2007-09-11: Should Have Served Spoo

Starring:

Kory_icon.gif Lee_icon.gif

Summary: Kory barges in and makes dinner for the twins. Only Lee is present; Kory tries to get him to relax and stop being so pissed off all the time. She's …fractionally successful.

Date It Happened: September 11, 2007

Log Title Should Have Served Spoo


Location The Jones Apartment

Lee and Nima are still doing that one-here, the-other-gone thing, and although neither of them knows it, Kory's confident that it's because they're visiting their father, long missing, in whatever hospital bed Lee dreamed he was in. The odd thing is Nima doesn't even mention it to her long-time employee and friend. You'd think they'd be relieved, happy. They're not. They keep quiet, keep it to themselves, and that's not natural either for the gregarious, friendly Nima or the snarky, sardonic Lee.

Lee's been on a downhill turn as the days drag on. Not even making a Magic: The Gathering nerd cry with a single barbed, nasty, offhand comment made him smile, not even smirk. He argues on his cellphone when he thinks nobody is listening. He and Nima haven't been to a Mobius Ouroborous gig, or even a serious practice session, in months. The Jones twins are being pulled apart. Maybe the whole family is.

Which, being an observant type, a caring type, one who holds a psych degree, and working in proximity to the twins — Kory has noticed. Hence why the door swings open with the shove of a hip. "Wash your hands, then siddown and get outta the way. I'm cooking dinner." The bags she's carrying indicate Balducci's. Whatever it is, it isn't cheap. "You like porterhouse and mashed potatoes and brussels sprouts, right? 'Course you do." She is saying all this as she makes a beeline for the kitchen, regardless of where Lee happens to be standing. If he's in the way? He'd better move.

Lee says, "What? Hey, you can't just…sure, but…I…" He was awfully busy sitting on the couch feeling sorry for himself. "Nobody likes brussels sprouts." he says confidently. "Not even people in Brussels. You can't just come in here and…why…" The generosity of buying the expensive food is not lost on him. "Did you steal out of the register to get this?" He's joking, but it's not a classy joke. At all.

"Good thing I know a good recipe," Kory replies, nonphased. "My mother could make any vegetable palatable. Anzi wouldn't eat 'em otherwise." A roll of her eyes follows the classless joke. "And no. I didn't. Butthead." She sets the bags down, then ruffles his hair gently, as if he were a sulky adolescent. "I hocked your violin." Of course she didn't, and he probably knows that.

Lee yanks his head back. No hair-ruffling, that might feel good. "Might as well, nobody at the freakin' music workshop gives a crap about it anymore." he says sulkily. "Seriously, Nima's not here, so why don't you, I mean…why?"

Kory shrugs, and turns back to the kitchen, "Because you're skinny and underfed, and you spend more time bitching than you do eating or sleeping. And because …oh, I dunno…friends do that for each other. Y'know how that works. Friends? They have that word in your language?"

Thencefrom issue sounds that indicate she's busily massaging the meat into tenderness. And fragrances that indicate the herbs are fresh.

Lee is about to say something nasty like 'since when are we friends' but gives up. "Fine, it's your money." he says grumpily, throwing up his hands and going to get washed up. Actually, he gets a very quick two-minute shower and changes clothes before he comes back out, although frankly his crappy short-sleeved dress shirts tend to all run together. "It does smell good." he admits in a gloomy way. "How are things downstairs? No more fistfighting in the Warhammer corner over range rules?" he says in a tone that indicates he doesn't much care about the answer.

"It's all fine," Kory assures him. The potatoes are already bubbling away in a pot. It'll be a few minutes before they boil. "I posted house rules, told them they'll change in a week, and if they didn't like that, they could play something else until the rules change." She glances affectionately over a shoulder at him. "Well, you're looking a little less rumpled. So… I know how school is, but that can't be the only reason you're trying to get yourself into an earlier grave than usual."

Lee waves a hand dismissively, "Just a bunch of bullshit from a bunch of assholes. Nima's better able to cope with it all, having a more well-developed fantasy world she projects around her everywhere she goes." Inter-twin snark is not rare, but it's rarely delivered without the other one there. "Had another fight in class today. Same girls as before. They didn't even get in-school suspension, just sent them right back to me and waited for my back to be turned. Then it was on. I almost got slugged myself."

Kory raises a brow at the crack. It's rare to hear Lee take a shot at his sister like *that*. "They can smell fear, you know," she suggests mildly. "You could put mirrors up over the board. Or you could quit and find a job you actually enjoy."

Lee chuckles darkly. "A mirror wouldn't last thirty seconds in that place. I might as well paint a target on the board and hand out rocks.I could bus tables in Lebanon, that would be safer." he quips, mistaking Kory's suggestion for an invitation to joke at the expense of his students. "Seriously, the administration is running scared of these kids. I guess one of them had their parents threaten to sue if she was disciplined. It might keep little Muffy from getting into Cornell. PS her name is not Muffy."

