or actually believed that it was appropriate to shoot a child in the leg as a disciplinary measure. “Hell no!” Dio answered with a certain level of indignation in her voice. “He was bein’ brave an’ gettin’ too close to the dastardly weasel what took him hostage...and when I plugged the sonofabitch, a round ricocheted and hit my lil’ pard here!”
Roku actually looked a little surprised by this story. “Oh my,” she quietly exclaimed.
Geoff quickly got into the sprit of the tale: “ That’s right, Miss Roku! I had jest turned round to say howdy to this man, an’ he stuck a gun straight in my face, ma'am. And then they was a lot o’ shootin’...an yes'm, Miss Dio put a bullet in me an’ saved my life all at the same time!
Dio frowned and added, “Twas that no-good, belly-crawlin’ cocksucker Henry what's-his-name, the feckless rascal what was hanging around with Shay, the woman bank robber. “
Roku seemed to not have heard Dio. Instead she looked appraisingly at Geoff and finally commented, “Well, you be good kid...I throw bad kids in the creek and watch them sink...”
Roku chuckled after saying this, and Dio involuntarily wondered if she was being mirthful because the statement was a joke, or because the idea of tossing badly behaved children into Whitewood Creek was something that Roku actually found rather appealing and amusing.
Geoff however, seemed certain that Roku was absolutely in earnest. “Oh dear!” he said in alarm, “I'll do my best, m'am.”
Roku smiled a grim sort of smile, “Good to hear that,” she replied. “And don't run around with the mischief-maker Addison either. she is borderline bad.”
Now Geoff seemed offended by this accusation regarding one of his playmates. “Addie ain't bad! An’ she a real bright one. She knows a lil bit of everythin”
Roku frowned. “Didn’t say bad. Just borderline bad.”
Dio suddenly felt a sense of assurance that Roku’s kid-tossing statements were in fact, made in jest...mostly....and she now felt like it was time to contribute to this comedy. “Well Roku, jus’ to let you know, Hon,” she said grinning, “if'n ye toss my lil’ pard here in the drink, I will feel obliged to toss you in as well, despite our good relations.”
Geoff smiled sheepishly. “Aw, thank'y Miss Dio!
“So Geoff,” Dio continued, “don't ye go an' irritate Miz Roku, cuz I likes her a heap an’ I don’t wanta be compelled to try to throw her in the crik jus' cuz you made her chuck you in. You comprendo?”
“Yes'm!’ agreed Geoff emphatically, “I dunt try an’ make trouble fer nobody!” Then he visibly deflated and went on in a less self-assured voice, “...tho’ sumtimes I gets in it jest the same.” He looked down at the ground a bit glumly at this admission.
For a moment Roku’s face softened ever so slightly as she looked down at the boy, and the corners of her mouth turned up a bit. “I have a feeling Geoff will be a good boy from now on,” she said quietly. “An’ Dio...I am glad to have yah as a friend. Yah make me laugh.”
Then the hardness returned. “I have to go,” she stated abruptly. “See y’all later.”
Geoff waved and called out, “G'bye, Miss Roku.”
But the tall figure had already disappeared into the darkness and shadows of China Row.