Lunch With Emeries

June 23, 2018:

The devil on Danny Rand's shoulder packs a picnic lunch for the angel on the other side.

The top of Rand Enterprises

Gnoshing atop of major corporate headquarters. You know. As one does.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Danny Rand, Jessica Jones

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

The invite would've been presented to Claire one of those days she was at the office, a small plant arranged in a basket with the pot hidden and its lavender in bloom. Hand written, the note is packaged in a cream colored envelop attached to the basket, it would be addressed to 'Claire Temple':

Your assistance in the last few weeks has been noted. A word fitly spoken is often the cause of a calm mind and earnest spirit. Danny Rand's Butler, Emery Papsworth, requests the honor of your presense to expression his appreciation in person.

Then there's a date and time and location listed. The Location, is the same address as the offices she helps in. But the floor is 'Rooftop'.

On the roof, there's a dark blue picnic blanket spread out complete with a picnic basket and a bucket of ice. Resting on the ice is a bottle of some type of sangria, dark and fruity as expected, a couple of mason jars left out for drinks.

*

[Pietro Maximoff returns from OOC Land.]

*

Pietro Maximoff heads out to The Sound Stages.

*

It's not the first time there's been a gift of the sort, but it's usually from a patient's loved ones, and it's usually been picked over by whatever nurses were on shift at the time that the delivery was made. So the surprise only really hit when she got to a few phrases. Things like Danny Rand's .. oo OO ((Butler?!?)) .. oo OO ((Honor of my presence?))

A lifetime of Harlem, Hell's Kitchen, and scrubs has not prepared her for one Emery Papsworth.

And with Jess's texts suggesting that the food is more than worth it? Well. What's a girl to do do? In this case, the girl in question has packed some tupperware in her backpack because the Rand offices have taught her that high end corporate lunch leftovers? They can mean significant decreases in one's grocery budget.

That doesn't mean she isn't a bit wary about the setting as she steps out onto the roof, a jacket folded over one arm in case it's too windy and chilled. This picnic basket lures her in, though, and she stares at the mason jars and the sangria and … wherever that Emery person is, she's going to ask, "Alright, did Danny poach you from Martha Stewart?"

*

"When I usually get to meet one of Danny's friends, its usually because they've moved in part time or swung by to catch a bite and a chat." Comes the soft lilting voice that speak of his Irish herritage.

Emery doesn't just appear out of the shadows, there's probably a corner but he comes around but he's suddenly there. Dressed in a pair of well tailored black jeans, dark brown boots, a fitted cream colored henley that traces over hits of curves of musculature disguised semi-well by the dark brown leather jacket he's tossed on, his long hair pulled back in a small man-bun and a hint of well groomed five o clock shadow.

"But I never saw ye swing by, and the way I hear tell, I have a feelin' you and I should get to know each other." He gives a quick chin up and flashes a dimpled grin. "Emery Papsworth, Professional Butler and Certified Personal Assistant, at your service."

*

Well at least now there's a figure to put with the scrumdiddlyumptiousness of all the picnic trimmings. It's just one that makes Claire jump out of her skin a little bit. She drops the jacket on the way to putting a hand up to her heart in an instinctive gesture. Once her pulse has settled itself, she lets the hand go out to extend towards him in greeting. "Claire Temple. Nurse." There's a very brief pause before she tilts her head slightly to the side while studying him. "Are there amateur butlers out there?"

For her part? The corporate world hasn't done much to change her style. From a distance the dark hair looks long, but in handshake range it's easier to see that it's actually close shorn along one side. The years on the ER floors have driven the desire for practical shoes bone deep, so while she's at least put on black work shoes, they're probably advertised with a phrase like 'the most comfortable shoes you'll ever wear' and available at Payless. Slacks, a long sleeved shirt. She's not corporate, but she's not a hippie new age revolutionary either.

There's a gesture towards the picnic and she takes a couple of steps over. "I feel like I'm suppoed to call you Master Papsworth or something like that. What do you prefer?"

