(1937-12-24) Sneaking Out
Details for Log Title
Summary: Keenan sneaks back to London from Cornwall to see Veruca.
Date: 24 December, 1937
Related: None

There may still be a little dusting of floo powder in the collar of Keenan's shirt, but he's managed to get the majority off, and his face is clean. The wrapped bowl he carries in one hand is spotlessly clean, and the other pushes open the doorway to Rue's flat in the late evening that is almost becoming night. He pauses before calling out, looking for lights or signs of life/movement within her place. Even before he catches sight of her, there's already a smile starting to tug at the corners of his lips.

Surely Keenan's nose has been tickled all day by the delicious aromas of cooking, and that's not what he'll find here. Instead, the air has a slightly acrid smell, and the flat is chilled, as if a window is open. In fact, as he steps in, he'll see the curtains of one window billow with the cold breeze from outside. The flat is silent except for the sound of running water, which cuts off after a few seconds, giving way to the melodic sound of Rue's voice. "Bloody hell, what the fuck does that even mean? Blanch? That's a woman, not a cooking term." If Keenan moves farther into the flat, he'll see her then, at the counter next to the sink, staring down angrily at a rather blackened cooking kettle, her hands planted on her hips. At least the smoke has stopped rising from it. Despite the cold trailing in from the window, she's certainly not dressed for the chill, wearing a pilfered shirt that smells of Keenan. He may also have noticed the coat he let her borrow hanging by the front door.

As he pauses to run a finger down his own coat and lift the sleeve by the cuff, another floo grain drops, and he gives a sigh. Taking out his wand, he taps at the collar of his shirt, giving a hefty cleaning charm just to be sure he's got it all, and turns to walk down the hall. He bites down on the laughter that wants to burst forth along with Rue's outburst before he walks around and into the kitchen. "I think it means ye dip somethin' in boiling water fer a few minutes…" the merriment that he supressed verbally dancing in his eyes as he sets the bowl down on the counter so he has his arms free to take the cursing angel into them. "Niamh tried tae teach me ta cook a long time ago, but I was always tae tired after my shifts at Mungo's. I'd go eat at the Cauldron anyways, so she gave up an' just fed me."

The voice brings her head around, dark eyes widening. She hadn't been listening for footsteps, thinking she wouldn't see Keen until late Christmas Day at the earliest, perhaps not even until Boxing Day. The stormy look on her face clears at once into unabashed happiness, and Veruca doesn't even think as she turns and leaps at him very much the way he was greeted by his nieces and nephews. "Keen!" Just one syllable, containing surprised joy. Her aim is for arms to go around his neck, and while she does show some restraint, it's still a hit with a fair bit of enthusiasm behind it.

Keenan has been bearing the brunt of such attacks all day, but not from a full grown woman. His arms go around her, and he stumbles back a step, holding her close. He has to take another back pivot and just decides to continue it around in one spin before planting himself more solidly, and kissing her soundly. "Aye, Rue," he smiles against her lips, with a sound of contentment in the words as he continues to kiss her.

Although she's clearly been happy to see him before, this greeting comes without anything hidden from him in it's surprise. While one arm stays around his neck, a dish towel held in it's grasp, the other moves so Rue can touch his scruffy cheek gently, lips curved in a smile to match his even as they're pressed together. When she finally pulls back enough to look at him, the delight is still plain on her face. "I didn't think I'd see you for at least another day," she says softly.

Keenan chuckles. "I snuck out when all tha parents were puttin' their little ones tae bed," he tells her, finally letting her back down to her feet. He gives her another kiss and looks over her shoulder to the kitchen. "What is happenin' in here?" The look around is brief because he's already looking back down to her to smooth a stray hair along her cheek… and just to touch her fair skin.

The kitchen is… a bit of a mess. There are several kettles out, in addition to the newly burned one, and various powdered ingredients seem to have been fluttering about, judging by the amount of coverage on most surfaces. Rue glances back, her hand coming away from his cheek as she swings it out to knock the nearest kettle back into the sink with a brief clang. There's something of a sheepish cast to her face as she looks back. "Some ill-fated experiments," she says simply. "How is everyone?" It appears that Rue isn't in any big hurry to let go of Keenan.

Keenan smiles. "Everyone is well. Sorcha asked me a hundred questions about ye, an' has already threatened tae come up with a new way tae wake us up next year." He gives a little roll to his neck. "I may have tae have Clover give ma whole back a readjustment… either I'm gettin' tae old, or tha little ones're gettin' tae big fer me tae continue tae be tha O'Shea jungle gym." Then he just has to kiss her again.

The kiss is returned tenderly, broken only to murmur against his lips, "Poor old man." Veruca immediately moves to still the protest she knows is coming with another kiss, which holds a measure more of her delight in this surprise.

