Prepositions Don't Mean Shit


nick_icon.gif ziadie_icon.gif

Scene Title Prepositions Don't Mean Shit
Synopsis At least this time it's actual conversation rather than playing god damn games.
Date January 24, 2011

The Stop

The night outside is as cold and gray and dismal as winter in his native land, while the inside of this bar is warm and inviting with golden light and the friendly shouts and laughter of the group of regulars over a game of pool. Nick isn't here for the social scene but simply for the warmth, the alcohol, and the fact that it's not an empty apartment.

He steps over the threshold, a rush of cold wind accompanying him. Pale eyes sweep the establishment swiftly and warily in a manner that suggests it's become a habit. Apparently not finding whatever he might be leery of, he moves toward the bar itself, unbuttoning his black wool peacoat and pulling off the black tuque that covers his thick black hair. He takes a bar stool on the end, leaning on the counter to wait for the tender's attention.

There're enough people at the bar that Ziadie didn't have a direct line of sight to Nick, but the older man notices him coming in nonetheless. Papers are quietly folded, and Ziadie picks up the papers, picks up the dark grey peacoat that had been on the bar stool next to him, picks up the cane he uses to walk, and walks over to Nick, standing behind him for a moment before deciding to actually sit back down.

"Evening." At least the old man's more sober, tonight, so far. He leans on the counter, observing the younger man that he has chosen to sit next to, and eventually wincing as he undoes the sling that his left arm is in.

Nick's blue eyes flicker to Ziadie and he gives a nod before glancing back to the bartender approaching him. "Bass," he says, then nods to Ziadie. "And whatever he wants." He waits for the older man to make his order, and then for the bartender to begin pouring before he speaks again.

A hand runs back through his hair before dropping to his pocket to pull out a pack of cigarettes. "No truth or dare tonight? Holden not skulking around anywhere?" he says lightly, lips twitching into a half smirk to let the older man know that Nick knows what the last little game was about. "You look like you been in a train wreck. How's the other guy look?"

Ziadie orders some sort of scotch, or something. At least, that's what it looks like when it comes. "He better not be," Ziadie responds. The old man sounds tired, too. "'d be a heap of scrap metal if I had anything to say about it. Not that I do, these days." Another bit of a wince, but he tips the glass back to his lips briefly.

Picking up the glass of pale beer, Nick takes a long swallow, then pulls a wallet out to put a bill on the table. "Can't remember your name if we swapped 'em, but I'm Nick," he says, lifting his glass in a bit of a toast rather than offering to shake hands — Ziadie's only got one good one as it is, at the moment, and he needs that to drink.

Nick sets his glass down and reaches for his cigarettes again, lighting and taking a puff while the stick ignites, before offering holding out the pack to Ziadie, eyes questioning. "How long you known him?"

Ziadie nods. "Ziadie." He lifts his glass vaguely in Nick's direction, takes a sip, and puts the glass down in order to take a cigarette. This only having one hand to easily use is a bit of a pain. "Light?" he asks, cigarette hanging from one side of his mouth. There's a pause, as Ziadie considers the question. "Not long enough to trust him further 'n I could throw him," Ziadie says. And considering the older man's current physical condition, though he may be fit for someone pushing seventy, that isn't very far.

Once Ziadie takes one of the Capstans, Nick is already working on bringing the lighter up, flicking the wheel and producing the flame but holding it far enough that the older man can lean in himself. The lighter gets shoved back in Nick's coat pocket and he nods. "Same," he says with a left-shouldered shrug.

Nick takes another drag of his own cigarette, then rests it in the ash tray and takes another swallow of beer. "He said you're working for him?" Nick's eyes narrow slightly. "You got any history with Walsh, by the way?" This query is spoken in softer tones, blue eyes darting along the length of the bar to watch for anyone who might be eavesdropping.

Ziadie's face soured some at the mention of Walsh. "With an' occasionally would both be more accurate words," Ziadie says. "I needed money t' get back on my feet, an' I did a few small things for him. For?" The older man pauses, and brows furrow as he takes a drag of the cigarette, then taking it with his right hand, transferring it to his left, using his right to pick up his drink, and doing the exact same in reverse. "Not for. He misunderstood."

Another drag of the cigarette, and Ziadie gets to answering Nick's second question. "Only as much as I know he recently made the department look very, very bad," Ziadie says. His brows furrow further momentarily, and then he offers Nick a lopsided shrug.

Nick lets out a small huff of a laugh at misunderstood. Apparently deciding no one near them is worth his worries, he returns his gaze to Ziadie's face.

"With, for. Prepositions don't mean shit. If he's payin' you, then it's for, in my book," he says with another shrug. "Anyway, we might be workin' together with, for, whatever you have it, sounds like."

He picks up his cigarette to take a long pull, exhaling smoke with a heavy sigh a moment later. "Yeah. The department, huh? You a cop?" 'The department' has a sort of familiar feel.

The lopsided shrug comes down, and Ziadie manages to laugh. "Enough of one, it'd seem," Ziadie says. "It's never really something y' stop." The leather jacket he still wears has medals on it, actually. Not the full assortment, since he's got somewhere to store them now, but still. "For a very long time."

He considers what Nick has said, thoughtful. Thoughtful enough that the glass of scotch is now empty in the older man's hand, even. "Th' difference between with and for is there. Th' second means y' take orders n' matter what." Apparently, that's something Ziadie's not quite prepared to do. "Means committing t' something."

Nick gives a nod, then gives another soft huff of a laugh. "I guess if that's the case, I ain't never worked for anybody, but I sure as hell have enough jobs behind me to say otherwise." It's an attempt at humor. "But suit yourself. I guess this sort of 'job' ain't official anyway, so no need to make a fuckin' flow chart of the hierarchy of command."

He takes another long drag from the cigarette, the ash growing long and threatening to fall before he dashes it against the tray. "'Course don't tell him I said I ain't a 'working for kinda guy, either. Pretty sure I'm s'posed to follow orders 'no matter what,' even if you aren't."

"Yeah. What books." Ziadie pushes his glass towards the back edge of the bar, tips his head towards the bartender, then nods. The cigarette gets passed between one finger and the next of his right hand, a trick that he doesn't terribly used to doing. "F'king shoulder," he mutters, clenching the cigarette in his teeth again and slowly putting the sling back on. "Shoulda known."

"Been there, done that," Nick nods to his own right shoulder. It was still mending after three months before it got healed completely in November — well, it was November in this timeline, anyway. Grudzie in the other — December.

"Listen," he says, suddenly. "If you hear anything about Walsh from any of your ol' department buddies, let me know. Or Holden, but I'd appreciate it if you let me know, too, yeah?" He reaches in his wallet again for a plain card, a phone number written in ball point. "Anyone mention him, try'n use your voodoo to figure out if they know more 'bout where he is, right? Even if you can't get the answer — just knowin' if they're lying'd help." He passes the card to Ziadie, then puts another bill down for the man's next drink as he slips off the barstool.

Ziadie picks up the card. The wallet he slips it into has a bit of a flash of metal as he opens it, badge or something. "Yeah." He nods, thoughtfully. "I'll ask around, see what I can get." Another pause. "One of these days, kid," he says, quietly, right as Nick is still within the range to hear, "you're going to tell me every single damn thing you know about Holden, yeah?" It's not actually a question. "We'll talk." In the mean time, though, Ziadie's going to take advantage of the fact that someone else bought him a few drinks, and drink until his shoulder doesn't hurt.

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