1965-05-06 - Try the Tartare
Summary: A group of unlikely associates descend upon a street cafe.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
anya amber kai lambert 

Lambert is sitting at an outdoors cafe in the late afternoon. Few surprises, in many ways - Lambert loves his food, and he likes being out doors, and here he can chill out without getting too much attention. As such, he has no cap on, or jacket to hide his tail, and he is eagerly awaiting the arrival of his meal. The little place is French, though run by mutants, and flowers are out across the place. Spring air comes even to here. While the security of the place is thick steel shutters, for the moment they are open, and Lambert is idly trying to comb his fleece on top of his head into some semblance of a modern haircut.

So, this is Mutant Town. While Amber's initial foray into NYC wasn't exactly a rousing success, llamas not withstanding, she's heard tell of this place around campus. Today being Sunday and her day off, she managed to screw up enough courage to hop into ol' Bertha and go investigate. And she is not disappointed, more than a bit overwhelmed, perhaps, but not disappointed. And thirsty. Very thirsty. The French-looking bistro nearby seems a likely place to locate a cold beer.

Kai spies Lambert and struts up to him, all modded out. All he's lacking is a vespa with two dozen reflectors. "Oi, don't you have a restaurant to run? Where's my baklava?" He sits down next to Lambert without asking. He's wearing sunglasses, which he pushes up on his nose, and he looks around the street. "Never been to this place before."

"Estas seguro?" A young woman has her face in a phone booth, her left arm holding a large backpack at a precarious angle, while the right hand is digging through the backpack carefully. "He buscado alli, no hay una libreria!"

The phone falls from her face, and her right hand darts up to catch it with a pinkie. She spins it around and presses it back into her neck, eyes wide as she quietly hopes no one saw that little feat of weirdness. "Tengo que irme, mi niquel esta arriba!"

With a sigh, Anya hangs up the phone and slips back out into the crowded streets of Mutant Town. She's dressed more casually than is normal, which is saying something; sneakers are about as casual as the modded out Latina will get. They're still a bright blue in color, to match the light blue tights, purple mini, and blue blouse. Color blocking ain't just for the brits, you know. She's moving through the crowd at a hustle while trying to zip up her backpack, when she stumbles upon the cafe and stops for a moment to stare at it.

Cold beer, cold wine - there is both, and other things besides. Perhaps a little spritzer? So much is available. As Kai sits down, Lambert says to him "Don't you have a God to keep track of?" He grins, putting his chin in his hand "This is research. What is that costume? Why is there so much costume?" His tail twitches in amusement, signalling a slightly amused flick here and there. One ear cants towards Amber, sensing her approach, and Lambert looks up. He gives an easy-going smile, and then his head turns because he has noted someone else dressed a little like Kai "You have a twin," he comments to him, and then he says "You want to share my food? I can get a double helping!"

Amber spots Kai and Lambert and gives a friendly nod and a tip of her Stetson to them before taking a seat nearby. "Howdy.", she calls, giving a wave. "Guess there's not much chance of llama stampedes around these parts, huh?", she smiles. Spotting Anya, she turns to tip her hat to her. "Ma'am." she says pleasantly. A waiter appears in short order an a glass (beer in a glass? who does that?) of suds arrives in short order.

Kai gets himself some wine, and he tells Lambert, "I'll just pick off your plate. I'm not very hungry." Famous last words. He glances around, whistles lowly, and says, "I wish I could pull that off." Then he turns a sunny smile to Amber. "The day is young," he tells her. "You never know what might happen. Lambert's bound to headbutt something."

A book randomly falls out of Anya's backpack, to which she yelps aloud and quickly crouches down to snatch it up. She's halfway through stuffing it back in among all the others when she catches Amber's wave, and smiles in return. "Oh, hola!" she calls out, then steps closer and peers inside the cafe with one eyebrow screwed up. "Is this place any good?"

"No, that is correct. Well, if it is, then it is probably a good idea to be very scared of the llama," says Lambert philosophically. He gestures Amber to join him "I am not sure I got your name before. This is Kai, my good friend, and I am Lambert. He causes trouble - I own a restaurant. A Greek one." He grins. Lambert has very sharp teeth, fangs, really. But they are hidden behind a friendly mouth. Then he eyes Kai "You're going to eat it all, aren't you?" Lambert lifts a hand to Anya "Yes! I have had the steak tartare before, it is excellent. I very much recommend the fish too. It is the best that isn't cooked by me."

