The Paternal Mr Tucker


simon_icon.gif tuck_icon.gif

Scene Title The Paternal Mr. Tucker
Synopsis Simon heads to Staten Island to try and purchase a firearm. He does not succeed.
Date March 25, 2009

Tucker's Pawn Shop

Every shelf, every flat surface in the entire shop is covered with things. VCRs, DVDs, small pieces of machinery, cheap jewellery - all the kind of stuff worth little money. It's the merchandise that's not worth protecting, even here. If someone wants to steal a VHS copy of 'The Little Mermaid,' then so be it. The primary purpose of the clutter of items is a front - to distract from the fact that the real purpose of the shop is to sell stolen, high-value goods.

The front part of the shop with its knick-nacks and assorted low-value items is separated from the high value items by a counter and a layer of bulletproof glass. There is a slot beneath the window for exchange of money or small goods. At the base of the counter is a chute for larger items. Surveillance cameras keep a vigilant watch over every square inch.

There is a small arsenal of weapons up on a pegboard above the counter. Not just guns but knives, tasers, pepper spray, handcuffs, nightsticks, brass knuckles - all sorts of things meant to cause pain. There's a rotating case at the counter that holds many expensive jewellery pieces, including a few Rolexes and a large assortment of engagement rings. There are expensive cell phones, iPods, laptops and other various small electronics, including listening devices and CB radios. Just about anything worth stealing is displayed behind the glass and up on the walls. Many items however, are by special request. You gotta know what you're looking for.

Simon was told that getting onto Staten Island wouldn't be easy. He also knew it would cost money, so he made sure to take out cash from the ATM before he made the trek. His inheritance money is being used up quickly, according to the receipt he got back, but he hopes it's all for a good cause. Cut to now, and a pale and paranoid looking Simon walks into Tuck's Pawn Shop, shutting the door behind him rather than letting it close on its own. Damn, this place has gone to hell. A quick look is given to the counter before Simon starts looking at the gizmos near the front of the shop.

The island may have gone to hell, but Tuck does what he can to make his store not resemble a shit-pit. Sure, it's not a high end shop, but then again, pawn shops are rarely bastions of retail design.

The pawnie is behind the counter, behind the glass. A TV to his left, just beneath a security monitor plays a rerun of Cheers. He's bent over a video camera in several pieces. When the bell rings to indicate a customer, he looks up, gives Simon a once over, then down at his work again. "I didn't know the Boy Scouts patrolled Staten. Do you have those mint cookies?"

Simon sets down a trinket of some sort and rolls his eyes around in his head, turning to the man behind bulletproof glass and eyeing him through narrowed slits. "Nice, I didn't realize pawnies were so witty." He walks across the room, obviously uninterested with most of the things around him. His gaze, instead, falls on the impressive array of weapons hanging behind Tuck. "You looking to arm the whole island or something?"

"Free wit with each visit. I have to do something instead of validating parking." Tuck's tone is lazy, dry. If he's trying to be funny, he's clearly not putting that much effort into it. When the weapons are mentioned, he gives a half-glance over his shoulder. "Yes." A beat, "If they have the cash."

Simon lays his hands out on whatever part of the counter isn't behind the thick sheet of glass and smirks. "It's just what I need after trying to find my way over here." His fingers drum against the counter as he lets out a sigh. "OK. Well, let's say one were to have some cash on them. How much would one need for, oh, let's say one of those." He lifts a hand and points at a small, but stylish little pistol hanging on the wall.

Tuck looks at Simon, then glances back at the gun. A disbelieving expression creeps onto his face and perches there. He scuffs. "Someone might be able to pick it up for three-fifty. But that someone isn't you, kid."

"Why not?" Simon says in an almost whiney voice, if it weren't for that look in his eyes that says "Fuck you, Nazi scumbag." He doesn't say that, of course, but he wants to. "I have the cash, and I need it. I - I'm an adult and my money is just as good, if not better, than ninety percent of the guys out there." He points haphazardly at the front door.

Tuck puts a small screwdriver aside and leans his elbows on the counter. He folds his hands together and peers at Simon over the top of his glasses. "Because. You are a child. And although you might think this is an island without morals, I am not the kind of scumbag that sells deadly weapons to a kid who probably wants to shoot someone who stole his lunch money." Something about the way that he says all this seems strangely…paternal.

"Wha - what!?" Simon's eyes grow from thos enarrow slits of old to something super wide and amazed. "Nobody stole my lunch money and I don't *want* to shoot anyone. It's for protection. In case you didn't know this, the city has gone to serious shit lately." He thinks for a moment and says, "It doesn't have to shoot bullets, ok? Do you have, like, a tranq gun?"

