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His response was not what Estella was anticipating. She rarely got such ... positive response from people. One would think she was responsible for the plague, her people behind every trouble in Europe for the past several hundred years by the way most people reacted to her ancestry. But this... he didn't even seem to mind. Sure, not everyone she met immediately was prejudice. Refus wasn't. But it still surprised her whenever someone wasn't.

"No, I don't but thank you," she said in reply to his offer for a smoke. She might not be home but too many things had been drilled in her that was nearly second nature to her. And that included not smoking. And eating Kosher of course. Though, he was right. It was her issue to worry about and she was fine with that. She had a fairly decent model that helped. She wasn't ultra-orthodox. Every part of her food didn't have to be prayed over by a rabbi (which was near impossible to find in certain locations) - but at the same time she did follow her people's dietary laws. So in most instances, most people didn't even realize by her eating habits.

Estella finished wiping her hands and face as she watched Will light up his cigarette. He was such a strange individual. So different from her own father. Footsteps in the hall caused her head to turn.

"Hey, just wanted to see if you all needed any help." Roger stepped up to the doorway. He winced slightly at all the machinery. Wow. That was a lot more than he expected. He hadn't realized that the engine was so...complex.

"No, we're good to go for the moment." Estella replied automatically. She flushed slightly as she realized it probably was directed to the captain, not her. She sometimes had that habit of zoning and just taking charge - at least in something like this. Apparently, she was still in that mindset. She ducked her head to the captain, nonverbally indicating her apology for overstepping. She then turned slightly away to gather up some of the tools.
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Will shrugged at her refusal, pocketing the smokes before lighting his own. He leaned back against the work bench as Roger arrived in the room. He greeted him with a little wave of his free hand and didn't even blink when Estella answered before him. He might be the captain and used to being in charge, but right that moment he was in a more submissive role. She knew better than him and he was okay working under someone more experienced than himself.

He chuckled at her hasty submission, smiling at her reassuringly. "Well the lady says we're good. Then I guess we are."

He looked to Estella again and said, "if you want, talk to Rebeca and she'll make sure that she knows about your preferences. I'm sure she'll make sure there's something for you if she's making something that you can't have."
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Roger looked from Will to the girl and back. "Alright. And here I was thinking I could help." He chuckled. "Great, I'll tell the ladies."

Estella finished gathering up the tools. This way when the engine started there wouldn't be loose items around. She glanced over at Will. Again she was surprised at his response. He not only obviously didn't seem to mind but at the same time he seemed to be willing to go out of his way to accommodate her. It was a bit touching, not that she was going to let herself tear up or anything. She provided a smile. "Thank you, I appreciate it." Not that she would ask. She wouldn't impose or make them spend extra to get her something different. But it was still touching. Having grown up with a lot of anti-semitisms, it was nice to see that there were some people out there who weren't judgemental.

When they finally did take off, Estella stayed in the engine room making sure everything worked well. She did some tweaking here and there, making sure everything ran smoothly. As said, they were able to take off and there was no major incident. Still, there was stuff that needed to be done and even as she heard the engine run she picked up little nuances, issues that though weren't going to cause immediate issues and crash the ship, would need to be dealt with down. She mentally made a list.

Having gone back and informed the ladies they were ready to go, Roger took Bea to the observation deck so she could watch the ascent and then the passing landscape. It was always an amazing sight - at least in his opinion. To fly. Mankind had been wanting to fly probably as long as they had seen birds do so. And here they were. It was in a machine, yes, but it was still flying.
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Bea followed Roger out. She’d been by airship only once before, and she was very little. Most of their other traveling had been done by either train or boat. Her father had not been a big fan of air travel, so they mostly stayed on the ground. Honestly, they’d mostly stayed put anyways. Some level of paranoia had kept her father home. Paranoia that she now fully understood because now she was subject to the same sort of foreboding feeling of someone watching and waiting and lurking to do her harm and take away what she knew. And she didn’t even really know much of anything.

So this was a fantastic thing for her. She watched everything as best she could, unable to focus on one sight in particular, because it was just all too wonderful. Her eyes were wide with childlike wonder and she was smiling as she leaned over the railing to get a better look.

