1965-07-11 - Found Families
Summary: The Guthries talk about the families they've made for themselves out here in New York.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
jay jebediah 

Jebediah always arrives to the club early, mostly because he likes having downtime where he has the entire club to himself before anyone arrives, before he has to do any work. It's good down time for him to study or to draw, sketching out various ideas for gifts for others or what have you. He's always early, always. If he isn't early, then it's almost as if Jebediah is late. He also sets up the club for the night and the stage for Jay, making sure everything is clean and in running order.

Today, he's running late, as in, he's not just not early, he's barely on time. When he arrives, it's with his kitten and with his arm supported by a cheap sling and with a slight limp. "Ah'm here, Ah'm here. Sorry." He calls out as he enters the club to anyone who may be listening.

Jay keeps his day packed full so he doesn't have time to think. It works for him. So when he gets off of his grocer job, or finishes with the community music lessons at the center, he's straight over to the club. He tries to beat Doug home and rarely succeeds. The boss likes to nap between his interpretter job and the club opening, and Jay is often up there, being disruptive or making Doug some surprise dinner to keep warm in the shitty little over. Something.

So when Jeb yells out, Jay's half way down the stairs leading up to the apartment, then up to the exit, turning around on the staircase to look up at his little brother with an easy smile. Which fades immediately when he notices the sling. "Tell me I oughta see the other guy, Jebediah."

He had anticipated such a reaction from Jay, one like the way Jay had reacted every time Jebediah came home with a black eye or a swollen lip, a scraped arm, his clothes torn and askew. "Easy, Jay, this wasn't a fight, Ah promise. Ah told you Ah wasn't going to get into anymore of those." Jeb says slowly, he moves his cat to his shoulder where she chitters at Jay, the giant bird in the room. He holds his free hand up in surrender, an effort to soothe his brother's anger as it surely bubbles to the surface. "The person who did this was tryin' to protect me from an even bigger hurt. Do you… do you know anythin' about Mister Halgrim?"

"It weren't a faght?" Jay turns on the stairs, one foot down a step while the other poises on the step higher, knee bent. A red eyebrow quirked quizzically as he flicks a finger up and down his younger brother. "What's all that then?" signifying the sling. It's not like he gets /mad/ about it. Jeb getting into fights it like getting mad at a fish for swimming. The chittering cat gets a small wiggle of fingers as well in greeting, his feathers shivering in some tiny instinct. "Hey, Buttermilk. Halgrim? Uh. That don't ring any bells really." Jay turns and continues walking down the stairs and into the club. "What's his deal?"

Buttermilk continues to chitter at Jay as Jeb sets his bag down on the counter, she turns on Jeb's shoulder to walk to the other one, watching Jay with her tail flicking back and forth. "Well, Ah ain't great at pickin' friends who ain't real dangerous, Ah guess. So, Mister Halgrim, he can turn into a Kah-mar-uh or something like that, it's like…a lot of dangerous animals all shoved together by someone who was told a vague description of all of those animals combined but never told them they was talkin' about more than one thing. And he turns into it when somethin' like… upsets the inner beast, so like when a fight happens or somethin' threatens Mister Halgrim, he becomes a big beast." Jeb tries to explain while determinedly not looking at his brother. "When he's the beast, he cain't remember who Ah is or who nobody is and… we all just kinda food to him. So, when Ah was out with him, somebody threw somethin' at us and the beast got loose, but we got him in the sewer before he could eat everybody.. but he was real beautiful, Jay, like so so so so beautiful.. and he was actin' all innocent so Ah went to pet him.. and then Adam threw me so he couldn't bite my whole gol'damn arm off, which he was gonna…."

The cat isn't given the satisfaction of Jay's express attention, trying to intimidate him with those breathy chitters. Still. Instinct is instinct and his feathers stand away slightly, making him even larger than usual as he saunters around past the bar and straight to the juke box. Leaning down to plug it in and punch a couple numbers to get music pumping through the space. "To be honest, hard t'throw a rock an' not hit someun' dangerous, Sprout." Jay shoots a smooth smile back to Jeb as he leans down, hair falling across his brow. he shoves a hand through his hair as he straightens, letting it fall free to frame his face. "A Kah-mer-uh? Well. Ah mean. Lambert exists, so why not a Kah-mer-uh? Like in those myth books Ah used t'read y'all growin' up." He shrugs and nods, accepting it fairly easily after a moment of consideration.

Jay continues on the path of prepping the bar and what have you. "Who the heck threw sumthin' atcha? He got a tell or somethin an' ya ran int' some folks fixed on hatin' folks?" Choosing to ignore the 'almost bit my arm off' part for right now.

