The story so far:
Iris woke with a groan as sunlight flooded through a dirty window and rested on her face. She pulled the pillow from under her head and covered her face. Then she opened her eyes and sat up with a start.
“Good morning, sunshine,” Emily chuckled, standing with her back turned to Iris. Iris glanced around. She was lying in Emily’s bed, the sheets completely disheveled around her ankles.
“What time is it?” Iris asked, holding her head.
“Nine in the morning. You look like shite,” Emily said, turning.
“Thanks, love,” Iris groaned. “**** my head!”
“Serves you right for thinking you could go drink for drink with me,” Emily laughed. “Here, a cup a tea with a kick. Should help you over the worst of it.”
Iris took the steaming cup from Emily’s grasp and sipped carefully. She tasted spice and hint of oaky whiskey.
“I’m shocked that there was any left,” Iris said.
“I stopped when you passed out. Which took much longer than I expected, I must say,” Emily said. “You represented England’s drinking abilities very well. Nothing on the Emerald Isle, though.”
“Alas,” Iris said, sipping again. Emily stood at the foot of the bed, studying her.
“I know a really good breakfast place around the corner, let’s go, my treat,” Emily said.
“I don’t need you to treat,” Iris said.
“Granted, but it is somewhat my fault that you’re in the spot you’re in. The least I can do is feed you. Come on.”
Iris kicked her feet free of the sheets and glanced around for her shoes. They were by the edge of the bed, lined up perfectly. Iris looked up at Emily with a confused expression.
“Well I wasn’t going to let you sleep on the couch, what kind of hostess would I be then?” Emily said, handing Iris her shoes.
“Thanks, Em,” Iris said, slipping them on.
“Not at all.”
The two women exited the flat and walked down the street to a sidewalk café. The owner smiled in recognition when he saw Emily.
“What’ll it be, love?”
“Eggs and toast for me and a special cure for my friend here,” Emily said. The owner gave Iris a sympathetic smile and then wandered to the kitchen as Emily and Iris settled down at a table in the corner. Iris bent down and held her head in her hands.
“What the bloody hell was I thinking?” Iris moaned.
“Don’t beat yourself up, I’m sure the pint of gin you had before you came by didn’t help matters much,” Emily said.
“No, I’m sure it didn’t,” Iris sighed. The breakfast arrived then, Iris’ plate was filled with potatoes and blood sausage, along with some eggs and bacon. “Christ!”
“Just eat, you’ll thank me later,” Emily said, digging into her eggs. Iris sighed and picked up her fork.
An hour later Iris felt like a new person. Sure, her head was still splitting open and her eyes felt like cigarettes had been put out on them but her mind was awake and alert for the first time in over a day.
“Thanks,” Iris said, exiting the café behind Emily.
“No problem, Mate,” Emily said, pausing to light a cigarette. “Now, go drink some water and go back to sleep if you can.”
“Yes ma’am,” Iris said. Emily winked and started walking down the street towards her flat. “Oi, Emily!” Iris called after her. Emily turned. “Thanks. For everything else.”
Emily broke into a genuine smile and walked back. Without hesitating she hugged Iris close and then held her at arm’s length, looking up into her eyes.
“What are fellow spies for?” Emily said. Iris grinned and hugged her back.
“I’ll see you later. And answer your phone, alright?”
“Got it,” Emily said, continuing down the street.