Pick Up On Aisle -- What?


edgar_icon.gif melissa2_icon.gif nick_icon.gif russo_icon.gif

Scene Title Pick Up On Aisle — What?
Synopsis Card, Liquor, and Munchies — The perfect combination for a special occasion. Melissa manages to lure an unsuspecting television personality out while making a former beau angry. Edgar? He just wanted to get a card.
Date September 19, 2010

The Corner Drug Store —- Brooklyn

Some drug stores feign friendliness in a myriad of colour. Such is the case at Mason's. Lime green walls and blue tiled floors make it appear more like a children's fun house than an actual drug store. In fact, kids like coming here thanks to its randomly friendly atmosphere. This time of the day it's not particularly busy, but not dead either.

It's a sad state of affairs spending days on end smelling shampoo and never buying it, but those are Bradley Russo's weekend plans. That and pure intoxication… but then he wouldn't do that in this neighbourhood, it's too close to his AA group. Having spent nearly two hours moving from bottle to bottle, he's given up here and retreated to the greeting cards.

Everything about him speaks to the casual on the weekend. His faded blue jeans, grey t-shirt, and overworn Toms all make him the picture of casual — polar opposite to his television persona who always wears a suit and tie.

His lips purse involuntarily as he draws a card from the bin. His nose wrinkles and he clucks his tongue. "That's not remotely manly," he murmurs to himself before putting the froofy card explicating loving feelings of true remorse back into it's proper place. And then he sees one with a giant dog's tongue along the front. His lips quirk upwards as he reaches for it, but, with his luck this weekend, he gets more than he bargained for. Some punk has layered the cards one inside another. A stack of fifty or more comes along with the one, turning his shopping into an exercise of fifty-two pick-up.

Despite Melissa's protests about not being a weak and helpless female, Edgar's method of transportation definitely leaves much to be desired. Everything else is just too slow.

When the automatic chime of the door sounds off, the man finally sets his room mate slash landlady down on her own two feet and shakes his head. "Stop primpin' your 'air, you look jus' fine from where I'm standin'… You need more nose plugs by the way. I found a few more uses for 'em." With a quick swagger, the carnie leads Melissa further into the store.

They stop near the card aisle first as Edgar quickly scans over all of the selections. "Whaddya think? 'Thanks for the good time'? No, tha' doesn' even begin to … God.. there's a card tha' almost gives a person cavities, eh?" Plucking a pink and white flowery thank you card from the rack, Edgar almost steps on Russo's hand as he starts picking up the cards. "Sorry 'bout tha' mate."

Nowhere near the card aisle is Nick. He's apparently stocking up, carrying a red shopping basket as he goes through the store, picking up the necessities of civilized life — deodorant, toothpaste, toilet paper, and more importantly, cigarettes and alcohol. The cigarettes will have to wait until checkout, of course, locked as they are behind the register, but he's made it to the promised land of aisle ten, shelf after shelf of bourbon, vodka, gin, beer, wine, rum, et cetera.
It's just one aisle away from the card aisle, because that's what people do, right, pick out cards, then pick out booze. If it's a birthday, a birthday card and a six pack. An anniversary, a card and champagne, and flowers, if you want to do things right. Condolence cards go with the heavier stuff, to mourn through inebriation.

Nick's hand falls on the largest bottle of Jack Daniels, setting it in the basket, then he picks up a 12-pack of Bass to carry in his free hand. He'd get more, but he has to take the fucking subway home.

While Melissa may be semi-used to traveling with speedsters, she'll never get used to the mess it makes of her hair. She understands better why Daphne sticks with her usual hairstyle though. But that primping stops when Edgar mentions needing more 'plugs'. "Jesus Christ, Edgar. They're not nose plugs. They're tampons and you've gotta stop stealing Ling's or she's gonna stab you," she mutters as she follows along.

When Edgar speaks to Russo, she leans around the former to peer at the latter, then all the cards scattered around on the floor. "Oops?" There's a pause, then she shrugs slightly to herself and crouches down to help pick them up. "And Edgar, honey. I'm your friend. You keep things interesting. But I'd just grab a card at random because it really sucks that everyone else is getting laid and I have to go to bed with a damn stuffed animal. It tends to make a girl a wee bit grumpy."

