Save A Prayer


delia_icon.gif nick_icon.gif

Scene Title Save A Prayer
Synopsis Pray for me, for I am so helpless and alone. — Prayer to St. Jude
Date January 16, 2011

Dorchester Towers — Russo's Apartment

It's Delia are you there?

The first text to this particular recipient in a very long series to many others. It's been hours since she's been left alone, less since she started looking for her brother. After darkness hit is when Delia really started to worry, then curfew, and still no Brad. It's taken this long to work up the courage to even text Nick, the subject of their feud and likely one of the only people she feels safe with. Exhausted from pulling herself around the apartment, she's propped herself up against the corner of the sofa in the livingroom.

I'm sorry to bother you, I really am, I'm just scared.

After all, he did say she could call him. Or find him. She doesn't need to be exhausted to start looking, every minute that passes forces a little more desparation from the redhead. The rest of the textees simply got messages asking where Brad could be, everyone else is spared the burden of having her fear laid on them. Lucky Nick.

Nick stares at the first text for long enough that the phone buzzes with the second while he's still looking at it. He's not worried about curfew, and sits on a park bench huddled against the cold. He frowns as he skims the second short sentiment on the screen of his phone. Tugging his glove off, he hunts and pecks the tiny QWERTY keyboard on the screen, numb fingers hitting the wrong keys more than once.

what's wrong? are Russo or Nic there?

He pulls a cigarette from the pack in his pocket, lighting it with a quick flick of his thumb on the lighter's wheel. Gray smoke curls into the blacker sky around him, and his pale eyes turn in the direction of Dorchester.

No, I don't know Nicole's number. Brad left.

The reason why isn't divulged, Delia feels guilty enough for causing the strife. Catholics, gotta love 'em. Gulping, she huddles her gangly legs a little closer to herself as she punches out the letters slowly on the screen. Sniffling once, she glances up to the coffee table and pulls the silver chain closer. When the medallion finally falls away from its perch it's gathered up into her palm before she sends yet another message.

I'm alone.

She hasn't been alone since she fell into the coma, the very thought is alien in nature. Glancing around the large (and quite dark) space, the young woman swallows audibly and chews on her lip. A sniffle is let off and she runs her fingers over her beloved iPad, her blue eyes illuminated by the backlit screen and her gaunt face shadowed by the dimness of the room.

Alone. If there's anything he can sympathize with, it might be that. But the rub lies in the fact that he was asked to only visit Delia when Russo is present — the conundrum in the fact that Russo not being present is a problem. Especially when the girl home alone can barely take care of herself.

Hang tight.

He's not far. He'd come to Central Park for the dead drop that had been neglected for too many days, though there's nothing there. Technically he's still on paid "medical" leave. More like emotional leave, he knows. He's going to have to see psychologists if he wants another case. Not that his emotional problems have ever kept them from wanting him on the job before. After all, what spy agency wouldn't want someone with a death wish, when sending them where no sane person would want to go?

It's 10:20 by the time he knocks on her door, cheeks ruddy from the brisk walk in the cold winter night.


The muffled, yet panicked, call from inside preceeds the silence. From where Nick is standing it takes quite a long while before there's a slight twist to the doorknob. The thump of something heavy landing against the door, a series of agonizingly slow clicks, and the door pulls open only a fraction of an inch before there's a whump from behind it. Only then does it swing open about a foot to reveal a socked foot in the opening.

Inside, Delia lies flat on her back, winded from the fall. Blue eyes pointed at the ceiling, she lays still for (what seems to her) a breathless eternity. Dressed in a pair of loose grey sweats and a thick sweater, she tries to catch her breath.

"Shit, Delia," Nick hisses, opening the door just wide enough to slip through so he doesn't knock it into her body. The door is shut behind him, locks put back in place, and he then drops to his knees to peer down into her eyes.

"Are you okay? Do you need me to go look for him? Call him?" Shit, he should have called Russo first, maybe. "Come on, let's get you to the sofa. Did he just not come home from work today?" Russo had told Nick he gets home around 7, but he's not sure if that includes weekends. Holiday weekends at that.

He slides a hand around her shoulders, another to scoop up her legs, and slowly rises, heading for the sofa to deposit her carefully there.

The redhead blinks rapidly as the shaded features of Nick draw into her line of sight. She sucks in a gasp and then breathes out a long sigh of relief when she recognizes his voice. Her arms lift to wrap around his neck as he picks her up and she shakes her head in answer to his question. "I made him mad," she admits in a low tone, the guilt painted plain across her face. Pressing her lips into a thin line, she doesn't discuss the how or the why.

