(1937-09-25) Italian for Dinner and Company
Details for Italian for Dinner and Company
Summary: Clayton meets Cooper on a nightly stroll by the Natrix. It turns into interesting conversation and a latenight Italian dinner.
Date: September 25, 1937
Location: Clerkenwell
Related: None

Known as London's 'Little Italy', Clerkenwell has been home to most of the Italian population of the city since the 1850s. It is not the richest neighbourhood, but there is a good selection of fine restaurants and pubs in the district. Clerkenwell is also full of industry, mostly printing and engineering companies but also some meat and food production. The heart of Clerkenwell is Clerkenwell Green, the former town centre which now provides housing, St. James' Church, and the now abandoned Middlesex Sessions House. Clerkwell Green is also noted as the centre of radical communism in London, and hosts the Marx Memorial Library.

Even on this late weekday evening Clerkenwell is hopping with activity. Young Londoners are occupying the outside seating of some of the restaurants to enjoy the last bit of warmth in the year. The traffic seems to be coming from Natrix Hall though, where there probably was a special performance that evening. Outside the Dance club's doors stands Cooper wearing a houndstooth peacoat and tweed dress pants from work. No, no dresses for her. She's leaned against the brick wall, cigarette in hand and a puff of smoke mixed rises into the air when she exhales.

He'd taken up residence down the road and while he's been there only a short time, this is the third night he's taken to wandering the street in the late hours of evening. The man, clad in heavy leather jacket and cap tilted down on his head, has his hands stuffed snugly into the pockets of his pants. His head is tilted against a cool breeze as he strolls, brows furrowed in thought. He pauses, a few paces actually away from where the woman rests against the wall, to peer curiously in the direction of the Natric Dance Hall and the traffic. He scritches the stubble along his chin as he muses faintly to himself. Clayton notices the woman soon after however and gives a sheepish smile, "Pardon." He didn't know if he'd been in her personal space but just incase it's better to apologize.

Cooper takes another long drag of her cigarette, exhaling another thick puff until someone tries to catch her attention. She turns her head to the young man and tilts it curiously before saying, "Fine. You're pardoned." It's followed with a light snicker and smile though. Nothing too mocking. "Kidding," she quickly throws in there before asking, "How can I help you, sir?"

A lopsided grin is given if somewhat shyly at her jest. He ahhs softly as she adds shes kidding and chuckles, rubbing the back of his head as his gaze falls down to his feet. Eyes slip back to the woman and Clayton clears his throat, "I.. uh.. really don't need anything," he offers honestly, "I just didn't know if maybe I had intruded upon your space in my absent minded wanderings," he chuckles. "My apologies… Ok in truth I don't really know where I am. I just moved down that way," he gestures with a hand, "And this is just the direction I normally take in my walks. Ah, Clayton Kable, or Clay.. or Kable.. really whatever you'd like.. I'm rambling aren't I.." he adds awkwardly after, lips pursing and gaze flitting elsewhere.

Cooper's brows raise with interest at first, but then it simply switched to pure amusement as she watches the young man go on and on. Of course, her eyes flit to where he gestures and then back at the man. "Yes, yes you're rambling quite a bit, but it's better than being withdrawn," she snickers again and assures him. "Well mate, you're in London!" There's a bright smile and she throws her hands up when she says 'London.' Okay, perhaps she's just a -little- bit tipsy, but she can totally walk a straight line still. "I'm aware that doesn't help much though. Where are you trying to get to Clayton? Maybe I can help you get there, I'm about to relocate myself. Probably going to grab some food," she says throwing down her cigarette and stomping it with her heel. But out of politeness she hold a hand out for a shake and says, "I'm Genevieve Cooper. You can call me by either. Pleasure to meet you."

He clears his throat a little bit once more before laughing lightly with her, "I know at least that m'lady!" He knew he was in London, he'd been living in London for a little bit but he didn't get out much and this new place was well in a new part of town for him. He accepts her hand in a quick shake, "Pleasue is mine." Clayton stuffs his hands in his pockets once more to fight the chill. His broad shoulders rise and fall in a quick shrug in response to her question, "Nowhere in particular.. Food sounds good if you care for some company?" In all honesty he's not used to a woman strolling about in the dark on her own without protection. Of course, what did this Muggle Fly Boy know right? And tipsy at that; of course Clayton wasn't much for a drinker. She could probably drink him under the table at that.

