They Have No Idea



Scene Title They Have No Idea
Synopsis Russo seeks solitude after manifesting and spending days in DoEA custody.
Date January 25, 2011

New Jersey

The cab ride from 26 Federal Plaza was painful. Getting into the car amid the press, Bradley Russo had been generous enough to issue the photographers his most charming grin. But he hadn’t gone home. Not after he’d called and talked to Rosa. Delia is gone. In a way his responsibility ended when he sent her away for her own safety. Danger always loomed somewhere in the background. Strangely, he made no other calls, silently longing to fall off the map. Even if the DoEA takes blame for what happened, it still happened.

The instruction to keep the meter running was the cabbie’s delight, even when several pit stops were made to their destination. The liquor store had been relatively empty, much to Brad’s delight, the club they’d stopped at even more so. And the convenience store struck recognition with the clerk. All three stops had allowed him to acquire his supplies, all he’d need to forget about the events over the last few days.

After finally stopping in Jersey, Russo pays the man more than necessary with a murmured request for a card and a ride tomorrow— all contingent on the cabbie’s silence. Brad has no desire to deal with reporters. Not today. Not this week. He likes to ask the questions, not answer them. As the cabbie pulls away Russo rubs his nose, giving it a loud sniff before focusing on his bag of tricks. He smirks.

Heavy laden steps carry him down the block. Distrust has been his old friend for some time now, he’d been let off a block from his actual destination— if only to guarantee that silence from reporters— from cameras. He hasn’t room for explanation today, even if he’d wanted to give it. His hands shove into his grey suit pants as he treads up the walkway to her townhouse. Or his townhouse. The yard has fallen into a state of disarray since his last real visit— the one to get Delia clothes and supplies hardly counts— October. Silently, he chides himself.

With a click of the lock, and a turn of the handle, he steps into his childhood home. The drop cloths over the furniture and that dust scent remind him this place is only a shadow of its former glory. Little regard is given to the living room and less to the formerly hallowed halls.

His steps take him up the stairs to the second floor. First door on the right. He opens the door amid a loud creak and peeks into his childhood room. The blue-green paint on the walls has taken to chipping. It’d needed to be painted when his mother was still alive, still living here, but now it needs sanding. Repainting. A project for hands in need of something to keep them busy. A project for another day.

The drop cloth on the bed is tugged off— the quilt she’d made him still rests atop it. He’d left it here in his old room, even when he’d moved out. It’d hurt her. He argued it wouldn’t fit his new bed— a couple sizes up from his small twin. She’d caved. His lips twitch as he runs a few fingers over it, the power of memory only leaving traces of regret, bitterness, and anger.

Near silent, shuffling steps carry him over to another drop clothed piece of furniture. With a single hand he tugs the cloth off, abandoning it to the floor. He rolls the desk chair, turning it so he can occupy it and then lowers his bag of tricks onto the desk. With a faint smirk, the bag is slowly emptied. First, the bottle of Jack’s. He twists the cap and brings the bottle to his lips, letting its warmth overtake his mouth; a familiar feeling too awesome to be ignored. He swallows. “Ahhhh,” his forehead aligns with the ceiling while he leans back in his chair and his eyes close. He’s craved it for two days.

The bottle is brought to his lips again. Normally he’d have gone to the trouble of a glass, but today, alone in this space, there’s no need for dignity, propriety, or culture. No one is here. There’s no one to perform to but himself.

He returns the bottle to the desktop before reaching into the bag again to retrieve the pack of cigarettes. It’s been years since he lit up, but the last few days have left him in want. The plastic is torn, the box is opened, and a cigarette is put in his mouth only to draw a frown. He forgot a lighter. He blinks impatiently but then smirks at himself, opening the right hand drawer of his desk. Ah-ha! His Green Lantern zippo. The symbol draws another smirk and a nearly regretful examination of his hands, but he won’t pass it up; he needs this cigarette.

