1965-05-04 - Kvetching and Cooking
Summary: After the early morning sign burning down town, Elmo struggles to understand his own serious issues surrounding handling JP's planned arrest. Jay and Doug try to walk him through his own trauma. With blintzes.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
douglas elmo jay 

After the early morning sign burning and JP's arrest, Jay has convinced Elmo it's not good for him to be alone. Or, he's pulled a fast one and told him that he wanted to spend time with him before he leaves for the weekend, because admitting weakness is not always easy. They head to the club, tired and too early in the morning for it to be open, so it should be peaceful. "How about Ah make you some breakfast?" The red head remarks, brightly, reaching out to take Elmo's hand as he unlocks the entrance to the club and steps inside. "Ah'll make ya somethin' to eat, we'll put on some music…" he smiles warmly at Elmo, eyes bright and his relaxed demeanor promising that everything will just be okay while he pulls Elmo into the quiet club. it's so strange, seeing it empty.

Elmo is badly in need of some peace. The crowd, the fires, the sounds and the sights and watching JP get handcuffed—it's all got him miserable and angry. He takes Jay's hand, but his own is trembling. "Okay, Jayl. I, uh, I don't think I'm gonna be very good company." He keeps his eyes down as they go into the club, even though it's empty and calm.

"So what?" With a shrug, the flippant reply is easygoing as he leads into the club. the lights are all off so it's somewhat dark even though it's bright outside. Jay flicks on the lights just over the bar since the staircase to the apartment is in that direction. "You don't have to entertain me, El. If yer havin' a rough day, Ah wanna be near ya. Just in case. Otherwise…" The winged young man glances back while he tugs Elmo along, offering a small smile. "Is it too cheesy to say that everyone needs someone sometimes?"

Elmo lifts his eyes to Jay's. He looks exhausted; big dark circles around his eyes, unusual lines around his mouth. However, he smiles back, a little. "Nah. That's not too cheesy. I guess," he adds, a gentle tease.

"Cool," Jay responds while he pulls Elmo upstairs to the apartment and fiddles with his keys to unlock that door as well. Of course he has a key to Doug's place. he stays there frequently enough. "Dougie might be gone already, at work. Or sleepin' fer all Ah know, but he said yer welcome any time, so we're gonna sit down, have some food. Do you like coffee?" Firing away light questions and chatter as he drops his keys in the bowl next to the door and leads the zombie Elmo to the couch. Impressing his palms into the electric mouse's shoulders, Jay presses him down and crouches in front of Elmo's knees' looking up at his downcast leaning face of exhaustion and worry. "Hey…" Soft. Jay whispers softly, holding on to Elmo's hands. "Ah adore you, El." Pulling his hands to Jay mouth, he gives them a kiss.


Elmo permits himself to be steered and sat, not putting up even a token resistance. His scarred knuckles shiver against Jay's lips. "Sweetheart," he says, voice breaking, and then—just flings himself into Jay's arms, clinging to him tight. His chest hitches; he's fighting back a sob.

Jay was waiting for Elmo to decide a space was 'safe' enough to crack. He's been waiting for that moment, but he isn't actually prepared at the sheer vigor in Elmo's launch. He wobbles, then wraps his arms around the smaller man's frame, kissing his cheek. "Aw, El…baby. It's okay. It's okay t'be scared."

Elmo has been shivering for hours and now it degrades into full-on shaking. "I'm not—not scared," he gets out, face pressed hard to Jay's shoulder. What he is, exactly, he doesn't manage to say. Instead there's a strangled half-sob, half-snarl. Weeping fury. He cries it out some on Jay, hands fisted in his shirt.

After a few minutes, he settles down, breathing hard. He mutters a curse in Yiddish and fumbles a handkerchief out, scrubbing his face. "JP would laugh at me for bein' such a baby. Cryin' over watchin' him do an overnight. He's…he's probably havin' a ball."

