(1937-10-17) Catching Breaths
Details for Catching Breaths
Summary: An evening in for Niamh and Gideon, and they get to chat about family (past, present and future) and friends.
Date: 17 October 1937
Location: MacDiarmarda Apothecary Loft
Related: Lots of random logs?

MacDiarmarda Apothecary Loft (#2058R) Diagon Alley
Wed Oct 17, 1937 ((Wed Oct 17 19:24:19 2012)) (B,2 SE - U)

It is a fall evening. The weather is cool and fair.

An empty apartment. Several packing boxes are stacked here and there. The neighborhood is a rather comfortable working class area and the residence reflects that to every nook and corner. Bare floors and walls are freshly scrubbed and painted. The stringent scent of cleaning products and fresh paint is strong and ever lingering. This apartment is comprised of several rooms. Every apartment is slightly different in its lay out. But there are always of course the necessary rooms and at least one indoor bathroom. A small hall that acts as a foyer just inside the front door is lined with racks and storage space for outside wear and poor weather accessories. Every apartment comes with a living room area that's most usually adjoined to a dining nook which is attached to a kitchen. Within the kitchen there are several appliances such as gas stove, sink, and refrigerator. More often than not the floors are all hardwood, waxed and polished in all shades from pale pine to dark oak.

(OOC: Yes, I know I have to desc it..)

The fireplace is going, giving the room a nice, snuggly sort of warmth. The kind that envelops and relaxes. The endless stewpot of Irish stew is on the stove, the crusty bread newly out of the oven with a fresh container of salted butter and sweet cream. There's a new bread alongside it now.. bannock. A small sweetbread, it's a great deal like the English scone, which made making it a little easier to bake, but! The attempt is there.

Niamh's set in the sitting room on the couch. For the last week, she's been pouring through her potions books, her herbal books, and even Muggles' botany books for the smallest of clues, anything that might help Keenan in his search in America. With tea in hand, she's got her legs pulled up and her head rolling over the back of the couch, her eyes facing towards the ceiling. Her lips are moving, but there isn't any sound coming.. mentally calculating, no doubt.. things she's got to remember for the next day? Who said being a potions-mistress was easy?

A sound that has become all too familiar echoes in the stairwell outside the door. Heavy, determined footsteps approaching, then the door opens. A harried-looking Adamantus Gideon steps in, wincing as he slips the jacket from his shoulders to hang it up, along with his fedora. "Niamh?" He calls out before even looking for her. But the smell of freshly baked bread and stew is answer enough, and a comforted sigh escapes his lips.

From her position on the couch, Niamh can hear the footsteps on the stairs, and she smiles in anticipation. She recognizes the step immediately, and with the door opening, she makes to rise from her spot and sets the tea onto the table, pushing some of the tomes aside. "Adamantus," it's a pleased sound, as warm as the cozy fire, and as she turns about to approach, she can see his tired, harried expression.. the stress in his face, the tenseness, even. "Are you okay?" First question, and it's the most important in her mind. "Let me get ye some tea. Sit down.. I'll get ye somethin' t'eat.."

"You spoil me," Adamantus says without complaint. Such attentive care is something relatively new to him. With Lyla, they had to look after each other. Both being Hit Wizards meant they had the same stresses. Not that they didn't try, but this is one thing Niamh is able to give him that his late wife never could. He goes to settle himself on the couch, groaning softly against sore muscles.

"Nah.. it's what ye need is all," is called, now that the little Irish lass is on the move again, and in the kitchen. She's got some welsh rarebit, too, and a couple of good hunks of bread, one with salted butter, and now.. the bannock with honey and butter on the side is heaped into a bowl (and plate). "An' I happen to like doing it, too." She comes out balancing the bowl, plate, and a cup of tea, and puts it all on the coffee table before the couch. "Ye look like ye've been through the ringer, Adamantus.. are ye okay?"

Gideon gives a wince of admission. "Aye…I'll be alright. Just had a nasty run-in with a suspect today. Cornered him on a rooftop…but he was quick. Hit me with a nasty Knockback Jinx." Now that she's closer, the scrape on his forehead and the scabs on his knuckles are more obvious. Not to mention the tear in his shirt sleeve.

Curling up onto the couch, pulling her feet up, Niamh reaches out for his hands, wincing at the brief account of what transpired. "Let me see.. I've got something for this. An', something for your aches." There's something of an impish smile that rises, "It's an application salve.. an' while I might not know too much about massaging sore muscles, I can try?" She looks at him, his face, his eyes, her smile remaining, "I swear.. just for your muscles." Uh.. huh.

