Jack Gets All The Glory


melissa_icon.gif nick_icon.gif

Scene Title Jack Gets All the Glory
Synopsis Against all odds, a professed bad boy manages to do something nice for someone in need — and actually enjoys it.
Date August 29, 2010

Little Green House

A bottle of Jack Daniels in one hand and a flower pot with an orchid in it in the other, Nick approaches the little green house that belongs to Melissa Pierce. He's a nervous looking shadow as he walks the streets of Staten Island, glancing over his shoulder now and then, trying to find the tails he has yet to see. The fact he's being a hypocrite, even if he's trying to be considerate for once in his life, isn't lost on him. He could be putting the woman's life in danger just by knowing her. Amato might not kill her, but if his cover is blown, the smugglers will.

It's a stupid risk to take. Even if it's because he knows she's feeling alone, mourning the loss of whomever it was who died. Even if he's trying to reach out to someone who obviously needs someone. He's damn sure Melissa doesn't need him, and it's selfish of him to think he could be someone that anybody needs.

He's a hypocrite, and he's selfish. These are two things that he's been aware of for a damn long time.

He makes it to the house before he decides it's not fair to her and that it won't help redeem him anyway. "Screw it," he mutters. He sets the flowers down by the door, takes a few steps away, then turns back to add the alcohol. She needs the alcohol more than the flowers, if she's anything like him, and both should be more welcome than he is, if Goldilocks has any sense.

Unfortunately for Nick, his getaway isn't as quick and easy as he thought it was going to be. He's just turning back with the alcohol when the front door opens and a surprised looking Melissa stands in the door, looking as though she'd been about to go out. "Nick? What are you…?" She trails off as she looks down at the bottle in his hand, which brings the flower pot into her periphrial vision, which has her looking down at that as well.

Blinking, her head tilts a little as she bends down and picks up the pot, looking at the flower, bemused. After a moment she glances up, giving Nick a questioning look. "Did you bring this?" A pause, then she takes half a step back. "Oh, and c'mon in."

He jumps when that door opens, and he backs up a step, as if she's wielding a shotgun as she exits the door. He really does make the best undercover agent, since no one in the world would think he was capable of being an Interpol spy.

"I… yeah, I was just leaving it, and the alcohol, in case you needed…" Flowers and alcohol? He offers her the bottle of whiskey and shakes his head at the offer to come in. "I shouldn't've come…" Two nights in a row — anyone stalking him will definitely take note of this address.

A brow arches and Melissa motions him forward. "Well, you have come, so you might as well come inside." A pause, then a faint smile. Being able to vent her grief the previous day seems to have helped her a great deal. She doesn't even look so transparent anymore. "After all, wouldn't it be safer to do the arguing inside, out of sight of whoever it is you're worried about? Rather than here on my front porch?"

"Were we arguing?" Nick asks, but he sighs and glances back over his shoulder before shrugging and entering the house. He glances around, looking for signs of other people — she'd mentioned roommates, plural, before. "No one around?" he asks. "The flower — it, uh, reminded me of you." It's a soft white orchid with pink centers, the stalk straight before hooking into a blossoming arch. "And I didn't know what else… you know. What do you give people when they're sad."

His brow furrows and he glances perhaps a little longingly at the door. One would think he'd never done anything nice for anyone before. "So, you're alone? I don't want to interrupt. Were you headed somewhere?" Questions are easier.

"Not yet, but I expected you to argue before you came inside," Melissa admits as she shuts the door behind him. "And no, no one else is around right now. They're all out doing whatever it is they do." His explanation about the flower has her looking down at it again, studing it a bit more intently this time. "Thank you, Nick. It's sweet." More than he realizes, but no way is she about to tell him she's never received a real flower from anyone. Just an illusionary one.

Looking back up, Melissa shakes her head. "No, you're not interrupting. I was going out, but only because the empy house was driving me mad. So you being here solves that problem." She nods towards the living room. "Make yourself at home."

"I told you. Home is a mattress and cockroaches. That's about the only thing any of 'em had in common, Goldie," Nick says, though he shrugs, moving toward a living room and toward a sofa. He winces a little as just leaning back on the cushion causes him pain. "So you been shot. How long does it take this fuckin' shit to get better?" The doctor told him months, but it's something to make conversation about, rather than whoever it is she's missing, and just about anything to do with him. It's not like he can tell her much that's true, anyway — one of the good things about being undercover.

