(1937-09-14) Damsel of Distress
Details for Damsel of Distress
Summary: Gideon rushes to the rescue of Josefa, who doesn't particularly seem to want to be rescued.
Date: September 14, 1937
Location: Soho
Related: A Fine Meal

Soho, London

The heart of London's 'Theatre District', it's no wonder that Soho is known as a great place to be entertained. Most famously, the Palace Theatre can be found here, the huge red brick building looking almost more like a church than a theatre. Along with the many shops and theatres, another business runs rampant in the area, with prostitutes walking openly on the streets here, and even some shops cater to more adult interests. That isn't to say there aren't other reasons to visit the district than just various types of entertainment. Dr. John Snow's memorial can be found here as well, a replica of the famous water pump still standing near a pub named in John Snow's honour.

The hour is getting on towards late, later than good girls should be out. Not that there are many good girls to be found out in this district. The pubs in the area are lit and overflowing with people on their way from drunk to drunker. Jazz musicians duel with saxephones and the theaters are disgorging late night movie goers. Josefa is one such person, wearing a cream colored suit with turquoise blouse and looking like any normal Muggle might.

It's no wonder that a short time after her travels down the street in the dim evening light somebody from one of the less savory houses peels himself away to follow her. "What's a pretty dame like you doing walking alone?" he asks almost sweetly, hands in the pockets of his trousers. Jo glances back briefly and turns her head forward again, trying her best to ignore the man.

Elsewhere, in Hoxton, Adamantus Gideon lays on his narrow bed, one arm tucked under his head, staring at the water-stained ceiling. It's breathing time — a chance to be alone and collect his thoughts after work before he heads off to The Dog's Head for amateur night. On his tiny breakfast table, a top-like device, not unlike a small Sneak-o-scope, trembles lightly of its own volition. But the weary Hit Wizard doesn't take notice…yet.

"Oy!" says the drunk man, walking to keep step with Josefa. "I'm talking to you." When the young witch doesn't look over at him again, he grabs her arm. "Got something wrong with your ears, then?" he demands when she turns around to face him, her arm still held in his hand.
Josefa gives him an unfriendly look and says, "Please release my arm." It's polite, but cold, and earns her nothing but a sneer from the tough, who drags her in closer. "And what if I don't?"

The top on Gideon's table suddenly springs to life, leaping onto its point and spinning with an audible hum. The Inspector jerks his head toward the sound, and in a flash, he's on his feet, snatching up his wand holster from where it hangs on his headboard and slipped it on. At the table, he snatches up the spinning device, and unfolds a map of London, spreading it out on the table. Setting the top down once more, it begins twirling again, roaming in circles over the map. Moment by moment, the circles tighten, getting smaller and smaller. "Come on…come on!" Gideon growls at the thing, frowning as the top unexpectedly homes in on Soho, rather than Clarkenwell, where he had assumed it would. But it doesn't matter where, this could only mean one thing. Josefa Loucks was in trouble. Taking quick note of the streets that the point of the top settled on, he snatches up his longcoat, slaps on his fedora, and with a resounding CRACK, he vanishes.

Soho. Gideon's been here before, or he wouldn't have been able to Apparate in. He steps out of the alley where he appeared, taking quick stock of the street names. Two blocks away…or is it three? Nearly bowling over an inebriated Muggle man stepping out of a bar, Gideon takes off at a sprint, trying to cover the distance to where she should be as quickly as possible.

Josefa simply squints at the drunk man. "If you don't, I will help you release my hand," she replies simply.

"Oh, I've got to see this!" sneers the drunk man. "How's a little bitty like you planning to 'help' me, eh?" He grins overly wide at her — until she jams her wand into his nose abruptly. "Oh-ho!" he chortles. "What are you going to do, Mistress, poke me with your stick? Beat my bum like me mum?" Mockingly he turns about and starts to unbuckle his belt. Josefa doesn't wait for him to drop his pants, her wand disappears as quickly as it appeared back into her clutch and she moves quickly away from him. He tries to follow, yelling, but his pants are now around his ankles and he's waddling in his underwear down the street after her. Classy.

Gideon breaks through a crowd of people in time to see…there she is! Josefa, accosted by a Muggle. As he rushes down the street, every footfall feeling heavier than the last…faster, old man! She's in trouble! She's gotten away, but he's follow, the pervert. Once he's clear of any gatherings of Muggle, he reaches into his coat, producing his wand, partway tucked into his sleeve. He gestures toward Josefa's assailant, making a twiling motion. "Balteus constricto," he says grimly, and the Muggle's belt suddenly tightes around his ankles. Timberrrrrr! The Muggle topples face first into the street. Gideon takes a quick glance around, checking for witnesses. Drunks and bohemians…nothing to be too worried about.

Josefa glances back when she hears a grunt and a thump behind her. "Serves you right," she tells the drunk man, not bothering to question whether he fell down due to drunkenness or not. Off she goes, stride stride stride!

Gideon stays where he is, fedora partially obscuring his face, when Josefa looks back. She didn't notice me. Just as well. All she needs is to think I'm stalking about after her. So once she continues on, he stalks after her. No sense Apparating all the way to Soho to spare her from one spot of trouble only to leave her to whatever other misfortune London can conjure by night. Keeping a reasonable distance, he shadows behind her.