"Thank god. That'd be a cruel thing to name a child," Kory replies, leaving the rest ignored. "How do you like your steak?" She has sliced some mushrooms, and comes back into the living room with a handful. "Want one?"

Lee says, "Medium's good." He's just a regular guy in some ways. "Sure, thanks." he says, taking a few, unconsciously reverting to being cool with her instead of remembering how annoyed he is she's here. "So you're all moved in? Doing okay in the new place?"

"Uh-huh. I'm a girl who is easily pleased." Obviously. She's perfectly happy walking dogs, jobbing at the Lair, and DJing. Most other people would be miserable at such a patchwork existence. "It's better than the last one. I'm not under the El anymore."

Lee says, "I thought it was a good size, to fit all your books in there. You know, you'd have a lot more room if you dumped the comics." There'd be a lot more room here, too. Everyman classic literature editions war with the latest graphic novels for shelf space.

"Anzeti would never forgive me. Mom won't let him keep his at the old place. Besides, comics are good for rainy nights when I can't get to sleep. You wouldn't understand." Kory almost looks sorry for him as she regards him. "Besides, even without the comics, I'd still have a lot of books." She returns to the kitchen. The potatoes are boiling away cheerfully, and she's mixing some sort of very savory sauce into which she slices the fresh brussels sprouts. "I just can't get the hang of e-books, y'know?"

Lee agrees: "Paper is better. It doesn't crash. But Bulwer-Lytton is for sleepless nights, that guy can knock out a charging rhinoceros in two sentences. Of course those sentences take three pages…" He amiably follows her along into the kitchen. Still very low energy. "Do you mind if I ask you a hypothetical question? Let's say you found out that the bullshit Cass peddles up the street, that some of it is true. Some people out there do have psychic abilities. Not minor ones, either, big ones. They just hid it. How would you react to that, would you be excited, afraid, what?"

Kory tosses him a cherry tomato. "Nah, when I can't sleep, I like comfort. If I want boredom, I can just sit there rather than reading dry political text." She adds the tomatoes to the savory sauce, along with some leeks and lentils. The steaks are still sitting ready to broil, since they'll be done last.

Lee asks his hypothetical question, and Kory turns to stare at him for a full twenty seconds before she says, in the tone one might use to calm a vicious dog, "You do realize you're asking a geek that question, don't you?"

Lee says, "I know who you are, Kory, you don't have to remind me. It's rubbed in my face every time I go downstairs." sardonically. "Seriously, though. In the real world, how would you react?"

Kory pauses, to consider the question, since Lee appears to be so earnest about it. "Well, it depends, I guess. I mean, it'd be a macrocosm of what the world is already like. Good people would theoretically do good, and people less morally centered would not. So it'd be pretty exciting, potentially. Or really dangerous." She turns to search the kitchen for the potato masher, or an electric mixer. "What about you? Be a nice change of pace from the drudgery, or just one more damn thing to contend with?"

Lee shakes his head. "It would annoy the living shit out of me." he says. "Living above a comic store is bad enough, living actually in a comic? Things would seem shallow and worthless - grand myths just reality TV. Things like that. But I'm not surprised you'd react that way, Neems said the same thing." That's less earnestly considering than descriptive, like it's a feeling he's lived through. He changes the subject: "How are the discs spinning, get any cool gigs recently?"

"Leto," Kory says, smiling as she brandishes the masher, "Everything annoys the shit out of you. Everything. For as long as I've known you." She shrugs. "I tend to embrace the what ifs, rather than sulk because they're making you think outside the box you like to live in." Happy for a subject change, she ads, "Yeah, I played at The Vault last weekend. It was marvelous. Electro-ska that I threaded with a bit of Bollywood pop. They ate it up."

Lee protests: "That's not true. Balzac doesn't annoy me. He's awesome. And Dickens. Even movie adaptations of Dickens. Even if Muppet Christmas Carol is the only one you ever experienced…" And to a certain degree, defending his favorites seems to charge him up a little, give him some more energy, though that last taunt might come off just a bit mean-spirited. He unintentionally softens it a bit by saying: "That sounds cool…I saw some flyers up for a rave down by the college out on the fencepost, I bet you could get yourself in there if you needed some extra cash. This can't have been cheap."

"Oh, bite me, snob. I saw Patrick Stewart on Broadway when I was in high school," Kory retorts, although she isn't really annoyed. She's used to his barbs by now. "A /rave/. That'd be interesting, yeah. Only concern is how much nonsense I'd have to put up with. College kids think they're more invincible than high school kids." The steaks go into the oven as she returns her attention to mashing. "It wasn't that big a deal, Lee. Really. One of my dog walk clients is a huge tipper."