What's this? His girlfriend wants to rub her hands on him and soothe his muscles? The horror. Gideon nods, his steel-blue eyes smiling adoringly at her. "I'm starting to realize how lucky I am to be dating an apothecary," he says as he unbuttons his shirt and slips it off. His back and shoulders are covered in bruises. Apparently he didn't bother to stop by St. Mungo's before coming here.

Niamh rises from the couch, and wanders into her (their!?) room, and is a few moments before she comes out with a jar of salve. "Ye run the risk of smelling like flowers, but I know there'd be none who'd take ye to task on it." Unscrewing it, she sets the lid down on the table before she sits down again, turning her finger around in gesture for him to do the same. "We're quite handy t'have 'round, aye.. I think so, anyway." She's got a laugh in her tones, "Ye'll be learning, re-learning," she corrects herself, "some of the easier, useful ones. It's a matter of how often ye look over my shoulder."

Hissing a breath at the sight, she takes a glop of salve and rubs her hands together to warm it before applying it onto his back. Thumbs are gentle as she begins to work it into his skin, into his muscles. "This part, I picked up from mum when da would come home after a day's work at the shop. He was a carpenter. Made the loveliest things in Ireland."

Gideon inhales sharply at the touch. It's all still very tender, but soon the salve's magic starts to seep in, soothing the aches and numbing the bruises. "It'll be like First Year Potions again," he chuckles. "So your da was a carpenter. That's good, honest work. He must have worked very hard to provide for all of you. How many siblings do you have again?"

That's exactly why Niamh's being careful on the initial application, and as the salve is taken into his skin, she can be a little harder to knead those muscles, pulling the knots out. She takes more salve in hand, warming it, then applying. "First year Potions, only I promise I won't break your cauldron if ye add a bit too much slime.. or too much mint." Her tones are warm, and at the conversation, she exhales softly, the memories obviously good ones. "Aye.. he did. An' we're an Irish family. There's Keen, me, Padraig, Seosamh, an' Sorcha. So, three brothers an' a sister." *knead*knead* "Sorcha's the babe.. she was a surprise to Mum an' da after they moved to London. She's the apple of da's eye."

Gideon groans at her kneading, but the good kind of groan that accompanies tension being relieved. He even leans back into her hands, encouraging her to dig deeper. A little pain now for relief later is fine by him. "How old is she now?"

"She's 19 now." Niamh lays a kiss in the middle of his shoulderblades as she massages, taking her fingers to work at the muscles at his ribs. "Was born a couple years after Eir Amach na Casca," the Irish Easter Uprising. "After they'd moved to London." She bites at her bottom lip, "Da got arrested by the English in Ireland.. an' he wasn't the same man after. She's nearer them, stayin' close to da.. which is fine by us. Keen an' I send them money to live on so mum doesn't have t'work.. an' da doesn't feel he's got charity because a man's children should support them in their later years."

Gideon inhales sharply at the sweet sensation of her lips on his bare skin. She's luring him in, and he's willinging following. "Why did your family come to London? Not that I'm complaining. But I get the feeling that your kin have no love of the English, so it seems an odd place to come to."

Niamh pauses for a moment and puts more salve on her hands before she goes back to work on his back, and another kiss is placed on his shoulder. She works on his lower back, working the muscles. "When Eir Amach na Casca happened, da was .. taken in for questioning. When he came out, he'd suffered nerve damage an' couldn't work anymore, an' he didn't want t'take charity from the village. So, for work, they came here. Mum went to work as a nurse at Mungo's for a bit, an' da did factory work." She exhales softly, and straightens, her hands rising back to his upper shoulders and neck. "Now, neither have t'work, what with the shop an' Keen. An' we're glad t'do it."

Gideon smiles rather wistfully as she paints a picture of the O'Shea family. "That's grand, each generation caring for those that cared for them." One hand goes back to rest on her knee. It's a simple gesture, but the contact feels right at that moment. "I envy you."

Working on his neck now, Niamh works the muscles; his muscles are softening under her touch. "Envy? Your mum sounds lovely.. but I know, from what ye've told me, that it weren't all that easy." She kisses his neck again, "Is your mum still with us? Your gran? Should we look?"

Gideon leans back a bit to make his neck easier to reach. "That's nice…right there," he says as she finds a knot. "Ma died some years ago. Gram when I was four." No mention of his father, though, that knot suddenly became a little harder to work out.

Oof.. Niamh works on the knot, her thumbs digging in to the muscle to try and isolate it so she can get it worked out. "Your da, then?" May not be the best of memories, but she's curious now; it's all about the man.. and who he's become. Her voice is quiet, "Taken t'drink? Harsh man?" All the things she can think of that would cause problems…

Gideon sighs, his voice hardening a bit. "A married man, and nae to my mother. I hardly know him." Kneading the knot is like trying to soften a stone.