“This is wonderful,” she said softly, only loud enough for Roger next to her to hear. “So very amazing. I don’t know how anyone comes down with views like this.”
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Roger smiled as he watched Bea. The childlike delight she expressed and naivety of flying was refreshing. He had flown several times and as a security guard he had gone up on airships frequently as they moved the ships from one dock to another at times. In some ways he had gotten used to it. But being here with Bea, watching her exclaim over the landscape below brought a lot of it back. Moving up beside her he gazed down as the city of London passed below them.

"Yes, it is an amazing sight. There's Ms. Mortimer's boarding house." He pointed out the building, now fairly far below them. "And the University. And that little tea shop we occasionally frequent." He smiled. It was a nice view.

The wind blew lightly as the airship continued to ascend, reaching decent altitude. It was a bit brisk but being late spring, early summer it wasn't too bad. "The best way to travel is by airship." Roger watched as the city become small dots and quickly started to fall away. The surrounding landscape had a miniature look to it. The sheep, the people, even the automobiles. "'Landlocked no more, man may now fly like the birds of the air and look over the Earth and see that it is truly good.'" The quote had been from Fredrick Schnider, the inventor of the airship those so many years ago. Roger smiled and glanced at Bea. Her face was alit. "So what do you think? Was Heir Schnider correct?"
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Bea smiled over at him, laughing softly. “I do believe I’d have to agree with him,” she murmured, leaning her head against Roger’s shoulder. “Thank you, by the way,” she went on, still soft, but just loud enough for him to hear her. “For coming with me on this crazy trip.” She had always wanted to believe her father, and she had had no reason to doubt any of his research, so that was not an issue. But that there were some so willing to kill over it? That was just almost too much for her. And she hated having to drag Roger along with her on such a possibly dangerous thing. But she didn’t know if she could go on without him either.

《》《》


Rebeca made her way to the engine room and stood in the doorway for a moment while she watched Estella, crossing her arms over her chest some. “So you think you’re gonna stay for the long haul?” she asked, somewhat out of the blue. “Because I think you’d be a good fit here, ya know.”
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Roger smiled. He felt Bea's head rest on him but kept looking out over the passing landscape. He was glad she was comfortable with him. And that she knew he wouldn't take it out of context. Some guys might. They might assume she was interested in them because of her proximity and her casualness. But not Roger. They'd been friends for a long time now. She was just comfortable with him as he was with her.

At her quiet words, he glanced down at her. A smile forming on his lips. He was half tempted to tease saying that she wouldn't be able to do it without him. Or that she'd get in trouble or lost in thoughts or something but he stopped. There was a time and place and this wasn't either. At least it didn't feel it. "You're welcome." He looked back out. "We'll find it, Bea. We'll discover the truth and bring his murder to justice." Resolution filled him. They would. He would do all that he could. Not just for the sake of the man who had taken him in a bit and helped him out but for his daughter too - his own best friend. He would do anything to make this right and if they could bring the murderer to justice perhaps it would help bring the healing a bit quicker.

He put an arm around her, giving her a bit of comfort before letting it drop again.

~ ~ ~


There sure was a lot to do when working in a flying airship. Estella had a bit of experience but really the last airship she worked on had her doing low menial work that really even let her in the engine room. Now she was practically running it. On her own. A mixture of excitement and awe filled her as well as the harsh burden of responsibility. If something went wrong, she was responsible. That tappered her positive feelings but didn't eliminate them. The wonder of working with machinery was far too great to be completely squashed by the responsibility. Besides, responsibility could be good. Though a bit scary.

Moving back and forth, already accustomed to the swaying of the airship, Estella worked on the engine - areas she could fix while it was going, while maintaining the engine and making sure nothing went wrong. Tweaking it as needed. It was an old vessel and needed a good firm hand on it. How she knew what to do, she couldn't explain. She hadn't been completely trained on all this but at the same time, she didn't need to. She had a knack. A gift. She could look at something, listen to it, touch it and be able to diagnose the issue and fix it. It was something she had always been able to do. To the chagrin of her family. They had not been too pleased by her interest in mechanics. She was NOT the perfect Orthodox Jewish girl her family had wanted. And that brought a hint of sadness to her.

She fingers went beneath her blouse and touched the star of David necklace. It tied her to them even though they would have nothing to do with her. Letting it drop again, she went back to work. She stayed busy lost in her work. She nearly jumping out of her skin when Rebeca spoke.

