(1939-12-23) Auld Man's Birthday
Details for Auld Man's Birthday
Summary: To celebrate another year on this Earth, Gavin takes Katie out for dinner and dancing. Turns out there's more to celebrate than either had expected.
Date: 23 December, 1939
Location: Mostly in and around The Natrix

Major Simon Moore has once again loaned Private Gavin Ferguson his beautiful car and enough petrol to fuel the night. When he pulls up to the front of the chippy he gives the horn a little honk before he hops out and gathers up the two bouquets, a book on World War 1 tactics and a small pouch from the passenger seat and then he heads up to the more private entrance to the Hind Family home since it's just about into the swing of dinner in the shop he doesn't want to cause a distraction from service. When the door is opened he's hiding behind the larger of the bouquets that is a lot of yellow flowers, he always associates yellow with Katie cause of the sun dress he first saw her in. When he lowers the bouquet he gives big grin, "Happy Birthday to me!"

Katie was given special leave from the shop for Gavin's visit, and she's there to swing the door open almost as soon as she hears him on the stairs. The bouquet brings a delighted laugh, her hands coming up to clasp at her chest, her beaming smile there when he sees her face. "Happy birthday, Gavin!" she echoes. "Cor, the flowers are lovely. Yeh'll spoil me rotten like this. An' the family." The chiding is light and good natured as she steps back to let him come in. "It's lovely t'see yeh, it's been so long." She turns to fetch vases, her skirt swishing lightly, calling back to him, "How old are yeh then?"

Gavin follows after her into the kitchen with a smile that just won't quit. "Nothin' more than ye deserve Quine." While she puts the flowers for her and for her mother in water. "Well dinnae know if I will get to see my favorite family come Christmas so…" He brought presents early. The bag of pipe tobacco and the book are put on the table along with the vases. "Naught but a mere lad at the age of 17." He responds playfully and obviously fibbing about his age. He didn't feel his age really until he met her, so it's alluded lightly. "All ready then? We can go down through the shop so you can get in good-byes and I'll get your curfew from your da?"

"17?" Katie asks back, her voice lightly incredulous. "Go on with yeh. At least 21, an' a fine, strappin' lad." The tease comes as easily as his playfulness, and she turns to gather her coat from the hook by the door, draping it over her arm. "All ready," she confirms, leading the way through the upstairs flat to the stairway down into the shop. "I'm so glad yeh could get the time away, an' Mum's thrilled t'get t'see yeh. So's our Jack." And Daniel? What man is ever 'thrilled' to see some calling on his daughter? But he likes Gavin and hasn't ever been given reason to think him anything less than honorable. He appreciates the value of that. By the time they reach the bottom of the stairs, the temperature warmer in the busy kitchen, Mary is already there, arms out for a motherly hug. "There's the birthday lad."

Gavin is ready and wanting for that hug and he steps into Mary's open arms and gives her a big hug in return, "Bit of something upstairs on the kitchen table for ye Mam." He steps back smiling and offers his arm to Katie. "Came down for some hellos and good byes and to see when this fine lady must be home. So we can be out of your hair in a flash."

"Ferguson," Daniel says, his tone gruff yet somehow still welcoming, as he hovers near the fryer. Mary steps from Gavin to Katie, giving the girl a kiss on the cheek as Daniel goes on. "Since this is a special occasion," turning a look to Katie, "You've until half past the regular time." He doesn't feel the need to say more, and Katie's smile brightens even more as she reaches for the offered arm. Her movement shifts, though, into quick steps over to her father, to kiss him on the cheek. "Ta," she says as she nods obediently. It's then that Jack comes into the kitchen, setting aside the mop and pail before noticing Gavin. Then his smile comes out as well, the broadness shared through the family, and signs hello, then offers his hand to shake. Another sign comes after that, and Katie murmurs, "And happy birthday."

Gavin stands at attention when Daniel says his name. "Sir." He gives a serious nod of acknowledgement at the curfew, "Yes sir." and only goes at ease when Jack arrives. The tiny bits of sign he's learned are used to say, 'Hello' in return, the lad's hand is shook and then he half signs half gestures to himself and then points up to the ceiling and then signs 'B-O-O-K' before pointing to Jack with a nod and a smile. He makes the 'Thank you' sign and then he pauses to make sure he doesn't mess up a sign that he makes to the whole family of, "Happy Christmas." Then his gaze goes to Katie, "Shall we get?"

Jack gets what Gavin means, his eyes widening in excitement as he nods eagerly. Mary reaches out and touches the boy's sleeve to get his attention, signing and saying when he looks, "After work is done." It comes with a smile, although the steel behind her will isn't questioned. There's a round of praise for Gavin's perfectly executed holiday greeting. Katie fastens herself lightly to Gavin's arm and nods, putting on a fairly posh accent. "Do lets." She can't help but giggle. Last goodbyes and the pair can get on their way, out through the shop.

Gavin gives an, "OI!" to the boys that have taken to sitting on the car while pretending it's theirs and they are gangsters. The Glaswegian toughness shines through in that moment enough that the kids scatter like bowling pins. Then it's back to their pretend poshness as he opens up the passenger side door for her. "Here we are darling. Balmy weather tonight. Excellent night for a bit of dance, no?" He makes an exaggerated aristocratic hahahaha before he closes the door after she's settled in and walks straight back, nose in the air around to his side and he lets him self in. There is a pause to get a cigarette going and of course as usual he offers her one. Then it's off and away to find a safe place to park in Clerkenwell. Finally they are able to go to this club they've been promising to go to for months. The uniform gets them cuts in line which he is rather humbly grateful for. "So I should probably warn. Not much of a dancer. So no laughing." He points at her like Daniel would when giving his fatherly orders.

That moment of slipping from his posh facade makes Katie smile. There's something… reassuring about it. Like he'd protect her if need be. Like he's perfect in the role of soldier, fighting for home and hearth. "Thanks ever so," she says, slightly snooty as she settles into the car, making sure her dress is tucked so it won't get caught in the door when he closes it. She pauses a moment at the offered cigarette, before she accepts it, perhaps to his surprise. Katie waits for Gavin to light it, the fag held awkwardly between two fingers, her other hand coming up to rest on his a moment, as if to steady it with the lighter. Truly, he's more steady than she herself is, but her touch is soft and gone in a moment. She manages not to cough on it, but she doesn't exactly take a lungful, either. The girl just can't quite seem to get the hang of it enough to make it look anything near graceful or natural. On his arm at the club queue, she moves up with him, murmuring thanks as they're escorted in, look up at him at his warning. Her smile resurfaces, but she tries to look contrite at the pointing finger. "No, sir. No laughing."

Gavin gives her a so serious it's funny nod. "Alright then." The serious is broken with a wink and then he turns when the line moves and there is that moment of anticipation if the bouncer will even let them in. But it's still in the swing into dinner time so the club is still more restaurant than club and the bouncers are more like glorified hosts taking reservations and arranging seating so they are easily admitted and when they arrive at the table Gavin pulls out her chair for her and then helps her scoot in before he takes his own chair. "This isn't so bad…" He gives another wink and then looks over the menu. There is a flash of a moment where he spots the prices of the more expensive meals but it's a mere flash and he dons a poker face, "Everything looks good."

Katie is a sucker for a well placed wink. It's an endearment her father often employs, and as such always gives her a warm, fuzzy feeling. It's not hard for her to tear her eyes away and hide the blush that creeps into her cheeks, looking around at the ritzy place. "It's lovely. I almost feel like Cinderella," she admits. Then she opens her own menu and, not having caught the look on his face, almost the exactly same surprise registers on her own. She could eat for a week on what some of this food costs! She also quickly schools herself however, and she nods. "They make it all sound so wonderful. But I know that escargot is snails," she leans and whispers, wrinkling her nose. "They aren't fooling anyone." No, what she likes is among the more simple, and thus less pricy, fare. Even though she's trying to keep her attention on the menu, her eyes lift and focus on Gavin. "If it wasn't a special occasion I'd scold yeh for takin' me somewhere so posh," she teases lightly.

