As soon as he knew Sean was free of burden, Kong went to find his friend. There was a task pressing, one that needed his attention and who better than to assist, who better to be his eyes than the man he had recently come to have a strange, yet comforting series of feelings for.
The items on the list were small: a piece of wood and a cloth.
Standing gracefully on Sean’s stoop Kong would knock softly. He hoped he wasn’t disturbing his friend. Having an adventure with Sean sounded fun, and it was a good excuse to be close again out in public.
Why he was a bit nervous he didn’t know but there it was. Patiently, he waited to see if Sean was even home and would answer his summons.
Sean was taking some time to unwind and freshen up after a few readings. The whole public show was something he was planning to begin soon, but not yet. As he combed his hair, Sean thought of Kong and how he had felt for the other man during their time in his sitting area. It was strange, but beautiful and lovely.
Hearing the soft knock, he turned and pulled his cleanest long-sleeve shirt from a hook. Sean pulled it on and was buttoning it as he walked to the door. He opened it and looked down to see Kong. A smile tugged at his lips.
“Greetings, Kong,” Sean whispered.
“My friend,” Kong replied, warmly. The smile plastered across full lips was one of genuine mirth and excitement - for both the task ahead and for being in the presence of the man before him. “I hope I am not bothering you.”
Those familiar aromas fluttered toward him from beyond Sean. A moment would be taken to bask in them and to save them for later reflection.
“I was hoping to ask a favor of you, if it isn’t too much.”
“No, you’re not bothering me,” Sean spoke and stepped out on the threshold of his wagon and knelt down a little.
His eyes caught Kong’s hair, but settled on the man’s blindfold.
“Oh? Is it something we need to discuss in private?”
Those creaking sounds told Kong that Sean was moving, the wagon shifted with the transfer of weight. He was glad to know that there was no bother with his presence.
Kong would shake his head. “I do not think so, unless that is what you prefer.” He wasn’t sure exactly the nature of the inquiry might be perceived as though he was conscious of whereabouts the last meeting had ended.
“I need assistance in finding a few things for Kieran. I do not know how well you know him, but he is the man in the medical tent.”
The bandage from his foray to the Medical tent were still wound around his arm though beneath them he bore no blemish. They served only as a reminder to the task.
“No, it is okay then.” Sean replied. If Kong was comfortable speaking like this.
He smiled and nodded. “I do know Kieran. Yes, he is a good man and good at what he does.”
Then the spirit medium saw the hint of something peeking out from under the cuff of Kong’s sleeve. He took a step down, pulling his door to. Reaching, Sean stopped himself.
He shook his head and sighed. “You have my assistance.”
He was glad that they agreed about Kieran. Sean had known the other man for far longer and yet in that short time and brief interaction Kong had come to trust the medical man.
“I agree. He has asked of me to return to him with a cloth and a large piece of wood. I am not sure what he plans to do,” Kong explained. “Could you help me find these things?”
Kong did not realize that the bandage was showing, nor did he realize that it may have drawn inquiries from Sean.
Sean gently stepped down to stand beside Kong. “I can help you find these things. I’m thinking we should start by visiting the roustabouts.” He had an idea the crew must have extra sections of wood apart from what currently held tents and the like. The cloth would be a different story.
He hoped no had hurt his friend. But perhaps someone did or Kong had a brush up with an obstacle.
A smile settled on his face and happiness in his features. Trusting Sean with the task had been the right thing and he was glad he had come for help. “I will follow you.” He would. Probably anywhere, as dangerous as that was.
“Would you guide me?”
Hand would come, arm would loop around one of Sean’s easily.
“Yes, I will.” Sean nodded. The smile deepened a little as Kong looped an arm around his.
“It should be quieting in some areas of the grounds. But there will be some areas that are livening up.” He cautioned the other man as he began guiding Kong away from the wagons.
“I will be fine as long as you are near,” he assured Sean quietly. The noises he could handle in small doses, it wasn’t as if they were planning to be there all day.
Moving alongside, he kept pace easily enough. Walking stick would wave from side to side out of habit, he counted paces and listened for familiar sounds.
“Would you tell me about the things that you see along the way?” He hoped that wasn’t too much to ask on top of all of the other things.
He exhaled a breath at Kong’s reassurance. Sean knew of the sensitivities to the weather, sound, sights, and smells.
“Yes, yes. The wagons are on our right. Some of the animal pens are near. There are also some small buildings near the wagons for those who do upkeep and all for the animals and the structures. I wonder if they would have what you require,” Sean explained as he circled around towards the animal pens. “Have you been to the other parts of the grounds?”
His expression flattened as they journeyed; he listened, smelled, experienced everything as it came and went. Sounds here and there were familiar, others were new and somewhat exciting. His hold on Sean was delicate all the while as they walked together.
When Sean turned, Kong did too. “Do you mean the wood or the cloth?”
