(1940-01-07) Mending Things
Details for Mending Things
Summary: After a lot of tension and drama, and largely thanks to Guy, Rena and Faulkner are reunited.
Date: 1940/01/07
Location: A country pub
Related: Pack Up Your Troubles

Having been dropped off at the public house near Biggin Airfield base by the kindly Squadron Leader who took it upon himself to try and straighten things out with his little friend, Rena Lee has managed to get herself set up with a room for the few days she will be there. It's not such a bad thing, living out of a small suitcase for a short time; and, it's nice to truly get away from all of the painful influences around her on the other side of the proverbial tracks.
Once she has sorted out her room, she returns to the downstairs area in hopes of getting some small bite to eat while she waits. She hasn't eaten in… she can't remember how long. She ought not to look so pale and tired when (or if) Faulkner arrives. That's the question: Will he?
Anxiously, the young redhead fidgets and tries not to look as nervous as she feels while she waits.

At the very least, Faulkner can't leave Biggin Hill until Guy gets back and they manage to procure him some sort of pass. Which, given the wily old soldier tricks that pair know, probably isn't difficult, but might involve some circumlocutions. Nevertheless, some time after Rena is dropped off at the nearby pub, the door opens and a man in RAF blue steps in, removing his hat and tucking it under his arm. Perhaps Rena doesn't notice, because he doesn't say anything until he drops his hat on the table in front of her and says, "Buy an old man a drink, Miss?" And there's Birdie, looking down at her with a small smile and a gleam in his eye.

Preoccupied and nervous as a cat, the young woman actually jumps when the hat falls onto the table. In fact, it startles her so that she lets out a sharp little gasp. Instantly, her gaze locks with his, and for a moment, she doesn't draw breath. She still isn't sure if Faulkner is angry with her (as he has every right to be) for running away like she did.
"B-birdie…" she stammers, finally remembering to breathe. Dropping her gaze, she smiles wanly and shakes her head a little: "'Ow many times do I 'ave to say you're not old. You're experienced… remember?"

Faulkner looks down at her for a moment, then shakes his head slightly and reaches out to take her hand. He pulls her to her feet and then into his arms, before, and damn whoever might be looking, he sweeps her back and kisses her soundly, and right on the lips. That should answer her questions.

The little redhead hasn't a moment to think or say anything - she hasn't even the time to react before Faulkner has her in his arms, kissing her. It's all rather like one of those dreamy moments in a film where the hero sweeps a girl off her feet. And it's enough to make Irene feel quite giddy in her mind, and weak at the knee. From the sidelines, a few of the patrons in the background chuckle or comment with amusement at such a display of affection, though certainly without annoyance.
Irene's eyes flutter open when their lips part, and she says weakly: "Charles…" smiling. "Charles, can you ever forgive me?" She then asks, not even waiting for a reply before kissing him again.

It's not like a soldier, sailor, or airman hasn't ever done something like this before. But either way, Faulkner returns the kiss, more gently this time, and then puts her back upright and, after a brief, fierce hug, he lets her sit down, "I'll give you a pass this time. But we're not going to have this happen again, are we? I was very worried. You should have come to me, Irene."

There are many things still lingering under the surface, trouble Irene in the back of her mind. She still isn't fully herself - not by any means. However, she is greatly relieved to be let off the hook this time.
Sliding quietly into her seat, she makes an attempt at cooling the blush in her cheeks with the back of her hand. Faulkner's words bring a small, subdued smile, and she glances down at the table: "I've got a bad 'abit of running away when I'm afraid and don't know where to go - or where I belong." Stopping a moment, the young woman slowly brings her gaze up to meet his before adding: "I really am a coward. You know that, right?" At least, that's the way she feels about herself. Again, the utter lack of self-value rears its ugly head.

"I don't think that's fair, Irene." Faulkner says, "You came here after you got my letter. You were worried, and you made the wrong decision. But I want you to know that where you belong is with me." A small smile, and he reaches across the table to take her hand. "Anyway… We have a lot we need to talk about, don't we? Should I worry that Guy handed me a cigar? His behavior was rather cryptic."

Faulkner takes hold of Irene's slim little hand; and for her, it's such a comforting feeling. Gently, she rests her other over top of his and breathes a faint sigh. She doesn't look like herself. Of course, it has been a trying week, and her pale, wan appearance might be excused by that. However, her hands are very cold - which isn't like her at all.
Again, poor Irene gives a small start at that revelation and looks at Birdie with a hint of consternation in her eyes. "Why the bas…" Remember that you are a LADY. "He's awful like that. You can't trust the man not to try and ruffle feathers whenever 'e gets a chance." She then mutters, deftly (or not so deftly) avoiding the actual issue at hand. Yes, they really ought to have a talk - a real one.

