Coffee and Clark

March 16, 2018:

Clark Kent meets Emery Papsworth and is saved from the coffee stain of doom.

Metropolis – The City Street

City Street in Metropolis.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Mid-day traffic crawls through the city streets a cacophony of shouting, horns, and buzzing construction.

The pedestrian signal at the intersection of Remington Street and Concord Ave switches from crimson-hand to white-walker allowing pedestrians across the busy thoroughfare.

Amongst the pedestrians is a tall oafish man dressed in an well worn business suit purchased from a department store rack nearly a decade ago. Hunched shoulders and a bit of a pot-belly he plods forward more intent upon his feet and the street than the city that surrounds him. Nearly midway across he reaches deep into his right-side pocket and concurrently the toe of his shoe seems to catch upon a bit of uneven pavement.

He falls, like a stout tree, colliding with a demure business woman on her phone who was walking the opposite way. The heel of her shoe snaps and she falls backward with a cry of surprised mixed with outrage but manages to not go all the way down. Not the man though – he falls hands and knees.

«HOONK» <SCREECH» «VROOOOOOSH»

A taxi blows the light and nimbly avoids getting T-Boned before flying across the pedestrian walk, just behind the fallen man, and further down the avenue.

“Asshole,” the woman snaps as she gathers her composure and hurls her coffee cup at the poor fellow which detonates upon impact covering the man in a half-cup of Frappuccino. Reaching back she pulls the remains of her broken shoe off, seemingly unaware of the near-miss with the taxi, and hobbles across the street with muttered obscenity.

“S..Sorry,” the Clark manages as she passes and struggles to pick his coffee stained self up out of the middle of the street.

*

"Ye'd tink with allll the feckin' smart technology, it would have some type of sensor to warn people before collisions. Or at least to fix their attitude when they are about to get bowled over by an attractive klutz." The comment is drawled by someone with a lilting Irish accent, and it is accompanied by a hand. Emery Papsworth, had preparing to cross the street. He's dressed simply in a pair of flattering dark jeans, dark brown boots, a dark green henley and a dark brown leather jacket, on his head a dark green beanie, hiding his longer locks.

"Easy now - " The Irishman does turns a glare on a honking car. "Its not like you're 'avin a baby! Calm yer tits!" He hollers at the individual sticking his middle finger out of the car and then looks back down to Clark. "Lets get ye out of the way and cleaned up lad."

*

Squinting at the offered hand around off-centered glasses he puts his hands to their rims and makes a bit of an adjustment. His blue eyes swell the intensity of the prescription making him seem a bit bug-eyed.

“Golly,” he manages reaching to take the offered hand. Relying a bit too much on Emery’s help he jerks the man forward a step while standing, which causes him to stumble further, but eventually makes it to his feet, “Thank you.”

Tugging at his wet suit jacket he wilts a bit giving a loud sigh as if momentarily oblivious to the honking and middle fingers. Until he isn’t oblivious, “We’d better get out of the street,” he agrees with some anxiety and jogs awkwardly the remaining distance to the side of the street.

“Thank you,” he repeats, “What a mess,” he wrings out his lapel with a squeeze of his fist, “I’ve got an interview in an hour. Do you think there’s a drycleaner around here?"

*

The Irishman is strong enough to not stumble when he helps Clark up, patting his arm before releasing his hand and nodding towards the other side of the street. Agreeing whole heartedly on the whole 'lets get out of the street' thing. Emery's lips twist in a wry grin as he jogs along after him.

Once clear of drivers and their wrath he looks around and then looks back to Clark's clothing with a thoughtful squint. "Hmm, aye. I know of a place we can go." He jerks his head in a 'follow me' gesture before his eyebrows raise a fraction. "Unless ye be interviewing for a place where the smell of coffee might work in yer favor?"

*

“Uhm,” the klutzy fellow seems to consider that for a moment, “it’s about making the world’s largest apricot pie.” His brow furrows, “Does coffee pair with apricot pie?”

“Ah,” he utters with realization and raises one hunched shoulder before thrusting his hand out, “Clark Kent. I’m a reporter.” Retracting his hand before Emery can take it he fishes his handkerchief out and wipes his hand in a fastidious trying motion before sticking it out again, “At least, I am for the next hour.” Clark adds with a deprecating humor.

*

"Ahhh, thats more of a tea thing. Mebbe some milk." Emery smirks gently before turning to take the hand, waiting for it to be reoffered. Then he shakes is firmly with a soft smile. "Emery Papsworth, Professional Butler and certified personal assistant at your service." Then he hmms softly. "So how did an adorable individual like yerself get stuck on the pie circuit?"

*

Having overlooked purposely overlooked the ‘attractive klutz’ comment in the earlier commotion the term ‘adorable’ is awarded with a momentary flash of confusion and then interest, “Good to meet you, Mr. Papsworth,” he says politely.

Releasing the other’s hand Clark begins to follow along, “Oh, I think because most of the other reporters would rather be doing something more prestigious. I don’t really mind, though. I really feel like if you’re going to work the city-beat you have to get out and meet the everyday people in the city. Learn about them – most of the people who only work on corruption or crime get a bit cynical and I always tell them that if they’d just come down to see the skiing squirrel or the biggest pie then they’d see that most people in the city are just decent folks.”

