Meat and Potatoes


maddie_icon.gif smedley_icon.gif

Scene Title Meat and Potatoes
Synopsis The hardworking journalist comes home to a home-cooked meal and the two dish over stew.
Date July 21, 2010

Maddie's Apartment

The first thing that Maddie may notice upon opening the door to her apartment after a long day with her nose to the grindstone and her regular workout at the gym is the smell of something cooking. Something beef oriented, to be precise. On the auditory front, Smedley is adding a lighthearted whistle to the comforting sounds of whatever is simmering in that big pot on the stove. Carson keeps the beat with a steady thump-thump of his tail on the kitchen floor, his eyes transfixed on the spoon his master uses to stir the pot's contents. Serving as the off-beat count, Dingo snores.

That's right, snores. In a yellow heap on the couch, the cat snores, deeply asleep despite the fragrant food smells.

Dropping her keys on the bowl of marbles on a stand near her door, Maddie tilts her head. "Oy. Who's been cooking in my kitchen?" Goldilocks laments in an ironic turnabout, though of course Smedley isn't a bear. She drops her purse on the stand next, then walks through the living room to the kitchenette, leaning against the counter to survey the culinary christening her kitchen is getting.

"I don't think I knew the stove worked," she says with a raise of her brows. "Who knew?"

"You could always touch it to be sure, Sheila, but I wouldn't recommend it." Smedley looks at her hairline with a smile, then nods to the pot. "Ran by one of those street markets today. You ain't got shit to eat in this place, you know that? This should last us a bit, you spread it out right."

He lifts the spoon, which turns out to be a ladle, and slowly lets the thick stew drop back into the broth. Bits of beef, onion, carrot, potato, and even a little celery can be seen in the brown liquid. "They make stew down under, don't they?"

"Very funny. Yes, we have stew down under, mate. Smells good, though. Sorry I left you without anything edible. Half the time I don't get home til 9 or 10 at night, so I generally eat three meals a day on the run. Starbucks on the way to work, vending machine food or lunch with a source, and then whatever I can grab while working on deadline, yeah?" She gives him a weary smile. "I bet you didn't know being a reporter was so very glamorous, did you?" She flops into one of the kitchen table chairs. "So anything on the lunchbox?"

Smedley shakes his head as he reaches to open a cabinet and pull out two bowls. "I take it that by you askin' me that question, y'didn't scratch up much yourself?" Opening a bag of bread that hadn't be there when Maddie left for work that morning, Smedley uses his calloused and work-worn hands to tear up two pieces into each bowl.

"But no, I ain't found anything. S'hard to ask questions when you could be loadin' the gun'a the guy after you just by doin' so. We gotta step easy, Sheila. Your computer fiddlin' may be one of our best ways to get some kinda lead on what the damned thing even is. Once we know that, we can start actin' accordin'ly."

"Well, I 'fiddled,'" Maddie says, pulling off the light blazer she wears and leaning back in the chair as she watches him. "I got some hits, but now I have to narrow those down. It's sort of hard to type in certain words and not get a bunch of stuff that doesn't fit, and I had other work to do. So I saved all the stuff and will go weeding through the crap to see if any of it is actually helpful. Not a lot of downtime today, but I'll keep working."

She nods to the pot on the stove. "When's that ready? Smells tremendous, and I'm starving."

Once the bread is sufficiently torn up and lying in the bottoms of the bowls, Smedley commences ladling ample servings of the stew on top of it. "Round 'bout now, I'd say." He smiles, turning to hand the bowl to Maddie. A fork is produced from a drawer and passed along as well before Smedley joins her at the table.

Carson shifts his position, resting his head on Maddie's knee and looking up at her with wide, petulant eyes. Smedley, however, cuts him off before he can get too far with his begging. "Just ignore Carson there. He thinks yer soft. He knows better'n to beg me for scraps." He takes a bite of stew, savoring and judging the taste at the same time. When he talks again, he hasn't quite got the bite swallowed. "Sounds like you're makin' headway. Wish I could land a hand, but I've never been that good at stuff like that. Old fashion info gatherin's a lost skill though. T'ain't everythin' in the minds'a man on the world wide web, anyway."

"Ah, trencher style, eh?" Maddie says, smiling. "You're the first bloke to cook me dinner in New York City. Though one brought me sandwiches once, during the storm." She glances down at the dog, and does look tempted, then makes a mock pout when the dog is shamed away by its owner.

"Well, I can always let you skim through the crap and see if you find anything in what I pull up. Just reading comprehension needed for that, and I know you can read," she teases him. She finally takes a bite of stew and nods her appreciation. "'s good," she murmurs, before getting up to go grab a Diet Coke, then glances at him, raising brows. "Something to drink?" Water or Diet Coke, unless he bought himself something to go along with his meal.

"Water'd be fine," Smedley says through a mouthful of stew. He swallows, then looks at Maddie's jawline with a somewhat smug, indignant expression, his brow furrowed and lips drawn in a frown. "And how'd'you know I can read. I could be as illiterate as the day is long. Just some dumb hand what can't find work 'mong decent folk, or got too sick of 'em." He winks, then goes back to his dinner.

"Now," he says, pausing to slice a bigger hunk of potato in his teeth. "Don't you be gettin' ideas 'cause I cooked. S'bout the only thing I know how't'make. Just tryin' to carry my weight while I'm takin' up space here." But there's a tinkle of laughter in his voice that not even stew can drown out.

She grabs a can of soda and a bottle of Dasani and returns to the table, setting the latter in front of him. She smirks at his words. "You do take up a lot of space, you know," she says, as she finds another chunk of meat and potato to chew on. "How long you think you need to lay low, by the way? I'm not really worried about you taking up my sofa, but you know, for the sake of your own life."

As she eats, the potato, onion and meat gradually disappear, but the carrot chunks are left afloat. Picky eater, apparently!

Smedley has no such perameters when it comes to food. That's what happens when you go without from time to time - you take what you can get. "So I take it you don't want me settin' up shop here, hmm?" He winks again, but this time his dancing eyes are directed at Maddie's right cheek before they start to slide down her spoon.

"Least as long as it takes to unload the lunchbox, I'm thinkin'. That is, less it gets harier'n it already is." He pauses, then sets his bowl - empty save for a few streaks of broth - back on the table. Yes, cowhands without women to chastise them eat with their bowls in hand. "Wouldn't want'tuh be puttin' you in any undue danger. Wouldn't be fair. But you keep crossin' over onto the Island, and I can't promise you nuthin'. Got two bellies to keep full, and that don't happen by makin' sure pretty gals don't get shot up."

Maddie nods. "The couch is free, and I'm never here in the day for you to bother me. Just don't go wearing me knickers or anything when I'm not around. Aside from the ones you already did." Boxers that she sleeps in, not her proper knickers, of course, are the ones he's taken for his own. "And I don't generally go to Staten. I probably won't again if I can help it."

"Thank you for dinner. I don't think this apartment ever smelled so good. You sure you don't got any other recipes in you?" she teases.

"Maybe if half of it comes in a box," Smedley muses, leaning back in his chair and clasping his hands behind his head. "But that ain't real food. Stew for now. Beggers can't be choosers."

He gently kicks his leg out to poke Carson with his toe. "Ain't that so, boy?" Then, laughing softly to himself, he sighs the contented sigh of the well-fed. "Tell you what, Sheila. I'll cook if you do dishes. Deal?"

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