He can pretend to be someone he isn't.

He unscrews the cap from the Jack Daniels. "You wanna be all posh and drink out of glasses, or the bottle good enough for ya?"

He's followed to the couch, and Melissa sits down veeeeery carefully, her back badly bruised, making such movements uncomfortable. The orchid is set on the coffee table and she leans back, settling lightly in a comfortable position. "The bottle's fine. Though I do have a hell of a lot of shotglasses if you really want one," she says, motioning to the shelves full of said glasses.

"And yeah, couple times. First time wasn't too bad. Got it patched up pretty quick, and arm was in a sling for a week or so. Second time I got healed, so can't tell you there. Third time…Well, it's mostly healed, I guess. Still bothers me on occasion, so a month or so, I guess?" A pause, then, "Your shoulder bothering you now?"

"Not enough for you to worry 'bout it, Goldie." He doesn't take a swallow of the JD, but instead offers it to her for first dibs. He glances at the shot glasses and chuckles. "If you want to be polite, we can. Otherwise, if you don't mind sharing, I don't."

With a nod of his head toward her, he arches his brow. "You look like you're sitting on eggshells yourself. Do I wanna know what happened? One of those bad bear types you keep talking to knock you around a little?" His words are light hearted, but his brow knits together as he studies her face, concern in his eyes. "You need to be more careful."

As an answer Melissa takes the bottle and drinks from it, a large gulp before it's offered back. The question has her looking a little ashamed, but she answers. "I punched someone yesterday. They deserved it, but one of her friends didn't agree. Slammed me against a boat. Back's bruised to hell, but I'll live. I'm just happy it's not a new scar. Getting entirely too many of those the past few months."

"What about you? Just been working and hiding? When you weren't buying Jack and flowers?" she asks with another faint smile. "And gotta say, you surprised me. Had some friends come over and all, but they're all people I've known for months."

"That makes two of us," Nick says with a chuckle, taking a deep swallow from the bottle and grunting slightly as it burns its way down his throat. He sets it on the coffee table and turns to look at her. "Punched someone, huh? Why not just make her hurt with a wrinkle of your li'l button nose, like that witch on that old TV show?" He grins a little at the idea, the smirk crooked on his face.

"Working, hiding, and sleeping when the Vicodin mixes with the whiskey in just the right amount. Exciting life, right? But it beats getting shot and almost drowning."

He reaches into his pocket for cigarettes, then raises on dark brow. "Smoking allowed in the house?"

"Usually no, but lately I've been making an exception," Melissa admits. "So go ahead. And I didn't just hurt her because I wasn't thinking, and while there's some satisfaction in doing it that way, at the moment, I wanted to feel my fist in her face. For that matter, I still do."

"What's this about almost drowning though?" she asks, reaching for the bottle and taking another drink, one leg bending and pulling up on the couch as she turns to face him more directly. "And I meant what I said last time too. No getting shot. It's not allowed."

"Oh, okay. I'll tell the 'bad guys' that the next time they come to try and kill me. Melissa says you can't shoot me! I'm sure that'll make them stop," Nick teases, pulling out a cigarette to tuck between his lips, then offering her the pack, a brand called Capstans. He pulls out his lighter and lights his own, then reaches to hold the flame for her, if she chooses to take one of the cigarettes.

"I fell in the water when they shot me. Same day, nothin' new, don't worry yerself that I've gotten meself in any new sort of trouble," he says with a smirk. "I've been layin' low, and aside from doing stupid shit like dropping off flowers to girls who could kick my ass without even using their feet, I've been a good bloke."

"Hey, you never know. One of 'em might know me and not want to cross me," Melissa says, giving him another tiny smile as she takes a cigarette and pauses for it to be lit. "And hurting someone isn't kicking their ass, believe me. Plenty of people out there have a high tolerance for pain, which makes my ability all but useless with them." Or makes her pass out. Whichever.

