Notting Hill Run-In

Cast: date: 'October 17, 2012'
place: 'Notting Hill'
participants: 'Ashley, Hilary, Yuki'
synopsis: 'Ashley gets lost in Notting Hill, leading to a chance run-in with Hilary and Yuki. Greetings, pleasantries, and unpleasantries follow.'
log: "Ahh, light pollution. It's one of Ashley's favorite sorts of pollution, because it turns the swiftly-moving clouds above the city into strange sculptures of red and yellow before they tear apart, opening windows to the sky and what might optimistically be called stars overhead. Ashley, jet-lagged as all hell from his recently arrival back in the city of his birth, managed to get off on the wrong stop on the Tube, and is now wandering around like the veriest tourist, with a map of London open in front of him. His suit is thoroughly rumpled, a scarf hanging listlessly around his neck against a wind that proved not that biting after all, and his lack of attention to the street means that he's knocking into people left and right. His lack of attention finally has a consequence greater than gestures and nasty looks, when he bumps into a man carrying a stack of ad flyers. The pile of brightly colored papers drops, the wind and passing legs quickly whipping them up into a small storm of trash. \"I'm so sorry,\" Ashley says, finally, and backtracks to try and catch some of the wayward papers.\n\nHilary is coming the opposite way, cigarette clamped between his lips, his hands shoved into the pockets of his wool pea coat so as not to be chilled by the wind. He watches Ashley plough into the man with the flyers, smiling at the bright whirlwind, and steers his steps that way. \"American?\" he inquires of the map-toting Ashley, paying no mind to the fact that he's scrambling to catch fluttering papers.\n\nYuki is ambling along a bit behind Ashley, paying a bit more attention to things in front of her, bad things can happen if she accidentally connects with people after all, though she tries to mask it by keeping her head low, biting into a Reuben that looks to have a bit too much dressing and a bit too little sauerkraut. Wearing a flimsy white t-shirt and a denim miniskirt, she's hardly dressed for the weather, but neither does she seem to mind the cold either. It's clear enough she's not even wearing socks inside her simple white sneakers. And then nothing…at least nothing she can see, a flying ad hitting her in the face and being held there by the wind, causing her to stop while she pulls it away, \"Th' bloody 'ell is this, then?\" she asks, looking around for the cause.\n\nAt least a few papers have been coralled from the air and sheepishly handed back to the guy who owns them. He takes them with a muttered curse, while Ashley tries to collect more. Hilary's question is enough to at least give him pause. He chuckles, self-consciously. \"God, I hope not.\" And, indeed, his accent is Estuary, muddled by the time spent away from native speakers. \"Just, ah, lost. This is…um.\" Right. No idea, really. And then there's the young woman's exclamation, and he adds, apologetically, \"Mea culpa. My apologies. Might I…?\" he holds out his hand for the paper.\n\"You'll get pick-pocketed walking around with a map like that,\" Hilary warns, though he sounds quite non-chalant, flicking ash from the end of his cigarette. \"Why don't you let me\" he begins, but then he spots Yuki. \"Oh, /God/, it's /you/ again.\"\n\nYuki hands the man the paper, while lifting her sandwich with the other hand, taking a bite and chewing. Surprised she was, but upset she doesn't seem, and once she swallows she even giggles a little bit, \"Are you 'avin' fun there? Bad day t' be throwin' paper 'round,\" she points out, raising her sandwich for a second bite before pausing, noticing Hilary and raising her eyebrow. She lowers the Reuben a bit, smiling at him and raising her other hand to wave, \"Don' worry, I'm not followin' you. Not my job, after all…\" she says, trailing off a little before shrugging, \"Any luck findin' them students w'at you said would work f'r free?\"\n\n\"I wasn't throwing it, precisely,\" Ashley says, only to be interrupted by a muttered, 'might as well been' from the unfortunate owner of the papers. He hands over the ones he's managed to snag again…by this time, most of the rest are trampled and gone. The guy huffs and stomps off, as Ashley calls another apology at his back. And then…\"This is…uh, small world? Friends?