(1937-12-13) Just Say It
Details for Just Say It
Summary: Keenan and Veruca each have problems expressing themselves about certain things, but they get there eventually.
Date: 13 December 1937
Related: After Well This Is Awkward

After the wonderful waking up he was treated to, Keenan finally stirs, and kisses the woman next to him. He seems to have no problems with her replacing words with actions, after all, he can't say anything without first saying in a language that she does not understand. In his own way he is just as reticent about letting his feelings out.
With a sigh, he finally obeys the grumbling of his stomach, demanding that another appetite be addressed. "I'm nae Chef Carmichael, but I do make a mean toad in tha hole, if ye're hungry?" he offers Veruca. He gives her another kiss before he slides out of bed, and finds some sort of pants to slip into.

Veruca is looking decidedly unkempt. Her normally perfect hair is in glorious disarray, strands still damp around her face and neck, and the flush is only just fading from her skin. She certainly doesn't look thrilled about having to get out of bed, but a man's gotta eat. "Oh," she says, remembering something that she had been thoroughly distracted from, "Your sister brought some food up. I put some things in the icebox, and there's bread as well." It's with reluctance that she pushes the covers away and starts to look for the shirt of Keenan's she'd had on earlier. Where did they throw it?

Keenan groans as he opens a closet and pulls out a robe that he throws lightly in Rue's direction. It's green, of course, and knee length on him. Then he pulls on a light sweater. "Och. She brought tha greens up, didn' she?" he asks. "I gave up tryin' tae help a long time ago, she'd just rearrange whatever I did anyways… so I just make sure whatever she puts up is straight an' let her have it her way."

Veruca laughs as the robe comes flying her way, but chooses not to mention to Keenan that his sister caught her out in his shirt when she came in without knocking. Although he may notice Niamh's own robe hanging on the door. "I was wondering if you had one of these," she teases lightly, standing to slip it on. It's not very much longer on her, and as she turns her head she notes that it smells nice. It smells like Keenan. She nods to his words, "She did, if that's what that box of decorations is." She can't help but laugh again, a sound heard more often lately, and she raises a brow at the wizard. "That's how it is, hm? Well, she said she'd leave it to you to do, so you'll get your chance to shine."

"Ah, well, bless her soul," Keenan says wryly. He grins, "of course I have a robe." He just keeps things in their place… it's something Rue may have noticed. His shoes and boots are always neat by the door, and he wears the thick, warm socks around his flat. His outside robes hang by the door, and in the kitchen there's little left out on the counter. Someone taught him from a young age to keep his things in order.
He pads to the front of his flat, glancing back to see if Veruca is coming with him, his hands combing through the ginger locks to put them in some sort of semblence of order. "I suppose I'll have tae see what I can do with them after breakfast… so, ye, were out here when she stopped by? Ye met Niamh?" it finally dawns on him what he's being told.

"Well, I didn't want to start rummaging through your things," she says lightly, and follows his path through the flat. She veers off, drifting again toward the box on the dining table, drawn to the history within. His questions are answered together with, "Mmmhmm." One hand dips into the box, picking up a little clay circle with a small handprint in the center of it.

Keenan chuckles. "Rummage all ye like, lass," he tells her as he pads into the kitchen. He sets the kettle on for hot water, and then starts the skillet heating. He leans back a little to glance out towards the dining room, and the box that Veruca looks through, before he sets about slicing the Irish Soda Bread and then carefully removing a circle from the middle. He tosses the middles in the skillet to toast and test the heat.

Veruca gives no indication of having heard Keenan, so intent is her focus on the box. The handprint is laid onto the table and after a moment another is brought out and laid beside it. Soon there are five, lined up in a row. One looks newer, the handprint clearly that of a very young child, nearly an infant. The other four look a bit older, the clay a little more yellowed, but they are all well preserved. She picks one back up, the print slightly larger than the others, and turns it over. Printed on the clay there are the initials KNO. Her expression is thoughtful as she studies it, then carefully sets it back down in the line.

After a moment, the silence from the dining room draws Keenan out, to see what has Veruca's attention. He walks up behind her to put his arms around her, and looks over his shoulder. "Ah, yes. Mum called it salt bead dough. She had us make our little hand prints. There must be hundreds o'those hangin' around somewhere." He nuzzles at Rue's shoulder, lifting a hand to push aside her hair.

The nuzzle brings Rue's hand up automatically, to softly stroke Keenan's scruffy cheek, her eyes remaining on the little prints. She never thought before about what a solitary, lonely childhood she had. There was nothing to compare it to, and even hearing the stories from others never made her think she missed out on anything. They might have been talking a foreign language for all she understood their stories of family gatherings and the like. But this… these little handprints in a row before her, bring it to reality like nothing before. Her hand drops from Keen's cheek, and her fingertips lightly brush over the impression of his much smaller hand.

