(1939-08-26) On the Menu: Nazi Duck
Details for On the Menu: Nazi Duck
Summary: Gavin and Katie meet up at the park for an evening picnic. Katie tries smoking for the first, and probably the last, time.
Date: 26 August, 1939
Location: Green Park, London
Related: Slightly Pickled Private

It's a beautiful evening, one of the few that are likely left to the summer as September is fast approaching. Families are out in Green Park, as well as couples walking together, holding hands, and even the lone soul or two just enjoying the mild weather. Hind's Fish & Chips is closed, setting Katie loose for the night. She's gathered up a blanket and basket, filled it with everything that would be needed for a picnic except for the main course, and headed out to share some duck with Private Gavin Ferguson. Not spying him yet as she approaches the duck pond, she decides to lay out the blanket and have a nice spot secured for them when he arrives. Rocks hold down the four corners, although there isn't too much of a breeze tonight, and Katie herself anchors it pretty well as she sits off to one side on the fabric.

Gavin wanders about the park with his arms wrapped around a parcel bag and with a cigarette in his mouth. The smoke obscuring his gaze all hooded by his eyebrows that give him a bit of a scowly face when it's naturally blank. But he finds the redhead and perks up. He's out of his uniform, which he often wears, even when on leave because of all the perks it gives him. But Limehouse is a pretty shady place and so he opted to not draw further attention to himself. In a blue button down collared short sleeved shirt and a pair of black slacks. He's not exactly dripping in wealth, so he's also got on his uniform boots. Dark hair made all the darker with the styling product used to keep it swept back. He cleans up pretty well. The cigarette is dropped into the grass and stepped on. After he's put down the take-out bag he picks up the butt and puts it in a tin that goes back into his pocket. "Ye look lovely. Hope yer hungry."

It takes Katie a moment to realize that the man approaching is Gavin. She's only seen him in his uniform, and like people not recognizing her outside of the chippy, she doesn't immediately place him. When she does she pops up, laughing as she gains her feet and smooths down the skirt of her dress. It's in good repair, she keeps her things nice seeing as she has a fairly small wardrobe, simply cut from a green fabric decorated with little white daisies. "Private Ferguson, I nearly didn't know yeh, all in yer civilian things," she says, motioning toward him. "Ta, an' yeh look very snappy yerself. I'm fair t'starvin', and happy t'not be havin' fish."

Gavin pulls a couple of ducks out of the bag, he's a bit of a joker and there's little swastikas cut in the duck's wings right where nazi's wear their arm bands. "Good, cause I got two. May they be a warnin' and we won't get attacked." He scowls towards the pond and gives the ducks a shake with a "Let this be a warning to ye!" To her compliment he looks down at himself while placing the ducks on plates. There's also rice and egg rolls.

Katie rather unceremoniously resumes where she left off sitting on the blanket, plopping back down with the careless grace of a sometimes tomboy who's learned to keep her skirts tucked modestly. There's a laugh when she spies the duck wings and Gavin warns off the feathered fowl paddling around. "I don't think they'd dare approach yeh, not if they're smart." But really, are ducks all that smart? She starts unloading plates, silverware, even a jug of milk and two glasses. "Th'King's given yeh proper time off then?" she asks as she busies herself.

Gavin settles down on the blanket across from her and he pulls out his pocket flip knife and he starts to cut into the duck. The knife is razor sharp and looks pretty pristine clean. He seems to know his way around a peking duck and slices into the breasts and cuts it out but leaves it on the bone so it can be easily plucked. "Nae AWOL at least." He chuckles and takes his first bite of the duck, carvers perogative. "If they do, I'll have some more ingredients for the Yang family." A soft chuckle and he lifts up his glass of milk. "To putting Nazi spies in their place."

Lifting her glass as well, Katie grins as she clinks it lightly against Gavin's and then takes a sip. She makes sure everything is out and available, then puts a bit of everything onto a plate for herself, using extra cloth napkins that she's brought to cover whatever might attract bugs. Silence falls for a moment, before she ventures to break it. "Have yeh been in th'King's service very long?"

