(1938-12-14) Separation Anxiety
Details for Separation Anxiety
Summary: Duncan and Jenny have a troubling moment or three, while the distance and secrecy stress the bonds of their relationship. Warning: Sappiness and Angst are found within.
Date: 1938-12-14
Location: Rosie's Caff
Related: So Unnappreciated

Rosie's Caff is a quaint little restaurant snuggled on Lovage Lane. On the outside, it looks more like a two story cottage, the old wood building painted a gentle beige with maroon wooden plank trim. A hand-painted wooden sign hangs on hinges above the door, gently swaying in the wind, identifying the little restaurant that has quickly become known for its fine pasties.

As soon as one enters the restaurant, the warm, damp air and savory smell of baking bread fills the nose. Scattered about the room are eight tables with four chairs each, all hand-crafted from thick, heavy-looking wood painted maroon. The room is dimly lit by sconces on the walls and a heavy circular chandelier hanging on thick chains above the center of the room made of the same materials, color and craftsmanship as the tables. The windows are all covered with a thick muslin drapery, keeping all of the natural light out, lending a distinctly shadowy, but not unwelcoming, atmosphere to the place. The walls are a textured plaster in a pale grey, the wide, rough wooden trim painted the same maroon as the outside trim. The only paintings or decoration on the wall is a portrait of a young woman with dark hair that hangs beside the door leading to the kitchen and to the upstairs flat. Beneath the painting is a rather plain, upright piano.

It's been a rather…long day and once that just keeps creeping on to be longer yet. She'd parted ways with Silas earlier so that he could finish some of his shopping while she herself had gone off to Rosie's so that she could get something to eat. That she was starved, was an understatement.
Thus, did Jenny come to be sitting alone at a table near the back, beneath the dim light of the scones. The shadows here, the soft music wafting up from the young wizard who was playing at the piano, they were the perfect contrast to the loudness that'd been in the Broomsticks and the general wear and stress of the day.

The bell above the door chimes with the entry of another patron. It seemed this place wasn't favored over Harkisss candy store or the toy shoppe. More for the older student crowd that wasn't up for all the jovial loudness that comes with youthful energies.
Duncan walks up to the counter, this being where he got food from most of the time when he was visiting, they knew the Arrows Beater. 'Right on time, Mister Potter.' He smiles, makes his order and waits there, perusing the menu for something he hasn't yet tried. Ignorant of the blonde in the back sitting by herself. Moreso that there weren't any other patrons at the time. The slow pace of this place gave it even more of a quaint feel today. His head bobs ever so slightly from side to side in a figure eight pattern with the lull of the music from the piano.

That boy. Jenny knows that boy, her eyes having gone towards the door just as soon as the bell chimed, in fear that her little slice of quiet may yet be invaded. It was too, simply by a different sort. So while she recognizes him, while she struggles with her thoughts and with the ever shifting emotions of the world around her, she doesn't speak, nor wave, nor do anything further at all, to draw attention to herself. Instead? She puts her focus back on the meal before her, working her way through the shephards pie.

Duncan wasn't one to not consider danger in any place he enters. It usually finds him. After this tics at his memory while scouring the list of items and prices, he casts a quick, assuming glance over each shoulder. Left, back towards the door and area nearer the front, then right, towards the back.
It could have been a grin, or a smile. Either way his lips turn upward as he sees the golden hair of someone he knows quite well. With his food ready now, a simple meal of some ham and eggs, and a biscuit loaded with jam, he takes his plate, thanks the one behind the counter and turns to walk over to Jenny's table. No ifs ands or buts. He stands at the end of the table, looking down at her with that little smile of his, "Is.. this seat taken, Miss? Would you care for some company?" As if he doesn't know her. What an act he purports.

"I'd say it is but…you'd just sit down anyway," Jenny grumps, wrinkling her nose in his direction. "So sit." It was hard to stay completely mad at him, even if Jen wasn't entirely happy. "Just, sit down there. On that end. Because I'm still…somewhat unhappy with you from this morning. You actually sat there and suggested that I ought to go out of my way to impress you, like I'm some little thing that's unworthy to begin with. You suck, Potter." Grumpy, grumpy, grouch.

"And here I thought I was doing you a service to keep people from guessing. I'll be made out like a cradle-robber to keep up the facade that I'm chasing or getting my kicks. Rather than people think me the same but by the token they know the truth." Ok, but he could have let her in on it a little clearer.
He sits down, and against what she so kindly suggests, he slides to sit directly across from her, leaning forward with uncouth elbows on the table, digging and scratching through his food with a fork and shovvelling the four over-medium eggs and almost crispy ham slices. Animal on the pitch, animal at the dining table.

