2007-05-27: The Moretti Way

Starring:

Carmine_icon.gif Francesca_icon.gif Tommy_icon.gif Tess_icon.gif Nadia_icon.gif Leo_icon.gif

Summary: After being out of town on business, Tommy returns to Vito's. Hell, as usual, breaks loose. Leo almost gets beaten to a fine paste, twice, and we all learn about (the many variations of) the Moretti way.

Date It Happened: 27th of May, 2007

The Moretti Way


NYC - East Village - Famous Vito's Pizza

It's been a while since Nadia left the pizza shop. Carmine's finished up the books and now sits at a table with a calzone and some Dr. Pepper. Why? Because maybe, just maybe, he doesn't want to go home yet. As has been mentioned, he doesn't exactly have a set time to /be/ home. Sometimes he lollygags. Sometimes he gets home early. It keeps the wife on her toes! There's a cigarette stubbed out in the sugar-holder on the table (the traditional pre-dinner cigarette) and soon there will be a second one. He's almost finished with his food.

Bang bang bang bang. That would not be gunfire, but the door to the kitchen opening and closing and then opening and closing again. Francesca is doing something back there and whatever it is, she's in a good mood about it. Bags are tossed into the walk in fridge and she brushes off a little dust that got onto her tight jeans. Then, she gives a satisfied nod and closes the door with her foot. Grabbing an apron to make it look like she's been back there for a little while for any customers that may be about, she tosses it on and strolls out into the dining are of the room.

True, it has been awhile since Nadia left. But now she's back. It's that time of day when dad should have gone home and Leo's at work. (And suitably dressed to meet with a boy. Tight jeans, strappy sandals, low cut and somewhat exposing shirt.) She's tried leaving messages on Leo's cell in this past interim. Basically warning him that daddy's on to them. She really likes Leo, and would prefer that he stay in one piece. As she approaches Vito's and looks in through the window.. oh crap. Dad's still here.. and HER. Too late to turn back now it seems!

For the past two weeks, Tommy has been out of town, taking care of some serious bidness. He's just now returning to the pizza joint for the first time, fresh off of his plane. He doesn't look exactly too happy, and the fact he's only carrying one of the two bags he departed with may have something to do with this. Hopefully, everything has gone smoothly in his absence (including the very, very important mission he gave to Leo that Leo would never mess up, would he?) and things are continuing to run smoothly still. Entering through the back door of the restaurant, looking more than disheveled, he throws his one bag into the office, and then proceeds into the kitchen area, looking around for one of his employees. Where the hell are they.

Leo is currently at the very back of the store, mostly oblivious to everything that's going on. There are no deliveries to be made, so he's currently sitting on some kind of plastic crate stack, the kind bread is transported in, with earphones clapped over his ears, causing the faint sound of Poison's Talk Dirty To Me to drift around where he's set up. He's hunched over, elbows on his knees and scouring a magazine, humming along a little, happy to take a break while he's not needed. At the detection of movement out the corner of his eye, Leo tugs his headphones down around his neck to look up, expectant - and his eyes widen to see Tommy. For a few moments, he's simply frozen there, before he smiles brightly. "Sup," he says, which he needs to stop saying to act innocent, seeing as he never does that when innocent.

If Nadia was hoping for a swift getaway, evading notice, she's about to have her dream shattered. Her arrival heralded by a rhythmic clack of her heels on the sidewalk, Contessa Moretti is barely within earshot of the young girl when she calls out, "Nadia, cara mia!" Her pace quickens, and within seconds, Tess has descended upon Carmine's daughter with a pair of well-manicured hands closing around the girl's face so that the woman can kiss the girl on the cheek. There are two bags in each hand, all from stores found on the trendier side of town. "Come in, come in." Not about to take no for an answer, Tess plants a hand on Nadia's back and ushers her towards the door.