Grinning against Rue's cheek, Keenan turns his head to kiss her temple. "I think I musta been all o' five when I made that. There's one somehwere that I painted, tae. I think Mum's kept the painted ones fer her tree." He lifts his head a little away from her. "Ye okay, Rue?"

Rue nods at the question, but for a moment more she isn't really so okay. She can't identify the almost overwhelming feeling she's experiencing, because she never allowed it to surface before. She doesn't need a family. She doesn't need anyone. She's always, always been fine on her own. She would have an easier time convincing herself that these statements are still true, if she couldn't feel Keenan's warmth against her back. "Keen," she says softly, turning to face him, the words right there, and ready to be said. Then she frowns slightly, her eyes shift, and she sniffs the air. "Is something burning?"

Keenan is still concerned with Veruca, and he forgets that he was toasting the centers of the bread that he cut out. His knuckles lift to brush against her cheek, and he nods a little as she says his name. Then she asks the question, and he sniffs the air as well. Something not so flattering is muttered in Irish gaelic, and he goes running for the kitchen. "Bollocks," he says in a more recognizable English as he uses a mitt to lift the pan and dump the now burned bread into a waste bin. He scrapes the pan, rebutters it, and then places the cut pieces of bread in, and carefully breaks eggs into the holes. Now, he stays in the kitchen, because he's determined not to let their breakfast to burn.

Veruca has stepped after Keenan to make sure everything is alright, and she leans against the counter, watching his movements. They're sure and easy, much as she imagines he likely is at Mungo's. Well, except for the whole forgetting a patient and burning them up thing. She doesn't imagine he's done that. Just enjoying watching him, Veruca stays silent to let him do his thing.

No, Keenan hasn't left a patient to burn, before. He's also not been distracted by a lovely woman that's captured his heart when he's at work. After the toast with eggs have been carefully flipped, he responds to the whistling kettle, pouring the pot of tea to steep. Then he's back to finish making their breakfast. Once done, he reaches up into a cupboard and pulls down a couple of plates, flipping the egg filled toasts onto each one. Everything is pretty much right there where he needs it, easy to find. Like the man himself, there isn't a lot of spare stuff around. Handing over a plate with a grin, he takes his own and leads the way to the dining table.

Sharp eyes take in where everything is kept, so she can be more helpful the next time. The next time. Veruca Max is thinking in term of 'the next time'. And many more times. You know that feeling when so much love for someone makes your heart feel like it's going to explode? Well, Veruca didn't. But she does now. And the realization doesn't panic her, but draws a smile. She takes the plate and follows Keenan to the table as she murmurs, "Thank you."

Setting his plate at the end of the small table where he's used to sitting, Keenan waits until she puts her plate down, and has a seat. "Ye're welcome," he tells her quietly. He takes a sip from his tea, and then looks to her. "So what time do ye have tae go tae work?" he asks. "I've kept ye pretty late already."

Veruca chooses a seat at an angle to him instead of across, close enough to reach and easily touch him if she wanted. "Clover is going to be keeping Zephyr busy today, party planning. So, I am choosing to take a personal day." As is her habit, she waits for him to begin eating first, but she has more to say anyway. "Keenan, I have been considering leaving the company and working for myself again."

Keenan lifts his toast to take a bite, but at her announcement, he pauses and looks at her in surprise. "Have ye? Is MacNair not treatin' ye well as a boss?" he asks curiously, concern evident in the question. His other hand reaches to take hers as he looks towards her eyes.

Veruca doesn't avoid the contact, wanting the warmth of his hand in hers, but she shakes her head, "No, everything is fine. He's demanding, but not difficult. His mother, on the other hand…" She lets the words trail off, not quite sure how to express exactly how horrible that woman is. Changing tactics, she comes at the issue from a different angle. "I think that I could be of more help to Clover and Zephyr by managing their money. I am concerned that their disagreements about the Muggle conflicts may lead to her doing some unpleasant things."

As she assures him that everything is fine, Keenan relaxes a little and takes a bite from his toast. He listens to her, his eyebrows raising at the mention of the mother, although, from his expression, he's probably heard quite a bit about the mother before now. "I can understand how workin' fer her would be difficult." The mention of disagreements brings his brows together, and he now uses both hands to lift his toast, scowling at it before he takes a bite. "Disagreements about the Muggle conflicts?" he asks carefully.

