(1939-10-17) Friendly Advice
Details for Friendly Advice
Summary: Katie takes the opportunity of an unexpected visit from Gavin to bring up something she's been mulling over.
Date: 17 October 1939
Location: Hind's Fish and Chips

Gavin flicks his cigarette out into the gutter as he pulls open the door. For once he's not in after a bender and doesn't look like death warmed over and wrapped in fishy oil newspaper! In his hands there's two bouquets of flowers and a box of cigars as well as a few books. He keeps out of the way and off to the side of the kitchen door. Peeking in through the service window, depending on who's about to come out and handle the new customer he has their present ready for them, if it's Mr. Hind it's the box of cigars that's held out with a big 'surprise!' grin. If it's Mrs. Hind it's a bouquet. If it's Jack it's a few books that Gavin enjoyed when he was his age and lastly if it's Katie a bouquet and a stack of Agatha Christie books are snaps out in a ta-da! way as soon as they come out the kitchen door. He is in uniform and all fresh and clean cut.

Being a bit later in the day, and with Daniel scheduled for duty on a rooftop tonight, the whole family is in the kitchen, getting a start on clearing up after the day's work. Three heads turn at the sound of the bell, Jack the only one that keeps right on working, and Katie sets aside the rag she'd been using to wipe down the work table. There's a quick check of her apron as she says, "Betting is open on whether it's Missus Riley or old Mister Dopper." Sharing a laugh with her parents, Katie has a smile curving her lips as she pushes through the door into the main room. It's almost confusion that flickers over her face before the smile brightens even further. "Gavin!" She steps forward hurriedly, then realizes that his arms are brimming full, so her impulsive greeting turns into, "Cor, what a sight yeh are, an' all loaded down."

Gavin sets aside everything so that he can give her a big hug that includes a lift up and a spin about before he'll put her down and press her presents back at her. "I come bearing gifts!" His Glaswegian accent thick and playful. "You look a sight yourself lass. Good to see you. Will I be struck down if I come into the kitchen and pass around the presents?"

Katie's strength can be felt in the hug she returns, laughing as she's twirled and set back to her feet. "Flowers an' Agatha Christie!" Katie exclaims, delighted. "Such a thoughtful one, yeh are, an' a right scamp as well, not tellin' me yeh'd be comin'." The scold is light, clearly teasing. She puts the books on the table but holds onto the flowers. "I'll see that yer not," she promises as she pulls the soldier through the swinging door. "Mum, Dad, we've a visitor!"

The elder Hinds look up, and Mary reaches to tap Jack lightly, motioning him to look toward the door as Daniel steps forward first. "Lad! Good t'see you!" There's a hearty handshake, then a hug and kiss on the cheek from Mary, and a manly handshake with a beaming smile from Jack.

Gavin presses the flowers into Mary's arm after he returns the hug and kiss. "Looking fine Mrs. Hind. Here you are. Thank you from all the boys and myself of course for those treats you sent. Delicious!" Then he unloads the box of cigars. "Sorry it's not a full box sir." Hope you smoke! Goes unsaid and the hand shake is given once his hands are free which means pressing the books into Jack's free hand and the lad gets a chuck on the shoulder and a signed greeting and the letter J. "Sorry for the unexpected turn up. I didn't know I would be able to get a pass."

Daniel doesn't waste any time, going right over to get a portion of fish and chips down for Gavin, as Mary takes over the parental part of the conversation. She fusses over Gavin as Katie stands aside, watching with a grin. "You look smashing in your uniform, Gavin," is said as she mother hens, smoothing wrinkles that don't exist. "So kind of you to bring gifts, when all we really need as a gift is you stopping in." Jack is thoroughly distracted, flipping through the books, but he did remember to sign his thanks before losing himself. "Katie, take him upstairs where it's comfortable, we'll send our Jack up with a good meal when it's ready." Katie nods dutifully, reaching to take her mother's flowers as well, to get both bouquets into water upstairs. "Right, Mum," she says with a nod, turning to Gavin and stepping to hook an arm with his.