The sounds from the back of the shop don't bother Carmine. He's just about the only person in the dining area at present, as the other diners have since gone home or are stuck between the lull of work and home. He doesn't look up when Nadia appears outside the shop, too taken with his dinner. It's when Francesca walks in that he glances up, and his jaw stops working on the mouthful of calzone currently occupying his maw. He stares at his wife blankly, one eyebrow rising just a bit. Someone's chipper. He eyes her, looking for bloodstains. That's the only reason she'd be in such a good mood, right? Hm. Swallowing, he pauses as though about to speak, then decides instead to lift his napkin and wipe some crumbs from his goatee.

And, wonder of wonder, there are no bloodstains on Francesca. Of course they could be covered by the apron. Or, she could have changed. Or what she just chucked into the freezer /may/ have been a bag of money. Anything is possible. It's like the briefcase from Pulp Fiction. "So, you won't be needing dinner, will you?" She gestures at the calzone and the Dr. Pepper on his table. No fighting about take out tonight! The sound of the door in the kitchen makes her duck back through the door and that's where she finds Tommy. "Well, look what the cat finally dragged back from the Hudson. It's Tommy, Carmy!" As her back is turned to the front door, now, she doesn't notice Tess or Nadia heading in. It's a little family reunion right here!

Nadia was in the process of about facing, then, ack! Italian ambush! "Hi Tess!" Beam! Surprise! "I was just going to head on h.. nevermind that then!" The greeting kiss is returned before she's ushered inside. She looks down at the bags in Tess's hands, "Nice haul with the shopping huh? What all did you get?" Keep it casual. Yup. Wasn't up to anything, what with coming back this way and all. Oh crap-o-la. Francesca's here. Delightful. Joy of joys.

Completely missing the fact that Leo is in the back, as well, Tommy keeps moving to the front of the store, only to stop when Francesca comes ducking back through the door. "Cesca," he says, looking around. "Have you seen Leo?" He does a little twirl on the spot, only in a manly Italian Mafia type way, and spots Leo sitting towards the back. "Leo!" he says, pointing at the kid. "Don't move." He then turns back to Francesca, and moves in to give his cousin a quick hug, before pulling back. "Carmine is here, too? Where are the others?"

Don't move? But! But! Leo digs his hand into his pocket to switch off his iPod, tentatively setting his magazine to the side. Maybe during the meet and greet of 'Tommy's back you guys!', he can sneak out the backdoor, grab his bike, and be around the corner at high speed before anyone could tell. That would just be a great plan. Except. He was just told not to move. With a groan, Leo introduces his palm to his face. Okay, how to spin this /the best possible way/? He stands up but otherwise, he's not making his getaway.

Gifts for my niece's birthday," Tess replies to the younger woman in a tone meant to suggest that she ought to have known that already. "Gifts you told me you would help wrap." There's something decidedly conspiratorial about her voice, and Tess reaches out with an elbow to nudge Nadia in the arm. Composing herself as the matriarch of this family ought to be composed, lifting her head high with a warm smile, she shakes off any lingering conspiracy, pulls open the door, and steps into the pizza parlour.

No, Carmine will not be needing dinner at home. They can find something else to squabble about. Or he could just be allowed to fall asleep in his office quietly, peacefully. Hm. There's an idea. At the announcement of Tommy's presence, Carmine just raises the other eyebrow and blinks once. "Mm. Wonders never cease," he states flatly before taking another bite from what's left of his calzone. Then the door opens and there's Tess and Nadia. Nadia? /Dressed like that/? He stares with his mouth full, swallows, and utters, "Good evening, Tess." Nadia, he'll deal with la— wait, what's that? Did he hear mention of Leo being in the back? /Well/. Up Carmine rises. "Excuse me." He heads toward the back room, but not to see Tommy. No. He has business with the little car-driving punk.

"Look like it's your lucky day, tesoro mio." Francesca looks over her shoulder where Tess and Nadia are entering. "Looks like you've got almost the whole family under one roof." The mention of Leo makes her blink. "Leo! Whatcha doing hiding back there? Come on out to the front. Carmy's already having a calzone. We'll make up a big pizza. We're in a pizza place, right?" Carmine heading toward the back catches Cesca's attention and curiosity. Enough so that a hand shoots out to grab him by the collar when he tries to walk past her. 'What do you think you're doing, huh?' is written plainly on her face.

