(1939-11-04) Presents and Dancing
Details for Presents and Dancing
Summary: With nightfall, the officers (and guests) of 812 Squadron gather to celebrate the Old Man's Birthday
Date: 1939-11-04
Location: Officer's Mess, Biggin Hill Aerodrome

SCENE: The Officers Mess at Biggin Hill has been decked out with candles, and a few cards. The tables and chairs have been largely pushed back, to make a space for dancing. The piano has also space around it, for singers.

Night has fallen, and the squadron has stood down, since almost without exception, its pilots are not night fighter trained. And they gather in the Mess, with a view to entertainment. Guy limps in, and promptly orders a pint.

Flight Lieutenant "Birdie" Faulkner is already in the Mess, though for the special occasion he's put on one of his better uniforms, instead of the more usual RAF scruffiness. His cap, with it's fifty-mission-crush, has been tucked next to a pile of others on the windowsill, and he already has a cigarette between his fingers and a cocktail in front of him.

Guy gets out a cigarette of his own, "I've invited some guests down from London. On my mess bill, obviously."

Speaking of guests from London, Kahren steps onto the RAF base for the second time - not that she would ever mention the last time for fear of getting Guy into trouble. She's wearing one of the dresses Guy had purchased for her - with polkadotted fabric, and gloves and a hat. She's feeling like a very posh Muggle indeed, and can only hope that she's finally gotten it right and won't be embarrassing poor Guy tonight.

"Oh, nonsense, old man, your money is no good tonight, you know that." Faulkner says, looking over at him, and then raising his glass, "Many happy returns and all that rot. Try not to get shot down in your old age."

Guy chuckles, starting to reply, when Kahren arrives, and instead he limps across. "Miss Umbridge! So delighted you could make it down here! Any trouble on the way?"

"Oh, no, I managed it alright," Kahren responds easily. "Though it was my first time on one of those busses," she adds more quietly. "I quite enjoyed the ride." Smiling warmly she adds, "Happy birthday and many happy returns, Mister Grosvenor. I took the pleasure of bringing a little something…" She explains, before offering over the velvet drawstring bag she was carrying - and the brandy contained within.

Faulkner remains at the bar, but looks over curiously as he hears Kahren mention her first time on a bus. His expression obviously indicates he wonders where Guy finds some of his friends, but he just smiles and shakes his head once, then sips his Aviation cocktail and puffs away.

Guy chuckles, accepting the bag, and offering his cheek to be saluted, should she choose to do so. "Oh, you shouldn't have! Awfully kind." And he pauses, and adds, "Yes, London is so much more obliging with cabs and the Underground."

Kahren obligingly kisses Guy on the cheek when it's offered, then takes the man by the arm. "Of course I should have - you deserve it. And you know how fond I am of the underground!" It still utterly enthralls her. "Why don't you introduce me to the gentlemen in your squadron - that's what you call it, don't you? Are any of them here?"

Guy takes the arm, and guides Kahren into the main body of the Mess, "Of course! And this here is Birdie! He's my right hand man!"

Faulkner stubs out his cigarette, leaving his pack of senior service on the bar, as he turns while the introductions make their way around. With a slight bow he offers his hand politely, "Flight Lieutenant Charles Faulkner, Miss. Though everyone around here calls me Birdie. Would you care for a drink?"

After Birdie is introduced, however, the lights dim, and a few white-jacketed mess stewards open the door. They roll in a truly enormous cake of several large layers, with an RAF roundrel on top. It has sparklers and Union Jack flags sticking off it, and each layer below the bottom is covered in candles suitable to those with a particularly large number of birthdays. The cake comes to rest in the cleared area near the piano, and then one of the pilot officers begins to tickle the ivories.

Guy glances around, "Alright! Which rotter is responsible for this? I _do_ write reports on all of you, you know!" The gruffness is mostly for effect, however, and he does look, at least to those who know him reasonably well, amused.

"Oh, so Birdie is something of a nickname?" Kahren asks as she takes the man's hand and shakes it warmly. "I'm Kahren Umbridge, Flight Lieutenant, and I would love a drink. Mulled wine if they have it here, if not a rum'll-" She cuts off as a large cake is wheeled in, and she turns to look at it. Oh. She didn't know Muggles celebrated with such large cakes! "How marvelous."

Laughter and merriment ring out through the mess hall as a number of men with their pints in their hands begin to strike up singing: "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" from the sidelines, despite Guy's protests.

Faulkner coughs into his hand, because he might, in fact, be somewhat responsible for this. "A planter's punch for the lady, if you don't mind." he says, to the bartender, ordering her a rum cocktail. "Yes, Birdie's a nickname." Then he turns to salute and sing along with the others. Loudly, and out of tune, in the finest RAF tradition.

Guy raises his glass to all and sundry, awaiting the end of the tort…. singing. Yep. The Old Man appears secretly gratified by this recreation of the Mess Spirit of a day gone by.

A planter's punch? Kahren is not entirely sure what that is - and is not entirely sure if a Muggle girl should know what that is. She'll simply have to play along, and it can wait for later, besides. For now, she joins the others in singing along, smiling broadly at Guy.

The beautiful cake is a sight to behold in the otherwise stark, military surroundings - and quite out of the everyday ordinary sights to be seen around here. With all its pageantry and colour, it makes for quite a display in and of itself… but it certainly is large.

As the traditional refrain of the song reaches its crescendo, something unexpected and surprising happens. Up Pops the Devil!

The top of the cake is shattered, and a young, beautiful redheaded woman bursts out from within with her arms outstretched in an enthusiastic pose. Her outfit seems fitting for the airbase - what little there is of it - and she looks quite smashing. She sports an extremely tight-fitting officer's jacket which has been cut to make it into more of an extraordinarily short, but adorable dress. Also, she wears a cap tilted at a rakish angle, perched atop her red hair. Rena, the showgirl flashes that sunshiny smile of hers and calls out: "Evening Gents!" enthusiastically. Also, she fixes on Guy and salutes him with a wink: "'Appy birthday, Gov!"

Faulkner finds someplace else to look, and whistles quietly. If Rena's officer's jacket happens to have the rank lace of a Flight Lieutenant and features RAF wings and "Mutt and Jeff" among the ribbons, that's purely coincidence.

Guy bursts out laughing, and raises his pint towards Rena, "Alright! Alright! I'm surprised! What a marvelous thing! Do you need a hand out of there, Miss Lee?"

Kahren is also clearly surprised by this turn of events. "Rena… Lee?" she asks quietly. Is this a normal thing? People popping out of cakes at birthday parties? Muggles are quite strange indeed!

Pilot Officer David Evans steps into the mess just in time to see the woman burst out of the cake, and he both laughs and claps merrily with the others present. He trots over to join the other fellows in his squadron, a large grin on his features. "Should have known this little fete wouldn't disappoint! Many happy returns, sir."

