To Market, To Market

Cast: date: '15 September 2012'
place: Camden
participants: 'Griffin, Mattie, Petra'
synopsis: 'Petra''s errands at the market are less than legal and land her in some trouble with Griffin. '
log: "\nEven in the rain, the Inverness Street Market draws a crowd, though now in mid September, it's largely locals who shop the rows and rows of stalls rather than the tourists. The kitschy souvenir stands aren't making as much as they would mid-summer, and the produce merchants pull in the bulk of the profit. \n\nThe narrow aisles make it hard to dodge elbows, let alone the sharp spokes of the rainbow of umbrellas covering the heads of shoppers. Elsewhere, there might be a more sedate assortment of black and gray \"Brollies,\" but here in Camden, color is everywhere. \n\nThere's no umbrella to keep Mattie dry as she peruses the goods at a fruit stand; instead, a red hood is pulled up out of her black trench coat to cover her equally red hair. A market bag slung over her shoulder already has a few wares in it from other stalls.\n\nA weary looking blonde drifts along with the press of people, following along with the ebb and flow although somewhat impatiently. She shifts her weight up onto the balls of her Converse clad feet every now and then in an attempt to see over the shoulder of the person in front of her but it's a mostly fruitless effort and she lifts a hand to swipe at her eyes as if to ease away the exhaustion written on her face.\n\n\"Just…come on,\" she mutters only half under her breath, fingers dragged through her damp hair, her teeth chattering together briefly as her eyes flutter briefly shut and then snap open again as if with some determination.\n\n Stretching up onto tiptoe again, she cranes her neck, then ducks past the shopping bag-laden woman in front with a brief, not at all convincing, \"Sorry!\"\n\nGriffin really could care less if he is wet or dry. It makes little difference to him; he's always somewhat uncomfortable in his own skin already, what's a little water? That doesn't stop him from enjoying the market, in any case, a small bag containing a few items that he has already purchased hanging off of one arm. The stall that Mattie is at seems to be his next destination, a few vegetables looking particularly appetizing to him.\n\nBeing taller than most, it's easy for him to see over heads, but not quite so easy to see over umbrellas — many of which seem to be out to get his face with their spokes. Never the less, he makes it, and relaxes for a time from his constant dodging of pointy things out to get his face as he browses the stall.\n\nThe jostling in the crowd trudging from one stall to another doesn't get more than a glance over her shoulder from Mattie; her eyes make contact with the blonde though she doesn't look hard or long and turns back to the stall and the merchant chatting with her. She lives in town here, so most of her fresh groceries come from the market and she's polite enough to smile and nod when the guy starts talking about organic this and that. \"A dozen of those, thanks,\" she says in her Yankee accent, when she can get a word in edgewise, handing him the pounds that will pay for the bag of apples.\n\nThere's a moment of confusion, an awkward sidestepping as the blonde, not quite quick enough, becomes entangled with the shopper she tried to step past, something caughtt on her bags. \"Shit, sorry,\" she mumbles rather more genuinely as if somewhat abashed, spun around to face the older woman, who purses her lips and then seems to relent. \"Here,\" she offers, offering a smile while thin-skinned but still elegant hands help to free her hapless victim.\n\nThere's another awkward moment as the pair look up at each other and then, with a toss of her head that stirs her mess of dirty blonde hair into motion, the girl flashes an answering smile, gives a slight roll of her eyes and steps off again. The rain drips down the back of her neck as she bows her head a bit and moves to the side and out of the way, not too far from a vegetable stall.\n\nGriffin watches Mattie quietly as she orders, his head tilted to one side; he makes it a point to not stare, however, turning his eyes back to the veggies. Broccoli, carrots, some green beans, and a bag of snap peas goes into his order; he doesn't let the merchant ramble about organic produce, quickly paying for his purchase. Finished, he turns to make his way off to some other stall for the rest of his grocery purchases…\n\nOnly to run right into the blonde as she dodges off to the side.\n\nThere's that feeling you gets when someone's watching you, even if you can't catch them in the act. Mattie frowns a little, though she relaxes when she catches Griffin leaving the stand out in her peripheral vision. Gloved hands tug her hood a little closer around her pale face, and she too turns to go — feeling better being behind the tall man than in front of him. \n\nThat all works well until he runs into the waifish blonde. She can't stay behind him if he's waylaid to the side of the road, so to speak. Her own forward motion slows too, and she watches the two for a second, then crosses the aisle. At the stand there, selling old vinyl records (happily protected in plastic sheaths and the covered booth), she turns slightly to keep an eye on the collided pair.\n\nThe air knocked out of her with a faint gasp as she careens into the man, the blonde drops a purse. It's an old fashioned looking purse, made of soft, worn black leather. Already half open, it proceeds to spill its contents onto the rain slicked street, silver, gold and copper toned coins making a break for it, along with a couple of notes that the girl was seemingly in the process of extracting.\n\nBrightly coloured rectangles of plastic clatter to the ground too, credit cards and a pale pink driver's licence which falls face up, the little photo on the front definitely not the girl, who is already dropping into a crouch to gather the fallen things.