Niamh pulls a breath, and she runs her hands down either side of his shoulders, caressing him now. "Did he step up an' help your mum?" The question is soft, a gentle inquiry. "Did your mum know it?" She exhales slowly and shifts her position on the couch, but she doesn't drop her contact. She doesn't want to..

Gideon sighs, relenting to speak of the man. Niamh, at least, gets to know, even if he'd rather not talk about it. "He would send money. I'd see him around Christmas, usually. She knew he was married. Whether she knew when I was conceived, I dinnae know."

Niamh can understand the meaning behind his words, both in the telling and.. the fact that he's telling her. Trusting her. Entrusting her. Her hands don't cease to touch, to caress the skin that's laid bare before her on the couch. "I'd wish better for ye.." She leans to kiss his back again, "An' ye have those memories of the Highlands an' your deviltry."

Gideon twists as the waist to turn toward her and intercept those kisses with his lips. "I lived well enough. My mum was a good woman, and did right by me." He turns further, shifting so he can sit back on the couch and wrap an arm around her, pulling her into his side to hold her.

Niamh is pleasantly suprised at the interception and she smiles when her lips greet his. She's ready to settle in with her man, now that he's feeling a bit better; not as achy, anyway. "Ye are a good man, too. You're mum did a fine job.. an' I wish I could thank her for all her hard work in makin' ye the man ye are." Curling in with him now, she gestures towards the food and bread.. and tea. "Ye should eat somethin', darlin'.. to that end, I could leave ye and pour ye a scotch, or.." but she's got no inclination of departing his side. Even if he does have to eat. She's more than willing to remain in place for the entire night, close and quiet conversation the course of the evening…

Gideon leans into her, placing a gently kiss on her temple, the scruff of his beard scratchy against her skin. "You expect me to be able to get off of this couch while I have you right here? Nae likely." The food does smell good. But Niamh smells better.

"It's why it's right there.. an' I made ye some bannock. I'm.. not sure exactly which one I made, but it's one. An' it tastes good enough, given enough honey.." Still, Niamh's not moving, though she really should. He'd come in so tired, so drawn and tense, and now that he's a great deal more relaxed, he's probably hungry! But.. but.. and she leans against him still. She smiles at the kiss to her temple and rolls her head back so she can look at his face, in those blue eyes. "I don't mind the order, as long as ye do eat." Curling about, she runs a hand now along his chest, making a point of having it slide across his belly, and to the side. "You're done with your day.. an' if ye'd like, I'll pull your shoes so ye have an excuse to lean forward an' have some food."

Merlin's beard, this woman knows how to make a man feel appreciated. He just nods silently, giving her that quiet barely-a-smile that she knows all too well is filled with utter adoration for her. "You're too good to me, Niamh. I'm a lucky man."

"Mum'd tell ye that, aye.. an' so would Keen. But, for ye, I'd take your part an' say I'm a lucky girl t'have ye." Nia's smile is warm and bright, and finally, though not before a kiss is laid upon his cheek, she pulls away from him to do just that- hand him his bowl and bread, and she'll take his shoes off. As far as she's concerned, he's home, and that is that until morning when she opens the shop and he goes to work. "Did ye speak t'that Edwin-fellow again?" is given conversationally. "The one sniffin' around our Elly? He seems like a good sort.." Good enough?

Gideon leans back with the food, hungrily devouring an enormous bit of stew-soaked bread. After he's swallowed, he answers. "No…I suspect they sneaked off to snog. I'd call them a couple of teenagers, but…" He smirks at her. "Anyhow, he seems like he appreciates what he has. But this talk of marriage already gets my feathers ruffled."

Nia pulls one shoe off, then the other, setting them aside and a little closer to the fireplace. On her way back to the couch, then, she stops to pour the scotch and bring that back with her, setting it on the coffee table for when he wants it. "Young love.. aye." Was she like that? Well, okay.. not much telling, thank you very much, Keenan! "Words of marriage certainly did get my attention." Settling back down onto the couch, she curls her legs under her and leans ever so slightly. "It's one thing t'be courting for three years, then decide upon marriage, but.. after only a short time of courting? I don't care how long ye've watched from afar." Of course, she could writing her own death sentence, but.. it's not right! Courting for a short time, then discussing marriage so soon! "Elly's got a good family, a mum an' da who care, so it's not as if she's runnin' from a bad home."

Gideon nods in firm agreement, his cheeks stuffed with bannock. He's ravenous! Probably another lunchless day. "Elly'sh a shmart gir-…" He swallows. "Elly's a smart girl. But she also leads with her heart. She'll get wrapped up in this marriage nonsense and end up wed to a man she barely knows." He sighs, grumbling as he munches.

