(1940-04-30) On the Town
Details for On the Town
Summary: Getting some leave time, Gavin picks up Katie for a film and dinner. It's one surprise after another.
Date: 30 April 1940
Location: Around London.

Flowers are getting to be more expensive for the imported kinds. But British Gardens provide! The bouquets the Private has in his arms are a bit thinner than they were a few months ago. Comprising more and more of flowers found in their own backyard but they're arranged nicely at least. One goes to Mary, the other goes to Katie of course. A pack of fags for Daniel and a used book for Jack. Cheek kisses and firm hand shakes are given all around before Gavin checks his beloved pocket watch. "Hate to hurry, but got to fight the mob of the Underground to get to the picture."


Katie hadn't gotten Gavin's latest letter yet, although it'll be in the post later and waiting for her when she gets home, so the soldier's appearance was a delightful surprise for all the family. Due to said family, her greeting was a bit subdued, a quick kiss to the cheek, an introduction to Jen (who looks quite impressed with Katie's beau), and barely time to run a comb through her hair, nevermind changing into something fresh.

Mary and Daniel are all smiles and hearty greetings, Mary cooing over the flowers as if she'd never gotten posies before, and Jack looks the most disappointed by the brevity of the visit. His hands move quickly as he signs, interpreted by Mary You never visit with us, it's Katie that gets all the time to which the mother hen gives the lad a light slap to the shoulder. "You'll understand one day," she says and signs at the same time, "Now mind your manners."

Entirely unable to be cross with her brother, Katie promises him that there will be more time soon, and reminds him that he gets time out with Gavin's brothers in arms more than she gets to see Gavin himself. There's a reluctant truce drawn as Katie takes Gavin's arm to be on their way, and she calls back, "Won't be late!" Adding under her breath, "Not very." as they leave the shop.

Once on the street and a few shops away from the chippy, Katie turns and gives Gavin a better greeting, a tight hug and lingering kiss that draws smiles from passersby. The effect of a man in uniform, no rolled eyes or murmurs at the public display of some affection. "I was worries yeh wouldn't get away at all this month," she says breathlessly, her eyes sparkling as she looks up at him. "An' me with no time t'change, I smell of fish and chips."

Gavin signs back at a snails pace to Jack, May time… for dinner… my buy… big family. He then adds a bit apologetically, "Probably sound like a cave man to Jack, sorry. But aye, I would like to take everyone out to eat next leave, if that's alright?" He also seems to be including Jen in the invite if she'd like.

Once they are out and away a crow bar couldn't pry him apart from her. "You smell delicious." He proclaims with a kiss to the tip of her nose. "Make for a good excuse to nibble on ya all movie long." He winks down to her before peeling away to nestle her in against him so they can walk to the underground station. They get to ride for free and their car is exposed to yet more public displays of affection.

Katie wrinkles her nose at Gavin, teasing lightly, "Pity I didn't think t'bring the vinegar." It's not until they're settled in the tube, as close as they can be without her outright sitting on his lap, that she questions, "We're going to a film then? Don't tell me which one," she says quickly, before he can. "I want t'day t'be full of surprises like this." His arm gets a squeeze, indicating that he's the surprise.

Gavin chuckles and sits at an angle with one knee tucked under hers, so no, not exactly in his lap, but one scoot and scoop away from it. But it allows him to better look at her. "I take it my letter didn't arrive then? Well then, it will be a day filled with more surprises." Another batch of kisses is showered down onto her. "Och, I adore this face!"

The young redhead pulls away only just enough to focus her eyes on his, one hand cupping gently at his jaw, her thumb stroking along his cheek. "An' there's th'face I miss every day, comin' into th'chippy bleary eyed from a bender the night before." Katie's words are humorous, but there's a tenderness in her gaze and the caress. She leans closer, whispering, "Yer a sight, Monkey. My favourite sight." Another press of her lips to punctuate, before she glances around and blushes lightly at the few other passengers smiling indulgently, averting their eyes from the pair politely.

Gavin grins like a cheeky monkey after she says those words and then realizes they are surrounded by people still. He gets like that himself, forgetting they are in public when he's around her. "Aye well, I made sure to clean up good and well this time before coming in after a bender." He was out with the brothers yesterday. But he called it an early night so he can stay out later with Katie if she's up for it. Can't blame him for hoping that this leave is the one she'll be up for it! When they reach their station he breaks away from her just long enough to help an elderly woman up and take up her bags and offer her his elbow, his free hand is still for Katie though. It's a bit down the block when they reach the woman's stoop and she gives him a pat on the cheek at the door. Once she's away inside Gavin squeezes Katie's hand and checks his watch. "Shite! C'mon!" His brogue thickens in the rush and he lifts up her hand in his to kiss her knuckles before he quickens the pace to a light jog heading for the cinema. Again when they get there he gets waved through. Ah the perks of the uniform! He does pay for the concessions though and the whole while there's signs and give away spoilers to the movie they are going to go see he has her close her eyes and escorts her by the elbow. It's not until they are seated (in the back row which is pretty empty at this showing) and the movie starts is it revealed what they have come to see.

