|nishka//loki (nishka) wrote in paxletalelogs,|
@ 2017-11-05 12:23:00
|Entry tags:||loki, sigyn|
I don't want control, I want to let go
Who: James and Nish
What: An overworked Nish and James go out for an impromptu date night.
Where: Local pumpkin patch.
When: Monday, October 30th, evening
James had been so busy with his new job, wanting to make a good impression (psychiatrists worked long hours - eight, twelve, sixteen hour shifts and besides that, if an emergency called him in that meant he would sometimes need to spend a whole day at the hospital) that he realised a great tragedy had occurred. He hadn’t had time to get a pumpkin to carve for one of his favourite holidays, Halloween - not a typical holiday celebrated in his homeland (actually, most Brits didn’t understand the fuss for that sort of thing), instead, Bonfire Night was more popular in the UK. But it was usually a good time for James, when he’d been living in the States.
After a long day, he was determined to go and make it a fun event. He changed out of his dress shirt and tie, out of his boring white doctor’s coat, and put on an old, comfy pair of jeans and a University College Dublin hoodie. Then he went to Nishka’s law firm, since he thought she might also want to quit overworking herself and come with him - a date night, yes? Something where fresh air and the outdoors were involved.
He’d gladly skip the pony rides and the corn maze, but a hayride under the stars might be romantic, and he was excited for the selection of pumpkins and the food - chili, bratwurst, hot dogs. The promises of fantastic spices and autumn flavours, the apple cider stand and caramel apples, kettle corn and gigantic absurd turkey legs. Things that would make for a nutritious (ha) supper.
Arriving at the building, he took the lift up to where Nish’s office was and waited patiently until she was free to see him. The pumpkin patch was open ‘til 9:00, so they had time.
Jessica looked up from her computer when James walked in. She smiled (very appreciative of his accent, among other things) and took his name, not realizing who he was and asking him to sit in the waiting room. Nish was on a conference call, but would make time to see a new client when she was done.
Jess turned and continued typing out a letter for Nish, but not long after she started, her boss came out of her office with purpose. “Here,” Nish said, handing a rather thick document back to Jess, full of scribbles from her phone call. “We're going to have to send back a reply Affidavit; the Plaintiff has changed his story, again,” she said with a roll of her eyes. “At this rate, we probably won't get another court date until next year…”
“Mmm-hmm,” Jess nodded and started flipping through the copious notes. “There's someone here to see you,” she said absently. “His name is James…”
Immediately Nish’s expression softened out of its previously focused frown, and she turned towards the waiting room. There he was, looking amazing in a hoodie and jeans. “Hey,” she smiled happily, pleasantly surprised, and stepped towards him. Behind her, Jess’s eyebrows rose, and she watched them over the papers she was reading with an amused grin.
James returned the smile; it reached the blue of his eyes, and when Nishka came closer he took her hands as he leaned in to kiss her hello. “Hey yourself,” he greeted. “I thought I’d surprise you. Going to head off and get a pumpkin - “ And hope that the cat didn’t decide to stick his face into it, that little butterball, “...want to join me? We can have dinner too, be outside and in public and all that. If you’d like to be seen with me in public.” Of course he was teasing, and she knew it. Nish chuckled softly, the barest hint of a blush creeping across her cheeks.
If she was too busy to leave work right now, he might go himself - but then again, probably not. He could just get a pumpkin from the grocer’s. The fun of the actual pumpkin patch was the company and being with someone.
Nish checked her watch; it was pretty close to the end of the day, and nothing important was getting done until tomorrow. She glanced over her shoulder at Jess who raised her eyebrows in a ‘what are you looking at me for, you’re the boss’ look. Nish smirked at her and then turned back to James, kissing him and then pulling away. “Okay, just...let me get my purse…” she said, reluctantly stepping away from him and heading to her office.
In her absence, Jess caught James’ eye with a knowing look. “So you’re the reason for her good mood,” she said, grinning up at him and flipping the page on the document in front of her. “Just have her home by midnight, Cinderelly has work in the morning,” she teased.
