2007-10-01: No More

Starring:

Niki_icon.gif DL_icon.gif

Summary: D.L. finally comes home.

Date It Happened: October 1st, 2007

No More


Niki and D.L.'s Room

Queens, New York

It's shaping up to be a grey day, at least as far as Queens is concerned; Niki hasn't looked very far out the window or done so much as check the weather. She's not going anywhere. It's an empty house, aside from her — the TV is on in the bedroom, turned on low, adding a mundane hum of noise to the otherwise quiet surroundings. Niki kneels on the floor going through a box of things from their old house. The room is filled with boxes, stacked against walls and in corners with no real organization and no room to store them.

She's making more of a mess this afternoon, but there's… a method to her madness, order in the chaos of odds and ends and memories. Honest. Her hair falls forward as she looks down at a framed photograph of her and D.L. at their house in Nevada. Niki smiles faintly, touching the glass before putting it aside in a smaller box.

Quiet. It'a always quiet in Queens. Well, that's a lie. But it happens to be quiet, this day. And when the taxi cab pulls up in front of Monica's House, there's a distinct sound of the door being closed. Not that people don't hear that kind of thing every day. There may or may not be something to it, though, as a familiar dressed body makes its way up the driveway and towards the front door of this home. His home.

Nothing opens. Nothing needs to, as the man simply passes through the door and into the house. His bag is dropped to the floor, but the low humming of the television could probably keep that from being heard. He listens for a moment, hearing the sounds come from the bedroom and he steps that way. Nothing to say, sliding across the floor silently, before standing in the doorway and just… watching. Waiting to be noticed. Missed.

Traffic, car doors; even the dull thud of the bag dropping go missed, or ignored as the usual sounds of Queens as Niki gets lost in nostalgia. Wow, this stuff isn't organized at all. After lifting another framed picture out, this one of her and Micah - which draws a soft smile - and putting it with the others, Niki rifles through a variety of odds and miscellany, taking out a miniature globe from the box and putting it on the floor. It's as she curls her hand around a tiny, orange wax lion figurine that she notices the tone start to shift.

The woman becomes very still, suddenly watchful, wary and hopeful at the same time - but she doesn't look to the doorway right away. No, she catches a glimpse of a shadow in the television as a newscaster gives a report. Is it--? She whirls around. Instantly, a flood of relief washes over her face and she's on her feet. "You made it!" The little lion is left somewhere between the box and D.L. as Niki rushes to the doorway, pretty literally jumping on her husband. "I was so worried, I didn't have any way to reach you— "

D.L. breaks out into a big grin. He wasn't expecting anyone to really be home. He figured his son would be at school and wasn't quite sure if his wife was… well, if he even still had a wife. But there's something about watching the blonde leap at him that makes him feel all warm and happy on the inside. Definitely a good sign. "Well. I'm home. So now you don't have to." Arms are brought up to wrap around the woman, lifting her up with a show of strength that probably means he's been working out even more in the interim. That's what happens when you need to nurse yourself back to health. "House empty?" is asked with a crazy smirk on his face, since he hasn't seen her since what happened in Vegas…

Throwing her arms - and legs! - around D.L., Niki doesn't have to hold on tight - he does that for her, but she holds on anyway. Not too tight, though. Wouldn't wanna break him, he just got back. Arms looped around his neck, she leans back to see that crazy smirk of his. Her own smile is a hundred watts, bright and white. "Monica's at work. Micah's at school," she answers - so yes, in other words - and kisses the man. Quick, but poignant. "I didn't tell him yet. I figured… he should see for himself."

"I'm not back for five minutes and already you're putting me to work?" Oh yes, D.L.'s got a smile on his face. He's happy. And he's pretty sure being outside of Micah's school when it lets out will be an interesting adventure. Or at least one happy as hell reunion. For right now, though, he's pretty happy with having a Niki in his arms. And the fact that they're still married is keeping him going. They are… right? "I'm sorry it took me so long. I had some loose ends to tie up." And a favor or six to ask to even be able to come home.

"If you call making our boy the happiest kid in the world 'work'," Niki says with a laugh to her voice. She hops down on her own two feet, but doesn't go far - she stays by D.L.'s side, folding her hands over one of his shoulders, resting her chin on them. As she's poised with her head tilted up to him, Niki has to ask: "Loose ends… are we gonna be okay, D.L.?" Familiar lines of worry wrack her face; they can't quite beat down her delight, but her concern for the future certainly gives her good mood a run for its money. "'Cause I if you're found out and wind up wanted by the authorities, I have this scene in my head where we have to go on the run to Mexico, and that's not the kinda life I wanna lead anymore.

"Shhhhh. Niki. Relax. Everything's gonna' be fine. I'm home, free and there's no strings attached." D.L.'s not even going to get into the details and the jobs that he had to do in order to make that a reality, but let the record show that the actual identity of the body has been confirmed as Alfonso Smith. Not D.L. Hawkins. And that's the most important thing. So the lie that he pours from his soul and into the eyes of Niki is good, solid and clean. Hopefully, there won't be any issues with the way that he's trying to make sure this lie comes across solid. One arm ends up sliding around Niki's waist as he works to keep her close. "I love you, Niki."

