Cloak and Dagger

Cast: date: '8 September 2012'
place: 'Tesco '
participants: 'Amy, Edith, Ruth, Tucker'
synopsis: 'The trouble with having been in the Gloom: thereafter, everything''s just a bit spy vs. spy, and fraught, even casual things like shopping.'
log: "\"A'ight then,\" Tucker clambers out of the back of the coach, unfolding his lanky frame like an unfurling spider to get up to his full height and stepping out of the way for any others who might be doing the same, \"Let's remember where we parked, eh? I don't want to have to wander around the lot all bloody night with my arms full of groceries.\" There's an unspoken again on the end of that somewhere. He pats down his pockets a few times, then pulls out a lengthy list from one of them, shaking it out to unroll it before starting towards the front doors of the Tesco.\n\nIt's at times like these Amy feels the need to glare at Tucker, but somehow instead manages to look away and just smile. \"Always losing track of my ride, me,\" she says. No, she isn't. She's as hyper-aware of the car as one can be, whether or not it's immediately present. \"Besides, the wandering just means fewer groceries when you actually get there.\" That's a dirty, dirty, true accusation about the man with the jaws of iron. \"Does this job really take all of us?\" she wonders. It's like a joke waiting for a punch line: How many Watch members DOES it take to shop well down at the Tesco?\n\nRuth, not really a frequent flyer at grocery stores, claimed the front seat when this mission of sorts went active. She pops the passenger side door open and steps out, tugging her hooded jacket into place with a gloved hand as she straightens. \"Apparently a herd've us,\" she asides to Amy as she falls into place with the others. After watching the length of the list flutter out behind Tucker, she adds, \"Is there sugar on that?\"\n\nEdith will not admit it, but she's here because she needed to get out from behind her desk and breathe some air that doesn't reek of the office's ratty old carpets and the colonies of mold growing in the walls. She fishes a package of cigarettes from her coat pocket as she exits the coach with one hand and a lighter from a hidden, silk-lined compartment with the other. \n\nIf she has a punchline, she's keeping it to herself.\n\n\"It keeps us out've trouble, at least, dunnit?\" A wry look's slid over to Amy at her question before Tucker turns his attention back towards the discounter's doors, walking past a red telephone box that's nestled stained with graffiti not far from the main entrance. 'BAD WOLF' someone's spraypainted on the side. At least they're sci-fi loving hooligans with spraypaint? He flails the list around a bit, \"Of course there's ruddy sugar on it.\"\n\nAmy coughs delicately. Out of trouble. \"Of course. Nothing bad ever happens here. Not to us, any road,\" Amy agrees. You could mistake her for being the sort to go along with just anything, her amiable hands-in-pockets air rarely giving much argument. One more check of the doors of the car — one more test that her TX4's locked tightly up — and then she's jogging to catch up a little.\n\n\"Just checkin',\" Ruth remarks, slender shoulders lifting and falling in a low-energy shrug. She's also got her hands tucked into her pockets - just another disaffected twenty-something in a hoodie, really. She strides towards the doors after Tucker, casting a glance back over her shoulder at Amy, then Edith. \"Better than a night out runnin' the streets, at any rate. Just groceries. Could be nice.\" Dry optimism, she has it.\n\nIn defiance of the 'NO SMOKING' sign - which is positioned below the 'NO LOITERING' sign, so she assumes this is the lesser of two evils - Edith pinches her lips around a cigarette, flicks on her lighter, and uses a cupped hand to shield the flame from the wind tugging at her hair. This done, she follows Ruth inside, pocketing both package and lighter. \"Don't get lost,\" she suggests. \n\nBecause, you know, it could happen.\n\nThere may, if one is sharp of hearing, be a muttering of employees audible as the group enters. It may sound something like 'Bloody 'ell, it's them again' from a few of the poor wage-slaves that sell discount goods here at Tesco. Tucker, for his part, just strides evenly and cheerfully through the doors and into the aisles, \"Where should we start first— oh, somebody grab a buggy, eh?