Katie offers no complaint to Gavin helping the woman, happily nattering away while they escort her safely home. Thankfully, she's a girl that wears sensible shoes, and it's no effort to keep up with Gavin's jog, giggling the while, partially at his hurry, and part at his thickened brogue. She complies happily with keeping the surprise as such, covering her eyes with one hand so she can still peek down at the floor and not be completely helpless without Gavin's guiding hand. The indulgent smiles still come their way, with murmurs about the young couple, the brave soldier and his bird, how sweet they are, how terribly, terribly cute. She doesn't drop her hand until they're seated, and then Katie looks around. There's no comment, but she doesn't miss his choice of rows, knowing that most back row couples are there more for the dark than the movie, even if they take great care to catch the plot in case there are questions about the film later from parents. Katie leans to snuggle up against Gavin as best she can with the armrest between them.

Gavin drapes an arm around her shoulders while the other one reaches across to keep the popcorn container on the tip end of the arm rest their squished together bodies allows to peek out. During a little bought of snogging during the movie there is one brief moment of time when the hand dangling over her shoulder in what very well could just be an accidental brushing, but there is a swish of contact to her chest as he pulls her close. When he realizes that's happened he pulls away enough to study her with a tentative expression, was that alright? Should he apologized? Should he do it again!? It did happen during a rather funny moment so there is very little chance that it was noticed in their dark back row.

They've been paying enough attention to be able to relate the story should Katie's parents ask, but even she's been more preoccupied with the snogging than with catching every bit of the film's plot. There's a soft catch of breath at the brush of Gavin's fingers, and for a moment as their eyes meet, her own are slightly widened. Even in the dim light, flickering from the movement on screen, there's no indication that a slap will be forthcoming as her gaze holds his. Parted lips close, and Katie swallows, watching Gavin for a moment before her hand finds his tie to tug him in for another kiss.

Gavin barely needs to be tugged! He's already swooping in to kiss her back and that hand comes back for another brush, but this time it's clear that it's anything but an accident. The soldier is a scamp, all the discipline engrained in him since joining up goes right out the window when it comes to his Ducky Girl. "S'lrigh?" Is murmured over her lips because of the two it's her that's going to have to break the kiss and put the breaks on at this point. He's been a good gentleman, it just gets harder and harder to do as every month goes by.

Although it's not exactly something that crosses her conscious mind, there's a knowledge in the back of her head that there's only so far this particular snogfest could go. Perhaps it's that fact that emboldens Katie to nod her head at the whispered question. Her self control might be partly due to a fear of the unknown, of being thought a tart or easy, but there's an undeniable curiosity and desire that Gavin stirs in her. She's even so bold as to shift her shoulder a scant measure, an allowance for his touch in the dark of the theatre.

Gavin sets aside the popcorn in the empty seat next to him. There is a pause in there when an aisle boy makes his rounds and it's best behavior 'just watching the movie here' going on when the lad makes his rounds. There is much anxious lip licking while he laughs and catches another snippet of the movie. But as soon as the door has closed behind the young man Gavin is on his girlfriend like a wrapper around candy. It's that now free hand that crosses over as they kiss to ever so tentatively cup at one of those soft swells. He is gentle and careful with her, going very slowly so she can take it all in. But he's grown perhaps a little too bold because after he's glanced around to make sure it's all clear his hand slides down and one warm calloused finger tries to sneak in under her shirt so that he can caress at her belly. It's a little thing to garner permission to go under her shirt now.

In the pause, Katie's eyes are fixed on the screen, but she doesn't register the flickering forms, and her laugh at the joke is half-hearted and late, not because she thought it funny, but because it was clearly time to laugh. When Gavin resumes their clandestine romantic interlude she offers no protest to the full press of his hand. The warm touch makes her head swim, which proves to his advantage as, for a moment, she doesn't even realize that his finger is questing for soft flesh beneath fabric. For a moment. When it does penetrate, her dim awareness sharpens at once and her hand moves to stay his, as she hisses softly, "Gavin!". This time the public place plays against his desires as her eyes dart around, then settle back on his face. There's no anger there, nor in her demeanor as she tugs her shirt back to straighten it and whispers again, "People."

Gavin got to her lower rib before he's stopped, so close yet so far. He gives a small apologetic grimace. "Sorry…" He whispers into her ear as he nuzzles his face into her hair that's over it. "Cannae be helped, yer irresistible." Of course the lack of anger and the good excuse that there's people about stokes the scamp to hope that when there's no one around… fingers crossed! He kisses the side of her neck and nuzzles at her ear. But he is in a need for a cool down so the popcorn is brought over again and set on his lap to settle certain things down.