\" He takes a closer look at the expressions of the two. \"…not friends.\"\n\n\"None of your business,\" Hilary tells Yuki curtly. He just as quickly dismisses heror makes a first attempt at it—and returns his attention to Ashley, dragging on his cigarette. \"As I was saying. Why not let me take you where you're going? I'm not busy.\"\n\nYuki giggles a little bit, \"I'll take that as a 'No,' then,\" she returns to Hilary, not letting the little bit of rudeness quite pull her down. Looking back at Ashley, she nods her head, \"Somew'ere 'round friends, I s'pose, maybe somethin' less. I can't quite seem t' make th' bloke smile,\" she says, referring to Hilary, before looking back at him properly, smiling, \"If you're takin' 'im off somew'ere, then perhaps I should leave you two quite alone?\"\n\nAshley gives Hilary a wary look. \"Here, now. Seems a bit terse? Perhaps? Not that I really know the details, but…\" He trails off, turning his attention to folding the entirely useless map. \"Ah, well. I thank you for the offer, whoever you are, but I'm not entirely certain that it's worth replacing a high probability of getting pickpocketed with a very low probability of getting brutally murdered and dumped in the Thames. Just, ah, hypothetically speaking, of course. I'm sure you're lovely.\" Maybe that's his attempt to make the bloke smile. Mostly he just looks puzzled and affiable, though, as he sticks his hand out, in sort of an inoffensive middle ground between the two. \"I'm Ashley. If it, uh, matters to anything at all. Delighted, I'm sure.\"\n\n\"She knows why my business isn't hers,\" Hilary asserts to Ashley, frowning. He watches Ashley while he has a drag on his cigarette. \"Hilary,\" he returns, not smiling at being suspected of planning a murder. He takes Ashley's hand. He's wearing black leather gloves. \"Surely if I look like a murderer, I at least don't look like a brutal one?\" He lifts his eyebrows, but then glances at Yuki. \"Perhaps you should,\" he agrees.\n\nYuki looks between the two, giggling a little bit, \"Yuki, a pleasure to meet you, Ashley,\" she offers, introducing herself even if she wasn't the one being introduced to by the man, she still caught his name so it's only fair. Looking back at Hilary, she shakes her head, taking a small step back, \"Not brutal, jus' maybe…blunt, coarse, or maybe jus' one with an attitude? Bet that'd make f'r a great play of sorts,\" she says, before bringing the Reuben back up, taking a bite, looking pleased with herself. \"Mmm…\"\n\nAshley isn't wearing gloves at all. His handshake is brief, but firm. And when it's over, his hand is offered to Yuki with the same cheerfulness. Neutrality declared! \"Hilary. Yuki. Right. A pleasure. And it's my experience that murderers don't really look like anything at all.\" Then he frowns. \"Of course, by 'experience' I mean, 'television dramas'. They do tend to dress either exceptionally well, or very poorly,\" he adds, thoughtfully. \"I wonder if anyone's done a study?\" He looks around. \"You both work in this area?\"\n\n\"I do,\" Hilary answers, putting his cigarette back in his mouth for a drag. \"I don't suppose that one has a job at all, except possibly harrassing people.\" He smiles at Ashley. \"Well, no wonder you think I'm a murderer, if the only murderers you've seen are actors. I used to be one of /those/.\"\n\nYuki isn't wearing gloves either, though Ashley may wish she was, as her touch is cold as ice. She gives his hand a good shake though, \"This one 'as th' right of it. I don' 'ave a job. Bit of a picky…constitution, of sorts,\" she explains. No reason to go and say or do anything stupid, is there. Looking back at Hilary, she shakes her head, \"Coincidence, 'onest it is! Not tryin' t' 'arass you at all! Could probably do better if I w's tryin' anyways.\"\n\nAshley manfully tries to hold in the shiver from touching Yuki's ice cold fingers. He mostly fails, and when his hand is retrieved, he sticks it in his pants pocket without thinking, just to give it a chance to warm back up. Hilary's smile is returned. \"Ah, that must explain it.