Keenan's eyebrows raise, and it's a good thing she smothers his reply. He sees more than happy to have any protests halted in such a manner, and it's a long while before he lifts his head. "I brought ye some puddin'… the grown-up's puddin'," he adds the latter with a wink. "An' I have a favor ta ask o'ye."

Settling back onto her bare feet to look up to Keenan, Rue drops her hands to rest lightly on his chest. She still holds the cloth, which is actually twined around her hand and not just held. Dark eyes turn curious as they hold his green gaze. "What sort of favor, love?"

Keenan brushes at her cheek with his hand again. "It's a muggle thing. A custom that we do every year. My Da is Catholic, like most Irish. We go tae Christmas Eve Mass every year. There's a few cathedrals here in London, we can choose whichever one ye'd like tae see." His gaze back down towards hers is part guarded, part hopeful, as he waits for her answer.

A light frown creases Veruca's brow at this request. "You… want me to go to a Muggle church?" She looks truly puzzled. "But, I'm not…" The words trail off, before she begins again. "My family… never really went in for the Muggle practices. If I went… well, wouldn't that be wrong?" She may not think she'll catch on fire, but she doesn't look sure about the concept in the least.

The corners of his eyes crease in an almost smile. "There is never any harm in observin' how others do things. Ye would nae be allowed tae take communion, but there are often many people who nae go up. In large cities ye'll find people from different religions that come, an' can nae have communion, as they are nae Catholic." His arms slip down around her waist. "If ye nae feel comfortable, that is fine, love."

When Veruca said to his sister Niahm 'There is little I would not do for your brother' they were not just so many words, said lightly and then forgotten. And he would never reassure her so if it wasn't true. Her frown doesn't lessen, but there's more thoughtfulness in her eyes. "Shouldn't you be with your family at Mass?"

"The most important thing is that I attend Mass. Even when I've nae been in tha country, I've found a place tae go tae Christmas Eve Mass." He still holds her loosely, watching her eyes as she considers. He almost says more, but then he decides to let it go, to not try and pressure her.

There's no pressure needed, because Veruca nods her head. "Alright, Keen." It clearly is meaningful to him, and that makes all the difference to her. She pauses, her eyes fluttering down to his neck before raising to meet his directly again. "Are you sure you want to go here in London?"

Keenan's entire expression relaxes in a wave of… it could possibly be called joy. He leans down to kiss Veruca, and then holds her closely. "I thought it may be best. Tha cathedrals in London are, quite interestin' on they're own. In case ye get bored, ye'll have something tae look at." He grins, his eyes light with good humor. "But we do have a couple hours yet, before we go. Perhaps ye'd like some pudding, since it looks like…ye might be hungry."

She might still be just the slightest bit apprehensive about this church proposal, but her trust in what he says is greater than her worries. "Alright, love. You choose one, I wouldn't know the first thing about it." When he mentions the pudding, she pulls away, moving to reach up into the cupboard for a couple of places, then opening a drawer for silverware.

Keenan chuckles as she moves to get place settings. "Love, I am so stuffed I could nae eat another bite," he assures her with a groan. "I brought some fer ye, but nae enough for me." He pulls her back, and brings her to sit at the table, making sure when he pulls her back she does have the needed spoon. "Now, why don't ye enjoy some pudding, an' let me take care of tha time honored tradition fer men on tha holidays."

Veruca lets him lead easily enough, folding into a chair and looking at him curiously. "What 'honored tradition' would that be?" Is there a wee bit of suspicion in her eyes?

Keenan grins wickedly. "Well," Keenan pulls his wand out. "That women folk spend all day slaving away cookin' in tha kitchen, an' makin' a right mess of it." He swishes his wand over the pots and the pans, and then another flick sends brushes or sponges scrubbing at them. "An' then us menfolk clean it all up in nae time flat."

This draws a soft laugh from Veruca, and a very fond look as her eyes linger on the ginger healer, doubling as a houseboy. Settling into the chair, the pudding in front of her, she pulls the cover back. It gets an interested look before she brings the spoon up for a taste test. The spoon is held slightly awkwardly in her left hand, towel still around her right hand. "It doesn't look as hard for you to clean as it likely was a mess to make," she says lightly.

Glancing over his shoulder, Keenan chuckles. "Now ye sound like tha rest a' tha women folk. Ye'll fit right in," he tells her. He starts to turn back to his task, but he notices the towel wrapped around Rue's hand, now that she doesn't have the arm wrapped around his neck. His jovial banter becomes concerned, and he crosses to her. "What did ye do tae yer hand?" he asks, his wand now pulling a chair around in front of her so he can take a look at it.

