2007-05-27: Cement Suspicions... and Shoes


Carmine_icon.gif Nadia_icon.gif

Summary: Just a daddy/daughter talk, nothing to see here, NO REALLY.

Date It Happened: May 27th, 2007

Log Title Cement Suspicions… and Shoes

Famous Vito's Pizza

Normally, the pitiful few booths and tables at the front of Vito's are empty. Today? Not so much. Nadia has staked out a booth to herself as she crams for her upcoming semester finals. Her laptop is leeching off someone's unsecured wifi network, and mostly ignored for now as she rifles through notes and a textbook brought along for the ride. Strangely, it's easier for her to focus in this noisy and argumentative environment than a quiet library.

Maybe because it's not unlike home. Who knows?

Carmine is working today, or he was. He finished the books in the back and then was accosted by a cook — something about needing help. There's an argument from the kitchen that's audible out front, where the girl behind the counter (she doesn't look much younger than Nadia) starts to grow uncomfortable. Uhoh. The Organ Grinder's getting miffed. Several sentences of heated and harsh Italian later, Carmine emerges from the back with a scowl and a pack of cigarettes in one hand. He withdraws one of the tobacco cylinders and places it between his lips, then digs about for his lighter as he spots Nadia and heads toward her. "Workin' on being a lawyer?" he grunts as he lights the smoke and takes a deep pull from it.

Nadia mostly ignores the shouts and fighting from the kitchen. It's normal, and sort of comforting. How weird. All part and parcel of growing up a mafioso's daughter one supposes. She looks up at Carmine as he approaches and gives her papa a smile. "Not yet dad, that's next semester. I'm just getting in some extra cramming for an anthropology final. I don't know /why/ that's part of core studies, but, eh. It's interesting." Marking her page with a stack of notes, she shuts her book to give Carmine her attention. "And.. I'm not /sure/ about being a lawyer. You can study law and not be an ambulance chaser."

No daughter of Carmine's would have to chase an ambulance. The family is in enough trouble with the law to need its /own/ lawyers on /retainer/. The accountant slides into the booth on the opposite side of the table and drags over a little sugar-holder to act as his ashtray. Of course, the sugar packets are emptied out beforehand. Damned laws about not smoking in restaurants. "What else would you do with a legal studies degree?" he inquires, lifting an eyebrow curiously. And she'd better not say 'cop'.

Nadia seems to know what her father's thinking, so goes there, "Oh, law enforcement.. I think I'd make a killer cop." That statement, is said so deadpanned, so seriously.. that she can't be joking right? Right?? She waits a few moments before getting a full reaction from her old man, then continues, "There's paralegal studies, legal secretaries.. investigation.. I'm going to look further into the course details and options before I officially declare." A beaming grin is flashed at Carmine, "You have time to talk me out of it."

The ash Carmine was about to knock off the end of his cigarette doesn't fall just yet, because the man freezes when Nadia goes there. He stares at the wispy trail of smoke for a beat, the flex of his jaw and the sudden halt the only indication that such a statement got to him. When he does move again, it's very slowly and deliberately. /Tap/. /Ash/. /Off/. "You," he states in a low and very, very level voice, "are not going to be a cop." Cop /killer/ maybe. Killer cop? /No/.

Nadia looks unphased by Carmine's ire, in fact, she just smiiiles up at him. "Now daddy.. would I do that to you? Disgrace the family and bring shame on generations to come by going cop?" Wait, don't answer that. No telling what kind of brainwashing Brandi put her through following the divorce. "Honestly? I still don't know what I want to do, and in most things I'm pretty focused." Just.. being Carmine's daughter kinda tends to put a wrench in the works of future career ideas.

Which is precisely why Carmine was worried: Brandi. Brandi could have done so many things to his daughter's brain that he just doesn't know when the girl is joking anymore. He relaxes some at the reassurance, but it's not noticeable save to anyone who really knows him. Then again, to anyone who doesn't know him, it didn't appear that he was fazed in the first place. "Well whatever you do, you're not doin' law enforcement. I'm not payin' for your college just so you can run off and do somethin' like that."

"That's okay, I have a backup plan if you pull my college tuition." And no, daddy won't like it. Shifting gears, Nadia folds her arms across the tabletop and leans forward slightly. "So. What were you two fighting about now? I could hear you two from the sidewalk."

