Elephant in the Room

Cast: date: 'September 17, 2012'
place: 'Hollow Tree Hostel'
participants: 'Huruma, Jack, Mattie, Rory'
synopsis: 'The new guy in town gets vetted.'
log: "It's possible that the Watch here in London has gotten word of a new arrival heading their way, but whether they have or not, a certain gentleman has taken up a stool at the bar. The good news is, the night is young and Rory is only on his first scotch, which seems to take a bit of priority over actually figuring out how to check in with the local agents here.\n\nHe'll get to it.\n\nFor now, the hostel offers the few things high on his priority list, alcohol, company and free wifi. For someone who's most definitely from the upper class, he seems to be able to make himself comfortable just about anywhere.\n\nRory might be upper class. Jack, not so much. At least he's not wearing overalls and covered in grease. It's nighttime and the mechanic looks most comfortable, with a fresh pair of jeans (no doubt purchased on the cheap at TK Maxx) and some black sneakers with a couple wool knit dark sweaters against the chill.\n\nAlcohol is probably another good agent against the unkind British weather, so it is that he's sliding onto a stool near Rory and propping an elbow up on the countertop ready to request a foaming ale from the stout yeoman of the bar.\n\nPassing the reception desk and apparently on her way out from somewhere within is Mattie; as she heads toward the door, she's pulling out a cap from the pocket of her trench to shove onto her bright red head. She's still not quite used to the chill of London, though she never complains about it. She just adds a scarf or a hoodie or gloves or a sweater under that trench coat she's always got on. \n\nOut of the corner of her eye, she catches sight of the men at the bar, and pauses mid-step. To be social or not seems to be the question of the moment. Indecision, like Hamlet, gives her pause and she stands stupidly for a second, neither her, nor there, but unfortunately completely visible.\n\nIt isn't that she didn't get along with the other house- no- well- it is. Huruma is distressingly valuing of her ability to be independent, and much of the time such communal things with strangers come off as affronts to her senses. So much so that when she went back, she was told to go elsewhere. Her things were already sent. Fair enough. In a dark woolen sweater, the cowl neck wide, Huruma is at least getting the hang of the change in climate. Still, there is always an idle chill to her in some way or another. \n\nThe tall woman has to sidle around Mattie to get into the foyer proper, giving the girl a mixed glare. There is a good chance she is sour about everything else, rather than Mattie in particular- but the girl gets that moment of venom regardless.\n\nWhen someone joins him at the bar, Rory turns to offer a quick raise of his glass in greeting. Just before he takes a healthy (unhealthy?) gulp of it. But like radar, when Mattie pauses upon looking their way, Rory looks over her way to give a quick glance over and a crooked smile.\n\nIt's the gruff entrance of Huruma that gets a low whistle, though, as Rory turns back to the bar and his glass. \"Trouble brewing over there,\" he says with a chuckle, mostly to himself, but there's a glance to Jack as well, eyebrows lifting for just a moment over the lip of his cup.\n\nNo stranger to brows lifting, Jack's not even self-conscious about his eyes. It be what it be. Pointless trying to hide it. Can't walk around with them closed all the time, and no matter what the vampires tell you it's not cool to wear sunglasses at night. Not cool. It just makes you look like a pillock.\n\n\"Wotcha.\" he returns in greeting, further emphasizing his lack of hoity toity upbringing. Muck has nothing on the commonality of our intrepid cockney. The chuckle and the comment prompts him to look toward the door, noting angry face Huruma and indecisive face Mattie. The expression he makes is a little hard to read. An attempt at neutrality with a hint of waryness thrown in, and perhaps weariness. Thankfully the agent of alcohol dispensation is there to distract him, allowing him to order a pint of Carling. Classy.\n\n\nGreen eyes lift to the ceiling at either the angry look or the quip or (likely) both, but it at least sets Mattie into action. The accent corresponds with what she knows about the expected visitor, and that means she has to play nice, so she moves toward the bar. \n\n\"Lovelace?