It's Not a Date


delia_icon.gif nick_icon.gif

Scene Title It's Not a Date
Synopsis More favors. Nick provides as he always does and even offers to buy the curry.
Date March 8, 2011

Somewhere in Brooklyn and the Old Dispensary

Payphones are a rare thing, usually a line of three on a scummy wall somewhere in the middle of a crowded place, affording no privacy to the person that's using it. For a decent conversation it costs more than a fast food meal and when you're on a strict budjet, every penny counts. Still for the chance she's been given, she'd go hungry for a few days.

Bundled into her shearling coat with sweatshirt underneath, a knit hat pulled down low over her head, those little dollar stretchy gloves, faded jeans, and her painted boots, she makes her way from the boat to the closest payphone available. This one just happens to be at the side of a mini-mart slash gas station. The phone itself is grungy, old slurpee that's never been cleaned off makes the keypad sticky. Whatever was on the handset is quickly scrubbed off with an alhocol wipe she absconded from the infirmary, she has a pocket full of them.

Nick's number has been memorized long ago, she doesn't even need to power on her iPad to get it. After loading the phone with every quarter in her pocket, she dials and waits.

And waits…

The early morning finds Nick out, far from the building that is temporarily and reluctantly "home," if he would never actually say the word, so he can call around to the few contacts he has, check in with his "bosses," and more importantly, stay the hell away from the people he's been living with the last couple of nights — people he isn't altogether want him there, and he's not altogether sure aren't planning on killing him when he's sleeping.

Luckily(?) he doesn't sleep much.

The phone calls made, he's not expecting another call, so the phone is shoved back into his jeans as he picks up an axe to make himself useful and chop some firewood. He's only three swings into the log when the vibration alerts him to a call. The unfamiliar but local number is squinted at before he presses talk.

"Yeah?" is breathed out, a white puff rising from his lips.

"Nick?" The tinny answer through the phone is cut through with static as she moves excitedly at the sound of his voice. There's another crackle as Delia adjusts the coiled wire to ease up the interference before she speaks again. "It's Delia," she says in introduction, figuring that he might not remember the sound of her voice or maybe that he can't recognize it because of the former static problem.

"Are you at home?" She continues, the little cloud of breath that puffs out with every word distracts her for a moment as she watches it dissapate. "I mean… I got sent on an errand for a few days and I'm on the mainland. I was hoping that maybe I could come and stay?"

The axe is heaved into the wood he was chopping, and he moves to sit on another fallen log. "Hey," he says, voice softer, less terse despite the short syllable. "I'm … actually no, not at home. But you can go there, if you want. I think the kid's still staying there, so he can let you in, but if you get there and he's not around, gimme a call and I'll come bring you keys. It might take a couple hours, though. Or I'll call the super and tell them to let you in or sommat."

He runs a hand through his hair, getting shaggy again now. "You're okay, though? It's just an errand, nothin' bad?"

"Oh.. Alright.. I— I have a dog with me, I promise he won't be any trouble. He belongs to one of the people who caught the flu. I didn't want to leave him behind." The end of the leash that's looped around her wrist tugs once as the dog at her feet shifts and begins sniffing around. Delia's eyelids drift down halfway as she chews on her lip and takes a deep breath inward, causing the rattle in her chest to erupt in a cough. She holds the phone away, covering the end so he won't be able to hear it. "Sorry— "

Clearing her throat, the redhead smiles into the receiver, as though he might be able to see it. "You should come to the apartment anyway," she says lightly, he might be able to hear that smile. "You owe me a dance today."

A … dog? How did he go from being a solo apartment dweller to having roommate(s) and a pet? Of course, he's not really at that apartment, but then where he's staying he also has roommates and there's a pet, even if he doesn't want anything to do with the possibly telepathic raccoon.

"Uh. I don't even know if it takes dogs but … it's prob'ly okay?" He scratches his head. "I think I saw a dog in the elevator once so — are you sick?" he demands when he hears that cough. "Delia, you didn't get that SLC flu, did you?" He sounds better, the raspiness gone from his voice. The dance comment goes over his head, but he's more worried about her health. "D'you need a doctor?"

"No!" She answers all too quickly, the snrk of a muffled cough can be heard through to his end and it takes another moment before Delia actually begins to talk again. "No… I'm vaccinated, I got vaccinated the minute I stepped off the boat." The vaccination didn't help the owner of the dog but that's a tiny detail that she's not going to share with Nick.

Breathing a little shallower now, she clears her throat again. "I caught your cold, I just have the cough left… everything is fine." The reassurance is made in a softer tone. "You sound a lot better though, have you been sleeping well and eating?" Not smoking but she doesn't say it out loud. Peeling one of her little gloves off, she sticks it into her pocket and looks down at the dog who has just shifted positions and is sitting right on her foot.

"I'm all right, yeah. Eating more than usual, actually. I'm … at one of Eileen's places, actually," he says quietly. "Sleep — well, you know." He doesn't sleep more than a couple of hours at once, unless he's passed out from alcohol or worse, and she knows this.

He clears his throat, reaching for the cigarettes in his pocket as if her thought transmitted itself through the phone line. One gets stuck in his mouth, and he speaks around it. "If you think it becomes not just a cold, like you can't use your power or whatever, you get yourself to a doctor, okay? Or call me, and I'll get you to th'one who took care of ya when you were sleeping at Redbird."

"Nick," she starts, her voice becoming a little louder as she grapples for his attention. "I'm okay, I feel fine, it's just a cold. I'm fine." Delia would add that he's acting like a mother hen but the moment the thought crosses into her mind, she can't help but smile again. "I'm fine," she repeats, a little softer this time.