"Besides, I don't have any reason to kick your ass. You were nice and brought by booze to help me, and you're pretty damn amusing too. Definitely a good distraction right now too, which, I don't mind saying, is a wonderful thing. Distraction, booze and sleeping pills are my friends. My best friends."

After he holds the lighter for her cigarette, one hand comes up to push a strand of blond hair away from her face, his rough fingertips brushing her cheek as he does so. "I'm not a nice guy, but I'll take amusing and distracting as compliments," Nick says in a low voice before retreating to push the lighter back into his jeans pocket.

"Funny, you and me, we got the same best friends. Only I don't got no sleeping pills. Just the Vicodin, but I think it's prob'ly about the same in the end," he adds.

"I have to disagree. It takes a nice guy to bring a woman he hardly knows alcohol and a flower when he knows she's grieving," Melissa says quietly, shaking her head. "And just accept the compliment so I don't have to hurt you, hmm?"

A drag off the cigarette, another drink of Jack, and the bottle is offered to him again. "I don't normally have sleeping pills myself, but it helps to have friends who are in the medical field. If I need something, I can normally get it between the paramedics and doctors."

"Yeah, well, there is that," Nick says with a chuckle. "I could probably get whatever I need to, doin' the work I do. You know I'm a smuggler, yeah? Weapons right now, but you know, everyone knows everyone and it's not like we don't do one another favors, right?" He watches her face for any reaction to his 'confession.' He takes the bottle back and takes another swig. On the pain killers he's on, it won't be long before he starts to get a bit loopy. "So what'd she say, the bird that got you so bloody mad you had to punch her?" he asks, curiously.

There's no immediate shock or horror. She's a terrorist, so she can't exactly throw stones at smugglers. Instead Melissa nods. "Handy, but dangerous too. No wonder you got shot at." Unlike him, she's not on any pills that'll help make her loopy, she's just small and a lightweight, despite her heavy drinking of the past few days. So even now her southern accent is starting to become more pronounced.

"Well, see, we were sorta at this memorial service, and someone started…well, they were ruining it. I told 'em to shut up and give the dead the honor they were due, right? This chick was trying to tell me to shut up and that I don't have the right. Normally I might've just brushed it off and ignore her, but with everything else going on…" She shrugs. "I lost control and decked her."

"A memorial service?" Nick says, brows rising in his worried furrowed brow. "Why wouldn't you have the right to ask someone to be respectful t'the dead? Sounds like she was a bit out o' line. Is this the memorial for your friend? I'da punched her, too. But then, that's apparently somethin' else we have in common," he says with a little bit of a chuckle. After all their first meeting was when he punched Amato, though she hadn't seen Nick as right in that case.

He winks at that. "Did she say she was trying to help you, and did you break her jaw?"

"That…is a long story, and not one I can really share," Melissa says with an apologetic look. "It wasn't for my friend though, but for some other people. No one knew about my friend though, not then. And I don't know if I broke her jaw. I certainly hope so though. She really did deserve it, even if some people think I was out of line for getting violent. But it's done, so just gotta deal with it."

Then in one of her usual abrupt changes of subject, she asks, "So what do you do when you're not working, running from bad guys or delivering presents anyway?"

"Probably not. Jaws are stronger than fists, usually. I was just bloody lucky when it came to the priest wanker," Nick says, taking another puff of his cigarette. He glances at her when she asks a personal question he doesn't have a good answer to. He's sort of always working. "I didn't have a lot of free time before, 'cause I was working a legit job over on the Brooklyn docks, you know, actual wage shite, and then I'm workin' over here running merch. Can't do the day job or even much of the night job, not with a bum arm, right now."

He gestures to the bottle and his cigarette. "Drinking and smoking and I'd throw in wanking off but you know, the bum arm…" It's a joke. He is, after all, a 22-year-old man who thinks such things are high comedy. "You? Besides punching people and running a bar and walking dogs and befriending blokes like me? Wait, how the fuck do you have time to do anything else? That's a crazy busy schedule." Yes, he says schedule with a sh sound.

"Actually, I also volunteer at the Suresh Center too," Melissa adds with a trace of humor. Genuine humor. "And the answer would be very, very carefully, and with a lot of caffeine. On a normal week, caffeine is truly my very best friend. "But I meant more stuff like…" She considers for a moment, then nods to the shotglasses. "Like I collect shotglasses, and buy just about every movie known to man, and a few that have all but been forgotten."

