Roman Meets Agatha


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Summary: The first meeting between the Saloon Manager and the photographer

Date: May 12, 1881

Roman Meets Agatha

Main Street

Roman sits on the bench beside the saloon and marks the people leaving and entering the place. His gaze turns to Agatha as she makes her way down the street. He gives a half smile and a tug on the brim of his hat then turns his attention to a couple of ranch hands who seem a bit in their cups.

Agatha Comes walking down the road, a bag of supplies in her arms. Typical things like paper, food, and other necessities of living on your own…the bare bones at least. She looks to Roman as he catches her eyes. Her glasses slip down the bridge of her nose and she blushes shyly at his smile. A quick nod and she walks a few paces…then stops. She turns and walks a couple more paces…then stops. Then turns around in a complete circle. "…oh dear" She murmurs under her breath.

Roman's attention is still on the ranch hands as they stagger down the steps to the street. They laugh and jeer each other as only drunks can do. Then they notice Agatha standing in the street. One of the boys (a rat like looking fellow) give out a greasy sounding laugh and says,"Well, looky what we got here, Alex?…seems this piece of trim might need some help." He leers to prove that help is the last thing his wants to offer. The other one, Alex, only laughs and they both approach Agatha, crowding around her."Wonder what a little trim like this would give us for carrying her kit home fer her." Both men crowd closer, the look in their eyes showing their dishonorable intent.

Agatha takes another turn around then stops and looks to the two "gentlemen" as they approach. And instantly she's a dear in headlights. Her green eyes widen as she takes a couple steps back, hugging her bag to her chest "I…was just leaving" She says in a soft timid voice. She steps back again, bumping into the other one. She jumps then attempts to side step the two and continue…well where ever. She's not picky. "I…um…have a good evening…sirs." She squeaks stumbling a bit as she tries to get out of their cross hairs.

Roman appears behind the two men just as 'ratboy' is about to take a pinch at Agatha's rear. Before he can, Roman claps a hand down roughly on each man shoulders and growls,"What the fuck is goin' on here, boys?" both men cringe at the sound of his voice and they turn their heads to look back at Roman."Awww we's just havin' some fun, Mister Webb." Roman spins them both to face him and he cocks and eyebrow."A little fun, eh?…Seems to me you were about to do something that could get you shot…" he gives them both a companionable wink,"you know if the wrong man was to see you doing it." both men pale at his words, seeming to be smart enough to catch to what he is really saying. They begin to stammer and try to back away but are held fast as Roman's hands cinch down on their shoulders.

Agatha stumbles back a bit further. Whoever this guy is? Yeah, make friends with him. Mental note taken! She swallows and clutches her bag to her chest and looks down to her feet, trying not to look too terrified…and failing dismally. "Umm…I don't wish to cause any trouble sir.."She says softly. "I..I suppose I can be on my way…If…I remembered the way" She bites her lower lip as her cheeks flush.

Roman squeezes their shoulders tighter but speaks to Agatha."One second there Miss, before you go. I believe these two gentlemen want to tell you something." He spins them back to face her, the looks on their faces read poison."I ain't got nothin' to say to this trim…"Ratboy tries to sound tough but it comes of sounding whiney. Roman lifts his hand quickly off Ratboy's shoulder and cuffs him hard upside the ear."Are you not right in the head?…appologize or the next hit will be a pistol whip." Ratboy and Alex look like whipped rats and like two little boys say in unison."I'm sorry."

Agatha blinks her huge eyes at the entire situation "Uh…." She replies looking completely dumbfounded. After she picks her jaw off the ground and puts it firmly back into place she pushes her glasses up the bridge of her nose. "…Thank you." She says…of course thats much more directed to Roman than the other two. That bag of supplies are now good and crushed by now by the way she's clutching it.

Roman spins the two men back toward him and states bluntly,"Now go…and if you boys ever want to come back to my saloon again, you'll learn yer manners." both ranch hands skulk off, flashing a glance back toward Roman like him might change his mind and give chase. Roman's gaze remains hard until he is sure they are leaving then his gaze drops down to Agatha."Are ya alright, Miss?" He sees the state of her packages and makes a move to help her."Here now, let me help ya those."