Gavin luckily hasn't been doing anything outside of the military since September really, so he's got a bit of a savings, enough to at least cover the meal tonight. It's really not that pricey, just the high end stuff like lobster and the imported from Italy stuff. Those of a comfortable wealth level can eat here without breaking the bank. Gavin's just living off of a Private's wage and since room and board is covered in the job, it's not exactly a real money in the pocket sort of job. "Well it is a special occasion and my birthday has little to do with it." He smiles at her pointedly. "Anything you want, alright?"

It's more expensive than the chippie, and that's about Katie's comfort zone most days. "Yer birthday has everything t'do with it," she protests softly. But she nods. "Anything I want." She looks for nazi duck but seems to find it not listed on the menu, drat. A raised voice across the room, likely delivering the punchline to a joke, has Katie looking up from her menu and over that way. The clientele seem all rather well turned out, and the Christmas decorations give the place a festive look. "It is lovely here, though. I'm happy yeh've brought me out."

Gavin looks up from the menu, his expressive eyebrows going from puckered in consideration to high on his brow along with a smile. "My Katie Duckie, top of the list to spend my birthday with." Another wink is tossed and then he gives the menu a glance. "Would ye like to share the… Saltimbocca platter as an appetizer with me? I think that and the Ossobuco will make me a very very happy Birthday boy."

Gavin is prone to teasing like that, and it's never failed to draw a light blush to Katie's cheeks, although if he were to notice the blush is a bit deeper tonight. "I'm happy t'be th'one spendin' it with yeh, Gavin," she says, her voice sincere and for a moment, not as light as it was. Her eyes drop to the menu when his do, and she seeks out the items he mentions. "Well, it's all about makin' th'birthday boy a happy lad, now isn't it?" Her grin is back, flashed at him across the table. "Whatever yeh want t'day, yeh get."

Gavin folds up his menu and sets it down, a sip of his provided water is taken. "Very happy laddie am I. Mission accomplished. Have ye decided on anything Duckie?" Seems a new nickname has taken and stuck, at least for the night. He then tips his head towards the bar, "Get something with a bit of spirit to it for us?"

"I was thinking a nice pasta with a tomato sauce," Katie says thoughtfully, her eyes lingering on the menu choices. "Something not too heavy though, or I'll break yer feet if I step on them dancin'." She looks across to him, then automatically toward the bar as he motions toward it. "Maybe… somethin' sweet an' fruity? A nice change from a pint seems in order tonight."

Gavin nods to her request and then does a look about that draws a servers attention, "Scotch for me and a strawberry daiquiri for the lady. We'll do the Saltimbocca appetizer and I'll have the Ossobuco. The Carbonara for her, please. Thank you." He does adopt a more posh Cambridge manner of speech when he orders for them. When the orders are all taken he smiles to her, "Anything else I missed?"

"Strawberry daiquiri," Katie muses. "It sounds… exotic." Not something one hears getting ordered in the local pub very often. "An' I love strawberries. Where on earth will they find them this time of year?" she ponders, not knowing the wonders of the ease of wizarding transportation of out of season goods. "Likely they were put up in the season." That makes reasonable sense. She shakes her head at the question, "Ta, but that's lovely." There's an amused gleam to her eyes. "Yeh can sound right posh when yeh've a mind to, yeh know."

Gavin chuckles, "My ma's Lady loves it." That's the only reason he knows of it. "They mash up the berries and put'm on ice. Then they blend it up to order with more ice put the booze in and other such bartender mysteries." A cheeky smirk comes along with his battered cigarette case and he pops a fag in his lips and then offers over to her once more especially now that she's accepted one in the car. "Years at Cambridge, learning to talk like those about you makes for an easier time of things. Not to mention gets you better grades when you don't sound like a Glaswegian thug up there giving a report. Accents are a bit like uniforms I've found. Put the right one on for the right job and you can get cuts in line." There's another wink as he lights up his cigarette and waits to do the same for her if she accepts his offer.

She does accept the offer again, surprisingly enough, although if she can't stop herself at two there's a good chance she'll make herself sick. She leans toward him for the light, again touching her hand to his. To steady it, of course, not as an excuse for a little familiar touch. Still, Katie doesn't look quite natural trying to hold the cigarette as she sees other, more mature, women around her doing. She looks a bit self conscious and awkward, but it's clear she's attempting to be relaxed. "I quite fancy yer accent," she says plainly. "It's different. But I do see what yeh mean about it bein' like a uniform. Say things the right way an' yeh can fit in most anywhere."

Gavin's pinkie comes out to line the under side of her hand, to steady her steadying hand, or an even more flimsy excuse to accept and return a little familiar touch. "You though Duckie, you don't need a uniform. That smile and a sweet word and the world is your oyster. You like my accent hmm? Which one?" He grins before taking another drag. It doesn't seem to bother him that she's more awkward about the smoking than others, he finds it endearing. "So have ye read any of my books? Have a favorite yet?" He chuckles there, "It's almost a bit strange ye know? Being able to talk, back and forth like and not have to wait days to get a reply. Must say I just might get spoiled myself."

Katie's eyes narrow playfully as she looks across at Gavin. "Are yeh very sure that's Scotch in yeh and not Irish? I'd swear yeh've got the gift of blarney." She pauses as their drinks are brought, and exclaims softly over hers, "Cor, it's so pretty. All lovely red an' cold an' all." The cigarette is laid aside in the ashtray as she leans forward, wrapping her lips around the straw to draw up her first taste. Her eyes widen almost comically as she gasps in a breath. "It's brilliant, Gav! Yer brilliant, for that matter," she adds with a nod. "I'm a lucky duck, t'have such a clever mate." There's another sip before she notes, "I like them all, but I like the natural one th'best. It's… you." Again, she leans in for a sip, which is actually quite a long pull on the straw, and her eyes roll in bliss at the flavour. "Lovely." She finally sits back, with a good third of the drink gone very quickly. "Yeh deserve a bit of spoilin'," she notes without guile or flattery. "It's a right treat, this. I'm forever grateful t'yeh."

Gavin ducks his head a bit with a smirk he takes a sip of his own drink. "Glasgow for generations. Guess all those classes at Cambridge soaked in more than I had wanted." With a chuckle he watches her take that first taste of the drank she ordered. "Glad ye like it." Two finger are brought up to his mouth and he wettens them there before he rings his cigarette a little below the cherry line and then does the sam for hers. Her cigarette is joined by his and he relaxes back and takes another sip of his scotch. All of Katie's appreciation almost seems to startle Gavin. His type of girl is usually the kind that would demand the poshness and complain that the Natrix isn't the Savoy. Never before has he really even hung out with a girl that's truly as down-to-earth and proud of it as Katie, "Ye are so welcome Duckie. Thank ye right back. Go on now and drink up. Need ye close to pished before we get on that dance floor so I dinnae look the glorious fool as I am." He laughs, proving he's just joking, he doesn't want her drunk. Daniel will hide him and he knows it if Katie came home swaying.

It would be impossible for anyone to hide the level of amazement that everything seems to bring to Katie. Her eyes flicker around as if she's trying to take in everything, but they frequently return to linger on Gavin before darting away again at something new to be noticed. Working class through and through, and not the least bit ashamed of it, she doesn't even worry about who else in the club might notice and be amused by her excitement. She grins over at him before dutifully setting to her drink again, no matter that he was teasing her. It's so delicious! And it might be rushing to her head just the tiniest bit and making everything sparkle just that little bit more. "What was it like, going away to Cambridge? It must have been a world of difference." There's no judgment in her tone about him having grown up in a rather rough situation. It wasn't up to him where he was born.

