2007-05-22: Legal Matters


Carmine_icon.gif Leo_icon.gif Nadia_icon.gif Randall_icon.gif


Randall comes to Vito's for a calzone and gets a genuine Italian argument. Nadia wants to major in legal studies and Carmine is hesitant. Leo and Nadia are almost found out by Carmine.

Date It Happened: May 22nd, 2007

Legal Matters

Famous Vito's Pizza

Later in the afternoon, not too much longer after she left Common Grounds and meeting that guy from California, Nadia arrives at Vito's. Her laptop bag is still slung over her shoulder as she didn't go back by her dorm room. That just would have taken too much extra time! The little bell jingles over the door as she enters. Like any normal citizen who enters the pizza joint, she heads straight for the counter, but not to place an order. Nope. She's here to see a particular employee. (And hoping her dad's not in sight.)

Leo is situated in the back alley of Vito's, having ridden his bike back there before actually announcing the fact that he's returned from delivering about five pizzas uptown. He deserves a freaking break, he figures, so he is doing so. And smoking! Not something he actually ever does except when standing around the back alley is kind of awkward if you're not doing anything else.

He's just about to light up properly when the door opens, and someone informs him that that Selvaggi girl has come a-knocking again, that he needs to stop using his work place as a hang out for friends, and stop smoking while on the clock, you dolt. So. Secret hiding place isn't so secret. But hey! Nadia! Pitching the cigarette down the alleyway, Leo abandons his bike there in favour of heading through the store, smiling brightly when he sees her. "Hey," he says, moving around the counter. "Looking for me?"

"Well aren't you just full of yourself?" Nadia quips in return, giving Leo a bright grin when he comes into the front of the shop. "Why would I wanna be looking for you?" There's not a trace of meanness to her tone, not with that grin still on her lips. She glances past Leo towards the back, brows raised questionably. 'Is he here?' her expression asks. And if Leo doesn't get that gist, well, sorry, will have to just sneak off someplace else to be on the safe side.

Daddy is not in sight. Daddy Selvaggi (more informally known as Carmine) is not even in the shop at the moment, otherwise someone would have likely informed him that his daughter was present. Carmine is late to work because last night was hell. He can't even remember what it was all about — it was just One Of Those Nights. He's got one hand wrapped up in bandages where he either put his knuckles through a mirror on purpose or he hit the back of his hand on something in the aftermath. There /was/ a shattered mirror, he remembers that. Whatever the case, he doesn't have any other visible injuries and he really doesn't look the worse for wear. Dressed in his usual suit-without-a-tie and bearing a lit cigarette between his lips, he ambles down the sidewalk toward Vito's with his patented apathetic expression.

"No idea," Leo says, leaning back against the counter with an easy grin. He'd probably react exactly the same way had she meant it, too. At her subtle eyebrow lift and glance, Leo looks over his shoulder, for a moment confused— oh, right. Good point. "He hasn't turned up all day," he says with a shrug, looking back at her, and then a smirk. He reaches out a hand for her to take and draw her closer. GUYS BEHIND THE COUNTER HAD BETTER BE WATCHING. "But hey, back to me, right?"

"Huh. That's a little unusual." By this point in the day? Carmine should have at least put in an appearance! Nadia's then distracted by Leo. Grinning a little slyly, there's no protest put forth as she's drawn in closer. "Hmmm.. what about you?" Crap, there's guys in the back? They better not be watching. If there are, loose lips better not go flapping to Carmine!

As Carmine draws up outside the pizza place, he pauses a moment to finish off what he can of his cigarette. If he's to be dead by the time he's 50, he's got to try his hardest. One, two quick puffs and then he drops the butt, grinds it out with the toe of his shoe, and then turns the knob and pushes the door open. Jinglejinglejingle! announces the bell. Carmine doesn't look up immediately upon entering the establishment. He doesn't spot Leo and Nadia just yet.

Incidentally, the Guys Behind The Counter probably couldn't care less what Leo's up to, so sadly (or perhaps thankfully), no one's around to witness the fact that yes, he has achieved a girlfriend. Ah, well, we can't have everything. "/And/ you. Because I was just thinking if you were up to anything tonight," he says, but he's distracted by the opportunity to kiss the pretty girl, which he moves in to do… then the sound of the bell over the door, Leo sliding a glance that way— and moving back away from Nadia like an electrical shock, releasing her hand. WHAT. WHAT HE WAS DOING NOTHING. Arms come up to fold over his chest. "Sup Carmine." He never says sup. Or. He shouldn't.