Gavin waves his now very free hands, "Och, no need to go out of your way." But his arm is easily hooked and he gives a big sheepish smile. "Thank you, everyone." He'll then follow Katie where she leads. "Really I didn't mean to have such a fuss. It's just me." Simple Gavin, long time customer.

A door off to the side of the kitchen reveals a staircase up along the side of the building, and Katie takes the lead up the narrow passageway. "An' we're happy t'see 'just you'," she tosses over her shoulder cheerily. The top of the stairs lets out into the living room, a simple, homey place, with sturdy furniture. "Come through, an' I'll get these flowers into water while yeh tell me all about how things are at the barracks." She leads him through into the family kitchen, immediately getting containers for the flowers to fill with water.

Gavin is a gentleman, but he's still a man and so he quite enjoys the view of her heading up the stairs in front of him. If he's caught looking he'll give an apologetic cheeky grin and pry his eyes up and away. "Boring really." He answers about the barracks. "Smelly too. Pigpen is wot we call Hutcherson. He's always got the vein in the CO's temple thumping like a bass drum during inspections. Course lucky me stuck under the one soldier that still acts like he's on the farm." He slowly strolls about the reception as he talks. Taking in the details. "Lovely home Katie."

A quick minute has the flowers deposited in water so Katie can turn her attention fully to Gavin. "I'll find yeh some lavender an' yeh can put it under yer pillow. It might not kill the smell entirely, but at least it'll give yeh somethin' t'dream better dreams with." She grins before asking, "Can I get yeh somethin' t'drink? Cuppa tea?"

Gavin nods, "Ta. Anythings that's nae a fuss love." He starts to unbutton his uniform jacket and he hangs it on the back of a chair before he settles down. His pack of cigarettes are taken out. "Mind?" Permission is sought before he'll light one up and also cheekily offer. "Care to try again too?"

Katie pushes up a heavy lid to expose a burner on the stove, lighting it and getting a kettle of water on as she laughs. "Yeh go on, I think I'm good without tryin' again. All th' coughin' I did was enough t'put me off 'em for now." She pulls out another chair at the table and settles into it, her grin now beaming directly at him. "Such a lovely surprise, seein' yeh, Gavin." She pauses, then goes on. "I was hopin' t'get t'soon. There's somethin' I wanted t'talk t'yeh about, an' I'd rather like this than in a letter."

Gavin lights up the cigarette and leans back in the chair and crosses one leg up so that his ankle is on the other knee. "I am sorry to come without notice. But had to seize an opportunity. Oh, aye? It's true that certain things should be face to face. I hope I've nae done anything to cause trouble?"

Katie looks surprised by the very thought, and voices that, "Trouble? Don't be daft." She hesitates again, biting her lip, then blurts out, "I've been thinkin' about joinin' th' Land Girls. I'd likely have t'go out t'the country an' help tend a farm, but it'd be really puttin' somethin' in for the war effort." She sounds excited but a bit trepidatious, knowing that she's contemplating something huge.

Gavin chuckles when he's called daft. "Well…" He gives a shrug, he is concerned that his relationship with Katie is causing Antsy Pants to get antsy! When she reveals what she wanted to talk about he grins proudly. "Well that is amzin'. Been calling you a Land Girl for weeks now. Might as well do the time. I think it would be really good for you Katie. Doing something away from the shop. You also have the luxury of not needing to be a Land Girl to get by, so if things don't work out. There's no harm in coming home. No shame in it either. Trying and putting forth the effort is worth failing for."

"I knew it'd be smart t'bring it up with yeh first, Gavin," Katie says, looking less apprehensive. "I don't mind a bit a' hard work an' yeh know fair well that I'll do no such thing as fail." The light indignance in her tone is also teasing, and she goes on talking as she gets up to see to the tea. "Maybe I could even find a way t'take our Jack. He's strong, he'd have gone t'serve if not for his hearin'."

Gavin taps his lighter softly on the table as he takes another drag from his smoke. The indignance from her is responded to with a wink but the playfulness turns into a soft frown of concern when Jack is brought up. "Farm folk aren't patient folk love. I don't know if he'll be treated very well. There's a lot of danger in farming that can come from not being able to hear. Tractor coming, bull rushing… if you find a good group I bet he'll be fine." Gavin wants Jack to feel proud of himself almost as much as Katie, and while he's cautious, he's not about to try to kill her motivation to get the lad doing something for the effort.