"You scared me," she said a hand over her heart. She laughed and shook herself. The smile vanished as she contemplated the question. Why was the woman asking? She had shown kindness ever sense meeting Estella. Even put in a good word for her to work on the ship. And for that, Estella was grateful. Though she didn't completely understand why the woman did it. "I don't know," she shrugged. "I'm not really a qualified airship mechanic - at least not to be running it." She adjusted a lever to let a bit of the steam out before it built up to much. Then turned her attention back to Rebeca. "I mean, I'm enjoying it. It's a big responsibility," she quickly added. "But," another shrug. "Great learning experience."

She glanced at her hands, wincing just slightly at the soot before quickly putting them at her side. It wasn't that she minded the dirt - she didn't. But she always felt a bit awkward around other women. Especially as she wasn't the 'ideal' female. Trousers, hands blackened from work, jagged nails - partially from chewing.
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She leaned against him a little more when he gave her the half hug, closing her eyes and just enjoying that they could be so casual with one another and not have to worry about the wrong sort of thing happening. Not that she ever considered that Roger would be the kind of man to do that even with a woman he did not know as well as Bea. She looked up at him with a little smile as he dropped his arm and stepped back the slightest bit as well, though she was still easily within reach of him.

“I’m sure we will as well,” she said, sounding confident as well. They would do this, for her father. “Just hopefully it won’t cost us too much to do so.” And it was clear that her words implied not a monetary cost.

{} {}


“Sorry,” she murmured with a little chuckle at Estella’s surprise. She hadn’t meant to startle her any, but that didn’t mean she wasn’t amused by it a little bit. She rarely got to sneak up on people like that, so it wasn’t often she surprised anyone like that.

She watched her think, then watched her feel self conscious about her appearance it seemed. “No one’s really, truly, qualified for anything,” she said with a little shrug of her shoulders. “But I don’t think that should hold you back any from doing what you want. Besides, Dad knows a decent amount about what to do, so it isn’t like you’re in this alone. And he’s been on this ship so long, that when he’s not distracted, he does know when something is wrong. Don’t ask him technical terms though, because he’ll just call it a ‘do hicky’ or whatever.”

Rebeca smiled and took a step closer to her, not crowding her any though. “I’m glad you’re here. You seem...happier. You don’t have to worry about impressing us any, by the way. Just be yourself.”
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The countryside below passed them by. If they were lower it would have been almost a blur but because of the height, they were still able to get a clear enough overall picture of everything below, presuming one had decent eyesight. The breeze of the wind brought a slight chill but nothing that either couldn't stand.

Roger stayed with Bea as the ship continued. He didn't reply but he too hoped the cost wouldn't be high. They didn't need to loose anyone else. He just hoped they could find what they needed, get out and bring her father's murderers to justice. All before she got hurt. His arm around her tightened only slightly as he knew he would do everything to keep her safe.

~ ~ ~


Estella glanced up at Rebeka's words. A smile formed on her lips, softening her features, as she was touched at the words. A laugh escaped her at the mention of the technical terms. She completely understood that. In fact, if she knew a technical term it was most likely she only knew it in Danish. "That's good to remember, thanks."

Her smile waned slightly at the mention of impressing. It was easy to say but hard to do. Still, she was grateful that she didn't have to pretend to be someone she wasn't. She didn't like doing that. She couldn't. Oh, she could hide a lot about herself, keep things buried. But to completely masquerade who personality, what she loved to do, who she was? It impossible. She had left her family, giving everything up because she couldn't live with herself, live in the expectations that her family wanted of her. And right or wrong, painful or not, it was what she had to live with.

"Thanks, Rebeca." Her words were soft and she chewed her lower lip. "That means a lot." The slight unease vanished as the smile returned. "This is a fantastic ship," she praised, changing the subject. "However, did you father acquire it?"

There wasn't a lot of space in the engine room for two people but Estella didn't mind. She listened, occasionally throwing out a question or two. Her love of mechanics and antique machinery was evident in the way her eyes lit up, her hands touched the parts when she needed to adjust something real quick, in the way she spoke. She was happy here. And in a way far happier than even on the Aurora. But then again, that had been a set of its own problems.