\"\n\n\"Not with the crisps,\" Amy says on rote; \"You always say they take the best ones before we get there, but that's not true. They've always got more. I want to eat something other than someone's dodgy curry recipe,\" Amy suggests. \"Real food.\" Unsurprisingly, she throws up a hand at the suggestion of a buggy. \"On it!\" Because it's something to steer. One wonders if her skills translate to shopping-cart.\n\nGetting lost could happen, it's a large store! Ruth lifts her gaze to the dozens of lights overhead If she hears the mutteringand she had to, reallythere's no sign of it. She's got little to offer as far as grocery suggestions go, unsurprisingly. \"Just the one?\" she asks, of buggies, with a skeptical look cast towards the row of them - then she strides that direction to acquire one as well. It'll give her something to do, at least. \"Well, you did give that fruit and veg boy a scare that one time, Tuck.\"\n\nFruit and veg is where Edith is headed. She peruses a bin of apples, sorting through the pile in search of a few good specimens with the least amount of bruising while Ruth fetches another cart. \"Who do you know that can cook?\" she asks Amy as she holds up a potential purchase to her nose and sniffs at the skin, which is a futile way to judge it - with the copious amount of smoke leaking from her cigarette, she can't smell much.\n\nAt the skeptical question from Ruth, Tucker pausesand then he's offering cheerfully, \"Grab another one, then, we'll probably need it.\" Thanks for volunteering! Then he's strolling into the fruit and veg section himself, peering at the various displays, suggesting mildly, \"Potatoes? Can't go wrong with potatoes.\"\n\n\"I can cook,\" Amy protests. \"At least enough not to eat the same thing, over and over,\" she mumbles, a little less certainly. \"I do like potatoes,\" she reluctantly admits, then says: \"Leeks? Could make that potato-leek soup. Food by the gallon, which we need.\" This is certainly at least her trying not to comment on Tucker, with only moderate success; not looking, no, not looking at him right now.\n\nA fruit and veg boy, perhaps the very same one previously mentioned, appears to take note of Edith's smoking! He's a gangly lad with overlarge glasses, and his employee apron hangs off of his scrawny frame. He voices a rather hesitant, \"Hey\" from near the bananas. It's mostly mumbled, but what follows sounds like, \"you can't smoke in here!\"\n\nRuth wheels her cart in the general direction of the fruit and vegetables section, absently drumming gloved fingertips against the handle. It's unlikely she cooks often. Still, she looks over the colorful fruits with passive interest.\n\nEdith ties off a plastic bag filled with apples - the crisp green kind, their skin blemished by freckles - and places it in Ruth's cart. The employee gets a flat look from beneath her lashes, and when she exhales again it's in the form of a long, tired sigh that blows a stream of smoke from her nostrils. \n\nShe glances over at one of the scales as if considering whether or not she's in a foul enough mood to use it as an ash tray, but in the end she drops it onto the floor and snubs it out with the toe of her shoe.\n\nA bloke's got an appetite, what can he say? There's a little bit of a sullen look over in Amy's direction at her mention by the gallon, and then Tucker's admitting reluctantly, \"Does sound pretty good. Potato'n leeks…\" He doesn't get involved in the issue of the cigarette. Not his field! \"Maybe toss in some carrot?\"\n\n\"Carrots it is. And meat, s'much better when it's not that vegan nonsense,\" she opines, and offers Tucker a sidelong smile. \"Get the big bag of potatoes,\" she suggests - and very subtly, at least in her own mind, kicks that cigarette butt halfway underneath a central display of different fruits in season. No one will ever find it under that crate!\n\nIt isn't as if Ruth is purposefully hanging on the outskirts of her band of Watch fellows — she's just perusing the fruits. There's a lot to see, after all. She managed to pick buggy with a squeaky wheel, of course, and she scowls down at it distastefully when she halts the cart for Edith to deposit her apples. The store employee gets a flat look.