(1939-12-30) Afternoon Breakfast
Details for Afternoon Breakfast
Summary: Galen steps in for a bite to eat and chats with Katie.
Date: December 30, 1939
Location: Hind's Fish and Chips
Related:
Characters
KatieGalen

It's a cold and dreary day in Londontown, and snow was falling fairly steadily through much of the morning and early afternoon. It's kept Jack busy, bringing out the mop every half hour or so to try and keep the floor of the chip shop reasonably clean and dry. With the lunch rush having died down, the floor has been clean for the better part of 45 minutes, and Jack has tucked himself away in a corner of the kitchen to eat his own lunch.

Not so Katie, who doesn't usually have a real lunch herself. She picks as she can through the day as she works the front of the shop, making sure to always be tidy and available for the next customer. Still, her attention has settled for the moment on an open book in front of her, stooped over with her elbows on the counter, hair held back from falling into her face with one hand as her eyes travel back and forth across the page. With the cold outside the shop door is closed today, but a bell above alerts her whenever there's a new arrival.

Galen’s nice, warm woolen long coat works well in the cold. The collars are pulled up, as if acting as a shield to the wind. As the afternoon comes around, the bells jingle as he enters the shop. His hand lifts to run it through his hair, giving it a bit of a tousle to rid the snowflakes from it, and simply makes more of a mess of the tumble of black hair. At a quick glance around - as the lad approaches the counter, unbuttoning his coat - his green eyes regard the girl at the counter and an amused smile slips across his lips. “Reading? That had better be interesting,” Gale remarks with a teasing tone, a look of amusement glinting in his eyes.

The jingle from the bell draws Katie's attention up immediately, and the girl is straightening even before her eyes land on the new arrival. A scrap of paper is quickly tucked between the pages as Katie smiles, warm and friendly as every guest is greeted. "Cor, if it isn't th'wagerin' man hisself," she says lightly. Her eyes drop briefly to the book, as if she has to look at it to remind herself that it exists, more a reflex reaction to it's mention than anything else. "It's a murder mystery." It's turned enough so Galen can read the cover if he chooses, Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie. "I'm holdin' it for safe keepin' for a friend." Her eyes flicker over him briefly. "Open yer coat, let the warm air in. What can I get yeh t'day?" The chalkboard note the days fish as cod and halibut, the desserts are bread pudding and chocolate sponge.

“And starving,” Galen announces in response to her greeting. The coat is removed altogether, draping it over an arm before he leans coolly on the counter with his other arm. Amusement flickers against his lips as he regards the girl - and the book. “A murder mystery,” he echoes, and nods his head with a slight grin. “It could have been worse.” He bobs his head approvingly. “I thought fish and chips would make a good breakfast.” Yea, breakfast - for someone who had just woken up an hour and a half ago. He gestures simply towards he chalkboard, rolling his shoulders back. “That works,” he utters. “I’m not fussy. But come join me. You can take a break.”

"It's quite good," Katie says mildly, her good nature never faltering. "Agatha Christie." One brow quirks a measure at mention of breakfast, but she remembers fairly well their brief conversation on meeting about purpose and such, so it's not overly much of a surprise. "Th' cod is smashin' t'day," is noted for his benefit as she turns to call through to the kitchen. "Cod an' chips, Da." The response is a rather gruff, "Aye, Bug." and from within the kitchen, the man leans to look out through the window. He doesn't say anything, but his gaze holds a moment on the new face before Daniel turns to get to making the order. Katie's attention returns to Galen as she steps sideways. "My afternoons tend t'be a long break these days, between lunch and supper. Cuppa tea?"

Green eyes regard her as she calls back the order, bringing out a twitch of his lips which tugs briefly into a lopsided grin. Gale gives a simple nod to the tea. He doesn’t shift from the counter, leaning comfortably and nodding his head. “Have you figured out who did yet?” he questions, pointing at the book just to show he means the book. “Or is it still keeping you in suspense?” His head bobs in response to the long breaks. “Oh good, then you can join me at the table. I don’t want to eat alone.” He grins at her.

It's only a step or two to the kettle that's kept simmering through the day, and Katie pours out a fresh cup of tea for Galen. Bringing the cup, she moves from behind the counter, leaving the book behind, and puts the cup on the nearest table, which already has a tray of things that most people add to tea. "Unless someone else comes in," she cautions lightly, smile still curving her lips as she takes another chair. "I've not figured out yet, but I think I've got an idea. It's temptin' t'skip ahead, but that'd just ruin everything an' I'm not that impatient t'know. In good time."

Galen follows to the table, glancing at her setting the tea down. He takes that opportunity to nudge a chair back from the table with a foot, looking at Katie as he gestures at it. So gentlemanly…with flare. “So tell me about the book,” he utters, rolling back his shoulders and dropping into a seat of his own, shifting to sit comfortably, nearly lounging. One sugar packet is plucked out, but he merely plays with it in his hand as he watches her.

