Those Bloody Newbies

Cast: date: '3 September 2012'
place: Clerkenwell
participants: 'Cedric, Rose'
synopsis: 'Cedric takes Rose to dinner to learn more about her. It doesn''t go well. '
log: "\n Cedric is not possessed of a car; he seems to be perfectly content to walk and take the tube to wherever he needs to go. Today, he's taken them to a local Indian restaurant, one of these teeny hole-in-the-wall places where the decor is nothing to write home about and the food is either atrocious or outstanding. As he walks, he lights up another cigarette - heavy smoker, apparently - and is mostly quiet unless spoken to. The distance doesn't seem to bother him.\n\nThere's endurance built into Rose's slender frame, despite the fast that she, too, seems to have a smoke lit more often than not. She keeps up easily, breathing in deeply and smiling her approval at the scent of curry, saffron, and masala. \"Oho, mate, you've got my number,\" she notes with a grin, crushing out her cigarette on the sidewalk before swanning into the place. It might be a hole in the wall and she might be wearing a newsie cap and Converse, but she moves like it's all High Tea with the bloody queen. \"Good choice.\"\n\n \"Grab a menu on the way out,\" Cedric tells her, courteously reaching to open the door and hold it for her. He'd already finished his cigarette before walking up, crushing out the butt carefully and tossing it in the ash bin by the doorway before entering. \"This lot's takeaway is incredible.\" He smiles at the compliment, but it doesn't quite reach his eyes. \n Once the pair are seated, he studies the menu briefly, but looks up, watching Rose intently. \"Are you from London, then?\" \n\nRose shakes her head as she looks over the menu. \"Born in Inveraray, Argyll. Lost the accent, mostly. Occasionally find it at the bottom of a bottle.\" Well, not quite lost. It's sort of there, now that she mentioned it. A burr peeking around the corners of words, drawing her o's out long. \"You?\"\n\n Cedric's own accent is definitely London, and is crisp and clear, suggesting education. \"Yeah.\" He looks up as the waitress comes by, and orders water with a splash of lemon when she asks for drinks. \"So what brings you to London? It's a pretty mad place.\" \n\n\"Same,\" she says to the waitress, smiling, and glances only briefly at the menu again before setting it down, closed. She's decided. \"There's family here,\" she replies, simply. Her head tilts slightly, consideringly, to the side as she studies Cedric across the table. \"It did a real fuckin' number on you, didn't it?\"\n The question brings Cedric up short, and he levels her with a gaze. \"It wrecks everybody it touches,\" he tells her in a low voice. \"I'm still alive, I'm still sane, and I can still do my job.\" We won't talk about the other stuff. Not here, not now. He lays aside his own menu away from him as a signal to the waitress that they're ready to order. \n \"Has anyone set you up with accounts yet, or are they still verifying?\" Change of subject, ho! \"Nobody's submitted anything to me yet for you.\"\n\nRose takes his answer at face value, and certainly doesn't press for the details, considering the setting. Question might've been rhetorical — or an absolute fail at expressing kindness. About the accounts, she seems to have no clue, and lifts a shoulder to that effect. \"Must still be verifying. Didn't even know I was meant to have an account. I got a password to give, got a keycard in return, and now I have a place to shower. Anything else is a bonus.\"\n\n \"Right then. Reckon it'll come along, or someone else took care of it.\" Cedric nods, seeming satisfied by the response. \"I'll hear something if you need that.\" He shrugs the matter aside, and looks up as the waitress comes by. \"Chicken tikka masala, extra na'an,\" he tells the woman, then looks over at Rose inquiringly. She hasn't told him what she is ordering. \n Only after orders are in and the waitress has left does he remark, \"I hear you on the shower.\" This time, he adds a smile that doesn't quite reach his eyes, and arranges his cutlery. \"I usually use the showers at the gymnasium. Yet another reason to make sure I go every day.\" A chuckle. \"Reckon from the look of you you're looking for one of those too.\" \n\n\"Saag paneer. Hot. As in truly hot, not stupid white tourist hot, ken?\" Rose makes her order explicit. \"And two puri.\" She shakes her head with a wry smirk. No gym-quest for her. \"Crunches, lunges, push ups, pull ups, and planks, luv. I was never really in one place long enough to join a gym.\" She squeezes the wedge of lemon into her water and sips. \"Besides, once you do that, it becomes a routine. So many times a week, at certain times of day, for however long. That'll get you in trouble.\"\n\n Now this is a conversation that Cedric can have, and he appears to relax somewhat as the waitress nods her understanding and heads off. He squeezes the lemon into the water, and takes a good swig. \"It's not so hard. Change it up. Should do different exercises now and then anyway, so you target different groups in concert. You'll build a better relationship between the groups and keep your muscles guessing.\" He's draining water fast - reckon someone was dehydrated? \"It's not the individual muscle groups that you'll use when you're hunting for true, Rose. It's the relationships.\" \n\nRose fixes him with a long, level look. Her lips quirk up — but she is Not Amused. \"I wasn't yet tweleve when I killed my first one of Them, mate,\" she says. \"Hunting for true, my sweet arse. Don't patronise me. You think I think I'm Buffy fucking Summers?\"\n\n Cedric returns the look without flinching, and there's a dark look in the eyes. \"Watch it, Rose.\" He keeps his voice low. \"I've got no reason to believe a word you say right now. I know fuck-all about you. What reason do I have to believe you're not working for Them and feeding me a line of crap to get on my good side?\" \n\n\"Because if THEY were hunting YOU, you'd be dead already, you thick fucking pudding,\" Rose says, leaning in, her voice low. \"Routines. Will Get. You killed. Not workout routines, you lump. Life routines. Going to the gym. Having a regular place to eat. You can't afford to do the insipid, mundane shite you used to do before — you're still trying to pretend you'd got a normal life. It's sad — and it'll be your end, or someone close to you.\"\nShe pushes away from the table, already patting herself down for her cigarettes. \"This was a terrible fuckin' idea. Enjoy the saag.\"\n\n The reaction seems to confirm something to Cedric, who fixes her with a measuring look. \"No, it wasn't. Not for me, anyway. Nice try. Go on. I got this.\" He doesn't make any move to go after her, just watches her leave comfortably. Not until she is gone does he signal for both meals to be takeaway and pays the tab before walking out himself."

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