(1940-06-04) First Customers of the Day
Details for First Customers of the Day
Summary: Not long after the chip shop opens, Briar, Jonah and Beckett stop in.
Date: 04 June 1940
Location: Hind's Fish and Chips

It's not long since the front door was opened on Hind's Fish and Chips for the day, and the little restaurant is still clean and fresh from a thorough morning cleaning. There are little empty vases on each of the three tables and the scent of frying oil is just starting to fill the air. Despite an off and on drizzle, Katie has propped the door open as she usually does, she'll close it if the rain decides to come down in earnest.

The red-headed Hind girl is just finishing off writing the specials of the day on the chalkboard. Cod and Haddock for the fish, raspberry jam or chocolate sponge for afters. And, of course, the usual assortment of sides that include Daniel's popular chips. With a last flourish of chalk, Katie turns away from the board, catching the eye of her brother, Jack. She doesn't speak to him, but the pair sign to each other. Apparently some joke, since it makes them both smile, and Katie's hand drifts to touch lightly on the Royal Fusiliers sweetheart badge, pinned to her apron. Jack wears a similar pin, but not a sweetheart one of course, on his shirt.

Jonah is quite possibly a familiar face in this particular neighbourhood this time of day. His large silhouette blocks the doorway for a moment as he walks through, hat already removed. He shakes off any excess moisture just outside, then nods to Katie. "Mornin', madam," he greets, voice low. He has a smile for her this morning, though the rest of his expression is on the side of tired and worn. He waves his hat slightly in greeting to Jack, then hangs it out of the way before shrugging out of his coat.

Briar is still becoming used to the baskets and crates attached to her bike. She's never been the best cyclist so the bulk of the floral storage has her wobbling a little while she weaves through children playing hopscotch on the side walk. With only some barest slosh over does she manage to park the bike in front of the large windows of the chippy. She opens up the front basket and pulls out small little vases with a burst of colorful flowers coming out the top. It's a bit of a juggle act as she works to cluster the vases in one arm against her chest so the other arm is free to let herself into the chippy. With a friendly smile she wiggles her fingers to those present as she goes from one table to the other to deposit the new bouquets down in the center of each table.

Katie is quick to scoot behind the counter at the sound of newly arrived footsteps, her smile blooming as she greets the fairly familiar Inspector. "Mornin', Sir," she returns the formal greeting, but adds, "Yeh c'n just call me Katie, everyone does." Jack waves in return before he hurries to try and give Briar a hand with her task. "Alright, Briar," Katie calls out cheerily, before her attention swings back to Jonah. "Bit'a fish an' chips for yeh this fine day?" Well, even slightly drizzling is a lot better than some of the alternatives.

Jonah's reply to Katie's reference to her name is to give her a small, crooked smile and a nod, neither really confirming nor denying that he'll do that next time. He's about to sit when Briar arrives with her colourful deliveries, so he stands again, nodding to the other new arrival. With little for him to do, however, he's quick to nod a second time to Katie. "Please," he answers, this time his smile far warmer as he does finally sit. "Cod," the man asks, settling in. A moment later, he asks, "Heard any news lately?"

Briar pats her hair that is plaited rather intricately with live flowers. Her well worn knit gloves in bumble bee colors of yellow and black (Hufflepuff!). Jack is given a very light peck on the cheek for his help and then her full attention is on Katie, "Twist my arm and call me Suzy!" Is that even a saying? Here or in America!? Well Briar's making it one. Still with a friendly smile she gestures while speaking to Jack, "Watch my things for me sweetheart?" She points two fingers to her eyes, points to Jack and then to the bike, followed by a quizzical and hopeful expression. Once that's all handled she feels secure turning her back on the window to go to the counter and hmms looking over the menu. Jonah is also given a smile and she eavesdrops on his order so she can hopefully be inspired in what to order.

Katie can't help a smirk at Briar's statement, the American girl always seems to come up with something new and amusing to say when she drops the flowers by. But her attention stays on Jonah for the moment and she nods at his order, "Th' cod is smashin' t'day, fresh in from th' fishmonger." Although all their fish is always in fresh, but Katie likes to make everyone feel they've made the very best choice ever. She turns and calls through the passway to the kitchen, "Cod an' chips, Da!" A muffled response comes back, "Aye, Bug." A familiar call to regulars.

