(1939-02-05) Our Order Took Aegis
Details for Our Order Took Aegis
Summary: A romantic lunch between Beryl and Tiberius takes on a businesslike air when Bailey arrives. The showdown of words comes first. The gauntlet is shown, but not used. Yet.
Date: 1939-02-05
Location: Cafe Tasseo, London
Related: Wrong Place, Wrong Time

The lady in red always seems to find herself at ease wherever she happens to be, from one day to the next. Be it within a dank, dusty tomb and raiding artifacts - or an upscale, swank cafe such as Tasseo; Beryl always seems to belong.
Notoriously independent, interestingly, she seems to be enjoying the fact that Tiberius is being such a gentleman and taking the lead in all of this. A coy, lightly amused smile touches her lips as she takes the seat withdrawn for her. Demurely smoothing her skirt and then brushing an unruly curl back from her face, she flashes a grin at the man: "Alright, you rogue, you're laying it on thick today. You have something on your mind?" Beryl asks cutely.

"Consider it a late apology;" Tiberius gently eases it back in place, taking the seat from the other side of the table and pulling it around slowly. Who has lunch /opposite/ someone they care about anyway? Civilisation. Feh, they can keep it. "Although I can stop if it makes you uncomfortable - But then you're paying for lunch. It's my way of letting you know that I haven't forgotten you during the daylight hours… And that I'm sorry for revealing details to our employer that might have been relavent to your interests first. I simply thought they weren't… Important nough to distract you with. When there's much and more to distract."

Beryl continues to watch Tiberius with the air of a feline watching the movements of a particularly intriguing bird that she longs to catch between her paws - but refraining for the moment. It's not as though she hasn't enough time to toy with him at home.
"On the contrary," she smirks, letting that languid tone slip into her voice that the man knows so well, "I'm enjoying it, immensely."

Rather abruptly, a sharpish glint enters her venomous green eyes when Tiberius mentions their discussion at the office with Hector, and the smirk all but disappears. "Ah, yes." Beryl remarks quietly, lowering her gaze as she picks up a menu to study it: "The list."
"Ah. Then the romantic dinner I have planned doesn't need to be cancelled. Excellent." Tiberius chuckles softly, tilting his head to the side a little bit. "I believe my beautiful, emerald eyed love hides a green-eyed monster. Touching; certainly. Does it help to know you're the most beautiful thing I've ever beheld? Trust me, my love, no other woman in my life has a chance. Because they'll always be compared to Beryl Crabbe, and always be found so sincerely wanting." How sweet. A bit of a neck-crane means that he can read her menu, rather than pick up his own.

Beryl's expression remains tight through most of what Tiberius says. All of this relationship mess is new to her. Jealousy is a piece of collateral damage that she wasn't expecting to deal with - but it tears around and wriggles inside of her like an insidious serpent. She wants so badly, so desperately, to believe that no one could possibly take her place in his estimation. Trust is a skill she has yet to learn, it would seem. For all of her imperious act of knowing how much better she is than anyone else in the world… there is a fragile, easily broken insecurity underlying everything.

The cold hardness leaves her eyes, and her lips relax once more into a soft curve: "Tibs, I'm sorry…" Beryl says, just barely above a whisper. Words she's probably never said to anyone before under any circumstance.
"Never." Tiberius' response is immediate, as is the reassuring hand upon her thigh. "You're not supposed to be sorry for feeling protective. It shows me that you value me; and that is a sweet thing. I just need you to know, that no matter what you might fear, no matter what runs through your mind.. That I value you higher than naything else." He leans across, and touches a kiss to her cheek. That's all, though. There's a waitress approaching. "And that's something that's not going to change."

Beryl's smile returns, but it is a far softer, almost embarrassed one. Tiberius has such a way of putting her off her guard and undermining her tough defenses. And she loves him for it - amongst a plethora of other things. The glance that drifts toward him now shows the open vulnerability of how much she really does care for… and love him. He's as full of flaws and faults as she is, but she loves every single one. She's just not as good at saying it as he happens to be. Hopefully he's learned by now to read her expression enough to know that she feels the same.