Gavin is smiling even though he does give a little grimace. "It was grand, baffling and upsetting but grand. Took my all almost every day not to punch some Spooner in the face. The things they complain and woe about just was maddening. But it was better than where I might have ended up if it wasn't for me Mum's Lady. So I won't complain. I'd have to punch meself if I did. That might look a bit silly." He chuckles but he's interupted by their appetizer arriving. "Cheers love." He thanks the server and then looks to the little treasure of rolled up veal, beef, turkey and chicken, "Fancy."

Katie's interest is genuine and shows in the way her eyes stop dancing about and focus solely on Gavin, and the understanding of how odd and alien it must have been. "I don't know if I'd be able t'stand a place like that," she says sympathetically. "It's nothing like what I know, an' I'm sure I'd be dreadfully homesick every moment. I'd waste away." The homesickness is likely why she's dragging her feet making a decision on the Land Girls. "An' don't yeh dare make me break up a fight between yeh," she adds with a laugh. "Daft." The last is added with a good natured tone of affection. Her smile turns up as the server comes with food, and she looks over everything on the plate. "Cor," she says softly, "It looks so nice an' all it seems a pity t'eat it."

Gavin is the bad guy, destroyer of pretty and art and he forks one of the little bundles and holds it up to Katie's mouth from across the table. "Edible Art. Ye feast with the eyes before the mouth even gets into it. Least that's what the Lady's chef would always say when smacking me with a wooden spoon when I went pickin'." Speaking of the Land Girl thing, "Anything new with the Land Girl plans?"

Katie leans forward to meet the offered morsel, giving the same eyeroll for it once it's on her tongue as she did for the drink. "Mmmmm," she hums lightly, clearly thoroughly enjoying it. She comes out of her moment of 'art appreciation' to grin again. "Yeh must've been a right terror." She's seen that glint of mischief in his eyes more than once, and can only imagine how untamed it could have been in his youth. But the question sobers her a measure, and she looks a little abashed as she admits, "I've not made any yet." There's a pause before she decides to be honest with him about it. "I've never been away from home before, Gav, an' it's likely it'd be so far. But I want t'serve th'King, like yeh do." There's an earnest yearning to do what's right, but fear at leaving the home and people she loves.

Gavin is transfixed, her bliss face enchanting him. To the point that he has to clear his throat and shift in his chair pulling it in more to break the spell he's under to give a naughty grin and his brows naturally give a little waggle. "That I was, regular little monster. Right up until I put this on, actually." He pointedly gives his uniform jacket a little straightening out. When she becomes abashed it abashes him for bringing it up and his hand goes across the table to offer his hand for the taking. "Ye do your part just fine serving King and Country Duckie, right where ye are. To give the people and sods like me something delicious and so very much something that's true Britain, all with a smile and such obvious care in your heart. Morale is going to win this war, and that's exactly what ye and yours are providing. There are plenty of girls that dinnae have a thing to do and the Land program helps them like the Army helped me. Ye don't need that and the fact that ye even thought about it is more than most have done or will do."

The offered hand is filled with hers without even a thought of doing it, and blue eyes take a grateful cast at his words. "Yer so kind t'me, Gavs. Always have been, when yeh'd come into th'chippy, stinking from the night before an' fillin' up with yer mountain of food." It's a tease when she brings up his old habits, and perhaps it's the drink that loosened her tongue, because she's never really spoken of having taken any particular note of him before they began really talking. "I do like bein' home t'see yeh when yeh have leave an' come around." Another admission that comes unchecked, even as she reaches her free hand to pull her drink closer to trap the straw again.

Gavin smirks a bit and gives her a wink. The fact that she keeps her hand in his even when wanting a drink does wonders to bolster and loosen his tongue right back, "Well, even in Glasgow there could be a throw down bit of murder going on but if a quine favored by anyone walks in, the shanks are hidden and everyone is on their best behavior. So nice comes easy with ye, even malkied." He winks and then takes a moment to eat a roll himself. He doesn't do bliss face, he does 'damn that's frigging good!' face. "I have to admit, I like being seen."

"Malkied?" Katie muses. That's a new one on her, but taken in context she can guess at what it might mean. She's seen that expression on his face before, when he's come by particularly hankering for something fairly greasy to slide down his throat, and it brings a fondness to her smile. "It's nice t'see yeh really enjoyin' yerself." There's a soft squeeze to his hand and she says again, "Happy birthday." She still doesn't pull away. It's a comfortable closeness, after the letters they've sent and the talks they've shared.

Gavin grins devilishly, "Pished." The lingering only emboldens him further and he starts to lightly caress the hand in his with his thumb. "It has been, a very happy birthday." He even lifts up their entwined hands to give the back of her knuckles a bit of a kiss. "What are the Hind Family up to for Christmas?"

"An' it's only just begun," Katie notes brightly. She watches him lift her hand, the gallant gesture obviously pleasing to judge by her face, and something of a surprise as well. Her eyes drop and it takes her a second to regain her train of thought and answer the question. "We always go to church on Christmas Eve, an' have th'mornin' in, just th'four of us. Even now, I love watchin' our Jack open his prezzies, we all work so hard t'find him things t'make him happy." She looks thoughtful again, her eyes raised back to his face. "How will yeh spend it?"

Gavin's smile grows as he listens to their plans. "He's a good laddie. I hope he likes the book. I dinnae mean to get him all distracted earlier." He really doesn't seem to be eager to part their hands as he even picks up his cigarette from the ashtray and smooks off handed. "Oh just going to be another couple of days for me Duckie. Never really been one for the holiday. From what I hear most of us Holiday Babes hold a bit of contempt for the holiday." He chuckles and winks and even when he spots their food coming that hand under her doesn't move. The grip of it not doing very much to keep her from sliding away from his. He's just not going to be the first to break away.

"No, don't think that," Katie says with a short shake of her head. "Jack loves yeh, goes on for days after yeh've been t'visit. Sometimes I think he'd rather have yeh for a brother than me for a sister." She laughs as she says it, honestly knowing that Jack adores her as she does him, but there's still a tiny bit of truth there. The boy's only had her, and she's never really dated anyone for him to get close to, so the influence of the soldier in his life has been good for him. "It doesn't seem all that fair, being so close. I'm sure people think just one gift covers them both, an' that's just thoughtless. Yeh deserve them both, just like everyone else." She looks up as a waiter arrives, from the other side of the table so it's a moment before she finally slides her hand away. Slowly, letting her fingers ghost over his, not breaking the touch until their fingertips part. It might seem a careless gesture, her attention having gone to the food, but a part of her is very much aware of the parting of the touch. She leans forward when her plate is before her, drawing in a deep breath. "Cor, I can't believe how lovely it smells. If it tastes half this good…"

Gavin clears a bit of space for his meal to be set down. "Well, who's to say that he can't have both? I hope I'm not over stepping or anything. But I like Jack right back. He's a hard working kid. Nothing like me, so count your blessings there." When his plate is put down he gives a similar whiff and grins, "Well let's not let it get cold aye?" With a wink he picks up his fork and knife and is amazed that he doesn't even need a knife because the lamb shank falls apart under his fork alone. "Dear Mother in Heaven, this is amazing. Is that lady ye met here? Have ye spotted her? Think she'll be on stage tonight?"

