In Covent Garden
In Covent Garden
No money made by me; rights belong to the respective creators of Buffy and Stargate SG-1.
TtH100 Prompt # 079 – stumble
Sam leaned on the railing overlooking the crowded open seating area, smiling down at a small group of musicians who had just begun performing. It was two women and two men—two fiddles, one viola, and a cello—playing a piece of classical music that Sam had heard, but couldn’t name. They were dressed as any eclectic musician or student might dress—nothing matched, including the socks. But combined with the very energetic dancing they performed while playing their stringed instruments, the performance looked like a constant whirl of color that reminded Sam distinctly of a kaleidoscope.
Sam spared a quick glance for the tall, distinguished gentleman standing beside her. He wasn’t leaning on the railing, but he managed to look perfectly relaxed with his straight back and his hands burrowed in his pockets. The uncommonly bright London sunlight reflected briefly off of his spectacles, and when Sam’s vision cleared, he was looking at her with a smile on his face.
“Have you ever done anything like that before?” he asked, his voice pitched perfectly to be heard above the crowd and the music, but only so she could hear it.
Sam shook her head. “No, I was always up to my ears in books and sports and Air Force stuff when I was that age. What about you?”
Giles grimaced slightly, but so quickly that Sam immediately doubted she’d even seen it. “No, I had rather a, um…different path of interest back at university. But I’ve recovered well, I must say.”
Sam opened her mouth to ask him what he meant, but snapped her jaw shut again as she caught sight of something over Rupert’s shoulder. She grinned suddenly, looking back into his eyes with her blue ones, and grabbed his arm.
“I just found something I need to take a closer look at,” Sam explained, pulling him gently around as she moved past him. Her hand slid down his arm and came to rest in his hand, and he caught it quickly, keeping their contact as they wove through the crowd. Giles didn’t pay any attention to where they were going; his brain was working at capacity as he tried to identify the sensation he was feeling with her hand in his. He didn’t even see the overturned chair leg that caught him in the shin; the stumble was almost absentminded, as though Rupert sort of floated through it. Sam didn’t seem to notice, but kept her eyes glued on whatever it was she was seeing.
They finally stopped in front of a small shop whose door had a “Be right back!” sign hanging from the knob. Sam, still gripping Rupert’s hand, pulled him up next to her and pointed at a picture hanging a little way back from the front window.
“That painting—the one with the nebula—is amazing,” Sam breathed, her blue eyes wide. The finger she was pointing touched the glass, pressing against it lightly. “It’s so detailed, as though the artist has seen it up close. Like closer than with a telescope.”
Rupert watched Sam as she gazed at the painting, and opened his mouth to comment. Just as he did, the annoying ring of his cell phone erupted from his breast pocket, making it look like he had made that noise instead of the phone. He had to let go of Sam’s hand to reach into his pocket. Flipping it open, he saw that it was Dawn’s emergency phone, so he connected the call, turning slightly away from Sam.
A bright flash distracted him a few moments into the call, and he turned back around to see what it was. Sam was gone as though she’d never been there. Rupert almost dropped his phone in astonishment, and then looked around to see where she could have gone so quickly. He stepped away from the window, saw another smaller flash beside him, and looked down to see a small piece of paper under the bracelet of blue stones that Sam had been wearing. The note read, “Sorry, Rupert—I have to go to work. I’ll be in touch soon, and hang onto my bracelet for me.”