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 Sugar and Spice and Errands to Splice

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Gabriel Hall
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PostSubject: Re: Sugar and Spice and Errands to Splice   Fri Jul 08, 2011 1:42 am

Shelly wasn't quite sure what gelato was, but still with a grin on her face the eleven-year-old thought it sounded tasty. Normally she would ask what it was, but this time she wanted to be surprised.

Nicole smiled politely and observed the conversation between Maria and Julian. Maria strongly reminded her of a motherly or grandmotherly figure from her past. At the mention of Maria remembering when Julian had first arrived in England, Nicole's eyebrows rose with interest. She could understand his English not being very good at first. Nicole had had a Hispanic friend when she was in New York whose English went very little beyond 'yes,' 'no,' and 'hello'. Nicole detected a story behind the statement and cast a glance in Julian's direction briefly while Maria had paused.

She blinked at the mention of gold coins, doing her best to look as though that seemed odd to her. From under the counter Nicole gave Shelly's foot a nudge, sensing the child about ready to blab the very specific origin of the coins. She had the child trained to quiet herself at such a cue, and was thankful her niece was sensitive to such subtle hints. Nicole herself would have forged on at that age. "I had something similar happen to me when I first came over from America. Completely forgot the currency was different," Nicole laughed good-naturedly.

At Julian's remark about Nicole and Shelly getting to hear quite a few stories today, Nicole laughed. "That we are! It was only after looking at him a little closer that she realized Julian was blushing. It amused her and made her remember several occasions in which Travis had played the role of a father, telling stories about Nicole to any potential boy she'd had a crush on.

Nicole debated with herself for a moment, fiddling with a stray napkin she'd just noticed. Dare she even suggest it? The woman returned her emerald gaze to Julian. "Tell you what: ask me any question you want. Assuming I can keep it decent," at this word she flicked her eyes to Shelly, "I'll answer it and provide any amusing story that goes with it, if there is one. To even things up," Nicole suggested with a smirk.

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PostSubject: Re: Sugar and Spice and Errands to Splice   Fri Jul 08, 2011 2:03 am

Maria smiled indulgently at the trio. "I'll go get your drinks," she told them, setting off. Julian finally looked over at Nicole, who had clearly noticed his embarrassment, which only made it worse. Although, he hadn't meant what he said as a tit for tat type of deal, so he figured he might use the sympathy thing to his advantage.

"Well, I suppose how decent this one is subject to interpretation, but how's this: can I have your number?" Julian asked in a fit of daring. He didn't actually have a phone, but being that they were in a Muggle establishment, he had to make do with their way of saying things. With his luck, she'd actually give him a telephone number or worse, he'd be on the wrong side of her gun. She seemed to enjoy a certain amount of flirtation, however, so he hoped he wasn't too far off, anyway. That would be even more embarrassing than the story Maria had just told.

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PostSubject: Re: Sugar and Spice and Errands to Splice   Fri Jul 08, 2011 2:36 am

Nicole blinked, surprised. Shelly giggled. Of all the questions he could've possibly asked, that wasn't the one she would have anticipated. Then again, considering where they were, it was probably a bit too difficult to generate magic euphemisms that they could both interpret equally.

After taking a moment to recover the woman chuckled. "My... that one is subject to interpretation," she answered, trying and failing miserably to sound serious, and gave him a wink. Nicole patted her pocket in search for a pen, and frowned when she couldn't find it. "Shelly, did you take my pen?"

"Oops! Forgot, Nikki. Sorry!" replied the girl and immediately produced the pen. It was white with a soft blue grip, and a black jackal - a depiction of the Egyptian God, Anubis - etched into its side.

"Thank you," murmured Nicole, taking the pen and flipping the napkin over to a blank side. She thought a moment before writing anything. Did Julian even have a muggle telephone, she wondered? Or was he looking for Floo and Owl Post contacts? She didn't think it would be a good idea to ask for clarification in a place like this, and began jotting down a full range of contact information. The only way he wouldn't be able to reach her is if her cell phone died and she was on the run, which Nicole personally hoped would not happen. Shelly's young life had faced enough upheaval, for one thing.

When she finished Nicole folded the napkin and handed it to him. "Care to give me yours?" she asked with light-hearted flirtation and quirk of an eyebrow.