Carmine raises an eyebrow at that. One of the reasons he's paying for Nadia's tuition is so she won't have to resort to doing unsavory things in order to get the education she obviously wants so badly — and having been mostly kept from his daughter for most of her growing years, there's a lot he has to make up for. But he doesn't pursue that matter. Instead, he takes another drag from the cigarette and turns his head to blow it more toward the direction of the window than Nadia's face. "Just the usual mindless stuff. Doesn't matter." They made up afterwards, so he has no grudges.

"Uh huh. You two are always fighting about something." Nadia's tone suggests heavily that she doesn't understand the attraction. "And not just yelling/fighting. I know I sure don't want to fight with my boyfriend… or whatever. I got enough of that with you and mom, now /her/." There's a rolling of the eyes then, still a teenaged habit that has yet to be dropped.

Boyfriend? That only brings to mind the suspicions he has about Leo, which causes Carmine to clear his throat softly. "You don't have a boyfriend. You're going to school." She doesn't have time for a boyfriend. Daddy says so. "And /if/ you ever get a boyfriend and I find out he's been fightin' with you, he'd better have insurance." Yes, he means that. Carmine never makes threats that he doesn't intend to follow up on. Another low sigh and he shakes his head, examining the cooling ashes in the sugar holder. "Look, abbacchio, I know that you and Francesca do not get along. There are some things about her that you don't understand, there are some things about you that she doesn't understand. Me and Francesca, we just … that's how we work."

Nadia's brows lift just a little. "Of course I don't. You'd put him in traction if I did have one… that you didn't handpick." And she's aware of what kind of insurance the guy better have. Hrm.. maybe she should warn Leo. He's far too pretty to be meeting with papa's fist. (And too nice.) "Alright." It's daddy's funeral.. and then Francesca's. "I don't understand, I won't pretend to understand. It just makes family dinners a little hard y'know? Oh gee, I think tonight I want to cook for my dad.. wait, can't.. without guns, knives, or whatever being brought into play." Which.. is normal at most family gatherings..

A frown pulls at the corners of Carmine's lips. He knows it's hard. This is why he likes to see Nadia and Francesca separately. The more he keeps them apart, the easier his life will be. It probably doesn't help that Nadia has been poisoned by Brandi's bitterness either. Francesca /is/ significantly younger than Brandi, and he /did/ start seeing her before the divorce. "I wish there was more I could do to bring you two closer together," he mutters, taking one last puff at the cigarette before tamping out the butt in the sugar holder. "I'm afraid to let you two have a shopping day." Then they'd be alone together. Unsupervised. Where he couldn't be there to break up any potentially lethal fights.

"Well… considering I don't have any sort of training in fighting. She's got the upper hand. So.. No offense to you dad, but I don't want a shopping day with her. It'd be World War III, with a lot of hair pulling and scratching.. It's bad enough I humor mom for our shopping dates. In which she complains endlessly about you and she doesn't like that I moved out, blah blah blah." Nadia tries to not sound /too/ peeved at her mother as she says this. This kids, is why she's going with the dorm solution. (The drawback is of course, lack of kitchen and a lot of good home cooking.)

The mention of Brandi doesn't help Carmine's mood any. He doesn't particularly like to talk about his first wife, let alone to his daughter — and he definitely does not like to talk /to/ her. He's done well in avoiding her for years, save the occasional phone call to bitch about alimony. "Yeah, well, your mother and I didn't exactly end on the best terms." Finding out your husband is cheating on you with a woman twelve years your senior is not exactly conducive to an amicable divorce.

"Don't I know it," Nadia mutters. She got that left behind feeling to hear her mother's side. Think Jewish mothers can guilt trip? HA. Try an Italian one. ".. I'll.. try and tolerate Francesca, cause you stay with her." Because she knows if Carmine Selvaggi wants to do away with Francesca, he can and will. (In more ways than one.) She looks down at her text book, laptop and notes, momentarily lost in thought. "Dad.. Look.. I know you don't like me in school, but I feel useless. Okay?" And she won't admit that to anyone but her daddy!

Unfortunately, that is not entirely true. Carmine has lost a lot of fight over the years, and as much as he would sometimes love to /really/ go through with a second divorce, there's just something that inexplicably keeps him pinned to Francesca. In fact, the threat of a divorce from Cesca is the only threat he has not followed up on in his life. Is it love? Probably not. He's too stoic to be in love. Perhaps he just hasn't been pressed enough to really go for that divorce. It's easier not to go through all the hassle, and it's not like he and Francesca don't have their happy moments. But of course, he would never let on about this inability to get away to Nadia.