He’s smoked in here before. She’d caught him, but then in a way he’d always wanted to be caught. With a click of the zippo to open it and a flick of his fingers, the cigarette is lit, issuing that mist of smokey haze into the air. He takes a long puff on the lit cigarette and blows out slowly, erasing his problems in the process. His problems; never his issues.

Another long drag is taken on the cigarette, washing over him like sweet relief. He blows out again. His hand is left to rest on the desk, cigarette skillfully held between two fingers. He’d started smoking because he thought himself a bad ass at fourteen— too cool not to smoke. His mother nipped that in the bud when she found out nearly three years later. Her photo on his desk watches as he takes another drag on the cigarette, prompting him to turn it face down. She doesn’t need to see this, particularly as smoking will never be the worst of his vices.

The brown paper bag is regarded again while Brad puts his cigarette out against his desk— it needs to be restripped anyways, what’s one cigarette burn in wood? Once out, he tosses it in the garbage before taking two more cigarettes, one to place behind each ear. He’ll save them for later easy access.

He takes a deep breath and reaches into the bag again. The vial he extracts is one he’s acquainted with; something he hasn’t done for some time. He’d tried it some time ago. Evo crack. Refrain.

A hand presses to his forehead as he debates his own harm and whether it means anything— he sold his soul today. Mister Neutrality has lost any sense of neutrality in his agreement. He’d sworn to himself he’d die before doing that. He smirks. “Coward,” he murmurs aloud. There is neither strength of conviction nor a deep seated desire to continue on, just the drug, his desire, within his lonely grasp. Here he won’t be interrupted. Here he won’t be found. Not yet. Not today. With a smooth, deep breath, he takes the syringe. This is his practice. This is his relief. This is his demon.

He returns the still-full syringe to the desk. There’s a quiet sigh as he reaches for his pocket to draw out his cell phone. He dials. “Hey.” There’s a long pause, tentative in its reach as he sucks in another breath, “It’s Brad.” He swallows while his eyes clamp shut. There’s another long pause, filled with nothing more than his heartbeat and breath, the person on the other end isn’t even talking, just there. Always there. The disembodied voice. “You’re not going to make me feel bad about this.” He swallows as his free hand reaches for the syringe again. “I already drank anyways. None of it matters. I may as well just take the damned drugs on top of it— “

The person on the other end stays silent which only fuels Russo’s anger. “Fuck you,” he mutters into the receiver. There’s another pause, this time filled with the buzz of another voice, “I’m nowhere. And everywhere. And everywhere at once.” He actually smiles at these words, always finding joy in a cryptic puzzle. So many puzzles. There’s another pause, an implicit question asked, drawing another smile, “I deserve this. You know I deserve this, I know how you’re a junkie for that show I’m on. I know you saw what happened.”

The voice on the other end buzzes and Brad rolls his eyes, “Look I’ll damn well call if I feel like it! That’s why I called, not for any of your saintly bullshit about how everything will look better in the morning. I called because I just thought you’d want to know.. I guess..” the last lacks confidence, he’s questioning himself. There’s some more sage wisdom and Russo clamps his phone shut. “Fuckin’ hippies,” he murmurs before taking the syringe and rolling it between his fingers again.

His phone beeps, alerting him to a new text message. His eyebrows furrow as he opens it again only to smirk at the letters across the screen: Get your ass out of evo prison. Got you packed for Coyote Sands. — K. The words warrant a grin. She had faith all along. Enough to get him packed anyways. Never having had a propensity to text or text language, he goes about his business constructing a message of his own: Out now. We leave tomorrow. He sends it. And then with a softer smile he types again: Love you. Always. He knows Kristen won’t appreciate that kind of sentimentality on her cell phone. And she’d made some boundaries very clear in the course of the business they’d attended to last week, but overnight his life became both more and less complicated. Besides, it seems warranted.

He tucks the phone away, back into his pants pockets and a more mischievous grin plays across his features. “I may be in their pocket,” and then examining the syringe and squeezing to remove any bubbles he smirks, “but they have no idea what that entails.”

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