What? Wait? Oh yeah! "Oh, right! I'm sorry, that kind of left my brain. All the cramming for exams, y'know? Just a few more days and I can breathe again!" OhshitOhshit.. Head of the family.. calling out Leo, that's.. NOT A GOOD SIGN. Nadia sort of freezes once inside the door. Does she really want to be here for this? She generally doesn't get involved in any family business. With good reason too. "Hi daddy.. Tommy.. Francesca." Less than enthusastic on the last name. "Le..o.." Ohshit, wait, "Dad!" She breaks away from Tess to trail after her father, steps hurried, but she skids to a stop when Francesca reaches to snag Carmine by the collar.

"Not just yet, Francesca," Tommy replies, turning away from her and looking at Leo. He takes the neccessary amount of steps needed to reach him, and when he does, he places his hands on either shoulder, holding him in place. Opening his mouth to speak, he looks very carefully at Leo, his eyes wide and imploring. "Did you get it there, Leo? Did everything go okay?"

Oh wow, everyone is here. Leo can't decide if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but when Francesca announces a pizza, well! A good thing! He starts to head around the front, totally down for this distraction, but then Tommy is standing in front of him, hands heavy on his shoulders. Ohshit. Leo casts a briefly panicked look Cesca's way, not actually even /noticing/ a Carmine at this point, before looking back at Tommy. He attempts a smile. "Man, like, I really need to talk to you about that soon," he says. "Not everything— I mean it didn't go so smooth, but it's okay! As soon as I get the car back, it's all good." Optimism!

Unaware that her husband has returned and is about to turn one of their employees into a paraplegic, Tess turns her attention instead to Francesca and Carmine. The shopping bags are set down on the counter, and she speaks in a nonchalant, 'I am pretending not to notice any tension,' sort of tone, calling over her shoulder, "Oh, Carmine. Nadia promised to help me wrap some gifts for my niece tonight. She's going to be here for a little while longer." Pause. Casting a bright, convincingly maternal smile in Carmine's direction, she adds: "If that's alright with you."

Hurlk! Carmine is /nabbed/, and he's not at all thrilled to be such. He's brought to an abrupt halt and turns a scowl on Francesca — one that says 'The /hell/ has gotten into you, woman?'. But he doesn't really get a chance to protest verbally, because then Tommy's intercepted his target. Sigh. He'll have to wait in line. His attention is turned elsewhere when Tess addresses him, and he glances between her and Nadia with one eyebrow raised. "If that's fine with her," he responds blandly. Hm. Nadia hadn't mentioned anything of the sort a few hours earlier.

"Hi Tess," Francesca greets Tommy's wife brightly enough. "Nadia." The brightness is toned down slightly for Carmine's daughter. The two don't get along and she can only take niceties so far. She's still got a hold on Carmine and she's not about let go of it just yet. Because he has that /serious/ look on his face. The one he gets before he goes to power drill someone. And that's no good. Not when the only two people in the back are Tommy and Leo. Or, well, she's got a hold on Carmine until she hears what Leo has to say. "When you get /WHAT/ back?!" That's when she lets Carmine go do whatever he wants to her nephew. "/LEO/."

Nadia stares between Tommy and Leo. OhboyOhboy. This can only end in tears, she's sure of this. "Yeah. Right, I was just.. running to go get some tape and scissors.." Because. OBVIOUSLY they have those things here in the office. Unnecessarily sharp scissors.. and finding regular scotch tape could be hard, what with all the duct tape that strangely gets stocked here.. erhm. "Of course it's fine daddy, why wouldn't it be?" SMILE. Worried look at Leo, oh gawd. Then she's bustling off to find those scissors and tape!