"Our Jack could do far worse than be like you, Gavin Ferguson," Katie mock-scolds. She takes her first bite of her pasta and there's that bliss face again as the flavours burst on her taste buds. Luckily, even the drink going fairly well to her head doesn't make her comment out loud that if sex is anything as good as this meal it surely must be like going to heaven. "Oh Gavs," she says, her voice low and practically a moan, "Yeh've got t'try this." Her plate is pushed toward him so that he can share in her delectable bounty, and the question finally registers enough for her to look around. "I don't see her anywhere, but maybe she will be. It'd be lovely t'hear her."

Gavin does a little plate shifting around again so he can slide hers closer and his about before her. "Aye, ye try mine too." He's not really had another bite, nor looked away from her since she had bliss face again. A huge grin has also been stuck to his face ever since as well. Managing to swirl a bite of pasta onto his fork without looking at it he takes a bite quick as he can so he doesn't miss more of her bliss face that might come when she tastes the tender braised shank. When he tastes the carbonara he lightly chimes his fork twice on the side of he plate. "Braw that's well good!" He exclaims after washing the bite down with some scotch. "Maybe should wait to dance til she's up." He winks as he proclaims his procrastination plan to her.

That bliss face does come again, without self consciousness, and there's even a tiny little moan of pleasure with how tender and succulent the lamb is. "I don't think I've ever had anything that tastes this wonderful in my mouth before," she says with a giggle, looking across at him. She takes great pleasure as well in seeing his enjoyment, although it's more subdued than her own, but it does just add to the perfection of the evening so far. Still, she's not a slow girl, and his words are met with a flick of fingers as if she's pushing them away. "An' if she never does, yeh get out of dancin' with me. Not on yer life, m'darlin', not on yer life. Tonight's for dancin' and celebratin' that yer here on this earth."

Gavin chuckles and lifts up his hands in surrender a moment before he gets back to moving the plates around so that they are back to their intended positions. "It's good. But it's no Hind's Chippy." He actually sounds very genuine. He's been a regular at the Chippy for a reason. "We'll have to start out on a slow one, if that's alright?" The hand holding, the lack of talk of Antsy Pants, he's still trying to sus out if this might be more than just friends enjoying a birthday or not. "The band seems pretty good, even with just the dinner music."

"I'll be gentle with yeh," Katie promises lightly, not thinking what other implications those words might hold. She's still innocent in many ways, never even been properly kissed, and double meanings are the last thing on her mind right now. What's on her mind is the delicious food, the wonderful company, and that's about all that the slight fuzziness the alcohol has brought cares for. She sets to on her dinner again, which probably would have been a good thing to do before putting away most of her drink, but live and learn. The young woman isn't a fussy eater, although she's rather dainty about it, minding her manners faithfully as she was taught.

After dinner when they are asked to rise from their table so that it can be slide off to who knows where to open up the dance floor they are shown to a standing table around the dance floor where they are given a Panna cotta each, and his has a candle in it and the staff and owner come out to sing to him. Gavin takes a playful bow and waves gratefully to everyone before he looks at her and blows out the candle, maybe indicating that she's got something to do with his birthday wish!

Katie moves as they're unseated with only a tiny bit of a wobble, and her voice delightedly joins the others for singing to honor Gavin's day. His successful extinguishing of the candle has her clapping joyfully, and others around, strangers, pause to wish the soldier all the best for the day. Their respect for him, for his uniform and service, has her all but bursting with pride to be the one on his arm tonight, of all the choices he surely has. "I'd ask what yeh wished for, but then yeh wouldn't get it," she quips, before her attention turns to the small purse she clutches. It's opened, and a small box is presented, wrapped in gaily coloured paper and topped with a red bow. It's very clearly birthday wrapping, not Christmas.

The box is square, and when it's opened he'll find a pocket watch nestled inside, with a chain looped under it. The metal is worked with an intricate carving, and the center is a small circle of glass. Enough for him to see the time without having to bother with opening it, but small enough to be durable and not easily broken.


Gavin is given a kiss on the cheek by one brazen and future "Allotment Annie" after the song is sang. Though when she gives it and he's polite about taking it, his eyes do flash to Katie, apologetically and as she's fishing in her purse he is wiping off the lipstick mark on his cheek. After he's opened the present he rather immediately opens up his uniform jacket so that he can affix his new pocket watch. "Braw! Duckie, yer the best." Once it's affixed he does lean over to give her a kiss to the cheek.

Katie did notice the kiss he got, of course, and the bristle and sudden desire to grab the woman by the hair surprised her. Getting lost for a moment in retrieving the present was a relief. She can wonder what in the world that was later, when her head is more clear. "I'd never seen yeh wearin' one before, an' when I saw that I just thought of yeh." More accurately, when she found out from one of his mates that his birthday was looming she agonized over finding something to give him. Something not too dear, but meaningful, and she ended up making a bit of a dent in the coins she'd saved up over months. But he's well worth the expense and she didn't give it a moment's thought, instead hoping that he would like it until the very moment the smile graces his face. She's thrown off again, however, by the kiss to the cheek she gets from him. A simple peck, but the warmth from his lips seems to linger on her skin, and it draws a light blush that she dips her head to hide. "I hope yeh like it, Gavs."

Gavin rubs the surface of the watch with his thumb similarly to how he rubbed it over her hand in his earlier. "It's perfect. I can put a picture in it and nae get the piss taken out by the boys for staring at it all." He gives her a wink and a chuckle and then takes to eyeballing the dessert. "Wot do ye think it is?" He asks in a whisper as he vibrates the plate with his hand so it jiggles.

The words 'it's perfect' dispel all of Katie's lingering trepidation, and she releases a breath that she'd been holding. It's made all well in the world, and she looks curiously at the panna cotta plates as well. Her voice drops, matching his in tone, and she leans closer, a conspirator in the question of what they've been served. "It moves like jelly, but I've not seen jelly that looks like that before."

Gavin covers a hand over the laugh her whispered words bring along and like the little devil he can be some times he takes up her spoon, slices into the pannacotta and then offers it up to her mouth with a "Ladies first." That has a chuckle in it that's not at all gentlemanly. She's his guinea pig for this new white opaque jelly with berry syrup oozed over it.

Katie's eyes narrow just slightly, a suspicious look at him as he offers the bite, and she reaches to get his spoon, dips into his panna cotta, and offers it out in the same way. "Same time," she says. Her eyes stay on his face as she leans, dutifully taking the morsel he offers while she feed him as well.

Gavin's jolly laugh makes it very possible for her to slip the spoon in his mouth as he does to her. There's that brief moment when it first hits his tongue and he tries to chew it that he gets an odd expression as he tries to figure out if he likes it or not. Then his head starts to tilt back and forth as he chews in a 'not so bad' manner. "What do ye think?"

The 'bliss' isn't there, but Katie doesn't spit the taste out, either. Well, she nearly does when she sees the look on Gavin's face, her hand coming up quickly to cover a laugh and keep dessert in her mouth where it belongs. That confusion on his face was well worth the oddity of the experience. She's still giggling as she nods quickly, swallowing and managing to say, "It's sweeter than it looks, an' th'berries are lovely."

Gavin isn't careful with just how much adoring is in his expression as he watches her come to terms with the new taste of their dessert. "Tastes a bit like how I like my tea, just without the tea and berries in it." There is still an amused chuckling cadence in his words. "It'd be rude if we didn't eat it all, right?" He winks to her as he lifts up a heaping large jiggling mass on the spoon up to her mouth again, devils grin spread on his lips.

As a couple moves to pass their table, Katie shifts to give them way, edging closer to Gavin and bumping lightly against him. "Maybe we ought t'smuggle some out an' try it in our tea," she suggests playfully. She dutifully takes the new spoonful offered, oblivious to what he may make of the slide of her lips on the spoon as he pulls it out. And, if he's going to go on feeding her, she's surely obliged to reciprocate! She gets another spoonful for him, offering it to his devils grin. She still pays no attention to what others may think, if they notice the young couple at all, concerned only with her companion.