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PostSubject: Re: Sugar and Spice and Errands to Splice   Fri Jul 08, 2011 2:52 am

Julian was surprised to see that Nicole did in fact have a Muggle telephone number, but was relieved to see that she'd provided magical modes of contact as well. He grinned mischievously at her and then searched his pockets for a pen. Once he finished scrawling his information down, he imitated Nicole and folded the napkin over before handing it to her.

"You're full of surprises," he mused, leaning his elbow on the counter and resting his cheek in his palm comfortably. Maria stopped by with a pitcher of soda and a stack of cups, setting them down and patting Julian's head affectionately before heading off to take care of other customers. He sat up and poured their drinks, handing them down and taking a sip of his own before continuing.

"Take this, for instance," he said, gesturing with his hands. "Pretty spontaneous stuff. I wouldn't have guessed it -- but I'm glad. Got to know you a bit better, and meet you, Shelly," he added, smiling at the little girl.

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PostSubject: Re: Sugar and Spice and Errands to Splice   Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:36 am

Nicole's face split into a small grin at the mischievous look from Julian, wondering what that expression was for. Upon seeing he had found a pen the woman tucked hers away, belatedly realizing the pen's origin as Anubis Laboratories. It was a good thing for her that the text upon the pen had mostly worn off by now. The remaining Anubis image was harmless and could be waved off as a fascination with the culture from which the symbol it originated. She reached for and accepted the folded-over napkin, her fingers brushing against his hand upon doing so.

A smirk now tugged upon one side of Nicole's face at Julian's musing. "I try. Always been a firm believer in the element of surprise," replied Nicole mischievously. A murmur of thanks left her as Maria brought drinks and cups, and repeated the same words as Julian poured and then handed down the refreshment. Nicole took a sip while Julian spoke, keeping an ear tilted in his direction to show she was listening.

"Likewise," Nicole replied. "Although now you have me curious as to what you would have guessed." The statement was spoken lightly, without a single shred of accusation. Her tone held a fair bit of curiosity, too.

"I'm glad I got to meet you, too, Mr. Julian!" replied Shelly, beaming at him. Would it not have caused her to topple out of the stool the girl would have likely leaned over and hugged him again. She contented herself for now with taking a sip from the cup he had handed her, instead.

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PostSubject: Re: Sugar and Spice and Errands to Splice   Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:48 am

"Ah, well, you know," Julian started, gesturing with his hands again. "Military background and everything, erm. They tend to -- be very organised, really precise about things, follow a schedule. It's not a bad thing, it's just very...structured. I guess you just came out with the best of both worlds," he concluded with a grin at the double meaning.

"Really, though -- with the current climate being as it is -- you really have got the upper hand, there. One foot in each door, able to function no matter what side you come out on. The consummate survivor. You're really quite lucky, in a way. When you look at it like that, anyway. I'm sure life isn't perfect or anything, but at least I'm also sure that no matter what comes, you'll be ready for it. I'll probably just cower behind you someplace and call it a day," he grinned, having to admit to himself the accuracy of the picture.

In the magical world, sure he could hold his own, but in the Muggle world? Muggleborn though he was, he'd spent all his home life with a magical sibling, and then went to a magical school. For all intents and purposes, though he was Muggle in origin, his place was fully in the magical world. Although, there were many who would disagree completely with that sentiment, considering his magic stolen.

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PostSubject: Re: Sugar and Spice and Errands to Splice   Fri Jul 08, 2011 4:30 am

Nicole listened to his thoughts with interest. Base curiosity, enlightenment, and amusement all took their turns on the woman's face. She turned gravely serious and nodded in the moment he mentioned she was a survivor. If Julian only knew just how accurate he was... But she lightened back up shortly thereafter. Nicole tried really hard not to laugh at the mental image that was produced in Julian's concluding statement. She had only succeeded for about five seconds, and then couldn't help but let loose her mirth.

"Sorry... that very last bit..." Nicole chuckled, shaking her head. She wasn't about to go any further than that in her explanation. "It's my opinion that there is a time and place for precision, and the same for spontaneity. Today happens to be a predesignated day for Shelly and I to spend time together, which we do once a week for now. More than once I've had to fudge a schedule because someone enjoys stalling... particularly at bedtime," Nicole said, leaning to give Shelly a mock-serious half-glare.

Shelly giggled. "Who, me?" she chirped innocently.