Glancing up to Edgar she imparts her little pearl of wisdom for the evening. "Men are jerks, you know. All of them. Testosterone poisoning makes it impossible to be otherwise." She cocks her head, picking up a few more cards. "You're not too bad for a jerk though. But then, I'm not trying to jump you." She grins at Edgar. "Yet, anyway." She looks back to Russo. "Hmm. You're cute though. You've probably got a ton of issues though, don't you? Psycho ex, mama's boy, mega guilt or something, right?"

"Hey! Watch it!" Russo murmurs as his hand nearly gets stepped on while he piles the cards together again. The apology is met with an all-too-charming (and, in reality, rather rehearsed) flash of teeth. "No harm, no foul," he smirks before he's pulling himself back to his feet and dusting off his knees. "I don't think they've cleaned that floor since the early eighties." He cringes and tugs the bottom of his shirt.

"Testosterone poisoning?" he arches an eyebrow as he glances between the pair, the smile exposing the cratered dimples on his cheeks is more ironic than joyful like an unspoken challenge — a silent request to explicate the supposed thesis. The sparkle in his eye is indicative of more the same, but he turns away to finally return the cards to their section only to see that at least some of the stack has traveled underneath the shelf, evidently they don't extend to the floor. "Dammit," he mutters quietly, his eye-line following the trail of cardboard cards to the next aisle.

He lifts a single finger, universal body language that he needs a minute before disappearing around the next aisle, the booze aisle… not watching where he's going. At all.

"You're still too young to be so jaded, Melissa. Mebbe you're jus' attracted to the wrong types, eh? Like tha' Peter fella' 'e's sorta.. dresses for the disco if you know wha' I mean. Really though, 'oo pops into a man's bedroom dressed in a tank top an' leather pants. Tha' sorta thing jus' ain't right." Melissa's little tidbit of advice sort of flies by the wayside as Edgar keeps perusing the cards, being very careful to step around the man his room mate's started chatting to.

Leaning backward, towards her, when Brad disappears around the corner toward the booze. "I'll tell you one thing I do know 'bout relationships though… Askin' a man fer 'is faults before givin' 'im you're name ain't a good way to catch the fly. You should go apologize'er sum'thin." One night after thirty two years spent alone has turned Edgar into an expert on true love.

Nick isn't watching where he is going either as he heads toward the mouth of the aisle, planning to get to the checkstand to buy his fags (shut up) and get back to his apartment. There's no rest for the wicked and less for undercover agents pretending to be smugglers, but today he has managed to have a clear schedule and there's a Manchester and Liverpool game on the cable in — he checks his watch — now.

Unfortunately, now is when Brad comes around the corner and the two men collide, shoulder to shoulder, and one of those shoulders is still recovering from a rifle blast at short range just a few weeks ago. Nick drops his 12-pack of beer, the box breaking and beer cans skittering across the aisle, one slamming into the shelves and emitting a hisssss as it springs a leak. Nick staggers against the shelves as well, dropping his basket to the floor and grabbing that shoulder, swearing as the pain makes him nauseous for a moment. "Bloody 'ell," he hisses, closing his eyes as he waits for the wave of pain to subside — muscles, bones, sinew all screaming in agony as they remind him he is not quite well yet.

When Russo wanders off Melissa straightens and nods to Edgar. "See? Issues. Denial. Or maybe just ignoring me. Pity. He was cute." Then she's going still and frowning at him. "What do you mean he popped into your bedroom in leather pants? He should've popped into my bedroom with them. I love those leather pants. More men need to wear leather pants. They make the ass look so damn biteable," she says with a sigh.

"And why should I apologize? I don't even know the guy. And he just walked off, anyway. Besides, not like anything was actually gonna happen. Was just making conversation and entertaining myself. But you're right. I am attracted to the wrong types. I tend to go for guys with issues. You know, broken men. Wish I knew why. Or could find a broken guy who isn't going to run away from me for my own protection," she says, rolling her eyes.

A pause, and she grabs a card, shoving it at Edgar. "Here, try this one. I'm going to grab some beer. We're almost out," she says, before dragging him down the aisle to head to the next one, just missing the collision. She doesn't, however, miss who was involved in said collision. Eyes closed or not, Nick probably will recognize the voice that comes next, and likely not be pleased to hear it. "Oh for Christ's sake, Nick. I can't yell at you here!" she says, sounding very put out.

