Pie Advice


emily_icon.gif joe_icon.gif

Scene Title Pie Advice
Synopsis For Joe, giving advice is a piece of pie. It would help if Emily gave him some context, though.
Date December 3, 2018

Red Hook

Food — the uniter of many. It's possible Joe didn't need a meal out as an excuse to catch up with Emily, but it's one she's provided regardless. The home-cooked meals of the country-style diner they've slipped into are nothing to balk at, with savory and ample portions. The associated cost is waved away. She's promised to pay.

Emily, though, doesn't seem too interested in her plate. It's not that the gravy-slathered chicken, or the vegetables that accompany it, don't look appetizing. She's just got a lot on her mind, though getting in a word in edgewise with her dinner partner was tough, even with the meal as a distraction.

Joe is as Joe does. And Joe talks. Unless he knows someone else needs to talk, he'll fill every bit of empty space there is with inane banter. He talks and he talks and he talks some more. Though with food involved there are moments of silence, because he was raised right and doesn't talk with his mouth full. Most of the time. Some of the time. Okay when he's out in public and it might embarrass someone he's with. He has no compunctions about eating up his whole plate while Emily picks at hers. He does give her a look or two of concern, but doesn't pry, just eats and chatters, mostly about nothing. When he's done though and she's still playing with her food he leeeeeeans forwards, then puts his arms down on the table flat, and folds one hand over the other before propping his chin up on those folded hands. "What's up Emily? You look troubled. Morose. Occupied. Like you've got a load on your chest. Want to unload? Or just wanting the never ending chatterbox of company that is me?" A quick grin from the kid. He wiggles in his seat a little bit but keeps his chin pinned to the backs of his hands.

Elbow on the table, Emily swipes at her mouth in a failed attempt to stifle an unbidden smirk, shaking her head as she looks across the table at him. "Maybe I just can't keep up. You are exhausting." she admits as much as teases, her brow starting to furrow as she sits up straighter, pushing her food around with her fork. The jab is light, followed by a serious consideration for what answer she means to give.

"Joe," she starts, voice slightly lowered. Serious. Followed by a jump in octave. "When you guys go smuggling," Emily glances to him without breaking her flow of speech. Yeah, it's been mentioned once or twice. "Do you ever… Have to do things you're not sure about?"

Joe nods his head slowly and seriously. "I've been told that before. Quite a few times. By quite a few people. But!" Joe holds up a finger to pause thought. "What if, in reality… I'm normal. And the rest of the world is just slow and unenergetic?" Joe's head wobbles up and down a couple times, nodding to support his own point. "That I think, is a much more likely reality." Joe's poker face is not good though, his lips keep quirking at the corners as he fights to hold back his smirk. He's about to speak more when Emily gets a serious face going and lowers her voice. Oh, must be serious bidness, she's lowering her voice.

So he shuffles around in his seat, but leaves his chin propped on the back of his hands, eyes up to Emily. She has all of his attention. "Not so far. But that's mostly cuz boss lady knows my limitations on what I'm willing to do for the job and she hasn't pushed them. But like… my and Lance's crusade we're starting against the slavers well… I mean I guess that doesn't count either. I'm one hundred percent sure about that. Though I'm worried about some of the things we might have to do to bring the slavers to justice. There's lines I haven't crossed that I'm worried about crossing. But I also can't let them sit out there and continue to shoot at and kidnap my family and friends so…" Joe's shoulders lift in a slight shrug. "What sort of moral quandary are you having Em?"

Joe's attempt at deadpan humor elicits the slightest upward quirk of her own mouth, despite everything weighing her down at the moment. For what it's worth, his stream of consciousness doesn't seem to add to that weight either. "Limitations," she echoes back, breathing the word out in a pensive sigh. There hadn't been time to really discuss those, aside from her unwillingness to relocate.

"I took this job as an assistant, and it's… been pretty easy so far. Like 'Hey, can you look into this thing for me?' and then I just Google or whatever the answer pretty quick and go back to my day, right?" Sounded mundane enough. "But they asked, if I found something, to let them know." Her voice lowers to something only between them, gaze distractedly fixed on the tablespace between them. "Joe, I never thought I'd find the thing."