"Thank you," he intones, smiling a little. And then the subject of school crops up and that smile dies off. He says nothing, poking the dead butt into the pile of ashes idly. He only grunts softly. No. No he really doesn't approve of Nadia going to school, even though he pays for it. He pays for it because it's something Nadia really really wants, and there's that whole thing about making up for time lost.

"C'mon daddy.. don't look at me like that. You're so old fashioned about school. What else am I going to do? The family business doesn't apply to women, Francesca being the exception.. and even if it did, like you'd let me contract hits and run around with the boys." Surly a little? Just a tad. Studying done for now, Nadia busies herself with putting notes back into their folders. "You don't want me to date." Which she does anyway on the sly. "You disapprove of school, so what else am I supposed to do?"

"I don't mind you dating," retorts Carmine, folding his arms on the table and shifting his weight about, "as long as you date good boys." And by 'good' he means 'Italian, nice, respectable, possibly wealthy, and near her age'. "Look, I just … want you to be happy, Nadia. And the family business … it's not for my baby girl. You're beautiful and smart."

Well. Leo meets some of that criteria… three out of five anyway.. They might be safe.. when Nadia and Leo are found out, or 'fess up. Nadia gets up from her seat, moving around to sit next to Carmine, resting her head on his shoulder. "Thank you daddy.. I just know I want more than marriage and pushing out babies every other year or so. And that I hate standing on the sidelines waiting around for news of you.. Leo.. 'Uncle' Mario, Artie Junior.." Artie who is not a junior and Mario who is not an uncle that is.. "Shit, dad, just about anyone we're always working with."

Carmine settles an arm about Nadia's shoulders when she lays her head on one of his. "Watch your mouth." It's a reflexive statement, not terribly upset or angry. He didn't raise his daughter to have a mouth like a public toilet. Nevermind that he, uh, didn't really particularly /raise/ his daughter. Much. "I know you do, I know. You've got a lot of your mother in you, and too much of me." He gives her shoulders a squeeze and plants a paternal kiss on her forehead. "Just promise you won't make the same mistake we did." Whatever that mistake was. He hasn't exactly analyzed What Went Wrong there.

Nadia says nothing for the chastisement on language. Who is he to tell her not to talk like that? She's suuuure he says worse and rather frequently. "So I'm told. Kind of a drawback when both your parents are stubborn Italians." Which.. is redundant to say, isn't it? A cheeky grin is cast up at Carmine after the kiss. "What mistakes were those?" The grin fades a little as she gives her dad a 'bump' against his side. "I'm.. I'll be careful if /that's/ what you mean."

Oh no, no. Dear God no. "/You/ were not a mistake," Carmine states. "Don't you ever think that you were. You were the best thing we ever did." Though they certainly considered it a mistake at the time. Stupid rubbers and their propensity for breaking. "No, our mistake was … we got married too soon and everything burned out after a few years. So you have to be careful."

Nadia gives her dad a hug and a kiss on the cheek. "I know. If you thought that, we wouldn't be sitting here right now and you wouldn't be trying so hard. So don't worry. I'm in no hurry to get married or anything." Seeing how WELL that has gone for some folks she knows.

"Good. But that doesn't mean you should fool around on the side either." Because Carmine doesn't want to hold a shotgun wedding for his baby girl, especially not if the man responsible is not appropriate spousal material. Then again, he'd probably just kill the biological father and find a more suitable partner for Nadia to marry anyway. Carmine Selvaggi is an excellent matchmaker. And that just brings back the suspicions again. Time to address those. "You're really not dating anyone, are you?"

Does random acts of sex and drink qualify as dating someone? Hrm. Nadia fixes her dad with a look about fooling around on the side. There's nothing wrong with it! So long as you're careful! And she's not.. a strict Catholic or anything.. so daddy doesn't need to know about the pill. So much Carmine doesn't need to know.. and speaking of which.. Nadia tries to laugh off the mafioso's suspicions as she pushes up from her seat. "Like I have time for that. C'mon daddy. Don't be silly."

Maybe Carmine missed a lot of Nadia's childhood, but he still has the ability to know when his daughter is lying to him. Hell, he used to (and still does, occasionally!) interrogate people — Carmine /knows/ how to detect a falsehood. He peers up at Nadia, his expression flat, emotionless. "I'm just askin' because you and Leo seemed mighty nervous when I walked into the shop a few days ago. Like maybe you were tryin' to keep somethin' from me." He smiles. It's a mirthless expression. "You wouldn't keep anything from your papa, would you, honey?" It … almost sounds /teasing/.

