Characters: Ragetti, Pintel, honorable mention of Mildred
Word Count: 609
Summary: Continuing look into Ragetti's past.
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Except the brief mention of Mildred.
Notes: Be sure to have read Eye for an Eye, Of Blood and Man, Weathered Memories, and Calico Skies before reading this.
Special Thanks: to nazgul_number_7 for everything.
Ragetti ate from a bowl that was cracked and was one more meal shy away from being overused. He drank from it too, but that was either before or after he ate. He only had the one bowl, and never used another. When Pintel asked if he would want another, Ragetti would mumble something along the lines that it wasn't right or that she wasn't there to trade off with. Who he meant by 'she' no one seemed to know. It wasn't as if anyone cared what the wonky-eyed man meant, anyway. Pintel seemed to know, but in truth he had only just heard a moment of Ragetti's past a few nights ago, a little bit about his eye and the girl that he had cared so much for.
Pintel did know one thing for certain: that for one day out of every month Ragetti would claim that the bowl couldn't be found, he would pull away from his usual self and become withdrawn and seemed to grieve during the day. He would refuse to eat, even when Pintel pushed a bowl toward him in hopes that he would take it. Every month Pintel tried this, and every month, he grew more and more worried about his friend. Today was no different and despite the telling of his mind that he shouldn't, Pintel pushed a little further into his friend's unknown past.
"C'mon, Rags. Jus' a bowl…ain't no different…"
Shaking his head, Ragetti pushed it aside, "Not today, Pinters. It's not hers. Not righ' for me to. I said I'd take care of her and so I gots to do this. That's what I learned from her: bein' a gentleman."
Thinking that if he could get the truth behind this bowl mystery out of him, that maybe he could get him to eat, Pintel pushed farther, "Who? That girl that you fought over?"
"Aye. Mildred." Tracing the grain in the table, a look of pure sadness came over him. "She only had two so we shared, see? An' I jus' can't find it today since she…" Closing his eyes, he placed a hand over his right one, falling silent again.
Pintel leaned forward, still not understanding and wanting so hard to help. "Rags…what…"
It all came out in a rush; as if Ragetti said it fast, it wouldn't hurt as bad to remember. "She got killed 'cause o' me. An' the bowl's the only thing I gots. I buried her, and she didn' have no pictures so this is it. An' I can't use it today. She died today." Taking in a shaking breath, Ragetti turned to Pintel, "Don' make me go on, Pinters, don' make me tell no more. Not today…"
Ashamed that he had pushed his friend so far, Pintel nodded, laying a hand on his friend's shoulder, "Alright, Rags, no more."
That night Pintel found himself finding a bit of respect for Ragetti and his ways, as he watched his friend fight off a nightmare. Underneath Ragetti's hammock was the bowl, directly where it was the day before. Frowning slightly, Pintel looked back to Ragetti and it was then that the pieces fell together. Ragetti hid it from himself, to punish himself for, in his mind, causing Mildred's death.
Closing his eyes, he tried to think of something he could do to help Ragetti through his pain and came up with nothing. There were deep scars running through Ragetti's heart; that was for sure, just like the bowl that he cherished above all else. As Pintel eased into a dream he found himself wishing that if only Rags' Mildred was here, that Ragetti would be whole.