(1938-09-14) Season of Changes
Details for Seasons of Change
Summary: Niamh and Gideon talk about future changes while they make plans to go away on an herb-gathering trip.
Date: September 14, 1938
Location: MacDiarmarda Apothecary
Related: Christmas Tempers

MacDiarmarda Apothecary

Built in the late 1700s, MacDiarmarda Apothecary has been in business from the building's inception. Windows line the walls facing the street, a fireplace creates a cheery, homey atmosphere within. Shelves line the walls from floor to high ceiling, dusty wooden boxes of who knows what are held there. There is a large library ladder on wheels that helps the proprietress gather ingredients that may be out of her grasp normally. A counter stretches across the back of the store, a door behind it. There are two work areas, one next to the other. One is purely a 'cutting up' and preparing area, the table showing marks from use over the centuries. The other is the actual creating of a potion area- cauldrons, distillery and various sources of heat.

The store's interior is packed full of goods, with barrels of Purple Toad Warts, Flobberworm Mucus, Leech Juice and other large quantities of potion ingredients on the floor. Shelves that line the wall are filled with jars and old wooden boxes that contain Knotgrass, Aconite, Newt Eyes.. and many, many other herbs, roots and powders gathered across the decades, gathered across the continent. Bunches of feathers, fangs and claws hang from the ceiling, and in some cases the unwary customer may knock into them. The combination of smells coming from all these different ingredients PLUS the age of the shop itself, creates an overall.. odour of musty herbs, and 'time' that permeates every corner of the room.

Saturday, the day before the day of rest. It's a matter of cleaning up and running inventory. With the return of students to school, it's been a good run over items that may not be readily available in the north. It's something that she holds as a point of pride.

That's not to mention that plans are beginning to be made to harvest in those little places dotted around England and Ireland. It's to that end, now, that Niamh is working. She's got her inventory book out, a list on the side, and a small map of the UK before her with arcane markings of planting, growing and harvest times. That's not to mention the Weather Service reports.

Sighing over the information, Niamh puts a hand out to take a seed cake a little distractedly, though it doesn't make it as far as her mouth to actually eat it. Not yet, anyway. As for her tea, well.. it's sitting just a little cold.

"Beg your pardon," comes a familiar, resonant voice as Gideon enters the shop, excusing himself as he passes by a departing customer. He doffs his fedora, making his way lazily up to the back counter, hands behind his back. When he finally reaches Niamh, one hand comes around presenting a long-stemmed rose, inches from Niamh's face. "Do you accept flora as payment, bonny lass?" His smiles come so easily for Niamh now, even if the rest of the world gets a perpetual scowl. But today, the smile is a bit marred by a split lip and purpling bruise at the corner of his mouth.

The bell does it's *ding* dance, and while her eyes may lift briefly, her travel plans are just -that- much more pressing.

It's the lilting brogue, however, that brings Niamh's attention back up, and brows rise as he makes his way to the back. Straightening from her lean, she turns around, keeping those dancing hazel eyes locked upon that so familiar, rugged face. There comes something of a pretty scowl, but as he approaches, she can't help the smile when the flower is offered.

"Will ye look at ye.. Adamantus Gideon. A flower in payment?" There is that melting Celt, and she reaches out with a finger to touch the bruises and insults upon the Scot's person. "I think I'd have t'give ye change. It's more than a fair price for the likes of ye." Clucking softly, Niamh turns about a second to find some salve. "At least tell me th'man who did that to ye looks worse."

Gideon lays the rose across the countertop. He gives her a shrug. "I don't know about that. I did nae much care for the shape of his nose before the fight. So I'd call it an improvement." He leans his elbows on the counter, awaiting her ministration. "Looks like another herb gathering trip is in the works."

The rose is taken up, smelled, and with a quirked smile, put into a waiting vase before she pulls out the salves. "Now.. ye are the expert on beauty, aye?" Twisting the cannister, she pulls the lid and slides a finger lightly across the top, pulling a little of the waxy topical. A dry finger *boops* his own nose before she whispers, "Hold still," while wrinkling her own nose. "Aye, another trip. Shall I mark ye in and give ye reading material? We've got harvestin' t'do, and some planting for winter harvest."