“I’m pleased to take credit for that, aye,” he grinned in response. “I promise I’ll have her home by a reasonable hour as well. We live in the same building so it shouldn’t be too difficult.” Not to mention that he also had to be up at an ungodly hour for a brand new shift - once he was broken in at this job, and got used to the hospital life once more, things would even out. And he wouldn’t worry about bags under his eyes (much).
He slid his hands into his pockets, figuring he ought to introduce himself. “I’m James, by the way. Old friend of Nishka’s.” Former boyfriend, current boyfriend, that sort of thing? It was always fun figuring out those labels.
Jess’ eyebrows rose and her grin turned into a smirk. “‘Friend’, right,” she said, leaving absolutely no room for argument that she didn’t believe that particular label. “I’m Jessica,” she said, about to offer her hand to him on reflex, but then noticing he’d shoved his in his pockets.
She glanced at Nish’s closed door and then back at him, narrowing her eyes just a little. “Okay look, she may be my boss, but she’s also a friend. If you hurt her, I will cut you.” She was only slightly serious - she didn’t exactly want to become a client of Nish’s, after all, defending herself on premeditated assault charges, but she cared about her, and she’d seen Nish’s staggering emotional ups and downs over the past almost-year.
Just then Nish came out of her office and Jess leant back in her seat, her previously pleasant smile back on her face. Nish had taken the time to change out of her work clothes, and was now wearing something a little more appropriate for a night out, the jeans and sweater she kept in her office for impromptu after-work excursions, purse slung over one shoulder. “Okay, ready,” she said happily, stepping towards James and kissing him lightly, then turning to Jess. “Hold down the fort? You can head home when you’re done that Affidavit,” she said.
Jess nodded, her eyes dancing. “Have fun!” she said, and then gave James a meaningful but still friendly look.
Actually, James believed that Jess would cut him - she had that sort of attitude about her, but he also could tell her concern came from a good place. It wasn’t like he was offended or anything. “Noted,” he told her, right as his favourite lawyer came out of the office. Her happiness was contagious, or perhaps James just felt that way regardless in her presence - who knew. “Nice meeting you,” he added as he took Nish’s hand and headed toward the lift.
His trusty Civic was parked downstairs and soon enough, they were buckled in and headed toward greener pastures - or the pumpkin patch, really. He was quite looking forward to it. “I hope all the good pumpkins aren’t gone, I realise I was sort of a straggler when it came to Halloween,” he chuckled sheepishly. He’d need to remember to get candy too - though were there any children in the building? Christ, he hoped not.
She laced her hand with his while they drove, “ahh, I actually forgot all about it, is that terrible?” she asked. She’d been busy with work, but also with James, and finding a costume or buying candy wasn’t high on her priority list. “I did get a pumpkin spice latte the other day, which was absolutely terrible,” she said with a laugh. “Did you figure out what to wear with your mask?” she asked, smirking over at him. She had a plan for hers, but she was still waffling on whether she actually wanted to go to the party or not.
“A pumpkin spice latte? That doesn’t count at all,” James tsked teasingly, acting like he was mildly horrified by the revelation. Well, he sort of was - it wasn’t even real pumpkin spice, just chemicals! The inhumanity!
Nish giggled at his mock horror. “I did say it was horrible,” She laughed.
“As for the mask, I’m not sure - “ He was sort of hoping he could just stuff it in a drawer and forget about it, but that didn’t seem likely, “...I think I might do some regency, Mr. Darcy sort of thing. Pride and Prejudice.” It was what he could put together at the thrift shoppe, so, why not.
Her brows rose, “ahh, but which version?” she asked, looking over at him with a grin. “I think movie version is more you; you don't exactly strike me as a Colin Firth,” she teased.
The lot at the pumpkin patch wasn’t paved, naturally - it was just dirt, no clear lines, so he parked the car and went around to get Nish. Such wonders awaited them. “Are you hungry, love?” he asked. “We could get something awful for us before picking out a pumpkin if you’d like.”