With the waitress approaching, Beryl quickly shifts in her chair and puts on that confident smile that is ready for anything. Lunch is easy enough to order in a place like this.
It's the beautiful nature of their relationship. Two corrupt, faulted, people that found meaning in eachother. It's sweet. Loving. "Coffee - Black. And…" A pause. "Grilled chicken, on salad." Something simple, in case today is the day that work requires him to actually do something more than wander around looking menacing at strangers. "And whatever it is my love wishes." An affectionate glance. Publicly, "I'd deny her nothing."

Is that an actual, genuine, honest to goodness blush that tinges Beryl's pale cheeks? Why, yes - it is, indeed.
Her eyes flick toward Tiberius, scarcely able to hide the slightly abashed, coy smile lurking behind her otherwise calm expression. Restrained and collected, she then looks up at the waitress and says sweetly: "I'll have the same as my man, here." She's never referred to him as anything /belonging/ to or with her publically before. "Except, make my coffee with cream and sugar." With her sharpish and keen attitude, it may seem rather surprising that she prefers her coffee thinned out and sweetened - but, then again, she is Beryl Crabbe, and rather prone to incongruity.

"Your man?" Tiberius asks, smirking to himself. "I like it." He settles back into his chair, and smiles at her affectionately. It's unusual to see him look so well lost while staring at her in public. He generally tries to mask it, for fear of what people might do. Now… Well, come what may.

Though usually more prone to drinking at the Leaky Cauldron, now and then Bailey spoils herself with some gourmet tea at Cafe Tasseo. She steps in from the flurrying snow outside, rubbing her arms to stave off the cold, only to balk in surprise when the hostess greets her. She never quite gets used to that level of service. "Oh…hello, thank you. I…suppose a table for one?" she says uncertainly.

"Yes, /my/ man," Beryl answers Tiberius with a devilish glint in her eye. Casting about with a playful glance, she gives a shrug: "I don't see anyone else around here."
Their lunches and coffees arrive in short order, carried in by a prim, delicate looking waitress who fits the bill of this high-toned eatery to a T. Once it has been placed on the table, she takes her leave, and the couple is left to their meal. "So," Beryl asks cutely, "Do you think you can manage to avoid any broken bones while I'm with you? Maybe I'm your lucky charm." A glance is spared the woman entering the Cafe - but nothing more.

The Rogue looks like he fits in here too. Suit, casual enough to allow him to leave his desk for lunch. And with Beryl on his arm, he looks almost legitimate. "I've yet to get a broken bone around you, as it happens. We'll see how well that fares in the future. Perhaps I'm reminded of why I should pull my head in when you're at my side. Or maybe I'm so distracted I can't think ofa nything stupid to do.
Tiberius looks up from Beryl for half a moment, and spots a familiar face in Bailey. "Miss Potter." His voice takes on a sudden, louder tone. Turning to Bailey, to mention to Beryl affectionately. "A moment, love. Work calls." Reaching into his jacket.

Bailey is on her way to be shown to her table when she hears her name called out. Looking up curiously, her shoulders drop a bit when she sees who it is. She forces a smile, dipping her head in greeting. "Hello, Mr. Tripe." She thanks the server, and steps toward Tiberius and Beryl for a moment. "I didn't expect I'd run into you here. How are you?" She gives Beryl a nod of greeting as well, vaguely remembering her from school days. "Bailey Potter, hello."

"Fortunately, you've yet to give me a reason to break any of your bones, personally." Beryl replies with an impish grin. Surely, the woman is joking. It's hard to tell what lies behind those cool green eyes of hers, though.
She's just begun to delicately work on the delicious luncheon on the plate before her when Bailey draws near. Tiberius mentions work, and she lowers her fork with a vaguely incredulous expression. That look rapidly becomes a warning glance before acalm, sweet as syrup smile is turned toward the other woman: "Beryl Crabbe."