At the kiss to his cheek, Jack turns a rather telling shade of red, his head ducking quickly down. He almost misses the request from Briar, but he doesn't seem to keep his eyes off the plucky Yank for long. He nods enthusiastically, signing to her as he glances to Katie to make sure she's interpreting.

"Safe as houses," Katie says, which might have been gathered already from Jack's pantomime. She waits for her brother to turn away before she murmurs, "I do b'lieve our Jack has taken a fancy t'yeh, Briar." Her tone is full of sisterly indulgence. But it's back to more businesslike as she answers Jonah, "Most of it's still about Dunkirk. Terrible, that. But I did hear mention of another place… Norwick?" She doesn't quite have Narvik correct, but close. "More evacuations."

People-watching is one of Jonah's specialties (no, really), so hopefully it won't be too disturbing when he watches Briar's progress toward the counter with polite curiosity. And the head-to-toe look is just standard fair from an investigator. At Katie's murmur to the flower girl, Jonah breaks off his study to give the proprietress an eye-twinkling grin, though that fades as talk turns to the war. His head nods a couple times, small movements of acknowledgement while he makes himself comfortable at the table, unbuttoning the front button of his jacket. "I despise learning of things so many days after they happen. Feels so… limited. Though the papers seem far better informed this time 'round." As compared to the last big war, presumably.

Briar seems to have been inspired in what not to get. Tightly pursed lips slide from one corner of her mouth to the other as she hmm haws still. A very quick poking out of her tongue within the purse is aimed at Katie for the 'fancy' comment. "Well the feeling is mutual. If he were a few years older and I was not spoken for…" She peeks over her shoulder just to make sure Jack is watching the bike and not it's owner. When talk of the latest news comes up she gives a very deep solemn sigh. "It is so terrible. Wish more were able to get home safe. But it's sort of amazing how everyone sort of stepped up to get them home. I hear even the small fishing boats were used. Did that affect the fish market any Katie?" But suddenly she seems to recall something and bonks herself in the head. "Shit." There's that colorful American mouth she's famous for again. "I forgot a present…" She hurries out to the bike and makes a goofy face at Jack through the window. Into a side compartment she goes and pulls out another basket, brimming with fresh plump raspberries. When she comes back in she holds it up with a grin like some fisherman showing off a prize catch. "First of the season! Thought your mom could use them for her cake." Another Briar stalwart American-ism. It's not sponge she uses that in the kitchen! It's cake. She does however swing the basket towards Jonah in offering to him to grab some fresh raspberries that truly look like perfect berries, every single one of them to the copper then to Jack, before she gets them across the counter to Katie to pass along or stow away after she's sampled them if she were inclined.

Is there much talk that isn't of the war these days? Even Katie, who tries not to dwell on the bad things, can't help her interest now, being somewhat more invested in the whole thing. "Da gets a bit of news here and there, extra things that come more by word of mouth. Because he's an Air Warden," she adds by way of explanation to Jonah. "It has done, Briar," attention swinging once more to the American girl. "We've got a bit less, but once they're safe…" The words trail off, because it's more of a 'hopefully once they're safe' that things will return to what had become the new normal and not shift again. At Briar's curse Katie has to stifle her grin, giving a glance toward the gentleman in hopes he's not been offended. But surely fresh raspberries will make all well! Jack takes a few of the berries when they're offered to him, nodding his head in thanks to Briar. He is actually watching the bicycle more than the girl. Mostly. Katie takes a berry to sample as well once they make it to her, but only one. "Ta, Briar, Mum'll make sure you get first piece."

