Character's Full Name: Clayton Bailey
Created By: Heidi
AKAs: Barry Clinton, Clifton Murton, Frank James
Character Type: Immortal
Apparent Age: Early 30s
Actual Age: 122
Build: Muscular with serious upper body strength.
Additional Languages: ASL, Spanish, Japanese, Russian, smatterings of others.
Distinguishing characteristics: Hearing aids, several scars, is dyslexic.
Personality: Charismatic and a little quirky, Clayton can charm the socks off of just about anyone if he puts his mind to it. Loyal to a fault he has a hard time giving up on people, even when they cross him. He's also quick to bond with people. He can be hard on himself sometimes especially when it comes to his learning disability.
Any special skills: Expert marksman with both bow and firearm. Acrobat and martial art skills. Accomplished horseman.
Clayton was found as an infant and taken in by Edith Bailey who had recently lost a child in the year 1880 in rural Iowa. Edith's husband Harold, who hadn't been excited by the idea of another mouth to feed even when it had been his own child, was less than thrilled by this but said nothing. Growing up Edith showered love on both Clayton and his brother Charles but Harold showed mostly contempt for the boys at best and was terribly abusive at worst, beating Clayton to the point he went temporarily deaf at the age of six.
Things came to a head one day when Clayton was eight with Harold drinking to the point he passed out, but not before he'd knocked the boys and Edith around again. Edith had finally had it and when she was sure Harold wouldn't wake up, she packed bags for each of the boys and got them safely out of the house before she set the room he was in on fire.
Freed at last, the trio fled the scene of the crime and ended up in the camp of a traveling circus. It was there that the Baileys finally found a home with Edith becoming something of a every-woman - cooking, cleaning, and sewing costumes while the boys helped with whatever chores they could taking on more and more as they grew older.
Clayton loved living in the circus and the new family it gave him. He spent time with anyone that would give him the time of day and it didn't take long before several acts began to teach him any little trick they could. The clowns, the acrobats, the barkers - you name it, they embraced him as one of their own. Clayton had a way with animals even, especially the horses, and you could sometimes find him curled up with one of the Elephants or talking to the big cats.
Charlie didn't take his brother's popularity too well and when Clayton was chosen over him to be the apprentice of the archery act it began years of seething hatred that Clayton had no idea about. Charlie was picked up by another act - he figured all was well.
The bow became as easy for Clayton as breathing and it wasn't long before he was co-headliner in the archery act and a few years after that the main headliner when their original archer moved on. Edith, by now married to the ringmaster and co-owner of the circus, was proud of her sons. This happiness lasted for several more years.
Charlie's anger and envy of his brother came to a head one day and the fight was short and brutal and by the time Clayton woke up his brother was gone from the circus - also gone was his ability to hear clearly. Charlie had known just where and how to hit him to cause the most damage. Edith was heartbroken but Clayton knew he would forgive his brother if he ever came back - he was, after all, family.
Soon after the accident a Japanese swordswoman by the name Akane Koto joined the circus. Her reaction to Clayton was strange at first though eventually they had a good relationship - she took him under her wing and taught him how to use a sword until he was almost as good as she was.
Akane left after getting into an altercation with a strange man - she said she didn't want to endanger Clayton or the rest of the circus and he was devastated to lose such a close friend. Not long after she left a new swordsman, Gerard Dumaine joined up.
Not for the first time in his life Clayton had a strange feeling about the man and he vowed to keep an eye on him. Turns out he was right to be suspicious as one night when he had been following Dumaine he caught him in the ringmaster's carriage stealing from the cash box. He confronted him and in the ensuing scuffle they ended up outside - where Charlie was waiting for them. Dumaine killed Clayton while his brother watched and the two of them ran off with the money.
Clayton awoke some time later to a crowd of his circus family around him. For a moment he was unsure what would happen - he'd just come back from the dead after all - but this family, his found family, reacted with joy that he'd been brought back to them. Strange things happened in the circus after all - who were they to question something so positive?
Life then went back to normal though personal tragedy struck two years later when Clayton's mother Edith passed away. He thought about maybe moving on but this had been his home for so long that he wasn't sure he could live any other type of life.