"I don't know. Turning you invisible, and…" Tiberius realises Bailey is approaching a little faster than he expected; The man withdraws his hand, and it's an envelope marked for Aegis Security. "Healed, thankfully, despite the unprovoked aggression by Aegis. I have decided against pressing charges; however I expect the remuneration I've made to the cafe to be repaid by Aegis for their disturbance. Could you give this to your accounts department?" The envelope is offered lightly, to her. "It would save me a trip to the post." He chuckles.

Bailey nods in recognition to Beryl, giving her a warm, if guarded smile. She eyes the envelope in Tiberius's hand, and grimaces apologetically. "I'm sorry, Mr. Tripe. I can't accept that. I'm not authorised to act as a representative of Aegis in that way. Whatever happened between you and the company is for our legal department to handle." She gives a meek shrug. "It's nothing personal. But I could potentially get into hot water if I took that."

There is another warning flash in Beryl's poison-green eyes as Tiberius begins to mention that incident where he turned her invisible. However, she has no need. He stops himself before he goes too far.
Quietly, the auburn-haired woman returns to eating her lunch, listening and watching the others with an air of impassive curiosity. She heard - in passing, at least - of the incident with Aegis. That's where Tiberius' most recent set of injuries were acquired. Naturally, the name leaves a bitter taste in the back of her mouth. And now, Bailey refuses to take charge of the envelope from Tiberius.

"Mn. The Evil Envelope, hmn? It's nothing binding, otherwise I wouldn't trust it for the post. I simply won't waste my time depositing it with Aegis in person. Would be that someone /sensible/ was on hand to pay a little mind to the situation, before it all turned to violence. No matter." The man shrugs, and slides it back into his jacket. "Fact is, Miss Potter, that your employer crossed one hell of a line by attacking me. Further insults will /not/ be tolerated." His choice of wording could be familiar to some. Others, not so much. "And then all you had left might be lead to nothing. Although I can't say whether or not Carrow would take you back on."
An apologetic smile for Beryl. "I'm sorry, my love. I shouldn't have turned this to business. Can you forgive me?" Business indeed.

Bailey sighs. "Mr. Tripe, my colleagues were doing their jobs. You'd been warned before, and you created a situation that forced their hands. I tried to caution you not to underestimate them. Please…please don't make more of this situation than it was." Whether her pleading is for his sake, or her company's, isn't clear. Probably both.

"I disappeared in an attempt to avoid a confrontation. I was backed into a corner because I dared not slip past. And when I attempted to reveal myself in peaceful manner, unarmed, I was stunned." Tiberius' voice is flat. Matter of fact. Almost aggressive. "The story will not end there. This is an insult that will be repaid, whether Aegis likes it or not. The determination to keep Miss Diderot safe has now rendered the rest of the population in danger by a private security company that act more in kind with rabid dogs. If this is not curbed, then they /will/ be put down." Not the most discreet threat the Technician has ever made. But there's pride at stake. And Beryl beside him.
But he /is/ still being so civil. "My love. We'll have to continue our lunch back at the office, it appears your break is all but done." As head of security, he can be away from his desk as long as possible. "I'll have this prepared to be brought back, once I'm finished here."

Beryl's gaze slides between Bailey and Tiberius slowly. Rather like someone languidly watching a tennis match going on. However, it's not easy to say which side is winning or losing at this juncture. Naturally, though, her bets (and good wishes) would be pinned on the Rogue seated at the table beside her.

Tiberius receives a soft smile, and an understanding nod. "Don't worry about it, love," Beryl says in a voice as smooth as silk. Rising from her chair, a sidelong glance is cast toward Bailey, and despite the tenseness of the situation, Beryl leans close to Tiberius and places a warm, lingering kiss on his cheek. Then, she turns away and saunters out of the cafe to head back to the office.