Katie takes a moment, quietly fussing to get her shirt properly tucked back into her skirt, but there's a smile playing around her lips at his words and the heat of his breath on her skin. She's not only getting a taste of her own capacity for desire, but of the flush of pleasure at being the object of someone else's ardent desire. That secret smile stays curved on her lips as their attention is forcibly focused back onto the film, and she leans into him, resting her head on his shoulder. Still, more than once, her eyes lift, head tilting enough to grant her a view of his shadowy face.

Gavin obviously has a great deal of attention to his peripheral vision because every time she peeks up at him after the first time, she's treated to a new expression and face each time she peeks up at him, from an air kiss to an extremely silly crossed eyed tugged lip face. When the movie is over he steals one more passionate kiss before the lights come up and the people start to leave. He helps her up early so they won't be looked at for the back seat snoggers they are. See, he's got a great mind to protect her reputation. He just gets carried away, cause like he confessed he finds her irresistible. Squinting makes his heavy brow seem even more broody as they step out into the light again. "So I hope the popcorn dinnae ruin your appetite?"

It does get to the point where Katie's glances are solely to see what face Gavin will pull next, and their game nearly eclipses her interest in the movie playing. But she is ever mindful to have enough knowledge about the movie to show her parents that they were, in fact, watching it. Again, as they leave, there are many eyes on the soldier and his date, and even some encouraging words for Gavin and his service to King and country. Katie's eyes involuntarily squint as well, one fully closing for a second as her hand tightens on her boyfriend's arm. "No," she says with a shake of her head, "Not at all. I'm starving." Not one to pretend to loathe eating, this girl. "Are there more surprises?" she asks perkily, finally opening her eyes fully in the brighter light.

Gavin raises up his own hand to shield her eyes not his from the sun while her eyes adjust. "Yes, more surprises, unless you have decided that you would like to know what we are doing and where we are going? Here…" From his inner pocket he pulls out the hair scarf she sent him. "Cover up your hair as much as possible. That's your only clue."

"No," Katie says quickly, "I like surprises. An' puttin' myself in yer hands." There's a smirk with this statement, and then curiosity again as the scarf comes out. She pulls them to a stop so she can, first, pop up onto her toes to give her gallant a soldier a kiss on the cheek for his thoughtfulness with the sun, then she quickly follows his advice and ties the scarf under her chin dutifully.

Gavin clears his throat and adjusts his tie when she talks about herself in his hands. When she's all set it's back to the station, she is there instructed to cover her ears and turn away when he gets the tickets. There is more subtle affection on the ride eastward, they have to change some tubes and it's obvious they are heading to East End, particularly for an East Ender like Katie. But when they get closer he covers her eyes again until they are revealed once they are outside of the station. Limehouse! It's during the day on a day when most people are at work or off the street so the rough neighborhood is at its safest and the only reason why he'd bring her here. It's only a short walk under red paper lanterns hanging from awnings before he turns her towards a window that is hung with glistening dark golden brown ducks! He makes sure her hair is well covered a moment before he opens up the door for her.

She doesn't question Gavin during their trip, and bites her lip in suspense as her eyes are covered, and when their destination is finally revealed she knows at once what they'll be having for their meal. There's an excited squeak, especially so because trips to Limehouse are so rare for Katie. As they walk she looks up at the lanterns, commenting to him, "I adore those lanterns. It's like it's always a party, innit?" As soon as the door is open the fragrance of roasted duck is there to greet them, and Katie pauses to grin at Gavin. "I almost feel badly about lovin' t'eat duck so much now that I feel like kin t'them," she quips lightly.

Gavin smiles as he looks up at the lanterns with a nod. Once inside it's really like a Chinese version of her own shop, just a few tables inside with a counter to order. He at least is recognized and is smiled and waved to and then gestured over to an empty table. They seem interested much like Jen was of him in the girl he's brought to their shop. He hasn't ever brought a girl there so to them that means she's special! He helps her with her chair and he sits down. "Would you like anything new or different? They'll just bring over my usual order for us if we don't stop them."

Katie is all eyes, taking everything in, smiles for everyone who seems as curious about her as she is about them. It takes her a beat to respond to his question, her eyes returning to settle on him. "Yer usual is fine with me," she says agreeably, assuming that it's what he's brought to their picnics before. "Unless yeh think I ought t'try somethin' new." Clearly she's game for anything he suggests, but she does lower her voice, leaning over to whisper to him, "Should I keep my scarf on?" She noticed him give it a look before they entered.

Gavin slides her the menu that is more Chinese than roughly translated King's English, "We could put ourselves at her mercy. She enjoys that. It's how I discovered my usual." He nods to her question about her hair. "They get… superstitious about your shade of hair. I'm sure in here it'll just be extra attention. But I know how you get when being stared at." His voice low the whole explanation and it's punctuated with a wink. "So what do you think? Shall we throw ourselves upon Shi's culinary mercy? There's nothing to eat that makes you ill is there?"