Agatha blinks silently, her mouth hanging open a long moment. Her bag slips right out of her hands and hits the ground with a comical thud. That snaps her out of it. She jolts looks down "OH I'm so sorry!" She says as she gets down on her knees to pick up the mess. And she just unloads a long steady flow of babbling. "I was lost and I had to get some paper and there were bees so I took another way and that one man smelt like cheese and oh my I was…"She trails off realizing she was babbling then looks up to Roman her cheeks completely flushed a bright pink in both embarrassment and fear. She takes a breath as her glasses slip down her nose again "…Thank you" She says sincerely. "I'm so sorry."

Roman stoops and begins to help Aggie collect up her goods a small smile on his lips."No need to be sorry, Miss." He places some items in her bag and continues."Are you alright…they didn't hurt you did they?" he gazes at Aggie with a look of concern and interest.

Agatha continues to pick up her items, an apple here, a pencil there..eggs…she decides to leave the eggs where they are. She pushes her glasses up as her hands shake. "Oh no…just…frightened me I suppose" She replies. She seems to be coming down from her adrenaline rush. "The Sheriff told me to always keep track of the time..I suppose I should fix my watch…"She looks up and catches his eyes with her big green ones. She blushes shyly and looks back down to collect her remains "I owe you a great deal of thanks, sir."

Roman gives a shrug,"My pleasure, Miss." he grabs the last of her supplies and takes the bag in his arms and stands. he shifts the package over to one arm and reaches down to offer Agatha a hand as she stands."The Sheriff spoke wisely…best not to be on this part of Main Street after supper." He looks ruefully up to the saloon."I've been trying to get this place a little more respectable but it's hard when all these ranch hands come in lookin' for a drink or a sha…I mean a woman's attention." His cheeks color slightly and he looks away boyishly."…pardon me ,Miss." he mumbles.

Agatha looks at his hand. Gingerly she places her trembling hand into his and carefully gets to her feet. She attempts to compose herself and relax…which only makes her figit even more. A few red curls are brushed from her face. She gives him a shy gentle smile "Its alright….I'm…I'm glad you were here."

Roman returns her smile with an honest one of his own. He quirks an eyebrow and says,"You said you were lost…where are you trying to get to?" He continues to hold her supplies, forcing her to stand where she is and answer his question.

Agatha blushes at that smile. She smiles herself trying to cover it with her hand. She looks away a moment "Oh…my studio..Its…well.."She does another complete turn around. "Its on second street…I…believe."She looks at him "..I'm sure I look very foolish." She offers a smile.

Roman chuckles,"Foolish? not at all. why you should have seen me wandering around here my first week." He points toward lower main beyond the stables."If you head down that way and duck quickly through the alley on the right, you'll find yourself on Second." He takes a look toward the saloon then offers,"I'm suppose to be working but I guess I could take a break and walk ya down that way." he gives a small bow and adjust the weight of the bag in his arms.

Agatha seems to be more at ease…not MUCH but the raging terror has subsided. She looks to where he pointed nodding has she takes it all in. She looks back at him again "Oh I don't wish to cause you any trouble."She says quickly, stepping towards him. And as if on cue, her boot heel catches on her hem and she goes flying forward. She lands right into him with a thump, face now in his chest. She freezes, foot still up and still caught in her skirt hem.

Roman performs a nifty trick as he brings an arm around Agatha's waist to catch her while keeping his grip on the bag of goods."Whoa there…" he states. He holds her there for a moment, their faces inches from each other. For a moment their eyes lock and as he stares at her as he takes in the clean scent of her. He blinks once and clears his throat then gives a chuckle as he helps Agatha back to a balanced position."There ya go…" as he has her standing on her own."I was about to say…it would be my pleasure to escort ya back to your studio." He smiles then says,"My name is Roman Webb…pleasure to meet ya , Miss?…"

Agatha looks up at Roman slowly. She is frozen a moment, looking up into his face, her glasses now hanging off one ear. She blinks slowly then blushes and quickly breaks eye contact shyly and rights her glasses. She stumbles to her feet and straightens as she smooths her skirts out gently, looking to her boots. "Thank you…"She says in a soft voice, smiling…at her boots apparently. She peers up at him again after she composes herself. "..Very nice to meet you Mr Webb." She offers him a hand to shake "Agatha..Richards. I…I appreciate you helping me."

Roman takes her hand in his and grips it softly."Considering the circumstances, it's a pleasure to meet you, Miss Richards." He releases her hand and motions toward lower main."Now…shall we try to find this missing studio"?