Tuck sighs and rubs his forehead. "Look kid. I'll sell you a knife and some pepper spray. But that's it." A knife might seem like a big compromise until you figure that Simon could just carry a kitchen knife around. He's just selling one with a proper sheath so he doesn't accidentally stab himself. "Kid your age shouldn't have a gun. All right?"

Simon shakes his head and leans forward, but he ends up hitting his head on that stupid glass and makes an ass out of himself. "Look, pepper spray is totally lame and you know it. It's not going to stop the people I'm worried about. If it could, then all those kids my age would have just walked to the nearest sporting good store, bought some, and *not* killed themselves."

"I'm not selling you anything more deadly than that. For one, you just headbutted an inch of bulletproof glass. I don't want to see your picture in the paper with a caption that you shot yourself in the neck." Even Tuck's posture has become paternal, as well as that 'don't argue with me, young man' look. All kids between the ages of sixteen and twenty-one have become outlets for unused parenting impulses.

"Try and forget that, would you?" Simon says, mostly so that he can do it, too. He also laughs and takes a step back from the counter, crossing his arms over his chest. "Trust me, I'm not shooting anybody anywhere unless I really mean it." A single finger taps against his arm and his head inclines slightly. "Trust. Me."

Tuck gives Simon a Look. You know, like a dad gives a kid who said that he backed the car into the garage because his foot slipped. "Oh. Yes, well, sure. If you say it that way." He picks the gun off the wall and starts to pass it towards the slot, but then he slams it on the counter to his left. "I am not selling you a gun, kid."

For a split second Simon gets excited, because he stupidly thinks this is all song and dance before the guy ends up taking his money. It's not, though, which is very frustrating for Simon. "Fine! Do you have a slingshot or something? Is that a better fit for a *child*?" Simon asks only half-serious, though he would probably consider it if there was one around.

Tuck sets a folding police military knife down on the table beside a container of pepper spray. He lifts one brow and gives Simon a long look. That's his only offer, apparently.

Simon looks at the proposed offer, and then back up at Tuck. "How much?" he asks, because the knife is a lot nicer looking than he thought it might be and he could probably do more damage than most with the pepper spray if he needs to.

It's also very rugged, looks new, and can fold safely into the handle. It's not a piece of junk. Which shows that Tuck was at least somewhat persuaded by Simon's argument. "Forty for the knife, ten for the pepper spray. I'll even throw in an extra cartridge for the spray."

Simon reaches into his back pocket and pulls out a small fold of cash. He thumbs through the bills and takes out two 20's and a 10. "Thanks," he says as he sticks the money through the slow in the counter window. "I don't mean be a pain in the ass, but I've come to a point where I need to start looking out for myself."

"I understand that. But no one should own a gun unless they're prepared to kill someone." Tuck tugs the money through the slot and slides the goods through in return. "And you're too young to start that shit. I was in gangs when I was younger than you. Look where I ended up." He slides the cash away in some slot behind the counter.

Simon stuffs the rest of his money into his pocket and reaches out for the goods. "Gangs, huh? That's rough. At least you ended up someplace safe," Simon says, tapping the handle of his new knife on the bullet proof glass set between the two.

Tuck barks a bit of laughter. "Safe? Kid? There's nothing on Staten that's even remotely safe. If you can get off this island, I suggest you do it as soon as possible. Before it gets its thorns into you and you can't tear away without leaving chunks of you behind." He's not smiling.

Simon smirks and lifts his shoulders in a shrug. "I'll be able to take care of myself, even without the gun. I just might be a lot harder," Simon explain, turning somewhat towards the door. "Why aren't you off the island? It's not like you can't find a way to get to the mainland."

"I've been on Staten for…oh, ten years? Back before it was a shit pit. I'm a criminal, kid. There's nothing for me on the mainland." There's something a bit sad, a bit wistful in Tuck's voice. "Get the hell out of here before you get hurt, all right?"

"Pretty sure you can pick those up in the hunting section of a hardware store. Had a few over the years. Don't usually find 'em in the city." Tuck tugs over the video camera as he prepares to resume work on it.

Simon just offers a nod and turns to leave the shop. Maybe he should head to a department store, then. He just might do that if he ever makes it home in one piece. A few paces later, the kid is out the door and gone.

Tuck watches Simon as he leaves. He exhales a sigh and shakes his head. "City's ruining them all," he murmurs.

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