Cooper ahhs and nods, "I see. Just getting to know the area then. Well there's no harm in that. Sure come tag along." She smiles and stands up off the brick wall, strolling over to the curb where she holds her hand out to flag down a cab. "Let me just summon us a ride," she says. My, she indeed is rather independent for a woman! Maybe she followed after those nonsense flapper girls when she was much younger. But after a good 10 minutes of idiotically waving one arm, then two, then yelling 'Oi!' or 'Over here! Anyone?', no vehicles approach them even after a few have passed. She could never get the hang of this muggle form of transportation.

Clayton watches her comically for a moment, head tilted to one side and a crooked grin plastered on his features. The man shakes his head, chuckling to himself as he watches Cooper trying to flag a taxi. He gives her a few more minutes to try before sliding up beside her and fixing his fingers just right to his lips. A loud whistle sounds from the man, a hand waved once afterwards in a beckoning motion. Soon after a taxi wheels over and slows to a halt, the driver waiting impatiently for the two to get in. Clayton reaches for the door, holding it open for the woman politely, "After you m'lady." A roguish grin offered.

"Oi you! Don't drive past and ignore me!" Cooper shouts angrily at the last one that passes her by. Geez, sometimes she fishing she didn't have such a boring face. But she suddenly jumps at the sharp whistle, and her eyes widen in amazement when a car slides into view. "What on…how did you…," she looks at Clayton as she climbs into the vehicle and scoots over so that he can get in as well. "Sabina's please," she says quickly to the Cab driver and then tries to copy what he did by putting the two fingers to her lips. There's nothing but rough air that comes out though.

Clayton laughs good naturedly as he slides in after her and tilts his head coyly to one side, "Magic," he jests. The man tempers his smile as he glances ahead and out the windows, watching buildings and the like roll by. The Muggle man leans back and against the door before glancing at her amusedly, "Keep practicing! You'll get it.." Clayton chuckles, a hand halfway covering his mouth to keep it from blossoming to a full blown laugh. "So.. Miss Cooper. If you don't mind me asking, what had you standing all alone on the street side?"

Cooper stops her sad attempts at whistling to cover her mouth and snort when he says 'Magic'. Oh the irony! In fact, she laughs so much she has to hold her brown cloche hat in place. And as the cab pulls out and begins driving through the streets, she gives Clayton a tour of the area pointing out what good restaurants are good, what pharmacies serve the best sodas and etc. Though to his question, she answers, "Well I was at the Natrix with some friends and I got rather tired of dancing. Feet have a tendency to ache after a while you see. So I simply just stepped outside for a fag," she smiles, casually giving her explanation like there's nothing wrong. But she does take note of his leather jacket before saying, "My, there's a very distinct cut to that. Am I correct on guessing you serve Queen and country?"

The man listens curiously as she speaks, watching her movements and attitude. The tipsy woman gets a faint smile, "Ah. I've yet to visit the Natrix yet but I've heard and seen the comings and goings in my nightly walks." Clayton scratches his cheek thoughtfully. "Your friends are not going to worry about where you've gone off to?" While he sounds like a serial killer he means it in all honesty. He would worry if one of his friends wandered off. He blinks innocently before her question snags his attention and Clayton smiles shyly, "You are correct m'lady. Flying Officer Clayton Kable, at your service," he drawls, hat given a slight tip along with crooked grin.

"Oh you should go! It's good fun if you like to dance. If you loathe it though, just stay home," Cooper grins and then explains, "Anyhow, they'll be alright. I told them I was leaving to go home before I stepped out. But then I got hungry. It's fine though I wander off like this all the time and nothing's come of it." She shrugs. Oh how she sounds like a loose jezebel! "Flying Officer? Like, in one of those plane things? My god, isn't that dangerous?" she asks and tilts her head. She never could understand why muggles thought it was a good idea to zoom around thousands of feet off the ground in a metal can. But her eyes narrow in thought when he repeats his name. "Kable, you say? I feel like I've heard that name before…."

Clayton chuckles, "Independant huh?" He shakes his head wonderingly, "You should be careful, wondering around like that alone in the dark. I mean, I don't mean to sound like one of those nagging blokes and I know I don't know you but, you don't know who you may meet." He actually takes a moment to frown worriedly before coughing and taking off his hat, running his fingers through his hair absent mindedly. He had a habit of speaking without thinking and usually felt silly for it later. Coopers comment about flying gets a crooked grin from the man, "I suppose ma'am, but someone has to do it." Her inquirey about his surname gets a curious tilt of his head, "Possibly? I've had family members that lived here in London, however I'm not sure how their last name would have graced your ears unless your prone to the history of military familys."