Jay has a degree in patience, and all through growing up and actually all the way through his life here as well, he's had people fury-crying on him. Siblings. Kaleb. Josh. Now Elmo. It's not a big deal to him, so he waits, rubbing his fingers down Elmo's back with ample, firmly massagging pressure since that seemed to help Elmo before. Kissing his cheeks and squeezing tight until he can speak again. Jay finally lets him go just enough to wipe his face off. The angel-imposter's smile is serene and supportive, in no rush to have Elmo be 'fixed'. "Like Ah said, he's probably singin' French songs loud as he can, drivin' all the cops crazy…"

Elmo laughs breathlessly. "Singin' _Street Fightin' Man_ in Cajun, I don't doubt it." He coughs out a lingering sob and mops himself up. "Just too much. Too much yelling, too many people, too much everything, and then they arrested him. He told me they were gonna. Told me I was gonna stay out of it, too. I probably shoulda listened, huh?" The pressure Jay's applying to him helps a lot; he's calming down rapidly. "You stopped me from making everything worse. Thanks." His dark eyes meet Jay's, but only for a second, before he looks away. He's at the limit of his tolerance.

Jay continues pushing his fingers down the long lengths of muscle to either side of Elmo's spine. Repetative, soothing motions. "Of course. This ain't mah first time through this sorta thing, an' Ah know you well enough t'know you need help sometimes with yer temper. Hey-hey-hey," Jay touches just under Elmo's chin, trying to catch his lips for a kiss. "It's okay. Ah like you how y'are. Everthin' included."

Elmo's kiss is salty from tears. He closes his eyes, kissing Jay back tender and shaky. "Ya do? You sure?" Although he says it a little sardonically, he's…actually pretty serious about that question. "I dunno, I don't feel so likeable."

"Do you trust me, Elmo?" Jay answers the question with a question while he stays crouched in front of the small, shaking man trying to get his wits about him.

Elmo flinches, almost imperceptibly. It's more a harder twitch under Jay's hands. "Yeah," he says, voice breaking again, quiet. Then louder, firmer. "Yeah."

Jay's lips twitch as well, up towards a gentle smile, infinitely patient. "Then trust me when Ah tell ya that Ah like this whole package ya got going on here."

Elmo manages another smile and leans his forehead against Jay's. "Okay." He strokes the back of Jay's neck, petting him like he's being pet. "Okay, hartseleh." His eyes close again. "Oy vey izt mir, this was a tough night."

Brow to Brow, Jay closes his eyes and smiles, running his fingers down Elmo's back with long stroking motions. He chuckles softly. "It's only 7am, sweetheart. Have you been up all night?"

Elmo nods, gentle pressure. "The whole team was, getting stuff organized. I had no idea activism was so much work. It seems like people just show up and make a scene, but it turns out there's a whole big machine behind it. Kinda like a band playin', I guess. Most people don't see the way you gotta take care of your guitar and have the sound right and all." He sighs, wearily, but with more humor this time. "Eh, listen to me talk. You okay?"

"Organizin' stuff is a full time job, no matter what it is yer doin'," Jay hums. "Before we started turnin' up mutant, we'd do all this stuff with scouts an' church an' the school. Momma'd organize it all an' it's like fer every afternoon, ya need a week t'prepare." He smiles gently, fondly at that remembrance, rolling his forehead against Elmo's. "Course Ah'm okay."

Elmo cups Jay's face, kisses him again. "Of course," he repeats, affectionately. "Why do I worry?" He lets him go, leans back and stands up, overtired energy not letting him rest. "Hey, let's make some breakfast, yeah? That's a great idea." He's rocking back and forth on his heels and he stuffs his hands in his pockets.

"Ah dunno," Jay shakes his head gently, lightly butting his forehead against Elmo's with a tiny rock before Elmo stands. "Because ya care. You're afraid of losin' stuff, so…when ya can't control it, ya freak out an' worry yerself into an electrical storm?" Jay stands as well, fwipping his wings a little bit to get them in order. "Sure. Breakfast sounds good. We were at that diner, mah stomach was killin' me. What do ya want? C'mon," Jay winks and tosses his head toward the kitchen as he leads the way. "Raid the kitchen. Yer a guest so…look around."