Her fork pushes vegetables into gravy idly, and she finally takes a bite to give her time to chew on her thoughts as well. "I have my own interest in it, and I don't want to turn it over yet." she confesses first. As her jaw settles, she still hasn't looked back up at him as she additionally confides, "I think it has something to do with my family." The fork taps on the plate for a moment before she shakes her head.

Looking back up at him, her blue eyes are clear of any uncertainty. "If they find out, though, I'm fucked. I was warned it was dangerous, and I don't think… I'll have a job anymore if they found out I haven't told them yet."

Joe is a good listener. He can totally shut up when someone else is speaking. He doesn't even fill in the silent gaps where she's gathering her thoughts. He does sit up a bit though, arms lifting from the table, though his elbows stay on it, and he props his chin up in his hands, looking across the table at Emily as she toys with her food, and even takes a bite! He bobs around a bit, even if he's not talking he can't just sit still, he tries though. There's the soft scuff of his shoes moving around under the table, and his shoulders are doing a little bob and sway to whatever music is playing in the background of the diner.

"Well. I guess I'd need to know what the thing is that you've found in order to know what kind of danger level it possesses. I also have no idea where you work to know whether the people you work for are the good sort that would just be looking to contain something bad, or whether they're the bad sort that would take that something bad and use it for their own ends. Like over all I'm against secrets. Secrets are what led us down this road and have us where we are now. But I do understand why some people keep them. I also don't know who your family is to be able to say anything in that regard either."

Joe pauses a moment. "You know, now that I think about it I barely know anything about you other than you're cool peoples. Thought you were good people as soon as I met you. I'm a pretty good judge of character. Have to be when saying hi to the wrong person as a kid could have endangered the whole light house and what not. But yeah. I… am not sure what kind of advice to give you without more info Ems. Sorry." He even frowns a bit at that. Joe's mission in life is to be helpful.

"I don't even know to tell you." Emily admits. Her brow furrows as she smiles, an apology in her expression. The kind of danger posed by the thing — the person, actually — she was asked to look for can only be inferred. Who knew what withholding the fact she'd run into them could possibly do, who exactly it could hurt. "I don't know how dangerous it is, and I can't tell you for certain the kind of person it is I'm working for. They… Everything I know about them points to 'it's complicated', and it's not my business to be sharing."

As it dawns on him how little she's brought up about herself in general, that awkward little smile renews itself. Sorry is clearly read in her eyes, but she makes no real effort to share her secrets.

She does offer this rejoinder to help him create a character profile, though: "My dad is a fucking asshole. We haven't spoken really since I was little, and his sense of judgement is fucking questionable at best." Emily hesitates only for a moment, and it creeps into her tone. "… But he seems to always try to do the right thing."

"I think this was supposed to go to him."

"… But fuck him, Joe." She counters herself, her expression souring before she looks back at him again. "Seriously, he's—" Emily lets out a short breath, laughter inside it. "I think I might have a sister I never knew about. That he never stopped to think I should know about."

"Honestly, the only reason I'm even hesitating telling them I found the thing is because I don't know what they plan on doing with it." With her. To her.

Joe is still left rather clueless about well… everything he asked about. It's too bad really because Joe could actually share some good stories about Emily's father. About how he was part of the operation that got them out of New York. Joe and Paul are probably responsible for a few of Avi's grey hairs themselves. "Well…" Comments Joe in a soft tone.

"It's very hard for me to make a judgement with still no information. But I would say that you should trust your gut. I think human intuition is much more powerful than people give it credit for. I'd say trust your gut. And if your gut steers you wrong then you know it's a jerk and not to be trusted. But as long as it guides you the right way then… go with it. And if you're worried about the people you work for doing bad things with something then.. yeah. I'd say don't give them what they want. As for having a sister you don't know about I mean… I could have siblings. I don't know. I don't remember. I mean… now to play the orphan card Em but… you do have a father at least. Estranged but he's out there. And you know who he is. I… don't remember my parents. Not really. The sound of a voice. A scent here or there. Little snippets. But… yeah."

