1964-02-25 - The Daily Grind
Summary: May visits the Bugle with a mind to threaten Jameson, ends up with a gig?
Related: None
Theme Song: None
may jameson 


Saturday at the Bugle is just as hectic as any other day. Reporters don't take weekends off; if the day ends in "Y" there's a paper to put out. As usual, Jameson can be found in his office reviewing articles, layouts, on the phone with advertisers, or haggling with the printing department. Occasionally he'll bellow for one of the journalists from the bullpen, or for his assistant Betty to bring him coffee or a particular file from the archives. All in all, a typical day in the busy newsroom. At his desk, cigar between his teeth, he's reading over one of Robertson's latest articles, amazed for once at the lack of cutesy metaphors to make his point. He might actually be in a good mood, though you'd have to know him well to see it in the moments where his face isn't contorted into a near-permanent scowl.

*

Food! Glorious food! It's .. well, May has never been by the Bugle, and she never really had an opportunity or free time like she does now. It was three plates of food that she's carrying, all decorated with fried chicken and some sort of vegetables, hot and steamed with a slice of cake added to the side. An extra piece would go for Peter and Betty, and a thin shear of it for Jameson. That is quite possibly the only way she could be considered petty, but it is what it is.

*

With the plates dropped off to their respective persons, May approaches the large offices of Jameson, her hand lifting to lightly rap upon the door. Her cheeks retain a rosy red that didn't come through from makeup, and she was fairly dressed for the cold weather. Sans hat. She took it off and put it in her bag before she entered the building.

*

Jameson's face snaps toward the door when the knock sounds through the hardwood. He pauses a moment, expecting it to be Betty, and for her to just come in, because if she waited for him to answer every time she knocked, nothing would ever get done. One Mississipi, two Mississipi… what the hell? He sets the stack of papers on the desk with a harsh smack, and stands, his feet carrying him across the short distance to the door, which is opened swiftly; inward, thankfully. Eyes scan about a moment before they settle on May, and he blows out a puff of smoke; not at her directly, but close enough to be just this side of rude. "Who are you and what do you want? I'm a busy man, lady; talk fast and get out of the way." He's not known for his patience, and surely this kind of attitude wouldn't come as a surprise, if May had been told much about the man from her nephew. There's a slight pause, and then his lips crack into a smirk. "Oh. You're Parker's mom, aren't you," he says. Yes, he knows she's not the kid's mother, but close enough, right? "He's not here. Hopefully out getting some halfway decent pictures for me. That'd be a nice change."

*

May looks around the office, her lips poking out ever so briefly, turning only once she hears the crack of the door opening and presents herself with a smile. The puff of smoke that was blown causes her eyes to lift, watching the trail of light grey until her own settles upon his with a lowered brow that could be considered a scowl. "I…" Sure, he wasn't patient, in fact, he continues speaking, which causes the brightened expression upon her face to fade just a touch.

"Mr. Jameson." She wasn't going to correct him, but she does lift the plate of food, still warm, steamed, and smelling delicious. "I brought you lunch. I was hoping I could at least take five minutes of your time." She puts on a sweet smile, lifting the plate just a little bit higher, hoping the fumes themselves would make him kindly to her plight. "Just five minutes. You could spare that for an old widow, yes?"

*

Jameson's eyes settle on the plate of food, and then lift back to May's face. "If that's chocolate cake, I'll give you ten," he says, giving another smirk. "Come in and have a seat," and he holds the door open, allowing May to go inside first, and he motions to the chair opposite his own as he steps through the door himself. "I wouldn't make the assumption this is a social call, Mrs. Parker. Women don't often bring me lunch, unless I'm paying them to. Drink?" He moves to the small bar cart opposite the door, and sets up two glasses with ice.

*

It was indeed chocolate cake! But she wasn't going to let him know that until he sees it. As he steps aside, May lifts her chin and enters, her nose wrinkling from the smell of the cigar that hits her nose, her fingers lifting to press against her nose before dropping it to not seem rude. "Unless you have water, no thank you.." She smiles sweetly, leaning over from her side of the desk to place the plate upon a clear surface, then quietly begins to unload the food she's packed.

"I really am here just to thank you for giving Peter his job back. I'm unsure how letters would have come across, but I had hoped that something a little bit more close to home would do the trick."

*

Jameson lets out the lightest of snorts. "Water it is, then," he says, and pours from the small pitcher to fill May's glass. His own gets whiskey, of course, two fingers worth, and he strides back across the room to first deliver the woman's drink, and then to sit back in his chair. "Thank me?" He lets out another little snort of laughter, and sets his cigar down in the ashtray, where it simply continues to smolder. "Well, for whatever it's worth, you're welcome. My bit of charity for the year," he says with a smirk. "Writing letters to a newspaper is a lot like writing your Congressman. Someone reads everything, but it has to be one of two things to get into my office. Either it's so incendiary that the boys down in mail processing can't help but bring it up to me, or it's something so scandalous that I'd be an idiot not to print it. 'Thank you' cards usually don't qualify."

*

As he returns with the water, she carefully reaches for it with a shaky hand, her lips pursing before she leans forward just a touch to take a few sips. She was still under the weather, but as long as she kept moving, she was going to be fine.

As she clears her throat, she smiles a little, her eyes widening ever so slightly. "I.. see. Hence why I'm here, I'm not too sure how the media world works but I do enjoy a personal and up close." She gestures. "I see that you're married, Mr. Jameson?"