Gavin takes a sip as well and then he sets up a pile of rice mixed with bits of duck and he uses a broken in half egg roll to scoop it up as a spoon. When he's done chewing which hes not shy about doing he takes another gulp of milk. "Four years now. Best thing to happen to me. Proud to serve, went from being the only child to having a load of brothers. Keeps me honest, aye?" He grins and takes another bite.

"D'yeh like it better then, havin' other blokes around, rather than not?" Katie isn't shy about eating either, although she doesn't quite have the sort of panache at it that Gavin does. She eats more slowly, not even a creature of habitual hurry, and enjoys all the different flavours thoroughly. It's far too seldom that they get Chinese food at the Hind house, and the different nuances are truly exotic to her.

Gavin nods his head, "Aye, they're a bunch of nut cases. But they are my nut cases. Die for them and they for me. Sort of amazing." He seems to remember or realize something and it makes him go 'Oh' and put down his plate and he clears his throat and actually looks a touch nervous and he holds up one hand and holds his fingers out in a peace gesture with his thumb up between his spread out fingers. A moment of thought must be taken and then he balls up his hand into a fist. Another pause until he slides and pokes his thumb between his index and middle finger like he's stolen a nose. Up goes his pinky all by its lonesome before it finally turns into a loose fist that has his thumb under his curled fingers. He then looks hopeful that he just didn't spell out Bimbo instead of Katie.

There's curiosity at first, as Gavin puts down his food, and an uncertain smile gains strength on Katie's lips as Gavin carefully goes through the letter signs. By the time he's done, she's put her own plate down, and applauds him, looking thoroughly chuffed. "Yeh learned m'name," she says in surprise and delight. "I was wonderin' if yeh was even gonna remember hello an' thanks, an' lookit yeh, all learnin' on yer own." Well, he was a bit drunk when she taught him the first two. "That's grand, Private Ferguson. Absolutely brilliant."

Gavin gains a really big grin when it turns out he did it and did it right. "Stopped by the library after that mornin'. Turns out they have books, with pictures in them there." He is teasing, as if he wasn't educated in Cambridge and couldn't handle a book without pictures. He then also shows he retained his Chippy lessons and does the gesture for thank you to her praises before he takes up his plate again. "Just Gavin would be alright if ye like."

The tease brings another laugh from Katie, and she tosses back, "Some of them even have very small words." She'd be impressed by his education if she new the extent of it, but she still considers him fairly well spoken, even when he's a bit in his cups. She nods, saying, "Gavin then. And since yeh can sign it, yeh can just call me Katie." The young redhead isn't quick to take her own plate up, instead asking, "When did yeh come from Glasgow then?"

Gavin chuckles after he has washed down another bite. "Hope you don't mind, but five letters is about all I could wrap my mind around and there I'm happy I didn't mess up. Do you like the duck? Nazi's cook up pretty good with a bit of honey and five spice. Don't they?" He takes another bite of his duck and then answers, "Was fifteen. Mum's household moved and she went with, so did I."

Katie shakes her head, then has to push her hair back from her eyes, something that happens so often it's just an absent gesture now. "It was brilliant, Gavin. An' so's the duck." As if to prove the point, she scoops up her plate and has another bite, nodding agreeably. She has to wipe her lips quickly before she can ask another question. "D'yeh like it here? I've never been t'Glasgow, is it very different?"

Gavin gives her a cheeky grin, "Wot, ye mean when I'm nae being attacked by Nazi Ducks? Aye, it's grown on me. Different as night n' day really. Nae a place I would want to take ye. It's a hard place for hard people. Yer too fair to be put in such a place. It's got it's own bits of joy. S'odd that I do miss it as much as I do. Place brought me nothing but trouble." He is getting close enough to being done with his meal that it's time for a cigarette. He pulls out his beat up case and once it's open to reveal the cigarettes his offers it to Katie before he plucks his own cigarette out to slide in above his ear.