\n\n\"Well, it's just, it'sand that…\" The awkward teen sputters as Edith exhales twin streams of smoke then… grinds her cigarette out on the store floor, where it is kicked by Amy. Somewhat meekly, he drops down to hands and knees to dig the cigarette butt out from underneath the crate. His sneakers squeak against the floor as he rises, turns, and scurries off towards a waste bin.\n\n\"Pears. Ought to have pears,\" Ruth remarks as she reaches out to snatch up a bag of them, seemingly at random, apparently making this decision for everyone.\n\nEdith acquiesces Amy's request for potatoes - they remind her a little too much of what went on the kitchen of her childhood - and loads a small burlap sack's worth into the cart, mindful not to crush Ruth's pears. The apples, she imagines, are tough enough that they won't mind a little jostling.\n\n\"Pears?\" Tucker regards Ruth with a somewhat dubious expressionand then he simply shrugs one shoulder. \"Pears it is. Hm. Meat aisle next, I'm thinkin'? Maybe they've got some've that cheap stew meat we can load up on again.\" Hey, it's better than a dodgy curry recipe!\n\n\"Bacon,\" Amy says. \"Loads of it, and maybe they've got a whole chicken or two we can roast.\" Or two.\n\n\"Pears're good,\" Ruth counters mildly, pushing the squeaking buggy slowly along. She can't eat them, but she can remember them! She slants a look towards the meat section, clearing her nose with a quiet sniff. Bacon, chicken, stew meat. \"Goin' to need another cart, most likely.\"\n\nA few of the employees at the registers are still muttering darkly amongst themselves, perhaps drawing lots to see who will have to ring up this order.\n\nEdith leaves the meat selection up to Tucker and Amy and takes a detour down an adjacent aisle where the cured fish is kept. She traps her thumbnail between her teeth, worrying at it to satisfy her oral fixation now that she's without her cigarette, and crinkles her nose as her eyes skip between the labels. It doesn't take her very long to locate what she's looking for: the stack of tinned herring fillets, from which she selects four or five, and cradles in the bend of her elbow, because she'll eat them if no one else will.\n\n\"Bacon'll do,\" Tucker replies easily enough. Really, he'd eat anything put before him, so bacon's as good as anything else! \"And ah, you're worryin' too much. Two'll be fine.\" Then he's loading bacon into the buggy. Several packages of it. \"Oh, hey, sirloin's on sale!\"\n\n\"Better get several, Tuck, it'll never last once it's cooked and the hungry folk descend.\" There's a moment where she notices something; an older woman, hair in kerchief, staring at them from around the end of a row, and with less speculation and more of a strange expression than the poor checkout slaves and stockboys and girls. Amy's brow raises, but the woman doesn't maintain eye contact; she flees down a row. \"Keep an eye out for the woman who looks like my auntie, she's giving us looks,\" she observes, quieter.\n\nRuth's a bit prone to distraction, it would appear. She spends a few seconds gazing up at the overhead lights. Dutifully, she pushes the buggy forward along with Tucker and Amy, attention wandering along the bright and shiny snack food packages lining the end of each aisle. Her attention settles on a bag of Twiglets, and she reaches out to snatch one up and toss it into the basket. \"Mm?\" She quirks a brow and turns her head, just slightly, to glance about for the woman in question, then nods faintly. \"Right, then.\" The cart moves forward, squeaking all the way.\n\nAh, looks. The Watch earns plenty of those, but Amy's tone abruptly puts Edith on edge. Her tins of herring join the apples, pears and potatoes in Ruth's cart, and she forgoes seeking out her favourite salty licorice so she can play lookout.\n\nA trio of cellophane-wrapped packages of meat are tossed into the buggy; Tucker didn't hear that warning, maybe, due to being a little more focused on the food right now. His stomach rumbles absently as he moves to carry down the aisle, considering aloud, \"How're we on cheese?\"\n\n\"We always need cheese. All kinds,\" Amy answers, and calls after Tucker, \"A tub of margarine! We're out!