Nadia smiles, leaning in, just waaaaiting to hear what Leo has to say, "Nothing that can't wait for the weekend." Meaning, studying for exams that she really shouldn't put them off.. then the bell ringing over the door.. which doesn't alarm her. It's Leo jerking back that has her straightening up like a soldier snapping to. She whirls to look over her shoulder. Oh snap. "Hi dad— what did you do to your hand??" A quick apologetic glance is thrown back at Leo.

The strange greeting from Leo gets the faintest hints of a frown from Carmine, who peers at the younger man with no small amount of annoyance. What did he just say? He never says that. Or at least he /shouldn't/. And why is he acting like Carmine just walked in on him— hi Nadia. Wait. /Nadia/. Carmine's eyes move between the pair suspiciously, but he doesn't remark on his theory just yet. No, he has a daughter to greet. She's given a small smile that only barely reaches his eyes. "Hello, sweetie." Then, looking down at his hand, he flexes his fingers to show that it does indeed still work. "Just a little accident." But let's not dwell on that subject. He narrows his eyes at the pair again. "Something wrong?" Like maybe Leo putting his hands on Carmine's daughter?

Leo stuffs his hands into the pockets of his jeans, managing to shake off some of the obvious 'oh crap caught!' guiltiness once Carmine looks back at him, giving a crooked smile. "We were just worried you weren't gonna show today," he says. "Nadia came by asking about you." He glances at Nadia almost apologetically, and clears his throat, now paying attention, glancing at Carmine's bandaged hand. "Bad night?" he asks, raising an eyebrow.

Nadia's own eyes narrow as she walks up to Carmine to give him a peck on the cheek, then to fuss over his hand some. "Just an accident?" Her brows raise in suspicion. Like a 'work' accident type of an accident, or something else? Uh huh. As for her and Leo? Why no, they weren't doing anything. (Which is the honest truth!) "Yeah, I just got here and Leo said you hadn't been in." Again, it's the truth! We weren't doing nuthin'. Nope.

Mm-hmm. Sure. Carmine leans down to put his cheek within pecking-distance when Nadia approaches, but his gaze remains fixed on Leo for the most part. There's not much to read there — there never is! Outside of the smile he gave his daughter seconds before, his face doesn't have many expressions. "Funny, because you two were acting like I'd caught ya stealin' cookies out of the cupboard or somethin'." His sense of smell may be waning, but his eyesight is perfectly fine. One last glare at Leo before he lets the subject drop in favor of gently attempting to pull his hand out of Nadia's grasp. "Nadia, it's fine. I've had worse. Just some scratches is all." Bad night indeed.

A cab pulls up outside and parks by the curb; the 'in service' light is switched off, and Randall clambers out of the driver's side door by himself, absently locking it up as he talks on a cell phone. "No, look, I— no, I already made plans for Friday, you'll have to get somebody else to cover. —Oh, c'mon! I already gave you two weeks notice, out of politeness, and that was two weeks ago. Yeah, I'll bring it in in an hour or so. All right." With a beep, the phone is hung up and stowed. "Yeah, weight of the world on your shoulders, buddy," he mutters to himself as he slips into the pizza place and takes a first look around.

Leo has long since gotten a little used to Carmine's glares, and he just keeps that smile fixed. Hopefully Carmine will just dismiss Leo as an idiot and move on. At the cookie jar comment, Leo just shrugs helplessly. "You're bein' paranoid, old man," he says, lightly. Very lightly! And breathes out a sigh when Carmine's attention goes back to his daughter. Planning to go sneak off and maybe sit in the corner and read a magazine until he's needed again, Leo takes a step back, then looks towards Randall when he steps in. A glance to the counter. Back to him. They really need better staff, or something. He moves to scoot behind the counter. Smile - ting! Welcome to your local mafia cover store, can we take your order. This, he doesn't actually say out loud, just thinks it.

Nadia still gives her father that skeptical expression that says she doesn't believe him. Keep downplaying it papa. "We were? Huh. I think your hand might be bothering you more than you want to admit, cause you're seeing things," she says, looking up at her old man with her most winning smile. Shush Leo, leave this to Nadia. Slipping her hands into her pockets, she gives her daddy that smile for a few more moments before taking a step back. At the bell signalling the next person entering the store, she looks around Carmine and smiles politely at Randall. As for Leo.. she can go back to making the eyes and moves on him. Later. When safely out of daddy's reach.