Amber gives a nod and collects her glass(!) of beer to go and join Lambert and Kai. "Amber Mueller." she says, offering her hand to both. "Pleased to meetcha. Oh, and, my apologies about slappin' ya the other day, if I didn't say so before." she adds for Lambert's benefit. "I was kinda out of line there." she says, wincing a bit. "Don't know from steak tartare, ma'am, but the beer's mighty fine." she smiles to Anya.

Kai regards Lambert and says, "Yes. I am probably going to do that." No denials, no apologies. He is what he is, and he is — should one look closely — not quite normal. His illusions are minor and tend to fall apart under scrutiny. The truth is he's got luminous eyes that have a glint of silver in them, and tapered ears that come to points amidst golden curls. At first glance? A guy. At second? There's something fey about him. "Amber, that's a lovely name," he says.

Though is accent is English, to Anya's ears, he speaks Spanish. "Hello!" he says to her. "Please, join us." Us. Like it's his table. Well, it is now.

Lets be honest; Anya may have been more strongly sold if 'taco' had come after 'fish'. That being said, beer is mentioned, and to it Anya's eyebrows both rise up. She looks from Amber to the cafe's ordering stand, then back to Lambert with narrowed eyes. "If the fish makes me sick, I'll vom on you, pal." Then, she grins, suggesting that she might be joking.

Slugging the backpack over both shoulders properly, she steps inside long enough to order the fish and a beer, but when she comes back outside and hears Spanish, she can't help but look to the trio with wide eyes. "You sure?" she asks, using English more for everyone else's benefit. She looks around at the three of them and finds herself blushing, before hesitantly waking over and taking the last remaining seat. Her bookbag falls to the ground with a heavy sound, and she sits with a leg crossed in Amber's direction for modesty. "I'm Anya," she tells them.

"It's okay, I am used - er, let us not talk about Maenads right now," says Lambert, and he looks up as his meal arrives. A fairly large serve of steak tartare, with some wine to have it with, and he asks the waiter for a serve for Kai. Then Lambert says to his elfin friend "It is the only way to eat the best beef." He delicately picks up his fork and then he neatly tucks his napkin into his t-shirt. As Anya speaks, Lambert says to her "I never get sick from food." He grins, and then he says "Lambert Petropolous. Kai. And this is, erm, Amber. Kai is also my waiter."

Amber waits for Anya to take her seat before taking hers. "Thank you.", she smiles to Kai, then offers her hand to Anya for a surprisingly firm shake. "Pleased to meetcha, Anya.", she says. Lambert's steak tartare gets the hairy eyeball as it arrives.

Kai perks up. "Hi, Anya. Are you a student?" He nods toward the backpack. Then he starts in on Lambert's tartare as the kitchen prepares his own. "Waiting tables at Lambert's place is a delight. Everyone's so happy to be there. He makes Greek food, and I don't know if you ever had it, but it involves a lot of lamb and olives."

Amber's not the only one giving that steak tartare the hairy eyeball. Anya has half a mind to sling a web at it and send it flying the other way. However, she of course resists, and meets Amber's greeting with a similarly firm shake and a friendly smile. "Corazon," she clarifies. "Anya Corazon."

"Si, NYU," she answers Kai, beaming a bit for a moment at that. "About to get my undergrad, but, I'll probably go back for more." Now her smile falters and she squints. "I've never had Greek food. You… you eat lamb?" She looks at both of their dishes, then slowly lifts her beer. "What's wrong with cooking it?" she asks, not realizing that she might have just been a little rude.

"Lamb?", Amber says, pausing mid-beer sip. "I like lamb.", she grins. "Well, more like I just really hate sheep, so eatin' 'em's not much of a moral dilemma." she chuckles. "So what're you studying, Miss Anya?", she inquires in her twang-y accent.