But here, she didn't feel the prejudice. The hatred. Or even the luring. Here, she felt...almost at home.

~ ~ ~


Edinburgh was nowhere on the level of London but it was still a city. Smoke rose from smokestaffs, the haze of the city far less than London. Of course, none of the passengers had been able to see the approach as the ship had came in late last night. And by time they finished breakfast and actually looked outside they were already grounded.

"How long are you going to stay in the city?" Roger asked looking at the Captain. He and Bea would head out into the city to find her father's colleague and hopefully know where to go there.

A bit groggy from a late night, Estella sat on the end of the table in the mess hall, a warm cup of tea in her hand. She wasn't hungry yet. She usually didn't eat breakfast as her stomach wasn't usually settled enough for it. But tea was another thing. She looked a bit worse for wear, having fell asleep in the engine room after they landed and shut everything down. She hadn't even gone back to the room she shared with Rebeca - though she did redo her ponytail and washed her hands and face.

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Rebeca settled herself down after making sure that everyone else had gotten what they wanted for breakfast, sitting down with her own toast and tea at last. She looked Estella over, noting her very weary expression and knowing that she hadn't made it to bed the night before made it a very understandable look.

"If you like," she started somewhat quietly, knowing that not everyone was a morning person and wanted to talk too terribly much right away, "we can put a little hammock in the engine room. The old mechanic, the one before that idiot that is, used to have one for nights that he didn't want to make the walk to his bunk. But he took it with him when be left. The hooks are still there though. If you're interested that is."

Will looked over at Roger, shrugging his one shoulder. "Hadn't really thought that far. But I'm willing to stay on a few days to give you two a lift back to London if you like. If you think you're going to be longer than that though...Might be able to recommend a friend instead."
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Estella glanced up as Rebeka spoke. The other woman's look held a touch of understanding. "Do I look that bad?" She asked before she gave a soft laugh. "A hammock would be useful," she admitted. "Provided I," she paused, the smile fading slightly as she glanced toward Will. They both had said something about just toward Edinburgh. There was no guarantee of her staying on longer. Though from her end, she would like nothing better. Rebeka had been right last night. She was happier here. She enjoyed the machinery, the airship. And the people. Rebeka was so kind to her. Welcoming even. It had been some time since anyone had made her feel at home. Well, Rufus did but in a way that was different.

For that reason, she didn't finish her sentence. Instead, she gave a smile. "A hammock would be nice." She chuckled. "And a lot more comfortable." She reached back behind her neck and rubbed out the crease that had been plaguing her since she woke up. Sleeping on the floor wasn't the best but it had worked. The hammock idea was a good one.

She looked over at Rebeka. "So what do you usually do on the ship?" She inquired curiously. "Besides, make new people feel very welcomed." Her smile showed the gratitude she felt for the warm welcome she personally had received.

**
Roger looked at Will. "I appreciate that." He gave a thoughtful nod. "This really shouldn't take us too long. Probably even just today, don't you think?" He inquired, looking over to Bea. All they needed was to find this old acquaintance of her father, see what he knew - hopefully he would have something that would help. Then go from there.

"If you don't mind, I'd like to check back with you later today. I'm fairly confident that we'll be able to head back tomorrow at the latest. I'll know more tonight."
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“You look like you curled up on the floor of the engine room for a few moments of shut eye,” she said with a little smile. She really didn't look all that bad, but it was more that she knew she hadn't returned to their room the night before. “We can go out and look for what we'll need while we're in port.” She made no other comment about the what ifs. She had decided that she was staying and that seemed enough for her.

“Pretty much everything that isn't what you do or my father does,” she said with a little shrug. “Cook, clean, non technical repairs, navigate as needed, that sorta stuff. I can heft some weight pretty well, but if we're actually in need of that we hire a few dock urchins and get ‘em to help out.”

Bea nodded when Roger looked to her to confirm. “Seems there will be some shopping anyways,” she said when Roger was finished, nodding towards the other girls. “It would be wonderful if we could get a lift back with you.”

Will chuckled and stood, pulling his jacket a little closer around him. “I can certainly wait a bit. You two take the time you need. If we have to leave, I will leave word for you so you know.”