*

"Well Miss Temple, it is indeed a pleasure to meet you." Emery accepts the offered hand, bending at the waist with a hint of old school conditioning to raise the hand in his slightly and if allowed to brush his lips against the back of it before dropping it and gesturing towards the picnic area.

Then he has to snort softly and shrug a shoulder. "Aye, there are. Ye dun get all the titles and all until ye go to school for it. I've a certificate and everting. Had I a mother, I'm sure she'd have it framed on her wall or some rubbish like that." A soft chuckle as he offers a hand once more to help Claire down to the blanket if needed.

There's a quick shake of his head. "Just Emery is fine luv, after all. I'm the help here."

*

She's not going to stop the old fashioned gesture, but it doesn't stop her from looking over his bent head for some hidden camera (or not so hidden since there's probably security footage everywhere in the building). The offer of a hand to help her down, though, is waved off. It even gets a bit of an eyebrow raise. Once she's settled herself she nods for him to settle across from her. "Well if you're just going to be Emery, it's going to be awkward for me to be Miss Temple."

Claire reaches back to pull the jacket over before shrugging out of her backpack, unzipping it and pulling out a bottle of water. "I suppose first thing is I'm sorry about your mother. It sounds like that's not a recent thing, though. And next up is … well. About half a dozen variations on why is one of Danny Rand's employees setting up a very elaborate picnic for me? Oh, and third is that I am trying VERY hard not to start rummaging through that picnic basket right away. We both know Jess, apparently. I think she have a little crush on your cooking."

*

"Very well, Miss Claire." Emery replies softly and then he's lowering himself down as well as he moves to start pouring glasses of Sangria. "I still don't know why in your country they call these 'mason jars'. They are jam jars but apparently this is the 'hip' way to enjoy Summertime Sangria or somethin'."

He then looks thoughtful. "Dun be sorry about me mum, luv. Its been a very long time since she fulfilled her full service as a nun." Question 2 makes him smirk gently. "To say thank you and get to know you. You are a very special woman Claire Temple, and its the least I can do." And then the last comment causes him to offer a jar of Sangria (Citrus fruit and berries) and he nods towards the basket.

"Ahh, Miss Jessica has said she enjoys me cooking. And fell free to rummage if you like." In said basket, there's a large casserole dish that has what appears to be baked salmon and rosted potatoes and carrots if one peeks into the dish, some brown bread wrapped in brown packaging, plates, utensils, and then apple tarts are in another container just waiting to be consumed.

*

Claire's lips twitch as the Irishman goes on about jam jars, things that are hip, and enjoying Summertime Sangria. She's as susceptible as anyone to being lulled into the 'how quaint' trap.

Her head is bent over her water bottle when he replies to the comments on his mother, thumbing the cap off. Her head jerks upright at the end of that sentence, though. "I'm sorry, did you say mum or nun?" One of those words has more story to it than the other. It's almost enough to get her to let the compliment pass by without another skeptically lifted eyebrow. Almost. "Is special code for something? Because I've seen a lot of special. I don't clear that hurdle in this city."

The Sangria is accepted, though it's set aside for now. Drinking in the work day is something to work up to in the conversation. Don't mind her as she starts helping unload the picnic basket. "Though if you have a sauce for this salmon, I may have to add you to the list. So what exactly does a butler and personal assistant do these days?"

*

The Irishman sucks his teeth and thumbs the side of his nose with a half shrug. "Nun. God rest her soul." Emery waves a hand vaguely as he's working to also unload that picnic basket. "Special is not sometin' that can jump over a hurdle, darlin'. Special is something that you see when someone has a good heart. From the way I hear tell, you do fall in the category. Nurses are caretakers, its in their nature if they are good at their job."

Then he's setting out plates and nods. "Its a butter lemon sauce, but I use Irish butter so that is creamier and melds better with the herbs." And on to the next question as he unwraps the bread and is offering the pre-sliced brown bread so she can take one of the super thick slices. "Whatever it is me client needs me to do for them. It differs from person to person."