Joe's shoulders lift in an apologetic sort of shrug. "Soo I mean… with the limited information I have? I'd say… don't give them what they want? But take that with a grain of salt since I do not have all the info." He flashes Emily a wide grin, then sits up finally and leans back in his seat, smiling wide. Joe can almost always find something to smile about. "But, if you need help. Hiding whatever it is, or what not. Just ask. I'll get broninja and help. Maybe others depending on the direness of the situation."

For all her usual standoffish attitude, Emily appears to be listening to Joe's advice. She starts to set aside her fork before forcing herself to take another bite, then nudges the mostly-finished food toward the end of the booth's table for the waiter to pick up on his next pass.

She looks up in the middle of that as Joe brings up his own lack of parentage, looking like she's just stepped on cracking lake ice. The deer-caught-in-headlights expression doesn't last long as she slowly pulls her hand back from the plate, arms folding against the table as her look darkens over with an uncomfortable memory. Yeah. You still have one. Emily has to remind herself. Because somewhere, some other Emily didn't, and she'd had a front-row seat to that grief and how that felt.

It takes a while for Joe's smile to bring her out of that, still morose from the aftermath of remembering. "Salt? Sounds very unlike you. Maybe you should start saying 'spoonful of peanut butter' instead." she remarks offhandedly. Her hands start to unfold to reach for the hot chocolate she'd ordered, cupping it between both hands to warm away what lingers of the cold, sharp memory. She starts to say something and hesitates for a moment before deciding on, "Thanks, Joe." with an appreciative glance for the offer. Seeing as how she liked to keep everything to herself, who knew what would come of that.

She did seem intent on following her gut, though. It was insisting 'not yet', though it did that about a lot of things lately. "I'll have to decide one way or another, or time'll run out and it'll be decided for me. We'll see." Emily returns a small smile, lifting the mug to sip from it. "I know you must not feel like you're being really helpful, but you are. And I'm … grateful for it."

Her smile drags more to one side of her mouth as she goes on to say, "As far as Lance goes, I'd be hesitant to bring it up with him at all. Hell, I mention one bad thing that happened and he wants to go all neighborhood watch. I'd rather save him the worry."

Joe is a good giver of advice. Not always a great follower of it, but his advice is usually sensical. Usually. When it's not he usually has Lance there to smack him in the head and hurt his own hand doing it. Usually. Joe sees good food about to go to waste, and when Emily pushes it towards the end of the table the plate does a miraculous thing, it swings back around the table to sit in front of Joe. He grew up amongst tons of other kids. Eating after someone else doesn't bother him at all. Since she was doing away with it he digs into it. And in very short order has the plate cleared and pushes it back to the end of the table stacked on his plate now.

"I'm not saying you don't have a right to be angry with your dad. I'm just saying you should also take account of the fact that you do have one to be angry at. I mean I have a Dad. Brian took me in and raised me. But as awesome of a guy as he is. It's not… the same. I call him Dad. And we have lots of aunts and uncles. But…" His shoulders shrug. It's still different from having your actual parent that you can reach out to, or be angry with. "Peanut butter should never be taken sparingly Ems. Never ever. Peanut butter should be happily eaten by the jar. Just saying. Or better yet by the tub. That's way better." Joe remarks, taking a sip from his water cup as he leans back in his seat, his hands folding over his stomach, legs stretching out a bit under the table.

"You're welcome. You're good peoples Em. My gut doesn't lie to me. Never has before, doubt it's going to start now. Heck it's probably saved my life a few times. And it told me you were the good sort." He flashes her a big wide grin as he bobs his head to either side a little bit. "Well just remember. I'm bulletproof. And knife proof. And a lot of other harmful things proof. Like swords. Definitely sword proof. So if things go bad I make a damn good tank. And Lance is the DPS." Then Emily mentions a bad thing and Joe's eyes narrow.