Bea stood as well, extending a hand to Will that he took and shook. “Thank you, we should be headed out now. We will let you know as soon as we do as well.”

“Safe travels,” Will said, holding his hand out to Roger once Bea had headed towards the door, trailing and waiting for her companion to join her.
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Some people probably would have winced at Rebeka's comment but Estella just laughed. "Yeah, that's exactly what I did." She wasn't too sensitive or self-conscious about that fact. Especially as it was true. She had practically curled up on the floor of the engine catching a bit of sleep before coming in. Nothing wrong with that. Just the faintest hint of doubt hit the back of her mind as the question rose up: was there something wrong with that? The doubt was quickly dismissed. First off, Rebeka didn't seem to indicate that it was and secondly, what was done was done. No point worrying about what already complete.

She took another drink of her coffee**. Despite having lived in the United Kingdom for some time, she still hadn't got a hang of drinking tea. Denmark was predominately coffee drinkers. And though she hadn't drunk a lot of it when she was young, she had picked up the habit and had grown to like it as she had traveled through Denmark. The coffee was American style, obviously, but still not bad. It helped wake her up a bit and it was warm.

"That would be a good idea," she concurred. "I have a good idea of a few different things that we need, just to get started. I didn't make a full list but I know where to get started on." She finished her cup. "I presume you're coming with me?" She inquired glad for the company. It made sense really. Rebeka probably could authorize payments and such - something that they would be foolish to let Estella do without really knowing her.

When the other woman seemed ready to go - the two guests had already departed as well - Estella headed with her outside the airship. She wore basically the same thing she had been wearing the last couple days - trousers that had been slightly modified to fit her better, a sleeveless shirt (her jacket undoubtedly somewhere in the engine room), and boots. In the dark, she may or may not be mistaken for a boy - depending on the lighting and if she had her jacket - but daytime, it was evident she wasn't. Despite the pants, the smudge here or there of grease, the lack of grace (comparatively) in her walk, there was a touch of feminity to her. And the corset helped indicate that as well - tastefully displaying a bit of her form. Not that she thought much of it. It was something that society deemed and despite the fact she wore pants, there was only so much she could really push.

Her hair was pulled back and up pinned in an almost ponytail-style, a few strands purposely left out, hanging down. Little pouches completed her attire, hanging from her belt. Usually, that's where she kept her most precious items or tools - necklace excluded.

Shopping for parts with Estella was an interesting adventure. She might not know the name of a part but she did seem to know if a part worked or not. She examined any part that she might be interested in and then rail into the vendor if it was anything less than what he had said it was or promised it to be. Not so much because the part but because he was trying to cheat them. The vendors quickly realized that despite the fact they were dealing with two women, they knew what they were talking about.

Once she found a part and understood if it would work for what they needed or not, then came the haggling. Having grown up poor and used to haggling for everything, she countered any offer the vendor made with one of her own and then spent a bit of time attempting to haggle him down. Something that they really didn't comprehend as much as there wasn't a lot of it done here in England - or most places for that matter. But Estella did it well, using her knowledge of parts to work in her favor.

As they walked away from a vendor, yet another part picked up, a smile returned to Estella's face. Not only did they get a few good parts but they purchased them at a fairly reasonable price.

~ ~ ~


"Thank you," Roger nodded and followed Bea out the door.

Randolph T. Smith. The address from the envelope indicated he was not too close to the docks. That meant a long walk with a suitcase or catching a ride. Flagging down a cab, Roger helped Bea in before giving the address to the man.

He wondered how nervous Bea was. He was a bit nervous himself. This man had held a letter for Beatrix from her father for a year. He hadn't contacted her, hadn't said anything up to that point. In fact, he hadn't really even indicated it was from him, just her father. Hopefully, this meeting would provide some answers that they sought. Did he know about the journal her father had? Did he know where to find it? Did he have anything else that would help them figure out where to go from here? The half of the map enclosed also was a mystery. Did this Mr. Smith have the other half? Who else would Bea's father entrust it with?

There was so much that they didn't know. And the threat of danger was evident as well. Someone had been watching Bea after her father's death. Someone neither of them had even realized. Was that individual still watching or was she safe? Had they given up or were they still out there?