She stepped out of the car and shut the door behind her, nodding, “I could eat…” she glanced over at the various buildings not far away, and the piles of pumpkins waiting for a good home. “Please tell me there's pie,” she said in a serious voice. “Because if you brought me to a pumpkin patch with no pie, I'm afraid it's over between us, Mr. Byrne.”
“I’m quite sure there is - there’s pumpkin everything,” James assured, taking her hand so they could walk to the various food stands - or actually, this was more like a barn. There was indoor seating and both sugary and savoury things available - the most notable of those things being sweet autumn pies. Blackberry and apple and, yes, the infamous pumpkin.
He could have the diet of a twelve-year-old for one night, couldn’t he? Dessert for dinner? Well, why not. The blackberry pie looked good - though he may have trouble resisting the turkey legs too. “It looks homemade too,” he observed as they approached. “Nothing canned. I’ll let you try some of my blackberry if you give me a bite of yours.” Sharing was caring.
“Deal,” she said playfully, stepping forward to order a rather large piece of pumpkin pie, piled high with whipped cream. On a whim, she added a bowl of chilli and some apple cider to her dinner. She waited for James to get his and then followed him to a table a little away from other people. Quite aligned with his thoughts, she took a bite of her pie first, happily savouring the spices and cream.
“This is perfect,” she said with a smile, “thank you. I needed this today.” Stressful day at work, and the past several days with one or both of them too busy working to really see each other much. She’d missed him, and this surprise date made her feel happy and loved. She laced the fingers of one hand with his on the table, and then pushed her pie towards him with a grin so he could take a piece.
It was a good thing Nishka got the chili - because James wanted to try it, but he didn’t want to order a whole bowl of it. So he just got a turkey leg to gnaw on and pie, and they could pick off each other’s plates. He really didn’t care, wasn’t like he had cooties. Nish didn't mind, and had even expected to share each other's dinner, taking the opportunity to try his pie and snatch a piece of turkey.
“Glad you liked my sudden autumn inspiration,” he smiled warmly, taking a sip of his own cider. Her pie was traded for his, and he swiped a bit with his fork. “Balls, that’s good. So is the chili.” Deduced when he dunked his spoon into hers with a wink, the cheeky bastard. “I promise it’ll get easier, love, I’ve just got to settle into a routine at the hospital.”
He too was thinking the same thing, that life had been hectic lately for the both of them - but he was confident that they’d pull through just fine. Him working in the field he was actually trained for and loved was a positive thing.
Nish shook her head, “no, it's not you,” she said, her voice soft, but tired. “It's...I'm going through a divorce,” she explained, and then winced when she realized how that sounded. “A client’s divorce,” she corrected with a smile. “My client was charged with some...horrible things, and now his wife is divorcing him. It's…messy,” she said sadly. The back and forth Discoveries seemed never ending, and both sides were constantly ‘remembering’ new facts and changing their statements. “There's children involved.”
She looked up at him and gave him a sad smile, “though I won't lie; spending more time with you would really help my stress levels,” she said, squeezing his hand lightly.
“I can make time, it’s not a problem,” James promised, returning the hand squeeze. There was a sense of stubbornness telling him he had to be Superman, or maybe learn how to add more hours in the day - but alright, he would do it. Somehow. “You’re a wonderful lawyer, love, though I know not every case is easy. Some are more draining than others.” It was like that for his work too - he dug very deep into his patients, understanding the nuances of their lives. Potentially there was a chance to dig in too deep, and get lost in his work, but he would just hope that wouldn’t happen. And he’d be careful.
The pie had pretty much been devoured, but he was still working on his turkey leg. Felt a bit like he was a caveman.
Nish frowned and took a good look at him. The shadows under his eyes, the fatigue lining his face. “Draining...like your job? Baby, you look exhausted,” she said, reaching up to brush a bit of stray hair out of his eyes, caressing his face. “I don't want to add to that.” She took another bite of her pie and thought about it, a smile creeping over her lips.
