Welcome And Grace


joseph_icon.gif leonard_icon.gif

Scene Title Welcome and Grace
Synopsis Leo welcomes Joseph back to the upstairs flat.
Date September 28, 2009

Old Lucy's: Upstairs

Though one might remember when a certain fiery woman lived here… Now the living area above Old Lucy's has changed hands. The open living room and kitchen are homey, a commingling of two people's tastes. The leather couch sits kitty corner to a one of red suede and a bit smaller. A large bird cage for it's budgie inhabitant takes up it's own corner beside dark paneled walls. Bookshelves with literary pieces of a variety both academic and not take up another small section.

The kitchen is large, with a rolling wood and black marble island to give more counter space to work on. Pots and pans hang from the roof and track lighting keeps it not gloomy. A proper oak dining table has been set up with matching chairs instead of the 70's castoff that the residents have been known to own and a bowl of fresh fruit sits in the center.

Down a hall lay's multiple doors. A master bedroom occupied by the oldest resident and occasionally have a pervading smell of whiskey and smoke coming from it when the door is open. A second door with a cross above it, a third with no marking that is occupied by the third resident of the premises. Two other doors lead to a linen closet and bathroom respectively. A black cat with a red velvet collar and a little swarovski charm dangling from it can be found meandering at will.

Well, it's Abby's place, and very cozy. She warned Leo ahead of time that Joe'd be coming, so he's done his part to clean it up. Not that she doesn't always keep it spotless. There's a casserole heating in the oven, and it's nearly unbearably homey. Leo himself is in jeans and a t-shirt, watching 'Blade Runner' for the millionth time, with the cat ensconced firmly in his lap.

It's the sound of footsteps that herald the door opening - multiple footsteps over a couple, the steady thump of human feet surrounded by the softer, scrabbly competition of four paws. Did Abby warn Leo of Joseph's huge dog? Perhaps, perhaps not. Either way, the bearish Alicia is connected firmly to the bright red leash wrapped twice around Joseph's wrist, and the first to pull into the apartment with her owner trailing behind, a backpack hooked over a shoulder and the heel of his boot swinging back to nudge the door shut.

Wearing jeans faded with age and a button down untucked over that, Joseph looks a little harassed - possibly from the walk over and then finally guiding the Newfoundland dog up the stairs and inside, her tail wagging and— ears perking up at the scent of ~cat~.

"Don't even think about it," is accompanied by a leash tug.

Apparently she didn't warn the cat. Scarlett is up in a ball of bristling fluff at once, vanishing into Leo's bedroom. Happily, no claws were sunk deep enough to distress, so there are no obscenities to accompany that. Leo gets up more sedately, eyes the dog. Where in God's name will there be room for that? On the roof, maybe. "Hey," he says, quietly. "Welcome in."

"Sorry about that." Joseph glances towards the door through which the cat disappeared, and bends to unhook leash from matching collar. There's no predictable dash for where the feline disappeared - instead, Alicia gives a wide, pink-tongued yawn and trots slowly towards Leonard, head ducked to inspect his shoes, and where cat fur clings to his pants, with a twitching nose of curiousity.

Winding up the leash, Joseph offers a smile towards the other man, stepping over to try and reach a handshake over where Alicia has insinuated herself between them. "Nice to meet you - Leonard, right? This is Alicia— I know she looks big," is big, "but she's well-behaved. Sleeps most of the day, I hope she won't be a problem or anythin'."

"No worries," says Leo, affably. Not apparently disturbed by Joseph and his bear on a string. He bends to ruffles the beast's ears with his hands. "Yeah. Call me Leo, please, not Lenny. Good to meet you, preacher."

Stepping aside to let his dog happily bond with her new flatmate, Joseph shoulders off his backpack to place it onto the couch, tossing the leash onto it and slipping keys into a pocket. "Leo," he concedes, with a glance back. "Just call me Joseph." The glance back extends towards the kitchen, the smell of heated food detectable, and he shifts to lean against the arm of the couch. "You've been stayin' up here a while?"

"Few months now. Dinner's almost ready - pork and apple casserole," Leo murmurs, as he strokes Alicia with rough affection. At least she's mellow, for a big dog. "We got your room ready," he notes, jerking his chin in the direction of the hall.

"Oh— " A glance back as if to confirm, or at least acknowledge, before Joseph returns a smile in Leonard's direction, along with a grateful nod. "Thank you. It's nice to be around— nice people." Taking his weight off the couch, scrubbing his face briefly with his hands as if to ward off tiredness, Joseph moves towards the fridge to open it up. "I can't promise I'll cook— which you'd thank me for if you knew how I cooked— but I can clean up after, anyway."

Leonard waves off the idea with a languid motion of a hand. "Abby and I have it covered. You're our guest, don't think about it," he says, as he retrieves an oven mitt from the side of the fridge, opens the oven. It does smell delicious. He cocks a dark eye at the preacher. "How you holdin' up? Sounds like you been through some rough times."