Nia grins at Gideon's appetite, and nods approvingly, her head lying upon his shoulder now that she's back and sitting down again. "She's younger than we are too, Adamantus.. an' there is somethin' t'be said about being swept off one's feet. My da did it with mum.. wouldn't take 'no' for an answer, either. Here was this muggle demandin' the hand o'one of the daughters of one of the older families in Ireland." She smiles at the memory of the stories told by her mother of the grand courtship. "I'm willin' t'let them have their romance, an' let it be a story that can be told later, regardless of what happens."

"Romance is fine," he huffs, "But marriage is a life-long committment. That's nae something for kids." He meets her eyes, softening his voice. "It's different with us. We're older. We've have our youth. Even though we've…rushed into some things, we're still taking things slowly."

"I like romance, Adamantus.. but we just see thin's a little differently now. We know where we are.. an' what the other is. Now, we're lookin' to see how we fit into the others lives is all, an' how to work it when things don't look like it will." Which, admittedly, hasn't yet come up. At least not as far as Niamh's concerned. "That's age. But when ye have kids growin' up t'gether? Either.. they grow together or they'll grow apart. In that, regardless, they'll grow up." She runs a hand across the skin of his chest, her eyes closing, "Aye, in the others, we're takin' things slowly." Opening her eyes, she rolls her head so she can look at his face, "An' I want this to work."

Gideon finishes his current bite, then leans forward a moment to place his food on the table. His hand goes to cup her cheek. "It is working. Isn't it?" The question has haunted him ever since he left that day to investigate the poison case. So far Keenan's name has stayed in the clear…so far.

Niamh looks at him, the affection plain to see in those gleaming eyes, "Aye.. it is. Wonderfully, even.." and she's not exaggerating; not from the expression on her face. She reaches up to put her hand over his, the warm smile tinging her lips. "I think my heart would break, an' I'd have to swear to the Sisters if something e'er happened to ye, Adamantus." And Elly's given her heart so freely and quickly? Can he feel her own pounding in his hand? "If there was issue, I swear I'd tell ye.. I'd talk with ye."

Gideon nods, breathing a little easier. "The Sisters…that reminds of something I've been meaning to ask you about." He takes her hand into his now, his thumb drawing circles on her palm. "We've never discussed it…but many things you've said suggest that you are a Christian woman."

Hazel eyes still gaze upon his face, studying those blue eyes of his; so easy to get lost in them. Niamh nods at his words, following them up with, "Aye.. Catholic.. like proper Irish.." Not the CoE, not any other.. Protestant. "Though.. I've not confessed a great deal.. in some time." She's a little embarrassed about that, but makes light of it enough to perhaps indicate that she's not really concerned over her immortal soul. "Is it a problem?"

Gideon shakes his head. "I dinnae think so. I just want to know whether it will be a problem for your family that I'm not. I've never really encountered it before among a wizarding family."

"Well, we're not so much a 'wizarding family', thanks t'da. An' mum believes in garding and growing herbs the right way- the way one's supposed to. So, I suppose while I do have the wand," Which, she doesn't have within her immediate reach.. it's.. somewhere. Bedroom, perhaps? "I don't use it quite as much as, say.. a good number of others do?" She reaches a hand up to stroke his cheek, playing with the ginger stubble there. "They won't deny ye because of thoughts that you're some sort of heathen. There's rarely religion, aye, you're right, in mostly wizarding families." But, should she have children, her family will fully expect baptism/christening.

Gideon is, it seems, thinking along the same lines as Niamh. "What about children?" He asks softly. "I know it's very early to bring up such a thing, but…should all go as we would like it to, I would like to have children someday. I'm not sure how I would feel about them being raised Catholic."

The discussion regarding children is really.. quite early, but Nia would be lying if she didn't admit that the entire idea causes her heart to beat just a little quicker. She'd love to have children, before she simply can't anymore for whatever reason. "I'd like t'have children too. As many as I could.. before I get too old." And 32 is getting old! She's actually started worrying about it now, as that biological clock ticks down. Sure, there are potions, but… "An', I'd like them t'be christened. They don't have t'be raised goin' to church, taking their catachisms.. but at least baptized as a wee babe." Her hand still plays with the stubble, and she lays a kiss on the bottom of his jaw. "It'd make me feel better."

Gideon furrows his brow pensively. After a time, he nods to that. "I dinnae see the harm." There. He's agreed to let their children be baptized…which means there will be children, right? He smiles at her, "You always amaze me." He leans in to kiss her, arms curling around her back. Very quickly, that isn't enough for him, and he lifts her up, pulling her fully into his lap, claiming her lips again. As his hands start to slide under her skirt, it becomes clear that this is going to be another night of little sleep.

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