And so things stayed the same as the years rolled on - at least until an army recruiter saw his act in 1916 and that's how Clayton found himself shipped off into World War One. As a sniper he killed 56 Germans and earned himself a medal. The war changed him though and the world around it as he found when he tried to go back to the circus afterwards. A whole new crew had joined up and he felt out of place for the first time in his life. He left and drifted for a while, picking up odd jobs here and there, making enough to care for himself and store a little away.
When the Depression hit he was lucky enough to keep his job as a laborer and he helped out as many of the people living around him as he could with whatever extra food or money he could spare, something everyone had always done back in the circus.
Eventually Word War Two happened and Clayton, now going by the name Barry Clinton, joined up again - he almost didn't make it due to his deafness but when the higher ups saw him shoot they couldn't pass him up and he shipped out for England and eventually took part in the Normandy landing in 1944. He, like the rest of the world, was happy when V-E day was declared in 1945, though the lingering uncertainty about the war in the Pacific tempered it some.
While in England waiting to see if he would be sent to the Pacific, Clayton met a man that would change his life. His name was James Noble and he was just about the most beautiful and perfect person Clayton had ever met. He also was just like Clayton in that he had come back from the dead and was unable to be injured since then. The two struck up a fast friendship and decided to stay together when they got back to the US and both were discharged from the Army.
They moved to New Orleans, specifically Faubourg Marigny, to a shotgun house on Royal Street. It could have been strange sharing such an accommodation but they made it work. Even when Clayton found himself developing feelings for his roommate they made it work. He'd had several romantic entanglements with both men and women especially during his time in the circus but they'd never lasted very long and a few had ended quite poorly. His friendship with James was too important to risk so he bottled those feelings away down deep.
Twenty years passed before upheaval arrived in the form of a woman named Keagan. She informed the two men that they, like her, were immortal and therefore would never age nor die unless their head was taken. She took it upon herself to teach them both about the sword, though James needed more lessons than Clayton - his time under Akane's tutelage had served him well. The now trio stayed together for some five years, at first remaining in New Orleans but then moving on north to Asheville, North Carolina. Once Keagan had determined they were self sufficient she parted ways with them, though not before stressing the importance of them being able to ask her or the others in their family line for assistance as needed. She also told Clayton that he should tell James of his feelings though the council fell on deaf ears (so to speak) as he was still quite happy to keep his feelings to himself.
Ashville remained home for a few more years until the two of them decided to move again settling in the mountains of Virginia they were initially quite happy with the idea of staying there another few decades but then another immortal found them and challenged Clayton. Clayton won and took his first Quickening. The experience changed him and left him feeling uneasy and rather than take that out on James he left in the night heading up to Maine. Life was pretty miserable without James but Clayton had to learn how to live with himself again. He took another two heads in the 80's and the adjustment to those Quickenings was much easier. Eventually he could no longer stand it and managed to find James living in Chicago in the 90s. The reunion was a happy one and the two fell into old habits of living out of each other's pockets.
This lasted until the late 90s when Clayton found himself with a job at the Circus World Museum in Baraboo Wisconsin. He was still close to James but they weren't in each other's pockets which suited Clayton a bit better since it was getting harder and harder to keep his feelings to himself.
By the time June of 2012 rolled around and people started getting sick Clayton was still in Baraboo. He decided to take some time off however and check in on James. When he got to Chicago he found an empty apartment and a note from James who knew him so well. He'd gone to the Topeka Viral Center to see if he could be on any help with the flu epidemic. Not as a doctor of course but as an Immortal.
An uneasy feeling settled in Clayton's stomach and he made his way to Topeka as quickly as he could. By the time he got to the Viral Center the Superflu had nearly run its course ravaging the nation. It took some doing, but Clayton found James - flayed open like a science experiment and so out of it he didn't recognize his oldest friend. Anyone that had been left alive in the Viral Center before his arrival did not survive Clayton's vengeance. He took James to a safe house set up by one of their line brothers outside of Lawrence and proceeded to nurse him back to health mentally, though the dreams they both started having didn't help matters.
The Dark Man spoke of Clayton being able to have James's love and to be able to protect him from those that would harm them. The old woman spoke of the battle they had ahead of them and though she didn't guarantee their safety she did promise love and understanding. Clayton didn't particularly feel like going to either of them so he held off as long as possible while James slowly came back to himself. Finally it was James that decided where they'd be going - to Boulder.
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