“Okay, so we finish eating, get your damn pumpkin, go home, and go to bed early. We could both use more sleep, and I for one would love to do that curled up next to you,”
“I’m alright,” he laughed lowly, cracking a smile. “Just reminds me of when I got my first taste of hospital work, during my peon residency days.” It was something to adjust to, like anything else - and he was good at that sort of thing. “Though that does sound like a plan. Come on, let’s go get that pumpkin.”
He could take this turkey leg with him, since he saw tonnes of people walking around gnawing on the things anyway. It had to be a grand pumpkin, round and not oddly-shaped; it had to be like something out of Charlie Brown. James was ready for it.
Nish smiled, finishing the last bite of her chili and then getting up with him to toss the containers in the trash. He kept his turkey leg though, making her chuckle. She took his free hand with hers. “Okay, Tarzan, what are you looking for in a pumpkin?” she asked, and then a thought occurred to her and she stopped walking. “Wait, we live in an apartment...what do you need a pumpkin for?” she pointed out. It wasn’t as if they’d get a ton of kids trick or treating in Pax, after all.
“Big enough to carve something decent on,” he said around a mouthful of turkey (well, he swallowed first - otherwise it was rude). There were only a couple bites left anyway, and the meat was now being happily digested - he tossed the bone and the napkins wrapped around it into the nearest rubbish bin, so as not to litter. “And round. Circular. Not something tall and skinny or rectangle.”
Nish’s question also made him laugh. “It’s about the spirit, love.” That was James’ excuse, as he wound his way down the rows of pumpkins, pumpkin everywhere. When the right one caught his eye, it’d jump out at him. “I’ve always liked Halloween. We haven’t got much in the way of this, in Ireland.” If they did, it was all Americanised anyway - something borrowed from across the pond.
“We should move to Ireland then,” she quipped, smirking over at him, bumping lightly into his shoulder. “I did this more when I was younger, I’m just ‘ehh’ about the whole thing now,” she confessed. “I guess I didn’t have the right person to get me excited about it,” she added, glancing over at him.
“So what are you carving, anyway? You must have an idea already,” she said, looking at all the pumpkins they passed which, apparently, weren’t good enough for him.
He actually had no idea what he was carving - James also hadn’t had time to get one of those clever pumpkin-carving kits, because he was no artist and surely he’d cock it up if he tried. “I’d say something elaborate like the Death Star, but probably just your standard jack-o-lantern with teeth,” James grinned. “How about this one?”
There was a certain pumpkin he’d come across that was fairly large, but not grotesque - also round and mostly free from dirt and squishy spots, which was good. The thing wasn’t rotten. But it looked like it would suit his purposes.
“Beautiful, isn’t it?” He struck a pose, like he was posing for a modeling campaign....with a pumpkin. So sexy.
Nish laughed happily, then put up a finger, pulling her phone put and snapping a picture for posterity. “Ohh, baby,” she cooed sarcastically, smirking and showed him the dorky photo.
“So let me know when you're doing this...my mom taught me to wash and toast the seeds after, and that was always the best part. If I don't burn them,” she added after a moment. “And you can work on my Halloween spirit...maybe we can watch a horror movie? I promise to hold your hand,” she grinned, putting a mockingly soothing hand on his shoulder.
“We can do it tonight, of course,” James decided. It wouldn’t take very long to carve something ridiculous into the pumpkin (once all the goop was cleaned out), and then they could relax and settle in with some roasted seeds and a horror film on Netflix. Sounded like a good plan to him.
And going to bed early too, that also sounded like a good plan. Fuck, when did he get so old?
He hefted the beauty under his arm (the pumpkin, not Nishka). Though he slipped his other arm around her and pressed a kiss to her temple. “I trust you not to burn down the kitchen, love. Roasted seeds are a must. Ready to be off, then?”
She leant against him with a smile, “yeah,” she said, pressing a kiss to his jaw and then turning with him to go pay for the pumpkin. She was looking forward to a night of cuddling and falling asleep in his arms.