"You're slipping the question." Faulkner says, "But this is probably not the time or the place, I guess. I'm just glad you're here, and didn't do anything silly because you were upset." A pause, then, "I don't mean to suggest, by the way, that you're silly. Just that people who are in a bad spot tend to do things without thinking. And you have every reason to be upset."

Irene knows that she's avoiding the issue, side-stepping from giving any sort of a straight answer. The fact that her gaze drops away and cannot meet with his again says it all. She has a hard time lying to anyone… as for Faulkner, she can't be dishonest with him to save her soul. After all, look at the mess she's gotten herself into already by being honest with him.
"Once, some months ago," Irene begins to speak in a pained, small voice. "Guy found me on Blackfriar's bridge one night. 'E would never tell you or anyone else this, because 'e's a gentleman after 'is own kind… But, I don't know what would've 'appened if…" She needn't really finish that sentence.
"Birdie, would it be awful… would it ruin your reputation or anything if we went to my room?" Irene asks, trying hard not to cry. She can't talk to him properly in a place like this.

"My reputation?" Faulkner says, "I don't see how my reputation could possibly be harmed." He winks at her and pulls out his cigarette case, offering her one as he always does. It's probably reflex, even though he knows she won't take it. He sighs at what she says, "Darling, I don't want to preach at you, but… I really wish I could make you see in yourself what other people see in you. You're far too hard on yourself. Which… well, being told that doesn't really help, does it?" He lights his cigarette, then puts his other hand back on hers, "Let's go upstairs and talk. But first, you're going to eat something."

As ever, Irene's reply to the offered cigarette is a little half-smile and a small shake of her head to decline. As outgoing and bubbly as she normally tends to be, it's so unlike her to want to run away from a warm, cheerful atmosphere like this. And yet, the thing foremost in her mind is the desire to just hurry up to her room and shut the world outside where she doesn't have to see it.
"I really don't think I can manage…" She begins to say, trying to make an excuse. It's a fairly easy guess that she hasn't eaten properly in a long time, as she is quite awful about taking care of herself. "Some tea, maybe?" She asks in a small, hopeful voice. Of course that isn't good enough, and Faulkner probably won't stand for it.

Faulkner just shakes his head at her, and motions to the bar, "A plate of toasties and a bowl of whatever soup you have, please, barkeep. And a tea for the lady and… Eh, let's just make it a pint of bitters for me." He then turns back to Irene and smiles slightly at her again, "We can take the food upstairs, but you are going to eat before we do anything else."
It would probably be wrong of him to make any mention of morning sickness and/or eating for two.

A look of mild relief crosses the young woman's features when Faulkner tells her that they can take the food up to her room. She would far rather eat there than down here, surrounded by strangers. She would rather just be with him, right now. "Sorry," Irene murmurs. "I'm sure it's just being out of sorts and not remembering to eat properly the last few days. Been awfully busy, getting my belongings and moving them to my own cottage. Easy to forget things." It seems a valid excuse.
She only glances briefly at the kindly older barkeep who seems only too happy to oblige with getting the small meal ready for Faulkner's charge… at least, that's almost what she seems to be, now. He's determined to take care of her while he's here. If ever a lost lamb needed a shepherd, she does. And when the order is ready, it is carried over to the table on a tray.

Faulkner pays for her lunch, puts his hat on, and takes the tray. "Let's go upstairs, then." He sticks his elbow out, inviting her, despite his full hands, to take his arm, which lets her subtly lead him in the right direction anyway, because he's not the one staying here. "I don't think eating is the sort of thing that you should forget, dear. I'm not much of a nurse, you know, I don't see how I'd manage to keep you healthy. Though maybe Guy can take you to that… specialist? of his if you need it." Anything more can wait until they are safely alone.