"It is delicious. You should try it. And the snails," says the satyr, who has never met food he has not wanted to be close friends with. He sighs as Kai tucks in, and he offers his wine to him as well "Your people seem to need a lot of food," Lambert grins, and he raises a white eyebrow. Then he says to Amber "Do you want some? Yes, it is raw steak and egg, but it is also spices, herbs, onions. It is the true essence of the meat." Then he eats it, comfortably, and he looks up, and says "Yes, I eat lamb." His goaty ears flick this way and that "But this is beef. There is nothing wrong with cooking it - I like that too! I like lots, and lots…of food. And drink. And company."

Kai takes the offered wine and has a hearty swallow. He may be a thief, but he's the kind of thief who steals from you right to your face. "I burn a lot of fuel," he says. "It must be, you know, one of those fast metabolisms. It's why we're feasting all the time." He happily munches on Lambert's food, and he drinks his wine. However, when Kai's wine arrives, Kai gives it to Lambert, so it evens out. "I think it's great," he says, "getting an education. I might go to college sometime."

"Well, if you don't mind." Amber says, pursing her lips thoughtfully. "Guess a bite won't hurt me none.", she smiles. The mention of college makes her smile ruefully. "My boss is on my about getting my high school diploma.", she sighs. "I know he's right, he usually is, annoying as that may be. But…Lord, after five years? Goin' back doesn't seem too enticing."

Truthfully, Anya isn't worried about eating the raw steak. They wouldn't know about her enhanced physiology but… she's yet to eat something that made her sick. She nods her head after a moment of hesitation, before downing a healthy gulp of beer.

"Electrical engineering, computer science," she answers Amber with a particular amount of pride in that. "It, uh." She kicks her heavy backpack. "Keeps me busy, ya know?" Her grin then softens a bit as Amber talks of getting her high school diploma. "Hey, anythings possible. Some day I might even be able to vote."

Anya looks toward Kai then, and leans forward to ask a rather blunt question. "So, you're mutants then. Right?" She's making an assumption about Kai and his friend, but it's at least a relatively safe one, she hopes.

"You would need to focus," says Lambert dryly to Kai "And also listen to your lecturers, even when you did not want to." He takes the swapped wine, and he picks up another little garlicky morsel of hard toast and rich butter to eat his tartare on. He grins, and his ears waggle back and forth, and then he says "Oh, I am no good with technology. I cannot understand things like that. Though maybe I should get a phone in my room." As Anya speaks, Lambert's eyes glitter with mischief. He says to her gleefully "Neither of us is." And he offers Amber some of his food, on a clean fork "Kai is an elf. I am a monster."

"That's what kept me out of college so far," Kai tells Lambert. "That's all right. I've learned from the school of hard knocks." He lifts his chin and tries to look tough. He munches on more tartare, then says, "I'm an alien. Though ancient Norse humans would've thought I was an elf. Our technology is far advanced. So far advanced I don't have to think about it, so I don't know how any of it works. It just does." To Amber, he says, "You can get a GED pretty easily. I've gotten them lots of times."

"Thank you.", Amber replies taking the fork. "Firestarter.", she nods to Anya. Her mention of possibilities elicits a rueful grin. "I dunno….Teacher calls me down in front of the class, things might get kinda…heated.", she winks playfully. Gingerly popping the tartare into her mouth, Amber gives a few chews and a very emphatic "Mmm….MmmHmm!"

A monster, an alien, and a mutant. Anya's tried very hard to keep her secret safe, but a part of her is tempted. She looks from one to the other with a quiet sense of wonder, but it's the rueful grin of Amber that really sinks in. Maybe it's the whole 'sisters unite' feeling that's become baseline to her at school.

Either way, she rests her hand on top of the glass of beer, then removes all but her pinkie. She turns it in just a way, then lifts the glass merely by lifting up, with the pad of her pinkie on the tiny little lip of glass.

"Maybe you could roast this tartare for me," she quips to Amber, before 'crawling' her hand one finger over the other down the side of the glass until she's holding it by the bottom, to take another drink.

