Busy, Busy, Busy

Cast: date: '14 October 2012'
place: 'Regency Cafe'
participants: 'Cedric, Mattie'
synopsis: 'If coffee could gossip among itself everywhere it was made, it would hear some of the strangest stuff. '
log: "\nWhile the line for ordering has waned, the lunch crowd has lingered, filling most of the tables of the Regency Cafe in order to stay out of the rain. Luckily, some unfortunate souls have somewhere to be and vacate their tables now and then, so it's not impossible to grab a booth. Mattie's found one in one of her preferred spots — that is, with a good view of both the kitchen and the front door for what she calls her \"combat seating.\" \n\nShe's also exploiting the perks of employment by having a carafe of coffee on the table, along with two cups: one empty for Cedric and one full for herself. She's idling stirring cream and sugar into her coffee while reading a newspaper, though she looks up now and then to take in her surroundings.\n \n\n Coffee is indeed a most welcome thing for Cedric, even at this hour. Late nights mean late mornings, and the IT technician is by no stretch of the imagination a morning person anyway. When he does arrive, his black hair is damp from the rain, his black jack half-unzipped and his right hand tucked inside it to keep it dry. His left hand is in his pocket, and despite the smell of cigarettes around him that suggest he just got done with one, he looks, smells, and appears to feel far better than the last time Mattie saw him. Indeed, he's exchanging a laugh and a genial smile with someone by the doors as he slips neatly past them and glances around the room, apparently looking for someone.\n\n Ah ha, there she is. His uncertain movements become his usual abrupt and high-speed strides, and he works his way through the cafe, dodging a few people and sliding in across from his colleague. \"Oy,\" he greets, flashing her a genuine enough smile and loosening his jacket to remove the splinted right hand and rest it in his lap. \"Good to see you.\" \n\n\nShe reaches for the carafe to pour him a cup, as he's still at a handicap with his splint. \"Hey,\" she says with a smile and nod. She looks like she hasn't had enough sleep, but the dark circles under her eyes and her too-pale skin are the norm for the agent. \n\nShe gestures to the creamer and array of sweeteners for him to doctor up his brew. The cafe is loud enough that it's easy enough to have a private-ish conversation, and the people sitting closest to Mattie and Cedric all seem to be a little hard of hearing, given their ages and the loud volume at which they speak. \"So what's up?\"\n\n\n Cedric takes the coffee - and the help with pouring it - in stride, but with a nod of appreciation. \"Thanks,\" he counters, then proceeds to doctor it up with a little bit of cream and a lot of Splenda, using his teeth to get into the packets. Stir it up, take a sip, and relax. He takes a look around before taking a good sip of the coffee. It's pretty hot yet, so he just sets it down and blows into it. \"You talked to that girl we found in Regent's Park at all? Yuki's her name?\" \n\n\n\"Yeah. I think Mitchell was supposed to report on it. He's the one who took notes.\" There's a wry look at the last word — anyone who has seen Jack's writing will understand why. \"She seems pretty nice and her abilities could do well out in the field. She'll need some training, as she's a bit green, but that's a given. We should also be able to pull some strings somewhere and get her an ID so she can work if she wants to, get a bank account, that sort of thing.\" \n\nA sip of coffee is taken as she regards him over the brim. \"But this is all normal work stuff. What are you worried about that you needed to meet here?\"\n\n\n \"She's green in more ways than one,\" Cedric answers, spinning the stirrer around in his coffee one more time before taking a sip. The smile fades, and he looks for all the world awkward. \"She had no idea why stripping in front of me was any sort of problem, and she's done it a couple of times now. She grew up alone out there,\" he tilts his head, \"and she knows sweet fuck-all about society.\" Another sip of coffee, and he lets out a breath.\n\n\nMattie looks a bit amused at Cedric's awkwardness. \"Maybe she likes you,\" she says with a smirk, but then returns to her usual business like manner. \n\n \"She didn't do anything that was inappropriate with Jack and me. But I'm sure she'll learn. She's been here for four years now, apparently knows enough not to be wandering around naked in the street, at least. Might just take a few weeks of actually being in regular contact with people and not as a homeless person to catch on to some of the etiquette,\" she says.\n\n\n \"You think?\" Cedric snorts and shakes his head, in what might be frustration. \"She didn't know what it meant when she was walking through Soho, a bloke grabbed her arse and then handed her a fifty.