Elmo admits, "I care. I care a lot. It makes me kinda crazy sometimes." He takes the invitation at face value and promptly gets into everything. "I'm not that great a cook," he says, looking into cupboards and fridge. He's still shaking and it makes the fridge door rattle, but at least he's not completely breaking down? It's a start. He brightens up when he finds some cottage cheese. "Blintzes! …As long as you don't mind 'em kinda lumpy."

"You don't gotta be a good cook," Jay shrugs and grabs an apron from a drawer that probably belonged downstairs at some point and now it lives here. A quick wrap around his hips, the bib hanging down over his groin rather than wearing it 'properly', he ties it in front with a loop around the back. "Ah'm not too bad at it. Ah'm no Bert, but Ah've made meals fer the Guthrie army, plenty." with a smile he rolls up his sleeves, looking around as Elmo shuffles through things, he shrugs. "What's that?"

The sign burning protest happened at 4am today, so by 7am, Elmo and Jay are back at Doug's apartment, because that seemed…logical somehow to Jay? A safe, quiet place while Elmo broke down and freaked out. Quietly, however, Jay honestly wasn't sure if Doug was off to work already or still asleep while they murmured and Elmo sobbed on the birb man. But that had passed mostly. Elmo was still shaking, still upset, still red-eyed and delicate, but he was up and moving again when Jay mentioned breakfast.

The two are now in the kitchen, looking through cabinets and the big bulky fridge, deciding what they could make. Jay with a plain white apron slung around his waist, the bib hanging in front rather than around his neck. "What's a 'blintz'?"

Elmo's busily getting eggs and milk and the cottage cheese out. "They're—uh, I dunno how to describe 'em. Kind of like a burrito? With a real thin pancake, what're those called? Crepes, right. They got cheese in 'em and you put jam on top." Some of the cupboards are too high for him to reach, but he just gets a knee up on the counter, half climbing it, and hey no problem. He does this so fluidly it's pretty clear that's how he reaches things all the time. Sliding back to the floor with bowls in hand, he looks at Jay wearing the apron and just about melts. "Look at you. You're so cute, I can't hardly stand it. Okay, um…mix up some pancake batter, please. Except thin, kinda watery."

This is when Doug wakes up, and comes out — he's in a pair of pajama bottoms and nothing else, bleary-eyed. He stretches, and yawns, and looks around, scratching under one rib, before he trudges in to put on coffee. He's the world's worst mormon. He makes it as strong as death and thick as mud.

"Good morning." He says, through another yawn.

Jay turns his head when Doug zombie shuffles out of his room and straight for the coffee maker. A lop-sided smile touches his face, bemused as he always is of this shuffle. "Good morning, Hon." He glances over while Elmo is spider monkeying up the cupboards and Jay is helpfully lining his ingredients up. "Elmo's here." Because he isn't honestly sure if Doug's noticed him at the state he's in. "We went to the protest this mornin'—what? It's an apron. How's that cute?". switching topics quickly with a chortle at Elmo.

Elmo would ordinarily be kind of embarrassed at rummaging around in another man's kitchen, with that same man's lover no less, but not today. Not. Today. "Doug, hey, pal," he says. "Ya like blintzes? Gonna make some." He's laser focused on putting things together: cottage cheese in bowl, sugar in cheese, cracking an egg and sliding just the yolk in. No recipe required, just years of watching mothers and aunties do it. He desperately needs something to do, and this will suffice. He flashes half a grin at Jay. "You're cute in everything."

Doug smacks his lips, and says, "You are." Then he looks up at Elmo, and squints, but he doesn't say anything, instead turning to get a pitcher of water out of the fridge. "Yeah, sure, I could have some." Doug's usually a couple of fried eggs on buttered toast kind of guy, but hey, if you're cooking, he'll jump for it.

Jay is tracking Doug subtly through the kitchen, watching for signals that he's crossed a line without trying to alert Elmo to it. 'Is this okay?'

