1965-01-23 - A Modest Broposal
Summary: Elmo broposes to JP.
Related: None
Theme Song: Ben E. King - Stand By Me
elmo jp 

The escape had been harrowing to say the least. Severin went back for the clothes and whatnot circling back around. That guy that went over the railing was not getting back up without divine intervention, and remarkably, Severin placed Jeanne's keys in Elmo's hand with the assurance, "You drive. You know the roads better." And thus Elmo came to be the second other people to drive that car. Severin held donto JP bleeding from the shoulder and the chest in the back seat (thank god the seats were red leather) and doing his best to staunch the wound and keep him awake.

A number was passed , and address was managed, and all were inbound to Brooklyn. This would not be the last time the 'No Sleep til Brooklyn' rule was in effect. The healer's house was nice. Italians. those kind of Italians from the made of things. And maybe for safety? Elmo was entrusted with JP's car to get it gone, take it to a place to hide it with the mess in the back seat, and go back and get shut eye with a promise to contact him about how things went.

If only to get the heat off of him and keep him off radar he didn't sign up to be on just yet. Plus, someone had to look after Jeanne.
It was way early in the morning for people assaulted at 3am. It was just before 9 that Elmo's phone rang and there was a dry, tired voice, that at least wasn't thready anymore that greeted, "Hey, I heard you took care of my girl for me. You and she alright?"

Elmo answers, his own voice more gravelly and raspy than his usual. "Hey. Yeah. She's okay. Got her stowed. Good to hear your voice." He doesn't bother sitting up, just stuffing the receiver next to his head on the pillow. "How ya doing?"

JP chuckled with a graveled rasp. He was just as tired, "Good t'hear yours too . I'm … good. Can' tell if I'm lucky or unlucky yet. But us… for what is worth? Thanks for savin my ass. Merci beaucoup." He sniffed and took a deep breath offering, "Was worried about you and Sev. Sooo since you saved my ass I get to by a hero a breakfast or somethin?"

Elmo snorts. "Worried about us? You're the one who got shot. In the chest." There's a rustle as he turns over. "Are you okay to be walking around? I don't want no breakfast from a guy who's broke and can't walk." He's joking in his rough fashion. That's how he shows love, with insults.

JP chuckled with a croak, "You doubt me? Man get in my car and I will prove to you what I'm capable of. Really though… our guy has a … wha' you guys callit? a schtick? A thing he do. He fixed me tha' time my ribs ate tha' bat. I'm alight. I mean you can double check for quality. Just… tired. Yousure you okay? Yous squished by a door."

Elmo laughs, low and rough. "A schtick. Yeah, that's what we call it." He sighs, shallow. "Door wasn't made of much. Was more the size 20 boot behind the door. I'm kinda bruised up. I'm okay, but I ain't running anywhere for a few days." Slowly, painfully, he sits up and groans. "Oy vey, I'm stiff as a board."

"You know I honestly don't know wether to say go you or, I'm sorry man." He paused, and while he was worn out it didn't stop his bravado in the slightest from amusing himself, "Either way mia culpa, man." Incouragable. Entirely incouragable. "You' be happy t'know," he went on groggily, "we took an earful for that thing goin' sideways."

Elmo laughs again, shaking his head. "What am I gonna do with you." He groans alarmingly, but it's just to do a big reach for his cigarettes. He lights one up with a click of the lighter. "Yeah? You deserved it."

JP chuckled and crooned, "Go. Hunt. Crepes with me." He paused hearing the sound chiding as the matter of fact truth it was, and the snikkt of the lighter. Quietly he relented, "Yeah… meybbe." There was a longer pause where he was lacking words for thought, "Look if… if you' out, I mean I get it… sooooo?" Breakfast? There was a hmmmm??? like one could see him making the face that make nuns forgive the stupid shit he pulls.

Elmo can't resist any more than the nuns could. "All right. Fine. We're taking my car. Yours is still full of…you. That's not kosher, yannow. Where are ya? I'll come pick you up."

JP laughed, "You sure you don' wanna jes' throw a blanket over it and I can drive you out to me…" He sighed. If he learned anything from meeting the Jewish community? It was to recognize when Elmo dug his heels in for the well being of another? Well that was pretty much going to be end of argument. He had to respect that. "I'm where you dropped me off in Brooklyn"

Elmo mmhmms. "Yokay. See you in a bit." He hangs up and drags himself through a shower, washing smoke and blood out of his hair and cursing in Yiddish every time he has to move his torso. So he's a little slower than his usual by the time he manages to get into his sunny yellow old pickup (immaculately maintained, of course) and get to Brooklyn.

