Thrick Or Threat


tuck_icon.gif satoru_icon.gif

Scene Title Thrick or Threat
Synopsis Toru shows up to strongarm Tuck, as is usual. Treats are briefly alluded to but immediately dismissed.
Date July 22, 2009

Tucker's Pawn Shop

Every shelf, every flat surface in the entire shop is covered with things. VCRs, DVDs, small pieces of machinery, cheap jewellery - all the kind of stuff worth little money. It's the merchandise that's not worth protecting, even here. If someone wants to steal a VHS copy of 'The Little Mermaid,' then so be it. The primary purpose of the clutter of items is a front - to distract from the fact that the real purpose of the shop is to sell stolen, high-value goods.
The front part of the shop with its knick-nacks and assorted low-value items is separated from the high value items by a counter and a layer of bulletproof glass. There is a slot beneath the window for exchange of money or small goods. At the base of the counter is a chute for larger items. Surveillance cameras keep a vigilant watch over every square inch.
There is a small arsenal of weapons up on a pegboard above the counter. Not just guns but knives, tasers, pepper spray, handcuffs, nightsticks, brass knuckles - all sorts of things meant to cause pain. There's a rotating case at the counter that holds many expensive jewellery pieces, including a few Rolexes and a large assortment of engagement rings. There are expensive cell phones, iPods, laptops and other various small electronics, including listening devices and CB radios. Just about anything worth stealing is displayed behind the glass and up on the walls. Many items however, are by special request. You gotta know what you're looking for.

Tucker's Pawn Shop is a little worse for wear, but open again. There's a note on the door that says that most merchandise of value is stored off-site and that it will take a few days for wanted items to be delivered. But that's all he can really do, given the fact that the shop isn't particularly secure.

What is secure is the bulletproof glass window. Tuck's currently behind it and is puttering just towards the back room. "Yeah well, I don't exactly have a regular deliver—" He's on the phone. He rubs the bridge of his nose, then his whole face. "Vince, man. Don't break my balls here. I can't keep shit in the Rookery right now. I'd get robbed in thirty seconds."

Toru, of course, always arrives at times like these - it's some kind of instinct with him, really. He stands outside the door of the shop for a moment, actually waiting to enter - though that's less for concern about Tuck's phone call, which he probably isn't even aware of, and more out of some sort of indecision.

He's wearing baggy pants, today, and a wife beater. No eye-liner. Ultimately he does enter the shop at a bit of a brisk walk, but does halt awkwardly once he sees that Tucker is … on the phone. And thus he instead browses, 'nonchalantly'. One of his front pockets hangs a bit, and there is the vague outline of a handgun.

After incidents lately involving bodyswapping and boning and general pain, Tucker has learned to stay behind the closed layer of bulletproof glass while the shop is open. He walks up to the counter and stops to write something down. Then he looks up and catches sight of Toru. His lips purse into a thin like. "I'll call you back."

Before the man on the other end of the line can protest, Tuck hangs up. He sits himself down on the high back barstool and folds his hands together. "What do you want?"

Looking up at that question, Toru turns his attention back to Tuck, heading over that way and leaning against the counter, bent forward at a low angle, arms folded along the countertop. "Same thing I want mosta the time I'm here, yo." He shrugs, gives a quick look around. "Seems you gotta thing for takin' Mr. Logan's stuff, am I right? Somethin' came missin' and I'm here to get it back, we figured you'd be the one to take it."

"And what makes you say that? There's a chance whatever it is ended up here, but that doesn't mean I took it. I'm a pawn shop, sport. People sell me stuff they salvage or find. I'm not a thief." Tuck of course, knows exactly what Toru is referring to. But he is a pretty damn good liar. "If you tell me what it is, and I have it, I'll sell it to you."