It's a perfect day. The beer that's sprung a leak is effectively super-saturating the cards in the dark alcohol. Awesome.

Unlike Nick, there's no pain searing through Brad's shoulder, he does, however, notice the stagger, and isn't wholly insensitive. "Hey man, I'm sorry, you okay?" it's a quick apology as he bends down to pick up the beer cans that didn't bust open, choosing to leave the cards alone now — evidently this is his disaster weekend, from shampoo to beer and cards, nothing is working out how he intends.

"Do you need a doctor?" the cans are collected and returned to the box — save the open one — which is summarily ignored. The smell of the beer, however, tingles the alcoholic's senses, sparking cravings he'd vowed to leave unfilled after Thursday…

In his collection he turns to face Melissa, grayish-blue-green eyes flit between them, "Lovers quarrel? Just so you know, buddy… she doesn't like testosterone. Must be attracted to women…" a playful smile edges his lips, it's the kind of statement he'd normally reserve for Kristen or his show, but with his utter clumsiness, he can't hold that tongue of his. Not now.

Edgar is still looking at the card, examining it carefully for any faults inside and out when Melissa drags him down to the aisle with the alcohol. Lydia doesn't like the smell of booze and cigarettes, so Edgar has been abstaining from anything remotely bordering on vice. It's been almost twenty four hours now. "Maybe you shouldn' ge' beer an' drink somethin' like them Sobe juices, eh? I 'ear their full o' vit— aaaaaaaaaa—"

The spilled beer on the floor wasn't exactly noticed by the speedster whose step landed square in a large puddle, sending him skidding toward Nick in another almost collision. A blur of footwork saves the other man as Edgar pirouettes around him and lands against the shelf, nearly knocking it over.

It wavers, threatens to domino the other aisles, a few jars slip off the shelf on the other side to crash on the floor and cover it in salsa and queso. Why? Because everyone knows that when you're getting booze, you need munchies. Booze, cards, munchies… Nothing says lovin' like sparkling white, a pink card, and a bag of Doritos. Lydia will be so pleased.

"You alrigh' fella?" Edgar's tone of concern comes with a furrow of eyebrows, a quick glance over Nick, and a firm manly clap on the shoulder. "Bes' be careful, eh? She's a livewire… None to 'appy today."

Nick's blue eyes flash open at Melissa's voice and his dark brows knit together, his brow furrowing with irritation at being found yet again. "You're not gonna yell at me here? It's a miracle. She can be taught," he says a little snarkily and in an American accent thanks to the small gathering of people that he doesn't know.

"I'm alright. Just sorta recovering from an injury. Not your fault, I wasn't watchin' where I was goin'," he tells Russo, though his eyes narrow a little — he doesn't know much American television, but he recognizes the man, having had the TV on in his apartment to block out the noise of the street and to hear voices that aren't only in his head.

He reaches down to grab his basket, ignoring the box of beer that is now broken and sticky.

He winces at the clap on the shoulder from Edgar that sends another wave of pain reeling through his body. "I gotta go," Nick mutters, moving toward the mouth of the aisle, though his black-booted feet slip in the puddle and he skids a little. Nothing like a graceful getaway.

"It can't be a lovers quarrel when the bastard decided to kiss me then avoid me," Melissa shoots at Russo. "And I'm only attracted to women who have lost their tits and grown dicks instead. You know, men," None too happy and crude today, it seems. Then she gets a look at Nick, and, as usual, recognizes the signs of pain and rolls her eyes. "Fucking hell," she mutters, before eliminating his pain. She's too soft by half. Or maybe she just likes people being in pain when she has caused it. And she missed the joy of shooting him herself.

"Be careful around him," she warns Edgar. "He's not the sort you want to be revealing secrets too." Then she gives Nick a very pointed look. "No, not gonna yell at you. I am going to tell you though that I found out who you really work for. Among other interesting tidbits that might interest you."

That said, she turns away from Nick and heads down the aisle, picking her way around and over puddles of beer in order to find her own six pack, very clearly ignoring Nick now that she's given her little speech.

