2007-04-01: I Missed You Like Crazy (I'm Thinkin' Burritos For Dinner)

Starring:

Nima_icon.gif Lee_icon.gif

Guest Appearance:

Desiree_icon.gif

Summary: After the mysterious disappearance of their parents 3 years ago, the twins are forced to accept that their father is alive… and seemingly responsible for a whole lotta awful.

April 1st, 2007

I Missed You Like Crazy (I'm Thinkin' Burritos For Dinner)


The Secret Lair - East Village, NYC

PHONE: Your phone begins to ring. The Caller ID says 283-3394.

PHONE: Nima cheerfully answer the phone, "Secret Lair."

PHONE: Desiree says, "Hiii-ya. Um, this is Desiree, Desiree Russo — I was at your shop when we were… uhm, not breaking in… that time…"

PHONE: Nima actually sounds rather amiable. "Oh. Hi, Desiree. How've you been?"

PHONE: Desiree doesn't sound particularly convincing when she says, "Gooooood." But she carries right along! "So, you know that man who tried to set fire to your store? Well, Ramon wants me to give you somethin' that the guy touched 'cause of fingerprints or. Somethin'. I got it here."

PHONE: Nima’s silent for a moment. Maybe she's distracted by a customer. There is some background noise coming from the shop, after all. "He does, huh?" Although her voice remains dulcet, her tone is perhaps a bit more guarded. "How is Ramon, anyway? I hope he's feeling better."

PHONE: Desiree says, "He is, he woke up and he's okay. I— do you want me to drop this off to you? It's a, a needle. Hypodermic. Or, does it go to the police or…"

Lee comes in from the street, yelling at whoever it is, "Same to you, pal!" He still hasn't started smoking again, from his grouchy attitude.

PHONE: Nima wasn't expecting to hear that. "A needle?" Yeah, she's somewhat startled. "Really, it should go to the police, but I…" A look is cast towards the direction of her brother — not that Desiree knows that — and a quiet, "Hey," follows. All of this after Lee yells at someone, "Same to you, pal!" Then, back into the phone, Nima adds, "If you want to drop it off, I can make sure the local boys pick it up. Where… where was it found? And I'm glad to hear that Ramon is okay."

PHONE: Desiree says, "The man who had it was— he was gonna use it on Ramon. Alright, I'll drop it by first thing in the morning, long as it gets where it's s'posed to — I'ma stick around here for a bit. I'll tell Ramon 'bout you bein' glad he's okay."

Lee says, "Hey." He rolls his eyes at the mention of Ramon.

PHONE: Nima nods, which also can't be known by Desiree. "Okay." Lee could easily sense she is deeply troubled. Some of it undoubtedly creeps into her voice, as well. "Thanks, Desiree. I'll see you then. Stay well."

PHONE: Desiree says, "You too! Bye!"

PHONE: The phone call has been ended by the other person.

Lee says, "What's going on? I got your message, came right over." He picks up on the trouble in her voice. "Desiree…one of the ones from the break-in? Is she making some kind of threats to come back around here?"

A moment elapses and Nima hangs-up the shop's phone. Yeah. She's troubled all right. "No," she tells her brother. "I mean, yeah, she is, but, no, she's not." That totally made sense, in her mind. "Ramon found something." Gently, her brow furrows, and then she calls out, "Hey, Tito! I need you to hold down the fort, for a bit." With only a gesture with her head, she indicates for Lee to follow her into the back room.

Lee follows along with her flatfootedly, but close. "Well, what did he find?" he asks.

"She's gonna swing by tomorrow." Desiree, that is. And only once the back door is locked does Nima continue. "A hypodermic needle. I don't know the how or why, but Ramon has it and says the man who intended to burn-down the shop…" Can it really be their dad? "…intended to use it on him."

Lee says, "To do what, give him an injection of gullible? Seems like he has that covered. What is it, Nima?" He scrunches down so as to get direct straight-across eye contact.

"I don't know what but it can't be good." Ill at ease describes the younger of the twins. What if, despite all the other craziness, Ramon is actually right about Billy? Maybe if Lee hadn't actually vocalized the idea, Nima would be feeling better about the situation. It's about to get a whole lot worse, though, because her cell phone rings — and the theme song to "Car 54, Where Are You?" starts to fill the dead air. "Hold on. It's the 9th." Answering, she says, "Hello?"

Lee looks away and nudges a cardboard box full of unsold Guyver figurines, someday to be worth virtually nothing on eBay, "Everything's just been so crazy… I could /really/ use a cigarette…" But he lets her talk.

"Oh, hey." Clearly, Nima knows who's on the line. "How've you been? How's the family?" A pause. A smile. "That's good to hear." A longer pause, the smile fading into something more studious. "Okay…" The expression slowly evolves into confusion, then anxiety. "A-are you sure? I mean, I'm sure you're sure. It's just—" Distress. Deep distress. "No, I… I mean… yeah. Something like that… Nono, I appreciate it. It's just…" It's just that her entire world has been twisted 'til it hurts. "Thanks, Jimmy. I… I appreciate it… Okay. You, too… Bye." The phone is closed and Nima looks as though she just might be sick.

Lee says, "…What's going on?" There's that question again. "Nima, what… it's about Mom and Dad, isn't it? Did they…" Find them?

Numbness is all that prevents those deep blue eyes of her from getting shiny from the threat of tears. For a moment, she's just quiet, trying to settle her thoughts long enough to answer her brother. "The gas can…" Nima looks directly as Lee, distraught. "The prints. They… they found a match." Oh, so distraught. "It's dad." He's alive. She should be elated, right? So, why does she feel so wretched? "They're, uh… they're reopening the case file."