Lambert says dryly "She might want to get one without cheating on tests, Kai." Still, the satyr-kin then just reaches over to pour more wine for Kai, out of his own glass "The thing is," he says - oh dear - "I can get an _elf_, but an _alien_ just doesn't seem possible, Kai." As Amber speaks, Lambert nods, thoughtfully , and then he says to Amber "See! I know it is odd - the whole idea of eating raw meat, for someone who is entirely human and not used to it. But it is delicious. And healthy, if it is done well." He puts his fork down, gracefully, and then he tilts his head as Anya does that "…I haven't seen that before," he says after a moment, a little puzzled, before he offers "I do not really have any unusual abilities. I am just what I am. I am a chef, mostly."

Kai watches Anya with the glass and says, "Woah, that's so groovy." That she can do this doesn't flummox him, but damn he thinks it's cool. Mutant?" This is the neighborhood for them. He asides to Lambert, "Just think of it as though jolly old Elf Land is another planet. Alfheim is a beautiful place. It just happens to be really far away." He takes a drink of his newly refreshed wine. "I don't cheat on the GED exams. I do really well with American history, since I've been here for most of it."

"I probably could, miss, the trick would be not roastin' everything else.", Amber winks teasingly. The mentions of aliens gives her pause. "Alfheim….I've heard that name before someplace, can't think where.", she frowns. "Somethin' I read somewhere, years ago…Anyhow, glad you're here, now, wherever you're from.", she smiles to Kai. To Lambert, "And that, sir,", she says pointing her fork to the steak tartare, "is something that's been missing from my life for far too long.", she grins.

"No, no," Anya answers Kai, and gives him a mirthful grin at that. "Not… quite." She sets the beer down and takes up a fork, finally ready to try this steak tartare. "Product of errant magic," she explains with absolute sincerity. "I just… try to keep quiet about it." She looks from one to the other, hoping they understand.

When she finally takes a bite of the tartare, her eyes go wide and she sits upright. After swallowing, she turns pointedly to Lambert and asks, "How is that so good??"

"I don't think it's 'jolly'," says Lambert "You people are terrifying." He wrinkles his nose, and he says "I want to go there, but I count as a mortal, so I don't think they're going to - oh! That's right! I forgot you're really old." He grins warmly, and then he leans over and he says to Amber, bright "I am so glad I could give you some pleasure." Lambert then says to Anya "It just is! Though…I suppose I'm designed for eating raw meat? At least a bit. Humans can do it just fine too. Humans are terrifying predators." His goat ears flick, and then he says "Errant magic, or just unpredictable, old magic?"

Kai laughs and says, "We're terrifying? Alfheimians? We're a gentle people." He claps Lambert on the back, rather solidly for someone of his size. To Amber, he says, "In Norse history, there is the realm of Asgard. Alfheim isn't too far from it, and we've long been allies." History, not mythology. Anya has his interest, though. "What kind of errant magic? My, ah, friend, he can use magic. I don't have the talent, myself."

"Ain't it good? Never would've called that for the life of me." Amber chuckles as Anya discovers steak tartare. "Mythology, yes!", she says, snapping her fingers as the pieces fall into place. "I got this book about Norse mythology a few years ago. It was pretty interestin'.", she nods, then freezes in place completely. "Wait….now, wait….are you tellin' me that's not just storytelling? All that stuff is /real/?", she says, voice dropping to a hushed, astonished whisper. Turning equally bewildered eyes to Anya, she says. "Magic? As in…/magic/, magic? Like Gandalf?"

"The latter," Anya confirms, grinning awkwardly to Lambert. "Definitely. Old, and really, really unpredictable."

At mention of Asgard, Anya literally splurts beer from her mouth. Her hand rises with remarkable quickness to catch it with a napkin. She sets the beer down quickly and says, "I just net Thor!" She turns to Amber. "The actual Thor, son of Odin, the whole thing." She looks to Kai, eyes wide. "So, he wasn't loco!" Under her breath she mutters, "Gwen no va a creer esto."

She's too surprised by all of this to really answer the talk of magic and herself.

Kai gives Amber jazz hands and says, "Surprise." Then he takes up his wine again. "Mortals have taken literary liberty. A lot, actually, but sure, it's real." He offers Anya a napkin for her splurted beer. "Oh yes, Thor! I'm good friends with his brother, Loki. We're housemates, actually. Thor's great. He's wonderful to have at a feast. He's got so many exploits there's never a boring story."