*

Claire Temple is back to staring for a second or two when he confirms nun. Don't mind the thousand nosy questions popping around in her brain that have the courtesy to go unasked. She only opens her mouth to start to ask them a couple of times before snapping it shut. OH LOOK, delicious lemon herb sauce. That's a good safe segueway. "You do God's work, Emery Papplebottom. My cholesterol's just going to pretend not to hear the butter." It may take a time or two to get that last name right. That or it's a response to the darlin'. "How do all the people staying at Danny's place stay fit if you're feeding them like this all the time?"

He sees to getting the bread, she's plating up some of the fish and side dishes. As for the special … "What's that they say in Metropolis. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound? Every month it seems like that's the sort of special the world sees. So. Do you consider yourself one of the caretakers?"

*

"Because I know where my ingredients come from. I cook like I learned growing up. Hearty, good cooking…food that feeds the soul and keeps the body strong." Emery explains witha soft laugh and shrugs his shoulders as he retrieves napkins from the basket.

"Oooh, ye mean those people runnin' about savin' the world and doin' tings that normal people have only read in books or seen in movies before? I think if we get caught up in defining things by what the world sees and don't take time to appreciate what the world needs, its easy to get caught up." Emery idly brushes a stray strand of hair out of his face. "I'm a servant, Claire Temple. I take care of me clients and my daughter. So mebbe that counts."

*

"Some time when I'm not enjoying the good Irish butter, we should talk about some of those ingredients. Or I could just give you a pamphlet so I won't annoy you and I'll occasionally get some snacks," Claire muses between bites of (buttered) bread. There's a dry, casual tone of humor in her voice at least. For all her talk about cholesterol, she's not shy about digging into the food. And there's no attempt to hide the pleasure she finds in it.

The food does get a pause, though, when he talks about the people running about. "You know, I'm not quite sure I followed all that. But what the world sees, what the world needs - at least people are doing some good with it. Heck. We even have wealthy people actually using their money to do some good. If we get a community center up and running, think we can get you to come out and cook once a week or so? Maybe give some cooking lessons?" Another bite, another dab with the napkin. "Oh, hey, a daughter - how old is she?" We're not going to talk about Claire's hair - the rooftop wind? It's rude. Eventually she's going to break down and resort to a pony tail holder.

*

Emery takes a long sip of Sangria, eyeing the jar for a moment with a slow shake of his head. For him, its like lemonade and he idly swirls his drink around in his cup, stretching out to rest on his side, propped up by an ellbow. "Beautiful young women like yourself need not use bribery or sly tactics to get snacks from me. Especially friends of Master Danny. They need only ask." He finally replies with a small smile.

He takes a deep breath andnods. "It is good to see people who are given gifts or resources, share them with others to make a difference in the world." He agrees softly and hmms softly. "I'll do what I can. Speak to Master Danny, and if he's agreeable then I'll work it into me schedule. "Aye, a daughter. She's almost six, so she's discovered attitude now and its a humbling experience to be on the receiving end of such behavior." There's a fond smile though on his face when he speaks of his daughter.

*

Claire Temple puts her plate down on the blanket around the time sly tactics get mentioned. Say this for Claire - she is capable of some truly epic eyerolls. He only gets a mild one this time. The plate may be down, but she waves the fork about a bit for emphasis as she speaks. "So you know, I'm ridiculously used to people calling me beautiful. And you'd be amazed how many times it happens right before they … nope, food's too good. Not going to describe the circumstances a lot of patients are in when they say it." But oh the number of scrubs she's had to wash puke out of. "Anyway. I think flattery falls under sly tactics. But I think free flu shots for you and your daughter - what's her name? We can say they fall under your benefits package."

And sure, comments about her appearance may only get an eye roll. But talk about a kid with attitude and she softens again. "Six, hmm? The humbling has only just begun." She picks up the plate again and sets it to balance on her knees.

