What's My Lesson?


satoru_icon.gif tuck_icon.gif

Scene Title What's My Lesson?
Synopsis Toru goes to ridicule Tuck, who ends up knowing how to fight back.
Date June 19, 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.

And so it is that for whatever reason, Toru has decided to hunt Tucker down and decided that going to the Pawn Shop would be a wise decision. He chooses early afternoon today as a likely place for the place to be open and, hopefully, not terribly crowded, and even goes so far as to enter the business like a reasonable person - that is to say, he doesn't slam the door, and isn't dragged in by a crazy man with a chainsaw for an arm. Even if that does make for a good entrance. Once inside, he gives a look around, and makes a beeline for the store counter.

It's been a quiet afternoon, which is why Tuck's been taking the time to re-stock. Many of the shelves are in various states of organization, and the main bulletproof glass window is open so as to facilitate easy passing of merchandise. A buzzer sounds in the back to tell him that someone's out front. He calls out, "One minute!" and then there's a curse and the sound of fumbling. Tuck appears with a boxload of stuff that he sets on the counter.

"And what can I do f -" He stops dead and backs up, then eyes the open glass. "Aw. Fuck."

Crossing his arms, Toru waves a hand dismissively. "I ain't here for that, yo." And, pause. "Or that." No boning today, nor any boning. Maybe later. "I ain't got no beef with you, G, I got what I needed and we all good now, aight? Anyway. Come t'talk t'you 'bout stuff." And it is at this point that he puts his hands on the edge of the counter, leaning foward. "You gay or somethin'?"

That whole blurb just leaves Tuck staring at Toru. It really is pretty funny looking. One brow is raised, his lips are pulled into a thin line. He's glasses-less, which reveals more of his face than usual. "Wh…what?" He waves a hand. "Hang on, hang on." Another pause, then, "Nnnno, I don't even know how to begin with clarification questions there."

Rolling his eyes, Toru returns to his upright stance. Arms half-lifted as he looks up a moment with a mixture of irritation and disbelief. "Ahh, man. Can't make this easy, huh?" He shakes his head, shrugs. "Someone got it in their head that they figure I'm into dudes, which I ain't," yep, he's still playing the denial angle, "and said somethin' about not wantin' to end up like you. So I figured I'd come by and see what 'e was talkin' about."

"Kiddo, you really shouldn't go listening to Staten Island rumours. It'll get you into trouble." Tuck really wishes the glass was closed. Not so much because he thinks Satoru will hurt him (though there's that) but also because it would put a very physical barrier between them.

"Isn't that the newest insult these days? Kids calling each other gay? Or does gay mean cool? I can never keep track." He is pretty good at keeping calm, though the pawnie is shifting his weight a little more and folding his arms across his chest. Squirrelly, would be a good word for it.

"Look, man, you may have like thirty years on me or whatever, but I ain't no kid. An' maybe whoever I was talkin' to didn't mean yer gay, maybe they just figured I'd go and end up like you anyway on accounta other.. factors." Toru shrugs, waves a hand. "Leastwise when you're callin' someone gay you don't usually make it out to sound like you really mean it, they just usually mean 'stupid' or somethin'. That ain't the point—" He blinks, shaking his head. Got off-track for a minute there! "Anyway. Dude. You think I give a shit either way? I just wanted to see what they meant by not endin' up like you." He just came to see how pathetic Tucker is, apparently.

Tucker is sitting in a pawn shop on a forgotten island, with an estranged son and friends that would just as likely stab him as help him. The pathetic is fairly obvious, sexuality aside. He's alone and will remain alone because he constantly lies to himself and everyone. The cautionery tale isn't hard to see.

"What…do you want me to do? Say? You want me to give you a…a stay in school, don't do drugs speech? Kid, I was a lot like you once. How's that? Real tough guy. Big man, running with the big boys. Felt like I belonged. But that shit gives you enemies, and if your friends all get taken down, then you're left in the lurch." He shoves the box of things aside. "You want to be anything in your life other than a thug? Well then yeah, maybe you should look at me and see where being a thug gets you. Either this or dead."

He's…not really sure where that came from. Probably a speech for Rocket he never got a chance to deliver.

"Jeez." The lecture, while topical, unfortunately doesn't hit Toru with any sort of significance. Rather than take it seriously at all, he just sighs, runs a hand through his hair, and lowers his hands to his sides. "Man, I hate it when adults do that 'dude you better repent if you want a good life' crap. See, there you go, there's something I don't want to grow up to do." Frowning, he runs that hand through his hair again, and turns in profile to the counter. "You're right, though, I dunno why I even bothered coming over here."