The menu gets only a cursory glance even as Katie's hand goes up to pat at her scarf, a touch self-consciously now. But there's a grateful smile to Gavin. "I shouldn't like to make them think I'm some banshee come t'tear things apart, or that I'll bring bad luck along with me." She's happy now to leave her hair covered, but she does add, "I don't mind when yeh stare at me." But only him. And the boldness she feels about the statement is underlined with a light blush as her eyes dip to the menu again. More than reading the translation, her eyes linger on the exotic characters that are Chinese writing. "Nothin' so far as I've found," she answers to the question of food illness. Her eyes dart up again as she finishes with, "I think I'm feelin' fair bold enough."

Gavin leans forward over the table to give a stout nod and grateful. "Good. Because there's no helping that. Transfixed for you is what they call it." He takes her menu to set them aside and turn enough to face the older woman behind the counter, "Begin the Beguine my fair Shi." Seems that it's just not with the Hind's workers that he's sweet on. It seems like a strange thing to say, but in this shop music transcends language and she starts to hum the song and dance the beguine (foxtrot) as she starts to prepare their surprise meal. "Surprises for both of us in this. Good choice. Oh! Are you alright with fiery spice?"

Katie doesn't begrudge the bit of endearment to their hostess, her eyes holding on Gavin as the woman starts humming. His ease only strengthens her own, and her certainty that she's gotten quite lucky in catching his eye. As relatively sheltered as she's been, he seems so much more worldly and capable that it gives her no qualms to let him 'be the man', as her father is in their household. Her head tilts at the question of spice, and she falters. "Um… I don't know?" Which is an answer in itself with her uncertainty.

Gavin chuckles deeply and turns back towards the cook and calls, "Shi, No, Spicy." He waves a hand in front of his grinning mouth shaking his head. Shi obviously gets what he's saying and she gives him a smile and a bowing nod. "There, disaster adverted." He reaches over to take her hand, "It's quite the feast usually, we'll have plenty to carry back to our next location, so don't feel like you have to eat it all and all of it."

With her hand warm in his, Katie gives Gavin a cagey look, sizing him up for a moment before her face eases again. She won't break the streak of surprises by asking or guessing, enjoying the mystery of the time out together too much. Instead she gives a squeeze to his hand. "Yer so good t'me." The words are light, yes, but there's a truth behind them. Her nose wrinkles, "I'll try not t'make a pig of myself." A grin and light laugh follow the words, and then a sigh. "I can't remember the last time I've been so happy unless it involved yeh."

Gavin shakes his head, "Impossible." For her to make a pig of herself. The next thing she says has him grinning very wide. "That's hard to believe, you were always so happy when I'd come in all haggared. Always were a fresh happy breeze."

"An' as happy as that may be, yeh always manage t'make that much more sunshine every time I see yeh," Katie says, the sugar in the words tempered by the honesty in her eyes. Her smile takes a wry sort of tilt as she admits, "I feel a bit bad, keepin' yeh away from Jack, he so looks up t'yeh. But then yeh smile at me an' I figure he's good enough with yer lads." She grins with this admission of selfishness, before her head tilts back, nose in the air as she takes a sniff. "Cor, dunno what's on in there, but it already smells delicious."

Gavin' version of blushing is a tilt of the head and a chew to his smirking lips. The way she treats him is so different than he's used to. So for all the worldliness she believes he has, she is beautiful new territory to him. He's even a little lost for words but he is saved by the duck! Shi's husband rolls over a trolley with a platter covered in shredded cabbage and the whole Peking duck, "You're in for a real treat Duck, the skin just isn't the same once it's put in one of the take away boxes…" The husband rather ritualistically cuts and serves the duck making strips of the skin off to the side. Gavin immediately dives in with a massive grin. She's not the only one extremely happy right now.

In the times they've had duck together, it's never been presented quite like this. Katie's eager anticipation turns to a giggle and slight shock as their meal is brought out complete with head, but any consternation from their host is quelled immediately by her obvious delight. She thanks him graciously for the meal, and watches his retreat, before she leans to whisper to Gavin. "Aside from fish, I've never had a meal look at me before."

Gavin nearly chokes laughing at her whisper with his mouth full. But he clears his throat in time and the merry chuckle continues. Some of the cabbage is plucked up and then scattered over the head to cover it up. "There, better?" He is certainly a man that goes for what he likes first no saving the best for last for him! The skin is nibbled down strip by strip. He then peeks around before he lifts a finger up to his lips and with a wink steals the strips that were left ontop of the duck yet to be served. "S'my favorite part. There's people who don't go for the skin, nutters all of them. There was one time I was in, Shi ran out a block cause he wouldn't eat the skin. Lucky day for me, I got it all. Usually they don't like soldiers. But I think I won them over."