Nadia probably should learn to look Carmine straight in the eye when bluffing. If she had y'know, been raised by him during the crucial teenaged years, she would know better. Instead what does she do? She packs up her laptop, papers and books. "I wasn't nervous, and y'know how Leo is," she says. "Cause I heard about how he's messed up. Can't blame him for being a little nervous. Although, if he's gonna do more for the family, he'll have to lose all that." The.. well.. that tone is as teasing as Carmine gets, that much, Nadia knows. "Oh come on daddy." OmgshitheknowsbettertellLeotoscramforCanada.

No, Carmine is not buying this. Not for a /second/. And Nadia's denial is only cementing his suspicions — and Leo's feet. Can't have a floater, right? The accountant smiles a little wider, though not much. "I'm just making sure. You know it would be better if you told me about that sort of thing. But if you say there's nothin', there's nothin'!" There's somethin'.

Nadia isn't liking this sort of grilling. Oh no. She looks over straight at Carmine, "What's the big deal? What if I decide to see someone? It's not like I was promised from birth to a Consigliere." Wait. Stop. Rewind, "I wasn't, was I?" Cause, that's just not cool. HORRIBLY old fashioned.. and NOT COOL.

"I told you, I don't mind you dating, as long as you date good boys and keep them from … y'know." From between her thighs. "I just wanna know who's dating my baby, that's all." And so that Carmine can intimidate the hell out of him! He looks out for his daughter. "God, no. There's no consigliere in the world worthy of you, Nadi. I wouldn't have approved such a thing." Ever.
Well. That's a relief. Maybe. Cause.. the denial from Carmine? It's still open ended there. Nadia does however exhale a sigh of relief. It's so weird to have this conversation when she'll be legal to drink in a year's time. Not that.. the little age issue has been a problem for her. "Good. Because I'd run away to Mexico if you had of pledged me to a consiglier.. wait.. no capo or underbosses? If so, I'm packing my bags."

Carmine … actually /grins/. And /laughs/. Both are very brief, but they're there, and they're actually /amused/. "No, no, Nadi, no. You're not promised to /anyone/. I swear to God. I would /never/ do that to you." Sure he's a bit iffy about his daughter attending college, but he's definitely not /that/ old-fashioned. Besides, such things just lead to heartache.
"Good.. because sneaking over the border into Mexico isn't that easy.. and I can't say I'm that fond of the region anyway." Nadia's response is flippant, relieved, and she grins in return at Carmine. "Don't worry so much about me daddy. I'll be careful and the first time some guy tries to knock me around, he's got another thing coming."

Boom. Just like that, any mirth is gone from Carmine's face. He is now Very Serious. "There better not /be/ a first time," he states quite solemnly. Then his expression softens just a bit. "I can't help worrying, honey. That's what I do." That's what fathers always do. A glance over at the back room. "I better get back to the books. You headin' back to school?"

"If there happens to be a first time, I'll beat him up then let you take out a contract on him. How's that?" All packed up and ready to go.. Nadia was intending to stick around to see Leo come in.. and it's.. tempting to stay put for when he does.. Y'know, cause daddy doesn't need to see Leo privately. Besides, she's all packed up now, no excuse to stay really. "Yeah.. some of the girls were talking about a party in the common room. 'Sex in the City' marathon or something like that." She leans in to give Carmine another kiss on the cheek. "I'll call you later? Or maybe show up and interrupt another fight with a lasagna or something."

Carmine grimaces a little at the mention of the show. "Why do you watch that garbage?" Still, it's better than some things she /could/ be doing, so he isn't going to tell her /never/ to watch it. And she's old enough to make that decision. "Unless Cesca's in a mood tonight, you can just drop by." A brief pause to consider before he adds, "… maybe you better call." He never knows when Francesca will be in a mood. /Nobody/ does.

"Hey, it's a fun night with the girls." Where they will all get wasted and wake up with hangovers. Nadia smirks as she shoulders her bag, "Daddy. She's /always/ in a mood. I could call first, but that would spoil the surprise!" And ensuing wacky disfunctional Italian hijinks. "Back to work with you daddy, and your book cooking."

Maybe that's part of the reason that, despite numerous threats of and several trips to the lawyers to /get/ divorce papers, Carmine and Francesca remain together: one of them has enough spark for the both of them. He grunts softly, neither confirming nor denying the theory of Cesca always being in a mood, then he gets to his feet with a sigh, bringing the sugar holder containing the remains of his cigarette with him. "Yeah, back to the books for me. I'll see you later, Nadi. Don't let that trash TV rot your brain."

"Too late papa," Nadia teases as she turns and flounces off out the door.. with probably too much sashay to her walk.

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