Buttermilk hops off of Jeb's shoulders and onto the bar when Jay passes them. Her tail flickers back and forth quickly while she watches him, not fluffy with anger or defensive of her owner, playful as she continues to chitter at him, louder now that he's closer. I'm going to get you, big, weird bird. I'm going to get you and bring you home for my owner, because he clearly knows not how to hunt, because he only brings me crunchies and no live birds, it's quite rude of him, but I think he may just be stupid and need to be taught. I will help him. Buttermilk raises up on her haunches and bats at Jay's feathers when he comes close.

"Buttermilk! We don't hunt Jay. He's yer Uncle, that ain't nice." Jeb chastises the kitten, rubbing her little fierce head. "Well, Halgrim, he been in a war, so Ah thought maybe the fireworks would stir up bad memories and stuff so Ah was holdin' his hand and some big stupid drunk decided that meant we was queer and started throwin' stuff and callin' us the 'f' word."

An idle glance cast toward the stalking cat while Jay strides around the bar. A corner of his mouth twists up wryly, amused as the big bad hunter decides he's prey. To be fair, he does look like a giant cat toy. She lifts up on her hind legs and Jay's wings purposefully fwip and shiver, taunting the small housepet. "Uh huh, she got her head in the clouds lookin' fer birds, when she'd have more luck huntin' mice round yer place." Jay advises with a whispered laugh, eyes dancing as he glances back at his brother.

The 'big birb' walks around to the bar, snatching a clean bar towel up and starting ritualistically cleaning all the bottles standing on the back of the bar. recounting the tail, brows twitch together, a frown of worry between his brows. "People so damn fulla hate these days. So y'all rushed him to the sewers is what ya said?"

Buttermilk meows complaint at being scolded by Jeb and teased by the big bird. You can escape this time, big bird, but she will take you down yet. She sniffs at Jay, finding his scent similar to Jeb's in confusion. She hops down off the counter, bats at Jay's leg and then rubs up against his calf afterwards in a confusing show of play and affection. She bites at his laces, falling on top of Jay's foot.

"We got him in the sewers, Ah guess where all the 'monsters' live is down there. They ain't monsters though, but that's what they call themselves… whatever they ain't here for me to yell at 'em about it. Anyway, yeah and then Adam picked me up and threw me and that's what happened to my arm, Ah landed on it and my leg, leg looks a little like when Melody dragged me through the gravel when Ah pulled the head off her doll, only like.. if she did it for hours, instead of the seconds before mama caught us and smacked us both."

Jay shifts back and forth in an easy repetition as he takes a liquor bottle from the back of the bar, wipes it down, wipes the spot on the bar down, then replaces the bottle and faces it out. He looks down at the flopped over kitten on his feet, smiling at the goofy creature while she bites at his…well…toes. because in summer Jay only wears thong sandals—if he wears shoes at all.

"Monsters in the sewers? Ah thought that was where all the 'gaters were supposed to live." Jay exhales a mirthful sound, amusing himself as he takes up another bottle and wipes it down thoroughly. "Yer Vampire buddy live down there, too? Or he got some goofy lookin' steepled house in Manhattan?" In a good mood tonight, clearly. "You done seen the doc 'bout that?"

Jeb watches as his kitten valliantly tries to slay his brother's toes, pulling at the strap on his sandals and pushing at him with her paws, but without the claws, Jeb has taught her how to play nicely, though she backs up, growls at Jay's foot before she pounces lightly on it once more. "She's a little idiot, probably why she's mine." Jeb says, affectionately, shaking his head at the little kitten.

"He actually just carries around a coffin and whenever he gets sleepy, he just drops it where he is and takes a nap in it, that's his entire house." Jeb teases, smiling as both he and his brother tease his friend. "My leg? Ah wasn't concerned with it as much as Ah was concerned with how much my stupid arm swelled up. Ah just been usin' alcohol and bandaids, it'll be fine. Mama would say the same thing."

"What, she a little idiot so she—ouch, hey, watch the teeth," Jay scolds and wiggles his toes at her. "She a little idiot so she picked someone she could learn a thing or two from? Not a bad idea." Watching the kitten flop back and forth across his feet, Jay continues the repetition of picking up a bottle, wiping it down, wiping its spot down, and facing it. The rhythm is familiar. "You jus' gon' sit there? You tryin' t'get a sick day just fer a busted arm?" Teasing his younger brother with a crooked upturn of a smile.

"He carries it around? Like mobsters carry 'round violin cases an' such?" Green eyes dance with amusement while they tease people not present to defend themselves.

"Oh, god forbid Ah try to take a day off with a busted arm, what was Ah thinkin', Ah'm just lazy is what Ah am. Back in your day, you had to walk up hill /both ways/ just to wipe down the club, rahght, old man?" Jeb teases, pushing his brother with his good hand. "Just for that Ah'm gonna lick your guitar but Ah ain't tellin' you where."