An easy smile when the two agree that he's cute in everything. "Ah might give it to ya if Ah were only wearin' the apron or somethin'." Jay goes about making pancake batter much like Elmo does: from memory. He's made so many pancakes in his lifetime and variations on it, he could do it in his sleep. "You want me t'fry ya some eggs while we're at it?" He asks of Doug while he whips together the batter, holding on to the bowl in the crook of his arm and whipping it with a fork. "Y'got work t'day?"

Elmo's body language is fizzing and popping like a downed wire. He's upset and exhausted and holding a lid on it like a boiling pot. Not about being here, though. Everything he's unhappy about has already happened and there's nothing he can do about it. Aside from making cheese blintz filling with a vengeful precision. "You were wearing just the apron, I don't think we'd just be tellin' you you're cute." Doug gets included without thought.

Doug tilts his head and watches the coffee maker. "You could always strip down to just the apron." He muses, keeping a lid on whatever he's noticing. And not asking what happened when the two of them went out.

"One of us gotta keep their clothes on this mornin'," Jay points out to Doug with amusement, meandering in the omnilinguist's direction while the fork goes 'stwish stwish' rapidly against the side of the bowl. Jay leans in and plants a firm kiss in the center of Doug's bare back and sorta moseys back where he was. Adding a bit more water to the batter to make sure it's a little thin like Elmo asked, he goes back to mixing. "Otherwise we'd be in fer some trouble Ah'm thinkin' and breakfast would never get made."

Elmo has run out of things to do for a second. His shakes get worse and he rubs his eyes, muttering to himself in Yiddish. «Keep it together, Rosencrantz.» Pan! Frying pan! That's next! He finds one and starts heating it up. When Jay kisses Doug, he glances swiftly over—and of all things, that relaxes him. Shoulders unknot a fraction. He turns back to his task.

Doug looks up, and then he responds to Elmo, also in Yiddish. «If you need to talk about it, go ahead. That's sometimes better than holding it in. But go at your own pace.» He raises his eyebrows at Jay, and then turns to embrace him, warmly.

Jay looks between the two and the Yiddish flying everywhere suddenly. Cracking a smile and a low chuckle while he whips his end up, setting the bowl down at long last on the counter by the stove just before he's embraced, he startles, surprised, slinging an arm around Doug's bare shoulders. "Hey there. Y'sleep all right without me jabbin' ya with mah wings all morning?" Jay teases. He actually doesn't move much at all in his sleep normally. Comes from actually sleeping crammed like sardines in bed with lots of other bodies. "Ah think Ah wanna put some music on," Jay mentions, rubbing a hand through curly blond hair and planting a firm kiss on Doug with a hum. He's in a bright mood, still watchful over Elmo, but he's trying to be the counter balance here. "Since yer awake, Ah don't gotta worry about wakin' you up. Somethin' mellow, what do you think? Or are you enjoyin' the quiet, El?"

Elmo actually jumps a little, when Doug addresses him in Yiddish. Then says, irritated with himself, "That should not surprise me. Should not surprise me, I know you can speak every language. …Your accent's perfect," he adds, wondering. "You sound like you were born and raised on the East Side. You could be one of my cousins." He shakes his head, though. "If I start talkin' about it I'm gonna start cryin' again and justJP got arrested and I couldn't stop it. And he told me he was gonna get arrested and it was fine but I couldn't stop thinking about when I got arrested and" He swears, bites his lip. Hard. Then grabs the bowl of batter and ladles some into the pan, swirling the pan to coat it. "It's fine. Sunspot's gonna spring him in a few hours, it's fine."

"If Bobby da Costa says he's going to spring your friend," Doug says, "He's going to spring your friend. I went to school with Bobby, and even when I wanted to strangle him, I knew he always got what he wanted." Doug looks up at Elmo, and then says "…All right, take five. Crepes? I can crepe. Go handle this Jay, I'll be right here." He moves to delicately take the pan from Elmo. "No arguments, you two."

Jay exchanges a long look with Doug when Elmo finally opens up over his breakdown.

'This is what I've been trying to help with this morning.'

