1964-05-21 - Investigating A Bugle Report
Summary: The Winsome Wasp decides to talk to Lambert after reading about him getting attacked at his own restaurant.
Related: The Extravagant-Lamb-Heist
Theme Song: "Private Investigation" by Dire Straits - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-xG44ExDwM
wasp jay lambert 

It is spring, which means that the courtyard garden of Saganaki is currently a riot of blooms. From grape to olive, from thyme to mint, everything is in its most generative and powerful stage. There are some old fashioned flowers in barrels too - stock, and sweet pea. The kind of thing that would once have been grown in England, rather than Greece. Lambert is out here, lighting the candles on the small tables, in the area reserved for, ah…those who will not make trouble. As such, he has his chef's hat tilted up to allow his goatish ears to dangle out more comfortably. He has a bandage on one hand, but aside from that seems in a good mood.

Not make trouble. That definition must be plied rather loosely all things considered.

None the less, on a fine spring sort of day, a curious red head pokes its way out into the courtyard. Tentative, sort of hedging on the threshold as someone used to following the rules and isn't quite sure if he's allowed somewhere or not would. "Bert?" Jay calls from his tethered place, trying not to ruin the guy's reverie, but sticking to near the entrance, Jay looks rather sheepish and not terribly prone to wandering in without some kind of warning or confirmation. His hands stuck into pockets, there's a light that's sticking to him today, similar to when Bert found the young man singing at the bar the other night; an energy about him that invites warmth.

If Lambert was rather hoping to be left alone to do his job, today certainly isn't his lucky day, because shortly after Jay pokes his head into the courtyard, ad it's only followed by a distinct buzzing sound. At first the source may not be clear, but pretty soon Lambert might notice a tiny winged woman fluttering about his head, trying to get his attention. "Excuse me…? Are you Lambert Petropoulos? The owner?"

Lambert glances up "Ah, Jay! Come on in," he says, as he finishes one table's scented candles. The scent of rosemary hangs in the air, and he straightens, which means that his goatish tail is also visible. Compared to many mutants, he seems normal in the main. He gestures to a seat, and he says "Come, come, you belong back here! Now, let me look at you - too skinny, still!" Lambert shakes his head sadly. How dare Jay have a normal physique? Then he blinks up as the tiny woman is zipping around his face. This, er. This is new. Lambert clears his throat "Er. Yes." There is a long pause. "Eighty percent off for your food." What? She is tiny.

Relief colors Jay's expression, the tension and uncertainty replaced with ease as he exhales a breath and offers up a warm smile to Lambert as payment for the welcome. A flush of pleasure almost coloring his features, but not just quite. Feels good to 'belong' somewhere. "You sound like m'aunt when you say that," murmuring with amusement as he ambles inside the comfortable space. "If yer up fer the challenge, I welcome you t'try t'fatten me up, man. It just doesn't wanna stick." Teenagers. Pfft.

He doesn't notice precisely the woman flying around Lambert's head right off, too busy taking in the sights of the space itself, Jay veers off course almost immediately to check out some of the plants in the area. Not until Lambert begins talking does he look up again, confused. "Huh? Th-anks?" Confused, the hump on his back shifts uncertainly as well.

The Winsome Wasp wasn't expecting to be given a boon in the form of such a huge discount on a meal, which makes her stiffle a giggle, shaking her head as she stresses out, "I didn't come here for a meal…I came for questions, is it true you were attacked in your own restaurant? Did a mutant try and kill you while robbing your place?" She now makes it easier on Lambert, now that he spotted her, by fluttering more or less in the same spot, hovering infront of his nose. Given him some distance so he doesn't have to go crosseyed to look at her.

Admittedly the space _is_ very pleasant. Lambert says to Jay "Well, I think some slow roasted lamb with garlic sauce for starters. Then some greens. Greens are important! The bitterness cleanses the pallet. Sit down, let's get some wine, eh?" He gestures comfortably, though then he says, alarmed "No, no, not you! You're full price. I mean. Maybe. Five percent off. Because I like you. I mean. Uh. Look - you probably have a hawk's eyesight, don't you. There's a. Tiny woman." He turns his head towards her, and then he squints, and he says "Ah, oh! Er, yes. And no! Not kill. She just, ah, attacked me, stole things, and ran away. I got hurt because, ah, a knife hit me through the hand." He holds up the bandage "I mean, that sort of thing happens to chefs anyway. The reporting was odd."