However lightly that remark was said, it doesn't sit too well with Carmine. He shoots a look Leo's way — one that says "watch your step, boy, or you won't be steppin' no more" — then back to Nadia, who receives a much kinder frown. He doesn't say anything to counter her remark, though. A glance is cast toward Randall, but since Carmine isn't on counter duty today (and pray to God he never is again), he doesn't give the man much though. A cursory glance over Randall's apparel and demeanor suggests that it's nobody Carmine knows, so it's nobody of major interest. Just another customer. His attention returns to Nadia. "Well, I'm here. What was it you wanted to talk about?"

Randall is precisely that, the various private goings-on going right past him; all he gets is that Nadia and Carmine are talking, and that they're evidently long-term acquaintances. "Hey," he offers to Leo, then, looking over the menu. "I hear good things about the calzone here? Or am I getting it crossed with the place down the block?" A brief glance serves to indicate a rival Italian joint a couple blocks down the street.

Hey it is a customer! Leo totally doesn't work counter… but then again, they kind of all just take over where needed, so Leo waits there for Randall to approach, casting Carmine and Nadia a quick, checking glance before paying attention to the stranger. "No man," Leo says, with a brighter smile. "Definitely at the right place." Wait. He /is/ at the right place, yes? Leo glances towards the menu to check, memory just blanking for a moment, before— there we go. He points. "Calzone, just like your mama made. Welcome to Vito's. You having a good day, sir?" Okay so, they're nearly the same age, but 'sir' is polite, right?

"What? I need a reason now to see my daddy?" Nadia says, just a bit teasingly, with an equal touch of innocence. Her attention turns briefly from Carmine over to Randall, to whom she says teasingly. "You're safe in ordering the calzone. Leo's not making it today." She braves sneaking a wink Leo's way before looking back up at Carmine. "So.. okay, maybe I did want to talk to you. My advisor is starting to ride me a little about picking a major.. And well.. I was kindasortofthinkingaboutalegalmajor." Again, SMILE. Don't yell daddy!

There's little response from Carmine when Nadia takes a jab at Leo. He would've said the same thing — only he'd actually mean it. In fact, Carmine is basically ignoring anything going on at the counter right now, and /especially/ when Nadia comes out with the supposed reason for her being here. Carmine's face is blank for several seconds. There is no visible reaction. But anyone who knows him well would be aware that this is not any indication that he's taking something well. Quite the contrary. When the man does speak, it's in a very flat and low voice: "Excuse me."

Randall peers over at Nadia and grins. "Thanks for the tip. I—" Whoops, that other guy is more than an acquaintance of hers, and whatever that vibe is, it seems kind of weird. Eyes back on Leo, dude. "Anyway. Yeah, apart from my ex-boss thinking that my ex-job is so much more epic and important than it really is. Okay, so, pepperoni combo with the Caesar salad?" Bills are fished out to cover the order. Pleasure doing business with you too, front man.

Nadia gets a mock glare from Leo. "Bite me, Nadia," he says, just as teasing. Slightly dreamy smile goes here. But Carmine and her seem to be having a serious chat, and Leo cranes his neck as if to hear it better. He /does/ catch what's said, and he grins. Although it's uncertain. "What, you gonna be a lawyer or something?" he says, cynically, because of course she's not gonna be a lawyer. She's too hot. So she's just joking. His attention snaps back to Randall when he puts in his order. "Oh! Yeah. Pepperoni comb, Caesar salad," he repeats, punching in the order, price flashing on the little screen, which is repeated back to him. "That'll be a few minutes wait, if that's cool," Leo says, taking the cash and handing out the change, but now he's keeping his attention on his totally-not-girlfriend and her dad even as he speaks to his customer.

That's.. about the reaction Nadia was expecting from Carmine. She huffs a little in mild annoyance. Other folks might not dare, but she does have her mother's bravado.. and her dad's. So yeah, she's not cowering. (Yet.) "C'mon.. don't be like this. It's interesting, and.." Maybe just a little uh, conflict of interest.. if it can be called as such. ".. I don't /have/ to be a lawyer. It's a varied field!" At the 'bite me' comment, well, any return fire she has isn't fit for her father's ears, other than, "No thanks Leo, you'd like it too much!" But that could be the wrong retort too. Yeaaah.. maybe she shouldn't have voiced her interest to Carmine.

