2007-04-13: The Revolver


Niki_icon.gif Stuart_icon.gif

Summary: Stuart drops by the bookstore, not only to retrieve a book he ordered, but to get his revolver back after Jessica took it (in Tunnel Vision), which does not go over well with Niki.

Date It Happened: April 13th, 2007

The Revolver

Enlightenment Books, East Village, New York City

It's a drab day outside, drizzle weighing down the air with grey skies above, but so far, the weather hasn't driven the masses to the quirky comfort of Enlightenment Books. Early afternoon is part of Niki's shift today, and the woman quietly goes about shop business, walking across the floor with a box - presumably of books. What else? The muffled sound of a radio on a classic rock station can be heard from the back room on low.

Its been a terrible week for Stuart, really, between the damage to his car and the blow to the head, but hey, at least the book he ordered came in. With that in mind, the drab day is like, well, water off of a duck's back, to strain a metaphor. The man is still on sick leave, so its jeans, t-shirt, baseball cap and leather jacket as the order of the day as he steps into the book store, looks around.. And spots Niki, causing him to frown and head over, "Need a hand there? Heavy box, eh?"

The appearance of the man causes Niki to stop in her tracks - but what comes is nothing more than an ordinary greeting of a customer. He came in and ordered a book a couple of weeks ago, right? "Hi, welcome to Enlightenment," she offers up a smile, although it's not quite sunshiney today. "I've got it. Thanks though!" She moves to slide the box, heavy indeed, on the counter by the dented register. "I think your book came in the other day."

"I got the phonecall," Stuart says, "Thank you." he steps up to the counter, smiling. "I meant thank you, y'know, for dragging me out of that car.. and all the medical attention," he deadpans, still smiling, "Also, I'll have the gun back too, please."

Niki uses the boxcutter she left on the counter earlier to neatly rip through the tape on the box, lending the occasional polite smile to Stuart as she works her way into the cardboard. His relatively genial manner and smiling throws her off, it seems, because she doesn't realize what he's leading up to until the words are almost entirely out of his mouth. Her brow knits immediately, then, and she fixes him with a wary glower. "I don't know what you're talking about."

"Oh, that’s right," Stuart says, gently slapping his forehead, "You stole my gun and left me, knocked out, in the drivers seat, didn't you?" The man puts both hands on the counter, "Thankfully, I'm okay and still have my good looks and I like playing rough as much as the next man, but I would simply love my revolver back, thank you."

Looking more cornered than her surroundings really warrant, like an animal looking for an escape, though her eyes never quite leave Stuart, Niki backs up ever-so-slightly. The blonde's hand instinctively clutches the boxcutter tighter for some measure of … comfort? Safety? Either way, there's nothing particularly threatening about the way she holds it, flat against the top of the now opened box. "I don't know anything about your gun. I don't know where it is. I don't have it."

"Oh," Stuart says, leaning back then, "Well, you probably lost it when the explosions started, eh? I'll just have my book then, and you can buy me a new gun for the back seat." he says, with a chuckle. "They've got you working here and only being G.I. Jane at weekends or something?"

Lost it. Sure. It amounts to basically the same thing, she has no idea what Jessica did with it. Niki slants her gaze down to the box briefly, distractedly flipping it all the way open and laying a hand on the topmost book. But Stuart's wording… she hesitates before answering any which way, eyeing him cautiously. Suspiciously. And a bit like she's afraid of his answer. "They," she repeats quietly with a hint of question.

"'They'," Stuart says, at once, no doubt, confirming Niki's suspicions and saying nothing much at all, "So, is my book in then? Places to be, people to kill, y'know how it is." he says, grinning.

The book Stuart ordered happens to be in this very box of books with other titles that had been ordered in, and so Niki sifts through until that one in particular catches her eye. "No," she answers, quietly contrary, "I don't." She promptly moves around the counter to ring up the ordered book. "That'll be twenty-four seventy-five. Who do you work for?"

As Stuart hands over payment, cash, he eyes Niki, "Primatech." he says, in answer, looking around, "Same as you, Jessica." He takes the book, slips it under one arm and turns for the door, before stopping and turning back, "Tell you what, you can keep the shooter if you buy me dinner on Saturday night, eh?"

Niki pushes the box neatly aside with her arm and slides the book, its receipt under the cover and Stuart's change on top, across the counter toward him. It's more of a shove, really, and lacks the nice touch of polite customer service. "Screw you."

"Oh, I just wanted dinner, screwing would have been too much," Stuart says as he turns to leave, really this time, "See you about, Jess!"

The bookstore employee shoots a look of death at Stuart as he leaves, but although it's pretty damn effective, it's nowhere near as dangerous a stare as her alter ego's. Whose name this man keeps saying. Niki stalks around the counter - following him? No, she just wants to lock the door behind him.

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