Veering away from the olive tree wound with the grape vine, Jay heads in Lambert's direction, casting him a flat look. "Ah dunno, can you eat tin cans?" Sassing back a little bit, there's still a mild smile after the fact, squinting and tilting his head when he notices that one of those bees from what he presumed was the hives isn't a bee. "Oh. Uh. Ma'am." Though he doesn't seem to be needed for this conversation, he still frown mildly while Lambert recounts the actual happenings and strolls away once again, trying to admire one of the dwarf orange trees with a troubled little frown touching his youthful expression.

Wasp listens to Lambert's retelling, which somehow doesn't quite fit with the Bugle's report, shocker of shocks. "Were you hurt in the attack? What did she steal?" Wasp asks with keen interest, "I'm the Winsome Wasp of the Avengers…I want to bring you back what's yours, and make sure our city is safe from criminals!"

With Jay greeting her, Wasp quickly flies over infront of his face and gives a wave of her hand, "hello, like I just said, I'm Wasp, were you here by any chance on the day of the attack?" She then swivels to hear Lambert's reply.

"_Goats_ can't eat tin cans!" protests Lambert "The paper on the outside is just useful roughage!" he pats his belly. And then he calls out "Sit down, here, you're my guest, Jay. If you use this table, the sweetpeas and jasmine are blooming above, eh? Everything will be lovely. Red wine or white?" He fusses, a little, unable to actually abandon a customer, and then he says to the Wasp "Oh, ah, yes. Knife through the hand - I was chopping food when she threw one of my wine jugs at my head. My head, ah, is very hard, but I was startled." He purses his lips "She stole the main course - and before you laugh, if I lose a night's profits, then I can't pay my staff. I'm not rich, eh? I don't have much…padding for covering rent. I had to close down the restaurant, and then get the blood cleaned off the floor. I lost all the food _and_ the money because I had to pay back the diners." Such little concerns. But. Lambert is _not_ rich. He opens his mouth, and then he says "Uh. Oh! Well. If you find her? If she'd wash dishes for a couple of nights we could. Call it even?" The goat-man then says "That's Jay! He's awful nice."

Jay seems a hint uncertain again, but nods to Lambert's fussing, the corners of his mouth curving upward mildly as the man with the slight hunchback meanders toward the table indicated and rocks back into a chair with care. He waves back at Wasp, "Wasp, ma'am. Ah'd shake yer hand but, well…" He trails off helplessly, the southern lean of his voice pretty obvious that he's not from around here. He shifts his attention toward Lambert while he explains what happened that night. A solemn look of understanding hitting the young man, but just after that, he vollunteers quietly, "No, ma'am. Ah wasn't here. Bert? Didn't you say she just looked hungry?" Good guy Jay, trying to be a good guy and lend some humanizing aspects to the assailant. He adds quietly toward his friend in an undertone, "Ah…don't know about wine. Aside from communion, ah've never had it." Trying to give Lambert a heart attack or something. Clearly.

Wasp nods and wears a thoughtful expression, pressing her fisted hand against her chin, eyes shifting about as she ponders. "Would you say that was a hungry homeless mutant only out for food? Or would you say that was a dangerous mutant looking to kill innocent folk and steal what they own…?" Apparently Wasp is pondering the approach, monetary loss aside.

As Jay shows intention of being gentlemanly, Wasp flies back towards him and lands on his table, extending her hand towards him, "I'll settle for a finger then," she does turn towards Lambert, "did she look hungry? And it was definitely a she? A woman? A girl? How old did she look?"

Lambert stares at Jay. _What_. He takes out a wooden bowl and he pops it down on the counter, eyeing him firmly. Then he bustles off to collect a pottery ewer of wine, and he uncorks it, pouring Jay something that would count as two or three glasses. Then he says to him "Drink that down, boy, and your meal is free." His grin shows a lot of sharp teeth. Hidden behind a normally polite mouth. As Jay speaks, he nods "Aye, and I'd have given her food - but she threw chairs at me. And everything else. _Rude_." And then he says to Wasp "No, no - somewhere in between. If she was hungry and homeless, she could have waited until I was asleep and tried to steal bread then. But she was happy to injure me to get the food. If she was a killer, she could have killed me - I could not reach her by running, and I am very fast." He frowns, then he says "I want her to wash dishes to learn two things - one is that I pay my staff in food and coin. The other is that…little people like me. Are. Not always able to handle even 'little' debts, eh?" And he nods "She looked hungry. A young woman? With long claws that could go through masonry. She had forgotten, I think, what damage throwing chairs could do. Used to dealing with things more powerful than humans."