Delia's hands slip out from around Nick's shoulders as he sets her down again, her eyebrows drawing together as she stares at his face. "Sorry, I should've— I just== Sorry." Again. A small twitch of one corner of her lips, a slight smile that doesn't reach her eyes forms. "I'm always saying sorry to you, I should just stop doing the stuff that makes me feel guilty."

Black brows dip into a scowl, and Nick glances at the door. His hand slips into his pocket as he stands straight, pulling his cell phone out. "I need to let him know I'm here. So he doesn't shoot me if he comes in, yeah?"

He moves away from the sofa to sit on the edge of the coffee table. Icy blue eyes give her a worried look. "Bein' mad at you and sneakin' about after curfew are two diff'rent things. What time'd he leave?"

He scrolls through the numbers, finding the correct one and selecting it to text a message, though he waits for her response.

"This afternoon," Delia says quietly, the smile disappearing entirely. "You don't think something happened to him, do you? Like… you don't think he's in the hospital or.. worse? I should've called them.. or the police.. or…" None of the above since she's not exactly a legal person. Her eyebrows knit together, worried, as she follows his gaze to the door and chews on her lip.

Resting her palms flat on the cushion, she wrestles against gravity to pull herself to a sitting position. the labor leaves her a little breathless and trying to catch her wind. "I won't let him shoot you, promise. I'll uhm.. sort of flop in the way." Her lips twitch a little again; her very small, self depreciating joke an attempt at making him smile as well.

His forehead furrows as if her worry is contagious. "I … wouldn't worry yet, but if you want me to call around to hospitals or sommat, I can," he murmurs, glancing up at her before down at the phone.

D's worried for u, msgd me. Im here with her now, will find someone else to stay with her, leave asap. Let me know if u are ok or need assistance.

He lifts his eyes to her and arches a brow. "You been alone since afternoon? You get any dinner or anything in you?"

Craning her head to get a backward glimpse of the kitchen, Delia lets off a short sigh and shakes her head negative. "Wasn't thinking about food," she says quietly. Uncurling her fingers slightly, she looks down at her palm and then back up to Nick, pursing her lips in concentration. "No, don't call. I don't want to feel stupid if he walks in. I already— " She shrugs slightly and averts her gaze the slow blush creeping to her face.

"I already feel stupid enough most of the time," the redhead finishes her thought without looking at him. Her chest expands as she takes a deep breath inward, gathering the courage to turn back toward him. "Nick, I uhm… " She reaches for his hand with the one she has balled into a loose fist.

The text is already sent, but Nick doesn't tell her that, simply slipping the phone into his pocket. "Don't feel stupid. S'good that you worry for him. And he shouldn't've left you, even if you had a fight. But here's a secret. Guys are dumb wankers sometimes, yeah?" He gives her a crooked smile, before glancing down at the hand reaching for his.

He lifts his hand, palm upward to her, as if asking for a dance or her hand to kiss, if this were another century. Blue eyes move back to seek hers, and a brow tics upward.

What drops from Delia's palm into Nick's, is a silver chain with a silver medallion hanging off it as a pendant. The medallion itself is an unusual design, hand made; a tiny figure of a holy man, St. Jude, is hammered into the center of a flat piece, silver scrollwork in the shape of a crude heart outlines it. The piece of jewelry is hot, as though it's been pressed into her hand for quite sometime.

"I got you a present," she whispers, meeting his blue eyes with her own. "It's.. I know you're not religious.. you told me.. but.. this is special." Her stammered explanation of the medallion is accompanied by a face as crimson as her hair, perhaps even moreso. "It's St. Jude, he… I got it for you be— " she gulps in a large breath to stave her nervousness. "I got it for you because— It's— I— " Whatever reason she had, it's gone from her head at the moment.

Nick stares down at the necklace in his palm for a long, long moment. At first his face is impassive, but the brows knit together and his lips part, before closing again. A muscle twitches in his jaw. He swallows, adam's apple bobbing up and down.

He traces the outline of the figure with his thumb. Somewhere in a distant memory, he remembers a prayer: St. Jude, help of the hopeless, Aid me in my distress.

His hand curls around it, and he nods once, then clears his throat. "Thank you," comes out in a gruff whisper, his brows twitching again into a scowl, pale eyes weary, ancient, as they look back up at her.

"Don't…" he begins, and his rough voice cracks a little. He stands up, shoving his hands into his coat pockets. "Don't let me come between you and him, Red. I ain't worth it, and you just found him."

The phone comes out again. "I'm going to see if Brian can come."

