Chapter Twenty One
Basil couldn't sleep, he couldn't stand the idea of Michael cutting off the case so suddenly, he felt disgusted, upset, and angry inside. But he couldn't fight with a client like Michael after what he made that first day, just one more case and if it failed he'd fill out out the retirement papers and hang up his coat. He ended up feeling more furious and buried his head into the pillow.
"Here he is...I don't think he wants me inside, sorry again for the complications," Basil could hear Michael outside the door, he had to stop himself from the urge to give him another punch.
"You're really cutting it off?" Dawson asked.
"I'd much rather be hated than have him be killed, when the arsonist wants me," Michael sighed and peeked into the bedroom door, Basil reacted aggressively by tossing a book from the shelf close by directly at him. He didn't want to see him or even be associated with him any more. He closed the door quickly and looked at Dawson, "I...really should be going," he added very apologetic and left before Dawson could even console him to reconsider his decision.
Dawson sighed and opened the door and saw Basil was ready to toss another book, "Wait! Wait...!" Basil noticed and sighed almost in a sad relief and just threw the book aside.
"I've never seen you this aggressive no less upset towards a client."
"He's not my client! At least, not anymore. After what he said..." Basil explained holding his head, "It hurts so much inside, as though what trust we had is just shattered and I feel as though I can't get these pieces back. Miserable, angry, sadness, I never asked for these feelings when I jumped on this case. They shouldn't even be there."
Dawson rubbed his shoulder, "Basil, were you by any chance making bonds with him?"
Basil sighed, he couldn't tell if he was, he figured it was just another arson case, a different arson case but it was still the run of the mill arson, but being with and around Michael--Basil let out a groan, "He just makes me feel odd. I feel weightless with him around, like as though I can do anything. I felt like I can finish this case. And yet when we're ready to get that suspect, he does...!"
"I see, you didn't want to retire after you found your spark but with the sudden cut off, you felt a huge whiplash to your feelings."
Basil rolled his hands into a fist, "I...I hate him."
"I'll keep my word, I'm resigning when I get back," Basil closed his eyes and wiped a few tears that were coming down, "I hope these feelings are gone by tomorrow," he wished it was that easy. Dawson smiled and looked at him.
"You've never been this emotional before, have you? Not to this extent," Dawson pointed.
"If this is about Michael, I don't want to talk about him anymore than I should," Basil sighed, and laid down. He tried to sleep but he couldn't, he groaned in frustration and started to pace, "Dang it! Dang it! Dang it...! Why can't I sleep without feeling like I have to see the likes of him first?"
"Perhaps it's just agitation," Dawson said. Basil held his head and groaned again.
"That's it...! I'm going out! Being next to his room just drives me mad!" Basil exclaimed, "I'll sleep in the castle lounge, if I have to!" he quickly left out the door to see Matilda there in the hallway staring at him and smiling. Basil felt the urge to punch her, it was because of her that--"You..." he growled.
"Did you enjoy your sweet goodbyes with Michael?"
Basil said nothing, his body was trembling, he really wanted to fight her, take a few jabs at her. But that would cause him to be thrown out by tomorrow, "He...I..." was all he could muster. Matilda chuckled enjoying to see Basil in such a way.
"This castle is going to be mine, Michael's going to be mine, and you'll just be a retired old codger!" she mocked him with a sick glee that made Basil's stomach lurch in disgust, "You won't be able to touch me no less get information out of me because you're out of a job. How does it feel to be at the bottom of the pit again? This is what you wanted, right? Besides, now that you're gonna be out of one maybe you can even date him since Michael will be out of one as well."
Basil felt like he was going to blow up, Matilda must've felt so confident and untouchable at this point that she had the gall to brag to him about it, only to bring the detective down even more just for fun, just one last stab against his ego before his departure.
"Royal Airs is done for handsome and you're washed up, enjoy what time you have," she said, Basil couldn't take much more and pushed passed her and went downstairs, he just wanted to leave, "Run all you want, detective, I've won here!"
Please let me out. Please let me out, he thought rapidly and just barged into the nearest door into the workers room instead of the lounge. Two bunk beds were laid out against the window and tools to fix the Zeppelin's were either on the walls or in a tool kit on the shelf hastily, it smelled of oil and wood and a fire place burned gently next to a stove. Terrell was sitting on one of the bunk beds reading an article while Arden slept, Galen was squatting next to the fire to feel some warmth, the two stared at him wondering why or what caused Basil to barge in like that.
"I...I'm sorry I was just..." I was running away.
"Hey, you okay? You don't look so good," Galen said, "In fact you look worse than yesterday."