Gideon smirks with the good half of his mouth. "O' course I'm an expert on beauty. I chose you, didn't I?" He presents his face, chin forward to let her apply the salve. "And aye, you'd best plan on havin' me along. I s'pose it's time I bloody well started rememberin' my herbology lessons."

"It's been a full year since ye last pulled a root," Niamh softly chides, daubbing the salve. "Gloves this time, an' I'll not make ye wear a broad hat t'keep the sun from kissin' ye too badly." Those words are followed by a lean and a quick, almost chaste kiss to those lips before she settles back again. "Shall I send ye runnin' with books? Or shall we try the tried an' true method of sittin' up all night by a fire an' goin' over an' over what we're lookin' for?" We.

Gideon chuckles softly, a guttural sound from his throat. "I'm more accustomed to interrogation than book research. I'll take the fireside chat. Besides, you're much better comp'ny than a musty old book." He stands upright, touches his face just next to the salve, testing his sensitivity. "Will it be just us? Or is this an O'Shea clan outing?"

Niamh smiles broadly, her nose wrinkling as her eyes take on an impish glow. "Just me." Beat. "Just us. The shop closes for a week durin' the time, an' I get to make the visits to friends an' family. I'm lookin' forward to Ireland this year. What, after the request o'me about herbs an' the like?" She veritably dances in her place as she closes her salve jar once again. "An' I'll have us some tea and biscuits for our study session. It'll be just like school over again. But without the Slytherins, an'.. an'.." Just them.

Gideon makes his way around the counter to join her behind it. "Still mean to close up shop while we're gone? Surely, Sorcha can handle things by now." He steps close, curling his arms around her to hold her in a mostly chaste embrace.

"She's m'kid sister. O'course she can handle it," Niamh offers softly if not a little dubiously. "An' I know that she'd do oh so well at it.." Sigh. "But there are customers that expect that closin'. It's sort of like tradition? They know that I'm gone t'find the right things for them. No stamps on them, nothing watered down. Or grown t' be weaker than what it should for the sake of money." She doesn't sound really convinced. Her sister really can handle it. It's a matter of her letting go.

Drawing her arms about his waist, Niamh steps in to rest her head on his shoulder. "Do ye think I should have her keep it open, then?"

Gideon kisses the top of Niamh's head, taking a moment as he so often does to inhale the earthy scent of her. "Mmm…aye, I do. Your customers will know you're gone, and they'll know why. Sorcha needs this as much as you do. Besides, it's autumn, the season o' change. Maybe it's time to embrace a change in your traditions," says the stubborn, stuck-in-his-ways Scot.

Niamh's smile threatens to cut her face in half as she rolls her head back and shifts so as to be able to at least see that ruggle, days old beard just above her. "An' who again is it holdin' me? I swear, I can't make it out for the words. Sounds the same, aye, I'll grant ye, but I'm a fair study of the English language, an' those words comin' t'gether in that fashion?" She can't help but laugh, and is more than happy to stay put for the few heartbeats more. "An' my traditions have been the same for hundreds of years, don't forget. 'T'isn't only me that'd done this. But, I may very well be willin' t' shift my ways a bit. As long as there's no ill felt upon the work. I'll only change so far- unless there's something big loomin' out before me that'll mean big changes."

Gideon laughs, and discreetly gives her bottom a little smack. "Full o' cheek, y'are. Must be all that Irish in you." He gives her a smug grin. "So you'll do it, then? Let Sorcha run the shop while we're away? No backin' down from this, Nymph. I'll hold you too it."

Niamh narrows her eyes and looks up, "An' since when have ye been the voice for Sorcha?" She laughs softly, "Gotten to the 'tell my sister I'm a grown woman now, aye?' stage? Ye know no good comes from the O'Sheas." Squeaking as her bottom is smacked, she takes a half-hop back. "Nay, no backin' down from it. But this place is mine, Adamantus Gideon. Full rights, an' I have responsibilities. It'll take her years t'learn all that I have here."

Amusement dances in Gideon's steel-blue eyes. "No one is challenging that, love. But I think she's learned enough to handle the shop for a handful o' days. It'll be fine. If you should be worrying about anyone's handle on your business, it should be be. I was always terrible at Herbology in school. I'm nae exactly a gifted potioneer, either."