Tommy watches Leo very, very closely as he begins to explain. As the conversation obviously turns south, and then he says /get the car back/, Tommy frowns. He looks at Leo for a few more moments, but when Francesca shouts, he holds up one hand, in a very clear 'Hold on one moment.' manner, while keeping the other on Leo. "Leo, my cousin," Tommy says, smiling. Regardless of whether anyone follows his request to hold on just a moment, Tommy takes his hand off of Leo's shoulder, takes a few steps over to the office, and closes the door. There's a bit of rummaging inside, then silence. Five seconds later, the door comes /slamming/ open, and there stands Tommy, baseball bat in hand, a look of rage written all over his face. "YOU IGNORANT KNUCKLEHEAD! WHAT THE HELL DO YOU MEAN GET THE CAR BACK!"

Five seconds of silence. Leo stands awkwardly there for a moment, and towards Francesca, he shrugs apologetically. Like, yeah, what can you do? He opens his mouth to explain, and then— "Woah woah woah!" Leo says, eyes widening, holding out his hands in pre-emptive defense. "Tommy, dude, it's— " This would be Leo, edging towards the door. "The car is /in New York/, seriously, I just need to— " Flee! Leo makes a dash for the door. This is a conversation that needs to be had over the phone. Yes. "HiyaMrsMoretti," he says to Tess, upon spotting her.

There is a strange look that takes over Contessa Moretti's face when her husband begins slamming doors and threatening poor kids like Leo. It's a mix of patience and exasperation; never once does it approach fear, anger, concern… "Hello, Leonard," she chirps in response to Leo as the boy sails past, her greeting very sing-song and inappropriately upbeat. She spares him a fleeting glance, though she makes no move to stop him in his flight from the back room. As an afterthought, she calls after Leo, "Tell your mother to call me!" Drawing in a breath, Tess turns away from the counter and steps towards the door to the kitchen, putting herself between the front door— and anyone who might be following Leo. Say, oh, with a baseball bat.

Whereas Carmine moves to intercept anyone who might be following /Tommy/. Because he firmly believes that Leo deserves whatever's coming to him. When the boy dashes for the door, though, he frowns deeply. /Goddamn it/. Think fast, Carmine, think fast. He switches tactics quite quickly, stepping forward to stand next to Tess. "Tommy," he utters in a low, flat, soothing voice, "hey. Let's not act hastily here. Why don't you stay here and cool off a bit, and I'll go talk to the boy."

And Francesca is one of those people that Carmine is going to have to hold back. "Don't you /dare/ listen to him, Tommy. He just wants to beat up Leo all by himself. And that's /not going to work/ for me. Just let me have fifteen minutes. /Fifteen minutes/ with me and my toolbox and we'll get this straightened out. Dammit, Carmy, /get out of the way/." Though she may love her nephew, this is a /huge/ screw up. And that means that he needs to be punished. The Moretti way.

Nadia stops in her fake quest for the scissors and tape. Cause uh, this is more serious than covering up for boffingLeowithoutCarmine'sknowledge. Yeah, so she didn't really get raised around all of this.. that is.. y'know, first hand witnessing (Which isn't to say that she doesn't know about this level of violance!).. so when Tommy disappears and comes back yelling with a baseball bat.. "What the shit!?" Yeah, so dad told her to watch her mouth earlier.. but.. that bat looks ready to make contact with Leo! /Her/ Leo! Yeah, back to uh, what passes for performance reviews in this line of business. So what Leo lost a car. Can't he just go jack another? Clearly not thinking in this OMGWTFBBQ moment, she about faces to do something stupid, like go after Leo. Only.. there seems to be a lot of interception going on here.