Sighing, Satoru pinches the bridge of his nose, shakes his head. "No, no, no, no, no." His tone gets increasingly irritated with each repetition, and he waves a hand dismissively. "That ain't how this goes down, homes. You run a pawn shop and all, sure, but you're also the kinda guy to go dig up shit that ain't yours. You're profitin' on the misfortune of others!" He waves that hand again. "And if I tell you what it is and you took somethin' else, too, you're just gonna gimme what I asked for and keep whatever."

"Profiting off the misfortunes of others. Hmm." Tuck taps a finger on the corner of his mouth. "Who else does that? Oh, oh I know," a snap, "John Logan. Don't you go preaching morality at me, cupcake. It's not going to work. If Logan wanted to keep me in his pocket, he should have thought of that before he sent you to collect on the debt. I don't owe him shit. And he has no empire anymore, nothing he can give me."

"Hey, tovarich, not true." Toru steps back, holding his hands up in a defensive posture. "Logan profits off the fortune of others. Dude ran a brothel, yo, I don't see how people should be so quick to get on 'is case. You'd think you'd wanna be on the good side of that guy." A pause. "Okay, maybe not you, I guess, so whatever, point is eventually you gonna leave yer cage there so even if he can't give you nothin', he who giveth can taketh away and all that, right?" He hooks his thumb under one strap of his shirt, tugging at it idly. "So how's about we get back to negotiatin' and no more sassin' the boss, huh?"

"Man, he's really got to you, hasn't he? I've seen people under Logan's thrall before, but you really think he's hot shit." Tuck's brows raise. It's more…odd pity than an attack to his tone. But his expression turns businesslike again soon enough. "Tell me what it is he wants to start. We'll go from there. And I'll stop badmouthing Logan if you stop threatening me, all right?" He still has favours he can call in with dangerous men if he thinks Toru is a real threat. Not that the kid knows that. Not yet, anyway.

Not that he's a real threat, anyway. At least not yet — maybe someday. "Whatever, homes, I just don't get why all the hatin'." Really, a lot of it is that he's ignorant to much of what Logan's done in the past, though Toru is a sadist-in-training himself regardless. He clears his throat, sets both arms on the countertop again, holds his hands together. "Like I said before, though, how do I know you don't got more than just the one thing I'm askin' about? You can just hold on to everything else while I leave with just one thing." Beat. "Or am I supposed to 'trust you'?"

"I don't see that you've got any other choice here. You can tell me what it is you're looking for and maybe walk out of here with something. Or you can keep posturing and walk out of here with nothing. It's your choice." Tuck tugs a cigarette out of its pack, pinches it between his lips and lights it.

Narrowing his eyes, Toru lowers his head a bit, pinches the bridge of his nose. "F— Fine. Whatever. Okay." He sighs, rolls his eyes none-too-subtly, and gestures with one hand. "Box, like yea big. I'unno what's in it, magic fairydust or some shit, whatever. Locked. Lockbox, that's the word. You got it?"

"I need to know what you want from inside," says Tuck. It's hard to tell if he has what Toru wants, or he just has a way to get it. He may not succeed at many areas of life, but when it comes to the crime and pawnie business? Forget about it.

Toru waves his index finger back and forth. "Ah ah ah. I want the box, homes. You tellin' me you been snoopin' around in Mr. Logan's private stuff? I can't thinka any reason why anybody'd want anythin' in a box like that 'less they were plannin' on tryin' to screw 'im over." He pauses, frowns, thumbs at his jaw. "So maybe you oughtta rethink what'cher implyin'."

"I'm not implying anything, Bonerella. Anything on the Dagger's property is salvage, became salvage when your boss abandoned it. This is Staten Island. We have our own rules here. And, unlike most of the island," Tuck sorts out a few things on the counter idly. "I don't hold any particular grudge against him. Before he sicced you on me, I thought we had an understanding and a business relationship. He didn't mind me in his pocket, and I didn't mind being there."

A slow, wry grin spreads. "It's not such a bad place to be. You understanding." Implication, maybe? Or just taunting? He lifts a shoulder. "Even what he had you do. It's business. Not the smartest move as it turns out, but nothing personal. And neither is this. Just. Business."