Gavin oofs and rocks to the side when she bumps against him. When he rights himself his free hand comes up to rest on the middle of Katie's back, for stability and support, surely. "That actually sounds Braw." Comes with a wider grin and nod. "Could order some tea and watch their faces when we plop this in by the spoonful…" He murmurs to her in more conspiritory play.

Katie has to cover a giggle again, and if the touch at her back is noticed it goes without comment. She doesn't mind it, actually, finding it reassuring in a room that seems to be filling with more strangers by the minute. And strangers that mostly seem far more posh than a lad from Glasgow and a chippy bird. He's currently her rock in the tide of the unknown. "That sounds a right laugh," she agrees. She pauses in the midst of dessert, giving him a pleading look that would surely melt an iceberg. "Can I have another of those strawberry drinks, Gav?"

Gavin looks around and signals over a server with a polite smile and thank you when they approach. "Two Teas, please?" He glances over and those pleading eyes are something he is helpless against and he looks back to the server, "And another Strawberry Daquiri for the lady please." He can feel the his wallet thinning out as he speaks, but this is his weakness and he does it happily. "Anything for Duckie."

Katie impulsively reaches over and hugs Gavin's arm, beaming up at him happily. "Yer th'best, Gavs. Ta." She certainly seems to be having a wonderful time of it, happy in their comfort together, and the lack of uncertainty and trepidation and 'will he snog me yet?' nerves. She was truly fond of Xander, but they are most assuredly from different worlds. "Including dancing." It's not a question, it's a statement of fact.

Gavin's head goes back as he lets out a laugh before nodding and looking into her eyes with laughing eyes. "Including dancing. Eghad the things I do for ye." He adds in mock woe. Then he starts to feed himself the rest of his birthday dessert. The comfort is in him as well and they've had such a night that he finally offers up a number. "Twenty an' eight."

"Anything for Duckie," Katie teases, not yet having released his arm. It takes her a second to process the number tossed out there, before it dawns on her that he's finally disclosing his age. She makes quite a show out of looking him head to toe and back again before she finally declares, "Yeh don't look a day over nineteen." But he actually doesn't look all of 28 and she wouldn't have guessed it if she'd taken a try at it. All in all, she appears entirely unconcerned with the number itself, but looks delighted again as their tea and the daiquiri arrives. She nods a suddenly almost shy thanks to the server, then looks to Gavin. "Yer not gonna really put dessert in yer tea, are yeh?"

Gavin gets cheeky as he lifts up his spoon and puts on quite the performance of slicing off a good spoonful of his pannacotta, glances around to make sure no one is watching as he's pretty sure this might offend an italian and the goons milling about for security do have him being wary. But into the soldiers tea it does and then gets stirred about vigorously til it's all melted in. The tea does look quite like a normal cuppa with milk when he's done and he lifts up the cup and then pointedly raises his pinky so he looks all posh as he takes a sip. "Wow…" He blinks and then holds the tea up over for Katie to taste. "Italian tea, not bad."

Katie at least makes an attempt to look mortified at Gavin's antics, but she's not a good enough actress to cover the delight dancing in her eyes. To her, good girl that she is, this is supreme and wonderful misbehaving. She smirks, loving the extended pinky, noticing his hands, really noticing them, for perhaps the first time. Rough and worn, they're no doubt soldier's hands, have seen hard work, but they're strong and capable, and remind her of her da's hands. For a second she's almost mesmerized in her observation, and then she realizes he's holding the cup out for her. She looks around, her expression like a child that's about to be very naughty indeed, and then takes it for a sip. She considers, then grins. "It's lovely." And, so he's not the only one doing it, she copies his actions, stirring her tea. But the tea sits as her attention goes to the daiquiri.

Gavin is a known bad influence! Smoking, drinking and now worst of all Panncotta Tea! "Can call it Pannacottea." A rakish wink is aimed her way and he takes another sip. When her gaze locks onto her fruity cocktail there is a chuckle in his words as he leans down his head, going so far as to rest his forehead down on the side of her hair so that his mouth isn't far from her ear as he teases. "Go slow on that, don't want to be carrying you home tonight Duckie." The respect he has for Daniel at least tempering the fact that he's wrapped around her finger after those pleading eyes she gave him.

That close, it might be noticed that there's no perfume scenting her, but Katie smells like soap, proper English young lady, and, very faintly, of cooking grease. It's a matter of circumstance and a scent she never manages to entirely wash away. And with her eyes downcast on the drink, she's hyper aware of his nearness. It's not like it's the first time he's ever leaned near her, and she mentally chastises herself for thinking like a dithering schoolgirl. She's an adult, darnit! And Gavin is… Gavin. Still, she murmurs back with just a bare turn of her head, "An' if anyone would get me there, safe as houses, it'd be yeh t'do it, Gavs." Oh. That was aloud. It's a good time for a sip of a nice cold bevvy.

Gavin nods his head a little which makes him nuzzle into her hair just a bit before he lifts his head up. "Aye, twould be me. Course I beg of ye to save me from the ire of Daniel Hind, aye?" He chuckles and gives her a little nudge before it's back to standing beside her, the hand behind her giving a light rub while the other lifts his cuppa up for another sip. The beverage now is rather sweet so the last few sips of his scotch are given a quick pour into the tea before he takes another sip and smacks his lips and gives an 'ahh'.

"I'll not let him harm a hair on yer head," Katie promises, looking up at Gavin. Her smile is there, but it's softer, fond. There are couples moving out on the dance floor now, and without even realizing it, Katie's toe is tapping to the music. She tries to go easy on the drink, she really does, but it's just so temptingly tasty and hard to just sip at. The sweet drink seems to be her kryptonite, sapping her self control.

Gavin takes a few more drinks of his tea before it's dry. A small amount of his dessert is left after the sizable portion he put into the tea. By the time that remaining bit of dessert is done the few quick songs that the couples has been dancing to comes to a slow dance, "Well…would ye like to go on and test that straight face of yers?" He teases referring to the fact that she promised not to laugh at him when he danced.

Regretfully, Katie finds the drink much more interesting than the rest of her pudding, although she does make a bit more progress at it. It's lovely, but still woefully inadequate to a girl raised on her mum's delicious sponges. She tried not to show it, but there is something of a light yearning on her face as she watches the dancing, and when Gavin proposes they give it a whirl she's clearly delighted. "Hush, yeh," she chastises him gently, reaching for his hand but letting him lead the way to the floor as a gentleman ought. "I have every faith in yeh." Obviously.

Gavin already has one arm around her, so the leading her to the dance floor and then pulling her in and taking up her other hand to start the slow dance that is of the fashion to the young of the era. "1940, huh? You have any plans on New Years Eve?" He asks looking down at her being even closer to her than he was before while whispering into her ear. There are certain holes in his gentlemanliness. The fact that he's slow dancing so close with her being one of them. It's not only a hole in gentlemanly behavior, it's a big hole in how friends behave with friends. When friends slow dance in this style you can usually fit a balloon between them. But the way he leads her in a slow foxtrot you could barely fit a slip of paper between them.

If Katie thought the Natrix glamourous before, it's somehow even moreso from the dance floor. It's like being in one of the fancy Hollywood films with all the pretty dresses that flow so beautifully when women move, and the murmur of hushed conversations that drifts just below the orchestra. Her hand is warm in his, as is her skin beneath her best dress, under where his hand lays on her back. She steps close to him easily, not even really thinking about propriety on this lovely night out, and rests her free hand on his shoulder, it's weight light but noticeable. "Family," she says. Of course. "Mum and Da go out some years, but with everything they'll be home this. We'll be sittin' with the blackout curtains drawn, have a toast to midnight, and likely all be abed by ten past," she muses lightly. "Will yeh have time t'spend with yer mates?"