\" He's about to say more, but he stops himself with a snort of a laugh and a quiet smile. \"I think I got through to her, but whoever she's paired with ought to be warned about that. Never saw myself giving the birds and the bees talk,\" he adds, still with that quiet smile.\n\n\nEyebrows raise and Mattie chuckles, shaking her head. \"Right. Duly noted,\" she says, taking another sip of coffee and musing for a moment. \n\n\"Well, social graces are hardly my specialty,\" is probably an understatement from the American, \"and I don't have the time to play etiquette school headmistress, but I'll mention it to Sonnenschein. She might have some ideas.\" Her brows lift as if to ask if that's what he wanted.\n\n\n \"This isn't about social graces, Mattie.\" Now Cedric's serious, and there's a snap of impatience in his voice. \"This is about her not getting taken for a ride, banged up, or getting suckered in by someone who might use her to get to the rest of us.\" He takes a sip of coffee before continuing. \"She got completely pissed at the Devil's Court and would've been on the streets like that alone if I hadn't been there. I'm all for her joining us and getting into the field, but until she learns the ropes, she's a liability. I'll teach her myself if I have to, but don't know that I'm the right one for it.\" \n\n\nThe irritation in his voice makes her narrow her eyes. \"She's managed to live for four years after being in the Gloom. I think she's probably better at taking care of herself than you think she is. Because trust me, having been out on the streets myself, you don't survive just by chance,\" she says in a low voice. \"I'm not denying that she needs training in a lot of ways, but there are plenty of women who are like that who've never been Touched by the Gloom.\" \n\nHer empty coffee cup is set down with a clink on the formica table. \"I said I'd talk to Sonnenschein, and I will, but I can barely keep up with the cases I have without having to play governess, if that's what you're asking me to do. Nothing against her, but I barely have time to sleep as it is. Someone else can do that, if that's your recommendation.\"\n\n\n This time, there's a flash of anger across Cedric's face, gone as quickly as it came, though his eyes remain narrowed. \"Don't bother, then. I'll try to talk to her. Wouldn't want to waste your precious time.\" He finishes his own coffee and sets the cup down with a click. \"God knows I've got enough of it right now,\" he mutters. \"And I need to find out if this Devil's Court group is legitimate anyroad.\" There's an edge to that. \n\n\nThere's a lift of eyes to the ceiling, and Mattie leans forward, resting her elbows on the table. \"Would you can the attitude, Moseley? I'm not saying you're wrong about Yuki, and I'm not saying that I don't care. What I'm saying is, if you're asking me to play governess, I don't have the time, and what's more, I'm a Californian and can't stand the cold, so I'm not inviting Madame Fridgidaire into my flat, all right? She's a nice girl, and I'm not throwing her to the wolves. I'm saying I'll talk to Edith and see if there's someone better than I am at the job. If that doesn't satisfy you, I'm not sure what exactly you want me to do.\" \n\nLeaning back again, she wraps her hands around the empty coffee cup. \"They work with us sometimes. Like Parish does. Do some of the dirty work, I guess. I haven't had the pleasure, but they've been around longer than you or me. My advice is not to rock that boat.\"\n\n\n Silence greets the first part of that, and Cedric's eyes narrow as he studies her. \"All right, then,\" he says finally, skepticism written across his tone. \"Though why the fuck you'd want to live in London if you hate the cold is past me.\" A wry quirk of lips goes with that statement, but her next statement draws a nod of understanding and a bit of relaxation, though he drops his voice. \"Ah, so you do know. Fair enough. No trouble here, and I'm cordial with them. They offered us a hand on the case about those hookers. Seems they're worried about their own girls getting hit. Asked me to pass that on. They've also got work cleaning that bar, if you come across someone needing it.\" \n\n\n\"Thanks for the tip,\" Mattie says, regarding the Devil's Court as she rises and picks up her cup of coffee. She refills Cedric's mug with what's left in the carafe and gives a lazy looking salute. \"I've gotta run, but the coffee's on me. Or, well, the house.\" Since she didn't actually pay for it. \"I'll let Edith know what's going on with Yuki. Thanks for watching out for her.\" That part is sincere, despite the other woman's seeming stoicism. \n\nShe moves to the counter to return the empty cup and the carafe before heading out through the kitchen rather than the front door."
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