The Girl He Used To Know - Original HoneyFeed Version
For knowing exactly when to make a quick stop at a café just before a passing shower drenches everyone else on the street?
Now that he could admit was useful.
February 14th, two long weeks since Maka's arrival - Valentines day at last - And Pierre had plans, quite alot of plans in fact.
In some ways planning what to do on a date with Maka had not been all that difficult - He simply picked out all the activities he had been avoiding these last few weeks.
And so it was that they set out to see everything that great old city of London Town had to offer.
They strode across Tower-Bridge, that most expansive crossing of the mighty river Thames that pushed and rushed and gushed beneath, bridged to either side with its massive pillar like towers.
They stood in front of the House of Commons, Big ben, The Tower of London, and of course Maka found a great appreciation for the Queen's Guard who stood in their bright red uniforms and tall black chimney hats in front of Buckingham Palace.
And they took pictures with everything, Maka insisted on doing so - The old polaroid camera taken from Pierre's storeroom had never seen so much action in its life!
They dressed well, Pierre in his finest coat and boots - Maka in her beige frock and a dainty skirt beneath that with a slightly out of season, wide-brimmed sun-hat atop her flowing white hair.
And they travelled, oh they travelled in every form of transport they could find - In classic London Black-cabs straight off the television, to the underground tube lines and even on the public 'Boris-Bikes' famous in the city.
Maka's face was alight with delight at each new method, she had been watching cars and trains these last two weeks but to actually ride on them was an experience in and of its own for the girl out of a Medieval setting.
They stopped at cafés and stalls for tea & cakes - Lots of cakes, Maka insisted on eating alot of chocolate, something about: "Honouring the tradition's of St.Valentine!"
And then finally they arrived at the one place they had both known they would inevitably come to:
"It's even better close up!"
"Told you it wouldn't roll away." Pierre laughed.
Maka attempted to pout but struggled to hide her raw excitement;
"Jokes like that make you sound old ya know." She teased before turning her attentions back to it.
The London Eye - A massive white ferris-wheel that dominated much of the skyline of the city, all on the banks of the river and from atop overlooking the sprawling landscape beneath it.
"Were tickets hard to come by?" Maka asked.
"Hmmmm? Well I suppose so, usually you have to book months or even years in advance, especially on Valentine's day - But what's the point in being a celebrity if you don't pull the odd strings eh? People were falling over themselves to give me seats, Thank you very much!"
Pierre boasted proudly.
Maka smiled, "Then my thanks is even greater, I hope it wasn't too much trouble?"
Pierre blushed at her earnest gaze staring up at him through her chestnut-brown eyes;
"Ah, no no, no trouble at all really. Ha-ha."
Maka just smiled in response to his embarrassment and before long they were at the front of the que and taking their seats aboard one of the oval shaped carriages of the ferris-wheel.
A carriage all to themselves of-course.
And what a perfect view it turned out to be, the clouds had all but cleared to give way to the afternoon sunshine - The sky almost glowed its serine cyan shade.
There it was, the thing Pierre had secretly hoped to see most of all, her smile.
Not that it took much to cause Maka to grin kindly but this was ever-so-slightly different.
This was a look of utter pure joy, a toothy grin and bright eyed expression of true happiness, curiosity and wonderment. Of course she had been high up before, he'd been there with her - Or atleast Aardig that is - When they had scaled mountains to slay dragons, and then there were all the tall castles and palaces she had lived in.
But this was truly something speical.
A unique feeling us humans only ever gain from the exhilarating moment of being moved through the sky, whether by aircraft or like they did now - To watch the world slowly grow smaller beneath you, to look out with more perspective on everything you never realise just how much you know and love.
And to Pierre that was the most sobering part of it all, a part of what made him feel so very enthralled by Maka's every action;
'We often miss it, the beauty around us.'
'Not just in majestic cities or beautiful rural villages but in all places - Even the most run down or decrepit of settlements will have some small corner of beauty hidden beneath them.
Wherever there is life, no matter how small, there is some wonder to behold.'
He knew it to be true now for Maka had shown it to him, that he had spent thirty years ignoring that beauty of Earth - All those places he had seen and things he'd done had all just been an effort to return home to Bhaile, to the beauty he lost so long ago.
But Maka was different, she took everything in, all of it.
She asked questions, poked, prodded, laughed and tenaciously learned.
She picked up on everything and appreciated the beauty of it all, which in turn made her the most magnificent centre of everything.
"Do you think we can see our house from up here Pierre?"
"I hadn't thought of that, I suppose it might be possible." He laughed back in response.
'She could fly, in that blue sky that surrounds us now, on those feathers of beautiful red and white - And how beautiful she would look doing so.'
As they finally disembarked the machine and began again to walk through the city streets to Pierre's next mystery location, Maka reached out to grab for his hand - This time he did not dodge, though he did blush - As they walked hand in hand down the pathway.
"That man is a crook I tell you, a crook! 300£ for the two of us - Three Hundred!" Pierre exclaimed.
"There, there my good man, you didn't have to order quite so extravagantly." Maka said patting Pierre on the shoulder soothingly.
They walked now down a narrow enough alleyway having had their evening meal at London's most flamboyant (and apparently most expensive) restaurant. The city was now lit by the last dregs of dusk-light - It might be February but the sun still set before seven at that time of year and now the warm glow of the street-lights began to spring to life.