Katie grins around a bite of duck and rice as Gavin brings up the Duckkrieg, listening attentively to his take on his hometown. "It's yer hometown," she says logically, "Course yeh miss it. Good or bad. I'd miss London terribly if I ever had t'leave it." There's a momentary considering look, before she offers an opinion. "Yeh seem t'have turned out right enough." When the cigarettes are offered, even though it's likely just a polite gesture by Gavin, Katie looks at them as thoughtfully as she just had Gavin before she takes one delicately.

Gavin smirks and nods, "Thanks. Finally got meh life someplace good. Steady good and honorable job, duck dinner wif a lovely lady, in a park tha's pretty nice…" He scowls at the ducks though, they tarnish his rating of their location. When one quacks in his direction he ducks his head and jokes. "Protect me!"

There's another laugh for Gavin, and Katie assures him, "I won't let th'nazi ducks near yeh. Yeh protect our country, the least I c'n do is protect yeh." She's put aside the cigarette she took, her attention back on what remains of her own dinner. Seeing that Gavin has a bit of ground on her, Katie grins, "Just see yeh save room for afters. I brought a sweet treat along for us as well."

Gavin rolls his hand in front of him and bows his head, "Thank ye mum." Such gratitude for her protection. Then at mention of a dessert he perks up. "Oh really? Well, that's good, was goin' to have to walk wif ye to the bakery down the way. But clever ye!" He half-smiles to her and starts to collect his last bite onto/into his last bite of egg-roll. When he realizes his wolfed it down and left her in the dust he grimaces apologetically. "Sorry. Mess Hall manners, me."

One hand waves lightly, dismissing the apology. "Tch, a man should have a hearty appetite. 'Specially one in th'King's service. I would imagine they fair run yeh ragged," Katie speculates. "I've a mate from school who serves, an' he's always goin' on about drills and th' like." Her grin takes an impish cast, "T'hear him tell, it's all they ever do an' he never even gets t'sleep. They do let yeh sleep, don't they?"

Gavin chuckles and takes a glug of milk before wavering his hand before him. "Training is the worst, but once ye are through that. It's nae so bad. Lights out at 10, sometimes the officer will let us stay up til 11. Then up before dawn for mornin' drills. But ye get used to it. Gotta be fit. War's getting closer an' closer to bein' a reality. Might get shipped off tomorrow." He gives a little shrug. Of course he's worried, but his pride in fighting for what's right keeps his chin up and a proud smile on his lips.

"Sounds a bit like workin' for my da," Katie jokes lightly. "Up at dawn, bed at dark. The time in between only spent in the shop, if he had his way." She doesn't sound begrudging of the work, but amused. She sobers only slightly as she shows her optimism, "They might still not have t'go t'war. It seems silly, in this day and age, t'be fightin' over land, or judgin' people because they're different. They're grown men, surely they'll see that."

Gavin lifts up crossed fingers with a hopeful smile. "Here's hopin' though I've found the only way to stop a bully for good is to stand up to'm. But here's hopin'. I'd much prefer to wile away meh days in such fine company. Jerry blokes just nae my type." He chuckles and sits up more properly pulling his cigarette from his ear and placing it between his lips and lighting it up. "Yer Da an' my officer should get along some time. He seems like a good sort. Course dinnae know him very well, just in passin' fish n' chips to groggy ol me."

Katie starts to clear up from what they've already eaten, after quickly finishing off her own plate. She shifts when Gavin does, twisting to kneel as she takes one last covered plate out of the basket, then putting the things they've already used inside to be cleaned up when she gets home. "Yeh should come work in th'shop for a day, see if they're all that alike." She clearly finds the idea amusing. "He's a good man. Works hard t'provide for us, an' all." He just would rather keep his daughter away from blokes, despite her already being nineteen. Thankfully her mother doesn't feel the same, and has the wiles to get her way. She sets the dessert aside, still not uncovered, and gets more comfortable again, picking up the cigarette she had taken when Gavin offered. She holds it awkwardly, like non-smokers do, and looks to him expectantly.

