Fairytale of New York


kristen_icon.gif russo_icon.gif

Scene Title Fairytale of New York
Synopsis Over a breakfast of coffee and bacon, Russo and Kristen avoid what's going on between them.
Date December 4, 2010

Dorchester Towers — Russo's Apartment

The sweet smell of something delicious being prepared wafts down the hall of the fifth floor of Dorchester towers— coming from one particular apartment number: 504. This isn't a wholly unusual phenomenon. The neighbours know 504— Bradley Russo— has a penchant for cooking. What is unusual, however, is how early the conglomeration of smells started and the variety within them. Ridiculously early this morning he managed to bake a dozen fresh, homemade cinnamon buns from scratch, bake a series of mini quiches, squeeze his own orange juice, and presently has an egg souffle cooking up in the oven.

Consequently, inside the realm of 504, the kitchen is a disaster. The countertop is cluttered with pots, pans, and bowls of various sizes. Batter lines the exterior of several cupboards. But such is the price of fine food.

From the looks of it he's hosting a large party of people when in fact he's only expecting one guest. Near the door of the apartment are several large cardboard boxes sealed up and marked with her name in his messy handwriting: Kristin — purposely spelt wrong (something she'd be more than aware of).

When Kristen knocks on the door, the apartment is a clatter of pots and pans as Brad, presumably, gets himself organized. He smoothes his apron (that lovingly reads: Get Out of My Kitchen) and unbolts the door.

"Hey K," the tone is casual enough, yet a very minor detectable tremor reverbs in his voice. His eyes are slightly bloodshot and beads of sweat form along his brow. After opening the door his hands are stuffed into his pockets.

It was Christmas Eve babe

In the drunk tank

An old man said to me, won't see another one

The slim woman comes complete with her own cup of coffee, and one extra. "Bradley," she ducks her head inside the apartment, looking around before she actually steps through the door. She never uses the long version of his name unless she's miffed about something. Fortunately her passive aggressive tendencies when it comes to her host shields him from most of her wrath. Poor Dirk… and now poor K2.

"She's not here, is she?" Kristen hasn't actually mentioned the 'other woman' in the workplace, or what she considers the 'other woman'. "Because you're cooking for an — " Looking down at the stack of boxes and she frowns at the misspelling of her name and takes a sip of her low fat peppermint soy cappucino (venti of course). "Looks like you're moving me out, I didn't know that I had so many things here."

And then he sang a song

The rare old mountain Dew

I turned my face away

And dreamed about you

The coffee is rather gratefully accepted and brought to his lips. The statement actually quirks Brad's eyebrow and causes his nose to wrinkle pseudo-confused. "Who?" he manages as he glances around the apartment. "You're the only one here. I'm barely here." As usual he alludes to something he has no intention of explaining, instead he steps back to usher her further into the apartment. "I don't think I know what you're about. Unless you mean the ghosts of Christmases past. But they always haunt me."

A glance is given to the boxes as his eyebrows furrow tightly together. Finally his hands are removed from his pockets as he points towards the boxes, "They don't… they're not…" both of his hands tremor slightly, causing him to shove them back into his pocket, away from the sight of his friend/producer. "I don't know what to do with it all," he finally admits with a heavier sigh and a trembling hand pressed to his forehead. "I have a lot of it. I always have. Even last time. Which.. is why… And I… I don't… if I keep…" His lips press together as he squats down towards one of the boxes. It's sealed, but it seems he can't bring himself to say what it is.

Got on a lucky one

Came in eighteen to one

I've got a feeling

This year's for me and you

"Relax Russo, drink your coffee and let's have some breakfast… You cooked so it must be pretty important." The producer's assurances are delivered with a rather sardonic tone. Stepping close to one of the boxes, she peels at the tape and then pauses to glance at the man. "What's in them, B-Rad?" She hasn't actually called him by that nickname since they were in college together. Even then, she was too serious for her own good.

With that signature smirk, she sashays over and links her free arm through his to lead him back to the kitchen, bypassing the dining table completely. When they reach the inside of the cozy room, the brunette places her coffee onto the counter and grabs a piece of bacon. "Talk to me… what's going on? I mean… I hear everything second hand nowadays, we used to be … I don't know… we used to be everything to each other."