"Gold leaf Maka! Who in their right mind puts bloody gold on steak!? And what was that thing he did with his hand? What sort of a way is that to spread salt for all that's holy?!"
"Pierre, your heritage is showing." Maka jeered coyly.
"Your 'short hands in deep pockets' man, your 'economic' attitude towards spending."
She winked, grinning wolfishly at the blush this brought to Pierre's cheeks.
"Yes well, I suppose it is a speical occasion and all that... Still... Gold leaf on perfectly good steak Maka!"
The two laughed about the exuberant price of things in the city, all as they rounded a familiar corner and found themselves in none other than that place.
Maka giggled - A giggle that no longer weirded Pierre out but instead seemed perfectly natural now - "It would appear old friend, that we have wandered back to our favourite spot by complete accident. Heh, we are like homing pigeons, no?"
Pierre concealed a knowing grin;
"Ah-ha indeed whatever are the chances. Well as we are here we might aswell sit for a moment shall we?"
They made their way across to the two park benches, the ones with the black & grey chip-van between them. The same old public park, just a short distance from home - Well except for one large discrepancy.
"It would seem even the proprietor of this shop is not around, I have never seen this place so quiet?" Maka mused reading a piece of paper duck-taped onto the front of the food-van's closed down shutters;
"Out looking for Love - All hints on its whereabouts are Welcome!!"
"Ha, you can't still be hungry girl!"
"What?! No,no.... Of course not." Maka reddened, "It just seems that it's too quiet here that's all! Almost like we have the entire park to ourselves.... Hey this isn't your doing is it?
Some elaborate ruse to snog me under the old beech tree!"
Pierre appeared to choking on his own spit;
"S-snog!? What sort of word is that to use in the company of a man?!"
Maka giggled again, and even Pierre couldn't help suppressing a fit of laughter.
They walked over to their usual bench (The one not under the old beech tree, Thank you very much), still hand in hand as they sat down - A rest after the full tour of the city and all the food they'd had, was most welcome indeed.
"I must admit Pierre, your not half-bad at showing a lady a good time." Maka smiled.
"Really? Well this is only the tip of the Iceberg!
Wait until you get to see the lights at Christmas, the whole town lit up like the feast-days back home. Oh and there's Halloween, you can walk around in your whole Knight's regalia and no one will bat an eyelid - 'All Hallows' Eve'.
And than there is Easter, that one really is for kids but I'm sure you will find the Easter egg hunt they host in this very park to be a most heart-warming sight!"
"They hunt for eggs?"
"Well, chocolate eggs, rather than actual 'eggs'"
"Chocolate eggs! Now surely you must jest!"
"Ha! I most certainly do not. Ohhh and St.Patrick's day is pretty soon too!
We could get the ferry across to Dublin, you would love the ferry I'm sure of it - And Dublin on St.Partrick's day, well, the streets are full of these massive parades with huge carnival style floats and everyone dresses in bits of green, while drinking absolutely too much!
To be honest Valentine's day is probably the least interesting holiday of the year, you've seen nothing yet!"
Maka squeezed Pierre's hand a little tighter and leaned in her head against his arm;
"Perhaps, but I think Valentines will always be my favourite."
"Why's that?" He replied while flushing bright red from her closeness to him - 'She's so very warm.'
"Because silly, it's the event I got to spend with you."
"The? Don't you mean the firs--"
Pierre's words were cut off as a whining sound cut through the sky. Soon following it came a thunderous boom of red sparkling light up above.
Maka's eyes glimmered once more in pleased surprise.
Next followed a green rocket that made a diamond pattern, then another in a blue triangle - A third in yellow circles!
Then five all at once forming together to make a massive multi-coloured star in the sky above the roof-tops.
"Pierre look! Aren't they beautiful? So many so close - It must be faith we were passing as this happened!"
Pierre averted his eyes a little, fully aware it was far, far from meer faith.
Another barrage, going up in a staggered line one after the other like someone running their hand along a keyboard.
Crimson, Gold, Emerald, Azure, Magenta! - One after another, dazzling shapes and intricate formations - Enough to make even the Illuminators of the ancient Chinese Liuyang envious!
'What's the point in having a three story house in the middle of London, if not to use it as a firework display-platform eh? Ha, I bet the police will be heading to my front door even as we sit here now!'
"Pierre." Came the soft voice beside him, barely audible over the continued whine of more fireworks above (Though they must surely be nearing their end).
One hand still clasped to Pierre's, the other laid gently on his knee - Maka pivoted up and kissed Pierre in earnest.
Not a 'snog', or a peck - No a simple kiss of the utmost honest kind.
The warm locking of lips together, the physical transmission of feelings held most dear, the numbing effect as though the flashes of light and bursts of sound all around them had faded away.
A momentary union of complete Isolation - Just the two of them in the whole world for a short fleeting moment, United.
Just, a simple kiss.
Maka moved back when it was done, staring up into Pierre's shocked, wordless and most of all kind eyes - She leaned in again, up to his ear this time - As the last firework made it's lonely path through the sky and erupted in a shower of red and white diamonds.
"Thank you Pierre Havelock, thank you so very much --"