Faulkner nods, and explains, "Yes, Miss Lee visits us out here pretty frequently. She's friends with a number of us, including the Old Man - Squadron Leader Grosvenor, that is, and I." He picks his drink up and gives a little cheer, then takes a drink before he says, "Excuse me a moment." And goes to help Guy giving Rena an arm down out of the cake.

Rena giggles at the varied responses from the people around the room. Faulkner certainly isn't the only one to whistle - and others aren't nearly so quiet about it. Wolf whistles and catcalls abound. It only serves to make her smile more broadly though… This is old hat to her, and she's more than gratified to know she's "still got it" as one might say.

Planting her hands on her hips, she tilts her head and looks down at Guy saucily: "Well now," she replies, "Either I get some 'elp, or you lots will 'ave to eat the cake around me."

Her dark-eyed gaze flicks between Faulkner and Guy: "A hand on each side and I'll be out in a trice." Seeing as she is a fairly small thing, she has little difficult balencing between them and tucking up her legs as they free her of the cake prison. Landing on solid ground with a bounce on her toes, she laughs: "Thank you kindly, Sirs!"

Guy laughs again, "Right chaps! Tasty things to chew on…..!" A significant pause, "And I mean the cake! Get em served out, eh! Drink, Miss Lee?"

"That was certainly an… interesting entrance," Kahren remarks once Rena is freed of the cake and set on solid ground. "But good evening." There are questions she wants to ask - and it shows. But they're surounded by Muggles, so Kahren holds her tongue.

"Aye, aye, ma'am." Faulkner says, as he takes Rena's hand and elbow and, with Guy's help, lifts her clear of the cake so that the stewards can get about cutting it into a gazillion little pieces. He offers a smile and then a tip of the hat he's not wearing before he says, "Our pleasure, as always, Miss." Then he retreats to the bar, to get his drink refreshed.

Guy is very politely _not_ looking below Rena's uniform jacket. At all. Not at all. Much. As he helps her out of the cake. "You chaps know each other, obviously!"

As the stewards start cutting the cakes, David makes sure to collect the first pieces - delivering them to Guy, Rena, Kahren and Faulkner in that order before taking one for himself. He isn't showing any hesitancy about admiring the view of Rena's legs that her outfit currently allows. "Quite an entrance, ma'am."

Rena flashes Guy a feigned scolding look for his remark (and the slightly wandering glance) and wags her finger playfully. Tonight's a night for living it up - and this used to be her job. She really doesn't seem to be bothered by it. As Faulkner quickly takes his leave, she flashes a slightly bemused glance in his direction before turning her attention to Kahren. Only then does a little colour rise in her cheeks, and she laughs: "Kahren! I… guess I oughtn't be surprised to see you 'ere. Came for Guy's birthday, too! There's lovely, that is." Of course she's pleased.

Quirking an eyebrow, Rena looks to young David with a sparkle in her eyes and she touches the brim of her cap in a very playful way: "Why thank you, sir!"

Faulkner returns a few moments later with a round of drinks between his hands. His own cocktail, a pink gin for Guy, and a gin and tonic for Rena. Funny how he should know what she likes without asking. "Oh, do we all know each other already?" Birdie asks, and then nods to Guy, "Yes, Miss Lee came around looking for you, but you were out. So we went to the range for a bit. She's deadly with the .22, you know."

"I was invited," Kahren confirms. "Wouldn't miss it for the world." And it was a chance to see some of the base properly, rather than skulking about. Unlike the wandering eyes of the boys, she is studiously ignoring the rather… shortened nature of Rena's attire. Her own drink in hand, Kahren takes a sip before remarking, "Yes, we've known each other for a while, Miss Lee and I."

"Pilot Officer David Evans, ma'am. And any friend of the Squad Leader's alright in my book." Definitely alright in his book, to judge by the young man's smile as he offers his hand.

Guy gives a grin, "Miss Lee is quite good with a Webley, too!" Evans gets a long look, "David… old chap, can you see if 'Aston' is around? Wouldn't want him to miss the cake, would we?"

"Pleasure is all mine, I'm sure!" Rena replies to David, daintily taking his hand when he offers it. Something in her warmth slips into a look of mild thoughtfulness for a second. She knows the name Evans… But, then again, it is a rather common name, isn't it?

Beaming at Faulkner, Rena accepts the gin and tonic with a grateful nod. Taking a sip of the drink as he explains what transpired between them not long ago, she laughs at his remark and shakes her head: "Oh, nonsense - I did about as well as I did the first lesson with you, Guy. I only improved because Birdie was steadying my aim. 'E is an excellent teacher, though." She says this, glancing at Faulkner in an admiring way before taking another quick sip of her drink and averting her gaze.

"I only gave her a few pointers." Faulkner protests, "Miss Lee's many talents are entirely her own." He sips his drink, and turns from mutual flattery to say, "So, Miss Umbridge, how do you and Miss Lee know each other?" He is, it should be noted, studiously keeping his gaze above neck level, and he finishes the drink rather quickly and then pulls out his cigarette pack, offering them around to anyone else who might be interested.

"Err… Of course sir. Wouldn't dream of that," David answers - setting down the piece of cake he'd claimed for himself. "Sure I won't be long. Ma'am, ma'am." He nods to both Rena and Kahren before turning to make his way out of the mess at a trot. Hey, the sooner he can track the fellow down - or if he can at least claim to put in a good faith effort…

Guy declines politely, draining the beer, before accepting the pink gin. "Thanks Birdie! It's appreciated." Once David's gone, he chuckles, "Young and impressionable, I'm afraid. New to the Squadron."

"She's the friend of a friend," Kahren answers Faulkner's question with a smile - that only shows a hint of tightening at the edges, rather than bring Hogwarts into the equation. "You know how that sort of thing goes. We've known each other for years, now."

Good save, Kahren! Rena flashes the other woman a thankful, relieved smile briefly. She wasn't fast enough on her toes to think of a good excuse that didn't include that private boarding school they attended. She owes her one for that.

An amused look drifts in Guy's direction and Rena smirks: "Young and impressionable, eh? Is that your way of saying: Don't practice any of your fatal charm on the boy, Rena?" She impishly asks in a very point-blank fashion.

"Ah, old friends, then. I can't imagine what Miss Lee was like as a younger woman. Even more of a spitfire than today." Faulkner comments, before giving a nod to Guy in response to his thanks. He taps one of the cigarettes on the case twice, and then flicks his lighter and lights it up. One hand goes into the pocket of his uniform blouse, like an 'RAF Officer at Rest' plate in some picture book. "It's probably better the lad focus on the Hun, rather than the ladies, for the moment."

Guy admits, "I _would_ rather he was concentrating on not getting killed, Rena! Besides, it's easier than explaining that you're not available, isn't it?" He sips his pink gin.

"…no. She rather grew into that, actually," Kahren remarks, giving Faulkner a wry smile. She glances between the two officers, and then after the departed fellow, before back to the trio around her. 'Not available'? Well. She should probably take that as a bit of a relief…

Now Rena's cheeks do redden to a rather bright tinge of rose. Guy said the magic words - far more potent than any spell or incantation. It's time for Rena to duck away from this part of the crowd and try to offer distraction. She isn't about to look at Kahren, and that's for damn sure.