"An' ye didn't answer me. Which means tha' all is right wi' the world," Niamh chuckles and she finally takes a half-step back before jumping up onto the counter, her feet dangling. "Aye, as for my worrying about ye? I'd be in the wrong an' full blame if ye were to mess up as it's me that probably would have brought ye back up to speed on what's done." How's that? Reaching out to run a finger over that bruised and magnificently masculine face, she sighs. "It is a slow point in business now, this time. An' she'll be dreadfully bored. When was the last time she'd had holiday? Not that I'm askin' her with us this jaunt."

"An' ye didn't answer me. Which means tha' all is right wi' the world," Niamh chuckles and she finally takes a half-step back before jumping up onto the counter, her feet dangling. "Aye, as for my worrying about ye? I'd be in the wrong an' full blame if ye were to mess up as it's me that probably would have brought ye back up to speed on what's done." How's that? Reaching out to run a finger over that bruised and magnificently masculine face, she sighs. "It is a slow point in business now, this time. An' she'll be dreadfully bored. But it'll be good for her, I think." <re>

Gideon shrugs, "She'll have Cohen to keep her company. I'm sure boredom will nae be an issue." He steps close again, plants his eyes on the counter to either side of Niamh. "So, what question did I nae answer? Since when I've been the voice for Sorcha? I like the girl, and I know how important family is to you O'Sheas. I just dinnae want her feelin' like you dinnae trust her when an opportunity like this comes along, is all."

"Y'know she'll nae win. Bein' alone, fine. Having her beau here, I could say lots. But," leaning over, Niamh reaches to kiss the top of the shock of strawberry blonde, "That'd mean that I be hurtin' m'self on that one." Her smile hasn't yet faded, and she cants her head, "Aye. Family. An' we've got a merry band." Her smile turns all that much warmer, and ducking her head a little, she looks to gaze into those blue eyes of his. "Ye've been so patient with us. An' I think you're actually beginnin' to like the idea that we're all around."

"Well, Sorcha anyhow. Keenan's still a bit of a mule." Gideon smirks, teasing…and pays for it with a wince as he aggravates his healing bruise. "Och…nae, he's fine. In truth…ah…the only member o' your family I've reservations about is your da." Even nine months later, the cloud of last Christmas hangs over his head.

Niamh laughs softly, "Aye, of course he's a mule," and the smile remains even as she teasingly chides with a finger waggle, "An' ye deserved that one." Though when it comes to da? Her expression falls, and she takes a deep breath, "Th' good lord always says forgiveness, but there are times when I'm not that generous. He's my da, an' I have wonderful memories of him." But? And? "It's caused somethin', at least on my side. You're my beau, an' that's that."

Gideon reaches for her hands to give them a light squeeze. "So he's made no sign o' apology?" He breathes a heavy sigh, lines forming in his brow. "It's nae that I feel I need the man's permission to be with you. But…I should like to have your family's blessing, at least."

Niamh looks as if she'll be a little misty for a moment before she offers a half-shrug. "He's o'the opinion he's got nae to apologize for. An' with a man with principle? He'll nae bend. But," and here rises that impish look, "Ye did happen to say somethin' about breaking with tradition. I heard it. It came out of your mouth. After all, ladies are walkin' 'round showing their knees, aye? And wrists. Ankles." Wriggling on her counter a little, her head quirks, "An' what about your office? Can ye take a hit of a week or two?"

Gideon points to the purple mark on his face. "Just closed a case today. The others are nae pressing. I expect to have another wrapped up by tomorrow. So if we go after that, I think it'll be fine." He strokes a finger down her cheek, his fingertip lingering at her lips. "I did say somethin' about breakin' tradition. As I said…I dinnae need his permission. A blessing would be nice, but I dinnae need it. We're nae children, after all."

Niamh's expression grows brighter at the news regarding the cases, one and the next. "I would easily leave when it was that your schedule allows it." She's growing more and more excited about getting away and travelling.. hand in hand. She smiles at the light touch and turns her head to kiss his finger as it lays upon her lips. "The only blessing I'd want would be the Priest's." Though after saying that, she can't help but smirk.

Gideon stares intently into her eyes. There is no smile on his face. Such things are reserves for less important emotions. This is just a pure intensity that can only be expressed in action. He takes Niamh's chin gently between his thumb and forefinger, and pulls her in to kiss her lips.

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