Katie grins, then makes a show of batting her eyelashes at Gavin as she says, "My hero." She doesn't start with the skin, but watches him, then chastises him gently, "Mind yer manners, luv." As she says this she takes half her serving of skin from her own plate and moves it over to his. Yes, she likes it as well, but clearly not half so much as he does, and it's a small sacrifice to make him happy. "Yeh win everyone over," she notes as she tucks back into her plateful.

Gavin laughs out in a 'yeah right' manner and points to the duck, "I'll remind you about our first meeting. There's also several people in Glasgow that would also beg to differ. Can't blame them though. I was at fault. But if that is the actual fact of the matter as you say it is, maybe I've missed my calling. Ambassador Ferguson. The man that won the Axises over and stopped a war. Wouldn't that be a dream?"

A hand wave dismisses part of what Gavin says, and Katie replies reasonably, "Ducks don't count as everyone, silly Monkey." Then, with a smirk she relents, "Alright, maybe not everyone ever. But don't Ambassadors wear smart suits an' all? Cor, yeh'd dazzle 'em just with how dashin' yeh look, I've no doubt." It'd dazzle her, could be gleaned even without her saying it. In fact, he has done, on their big night out on his last birthday.

Gavin bites at his smirking lips and tilts his head off to the side a touch. "Aye well…" He gives a little shrug and then he takes a drink of the tea that was poured for them. Again he's saved by the culinary magic of Shi Chan! The next course is brought up in the form of soup dumplings. "Careful, very hot and… fluid inside." The husband warns as he places down the single dumpling that's served on the unique sort of spoons with the flat bottoms the Chinese are famous for.

The mischief that dances in Katie's eyes might give someone the idea that she enjoys seeing how much it takes to make Gavin blush at times. Her enjoyment is interrupted for now by the dumplings, and again she thanks their host, then looks to Gavin. "Have yeh had this before?" she asks as her eyes drop to the new arrival on their table, before she looks up at him again.

Gavin looks just as impressed and surprised as she does and gives a little shake of his head as he lifts up the spoon he waits for her to do the same before clinking his spoon against hers, "Cheers, to knew experiences and surprises shared together." With that he open up his mouth wide to slide the spoon into his mouth and turn it to drop the dumpling in. He gets his lips closed just in time for the soupy burst that happens soon as the dumpling skin is penetrated by a tooth. The sensation has his eyes widen in surprised and as he lightly chews the wanton he smiles as he swallows. "What did you think of that? Like onion soup in a tasty balloon."

With a smile, Katie's spoon comes up for that light tap on his, but she hesitates, letting him be the 'guinea pig', but she's only a couple seconds behind him. It's a mouthful for her but she takes it as boldly as he does, her other hand coming up immediately to press to her lips as she fears for a moment it'll be too much and she'll start drooling soup! The thought makes her giggle again, which helps not at all, but she manages to make it through without losing a drop. It was no lie that the filling was hot, thankfully there's water on the table and she immediately reaches for her glass for a sip. But once the heat is soothed, her head is bobbing in agreement. "That was brilliant!"

Gavin takes another look around, more judging if another dish is on its way, or if he has a bit of time enough for the next little surprise. "So Duck… wait, wot's tha!?" He points with a grin over towards Shi hoping to get her to look away so he can put a little box on the clean plate before her.

There's a little bit of gullibility in Katie, especially so where Gavin is concerned, and it only takes that little ruse, the excitement in his voice, to get her turning to look. "What?" she's asking even as she turns back after a few seconds, enough time for him to accomplish his sneakiness. Her eyes drop to the box before her, staying a few beats, before she looks back across the table at him. It's not her birthday or Christmas, so she seems at a momentary loss as to why there's a little box on her plate.

Gavin chuckles softly and looks so keenly amused when she just sort of sits there staring at the box. "You going to open it or eat it Duck?" He teases and reaches forward to swivel the hinged top open. Inside resting on a black velvet pillow is a… pin, it's a gold lettered pin with blue enamel of a circular belt around a red, white and green enameled British rose. A gold crown with red enamel 'velvet' rests on top. Gold words ring over the blue belt, 'Honi * Soit * Qui * Mal * Y * Pense' dangling from the main pin is a blue and gold 'ribbon' banner that states. 'Royal Fusiliers O.C.A.'. He plucks the pin out of the box and then slides onto one knee to kneel next to her so he can help her pin it to her blouse if she'll allow. "It's a sweetheart pin. So everyone knows that you're spoken for by a Royal Fusilier. Keep butchers and the like minding their own business." He states in good humor as he tries not to poke her with the pin. "And…" He swallows rather hard and in a rare moment looks very boyish and nervous. But it's pushed aside and he continues after the moment is gone. "And let's you know, that even though we've barely been face to face…" It's true that actual face time is quite minimal, but… "That a Royal Fusilier loves you Ducky."