Veruca hesitates, looking down at her plate, then up at Keenan. She's not exactly from a family of 'casual' eaters. She lets his hand go, because she also intends using both hands to hold the toast by two corners and nipping a bite off. His scowl goes unnoticed for the moment, and she chews and swallows before looking up as she answers. "Yes. The impending war. Herself is of a mind that since we are removed from the conflict, we should not choose sides." She stops talking as she sees his clouded face, frowning lightly herself as her eyes turn curious. "Keen?"

Keenan raises his eyebrows. "Is She really?" he seems genuinely surprised, which erases the cloudiness. "I would think she would be at the front ranks for Unity, trying to stop the war through well placed wizard intervention…" he trails off, then gives a shake to his head. "Young Mr. MacNair wants to choose or support a muggle side?"

"Calling yourself neutral and supplying both sides is a profitable venture. Choosing sides lets you out of half the money," Veruca says simply, "Stopping the war means no money at all." Her own frown has evened as well. "Zephyr feels, and I agree, that this Muggle war will be different. Neutrality will not be so readily allowed. If Zephyr continues to try and convince the elder MacNairs things could go badly. They have a child on the way. They need financial security if something should happen."

Keenan chews slowly. "So, the elder MacNairs want to play neutral and help both sides to make the most profit, but Zephyr doesn't think that is going to be possible, so he's trying to convince them to choose one side to supply?" He pauses. "Well, Zephyr is right. I was never sure what the first war was about, but this war…" he shakes his head. "If you're working for them as a third party, not directly involved, you can help them invest their money where the Elder MacNairs can't reach it," he surmises.

Veruca takes another bite before putting her toast down, rubbing her fingers together absently to get the crumbs off them. "Exactly. Technically, I work for the parents, not for Zephyr. I do not want to be an easy target, should she disapprove of my assistance to her son. And she will. I will not allow there to be any question of a conflict of interest on my part, either."

"I didn't know ye were workin' for the parents. I thought ye were working for Zephyr. Clover did tell me that his mother found ye, but.." Keenan nods slowly. "It does sound like a place that ye're not goin' tae want tae be in. Professionally, that is." He takes another bite of his toast. "An' I imagine ye've broached this subject with Zephyr an' Clover?" He takes a sip of tea as he looks to Veruca to see her answer.

"No and yes," Veruca answers the question, "In that order. I have spoken to Clover, but I will wait until after the first of the year to talk to Zephyr. In the meantime, I can recultivate some contacts and gather some information." Ah, it feels good to flex muscles that haven't been used in a while. Her eyes narrow a bare measure and turn thoughtful. "So Herself has taken the credit for me being there? Nonsense."

Keenan nods as he sets his tea down again, before returning to his food. "I don't know that She's taken credit fer ye bein' there. Just that Clover said she found ye. Whether ye took that job because she found ye, well…" his shoulders lift in a shrug. He looks over to Veruca. "Ye really like tha challenge o' workin' fer yerself, don't ye?" he asks, and there is some measure of pride for her in the question.

Veruca rolls her eyes, but gives Keenan a smirk. "Love, She couldn't find her arse with both hands and a torch." The smirk tempers into a warm smile at his question, and perhaps especially his tone of voice. "I do. I thought I could work for someone else, and honestly, I love Zed and Clover, but I want to be back in charge."

Keenan raises his eyebrows in amusement at Veruca's description of Old Bat MacNair. He chuckles once, but then nods at her further explanation. "Well, ye gave it a try," he says. "But it appears I was right that first night when I met ye. Told ye I was surprised tae see 'assistant' on yer card, didn't I?" He winks. "Ye should be in charge. It's in yer nature."

The memory that his words call up bring a lift to her brows. "That's right, you did. So handsome and smart as well. I wonder what I'll find out about you next," she teases lightly. The toast is picked up again, and before she takes a bite she muses, "I like to be in charge, yes. But I think I could learn to make some compromises on that." She probably isn't talking about business any more.

Keenan grins as she remembers then he gives a sideways shrug as he leans his elbows on the table. "Oh, I don't know," he muses. "I have tae say I enjoyed how ye took control this morning…" he winks to her, his eyes gleaming as one of his feet slides over to nudge gently at her foot. He takes a bite and chews slowly, looking over towards her.

"Yes, I noticed that you did," Veruca observes with a soft laugh. She falls quiet as well, distracted with eating for a minute or two, her eyes downcast, and they don't raise as she asks a question. "Have you ever been in love?" It is typically blunt of her to ask, but while she would normally meet his eyes, this time is different. Her foot rubs against his, and she takes another bite of her rapidly dwindling breakfast. Lunch? Whatever time it is.