Even while Leo's got his hands up in that pre-emptive defense, Tommy is bearing down on the kid. There will be no excuses. Batter up. Only when the kid makes a dash for the door does Tommy pause, but then his anger is all that much great. "GET BACK HERE YOU LITTLE SHIT!" he cries out, making after Leo. It's only then that he notices Tess, and he slows to a stop, sort of staring at her. "When did you get here?" he says, the bat lowering to his side— then right back up. Leo's on the damn run, and he's at least going to hurl the bat at him. Then Carmine is involved, too, and Tommy stops once again, finally deciding to give up the pursuit. Leo is part of the family. He'll be back at some point. Looking over at Francesca, Tommy's temper begins to fade quickly, but it's probably because Tess is in the way, and he's definitely not going to cross her. "Carmine's right. We'll deal with him another time. Besides, if the car IS in the city, we need to find it. It has… we just need to find the damn car."

Leo isn't really thinking by the time he manages to get out of the store, semi-convinced he's about to get a bat to the head at any moment. Around the corner, back towards the alley where he keeps his bike. When the combination to his bike lock gives him trouble, he curses, backs up a few paces, and kicks the front wheel. Yeah, that's right, /all your damn fault, bike/. At least now Leo realises no one is chasing him anymore - that's not a surprise, however, considering that his family can't do anything without arguing about it, including killing him. He sighs, moves to pick his bike back up, working again on the combination. "1 2 3 4? 4 3 2 1? Something stupid like that," he mutters.

"Nadia, sweetheart," Tess says, glancing back over her shoulder to the younger girl, "watch your langua— " Which is how far she gets before Tommy's voice resonates through the restaurant, and her eyes drift closed in amused frustration. "— language." When Tommy is facing her, she fixes him with her very best Disapproving Wife face, her chin tipped down and a hand planted firmly on her hip. She might, maybe, be giving him a sad-eyed stare that ought to make him feel guilty for even threatening to harm a poor little boy like Leo. "Nadia, please go find Leo." She doesn't break the stare fixed on Tommy while speaking. Something does soften in her expression, however, and she is soon smiling again. "Il mio tesoro." With her heels clicking against the floor, Tess approaches Tommy and kisses him in a passionate way, albeit short-lived, before looping an arm around his waist. "Welcome home," she purrs, tipping her head against his shoulder, looking up to him with a faint smirk.

No, Nadia isn't going to find Leo. Carmine is. And he even looks nice and calm and rational, so nobody should suspect that he'd want to hurt the boy. In fact, when Francesca accuses him of such, he shoots a frown at her. "Why would I want to hurt him? It wasn't my car." And once Tommy settles and Tess moves out of the way, Carmine glances at his daughter. "No, Nadia, you stay here. Tommy's here, say hello." And with that, he's out the door and heading out on Leo's trail. It doesn't take much to find the boy in question, and Carmine's approach is quite casual, calm, relaxed. "Leo. Hey. Take it easy. They've got Tommy cooling off in there."

"Because /you're you/," Francesca hisses at him. But, then, Tess is handling Tommy, Carmine is already out the door, and she's left with….Nadia? Oh, screw that. Tearing off the apron, she tosses it somewhere that someone else will have to pick up and turns on her heel. Oh, there will be /fighting/ tonight. And there will be no making up, either. At least not yet. He's gonna find the locks changed on him when he gets home.

"Wait, what!? DAD!" And Jesus, what's with everyone telling Nadia to watch her language lately?? "Sorry Tess," is uttered then, oh crap, dilemma. The woman behind the man in charge says to go get Leo, but dad says otherwise.. Who has higher authority!? Or does Nadia even care? Hrm. Let's think about that, no not really. She's got a creeping feeling she knows what her dad wants to 'talk' to Leo about.. Screw this indeed. She's running out the door after her father!

Tommy looks rather annoyed with Tess's Disapproved Wife face, but the smirk tugging at the corner of his lips betrays his true feelings. She is, after all, his wife. When she speaks Italian, he steps forward, returning the kiss and placing an arm around her shoulders, taking a look around the restaurant. Leo is god-knows-where by this point, Carmine is off out the door, Francesca is off to break some fingers, most likely, and Nadia is hot on the heels of Carmine, leaving just he and Tess standing in the kitchen. He looks down at his wife, shaking his head, before finally speaking. "It's good to be home." He steers her towards the office, where he no doubt has some fine wine stored, which they can celebrate his homecoming with. Wine in the back office of Famous Vito's. Classy.