"You've been on the team for the past two years, it's not unheard of for people to have friends. There was no need for you to…," but she stopped there, refusing to fall further into argument and seemed, by default of his healthonistic dining to eat all the more prim and careful.
Instead, she plods forward, with the kind of resolve that's almost stubborn. "I get to go to France this Christmas." It came with a slight smile, the trip one that she was looking forward to, but equally unsure about bringing up. Jen had never had a friend before, particularly not one who was also her shield, of sorts. Which meant the level of closeness with it was new as well and for a teenager? Equally confusing.

He looks up from his food, swallowing the bite that marked him being halfway through his meal already. "Oh?" He says behind a napkin wiping at his mouth. Ok, so some humanity in there somewhere to not look like a pig.
"That sounds fantastic. I guess your present will have to wait." He was never a good gift giver. Last year for christmas he got everyone on the team scarves. EMbroidered with each persons name on them, a couple of them mispelled. Terribly embarassing.

"Nevermind," Jenny sighed and eventually her eating slowed until she was just absently poking at the food on her plate rather than actually eating it. School sucked. The distance sucked and it was easier to live in a bubble of pretend when she hadn't actually had to spend so much bloody time away from him. Or pretend that…bah. She wanted another drink. Needed one. But she'd promised moderation and had already had one for the day.
"Present? You got me a present? Aren't you even going to ask who I'm going with or how long I'm going to be gone? Or what I've been up to or how school is or anything?" Some things had changed, it was true. A certain vunerability that she hadn't seemed to previously possess. Perhaps that's why there was such intensity to her questions.

Duncan was about to take the bite starting the latter half of his meal when she started the spattering of questions. He sets his fork down with a light clink on the side of the plate. Napkin up to wipe his mouth again even though he hadn't eaten any more since wiping the last time.
"Well," he says around the napkin, returning it to the table by his plate. "Yes, I did get you a present. And as far as who you're going with, well that's called 'trust' that you are a big girl and can make your own decisions, in hopes you won't find me boring when you get back." His tone had turned moderately serious. Not the angry serious type. Just that grown-up mode clicked to the on position. "And as far as school is concerned, do I have to ask? You know I'll listen to you and if I find something dreadfully boring, I'd tell you in the middle of a sentence." He smiles then. Not in hopes she would melt just because he smiled, but an informing one. That though added with the point he makes, "But if asking is what you want, how is school going for you? It sounds like something is wrong from your tones." He was here for her, but conveying that past getting all mushy.. not at all his strong suit.

"You're very strange," Jenny says eventually. How many times have they been together with her sober? With him? But he surprised her with his admission about trust and the hope that she'd not find him boring and she wasn't sure if it was in a pleasant way or not. It certainly tickled with a smattering of annoyance. Was it just because he was older? Or because he was older and this time he was certainly acting like it.
"If I have to tell you to ask, then you obviously don't care. And why should you, it's silly and you're free of it and the politics and the complications and the confusion. Just forget I said anything about anything at all." Huffpuff; while this time she actually pushed her plate away.

Duncan sighs with a concerned furrowed brow. She's all huffy about this? He pushes his plate to almost spitefully clink against hers. Met in the middle. "What's wrong, Jen?" He'd offer his hand lain on the table palm turned up, accepting of her own hand if she wished to place it on his.

"I'm…sitting here and you're rather making me want to scream, even though I know that..or at least I hope, that you aren't doing it on purpose. I tell you that I'm going away for the holidays and you're just so very casual about it as if you don't care at all, like it didn't matter whether we found some way to spend them together or not, while I've spent the past week worrying about telling you and trying to figure out whether or not I should attempt to rearrange my plans. And I am in school, so it's a rather large part of my life but it doesn't seem to..don…I don't want to fuss. I don't. And I don't think that you really want to hear about how excited I was to finally have a friend. Or that it's nice to actually get to be around someone and near someone, to have that touch as a linking factor so that it's not so bloody lonely. Or that you made me feel like some sort of fool this morning to boot with your whole, 'She'd probably only be interested in a section I patronize' comment to a pristine princess of a girl whom yes I'm associated with but who also gossips like a fiend. So no, Potter, there's absolutely positively nothing at all wrong, everything in my life is peachy and perfectly fine, because I have my little world of pretend."