Whatever the case, they had to be very careful. The individuals who may or may not be following them were dangerous and had not hesitated to kill the professor. Roger doubted they would be more lenient to Bea.

But he kept his fears to himself. Giving Bea a smile, he gave her hand a slight squeeze. "Don't worry. We'll find out the truth soon enough." He told her confidently. At least a lot more confidence than he felt.

The house they stopped at was a very old, very large mansion of sorts. The gates were open so the cabby brought them up to the door. Helping Bea down, Roger paid the man. "Can you wait a moment?" He asked the man giving him an additional coin. "Just in case, no one is here and we need to head back right away."

The man examined the coin and then nodded. "Yes, Sir." He declared.

Nodding his thanks Roger looked at Bea. "Ready?"

**[note: I changed it from tea. Denmark is more a coffee drinking culture. I looked into Estella's background and her heritage shouldn't make a difference in something like this.
Also, realized we had him in Glasglow not Edinburg but it works lol]
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Rebeca was perfectly content shopping for parts and what not with Estella. Yeah, she might not know all that much about some of the things they picked up, but that didn't mean she didn't understand haggling and getting the best price. She enjoyed being on the ship, but it was also really nice to get out like this and stretch her legs as well. She loved seeing new places, or reseeing places she’d already been as well.

Once they were done with part shopping she pulled Estella along with her to go food shopping as well. Pick up fresh eggs, maybe some milk, produce and all. “Is there anything you like to eat?” she asked as they were looking over some carrots and potatoes at a stand from a local farmer. “Any comforts of home that you miss that I might be able to whip up for you?”

《》《》


She was surprisingly quiet the whole ride there. Meeting new people, or re meeting people as the case was here, had never been a problem for her before. She never got nervous about that sort of thing. And it wasn't so much that she was nervous about the social aspect if it. She was nervous that this would be a fool's quest. And one that might just get her, Roger, and Mister Smith into a deal of trouble.

Or even killed.

But Roger’s presence, the squeeze of her hand in his, that was enough to calm her down some, even if it didn't return her voice to her fully. “Yes, soon,” she murmured in agreement.

When they made it to the house, she took a deep breath, taking the offered hand down and stood clutching the handle of her briefcase in her hands so tightly they made her already white lace gloves look even whiter.

“Ready,” she said with more confidence than she had, stepping forward and pulling the bell rope. She just hopped that they would be seen to quickly else she might change her mind.
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Food shopping was not the same as part shopping. One wasn't better than the other - just different. There were so many smells and associations with food that one didn't get with parts. But on the other hand, she was more familiar and interested in parts that she was with food. Still, Estella had no trouble keeping up and enjoying herself as they hunted for fresh supplies.

In some aspects, she was fairly good at picking produce, eggs and the lot as she had done a lot of that when she had been home. But Estella didn't push forward, letting Rebeka take the lead on this. She had no problems helping but wasn't the type to overstep or push in on what someone else was doing.

The question about her preferences surprised her. It really shouldn't have. From her engagements with the Americans, Estella had seen they were nice, friendly, and seemed to care about other people - including hers - opinions. Still, she wasn't going to take advantage of it. She did her best to follow Kosher as best she could though she wasn't perfect on it. It was very difficult and near impossible at times. Though, she did avoid any and all foods that was strictly forbidden. Her family would probably be ashamed of her - well they already disowned her - but she still tried to live as best she could to some of the traditions of her childhood.

That said, she didn't impose on others nor want to make herself a burden.

"I'm fine. I don't eat certain foods like pork or have milk and meat in the same meal but you shouldn't concern yourself with me." She gave a smile. "But I do appreciate it." And she did. But she wasn't going to make anyone else's life more difficult.

~ ~ ~


The maid that answered the door, glanced them over. Seeming to accept that they weren't vagabonds, she was still a bit firm as she inquired as to their business.

"We'd like to see Mr. Smith if he's available." Roger gave the woman a polite smile.

The maid gave them another look. "And who be you two?" She asked.

Roger let Bea introduce them, seeing as she had more connection with the man than he. Despite the fact she hadn't met him, her father had known him so hopefully, that would get them in the door.

The maid frowned slightly and gave Bea another glance. "Beatrix Brown? You're Edwin's little girl." Her stern demeanor changed almost instantly. She engulfed the girl in a hug before pulling back. "We were rightfully heartbroken about your father. He was such a good man. Such a shame." She stepped aside, letting them in.

