(1939-10-02) Flyboys Bearing Gifts
Details for Flyboys Bearing Gifts
Summary: Alan stops by the chip shop to make good on a promise to give Katie's brother Jack a book about aeroplanes. Brandy stops in to liven things up.
Date: 2 October 1939
Location: Hind's Fish and Chips, Waterloo, London
Related: Flyboy Talk

It is.. absolutely sheeting it down with rain outside. Hence it may take Katie a moment or to to recognize the owner of the blue/grey greatcoat, cap pulled well down and something tucked inside the coat, until he removes his cap. "Ooof. Afternoon, miss."

The rain has put a damper on business today, so Katie will be found distracted at the counter, a book open in front of her. There's a ready smile for the newly arrived customer, which broadens when the familiar face is revealed. "Officer Martin, what a pleasure t'see yeh on such a disagreeable day. Take yer wet coat off, I'll get a cuppa t'warm yeh." She folds over a page corner before setting the book aside.

Alan does as invited, the woolen greatcoat heavy with rain. "Don't mind if I do." He smiles. "On the bright side, I'd give this about half an hour at most: I was up above it not so long ago."

Katie comes around to exchange the tea for the heavy coat, lugging it to a hook on the wall. A small puddle immediately begins to form under it, but that'll be taken care of later. "What's it like, up above the clouds?" she asks curiously.

"Bright." He grins. "If you get high enough. And it's like having a white carpet underneath you. Wind's coming from the west, and there's a big break in the clouds that was 'round about Reading way when I was up."

The young woman dries her hands absently on her apron as she listens, the distant look in her eyes an indication of her attempt to imagine such a thing. "That sounds lovely," she says as she focuses back on Alan. "They should put yeh on the BBC with the weather forecast."

Alan chuckles. "And where do you think the BBC gets some of its information from, miss?" he teases.

There's a grin for the tease, and Katie counters, "Shall I call yeh Weatherman Martin then? It's got a ring, I'll say that." She moves back to the counter and behind it, calling back without even asking, "Skate, please, Da, with mushy peas an' chips." The familiar answer is, "Aye, Bug."

"I seem to have been stuck with 'Aston' after the sports car, actually." He finds a seat, setting his cap down and a small paperwrapped book underneath it.

Back around on the customer side of the counter, Katie leans back against it, amusement dancing in her eyes. "An' tell me then, how d'yeh get that moniker? Have yeh one?"

Alan snorts, amused. "I wish. Aston Martins are expensive." A touch wistfully, "Mind you…."

"C'mon then," Katie cajoles gently, "Out with it. How d'yeh find yerself tagged with such an expensive name then?" She pauses, head tilting as she recalls, "I rode in one, not long ago."

Alan says, "Aston. Martin. Aston Martin. My Squadron Leader likes fast cars as well." He grins. "Ooo. Lucky you."

Katie facepalms, she should have gotten such an obvious tie-in. "Cor, I must be slippin' in my old age." Her hand drops and she grins right back. "I've a friend in th' Royal Fusiliers, an' he borrowed it from his commanding officer. Took me all around town in it, it was brilliant."

Alan laughs. "I bet. I'm aiming to buy one sometime soon. Something nice and fast, anyway. I'll give you a ride."

"Mind yerself," Katie warns lightly, "Or I'll be makin' yeh promise t'that." She slips over to where Alan sits, glancing back to the kitchen before she pulls out a chair opposite and invites herself to sit. "Fast automobiles and aeroplanes," she observes.

Alan chuckles. "Dangerous combination. Anyway." He lifts the hat to reveal the paper-wrapped book. "I found a book for your brother."

Blue eyes widen and Katie scoots forward, clearly excited as her eyes fall to the parcel. "Oh bless yeh, Officer Martin. Our Jack will be over th'moon." Her face falls, and she clucks her tongue gently, "Only I wish he was here t'meet yeh, Da sent him 'round t'deliver an order up th'road. He'd have a million questions for yeh, I've no doubt."

Alan sighs. "That's a shame. Tell him he can keep it: I've read it enough times. And I will come play piano for him, if you can find a good time for that."

"That's grand," Katie says with her bright smile as Alan mentions that the book is Jack's to keep. "He'll be so excited." Her brows lift as she asks, "D'yeh think a Sunday might ever be good for yeh? The shop is closed, an' we'd be able t'go down t'the school." She's got no clue what his training demands in the way of his time, but knows that Gavin, he of the borrowed Aston Martin, has very little time free now.

Alan mms. "That'd be fine, I suspect." He considers, nods. "As far as I know, the C/O hasn't booked me a night training flight or anything, so…"

Katie's light frown comes, with a press of her lips as she ponders, "It sounds more dangerous, flyin' at night. It's a dodgy business drivin' at night, an' there's lights on the streets. How d'yeh find anything?"

Alan laughs. "Carefully." He toys with his cap. "Mostly dead reckoning - you figure out how long for and how fast, and when you've done, you start looking for runway lights."

"Dead reckoning," Katie repeats, as if testing the words. There's a beat before she speaks again. "Sounds dead ominous, if yeh ask me. I'll be addin' you an' yours t'my prayers at night, along with Gavin an' his."