"Who can pass up fresh raspberries? Jonah certainly can't, and so takes a couple, murmuring his thanks to Briar before she returns to the counter. Katie's news about her father brings an interested look from the inspector as he turns back to her, brows raised slightly. "Really? That is good to know." He pauses as a musing expression comes over him for a brief moment, giving him time to eat the two raspberries. "Oh, these are good," he murmurs quietly, grinning over at Briar. "Many thanks, ma'am." He leans forward toward the table, leaning his elbows on its edge and clasping his hands loosely. "There are so many more layers to this war," he comments after the pause. "Not that I remember the first all that well, but given other… events over the last decade or two…" There, he trails off, big shoulders shrugging slightly. "I never liked the phrase 'no news is good news'. The more the better, I say."

Briar smiles to each as they try her raspberries but then she looks appalled. Did she just get called ma'am?! "Briar." She corrects rather firmly, but still in a friendly tone. She offers over her free hand to Jonah too. "Ma'am is my mother. I'm glad you like them. The vines really came up like rockets. Here soon I won't be able to give these away." Because everyone will be sick of them by the time this crop is done!
Briar gives you a cookie.

Katie looks at Jonah, a bit speculatively, before she offers, "I could introduce yeh t'Da after yeh've eaten. Maybe it'd be…" There's a pause for a moment, before she finds the words she was looking for, "Mutually beneficial." She's no idea, but maybe. There's a glance to the clock on the counter, still well enough before noon that they should have plenty of time before the lunch crowd. Katie notes as she looks to Briar, "Mum'd be happy t'make some bargain with yeh, in return for a regular supply of berries. Yeh can't just be givin' everything away, although it's very kind. Still, we all have t'make a go of it an' all." Jack is still standing vigil near the open door, keeping as much of an eye on Briar's bicycle as on the girl herself. If Katie notices she might think to have a chat with Gavin about keeping an eye on him. "Alright then, Briar, will it be cod an' chips then?"

"Briar, then," Jonah replies, bowing his head to the woman, adding a beat later, "the American." Because it's a title like that. "I'd like that," he adds, smiling up at Katie from where he's seated, a fresh vase of Briar's flowers on the centre of the table. "Don't know how beneficial it would be to him, though. I was far too young for the first war, too old for this one, and too battered besides. Scotland Yard's full of former soldiers, though."

In from the wet arrives a man who is dry. His old-fashioned black cloak couldn't get much darker even soaked, though. After sliding back the hood, Beckett looks around as he makes his way towards the counter - stopping behind anyone already there, of course. He hugs his cloak tight about him. Maybe his robes will go unseen?

Briar gives a little shrug, "Giving what I have to spare away for those who aren't so lucky as to have the garden I do is the least I can do. But of course, if your mom is ever in need of a good supply. We can work something out. Especially if it mean cake!" She gives an excited little dance in place and laughs outright when she is given the title from Jonah. "That's me!" She says cheerfully before more hmming and hawing. "The Oregonian in me is thinking salmon instead of cod. Is that okay? If it's a to-do, cod will be fine. With chips and Spring Garden Peas." She has been ordering here long enough now that she knows Katie knows which peas she prefers. But since Katie is always so amused by the way she asks for the not mushy Peas, she continues to do so. "Coffee, syrupy and milk, please." Cause coffee is Murican! So is the excessive amount of sugar she tends to have dumped into it. Order given she turns to relieve Jack of his post. Katie just before hand is given an impish conspirator's look before she leans around the young man's shoulder to give him a kiss to the cheek again. She is looking out the window just in time to see Beckett's entrance and she does seem to notice the robes and she smirks a bit. A little wink is given to the wizard and then she turns to check up on her bike that is propped up on the other side of the glass window.

The ding from behind her has Katie turning quickly to gather up Jonah's meal, and she laughs to Briar, "It'll mean 'cake' for yeh." She uses the American's term indulgently. "An' I think there's a bit of salmon still from yesterday. Da'll check it for yeh." As she responds she's moving, stepping over to set Jonah's food down, the table already sporting most things that folks generally take with their fish and chips. Katie can't hold back a giggle as Briar busses Jack's cheek again, the boy giving only the weakest of silent protests but he certainly doesn't seem inclined to step away.