“What about you, Mr. Papsworth?” Clark asks, “Your accent is, Irish? But isn't Emery traditionally — German? And here you are in America.”

*

The Irishman, sends a quick text message, eyeing his flip phone for a moment before its slipped back into a pocket. Then he pulls a handkerchief out of another pocket and offers it to Clark. "For your…" He gestures around the glasses area and face area. He nods slowly as he listens. "Aye, I'd read an article about pie. Better than just readin' about death and murder and fat bastards makin' more money and all that. It all has a place but pie…that can lift a man's spirits. Make him forget about the dark tings in the world for a bit."

He is quiet though at the mention of his name, lips curving in a hint of a smile. "Look at there, a man who knows onomastics." He shrugs a shoulder. "I was born in Ireland, but I've travelled all over. Moved to America to get a better and safer life for me daughter."

*

Clark’s face brightens about pie lifting a man’s spirits, “E..Exactly,” he stammers slightly and accepts the handkerchief with a look of gratitude. Dipping his head forward he begins to work on his glasses while they’re still on his face causing them to bump and slide a bit down his nose until he’s done. Pushing them up then he looks back up and wipes the sides of his face and forehead before proffering it for return.

Kent gives a nod and then shrug of his rounded shoulders to his affinity for onomastics as if to communicate agreement. From Emery’s explanation nods, “Pardon me for saying but I wouldn’t think most people would consider a certified public assistant as a particularly dangerous line of work or..,” thoughtful beat, “..particularly conducive to raising a daughter.”

“How long have you both been state side?”

*

"Nah, you keep it mate. There may be another coffee related accident in your future." Emery tucks a hand in a pocket, looking up to check the street signs before making a turn. "Depends on who ye are assistin' for doesn't it?" He idly thumbs the side of his nose. "But aye, its safer here. Or at least I thought it was. I've learned no matter how for ye run, there's always goin' to be somethin' that is waiting to chase ye."

He stops in front of something of an Alley, there are still businesses down it. "C'mon now, this isn't big and fancy but they'll get your duds cleaned in no time." He starts leading the way towards some type of Asian Dry Cleaner.

*

“Thank you,” Clark replies and awkwardly stuffs it into his breast pocket with the other one creating a wad of cloth at the front of his jacket, “I suppose it does,” he agrees, “I guess there’s a reason why Lex Luthor’s valet knows kung fu.”

He hesitates for a moment at the alley the skittishness seemingly more of natural tendency than distrust but after seeing the storefronts he continues forward but thrusts his hands in his trouser pockets and hunches a bit more – the talk about things always waiting to give chase probably not making him feel much bolder.

“Life can be hard,” Kent agrees, “It’s all relative though; I’d rather be in Metropolis than Gotham. I’d rather be in Gotham than Genosia but even in Smallville times can be hard and so people do dumb things.” He walks for a couple of steps, “Smallville is in Kansas,” he explains, “That’s where I was raised; and it’s exactly what you think it is.” He says with a dry humor.

"You sound like you're happy you moved," he observes, "Are you able to find work here? As a certified assistant, I mean."

*

"Mm, I was born in a wee village in Ireland and raised in an orphanage ran by a group o'nuns. And aye, even there people did stupid shi-things." Emery agrees before spreading his arms to hug a small asian woman, murmuring softly to her in French before smiling and gesturing towards Clark. Then they both are ushered into the pretty much empty laundry mat/dry cleaners.

He slips out of his leather jacket, draping it over something random before pushing up his sleeves and moving to get a washer ready. "M' happy I moved, yes. I'm a Butler as well so that has allowed me alot of job opportuniites, I will admit. Just working on tryin' to get a stable home. We've only been in the states comin' up on a year in a few months."

*

“Where have you been staying?” Clark asks.

As Emery begins to prep the washer he suddenly shifts awkwardly at the waist, “I’m, uh, going to go use the rest room real quick.” And beat-feets that way with awkward plodding steps. He’s gone for several minutes a stray breeze rolling through the establishment when the next pair of customers walk in. The alley must have odd airflow.

Emerging after about seven minutes Clark Kent is stocking footed and in long johns holding a pile of rumpled and stained clothing.

“Sorry,” he apologizes, “A bit too much jalapeno at lunch.”

*

Emery is picking out different cleaners, yelling out in French for a few specific brands before starting some water and sprinkling something in. "Mmm, here and there. We've moved a bit." Like alot. "Mostly in condos in New York City. Scoping out a home here in Metropoli-" He blinks as the Clark runs off and then when he returns, the Butler just shakes his head quickly and holds out his hands. "Alright, lemme get those started for ah, you. And lets see if we can't make ye less late for yer story." Preparing to do what he does best. Serve Others.

*

“Thank you so much,” Clark says for the fourth time and hands over the laundry, “This means a lot. I’m not sure what I would have done without you.”

As the garments undergo cleaning and are returned Clark says, “I’d really like to get your phone number – if you don’t mind. At the /very/ least get you lunch sometime as a show of appreciation.”

*

Emery slips a shiny black business card from his pocket and offers it over to Clark with a tilt of his head and a flash of a smile. On it, it has his name and email and phone number. "Anyting at all that ye may need, please let me know." He tries to make eye contact and offers softly. "Anyting, ye hear?"

*

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