"Seems like an understatement," Brad murmurs following Edgar's comment about Melissa not being happy. Considering she essentially deemed him screwed up before he opened his mouth, the comment seems warranted.

"You'd be shocked what is a lover's quarrel," Russo murmurs as once again he rises from his spot on the floor where he'd been collecting cans of beer. There's an odd pull of his lips at the though, like a smile-frown, half and half. A vague glance is given to the cards as he remembers why he's here in the first place. And, before rounding the aisle to head back to his mission, he turns to face Edgar, "Whatever you do, don't ever ever even joke about going through her purse, the attitude just gets worse, even among the bubbly ones."

"Uhhh… o-kay?" The speedster intones as everyone clears the aisle. A deep frown crosses his face as he tries to think, it doesn't exactly come easy at the moment. "I don' even know if Lydia 'as a purse…" But then he's alone in front of a puddle of spilled liquor that he can't afford to pay for. Go figure, the yanks scoot to leave the Brit to clean up the mess… Just like that tea party thing. Not this time.

Taking ginger steps around the puddle and toward the end of the aisle, Edgar peeks around the corner to spot the mess of salsa and queso on the floor. Not a good place to be either. Stepping down further he comes to a rack of condoms and grabs a few of them. "These'll make great balloon animals fer tha' party…" he murmurs to himself. Reading the back of the pack he lets off a 'huh' and takes a few more. They're even lubricated so they won't stick to the helium hose. That's handy. When he finally makes his way around to the booze aisle again, he spots Melissa over with Nick and rolls his eyes. "I's like tryin' teh 'erd a cat keepin' up wi' tha' woman… No wonder she can' ge' a date." So exasperating.

Stopping at the front of the aisle, Nick turns to regard Melissa, then sighs and gives a glance at whatever male is closest to share an commiserating moment. Women. He turns back and follows Melissa's path to the far end of the aisle where she's picking out beer.

"I told you that I'm not a good person, and I warned you that I was getting out of your life because it isn't safe for you to know me, all right?" he says in a low voice, his eyes narrowed as he looks down at her.

"So you throwing around that 'I know what you can do' which just piques your friend there's curiosity and whoever the hell that other guy is — he's someone on TV, by the way — ain't doing me any favors, Melissa." He sighs and grabs another 12-pack, this time Guinness. "Look, if you recall, I told you to stay away from me from the beginning. I didn't intend to ever go to your house or anything else, and I don't intend to tell any of your secrets to the people I work for. I told you I was a smuggler — I didn't say for who, and yeah, they're scumbags, but most of 'em are, them maybe a touch more than most. It's a job, and now I can't do the dock work for a while, I gotta take what I can get. A man's gotta live, and I ain't got any skills to work anywhere legal, let alone the paperwork."

Clearly, he's on a different page than she is. "Anyway, I'm sorry I got mixed up with you, but trust me, I ain't planning on mixing you up with them, okay? I wouldn't do that. And if your Limey friend there is like you at all, his business is safe with me, too. I ain't a fuckin' narc."

With that, he turns once more to go, his boot soles squeaking on the tile from the sticky beer.

Glancing to Russo, Melissa arches a brow. "It can't be a lover's quarrel unless it's lovers quarreling, and he made it perfectly clear that he wants nothing to do with me. Which is just fine by me." She sighs and shrugs a little. "Anyway. Sorry. Just…bad experiences with men lately. Like, all of them just about. Except him," she says, jerking a thumb in Edgar's direction. "So just…forget I made any snarky comments or anything," she adds, shrugging and picking up some beer.

She's frowning at Edgar then. "Hey, that's not fair," she says, sounding hurt. "I'm not that hard to keep up with," she mumbles. "Can't get a date because all the guys I'd date all want to avoid me to protect me. Like they couldn't protect me better if they were with me."

She looks to Nick at his little speech, frowning, and she moves to follow after him, quickly, so she can catch up with him. She grabs for his sleeve as she leans in to speak quietly. "I'm not worried about myself, Nick. I'm worried about Interpol going after my friends who aren't from this country. I don't trust any brand of cops. But if you're working for them just because you don't have any other options, that can be fixed. And if it'll keep my people safe, I'll do it in a heartbeat. No matter what Eileen said."