\" He glances back at Yuki, giving her a sympathetic look. \"Well. I'm sure you'll find something. And,\" a tilt of his head back towards Hilary, \"I doubt she's stalking you. Unless she's the murderer. But that would be cliche.\"\n\n\"You don't know the situation,\" Hilary reminds Ashley. At Yuki's comment about having 'a picky constitution,' he looks at her brief outfit and snorts cigarette smoke out of his nose. Then he looks back to Ashley. \"So. Where were you going?\"\n\nYuki shakes her head a little bit at HIlary, \"You're readin' too much int' it, I assure you,\" she says, giggling a little bit, looking back at Ashley, not the least bit surprised, it seems, by the shiver and hand-tucking, \"Some friends of mine 'ad a talk with 'im not long ago, an' I w's there f'r it…now 'e doesn't trust me,\" she explains, before looking back at Hilary, \"Not that I think y'did b'fore that, either.\"\n\nAshley's brow furrows at Yuki's explanation. \"I see,\" he says, slowly. And then draws entirely the wrong conclusion. \"You should be careful. No one ever got anywhere good hanging about with a bunch of chavs who 'have talks' with people. Especially not attractive young women.\" At least he sounds apologetic about the mini-lecture? He clears his throat, and tells Hilary, \"I was attempting to find the East End. Mile End station. I swear they've moved it since last I was here…\"\nAshley pages: Mile End station, of course, being the closest Tube station to Tower Hamlets. :D\n\n\"I didn't,\" Hilary assures Yuki. He drops the cigarette and steps on it, frowning and looking away when Yuki recounts 'having a talk' with him. Perhaps he's a bit traumatized, though he doesn't have any obvious wounds. \"You /are/ lost,\" he says. \"This is Notting Hill.\"\n\nYuki giggles a bit. Of course she wasn't trusted. It hardly seems to bother her, though. \"I do apologize f'r 'ow things went, f'r w'at it's worth, but they 'ad good intentions…an' I still say you 'ave a marvelous collection of books an' plays,\" she tells Hilary, and then her attention is back on Ashley, \"Nothin' like that,\" she starts, before frowning a little, \"Well, maybe Mr. Jack, I can't tell with him,\" she admits, before shrugging, \"No, they were lookin' for an answer to somethin' an' I kin'a tagged along,\" she clears up for the man. Then she finally nods, agreeing with Hilary, \"This is Notting Hill…good place to come for some fresh veggies an' stuff, or an occasional boot sale. Not quite w'ere y'sound like y'need t' be, though.\"\n\nAshley just droops. \"Right,\" he says, to both of them. Sad, kicked-puppy expression is in full effect. \"I must have gotten on the wrong train.\" There's an unspoken 'again' hanging in the air after the sentence. Then he takes a deep breath, and straightens back up again. \"Well, not the end of the world, I suppose. And it's a lovely evening, and I even had the opportunity to speak to people in a non-occupational capacity. I should consider that a blessing, don't you think?\"\n\n\"Of course I have a marvelous collection. You haven't seen the half of it,\" Hilary tells Yuki. He looks back to Ashley. \"I'll put you on the right train, if you like,\" he offers.\n\nYuki giggles a bit at that, and enjoys another delicious bite of her sandwich. Reubens…they make everything better! Or at least one might suppose this is what keeps her so damn cheery in the light of everything that could be done to bring her mood down. \"Mmm…\" she swallows, and giggles a little bit, nodding to the both of them, \"It w's a pleasure t' meet you, Ashley,\" she says to the man, then looking at Hilary, \"An' nice t' see you again…though I think I'll be off 'fore your knickers twist any tighter,\" she says, a bright grin on her lips as she starts back down her merry way, turning as she walks to wave to the both of them.\n\nAshley gives Hilary a startled look, then a nod. \"I won't say I wouldn't appreciate it, Hilary. It's kind of you to offer.\" Yuki's cheerful parting gets a smile and a wave in return. \"It was nice to meet you, as well, miss. Do take care of yourself?\" Then he's adjusting the map, folding it up into a small enough square to be shoved into a pocket. \"Lead on, MacDuff,\" he tells Hilary.\n"

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