Gavin goes cheek to cheek with her in the lulls in their conversation, but more often than not he leans back just enough to be able to focus his eyes on hers. "Antsy Pants not going to be visiting?" It's clear in the way he asks the question that he is trying to once and for all determine if she and Xander are together at all any more before he offers up any proposal of New Years Plans.

Her eyes had strayed again, watching all the pretty dresses around them, but the question brings Katie's gaze back at once. Her smile wavers a moment, a flash of hurt on her face that she schools away much better than she did her mischief over Gavin's tea antics. She shakes her head briefly. "He doesn't come 'round any more." Never having had a steady before, she's at a loss to articulate what happened any more than that. They just drifted apart. It's likely his conscience at having to hide his true self from her played some part, but mostly it just baffled her for a while, and then she stopped thinking about it. It only takes a moment for her smile to resurface. "I suppose that's what people mean when they say 'things happen'."

Gavin gives her a little hug, squeezing her more against him. "Aye, that happens." The few 'steadies' he has ended usually much more dramatically and worse than that. But he's still very sympathetic to how it's making her feel. "Some people just aren't right for each other. Life's about navigating through all that to learn how to pick a better match next time. Even that might not work out. But eventually the right one will come along and all the past lessons will make for a stronger relationship." He laughs at himself shaking his head, "Listen to this old man, aye?"

"Gavin, yer not an old man." Uh oh, full name, no Gav or Gavs. Katie even manages to sound stern, though she's a bit unsettled by the squeeze. It was nice, too nice, and sent a thrill coursing through her. Clearly it's either the alcohol or just the fact that she gets honestly lonely sometimes, and wishes for someone to talk to, someone to understand and accept her. Oh sure, her family does all that, but it's so much different when it's a man that cares for you, that you care back for, not in a brotherly way. "I never thought'd there's be a weddin' but… he was nice." It comes with a soft shrug of her shoulders. There's even a little self conscious laugh to echo his as she notes, "If it's lessons that make a strong relationship, I'm sure t'be a spinster. C'mon, though," she says, taking a lighter note, "Yeh've not said when yeh'll be up to. Surely there's a lucky bird out there, pinin' for yeh t'call her up an' take her out for a celebration." She's not fishing at all there to see if he does actually have someone, not in the least. Why would she be concerned with it?

Gavin spotted some bloke on the floor a few feet away give his girl a twirl, so when she goes fishing he buys himself some time and twirls her out and then back into him. It's not as finely polished at the other fellow but it wasn't amatuer either. "Oh there is a bird, just don't know if she'll have me yet. Or at least let me come tapping on her bedroom window for a New Years Kiss if I can sneak away long enough…" He gives a little innocent shrug and smirk as well, but his isn't so genuinely innocent.

The twirl is a surprise and has Katie laughing as she's drawn back in, executing the maneuver with the grace of a lass well on to tipsy. She watches Gavin's face as he answers, and feels an unexpected drop in the pit of her stomach. Well, of course, why would Gavin not be interested in someone who isn't so young and inexperienced as she is, a girl that's fit for clandestine kisses, not barely out of mary janes. Nevermind the fact that she does still often wear her mary janes. Disappointment barely shows through her smile and nod. "She'd be daft not t'have yeh, Gavs." She's the one who leans forward this time, cheek to cheek, or, at least, temple to cheek with him. It feels bold and silly at the same time, but when he's married and has no time for little chippy birds, she'll have this to remember. The light scratch of his stubble against her skin, the way he smells as she draws a breath in close to his neck.

Gavin scratches her a little with that stubble when he gives the littlest of nuzzles in return to her placing her face against his and he whispers since his mouth is so close to her ear. "Then ye best sit by your window." At that he leans back again to focus on her reaction to that. Her hand in his is turned and brought in a way that rests the back of her hand against his uniform jacket and is held there for the last several notes of the slow song being played. There is also a very slow lean in like he might just come in for a kiss, depending on her reaction to learning that she is the Daft Girl they are talking about.

Katie's eyes are closed as she savours the moment, a small smile on her lips, and the beating of her heart in her ears manages to do little to muffle the softly spoken words. Her eyes snap open, her expression immediately puzzled and less than entirely comprehending as her gaze falls on his face. Lips part, then she pauses again, her hand squeezing on his gently and she blinks a few times, rapidly. Finally she manages, "Pardon?" Surely she heard that wrong and she swallows her heart down from where it vaulted into her throat.

Gavin smirks a little and then to her question it turns into a little smile. Still leaning down, more now to be able to speak to her in a private volume than still with aim to kiss her (though that is still in the cards as well), "Would ye mind if I snuck away from my duty come New Years Eve to call on ye for an Auld Lang Syne Kiss?" The hand at her back is sturdy and supportive and its fingers fan in and out which isn't a usual 'just friends dancing' mannerism either.

Again, it takes a moment, and Katie's answer comes with a lack of breath and sense. "Yeh'll get in trouble." It's not a 'no, don't you dare'. It's just the first thing she can process about that sentence in her surprise. She's not even considering that he might be thinking about a kiss at this very moment and the alcohol is conspiring to muddle her senses.

Gavin is running out of notes before the whole mood of the club is going to change and whirl them with it. "Well then, I'll just maybe have to settle for an Auld Man Birthday kiss instead." As the very last romantic note is drawn out on stage by the band he squeezes her close as he did before. A subtle lifting in the gesture as well so that she can be more face to face with him enough that he need nod go very far to place a tender and soft kiss on her lips, it's just on the other side of the line from friendly. The squeeze strengthens a fraction when their lips touch, if allowed to linger they will. Ever so slowly going further and further over the friend line into something obviously more romantic. Not until the pause between songs is over will he break the kiss and with a big grin swirl her out and back in to him to start to try a more lively jitter-bug.

Surely it wasn't the intent of the squeeze, and it's not even particularly tight, but it still robs Katie of breath in the moment before Gavin leans and his lips touch to hers. For those few moments the club fades away, the appreciative applause of the other dancers muffled as if the world has been wrapped in the spun sugar sweetness of his kiss. Lingering is not only allowed, but subtly and unconsciously encouraged as hesitation becomes a press in return. When Gavin pulls back everything comes flooding back into her world all at once. If not for the fact that she's a passably good dancer her feet might have failed her and stumbled, but the swirl out and back are taken nimbly by her, and by the time she's face to face with him again, her lips are curved in a smile as well.

Gavin grins in kind to the one she offers, pleased more than words could ever express that he didn't get slapped or a fist to the gob or anything milder or firmer in the rejection category. A wink is given to her a moment before he attempts a dip and pull back. Once he's done that he's more confident to try a bit of a lift of her up by the waist and a put down. There are very experienced swing dancers pulling fancy moves all around them. But he's keen to keep to the very easy moves and lifts and twirls. He attempts at trying this dancing and not making a complete fool of himself, for her.

It's likely the kiss has made Katie more drunk than the drink and a half she's consumed, her heart singing along with the lively music, 'he kissed me, he kissed me' lilting in her head. Dinner out at a fancy place, dancing, and her first kiss. Katie couldn't be more happy if this were her birthday instead of his. She's also happy with the pace he sets with the dancing. They don't have to be flashy to have fun, and she certainly doesn't need dramatic lifts that risk her knickers being seen. Heavens no. By the time this song is winding down she's out of breath again, but this time it's only from the dance. "I thought yeh said yeh couldn't dance," she remarks when their feet still between songs, as she claps politely for the orchestra.