JP was sitting on the porch of the place he was left early early this morning. He finished his cig sending the remainer pinwheeling off into darkness when the pickup pulled up. He of course gave it a once over running his hand along it (give it back, JP) and ran his tongue over his teeth with a grin and a titch of his head. "Oooh you did some work on her." he slid into shotgun which didn't stop him from smiling too nicely with those large dark eyes, "I'll drive." He didn't look at all worse for the wear but for wearing Severin's t-shirt, but he didn't look like a crime scene, just over tired. There was a faint appraisal, "You look like hell, ELmo"

The pickup is as bright a yellow as Elmo's shirt. He really likes yellow, apparently? He gives JP an evil look, but, remembering he got to ("got to") drive JP's pride and joy, relents, scooting gingerly over on the bench seat. "You should see me with my shirt off. I look like a map."

JP shook his head slouching against the passenger side door. HE took in the details as inventory but, would leave Elmo to his grousing. He earned that and he'd not rob him of it. "Oh ya don' gotta move." JP touched nothing but the bare metal of the truck. Signal and all the interior started to move on its own backing out. "Soooo Sev sid you drove my car. I take it she' jes' fine as you didn' answer the phone, Jean-Pierre I can explain on your mother's living soul I'll fix it sooo …"

Elmo grins almost despite himself as his truck starts driving itself. "Yeah, she's good. Messy, but hey. We can get her cleaned up. This is Daisy," he adds, patting the dashboard. Leaning back, he closes his eyes. "JP, I feel like Muhammad Ali used me for a training bag."

JP reached out a hand and ruffled Elmo's damp hair. "Yeah? Ya seem so. I saw you blow the whole damn circuit panel on tha' motel. Tha's some fine work there." His hand ran over the dash. Apparently tuned into the car he didn't have to look at the road, or at least had a sense of it through the truck itself. "Allo Miss Daisy. I 'pologize for gettin up in your business without proper introduction first."

Elmo flinches away, then hisses like a teakettle as the motion moves him in ways he didn't want. "No touching, okay? Hurts like hell to dodge you today." He smiles a little at the praise. "I was scared to death. I thought you were dead and I was next. Only thing I could think of was to overload everything I could reach."

JP was soooo going to start the I'm not touching you game. Elmo just set out that big shiny button. It was so on. He stopped though and actually fell serious. It was the same thoughtful expression from that Nurse's apartment. He admitted, "Yeah… I was afraid of that too." He shook his head itching fingers at his hairline. "I don' wanna die. I didn' realize that second shot went into me. I totally thought it hit you." He was… well not at all proud of that.

Elmo actually advances his own touching at that, reaching over to pat JP's shoulder. "I thought—I dunno what I thought. It was like you got punched by nothing. Then…" He stops, shaking his head, not wanting to go on. "I shoulda thought that maybe this gig could be worse than taking a punch or two."

JP exists as a tactile creature. He paraded his deviances around in front of others challenging and daring them to say something. Give him that one more reason to keep fighting. That wasn't for here. He cut around by the waterfront to get over the bridge and pulled over for a moment. He knew the bridge was over there to cut to the next borough but that wasn't it. He just needed that moment to not be a cocky asshole flying by the seat of his pants.

"I thought," His brow furrowed and four fingers rubbed it, his eyes twitched thoughtfully, "I thought that first one that hit my shoulder." His jaw tightened and he jumped to, "You were behind me. And it wasn' even our gig." There wasn't a lot that bothered him, but this hit high up there because all reason hasn't left him

"Yeah." Soberly, Elmo looks back at JP. "Listen. I'm not sayin' I want out. I just.. JP, I thought you died in my arms." He winces, folding his arms over his belly as if trying not to feel JP's bleeding weight again. "Sev said we had to get you to a doctor and I thought, it's too late for that, it's way too late. I was wrong, thank God," he rolls his eyes up and holds his hands up, thanking God, "but oy Gevalt. Then I thought you were gonna die on the drive. Sev was holding you in the back seat and you were bleedin' on absolutely everything and—" He stops, looking down.