*

"If I call a woman beautiful or a man handsome or a young lady stunning, it is because this generation has forgotten that a compliment and appreciation of the beauty of human aesthetics is now considered sly or mere flattery. I've got both Irish and Spanish in me DNA and me daughter's half Egyptian. I dun want her to grow up in the world tinkin' that the only reason someone tells you that you are pretty or talented is because they want something. Or that ye should be ever so flattered because someone is finally recognizing you. So me apologies if I've offended ye ma'am, it was not my intentions." Emery finally replies after a moment of looking down at the picnic blanket for a moment, and he takes a sip of his drink before nodding politely. "And I appreciate the offer for the flu shots."

Then he nods slowly. "I was a terror at her age, I know this because I was paddled or caned so often I just thought it was as regular as daily supper. In comparisons, she's a saint. A very very intelligent little saint." A wistful smile and another sip of his drink.

*

"This generation?" Claire finally picks up the sangria to take a sip as she turns that phrase over in her head for a second or two, along with the rest of the comments. "I mean, I suppose here's truth to that. But I'm used to it being a patient that isn't entirely sober or, like you said. Someone wants something. And we're in New York - the world capital of people wanting something." Like the tarts. But! She'll hold off on that long enough to try to pack some of those leftovers up. It gives her more time to ponder.

It also gives her something else to be doing when he shakes her out of her routine again. That jerk of the head as she looks up and blinks a couple of times. "Paddled and caned?" The resolution not to start asking nosy questions about the whole nun thing is starting to crack. "And all that travel. I'm starting to wonder if you've got your life story written down somewhere."

*

"Well. I do want you to do one ting for me." Emery holds up a finger. "I want you to take that picnic basket of food home with you and continue to enjoy it." He flashes a smile, even if it is a bit sad. "Its the least ye can do for me, for questioning me intentions."

The tease is gentle and good natured as he moves on to the next topic "I grew up in a Catholic Orphanage. That's par for the course." He explains as he dips a piece of bread into some lemon butter sauce and takes a bite. "We all have our stories written down somewhere, eventually. But, why rush it, hm? When ye can focus on living your story moment by moment each day."

*

Claire Temple will just sneak one of the tupperware containers back into her backpack then if it won't need to be used. "You know, I'm not even going to do that pretend denial thing before giving in and taking this home," she says. The tidying and trading out the last of the lunch entree for tarts continues apace.

"Well, for your story in particular … your accent says you didn't start life in New York, you went to 'butler school', work for a billionaire, nun mother, orphanage upbringing…" And that this generation comment is still echoing about in her brain! But she doesn't bring it up again. Yet. "It seems like something you'd see on Amazon. Though I'm guessing the 'don't publish your employer's stories' lesson is proably Buttling 101."

*

Emery nods slowly, ticking things off on his fingers as Claire starts listing the things he's dropped in this conversation and his lips curve slightly as his eyebrows raise and he looks quietly impressed. "Aye, cept I never said that Master Danny was me only client." He waves a hand vaguely. "And aye, its usually not a good ting to talk about your employers in a memoir until ye retire."

He shifts slightly in his position on his side. "Master Danny likes and respects you, Claire Temple. I had to see for meself why. Its my job to ensure his wellbeing, and its my responsiblity as a caring human being to ensure his safety as well. Anytime something happens and ye need to call me about Master Danny or you just need someone to talk to or drink with." He removes a black business card from a jacket pocket and offers it to Claire between two fingers.

*

"Well, Danny being Danny, if you have time for more than one client? I think we've established that you fall under any of the definitions of special we talked about," Claire points out as she reaches out to accept the card. She looks it over before sliding it into her pocket. "I'm going to need some of those. I never thought I'd have to get those." It's a murmured observation, the kind one makes without even really thinking about it. This one comes with a slight shudder.

That's about when the phone (which she has masterfully managed NOT to bring out to google butler schools) makes some pesky chime noises with an alert about the next meeting. More things she never anticipated. She reaches into a pocket to thumb the sound off. "Well, after seeing him diving into the river after a sinking car with a kidnapper in it? I'm thinking a job ensuring his safety? You might need someone to talk to as well. I'll send you my contact information. And, you know …" Just finish another gulp of that sangria, but not the whole thing. Dutiful puritanical Americans! "It was interesting to meet you, Emery."

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