It doesn't really register with him that Carmine is rarely /nice/ - even if its a stoic form of nice. Leo is a little distracted, though, finally untangling the lock from the wheel spokes and getting up to stand, brushing some dirt off his knee. "Yeah?" he says, a little uneasily, glancing towards the store. "He seemed pretty pissed." No, really? Was it the screaming or the baseball bat that gave you this hint, Leo? "I can explain /everything/."

"He /was/ pretty pissed." Wow. Carmine's not pulling any punches here. As he comes up within touching distance of Leo he stops, hands in the pockets of his suit jacket. He glances from the other man to the bike, then back again. "… were you going to outrun him with /that/?" Seriously, Leo? And then there are footsteps behind him, and Carmine glances over his shoulder — only to spot Nadia. /Frown/. "Nadia, go back inside. Now." That's his no-nonsense tone. It's the one he uses when he's being a very stern parent.

"Why? So you can pound him into a pulp? Leo.. what did you /do/?" Okay, yeah, good job at playing stupid here Nadia. You know damn good and well what sort of reasoning Carmine has behind this beating. Hands planted on her hips, she approaches, but stops several feet away from her dad and Leo. Stubbornly stupid, she faces off against Carmine. Not.. the wisest course of action..

Leo gives Carmine an uncertain half-smile, keeping a hand on the handles of his bike to steady it. "You'd be surprised, man, I can make this go pretty fast." Of course he can. It's Leo. He could make one of those unmotorised scooters go fast, somehow. When Nadia steps into the scene, Leo shakes his head at her: it's all cool! I got it covered! it seems to say. "It's nothing, Nadia," he says. "Tommy's just pissed because I messed up an errand, Carmine's cool, right?" Because he's being nice! Totally got it covered!

Carmine's totally cool. "I am not going to pound him into a pulp," he states firmly. Sounds like it's the truth. After all, Carmine is quite calm and relaxed here. There's no trace of a murderous father on the rampage. "Go back inside." That one sounds like he means it too. Turning back to Leo, he jerks his head toward the other end of the alley. "Let's take a walk, Leo."

Nadia is totally not buying that Leo, y'know, judging from that 'uh huh' look on her face. Nor is she buying into her father's words. "No." Francesca's back there, and Tommy's probably banging Tess in the office. NO WAY is she going back inside. "Why can't you say whatever it is in front of me then?"

For all intents and purposes, Leo is pretty sure Carmine just wants to talk about said errand. Having an ally against Tommy, who /is/ pretty pissed off, wouldn't be such a bad idea - Cesca didn't exactly look so happy either. Leo leans his bike back against the wall. "C'mon, Nadia, you know why," he says. He hazards a clap on Carmine's shoulder. "We got family stuff to discuss, and you're not a crooked lawyer yet." A wink, and he starts down the alleyway.

Well, Carmine /was/ cool and calm and relaxed, up until that clap on his shoulder. Then he tenses some and the muscles in his jaw flex, though his expression changes very little. Nadia might catch onto his displeasure at being shown such a familiar gesture. "Family business," he adds to Leo's reasoning, his tone just a little more terse than previous. "You don't wanna go back in there, fine; wait for us out front." Us. In the plural. Which means he's really not going to kill Leo (tonight).

Nadia looks very unamused <tm> over at Leo. "Oh yeah, family stuff that's not fit for female ears." No, there's no sarcasm in her words. Not at all. "Fine," is her terse response as her gaze flickers from Carmine to Leo, then back to her dad. She about faces and stalks her way back to the front of the shop to wait.

Oh, shit. Leo turns back towards Nadia, just as she turns away to head out, and winces. That. That wasn't so smooth. Just. It's a boys-and-Cesca-only club! Still. He'll have to make up for that later. He turns to face Carmine, now looking determined. "Look, see, I got all the way to Miami, then this guy like— I mean he basically /stole the car/." Not quite, but. It'll work for now.