Gavin tilts his head when the dessert plate is brought out as if he could catch a peek at the what's inside. He gives another cheeky grin. "Ye think they'd notice if we switched?" He winks over at her and does his best not to chuckle at her holding the cigarette. With gentle hands his positions her fingers and the cigarette so it's not going to tumble from her fingers and set the blanket ablaze. Once she's looking a little less inexperienced he pulls his beat up Army Trench Lighter and ignites his, demonstrating how to take the first drag for her and then holds the flame over below her cigarette. There is no hesitation in this bit of bad influence from him.

"I don't think Da would complain overmuch," Katie grins, "But th'King would be gettin' the short end of the deal. I'm sure I'm not half as strong as yeh." She holds still while Gavin 'helps' her with the cigarette, then keeps her hand exactly as he placed it. Blue eyes hold on him while he demonstrates, then she brings the cigarette to her lips and leans enough to set the tip to the flame. She sucks in, like on a straw, to get the end burning red, blowing the smoke out immediately. There's a pause before she says, "Well, that's not s'bad then."

Gavin chuckles, smoke puffing out of his mouth and nose as he does. "Now, easy, take it slow down into yer lungs lass." He takes another drag to demonstrate. "Ye'll cough, but tha's fine." He winks to her and exhales that drag he took. "An' ye sure are strong, bonnie. Och, In fact, I challenge ye to an arm wrestle. All dem trays ye carry about, sure ye got plenty o strength."

Again, Katie watches Gavin's example, as if she's studying him to learn the mysteries of the world. "Alright then," she says, nodding. Then she attempts to imitate him, first drawing the smoke into her mouth, then into her lungs. She forgets the slow part, however. It must be fairly comical to anyone that isn't her, as evidenced by the amusement on the faces of a passing couple, as she starts coughing immediately, her face turning nearly the shade of her hair, eyes watering. To her credit, she doesn't drop the fag and set the blanket alight, but she does double over, gasping for air. When she can finally get a lungful she manages to say, between coughs, "Yeh…. yeh do this…. for fun?"

Gavin winces when she goes at it full speed. "Och lass, I did say slow poor thing. 'Ere." He offers her up her glass of milk. "Aye, just wait, catcher breath an' have another slow go at it, ye'll see." He gives her a reassuring smile and wink. "Promise it gets better. Just like any first time doin' something."

Katie takes the milk, drinking as soon as she can without drowning herself, gasping when she sets the glass back down. She smacks her lips a few times, the taste of the smoke lingering in her mouth, and gives Gavin a doubtful look from eyes that are pink and watery. "Maybe I'm jus' not meant t'be a smoker," she ventures. She holds the cigarette up in her hand, looking at it, then plaintively at Gavin again as she holds it out, to relinquish it to him. "Yeh c'n put this in yer tin."

Gavin laughs softly as he takes the cigarette from her grinning. "Alright love. Don't ye worry. Nae everyone's cut for it. I'm sorry ye had such a rough with it. Ye alright?" The cigarette is put out on the underside of the tin and then once out put into the tin. For himself he lounges out on his side, propped up on his elbow. "I'll let ye recover before we wrestle."

Katie sniffles, her nose running a bit from all the coughing, and swipes at her eyes with one hand. "At least I c'n say that I tried it," she notes, then nods her head. "I think it'll take a minute t'get my lungs working right again, but no lastin' damage." Despite the pain in her throat, she gets her smile back, looking a bit abashed still. "Suppose that's somethin' I'll be able to save my pennies on." There's always a bright side to everything. She leans sideways, propping herself on one straightened arm, almost in imitation of Gavin, without the stretching out. "Yer serious then? Aren't yeh worried a bird might best yeh?" Her humor is back, shining in her bright eyes.

Gavin smirks and is trying hard to just not be a laughing mad man right now. His shoulders rising and falling in a silent chuckle. "Sure am. Och, wouldn't be the first time a bird got one over on me. Have to practice to hone me skill. I'll be gentle. Promise." He puts his cigarette in his lips and rolls onto his belly facing her and he sinks his elbow into the blanket and holds up his hand and gives his fingers a little taunting wiggle.