Niki looks into D.L.'s much darker eyes and it's not difficult to tell that she still has questions. Doubts. Fear, because nothing ever works out this well. But despite all that… "I love you, too, D." One hand unlinks itself from the other at D.L.'s shoulder and she lays her slender forearm over his at her waist. "I still can't believe this is all real — that you're here, God, that you're alive," she says with a quiet laugh of incredulity, a scoff because it's all so crazy. "I kept thinking maybe I went insane— " Went? "— and imagined it all in Vegas. I wanna believe it's gonna be fine…" Where there sounds like there should be a 'but', Niki trails off an leaves it at that. She wants to believe. The end. She closes her eyes and leans into the solid form beside her.

"Believe it. I ain't goin' nowhere. Never again." Unless, well, he can't deal with this whole Niki being insane and all of that craziness. Not to mention the fact that Jessica is still a factor. Oh and he's not even sure their marriage is still… legal. But whatever. He's just trying to do what he has to do in order to make sure life is all good. "So. Since I died." He's going to be saying that for a while and it's going to be sounding really weird. "How much did we get? Are we set for life or should we pull one more heist… just for old time's sake?" Is he kidding?

He's gotta be kidding. Niki slips out from D.L.'s comfortable hold in order to stand in front of him, eyeing him. "…we're pretty much set," she says after the span of a few moments. She turns away, wandering to the edge of the bed and sitting on a corner. "I have an accountant helping me launder the money through a front," she admits with some hesitation, uncomfortable with the whole prospect; her hands wring as they rest on her jean-clad thighs. "But I dunno how to do any of this. I can only get so much at a time without it seeming suspicious. I just wish we could give it back."

"Let's do that, then." D.L. must've been kidding. And maybe this was part of the plot all along. To get her to want to give the money back. "We don't need it. It's blood money. My blood's all over it." D.L. slides across the floor to crouch down in front of his wife. His hands seek out hers, so that he can hold them protectively. Reassurance is all over his face. "We'll give the money back, I'll get a job and we can do this the way we were meant to. Like a family." He must've been kidding about the heist, after all.

Niki's hands are soft and lifeless in D.L.'s for the time being as she watches his face closely, soaking in that reassurance. Seeking out answers. "If we turn it in," she starts to say, "Aren't they gonna know it was us?"

"Let me handle it, baby. Ya' man's home. He'll take care of everything." For once. Literally. Since, most of the time, Jessica seems to be the one handling things. Which, well, is part of what D.L.'s new family plan is. If he can step up and be the man he wants to be, Niki won't have a need for Jessica any more and maybe she'll just go away. It works on the movies. "Just get me the money and I'll make sure everything works out."

Niki turns her hand over underneath D.L.'s, curling her fingers over his in a small gesture. She starts to nod, slowly. She trusts that he knows more about this kind of thing than she does — he was the criminal, right? Hopefully it is was, not is. That doesn't mean she's entirely cool with the idea, not knowing what he has in mind. "What about the stuff we used? I had to pay for Micah's tuition, and living expenses since May… and… there's one more thing…" Niki pauses. "I told Monica we'd try to help out her family — your family — in New Orleans."

D.L.'s worried too. At least, not really sure about how he's going to deal with all this other stuff. That she just said. "Uhh… I'll make it work. They'll be getting the bulk of their money back. I'm sure they'll deal." Smiling a little bit more, he leans in to plant a kiss to Niki's forehead. Just to make sure she knows he's thinking about her and Micah while plotting this. "Maybe I don't even have to talk to them. I don't think they'll ask questions if they walk into the vault and suitcases of money are waiting for them, do you?" He's got a plan to make them poor again. What a good guy.

"Yeah, they'd be asking questions like 'how did you get in here?'," Niki says, a hint of a smile on her lips. "This is good, what we're doing. It's the right thing," she says quietly, head down. "That's… what I wanna be. Good. No more— " She touches her fingertips to her browline tiredly, closing her eyes. "No more… breaking the rules."

D.L. just lowers his head a little bit. Thinking. God, he's lying to his wife's face. Right now. He can't believe he's doing this. But then again, he's pretty sure Jessica would've come out by now if there was an actual problem with this. "And no more Jessica." His eyes are lifted to look at her, as if he's trying to see past his wife and to the crazy chick that takes over her body from time to time.

"No more Jessica," Niki reaffirms with conviction. There's no one but Niki looking back at D.L. She watches him watch her closely like he does - by now, she knows when people are trying to figure out who she is. A gentle smile appears and she lays a hand along the man's jaw. "I'm trying," she says in a whisper. "I— can do this. I know that now."

D.L. looks up and over to peek at the clock. Or his watch. Or anything like that. "Y'know. Speaking of doing this…" And now Mr. Hawkins is raising an eyebrow, since he's still thinking about what he was thinking about when he first came in. Which means, well, that he's about ready to make some things happen. "How about a little quality time before we go get Micah?"

"Is that all you think about?" Niki sounds amused more than anything, breaking into a curving, devious grin - it's playful, good-natured, and in fact, a bit silly, bearing no resemblance to her alter ego's wicked grins. Apparently D.L. is a lucky man, for it is just that easy today for the pretty blonde he happens, through luck or arranged circumstances, to be married to. She tosses her arms over his shoulders again, leaning down for a kiss.

Who ever thought these two would wind up the happy couple?

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