amato_icon.gif nick2_icon.gif

Scene Title Outpatient
Synopsis Nick's decided he's had enough of his personal infirmary and heads to the city with Amato as his chaperone.
Date July 5, 2011

Old Dispensary

The door to the Dispensary closes behind Nick, and immediately he squints into the sun, garishly showing its face after the thunderstorms of the weekend. His sunglasses are pulled from his pocket and thrust onto his face, eyes still red from burst blood vessels much too photosensitive for the bright sunshine.

He jingles his car keys in his hand as he moves slowly down the steps. It's not the first time he's been out of the house since being on the mend, but it's the first time he's planning on leaving. The truck is parked where he left it, many yards away from the building. He begins the slow walk in its direction, his gait the one of one already exhausted, as if he'd run a marathon the day before.

Amato waits for Nick on the steps to the Dispensary, glasses already doing their part to mask his face. It's unlikely that his apprehension is still a high priority on the government's to-do list, but it never hurts to be cautious. Better safe than sorry. The beginnings of a rough, reddish blonde beard cling to his relatively pale jaw, and he keeps his hands deep in the pockets of his light leather coat. It may be summer, but outwear is still appropriate.

He falls into step with Nick when the younger man comes down the steps, but he doesn't speak until they reach the vehicle. Once there, Amato frowns. "Are you sure you want to do this?" he asks, one eyebrow arching over the dark frames.

The truck still seems to be a mile away, and Nick chuckles weakly. "Not really, no," he says, a flash of a grin tossed to Amato. "How'd you even get me to the house from this far away?" But he was stronger then, at the beginning of the illness, before weeks of fever and blood loss and nightmares.

He shrugs as he trudges toward the truck. "I have some things to check in on. Make sure I still have a job, that kinda thing," he says quietly. "I'll go to an actual doctor while I'm in town, make sure I'm not still contagious." Nick has a paper mask hanging from his neck to wear once he's back in the city.

"So we'll get to the city to keep you from worrying about me crashing, and then I'll take a cab while you hang out feeding pigeons in the park or something, yeah?" Nick asks, reaching up with the keys to unlock the truck from still twenty some feet away.

Amato snorts. "Is that what you think I do to pass the time? Feed verminous avians?" But there is a smile for at least a moment.

"Perhaps you should prioritize," he adds, his voice grave once more. "There is no need to do so much in a single visit to the city. The doctor is important, but the rest. The rest can wait, can't it? Until you are stronger?"

Nick lifts his left shoulder again in his lopsided shrug. "May as well kill a few birds with one stone, right? It's not like I'm gonna actually work. Just make some calls that I probably shouldn't make from here, check some drops."

He finally makes it to the truck, opening the driver seat and easing himself in. "Is there anywhere you need to go, anything you need to check in on? I'm happy to be your chauffeur, mate," he offers. "And nah, I don't think you sit feeding birds. What do you plan to do?"

Amato is silent for a moment, staring at Nick through the passenger window, his eyes shielded by the dark lenses. "I am undecided," he says at last, opening the door and slipping into the cab. "I do not think it best for you to go alone, but the nature of your work may demand such." Nick hobnobbing with international criminals isn't exactly something that screams job security.

"The park will be sufficient," he deadpans as he buckles himself in and folds his hands in his lap.

The truck is started. Nick smiles a little at Amato's concern. "Can't let you see where the drops are, and I'd feel better about your safety if you're somewhere in the open, not waiting in a waiting room for me, yeah? It'll be okay. I'm fuckin' tired, but I'm getting better. Pretty sure if I was gonna die, I'd have done by now."

He steers the car along the access road until he's out onto the main road, reaching to put on the radio for some noise. "You need anything while I'm in town? Books, meds? Coke or heroin?" The last is a joke, of course.

One at which Amato does not laugh. He does smile, though faintly. "I would not wish for you to go out of your way. I have a little money - I can find books on my own, if you put me in the correct vicinity." Though confined to his room, it is no mystery what sort of reading material Amato enjoys. The older the book the better.