"And... thank you for that," Nicole said a little awkwardly at his compliment of her being able to function in either world. She personally wasn't that confident, but then again Julian didn't know about her pitiful amount of magic. It was her hope that the wizard's mind would not change when and if that fact ever revealed itself, although why she hoped that was difficult to define. Nicole constantly felt like she was just barely keeping her chin above water in the magical world, and yet she refused to abandon it. She loved being a part of it too much to turn tail and run due to the antics of those that would eliminate individuals like her.

"You're right on all of that," Nicole admitted honestly, "I get by however I can and try to be prepared for anything. Life isn't perfect, but I'm more than willing to give it one helluva fight when I have to.

"All the more reason to keep things interesting and not sweat the small stuff,"
Nicole concluded with a grin of her own, hoping what she had to say didn't dampen the mood too much.

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PostSubject: Re: Sugar and Spice and Errands to Splice   Fri Jul 08, 2011 1:20 pm

"Well-said, Nicole," Julian replied seriously. He should probably take that advice, being prone as he was to letting any little thing get him down. It just seemed like there were always so many little things that they just piled right on up until they became an avalanche and buried Julian in up to his neck. That's how it always was -- just trying to keep his chin up above the snowline, for one last breath of fresh air.

Continuing that analogy, Shelly was a mighty ray of sunshine melting all of that snow, and Nicole was the springtime air, invigorating and appealing. Perhaps she was a bit more prickly about certain things than others were, but what was that old song -- "every rose has its thorn"? Now Julian was mixing metaphors and was in danger of not making sense even to himself.

"You certainly deliver on that promise, anyway -- keeping things interesting," he continued, trying to lighten things up again. "You two make quite a good team."

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PostSubject: Re: Sugar and Spice and Errands to Splice   Fri Jul 08, 2011 2:20 pm

Nicole nodded her thanks, a corner of her mouth twitching upward. The seriousness that befell the conversation was not lost on her, and she couldn't help but feel as though she had killed the mood. In previous situations when she had deliberately done so it had been a matter of utmost seriousness. This was not. She thought a moment to see how some fun could be breathed back into the situation, hoping that maybe Shelly had something to contribute. Even if that something made Nicole turn as red as tomato sauce...

Her thoughts were interrupted by Julian. Nicole puzzled for a moment, but then got it and smiled. The expression only widened further at the comment about her and Shelly. "Don't know what I'd do without her," Nicole answered lightly.

"We do make a good team!" Shelly cheered, raising her hand up for her aunt to high-five.

Nicole, grinning, completed the gesture. "Although... sometimes... she just likes to drive me crazy!" she added, the emphasized words said with exaggerated play. With no warning to Shelly, Nicole reached over and tickled the girl the moment the word 'crazy' had left her lips.

Shelly giggled, doing her best not to shriek in public, and squirmed. She leapt off her stool and stood behind Julian, clasping a small handful of his sleeve and panting. "I don't... drive her crazy... Honest, Mr. Julian!" Shelly giggled breathlessly, though there was more than enough reason to doubt that. The laughter, the sparkle in the girl's eyes, and her earlier antics were all plausible evidence to the contrary. "Well... maybe a little..." she amended mischievously.

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PostSubject: Re: Sugar and Spice and Errands to Splice   Fri Jul 08, 2011 2:46 pm

Julian laughed at their little display, pleased with the direction the general mood had taken. He had just turned back to say something to Shelly when he spotted Antonio coming towards them with their pizza -- the largest size that they offered, topped with bacon, pepperonis, tomatoes, steak, and caramelised onions. Julian's eyes widened at the sight of it, his stomach giving another lurch.

"You've really outdone yourself Antonio," Julian declared, taking a whiff of the pizza. The smell coming off of it was absolutely mouth-watering. "That thing is a monster, though!" Antonio laughed.

"I know you can't make anything more difficult than a sandwich, kid. Leftovers!" Julian grinned, nodding.

"You know me too well."

"Dig in! Tell me what you think! The steak, we just got in, let me know how it tastes. If people like it, we'll keep it on the menu."

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PostSubject: Re: Sugar and Spice and Errands to Splice   Fri Jul 08, 2011 4:51 pm

Shelly followed Julian's gaze, her blue eyes widening at the sheer size of the pizza. Although her stomach had kept quiet thus far, at the delicious smell of the pizza her stomach was apparently unable to hold out any longer and gave an audible growl. "Wow..." the eleven-year-old whispered. Food was more than enough to coerce Shelly back to her stool, although not before giving Julian a quick hug from where she had stood behind him.