\" she says, striding with much more decisive steps. Her left hand pulls the grey beret off her head, so apparently she's not leaving immediately, while the right stretches out toward the Scot. \n\n\"Dahl,\" she offers simply, waiting on confirmation for the man's identity.\n\nSaid attitude gets her no favors. It hasn't been a lovely week. Weeks. In general. She sways to a stop a few feet past Mattie, turning her own strange eyes towards the bar, and back just in time to follow her course inward. Rather than give the girl more of that staring, Huruma decides that the man she is talking to is a better choice. And you know, tipping one back does not sound like a terrible idea. \n\nHuruma shifts on her heels, making her way to the bar, leaning on the opposite side of the small span of countertop. She has not said anything, as of yet, though her half-lidded eyes are on the others — pointedly eavesdropping as she waits her turn to bother the barman.\n\n\"Aye,\" comes the nearly automatic response to hearing his name. \"Rory Lovelace, that's me. Unless you're an ex girlfriend, love, then I'm someone else entirely.\" He stands up as he takes her hand for a shake. \"Mattie Dahl, isn't it? One of the names they told me to look out for. A pleasure to meet you.\"\n\nHe glances toward Jack, and then to Huruma when she passes, his gaze slowly returning to Mattie. \"Lively bunch you have here.\"\n\n\"Jack Mitchell.\" says he. Not that he was asked, but it seems pertinent and the name he gives seems to trigger some kind of recognition. Although he may be thinking of Lovejoy. Who is probably less interested in watch activities. Except maybe for Teresa's Gloomy antiques.\n\nHis drink arrives and he watches the interchange between the two with something of a wry smile behind the lip of the glass, some comeback that would likely only amuse him and summon up the wrath of the anger prone females. \"Just wait till Happy Hour, mate. Then it all kicks off.\" he suggests.\n\n\"You'd remember if I were,\" is a rare joke from the young woman, perhaps shocking Jack with a sense of humor. \"And lively is better than the alternative, I guess.\" \n\nMattie crosses her arms and gives the newcomer an appraising look and makes no pretense about it — she's sizing him up. Finally her brows lift in somewhat pleasant surprise as if she's decided he'll do. \"You look like you might know how to do more than write a check, so that's good,\" she says with a slight smirk. \"You know how to do more than shoot elephant guns on safari?\"\n\nLively, and liable to make some trouble for someone. Huruma, at the moment, is content to get a small glass of something- she lets the barman choose. At least it is a familiar amber. She listens to the exchange, up until safaris- \n\n-because she lets out a choking laugh, going from stoic to bemused, right back to struggling after that previously dour expression. It's no use. The damage has been done.\n\n\"When is happy hour, then, Jack,\" Rory says, his hand extending in the other man's direction next, \"it looks like half past dead in here just now.\" He even glances around the place, which is pretty subdued at the moment. But then, it is early yet.\n\nBut he looks back to Mattie, ready with a grin. \"I think I would, at that, Red.\" He blinks when she looks him over, a glance sent over to jack just to gauge if this is entirely normal. \"Shall I do a twirl around?\" he asks, circling his finger in the air. His next look goes to Huruma at her laugh, and he points a thumb in her direction as he continues to Mattie, \"Such lack of faith down here. But aye, a bit more than. I've been known to take a fox or two, even.\" His grin tips crooked there, and there's even a wink for emphasis.\n\n\"Friday.\" Jack returns with a wider smile, taking the offered hand and giving a firm shake. \"Don't knock it, mate. You got an almost smile an' a joke, so I think you've caught her in a good mood.\" he adds, sotto voce. He glances towards Mattie, keeping that smile in place. \"That's Huruma.\" Introducing the other woman, since she's busy laughing at the Scot to do so herself.\n\n\"They get a lot of elephants in Scotland then?\" A brow raises, \"Aside from yer women, that is.\" Oh, burn! Jovial Scottish/English rivalry in full effect, yo.