So happy Christmas

I love you baby

I can see a better time

When all our dreams come true

Brad is easy enough to pull into the cozy room even as he gives a short, yet longing glance to those boxes. "My life used to be something I could actually understand— " he counters. "That's why I told you everything… now…?" but those years seem so long ago. "Seriously. What the hell happened? The world changed. But I stayed the same. How can everything move around you and you don't change at all?" Following her lead, he plucks a piece of bacon from the plate.

He runs a trembling hand through his hair, cringing at the moisture that's formed along his brow. There are few people that would disagree he's in an unusual state. When his hand is returned to his side, its promptly shoved back into his pocket. He turns his back from her to the sink under the guise of washing dishes— they're certainly not in short supply. As the sink fils, the tap makes the swishing sound amid which he manages quiet words, "You're still everything to me." She can't see his face and get that rare glimmer of complete sincerity as he scrubs the pot, but it's there just the same, reserved for the dishes themselves.

They've got cars big as bars

They've got rivers of gold

But the wind goes right through you

It's no place for the old

"You didn't stay the same Brad, you changed a lot." Kristen's words are something she never thought she would hear herself say. She turns her back on him too, something they've gotten used to doing over the past few years. Avoiders, both of them. Plucking another piece of bacon from the plate, she bites into it and munches for a while. He always did know how to cook bacon exactly the way she likes it, so crispy that it crumbles with every bite. Chewing thoughtfully, she leans back against the counter and uses her free arm to heft herself up.

Once she's sitting next to the plate of bacon, she indulges like she hasn't had any in years, which could be true considering how high fat it is. "Ditto." That one word meant to echo his sentiment, making him the more verbal of the two. Looking away, she grabs yet another piece and then lifts her coffee. Peppermint and bacon aren't exactly two flavors that go together, but she's starving.

When you first took my hand

On a cold Christmas Eve

You promised me

Broadway was waiting for me

The pan is rinsed under the tap and left in the empty sink to dry as Russo drains the full one, his eyes fixed on the tap itself. "How?" the question is left to linger between them like the smell of bacon in the air as Brad finally unties the apron from his waist, his back to her all the while, concealing what he can amid the emotional wall they've created between each other. It's their modus operandi— the way they stifle the pain surrounding them.

His coffee is plucked from the counter and brought to his lips again as his hand shakes under the strain. He finally turns around and leans back against the counter, clamping his eyes shut around the thoughts he can't seem to bring into words.

"You used to believe me. I used to believe me," he states quietly, his eyes still clamped shut while his eyebrows furrow together. "I've spent so much time not dealing with things…" His entire face frowns with silent defeat.

He takes a deep breath, slow and laboured as he forces his eyes open, "Hi." His throat clears, "I'm Brad." There's a long pause as he seeks out whatever eye contact from her he can, "And I'm an alcoholic. And an addict." Finally, forcing one of his more charming, ultra-rehearsed smiles he manages in a throaty whisper, "And I want to be better."

You were handsome

You were pretty

Queen of New York City

When the band finished playing

They howled out for more

"You stopped caring, started living in the past… You carry around Karolina's picture all the time and ask it for advice. Don't think I haven't noticed." Kristen's cup is set back down on the counter beside her and she stares at Brad's back. She raises on finger to point at him, shaking it just enough to make her seem serious, or angry. "She's dead Brad and I'm sorry… And it's hard. But she wouldn't have wanted this for you." She may have been jealous of the other woman's claims to the host's heart, but she didn't begrudge the fact.

Searching out Russo's eyes, Kristen gives him a little smile. His whispered words, the confession of truth hitting her just about as hard as it does him. "Hi." She retorts, her voice hoarse from unshed angst and fear of this very moment. "I'm Kristen and I'm an enabler… and I really want you to be better." She transfers the half eaten piece of bacon into her other hand and wipes her greasy fingers off before holding it out for a shake. "Pleased to meet you."

Sinatra was swinging,

All the drunks they were singing

We kissed on a corner

Then danced through the night

Kristen's words are met by glassy blue eyes and a still present all-too-practiced smile. He sniffs, the only audible evidence that anything is amiss. "I couldn't, no… I can't cope with this," the smile falters into something sad and weary at his own vulnerability. He sniffs again. "I don't know how."