Good, Nadia's obeying. Finally. Too much of her mother in her. Carmine watches her until she's out of sight, then turns his attention to Leo, to whom he's been partially listening. He can multi-task, even if he's pushing 40. "Stole it how?" he asks stolidly.

That's where this gets complicated. Leo had every intention of telling everyone the truth, but he was hoping for a /touch more sympathy/ - which is kind of stupid to expect from this crowd. Leo watches Carmine carefully, but the man is as usual a closed book. "Well I was in a race," he explains, gesticulating as he does so. "And I mean, with /that/ car? I had it in the bag and— well it was for pink slips. But it was totally rigged. And…" He trails off, a little lamely. "So they took the car."

Dot. Dot. Dot. There are plenty of questions to ask, here, like, "What the hell were you doing /racing a car that wasn't yours/?" and, "Pink slips for a car that /wasn't yours/?" But no. Carmine does not ask these questions. Instead, after a rather dead and very silent beat, he speaks in that same emotionless voice: "And the car's here in the city? Who and where?"

Okay, this could be going worse. A lot worse. Leo isn't relaxed, not by a long shot, but he's also not /bleeding/. "These dealers have it, I dunno exactly /where/ but they've been seen around town," Leo says, then gestures vaguely. "But listen, let me try fixin' this. Tommy's /never, ever/ going to trust me with this stuff /ever/ again if I don't do something about it."

Quite frankly, Carmine isn't concerned about Tommy ever trusting Leo again. Carmine is concerned about that car, specifically getting it back. It's obviously of some importance — and no, he doesn't trust Leo not to screw it up. This is /Leo/. And not like Leonidas as in the Spartan King, who never screwed anything up. This is Leonardo Moretti, who is a complete idiot and races cars that don't belong to him for pink slips. Carmine withdraws a pack of cigarettes from his pocket and slips one out to place between his lips. "And how exactly do you plan to do that?" he asks as he goes for his lighter

Does Leo detect cynicism? Maybe, maybe not - it doesn't really matter, Leo hears enough cynicism and sarcasm to be almost numb to it. "Well these guys are street racers," Leo points out, with the beginnings of a hopeful smile. "There are only so many circles they can run in. I track 'em down, find the car and…" And. He shouldn't have jumped to that 'and' so quickly, he just hasn't thought that far ahead yet. "Well I mean, I just figure I can probably find the car pretty easy. Then I bring it back and it's all cool again." No scary baseball bat wielding!

… no, see. The racing was the /problem/. Carmine's lighter pauses on its way up to the end of the cigarette, hesitates, the completes the journey. A cloud of smoke soon appears before his face and he takes in a deep pull. He exhales slowly, deliberately, and clears his throat. "You find the car and the people who have it, and then you come back to me. You go into this thing without backup and you screw up again, you think anyone's going to be able to stop Tommy from splattering what little brains you've got all over the back room?"

It should be noted that Carmine is not concerned for Leo. He's concerned about the car not getting back to the Family.

Leo hooks his thumbs into his belt, listening both to what Carmine has to say as well as the pauses in between. This last comment makes him wince, glancing towards the backdoor entrance of the shop. No way is he going to attempt to go back in there and reason with anyone. He'll just have to show up for work tomorrow and hope Tommy's relaxed enough not to kill him on sight. "Yeah, I guess," Leo says, turning his head to look back at Carmine. "I'll let you know what I know when I know it, okay?"

A nod from Carmine. "Good." Another deep, cancer-encouraging drag from the cigarette and he casts a glance down the alley, where Nadia disappeared. "She's somethin', huh?" Wow. What a wild change in subject. Whatever could've brought /that/ on?