Nicole also blinked in surprise at the size of the pizza. A whiff of a glance at the toppings told the woman it would definitely be enjoyed. She observed the exchanges between Julian and Antonio with amusement, smiling all-too-knowingly about the whole food preparation thing. Not only had he somewhat mentioned it to her, but Nicole too was a practitioner of minimal cooking and frequent order-placing at various establishments for meals. Sometimes she wondered why she even bothered to stock the refrigerator. The answer was, as had just been said: leftovers. That and Shelly's sitter knew how to cook without burning the house down. "Thank you very much, Antonio," said Nicole politely.

"Thank you!" echoed Shelly, then watched Nicole remove a piece for her. At murmured warning that it might be hot yet the girl nodded and dove into it anyway. The first toppings Michelle ran into were pepperoni and the caramelized onions. "Mm!" the girl smiled as she chewed. She kept her manners intact by keeping her mouth closed as she did this, knowing Nikki would surely scold her otherwise.

Nicole pulled off another slice of pizza and handed it to Julian, via napkin in case he was not keen on other people handling his food. Considering he had poured their drinks it seemed like the right thing to do. Finally she grabbed a piece for herself and took a bite. Nicole had gotten a mouthful of steak and tomato, with some of the caramelized onion trying to sneak off along with it. With a finger she wiped off the 'drop' of onion and as courteously as possible licked off the digit so as not to waste, then cleaned herself up the rest of the way with a napkin.

"It's very good!" Nicole murmured from behind her napkin as she still had food in her mouth.

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PostSubject: Re: Sugar and Spice and Errands to Splice   Fri Jul 08, 2011 5:49 pm

Julian, starving and impatient as he was, accepted the slice from Nicole and scarfed it down quickly, ignoring how hot it was and burning his tongue in the process. It was totally worth it.

"Ow! Mmm...." Antonio shook his head and laughed at Julian.

"There's no rush, Jules, take your time," he chuckled, nonetheless pleased with this fresh proof of Julian's appreciation for his pizza-making prowess.

"This is so good, 'Tonio. You should definitely keep the steak on the menu and as a matter of fact, I think this should be a new special."

"Really?" Antonio asked, surprised. "Well I'll have to try it for myself one day, see if Maria likes it, then maybe..."

"Try it," Julian urged, gesturing to the huge pizza pie.

"Oh no...it's yours...some other time..."

"You have to try it, it's an emergency. Just have that little slice there, see? No big deal. You guys give me free stuff often enough, really -- I insist. Just a bite."

"Well..." Antonio said doubtfully, looking around to see if anyone would notice. "Ok, just a bite!" He picked up the smaller slice that Julian had mentioned and took a bite, looking very pleased indeed.

"Maria! Come over here a minute, try our new special!" His wife looked over at them from where she'd just slid a pizza in the oven, and shuffled over, examining the pizza.

"Ah, the steaks. You like?" Antonio handed her his slice, and she took a bite, too. "Oh, yes! Very good, very good! What should we call this, then?" Julian shrugged, not being very good at that sort of thing.

"What do you guys think?"

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PostSubject: Re: Sugar and Spice and Errands to Splice   Sat Jul 09, 2011 3:24 pm

Nicole and Shelly giggled at Julian's top-speed inhalation of the slice of pizza. Nicole contemplated teasing him with something along the lines of making sure to leave the napkin, but didn't this time. Both females nodded in agreement with Julian on keeping the steak on the menu.

They watched the interactions between Julian and Antonio with interest. At the former insisting that trying the pizza was an 'emergency' Shelly giggled a little, and Nicole merely smiled. Neither minded if the owner of the place tried some of his own cooking. The pizza pie was more than big enough. Shelly grinned when the older man agreed to try it, too.

Nicole and Shelly both turned thoughtful at the question on what to dub the pizza. If Nicole had to bet money on who would come up with an idea first she'd put it on Shelly, who was more the creative naming type than she. The woman bit her lip for her mind was fresh out of ideas in that department. Nicole didn't really want to say that, however, and thus kept thinking.

Sure enough, it was Shelly who came to the rescue with an idea. “How about ‘Tony’s Steak Pizza’?” she asked curiously. “Or... hmm...” Shelly murmured, still in thought.

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PostSubject: Re: Sugar and Spice and Errands to Splice   Sat Jul 09, 2011 8:03 pm

"Hm, cutting right to the chase. I like it!" Julian declared, looking to Antonio for his opinion. "Only, let's call it Tony's Famous Steak Pizza, because it's so delicious it definitely will be," he said, grinning. At that, Antonio laughed.

