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Dinah Lance blondecanary
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The Clocktower, New Gotham, Saturday
Dinah had actually bought some pretty nice presents for Priestly's birthday, and had found a good place to get a cake (the guy shouldn't have to make one on his own birthday (unless he really wanted to)). It was going to be a pretty cool day--

--but Dinah was not in residence. Instead, Elizabeth Tudor, Queen of England, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, etc. (circa 1558), was stopping by.

Currently she was looking out the glass windows of the Clocktower in amazement, a little fear, and a great deal of bewilderment.

Which would probably shortly become 'really pissed off' as soon as she had someone to talk to.

[Open for visits and phone calls! Dinah is now Queen Elizabeth I, based on Rachel Skarsten's appearances on Reign.]

Priestly raised his eyebrow at that. "There's a whole kitchen right over there, you know. You didn't even try to make yourself a bowl of cereal?" She probably didn't know what modern cereal was. "You totally shouldn't get married if you don't want to. I'm all for doing what you want."

"That is the kitchen?" She hadn't been able to recognize anything, and had been considering searching out bread to toast in the fireplace. "And thank you." She gave this Priestly a pleased look. "I wish my advisors could be as sensible as you, Sir Priestly. They are all thinking of the short-term." She rose from the couch as her stomach grumbled again, and she grimaced. "Queens do not apologize," she informed him. "However. I would consider it a great favor if you could direct me to some toast with preserves."

"Oh no, heaven forefend that her highness should lower herself so far as to apologize." Sorry, the sarcasm was uncontrollable. "Owe me. So big." He went for a loaf of bread -- pre-sliced, nine grain, and checked the fridge. "What kind of -- preserves you want? Alfred keeps this place fully stocked."

Elizabeth was now indulging Priestly, because he was raised by wolves. Possibly Scottish ones.

"Royalty may not apologize, because it is a sign of weakness," she sighed, following him into the kitchen. "We may still have regrets and... Apple? Or peach, if you have it, I-- what is that box?"

Ooooo. Shiny technology. "It's cold! An icebox of some sort? Only truly ice!"

This is way better than your republican principles, Priestly. "Are you a king yourself?" she demanded, because. Mean! Not telling her!

"No, I told you: I'm a cook and a student." This birthday sucked. "It's called a refrigerator. A marvelous invention brought about by freedom from oppressive governmental systems."

Okay, so probably refrigeration could still have been invented under a monarchy. But it hadn't, so NYEAH.

(In fact, it technically had, in the 18th century by a Scotsman. But Priestly hadn't looked at wikipedia yet.)

"What do you study?" Elizabeth was opening the other doors now. SO MUCH FOOD, goodness. What she could do with one of these at home. Maybe she could take it with her when she left. "And I have never oppressed anyone!"

Congratulations, Priestly, you got her to drop the royal We.

"Yuh-huh," Priestly said, resisting the urge to roll his eyes. "Your country have poor people, Majesty?"

Sorry, Liz, Priestly had done this to the legendary Arthur. He wasn't going to let you off the hook.

"I'm studying nutrition. So, you know, what sorts of foods are actually good for you, instead of just tasty."

"Of course! The poor are always with us." At least he was using her correct title... almost. Now she was snooping through cupboards. Because otherwise, how would she find out more about this place. "This is why we have the Poor Laws, how do you not know that? ... You wouldn't have any chocolate, would you? The Spanish ambassador shared some drinking chocolate and I was rather fond of it."

"Probably not the sort you're familiar with." Not if she was getting it from Latin America in the 17th century. "Don't suppose those poor laws offer your broke citizens routes out of poverty, do they?"

He was 99.9% sure they didn't.

Elizabeth gave him a puzzled look. "If they won't work, how can they earn?" She paused and added, "Well, unless they're an indigent vagrant, in which case we can issue them a begging license. There are other kinds of chocolate?" She paused to examine a very nice piece of silverware. "Whose home is this, your friend who is missing?"

"I can promise you, they'd basically all much rather be doing meaningful work for a living wage." Priestly actually had this argument regularly at work, too. How sad was that? "But your laws file everyone away into classes, so nobles can't be blacksmiths if they want to and poor people can't do anything but get locked into indentured servitude or pick pockets if they don't want to starve. That's oppressive. Your laws oppress everybody. Including you." He found some hot cocoa mix and started heating some milk on the stove. "And yeah, this place belongs to Dinah and her family. Though I'm not sure where Barbara and Helena and Alfred got off to. . . . You didn't scare them off, did you? Threaten to behead them?"

Admittedly, that would not actually scare any of them off.

"I can not create employment out of thin air," Elizabeth said in exasperation. "There is the army, and the navy, for men with skills; the church for those with education enough... I am not oppressed!" Offended, but not oppressed. "I am the Queen of England, Ireland and France!" Hello, also, the part of America you said wasn't hers any more! "I have seen no one here since my arrival. Aside from yourself.... and why on Earth would any noble wish to be a blacksmith?"

"Why wouldn't they?" Priestly shot back. "Is there something wrong with being a blacksmith? And you: you're not even allowed to apologize. Everyone's on you all the time to get married even though you don't want to. You don't have any choices, either. The whole system is built just to keep everyone in their place."

"It is honorable work, but back-breaking, and of less influence than politics or those occupations a gentleman may take up," Elizabeth responded. She paused and said, almost sounding conciliatory, "My lot is better than that of other women. I want for nothing. I have the luxury of rejecting suitors. The power to make changes. The education to do so wisely. To aspire to more would be..." Unimaginable. She shook her head and looked at the preparations he'd made. "You are a very contentious person, Sir Priestly. Toast?"

The elevator sounded in the hallway, and she turned toward it with a frown. "What is that?"

"Possibly Dinah's family," Priestly said. "Which means you might get to be appalled by female fashion of the 21st century as well as my contentious politics."

He was kind of hoping Liz and Alfred would very politely throw down. He'd sell tickets to that.

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