He was a little bit dizzy.
Steely eyes drifted to the side, focusing on the window and then past it, out the freshly cleaned panes and faded sash bars. Over-trimmed trees and dying flowers in planter boxes around lampposts. Vendors, criers, loiterers, passersby. Some faces he recognized; most he didn’t. A few he wished he didn’t. The street was filthy, he observed, and he wished the city workers would come by and do something for it. Alas, they never seemed to; and with how cold it was, he doubted there’d be rain rather than sleet or snow. His gaze tracked idly to the left- a new store a little ways down the street was being fixed up. When had that been sold? When had it been bought, for that matter? He supposed it didn’t matter. A sign, listing its opening date about a month out, advertised little clocks and watches. How quaint.
What was he doing? Right, of course, being dizzy. Well, no, not quite even that. Lightheaded. Standing up and feeling like he'd left his brain in his chair. Maybe he shouldn't drink so much so early in the day. He rose from the cherrywood stool behind the counter, and oh, yes, there was a lovely feeling of not-quite-vertigo that almost dragged him back down. He exhaled and steadied himself.
His hair was neat, laid back in a twisted braid, secured by twinkling silver rings. Carefully and meticulously done the whole way down, it didn’t betray how much whiskey he’d had while affixing it that morning. He brushed it back over his shoulder and spared a glance at the little brass entry bell over the front door. It hung, merrily as always, exactly where it was fucking supposed to be. He sighed and quietly turned to the stockroom. On his way, he passed rows and rows of neat shelves, all stained that same smooth, cherrylike color (but they were cypress, he knew- sturdy and long-lasting, but less damn expensive) and stocked painstakingly with seemingly endless books. He ran a fingertip over the edge of one and was satisfied to see it come up clean of dust. Good. As it should be. He inspected a display, next. A new nonfiction detailing a look at the relation of agricultural and environmental conservation achievements of his homeland. He noted with a hint of almost-pride that they were selling so quickly that he would already need to restock it.
Dizzy, bored. Dizzy was never good. Bored was, so long as he wasn’t idle about it. So, he opened the door of the backroom, laid his waistcoat to the side, and rolled up his sleeves.
It had been a productive week for Mordred. He and his people had picked up a substantial amount of information on quite a few prolific groups and figures. But for as careful and neurotic as he was, Mordred and Gabriel might as well have been two different people. The folders here, where Gabriel worked, were low-risk, light, and trivial, and the heavier stuff was hidden well away. Though he itched to dig through the more important side of things, he had been doing this for long enough that he knew the value of patience. Besides, it meant that he had plenty of time to go through the files he’d relocated last night and make it to a nearby café for lunch.