"Tony's Almost Famous Steak Pizza," he corrected, laughing at his own joke. Maria laughed but shook her head.

"We can't fit all that onto the menu!" she protested, although still smiling at their silliness.

"That's what makes it fun, ja?" Julian offered, shrugging. Her turned to Shelly for her opinion on their additions to her suggestion. "What do you think? Fun enough name for this pizza? Are we all agreed?"

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PostSubject: Re: Sugar and Spice and Errands to Splice   Sun Jul 10, 2011 3:12 am

Shelly grinned at Julian's approval and, having finished her first piece, reached for a second. At Julian's poll as to whether or not she liked the modifications and if it sounded fun enough she nodded eagerly. Her golden-brown hair bounced just as enthusiastically in the girl's wake. "I like it!" she giggled.

Nicole, like Maria, smiled at the silliness. She wasn't about to be a killjoy, and therefore at the poll she raised her eyebrows a little and nodded in approval. "I think it sounds good," she said. "If there are any in particular that are really popular you could start an 'Antonio's Hall of Fame'..." Nicole supplied as an afterthought. She glanced at the pizza and debated whether she wanted another slice or to order a gelato. Decisions, decisions... In the end Nicole decided a second slice wouldn't fill her up too much and gave the piece she wanted a tug.

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PostSubject: Re: Sugar and Spice and Errands to Splice   Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:47 am

"I like how you think, young lady!" Antonio declared, grinning. "You have an eye for business, I see." Julian did have to agree that the idea was remarkably clever, as he polished off his second slice (more slowly than the first) and reached for a third without hesitation.

"That's a good idea, Nicole," he agreed, nodding as he took a large bite.

"I was thinking we needed to change the menu up a little bit," Maria noted, turning towards the wall. "The chalk can get messy, and Anna hates climbing up on that ladder to reach the top, poor thing. Perhaps something a little more permanent would do the trick." Julian, finished with his slice, reached for a fourth and noted that there was still an entire half left.

"This thing's gonna take me a week to finish by myself....are you girls sure you don't want to split the leftovers, maybe?" he offered.

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PostSubject: Re: Sugar and Spice and Errands to Splice   Mon Jul 11, 2011 8:17 pm

"Thank you," Nicole replied simply to both Antonio and Julian. She wasn't so sure about her having an eye for business, but appreciated the compliment anyway. The woman took a moment to consider Maria's comments, trying to think of a further way to assist. Personally Nicole liked the feel of the little pizzeria and didn't want to suggest too much modern change to the place. One idea that came to mind she had to get rid of immediately, for it would require magic. In the event an idea struck her, Nicole would attempt to put a small version of the idea together and bring it with her the next time she visited the area. With pizza this good she was sure to be back in the very near future.

At the offer to split the leftovers, Shelly grinned. "Pizza makes a great breakfast!" she remarked, glancing over to her aunt in hopes she would say yes. Much like Nicole the eleven-year-old did not mind leftovers at all. In fact, a lot of things were even better the second day around than the first.

Nicole chuckled at Julian's offer, not so sure the half-pizza would last him a full week. But then again it might. "Sure, we can split it. Hadn't decided yet what to do about dinner," she smiled. "You're sure you don't mind?"

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PostSubject: Re: Sugar and Spice and Errands to Splice   Tue Jul 12, 2011 12:47 am

"Of course I don't," Julian replied, contemplating a fifth slice. Probably shouldn't push it, he decided, opting for gelato instead. Besides, he'd skived off work quite long enough -- Vinzent, despite Julian's assertions to the contrary, was not stupid and would most certainly know it hadn't taken him three hours to buy new robes. With a sigh, he pushed his plate aside and finished off his soda.

"Now, how about that gelato? I'd like my usual, Maria, if you don't mind -- Nicole, I think you'd like it, too. It's called "cioccolato fondente," which is a dark chocolate flavour. The extra noir is also really good -- the darkest you can get -- but obviously, it's pretty rich and I'm stuffed."

"We have a separate menu for the gelatos," Maria chimed in, producing a paper brochure from her apron and handing it to Nicole. "We don't order specific flavours, they just ship them right over and print out menus based on what we're getting in. Which can be kind of nice because then we get seasonal flavours, like caramel apple for fall and that kind of thing."