Katie flashes a smile to Beckett as he comes in out of the drizzle, not really noticing that he's curiously dry. "Mornin', Sir," she chirps brightly, although he really can't be that much older than she is herself. "Lovely t'see yeh again." And not in pajamas! After that, anything else he appears in gets little more than a passing glance. She pauses to call back to the kitchen the order for Briar, including garden peas and coffee, then quickly pours a cup of tea and moves again toward Jonah to set it down on his table, even as she's asking Beckett, "An' what c'n we do for yeh today?"

Jonah watches Beckett's entrance with a first casual, then second sharper glance. He notices the dry. And the fashion. And the fact that dry cloak is kept closed. His focus whips up to the wizard's face, studying him a moment longer until Katie's arrival with his food obliges him to turn his attention back to her. "Many thanks," he says warmly, smiling up at her as he sits up straighter, preparing to tuck in. After a bit of lemon and a few dabs of vinegar, he looks over toward Briar for a moment as she teases Jack's interest. Poor guy.

"Good day, Miss Katie." Beckett says, just a hint of warmth in the words and his wee smile. Having seen Briar's wink and teasing of that Muggle, he looks a bit disappointed that he is not blending in better. "Whatever the freshest fish is today and a pile of chips. Enough for seven people." His voice turns slightly wry. "An office run," he explains, though he surely doesn't have to. He spares Jonah a passing glance, but despite or because of the man's staring, he doesn't pay him direct attention.

Briar dawws in shame, "Taking and leaving hmm?" She offers to Beckett. "That's a pity, I was going to suggest that we all could share a table and keep Katie from having to tidy up so many tables so early in the day." Beckett might be leaving, but the offer still stands towards Jonah. Whom receives a quizzical look. She's not yet gotten her order yet, so it'd be easy for her to transplant herself before it arrives. It's not as if you can't see the bike from any of the tables so long as you sit in the chair facing that way.

"Enough for seven," Katie parrots easily. They're used to those Ministry folks coming in for orders like this all the time. It's good to be popular among a set of offices, good for business. She turns to call it through to her father, getting the customary reply back in his gruff voice. Turning back she pauses a moment, taking stock. Jonah eating, Briar's order due any moment, and Beckett's order in. Her eyes fall on Jack and linger until he feels her gaze and manages to tear his eyes away from Briar to look at his sister questioningly. She just smirks and jerks her head toward the kitchen, knowing that seven orders will have their mum and dad needing a hand. Jack doesn't look incredibly pleased, but he trundles off dutifully, if reluctantly. "Don't have a care," Katie says to Briar. "No one would dare come 'round an' nick it." Unless someone were to take the tyres for their rubber, but it's not quite come to that yet.

Yet, being the key word there. Jonah looks toward the bike a moment, then smiles over at Briar, holding a hand to his chest. "I solemnly vow to chase down any ne'er-do-well who tries to steal your property," he tells her in a sombre voice, though he can't quite hide the crows feet that appear at the corners of his eyes. He then crunches through the battered fish with his fork and takes a first bite, leaning back to enjoy it a moment before signalling to Katie that the fish is excellent.

"If I were staying, I would accept," Beckett tells Briar gravely. He looks back at Jonah, then to the bike visible outside. He tries to catch Briar's eye and tilt his head slightly towards Jonah's table. No reason to wait on him, and he shows a modicum of courtesy even in the Muggle public. Enough to avoid remarks on his rudeness, he hopes. Otherwise he remains unobtrusive and keeps his distance from the man he doesn't know is an Inspector.

Another musical little ding from the back sees Briar's order up, and Katie makes the table sharing decision for them, since they've all been chatting it up, and puts the American's food and coffee across from Jonah. She doesn't mind about clearing off tables, but it's so much friendlier to sit together. Her blue eyes light on Jonah, another smile curving her lips, "I think Da'd find it a fair exchange, knowin' that he was passin' on what he could t' th'Yard. Never hurts t'have th'coppers on yer side," she says, her tone lightly jovial. She gets Beckett a nice hot cuppa while he waits, only moving away from the little group as noon comes around and more customers come in. From then it's a bustle for the next hour or two, but each gets a warm smile as they go on about their afternoons, and an invitation to come back soon.

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