Katie sits so she can keep an eye on the kitchen, which affords Galen more of a view of the door, slipping into the chair that's been pulled out for her. "Ta," she murmurs, giving him a moment to see to his tea. The question brings a tilt to her head as she regards him, smile matching the good humor in her eyes. "It's a murder mystery. Yeh ought t'just read it, yeh know," she suggests. "I can lend you it when I'm done, but yeh'll need t'promise t'return it in good condition."

Sitting in the chair with his shoulders slumped comfortably, Galen simply plays with the packet as he ponders, one finger tapping at the packet. Eventually, without a look to Katie, he leans forward and sweetens the tea with lots of sugar and adds cream to it. His hands wrap around the cup, lifting it to take a careless sip and letting out a hiss when he misjudges the temperature. Gale snorts as he glances to Katie, the cup clicking on the table as he sets it down. “Really?” he utters out in a sceptical, yet amused tone. “But I could just take it and sell it and you’re friend would be disappointed.” He snorts again, eyes locking on her as he regards her thoughtfully. “You’re awfully trusting.” He casually lifts the cup to his mouth again.

There's an involuntary, if small, wince from Katie as Galen finds the tea a bit too hot. But since it doesn't seem to bother him too badly, being followed as it is by a laugh, she doesn't fuss about it. Her brows lift, surprise on her face. "Cor, why shouldn't I be? Yeh look fair enough an' if yeh choose t' take advantage of that, well it's your problem in the end, in't it? I may have lost a book, but that can be replaced."

Galen’s green eyes focus on Katie as he sips from the cup, and a snort escapes him as he sets the cup back on the table. The look he gives her clearly thinks she’s being far too innocent, but the young lad gives a shake of his head. “It wouldn’t be worth much,” he utters, as if to reassure that he wasn’t planning on keeping and selling the book. As his gaze strays towards the counter Gale drinks from the cup again. “So a family run business? Is that what you’re expected to do for your life?”

Katie's smile turns to more of a smirk at the observation on the book's value, her own outlook being that the price of something doesn't necessarily dictate its value. Her eyes shift as well, lingering on the shadow of movement through the pass-through window to the kitchen as her father makes Galen's meal. "It is," she confirms, "We all do our part here. It's not expected of me, but it's what I've chosen so far."

Gale twists again to look towards the counter - only for a second - before turning back to face Katie. An amused snort escapes him, screwing up his face in a grimace. “It’s expected,” he decides, and lifts his cup to sip his tea. “If you chose to leave and find somewhere else to work, I bet he’d be disappointed.” He gives her a cynical smirk and an offhanded shrug. With a lopsided grin, his eyes almost laughing at her, he comments lowly, “At least I know where to return the book.”

The amusement doesn't fade from Katie's face with the pronouncement, her eyes holding on him boldly. "I expect he would be, he's human after all, an' m'Da. But he'd not try t'stop me if it's what would make me happy." His last comment feels as if it's meant to goad her, and she's had her share of friends who were expert at 'takin' th'piss'. The defense that automatically springs into her head is stilled before the words come out, her stubbornness stopping her from attempting to justify herself. Instead she nods, "Aye, right here t'th' shop."

Galen drinks from his cup again, entertainment in his eyes as he watches her. His laughter only shows in a mild twitch at the corner of his lips. “Well the last time we met you were very generous. Thank you,” he says in a low, mumbled tone. “Next time it’s my turn to treat you.” He taps his fingers casually against the table as he thinks, and then ends up speaking out, “You know what would be more exciting than reading a mystery novel? Going out and playing detective for real.”

The kitchen bell rings with a crisp 'ding!', and Katie waves off talk of who treats who as she rises, letting that be the only comment. As Galen pauses to think, she crosses to collect his meal. Her steps are light as she moves back to the table, her movement practiced and easy in the familiar space. The plate is set before him, turned just so, and she steps back to ease into her seat again. Still no other customers, and with snow starting up again it's not likely there'll be a sudden rush of hungry Londoners. "Playing detective? So is that what yeh like t'do in yer spare time?"

Galen sits up a bit straighter to the sound of the bell, his green eyes locking on Katie as his gaze trails after her, twisting in his seat. He bobs his head appreciatively as the meal is set down in front of him, wasting no time to pluck a couple of fries and shovel them into his mouth. While he chews - half the time forgetting to close his mouth - he dumps enough ketchup on top to cover the chips before stuffing a few more into his mouth. Letting out a cough - nearly choking - Gale clears his throat and snorts as he glances briefly at Katie. “What I like to do is play games and win big - exactly what I do.” There’s no real explanation about his comment about playing detective. He goes back to shovelling fries into his mouth, pausing to tear a piece off from the fish.

Working in the shop for most of her life, Katie is still always intrigued by what you can tell from how a person eats. From the soldier who piles everything together and devours it in record time, to the antiques dealer who is fastidious about his meal and never seems rushed. There's no offense taken at Gale's habits, and she's more than polite enough to not stare while he eats, instead letting her eyes drop as her fingers idly tap on the tabletop. "Mmm," she hums lightly, "The gambler, that's yeh. Is yer luck all that then?"