His hand retracts, moving to his lap and holding his other hand. "How daft of me," is all he says for several moments. Tongue protruding between his lips for a second to moisten them. A touch chapped from the cold. "In all my attempts to keep a facade, I ended up overdoing it. I lie to myself and say everything's ok so I don't go crazy thinking about you all the time. It still fails, mind you, but it takes the edge off better than a good drink. I have my own little fantasy world, but it doesn't involve you here, and me somewhere else. It really doesn't matter where, just that we aren't apart. I'm happy you found a friend. I saw that with… what was his name? Silus?" He got the name wrong, maybe just in pronunciation. He'd heard it once or twice maybe then meeting him in the Three Broomsticks for all of five minutes?
"Don't ever worry about telling me things. If it looks like I'm being cold, or unreceptive.. I'm really not. Please, tell me how things are going past what you just rambled on about?" He wasn't relaxed anymore. He had sat up, leaned a little forward and crossed his arms on the edge of the table in front of himself, watching her with his full attention.
"Please," he re-iterated the plea for her to tell him.

"You were drinking before ten in the damn morning!" Jenny had to catch herself, because she almost yelled it and incase it wasn't apparent before, it should certainly be now. He really is dating an angsty hormonal teenager. "And you're always somewhere else and I'm always here and I can't bloody be anywhere else and you can't be here, either." Now. Now was when Jenny wanted a drink. A stiff one. A whole bottle and it was more than probably best she didn't get one because going back to the common room drunk would land her in more trouble than she was capable of dealing with.
"His name is Silas," the correction comes with a flicker of annoyance, "And I honestly don't think that I'd survive there without him. Because I have this stupid problem with being different and still somehow caring what people think of me but not enough to change apparently and I do worry about telling you things, because you're off out there in the world and honestly, why should you care about stupid Hogwarts drama that you've managed to escape when you're out there with all the women who would happily follow you right straight to bed."
"And I miss you, terribly and I get so damn lonely and you're not there to hold my hand when things suck or give me a hug and tell me that everything's going to be okay, or listen when things are shitty or I'm worried, or I'm drinking too much or.., I'm sorry." Deep breath. Deeeeeeep breath. "I am. And telling all of this to you just really makes me feel right stupid, because you're older and in turn, I feel like a child. A very confused child, who's pretend relationship feels more real than what's supposed to be her real one and I hate that feeling, too."

A sack of stones.
Yes, that might be what it felt like to his chest when she spilled all of her emotion out in that one long-winded speech. His head gradually sank while she spoke, eyes lowering but not to look at her below the face, but a sad fall of his esteem, for himself and her.
"Silas." He corrects his previous misnomer. "I'll have to thank him.." he says in an odd mixture of happiness and depravity. "..for being what I can't, where I can't." She struck home on her complaints. "And I do dislike the situation, too. I'm jealous of him now. That he gets this," a gesture at her full form, even though her lower half he can't see through the table. "This mess of a girl that ran from me, then to me. And you aren't stupid," He would know, he calls himself that all the time, and for good reason. "You're stressed. You aren't a child, unless you want to be. And no matter, that or this, here or there, there's no way I'm letting anyone else into my bed. Besides," he weakly chuckles, "I don't think anyone else could handle my slobbishness. Or anyone else I want to run away from me.. then to me again the next day."

Jealous of this? There's a look of pure shock on her face and a glimmer of disbelief in those sad eyes, her arms folding in self consciously against her middle. Mess. He was right, there was no room for arguing it. She was a mess. "I'm pretty damn dumb," it's a straight forward confession, in a voice that was only mildly broken, thick with the emotion that she was struggling to keep checked. "Or just incredibly so, take your pick."
Stressed more than she could rightly put into words because nothing was fitting according to plan. There wasn't supposed to be confusion. There wasn't supposed to be this mess. There was just supposed to be some stupid idea of a happily ever after that looked a lot better when she wasn't currently forced to live weeks without seeing him, or dealing with the fact that she couldn't hold his hand in public or sit close. Or realize that, having had a taste of things, how important such small gestures are. She wanted to cry. To cry and be held, all at once.
"I'm unfair to you," the waver in her voice has become a full on tremble. "You should be enjoying you're life. You're famous now, Duncan. Everybody knows your face, everybody's seen your skill. You deserve…," and there she choked right up, throat too thick to properly continue.

It's the old song and dance. She pushes, he pushes right back. "Ok, tell me what I deserve. Then I'll tell you exactly what I want." A lean to the side. Still noone in the restaurant but them, and their booth is back far enough and tucked away, that they would hear the bell jingle before anyone could see. He reaches both hands on the table on either side of their plates. Handholding. Small, simple gesture. "And, if I wanted fair, I'd play quidditch against you. Well… if I just wanted to win, I guess." Teasing. He has the worst timing for that.

Her smile was a sad thing, but it was a smile none the less and she reaches, despite her best sense not too, to settle her hand into his. To have that touch and that connection. "You deserve someone who can actually be with you. That you don't have to hide. That you can be proud of." But that touch at least, has quelled the impending threat of tears. "And to be mad at me, I think. For feeling confused. You deserve someone better than me."

