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The room is not just as it was when Jim was here last. William hasn't been in Milliways this whole time; he'd come back, long enough for the night to wear off, for him to have a chance to talk to his cousin, check on a few things. Post-Jim damage assessment.

But it's still the same room. They walk in through the same heavy wardrobe, and there's St. George up on the wall, a smell of greenery coming in from the windows with the late-afternoon sun. Someone's been in to tidy a bit. (Unless it was William who thought to clear away the empty bottle and used glass, and the crust of bread on the side table.)

"It's just the next day," he offers when they get in, in case Jim was wondering.
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This is going to turn out to be a terrible idea. Bringing Jim to Rome? There is no possible world in which William will not regret this, and he knows it. But you know what? He can do whatever the fuck he wants, because he's the fucking Earl of Douglas now, and if he wants to make bad choices there is absolutely no fucking person in the entire fucking world who can tell him not to. Not Jamie. Not his dad.

So welcome to 15th-century Rome, Jim.

The immediate view of 15th-century Rome is a bedchamber, with two arched windows on one side looking out onto an open plaza. A large painting of George and the Dragon hangs on the wall.
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WILLIAM, JAMES, MARY, and ANNABELLA are sitting close around a small fire, passing wine between them. They've been talking and drinking for some time.

WILLIAM yawns. Man, I'm getting too old for this.

ANNABELLA. You are. You're twenty. You've had a whole life.

WILLIAM. No. I've not been let at it. It's nearly all gone and I can't make it mine.

MARY. Maybe you have all the time you need. Maybe you'll live to be older than a tree, like your father.

WILLIAM. Maybe I'll die in a war but never lead an army. I tell you, though, I want to die fighting. No time to worry. Just think, 'Shite I messed that up, I shouldn't have picked that fight' and feel the blade go in. That'll be it. Pray it's quick. That's the only way to die. That's another thing you ladies can't know. You'll die in bed, everyone one of you. One way or another.

ANNABELLA (suddenly furious). You don't understand anything! My best friend in Grenoble died. They had to cut the baby out of her. They said it wouldn't kill her but of course they were just lying. ...We kiss death every day, William Douglas, and we smile at him.

WILLIAM. Fine. Alright. Just saying.

MARY (to ANNABELLA). Mais pourquoi tu es si fâchée mon amie, qu'est-ce qu'il y a?

JAMES. Annabella? What's wrong?

ANNABELLA (to JAMES). I know. I heard.

WILLIAM. Heard what?

ANNABELLA. ...I just want to keep one friend!

MARY. Ah mais tais toi! If I'm not frightened, you cannot be frightened. No fear. Remember? It is forbidden.

WILLIAM. What's going on?

MEG enters. Are you bairns going to stay out in this much longer? You'll catch your deaths. Come on, come on inside.

JAMES. We're not your bairns, Meg. None of us, stop fussing.

MEG. Well you're my bairn, always. Don't be long.... She exits.

JAMES. She's right, though. It's cold, Mary, we should go in.

WILLIAM. Why? Is she too French and fragile to stand a wee bit of Scottish December?

JAMES and MARY say nothing, looking at each other conspiratorially.

ANNABELLA. Haven't you been listening, William Douglas? She's going to have a baby.

He gets it.

WILLIAM. Oh it's like that, is it? Fine then you should go in, but we'll have another drink, eh James?

JAMES. No, man, come on, it's late.

WILLIAM. Get tae fuck! It's nowhere near daylight. Come on, Jamie! I'll get another bottle.

JAMES. Nah, Will, come on, it's time to get inside.

WILLIAM. What's inside that you canny have out here?

JAMES. My Queen!

WILLIAM. Aw fuck that, you already got her up the duff, plenty more lassies out here.

JAMES is instantly furious. Right! You say sorry! You say sorry for that!

WILLIAM. It was a joke, man! Come on! Sense of humor. Sit down. ...You won't even finish drinking with me? After what I did for you?

JAMES. What did you do? Cheat me out of the match, drink my wine and insult my wife?

WILLIAM. You don't know what I did for you. He's going to beat me bloody for what I did and you won't even--

JAMES. Who? Who's going to beat you?

WILLIAM. My father!

JAMES. Aw for Christ's sake, William, listen to yourself. You're a grown man! Stand up to him!

WILLIAM. A grown man, eh? A family man like you, all cosy with your wife and your bairn and your wee crown?