Toru slams a fist on the counter, leans in closer to — the bulletproof glass. Right. Nonetheless, he does look rather irritated with some phrasing or another. "We didn't abandon shit, man, get yer facts straight. Some motherfucker torched the place, if you didn't notice! Are you not getting this?" He sighs, pinches the bridge of his nose, looks down for a moment and then resumes eye-contact. "Okay, look, man, only reason he even had me do that bone shit was some kinda test thing to see if it'd work, y'know? I fixed it, you're alright, and if you'd gimme the damn box I'd be outta your shit by now."

Tuck doesn't even flinch at Toru's fist-slam. "Your problem is, you expect a code of honour, a code of conduct and law that exists in the outside world to exist here." His tone of voice is oddly flat. "It's something that Logan should teach you. Someone torched the place because Logan made too many enemies. Logan made too many enemies because he didn't play it smart and let his jollies get in the way of business. That's justice on this island. There's no such thing as simple misfortune."

He inclines his head. "I have a business to rebuild. I can't afford to be giving away anything to a man I owe nothing to, who can give me nothing in return. Do you understand my position?"

And again, Toru pinches the bridge of his nose. He's growing more and more frustrated with the conversation and, to an extent, with life in general at this particular moment. He closes his eyes, snorts with irritation, taps his index finger in the center of his forehead a moment. "Well it's like I said before, this is less a matter of what you're going to get and more a matter of what you can avoid if you gimme the damn thing."

And then rather abruptly, he leans on the counter again, getting in a bit closer to the glass, head tilted just a bit. "You want me to get on my knees and beg or something?"

That turn of tactics has Tuck looking at Toru like he just grew an arm out of his forehead. "Nnnno. I was hoping Logan would have been smart enough to send you here with more to offer than 'it's miiiine and I want it back,'" He imitates a nasal wine on the second bit. "It's called haggling, sport. But it seems you're playing with empty pockets."

"This," Toru notes, with some exasperation, "would be a lot more effective if you weren't in your little cage there." He slips a hand into his pocket, pulling the handgun out of it, and sort of waves it around a bit. Nothing too hazardous, just showing it off a bit. "I wasn't planning on havin' to use this thing, y'know, but ya got a real way of makin' a guy get annoyed, y'know?"

However, the gun is set on the counter — though he keeps a hand on it — and Toru bites his lip. "I dunno if you even got the box anyway. I ain't makin' an offer if you ain't coughin' up the goods." He jabs the counter with the index finger of his other hand. "All of 'em. You shouldn'ta friggin' opened it. And even if I dunno if you're pullin' a fast one, Mr. Logan will, so keep that in mind too."

"This would be more effective because you'd turn me into a fucking bone statue and rob me blind. You haven't exactly shown yourself to be a fair dealer, kid. That's why," Tuck taps the glass. "And you let your emotions get in the way of your work. It's really not a good sign for your future." He seems serious on that regard. It's not just a taunt.

"You don't seem to realise your position, kid. You don't have anything to bargain with. And I still have favours to call in. I still have connections. If you hound me too much, you'll wake up one night with a bullet in your skull. Now," his brows lift. "I don't really want to do that, because I think you're just a mixed up kid who hasn't earned his gangster shoes. But if you keep threatening me like you think it's going to work, then we're going to have a problem. The way this game works is you offer me something, even if it's promises for future favours. And then I decide whether or not I want in on the deal. You don't just shoulder your way in here and strong-arm me into doing what you want. Unless you have an empire and some very powerful friends, that's not the way it works. I'm not giving you the fucking box because it's the 'right thing to do.' If you think the world operates like that, you're in the wrong line of work. "

Toru rolls his eyes, lifts the gun again, and makes a show of putting it back into his pocket. "Look, bitch, did I not just say I wouldn't offer you anything until you prove you even have the box? I ain't gonna offer nothin' 'til you show me you got it." He punctuates this with another jab on the counter. "Aight? Show me the goods and I make you an offer and we'll go from there." And after a pause, wherein he seems to remember something, he adds, "And I ain't no kid, okay?! I'm twenty fucking years old!"