"Lance told me. We've been patrolling. Looking for the a… jerk." Joe almost swore. Joe doesn't swear. Well he does. But it's suuuuuuper rare. Shit has gotten very real when Joe starts cussing. "We protect our own. If we find that guy he'll learn not to try and mug people. We won't kill him. But he might not be able to use his hands for awhile." Joe is unapologetic about that. "I don't like killing. I will, if I need to. To protect my family and my friends. But I don't want to. Lessons can be taught other ways. And don't worry about Lance, he and I are like commandos. He'll be fine."

"Come on, not you too." Emily laments, too weary to groan that Joe was wrapped up in that. Of course he was… "Without his gun, I don't think the guy's going to come back and try anything like that again. Yeah, I feel better that you're indestructible, but still." she has to try not to smile at the gaming analogy. It couldn't have been made for her sake, but it was a nice way to clearly get the message across. Even if it accompanies some very uncomfortable messaging. "Getting shown up by a girl on crutches was probably so demoralizing he'll never show up again. No… no need to go…" Well, whatever they were going to do.

Her head starts to shake as she adds, "And I'm sorry I brought up my dad at all. It's not fair to complain about all that when you," when all the Lighthouse Kids had… "have had so much happen." Emily's mouth hardens into a line as she ever so slightly spins the mug back and forth between her hands by brushing one thumb and then the other against it. "But tell me this," she asks cautiously. "Just tell me, if you were in my shoes, what would you do? I don't —" she pauses to cut off a sigh before it really takes hold. "I wouldn't even know what to say to him."

She swallows, even though she's not drank anything. "I — had this dream, or something. I don't know. One of those visions that people have been getting since the aurora started up. I saw another me, another life. I was at my father and grandfather's gravestones, and I was sick, absolutely sick with grief." Emily shifts her gaze toward the window to glance up at the sky and whatever colors currently happen to be dancing there before she looks back to Joe. "So, I've been thinking about taking advantage of the fact he's still here, like you said, but I just…"

For a lack of any other words to describe it, she shrugs heavily before her shoulders slump back down.

Joe shrugs his shoulders to Emily's comment, a little smile settling on his lips. "Yeah. Me too. I care about people. And I'm not happy when they get threatened in any way. Hence why Lance and I have been planning a mostly two man war against the slavers on Staten Island. We've pulled on some other resources but yeah. Two man war." Joe's shoulders lift in a half shrug. "They've tried to take Hailey. Shot her in the process. And they did take Squeaks."

"People are surprisingly vindictive. I did some fighting ring stuff on Staten, and I had the same thought. Like these older big pro fighter types they wouldn't want to come after me a second time. But a couple of them did. Didn't care for having their butt kicked by a kid." Joe grins wide, taking another sip from his water, and leans back in his seat, hands lifting, fingers lacing behind his head as he peers across the table at Emily. "Don't be sorry Ems. You're angry with your father. I can't say I get it, but I'm not you. Haven't lived your life and walked in your shoes. I was just trying to… give a little perspective if you will."

Joe pauses, thinking at the question he's asked. "If I was in your shoes? I wouldn't have let things go this long without speaking to my father. But if I was in your exact shoes right now, which totally wouldn't fit by the way. But!" He holds up a finger. "That aside. I'd talk to him anyway. Try and mend things. Or at least tell him how I felt. And make sure he knew it. Maybe take along a friend for moral support. A friend that's good at that sort of thing, and also happens to be bulletproof." There's a wink from Joe, and another wide grin.

"I don't know anything about aurora visions, though now I'm totally going to start asking people. But I mean… if that's not a sign that you should go talk to him I can write one up on some posterboard. I mean probably not poster board. Probably some old plywood or something. But! I could totally make you a sign if you want a bigger one. And did you really kick that guy's tail from your crutches?" Joe asks, his grin coming back again, this time with amusement clear on his features.

Emily's eyes widen slightly as Joe says Squeaks was taken. This is a detail that's never come up in as long as she's known the girl, the tiny, fearless captain of adventure. It's an uncomfortable fact, one that helps her better understand why Lance and Joe didn't feel like they were going off the deep end with what they were doing.