Bailey gives Beryl an apologetic smile as she goes, even mouthing: Sorry. She looks down to Tiberius, sighing softly. "Listen, all I want is to avoid any trouble at all. You're placing a lot of blame on our people. But be realistic, Mr. Tripe. You deliberately sneaked past them. What did you expect them to do? Our job is to neutralise threats. If someone suddenly appears out of thin air beside our charge, there's no time to ask questions. We have to act, for the safety of Miss Diderot, or whomever we're protecting. Twice now you've invited this danger on yourself. It's becoming a disturbing pattern. I don't want to see you get hurt, any more than I want Rhyeline or my colleagues to get hurt."
"Not to mention myself." Bailey adds with a light smirk.

Too good for him, by half. Tiberius' eyes briefly flick down when he receives the kiss, a moment of unworthiness sneaking into the Rogue. For the first time, ever. His eyes come up, lingering on the lady in red as she departs, fondness for her more than apparent. Beryl Crabbe is a great strength, and a greater weakenss. "Miss Potter. I chose NOT to sneak past them. I chose to sneak /away/ from their approaching presence, because sneaking /towards/ them - Or approaching them without disguise - Might have caused a confrontation. Forgive me, but I'm not accepting any of the blame for that encounter. I did everything within my power to avoid the eventual conclusion, short of turning to aggression."

Bailey spreads her hands helplessly. "You appeared out of thin air, right by Rhyeline. You are a known agitator. Tell me truthfully, Mr. Tripe, if someone you had already identified as a potential threat had suddenly manifested mere feet from Hector Carrow, would you stop and have a conversation? Or would you act to eliminate the threat before your employer could be hurt?"

Carrow. Tiberius snickers softly. "If my wand were pointed, and the incantation started? Then absolutely. However in the time between reaction, finding my wand, and levelling it at another human being, and casting, it would become obvious that they were in a position of submission, and unarmed. And I would then escort them, at wand point, away. As a professional - I allow my brain to intercede. Which ensures my principal not only survives, but does so without feeling caged, trapped, or like he's guarded by a rabid animal." A frown. "I appeared across the table. Otherwise, your co-workers would have been fools to stun so recklessly. And I willfully ended my charm once it became apparent I'd be unable to sneak away before I'd lose the ability to maintain it. Which /then/ would have been highly suspicious."

Bailey blinks incredulously. "Forgive me…I really mean no insult by this. But you must be terribly slow on the draw. Like any duellist, hit wizard, auror, or what-have-you, Aegis guards are trained to draw quickly. No, there really is no time to assess. As a security man yourself, you should know that no wizard is ever unarmed. You can manage an Invisibility Charm, if the assessment was correct. An Invisibility Charm. Clearly you're a skilled wizard. I'm very sorry, but no sensible guardwizard is going to wait to see what you do when you've infiltrated so close to our charge after being marked as a possible threat. That stunner wasn't reckless, it was merciful. We are trained to use exactly that sort of spell, to end threats quickly and harmlessly."

"Forgive me, Bailey. I mean no insult by this;" The pattern of her speech is mimicked perfectly. Tiberius looks bored by the iteration. "My arm does not move without my mind engaging. I cannot speak without my conscious functioning. And I cannot react without knowing what it is that I'm doing. I'm smarter than that. I'm no animal

Bailey sighs dejectedly. "Now we're going to get into the difference between reasoning and trained response? Come now, I think you know better than that. You arm does move without your mind engaging in rational thought. Intelligence has nothing to do with it. If you really can analyze a situation that quickly, consider me astounded. But I assure you, it's a talent not shared by the vast majority of mankind. Look, I have no personal issue with you. I don't want to be at odds with you. But if you persist in your vendetta against Aegis — and we both know it began before you were stunned — we're eventually going to end up on the wrong side of one another's wands. I'm just trying to end this before it gets to that."

Bailey offers a strained smile. "Look, I'd better go. Just…please think about what I said? I think you've really got the wrong idea about us, and about Rhyeline. Maybe we can talk about it soon, under less tense circumstances. Take care, Mr. Tripe." Giving her regrets to the cafe staff, she promises to return soon, and slips out.

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