Thomas insisted that he'd tell me everything at dinner. It was his "time to shine" so I didn't press him for answers too much (...well, maybe a little), so I waited. I put on something nice and joined him outside of the Manor. I expected a hansom cab to be waiting for us, but Thomas told me that the diner wasn't too far so we'd walk there instead.
Great. The one day I decide to wear heels.
I tried not to complain (it was a really nice night for a walk), but the stupid shoes were so... stupid! Just, urgh! Was there no possible way of making these torture instruments in a more comfortable fashion? I knew I should have asked Kenny to help me decide. I would have asked Queenie - who typically had more of a mind for these kinds of things - BUT THAT GIRL IS JUST NEVER AROUND WHEN I NEED HER.
I swear to God, never again!
I am wearing flats for the rest of my life.
As if sensing my discomfort, Thomas asked, “Are you managing in those shoes?”
Naturally, I lied.
He saw through it and scoffed, but didn't comment.
He looked nice. Dressy. Maybe too dressy for him. Thomas looked good scruffy and untamed - the look a guy has when he gets out of bed in the morning is the best look for Thomas. Dapper just looks so alien on him, but I guess it's formality. I wonder how long it took him to put on that tie... He wore a neck-tie most of the time, but not the kind that goes with an exceptionally fancy suit.
“We don't do this much,” I commented.
He gave me a look, “I don't think we've done this ever.”
“Not like normal people, no. It's weird.”
“The fact that we've ne'er done this, or...?”
“No. The fact that this is what normal people do. Wear some fancy clothes, have something to eat, talk and then go home. We've never really needed any of that, have we? Setting, ambiance, food cooked by other people?”
Thomas laughed, “Complaints and philosophy. That's like fifty percent of you.”
“Only fifty? What's the rest?” I retorted, laughing with him.
He squeezed my hand as we walked,
“Tolerance,” he said, “It's nice though. A nice change from the way our meals usually go. Me screamin' at Eddie and Rose or Bex and Simon while you're cleanin' the place o' ash and char because some turkey or chicken exploded and whizzed about the dining room like a burst balloon.”
“Thomas, that's only happened like... four times.”
“Doesn't change anything. This will be nicer than that.”
“But won't be half as exciting.”
“Well, I have you, you have me - enough excitement, I think.”
I laughed, “For a man so bent on staying young for as long as possible - you sure are fond of silence.”
“Well, silence has its value when you live a loud life, I think.”
“You're right on that one. But I don't know... We'd be different people if we lived quiet lives.”
Thomas nodded, “Truth.”
We eventually got to the diner and sat at one of that tables on the wooden veranda. Thomas placed an order and we waited quietly.
“Aren't you cold?” Thomas asked.
I shook my head, admiring the view, “The cold has never really bothered me. I was just thinking that the only thing that would make this night even more glorious is if there was crisp white snow everywhere.”
Thomas scoffed, “How did two people so different end up like this?”
“I think the saying goes, opposites attract.”
“And yet almost everyone else in the world has a partner that shares their interests.”
I shrugged, “I think our differences add a little spice to it. Things just taste so much better.”
Thomas laughed, “Don't tempt me. Not in this fancy-shmansy suit.”
“You are absolutely ridiculous, do you know that?” I said.
“Well, then ye married an absolutely ridiculous man with a very shmansy suit.”
I scoffed, “Yes. Yes, I did. And I don't think I'll ever regret it.”
“Oh, please, ye're sittin' there and regrettin' it in your head right now.”
“No, I'm not.”
“Don't lie t'me.”
“Don't milk the moment.”
“So... you are lyin' to me?”
“No. Just stop milking.”
“Stop puttin' forth your udders.”
“Do not call them that.”
Thomas slapped his face, “That's not what I meant.”
“Are you sure? Because it really is the sort of thing you would say and mean.”
“I'm sorry, but 'udders' isn't exactly a sexy reference. I'm better than that.”
“I'm... impressed,” Thomas said.
“You haven't asked about Mr Kenobi once tonight. I'm sittin' here, waitin' for ye t'pounce on me wi' questions and speculations - and so far... nothin'. Ne'er seen ye this way before.”
“It's like you said. Silence has its value when you live a loud life. I think we needed this.”
“Aye... All our alone time is the same thing o'er and o'er again.”
I furrowed my brows, “You're saying that like it's a bad thing.”
“I'm not the most romantic o' men, am I?”
“Oh, Thomas: don't Ted-out on me.”
“It's just... How could we've ne'er done this before? How can I've been ignorin' this for so long?”
“Thomas, we married in our thirties. Late-thirties, and you were forty-something. This isn't what people of that age do - not when they're mercenaries and pirates. This is what young, unburdened people do. This what young, unburdened people have time for. And while you may not be the most 'romantic' man, I think you still value me. That's enough.”
“Why do ye always make excuses for me?”
“It's what a woman has to do. Stand back and admire her idiot from a distance, because... that's just as good as he's going to get. And all your flaws and all your beauty can be appreciated because: I love you.”
“Wow... Flattered and offended.”
I shrugged, “It's a talent.”
“It really is. You do that a lot.”
And then the food arrived. The waiter gave us some words that I didn't really pay attention to and then we ate.
“So... Mr Kenobi?” Thomas said.
I pounced on it, “Why the hell would he want a map to the Fountain of Youth?”
“I am not surprised,” Thomas laughed.
“What? How can you not be-?”
“I don't know why he wants it, but he asked and congratulated me for findin' the place. I reckon he has an interest in it.”
“You didn't tell him about the map, did you?”
“O' course not. But I'd wager my underwear that he's lookin' for it.”
“Don't change the subject.”
“I wasn't. Why do you say weird things?”
“Right... He won't find it, though?”
“This is the society known for harbourin' shards of the Sword in the Stone. Maybe they're relic hunters.”
“Maybe... It wouldn't explain why they're so notorious though. A letter I received from one of my French contacts states that the Sons of the Sword are as feared as the Chess Pieces at times... I need to talk to Georgia. How did they meet? What happened with them?”
“Oh. Now you'll be interrogatin' Georgie? Come on!”
“Not interrogating, asking.”
“I think I know that you don't know the difference between those two words.”
“Then what do you propose?”
“Just leave this search! It's probably nothin'.”
“I don't believe that, Thomas. And with Annabeth meaning to go to them... I feel like I need to make sure.”
“Annie's already gone.”
“Aye. Annie left just after you had that argument with her.”
“Without her father?”
“Mr Kenobi said he was goin' t'stay the night.”
“She's a big girl, Midnight. She'll manage.”
I shook my head, “Why do things always have to be so complicated?”
“How'd you appreciate the quiet times otherwise?”
I sighed, “Thomas, things are really cocking up again.”
He sighed, “Aye, that they are.”
“Don't be. I'm sure things'll work out.”
“That's what people call naïve optimism.”
“And that's what people call stubborn pessimism.”
“And which one plays out most of the time?”
“Shut up, Midnight. Stop findin' excuses t'be worried.”
“Sorry, I'm spoiling things, aren't I? I'll stop.”
“Heh, it's alright.”
“So explain the expression...”
“...Wagering your underwear?”
Thomas rolled his eyes, “It means that if I'm wrong, I'll run around naked.”
“You really couldn't figure that one out? You?”
“It's such a weird thing to say! I was wondering who on earth would want your underwear,” I laughed.
“Yeah. You keep telling yourself that.”