Okay, cue Ton of Bricks #2! "You /WHAT/!", she says, she keeps her tone hushed, barely, but the way she seems to levitate in her seat between Anya and Kai might draw some attention. "Oh, you gotta be kidding me……", she sighs, polshing off the rest of her beer in a long, unbroken gulp and looking around for the waiter for another. "An' all I ever done was start settin' things on fire..",she says.

Anya grins widely over all of this, though she can understand Amber's shock, for it was her not more than a few days ago. "Yeah, we kicked this guys ass in Times…"

Suddenly, Anya goes quiet. There were articles in the paper about it; 'Thor and Spider-Girl save Times Square'. She was never good at keeping secrets, and her face is flushing brightly now. "Yeah, you should, definitely, meet him. He's, super, super cute. More… more rough and rougeish but still cute."

Kai admits, "He is the very model of what men should aspire to. Though his brother is handsome and clever. And smart. Thor's mighty, and unburdened by excess thinking." He nibbles on a little more of Lambert's food. "You can find Thor at the Embassy sometimes. They let people visit. I'm sure as lovely as you ladies are, he'd enjoy the company."

"Whose ass did you kick, Miss Anya?", Amber asks, eager for details. "Don't read the newspapers much. They're all full of it.", she winks. "Wait, there's an official embassy?", Amber asks Kai, once again doing that hover/pivot thing. "Can't say I'd qualify as an immigrant.."

Thanks, Kai. Not making the blushing any better. Anya does snort somewhat at the way Kai describes Thor being unburdened by excess thinking, and remarks, "I think you just insulted him, but I can't tell."

Amber's question is answered with a modest gesture of her free hand. "Just some gilipollas meathead calling himself 'Cinderblock'." She shakes her head again. "Gilipollas."

"His ah-friend," Lambert murmurs out of nowhere. He has been really enjoying his food. He polishes the last of it off with an agile, and slightly uncomfortably long goat-tongue, and then he shakes his head, looking up "I thought I was mighty and handsome and unburdened by excess thought," he grins, and he says "Kai is more on the Loki side of Nordic thought. So he's going to poke fun. I - I have no dog in this race. I'm just not entirely human, which means I'm not a mutant either. Because mutants? Are _human_." He nods, firm on that. So that is where Lambert stands on the whole matter. Then he says "I never get to fight villains!" Lambert pauses "I mean, that is probably a good thing."

And this is getting a bit too rich for Amber's blood. Norse Gods, Rouge magic? Yeah, okay. Her second beer is welcomed with a smile, and a generous tip. "Y'all are all insane.", she sighs, shaking her head as if to keep up with the new information flooding in. "Gods and Magic…", she sighs. "Oh brave new world….", she says, toasting with her new glass of beer. (again, who puts beer in glasses?) "That has such people in it."

"Excess thinking can be a burden," Kai says. "It can cause you to freeze up at a crucial moment." He nods sagely. That's his story and he's sticking to it. He then says to Lambert with a grin, "We really do have a terrible influence on each other, Loki and I." He claps Lambert on the back. "You fought those trolls who were trying to eat me." He grins at Amber. "A brave new world you're a part of. Mutants are going to save humanity, I'm sure of it."

To all of this, Anya just grins. She gulps down a portion of her beer, remarking, "Well, if they can somehow achieve equal rights for Latina women, they can count me among them."

"I am very normal," says Lambert to Amber, mildly "Perhaps you should come to my restaurant - let me show you good Greek food. I mean, if you want. I have some fire pits in the back!" His voice is _quite_ enthusiastic. And then he nods "Oh, I think so too! It is just - when mutants _do_ save humanity, please leave a little room for things like Kai and I. We like Earth too! I am from here, but here is now Kai's home too. Even if he and Loki are terrible people sometimes." He nudges his friend, and then he pats his belly, before he says "Let's order some cheese! They make marvellous cheese in France!"

"I was born in London," Kai says. It explains his accent. "My parents came here from Alfheim." He shoots Lambert a Look. "We're not terrible. We're interesting." His eyes brighten with excitement. "Mutant rights are going to become real," he says, "and civil rights for all races, and even gays. Anya, you'll be voting before you know it. We're in a changing time. It's exciting."

