Winter always came too early, as far as Henry was concerned. Cloudless skies gradually became more grey as the days passed. There was plenty left to do, however, and he almost did not even notice until he felt the tell-tale chill in the air. Henry spent his days at Evie’s side; training, completing missions, and other times just enjoying her company.
He had apparently made good progress, holding his own in spars against other Rooks, and occasionally Evie herself. Deep down, however, he was sure he’d never match her skill. Had he not been given a new reason to improve his fighting abilities, he would have returned to his books.
Should a Templar presence reappear in London, Henry was determined to be of use and protect Evie if need be.
As snow began to fall in the streets, Henry became more reclusive. More often than not Evie found him huddled by the small fireplace in the first car of their train. It soon became clear what was bothering him so much- he simply hated the cold.
Unsurprisingly, Evie quickly caught on to the problem and decided to fix it.
“You should have told me sooner.” Evie approached him from behind, a heavy wool blanket rolled up under one arm. She unfurled it and draped it over his shoulders before pulling up a seat beside him.
Henry immediately made use of the blanket and wrapped it around him tighter, before turning to face Evie. “I did not want to bother you. There are far more important th-“
Evie did not let him finish, instead reaching forward to run her fingers through his hair. The motion was enough to stop him mid-sentence, as she had planned. “-than what, your comfort and well-being? And what if you get sick?” She gave him a look, but smiled when he leaned his head against her hand.
With a sigh, Henry nodded and admitted she was right. He shuffled closer and leaned against her, his head on her outer thigh. Somehow she felt warmer than the blanket around him.
Evie smiled and continued to run her fingers through his hair, the previously irritable Henry was now falling asleep against her, a perfectly content look on his face.
Unfortunately, the days only continued to get colder. Snow gathered on rooftops, the ground, and the train tracks.
Evie, seemingly unperturbed by the snow and cold, braved the frigid conditions often. Even now there were small pockets of Blighters that would reappear, if only to cause trouble and steal much needed supplies from poorer boroughs. She had made it her priority, however, to find Henry a more suitable outfit. A tailored coat lined with insulation, a shirt, some new breeches, and a tall pair of boots that would allow him to trudge through deep snow without feeling its chill.
She did not hesitate to present the new clothes to Henry. As much as she liked his previous outfit, it simply left him ill-equipped to deal with winter.
“Here, these should suit you well.” She handed him the bundle and watched his reaction.
“…Evie, what are these?” Henry looked confused as he looked through the garments.
“For you, obviously.” She laughed briefly. “You can’t stay on the train all winter, and I would rather not see you be miserable outside. Come now, try them on.” He ushered him into one of the cars further down- as they had added a few more as more legitimate sleeping quarters. Thankfully, the first one they stepped into was vacant, and she simply turned around to let him change.
There was a bit of shuffling before Henry paused. “Aren’t you going to…” He trailed off. It wasn’t that he didn’t trust her, just…
“And risk someone walking in on you stark naked? I’m standing guard.” She stifled a laugh before shifting slightly, but never turned around.
“Evie!” Henry felt the heat rush to his cheeks as soon as he heard what she’d said, and held the new clothes against his now bare chest.
“For Creed’s sake, Henry, just finish dressing.” She couldn’t hold back her laugh now, though she did feel a little bad for being so amused.
From the rustle of fabric behind her, he finished pulling on his new clothes quickly. “…Ahem..” He signaled quietly that he was finished, glad that she had not turned around beforehand- if only because she had respected his privacy when he asked.
Evie turned around slowly, before looking him up and down. He definitely looked different, and far more akin to something Jacob would wear, but she’d be lying if she said they did not look good on him. They were slightly more form fitting than Henry’s original clothing, but still allowed for ease of movement. It was the boots, she assumed, he’d need to get used to. How he wore such flimsy little ones beforehand she was not sure.
“I look ridiculous, don’t I?” Henry’s cheeks were still flushed as he looked himself over, making small movements to see how everything fit.
“Far from it.” Evie assured him, stepping forward to adjust his shirt and coat slightly. “Honestly, I would say you look quite dashing.” She smiled, making no attempt to hide her satisfaction at the results.
“..Everything fits well.” He confirmed, tapping the toes of his new boots against the floor of the train. They were far heavier than his normal shoes but they fit snugly, and already he felt much warmer. Even enough to see how everything held up against the snow.
“That was my intention. Can’t have you running around London in breeches four sizes too large now, can we?” Evie laughed again, but offered her gloved hand to Henry, and once the train made a stop they left it.
The two of them wandered the snowy streets, neither of them having any real destination in mind. It was nice enough just to be in each other’s company.
“This isn’t your first winter in London.” Evie began, knowing that for sure. “How did you deal with last year’s?” She asked, truly curious now.
“It was miserable.” Henry had no qualms telling her how it was. “I spent most of the time huddled up in my shop. It is certainly not a fond memory.” He stopped there, with a small shake of his head.
“Henry, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to-” Evie’s smile turned into a frown, apologizing for dredging things up.
“It is fine, Evie. This winter is far better already.” He assured her, his own smile returning as he walked closer beside her. His hand gripped hers just a bit tighter, enough that she might catch his meaning.
“I’m just glad I convinced you to get off that train.” She teased, though she knew full well what he’d meant.
“Thank you, Evie.” Henry looked at her, his expression showing only happiness and contentment in spite of the snowflakes that had started to fall around them. “…For everything.”
“It was the least I could do.” She glanced upward at the dark grey sky and then back to him. “Keeping you warm, I mean.”
“Then promise me one thing.” Henry replied, brushing a few snowflakes from his hair.
“What is that?” Evie questioned, curious once more.
“That we spend the next winter in India.” He answered, crinkling his nose at the cold air.
Evie began to laugh once again, almost believing Henry was joking.
“Evie, I’m serious!” He pouted, soon proving his sincerity.
“Alright. I promise we will spend the next winter wherever you want.” She soon replied, her promise genuine as her tone shifted. “I’ve always wanted to see India.”