beppo_astrid (beppo_astrid) wrote,
beppo_astrid
beppo_astrid

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Happy birthday, Simon!

Rough day at work. Enough about that, though: it's Simon's birthday! Happy birthday! (Actually, it could be the 9th. It was the 9th for a year or two. I had to relocate it, though, when I realized that I would never remember it unless it fell right after mine. Hence: the 19th.)

Title: Itinerant
Characters: Simon, Natalia
Rating: nothing in the foreground
Summary: In which Simon is recovering from a rough birthday and a bad assignment.
Notes: Yeah, it's something of a mash-up of my New York Train Adventure. I thought Simon would enjoy it :-P And the punctuation's a bit odd, but that's rather deliberate, to make it feel vague. Oh, just read it and you'll see what I mean.



Itinerant


She watches him trudge up the platform from the train. He appears to be wearing tuxedo pants, a gray tee shirt, an impressively rumpled pinstripe blazer, and a fedora. It's a very nice fedora, and therefore contrasts somewhat with the rest of his clothing, which looks as though it has been rescued from the donation box at a thrift store.

—You look—, she says pleasantly, —like twenty percent of the Rat Pack after a three day bender.—

—Thanks for picking me up,— he mumbles, ignoring her greeting. He is clutching a black travel bag with "München 1972" emblazoned across it, and what appears to be a laptop case with a sock escaping from where it has come unzipped.

She eyes him skeptically. —Do you have all of your things?—

She is being sardonic, although he doesn't catch it. Instead, he takes a moment to survey his belongings. —Hmm—, he says, with an air of satisfaction, and she takes this to mean that all is present and accounted for. Feeling equal parts sympathetic and amused, she takes the travel bag from him to carry.

Something about his gait seems off, and she momentarily leans close to him to see if there is a telltale smell of alcohol. There isn't. She watches intently for a minute, and decides it must mean that his shoes are hurting him. She wonders suddenly if he is wearing socks, normally a given. Considering the presence of the sock currently escaping from the laptop case, she suspects that he may not be.

She snorts. —You look homeless—

He uses his free hand to gesture expansively around the train station. —No, that's because...it's here. I mean. The train station. You give somebody luggage, you know? And put them in a train station at three in the morning. Everybody looks homeless at three when they're sitting on their luggage in a train station.—

She surveys the local scene. He does appear to have a point. —What happened to your blazer?— she asks. —It looks like you slept in it.—

He peers blearily at her. —No—, he says, —on it. On the train. You know. A pillow.—

She ponders this. —When was the last time you slept?—

—What? In the train. On my blazer. You know. A pillow?—

She rolls her eyes. —Really slept. Actual sleep. In a place designated for sleeping.—

He is silent, either thinking hard or trying to remember the question. —...Wednesday?— He looks puzzled. He takes off his hat and runs a hand pensively through his hair.

The furrows from his fingers stay in his hair. She raises her eyebrows. —So when was the last time you bathed?—

This question leads to another silence. She estimates his current performance as being at about thirty percent, and wonders what his Energy Star rating is.

—...Friday,— he finally supplies. —But it rained Saturday, so. That's all right.— He says this with an air of bemused satisfaction, and then yawns and appears to lose his train of thought.

She sighs. Anyone who didn't know him would never believe the vagrant drifting vaguely along beside her was, most of the time, fastidiously hygienic, sharply articulate, and effortlessly stylish.

She catches sight of his hair again. —Put your hat back on,— she says.

He does so, and she catches a glimpse of his watch, heavy and silver. Maybe they would believe he was stylish in another life, she relents. He has the hat, after all. And the watch.

And it is a very nice hat.




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