Clearly not terribly accustomed to dealing with itty bitty people, Jay is gentle and a little on the slow side as he extends a pale, soft pinkie out to Wasp in greeting. "A pleasure t'make yer acquaintence Ma'am."

Proper greetings and introductions made, Jay's brows loft upwards as Lambert gives him a look that he isn't certain how to react to entirely. He tries for a reassuring, but ultimately uncomfortable smile and shrug at the proprieter, which then vanishes when he does, hurrying around for wine and glasses and…"Whoa, whoa!" Jay puts his hands up as Lambert fills his cup and Jay whispers a barely there laugh, green eyes glinting with merriment never the less. Still, he winds a hand around the glass in an attempt to mollify Lambert and waits politely for the more serious business to conclude.

Wasp grins at Jay as she takes hold of his pink and does a makeshift handshake with him.

"Did you give her reason to believe you were going to do anything other than arrest her and call the cops?" Wasp asks as she turns to fully face Lambert, still looking thoughtful, "you might not believe it, but most would not give food from their kitchen to homeless people. Most call the cops, maybe she tried to stop you from catching her? I am just trying to make an estimation here, Lambert. Is she a criminal, or a starved homeless fending for herself? In my book there's a big difference. The city doesn't do enough to support its homeless population."

As Jay doesn't add on that, Wasp quips his way, "careful with the wine if you're a light drinker."

The wine smells sweet - honey and fig and date. Rich with complx spices and scents. And, alas, should Jay drink? It does not…taste particularly alcoholic. Unless he is used to wine. The damn stuff will kick like an angry mule. A really _violent_ mule. Satyr-brewed wine loosens the tongue. Lambert laughs, and he claps Jay on the back "Here, drink. Gods. What my sisters would make of you. They'd eat you up." He then says to Wasp "Er, the first I knew was that she was hitting me in the back of the head with one of these." He hefts up the ceramic carafe of wine "I don't know what she thought about me. I was bleeding by the time I realised she was there." He then laughs "I know most wouldn't. I can't afford to hire everyone, but it's good for the soul to feed others, isn't it? If she's fending for herself, she's in danger of making my staff homeless too - she did a lot of expensive damage, broke a chair! I wish people would _think_ before they…she couldn't have eaten an entire quarter of lamb by herself anyway!" He snorts, then for the first time, he looks sour "…wasted food. Ugh."

Jay looks back and forth between the two as they both give him advice on the wine. A sheepish smile, but warm in spite of himself, is Jay's immediate response to the fretting. No laughter, but his eyes twinkle with it as he hums again in that southern lean to Wasp, "Thank you, Ma'am. Ah will be." Making her that little promise while he watches the conversation unfold and any small details he didn't already know about come to light. He doesn't drink just yet, but holds the glass as his own property, giving Lambert a doubtful glance over his sisters. "Ah'm pretty resilient, but only one way t'find out."

Lambert's ire risen with the thought of wasted food and the trouble that the destruction put in for him and his employees, Jay falls quiet and pulls the glass into his chest, leaning back into his seat. Shifting a couple times at the malleable hump on his back shifts a little bit. Long feathers sticking out from the bottom hem of his overshirt twist a little bit until he gets comfortable, bending knee and propping his heel up on the seat of the chair.

Wasp flutters infront of Lambert's face and nods with a grave expression on her face, "that is inexcusable…wanting for food is one thing, but hurting another for it…well, I'm not sure it sits well with me." She considers another moment and then nods to herself, as if she's made a decision, "did you get a good look at her? The Bugle article had no description beyond mutant, did you actually see her?"

Lambert glances at Jay, then holds his finger politely up to Wasp, before he moves away. He goes to collect a crusty loaf of bread, warm from the oven, and he plops it down in front of Jay with salt and oil. And then he pats him on the shoulder and says "Take off the silly shirt, out here. If others can see my tail…" A little shrug, and then he says to Wasp "I was not happy, but…eh. Well, yes. My eyes are not as good as my ears, though." They are slit, and likely designed to be more on the sides of the head than they actually are. He considers, then he gives a quick description of the mutant, before adding "But I don't know why the paper made up so many lies?"