"I… I can't cope with it. I want to forget what happened." His lips press tightly together. "It was my fault they were there. Did I ever tell you that? I did that. I was the one who signed their death certificates and invited Death himself to my doorstep." He blinks hard. "Now matter what happened in New York that day, I made it happen. I orchestrated all of the events to solidify my own misery. And then I spent the next two years being so insanely angry at the easiest scapegoat I could find about it— because I needed to be angry at something." A hand is run through his thick hair again.

He issues her a flicker of a smile as the hand is accepted into a solid shake. Unexpectedly, even to him, he tugs her forward to accept her into an embrace if she'll have it.

You're a bum

You're a punk

You're an old slut on junk

Lying there almost dead on a drip in that bed

The small 'pfft' of denial is the quickest thing to come to Kristen's lips before she clears her throat and shakes her head. "No Brad, you didn't. They were planning a wedding, blaming yourself for that is… Well you might as well blame the bridal shop owner because they had a store in midtown." Shaking her head, she lets off a huff of frustration only to be pulled into a hug.

Her whole body just freezes.

Slowly, one hand comes up to pat the host's back in a reassuring sort of manner. It falls short, simply because of how forced and mechanical the gesture seems. For all of Kristen's good qualities, her biggest fault is the walls she puts up. "There… there… I'm…" Relenting just a little bit, she lets loose a small sigh and loops her other arm around to his back. "It's not your fault, you didn't sign any death warrant." She pulls back to look Brad in the eyes and her eyebrows twitch down just a little. "Look at me, I knew Karolina. You wouldn't have been able to keep her if you hadn't put the ring on her finger. It's not your fault. It just… It happened."

You scumbag, you maggot

You cheap lousy faggot

Happy Christmas your arse

I pray God it's our last

Moments after the embrace begins, Brad's hands drop to his sides and are promptly thrust into his pockets again. Her walls only remind him of his own. Like it or not, both of them have that mechanical quality. "Thanks," he doesn't sound convinced, but he appreciates the assurance just the same. Blinking, his moment of vulnerability is pushed aside, nearly forgotten as some distant memory after firmly hardening himself again. He's a man, and with another sniffle he pushes himself away from the counter.

"So," his voice gets stuck in his throat, but he clears it, "*ahem*, the boxes— they're all of the liquor I had squared away in the house, the office," he cringes before adding the last location, "Stella's remains…" nothing like open liquor in your car. "I want you to take it away. It's mostly good stuff. I'd have a party, but I think that' defeats the influence of any twelve step program. And someone actually asked me to quit. Kind of. Sort of." There's a small pause. "There's also some leftover cocaine from that party you threw… and something else…" His eyes narrow. "Just don't freak out, okay?"

The boys of the NYPD choir

Still singing "Galway Bay"

And the bells were ringing out

For Christmas day

"Don't freak out… " A heavy sigh comes from the woman as she glances over her shoulder toward the entrance of the apartment, where the boxes are stacked. Leveling her stare at Russo, she purses her lips and tries to remain neutral in expression. The pokerface she's spent so long developing coming full circle in execution. She's silent for a long while as she considers him, their friendship, their non-lationship, his career, her career, all of the factors involved in what 'freaking out' would affect.

Finally, she concedes, "Fine. I won't freak out, as long as you make me that promise. This time you're going to stick to it. I don't care if you become a super religious nut to do it. Alright I will care but only on studio time." She cracks a small tick of a smile, turning one corner of her lips up into a smirk. "Y'always did know how to hogtie me over a barrel." The last remark carries the lilt of her southern accent, for once, she's taking down one of her walls.

I could have been someone

Well so could anyone

You took my dreams from me

When I first found you

"All I can do is try. One day at a time," Brad's hand tremors again causing him to pocket it. His head tilts and he shrugs, "Withdrawal." He's experienced it before. "Yeah. I'll get myself to church or something." With a chuckle he tacks on, "Maybe I need a retreat." Absently chewing on his bottom lip, he shakes is head, "But not until I help someone. After that, maybe." He shoots her his most charming grin. "In the meantime I need to get myself into a twelve step program." Again. "I have a feeling my last sponsor won't sponsor me again…"

"And after that Humanis First show." He sucks in a quick breath. "That's big for you, you know. Letting Kincaid take the reigns. I'm impressed." He swallows hard, "Also… Heller. The parking garage. I've been thinking about it and the informant was probably telling the truth. I wanna get back there and film live. If we're live there's little the military can do in response— especially if we act peacefully… whether the military owns it or not is irrelevant. It's a public space until it's closed off… I think? Maybe we should check with the laywers?"