The question takes him by surprise, and the tease in his eyes dwindles a bit. He sets his toast down again, and then takes a breath. "Love was for my little brothers tae find an' enjoy," he says quietly. "It was nae something I gave myself time for, or even gave myself a chance tae find." He pauses. "Short answer, nae, Rue. Never even been close." he lets out a sigh, and puts his hands flat on the table to either side of his plate.

Veruca's foot stops moving as Keenan draws in his breath to speak. She lets him say what he's going to, not speaking right away. Looking up, she asks, "Do you have to work today?"

Keenan grins at the question. "If I did, I'd be abominably late an' in big trouble right now," he tells her. He looks over and his grin widens to a smile. "What did ye have in mind?"

Veruca lets the last couple bites drop onto her plate as she leaves her chair in favor of sliding her leg over him and squeezing between him and the table to sit in his lap. His question is answered by her lips finding his as her fingers slip into his hair.

She doesn't have to squeeze too much, because as soon as he realizes her intent, Keenan slides his chair back to give her more room. His hands automatically go to her waist, holding her close, making sure she doesn't slide backwards. He manages to find a breath of space between their lips for a moment, "I like how yer mind works," he murmurs, before resuming the kiss.

There is unmistakable hunger in her kiss, a desire for him that brings her tongue to seek his. By the time she draws back again, she is breathless, and one hand curls in his hair. She gives him that level look, one brow quirking. "Never?" she asks, her voice low.

Keenan finds himself almost drowning in the first rush of her passionate hunger, but he's quick to catch up, meeting her tongue and drawing it in as he gives her his own. His hands travel up her back, crushing her against him so that he's taken by surprise yet again when she breaks off, so that it takes him a moment to open his own eyes to meet her look. He's silent for another moment, searching that gaze, before he ammends his earlier statement slightly. "Never before," he tells her, then leans forward to reclaim her lips, and stand up, pulling her legs around him with one hand hand, the other one firmly about her waist.

Veruca wraps her legs around Keenan's waist without hesitation, arms settling around his neck, letting the kiss taper off as he starts moving. She ducks her head forward to nuzzle at his ear, her voice soft. "I've never felt like this before either." A light nip to his earlobe, and more soft words. "You make me happier than I ever thought I could be, Keenan O'Shea." Soft kisses press to his neck, her lips warm on his skin.

Keenan smiles against her skin, not letting her pull too far away from the contact with his mouth, turning his head a little to kiss the side of her cheek, and dipping his head as her lips find his neck to press kisses to her shoulder. He doesn't carry her far, so there better not be any more unexpected visitors as he puts one knee on the couch, and then begins to lower her down on the firm cushions. He leans over her, his hand brushing along the opening of his robe that she wears. "An' I want tae keep makin' ye happy," he tells her quietly, his words brushing over her skin along with his lips and little nips.

As she feels her back touch the cushion, Rue lets the grip on her arms and legs loosen, releasing him and settling back. She can't help but squirm in pleasure at his attention, letting her hands wander down to settle at his hips, but her voice urges him to look up. "Keenan…" She waits until his eyes meet hers, holding that green gaze that captivates her thoroughly. "I love you." The gentle emphasis is on the second word and she brings one hand up to tenderly touch his face.

It takes Keenan a little extra moment or two to realize she wants him to look into her eyes… he's a man with the woman he desires underneath him. But when the silence after his name drags long enough, he tears himself away from nibbling at her neck, and looks questioningly into her eyes. At the next three words, the green darkens, but with a glow that's only ever been seen by her. He leans down and kisses her slowly, and deliberately. His eyes narrows slightly, from intensity of emotion, "in Ireland we say, Ta mo chroi istigh ionat. Word for word it translates to 'my heart is in you'." He brushes at her hair. "What it means is, 'I love you'."

Veruca's thumb strokes softly, ruffling Keenan's scruffy beard, then smoothing it again. "If you say it enough times, I'll learn to say it as well," she says, her eyes holding a happiness that was absent weeks ago. "Until then, I have to be as simple as I love you." That was easier to say a second time, the fear of having it out in the world fading now that it's done. "Now show me you love me," she suggests, letting her fingernails scratch lightly at his neck.

The promise of her learning to speak in his native language has the man above her freeze for a long moment, and his heart almost feels like it's stopped beating as well. Of anything she could have said, it was the most unexpected, and the most welcome. "Ta mo chroi istigh ionat," he repeats to her, before he lowers his head to hers, and his hands to pushing aside the green of his robe, and he goes about thoroughly proving it as well.

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