"Well, now - what about a song, eh? Isn't that what I was brought 'ere for?" She asks cutely, trying to recover the slight moment of anxiety.

Guy glances from one girl to the other, "Of course! That'd be lovely, Rena, and I'm sure it'd buck the chaps up!"

Kahren watches Rena move off to prepare for her song, and then returns her attention to Guy, drawing him aside to ask the question that has been nagging at the back of her mind all this while. "…so people often jump out of giant cakes?" she asks in a soft murmur. Muggles do the oddest things!

Guy chuckles, quietly, saying equally softly, "It's the first time it's happened to me. But it's not unheard of! It's very dramatic, isn't it?"

"Extremely," Kahren agrees quietly. "Why do they do that, though?" A lack of magic can make one behave in the most baffling manner, as far as Kahren can tell! Wait until she goes home with tales of people bursting forth from cakes!

You say, "Well, to surprise, of course! Which certainly worked! And to allow an attractive lady to appear suddenly!" He gives the healer a grin, "One way for an attractive lady to appear, that is!"

"So it's always a woman, then? …dressed like that?" Kahren studiously doesn't glance at Rena as she asks that question. "I… see." She doesn't entirely, but that's alright. "Well. It is very festive. And you deserve an absolutely smashing fete, of course."

Guy cracks a grin, "Thanks! And well, not always like _that_… RAF uniforms are an unusual choice, I suspect!" He doesn't mention the 'nothing at all' option. "Oh… do you need another drink?"

"Yes. I think I do," Kahren agrees, after finishing off the cocktail Faulkner had ordered for her. "I don't remember what he called this - some sort of 'punch,' as I recall."

Guy notes, "Planters punch. Rum and juices." And he limps off to acquire another, and another pink gin.

"I've developed quite a taste for rum - though I usually have it straight." After all, Arthur would never have it any other way. "Possibly it's a good idea to dilute it some, though," Kahren remarks wryly.

You say, "Well, if you'd rather have it straight…. we do have some Navy rum, I think!"

"Navy rum? Is that different from other rum?" Kahren asks with puzzled curiousity. After all - she knows nothing about the Muggle Navy! Other than the fact that it exists, of course.

Guy says smoothly, "Oh, it's just a touch stronger. Should I get you one to try?"

Faulkner arches a brow at Guy's pronouncement of Rena's unavailability, but keeps mum. He does give the redhead in question a curious look, but he just sips his drink, then puffs away. "A song seems like an eminently wonderful idea." he agrees, then goes to help hold the bar up as Rena retreats.

"It's stronger? Why?" Kahren asks curiously. "I'll try a little," she agrees. If for no other reason than she can tell Arthur about the experience.

Having moved off to the sidelines where the piano sits ready with its skilled player, Rena has made herself somewhat scarce. The occasional furtive and flustered glance has drifted in Faulkner's direction since she began leafing through the sheet music; but, she isn't one to be shaken for long. "There are so many good numbers - I say, let the birthday boy choose the first song!" She calls out, smiling at Guy. "It is your day, after all."

Guy gets two more drinks, and limps back to Kahren, and calls out, "It's a long way to Tipperary, Rena."

"Thank you," Kahren responds as she takes the drink, studying the color and sniffing cautiously - yes, that does seem to have more fumes than the rum she's tried before. She takes a careful sip - and ends up letting out a cough. "A touch stronger?" she asks Guy.

"Right!" Rena exclaims, clapping her hands together once in approval. The Piano player seems to be ready and willing to accompany her in the song. Before they begin though, she holds her fingers to her lips and whistles sharply to get everyone's attention focused in the direction of the music. Motioning at the crowd to either listen up or gather around, she smiles: "Long way to Tipperary it is, then, chaps! And I expect some 'elp on the choruses because it's more fun that way."

Sliding a chair over to the upright, Rena hops lightly onto it and then hefts herself up onto the top of the instrument to perch on higher ground. Sitting there, poised, she glides one leg over the other to cross them before they strike up the song.

Guy gives a faint smile, "Yes… yes, just a touch." He offers a sip of his pink gin, instead.

Faulkner shoots Guy a glance, "What have you done, are you trying to do, boss?" He has a knowing grin at the complaint about the overproofed rum. Then he turns back to watch Rena asshe lifts herself on top of the piano. He might, possibly, pinch his nose momentarily and shake his head before revealing a little smile. She certainly enjoys the spotlight.

Well. Kahren is game, damnit. Guy ordered the rum, and she is going to drink it. "That is more than a touch," she insists however, before taking another drink. She doesn't cough this time, to her credit, but it is still rather strong for her, obviously.

Guy gives a lazy smile, "Like it? Or a touch too much, eh?"

Rena isn't here to be understated or dignified - she's here to raise spirits and give everyone a good time; most particularly the man of the hour, Squadron Leader Grosvenor. The piano strikes up the opening bars of the song and Rena, bright-eyed and gay, smiles as she begins to sing:

Up to mighty London came
An Irish lad one day,
All the streets were paved with gold,
So everyone was gay!
Singing songs of Piccadilly,
Strand, and Leicester Square,
'Til Paddy got excited and
He shouted to them there:"

The spritely little redhead leans a bit and motions for the boys to sing along as the music moves on into the chorus.

"It's a long way to Tipperary,
It's a long way to go.
It's a long way to Tipperary
To the sweetest girl I know!
Goodbye Piccadilly,
Farewell Leicester Square!
It's a long long way to Tipperary,
But my heart's right there!"

"I'm not quite accustomed to it," Kahren answers - before adding a bit wryly, "It is a bit much, yes." But she takes another sip anyways, turning to listen to Rena sing. "She does have quite the voice, doesn't she?" she remarks softly.

Guy launches into the chorus of the song, with enthusiasm, but not especial skill. As he does so he's leaning over to the bar, and snagging a jug of water, which he offers to Kahren. All might become clear. It's rum concentrate! Same rummyness, less volume, for your convenience!

Faulkner is beckoned over to the bar, and is handed the phone, "Faulkner." he says, and then says, "Sir." "Sir." "Yes, sir." He hangs up the phone, and then walks over and collects his cap, "I'll be back." he says, to no one in particular, and then heads for the door.

Nothing to stop Rena now. She's on a roll with the song, and she's perfectly content to keep on through the whole of it, given the enthusiasm with which the boys all join in for the chorus when it comes around. She's happy as a lark, perched on the piano. What a shame that it isn't Alan playing! She would've preferred that, but ah well…

"Paddy wrote a letter
To his Irish Molly O',
Saying, "Should you not receive it,
Write and let me know!
If I make mistakes in "spelling",
Molly dear", said he,
"Remember it's the pen, that's bad,
Don't lay the blame on me…"

Faulkner walks over to the phone, answers and then takes his leave from the party for the moment. Something of Rena's demeanor dims ever so slightly for a split-second before she recovers herself in time for the chorus again. She waves her hand lightly as he leaves them.