"Town folk aren't either," Katie points out, a soft resignation to her words as she returns with two full cups. The kitchen is nice and warm, the tea strong, and she puts a cup in front of Gavin before sitting again. Sugar and milk go into her tea. "I don't expect it wouldn't be hard goin', at first. But if someone were willin' t'take a chance, I know that Jack'd be up to it." She sighs softly, sipping her tea. "I know it might not work out, but it's something I've got t'try for him, anyroad. But at least he's bein' helpful, goin' out with Da whenever he can."

Gavin smiles and nods and rolls his head in a nod. Confident it seems that something will come up for Jack. "I could also talk to the Major? He knows all sorts of people. He might be able to fit Jack in somewhere. The Major appreciates a person that want to truly be a help and do their part." Gavin picks a bit of tobacco off of his tongue and rubs it out of existance. "So a real Land Girl. That's amazin'. Have you talked about it with your family yet? Or with An-Xander?"

A hopeful light sparks in Katie's eyes, "Would yeh, Gavin? That'd be grand, he so wants t'help." She stands and turns to the cupboards, retrieving a packet of biscuits and a little plate, putting them out for Gavin as if in reward for his helpfulness. Plopping back down she beams across the table, but quickly shakes her head. "I've not yet, I'd thought t'talk t'yeh about it first. Bein' in service, yeh know about things an' if it'd be a good idea." Her eyes shoot ceilingward for a moment, shoulders shrugging, "I don't know what anyone would think of th' idea. I'd hope they'd be proud."

Gavin leans forward to pat her wrist. "They will be lass. Worry might take them over for a while, but they will be proud." He returns his hand to his cup and takes a good sip. The reaction he has makes it clear that the Army doesn't have this good of tea for his rank. "I've died and gone to heaven."

Katie catches his fingers for a quick squeeze before letting go. "I'll have t'send a packet with yeh. It's criminal not t'give a man a good cuppa." The door in the other room can be heard opening and closing, and the scent of freshly fried fish and chips makes it into the kitchen a good ten seconds before Jack does. His hands are full so he just nods a greeting as he puts Gavin's meal down. Three pieces of fish, extra chips, mushy peas and pickled onions are set before the soldier. When his hands are free Jack signs and Katie interprets, "Good t'see yeh, mate. There's more if yeh want, an' thanks for the books, they're brilliant." From his expression, it's clear that Jack is just over the moon with them.

Gavin winks to Katie just before the door opens. He could pop the buttons on his shirt for how deeply he inhales through his nose, chest swelling. "Och there's no finer smell!" He claps his hands together once and then rubs them togeher. Katie and Jack both then witness a whole strategic plan laid out in quite the performance in just his eyebrows and eyes alone. Plan established he smiles over at Jack and gives the sign for 'Thank you'. The grin goes sheepish as he tells Katie while looking at Jack, "There's one in there that could get me in trouble with your Ma. So don't let her get ahold of the one with the sack cover." The lad gets a 'hint hint know what I mean?' nudge of Gavin's elbow. But it's just for a moment because he needs his elbows to enact Mission: Chippy Sushi. He lays one of the fried fillets flat and uses the newspaper to flatten the filet very gently. Then over the top part of the filet he smears some peas. Then acrosswise he layers the onions then stacks some chips and puts some more onions over the chips and then he rolls the filet up to create a roll or wrap around it. The peas acting as glue. He lifts the roll up and with a grin toasts the creation to Katie and her little brother it takes a total of four big bites and the first of three is down the hatch.

Katie signs Gavin's words for Jack, with a raised brow and pointed look at the soldier with mention of a book that would get him in trouble, but it's still amused. It's not her business, she'll just pretend she didn't hear that part of it. But she may have to check and see what that book is herself. Jack's eyes widen as he realizes that he's left the books in the kitchen, and hopefully his parents are too busy to look at them. Still, he darts out of the room suddenly, making Katie laugh. "I get th'feelin' he's left them where Mum can see them." There's no little bit of fascination as she watches Gavin put his meal together in a rather unorthodox way. When he gulps it down she murmurs, "Cor, mind yeh don't choke. Take yer time an' enjoy it."