"What did you…expect would happen, huh?" Tuck sounds genuinley interested in the answer to that question. He rests one elbow on the counter and his chin on his hand. He regards the young man across from him levelly. "I'm not telling you to go straight," ha ha. He doesn't even catch that. "…just don't be stupid about it."

"I.. dunno." Toru admits this, although hesitantly. Hands get shoved into his pockets, toe is scuffed along floor. "I guess I figured I'd come over and make fun of you and then feel better about the choices I've made in life, or somethin'." He did, however, catch that 'straight' comment, intended or not, and adds, "And I don't need you to tell me to go straight, I am straight. I already told you that. You hidin' somethin?" Irony, there.

"Come make fun of me? For what?" Tuck tilts his head. He seems more relaxed now, even though the glass is open. When Toru gets all defensive, he holds up a hand. "First off? If you want to have any secrets? Don't go denying the hell out of things whenever anyone makes the vaguest of accusations, or anything that sounds like an accusation. You out yourself in a second when you deny like that. And don't act like a damn homophobe, all right?"

See, he's not admitting anything, but he is offering some sage fitting-in advice. "You go make a point of telling people you're straight and you'll get gang beaten in a back alleyway."

This is the part where Toru actually does listen, in an unintentionally obvious way. Ears perked, any sort of argument saved for the end. There are, of course, arguments - while he's listening, it does tend to take time for lessons to sink in. "Right, sure, whatever, don't argue. It ain't gotten me beat up before, yo, so I figure I'm aight. And anyway, what if I am a damn homophobe, huh?" That much, at least, is an accurate descriptor. Kind of sad, really. "You think I like bei— the idea of bein' into dudes? It ain't right, man."

"Then you'll spend your life hating yourself and feeling guilty every time someone makes you feel good. Have fun with that." Not that Tuck's constant fear is any better. They both have bad approaches. He tugs out a pack of cigarettes and lights one with practiced motions. He hesitates to give more advice, because that would mean being open and frank about his own sexuality. And that's not something he's willing to do. The world of crime is don't ask, don't tell. Maybe less than it used to be, but he's been going at things a certain way, and he's too chicken to try and change.

He takes a puff from the cigarette and regards the young man frankly through a cloud of smoke.

"Dude. How many times I gotta tell you, I ain't gay?" And yes, he probably does realize, somewhere, the irony of insisting this right after being told that it just makes him look more guilty. Toru never really entered the stage of emotional development where you learn that denying everything doesn't make it go away. "This is all just fuggin' hypothet—how come you know so much about this anyway, huh?"

This is where the sneer comes in. Arms are crossed again, body language challenging. "You know all those fancy tricks from experience? Maybe that's what whoever-it-was meant when they said I don't wanna be like you."

"Look. Kid." Tuck takes another puff from his cigarette before continuing. "You can't rile me up like we're eight and on a playground. Call me whatever you want. I don't give a fuck. I'm still going to feel sorry for you. Have fun with the self-hate and the snarking at other people to make yourself feel better." It only makes you feel a little better. Trust Gil. He knows.

"Now. Are you going to buy something, or are you going to continue to ask my opinion and then deny that you like cock?"

At that last accusation, Toru blushes a rather bright red, stammering for a second or two, but then, rather suddenly, turns back to the counter, getting as close to it and Tuck as he can, and reaches out to grab at the front of Tuck's shirt, pulling him forward if he can. Other hand comes up in a fist, and he glares at the older man threateningly. "Who the fuck do you think you're talking to, man?"

Tuck lets him. He isn't sure why. He's by no means a weak man, and there's a gun within easy reach. One hand does go that way, just in case Toru decides to pull the bone trick again. "I think I'm talking to someone who is a fucking lot more like me than he'd ever want to admit." His words are surprisingly calm. "You don't think I said some of the same shit you are now? Didn't beat the shit out of a few people who even looked at me funny? I know what's going on inside your head." His brows arch.

But, in the end, Toru doesn't actually go for the hit. Or the bone trick. He instead opts to just shove Tuck away - not even all that hard - and backs off from the counter. "You know what, just - " Furtive glances around the shop betray a slight hint of - panic? "Stop thinkin'— you don't know me, dude, so don't you go actin' like you know me. Leave me the hell alone!" And, as if it was Tuck's fault he was in the shop in the first place, Toru throws out that accusation, then turns and storms out of the store, slamming the front door on his way out.

"Truth hurts, doesn't it, Bones? And you came to me," says Tuck to Toru's retreating back. It's just loud enough for him to hear. He smiles, but the smile only lasts a second before he clears his throat. That dredged up a lot of his own insecurities. He reaches over to push the glass closed. Yikes.

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