The tease brings Katie's smile out again, and she laughs softly. "Lucky thing it's come after some of the food, else it might be in danger of bein' eaten." Her eyes drop as he opens the box, the smile softening as she takes in the treasure within. She breathes out a soft 'oh' before she finds her words again. "It's lovely, Gavs." With a little twist and a bare lean she makes it easier for him to do the pinning, her giggle drifting up again as he declares his 'claim' against others. His pause moves her eyes from watching his hands to looking to his eyes, that rare moment caught with a tug on her heart. His words pull at her even more, keeping her quiet for a beat after they're out in the air. A soft hand lifts to press at his cheek as she had earlier, and her voice is quiet and gentle. "It's been enough for me t'love yeh too, Monkey."

Gavin rolls up to his feet though he leans in and over to give her a kiss that is quite a public display, so much so they get affectionately chided in Chinese. But the married couple clap for them. "Feed love!" Shi exclaims and waves at her husband to bring them their next dish which is quite another eye widening dish of Century Eggs with tofu. It's clear that he's not too sure about this one but he takes one of their specially brought forks and spears a wedge of the brown glassy 'white' and black and oozy yolk egg. This time he's the one waiting for her to eat it first. Real brave soldier, undone by an egg. It's a duck egg, no less.

For a moment Katie finds it all too easy to get lost in the kiss, the rest of the world faded away from this moment and this man. It's Shi's words that bring the world back, and a deep pink blush flooding into Katie's cheeks. Her fingers linger as Gavin gets to his feet, sliding from his skin, reluctantly letting him return to his chair. Her touch moves to rest lightly on the pin. "I'll never be without it." And then there's more food! Or… that's food, right? Katie's face shifts, her regard for the new offering dubious, and she looks up at Gavin, wondering if it's familiar to him.

They've not gathered the courage to eat the Century Eggs yet when the husband is already bringing over a big bowl of 'Phoenix Feet' which is really just Chicken feet stewed to bone sucking perfection in a delicious garlicky sauce. When that arrives he looks over at Shi and gives her a playful point. "You are testing us." More like testing Katie, because Shi knows Gavin isn't some picky Brit. Shi just giggles and covers her guilty grin. "Eat. Good food. Make for good…" The next part is in Chinese but it's pretty clear by the eyebrow waggle that she's being a dirty old lady and is trying to give the young couple a nice night later.

Well, Katie isn't exactly a picky eater but… her eyes widen as a plate of chicken feet are brought to them. For a moment, she looks as if someone turned her off, until her eyes shift to Shi and a bright blush flood into her cheeks. Despite that, there's a broad grin on her lips but she does avoid looking directly at Gavin for a minute. Her eyes are back on the feet as she leans forward, voice lowered, "We're meant t'eat those, right? But… how?"

Gavin ochs softly in that sort of, 'you must try them, they're delicious' sort of sound and he puts down his fork, happy for the excuse to let his courage build to try the egg dish that came before. It's clear that these he's eaten before. He picks one up along with instructional, "Yew pick it up by the ankle bone at the leg here. Then yew grip the long middle toe. Then it's just sucking power, yew just put the pad barely past your lips an' yew suck the skin an' fat off of the bone. Be mindful nae to suck too hard, or yew'll take a bone right down. These are tender as new spring grass." He then takes a moment to suck the fatty pad off of the foot, flips it, sucks the fat and skin off the back of the foot then more carefully puts each toe into his mouth and more licks than sucks the skin from each of them. then the bones are dropped onto the platter that came under the bowl of feet.

The instructions are listened to with a fairly dubious narrowing of Katie's eyes, and when the demonstration comes she's no choice but to finally look at Gavin again. Dubious lightens to bemused, her brows lifting a scant measure as she's internally torn between the odd factor and the sexy-in-an-odd-way factor. The fact that she's game for trying new things is proven as she takes a deep breath and reaches for one of the other chicken feet. She hesitates, looking at it a moment, before she does her best to mimic Gavin's method. It's fairly successful, although tentative at first. By the time she's sucking the skin from the last toe it's as if she was born eating chicken feet.

Gavin grins and it's clear that he's looking at her in that sexy-in-every-way factor as he watches her boldly try her first Phoenix Foot! When her bones hit the platter both him and the Chinese couple give a little cheer. Shi says something in Chinese pointing her wire spider at Gavin and then at Katie and then back and forth. "Och, nae yew two Shi! Aye, aye." He groans though grinning. A whimpery look is angled towards Katie, but he picks up another foot to consume to sooth his hen pecked wounds.

With this bit of mime from Shi, Katie looks more amused, and her eyes are soft as she looks across to Gavin as she wipes her fingers on her napkin. "I could think of worse things than yeh bein' stuck with me," she teases lightly. She doesn't reach for another Phoenix Foot, perhaps having tapped out her supply of bravery for the duration of the meal. "I'm havin' a grand time."

