2019-03-15 - Tea For Two


Rain and forgotten umbrellas make for strange friends. Elmo and Bobbi wind up having tea to get out of the storm.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: March, 15, 2019
Location: O'Riley's Teahouse

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Theme Song



Towering thunderheads have loomed over Manhattan since noon. Now, as the sun begins to set, they come sweeping in, darkening the sky and rumbling ominously. Then—they open their bellies and down comes torrential rain, sudden and deafening. Out on the sidewalks, people exclaim and open umbrellas or duck for overhangs. Elmo is one of those, caught without an umbrella despite the forecast, because sometimes he is not that bright. He curses vividly and jumps under the awning of O'Riley's Teahouse. Peering out at the rain, he sighs. "Great."

Bobbi Morse is also someone who, for being a brilliant scientist, can forget to check the damned forecast. She was walking home from buying some supplies to sneak into Clint's apartment tomorrow. She's been leaving him care packages since the divorce now and then, just to make sure he's ok. Ground coffee, coffee filters, giant-sized boxes of band-aids, and economy-sized bottles of ibuprofen. She knows her ex well. As the clouds open, she rushes under the same awning as Elmo, trying to keep her reusable grocery bags dry. "Really universe? You can't cut me one little break today!?" she grumbles, eyeing the skies as if they are personally offending her.

The SHIELD agent is in casual clothing, jeans, boots, a Star Wars tee under a jacket. Morse's hair is down and loose and now soggy, thanks to her lack of forethought.

Elmo shakes water out of his black curly hair, which is only kind of effective. He grumbles too, in Yiddish, "Why wake up alive?" Glancing over at Bobbi he frowns at her. "…Hey, don't I know you from somewhere?"

Bobbi squints at the short man. He's hard to forget, especially since he generally freaked out at her height. "We met at the ice rink," she notes, with an amused expression. Her arms are holding the bags so she can't get the sodden hair out of her face at the moment.

Elmo is unique-looking, in brilliant blue and yellow, short, and with a nose than Cyrano de Bergerac might envy. Hard to forget indeed! He squints up at Bobbi, then lights up as he remembers. "Right! Buncha tall people, sheesh. What was your name again?"

Bobbi smirks. "Don't think I said, but it's Bobbi. You?" she asks, arching a brow. "What do you have against tall people? I have a hard enough time finding pants that aren't all crops on me." She sets her bags down at her feet and sweeps her wet hair back with both hands, off her face.

"Elmo. Nice ta meetcha." The short guy doesn't offer to shake hands. He's getting out his phone, unlocking it and checking for the weather report. "Oh. There's a flood warning. Fanflippintastic. What do I got against tall people? Ain't it obvious?" He slips his phone back into his pocket. "Might as well go inside." He yanks the door open and hikes his eyebrows at Bobbi like 'well?'

"Elmo? What are you doing in the Village? Shouldn't you be on Sesame Street?" Bobbi asks with a grin, pulling a scrunchie from a pocket and tying her hair back in a tail. At the open door and clear invitation, she gathers up her bags and heads inside with a shrug.

Elmo performs the kind of rolleyes that involves his whole body. "Well, I was gonna offer to get you coffee, now I dunno!" He's simultaneously amused and aggravated as he follows Bobbi in, pulling the door shut so the gusty rain doesn't blow in.

Get used to it bud. Her codename is Mockingbird. Bobbi gives a smile to the hostess and asks for a table for two. She asides to Elmo, "I don't think they know what coffee is in here," in a stage whisper.

"Who doesn't have coffee in New York?" Elmo says, decidedly not whispering.

Mrs. O'Riley herself gets up to seat them, a plump and lively elder Irishwoman. "This is a tea shop, lad," she says to him, beaming. Elmo visibly rethinks staying in here. "I'll bring you something our coffee lovers enjoy, shall I?"

Elmo can't find it in him to be rude to an old lady, and mutters, "Yeah, okay." Which is still pretty rude, really. He props his head up with an elbow on the table and lifts his eyebrows at Bobbi. "Beautiful day out, huh?"

"Thank you, ma'am," Bobbi says warmly to Mrs. O'Riley, turning on her charm to keep them from being tossed back out into the rain. She shrugs out of her jacket. "So, what's your story, Elmo?" she asks as she folds her arms on the tabletop.

Elmo flips his other hand palm-up. "Story? Don't got much a one. From the Lower East Side. I build stuff. I was named after my great-uncle, by the way," he adds, with a wry half-grin. "How 'bout you? You ice skate a lot?"

