(1939-08-18) Slightly Pickled Private
Details for Slightly Pickled Private
Summary: After a night of drinking, Gavin makes his way to the chip shop to get something besides booze into his stomach.
Date: 18 August, 1939
Location: Hind's Fish & Chips, Waterloo, London
Related: Duckkrieg

If the early bird catches the worm, than what does the moderately early chip shop bird catch? That'll be seen soon enough. While Mum and Da are in the back readying the kitchen for the approaching lunch hour, Katie and Jack are in the dining room, she wiping down the tables while he has a scrub at the floor. They work in an odd silence, although they keep some semblance of eye contact, and stop their chores frequently to motion at each other with their hands. Someone in the know would see it for the sign language that it is, but most others just think they're flapping away at each other. Every now and then, Katie speaks as she signs, but when it's just her and Jack she doesn't bother with words often.

The door is already propped open, and Katie has already written out the sign for today's menu. Da got a deal on some fresh haddock, and of course there's always cod. The sides never change, chips, peas, pickled onions and the like, and the afters listed are apple crumble and bread & butter pudding.

Pausing in his task, Jack makes sure he has Katie's attention before signing What'll Da say if he finds out about all this? Katie glances toward the kitchen before she signs in return Who says he has to find out all? The pair share a grin before getting back to their work for at least a couple minutes.

Gavin makes a bit of an inelegant entrance into the Chip Shop. Trying to squint and read the sign while trying to push the ajar door that's a pull to open and then it opens so easy he nearly smashes himself in the face with the the door when he does pull. "Bastard." He grunts at the door before he steps in and takes a moment to compose himself and get the lay of the land. In his still nearly drunk from last night haze the sign language just looks like the siblings are waving at him and he waves both of his hands around at each of them. Then they both come up to rub at his face as he really does try to sober up those last few bits that linger.

A slightly inebriated soldier isn't a new sight to either of the Hind youngsters, even their father has been known to get into his cups every now and then. At least now it's a slightly inebriated soldier that Katie can place a name to. She quickly signs to Jack Ask Mum to put a pot of coffee on. before she turns a greeting to the new arrival. "Alright then, Private Ferguson? Care t'have a sit an' we can see about gettin' some food into yer belly?" Jack puts aside his bucket and scrub brush, scooting into the kitchen, and Katie takes one last swipe at the table she was cleaning, then pulls out a chair with a mild scrape on the floor.

Gavin continues to stand there, still processing. The continued waving threw him for a few moments but then he squints and realizes what's going on and smiles a bit sheepishly. "Mum, yes, mum. Have me medal for me yet? Was bout fraid I visited the wrong shop." He plops down into the offered chair before he remembers himself and stands up and holds the chair out. "Ladies first."

There's a grin as Gavin demonstrates that he's not drank away memory of the weekend, and Katie says easily, "Th'King said he's all out of medals but is expecting a new batch any day, an' yeh'll get the very first of 'em." She settles a hand on his shoulder and gives a gentle push to urge him back down to sit. "Da'll have me out if he sees me loungin' around, an' anyroad, me sittin' ain't gonna get yeh fed. Cup 'a coffee t'get yeh started, or would yeh prefer tea today?"

Gavin ahs and does look a touch disappointed he can't talk her into joining him. But he gets over it quickly and drops into the chair. At the prospect of having to make choices in his state he rubs at his chin and shrugs. "Whatevor ye got easy'll be grand." He takes a look about, "Nice shop."

Coffee it is then, and Katie glances over to see a thumbs up from Jack in the kitchen window, knowing that he's got Mum to get the dark brew started. "I'll have a coffee for yeh in two ticks, Private." As he comments on the shop, Katie's eyes also stray for a quick dart about. The place is so familiar to her that she hardly even sees it any more. "Ta," she nods at the compliment. "Da freshly painted this spring, I think it makes everything look a little more new and tidy." While she doesn't sit, she does lean easily against the table, not moving away yet. He's still the only customer so far, so she can tarry a while, just has to do it standing. "An' have yeh been out all night then? Doesn't the army make yeh come back an' count heads an' make sure yer all by behavin' an' whatnot?"

Gavin toys with the bits and bobs at the table idly. "Bit of a special leave, since the parade annoll. Don't have to report back til Tuesday. So, in my cups a though occurred to meh. Would you maybe like to take a spot off before then an go to Limehouse," Limehouse being the Chinese Neighborhood in East End. "…and have some Duck? Must say I've got the knabbles. Aye? Bring your boyo along, or nae." He doesn't want ants in his pants to get bent out of shape and he's not proposing a date, unless of course she'd prefer it to be one. Twist his arm. "Och that smells so good already. Can I also just get the regular?" No fuss rigt now, just the regular order of chips and fish wrapped up to pluck at and read what he's missed in his stupor.

