Who: Isolde Montgomery, Seamus Finnigan
Where: Knock On Wood
When: 14 April 2002, early morning
Issy always had her morning coffee in Knock on Wood. What had started as a once off delivery to Seamus had become a tradition. She, being the morning person out of the two of them, (it was a mystery to all how Issy loved to be up at dawn and Tristan required four cups of coffee before she could begin to function properly), walked to Higher Grounds, picked up their usual order, and then came and banged on the door of the shop until Shay answered. Usually, he even managed to put on a shirt first (more was the pity, in Issy’s humble opinion).
Then they sat and sipped their drinks. Sometimes they talked about nonsense. Sometimes they talked about things that were important. Now and then they talked about things that were truly painful (with two people who had suffered such profound loses, it seemed nearly inevitable). And sometimes they talked about nothing, simply sitting on his ratty couch in the back room, shoulder to shoulder, thigh to thigh, heads flopping back against the cushions, in companionable silence.
Sometimes Issy though, for all her love of chatter, she almost liked those days best.
Today was a chatting day, however, and she had just finished regaling him with Ronnie’s latest (failed) attempt at domesticity. She glanced at the clock and sipped slower. It was almost time to head out and open her shop so that Shay could get dressed properly and open his own, but she didn’t want to leave.
Mornings with Issy made it easier to get out of bed. Seamus had never been a morning person, and it always helped him to wake up to have someone to talk to, slowly returning to full consciousness. Being woken up by the charm he had on the door to let him know someone was there, rather than his alarm spell, was definitely preferable.
He rolled his head to the side, not bothering to lift it of the back of the couch to look over at her. “I should go shower, but that involves standing, and I think I may have fused with this couch.”
“That’s an impressive trick,” Issy teased with a wicked grin. “Is it magic or just the power of extreme laziness?”
“Combination of both, I think.” He grinned at her before groaning and leaning his head back. “Maybe I’ll just open late. I don’t feel like moving.”
“Oh no you don’t, lazy bones,” Issy laughed, poking him in the ribs. “I didn’t walk all the way across this sprawling metropolis to bring you caffiene so that you could lay around all day. You’ve got pretty boxes and make and wee lassies to sell them to.”
Setting her empty coffee cup aside, she jumped to her feet and grabbed his hands so that she could pull him up as well.
Seamus was more than capable of getting up on his own, but he wasn’t going to turn down help from a pretty woman, particularly when that woman was Issy. He let her yank him to his feet, tweaking her side a little when he was steady.
“Thanks,” he said, chuckling as he added, “slave driver.”
“I’d make a terrible slave driver,” Issy laughed, nudging him playfully with her hip when he tweaked her. “I’d give everyone an hour off for lunch and long holidays just so I could take them, too.”
“Mandatory naptimes, too?” Seamus laughed. “Doesn’t sound half bad to me. Besides, you bring me coffee every morning, I should probably do what you say every once in a while at least.”
He did have a couple of pieces that he wanted to finish, actually, including a couple new princess figurines.
“Everyone should do what I say all the time,” said Issy without a trace of irony. “The world would be a better place.”
“I’m sure you think so,” he teased.
“Yes, I do,” she replied pertly, pulling a face at him. She turned to pick up her bag and jacket. “Okay, I really do need to go.”
“Okay, fine,” he sighed long-sufferingly. “Get out of here, I’ve gotta shower and look like a professional, competent human being.” Or a decent copy of one, anyway.
He leaned down to kiss her cheek.
Issy grinned at the familiar farewell kiss on the cheek he always gave her. And then, impulsively, she pushed herself up onto her toes and pressed her lips to his.
Seamus wasn’t sure what was more surprising — Issy kissing him, or the fact that it felt completely normal, like an extension of their typical morning routine. He definitely didn’t hate it.
“Um. Yeah, have a great day. I’ll see you later.”
Seamus was turning red and smiling in a slightly doofy way. And Issy was sure her expression probably mirrored his own. Oh well.
“Yeah,” she said, squeezing his hand briefly before heading towards the door. “I’ll see you tomorrow morning.”
At the last second, he grabbed her hand and pulled her back to kiss her again. “Yeah, see you tomorrow.”
Issy grinned fit to break her face. In a teasingly stern tone she told him, “I have to go.”
“Then go,” Seamus told her, pulling a face. “Maybe I’ll even be nice and bring you lunch later.”
“You do owe me for about a hundred coffees,” Issy laughed, arching an eyebrow. She headed for the door once more before pausing and tossing back over her shoulder, “Spicey chicken salad on whole wheat, please.”
“Got it,” he called after her, grinning like an idiot. He let himself stand there, taking it in, for a long moment before shaking himself out of it. He really did need to go upstairs and shower.
Issy headed for her shop with a spring in her step as she pondered what sort of arrangements to play with that morning.
It definitely felt like a day for sunflowers.