Normal things, like normal people do. Collect things. Have hobbies. He frowns and shakes his head, unable to concoct a good lie that would make him sound like a normal human being. "I go to bars. Play pool sometimes, watch a footie game if it's on. And work. Once in a while, I party with the cockroaches or maybe break someone's jaw, if I'm lucky," he says, trying to make a joke.

He nods toward the glasses. "You got a fav'rite 'un?" Deflect it back to her.

"Oh god you're a typical guy. Bars and football," Melissa says, shaking her head with a tiny smile. "And nah, no one favorite. I do love Mel Brooks movies, though. And if you don't know who that is, I'm afraid that we'll no longer be able to be friends. Just so you're aware. Not until I've introduced you to the joys of his films anyway."

"Real football. With a round ball. With little octagons on it," Nick points out with a chuckle. "I … didn't see a lot of movies growing up. We were pretty poor. And your Yank movies, they only tend to show the big 'uns, the big Blockbuster types across the pond, so no, I donno who this Mel Brooks bloke is."

He starts to get up, putting his hands on his knees to push himself to standing, though the physical ruse makes him wince. "I'll pack me things and go, though, since we can't be friends no more," he jokes.

A hand is lightly slapped in the middle of his chest and Melissa tries to push him down even as she's starting to push herself upright. "That…is easy enough to fix. My only question is…You want western, medieval, historical or horror spoof? I would suggest one of the first two. Or three. Or…hell, all of his movies are good," she says, moving over to the disc cases holding her hundreds of DVDs and crouching down so she can start digging through them.

"And that would be soccer, dear, not football. You're in America now. Gotta adapt."

"Ow," he complains when she pushes him back down. "I … too many choices, woman. Just pick one." Is he really going to watch a video with a woman who knows his last name? Stupid, Nick. Avi would kill him. "Soccer is a stupid name for it. you know how they got it? From 'Association Football.' There's a lot more kicking in soccer than in your bloody American football. That should be called passball or tackleball or sommat else. And I'll call it soccer when I have my American on. Right now I don't wanna think that hard. It gives me a 'eadache."

He stays seated, reaching for the Jack Daniels bottle once more, taking another swig and chasing it down with a drag from his cigarette before putting that out in the ashtray.

At least Melissa doesn't know she knows his real last name! She glances over her shoulder at him, brows lifting. "A man complaining about choices? Tsk. But very well. We'll watch Men in Tights. Just so I can torture you with fake British accents," she says, selecting the disc, popping it in and rejoining him on the couch. With the remotes this time.

Once she's settled and the DVD is loading, she swipes the bottle of Jack from him to take a drink. "You know…I do believe I'm well on my way to getting drunk. Feels better than the last few times I was drunk," she muses, head tilting as she considers said inebriation.

"That makes two of us," Nick says, before dropping his arm around her shoulders. He doesn't do the fake yawn move, however. "I'll trade you one of my Vicodins for one of your sleeping pills," he adds with a smirk. "Or would that be too dangerous of a trifecta, you think?" He stretches a leg out to plop it on the coffee table, then crosses the other on top of it.

There's a soft snicker and shake of Melissa's head as she relaxes under his arm. "I'll give you one of my sleeping pills, but I don't think I need any vicodin tonight. The Jack has made my bruises feel alllllll better. And the sleeping pill and booze are enough that I'll sleep very well tonight, I think. Hell, you probably will too, even without any extra drugs." She hits play on the remote, then tosses it aside. "Now, it takes a refined intellect to appreciate this movie, you know. It has fake accents and lots of spoofing on Prince of Thieves. And, of course, it has men wearing tights. But I think you're probably just refined enough to like it."

Part of him, the part of him that might have been normal, if he'd had a chance of ever being normal, tells him to just let her lean on his shoulder, to watch the movie and laugh when it's funny, and keep his hands to himself, because that is what a nice guy would do, and if Melissa really needs anything when she's mourning a loved one, it's a nice guy.

Nick isn't a nice guy.