"If you're not a kid, stop acting like a kid who is throwing a tantrum because he doesn't get cookies before bed," says Tuck in a deadpan tone. Funny, he deadpans a lot around Toru. "Do you even know what the box looks like?" Both brows arch.

"Look, man, I'm standin' here gettin' dicked around by some gay Jewish guy who won't let well enough alone and lemme take somethin' back to my boss what belongs to him and wouldn't even have anything in it that anybody'd want to buy, you're fuckin' pissin' me off here, man!" Toru takes in a deep breath, closes his eyes, and grips the edge of the countertop. "It's. A fuckin'. Box. It looks like a box. It probably has ashes and shit on it, on accounta havin' been in a fire. You know what I'm talkin' about. Stop dicking me around!"

"You're the one who's wasting my time," says Tuck. He leans forward on the counter and peers at Toru. He's not wearing his glasses, for once. "The box was full of very expensive jewelery, some of which I've already sold. To pay for the wall that's crumbling because of Logan's bad business management. I figure he owed me to pay for my repairs, since it's his fault half the Rookery got singed."

That particular admission has Toru running a hand through his hair, stopping to pull at it. He grits his teeth a minute, closes his eyes, and lets his arms fall to his sides. "Christ, this is not going to go well." Stepping back from the counter, he walks in a slow circle, mutters to himself, and finally turns back to the counter. "That," he replies, "Was not a good idea. This ain't over." And with that, he goes to depart.

"Kid," says Tuck. He reaches underneath the counter and pulls out a small bag. He tugs out an expensive looking necklace and holds it up to the window, then slides it back into the pouch. "I'm giving you this. But you owe me. And if you don't retract that 'this ain't over' shit, then I'm going to have to call out one of my friends. And you do not want that." The Russian Mob aren't exactly friendly fellows, and he still has quite a few friends. He just doesn't call them in unless he really needs to.

Toru does turn back, at least, just before reaching the door. Striding back to the counter, he takes the necklace, looks it over, and slips it into his empty pocket. And looks Tuck over. "Man, you don't know nothin' about me. D— Do you even know my name, dude?" Though before Tuck can answer, he lifts a hand to silence him. "I'll be comin' back for the rest of the shit, how I get it is entirely up to you. You got that? It ain't a threat 'less you plan on not cooperatin'."

"Don't threaten me, kid. And that is a fucking threat." Tuck's tone grows darker, more aggressive. "I'm giving you warning that you set one foot on this island and think you're just going to beat it out of me, you'll end up with your face down in the Hudson. I've been here twenty years. I know everybody. Every sleazeball, boatman, bartender, thief and cutthroat. I call in a few favours and if you're lucky, you won't find anyone to bring you over. If you're unlucky, well." He lifts a shoulder.

"If you really want to do business with me, you'll come over here with something to offer. Do you think I would have survived here this long if people could just beat me around until they got what they wanted?"

"Look, man, you keep goin' on about business decisions and all that, I'm just gonna give you a couple days to make yer own decision." Toru shrugs, waves a hand flippantly. "Whatever you decide, that's how things'll go down. You wanna be stubborn, that's yer own problem, but if you wanna deal, we can deal. I'll see if Mr. Logan has anything he wants to offer for a box half-fulla stolen jewelry." He tugs the necklace out of his pocket, looks it over, and swings it idly from one hand before returning it to his pocket. "Maybe we can do lunch."

Tuck displays his teeth in a wide smile. "I like Italian. Two on Friday good with you?" Brows arch, head tilts. "Have a good day now, sport. Enjoy the afternoon." He makes a motion with his hand.

Toru smirks. "I'll check my datebook. Lotta shit goin' on this week." Hands are thrust into pockets and he turns, striding towards the door. "Shakin' down a buncha jerkoffs, y'know." He shrugs on his way out, pulls the door open and steps outside.

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