Gavin chuckles at the look he gets and gives Jack a wink just before he goes dashing and that gets a laugh out of the soldier. "Nothing too too bad. I promise. It was actually a book that taught me about how to treat a lady. The lad's 14, plenty old enough to be getting some insight on dealin' with you ladies." He looks down at his food that he's once more preparing. "I am enjoyin' it. If you don't eat it fast then it falls apart." A wink is tossed to her and then he sucks his fingers clean. "Would you like me to be around when you tell people? I'm sure I might get fingers pointed at me if some aren't happy about the idea."

Well, now she is curious to see what that book is. "He's only 14," Katie chides gently. Granted, things are different for boys than for girls, and it's not so shocking if they experience a bit much before marriage. But she herself was raised with very proper ideas about things. Still, with her mind wandering along a dicey avenue, her eyes might focus on Gavin a moment too long as he rather inelegantly cleans his fingers. When she realizes she looks away quickly, stands and crosses to fetch him a proper napkin. She lays it over his shoulder before returning to her seat, looking thoughtful as she cradles her chin in her hand, eyes on the tablecloth. "It's my idea, there's nothin' t'blame yeh for. I won't let that happen. I've been thinkin' about it since war was declared." Right around that time they were working together and he called her Land Girl for the first time, in fact.

Gavin uses the napkin with another soft 'Ta' and he smiles at her and just looks at her with a knowing smile. He has taken credit for her choice rather brazenly as he's damn certain that it was those exact turn of events that put her on this path. "Well I wouldn't blame your parents or your boyfriend for being upset with me for polishing the path so to speak. If you like, I can steal the book back from Jack. I just learned a lot from that book. I think you might agree that it taught me well." In the fact that in her experience he's done well by her. Discussion must be paused so long as the second prepared chippy sushi roll gets gobbled up. This time he dips it into the sauce first, this was a bit of a mistake because a large drip lands on his chest. "Bloody…mess." He censors himself in front of Katie, just like Jack will if he reads that book and takes it to heart.

"It has taught yeh well, an' our Jack could do a far sight worse than t'be like yeh," Katie agrees. She falls silent to let him start eating again, following her mother's example and being a source of quiet company without realizing it. Until the sauce plops and she scampers to her feet again. She goes right to the sink and wets a corner of a dishcloth, then comes back to the table. "I should have tucked the napkin right into yer collar, I see," she grins, motioning to him. "Sit back an' let me have at that. Bit of cold water," is warned as she moves to wipe the spot, should he allow it.

Gavin looks bashful and then playfully gives her a glower that is quite impressive with those eyebrows of his when she teases him about the spill. "Aye, a bib is exactly wot I need." He chuckes and before she can wipe at it he leans back and sweeps his finger over it so that he gets the excess on his finger which he pops into his mouth and mutters around it, "Waste not…"

There's a swat of the towel at his hand and Katie scolds, "Don't rub it in, it'll leave a stain. Daft," is muttered again as her attention goes to the task at hand. She tries not to get the spot wetter than it needs, not wanting him to catch a chill from the cold water, using one hand to hold his shirt still while the other rubs briskly. Nearly a full minute is spent until it's to her satisfaction, and she finally straightens from her close lean to inspect it.

Gavin chuckles and raises his hands when she swats at him in surrender. "Eating too much duck!" He teases her and then hrms looking down at the shirt. "I'm going to have to go and get this changed out. But while I'm gone, why don't you give Xander a ring and see if we can't all meet up at that nightclub you were talking about in a few hours?" He winks to her as he shoves the remaining food down his gullet like an anaconda eating a horse. Once his plate is clean he leans in to give her cheek a kiss. "Love that face." He winks once more while sliding into his jacket and buttoning it up which thankfully covers the stain. With that he click his heels together and gives his friend a crisp salute. "Until then."

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