And then his head would shake. “Not really. I have always wanted to explore but with the crowd it is a challenge.” Navigating throngs of workers and patrons was probably not a good idea in his state, but that never satisfied the innate curiosity.
Sean kept his eyes bright and alert as he walked with Kong, guiding him. There were spirits milling about the edge of the grounds here, but they knew to stay away until the medium opened the ‘door’.
“Perhaps the wood. I am sure they must keep spare pieces for the tents.”
His eyes went over to Kong at the shaking of his head. “Mmm,” Sean hummed. “Then I think perhaps now would be a good time...if you would like.”
Kong realized that Sean was the best person for this task. He was thoughtful, resourceful, clever. “It would not hurt to try.” If he needed a cloth there were a few that he had in his wagon to spare, though he wondered if any would be willingly given.
When the offer for an impromptu tour of the grounds came, delight began to shimmer in his features. “I would enjoy that, thank you.” He felt humbled by Sean’s kindness.
It wasn’t as if they had to be anywhere just then, and a real chance to see all of the places as much as he could tolerate would be good.
Sean nodded. “Never does. Let’s go around and look.” He was a kind soul, which was good up to a point. But the spirit medium had tempered himself from a few hard lessons.
“You’re welcome,” he replied as he walked with Kong around the wagons and towards those with shed.
It would be a nice walk, leisurely and without too much concern unless there were patrons who recognized and wanted to interact.
Kong was the type who stuck out anywhere he went; not everyone here looked like him, walked like him. He knew he was different in more than just one aspect but he didn’t let that bother him too much. Nor did he worry about a stall in progress, trusting Sean to keep them on pace.
Whatever the destination intended he hoped it would produce what they sought. But the grounds were big and there was ample opportunity regardless.
Sean thought of an idea which would be good for both of them - to find what Kong needed and have some more time so they could talk without suspicion.
“I have an idea. What are your thoughts about going into town? We could possibly find the items you need at a store or two.” He spoke a little louder than a whisper.
While he wasn’t super excited about the idea he considered Sean’s words carefully and weighed the pros and cons. This was not an age where being seen with someone like Kong was generally accepted. Would they go into town and come upon resistance? They’d been here long enough to entertain the population but outside of the grounds things could be different.
He trusted Sean, however. A nod would come.
“I will go with you.” There was a bit of coin in his trailer that he would give. Any expectation for Sean to do more than just help find the items was nil. Already Sean has given and done so much.
If Kong declined, Sean would understand. There were many cons involved in going into town. He wasn’t the strongest of the men in the carnival, but he could hold his own if need be. The times could be hard, but the spirit medium knew how to navigate most of the world. He had advantages compared to Kong unfortunately.
Seeing the nod, he smiled.
“Okay. I need to go back to my wagon and grab a couple of things. Then we can talk to Louis. He has a truck I can borrow.” He would gather some of his savings and a jacket.
Kong wandered alongside Sean as they turned around and headed back the direction they had come. He had yet to go into town, so this would be an interesting experience. Mind whirred as feet carried him along.
“I have a bit of coin,” Kong breathed, keeping his voice low. “I will get that and meet you at your wagon.”
Sean breathed softly as they headed back towards the wagons. The idea of more time alone with Kong was exhilarating, but also peaceful when it came to the hustle and bustle of things.
“All right,” Sean nodded. “Okay. I will meet you soon.” Unconsciously he gently patted the other man’s arm with his free hand.
The pat on the arm gave him comfort. That limb would unwind from Sean’s as they reached the wagon he was staying in and Kong turned to ascend the small set of stairs. It took only a few moments for him to find what he sought, the small coin purse with the savings since his arrival, and return to wait for Sean.
Slowing to a stop, Sean watched a Kong let go and disappeared into his wagon. He himself stepped away to go to his wagon where he retrieved one of his coin purses he hid in his wagon and a dark-colored hat.
Soon he slipped out of his wagon and briskly walked back towards Kong’s wagon where he found him waiting.
“Ready to go?” Sean asked softly, putting on his hat, and gently held his right arm out.
A nod would come. He could hear, smell Sean before the man had even ventured from the stoop of his own wagon. That was something Kong never grew tired of experiencing.
Winding his arm around the outstretched one, Kong waited for Sean to begin the trek toward the vehicle. His own experience with vehicles was limited. “Yes, thank you.”
Stick would swing from side to side as they moved and Kong took his time walking along with the other.
Sean would have been quite curious if Kong told him that he could smell and hear him. He found the abilities or talents of the other acts quite amazing.
“You’re welcome,” Sean smiled as he began leading Kong around where the vehicles usually parked.
Then he saw Louis and waved, “Hey Louis, can I use the truck for a short spell? Kong and I need to go into town to pick up a few items.”
Louis nodded and tossed the keys towards Sean.
Sean caught the keys and nodded in appreciation. He looked over at Kong for a moment before continuing on to the parking area.