He turns his head to look at Nick, "I am not afraid of you dying, Nicholas. I am afraid of you being too weak to return here." Here meaning the Dispensary tucked once more behind the foliage in their wake.

The center console is opened, and Nick moves a few CDs and a couple of packs of cigarettes out of the way to find a wad of bills he'd apparently stowed there in weeks, or even months, past. He tosses it onto Amato's lap. "Greenwich has good used book stores. We'll head there and drop off the car and I'll cab it so you won't worry about me passing out at the wheel," Nick says, crooked smile curving his lips.

"So." He taps the steering wheel along with the music for a moment before flashing a cheeky grin at Amato again. "Are you saying you'd miss me if I didn't come back?"

Amato scowls. "In a way," he answers slowly. "For one, I would have to find alternate transportation. For another, Eileen would be distressed." Amato arches an eyebrow, staring at the radio console as if it held some secret to the music's lyrics. After a moment, he leans back into the seat with a bewildered shake of his head.

There's another weak laugh as Nick reaches to change the CD. NIN probably isn't the best choice for Amato's listening pleasure. He glances out of the corner of his eye at the scowling, head-shaking Italian. "Such a flatterer," Nick says, holding back a smirk as he teases the older man.

"You all right?" The CDs are swapped through until he comes to one with less offensive lyrics. "Sorry 'bout the song. Forgot what was in there."

Amato lifts a dismissive hand to brush away Nick's question and apology in one gesture. "It is nothing. Worry is concern's ugly cousin, yet the wasteland territory of those who take up such responsibility. Not that I could ever corral you all into a paddock, nor is that my intent. But when you go wandering…well, I see it as my task to make sure you arrive back in the fold safely."

Shaking his head again, Amato pushes the metaphor away. "You have done me a service, Nicholas, and I must apologize for the price being so high. Still - purpose is at times a costly gift. I thank you for it."

Nick's brows knit together, and his eyes slide back over to squint at Amato in confusion. He finally shakes his head, echoing Amato's gesture. "Smaller words, mate. My head's still fuzzy from all the brain cells that died on me during the fevers," he jokes.

After a moment more of silence, he shakes his head again. "Please, don't thank me. I know you and me, we haven't always been chums or anything, but you lookin' after me — it's me that should thank you, yeah? And you got nothin' to apologize for."


Amato smiles faintly once again, lifting his arms to fold across his chest, bristling somewhat at the gratitude. "Regardless, it is good to see you moving about. Only do try not to exhaust yourself. I would rather leave the city early than have to figure out how to get us back." He pauses, then arches an eyebrow. "You're going to see her, aren't you?"

The younger man is quiet for a moment, his posture and the silence both tense before his head shakes again. "No."

He waits a beat before explaining, as he puts the turn signal on to turn onto the next road that will take them the long way toward Jersey. "I don't want her to see me like this. It's hard enough for people who don't particularly like me, right?" His lips curve into a rueful smirk. "I'll be careful not to tire myself out. Delia already dropped my transmission once; I don't wanna see what damage you could do to it."

Amato reaches up to pluck his glasses from his face, but only so far as to look over them at the younger man. "You seem to think I despise you, Nicholas," he says quietly. "If this were true, do you think I would volunteer to spend so much time in your presence?"

The words concerning the car are ignored for now as Amato shakes his head. "I'll admit, ours is not the cheeriest of tales, but it would be challenge to find our antithesis in such a time and place."

Another smirk lights Nick's face, and it seems to be one of genuine humor. "Nah. You're all right, Amato. You, Raith, Holden… not sure what Eileen's told you, but I get that I'm not her favorite person, and you're her friends first. As it should be."

He reaches to rub his eyes beneath his sunglasses as the sunshine bounces off the car in front of them, too bright for damaged eyes that haven't seen the sun for weeks except in small doses.

"Start thinking of what you want for lunch. A meal without egg or fish or rice pudding or chicken broth preferably." All foods he's tired of eating from the past weeks locked in the Dispensary.

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