A wee bit shaky, Irene rises to her feet and slips her arm through Faulkner's and leads the way upstairs to her room. As such places go, it's warm enough and cozy enough. At least there is a small table where one can lay down a tray of food. "I'm… afraid to," she answers truthfully, closing the door behind them. Leaning against it for a moment, she closes her eyes and draws a slow breath. "My husband… my former husband worked there." She explains, clearly somewhat pained. "And that specialist of Guy's ain't exactly fond of me for reasons of 'er own, I'm afraid." She adds, flashing a mirthless smile.
Irene moves over to the table and quickly removing anything that would hinder the tray. She sounds distinctly like someone running scared and trying to convince themselves that there's nothing actually chasing them from behind. "Isn't it bloody awful, though?" She asks, laughing uncomfortably. "'E was training to be a doctor, so instead of dealing with me at my worst and discussing problems, 'e was drugging me to keep me manageable for months. Right smart that. I weren't any the wiser." Clearly, she feels like an idiot, and it hurts.

"Oh, Irene, that's terrible, that he did that to you." Faulkner says, pulling her into his arms for a hug before he sits her down, takes a sandwich, and presses it into her hand, "Eat. I don't care how much your current state may make it taste like sawdust. Trust me on this, you need food." Then he sits down next to her and puts his arm around her slim shoulders. "So, he wasn't exactly the man you thought he was. He knew that already. But you did have feelings for him, even if it wasn't the romance you thought, and there's nothing wrong with that." He smiles slightly, "The heart is a strange thing, Irene, you know that. You shouldn't beat yourself up over it. Even if I know you well enough to realize you beat yourself up about positively everything."

A tiny shiver passes through Irene. Tilting her head just slightly, she leans against him as he puts his comforting arm around her shoulder. For what seems a long time, she stares at the sandwich in her hand like it's going to bite her; but then, she finally works up the courage to nibble at the corner and take her chances with food.
Chewing and swallowing, she manages one bite before taking a sip of hot tea. "I'll try not to - but I feel so guilty about the whole awful mess. And now I've gone and dragged you into it…" A pause, and then she adds: "…This is rather nice, actually." As though it were a revelation. Taking a larger bite, she seems to be getting some of her appetite back. It isn't long before she's managed to make her way through the sandwich and most of the cup of tea. Now, at least, she should be in a better state for talking like a rational person.

"You haven't dragged me into anything. I've rather come running in on my own, haven't I?" Faulkner asks her, rubbing his hand up and down over her shoulder and upper arm, as if trying to warm her up a bit. "There. I suppose it's not a good time to mention it, but eating is life affirming. That's why we have repasts after funerals." He chuckles a bit nervously. "So I know about which I speak." He leans closer and gives her a peck on the cheek. "I guess we need to have a serious talk, hrm? About all sorts of things."

Irene smiles softly and nestles against Faulkner, closing her eyes. With a little food in her, and his reassuring presence, everything seems far less desperate and frightening, now. It feels like a wave of gentle warmth spreading through her entire body.
A gentle sigh, and Irene raises her head again. She returns the kiss, but the smile has faded away. For her, it is so terribly hard to fight the desire to do /anything/ else besides talking; but, she knows that he is right. "Yes, I s'pose we do…" She can't help allowing herself a small, uncertain laugh before asking: "Where does one even start?" As if she doesn't know about the monstrous elephant in the room. The fact that her arm continues to rest defensively against her abdomen says that she does.

"Why don't we start at the beginning." Faulkner says, tilting his head at her. He pauses, and says, after a moment or two, "You know, Irene, I suppose that in this position, a man like me is supposed to be talking about how he would take responsibility and 'do the right thing'. But, that would imply that it's not what I want to do anyway, eventually. So, to clear the air, if you are…" A pause, and he runs through the list of euphemisms in his head, none of them coming up appropriate to the situation. Finally he goes for a rather old-fashioned way of putting it, as if the word itself is dangerous, "If you are in a family way, as they say."

The look on the young woman's face is one of complete and utter dread. Part of her - the pessimistic part - wants to cringe away, expecting the worst to be spoken. But, Faulkner disarms that fear as quickly and effortlessly as he does anything that seems to trouble her mind. It does not stop her from feeling abject terror at the idea of an "accident" as society calls it, growing inside of her.
Looking up, Irene searches Faulkner's face for any hint of doubt; or else that he might only be saying it to comfort her. "Charles… Charles, I'm scared," she admits, her voice strained. Instinctively, her fingers clutch at the fabric of her blouse, and her gaze darts downward. "I didn't mean for… I wanted us to have time." She swallows, hard. "What about your family? What in god's name are they going to think of me?"