"Jus' stress," Basil mumbled, his body still shaking, "I really want to leave, I can't stand Doune's anymore, I can't stand Michael...!"
"You can't stand us?" Arden muttered as she slowly sat up after hearing him yell, she rubbed her eyes still rather tired. Terrell looked at her concernedly.
"Get back to bed Arden, you helped through out the day just setting up the decor and tending that Burrows jerk," Terrell said.
"No, it's fine, just let her..." Basil replied softly and sat on the stool next to the bunks, and held his head, "My heads a mess, my feelings are a mess, I can't sleep because I'm so angry at him that I get angry just being in that room next to his. You can yell and scold me for hating your boss, but I have no hate for what he is anymore, I hate him now because he thinks he can handle this on his own and...and...!" The workers exchanged looks at each other, surprised. Terrell looked at him, he had no bitter spirit towards Basil than when he first came, he looked more worried than angry.
"Take my bunk," Terrell said softly and moved and sat on the chair that was up against the wall.
"You...you three, aren't in the least bit angry?"
"No, we just aren't fond of those who hate Michael for what he is. He told us everything and we were just as shocked," Galen explained, "You being this angry over his decision is justified, he expected it, so that's why...we also got mad." Basil couldn't help but feel some relief that these three had understood how he felt as much as Dawson did, but he could still feel the guilt eating at him that by the time he was gone, Dounes would no longer be inhabited and all the hard work they've done would be kept under wraps or broken. He slowly got up and laid down on the bottom bunk where Terrell sat in, it smelled of grass and oil even though the sheets were cleaned.
Arden smiled at him.
"Feel better?" Arden asked from her bunk.
"Kind of, it's odd, I felt so angry and upset being close or even near to him," he sighed, "And when I'm like this away from him, I feel empty."
"Breaking up with a close friend can do that to you," Garlen replied adding another piece of wood for the fire, "Detective, you want me to make some tea for you? Might help you sleep, you know, since your nerves have gone tense." Tense felt like an understatement to him.
"You don't need to call me that anymore," Basil said sighing.
"Huh? Why not?" Arden asked.
"I'll be, erm, signing a retirement sheet tomorrow, I'll be resigning my detective title," Basil explained, "Before I came here I took my word that I'd do one more case. If things didn't work out, I'd throw what I made myself to be."
"What if things did go your way?" Basil fell silent, he had never thought that far, "Sorry, I won't press it," Arden said apologetic. Garlen decided to get the hot water going any way and got some crushed tea leaves. Terrell, Galen and Basil shared tea that night before they went to sleep, but Basil could feel the emptiness still there. He could still feel that his emotions would flare up if he saw Michael. He really wanted this feelings to leave.
Breakfast was awkward at the dining table, Michael ate with his workers, Thomas was back after resting with Michael during that night. Basil decided to stay far across from Michael with Dawson but his feelings still nagged at him. The air was heavy and the silence felt like it dragged on for hours, Basil started to feel so agitated to the point he just idly played with his spoon. Dawson coughed politely noticing the heavy atmosphere.
"So, where are the other traders?"
"Hallowshire is in her bedroom, packing," Terrell said, "Burrows is still tied, and Matilda said she was going to be busy, so that's why the table's kind of empty."
"Feels different doesn't it? Not just the table, doesn't Doune's just feel like the energy just blew out?"
Michael sighed when he felt a glare on him from Basil, he wondered if there was still time to make amends, "Uh, listen, detective, I'm sorry I had to..." Basil slammed his plate hard against the table and stood up, furious.
"I refuse to speak with you or even sit in the same table as you! And don't you dare call me detective again!" Basil took his plate, and looked at Dawson, "I'll be in my original guest room, let me know when Judson gets here!" he left hastily, slamming the dining room door. Dawson looked at them.
"Err, I'm sorry Michael it's just--" Dawson started.
"No, it's fine, he has every right to act to this way, there's no need to apologize," Michael sighed and stood up, "I suddenly lost my appetite. I'll be in my study..." he said pushing his plate aside and left, gently rubbing Thomas' hair before he left out the door. Thomas groaned.
"Yeah, yeah, I know, you hate it when you see these kind of fights, just finish your breakfast," Galen said.
"Just seeing those two go at it just stirs up, bad memories," Thomas muttered eating.
Dawson sighed, "I still can't help but feel sorry for all this."
Miss Judson was riding Toby who had three to four bags on him that were attached to straps, she was worried about Basil and Dawson, she had received the message about the threats, and Michael's concern involving the abrupt decision to stop the entire case. Toby had ran all that way just to reach Doune's with her, he really wanted to see Basil again. When they reached the castle they were surprised to see the lot so out of energy except for Matilda. Basil still looked angry and Dawson was trying to calm him down, Michael could only hang his head in guilt.