As soon as she realizes what she said, she stills and starts cursing softly. She even throws in a Mandarin curse or two. They just sound so cool. "I didn't say that. Forget I said that. Seriously. I may be pissed at you, but I don't want to see you dead," she mutters before turning to head back towards Edgar and Russo, moving quickly again, head ducked, looking annoyed at herself.

"So who wants to go get drunk?"

"Look Missy," he begins, "Don't take it out on all of us, alright? We do the best we can." He winks, it's in his nature. He begins to turn the corner back to the cards, but something stops him.

Getting drunk.

Those are magic words in Brad's ears. The smell of beer already had him craving a stool at a bar. He doesn't know her, but drinking buddies are harder to come by than he'd like. He smirks as he stops rounding the corner, peeking back towards the blonde and her superspeedy cohort. His eyes scan the aisle, knowing full well that even walls seem to have ears in his industry. The smirk grows into an all-out grin as the coast seems clear — there's no one here that'll interrupt it.

Shoving his hands into his pocket, he leans against one of the shelves, the smell of the puddled beer only piquing his interest further, but if he's going to get drunk, it's not going to be a bar particularly close to here.

"I'm uhm… ehh… I'spose you'll need sum'one t'carry you 'ome." Edgar really doesn't seem pleased by the prospect of spending his day in a bar. Checking his watch, he grimaces a little and scrunches his face in a rather unpleasant frown. "I go' things teh do though, so if you're goin'teh ge' drunk can you make i' some'ere like the Pelican? A' least I can ge' a few of me errands done then."

Rubbing the back of his neck, he shoots Nick an apologetic glance and turns to head toward the exit. "I'll wai' for yeh outside. You go' five minutes teh finish wha'ever you're buyin'… an' ge' some more nose plugs, I ain't finished the ma— thing I's buildin'… an' I ain't buyin' em myself."

Melissa's words confuse Nick and he follows after, glancing at Edgar as the man makes his exit, then grabbing her arm this time and pulling her away from Russo.

"Who the fuck told you I was Interpol?" he says in a low growl, apparently not connecting Eileen with the fact he's been ratted out. "And do you understand what Interpol is? Most normal people don't have to worry about 'em giving a shit about your lives. Only if you're into smuggling or terror—" Oh.


He lets go of her arm and steps away from her. "I ain't, so whoever said I was didn't know their shit, and do me a favor and don't repeat it, or you're likely to get me fuckin' killed, all right? If the guys on Staten heard that, more than just my shoulder'll be shot next time."

He shakes his head angrily. "You say you don't want me dead, you'll do that much for me, Goldilocks. And for the record? I'm staying away from you for the same reason, all right? And whatever Eileen said," his sister the bloody ghost, "listen to 'er."

Nick turns on his heel and heads to the checkstand finally, paying in cash and hurrying from the store.

Melissa gives Edgar a pained look. "You won't go drinking with me? But—" Then she is being grabbed, and looking back to Nick. But clearly she doesn't believe that he isn't Interpol, and just shrugs. "Whatever you say, Teddy Bear," she says wryly. When he hurries off she sighs and looks to Russo hopefully. "Don't suppose you want to go get drunk, do you? I'm getting tired of getting drunk alone." Apparently Edgar is off the hook as far as playing transport goes.

It's not in some people's nature to refuse a drink. Brad is one of those people, but he'd promised Thursday was the last time he'd drink ever. He watches her in quiet stillness, while one side of his lips quirk upwards; he'll quit tomorrow.

Hands still contained in his pockets, Brad nods at Melissa, "Sure, Missy. I'll get drunk with you." Pause. "But only because I'd hate to see you drink alone." The lie is for him, not for her; the temptation of his own vices has too much glimmer, especially if he can forget the past in his drinking. "Not in Brooklyn though.' His gaze shifts.

Perking up again Melissa nods. "Yeah, we can leave Brooklyn. What about the lower east side? No, don't wanna go in to work right now," she muses. "What about Staten island? There's a bar there that isn't too bad. I mean, there are tons better, but there are some worse than it too. And name's not Missy. It's Melissa." A pause. "Which is actually too close to Melissa, but hey."

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