"It's a long way to Tipperary,
It's a long way to go.
It's a long way to Tipperary
To the sweetest girl I know!
Goodbye Piccadilly,
Farewell Leicester Square,
It's a long long way to Tipperary,
But my heart's right there."

Kahren accepts the water with a wry smile, pouring a little into her glass, and trying again with a small sip. She adds some more water after that, and then it seems to meet her liking.

Drink still in hand, she gamely attempts to sing along with the chorus this time - but anyone paying attention would probably see she's not very familiar with the song.

Guy seems happy to sing along, and then in the verse leans in to whisper sweet nothings into Kahren's ear. Or, in this case, tell her the words. Because… you know… obvious otherwise.

Rena's gaze drifts toward Guy and Kahren briefly as she sings, and a mischevous twinkle enters her eyes. Maybe because of the way it looks with him whispering into her ear like that. One has to admit that it seems rather adorably cozy. Even if Kahren doesn't know the song, hopefully she's gotten some enjoyment out of being exposed to more Muggle culture.

"Molly wrote a neat reply
To Irish Paddy O',
Saying, "Mike Maloney wants
To marry me, and so
Leave the Strand and Piccadilly,
Or you'll be to blame,
For love has fairly drove me silly,
Hoping you're the same!

It's a long way to Tipperary,
It's a long way to go.
It's a long way to Tipperary
To the sweetest girl I know!
Goodbye Piccadilly,
Farewell Leicester Square,
It's a long long way to Tipperary,
But my heart's right there!"

The song draws to a close with everyone singing along with gusto, and when they come to an end, Rena beams at the crowd and claps her hands for them. Blowing a few kisses, she calls out that they did marvelously well, and she couldn't have done it without them. She does know how to charm a group of men, that's for sure.

Kahren listens intently as Guy corrects her on some of the words and nods, before trying again on the third chorus - a bit better this time around. "It's a nice little song," she murmurs towards Guy as everyone applauds. "I wonder if she knows any Jazz songs? I've been listening to some of Arthur's - they're just marvelous."

Guy grins, "I can positively guarantee it!" Then louder, he calls out, "Rena? A few jazz numbers for a bit of dancing, if you'd be so kind?" Is it just chance he's left his arm around Kahren from when he leant in to whisper to her?

Rena grins at Guy and Kahren. Pausing a moment to think, she taps one finger on her chin whilst propping her elbow on her hand as she looks up to the unseen heavens for inspiration. A sudden thought strikes her, and she leans down slightly to murmur to the player. He nods and immediately glides into a far smoother song than the one that came before. "We'll slow things down just a little bit, now. Something special for the birthday boy and his lovely friend." She winks and leans languidly back on the piano top slightly before drifting into song…

"It's very clear our love is here to stay
Not for a year, but ever and a day
The radio and the telephone and the movies that we know
May just be passing fancies and in time may go
But, oh, my dear, our love is here to stay
Together we're going a long, long way

In time the Rockies may crumble, Gibraltar may tumble
They're only made of clay
But our love is here to stay
In time the Rockies may crumble, Gibraltar may tumble
They're only made of clay
But our love is here to stay.

At the mention of dancing Kahren's eyes widen slightly, and she hastily shakes her head. "I'm terrible at dancing!" she protests quietly. "I never dance!" But it's not like there's anyone else for her to pawn the birthday boy off on - and Rena is busy singing. Oh, bother. What should she do?

Guy points out, "You've seen my leg, Kahren! It's not like I'm Fred Astaire!" Ohhhh, she's seen his leg has she? Uh huh. And he offers a hand politely. "Shall we?"

Rena just indulgently goes on singing her song, giving Guy and Kahren ample time to dance. The Pianist takes his sweet time, too, rambling though the number with a solo interlude for himself to show off some talent with the ivories. There's no getting out of it for the less than graceful couple.

"I… well. I suppose that's true," Kahren admits. She still looks uncomfortable with the notion - she really doesn't care for dancing in the least - but how can you refuse the birthday boy? "Alright," she relents reluctantly - as she allows him to lead her towards an open bit of floor space for an awkward dance. And why did Rena go and pick a song like that, anyways?

Guy has his hands resting lightly on the womans waist. Presumably to let her circle his neck. And yes. He is just as awful a dancer as anyone who'd seen how he walks, rather than flies, would anticipate.

David Evans reappears as Guy is leading Kahren out to dance, and lets out a whistle, clapping his hands encouragingly. She watches the awkward dance for a few moments, then retrains his attention to the singer perched on the piano. The squadron leader's picked the front dam to dance with, in his opinion.

Rena tries so very hard not to giggle at the end of her song, but alas there is no stopping it from bubbling out. She isn't mean-spirited in any way. She hasn't a mean bone in her body, as anyone who's met her could tell you. "I think we'll keep on with Mister Gershwin, yes, lads?" She asks cutely, sliding along the piano top smoothly, she goes to the edge and winks to the player: "I Can't Get Started."

Alighting on the floor, Rena turns to David Evans with a smile. Bold as a brass monkey, she walks up to the young man and says: "If you don't mind me singing while we take a light spin… care to?"

Kahren does indeed wrap her arms around Guy's neck, smiling a bit uncomfortably in the familiar position she now finds herself in. "I think, when it comes to dancing, we may just be suited for each other," she remarks wryly.

Guy gives a faint smile, "Quite so. Quite so." And he guides her around the rudimentary dance floor with about the grace of the average half stunned rhino.

"Ma'am, I would be delighted," David responds, giving an over exagerated bow while gesturing broadly with one hand. He straightens to offer Rena his arm, and lead her over to the open space where Guy and Kahren are dancing.

The delight and pleasure are all Rena's, seemingly - if David can judge by her expression. If there was one thing she learned a long time ago… you always make the men feel they're the tops. Give them an experience that will last, and make them feel good about themselves. And so, she steps lightly into a slower dance with David, waiting for her cue from the pianist before she begins to sing.

"I've flown around the world in a plane
I've settled revolutions in Spain
The North Pole I have charted,
but I can't get started with you
Around the golf course I'm under par
And all the movies want me to star
I've got a house, a show place, but I get no-place with you
You're so supreme, lyrics I write of you
Scheme, just for a sight of you
Dream, both day and night of you
And what good does it do?

In 1929 I sold short
In England I'm presented at court
But you've got me downhearted, cause I can't get started with you
You're so supreme, lyrics I write of you
Scheme, just for a sight of you
Dream, both day and night of you
And what good does it do?"

David is a perfect gentleman during the dance, hands only going to Rena's waist and no further. She may have learned to treat a man like the tops, but he learned to treat women like ladies - even if he can't help but admire a nice bit of leg when it's dangled so enticingly in front of him. He twirls her about playfully at the end of the song, then politely applauds her singing. "Quite the voice you've got there - it was Miss Lee, wasn't it ma'am?"