He watches the opening scene, shaking his head and chuckling at the ridiculous farce, but it's not very long before he turns away from the television to study her profile, reaching to cup her cheek and turn her face toward his. His pale eyes shift from her eyes to her lips, and back, and he leans in, slowly enough that she can push him away. Mel Brooks (or maybe Cary Elwes) may be more desirable at this moment. Nick wouldn't blame her.

While he's debating what to do, Melissa is, for the most part, just enjoying the movie. She's seen it dozens of times, but she's a true movie buff. She can watch it another hundred times and still enjoy it. But just as he's starting to study her, she's realizing that she's sitting on the couch, curled up against a guy, watching a movie. Hasn't she mentioned this very thing several times to a couple of her friends?

The thought is barely formed before her face is turned towards Nick's. When he leans in, she holds her breath, in anticipation, perhaps. Or it could simply be that her mind is racing, trying to decide how to handle this. Then, for whatever reason, her face tips up slightly, inviting that kiss silently.

It's just a kiss, right? Harmless and comforting. Not to mention distracting.

His warm hand moves from her cheek to the nape of her neck, fingers curling in her hair as he accepts her offering, at first sweetly and softly, then a little more greedily. It's been a long time for him, since his travels and his covers don't allow for much socializing with anyone he'd want to kiss. There is a nagging tug at the back of his mind that this is dangerous on several levels, possibly for both of them. That she is in a vulnerable position, and that he might be taking advantage of that.

He breaks the kiss and nuzzles her hair and her neck, breathing in the scent of her. "I'm interrupting your movie," he murmurs into her ear. "D'ya want to tell me to watch it and stop botherin' you?"

An arm lifts at the question, circling him lightly, and Melissa shakes her head slightly. "No…not yet. Maybe in a minute. Or two," she murmurs, letting her cheek rest against his. "Can't promise anything, but don't stop this yet." Then she's turning her head slowly, seeking out his lips with her own, letting the sounds of the movie fade into the background. Besides, she's seen it enough she can probably recite the whole thing, line by line.

"I can't promise anything either," Nick says with a chuckle, lips moving against hers, "I can't feel my toes and I kinda see three of you, but it's sorta hot. I can pretend you're triplets." He smirks a little as he kisses her again, using his good arm to wrap around her, the other stroking her knee lightly. "Melissa, Melinda and Melanie, maybe…" he teases, kissing once, twice, three times. "Or maybe you're the three bears after all. But what would that make me?" The Jack has definitely hit him.

Snickering softly Melissa shrugs lightly. "Goldilocks? We'll just have to pretend you're blonde for tonight." She pauses to give him another kiss, then she laughs softly. "Triplets? Really? I feel cheated now. I only see one of you. And I still feel my toes." She takes stock of the rest of her anatomy before she admits in a whisper, "My head is kinda light though. But I think that's the Jack. Sorry."

"Jack gets all the glory. Foiled again," Nick teases, tipping his head to plant a kiss on her forehead, then putting his fingers under her chin to turn her head back toward the television set.

"I'll ravage you some night that we stand a chance of rememberin' it in the mornin', how's that, Goldie? Tonight, we'll watch movies until you fall asleep," he declares, shifting position so that she can lean on him easily. "I owe you the favor of a good night's sleep. Only thing, I can't carry you to your bed and tuck you in, so you'll have to make do with the couch. Sound like a deal?"

There's another snicker, and Melissa relaxes against him, tucking her legs beneath her. "Aww…The smuggler bear is a teddy bear in disguise," she teases, resting her head on his shoulder as her gaze turns back to the TV. "And Jack doesn't get all the credit. Just most of it. I think." The movie is watched for a moment, before she glances up at him. "You're welcome to find someplace here to crash if you want. Least I can offer you."

Teddy bear? He arches a brow at that and just shakes his head. "I got a rep to maintain. Don't let that news hit the streets or I'm done for, lady," he teases. "Once you're asleep, I'll go find the attic if I can feel my toes enough to make it up the stairs," he adds, and quiets to let her watch the movie and eventually drift off into whiskey-laced slumber.

He'll be gone before sunrise, the bed made, if a bit messily given the fact his good arm is still healing.

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