Katie eyes Gavin for a moment before she scoots herself around, taking care to make sure her skirt is tucked properly (wouldn't do to give all of Green Park a peek at her knickers!). She doesn't stretch out as he does, in the interest of modesty, but keeps one hip on the ground, twisting her torso so she can settle her elbow like his and slap her hand into his rougher one. "Alright then, brave man, lets have at."

Gavin smirks and right off the bat meets all of Katie's push of her arm like a brick wall. The cigarette plumes as he smokes while arm wrestling and there is a moment when he cheats and uses his pinky to stretch down to give a little tickle at her wrist. But he doesn't press the advantage if she does prove to be ticklish. As promised he's careful and gentle with her not out to sprain her wrist. But he'll pull his cigarette out of his mouth and cheer when he's finally tapped her knuckles onto the picnic blanket. "The man deserves a prize!" He taps his lips with a cheeky grin. He could either mean a kiss or whatever she's got under that cover on the dessert plate!

Katie is no withering flower, as Gavin himself observed, and she's not one to give up easily, either. Teeth gritted, lips pressed into a tight line, she puts her all into it, solely for the reason of showing up the soldier. "Oi!" she blurts at the tickle, and redoubles her effort. To no avail, and not to her surprise, when Gavin feels like it he bests her fairly easily. She huffs a breath from her nose, then wrinkles said nose at Gavin's cheek. The girl doesn't kiss on the first date, and this isn't even a date! So the dessert plate it is! The young woman straightens, smoothing her skirt, taking her time to let Gavin suffer a moment. "I think that tickle was cheating, but yeh'd have beaten me out anyroad. Still, I don't know if yeh deserve this…" Saying this she uncovers the plate, revealing not one but two choices, a piece of each the raspberry jam sponge and chocolate sponge.

Gavin seems to have meant the dessert in truth because there's no hint of disappointment when she goes for the plate and not a kiss. "Wow!" He exclaims at the sight of the cakes. "Ladies first." He might have won dessert but at least he's gentlemanly enough to let her pick her preference. While she selects he takes deep drag of his smoke and then taps it out and tucks it inside of his tin. A drink of milk is taken to cleanse his palette.

One more round of fishing into the basket and Katie produces two forks, one of which is offered out to Gavin. "I'm good t'just share them, if yeh are? Why choose just one when we can each have half of both?" Surely that logic can't be argued with, unless Gavin has a thing about germs. Katie, obviously, does not.

Gavin takes his fork and taps it against hers so it chimes a touch. "To sweet sweet victory and not getting beat by a lass. Ye almost had me there for a moment. Sweatin' bullets with worry. Sorry for the cheat, just curious, as a cat." He takes a bit of each cake onto his fork at the same time and eagerly eats the pair. "Half of both. Genius."

Katie laughs, a clear sound in the evening air, "Go on with yeh. Yeh never worried for a second." The teasing is light and friendly, companionable as the company. "I always like t'have a bit of each, they're grand t'gether. Nothin' better than chocolate an' raspberry jam." Sitting back up properly now, Katie looks toward the ducks. "An' they don't seem interested in the least, so yer safe f'r now."

Gavin grins and licks his lips, "Yer right, there really is nothing better. This is just icing on the cake. This has been fun. Thanks for coming. Certainly nicer than getting pished with the boys. Half the cost, twice the company, and I'll remember it all in the morning. Don't tell any of my kin this, but I could get used to it."

Katie's eyes might be just a little too big for her mouth as she takes a bit much of each cake on her fork, but she still shovels it in gamely, rolling her eyes at the lovely combination. Before she can talk she's already nodding agreement to Gavin, and when she can finally swallow, says, "I think it's been a grand time. The duck an' rice an' all was wonderful, thank yeh, Gavin." There's no real hurry except for the sun sinking lower in the sky, so the pair can enjoy their dessert and company for a little while longer, until Katie has to scoot off home before Da sends out a search party.

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