("Menu" can be found here -- http://www.italylogue.com/food-drink/italian-gelato-flavors-decoded.html)

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PostSubject: Re: Sugar and Spice and Errands to Splice   Tue Jul 12, 2011 1:54 am

Nicole and Shelly listened intently as Julian spoke about the gelato. Shelly, still puzzling over the term, decided to lump the chocolate description with her second favorite food in the word: ice cream. The eleven-year-old stifled a giggle, and couldn't help but wonder if that meant ice cream now and ice cream later, or if Nikki was going to alter the game plan. Of course, Shelly hoped it was the former!

The woman murmured her thanks to Maria and glanced over the menu, nodding at the new piece of information. "I think I'll have the same as Julian," she said, even though the extra noir was awfully tempting. However, she was already near full as it was. Nicole then held the menu for Shelly to see. "Anything look interesting, Shell?"

Shelly surveyed the menu, a finger tracing her bottom lip in thought. Grinning, the girl selected two different flavors by pointing to the names: 'cioccolato al latte' and 'mandarino'. "Can I get a scoop of milk chocolate and one of mandarin orange, please?" she asked sweetly.

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PostSubject: Re: Sugar and Spice and Errands to Splice   Tue Jul 12, 2011 3:25 pm

"Of course you can, sweetheart," Maria replied with a smile, heading off to get their orders. Julian couldn't contain a smile at their chocolate-centric orders.

"Guess we're just a bunch of chocoholics," he noted, helping as Antonio came by to clear off the counter. "Not that there's anything wrong with that," he added. "I don't think I could be friends with someone who didn't like chocolate, unless they were allergic or something. Just wouldn't be natural otherwise." Maria returned with the gelato on a tray, carefully setting it down before distributing them to the correct person.

"There you are, straight from New York City! Is there anything else I can get you? Tony is getting the leftovers, right?"

"Yup, just the check please, Maria."

"Of course." She headed off to get their check and Julian started in on his dessert, clearly savoring every spoonful.

"I have to say, today has gone a lot better than I had any right to expect. You lot are pretty good company, you know. We should do this again sometime -- maybe planned. I'd like to get my daughter up for a visit and I think you'd like her, Shelly. She's a bit younger than you, but pretty similar disposition."

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PostSubject: Re: Sugar and Spice and Errands to Splice   Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:31 am

Shelly giggled at Julian's observation. "Yup!" she cheered enthusiastically.

Nicole smiled. "Same here. At least that way if you don't know what to get someone there's always chocolate," the woman added, half joking. She was tempted to mention a hobby she recently picked up involving alcohol and chocolate, but decided against it for now.

"Thank you," Nicole and Shelly replied in unison before Maria left. Shelly played slightly in an attempt to get both orange and chocolate flavors on the spoon in one go before diving into her dessert.

"Mm..." Nicole murmured. "I think I might not ever go back to regular ice cream after this," she chuckled, savoring the chocolatey goodness of each spoonful.

Nicole was tempted to ask if his reason for not anticipating a good day was due to something that happened at work. Considering whom Julian worked for, it wouldn't have surprised the witch any that the politician constantly made life miserable for just about anyone he came in contact with. She smiled at the compliment, then took a few moments to contemplate her gelato. A planned outing? "I'd like that," she said after a moment, setting her emerald-eyed gaze on Julian once again. At the back of her mind she wondered if Julian meant with or without Shelly. Either way worked for her. "When might be a good time?" Nicole asked, genuinely curious.

"You're good company, too, Mr. Julian!" Shelly beamed, her upper lip slightly stained orange and the bottom one chocolate. The girl made a grab for the clean napkin Nicole nudged her way. "That'd be nice! What's your daughter's name?" asked the girl when Julian mentioned he had a daughter. "Will she be going to H- ..." Shelly paused instantly due to a nudge from Nicole and did some quick thinking, "... to the same one I'm going to this year?"

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PostSubject: Re: Sugar and Spice and Errands to Splice   Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:58 pm

"Well I'm not sure exactly how soon I can get Violet up for a visit -- it's a bit of a trek, all the way from Germany -- but there's a qui- ah, a match on tomorrow that I was planning on catching at the pub if I had time," Julian replied, catching himself much as Shelly had done.

"And like I said -- she's got a few more years to go before she starts school, but when she heads off it probably wouldn't be here. She'd go to school back home, unless by some miracle I can get her back here on a more permanent basis," he said, deciding to leave it at that. Hopefully that was enough to explain the situation to Nicole a bit better without getting into the dirty details for Shelly.