Wild change of subject indeed. Leo follows Carmine's glance, eyebrows raising. "I, uh. Nadia?" Nadia, whom he probably owes… something. He's not sure what one has to do to repent for an indirectly sexist attitude. Maybe he'll ask. Back to Carmine, who gets a puzzled grin. "Yeah, she's awesome." Father's like to hear that about their daughters, right?

Sure they do!

But not from the guys who are boffing their daughters behind Daddy's back. /Definitely/ not from those guys. Carmine looks to Leo again with a faint smile — a wholly mirthless smile. "Yeah?" And suddenly his arms snap forward to grab Leo by the shirtfront and haul him forward so that the two stand face-to-face — or as face-to-face as a 6'2.5" man and a 5'11" kid can get. "/How/ awesome, Leo?" Surprisingly enough, there's no real snarling, no real dangerous growling. Carmine's voice remains as bland as it was previously. There's only a hint of menace there. "How long have you two been screwing around behind my back?"

Maybe he should have seen that coming. Incidentally, Leo doesn't, but he barely makes a sound when he's suddenly grabbed, eyes going wide again. He's about to try and shove Carmine back when that question comes up, and he goes a little slack with shock and dismay. Oh shit. Did Nadia…? Did /someone/…? "Woah, Carmine," he says, hands latching on to the man's arms. "Me and Nadia, we're— it's not like that!" Ahaa. Right.

Wrong answer. Carmine's grip tightens harshly around the fabric of Leo's shirt, and his lips purse hard around the cigarette. "You /really/ do not want to lie to me, boy. Not if you want to keep walkin' on your own." A threat. One of those things that Carmine doesn't spew out without the balls to back it up (except for divorces). His face is stony.

Carmine knows. And he's going to kill him. Well hey, life, it was nice knowing you. Leo winces as that grip tightens, drawing the fabric uncomfortably at the seams, and his own grip tightens on Carmine's arms, in an effort to steady himself. "Nadia and I're seein' each other," he admits, reluctantly, although to his credit, he doesn't break eyecontact with Carmine. "She didn't want you to know, because—" Well, hi. "This."

"And it didn't cross your mind to be a man and to come /ask/ me about seeing my daughter?" is Carmine's short and rather malicious response. "You're a maggot, Leo." And Carmine releases Leo with a small shove to the chest — certainly not enough to knock him down, but forceful enough to put a few inches between them. "You stay away from my daughter." Leo is not worthy of Nadia.

Leo is quick to release Carmine when he's shoved, prepared to 'yessir nossir' his way out of this, if only for Nadia's sake. She doesn't need anymore friction between he and her dad. But then the insult, coupled with that order, cause a slight flare of that good ol' Moretti hot-temperedness. "Like you went crawling to grandpa about hooking up with Cesca? Gimme a break, Carmine."

That is probably not the best choice of words. Carmine is all ready to let it sit at that, but then Leo's Moretti temper has to get in the way, and he has to go and say something stupid like that. Without a word, without so much as a flinch, the older man swings a fist hard and low at Leo's gut.

Leo knows his family well - even the ones he's not technically related to. Most comments will result in something thrown, or an attempted slap, or even a bullet! It can get exciting. Leo nimbly avoids the blow, and makes sure he's a few paces away from Carmine before the man can fully right himself out of his own momentum, and keeps backing up, reaching out to grab his bike. "Yeah, exactly," he sneers. He's not being vicious - he's just pissed off - and not about to get into a brawl with someone like Carmine.

Getting a bit slow in his old age — or maybe Leo's just quick. Whatever the case, Carmine doesn't appear too ruffled when his fist doesn't connect, and once he's come out of the swing, he doesn't attempt another. Instead, he plucks the cigarette from his lips and, after one last puff, drops it to the ground. "It's tradition— " read: family law "— to ask. The fact that you didn't tells me that you are a coward, and you are certainly not man enough for my daughter. So you stay away from her. I'm not sayin' that for my health, Leo — I'm sayin' it for yours." And with that, and a nod, he turns to head back down the alley. See? He didn't beat Leo to a pulp. He kept his promise.

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