Alan slips in, discreetly, and somewhat late - he did have a pass into London, and is trying to be unobtrusive with what appears to be a non-to-small stack of gramphone records.

Well, Kahren had been dancing with him - but neither of them are any good at it, and in the course of their bumbling about the dance floor, they brush into each other - and Kahren takes a very abrupt step back, color starting to rise to her cheeks.

Guy clears his throat. "Sorry. Got your foot? Do you need another drink, Kahren?"

"Mmhm," Rena replies to David as she is drawn back from the twirl. "Irene Lee - but, most everyone just calls me Rena." An explanation she's given to many a person, probably a thousand times in her life already. A fair number of men are eyeing the couple with a fair measure of envy, given the fact that David is dancing with the little ginger showgirl, dressed artfully down for the occasion.

Catching sight of Alan as he attempts to sneak into the party, Rena pauses and calls out teasingly: "Hoi! Music-man, you're late!"

"Is that how you'd prefer to be called then - Rena?" David asks, giving his best and most charming smile. What man wouldn't after a dance with such a looker - who backs it all up with talent, to boot?

As Alan strolls in, David makes a point of calling out, "Oi! Found Aston, sir!" See? Mission accomplished.

"Uh… yes. Maybe you did, a bit. I'd love a drink," Kahren agrees, her cheeks still coloring red. She seems rather flustered - though she tries not to show it. Without too much success, it may be noted.

"Birdie" Faulkner had to step out for a bit to take care of something, and has a large case in his hand - a catalog case, or sample case, or pilot's case, depending on one's druthers. He tosses his hat artfully onto the pile of similar ones, then puts the case aside. He slides up to David and taps him on the shoulder, "Mister Evans, why don't you go get a drink for the lady, hrm?" A winning smile as he cuts in effortlessly.

Guy clears his throat, "Another punch? Another rum? Or try something different? Pink gin used to be traditional in the Mess, but the youngsters don't seem to have the habit yet."

Alan blinks, smiles at Rena. "Had to go and collect this little lot, Ma'am. SHortage of stuff for the gramophone in here." He sets them down by the record player, grins at P/O Woodridge, who's been making a manful go of it on piano. "If you want to dance, Woody, that WAAF was on her way here not far behind me."

"Only a few people call me Irene," Rena admits with a slightly wry smile. "I suppose I don't mind either. Really depends on 'ow a person feels about me as a…"

Birdie makes his return and cuts in on the dance, suave and smooth as ever. If only she had a better poker-face. Her pale cheeks wouldn't tinge with red as they do now. However, she does keep her smile in-tact as she relinquishes her hold on David and moves over to Faulkner. "Glad you could make it back, Birdie," she manages, keeping her voice light. It's a party, after all.

As Faulkner cuts in, David willingly takes a step back - wouldn't be fair to monopolize a pretty girl all evening, after all. But he doesn't part without giving Rena another of his exagerated bows. "Any particular favorite drink, Rena?"

Rena almost wishes she could ask for a double Scotch - but, that would be unwise. Something less dangerous is called for: "Another Gin and Tonic would be lovely, thanks."

"I'll try the gin," Kahren answers - offering Guy a game smile, though she looks away a moment later, as if to study the mess hall.

Guy limps over to the bar, and orders a couple of pink gins. Surely SOMEONE has to share the Old Man's taste for the damn things….

Faulkner gives a playful little bow before taking Rena's hand and smoothly continuing the dance. "Having a good time?" he asks, conversationally, with a little smile of his own as he works his way around the dancefloor smoothly. Don't they teach this stuff at officer training anyway?

Alan smoothly trades places with Woodridge, keeps the music coming.

Kahren accepts the gin with a smile - whatever brief spat of discomfort that had come over her slowly starting to fade. "Thank you," she says politely, studying the cockatiel curiously before trying a sip. "It's very different from rum, isn't it?" she remarks, not entirely sure what to think of it.

Guy takes a sip. "Mmmm. Yes, rather out of fashion with the youngsters, and perhaps a bit of an acquired taste. Try crushing the lemon into it! We used to have one after flying in the last war. Sometimes before, actually, too!"

With a gin and tonic in hand, and a pint of ale for himself, David makes his way over to the piano. He sets Rena's drink down, and leans up against the wall, sipping his ale as he listens to Alan play, and watches Birdie dancing with the Bird. "Probably not going to get a second dance, am I?"

Alan chuckles. "No. But I bet I can get her to sing."

"Oh yes!" Rena replies to Faulkner's question with a warm smile. Naturally she's enjoying herself immensely. "It's just like old times… well, not quite. I never performed at a place like this, exactly." She admits with a small chuckle.

Trying to keep in the uplifting mood of things, the little redhead can't help but ask cutely: "So, what do you think of me in uniform? Do I do it justice?"

Kahren follows his suggestion, squeezing in the lemon, and trying another sip. "It's not bad, mind," she remarks. "Just not sure it's going to be become a favorite. Though - there are some flavors that remind me just a little of mulled wine, which is my favorite drink by far."

Guy's lips twitch, "Well, I suppose I could have the stewards start heating some up. Would be quite nice to watch the stars with a hot cup, wouldn't it?"

"Oh, it's just a club for officers to drink and act like fools. But you have to be careful of the rules posted above the bar. Unfortunately, one of the rules is that you can't read the rules, so…" Birdie gives Rena a little twirl, pulls her back, takes a few strides side by side, pasodoble style, and then twirls her back. "You certainly strike a figure in uniform. Though I don't know where you could have gotten that officer's blouse from."

"Oh, she was singing - got quite the set of pipes on her, to go with those legs," David remarks appreciatively. "Wouldn't mind hearing her sing some more."

Kahren's silent for a moment after Guy's offer - taking a sip of the gin as she thinkks over her response. "It… would be lovely," she finally agrees. "To enjoy with a friend." Subtle, right?

Guy's brow lifts, and he nods, slightly, "Of course. Of course." He pauses, and leans over towards the steward, "Chuck a couple of bottles of red in to heat with some spices, alright?"

Rena seems to be puzzled by Faulkner's remark about the rules posted above the bar, and her brow furrows. Instinctively, she glances in the direction to peer at them, only to be brought back immediately by the fact that you're apparently not allowed to read them…

"I love you Military gents, but your rules are silly," Rena says with a light touch of laughter, shaking her head. He draws her in close and leans to murmur something in her ear. Whatever it is, it seems to give the girl pause. After a long moment, she looks up at Birdie with a slightly fainter smile and just nods.

"A couple bottles? Are we bringing your entire squadron with us?" Kahren asks, relaxing a little bit and offering Guy a smile. "How many men are in a squadron, anyways?"

Guy waves a hand airily, "It'd be rude to just make it for us, surely? And you know… it depends what you mean. There's about a dozen pilots. But that's only a tiny fraction of the squadron. It takes an awful lot of people to keep the kites in the air… and to feed and water us all… and then there's the WAAFs who tell us where to go, and act as drivers, and so forth."