Faulkner coughs, "Need I remind you, Irene, dear, that my brother was a soldier. And my father, while a hard man, is something of a pragmatist. Oh, he'll grouse no matter what - that's just his nature. As for my mother, I think she'll quite like you." He lowers his arm from her shoulder to snake around and put it atop hers, intertwining fingers before she can ruin her blouse. "We may have time. You don't sound all that certain about it. And I bet the idea never even entered your head before Guy put it in there, in his own inimitable way.”

"I… I don't know." Irene answers, nervously. "I haven't been quite myself for a few weeks, now." That could all be down to nerves, given the situation she was in. She is an officer of the law - someone who chases down the worst of the worst that the underbelly of society can dredge up - and yet, here she is shaking like a leaf at the prospect of possibly being pregnant.
The grip of her hand softens as Faulkner lays his over hers, and the poor girl seems to remember that breathing is necessary. Steadying herself, she remarks quietly: "I just can't bear the thought of shaming you before your family… If we were to - to be married, I want so badly to be a part of a family. A REAL part of a family. To be wanted and loved." One can hear the heart-ache in her voice as she says this.
"I'm sorry, Birdie. I shouldn't go on so," Irene apologizes. "I'm sure there's a lot more you wanted to say… like, I'll lock you up if you ever try running away like that again." She jokes.

"Irene, darling… You need to worry less." He squeezes her hand, "And since you already know that I was going to lock you up if ever do this again, I don't have to belabor the point. Alternatively, I might drop you out of an airplane." He's not, of course, serious. He'd at least give her a broom first. Or a parachute. Or something. Since the room is small, and there isn't really anyplace else for them, he leans back on the bed and pulls her with him, keeping his arm wrapped around her as he cradles her against him. He says, "You'll meet them soon enough, I'm sure. My family, that is. My mother will offer you biscuits. Anyway… how could they not be happy with you -" he quickly adds, "That's a rhetorical question, don't answer it." A beat, and he continues, "My parents will be happy to learn that they've a grandchild on the way, and my brother has no doubt been of the opinion that I'm either a confirmed bachelor or prefer the company of men."

A small giggle escapes Irene at the idea of being dropped out of a plane. "You could, but I could still take care of myself," she retorts as quick as a wink. Broom or no broom, as long as she has her wand, she would still have a fighting chance, even falling from a great height.
It's a good thing Faulkner admonishes Irene to not answer the question, because the words are right on her lips in an instant. Instead of saying them, though, she simply smiles and cuddles close to him on the bed. "I happen to know your brother is very much mistaken, if 'e thinks the latter is true." Comes her impish reply.
Sobering down, the girl's slender hand rests over Faulkner's heart, and she asks softly: "What about you? Would you be happy to learn that you were going to be a father?"

"Well… If I'm not going to be, I have no objection to continuing to try." Faulkner says, with a little laugh. But then he grows grave, and says, "Of course I want to be a father. I would love that. I worry, though, with the war. But I was the one who said we had to live for today. And it's positively traditional, isn't it?" Oh, right, he studies classics for a living. "Getting your young wife pregnant before going off to war, I mean."

The War. Why did it have to happen? Why, of all the men in the world she could fall in love with… why did it have to be a pilot? It's times like these that Irene momentarily wavers in her resolve, wishing that she might have learned to adapt to that other world. To be happy with making a safe and sure choice…
Shifting her position, the young woman props herself up so that she is gazing down at Faulkner. Lovingly, her fingers caress his features, and she smiles, brushing her thumb lightly across his lips. "You say that I make you feel alive," she says, leaning in to kiss him, so very gently. "But, you make me want to live like no one ever has. I know… it may all end in heartbreak, but isn't it better to be happy in each other while we can?"
There is a pause as Irene kisses him once more, a little more deeply this time. "I'm still frightened," she whispers against his skin, "But, part of me wants it so badly to be true."

"You do. A way I haven't felt in a very long time. I told you once, though, that I don't think you ever reclaim… the way things were before. That will probably be as true for you as it was for me, and everyone else who's had things happen." Faulkner runs his hand through her hair and smiles a bit as she kisses him. "Yes, I think we need to live every day as best we can, and take what happiness we can from it, until the war is over." He reaches down and puts his hand on her stomach as she talks of being frightened. "If it is true, I will be very happy. If it's not, I might be a little relieved, right now. Because I don't want to see you worried."