That makes perfect sense, stalk her so she doesn't htink he's stalking her! Well, it only takes her a few minutes for the back of her neck to start prickling. Cautiously Josefa removes her wand again and turns, putting her back to a building and looking around for what's making her skin crawl. "Homenum revelio," she murmurs, pointing her wand towards the shadows behind her.

Gideon is no rookie constable, fumbling about as he tries to conduct a basic patrol. He's a seasoned veteran of the Magical Law Enforcement Squad, and well versed in shadowing techniques. As Josefa turns, he sidesteps toward a darkened doorway, sweeping his wand down his own form, murmuring, "Obscuro tenebrum," casting a Concealing Charm to try to draw in the shadows and fool her Revealing Charm.

Josefa presses her lips together when her spell reveals Gideon. "Come out, then," she calls. "I know you're there." Ah, magic, handy thing. She keeps her wand out, but plants her hands on her hips, waiting patiently for whomever it is to reveal themselves.

Damn. This dame is cute, smart, -and- good with a wand. I could just Apparate away…and scare the daylights out of her, because then she'd know a wizard was following her, and would probably assume the worst. Time to take your medicine, Gideon. His hat low on his brow, he steps out from the doorway, holding his wand out to the side, his other hand held up in that universal sign for don't shoot. "Miss Loucks, it's only me."

Josefa has a nice, sour look on her face when she sees the top of his hat and then recognizes the shape of his jaw and his voice. "Inspector," she says with a sigh, putting her wand away. "I can't decide if I'm flattered that you are following me in the dark in London, or extremely uncomfortable with it. Please enlighten me, what are you doing out here?"

Gideon tucks his wand away, and takes a glance back down the road behind him. "You're being accosted by drunken Muggles in Soho, and you wonder what I'm doing here?" He tucks his hands into his pockets, strolling toward her.

"I wasn't being accosted," protests Josefa. "They're mostly harmless. I would have taken care of him if he got too out of hand." She's a sweet tempered lass, that's for sure. She waits for him to catch up and then begins walking again in the direction of Hoxton. "Now, then. Tell me why you're following me."

"Because you dinnae seem to notice when you're wading in over your head." Gideon shakes his head. "That was one Muggle. They often travel in packs, especially in neighborhoods like this."

"Adamantus," says Josefa, using his name for once, "Have you ever noticed that I get along just fine without you, and it only seems to be YOU who thinks I am incapable?" She glances around and then lifts her hands. "Duel me. That will solve this. If I beat you, you must stop following me around assuming I can't handle myself. If you beat me… Well, I'll concede you are the more skilled wizard and if I actually need help, I'll think of you first."

Gideon gives her a level stare. It's difficult to tell if he's confused or annoyed. "Duel you?" He shakes his head. "I never said you're incapable. But you're asking for trouble. I put a Distress Charm on you," he admits. "I promised to look after you, and you've crossed paths with a person of interest, and given me reason to believe you might do so again. Both good reasons to keep an eye on you and see to your safety."

Josefa gives him a long look. "You're mad," she finally informs him. "The only thing distressing me is that you're /stalking/ me." She folds her arms and continues on then. "I went to his club, Inspector. Too many men bought me too many drinks, and he gave me a car to go home in. I'll never see him again, nor do I want to, so that is a terrible excuse to be following me around London every time I want to see a movie or have dinner."

Gideon sighs. "When last we spoke, you gave me no indication that you wouldn't see him again. In fact, you told me it was nae my business if he should call on you. This is my job, Miss Loucks. I'm not asking you to like it. But I swore an oath, and I'll keep it."

"I said that to irritate you," replies Josefa. "I don't have time for mobsters. Or men who use their jobs as a poor excuse to follow me around. It's much more flattering to ask a lady out on a date if you want to spend time with them. This is just pathetic." Rather than wait to see what he'll say to that when he, undoubtedly, stops choking on his tongue, she turns a corner sharply onto another street.

Gideon doesn't choke, so much as give her another stare, but he does keep up with her. "You'll just have to forgive me for being unflattering, Miss Loucks. It is nae a date I'm after. Or hadn't you noticed, I'm nearly twice your age." He quickens his step and whirls to face her, stopping and momentarily blocking her path. His steely gaze sets on her eyes. "Let me make one thing very clear. Unless you are a criminal, my boss, or it is for your protection, I dinnae lie. Neither do I brook being called a liar." His piece spoken, he stands aside, gesturing in a gentlemanly fashion to allow her passage again.

"My father is more than a decade my mother's senior. Since when are older men not interested in younger women?" She lets that stew for a moment and then takes a deep breath. "If you weren't an officer, I would hex you," she informs him. "Now stop following me." Mockingly she mirrors his gesture, indicating he should be on his way, now looking truly peeved.

Not the sort of man to argue, especially with a woman. But he doesn't look especially apologetic, either. He simply says, "Be careful." Then…*CRACK!*…and he's gone.

It's a bad job there's thin walls at the Hoxton. Josefa's got all the good temper of her irish daddy, and there's going to be quite the angry tantrum coming from her apartment soon enough. Was that a tea cup smashing? Probably. Watch your head, chaps.

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