The cab pulls up in front of a somewhat shady yet cozy French restaurant with somewhat loud music coming from the inside. Its sign up top is somewhat faded but you can mostly make out the words 'La Cuisine de Sabina.' And from the inside of the car Cooper announces, "We're here."
From her purse she pulls out a set of unfamiliar coins which she 'ohs' and puts back to pull out the proper English money. "It's sweet of you to be concerned over a woman. It's fortunate that I ran into a man of service this evening then. You seem to be very cordial enough. I don't think a soldier would do any harm to me, would they?" she smiles at Clayton, perhaps theres a bit of a smirk there. Though she thinks about his name a bit more. She could have sworn she heard of a Kable wizarding family, but she's not sure if she should push the topic to far this evening. "Hmmm I'm not too familiar with military families, no. Maybe I'm mistaken. Oh well, let's head in." Yeahh, it'd be best for Cooper to flip the topic before she opens her mouth too much.

Gaze lingers on the unfamiliar currancy before she tucks it back into her purse. He wonders if the woman traveled a lot but he'd seen many a money and it still didn't look very familiar to him. Clayton hmms gently before blinking and pulling himself from his thoughts. Gaze lifts to view the restaurant with a hint of open curiosity. Her words snag back his attention and he blinks vaugely in alarm, "I would never. My mother raised me right Miss Cooper," he drawls honestly. The man exits the cab, holding the door open for her after he's situated himself outside of the car. Once she leaves the cab as well he rubs his hands together to warm his fingers before offering an extended elbow if she should want to take it for an escourt. If not the man would simply smile sheepishly as he strides towards the building. Clayton opens the door, the music and aroma intensifying, holding it ajar for her and not entering until she does. Gentleman all day every day.

Cooper pays the driver and after giving her thanks to him she slides out of the car and a grin goes to Clayton. "I'm glad to hear it then Mr. Kable," she says and does hook on to the crook of his arm as they walk inside. She's even impressed at him holding the door open for her. This one's a muggle for sure, his manners show that one. And when they walk in she gives the lone late night waiter one of her bright smiles and greet, "Bonsoir! Une table pour deux s'il vous plait. Ahhh, oui. Merci." Her accent is spot on, though certainly not necessarily native sounding. And turning to Clayton she points to a small table by the window. "I hope you're okay with French food. I apologize if it's a bit unpatriotic. Don't be fooled by the interior, it's very authentic and decently priced." The place is small with only about 6 small tables total along with a small wooden bar in the back. From the large radio in one corner comes French music, Edith Piaf for the savvy ears. And once they've sat, she asks, "How recently did you move to your new place?"

Clayton nods his head briefly before following her into the building. He rubs his arms vigorously to chase the chill away before eyes widen just a fraction and he offers an impressed smile, "Wow.. impressive. And french food is perfectly fine with me." Clayton follows her to the table, he hesitates debating pulling out her chair as he'd been taught but coughs and awkwardly settles into his seat. He removes his hat, hanging it on his right knee and ruffling his hair abit to make it settle into place. "Three or four days ago," he admits, "I moved from an apartment on the other side of town, then again despite my time there I didn't get out much so I still didn't know where anything was," he chuckles.

Cooper gives Clayton a grin as sheepish as the ones he's been giving her and then shrugs. "Oh thanks, I'm still working on this one. The French are so severe on accents. Do you speak anything other than English, Mr. Kable?" She herself gets settle, removing her jacket and cloche hat to have it hang over the back of her seat. Her hair seems to be a bit mussed from the hat, but it doesn't seem like she cares too much about it. "And are you liking it so far? I believe its a nice area, full of young people. Lots to do," she says but also adds, "Were you busy with your training then to go out? Everyone is saying war is inevitable." Flagging down the waiter she orders two glasses of Cabernet and then says, "I hope you don't mind wine. It goes best with the food here."

"A little Italian; my mother was very adamant in me and my siblings learning." He waves it off though as if it were no big deal. He ponders her question for a moment before replying, "It's nice enough. I admittedly haven't met a lot of people, nor.. done that much," he shrugs with an embarressed chuckle, "I had just graduated from training when I first moved into my original place across town. I've always been somewhat shy.." he drawls self-conciously, a finger tapping the table in thought. Clayton was never the one to go out on the town, and in fact, "I don't even know how to dance," he blurts awkwardly. Ahem. "Wine is good." Cue sheepish grin.