\n\n\"Dangerous game, those foxes. Very impressive,\" Mattie says, glancing at Jack with narrowed eyes when he mentions her 'good mood.' When the tender looks her way, she murmurs, \"the usual,\" which yields a pint of Strongbow. A swallow is taken and she listens to Jack's joke before going back to the business at hand.\n\n\"Just so long as you know what you're getting yourself into and you're not just doing this for some sort of lark. Because if you wanna play tourist or something, I'll buy you the ticket myself to one of the ghost tours over at the Tower if you like. Best yeoman is Geoffrey. Works on Tuesdays and Thursdays.\"\n\nHuruma sinks down into the stool to her side, drink in one hand, other drumming over the bar. There is a temptation to further the cause of the safari jokes, but it seems to segue elsewhere.\n\n\"Not a lack of faith. A lack of belief. I have faith that perhaps you have tried.\" Not that sporting elephants is a really popular vacation claim. \"I believe foxes though.\" She gives the trio a longer look, though it fades also when she puts her lips back to the glass. \n\n\"Who is this, precisely?\" Huruma asks now, of Mattie, pretending for a second that Rory is invisible.\n\n\"Oh! He wounds me,\" Rory says to Jack's jab, melodramatically, maybe, but in good fun, \"There you have the real reason I came down, aye?\" He picks up his glass for a drink, setting it back down empty and motioning the bartender for another.\n\n\"It's not a lark, I cross my heart, Miss Dahl. I've been training up for this, you can call around. I come with references, even. And I think we've all seen enough of ghosts; won't be needing the tour, me.\" He looks over at Huruma, looking her up and, well, further up. Tall. And since he's invisible for the moment, he glances back to Jack and Mattie, eyebrows lifted again. Apparently, one of them is supposed to answer, so he sits back on his stool for more drinking.\n\n\"This is Lovejoy.\" Yeah, he's definitely going to keep that nickname. Even if Rory looks nothing like Ian McShane. He slips into the ignoring Rory stance too, although he seems to be doing it on purpose for comedic effect. \"Some rich wanker who wants to have an adventure down in the trenches an' we're going to humour him, like.\" To make it clear that he's not entirely serious about this he tosses a surrpetitious wink to the other man as he returns to his Carling.\n\n\"Reackon you'll do fine, mate. So long as you don't mind blood, sick, shit an' putting up with a bunch of grumpy birds. Stay down here a while an' you'll be glad of nights like this. Ain't no one dead yet. Just about midnight, when you head to bed and think 'Thank fuck, quiet night', then you'll get Sunshine on the dog with a late night call out.\"\n\n\n\"Lovelace,\" Mattie corrects Jack's less-than-serious answer, looking over at Huruma and tipping a head toward the man in question. \"Pays for more than a few of our toys on the business end of things, but r… relatively new agent on the field end of things.\" Perhaps she realized it's impolite to call the money bag a rookie, even if it's true. \n\nHer green gaze falls back on Rory, and she lifts her glass in a bit of a toast. \"Right. Like Mitchell says, here's to the quiet nights, but don't bank on too many of them. It's probably a bit busier here than it was where you're from. Big city, more misery in a tiny place, more Others to capitalize on it all, you know? So be careful. Don't get too eager, right?\"\n\nEven if Huruma could understand Jack's attempt at the English language, she is not so sure she would want to. \n\n\"Ahh… th'sugar daddy wants to roll with th'big kids?\" Huruma's mouth turns up at one side, her voice gone to playful at this point. \"I will drink to that.\" Good a reason as any. She puts back the rest of her glass before shifting off of the edge of the stool. \n\n\"I must locate my things. I was evicted from my first house, and they are here. Somewhere.\" If that says anything for this one, it will be an interesting time of things.\n\n\"Depends on your definition of mind, but I can handle it without getting sick or sobbing in a corner, if that's what you mean. Except for the grumpy birds. This one's aiming to have me curled up under the bar with a bottle of J&B in a minute,\" Rory says dryly with a nod toward Huruma. Given that it comes with a smirk, that's likely sarcasm.\n\nHe turns to Mattie then, laughing at the near miss. \"It's alright, you can call it what it is, Red. I've been called worse things, and accurately, too.\" But he nods as she goes on, \"I won't make a habit of diving in the deep end, then. Maybe just once or twice.