He grins a little at her words. "You know, a friend of mine told me something when I started playing quidditch in spite of my parents being too coddling." He closes his hands around hers. They fit nicely, even if hers were still a little small within his.
"The best things in life have one of three prerequisites. You fight for them. You wait for them. And you let them go if you have to because you have faith they will come back someday."
He squeezes her hands a little within his. "You say I deserve more than you. I say I see there's more to you than you realize just yet." A sweet smile of his is donned upon his features for her. Yes, even holding hands made him feel like the kind of child she recently called herself. A kid all over again. Somewhat goofy smile, too.

Jenny clutches at his hand, when his wrap around her own, holding fast to that closeness however small. She's a creature of touch and she knows it. It's that touch that makes a physical manifestation of affection; needs that reinforcment no matter how weak it may make her look.
"You're such a smart man," it's a compliment, one that comes with the same ghost of a smile, while her thumb brushes against the outside of his own. "And a talented one. I think that you've probably been hit a few too many times in the head with a bludger, because you need your eyes checked as I certainly don't see whatever it is that you do but… but I miss you. I miss you and I'm glad you're here now. And thank you."

He'd never been accused of being smart. At least not off of the pitch. And even then, it was usually something like 'quick witted' or 'strategically minded'. Never smart.
"I miss you, too." He returns the smile, though his isn't a ghost. It's full on corporeal. "So first it's 'I don't deserve you', and now it's 'I'm a smart man'? Pick a side, Solomon, stop straddling fences."
Back to the usual picking, it seems. He squeezes her hands one more time when she rubs her thumb over his, and he looks at their food. "Well, shant let good food go to waste!" He'd look at her, giving her the chance to let go first. Maybe one of those silent games that each side never wants to give up, becuase unless she let go, it would be a while before they continued eating, because he wasn't going to let go as long as noone was entering the restaurant.

"Well, you are smart, and I don't deserve you though most of the time I'm not sure what I'm going to do with you, either." Jenny admitted, though she'd not yet managed to clamor back up to her usual level of spunk and she is finding it somewhat difficult to have a serious conversation with him when he keeps falling into humor and it is a hint insulting that, with what precious time they have, he'd much rather go back to eating than simply being close.
"Of course not," she agrees instead, when he remarks on the meal and slowly moves to withdraw her hand, so that he may eat. Regardless of the fact that she's quite finished with her own; her appetite having long since departed. "Enjoy your meal. Have to keep your enegry up and all that."

"I dunno. Take a walk in the park? Maybe… try some things on at the robes store?" His voice tinging on the line that he really did want to see her in some of those things that Peyton had suggested while they were there. "Maybe if we could find a private dressing room.." he whimsically fantasized, though the owners might not like the ideas he just got in his head, drawing a sly grin across his features.
Her withdrawing her hand makes him take the hint to finish eating his meal.

"I don't like trying on clothes, Potter. I'm perfectly fucking happy in my own and if you don't like them then you don't have to look at me." The girl…snapped with more of an edge that she seemed to realize before it was followed with a faint look of apology. Though that look of near apology became a frown, when he suggested a private dressing room.
"I am more than that, Duncan." A glimmer of disappointment in her eyes, as she nudged at her plate, sending it to the edge of the table so that the server could come by and pick it up or he could finish it off, either one. "But I'm tired, too. I think I'm just going to head back up to the school and see about catching up on my rest."

"Maybe someday I'll just have to get you out of your comfort zone. You know.. the zone of comfort that is your clothes." A wink at her. Pushing more buttons. Pushpushpush.
"You are. Far more." At least he's agreeable sometimes. As far as her going back and getting some rest. "I'm at the Three Broomsticks tonight and tomorrow night. Would you like to come visit and if.." he picks up the fork, dabbing at the edge of the now bland-looking menagerie of food left on his plate, looking up at her now up from his head sunk just the slightest bit. Maybe puppy-like eyes, too. "You think you want to spend the day together? I know it would just be in private, but I'll take every moment I can get right now. Maybe even take a midday nap in each others arms." Such a prospect, he even lowered his voice a little at that. Duncan Potter, a shy bone in his body?! Blasphemy! Or he's just back to the old rigamaroll of keeping their secret from prying eyes and ears.

"It's kind of funny, how you talk about getting me out of my clothes and then add that you think I'm far more." She looked like she wasn't sure whether or not to be insulted at the prospect.
"Why don't we start with breakfast. You know I can't stay off grounds, it's against the rules, we have to be back by ten. So…let's just, let's just see. I don't feel like falling into your bed right now," admitted there at the last, for all that her smile was tempered with apology.
"I'll see you in the morning, Potter. I hope you've a good evening."

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