*

If Jameson notices that she's not feeling so well, he doesn't comment on it. He does, however, reach forward and crush the end of the cigar into the tray, so at least the smoke will stop; not that it does much for the atmosphere in the room. "We have that in common then, Mrs. Parker. When I talk to someone, I like to see the whites of their eyes." That, and he's simply more intimidating in person. He pauses when she mentions his marriage, glancing down at his ring finger, and smirking again. "That I am, Mrs. Parker. Whether or not the same can be said of my wife, the jury's still out on," he says sardonically, flexing his hand before moving to pick up his glass and drink again. Yep, cover up awkwardness with alcohol. It's the American way.

*

"Good." She smiles just a touch, fixing her bag upon her lap as that little smile turns into a slight frown. Awkwardness, sure. But May doesn't see it that way, just as a conversation between two people, yet on the different sides of a coin. "I'm sorry to hear that, Mr. Jameson." She shifts a bit within her seat, then readjusts her smile. "So I understand that there are days that run long here around the office. I'd like to think that we could help each other, not so much as help but.. as a favor. I'm indebted to you for giving Peter a second chance, and while he doesn't live with me, the days that I do see him are few and far in between. I'd like to offer my services. Pay what you like or not at all. But lunch, possibly dinner if necessary to you and your reporters. I do volunteer functions here and there with feeding the homeless, so catering for a large body of persons is not hard." She smiles a little then, for she originally came down to threaten the man.

*

Jameson looks at the woman silently for a moment, using his thumb to spin the gold ring on his left hand as he watches her. "So you want a job," he says after a few very long seconds of silence have passed. Whatever goes on in his head in the interim, he doesn't let show, and he simply draws the plate of food toward him, taking hold of the knife and fork, and then a couple of introductory bites of each item. This must be, after all, a sample. "I'll tell you what, Mrs. Parker. Because I can't seem to say no to you or the kid, I'll give you a shot. Lunch on Fridays for the next two months, as a trial. We have an office of 85, and lunch will be served at 12:30PM sharp. I expect a rotating selection of balanced meals. And I might have a reputation as something of a cheapskate, but I'm not enlisting a young widow to cater an office this size on her own dime. You're probably living on your husband's pension? I won't have it spread around that J. Jonah Jameson takes unfair advantage of women living on a fixed income."

*

"More or less." She admits. But she watches, not eagerly, and not smugly either. She knows that her food was good, but whether it was to his tastes was another thing all together. So she waited. A clear pause in her body, her lips forming into a thin line as he begins to spout off the details. Details which she remembers, with each nod and tic of her head. Lunch at 12:30 pm. The menu already getting started for the month of things that she'll plan to make or create.

But he was right, she was living off his sizable pension, and the money that she did get for Peter stashed away for him when rainy days hit for the young man or he finds himself without a job.

Again.

"Good!" She seems excited then, rising from the chair with a slight stumble, immediately catching herself against the edge of the desk. She covers by striking her gloved hand out for him to shake, along with a grin. "My idea was to actually come here and threaten you about Peter, but I think I like you Mr. Jameson. You're not all bad, regardless of what people say!"

*

"Hah. You'd have found yourself out on the curb so fast it'd make your head spin, Mrs. Parker. Good thing you changed your mind about it," Jameson says with a chortle. He stands when she does, seeming happy enough with the food, though given how he smokes and drinks it's a miracle he can taste anything any more. He takes her hand gently, giving it a brief squeeze and a quick shake. "Parker's going to do fine, as long as he keeps his ear to the ground and puts in the work. Nothing in this world comes for free, and it doesn't allow for excuses. I like to think I'm part of why he's finally learning that." A bit of ego-stroking there, for sure. In truth, it's not that he hates Peter, but Jameson certainly sees a lot of potential at risk of going down the pipes, which infuriates him more than incompetence. "Don't let anyone else hear you say that. I have a reputation to maintain!" He smirks again at that, and moves around the desk to, in a surprisingly cordial motion, see the woman to the door, at least. "See you on Friday, Mrs. Parker."

*

"The point would have gotten across!" Now, it was all playful. She could see herself and Mr. Jameson as fast friends, even if he does play at a little hardness. It wasn't as if she could see through it, but she's learned to appreciate a bad ass every now and then, no matter how loud and hard they are. "I understand. And I'm sure that he understands as well. I suppose that's why more than anything else, I'm just grateful that he's got someone to look up to, who's truly on his side." She hitches up her purse, putting the band over her shoulder as she moves to the door, stopping to lift and place a kiss upon the cheek of the man.

"Promise, your reputation will be upheld by me, no questions asked." She grins then, gesturing out. "Should I run away crying or?" She was joking, partly. "But if there's anything you need, anything at all. Please, call me. I left my number on your desk." How? No idea!

*

Jameson doesn't shy away from the peck on his cheek, but he doesn't do anything to return it; affection is clearly not in his wheelhouse. "Mutter angrily as you pass Walton's desk, and mention something about page seven, if you could," Jameson says with a bit of a cruel smile. Gotta keep the peons in line. He gives a nod to the mention of her phone number being left; whether it simply gets filed with the rest, or given more personal attention.. well, we'll let the audience decide. When she leaves the room, he watches for a moment to see if Walton has a minor heart attack when she goes back, but then retreats back inside his office, relights his cigar, and goes back to whatever mundane operational detail he was engaged in before May arrived. The daily grind.

*

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