Amber takes a deep swig of her beer. "I meant no offense, sir.", she says to Lambert, blushing hot at the idea she had. "Or to any of you.", she adds, removing her hat politely. "Just sayin', y'all have stories I can't even imagine. Hard to know what to make of it all.", she says. "Again, my apolgies."

"No, it's fine, I - do not worry," Lambert assures Amber "It's just…how do I put it, even! It's that in my world with you all, I have to just be a bit careful, you know? I _am_ very strong, and I have a very hard head, and I cook very well! But I am also not as tough as Kai, here, and I am not a fire starter." He adds to Kai, hopefully "The cheese is a good idea, right?" And then he says "…I do. Vote. I was born in America. But. I think I might start to get turned away now that I look less human." He frowns, and he says "…I would like. Everyone to feel comfortable. It is hard to have pleasure - to have delight - when you are frightened. Well. Aside from certain kinds."

Kai blinks a few times, innocent as a lamb, as Lambert claims he's the tougher of the two. Kai does look pretty lightweight, but on the other hand, he's an alien. Who knows what's up with them? "You've got nothing to apologize for, luv," he says to Amber. "We've all got stories. We never think ours are all that interesting because we were there for, but they fascinate others." His gaze captures something, God knows what, and he says, "I'll be right back." Then, to Lambert, "Yes, order lots of cheese." Then he gets up and takes off down the street. He's got quite a bit of stamina, too. Whoever he's found, they'll be run down within moments.

"Thank you, sir.", Amber says to Lambert, putting her hat back on and doffing it to all assembled. "This is just new territory for me, all of it. Not that that's an excuse for bein' impolite.", she notes firmly. "Which I /was/. It's just an explanation.", she says simply. "If one thing my life should've taught me by now, it's that I've got no call to judge anybody.", she says.

"Er, I am usually pretty easy going!" says Lamber to Amber "Besides, er, in my culture, there's quite a few women who er, arhm. They're the bosses. Or at least, you do what they say, because they can eat you." He watches Kai head off at high speed, and asides to Amber "Maybe he's found someone to harass with his poetry. Anyway! So tell me about where you come from, and what you like!" He leans forward, his brown eyes warm and slightly mischievous.

"Heh, I bet.", Amber winks playfully. "San Angelo, Texas. An'…mostly I like explorin'. Seein' new places, new people and the like.", she shrugs. "Never stayed more than a few months anywhere.", she says. "Kind of vagabond existence, I guess, but it suits me.", she smiles. "Got a good job now, good folk, good wages, we'll see if it sticks."

"Oh! My family is from Texas, I mean, I was born there, not in Greece," says Lambert "But we're in a very hidden away part, since I am the most human looking of all of them - so you can imagine we are not always popular. Er, and we can behave poorly by human standards…" He waves a hand, and then he says "What is your job? Bring them all down to Saganaki. My only rule is that in the Courtyard, everyone has to behave themselves." He adds "I prefer people to be kind.

"You are? Whereabouts?", Amber beams happily. "I miss Texas.", she sighs, "Well, more like I miss those I lost there,that makes any sense.", she shrugs simply. "Saganaki, is that your restaraunt?, she asks. "Sounds more Japanese than Greek, meanin' no offense." she notes. "I got a job keepin'grounds at an estate in Westchester.", she demurs. "Good job, best I've had in a while."

"Refugio," says Lambert to Amber "And I don't speak any Spanish or Mexican, but then again, neither does anyone else in my family. We just run vineyards where no one else lives. We do go into the town, or did - they used to send me." He grins "Saganaki is a type of greek cheese - you are right, it does sound Japanese! I make everything myself, pretty much, though I have just taken on an apprentice…and speaking of that. I need to get back to him to see how the bread of the day has gone. He is learning. Kai is wonderful - if he wasn't my waiter, I wouldn't be able to afford an apprentice."

Amber doffs her hat (she's wearing her hat at the table, clearly her manners are slipping!) and offers her hand again, rising as Lambert does. "We're well met, sir. Hope to have you teach me all about Greek food sometime.", she smiles.

"Come by and I may teach you all _kinds_ of things!" says Lambert cheerily "And vice versa!" Sadly, he is somewhat flirty - but it comes with the territory. Soon he, like Kai, is off!

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