The hand with the leash attached is bought up, her bare fingers slipping around to cradle the bottom of the handset. "So, will you come back? At least before I leave again? I only have a few days, just enough to get all the supplies we need and then I'm going back. I'd really like to see you before I do."

"Okay, okay," he mutters, the lighter coming out of his pocket, the familiar ffft of the lighter's wheel being turned with a calloused thumb, and a barely audible intake of breath. "How many days are you there? I can maybe stop by. I'm not too close, but it's doable," he says in that non-comital manner of his, as he stands, beginning to move toward the waterfront for a change of scenery.

"I don't know for sure, I think I'm leaving again Saturday." Finding another couple of quarters, Delia loads them into the phone, just in case. "You should come on Friday, so we can go somewhere or do something. I have a little bit of money, I can spring for dollar menu McDonalds or something." Her unabashed manner of asking him out on a dinner date is bold, perhaps fueled by the fact that she's not even thinking as she speaks.

There's a shout from somewhere behind her and she turns to look, the dog tensing with her movement but not actually getting up. Nick might be able to hear its throaty grumble, it could almost be mistaken for a growl. When satisfied that whoever was yelling wasn't doing it at her, she turns back into the small nook and huddles a little closer. "Seeing you Friday would be a great present."

His brows knit as he listens to the yell and the growl, but her reaction seems to suggest all is well and he relaxes. "I can probably come out. I should probably get some more stuff from the apartment if I'm gonna stay out here. I donno for sure what the hell I'm doing here, but if it's necessary…"

He'll do whatever he can for Eileen, goes unspoken.

"Friday's prob'ly okay. And you don't gotta pay for me," he says with a shake of his head. "McDonald's rubbish anyway. You like curry? I'll bring you to a good curry place."

If it's dawned on him it's a date, he isn't balking. More likely it hasn't dawned on him. After all, it's early, and he's operating on four hours of sleep. "Whatcha mean, present?"

"It's my birthday, remember? Today, actually.. heh." She never actually told him which day it was though, just that it was soon. Glancing to either side of her again, Delia shifts and then leans against the wall, letting out a soft breath of air. "You're staying with Eileen. That's really good, really really good, I'm happy she's not sick. I didn't manage to catch her when I got back home and now I'm glad I didn't… it's… it's not good there."

Which might be why this trip is so important to her.

"Friday," she confirms in a gentle tone. "I like my curry really spicy, not quite five alarm but a high four, I think. How about you?"

"Oh," is offered quietly, Nick frowning as he tries to remember if there was a particular date he should have remembered, then frowning more that he isn't sure if he's supposed to have remembered. Why would he be expected to?

"Happy Birthday, Red," he murmurs. "I like all kinds. Korma's my favorite." Coconut milk — not as spicy but sweet and exotic.

"We can get a variety. I know some good places. Pretty much the first thing I do in any city is find the best curry," he says. "There's a place in South Africa that's pretty bloody brilliant, rivals anything I had even in London. 'Course I ain't been to actual India or Pakistan, so I'm probably full of shite."

"Thanks Nick," she responds, just as softly. "I don't know the names of all the curries, I just know this one is yellow and full of yum." There's a smile on her end of the phone as she stills to listen to him chattering away, even going so far as to rest the side of her head against the wall.

"You're doing a lot better than me," Delia grins as he talks about where he hasn't traveled. "I've never been out of the country, I probably won't ever get the chance to." The forlorn expression of her voice is enough to lead him to the conclusion that it's just another dream that was given up. "I've seen pictures though, and videos. I used to watch a lot of travel channel. My sister, Lu, she's been all over the place…"

Nick snorts a little when she sounds wistful at her traveling. "Not much of what I saw in those places is anything I'd wish on you, Red," he says quietly. "And you got people who love you here, so there's no reason to go globe trotting."

The implication, of course, is that he doesn't have what she does.

"I'll give you a call when I leave on Friday, or if I can't, all right?" he asks, exhaling a plume of smoke before turning away from the horizon of sky meeting sea and moving back toward the Dispensary building.

"You do too," she murmurs before turning bodily to look behind her. The dog, now disturbed, lets out another grumble and a squeaky yawn before settling back down. The bottom of the receiver is let go for the first time since she cupped it in a small attempt for more privacy. Finding the dog's ears, she begins to scratch behind them and pulls the dog's head up against her leg.

"Uhm… I don't have a phone, I'll see if I have enough money to get one and I'll give you the number?" She's still too paranoid to actually use her iPad for anything more than listening to music. The wireless has been turned off since she left the Corinthian and for the most part, it's been powered off. "But please come… I'd really appreciate it."

"I'll call the apartment," Nick points out. "There's a phone there, I just never use it." His cell phone and the drops are the way he communicates; the landline is just there for decoration.

He closes his eyes, taking another long pull on the cigarette before raking a hand through his hair. This is probably a mistake. "Unless something's going on they need me at, I'll be there."

A phone that's been so silent that she never actually noticed it before. Toru has a cellphone, Nick has a cellphone, Delia never bothered with anything other than her iPad for so long— before giving that up. "Oh.." she breathes, "I didn't know. Okay, I'll wait for you on Friday." She'll be a girl about it, most likely, spend the day painting nails and toenails, doing something with her hair— maybe. Probably not.

"I hope nothing goes on. Bye Nick, it's good to hear your voice."

"Yeah, you too," Nick says vaguely, frowning as seagulls' keening cries remind him that his sister might not approve of this … appointment. He won't call it a date. And he won't tell Eileen.

He hangs up, slipping the phone back into his pocket before trudging back toward the house. Breakfast is probably being made.

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