Galen bobs his head as he shovels chips and fish into his mouth, glancing only briefly at Katie. “Luck,” he says as he snorts. “That comes and goes.” He chokes out on another cough, lifting his fist to tap his chest as he gives Katie a look and a lopsided grin. “With things like dice. There’s skill, too, of course.”

The second cough has Katie rising, retrieving the teakettle and topping off Galen's cup. She leaves it at the table, admonishing him gently, "Yeh'll choke t'death if yeh don't slow down." Words she's used often with her brother, signed to him when their mother proves too slow. "What skill does it take t'throw some dice out then? Yeh can't control how they land."

Around a full mouth, Galen utters out a, “Thank you,” as she tops his cup. He busies himself with stuffing food into his mouth, eyes down. He lets out a hearty ‘hah!’ that somehow finishes in a snort at her warning. “Thanks, mom,” he returns teasingly, lifting his head as his chewing slows, regarding the redhead. Clearing his throat, Gale picks up the cup, blowing on it before taking a sip - this time more careful. He shakes his head at her, gesturing out with a hand before him. “Dice is entertaining - fun when you’re looking for random - but there’s cards. Poker. Can’t beat me at a game of poker unless you know what you’re doing.”

"I see," Katie says, ignoring his cheek with calling her 'mom'. There's a soft laugh with her reply. "An' I could be sayin' that about bridge." She pauses, and considers. "Still, I suppose it is a skill then, if yeh know th'game well enough t'be that sure of winnin'." Noting the steady disappearance of the food before him, Katie moves again, this time picking up a piece of the sponge with custard and bringing it back for when Galen is ready for it.

Galen makes a face as she brings up bridge, giving his head a small shake. “I’m not a fan of bridge,” he utters out with a mere shrug, snorting. Eyeing as she brings the dessert, he stuffs his mouth with the last of the fries and fish and pushes the plate away from him, beckoning with two fingers for her to set it down. He swallows, and washes the food down with a sip of tea.

Katie stifles a grin at the gesture, noting that for all he seems to think little of working in a chippie, he's not objecting to having someone to serve him. "Maybe one day yeh'll teach me this poker of yers," she says idly, setting his pudding down and taking up his cleared plate to deposit back through to the kitchen. She takes her time with the simple task, giving Galen a minute to appreciate dessert without interruption. Desserts are her mother's specialty, something of pride to the older woman and in truth, to Katie too. She's very partial to mum's puddings. Sitting again she looks at Galen so see it if meets his standards.

Galen bobs his head, releasing a breath that doesn’t hide his mirth, glancing at her. “I’ll give you a lesson once you close up today,” he offers. He lowers his head to the dessert, digging in after a sip of tea, and devouring a good portion of it by the time she returns. He takes a break to regard her quietly, turning to glance over at the counter briefly. “Do you want to get back to your book, or will you put up with a lesson?”

The glance to the counter may well include a view of Daniel Hind through the open space into the kitchen, partially in shadows as he wipes his hands on a towel. Now that he's not got an immediate task, he seems to have taken something of an interest in the stranger that his daughter has been spending time with. Katie looks over as well, then self-consciously smoothes her hands over her apron. Her voice is low but still amused as she answers. "I think Da will be wantin' me t'get ready for the suppertime crowd. Daughter or not, I do still work here, an' work I must." Her eyes lift, settling on Galen. "Why don't I finish th'book, an' when yeh come back t'borrow it yeh can show me some of yer poker?" is suggested

Galen’s gaze barely lingers over the man in the kitchen for a second, not giving it much of a thought. He snorts, nodding his head as he looks to Katie. “Right, right, work,” he says as he tosses out a hand as if he had forgotten. He gives her a grimace, lifting a hand to rake his fingers through his hair, and bowing his head to finish up the dessert. “I’ll be back tomorrow then,” he confirms as he brings a forkful of the sponge to his mouth. When the last bite is finished off, Gale stands, pulling out his wallet to supply the price of the meal, plus a decent tip. He can be generous, too, when he’s got the money.

Katie smiles, shaking her head indulgently at his general distaste for work. "When yeh manage," comes to the words of returning, allowing that if he doesn't make the return then it'll be welcome whenever. She stands as he does, taking the money with only a cursory glance, but her smile warm as she looks up to him. "Ta. We'll hope t'see yeh t'morrow then." The coins are slipped into her apron with a light jingle.

Galen nods as he swings his coat on around him, buttoning up and pulling up the collar. His lips slant to the side in a tilted smile. “I’m glad we got to meet again,” he says genuinely. As he turns, his hand dips into his pocket to pull out a pack of cigarettes, sticking one between his lips as he steps to the door. He draws out his lighter after tucking away the pack, but waiting to light it until he steps out.

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