Lee says, "Yeah, I wouldn't go on unless I was wearing a slicker. Three fratboys come stumbling up front with a glowstick-wrapped beer bong and you never know what happens next." Nima and he have played in some….interesting venues too. He lets the food thing go, if it's not a big deal it's not a big deal.

"Plus, being a girl, I'd have to dress down or get macked on by said drunk-ass fratboys." Kory rolls her eyes. "Outgrew that before I got outta high school, even." She gets the veggie-thing off the heat, and seems satisfied with the potatoes. The steaks are sizzling away. When did she do that? "But I'll have a look. Nice of you to think of me, really."

Lee says, "Yeah…not my scene but why not?" noncommittally.

"It's nice to see you can do thoughtful when you put your mind to it," Kory teases gently. She bends to check the steaks. Hers comes out, but she leaves Lee's in another couple minutes. "C'mon grab a plate," she announces when she finally retrieves his steak as well.

Lee does as instructed, even grabbing some sodas from the fridge to have with it. There's usually a bottle of wine or so in the Jones fridge but it's gone and the rack is empty, another subtle sign of pain. "Oh yeah, because being thoughtful has really worked for me so far." he snarks. Because that's the only reason Lee would be thoughtful, is because it might do something for him. His cellphone rings, the ringtone is a Laurie Anderson tape-bow distortion. "Hang on, it's Nima." he says. He answers. "Yeah….well….Kory's here….Yeah, it smells really good. Are you sure? Okay…I'll…I will." He hangs up without a goodbye, the perfunctory response of someone who knows they'll be talking again very soon. "She says to wrap hers up and put it in the fridge when we're done, and also thank you times one million for putting up with me." Yes, Lee passes along his sisters' messages accurately.

"Hers is already in the fridge, except the veg and the potatoes," Kory replies. "I wouldn't forget her." She reaches to ruffle Lee's hair again. "And for being thoughtful…" She kisses her fingertips and reaches to press them to his cheek. "So you can say at least once being thoughtful worked out okay. Eat your dinner."

Lee says, "One step up…" But he saves the two steps back for another time. He does eat, and he eats it all, famished, strung out, jumpy. "This is terrific for being so fast, you've got good timing on when things get done." he says, not even a backhanded compliment, a regular old decent one.

"Yeah, well, it was either eat prepackaged garbage or learn to cook young, what with Ma having so many jobs. And it was either learn to cook right, or eat horribly burned stuff that shoulda been good." Kory smiles wryly. She doesn't talk about her family often, except her brother. They're not twins, but it's clear they're nearly as close as Lee and Nima are. "Glad you're enjoying it. It's nice to have somebody else to cook for."

Lee says, "Thanks. Nima and I get into the kitchen a lot. Mom and Dad could ruin cereal. We should team up and have a big dinner party sometime after…sometime. Get everyone over here, open up the windows, air out the place."

Kory quirks a brow, but is silent for a moment, probably swallowing a retort that would drive Lee right back into his snarky persona. "That sounds like fun, actually. Name the time, and I'll open up the spot in my schedule for it."

Lee says, "I'll talk to Nima about it." but it's clear that he regards the plan as aspirational, not concrete. Not now. In fact, thinking about the future seems to drive him a bit back down into himself and he falls silent again.

Kory lets him be quiet and pensive as they wrap up the meal. She obligingly picks up the plates and takes them in the kitchen to wash them. "Something's still bugging you, hmm?" she surmises. "The point of a good meal with a friend is to relax. You're not relaxing."

Lee says, darkly, "A lot of bullshit, like I said." He focuses a little, tries his best: "I don't want to get into it with you, especially when you've just done me a good turn. Things are just in the fucking toilet these days."

Kory sighs. "Okay. Still, you do know I hate seeing you walk around with thunderheads behind your eyes. I worry about you. You're always so angry all the time." She lets him be for a short while so she can finish the dishes, then retrieves her sneakers. They came off at some point during the cooking and were kicked over by the doorway between the apartment proper and the kitchen. "If you do decide you need to talk, you know how to get ahold of me, all right?"

Lee says sarcastically, "Gee, I don't know, if I could only figure out where you worked. Maybe you could leave a business card." Ouch. "I mean…" He shakes his head, closes his eyes. "Yeah, I know where to find you."

Kory takes a long, deep breath. "Okay, I'm gonna head home. Hate using the subway without one of the dogs if it gets too late. You can give me a call if you outgrow the defense mechanism, hmm?" She sweeps past him, collecting the cloth bags she brought the groceries in. Yay, environmental consciousness. "Try to get some sleep, too. Getting the shit annoyed out of you isn't going to change what is from being what is."

Lee says, "I'll try…" but doesn't manage to get a 'Thanks' out until she's gone. So he might as well say "Shit." because that's how he feels. He does. The couch and self-pity remain.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License