"Italian? Really? Can you say something for me?" Cooper beams. You can't tell her you can speak another language and not demonstrate it for her. She simply won't allow it. "I see now. A shy fly boy from…where are you from originally?" she asks and watches the waiter return with a bottle to pour them both a drink. "It's hard to think you didn't at least have friends in the air force with you that didn't take you out. I see you men in uniform all around lately," she says and takes a sip of her wine once it's poured. And with a scheming grin she says, "Don't know how to dance? Oh there's nothing to it. Ninety percent of it is losing your inhibition. A few drink in you and that problem's taken care of. Have you never even tried it?" The way she hunches forward to lean an elbow on the table, and her manner of bending one leg over the knee of the other seems rather mannish. But the delicacy at which she sips offsets it.

Clayton 's cheeks reddin slightly as he ponders this for a moment, and finally, "Miss Genevieve, vorrei che tu mi insegni a ballare." He coughs, "Or something along those lines.." He doesn't say right away what was said, be it on purpose or not isn't known. As she continues to question him he sips his wine casually, "Manchester, originally. And I had plenty of friends," he chuckles, "I've just never been the partier I suppose." Lips tug up on one side in an amused grin, "I've also never been much of a drinker," he admits lamely, "The few times I have been out with friends I normally just enjoyed watching the going ons." He eyes her curiously before sipping his wine once more.

Cooper bites her lip in anticipation as she listens to his Italian and when he's done she erupts into a fit of applause while saying, "Bravo! Bravo! Bellissima!" Her accent is pretty dead on again as well and she kisses the tips of her fingers in true Italian fashion. "Unfortunately that's the extent of my Italian. I'm not all too sure about what you said though. Something about dancing. Did you want to go dancing one day?" Seems like Cooper picks up on languages quite quickly. "Ahh Manchester. They have that old football club over there don't they? Do you play then if you don't party?" she asks and then orders them bisque and a lamb, "Feel free to order anything else as well. There's nothing wrong with being in control of your senses. However, its good to let loose and have fun on occasion."

Suddenly the music on the radio stops and the voice of the broadcast brings a breaking news update. He informs listeners of on-going rumors of German Gestapo activities. At this point in time there's nothing severe to report, it does solicit a slight narrowing of the eyes from Cooper.

He waves a hand and smiles politely, "No no, that will do. I'm not too famished so that will be great." Clayton beams and claps once, "Impressive m'lady!" He tilts his head down a few moments later however in a shy grin before answering, "I asked you if you would teach me to dance. One day possibly?" When she inquires about Manchester Clayton chuckles, "My father was big into football, I myself dabled. Football and baseball," he drawls thoughtfully. Letting loose huh? I wouldn't call Clayton a stick in the mud but he never really had anyone to bring out that wild streak in him. "I have fun! Maybe.. not as much fun as the normal person," he muses, "Ok. So I'm pretty boring!" he chuckles, "Not by choice, I don't think." The radio broadcast gets an uneasy shifting from the man and an evident frown replaces his earlier smile. Clayton sighs gently, "What was the word you used earlier? Inevitable."

Cooper's face brightens when he tells her what it really meant. Not bad, girl. Not bad. She gives him a slight theatrical bow and then grins, "Of course I'd love to teach you to dance. Though like I said, I can't do anything fancy and I'll likely have take as well as give you a few drinks before we actually start." Taking a sip of her wine she adds, "In return you can teach me some of that football. Similar to you, I've always watched and never taken part. It's only fair I try something out of my own element as well." Oh boy, that will be an interesting day should Clayton agree. Cooper's lips however purse at the radio broadcast as she looks to him across the table. "Perhaps my word choice was far too final. It's far too early to tell right now. Things can turn around completely for all we know." But she does give him a comforting smile and looks sidelong to the bartender and in french asks him to change the station.

Clayton quietly thanks her for having the station turned, a warm smile of appreciation blooming. The man chuckles however, "Ok. You teach me to dance, and I will gladly teach you to play football." He sips his own wine comfortabley before shrugging a shoulder, "It's ok though, about the whole war thing. I mean its not ok, but I did pick my career path. I'm willing to stick it through until the end. To protect those who can't protect themselves," Clayton murmurs gently. He quiets when the food arrives, picking here and there as well as finishing his wine inbetween conversation. The woman across from him was certainly interesting; who knew he'd find someone worth meeting on a simple night walk.

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