JAMES. Aye. Just like that. What's wrong with that!?

WILLIAM's mood switches abruptly. He's frozen, bereft. Nothing. Nothing's wrong with that. You're-- Congratulations, man. I'm--I'm happy for you. God save the King, eh?

JAMES. William--

WILLIAM. No, really. Well done. I'm--I'm sorry....

JAMES. Be happy for me.

WILLIAM. I just said I was. He reaches out and touches the mark on JAMES's face. It feels just like the rest of your face. No different at all.

JAMES. It's all just me.


JAMES. Come inside with us.

WILLIAM. No. No, I can't be with your family tonight, James. I'll have family business of my own to deal with.

The moment holds a beat longer, then JAMES exits. WILLIAM swigs from the bottle.

An armed man enters on one side of the stage. WILLIAM sees him and turns to run the other way, but another man blocks his exit. They fight, but the men quickly overpower WILLIAM and pin him. During the fight, BALVENIE enters and watches. He holds a heavy stick.

BALVENIE. Hold him still. He whacks WILLIAM. I don't even understand why you did that. He hits him again, coughs, recovers, hits him again. I knew you were stupid, but I didn't know you were mad. Why did you do that?

WILLIAM. Because I'm no wanting Jamie's crown...old man.

BALVENIE hits him again. A terrible fit of coughing seizes him. He tries to raise the stick again. He collapses.

WILLIAM struggles. Dad? Help him! Let me go! Let me help him! Dad? It's alright, it's alright. I've got you. Can you walk? He tries to raise BALVENIE, shouts to the men. Help us! --It's alright. It's alright. I'm here, Dad. I'm here.

(Rona Munro, James II: Day of the Innocents, act two.)
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Jamie had suggested going to the woods, but it's too fucking cold to sit in the woods and drink, so William makes for the stables instead. There's a little room there with a spare bed and a stove, some books: a snug place to hole up with a couple of bottles of wine.

He takes a good long pull from his bottle and waits to see if Jamie wants to speak first.
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William's initial thought had been to avoid Douglas Castle, considering his company: how do you smuggle a Harry Percy around? But after their rough-interrupted night, and a morning that reveals a Parsnip favoring one of his forelegs, and after a glimpse of the dear familiar black Douglas Water, he'd found himself suggesting it as their destination. "We can put up at the inn in the village. Get a proper meal there, anyway. I guess no one's likely to think too much of my not staying at the castle. There's no one there right now anyway, just an old cousin or two."
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They do reach the Clyde by nightfall, though too late to cross at the ford. There's just light enough left for hunting: dusk, with rabbits coming out. William has them a supper in no time. And the rain has stopped, more or less. A dry-enough night for a cooking fire, and it's not a bad prospect, spreading out the sheepskins and blankets to sleep on.

Cold, though. It would have been nicer traveling a month ago, or even just a couple of weeks.
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Right. Does he need to take anything home with him from Milliways? ...Can he take anything home with him from Milliways? What is there that won't draw attention? Well--the fan for his mother, the rabbitskins from Shephard. They'd been bought with home use in mind. Can he take a football? No. A stoneware bottle of that good red wine? Yes. The picture of Jamie from the fair? After a moment's pause, he stuffs that into the small sack he's packing.
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William Douglas creeps back to his and Jamie's room in Milliways, in the early hours of the next morning. He's been sick twice already, once in the bushes by the lake and once on the lawn by the main door, and oh, hey, wonderful, guess what he needs to do now.

He can at least try to be quiet about it, if James is there and asleep. He'll sick in the bathroom, and quietly wash his face, and quietly curl up on the floor and regret everything.
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William has been outside, throwing rocks into the lake; now, suddenly and ravenously hungry, he trundles back into the common room. And hey, there's Jamie! And hey, there's Jamie talking to some tall dark serious-looking fellow. Isn't that always the way of it? Look for your friend and you find a king conferring with some advisor or whatever.

If it were Stirling Castle, maybe he'd hang back, but it's not, and that's not some advisor or whatever, so he gallumphs himself up to the bar and flings himself onto a stool next to Jamie's, loudly calling for something to eat, he's a hungry Douglas!, something with a little meat to it!...and wouldn't you know it, by the time he's settled in, the other fellow is making polite I'll-leave-you-to-talk-to-your-friend noises at Jamie.

Right, then.


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