"Let me get you some tea. Doctor Smith isn't in at the moment but he should be back very shortly." She ushered them into the study. "Be just a moment." With a flash, she was gone leaving the two alone for a second.

"Well, this is good." Roger gave Bea a smile. They remembered her father and seemed to have warm feelings so they would be inclined to help. He was glad that they came out this way.

"Here we are." The maid came back out and poured them some tea. "My you've grown a lot since I've seen you. You were but a wee lass, not even to my knee." It was obvious the maid knew Bea though if the two had met it had been a very long time ago.
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Rebeca raised an eyebrow some at that response. “Well just know that I don’t mind doing stuff for you,” she said with a little shrug of her shoulders. “We don’t cook a lot of pork anyways. Aside from bacon. You don’t… it isn’t a problem if things are cooked in the same pans? I thought that was something I heard somewhere…”

She shrugged some, laughing a little at herself. “I don’t really know much if I’m honest. Just what I hear in passing. Dad and I are much more find your own path to enlightenment sort of thing I guess. Mom’s family wasn’t too keen on that, but at least while my grandparents were around no one bothered me about it.” Her tone had shifted some, becoming darker than her normal cheer. She looked away, closing her eyes for a moment as she gathered herself back into her normal self.

{} {} {}
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Bea had nodded when she had mentioned her father’s name. Trying not to tea up any. She followed the woman in, clutching onto the handle of her case to keep herself from reaching over and taking Roger’s hand. His steady prencese was all that was keeping her from breaking down just then.

She had sat herself down on the edge of chair after she had gone to fetch the tea and smiled up at Roger slightly while she nodded her head. “So far,” she murmured before the woman was back.

She murmured a thank you when she was handed her cup, taking a sip before she replied. “I’m sorry,” she said with a little laugh. “I have no real memory of you. So I’m sure I’m much bigger than the last we meet.”
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Black Ninja

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The smile spread across Estella's lips. Not many people actually showed any interest in her or her practices. In fact, most who realized she was Jewess spurned or were prejudiced against her. Outside her own, none really seemed interested in actually learning about what she could and couldn't do. That thought brought a hint of homesickness but she pushed it down.

"There are." She said, pausing and looking at a vendor's table before continuing. "Dairy and meat must not be mixed at all. Different pans altogether. There a cleansing processes but usually they're just kept separate." Her brow furrowed slightly as she studied her companion. There was something there. Something that reminded Estella of her own family. Not everything had gone well for the beautiful redhead beside her. At least not from what it sounded like.

She placed a hand lightly on the other girl's shoulder. "I'm sorry." Funny really, the conversation hadn't really warranted that but the posture, body language - all of that indicated that not everything had been right, and that was why she sympathized.

"Yes, my family," she almost choked, forcing herself to keep the words smooth. This was not something she talked about. Ever. Still... "They didn't fully approve of my choice of work." She shrugged slightly fiddling with a fruit before putting it back on the stand. "Tinkerer is not exactly what the parents of an Orthodox family want for their girl." She laughed though it was forced. She looked over at Rebeka. The other girl really hadn't admitted any family issues but for some reason she felt that saying that helped. Or she hoped. "Family." She forced another smile. "You love them but they don't always understand, no?"

She averted her eyes and moved along.

~ ~ ~


A wide smile grew on the maid's face. "Yes, you were quite young. I'm not surprised, dear." She moved over and sat beside Beatrix. "Your father used to bring you here when you were very young. He and Mr. Smith were very good friends. They went to the university together. The three of them would have such good times."

"Three?" Roger frowned. The way it had been phrased had indicated that Beatrix was not among the three. Otherwise the woman would have said the "three of you".

The maide looked over at Roger. "Ah, such a handsome young man." She winked at Beatrix. "You're very fortunate. Are you two married?"

Roger cleared his throat, turning a bit red. "No. No. Just good friends." He stammered slightly.

The woman looked from one of them to the other, a smile toying on her lips but she left it at that. "Yes, three. Your father," she said to Beatrix. "Mr. Smith, and a third colleague of theirs Mr. Müller, used to have such great conversations. But that was a long time ago."
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