Alan smiles at her. "I'd not be ungrateful. Fortunately, there's not much night flying for us. The Germans don't like it either, so…"

Katie's smile ghosts back onto her lips, "Small blessing, that." Her brows lift hopefully, "Da thinks that since they didn't start bombin' right on, like everyone thought, that they won't." It doesn't sound like she entirely shares that optimism, but it's something to hold on to.

Alan wisely doesn't share his views on the subject either. "We can hope." A glance up at the door. "See. Told you it'd stop raining."

At the mention, Katie's eyes shift to the front of the shop, and her smile returns in full force. As the bell rings from the kitchen, she stands, teasing easily, "Weatherman Martin." She moves to gather up the meal, bringing it over to Alan's table and setting it down for him.

Alan grins, unrepentant. "Be nice to at least maybe get back to base dry." He smiles. "Thank you, miss."

"It is decidedly my pleasure, sir," Katie responds, putting on a formal air that doesn't quite tame her grin. "Would yeh like th'papers again?"

She earns herself a warm smile. "If you'd be so kind."

Katie spins with a flourish of apron and red hair, disappearing into the kitchen for a moment, as she had on Alan's first visit. Her return brings today's papers, which she sets at his table. "Mum doesn't approve of th'papers while eating. She says it'll give yeh indigestion," she informs Alan.

Alan hehes. "Sounds like my Mum."

Katie drifts away to give Alan time to enjoy his meal and reading. Now that the rain stopped, a few customers drift in, get swiftly served and are back on their way again, no one choosing to sit for a while and eat in. Between chores, the book is open again and Katie has her nose in it.

Alan finishes, leans back with a contented sigh, and takes a long swig of his tea. He's sufficiently in tune with the way Katie runs the shop that (unless that's a really good book) he's half expecting her to materialize at his table again.

The door is pushed open by a garishly dressed, dark-skinned woman with a string of tiny bells tied around one wrist. "I need chips!" she exclaims in a cheerful tone. "And fish. Before I simply fade away. I feel as if I've had nothing but coffee and tea for days!" Sometimes - just sometimes - Brandy is prone to getting a bit dramatic.

And materialize at his table is exactly what Katie does, with the teapot in hand. "Top off?" she asks with raised brows. She turns at the noise of the new arrival and it draws a laugh from her. "Is the cod alright, Miss Sweetwater, or d'yeh prefer the skate t'day?"

Alan shakes his head. "I'll be fine, thanks, miss." Brandy gets a curious look.

"Cod sounds perfect. And mushy peas. And surprise me with afters. The more surprising, the better. Go wild." Brandy insists, smiling broadly at Katie, and dropping into a seat near Alan with a loud sigh.

Katie's grin is firmly set in place, and she remembers her manners. "Miss Sweetwater, have yeh met Officer Alan Martin? He's one of the flyboys from up on Biggin Hill. Officer Martin, this is Miss Brandy Sweetwater." With her obligation fulfilled, she turns to go call the order to the back, although it's highly likely her father already heard it.

Alan stands, offers a hand. "Pleased to meet you, Ma'am."

"Officer Martin, an absolute pleasure," Brandy responds, taking the man's hand and offering an enthusiastic pump. "Can't say enough good things about the boys on Biggin Hill. Intelligent, brave… mostly virtuous." She winks at the man, grinning broadly.

"He's brought a book over for our Jack," Katie offers from behind the counter. "They're kind, as well." A cup is filled and brought over for Brandy, the tea steaming hot.

Alan has the courtesy to colour a touch. "And now you're flattering me, Miss." He retakes his seat, downs the last of his tea. "We also know a good place to eat when we see one."

"Oh, well, I thought kind went without stating. We're having to actually put that part in, now? Fine, fine. Also kind. Thanks duck," Brandy says cheerfully. She picks up her cup of tea, taking a small sip, and then pours in a little bit extra from a silver flask inside her purse. Because sometimes this much cheer needs a little help. "How's Jackers doing, anyways?"

There's not a bird she knows that doesn't enjoy making a bloke take a bit of colour, and Katie's right in with them. A bit pleased with herself, she turns to Brandy's question. "Bee's knees, him. Out makin' a delivery, an' the way he is, likely t'be stoppin' for a sweet if he's a bit of change in his pocket. Ta for that, kind of yeh t'ask." She retreats back behind the counter, stopping to scribble something on a scrap of paper.

Alan folds the newspaper, picks up his cap. "I should go, miss." The RAF service cap is placed on his head, raised to both women, "Ladies." A smile for Katie. "I'll see you and your brother Sunday, then?"

"Well, he's always had one of the best smiles, your Jackers, and me I like a nice smile," Brandy says to Katie cheerfully, before studying Alan as he rises. "Aww - we've chased him off!" she complains, giving Alan an amused smile. "Was it something we said? And we hadn't even gotten to the jazz portion of our little song and dance - have we?" she asks Katie, while pretending to dance right in her seat.

Katie giggles at Brandy's antics, an easy, bubbly sound, even as she moves to retrieve Alan's coat from the hook on the wall. "Aye, Sunday it is. Can't wait t'tell Jack, he'll be beside himself." She looks to Brandy then, adding, "I'd understand if I was playin' the violin, I'm not very good. But singing… cor, we ought t'be insulted." Her smile remains and she turns over the officer's coat. "Good t'see yeh again, an' look forward t'the next time."

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