Gavin licks his lips that are a touch on the shimmering with grease and sauce side and then to her remark about being stuck with her he gives a wink before glancing pointedly at the pin on her blouse he just gave her, "Aye." It's why that pins there! "Ha, dinnae say grand, yew have nae tried the eggs yet!" She can't say that the race was amazing until she's lept the biggest of hurdles.

When Gavin brings up the eggs, Katie's eyes drop to regard that particular dish once more. She would really have to dig down into her reserves of bravery, and her gaze is almost wary. Her face lightens as she looks up to Gavin, her smile blooming. "Age before beauty?" she tries with an effort to look pleading that doesn't quite hide her humor.

Gavin is a complete push-over when it comes to women. Hence his horrible track record with them. He gulps eyeballing the delicacy and takes a deep deep breath, peers over at Shi who mimes eating encouragement. Shi's husband is just standing there blank face, but a tremor in his shoulders conveys the silent amused chuckling he's doing his best to conceal. After one more deep intake his breath softly hisses out of his nose then he holds his breath, scoops the egg with one hand while the other hand has a grip on the tea cup. With his eyes pinched shut he just shovels the egg into his mouth and chews it up quickly. He looks like he's about to pound his tea quickly after but hesitates, one eye opens and then the other. "It's not so bad…tastes a bit like hard boiled eggs that've been stored with matches…"

Katie's eyes are fixed on Gavin, she winces in sympathy for his brave jump into the unknown as the egg disappears into his mouth, and is there in eager anticipation of his verdict as his eyes open again. "My brave man," she says lightly, but there's affection in her tone. And now that he's actually done it, she's got no choice. Even with his opinion, she still eyes it warily before just having done with it. She tries desperately, but never manages to lose a slightly pained squint. To her credit, that's about the only reaction, but she does reach for her own tea fairly quickly. "It must be something of an acquired taste."

The couple once again cheer when each tries an egg. The husband brings over the next dish which are massive prawns on top of sesame noodles in a garlicky sauce. Then comes Honey Chicken with ginger shoots. After that it's Fried Jellyfish and finally comes wedges of orange for dessert. Gavin even goes back to the Century Eggs throughout the meal. He seems to like them the best with the fried jelly fish, the crunch of the jellyfish giving them a better texture in his opinion. But it's clear that the Phoenix feet and the Peking Duck are his favorite because there is nothing but bones left on both of those dishes. "We should get the eggs to go so the Hinds can each try one." Because look at that, there's three wedges left when the oranges come.

The meal continues to be exotic, by Katie's standards, but she at least tries to eat as much as she can of everything. But, by sheer volume alone, she's definitely slowed down by the time the oranges are brought to them. Katie rests one hand lightly on her stomach as she looks across to Gavin. "I'm not so sure the willingness t'try unusual things runs very strongly through th'family," she notes with a giggle. Jack, well Jack would do almost anything Gavin encouraged him to do at this point. And Mary just might have a nibble. But Daniel? Not bloody likely.

Gavin chuckles and seems to be in that same state of food lethargy. "Well, it would be rude to not offer." The 'politeness' is punctuated with a wink before Gavin does his best to help pack things up and away. One finger is also lifted and pointed towards one of the hanging ducks in the window and the whole thing goes into a bag. Shi finally comes around to scoop up and squeeze Katie's hand while bowing over it. She speaks in Chinese while she taps Katie's ring finger and then points to Gavin and then gives him the thumbs up gesture that's growing in popularity. The couple then practically chases the young couple bowing time after time and waving their hand. The Underground ticket salesman looks quite wide eyed at the loaded arms Gavin has as waves them through, free of charge again. "So, last stop…" He smiles down at her and tilts and stretches his neck trying to get the right angle around the parcels of food so that he can kiss her. "I can now say that I am having a grand time myself."

Katie does what she can to help, which is mostly staying out of the way of the others. She thanks Shi even as the woman starts her not very subtle message, another blush coming but not changing her good humor, and she cheekily gives a thumbs up back, a smirk going to Gavin. When they get to the tube station to wait for the next train she leans around helpfully to find his lips with hers. "If yeh'd let me help carry, this would be quite a lot easier," she quips. His arm gets a squeeze as best she can and she nods to his statement. "Good. Because that's important t'me. That yeh always have a grand time with me."

Gavin turns his body in a playful keep away game from her getting to his load. "You need to keep your arms free, so you can wrap them around me and do more of those kisses on the train. Once more it's all secrets and subterfuge on where they are going. It is perhaps the smell of the apartment building that gives away their new location. Dump's Dump. Once they are inside he takes the things into the kitchen and puts them down on the counter. After that he kisses her temple and allows her the chance for the 'woman's work' of putting things to right in the Queendom that is a kitchen. "I'm going to get changed. Would you like that shower I deprived you of earlier?"