"I thought the paper might have lied, the Bugle is notorious for encouraging mutant hatred. Or any kind of hatred really, blacks and women suffer from it too. All minorities really." She then levels her gaze with Lambert, and sighs, "sadly, from your story, it seems like they were correct this time around. The mutant did attempt to kill you before going for the food, that's inexcusable."

Jay reaches out and waves a hand at Lambert as he continues to fuss over him, mock swatting at him to get away, though there is a smile in the red-head's voice. "Git outta here. Y'got a lady from, I don't know, the po-lice or somethin' tryin' to talk to you over here." Though it isn't as if he's terribly surprised from what he does know about Lambert. "An' there's a lady here. I ain't strippin' just yet." The 'just yet' emphasized with a lift of the wine glass he holds curled in toward his chest.

The question over the description and the paper itself has Jay softly inserting, like an undercurrent to the conversation. "Ah ain't been around much but, yeah, like Ms. Wasp said, from the folks Ah've been talkin' to, the paper ain't exactly keen on mutants. Any excuse to breed more separation, they're gonna take it." He jumps his eyes back and forth between the two.

Lambert smacks his forehead slightly at the talk of a lady present being the reason Jay should not take clothes off. In his world, a lady is exactly _why_ you should take clothes off. But then he says "No, she wasn't trying to kill me - she probably could have. Er, as long as she did not try to stab me in the head." He flicks his hard skull "I think it was not trying. I think it was that she…had people. In a category. I was in the category not her. And she was her. And so she could take food." He purses his lips "It did not matter to her that she would throw things. Ehhh. Perhaps I am. Bitter about it because there has been the odd similar thing - once with police who did not like my eyes. Once with that sea-prince, Namor, who broke my ribs for serving _octopus_. Why don't they realise that people are just people?"

Jay laughs in a whisper in response to that facepalm, color making his pale cheeks a little brighter, all the way to his ears, "What?!" Though he makes no move to actually defend himself and his customary choice to /not/ undress because there's a woman around. Or at least banking on the excuse.

The conversation goes around one more time and Jay peers down into his glass he's been cuddling with. He takes a tentative sip. "Th' octopus guy sounds lahke a nutjob…"

Lambert sighs, and then of all things, he comes and sits down, after pouring his own wine "Nutjobs are people too," he says to Jay, and then he tears some of the bread off, dips it in oil, dips it in salt, and offers it across "Jay, you are an innocent," says Lambert, amused, his tail flicking from side to side, then he sighs "I have had to repress _all_ my natural self to fit in here - oh!" And he moves his bowl of wine to find the candle holder. Shaking the candle out, pinching out its flame, he tucks in a little piece of bread for the Wasp woman, and holds it towards her.

"But even if you weren't her, and she only looks out for herself, that's no excuse to kill anyone, even if it is for food," Wasp notes coldly, "I may have the Avengers look into this." She takes the offered piece of bread and grins at Lambert, "you shouldn't have, but thank you," and she has a nibble, before noting, "mmmm, delicious, you make it yourself?"

"Ah didn't say he wasn't a person," Jay shakes his head mildly to Lambert as he reaches across the way to take the bit of bread from Lambert's hand without thinking twice about it. That's trust. "Ah just said he was a crazy person," he says, gesturing mildly with the morsel of food he took from offered hand. "Ah just believe that people are generally good. Even if they disappoint ya, it takes some diggin', but generally, Ah still believe people are good." Jay takes that bite and looks twice at the bit of bread for a second look, mildly impressed. A smile cast the short distance away. "You've told me. Y'don't fit in at home, y'don't fit in here. So…Ah kind of gotta start wonderin' what's really so great about fittin' in." Says the guy toting something around under his shirt constantly. Jay takes another bite from the bit of bread in his hand, finishing it off. "An' then Ah read somethin' like that piece about yer place in the paper an' I remember why folks go through what they do t'try to fit in." A colored hue of gentle exasperation in his tone. "And Ah ain't /all/ innocent." A featherlight brush of ego trying to repair a little ding.

The matter of Lambert's assailant and Wasp's view on it makes him thoughtful again. "But, Bert just said he doesn't think she was tryin' to kill him. Ah agree, there ain't an excuse for anyone to kill folks, but he said she wasn't tryin' to. She came in, hit him, he was choppin, got cut, she smashed stuff up and took food, and left." He seems a little confused where this assumption of attempted murder is coming from.

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