Once in the parking area, Sean slowed and whispered, “The truck is towards the left pointing outward.” He lead Kong over to the back of the truck.
Wind helped carry things that otherwise might’ve been overlooked, otherwise his heightened senses may not have experienced as much in the world that he was privy to.
The walk to the vehicles was thankfully short. He waited through the exchange, silent and stoic as usual. And then they were moving again. At the whisper his head would tilt as if he were listening, though he was only considering the words spoken.
Once at the vehicle, Kong would pause to touch it. He felt the smooth paint beneath fingertips, the metal cool to the touch.
With a bit of aid he climbed inside and was settled, waiting cautiously for the next part to begin.
Carefully, Sean helped Kong into the truck. There was a giddiness at being able to take some time away from the grounds. More time with Kong wa even better without the risk of judgement.
He climbed into the driver’s seat and started the truck. Looking out of the window to his left, He saw spirits milling about and some staring right at him like Tobias’ father. Shaking his head, Sean turned his attention back to the man sitting beside him.
“I’m glad I could help you.” It was a confession. Clearing his throat, Sean continued, “Are you okay?”
As the thing came to life Kong eased a bit back against the cushion of the seat finding comfort in the softness. Hands would fall to his sides, palms pressed upon the cushion beneath his bottom for purchase.
Hearing those words over the sound of the engine, Kong would turn and allow his focus to be given to Sean. “Thank you,” he managed. “I will be.”
Nodding at Sean, Kong braced himself for what might come next and his eyes went to look ahead as if he could really see what was out there.
Sean looked at Kong out of the corner of his eye, a bit concerned that Kong would find the sound of the truck’s engine too loud. He took off his hat and put it on the shallow dashboard.
He turned his head at Kong’s words as he put the truck into gear. Then he nodded.
“Okay. Here we go,” Sean spoke over the engine and turned to look out on the road. Then he let his foot off the clutch and they were off.
His body vibrated with the motion of the gears snapping into place, those subtle jerks and shifts a vehicle of that type would make. Frame would tense but he began to relax a touch more once the car began to move finally.
Things seemed to even out. Finding his bearings took longer than he wanted, but the privacy and the fact that it was only the two of them without the nuisance of others around was making his heart race.
Sean felt each motion, more for Kong’s sake than his own since he was used to such. Once they were on a dirt road, he softly smiled.
“It should take a few minutes to reach town,” Sean spoke as he continued to smile. The butterflies had returned in his chest. But driving had him a bit more centered than sitting in his wagon with Kong.
He was silently glad to be in such close quarters though he wished it was under different circumstances. He also wished town would get there quicker. Cars and trucks were odd things, he was certain about that.
Hands would slide into his own lap finally trusting that the wouldn’t just fly out of the thing as it moved.
“Alright,” came the quiet reply.
Sean preferred walking, but sometimes a truck had its advantages. He had only learned how to drive one ten years ago.
At ease with the driving and occasional gear shift, he looked over at Kong and watched his hands. There had to be some apprehension, some fear for someone without control of the vehicle.
“Don’t worry,” he spoke and gently reached over with right hand to take one of Kong’s.
A breath escaped his lips when those fingers wound around his. Heart racing, cheeks flooding with color, he felt himself finally able to relax a little more. “I will try not to,” he breathed, doing his best to maintain some solidarity.
His hand shifted, palm pressing upon palm, fingers pushing between Sean’s own seeking comfort.
Turning his eyes back to the road for their safety, Sean breathed. It felt natural, perfectly normal as he wound his fingers around Kong’s. He liked the other man’s lithe fingers. And now he felt and heard Kong relax a bit.
If only they were in his wagon or someplace still out out of the way. Sean felt his heart flutter as their palms pressed together. He squeezed Kong’s hand as their fingers threaded.
“It’s all right,” he breathed. “A couple more minutes.”
They would be back on the grounds soon. Once the task was completed he had no plans other than silent meditation. His life was mostly routine and yet Sean seemed to fall right into place uninterrupted.
That squeeze was reassuring. Another breath and Kong would turn to look over at Sean though he couldn’t actually see him. His mind did it’s best to illustrate the vision settled next to him.
He had the spirits to contend with tomorrow.His tent would open and patrons would come behind the spirits that had found out he was in town. Kong was a beautiful respite, a lovely change that seemed to steer his life towards a sense of peace.
Sean held Kong’s hand securely, but not so if the other man wanted to pull away. They were a minute or two from the town. The spirit medium looked over at the other man and breathed softly for a moment before minding the road again.
Peace was hard to come by for anyone; often it snuck up on you when you least expected it though it was as fleeting as the breeze and was gone before it had the chance to flourish.
Hand was still clasped with Sean’s comfortably. He knew they would approach town in moments. Turning to look at the horizon he waited to feel the vehicle being to slow or for Sean to pull away which would indicate they’d reached their destination.