Once again, Carmine's voice remains very level, very restrained — which can only mean that he's /very not happy/. This time, however, he slips into fluent Italian: "<A varied field that goes against everything we /do/.>" It … this … Carmine glances up at Leo and Randall again, just to be sure the latter is not attempting to butt into things, then back to Nadia: "<What do you plan to do with this major?>"

Randall hands the money over to Leo and nods. "Yeah, no problem. Anybody wants Pizza Hut Express knows where to find it." He wanders over to a nearby table and looks around for a TV, or some weird decorative crap on the walls, whatever will make it clear that he is Not Eavesdropping on the family spat over there. Heaven only knows how overprotective dad would react to a stranger.

A crooked grin is cast to Randall at that comment, and Leo nods once. "Great, then." Just as Carmine speaks to Nadia, Leo moves off to make sure people are in fact working to make up the man's order. There's a clatter, something possibly thrown, then a distant "WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH YOU?!" from Leo, before he emerges once more, all smiles, as if he didn't just have a ladle thrown at him. Or as if that's a totally normal reaction for someone to have when told they have to actually do work. "Taking it to go, right?" Leo adds towards Randall, before sitting up on the counter, looking towards Carmine and Nadia. Wait. She wasn't joking? Leo says nothing for now, just listening in. As for whatever's said in Italian, the American-born young man still seems to understand.

Nadia's brows lift, raise, and she counters her dad. Looking pretty much like her mother when headbutting against him. Ruh roh. Hands fly into the air and gesture wildly as she responds back at Carmine in Italian as well. "<I could be useful! Knowing the ins and outs of the legal system! You won't let me touch a gun, or anything else really! What? You aren't thinking I would do anything to hurt the family, are you?>" She falls silent, then deflates some. Yelling will not help her case. "<It's an idea, it looks appealing, and who knows? I could change my mind next semester once I start taking the classes.>" The noise from the kitchen goes without notice. She's used to the random clattering, thrown things, the yelling.

As is Carmine, who doesn't bat an eye at the noises from the back. Nope. His attention is fully focused on Nadia now. Bad enough that he's paying for her to go to college — something he was a bit skeptical about to begin with — /now/ he's going to be paying for her to get into the legal system. Sure, it might not be a bad investment as far as having an insider is concerned, but … well … that /isn't/ how he had planned for things to go, where his daughter is concerned. Call him old-fashioned. His voice raises only slightly when next he speaks: "<This is your mother's fault, isn't it? Did she put you up to this?>"

"Well, I—" Randall pauses for a second, continuing to listen passively to Carmine and Nadia argue back and forth (not that there's much of a choice there), while eyeing the door to the kitchen. "Uh, yeah, to go. Gotta get back to the motor pool, hit up the old boss for my check…"

Oh boy. Really not joking. Leo is /staying far far out of this/— well, for now. He'll probably have his own opinions to share with Nadia. And if the conversation allows it, he'll probably put in his two cence, although he has no idea who he's siding with. A crooked lawyer could be /awesome/, but it's /Nadia/ and… and… Leo shakes his head to himself, turns his attention back to Randall. May as well keep the man company while he's waiting for his food. "Motor pool?" he repeats, then remembers the whole 'ex' thing Randall mentioned. "What'd you do before you quit?" Or got fired, but hey, Leo assumes the best.

Nadia throws her hands up in the air, in one of those wild 'wassamatta with you' gestures. "Not everything is mom's fault!" Whups, slipped back to English there without meaning to. "<She didn't put me up to anything daddy. I have a mind of my own you know.>" Surely Carmine didn't expect any child of his and Brandi's production would be obedient and dutiful, right? "<What if you got into some trouble and needed help and advice?"> She looks away from Carmine then and down at the floor. There, a little taste of what brought this on.

Mmmrrrghgasdfsdh. God above. If /this/ is the product of Carmine and Brandi, then Carmine is definitely never, ever reproducing with Francesca. /Ever/. Then again, given the differences in age, he might be /dead/ before it reaches this stage of life. Then it would be Cesca's problem. Oh-ho-ho, sweet, sweet vengeance. Carmine's face tightens, then he glances off and away from Nadia for a few moments, silent as he considers this. Damn it all. This /is/ Brandi's fault. Somehow. She's the one who raised such a headstrong girl. With a sigh, Carmine waves a hand in a gesture of resignation. "<All right, all right. Fine. If that's the major you want, that's the major you get.>" Grumble.