\" She trundles forward with her own buggy, only to watch the Peeper Woman disappear down the other end. \"Nutter,\" she grumbles under her breath as she scoops up a box of salt. Her brows lift as she spots Edith keeping an eye out, and her own posture gets watchful; spreads out, so they all have different vantage points. The trouble with having been in the Gloom: thereafter, everything's just a bit spy vs. spy, and fraught, even casual things like shopping.\n\nRuth's gloves squeak quietly as she tightens her fingers around the buggy's handle, her eyes narrowing just slightly as she looks from face to face, shoppers and employees alike… and the various distractions the store offers. \"They've got a bin've DVDs,\" she remarks to Tucker, chin lifting in a little nod towards the nearby setup. Then - oh, sugar. She collects up a few packages of that and deposits them neatly into the cart, then follows on after Amy. \"Might just be some daffy old woman.\" Still, she's watching the aisles up ahead a bit warily. It's all very cloak and dagger.\n\nIt was not so long ago that the Watch lost three of its own; Edith tries to remember whether or not the authorities have even released their bodies yet and briefly wishes they could get away with carrying weapons on trivial runs like these. She feels vulnerable - angry. \"Let's not risk it,\" she says. \"We've got enough to last a few days.\"\n\nOh, hey, is there something going on? Tucker looks up from where he's just turned with a tub of margarine in hand, eyebrows lifting upwards in a bemused sort of blank expression as he finally realizes that there's something wrong. A look from one woman to the other to the other, brow furrowed a little.\n\n\"They've been complaining about having no squash. That's something. And dishwashing liquid.\" Amy calls over to Tucker. \"Oi, Tucker, bring the list back. I looked at it over your shoulder but I can't much remember it all.\" The routes to almost anything in London, yes. Whether peas or orange juice are needed, no. Amy might look as if she's relaxed a little, but that might be her way of rounding everyone up without looking weird. \n\nWeirder.\n\nRuth's slender shoulders lift and drop in a half-hearted shrug as she looks back to Tucker, idly drumming her fingertips against the buggy's frame. Rolling her shoulders back, she adopts a slightly less rigid posture. Relaxing - a little, when she doesn't see anything all that dodgy up ahead. \"Probably need toilet paper,\" she points out to Amybecause, hey, it's a staple. Nodding back at Edith, she's quick enough to agree, \"Might as well head out soon. Don't want to tempt fate. Remember that one time at that Aldi?\"\n\nEdith makes a sound at the back of her throat. She remembers. \"Come on then,\" she murmurs. \"I'll pay. One of you tell the help to fix this fucking cart.\"\n\nTucker's head swings in a slow shake as he notices the increasing tension. If he's worried himself, he shows no sign of it, but then— he rarely does. Laid back fellow, is Tucker. \"A'ight, a'ight,\" he grumbles, motioning towards the registers, \"Tell you what, grab a bag've nachos on the way out and I'll make us some when we get back. And a bowl've sugar.\"\n\nAmy must have a deathwish; she reaches up to ruffle at Tucker's hair as he comes in range. \"Deal. Now that's what I call cookery.\" Which is, it might be supposed, that if the Gloom doesn't get them, scurvy might. Her guard's still up, though; she's scanning every aisle on her way towards that checkout. \"We almost got everything,\" she observes.\n\nThat cart is rather broken. Squeaaaaak. The noise, as Ruth turns the corner to start towards the registers at the front, is unpleasantly shrill. Her lips quirk to a wan grin at Tucker's words. \"Sounds good. Could watch one've those awful movies.\" A normal evening in for the agents of the Watch? Perish the thought. \"Close enough,\" she remarks to Amy, a skeptical eye turned towards the contents of their basket. \"Didn't get the toilet paper.\" Upon reaching the registers, she points out dryly to the counter girl, \"Buggy's goin' to drive someone mad.\" with an emphatic forward push of said card. Squeak.\n\nNo doubt someone will get right on fixing that."

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