The dance winds down, and Faulkner laughs, "It's just tradition. You know how that goes. We in the military love our traditions. Why else would those lads in the infantry wear the silly hats that don't keep the sun off anything but your forehead?" He gives a little shrug, and then gives Rena a polite peck on the cheek before escorting her over towards the piano, "I'm sure you'll want to sing, Miss Lee, but there's a matter of gifts first." The Squadron Adjudant clears his throat, and walks over to get his sample case. "ATTENTION TO ORDERS!" he bellows, as he takes a place in the center of the dancefloor with the case at his feet.

"The… WAAFs?" Kahren asks in an uncertain voice, speaking softly in case this something that would have been obvious to a Muggle. "What is that?" She sips her drink again, the fingers of her left hand reaching up to idly twirl a lock of loose hair.

Guy pauses, and lowers his voice, "Womens Auxiliary Air Force. The ladies in uniform." Now he mentions it, there were a few women around in a similar bluegrey uniform, only uglier. Guy groans softly though, as Faulkner raises his voice, and looks over.

Rena recovers herself rather nicely, largely thanks to Faulkner being such a gentleman from the ground on up. He brings her back to the Piano, and she offers him a grateful smile before turning her attention to Alan. She offers him a friendly smirk before taking up the drink David dutifully brought for her, and she playfully raises the glass in a toast before sipping the Gin and Tonic. The gift-giving ought to be quite rich and fun to watch!

"Ladies and Gentlemen - and in the latter case I use the term loosely as always to include my brother pilots. On behalf of 812 Squadron, I'd like to welcome you to lovely Biggins Hill and thank you for joining us to celebrate the Old Man's birthday." Faulkner says, once he actually has everyone's attention. "It's difficult to find out how old he actually is, since his service records are written on a papyrus scroll, which some long-ago clark actually transferred from the engraved tablet original." A pause and a smile, "But, after a further careful study of those same records, we have come to the conclusion that our dear Squadron Leader is, in fact, out of uniform. An absolutely intolerable situation. So, with the help of the lads, we have remedied that situation."

Faulkner opens the sample case, and beckons Guy up, then reaches down and pulls out the old-fashioned, plastron-style tunic from an RFC uniform with a major's pips. This tunic, however, has been decorated at the chest with every campaign ribbon issued by the British Services since roughly the Peninsular Wars.

David raises his glass towards Rena, and takes a drink, before turning his attention to Birdie in the center of the room. As the old-fashioned tunic is pulled out - heavy with a ridiculous amount of ribbons - he lets out a quiet laugh and takes another drink of his ale.

"Oh…" Kahren responds, musing over that little tidbit. "And they drive people around…" She trails off into silence as Faulkner begins to talk, turning towards him, and watching with some hint of befuddlement as the strangely adorned tunic is pulled out. These military Muggles seem even more nonsensical than your garden variety.

It's all that poor little Miss Lee can do to keep it together once Faulkner begins his address. She hasn't even had that much to drink, but, she is struggling hard not to keel over in a fit of the giggles. She attempts to hide it behind her hand… but the effort is nearly futile. Once the ribbon-laden tunic appears, she has to turn away and wipe tears caused by the restrained laughter from her eyes.

Faulkner adds, almost as an aside, "We have it on good information that given his impressive record in service of Kings and Country, that the Old Man now has sufficient medals to pass for the average French private…"

Guy groans, and limps up to Faulkner, removing his RAF blouse, and chucking it to Kahren. "At last the blasted truth has caught up with me." And he allows himself to be put back into the army green. "Never thought I'd see myself in Khaki again! Now, as I was saying to Birdie, just the other day, 'Do you remember that young whippersnapper Wellington'?" He pauses, for an expected laughter.

Rena truly can't keep it together anymore. The gin and tonic is set aside on the top of the upright piano, and she turns to lean on the instrument as she breaks out in a fit of genuine, light-hearted laughter. It's all too funny! Even if Kahren doesn't get it, she does.

Kahren is caught off guard at the blouse is tossed at her. She hastily puts down her pink gin - spilling some of it - and fumbles to catch the thing. She just barely manages to get a hold of its sleeve before it hits the ground, and she shifts it in her hands, brushing it off and holding it by the collar, before draping it over her arm. She glances aside at Rena as the woman laughs - and even if she doesn't get, she does let out a chuckle at the sight of her giggling.

Faulkner nods sagely at Guy, "Indeed he did, indeed he did. I couldn't help but remind him how he lorded his then-lofty rank over the future Iron Duke." A wry smile from Birdie as he continues, "But in all seriousness, we are grateful - most of the time - for our fearless leader. A gift of suitable libation has been left for him to consume at another time, hopefully in the company of a lovely woman of more tender years then himself. But now… we are compelled, by the sacred traditions of the service, to render appropriate toasts."

The stewards have prepared a massive round of pink gins in honor of the Squadron leader, and everyone's glass is replaced with one. First, the traditional toast, "The King!" The response comes back from the throats of servicemen at attention. They can then move on to what the mess manuals call "appropriate toasts for the occasion…"

David sets down his own drink so she can clap and cheer while Guy is slipping into the old uniform. "Need all those ribbons to cover the moth holes!" he calls over.

He takes the pink gin he's offered, toasting the King with the others - and standing rather straighter when he does so.

Alan smirks, still sat at the piano, at the uniform change. Picks up the Scotch that's appeared on top of the piano for him, and stands to join the toast.

Recovering her composure - or, what little there ever was of it to begin with - Rena daintily takes the pink gin into her hand and happily joins in the toast with the others. She does concider herself to be a British subject before a Witch, and she calls out: "The King!" with genuine warmth.

Guy raises his glass, "The King!" And he drinks to that. He glances over to the two witches in turn, just to make sure they're getting with this particular bit of the program.

Oh, Kahren knows enough about Muggles to know when someone proposes a toast to the King - you bloody well toast the King. She raises her glass, joining the others and saying 'The King!' and drinks. When Guy looks her way, she smiles towards him, offering a nod.

Faulkner lowers his glass after the loyal toast and says, "Now, let us once again raise our glasses." He grins at the lads of the Squadron, and says, "Here's to you, Squadron Leader, here's to you!"

The lads who are in on the joke pick up the chant, "Here's to you, Squadron Leader, here's to you." Clap! Clap! "Here's to you Squadron Leader, here's to you!" Clap! Clap! "Well, you think you're upper class, but you're just a horse's… Here's to you, Squadron Leader, here's to you!" Clap! Clap! And then, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!"

With a dramatic bow, Faulkner steps back to let the Fearless Leader, the Skipper, the Old Man, etc. have his say.

As this chant seems to involve clapping, David hastily sets down the pink gin he was just given, to join in with the cheers. He may be the new guy, but he's definitely game to sort all of this out - as best he can, anyways.