He heads over to the stage, getting up on it to start setting him up as he snorts at the idea of Morbius carrying his coffin like a violin case on his back. "Yep, he's kinda like a snail, just carries his whole home on his back, keeps all his blood packets in it, and his garlic repellant." He teases.

"Ah'm /three years/ older than ya," Jay rolls his eyes at Jeb, culminating in an easy smile— equal parts bemused and playfully irritated. He doesn't even waver on his feet when pushed. "That's fine. Ah ain't gonna tell ya what Ah do with that guitar, an' you can wonder bout what you just licked."

"Garlic repellant!" Jay laughs in a puff of breath as he turns his attention back to the racks of bottles. "Steers clear of Eye-Talian joints an' churches with this big ol' coffin on his back."

"Listen, if you doin' nasty stuff with the guitar Ah /lovingly/ made for you, then you the one who needs the most help here." Jeb teases some more, stumbling a little as he sets up the stage. "Can't believe you're so sinful, Jay. What would mama think? What would Jesus think? Ah met him down in Harlem, maybe Ah'll have to ask him." He shakes his head in mock disbelief at his brother as he hops back off the stage.

"Garlic and silver repellant, otherwise he can't walk by no fancy jewelry stores without gettin' a rash." Jeb teases, and surely somewhere, Morbius' ears burn as the two Guthries pick on him.

Squinting in mock-emphatic speculation, Jay turns and looks over his shoulder at Jebediah. "Define 'nasty'. Cause Ah don't mind it none." His youthful expression blossoms into a flashing grin, immediately fading into a smaller smile that resonates with easy warmth. "You didn't meet Jesus down in Harlem, ya Monster-hugger. Tell me ya met Frankenstein an' made friends with the mummy, that's fine, but tell me ya met Jesus an' Ah'm gonna call ya a liar." Jay teases and banters with his brother.

"Silver vampires, or is that jus' werewolves? Did Ah tell ya Kale done battled werewolves once? right down the block." Jay juts his chin upward toward the stairs. "What's silver repellant? Is that jus'…pewter armor? He wrap himself in tin foil like a baked potato?"

"They call him 'hay-zeus' in Harlem. And Ah did make friends with Frankenstien but his name is Adam, just like you wanna be Jay, he wanna be Adam." Jeb teases, he walks over to Jay, giving his brother a one armed hug. "Ah ain't met the mummy yet, that'll be next. And Kale fought werewolves? Why he ain't introduce me to any? You know how Ah like my monsters. Ah could have kept one, though he might eat my cat and Ah love her just slightly less than Ah love you."

"A baked potato!" Jeb exclaims, laughing hard as he releases his brother. "A Morbtater!"

Jay immediately elbows Jebediah inside of that one-armed-hug. Gently and with a smile, but enough to give his brother a jostle. "You gon' tell me that Frankenstein's named after the first man, an' you met 'Hay-Zeus' down in Harlem. You are losin' it." He grins and jumps as the kitten grabs onto his toes with soft paws again. "Okay, Mouse-breath. Yer done." Leaning down, Jay hangs the towel on his broad shoulder and snags the bundle of fur, giving Buttermilk a scritch between the ears as he holds onto her.

"A vamp-tater. A po-pire. Nah, Ah like vamp-tater better."

"Ow, rude. Ah come over to give you love and you elbow me. Can't believe you would do me dirty like this, Jay, my own brother." Jeb puts his good hand over his heart. He smiles though when Jeb picks up his kitten. Buttermilk protests with a light huff, pretending to try and bite his hands but settling when she realizes he's much larger than she is and purring loudly at him, enough to vibrate Jay's palms. "Be nice to my baby, she's just learning how to hunt, maybe she thinks Ah need a healthy diet of bird toes."

"Vamptater, you better quit, my chest hurts." He laughs.

"'Do you dirty'?" Jay gafaws the words, scritching Buttermilk under her chin with the crook of his finger after a small struggle to get her to stop biting him. "You been in New York too long. You gotta git back home fer a spell." Teasing his brother light heartedly. "Ah'm bein' plenty nice! She the one stalkin' an' bitin' me all over. Hell. No chicken legs here!" Jay props a foot up on a bar stool rung and pats one of his muscular thighs past those ridiculous 60s short-shorts.

"All Ah hang out with are people who ain't from here and your Kale. So it's all his fault, really, he's the only New Yorker Ah know." He teases, rubbing a hand over the kitten's back. "Well, yer a big damn bird, Jay. A'course she gonna bite you. You would feed us both for a month." He teases and then rolls his eyes when Jay pats his thigh. "Yeah, yeah, you're plenty fit, Jay, now put that down before your boys jump out."

"Bull! Dougie's from 'round here," Jay points out the /one/ other New Yorker he knows and drops his foot back to the floor. "Ah ain't a bird no more than yer a double A battery, Jebediah." He claps back with a bright smile. "Mah 'boys' ain't goin' nowhere. That's what underwear is fer, jeeze, Jeb."