Lee says, "W-What? That's bullshit!" stridenly. "That's… that's /bullshit/!" He turns away from her, runs his hands through his hair. "They're saying Dad came down here to set this place on fire? That doesn't make /any/ sense! He fucking loved this place!" So much so that Lee resented him for it sometimes.

"I-it's a match, Lee. They're certain." Unthinkingly, Nima sits down at the table that's currently covered in inventory. So many thoughts. So many emotions. All of which eventually lead back to things that Ramon had said.

Lee kicks a box as hard as he can, but it doesn't hurt the box, just spins it around a little. He sits opposite her, still can't look at her, anguish on his features. "It's bullshit," he says wanly. "Why would he do that to you? Why would he…" Leave voluntarily. The blood has drained from his face; he is pale, shaky.

Nima doesn't look much better. The usual luminosity about her has been utterly snuffed out. Faintly, she just shakes her head, trying to make sense of something that doesn't make sense. It is a significant moment of silence before she finally asks, confused, "Me? What do you mean me? What about you? What about mom?" Okay, so she's always been a total daddy's girl, and Lee actually pseudo-disowned the family, but still… And, yeah, maybe she's not quite grokking what her brother is getting at, mainly because the intended arson is one of many drowning thoughts in a sea of turmoil.

Lee says, "You're the one still here. He knew that. If he'd wanted to come after me, he'd have to…" Burn down the school. He slowly turns to look at her full on now. "Oh God, he wouldn't, I mean, not even on his worst day…"

Gently, Nima's brow is furrowed and her face has started to turn red like it does when she gets emotional. In no small amount of time, her eyes and nose are bound to be puffy from the crying that is certain to commence at any moment. "Ra-Ramon said something about mind control. Being a puppet…" Maybe it's a far-fetched idea but the alternative simply is too heartbreaking to be acceptable. "You saw the weirdness in the audio file. You /saw/ it!" Please, let it be true. As awful as it is, let this insane scenario of Ramon's be true.

Lee knows what she means, and to a certain degree he's prepared to accept it a bit more. "Aceveda never said it outright to me, but… he thought they left voluntarily. And that never made sense. I always thought… well, never mind what I always thought. It doesn't matter now. What I'm getting at is Dad wouldn't do /this/ voluntarily either. No way."

Even that doesn't make sense. /Why/ would they voluntarily leave? Were they coerced? Whatever will put their parents in the best possible light is what Nima is most prepared to believe, even if it isn't true. The other possibilities just hurt too damn much. And there are the tears, silent, apart from some sniffling. "Look, I-I'm gonna get the building blueprints from the city to see what can be reinforced. I spoke with the boys at the Ladder and they gave me the 411 on how to best fireproof the place." And all its flammable contents. "I'll take out a loan, if I have to." The Lair will be secured, damnit. The woman is determined.

Lee says, "If there's something I can do to help, let me know." Forget the Lair, it's his sister he wants to protect. "I don't have a lot of money, but you know teachers. Off at 3:30 every day and all weekend." He moves to her side to embrace her tightly, hold her head against his chest. His voice is shaky too, his eyes also full of tears. "We'll work it out. We'll work it out. It's not what it seems. It can't be…"

Nima sinks into it and tightly wraps her arms around her brother, planting her head against Lee's shoulder. After all, he's only a few inches taller. "Thanks," she murmurs, meaning it. Another sniffle. Then a few more. "Thank you for coming back. I really missed you." She's missed him since they were 10.

Lee doesn't know how to respond to that. Finally, he says, "It hasn't been easy." He resented coming back on some level, and the effects of it still linger in many places in his life. "But…" He slowly draws a conclusion: "I'm glad that I did. I missed you like crazy. And Mom and Dad, too, even if I was… sort of a dick to them." His voice quivers when he says that. That's pure-mainline guilt, right there, mistreating your parents before they mysteriously disappear.

That hug grows even more fierce. "I'm glad that you're glad." In fact, that really just makes her start to sob a little, complete with body shakes, tears and not-quite snot streaming. Nima looks a total mess, all red-faced and puffy. Some women can pull-off crying. She's not one of them.

Lee cries too, like a complete wuss, or a guy in touch with his feelings. Probably the former. "Well… at least we aren't getting our hopes up!" he finally joshes, squeezing her a bit.

Nima doesn't mind that Lee is crying, even if it may be because he's a wuss. In this instance, she would never consider him such. Any other time, all bets are off. Even so, she adores him. "Hopefully, not to get them dashed!" she laughs a little, through the small sobs. A large sniffle follows, being that her nose is now totally runny.

Lee wipes his tears away with the heel of his hand, then rubs his nose on his sleeve. "Ugh… all right. You reinforce the Lair. I'll call Aceveda and see what we should do about the case. Even if he's not assigned to it anymore, he'll help us out, I'm sure." Action! Yes, that's what they need: action.

"Sounds good," Nima states through another large sniffle, also wiping her eyes dry with one of her long t-sleeves. "I'm thinkin' burritos for dinner. Yeah?" Angst really isn't the Jones way.

Lee says, "Okay. Phew. Works for me. I'll go get us some Mexican beers. I'm calling in sick tomorrow and getting down to work on this." As they leave, they pass a box of Adventures of Amazonia comics, telling them more than they can hear.

"Nah," Nima asserts, not even noticing the horror that is their mother's magnum opus. The crying has stopped but she still sniffles a little from the not-quite snot. "Tequila. Definitely tequila."

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