A water bottle is picked out, the cap twisted off, and Joseph moves to pick out a glass. The kitchen is relatively familiar, having come here before, and he moves without getting in Loenard's way, shuffling foot steps quiet and courteous. There's a little bit of considering silence after the question, underscored by the burble of water into glass, Joseph's head tilted. "I'm just glad they're over, relatively speaking," he states, eventually and honestly, with a quick smile to the younger man. "This city just seems to breed 'em— hard times, that is."

The telekine's stare is curiously direct, as he sets down the hot casserole dish, lifting the lid to let it cool. "Me, too. They hurt you real bad?" he asks, bluntly, though his tone is gentle. Presumably Abby hasn't told him who Leo really is, or what he's been through.

It's a bit of a startling question, for someone who has not experienced a fraction of what people like Leo and friends have, though surprise only manifests in a quick glance. "It wasn't— " Joseph hesitates, and forgets to ask Leo if he'd like a drink too - simply takes out another glass on the off-chance that he does, and pours. "It wasn't real physical. Not compared to how it coulda been, for me - the others weren't lucky. The others're meant to be dead."

He sets aside the two glasses and goes to refridge what's left of the water, tilting his head to the food Leo's lifted the lead on, the curling, wet steam flooding upwards. The older man gives the telekine a smile as he states, "That looks really good."

"It is. Abby made it, all I had to do was heat it up," Leo confesses, with a shy, conspiratorial grin. Like he might've fooled Joseph otherwise. "I'm glad," he says, simply, and pats the preacher on the shoulder. "You want to talk about it with me, you're welcome to. You don't, that's fine too. You feel like you need some other kind of care, let me or Abby know."

"Shelter and food will do me right for the time being," Joseph says, with a hint of shyness, though his response is quick and easy. "I couldn't rightly say what I'd want to talk about even if that weren't so. But maybe soon. Thank you, regardless." Taking a sip of water, he shrugs, moving through the homey space to take out some cutlery. "Maybe you can tell me somethin' of yourself. Like where you're from - not from up this way, that much is plain."

Leonard ponders that a moment. "Uh. Hm," He slants a look over his shoulder at Joseph, momentarily almost fierce. Not angry, but…considering. "I….no. I came to New York as an adolescent. I'm not sure what Abby's told you about me…."

"Not much," Joseph says, with another shrug. "I— I mean, I got some assumptions, but you know what they say." He casts a smile to Leo. "You don't have to share either. I'm from Tennessee, myself, and I know Abby's from Lousiana, so— just curious."

That has Leo cracking one of those sidelong, reluctant grins. Makes him look like he's up to something. "I'm from Georgia," is all he says on the subject. "Let's just say I'm on the run from the law, in a way, padre."

Joseph nods his understanding, even if it's not really a drop in the ocean. "You wouldn't be the first I've met," he says, assurance in his voice. Somewhere, Alicia has lowered herself into an unmoving, dog-shaped mountain of black fur and is breathing with all the depth of sleep.

The pastor considers his own words, and adds, "Probably not the last, either."

Scarlett comes padding out from the bedroom, all ready to bristle, whiskers and ears pinned back, eyeing Alicia. Leo merely nods to that, calmly. "Good. But as they say….what you don't know, you can't be made to betray."

"True. That's true." Joseph glances back at the cat, who's in luck when the dog barely lifts an ear in response. There will certainly be time for that later. For now— "In that case, we've got dinner. I'll get myself settled and come join you if you like, otherwise— thanks for the welcome. I'll be out of all y'all's hair, likely, once I figure a new place for myself."

Leo just nods to that, calmly. "There's no hurry. You stay as long as you need." He settles himself at the table, scoops out some of the casserole, and then pauses, eyeing Joseph over the table. "You want to say grace?" he asks, clearly a little chagrined at having forgotten.

Joseph gaze darts over the ever-ritualistic, mundane setting out of the table spread, and the man seated at it, and he has to smile if ruefully as he sits opposite. "Sure, if you don't mind. This'll be the best meal I've had in some weeks." He scrapes the chair in a little further, and adds, "Including what I got at the hospital." And if he can get through it, there'll be plenty to pray for there too.

There's the sound of Leo hitching himself up to the table, plunking elbows down on the worn formica, and lacing his fingers before him. He looks up at Joseph, promptingly.

Joseph's own fingers tangle together, the glint of his wedding ring a bright addition on his hand as he drops his gaze towards the food without necessarily looking at is as he pauses a moment, thoughtful. It's a struggle to relax, but a minor one, veiled. Then, a last glance towards Leo, a grateful smile, before he shuts his eyes, uttering the simple prayer.

"Oh Lord, Jesus Christ, bless the gifts that lie before us, and bless those about to receive them. Let us be thankful for Your bounty." A pause, to allow Leo to add his voice to the last word, should he choose to; "Amen."

"Amen," says Leo, cheerfully. And then lets Joe serve himself, before dishing up his own share.

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