\"\n\n\"Reackon we can take you out on a test run, sure there's some ungrabbed assignments rattling around.\" Jack looks to Mattie with a raised brow, as though to ask whether she thinks this is a good idea. After all, if he's going to get his feet wet, it may as well be in the company of the best this town has to offer. Which is obviously Jack. Although for purposes of this little side bar, there's the implication that Mattie might be the best, just to humour her.\n\n\"Hope you like paperwork, anyway.\" he tacks on there with a grin to Rory before turning his attention toward Huruma with another raised brow. He studies her a moment over the edge of the glass while taking a long swig, \"What'd you get kicked out for?\"\n\n\"All right, then, Rookie,\" Mattie says, once given permission from Rory. She nods to Jack. \"Partner or group for the time being is probably a good idea. I wouldn't advise patrolling around on your own.\" That bit's hypocritical, as she goes out patrolling on her own most nights. \n\nShe looks over to Huruma with lifted brows. \"One of ours?\" She takes a swallow of the cider then puts the still half-full glass on the bar, pulling a note from her back pocket to slide toward the tender.\n\n\"I don'play well with others.\" Huruma says this past one shoulder, through a set jaw. From the sound of it, it was the age old personality clash. \"Seemed a better idea to move me, than anything.\" Here may be more populated, certainly- but there is still some space. \"I suppose I agree. Immigration does not wear so well on me, hm?\" Makes her a right old sourpuss. \n\n\"If I curl up anywhere, it will not be under th'bar.\" Huruma rolls the word, jutting her chin up towards Lovelace. She produces a crumpled note from her own pocket before moving away from the bar.\n\n\"I wouldn't mind it, if you don't. If it makes you feel better, I'm not as useless as the money makes me seem.\" Rory smirks at Jack there, but there's nod for the offer of the buddy system. He's not quite rash enough for going out alone. Yet.\n\n\"I can see that, Huruma. At least you're up front about it?\" He spreads his hands there, one holding a drink still. Mattie is the next to get a nod from him, and a smile as well. Bonus. \"Partner or group, aye aye, Captain,\" he says, smile broadening into a grin. \"Now, there is an important question as I am planning on curling up in a real bed in a room I don't have to share. Where's a decent hotel nearby? Just point me in a direction.\" Of course, 'decent' by whose standards.\n\n\"There's a Radisson Edwardian down the street, expensive as fuck though.\" Jack makes a vague motion 'that way', \"Ain't far.\" He figures the money man can likely afford the four hundred pounds a night price tag. It's more luxury than the mechanic is likely to be able to afford. He lives in a disused underground tunnel, so.\n\nDraining the last of his larger he pushes the glass forward to get a refill. Even if everyone is heading off to their real beds alone, he's still got some drinking to do in enjoying the Quiet Night.\n\n\"Night,\" Mattie tells Huruma over her shoulder as the woman drifts away. Her attention moves back to the men at the bar. \n\n \"If you're going to spend frivolously, check out the St. Pancras Chambers. Unless you go cheap, everything decent's gonna be more than 200 pound a night, though. If you're staying long term, you should get a flat quicker than not.\" The cap is pulled out again, and it's clear she's heading off as well as she pulls it on. \"Not that you can't afford it, but it's sort of like flinging it into the wind, you know?\" \n\n\"At any rate, it was nice to meet you, and good luck settling in, Mr. Lovelace.\" Jack is given a nod. \"Night.\"\n\n\n\"Thanks much,\" Rory says to the pair of them, \"and I'll look into a flat. Although an expensive hotel would not go amiss just now. Been traveling, you see.\" He drains his glass, sets it down as well as some money cover his drinks and then some. Flinging to the wind doesn't seem to bee too much of a worry. \"It was nice to meet you both. I'll report for duty first thing,\" he adds toward Mattie.\n\nOf course, as he starts to make his way out, he pauses and turns back to add, \"I should note, I usually don't get around to my first thing until ten or eleven.\" He makes an exaggerated sheepish face there, before he scoots for the door."
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