Least It's Something


nick_icon.gif ziadie_icon.gif

Scene Title Least It's Something
Synopsis A phone call lets Ziadie be the bearer of good news. And receive good news in turn.
Date February 3, 2011

On two cell phones.

He's not quite sure, but there's something about not making phone calls inside. Even when no one else is there, Ziadie prefers to walk down to the outside of the building, leaning on the wall. It's an excuse to have a cigarette, too, and he flips open the cheap cell phone, scrolling to where he has Nick's number. Ring. It's the second time he's attempting to call, but the older man figures that people don't always answer.


In his apartment, Nick is exiting the shower when the phone rings — once, twice, and finally picked up on the third as the young man finally finds it in his discarded jeans' pocket. The number is glanced at before the button is pushed.

"York," comes Nick's crisp answer, as he rubs a towel against his wet head of hair.

"Nick?" On his end of the phone, Ziadie takes the cigarette in one hand, such as to speak clearer. "Is it a bad time?" The older man's voice should be distinctive enough that he doesn't seem to feel the need to identify himself. "Holden said to get a hold of you," he adds.

"Is he all right?" Nick says immediately, relief and worry bout flooding his voice, perhaps surprisingly. "It's fine, just coming outta the shower, sorry for the wait. When'd you talk to him? Is he hurt? Is the guy he was travelling with hurt?"

That's a lot of queries regarding a man that Nick seemed not to like much, the last Ziadie saw the two together. "I can pass on messages if he needs me to. I gotta phone number too — if he's calling about who I think he's calling about. She's okay — she came by Monday night. She's just worried, real worried about him. About them."

Ziadie raises his eyebrows slightly, though the gesture is lost through the conversation taking place over the phone. "He didn't say he was hurt," Ziadie says. "Trapped in that thing, yes, but not hurt. Alright, I guess. Short of words. Which is usual." A pause.

"His daughter's alright, then?" Ziadie asks, probing for clarification, and perhaps also a name, or any other details. "He sounded worried too. Anxious."

"That's usual? He never shuts the fuck up around me," Nick says with a short huff of a laugh. "Yeah, she's all right. Upset. She didn't know if they were trapped or … worse, I don't think. I'm not sure. She was shaken up. But she's okay."

He moves to the coffee table to find the paper with Eileen's number. "I got her number — if you're in phone contact with him, he can call it. I'll let her know he's okay, too, soon as I get off the phone with you, but here."

He reads off the number to Ziadie, then tosses it back on the coffee table.

The former cop repeats the number back twice, scribbling it onto a scrap of paper as he does so. "Right, yeah." Affirmation. Ziadie takes a long drag from the cigarette. "Phone contact, yeah. There's no power or anything inside, so he's turning his phone back on at a set time, for me t' call him back." Ziadie chuckles. "He didn't say anything 'bout anyone else, sorry." There's a pause, a pause filled by a frown, and Ziadie carefully tucks the paper he wrote down the number on into a pocket.

"At least it's something," Nick says, relief coloring the words as he pulls on his clothes slowly one-handed, given the one hand has to hold the phone to his ear. "I'll let her know the same, to leave a message or something, that he won't answer. Makes sense."

He heaves a sigh. "Tell him to hang tight, that we'll figure something out soon. They gotta, right? Someone has to be able to pull that thing down. Someone must have an ability to counteract it."

The younger man reaches for his cigarettes, the sound of a lighter scratching its way over the phone line as he lights up. "Anything else?"

"If someone's got something to counteract it, they don' found it yet," Ziadie says. "But yes, it's something." Another half a chuckle. "Ten, fifteen years ago, and there'd be no way to contact anyone on the inside, short of a sat phone, or something." Once more, the former cop pauses. "If you find out anything, call me, yeah?" He shakes his head, not really caring that it's a cellphone, audio, that shaking his head conveys no meaning to the younger man he's speaking to. "Or if there's anythin' I can do."

Nick takes a long drag of the cigarette before exhaling the smoke and nodding himself. "Will do," he says, a beat or two delayed. "Thanks for calling. I'll pass on the message as soon as I hang up. I appreciate it. She'll appreciate it."

It feels surreal — being a part of the communication network when things go wrong like families do. It's a new experience for Nick.

He presses the end button, and then keys in Eileen's number, knowing he'll get voice mail.

"Holden's all right," he begins.

Being the bearer of good news is another unfamiliar but pleasant feeling.

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