Veruca doesn't try to pull her hand back, but she doesn't look particularly concerned as she lets him unwrap the towel. "Just a burn. They ought to put a warning on those pans." There's a red welt running across her palm, exactly as one would get wrapping their hand around a too hot handle. "I put witchhazel on it," she says.

Capable hands unwrap the towel, and turn her hand over, examining the welt. His thumbs firm, but gentle, he makes sure her palm opens all the way. "Witchhazel is good," he murmurs. He looks around the kitchen, "do ye have any aloe?" he ask curiously, and then stands up and walks around the kitchen, looking at some of the foods she tried to cook, and then finding her tea stash. Putting a small pot on the stove he lights a fire and puts in some water.

Veruca's dark eyes watch carefully, and she winces slightly as her hand is straightened, but she's clearly not the kind to whine about the slightest thing. "Aloe? No, I don't have any of that." Her head turns now, to follow his progress around the kitchen. "Really, Keen, it's no worse than a strapping, the witch hazel will be fine." And just who's the healer here?

"If ye're goin' tae start cookin', ye should have an aloe plant in tha kitchen. Tha best quick fix fer burns," Keenan tells her. Meanwhile, he's taken apart some of her fancier herbal tea bags, taking out what he wants, and he's even grabbed a clove of garlic from her meat and potatoes cooking. The different ingredients are mashed, shredded, or just plain put in the cauldron, but all very precisely. The timing and even the way he drops them in and stirs with his wand all have a measured quality. Finally, he finds a cloth napkin that's clean and soaks it in the little pot. Sitting down, he pulls the hand out again, holding on of his haneds underneath, and then wrapping the soaked napkin over top of her burn. "Aye, witch hazel'll do ye good," he grins unrepentently to her. "But this'll do ye better. I had tae improvise, so it's not tha best, but.." she'll feel much cooler along thte welt, and the skin won't pull as much when she straightens her hand.

All this is watched with fascination, dark eyes taking in every movement of the healer. This is what he does, caring for others. He has such an easy manner, so comfortable with what he's doing even in this situation. Veruca doesn't try to interrupt him, but holds out her hand when he sits again. She looks a bit surprised as he tends her burn. "That does feel much better."

Keenan grins. "You sound surprised," he remarks. Yes, the man does look relaxed and competent, even whipping together a make shift poultice. There is something about it that seems to indicate that this is what the man was born for. "Now, ye keep that on there for a few minutes while I finish cleaning up, an' then we'll get ready fer Mass. I'm sure there's a nice place in walkin' distance. Tha cold will be nice fer yer burn, too."

"I am surprised," Veruca admits, obeying his instructions and keeping the poultice where he put it. Although she does look at it curiously. "I always thought that nurse we had was crap," she says absently. "Never did anything more than witch hazel, did she? Incompetent. They never did anything about it." She pauses, frowning slightly and looking up. "What does one wear to Mass?"

Keenan chuckles. "It's because she's a nurse, mo thaisce. She didnae spend three years havin' her head crammed with every plant an' potion ingredient known ta man, an' how ta make them work together. Aloe, witch hazel, or a burn cream that's already been made is what nurses have tae work with." He finishes cleaning up and looks around. "Whatever ye wish tae wear, Rue-lass Some people try tae impress an' dress in their best, an' some don't have a best ta dress in, but they're all welcome in God's eyes."

Veruca looks only somewhat mollified by his words. "For what they paid her, she should have taken better care of us." Typical of her parents to throw money at the situation and not monitor it. His words bring a thoughtful cast to her features. "Well," she says slowly, "I may not be the best judge of these things, but I can't help but wonder who someone would dress to impress going to Church. Isn't there something in all that about vanity and self pride, or something?"

Green Irish eyes glow at Veruca as she questions the vanity of people dressing up for church. "Aye, lass, some will quote ye tha story of tha two pennies, an' yet make sure ye see how much they are puttin' in tha plate. Mum used tae say we should look our best for God when go tae church because we are a guest in his house. That makes a little more sense tae me." Keenan smiles. "I like tae make sure I'm clean, even behind tha ears, and have clean, good clothes on that don't have holes."

She may know little about the Catholic church, but she did excel in Muggle Studies, and some of that did include having something of a knowledge of Muggle religions. Veruca casts a curious look to Keenan. "Do you confess your sins? Isn't that part of it?"

Keenan smiles, "yes, lass. I will. Again, it's not something fer ye tae do, because ye're not a Catholic." He pulls Rue to her feet, mindful of the burn and wraps his arms around Rue. "An' then I'll bring ye back here, an' do my best tae add tae all tha things I have tae confess before I go back to Cornwall." He tips his head down, and kisses her deeply.

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