Finally, he starts talking though, and that's better than the sobbing. At least he's working through it, now. Jay is quiet while Elmo explains, peeling half way from Doug, an arm still around the linguist's back, groping a little at his lats until Doug steps forward to insert himself between Elmo and the pan. A confused look is Jay's initial response. Handle it? He arches an eyebrow at Doug. "Ah think…doin' stuff sorta helps Elmo process, Dougie. He fidgets." Still, Doug seems firm on the order, so Jay still walks over to slide a hand up Elmo's arm in a beckoning motion.

Maybe it's the Yiddish that sounds like it came from his own family. Whatever, Elmo surrenders the pan, surprisingly meek. "It was the plan," he's saying, not really to either of other men. "He knew someone would get arrested for it and he wanted it to be him, on account a he's an old jailbird and he knows the drill. Not me, or Arlo, or anyone who showed up. So everything went according to planfor onceand I'm having tsuris over it." 'Grief'. He goes when Jay urges him, and gets back into his arms. No tackle this time.

"Working through it is fine. Breaking down into tears while holding a hot pan in front of a hot stove, less fine. Cry it out." Doug says, before he takes the pan in his hand, and after a moment, he *flips* the crepe by giving the pan a shake. Then he whistles to himself, as he works. "Trust me."

Whatever the magic mix was, Jay enfolds Elmo back up against his chest once again, draping his arms down the slender man's back, squeezing him firmly. kneading into the same two lengths of muscle down Elmo's back on either side of his spine. "Just cause everythin' went perfectly don't mean a thing if yer havin' guilt over it, El." Jay rests his chin on top of Elmo's head. "It's a testy subject fer ya. Trauma's … it's like that. Weird stuff sets it off. That's okay." The pan flip /is/ impressive though. dang…

Elmo shoves his face into Jay's chest and gets weepy again. Less fury this time. More unaddressed grief and terror. "It's just the drunk tank, Bobby's gonna get him out, it's fine, it's fine but—" A whole chain of emotion and memory hang on that 'but'. "I wouldn't be cryin' if you just let me cook," he kvetches, soggily.

Douglas continues to busy himself, making those blintzes. Maybe he doesn't get it as perfect as grandma did, but he does not bad. He overfills them a bit. It's not the worst crime in the universe. And then he winds up pulling out some blueberries and strawberries and he mashes them up with some sugar into a sort of compote, which goes into a pot, to turn into a sauce. Doug doesn't usually cook. At all. Aside from his two fried eggs and sourdough toast every morning.

"So?" Jay points out with the irrefutible power of 'so what?' to Elmo's complaint while he watches Doug cook and slowly pressing his hands up and down Elmo's back in long, grounding strokes. "You ain't the first grown man t'cry on me, Elmo. This is what emotions do, believe me, Ah know it plenty." His eyes stay glued to Doug while he mumbles into Elmo's hair. Mostly because watching Doug in the kitchen is sort of like watching a mouse play poker. "Ya weren't going to get rid of this by ignorin' it. Ignorin' it is what got ya here in the first place."

"Sure, easy for you to say, you're all…nice and…kind and …beautiful," Elmo complains, laughing through his tears. He might be feeling a lot of things at once and acting a little nutty because of it. He gives in and lets Jay hold him while he shakes and leaks tears on the man's shirt. This crying jag lasts as long as the last one, but he comes out of it definitely calmer. He rubs at his eyes. "Prison sucked," he says, sort of an all over explanation.

Doug finishes putting together the blintzes, and he gives the sauce a final stir, before he takes it off the heat, and starts serving it up. Finally, he plates it, and comes in, balancing the plates neatly in his hands, before he serves two up, along with mugs of steaming hot coffee. "There you go." He takes his own, and retires some distance away.

Jay has to chuckle when Elmo says it's easy for him to say. Patient as Doug is sexy, Jay holds on while Elmo cries himself out again. "Ohhh if ya only knew how funny that is, Sweetheart." Is all the flier says with an air of amusement. "Yeah? Ah…honestly didn't know you went away until you mentioned it the other day." Admitting rather easily and without judgment on that fact, Jay smiles as Doug comes in and lays out the spread. "And you said you don't cook. Now Ah know yer full of it." His eyes track Doug while he retreats again. He wants to tell him to stay, but will follow Elmo's lead there.