Guy ambles in front of the piano, glass still in hand, and sotto-voces, "Fanfare, Aston, if you don't mind." He pauses, whilst it (probably) occurs, to consider his words, "Firstly, chaps, let me just say, that you say that in the RAF you get what you deserve. Clearly, I must have lost some memories of good deeds past in order to justify ending up with the fine body of men I see before me! It has been my pleasure and privilege to make all of your lives miserable, in the hope that this causes them to be longer, full of hating me!" He chuckles, "Secondly, let me remark that you are all clearly bringing the service into disrepute…. in the Good Old Days, debagging would have occured by now. But given there are ladies present, I don't want them scarred by that experience!" He raises his glass, "So, firstly… 812 Squadron! The Kais…" He lets himself be interrupted by whoever gets there first, "Oh… sorry, Mr Hitler won't know what's hit him!"

If Kahren was baffled before, now she's outright bewildered. What a thing to say to a fellow on his birthday! Is it a compliment of some sort? Guy speaking doesn't clarify any of it. What is a 'debagging'? That, she suspects, she doesn't want to know, really. But she joins the others when they cheer at Guy's words.

Alan lets rip with a brief fanfare in octaves (with the merest hint of a boogie-woogie left hand and a wicked grin at Rena).

Faulkner claps for Guy, though he does call back, "Payment for all your sins, no doubt!" about what the Old Man may have forgotten. But he calls out "Here, here!" at the toast, and then takes a drink.

Rena's dark eyes shine as she watches Guy speak. She is terribly fond of the "Old Man" as anyone can easily see. Her warm, admiring smile pretty much says it all. And, once he has finished his moving speech, she beams and gives a cheer of agreement. Hitler bloody well won't know what's coming for him! She's got all the faith in the world in Guy and the men of the 812 Squadron.

Setting her drink down, she steps over to Guy quickly before he can move away, and she quickly pulls him in to kiss him on the cheek. Of course, she leaves a lovely red mark of lipstick behind: "Happy birthday, Guy!" she cries before letting him go once more.

Returning to Alan at the piano, the redhead smirks and asks: "What's your pleasure, love?" Oh yes, she's ready to sing again.

The kiss earns itself another fanfare from Alan, and a grin at Rena. "Somehow, Miss, I doubt the Old Man's anywhere near done yet."

Guy clears his throat, "Actually. There's one more thing." He takes a sip of his gin, "Now. We all need to remember what we're fighting for. So… one last toast before I let you all get sloshed. Slosheder. The Ladies. Home. And Heart." A beat, as he raises his glass. "Wives and sweethearts. And…" he leads the squadron in completing the traditional toast, "… may they never meet!"

And yes, he just smiles, at the kiss!

Faulkner doesn't have a wife, but one doesn't want one's sweethearts to meet, either! So he chimes in with the toast anyway, tradition after all, and then takes a big drink.

David puts his fingers in his mouth and wolf-whistles loudly when Rena kisses Guy on the cheek, then joins in the toast with the others. This finishes off his pink gin - so he can return to a proper drink - like ale.

The toast is completed, and Rena seems to feel a slight, self-conscious twinge inside from something. Her gaze drifts momentarily in Faulkner's direction before she takes up her glass of gin and quickly downs the remainder of the drink. That should do a decent job of drowning anything untoward wanting to creep toward the surface. In fact, it does nicely! She feels better already.

Alan grins, drinks to the toast, and sets his glass down. Rena get a slightly concerned smile. "Any preferences, Ma'am?"

Kahren takes a sip of her drink as everyone toasts again - starting to feel rather warm and fuzzy in her joints. How many drinks has she had so far? There was the punch, the rum, the gin… "You know, could I get a glass of water, please?" she asks the man at the bar with a wry smile. It's possible she's drinking a bit fast.

Guy limps down from the place of attention, towards the bar, and his fair companion. "Now! Music! Dancing! Enjoyment!"

Faulkner offers his best salute, complete with foot-stomp, army-style, "Music, dancing, enjoyment, SAH! Might I suggest merrymaking and revelrie as well!" Then he signals to Alan, "You heard the Squadron Leader, lads!"

Rena notices the hint of concern in Alan's expression, and she quickly smiles to cover for it. Faulkner enthusiastically agrees with Guy that things need to liven up for the celebration - as do the majority of men in the room. Leaning against the piano, briefly, she says: "Something lively, I think, yea? I'll leave it to your good taste."

"I don't think I followed most of that very well," Kahren remarks quietly when Guy rejoins her. "You'll have to explain it sometime. Your new jacket is very, umm… festive though. It's colorful."

Guy explains, sotto voce, "It suggests I'm about two hundred years old, and have been in every war along the way!" He looks amused. "I'm afraid Officers Messes can get a bit rowdy! Let me know if you want to get out. Or, you know, to dance some more. Or so forth."

Alan nods to Faulkner. "YesSIR." A wink at Rena. "Yes, MA'AM!" He brings one hand down the keys in a glissando that Jerry Lee Lewis would envy, were he not only four at the present, and into the bright uptempo backing to "Sing, Sing, Sing".

"Oh." Kahren lets out a quiet laugh. "I can see how that would be rather amusing. And I'm rather enjoying the… atmosphere. And I may even be learning a thing or two." She picks up her water to take a drink from it. "I think I'm good without the dancing, though."

Now THAT is enough to lift Rena's spirits right back up to the sky. Delight shows in those dark eyes of hers as she takes up position beside the piano, ready to sing out with a mischevous and playful expression. Pretending to tighten down her cap with a little gesture of her hands, she starts:

"Sing, sing, sing, sing
Everybody start to sing
La dee da, ho, ho, ho
Now you're singing with a swing

Sing, sing, sing, sing
Everybody start to sing
La dee da, ho, ho, ho
Now you're singing with a swing

And when the music goes around
Everybody goes to town
But here's something you should know
Ho ho baby ho ho ho!"

David takes another drink from his ale, and then moves away from the piano, seeking out a WAAF lady to dance with, giving her one of his gallant bows and escorting her out to the dance floor.

Alan has the advantage of being (barring a couple of sips of Scotch) pretty much sober, so his piano playing is /well/ up to the mark, uptempto and bouncy.

Guy gives Kahren a nod, "Of course! Not the best at it! But I'm sure some of the chaps would be delighted to give you a better one, eh?"

Rena is lost in the moment, completely focused on her performance and keeping up with Alan on the piano. Whenever they accompany each other, it always winds up being a workout for the both of them - in the best way. It's such a lot of fun!

"Sing, sing, sing, sing
Everybody start to sing
La dee da, ho, ho, ho
Now you're singing with a swing

And when the music goes around
Everybody goes to town
But here's something you should know
Ho ho baby ho ho ho

Sing, sing, sing, sing
Everybody start to sing
La dee da, ho, ho, ho
Now you're singing with a swing!"

"No, it wasn't you, Guy," Kahren assures him. "I just… I really don't like dancing. And I'm not good at it. I just feel awkward when I dance."