Agatha blushes as she shakes his hand. Her pale fingers tremble in his hand and she pulls away carefully. She combs her fingers through her frizzy curls a moment. She seems to be staring at him with her big green eyes…then catches herself staring and looks back to her boots "I do believe that is a very good idea" She says softly.

Roman gives the girl a smile and motions for her to follow as he begins to walk down the street."So, a studio huh? You must be an artist or something…" He eyes her shrewdly then cocks an eyebrow."I think it's a safe guess that ya don't own a dance studio."

Agatha wrings her hands as they walk. She seems a bit more at ease now. She looks down, watching her steps, her face still wearing that shy expression. She pushes her glasses up the bridge of her nose and laughs softly "You can assume correctly…I"m sure its obvious that I am not very…graceful" She looks up at him "Its a photography studio…I am trying to be a photographer…Its..its my first venture into business. Its…daunting."

Roman's eyebrows raise, clearly impressed."I've heard of fottergrafs…" he ponders a moment."I seem to remember a fight in a tavern with some city dude trying to make pictures of the local chilkoot indians." he gives a chuckle."They almost took his ears…said somethin' about him tryin' to steal their souls." He gives her a sideways glance and chuckles,"…but you don't look like the soul stealing type."

Agatha walks beside him carefully. She giggles a bit as she wrings her hands slowly "…Oh well..I try to always ask permission first. Some people don't like their photos taken." She brushes some hair from her eyes "And I have to admit, while I would like to take their photograph I'm far too frighten to approach any indians"

Roman laughs,"Believe or not, most of them feel the same way about you." he gives a shrug."You never know…gotta admit though it would make a great picture huh? An apache brave in full battle dress?" he gives a serious look. "A picture like that might be worth some money."

Agatha nods her head "Well..I suppose." She laughs 'Personally…and I"m sure this will sound silly…I rather just have the photo for history's sake."She shrugs. "I mean…well…"She purses her lips and looks at him "Well…I'm not sure if that even makes sense but…"She flusters herself.

Roman moves his gaze down to Agatha's and gives a soft smile."Only an artist would say something like that." as he leads her out of the alley he states,"It's refreshing to see someone who loves what they do, not just doing something to make money."

Agatha rubs the back of her neck "Well..thank you for looking at it that way. Not many people understand" She laughs softly "My Aunt certainly didn't…It wasn't very ladylike" She looks to him again and smiles gently "Well…I don't really know how to do anything else to be honest." She admits.

Roman says,"…and no one else knows how to do what you do…that kind of makes it so that's all you need to do." he seems to go over what he just said to double check that it makes sense then he gives a chuckle at himself. He looks further up the street and says,"We are on second street now…anything look famliar?"

Agatha chuckles softly as they walk. She looks over to him again, a few curls brushing her cheek. "Well…I'm glad you understand."She says. Agatha falls silent a moment "…you may have a little bit of an artist in you as well.."She blinks then blushes "…I don't know if that made sense." She looks ahead a moment then nods "…actually it is…I think its a bit further up"

Roman gives a shrug,"I'm not sure if it made sense either but it sounded like a nice thing to say…thank you." he gives his hat brim a tug and then looks up the street.' you're right…I think I see it."

Agatha giggles again and follows him as they reach the general store. She comes to a stop there and smiles brightly "We found it!" She says and looks to him, her eyes full of gratitude "Thank you so very much. I…Well It is the nicest thing anyone has done for me in a long time.."

Roman flashes Agatha a boyish grin."I'm just glad those two sodbusters didn't hurt ya, Miss Richards." he looks away for a moment then hands the bag to her."Here ya go…careful now." he waits until Agatha has control of here stuff then asks,"I hope I'm not being too forward , Miss Richards but perhaps once you are settled, you might be willin' to take dinner with me some evening at the hotel?"

Agatha takes the bag carefully, she can't stop smiling it seems, which only makes her blush more. She covers her mouth slightly to hide the grin. "I promise I will be careful…"She stands there a moment, not really wanting to leave yet. Then what he asks finally sinks in. Her eyes go wide and she drops the bag again at her feet "…me?"

Roman gives a hearty laugh and stoops to pick up the bag and then straightens with it to hand it back to Agatha again."Of course you…I'd love to learn more about how ya make your pictures."

Agatha blushes and fumbles with her fingers. a bit as she blushes. She chews on her lower lip heavily then looks at him with wide eyes. "…oh…well…" She says softly "I would love to."She smiles.


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