"Ah can't imagine it'd be easy in there, fer Ah guy like you.". Small? Jewish? Practically waving a loud rainbow flag? Hot tempered? Probably all those things. "You wanna talk about it?"

"I cook just fine." Doug says. "But why would I cook, when you and Jeb cook for me?" Doug says, his eyebrows going up. "Your whole family are fine cooks. Well, except for the squirrel's brains, that was vile. Did Sam ever tell you about that? How he went out behind the school and shot a bunch of them with a .22 one morning and fried their brains up with eggs for us for breakfast — a little 'home cookin' he called it — and how when I found out what they were, I puked?"

Elmo lets Jay go, honest gratitude fizzing through his body language for both Jay and Doug. "Doug, don't run off, huh? It's your house." Doug tells the story about the squirrel brains and he groans, amused and disgusted. "Guthries, nothin' but trouble." He slides Jay a fond look, red eyed, and shakes his head. "Not now. Maybe some other time. Mostly it was boring, anyway. Just the parts that weren't boring were the problem."

Jay's fingers grasp on Elmo, dragging against his body and then his limbs as he pulls away, as if Jay were trying to pull away as much static electricity or tension out of Elmo as he could before they parted. A ripple of motion through his feathers, Jay smiles warmly at Elmo over Guthries being trouble. "It's the truth. That's why we all got banished t'the frozen winterlands of New York, didn't ya know? It's why Doug looks so stressed all the time, havin' to deal with us." Jay pulls his plate closer, giving his blintz a curious look over, examining the foreign creature. "Oh, he told us all right. Was a great story over Christmas breakfast that year. An' you told the story again a couple months ago. Ya know, fer such a worldly fellah, you got really squeemish over a little bit of brains." Jay suppresses a smile that shines anyway in his eyes, shooting an amused glance to Doug. "It's good protein."

Doug takes a bite of his own, and then he inhales, before he says, "That's because that's not *food*, Jay." He's teasing. "But then again, I bet if I served you grandma Ramsey's tuna salad in aspic with mayonnaise you wouldn't be able to hold it in for long either." He looks back to Elmo, and winks. "Not a long list of great cooks, in my family."

Elmo grins sidelong at Doug, at that wink. A sincere little flare of friendly connection, through all of the emotions seething and rocking around inside him. He appreciates this. A lot. "Yeah that sounds terrible." He's eating some of the blintz on his plate, not much, but he's doing it. "We do more tongue than brains. Or aspic. Ugh, aspic."

"Squirrel brains are food, and good eatin'," Jay teases back. "It's a labor of love right there. You know how many of those suckers you gotta git, an' then scoop their little acorn heads open? For a group as large as yer and Sam's team? A lot," Jay points out with a jab of his fork and a smile before he digs in, stealing amused little glances at Doug. Then to Elmo. "What's aspic?" Taking a jab at his foot, Jay takes a big bite for testing, and hums deep in his chest his appreciation.

"Jell-o, except not fruit-flavored." Doug says, "I'm surprised you never ate it. It's depression food… as in people ate it during the depression because if they didn't eat anything they could get, they'd starve. So you mix it up with say, tomato juice, or in this case a little bit of the water from the tuna fish can, then you put meat in it, and in grandma ramsey's case peas and green olives, and then you put it in a fancy mold, and you serve slices of it with a blob of mayonnaise on it. Grandma used to make it every Christmas and Easter." He watches their reaction, considering something.

"Gentiles," Elmo says, with a showy sigh and shake of the head. "On the other hand, Jews eat gefilte fish." It's easier for him to cope when he's got something to kvetch about, so he digs into it with more relish than the blintz. "And matzoh. On purpose."