She stays quiet through his advice, a small smile quirking up at the corner of her lips at his pointed suggestion. All she can do is shake her head at his antics, the small smile growing into a grin by the time he's added on all his additions and clarifications. She's in such a good humor she practically laughs, "Yes!" when he asks her about the encounter with her 'mugger'.

She reaches across the table, grabbing his hand by the wrist. She loosely imitates the grip that was had on her. Even if it wouldn't hurt Joe anyway, she's not about to start roughly grabbing people like that without cause. "He had me, like that. The fucking bruises I had, Joe, I was wearing long sleeves for a week and a half." Emily shakes her head, then lets him go to gesture at herself, miming what comes next. Her hand trembles as she makes the gestures, something she either doesn't notice or ignores. "He didn't have his gun out, but I saw it holstered. So I grabbed it loose, jammed it into his ribs, and told him to let go and back the fuck off."

It's the first time she's ever really gestured this broadly or this often, normally keeping her movements short or anchored to an object. Idiosyncrasies normally obfuscated, like the way her hand trembles, become more apparent, but she seems at ease — not worried about covering it up. She balls her hand into a fist, shaking her head. "God, it was terrifying, but it worked. And then the bus showed up and he ran. Fucking cockroa—"

Emily would probably go on, but she adopts a blank expression as the waiter returns for the plates. "Any dessert today?" he asks, and she looks back to Joe for his answer.

After all, she's buying.

Joe tips his head forwards slowly when he sees Emily's eyes widen. "She got away. But if she hadn't? We'd have had no idea what happened to her. She was taken. And she's one of ours. She should have been all along. But we adopted her. She's one of us. And they took her. And this was well after they shot Hailey in an attempt to take her. And she's ours. Rude as can be. But she's our sister. Lance's by blood. The rest of ours by right of having put up with her for years."

There's an amused smile from Joe, but it's tinged with a very serious edge of worry. "That's two members of my family they've gone after, and nearly succeeded both times." Joe's shoulders shrug slightly. "I realize I just repeated myself, and that's okay. I was imparting the seriousness of what happened and explaining just why Lance and I are doing what we're doing." He nods his head to confirm his own statement, then leans forwards again, planting his elbows on the table in front of him.

But quick as that he switches to mirth and amusement. "Good job Ems. Kicked his butt." He remarks as she grabs his hands. "See me? I'd have just head butted him in the mouth. But I also don't have to worry about his teeth gouging my forehead so there's that. And I wouldn't have to worry about him shooting me. So there's that. Hi mister robber man, oh is that a gun? Don't worry. Aaaaand Headbutt!" Joe's grin is a big one, but he nods his head. "That was quick thinking, grabbing his gun like that. Did you keep it? The gun that is."

"See. People like that need to be taught a lesson. For a mugger I'd give him a broken hand and call it a day. He won't be mugging anyone with a broken hand." Joe's sense of morality is an odd one at times. "Uhhhh." Joe pauses, looking to the waitress, then back to Emily. "So… you can get the meal, but I'll get dessert. Cuz I dunno what you're working with but most people don't have buy Joe dessert money." He grins and looks over at the waiter.

"Do you have pie? And if you do have pie, do you have whole pies? Or just slices? If it's just slices then I want a slice of everything except pecan. Because pecan is gross and an abomination and shouldn’t be made or consumed by anyone anywhere. Just a note. If it's whole pies? Then I want a cream pie, like banana cream pie or chocolate cream pie. If there's neither then apple will do. Or Cherry. Really just whatever is going to be sweet enough to make me regret eating a whole pie minus whatever Emily wants." He grins at the waiter, then looks back over to Emily, that wide grin still in place.

Of course Joe wouldn't eat anything less than a whole pie. She should have known.

When Emily looks up at the waiter, he's got a slightly dumbstruck look on his face he's trying to recover from. Joe, after all, was both very broad and very specific, and it takes him a moment to come out with the information they have apple pie.

She sips at her hot chocolate while the exchange goes on between them, turning back to the window again. Glancing up toward the aurora, she slips back into her thoughts, pensive and unreachable for some time.

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