"Turn it over," she murmurs as he gets up and stands above her. "I'm not letting you come between my brother and me, Nick." Her words are frustratingly slow to form into proper sentences and come out, but at least they make more sense now. "Not because you don't think you're worth it, but because I'm an adult. If he doesn't like my friends, I can move. Somewhere." Places to pick from are few and far between, especially ones that can accommodate her, but there's always somewhere.

"I understand, Nick, why you're… Why wou're always pushing me away." She pauses for a second to reach her hand out to catch him by the coat or whatever piece of material is within reach. "But you said you were my friend and I said I would always be yours. That makes you worth it to me."

There is that telltale tension in his jaw as Nick looks away from her, hand going back into the pocket he'd shoved the necklace, to turn it over.

With Love, Czerwony

Love. His pale eyes seem bluer with the sudden rush of tears that are blinked back as soon as they come to the surface, and they dart from one spot to another, left to right, anywhere but her face.

He takes a step back toward the door. "This is his house. I need to respect that. And you deserve better. Better friends. Better… people to rely on. I'll 'elp you if you need me, if you're in real trouble. You know I will. But you need them more'n you need me. Family…" Nick's voice breaks and his eyes narrow with frustration at his own emotion.

"Family's important. You have a good one. I'm not gonna screw it up, yeah?" He already ruined the one good relationship he had in his own family.

"I can't… I'm gonna go call Brian. I'll be here… in the building, okay? You're not alone. Just… I need to respect your brother's wishes." Nick finally looks up at her, pain in his face, hurt and apology in his eyes.

The moment his eyes meet hers, she drops her head down in guilt. "I'm sorry… I did it again, didn't I?" Her words are as choked and broken as his, unfortunately, she's just not as good at quelling the waterworks as he is. A slight jerky nod is all he receives in answer to his request for freedom of the apartment.

Looking away, Delia draws her legs up to hug them tightly to her chest and rest her cheek against hr bony knees. There's a sniffle before she wipes one of her eyes against her sleeve. "Please don't leave until he gets here? I won't ask anything again, I promise… I just… I.." don't want to be alone again. "I won't even say anything, I'll stay as quiet as a mouse. You won't even know I'm here."

"Don't… don't cry," he whispers, pleads really, and he takes a step toward her, one hand lifting before it drops again. The words quiet as a mouse remind him of someone else's words, in the far distant and yet not at all distant past, and he closes his eyes again. If he'd been able to do what he had set out to do that night…

He wouldn't even be here. He wouldn't know the fragile but determined redhead in front of him.

Nick sighs and sits on the coffee table facing her. "Shh. You didn't do anything wrong. It's okay you called me. I'm glad… I'm glad you feel you can, that you trust me," he murmurs, offering a sad smile. "But I gotta respect that he don't, yeah? At least while you're here. I … if I don't, if I push that, then I'm not bein' a good friend to you. It'd be selfish. Y'see?"

The phone is finally glanced down at, more buttons pushed.

Russo's awol; need you to watch Delia. She's scared. Can't stay.

Nodding again, Delia sits up and then reaches across to wraps her arms around Nick's shoulders in a hug. She rests her head against his shoulder, not saying anything just to keep her word, and yet she doesn't let go either. That's a promise she didn't make. When she does draw back, her lips are pressed into a thin and quite tight line as though she's forcing herself not to speak.

Nick's right, she's a regular chatterbox because she can't keep quiet for too long. With too many questions and not enough time to ask them, she grimaces and ekes out, "You'll wear it? To keep you safe? And I'll see you again when I'm not here? You promise? Will you text so I know you're okay? I won't bother you… I won't do anything… Just, you make me want to get better."

His hands come up to give her a quick return hug before dropping again. His lips curve into another half smile; though humorless, it is sincere, and all for her. He reaches into his pocket for the trinket, and brings his hands to his neck to put it on, the silver gleaming against the black of his coat and the gray of the sweater beneath before he tucks it inside, against his skin.

"I wouldn't expect it to keep me safe, Czerwony, but it'll make me feel better to know someone'll care when I'm in trouble, yeah?" Nick says softly.

Not if, but when. With Nick Ruskin, it's a given that there will be another time that trouble finds him, or vice versa.

He gives a wary glance at the door, as if expecting a shotgun-wielding Russo to come through. The door is locked, however, so there'd at least be the warning of a key.

He reaches to take her hands, squeezing each, then leans forward, brushing his lips lightly against her forehead. "You couldn't bother me if you tried."

A knock on the door is his exit cue. "Brian's here."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License