Randall shoots a brief sidelong glance as Nadia as she becomes momentarily coherent again (from his perspective), but his attention remains safely on the guy working the counter. "On a good day? Pick up a few fares, make enough to keep up with the rent. On a bad day, some nice loyal citizen will decide that one of my windows needs shooting out. I figured I'd give it three strikes— two weeks back was number three."

Nadia 1, Carmine nil. No matter what he thinks of the situation, Leo has to grin at that, shooting said smile towards Nadia, having kept an ear out for the grand conclusion of 'but daddy!' To Randall, Leo raises his eyebrows. "Yeah?" he says. "Well that kind of sucks." Actually it sounds kind of cool, but. "Hope you got another job lined up." He jerks a thumb over his shoulder to indicate the store. "I got this place, but also seeing if I can't work at this garage downtown."

Nadia looks up at Carmine in surprise. Woah, what? She covers her mouth with her hands, lets out a girlish squeal, then throws her arms around the mafioso. "Thank you daddy!" Oh in her mind, she's aware she'll still have to talk this out with Leo. Which could get ugly, we'll see. A big kiss is planted on Carmine's cheek before she stops embarrassing her old man in public. There is however, no embarrassment for having a family argument /in/ public. What a weird group.

Someday, Carmine will learn how to win arguments with the women in his life. Maybe it will be just in time for him to make the discovery of Leo and Nadia Totally Not Dating. Who knows? Whatever the case, he doesn't smile when his daughter embraces him, but he does return the gesture and the kiss on the cheek. His is much smaller than hers. "You'll be the death of me one of these days," he mutters, but it's good-natured. Well … as good-natured as Carmine gets, really. Nadia brings that out on him. When they separate, he casts a glance at Randall, then Leo, then decides he'd better get to work. Books to cook, things to do. "I'd better get in the back. Everything else is fine?" This is asked of Nadia, but it's open enough to include all present.

Randall is not cool with getting shot at. Musses up his hair. "Thanks," he replies automatically to Leo. "Nothing yet, but I got about a week before it starts to be a big deal. Something or other always seems to turn up." If there's a self-serve drink machine, he occupies himself with that while he waits.

"See if you can't get someone up here to run counter properly?" Leo says to Carmine before the man can disappear to do math and stuff. "I'm just the guy with the bike, remember." No visor to be seen, that's for certain. To Randall, another grin. "Well we always need an extra hand around here during the day," he says. He's only half-joking. There's usually some family member around to fill in a role, but getting short-staffed happens. "If you can put in numbers then you can take this job." He patpats the counter to indicate what he means.

"Don't say that," is Nadia's firm and humorless response to Carmine's 'death of me' statement. Sorry, she's taking that one seriously. "Yeah, sure, everything's fine. I should get back to my dorm, start studying for my upcoming finals. I'll see you later dad." Behind Carmine's back, she mouths across at Leo, 'I'll call you'. To Randall, a fleeting smile is given before she hurriedly scoots herself out the door.

Carmine gives a nod to Leo, not catching Nadia's mouthed words to the younger man. As he's disappearing into the back of the shop, he can't help but comment: "If you can do this job, Leo, anyone can." It sounds quite humorless — he /might/ be teasing, but … well. It doesn't /sound/ like it.

Randall shrugs, nodding to Leo. "Thanks, I'll keep it in mind— I've done retail before." No real enthusiasm, but hey, a paycheck is a paycheck. And no one would shoot at him if he was working /here/, /right/? Right. More not-reacting-to-Carmine happens as he waits.

Leo casts a regretful smile to Nadia, but nods rather than insist she stay. Oh young romance. Ish. Kinda. Carmine's comment gets an eyeroll out of Leo, but he definitely doesn't take the jab seriously. OH CARMINE, YOU KIDDER. Ding! A bell is rung, and Leo turns to grab the packaged calzone and the to-go Caesar salad, moving around the counter to hand them to Randall. "It's a paycheck, right?" Leo says, unknowingly voicing that thought when noting Randall's shrug. "And the risk of shootings is like, way reduced. In the day shifts, anyway." /And you think he's kidding/.

"Exactly," replies Randall, picking up the goods. "Anywhere's a crap shoot at night, that's when the edge cases come out of the woodwork. Anyway, good luck with the place." After another quick glance around, he fishes out his keys and heads back outside to go finish closing out the previous gig.

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