Jay squints at Doug while he explains savory jello and tilts his head. "Wait. Yer talkin' about t'mato soup jelly, raght?" He flicks his gaze between the two to check if he's nuts, then points at Doug with his fork again. "Yeah, like that, cept we made it with tomato. it was like eatin' tomato soup but with a fork. Peas an' tuna though? Like a casserole but…cold jelly?" Jay squints and focuses again on his creamy fruity pancake, groaning again with a little lean back in his seat. "This is good though. Y'all can come over any time an' make this. Ah got a new birthday breakfast fer next year." He smiles and looks at Elmo while he sighs and whatnot. "Okay now what's that?". For someone who gets as self conscious as he does about asking people things, he doesn't seem to hesitate at all around Doug. No fear that the worldlier man is going to make him feel stupid for it.

"Oh. Gefilte fish is fish meatballs made from bony scaled fish — sorry, no catfish, Jay — it's actually pretty good. Matzoh is unleavened bread — it's… a bland cracker, pretty much." Doug shrugs, "But you can use it to make a lot of things. I spent a little time in Israel. Only a few weeks. But I had a good time."

"I ate a ton a catfish in New Orleans. That's almost all they eat there. That, and shellfish. And when it's not catfish or shellfish, it's pork." Elmo gets down the entire blintz. Victorious. "You shoulda heard the questions JP was askin' me about kashrut—that means kosher," he explains to Jay without being asked. "Had to ask everything in the most embarrassin' way possible."

Jay is attentive while Doug explains. Nodding slightly and squinting his suspicion over that explanation. "Uh. Huh." then turns his attention to Elmo, nodding mildly. "That all sounds bout raght honestly. We got cousins that way, a whole slew. But, wait, didn't you tell me that yer not supposed t'eat pork?" He shakes his head, confused. "An' none of this sounds like th' little cookie things Ah made fer you over Purim, El. Man…we all got some terrible food, Ah guess." Whispering an exhaled laugh as he turns between Elmo and Doug. Something occuring to him while he twists his fork around in hand. "Huh. Ah didn't think 'bout it, but we're all diff'rent sorta backgrounds. Dougie's the worst Mormon ever, Ah'm a damn lapsed Baptist Ah think y'all could say, an' El's Jewish."

Doug moves to clean up the plates. "Exposure to other people changes you." He says, before he goes into the kitchen to wash the dishes. And silently start mentally reconstructing the recipe for grandma's tuna aspic. Oh, that's so mean…

Elmo hitches a shoulder, tired but still going. "Yeah, it's against the dietary laws. But there's a loophole built right in. Says whenever you gotta break the laws of Torah for your health, it's okay. They don't apply. Whether it's for kosher or anythin' else. If you have to do it to stay alive, you're exempted. So I ate a lotta catfish and shellfish. Stayed away from the pork, though, it just feels too weird." He smiles at Jay, and if it's dimmed from his usual brilliance, it's still deeply fond. "S'beauty of New York. That's why we're the greatest city in the world."

It is so mean. And totally justified.

"You can say that again," Jay responds back to Doug, his words heavily weighted down with meaning while green eyes track him. 'You've taught me plenty, including what dick tastes like'. Immediately following that thought is a far more genuinely grateful one while he thinks on all the other changes his life has taken.

Instead, he innocently, but genuinely comments, "Thank you. Fer cookin'. An' cleanin' up. Leave those in there, we'll wash up." Reassuring Doug. The infinitely patient soul Jay crashes with and brings stray, crying Jewish men home to.

Jay leans back in his seat, holding on to his coffee cup while he turns back to Elmo, exchanging smile for smile. "Huh, that's an interestin' rule. Ah mean…Ah guess we kinda got one similar? The Catholics don't agree, but Bible says Jesus expunged us of sin, so while all sin is equal, it is also all cleansed from us so long as we acknowlege it and ask forgiveness. It's not as…Ah dunno, man-made sensible as 'hey if you gotta fer yer health, that's okay', but it works mostly.". Jay rolls a shoulder, his expression a little flat over New York's glory. But he's still smiling. " If you say so, Sweetheart."

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