"Not all that often. Just needed somewhere to think. Running or skating usually works best for it," Bobbi admits with a faint shift of her shoulders. "I sit at a desk all day," not, "so I like physical activity."

Elmo makes a face in sympathy. "Desk work. Feh. Boring. What is it ya do?" Standard New Yorker 'we're stuck together' talk. Elmo has bright, clear black eyes, and he's not looking Bobbi in the eye with them. More sort of over her shoulder, like there's something interesting there. He dips into a pocket to come up with a little arrangement of smooth metal links, some kind of fidget toy, which he starts flipping over and over between his fingers.

Mrs. O'Riley comes back with a handsome silver tray and a teapot, teacups, sugar, cream, the works. Even scones and clotted cream. "Irish Breakfast tea. Better than coffee." She winks at Elmo, who reddens sheepishly. "Now you two let me know if there's anything I can do for you." She bustles off again.

"Oh I'm just a secretary in the SHIELD building over on Governor's Island." Her usual cover story for where she works. One doesn't run around declaring themselves an agent, after all. "I mostly just schedule appointments and make coffee," she quips, blue eyes twinkling with mischief. She thanks Mrs. O'Riley and digs into the scones because yum.

Elmo does meet Bobbi's eyes, very brief, frowning at her. "Really? Someone sharp as you? You're wasted as a gofer. That's the government for you." The scones are safer to look at. He eyes the clotted cream.

"Well the pay is decent and the benefits are excellent, so these days, that's nothing to sneeze at," Bobbi points out. "What sort of things do you build?" she asks curiously. She tries the tea, and adds a pile of sugar to it, because it's not coffee.

Elmo shrugs. "All kinds of stuff. Rebuild engines, take things apart, turn 'em into other things." He tries the tea, too, and gets a curious and complicated look on his mobile face. "Used to go out with someone who drank a lot of tea. Reminds me of that. I can't decide if that's good or bad." Imitating Bobbi, because she's cool, he adds sugar to it.

"Huh, well it sounds like you have an interesting life at least. I'd love to see some of your inventions," Bobbi notes. Of course she would. Some of them might have field applications and she's always eager for new toys to play with on missions.

"Ya would?" Elmo says, just flat out surprised, those eyebrows popping up. "…Really?" He's been staring at a spot on the table; now he meets her eyes again. "…Why?" He's genuinely baffled.

"Well, I do have a degree in science. I just got this job because of a family friend and then, you know how it goes, I never quite found my way out of it again because it was stable," Bobbi explains. Well she does have a PhD in Biochemistry.

Elmo sits forward. Bobbi's caught his interest. "No kiddin'. What degree? What's your field?" He hazards the tea again.

"Biochem. Which is why it's not currently being used. I really, really don't want to work for a pharmaceutical company and that's all that's really out there for me right now. Hoping a position in one of SHIELD's labs will open up eventually." Bobbi smiles a little.

"Yeah. My sister's a neuroscientist. She talks all the time about how hard it is to work in research, what with the grant money always gettin' slashed. It's too bad, you really are wasted as a secretary. Know how it is, though, this town? You're lucky to work at Starbucks with a doctorate." Elmo flusters a little, smiled at, and looks down again.

"Yeah. I went to school in Georgia but I'm from San Diego. I'm still trying to get used to be a New Yorker. Though I guess I never get to be one officially since I wasn't born here. That's how it works, right?" Bobbi asks over a sip of her oversugared tea. Coffee she'll drink from the pot, black.

Elmo huffs a laugh and shakes his head. "Nah. Anybody can be a New Yorker, anybody at all. Always thought in a way, people come from anywhere else, they must really want to live here. I got no excuse, I was born here, on the island no less." He means Manhattan. "San Diego, that's a big jump."

"It was, but it was worth making. This city has a life all it's own. It's special. They aren't kidding about the never sleeps part. You can find something to do at all hours." Speak of, Bobbi glances at her phone. "Shoot, I really need to get going. I'm gonna grab a taxi but, hey," she grabs a pen and a little post it from her bag. On it her name and number get jotted down. "Gimme a call sometime so I can see your stuff." The inventions! She means those!

"Oh, uh, o-okay!" Elmo says, surprised and flustered all over again. "I'll, uh, I'll see ya, Bobbi." Oh God, a girl gave him her number. He drinks too much hot tea too fast.

Bobbi grins and she gets up, redons her jacket, and gathers her bags. "Don't be a stranger, Elmo from the Island." Then she takes off.

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