"She'll be eight in a few weeks so she's still got three more years to go...I suppose anything could happen in that time." Just then, Antonio arrived with the leftovers and the check, which Julian took hastily, tucking a note underneath and handing it back before Nicole could make any protest. "No change," he said quickly, earning himself a smile from Antonio.

"Wouldn't want to confuse you with this English money again, huh?" he laughed, making Julian blush faintly and shake his head.

"It was one time, and I think I've made up for it by now!" he protested, although laughing anyway. He was really never going to live that down.

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PostSubject: Re: Sugar and Spice and Errands to Splice   Wed Jul 13, 2011 2:57 pm

Nicole nodded her comprehension, and couldn't help a brief knowing smirk at his near-slip. That was one of the difficult things about knowing about the magical world while hanging out with magical friends in the muggle world. The witch had had an awful time keeping the two separate when she was younger. She wondered which pub Julian meant. Although, if quidditch was going to be viewed it certainly wasn't one that could likely be discussed here. "Tomorrow's good, if you want," Nicole shrugged. "Maybe 'call' me later or before you head out?"

Shelly nodded, though only really understood the first part. "I'll study with her over the summers when she's old enough, if everything goes okay!" she offered.

Nicole thought a moment and then nodded at the clarification of Julian's predicament. She didn't have children of her own, but knew even the short distance Shelly would be going would have an impact on her. How Julian managed with his daughter in Germany while he was here in England, Nicole hadn't a clue. She supposed he just had to do it, much like she felt the urge to leave America. The witch smiled as Julian mentioned Violet would soon be eight, remembering when Shelly was approximately that age.

The woman reached into her pocket with the intent to retrieve her wallet as Antonio approached with the leftovers and the check. However, this time Julian was able to draw faster than she. Nicole promptly blushed but said nothing in protest. Her attempt to laugh off the slight color as Antonio once again teased Julian about currency was futile.

Shelly hopped off her stool and stood near the adults. Nicole stood next, hovering behind Michelle and near Julian. Not sure what she should do the woman stood with her hands clasped behind her back like she usually did. The witch had to admit that this unexpected twist of events was rather nice. She almost didn't want to go back into Diagon Alley to finish off her errands.

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PostSubject: Re: Sugar and Spice and Errands to Splice   Wed Jul 13, 2011 3:28 pm

Julian handed Nicole a pizza box and nodded in acquiescence to her plan. "That sounds good to me. I'll call you, then," he said with a smirk, although making a mental note that it might actually be worth his while to acquire a phone in the near future. If he bought Violet one too, he could even have a way to contact his daughter despite Kate's interference, although he was unsure how well an seven year old would handle sneaking something behind her mother's back. Perhaps not the best idea.

"Unfortunately, I really do have to go now, though. My boss will have my head on a platter as it is, so I'd better not push my luck any further." Julian leaned over and gave Shelly a hug before turning to her aunt and hesitatingly doing the same, making it very brief in case she didn't appreciate the gesture.

"I'll see you later, Antonio. Say bye to Maria for me!"

"Sure thing, Jules. Take it easy! And it was lovely meeting you ladies, come back anytime."

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PostSubject: Re: Sugar and Spice and Errands to Splice   Wed Jul 13, 2011 4:30 pm

Nicole accepted the pizza box and murmured her thanks. She nodded, smiling, when Julian said he would call. "Yeah... we still have a few more errands before we can go home," she sighed. Shelly pouted, knowing which particular task Nicole would want to accomplish next. It was one the little girl wasn't really looking forward to.

Shelly wrapped her arms around Julian when he leaned to her height for a hug. Nicole blinked when Julian turned to her and did the same. Without even thinking she found herself reciprocating the action. Instead of tensing up, which she normally did, Nicole realized she had relaxed and allowed herself to enjoy the moment regardless of its length. A part of Nicole almost wished the gesture had lasted a bit longer, while the other side of her was still a little hesitant.

"A pleasure to meet you too, sir," replied Nicole warmly as they made their way toward the door. She wasn't certain if she should have addressed Antonio by his first name and thus took the safer route. "We'll definitely be back again," she added, getting a little sidetracked as Shelly had been walking with them but had turned back around.

Shelly grinned at Antonio, now somewhat walking backwards. "Nice meeting you, too!" she cheered, raising a hand to wave. "Bye!"

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