"Ah don't know how the hell you squeeze all that in those tiny things, why are they so tight? Ah think Ah read somewhere that wearing stuff like that is going to cut down on your ability to make kids, and Ah thought you wanted a thousand like mama and daddy had?" Jeb teases. "And is he? Ah didn't actually know. He can talk a million languages, Ah didn't know he grew up here."

"Ah do want a baker's dozen of 'em, yeah." Jay laughs lightly, looksing down at the ball of fuzz and teeth he has cuddled against his chest. "But that ain't really happenin' right now, now is it? And they ain't no tighter than anyone else's shorts. Or Sam's pants—good lord, boy gotta reach in his back pocket to scratch his balls.". Jay smiles broadly at Jeb while he lovingly razzes their oldest sibling. " Yeah, Dougie's from 'round here. His momma and daddy live north, near the school sorta. Though he don't talk much about them. They're not a real close family. Ah think that's why the team he had at school means so much to him. Family, yaknow?"

"Well, Ah mean, you can always like… get a girlfriend too. Ah think that Doug wouldn't even mind. And if he does, then y'all can just adopt a whole bunch." Jeb reassures him. "And yeah, no, Sam's way worse than you are when it comes to clothes that cut off circulation to his pecker." Jeb wipes a hand down his face, shaking his head when they talk about their older brother and his fashion choices. "Yeah, we do kinda make our own little families out here. You got one. Ah got one. Kale your family out here, Kale and Doug and as much as Ah don't like it, Elmo your family too."

"Yeah, cause folks are super keen on lettin' a couple queers adopt kids," Jay arches an eyebrow at Jeb, leveling a momentarily serious look at him. very momentarily. "Ah thought you an' Elmo were water under the bridge? You still sore with him?"

"You ain't got to tell them you're queer, just… Ah don't know, let Doug apply to adopt them like he's single. He's good at readin' body language and stuff, ain't he? He could probably get you whatever you wanted, probably plenty of mutant kids they cain't wait to throw at anyone who will take them." Jeb says, frowning at the look Jay gives him. "Ah always gonna be sore with him. He datin' you so Ah have to be suspicious."

"Yeah, he's good at readin' body language like yer okay at pickin' fights an' wood burnin'." Jay winks at Jebediah and shrugs a broad shoulder, leaning back against the bar, hips propping him up and taking a slightly bent knee. Paying more attention to the purring kitten. "Ah'm not worried about it raght now anyway. Ah got plenty to keep busy with. An' Ah don't blame ya fer bein' sore with him. Ah try not to think too much about yer altercation but…did he tell ya he left the other guy?". Jay glances up at Jeb again from his slight bow over Buttermilk. " Ah guess he realized the guy was treatin' him badly, so he left him. It was sorta hard on him, bein' his first an' all that junk. But." Jay trails off, leaving the subject there.

"We ain't really friends, so no, Ah didn't know about that. But he is tutorig me in math, Ah asked him to and he agreed to, so he's a good guy, Ah know that he is, Ah just worry about you gettin' hurt. You got this great big, sweet heart and you just love everyone, Jay and Ah don't want you to lose that, Ah never want you to lose that. People hurtin' you that you trust, that will make you lose that." Jeb says, slowly, quietly. "Ah'm sorry that Ah judge him too hard, that cain't be easy on you neither. He's a good guy, Elmo, but if he ever asks, Ah ain't said that." He sighs heavy. "Listen, Ah don't know my ass from my elbow when it comes to relationships, Jay, Ah ain't had no luck with where Ah put my love, but Ah trust you to know your own heart, Ah just want you to be happy."

Green eyes stay glued to the tiny cat in his hands while Jeb talks quietly about Jay's softer nature in a lot of ways. He's quiet. Thoughtful. The matter of concern running off him like water off a duck's back, like a good number of things do when Jay's good and centered. "Well. Lucky fer me Ah don't have a whole lot of people who do that. Instead Ah got you, an' Sam, an Kaleb." No point in going through the long list of people to the contrary he was around before Jeb moved up. "You don't gotta get along with him just cause Ah'm seein' him, Jeb. Ah don't wanna be that guy who makes things tense cause Ah chew ya out if ya disagree with who Ah'm seein'. You wouldn't ask the same of me if you started seein' someone.". Finally turning his attention up again, he sets Buttermilk on the floor and turns back to his work. " Ah'm okay just now. Ah don't know how long none of it'll last, but Ah'm happy. Ah want you happy, too, an' whatever that means fer you, Sprout. But. We're both gonn' have hell to pay if Dougie wakes up and we ain't done shit.". Jay smiles at his brother and winks. Ah'll turn the chairs down an' you wipe the tables down, gimpy.". He prompts them back into work with a serene smile.

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