Gavin gives a shrug that's as big as his grin, "Call it beginners luck and great inspiration." He bumps her with the side of his body before pulling her back to him and sliding an arm around behind her, hand on her back where it was before. Though perhaps his exertion has made him a bit tired in the arm because it's a bit lower than before, but it remains on the proper line between back and bum. Leading her back to their standing table he phews and beams as he takes a bit to catch his breath. "You know, Major Moore gave us a full tank. If you'd like to go driving… find a place to…. park … maybe? Just say the word."

Gavin's break in his words comes from the dancing, not a lack of confidence in the offer. It's also broken up like that to make it clear that he does have intentions for said 'parking'.

Katie scurries back to the table with Gavin, picking up a napkin once there to fan at her face. She's got a healthy glow after the exertion, and she reaches for her drink to help her cool down. A reply to his suggestion doesn't come immediately. While she doesn't have the practical experience herself, Katie's heard plenty of stories from her less inclined to behave girlfriends on the delights of 'parking' with a lad. She has natural curiosity, and the first sparks of desire may have flared with that kiss, but she is still, unfailingly, her da's good girl. She bites her lip as a few seconds pass, her eyes on her drink, and when they raise to the solder it's with some timidity and a lock of hair fallen across them. "I think I'd like some air," she says cautiously. "Maybe a bit of a walk?" To her ears the words sound immature and silly, and definitely evasive. He's a grown man, and a handsome one. After a kiss why would he not want to go… parking? Why can't she be a grown woman and say yes? For the first time she looks at him over the chasm of their differences in experience and daring.

Gavin is a man that's learned to take the disappointments in life with a smile. He grins to her and gives her chin a tender gentle 'slug' that's a mere tap, a chip to the chin as they say. "You bet, Duckie, you go get your coat back and I'll settle the bill. Right?" He doesn't want to see him go from pound to pence in one foul swoop. Thankfully some Christmas Money from his mum and other birthday gifts in the form of money will help bang out the dent in his wallet some. Once that's all taken care of he meets her by the coat room and he must have passed by that 'Allotment Annie' again because he's sporting a lipstick mark to the cheek again and it's in her shade of harlot red. Part of it is wiped off but without a mirror he's missed the bulk of it. "There she is!" He wink to her and offers his elbow to her once more. "Figure we can do a walk around the block the opposite way from the car so that's where we end up? Then I can get ye home if ye like."

That's one thing they have in common, taking disappointment gracefully, at least until they're alone. The gentle chuck under her chin, after the excitement of the kiss, feels all the more brotherly, and Katie has the feeling of an opportunity slipped away. But she smiles, and nods quickly before her hand comes up to push the hair back from her eyes. "Alright, Gav," she agrees, taking a moment to finish her daiquiri before turning to claim her coat. When she's turned away her smile fades and the beating of her heart becomes a painful thing. Chin up, though! She's already donned her outerwear by the time Gavin makes his way over. Again, he's met with a smile, but her eyes find that smeared red beacon immediately. 'Harlot Red', as Katie will evermore think of the woman, strikes again. The taking of his arm is automatic. "That sounds grand," Katie says, putting more enthusiasm than she feels into the words. In her imagination, he can't wait to be shut of her, the little girl from the chippy, and maybe come back to seek out Harlot Red. A bird who wears lipstick like that would likely never say no to an offer of 'parking' from the likes of Gavin Ferguson.

Gavin lands a kiss to her cheek once she's hooked on to his elbow and then he removes his field hat or 'little boat' hat from the inner pocket of his jacket and he slides it into place at an angle that is rather jaunty and not exactly to military standards. But damn does it look fetching like that. "Last moments of warmth!" Is warned with a chuckle just before he swings open the door to lead their way through the mass of people being held at bay now as the bouncer's job has changed more into the usual tasks of the job now that the joint is in full night club mode.

Blast him and his jaunty little hat, and blast herself for noticing how well the rakish tilt suits him. Katie's almost angry for a moment, at him, at herself, definitely at Harlot Red. Damn her for being the kind of woman that Katie isn't. But she's not well suited for anger and can't hold it as they step out into the cold evening. There's no faulting Gavin for who he is, and she can't be anything other than simply Katie. This silly flair of emotion toward him will surely fade, show itself for the fluke it is. "The drinks," Katie says aloud without realizing it. Of course, she does realize it after the fact, and she hurries on with, "I think the drinks have gone a bit to my head. But it's been a lovely evenin'. I'm grateful yeh shared yer birthday with me, Gavs."

Gavin was mauled by Harlot Red, truth be told. Making the mistake of going by the bar to make sure the bartender got a tip, the next thing he knew arms were around his neck and it was yanked down so the kiss could be mashed against his cheek. He felt a bit like a veterinarian removing a tick when he peeled her off of him. Katie is night and day from Harlot Red and every other girl that he's dated, it's why he likes her so much. When she talks of the drinks he changes position, so that the arm she was on goes back around her and his other hand crosses over himself to take up her hand. It's a closer and supportive sort of walk. "Sorry Duckie, should have limited ye to the one. But those eyes of yours, helpless against'm." When he looks down at her then there is still a fondness in his eyes as he admits to the fact that he's finding himself quickly wrapped about her finger. Truly it's a see-sway teeter-totter of signals, friendly, brotherly, romantic.

Even with a difference of some five inches, when Gavin changes to sliding his arm around her, Katie snugs up against him nicely, fitting well to his form. Her hand is still warm in his for the moment, so newly out of the club. Her hand pulls away a measure, as if she's going to reclaim it, but then slides back into the grasp and stays. It wasn't a momentary waffle about pulling away, but a rub of her skin on his, a sensation for her to tuck away in memory and bring out when she can't sleep at night. "No," she's quick to interject, "The last thing I'll have is yeh feelin' yeh should have had more care."

Gavin lowers his head to rest on hers even as they walk, half an eye to the empty sidewalk glossy with some melted snow before them. Keeping watch for ice. "Fraid that might be impossible. Always feel like I should be having more care when it comes to you Duckie." A light kiss is brushed over her cheek before his head lifts and he pays greater mind to walking and cooling off. "That was grand, best birthday since I was a laddie. Thank ye Ducks."

Confusion reigns in Katie's somewhat booze addled brain. Feelings she didn't know had started to root suddenly sprung into life like Jack's beanstalk, and the Giant at the top is Gavin. Oh, not a mean, fe fi fo fum giant, but one with eyes that she could get lost in for weeks at a time, and lips that she could kiss until the world ends. No matter her doubt, she's content in the circle of his arm, and stops herself thinking, to just enjoy the time while it's theirs. A lorry rumbles along down the road, and her bad timing has words coming just as it rattles it's loudest past them, all but drowning her out. "I'd make them all so, if I could."

Gavin draws her even closer and pulls them both closer to the buildings and it's a good thing too because a few feet in front of them some dirty snow sludge is kicked up by the passing lorry. The fact that it drowned out her words makes him chuckle and shout, "What?" Grinning wide as he can he squints one eye and lowers his ear down so that it's closer to her mouth. Even though the lorry has sputtered around a corner and it's not nearly so noisy.

Despite the sludge being nowhere near actually hitting them, Katie flinches, pressing closer to Gavin. Repeating the words is more than she can do, so she settles for a very distant second choice, "I'm happy yeh've had fun." She turns her head enough to press her lips now to his cheek, unknowingly right over Harlot Red's lipstick smear. There's only a small, awkward wobble with the maneuver, before her balance is returned.

Gavin slows to a pause in their walking when she rolls to kiss him on the cheek. It's not his intent though it can't be said it's not a desire of his to make her unstable again does he lengthen the pause and within a circle of light from a London Street Lamp above just as small snow flakes start to drift down, "Cause of ye." does he lean in and bring her in and up for another one of those kisses that teeters from friendly to much more than just friendly in a slowly stoked 'burn'.