"It's a lot to take in, all of a sudden-like." Irene admits, her eyes following his hand. "It never struck me before 'ow much it would panic me if it did… I mean, there are only so many months once the clock starts ticking. Everything just balled up, all at once in my mind. What was I going to do? Would you want to be with me, still? Would I be one of those unwed mothers you hear about?" She asks. It's hard to admit that she had such fearful doubts about his wanting to be a part of her life. It may hurt him. "I don't know anything about being a mother. I don't even…" she hesitates, blushing a bit and furrowing her brow: "I don't even really know what 'appens for sure when the time comes for the baby to be born." What the bloody hell do they teach in that school she went to, anyway?
Slipping her hand over his on her stomach, Irene smiles thoughtfully: "But… but, it would be so lovely. A new life, half yours and half mine. And all from the love we share."

Faulkner nods gently, "I think a woman might be better able to tell you that. I mean, I assume you know at least a few who have children of their own. I could explain the biology of it, but I'm not sure I could really do it justice." He chuckles just a little, and his fingers stroke over her blouse, "Of course I wouldn't abandon you. What sort of man do you take me for? Didn't we already discuss this?" He leans in a bit to nuzzle her neck before letting his head fall to the pillow, "Yes, lovely indeed." he agrees, finally, though his tone indicates that doesn't really do it justice.

Irene laughs softly: "This is one case where I don't think I want you to explain things in a technical way. I think it'd be far more frightening." Then, breathing a tiny, contented sigh, the young woman finally begins to relax. Faulkner can probably sense the tension gradually melting away and leaving her body as she lies there beside him.
After a long moment, Irene's voice comes gently once more: "Charles?" She asks. "Would …would we live in your house? Or, is it too far away from the airfield?" Stopping again, she seems to ponder her own question. "Would we even be allowed to live together most of the time?" She hasn't a clue how the RAF handles married pilots.

"Oh… well, living that far from Biggin Hill would be an issue. But there are houses on the base, and nearby, for married officers, so that we're close enough. Of course, we might have to live separately for some of the war. I'd hate that, but at least where I'm assigned right now we'll get to see each other frequently. The poor infantry chaps away at the front won't even get that much." Faulkner explains to her, continuing to cradle her near him so that she can relax.

While it does sadden Irene to think of the poor men who must be so far away from the ones they love, she rather likes the idea of living near or on base. She has come to see the place as some kind of second home, anyway. Never a thought for the danger of it; nor consideration of the fact that Germany might try bombing airbases…
"It would just make it all the better when we are together." Irene answers, resolutely. "I would be able to make it nice and cozy, whatever the place was like - I promise you that. You would be glad to come home whenever you could." A beat, and then she teases: "Also, I can better keep my eyes on you that way, Flight Leftenant Charles Birdie Faulkner."

"Wait, wait, wait… Keep an eye on me. Here I was thinking that I needed to keep an eye on you." Faulkner protests. "Especially around that Yank chap, who gives me the distinct feeling of being the sort you don't trust around your money or your wife."

Oh yes… Charlie. The Nave in the deck of cards that is her life, seemingly. What about Charlie?
Irene bites her lower lip, and her brow furrows with worry. She doesn't move from where she lies, snuggled up against Faulkner, but her body tenses slightly at the mention of his name. "Well… He's on the other side." She says at length, trying perhaps to dodge the uncomfortable subject. "I mean, 'e belongs over on the other side of things - that other world. I'm sure that 'e means well." Liar. "All those things that 'e said, 'e meant them as a concerned friend - because 'e cares about me. That's all…" No, it's not all there is to it, and she knows it. Furthermore, she sounds like she's trying to convince herself of an untruth again.

Knave seems very appropriate indeed, even if she doesn't voice that particular thought. "Over there, over here, that's nonsense and you know it, Irene. I don't want to share you, regardless of whatever tricks he may happen to know. Besides, he's so very… American. My read on him is that he's concerned about himself, and he enjoys playing his little mind games with you. Now, I don't want to put you off your friends, whoever they may be, but just remember that… well…." He smiles just a bit, and leans closer to murmur, "I want you to be only mine. No second husband in your other world, hrm?"

For some reason, Irene rather likes the fact that Faulkner is willing to stake his claim on her, and be territorial about her. No one else has ever really been that way toward her. It doesn't feel stifling or controlling. If anything, there is something reassuring about knowing he wants her that badly. However, part of her dislikes the idea of Charlie playing mind games with her. "You think that 'e's just - well, messing about with my mind?" She naively asks, genuinely concerned. She hadn't really looked at it that way until now. Does she ever think?
Softening her expression after a moment, Irene turns her face toward Faulkner and smiles wistfully: "You know that I feel I belong with you, darling." Blushing a tiny bit, her smile turns a bit sheepish. "It feels rather nice calling you that… But, I also want to belong to you. You won't 'ave to worry about that anymore. I promise."