\n\nWhile he isn't the happiest person in the world on any given day, Griffin was always taught to be chivalrous. \"Pardon, miss. I wasn't watching where I was going,\" he murmurs, stooping down to help her out. \"Let me assist,\" he states, gathering up the girl's things and scooping them into one hand to return to her. Then, that license is picked up. For a moment, Griffin turns into a statue, only his eyes moving from the plastic to the girl's face.\n\n\"Doesn't quite look like you're quite yourself today, Mister O'Brien. It seems you've lost all of your weight and gotten a sex change,\" he murmurs, loud enough so only the girl can hear him. \"Though I must say, I do approve of the new look. Much better than before.\"\n \nMattie looks amused as she watches the exchange, then turns back to shake her head at the merchant asking her a question. \"I don't even have a turntable and I don't have room to collect,\" she says apologetically. \"I just like the feel of them, you know? You don't get that from mp3s, as much as I love my iPod. Thanks anyway,\" she says, letting go of the old Clash album she was touching and letting it fall back into place with the other D's. \n\nStepping away from the stall she makes her way closer to the pair, watching sidelong out of green eyes though not walking directly at them. Long enough to see what it is she's looking for. She stops again at another stall, this one selling overpriced T-shirts, and pulls out her phone. Leaning against the framework of the stall, Mattie assumes the posture of a typical young woman scrolling through Twitter or Facebook, but snaps a few pictures of the man and woman she's watching.\n\nThe expression on the blonde girl's face conveys brief irritation, just for a second as she shifts in her crouch, fingertips grazing the wet ground to steady herself. It's fairly quickly checked, vapid blue eyes giving the man a once over before one brow quirks slightly and her features settle with practised but possibly obvious ease into something impassive. \n\n\"Fucking watch out, yeah?\" She says almost carelessly, accent placing her as a London native although it's hard to pinpoint beyond that. A hand extended fairly brazenly with the palm facing upwards, she stares back perhaps too unfalteringly, challenging although there's maybe a hint of surprise on her face, perhaps just the faintest suggestion of confusion as her eyes flick to the license and then back.\n\n\"I could say the same to you, miss, especially when carrying such risky items.\" he murmurs, offering the things he has collected back to her. He's not FOND of thieves, but he isn't the law. And perhaps she needs it more than the previous owner. He will just let it…\n\nSuddenly, the man flinches, lifting one hand to his forehead. What the…well, he WAS going to just let it go, but maybe he won't, now. That wasn't cool. He blinks a few times, staring intensely at the blonde. In the crowded marketplace, nobody really notices what appears to be a single, nearly invisible tentacle unfurling from his back. And it moves quickly, moving to wrap around the girl's ankle. Nah, not going to let this one get away so easily.\n\nPictures snapped, tentacle not noticed, Mattie slips the phone back into her pocket and moves away from the stall and then into a small alley where she can slip invisible and incorporeal — making it much easier to dodge the crowd when she returns to move down the larger street that is her route home. \n\n\"Whate-\" Starts the girl with a snort, cut off by a faint wince of her own, a hand half raised to her temple before it drops, clenched into a fist. That casual demeanour has gone, real fear in those blue eyes as she stares at the man, lips slightly parted as if searching for words that she can't quite find.\n\nThere's a pause, just a beat and then the girl turns and with what would be a smooth movement, tries to make as much of a dash for it as she can in the throng of people. Except there's an almost invisible tentacle wrapped around her ankle. Her fall to the ground is short, sharp and rather unceremonious.\n\nTo his credit, Griffin is a good actor. He blinks, looking rather startled, before raising up and moving quickly to the woman's side. \"Are you okay, miss?\" The purse is gathered, and he moves to offer her a hand up. \"You seem to have tripped on a crack.\" And that tentacle, visible but not, remains wrapped around the girl's ankle. Most will just think it a trick of their eyes, and the movements of it makes that illusion even more pronounced.\n\nThe entire time, however, there is a bit of an unreadable expression on his face as he watches the girl.\n\n\"Fuck off,\" the blonde spits in reply, shooting the man and the offered hand a dirty look as she tries to scramble, unaided to her feet and pull away. She's about halfway there when something happens, knees buckling again as all the colour drains from her face and she half stumbles, half falls into him, face contorted with pain as she clutches at him.\n\n\"I apologize, m—\" Griffin is cut off, grimacing and lifting a hand to rub at his head once more…only to have the girl fall on him and cling to him. It's difficult to be angry when a girl is clinging to you, so instead, he puts one arm around her shoulder, leaning down to lift the purse. \"Are you okay?\" He asks, concern reflecting over his features.\n\nRegardless of her answer or reaction, he begins to steer her out of the marketplace (though that tentacle thing remains in place). This meeting is too strange for such a crowded public place, especially with the nature of his particular curse. \"Let's get you something to drink…\"\n\nMurmuring something lost to the babble of other voices around, the girl risks a somewhat hazy eyed glance up at the man and then another over her shoulder, shaking faintly. She makes one, half hearted attempt to pull away, but lets herself be guided off and away from the area as the people continue to mill about them, occasionally jostling while her eyes, still rather wide, dart frantically as if searching for an escape…\n\n"

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