It's like a moment from a film, as Katie's hair becomes speckled with flakes that glisten in the lamplight, the handsome soldier and the girl he doesn't know when he'll next see. If she had a picture of the moment Katie would treasure it forever. She wants to wrap her arms around him as well, but lessons well learned die hard. One hand rests lightly on his chest, over the rough fabric of his uniform jacket, and the other rises slowly, until her fingers touch his jaw. Colder than they were but not yet icicles, the touch is soft and tender. When she does pull back, she doesn't retreat far, a sigh leaving her to tickle warmly at his lips. She pauses, then breathes in as he exhales, a silly, girlish thought of taking in his essence in some part. After a beat she whispers, "We should…. walk." She's got no air for more volume, doesn't want to lose too much of what's in her lungs too quickly.

Gavin doesn't seem like he wants to continue to walk, he even murmurs, "Should we?" To make it known that when he does continue to walk after a wink that it isn't something that he's anxious to do. But what she wants always comes first to Gavin so it's with a wink that they get back to walking. "Ducks, when is your birthday?"

It's the last thing Katie wants to do, but it's what she feels they ought to do. If she had her druthers, they'd stand there snogging until sunrise. Which is exactly what propels her feet. The question is unexpected, and for a moment her mind blanks on her own date of birth. "June," she says as it springs into her head. "Th'last day of June."

Gavin obviously is making a mental note of her birthday and he repeats it in a mutter with a little nod of his head. "Right, so what's your favorite thing of all time?" It's a must have to every first date, the 'Favorites Talk'.

When they started walking again, Katie just naturally slipped under his arm so it would be around her once more, instead of just taking hold of it. "Of all time?" she echoes. She's getting her bearings back after the second kiss, so that isn't so much dazed as humorously incredulous. "I don't know if I can answer that. What if it's not happened yet?" Or what if it was kissing him? As if she'd say that!

Gavin tilts his head this way and that in a hmm-haw manner. His arm moves so that it's curled around behind her shoulders so his hand dangles from the top of her far shoulder. This means she's drawn even closer and in this day in age that sort of hold means brother or boyfriend. So mixed signals are rampant once again. "Aye, alright, so far what is your favorite… hobby?" He picks the topic top of his head and the inflections of has Glaswegian accent make that clear. "Food? And… Color?"

That ambiguity isn't lost on Katie, nor does she know what to make of it. And she's in no real state to try and figure it out. Maybe tomorrow she'll be able to think more clearly and puzzle through it, when the alcohol is out of her system and she's not been freshly and soundly kissed. Which, to most, would be a fairly clear indication of some level of possible actual affection. The clarifications of the questions is much easier to work with. "I like t'read," Katie says, "But surely yeh know that already. I love a nice curry, it's such a change from fish and chips. And… blue." There's a glance to him with the last answer, and the thought that his eyes are the most beautiful shade of blue that she's ever seen. "An' now, what's yer favourite place yeh've ever been, yer favourite game t'play an'…. color?" She's allowed to steal one!

Gavin uses his free hand to take out his cigarette case and goes through the ritual of lighting one, maybe two if she seems interested up, all without using his other hand, that he wants to keep on Katie's shoulder. With cigarette(s) bobbing in his lips he answers, "Roof of Cambridge Tower. Lots of memories there. I like solitaire if I'm alone, Blackjack if I'm not and, a bit of Truth or Dare if a pretty bird is playing too. Army Khaki Brown." He gives a wink down at her and then contemplates the next round of questions as they round another corner. The Car can be seen parked all the way down this side of the block. "Dream Bloke? Hair, Eyes, Job, Personality… Feet?" The feet is added in playfully.

Katie shakes her head lightly at the offer to decline this time, listening and mulling over his answers. His follow-up question surprises her and she has to pause to decide how to answer it. Evasively wins over any other alternative. "I suppose I would fancy him havin' hair, yes," she says, mock-thoughtfully. "Two eyes would be nice, as well as feet, but they aren't required. An' Da would only approve of him if he had a job." She's grinning as she glances up again, but her tone changes slightly as she goes on, from playful to slightly dreamy. "He'd have t'love a good laugh, an' be a kind sort of man. Good t'me an' the family."

Gavin angles his hand to give her arm pit a bit of a squirmy finger tickle. "Cheeky!" He berates and praises all at the same time, completely unplanned and not because she just mentioned it, but the tickling comes with genuine laughter. "Know anyone that might fit that strict and very unspecific set of requirements Duck?"

Katie squeaks and squirms, a rather ticklish girl when taken by surprise, nudging Gavin in the ribs. She employs her giggles as a reason to not answer that particular question, pretending she'd not heard it. "Mind yer manners, or I'll be tellin' Da on yeh," she warns without meaning it in the least. And she even changes the topic yet again, pointing ahead, announcing softly, "Almost there."

Gavin stops at the curb right before the door and instead of opening the door for her he pulls her in and gives her another swift kiss. "Might as well do the crime if I'm going to be paying for it." After declaring that he leans in for a slow burner. "What I think I'm trying to ask is if I'm your sort of bloke, and if I could call on ye different like." Than he has been since they met.

Expecting the door to be opened, Katie's eyes are on it, and so she's surprised again when Gavin tugs her close for that quick peck, and there's no time for a retort before she's thoroughly silenced. Maybe she's a bit less tipsy, as this time the kiss doesn't muddle her so terribly, and she blinks up at him. His approach is open and honest and can't be evaded this time. She feels compelled to answer honesty with honesty. "I think yeh are, Gavs," she says quietly as she looks up at him, her fingers again soft on his face, colder still. "An' if yeh'd like that… I would as well." She doesn't let just anyone kiss her, after all. The nearby streetlamp is illuminating the lipstick smear, and her thumb moves, smudging it off. "Am I yer sort?" she asks, with her attention on that simple task.

Gavin takes both of her hands inside of both of his cupping around them and placing them in front of his mouth so he can huff warm air inside of his hands to coat over hers. He's mindful of the cigarette still between his fingers. "Honestly no. But that is such a good thing. As I said in the club, gone through the ringer a few times and my sort just shouldn't be my sort I've decided. What I need is a down to earth girl that's got wit, doesn't laugh at my dancing, is bloody adorable when she tries to smoke and who gets me hot about the collar with just a kiss. The fact that she smells good enough to eat also isn't bad."

With her hands held together by his, blue eyes held on his face, and the snow that shimmers in her hair, Katie looks almost reverent as she regards Gavin. Then a smile curves her lips, "Look at us, standin' out in th'snow like we've not a brain between us." She can feel the warmth of the blush his words brought, and angles her face away from the light.

Gavin laughs and at her playful chiding and releases her so that he can open up the door and help her in and get settled. "Such a thing tends to happen on a night like this." Booze and hormones and chemistry, wicked cocktail that quarantines logic. Once settled he swings the door shut reverent of the vehicle and its passenger both. He has to do a little leap over the sludge in the gutter to get around to his side. Once in and the car is started, chuggy chitty chugging softly he puts one arm out along the back of the seat and give her a little tug to urge her to slide in closer for warmth and he brings the blanket from the little boot in the back forward and putting it in her lap giving her the duty of unfolding it and covering them up.

Katie takes the blanket and gets it situated, happy to be able to do something for him, and then she settles into the seat. "Please tell yer major I still think his car is lovely. An' he's very kind for lettin' us use it." She's as close to him right now as she can get, shivering slightly now that they've stopped walking.

Gavin flicks his cigarette out the space between window and leather convertible hood. It sizzles out on the wet street. "I will. So Duckie, where to?" The arm around her slowly caresses an arm of hers to get her warm and also honestly just to touch her. Checking the mirrors he pulls out and starts to drive, eastward.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License