"I don't think they consider wives to be chattel anymore, Irene, dear." Faulkner teases her, and then rubs her stomach softly with his hand, "But there's no doubt that you do. Belong to me, that is. We'll just have to make the necessary arrangements to make it legal. If there isn't a need to rush, then it can wait a decent interval. Not that anyone other than Guy really knows about you having been married previously, but… well, you know, I just don't want you to later think that you rushed into things just because you were coming off a bad relationship."

"A lot of people know I was married before." Irene contradicts Faulkner gently. However, she avoids mentioning that "other side" again, as it seems to bother him a bit. She can't blame him there. Guy doesn't like it when she flashes Magic around, either.
"Would… would we 'ave a real wedding this time?" She asks, her voice sounding slightly plaintive and almost fearful of the reply. "I don't mean some grand affair with lots and lots of people. I just mean, well, would I be allowed to wear a white dress and all?" Something she didn't have the last time around, apparently.
Shaking her head slightly, more at herself than anything, Irene then asks: "Would you regret me later if we were rushed? I don't ever want to be a regret in your life… I couldn't bear it. I'm so simple compared to you, and uneducated. I've never traveled anywhere. And I know my English is bloody awful. I sometimes feel like I don't know anything at all."

Faulkner does laugh this time, "If it's rushed, that just means it happens sooner rather than later. I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be the first time in the long and sordid history of the Faulkner family, trust me." He waggles his eyebrows just a bit, and then says, "And, of course. There's a padre at Biggin Hill. You could wear a dress. The lads would be there. I mean, I want it legal and all, with a preacher. that doesn't bother you, does it?"

The response may not be what Faulkner expected. Irene is a witch - he knows that - but for all that, she is an odd one, if the old stories are to be believed. However, her eyes quickly well and run over with hot tears. Turning and burying her face into him, she clings close: "A real preacher? An honest to goodness preacher?" She asks, tearfully. "Oh, Charles, I never wanted anything so badly before in my life." Apparently, this is the happy sort of crying, and not the sad kind.
Lifting her face, she sniffs and smiles. Even if her cheeks are streaked with tears, it's plain to see the old, familiar happy glow return at long last.

Faulkner runs his fingers through her hair and pulls her against his shoulder. "Yes, of course a real preacher. Well, I mean, he's a military man, but I have it on good authority they check to make sure you have a minister's license first…" He grins just a bit and kisses the top of her head. "I'm sure you can find a perfect dress, too. I mean, it will have to be simple these days, with the military taking so much of the fabric for uniforms and whatnot. But I'd want you to have a wedding. We need an appropriately stoic picture sitting on the mantle piece for our children."

Now, it seems as though Irene can't stop smiling. The tiredness and weary anxiety all seems to be drifting away into nothing, and the lively spark of sunshine and joy has returned to her eyes. "Stoic, my eye," she chides Faulkner, "It's going to be a happy picture and you, sir, are going to smile! And I won't take no for an answer." Inching up a little, she takes her two fingers and pushes up the corners of Faulkner's lips gently to make him smile. "Mister Stiff-Upper-Lip, I've seen you grin - you've got a positively brilliant smile, and you don't wear it often enough."

Faulkner tries to fight it, but then says, "Alright, alright. I'll smile for at least some of the pictures. But that isn't the done thing, you know. We're supposed to stand there and look deathly serious, having just committed to spend the rest of our lives in one another's company. What happens if we run out of things to talk about? What if we discover that we fancy different football teams? Who gets to decide what we listen to on the wireless, or whether to have goose or ham for Christmas dinner? All the big decisions in life.”

Irene just can't help herself, and she bursts out laughing. Hearing her laugh again, it's like knowing that a fever has been broken at long last. "Oh, the travails and dramas of married life! 'Ow dreadful it all sounds!"
Propping herself up, the young woman shifts around and deftly slips her leg over Faulkner so that she is straddling him, now. Gazing down at the pilot with a feigned air of triumph, she announces: "Why, as the woman of the 'ouse, I'd be the one making ALL the decisions, of course." And that said, she leans down and kisses him warmly, murmuring: "I hope you know you're throwing in your lot with a headstrong female."
That being said and settled, the pair most assuredly spend the rest of the evening enjoying each other's company very much, indeed.

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