"Nice to see you again," Michael said helping her down.
"Never seen such a sad looking lot in my life, it's like someone died," Miss Judson commented and walked over to Basil, "You look livid."
"Give me a good reason why I shouldn't Judson," Basil snapped much to her surprise. Toby whined and walked over and gave him a nuzzle, his tail wagging, "Toby, I-I'm fine...!" he shouted, his voice rising in agitation and the blood hound slowly backed off.
"Don't speak like that, we've been worried sick about you and you snap at us just because..."
"Can we drop it?" Basil said picking up his suitcase, and didn't even give a second look to Michael, "I'll be much better on the road, this place just gets on my nerves. I hope you're happy with your decision, Michael," he added before he got onto Toby's back, he glared at Matilda who had a satisfied look on her face knowing that the one thing standing in her way was leaving. Basil scoffed.
Matilda found one last thing to push the detective and grabbed onto Michael's arm, "I'll send you my perfume as a consolation prize," she mocked.
"Dawson! Judson! We're leaving!"
So much anger was building up again, that it made Basil sick. Miss Judson sighed, confused about his drastic attitude change and got on and Dawson got up at the end.
"I...I hope the best for you Mister Zepp," Dawson said.
"There's no need, I've nailed my coffin," Michael replied sadly watching them leave. Matilda smiled at him. It was time to get things ready for tonight.
It was going to take hours before they reached home, and Toby could feel his legs start to wobble, when the sun started to set, they had all ready walked for two hours and the bloodhound just wanted a break. He stopped and changed his course and walked into the woods that was still close to Dounes. Basil sighed. "All right, let's rest here but we're going to leave during night fall," he said and got down, "Let's get a fire ready for tonight."
"I'll try to see if there's a river near by for him," Dawson said getting the bags off and left with Toby. Leaving the housekeeper with Basil.
"It's not just the case is it?" Miss Judson said sitting down observing him as he got twigs and stones, "You never get this mad after being turned down and if it was just retirement, I bet you usually take it at a stride by them since after all, you're a man of your word." Basil groaned, and tossed the items down in front of her.
"Of course it's the case! Why could it not be the case?"
"On our way here, you looked at the castle and sighed liked you left someone important," Miss Judson explained. Basil looked down and sat down next to her and sorted out the twigs and stones idly, "That Zeppelin owner, he was important here was he?" she asked.
"Where at Doune's?"
Miss Judson pointed her index finger and placed it against his chest and then to his heart, "The pain is coming from there, isn't it?" Basil felt agitated, and upset and slapped her hand away. He got up and hastily fixed up a fire for the night, he felt distracted even derailed by his thoughts.
He was important here. Michael was important there.
"Ow...!" Basil winced when he accidently scratched his hand with the stone to cause a spark. Miss Judson went over and took out a piece of gauze and wrapped it around his wrist, "He...he was just a client; that's all he was. He's not that important to me, why should I care?" he replied noticing there was hesitation as he spoke.
"Then why, if he was just normal client, then why are you still so angry?"
"St-stress..." he stammered. It had be stress, there was nothing else to explain it.
"I think after months of being held up after your last case, you decided to open up to someone who shared that same pain. You loved Michael, didn't you?" Basil's face got hot and he stared at her. He just couldn't believe what he was hearing.
"Not like romantic love, oh no, love comes in many forms and it's one of the strongest bonds that you can feel. When you feel the love of a strong bond, it makes you feel weightless, you have the will to move on, and go on. Endure the pains of life and feel them." Basil started to wonder if this was what Uncle Beathen was trying to say.
He was important here.
Basil swallowed, he didn't want to admit it, but he told and described what she had just told Dawson the night before. Feeling weightless. Getting motivation. Did interacting with the Zeppelin owner really make that much a huge difference? He fell silent and went back to trying to make sparks for the fire to get it going. "After he said I was placed off the case, I felt like the weight nearly collapsed on me..." Basil spoke up and looked at her, "After that I just got so angry that I couldn't stand to be near him and when I was far enough it just...."
"Feeling empty is natural, I just wish I was here to help you through that road..."
"It's still there," Basil said.
"Don't worry, it'll pass, are you by any chance cold? I made a shawl for you."
Basil shook his head and just held his chest as he watched the fire burn, "I wish I could do something, anything, to get back at that Matilda woman, she's the cause of all this. And now Michael's going to hold another party, at this rate, he won't be able to recover any of his debts."
"Then why don't you crash it?" Beathen called as some of his clan scurried over from a near by bush, "Hey Basil. Been a while!"
Judson was so surprised to see this much rats, she could hardly scream.