A deliberate but light clatter from the window through has Katie turned to go fetch the coffee, and she calls over her shoulder as she moves. "Duck? That sounds brilliant." She takes up the cup, and a pitcher of cream to bring over to the table, a light frown surfacing as she says, "My…. oh, Xander, y'mean? He's not… I mean, he's…." She's not sure what he is right now, aside from a lad that asked her out for a film and dinner. Her smile returns as she nods, "He said he'd pop around later, so I c'n see if he's got an interest." With that inclusion from Gavin she's got no illusion he'd intended the offer as a 'date'. When he request the regular, Katie turns, but doesn't walk over to place the order for the kitchen. Instead she signs to Jack, Cod and chips. Add some mushy peas, the lad looks like a veg would do him good. Brother and sister exchange matching grins, the former turning to pass the order along to the folks, and Katie turning back to the soldier. "Shouldn't be a long wait, everything's well heated already an' ready t'go."

Gavin gives a little nod, "Aye, sounds right." Honestly he barely remembers her name right now. But maybe it will come to him, or maybe they'll call her so he keeps an ear peeled. "Oh, well, aye, good good. Mmhmm." Yes, he needs coffee! "So how hard is it to learn all that?" He gestures to her hands that have just settled after signing her brother. "Would be a good thing to learn. Could talk behind the commander's back with me mates." He chuckles and clears his throat and licks his lips a little as he's got a bit of dry mouth.

It's Katie's fate, even in the shop, that to most she'll only be known as the chippy bird, a nameless server. Having her name known is far less important to her than her remembering the names of customers if she catches them. People like being addressed by name, and when you do something they like, make them feel valued, they return. Her parents taught her well. She looks at her own hands with Gavin's gesture, "Th'signin'?" Blue eyes come back up to settle on the soldier's rugged features. "It was well easy for me, but I started learnin' when I was very small. Mum and Da took it up well enough, but still it took them a bit longer." She pauses, making it obvious as she looks Gavin over carefully, her smile turned crooked and impish. "Yeh look like yeh could be taught, but yeh might be better off doin' when yeh've not got spirits muckin' about in yer head."

Gavin nods and does seem to be sincerely listening, interested in the process that might be ahead of him if he did indeed persue learning sign language. "Aye, though I must protest. I've learned some of mah biggest life lessons pisshed out of my mind." He winks to the Chippy girl and angles his own blue gaze towards the back. "So how long do ye think it will take me? Drunk and not drunk?" He chuckles some more as he teases himself some.

Katie laughs softly at Gavin's protest, happy that he seems an easy-going sort and not one of those stuffed shirts that thinks they're all important for being in the King's service. "If yer clever enough, yeh should learn in no time, drunk or not. An' I think yer fair clever, yeh already almost had hello down." She's speaking of the waving of his hands as he came in, but she refines the movement for him. "One hand," she says, holding up her right hand, "an' a wave t'the side." There's a simple demonstration, hand up, palm toward him, and then a brief sweep out.

Gavin mimics the movement as best he can, the shop is still rather bright for the poor sod. But he gets it rather quickly as she assumed he was. "Wot about a bit of this, learned it for the parade. The King's wave…" He then demonstrates the rather stiff and starchy motions that is considered a Royal Wave. "Me boyos where havin' a go. Kip was sure he was waftin'." The memory of his friend's joke in the uncomfortable time makes him chuckle and shake his head. "Did ye change your wave, or is everyone's wave woven with a bit of them. Ye know? Like does the sign come wif accents. Like…the Glaswegian…" He is half way to giving the crude gesture of his homeland but he censors himself before the hint waxes into obviousness. But besides the two fingers the rest of the gesture was all what she taught him.

The laugh this time is louder and brighter, true amusement coming through on the musical sound. "Th'King's wave is all his own, but it gets the message across well enough. An' everyone puts a bit of themself into their signs, s'long as it's still clearly recognizable." The bell from the kitchen dings, signaling to the young woman that the order is done, and Katie steps to collect it. The small, coziness of the shop keeps her from having to raise her voice too much and still have it carry over. "I think th'Glaswegian… well, yeh might want t' just tame that one a bit." The fish and chips are wrapped quickly in newsprint, hands that have performed the duty thousands of times moving with grace and ease. She brings the packet over, with a bowl of mushy peas on the side, and sets them on Gavin's table. "Is that where yer from then? Glasgow?"

Gavin commits a sacrilege of some level as it seems his sobering ritual entails him dashing several large spurts of vinegar into his mushy peas. A chip is used to stir it around and his fish is salted and then he wraps the fish around in a barracade wall of chips and then he dips the wrapped fish in the peas and he takes a huge bite. Army training at it's finest, he can probably eat the entire meal in the time it would take her to top his coffee up. "I am!"

For a moment, Katie watches Gavin with no little interest as he goes about 'building' his meal. She's seen him do it before, but it's fascinating every time. "I'll count yer fingers before yeh leave, Private Ferguson," she says with amusement. "You have at, an' before yeh go I'll show yeh how t'say thanks in sign." She turns to head off back toward the kitchen, humming as she gets back to work.

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