There are many squeezes and kisses on the tube ride to their last destination, and, as always, the indulgent smiles of strangers, especially when they notice the new pin proudly worn on Katie's blouse. She kind of expected where they end up, where else would they be going with all this leftover food where it wouldn't spoil and be ruined? Without even thinking about it, Katie starts right in with setting things in order in the kitchen, making room in the icebox and cupboards. "Alright," she acknowledges, hesitating before answering his question. "Um… I think I'll just have a quick washup, that should be good." The tone almost manages to be casual, but the reality is that the alternative would mean getting naked in the same flat where Gavin is. Just the thought of that is enough to weaken her knees and send butterflies fluttering rampantly throughout not only her stomach but her entire being. It's delightfully naughty and scandalously forward at the same time.

Gavin wanders into the bathroom after a minute in his boxers. "Pass a rag love? Took off my kit and wheeew!" He pointedly clenches down his arms to close off his arm pits. "It's like I used those century eggs for cologne!" There is a small measure of cheek in his expression, but mostly it's like he acts like this is something they've done regularly for years.

Leaned over the sink, rinsing soap from her face, Katie doesn't put together what he's said with the sight that will greet her in a moment. "'Course, Monkey," comes a slightly muffled reply as she quickly dabs a towel on her face to dry it, then reaches for another washrag from the shelf. The strands of hair over her forehead are damp, as are her eyelashes when she turns and then stops dead in her tracks. It's a natural thing for her gaze to sweep him from tip to toe, although the look is decidedly slow and lingering. She only has to lean back to be supported by the sink, her rear resting against the porcelain edge. Her eyes come back up more quickly, her hand raising to offer the rag at the same time, and not a sound coming from her as her shallow breaths warm her parted lips.

Gavin takes the towel with a huge smile, "Thanks love." He scrubs under one arm and then the other. Once he's freshened up himself he puts the rag on the counter. This of course means he presses himself against her to do so. "How do I smell now?"

With the press of his body against hers, Katie has only to turn her head and dip it slightly, nose tickling lightly at Gavin's throat as she manages, somehow, to take a breath in. Her answer is a warm murmur against his skin, "Lovely." She could have used so many more words in her reply, but that's all her head manages to toss out. His manner, so easy and sure, is just as enticing as his skin, which she doesn't fully realize is being caressed at the stomach by tender, exploring fingers.

Speaking of exploring… that thing she stopped him from doing in the theater because they were in public…he's at it again. Warm calloused fingers sneak enough of her shirt untucked so that he can slide his hand underneath so that he can in all fairness caress her belly. A liberal and slow burning kiss to her lips after he ducks down to catch up her lips is hopefully help in distracting her away from what his hand is doing.

Even that kiss wouldn't be enough to totally distract Katie from the tingle along her skin as his fingers travel, but it stills any protest. Although, the kiss returned doesn't really suggest that protest is a consideration at this exact moment. Her questing hand flattens, pressed to his toned stomach, inching it's way up, progress unfettered by pesky clothes as his might be.

Gavin steps in the half a step that was left between them and he holds her fast against the sink and counter. His hand below her shirt continues its path high and higher along her skin with aim to cup that swell he teased during the movie below her shirt this time. The Glaswegian tough guy is trembling a bit as he goes and he whispers barely audible if he weren't so close. The words said the source of his tremble more than the act, "Love yew Duck." It's then that he'll really try to seize the moment so to speak and lay his hand around her supple flesh.

Well, there is supple flesh there somewhere, so teasingly close, but between, making an effective barrier to direct contact, is her bra. Thankfully only cotton, still it might as well be armour for all the yield it gives to his touch. But it's enough to draw a soft gasp from Katie as her breath is taken away, and fingernails scratch lightly on his chest as her fingers involuntarily curl. The whispered words have her pull back slightly, lips parting from his, so her eyes can find his face. Her other hand lifts, touching his cheek as if afraid the contact will reveal him to be little more than smoke and wishes, but he's still there, warm and breathing as the touch settles. Her words aren't much louder, but her eyes hold his as she lays her heart bare. "I love yeh, Gavin."

It's some time later when they finally have to eschew snogging for something to actually chew! Hungry again in an hour, isn't that what's said about Chinese food? They have plenty of leftovers, so it's a snack and then time to get Katie back home, before curfew to keep in Daniel's good graces. Gavin shares a cigarette with Daniel out on the 'stoop' at the kitchen as he is leaving, after spending a bit of time with the whole family before it's getting on bed time for Jack and Katie.

Mary catches Jack peeking out of the curtains at the pair of men and when he is shoo'd away from the window Jack has a massive grin only a little brother can get in that 'I know something you don't know' way as he passes by Katie. It's obvious he was lip reading what the men were saying. But no amount of prodding or bribing seems to be enough to get Jack to reveal what he 'heard'. When Katie gets into her room there's pebbles tossed at her window. Gavin is down below and just wants to see her one last little time. He lifts up the pocket watch she gave him and gives it a kiss while looking up at her. A hand covers his heart as he starts to back away and finally turn around and exit the alley next to the Hinds Chippy.

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