Alan brings it to a finish with a laugh and a flourish. "Another?" He pauses for a quick sup of his whisky and starts a bouncing, cheerful little accompaniment that one almost wants to whistle over: "Sweet Georgia Brown".

Guy gives a nod, "Wasn't much good at it myself, before '18. Can't say the Richthofen Circus improved my skill!" There's an amused tone, and he takes another sip, "Hope you're having fun.." He leans in to whisper another sweet nothing in her ear, "Muggle side."

Rena has scarcely the time to catch her breath before Alan slides effortlessly into the next number. She throws back her head and laughs, casting a devilish smirk in Alan's direction as if to say: Now you're just /trying/ to test my limits! But, she's sure as hell going to give it her all.

"No gal made, has got a shade on sweet Georgia Brown
Two left feet but oh so neat, has sweet Georgia Brown
They all sigh and wanna cry for sweet Georgia Brown
I'll tell you just why, you know I don't lie, not much

'Cause it's been said that she knocks 'em dead
When she lands in town
What a shame, what a shame
How she cools 'em down

Fellers she can't get are fellers, she ain't met
Georgia named her
Georgia claimed her
Sweet Georgia Brown."

"Of course I am," Kahren answers without hesitation. "I always do. And I'm glad I could be here to celebrate your birthday with you. Even if it - apparently - your 200th. You must be growing tired of these celebrations after so many years."

Alan smirks back at Rena. Well, obviously he is, but he is gentleman enough to signal he wants an instrumental break and let her voice rest between verses. And, yes, he's having a blast.

Guy gives a grin, "Well, yes… yes, a little. I wasn't going to be having a… oh… " He reaches for the velvet bag, "Can I take a peek now?"

Rena, appreciative of the break, she stands at rest beside the piano whilst Alan moves into a solo portion of the song. Of course, being the show-person she is, she can't just STOP doing anything. Playfully, she removes her RAF cap and "fans" herself. Phew!

"Please," Kahren invites Guy with a gesture. Inside woult be a bottle of brandy Armagnac's Castarede line, a rather decent bottle of liquor. "I hope you'll enjoy it," she says. "It's not my area of expertise - so I dragged a friend along to help me choose a bottle."

A rapid fire ascending run heralds the pickup into the last verse of the ode to Miss Brown, Alan tilting his head expectantly at the redhead beside him…

Guy gives a grin, "Oh, I think that looks splendid! Thank you!" He coughs, "Do I get to give your cheek a kiss?"

Kahren lets out a quiet, slightly giddy laugh. Yes, it's probably a good thing she's switched over to her glass of water for the moment. "Of course you can, Guy," she answers, turning her cheek towards him and even leaning in a little towards him - and reaching out with her far hand to grab the bar and steady herself when she suddenly feels a bit unbalanced.

That's her cue! On goes the cap once more, and Rena "straightens" it by tilting it to a jaunty, rakish angle once more. Tugging on the bottom hem of her "uniform" dress, she steps forward once more and sings with enthusiasm.

"Fellers, she can't get are fellers, she ain't met
Well, oh boy, tiff you had to row joy, she's a catch
She's no cow got a shade on sweet
She got two left feet but oh so neat

She got money and clothes and diamonds too
There's just nothing that gal can't do
She's got the guys all hangin' around
How she really cools 'em down!

Georgia named her
Georgia claimed her
Sweet Georgia
Sweet Georgia Brown

Georgia named her
Georgia claimed her
That old gal called
Georgia Brown!"

Guy provides the salute to the girls cheek. Complete with a hand stroking over her other cheek. For balance, obviously. Then he leans back, "Thank you again!" And he turns to watch the performance!

Alan brings it to an end with a sequence of decidedly 'out there' chords that somehow resolve. And kicks off his left hand into an insistent boogie-woogie bass, some rapidfire right hand licks over the top - if there's anyone else with as electic a piano instrumental collection as Alan's (Signy, perhaps :D) it's "Honky Tonk Train Blues". And he's taking it at an express train pace.

"You're most welcome," Kahren answers. She turns to watch the performance as well, a smile on her features as she enjoys the music - and sips her water. "I should have brought my flute," she remarks. "Though I'm not good at this sort of music. I've only just started listening to it."

Guy admits, "It's a bit… modern." Ah. Yes. Well. "Although some of the stuff from the 20's was good."

"You, sir, are a scoundrel," Rena says jokingly, tsking at Alan as their duet ends and he moves into a delightful boogie-woogie. "Watch that wicked 'and of yours!"

Moving to the sidelines briefly, the little redhead seems to be searching for something. When she returns, she makes a bee-line for Guy and Kahren with a smile: "As we're 'anding out presents…" She pauses and holds a paper-wrapped parcel out to the Squadron Leader.

Just at that point, as the music is getting good, and the stewards announce the mulled wine is ready, there's the sudden whine of an Air Raid Warning.

Guy groans, and takes the package, "Right, chaps! Nobody here but me and Birdie are Night Fighter cleared, and we're not allowed to operate without a third. So… Shelters it is. Someone grab a harmonica, and a few bits of booze. And get the mulled wine down, and lets take comfortable cover, right?" He also picks up the bottle of brandy. Untrusting, muchly?

Rena's smile fades in a startling way. Her face seems to grow pale at the sound of the sirens, and she scarcely even notices Guy take the parcel from her hands. She just stands there with her hands outstretched for a moment before they lower to her sides. Oh, how she despises the wail of the air-raid signal. It reminds her that things aren't all dandy and fine… It reminds her of a lot of things.

It's really too much. The small redhead can't keep up cheery expression, now. Dissapointment, fear, and a genuine look of sadness shows in her eyes. She'll go wherever she's told.

Kahren looks up at the sounds of the sirens, uncertain as she climbs to her feet - taking Guy's RAF coat with her. She's no real notion what's going on - but she'll follow along with the others.

David, ever a gentleman, takes this opportunity to bow to Rena again, now that the dancing is over. "Miss Lee, if you would allow me the honor of being your escort this evening…" He turns, cocking out his arm for her to take, so they can proceed to the shelter.

A little glimmer of light in the darkness, David shows up beside her and offers to be her companion. Grateful for his kindness, the young woman smiles thankfully at him and slips her arm through his. "It'd be my pleasure." They'll manage somehow. And once they get settled into the shelter, chances are she will find it in her to sing and entertain once more for the boys.

Guy explains to Kahren, "Air raid. German bombers. So, down we go to the shelters." And he does, indeed, lead the girl down there. And there's a few bottles of mulled wine. And various other drinks. And singing… and then it's dawn, and people get to emerge, and make their way home.

German bombers. Oh. That's a concept Kahren can understand - Guy did explain it to her months ago, before the war started. She nods her head, her mood much more solemn and sober as she's lead down to the shelter. The mulled wine is gratefully accepted - and she may even suggest a song or two she's learned from Arthur's records and sing along.

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