I kept them with me babe

I put them with my own

Can't make it all alone

I've built my dreams around you

"Yeah… big step… Just don't screw it up. K-too said that this Melissa woman is a bit of an attention hound or something and I'm just not sure if emo, goth, whatever she is, will appeal to our audience. Not many people sympathize with someone they look at and don't identify with, you know?" Furrowing her eyebrows, Kristen purses her lips into a frown, obviously not wanting to talk about the woman but forced to due to their livelihood. "We're going to have to get someone to clean her up, put her in something a little more television worthy. I'm not going to let her parade out on stage wearing a leather corset…"

Flitting her gaze to Russo, she raises her eyebrows questioningly and places her hands at the crease of her hips, "Really Brad? Leather corsets? You're not into BDSM or anything are you? Because I need to know these things, I need to know what to tell the tabloids when they're all over my ass about … Leather." Narrowing her eyes suspiciously, she glances over her shoulder and then back to him. "I'm not going to find a gimp outfit in there, am I? Because I don't know if I can't freak out about that."

The subject of the parking garage has the woman sobering and looking away from her host, refusing to meet his eyes. There are just some traumas that one doesn't want to revisit when having a pleasant conversation about addiction and fetishes. But it's out there and it would be rude to ignore. "Yeah, about that… I want to find someone with an ability. K-too figured that Peyton Whitney might be able to help us out with that, her security company that is. I want to get another look, but I want it to be under the radar."

The boys of the NYPD choir

Were singing "Galway Bay"

And the bells were ringing out

For Christmas day

Russo actually smirks at the comment and teases, "Why do you think you and I get along so well as a team— I'm all about the S and M." He actually rolls his eyes now. "It wasn't like that. She's a good kid and she reminds me of— " dismissively he waves a hand. "— but her life… it's not… Like Lina lived in risk. I liked that. I liked playing the hero bailing her out of prison when she followed a protest too far. I was good at it. But this life she leads… she told me she stole a rocket ship. And then I had to time travel— I told you this story. Regardless, you know how I hate movies about time travel, right?!" He shoots her another smile. "And no, the non-freak-out item is just in line with everything else. Withhold your judgment, K. Just remember that." He taps his nose.

"Peyton Whitney could be helpful," Brad agrees as he rocks on the balls of his feet. "I can get in touch with her if you want. I want to follow this one. It's not right that martial law has brought that onto the American people."

The boys of the NYPD choir

Were singing "Galway Bay"

Holding up her hand to stop Russo in his explanation of the leather wearing woman, Kristen clenches her jaw and closes her eyes. "I — I don't want to hear any more about her… Especially if she's an international criminal, Bradley. It's bad enough that she's an escaped convict. Karolina… she was different, protests and things are… Well they're different." Lowering her hand again, she slips off the counter, brushing past Brad as she wheels to grab her coffee.

"Yeah, you get a hold of her… Don't tell her anything, we can set up a meeting at her office." She moves toward the boxes and looks down at them. Raising the paper cup to her mouth, she takes another sip and licks the bit of foam off her top lip. "I'm going to have Dirk schedule a pickup for these… It's just better if I don't risk a broken back to get them out of here."

And the bells were ringing out

For Christmas day

"She's a good kid if an international criminal. Look, I like playing the hero once in awhile. That's all I'm saying." Brad whistles. Then he nods at the comment about Peyton, "Sure. I'll get in touch with her and schedule a meeting."

"I hate that guy! Why would you send Dirk here!? The guy can't say freakin' nuclear! NUCLEAR. I even broke it down for him!" With a roll of his eyes, he sighs, "Fiiiiine. Let him come. Just instruct him not to talk to me. Ever." The chances of this happening are slime to none, but Russo can wish.

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