They were stalled on the water, not in main traffic or residential. The whole event had them all freaking out. Somewhere between Elmo describe for them both to relive it. His brow furrowed and he half joked, and was half serious trying to come back from that feeling of terror into the embrace of glib retort, "Yeah, well maybe next time I take you out, you pick the venue. We been kinda 1 for 3 and them's ain' great odds, mon ami."
There was a stillness and he went to lay a hand back on Elmo's shoulder but curled it into a fist respecting his wished and bounches his knuckled into the bench between them. We were all scared. But we liv' cause we work well t'gether. It's why we don' do this stuff alone. World ain' ever gonna be safe but we can walk away from the shit they try to bring down on us."

This unspoken respect causes Elmo to respond, grasping JP's hand on the seat. "So I was thinking," he says, looking up into JP's eyes. . "Thinkin' we need someplace better'n a roach motel. Somewhere more defensible. Somewhere we don't need to hide. And some way we can earn money at least mostly on the up and up." He leans back, letting go. "So I was thinking, maybe we should buy a garage and go into business."

JP gave that hand a squeeze; well with him thumb freed anyways since Elmo gave his balled up fist a squeeze. The suggestion though was a right curious one. Though the man never finished the 9th grade the subtext was not lost on him and JP remained sharp as a tack even if he was underslept. "You askin me to stay in New York now or this jes' you still bein over critical a' nmy living conditions." That look seemed to defiantly protest, I was indoors!. A thought hit him funny enough to make him snicker arching an eyebrow, "And it wasn' quite what I meant but… is a thought. Take a while to get tha' kinda green. Lotta places don' like new business. One in Mutant Town get hit a lot… maybe tha's right where we should go? Less hidin there all 'round"

Not that JP ever tried to at all hide anything from his personal proclivities, to being a Mutant at all. Were he to kiss another fella in public and someone say something? JP would come out swinging. It was just who he was; unafraid even when he should be, as last night proved. Maybe that's why the moment of reservation? Maybe almost dying brings clarity. Maybe just 5 minutes of common sense.

Elmo winces. "I didn't think of it like that. That it was askin' you to stay. And…I didn't think you wouldn't stay." He pulls a face, irritated with himself for assuming things. "Okay, well, lemme add on all that, 'if you want to stay'." He nods, eyebrows thoughtful. "Yeah, it'd take a while. I don't got a problem with that. But maybe it ain't what you want. Mutant Town sounds great, though. It'd give us a base for going out and repairing things for people."

JP leaned into the door, elbow propped against the ledge of the closed window, fingers resting against this temple thoughtfully. THe one truth about him, historically, was that JP was fast to drop and run. SOmetimes he dropped when he forgot to run, but let's not rehash earlier that morning. He chewed thoughtfully on the inside of one unshaven cheek,; olive skin still pale, but pointedly better than last they parted.

There was quiet for a long time as he carefully thought on that. He broke the silence tentatively poking at the topic while 'flying casual'. "Someone's gotta help those people…" His eyes life back up to Elmo with a cant of his head. "I mean, rough area…" Most would see that as a security concern, but, "We wouln' get bored." There was that. You know the important factor. His expression furrowed a bit, "Wan' me to stick around long enough to run a business?"

Elmo turns a palm up in a neutral-to-maybe gesture. "I mean. Yeah? I do want that. But I don't run your life and you shouldn't decide stuff based on what I want. I don't know what the future holds either, you know. Everything's kinda up in the air and confusing." He studies JP's face, eyes flickering as he checks him over. "We don't gotta decide anything right now. You promised me crepes."

JP thought about it and offered matter-of-face deadpan in a distracted tone, "Eh, usually I don' like givin people the crepes. Scares em. You're braver than you look tho." Was he serious? The wink said no. He offered, "Well you asked you didn't say JP this is what you gotta do." He wasn't freaking out… maybe? There was a slow nod catching Elmo's eye and waiting to hold that contact before saying anything so there was an established calm, "Le's look into it. See what we start come' up with. Go from there."

His tongue ran thoughtfully over his lower lip as he thought about that observation he was sharing. "I like you Elmo. You're my kinda people. The 'why's' good. Real good." His head picked up and he looked over the industrial waterfront across the inlet. "These people fuckin need somethin', tha's for sure…. sides… you gotta teach me latkes."

Elmo snorts and rolls his eyes at the joke. "The worst," he mutters, then quiets to listen to the rest of it. He shakes his head. "Nah, outside of, yannow, immediate life or death, I'm not gonna tell you what to do. I don't know what you should do. I hardly know what I should do. For what it's worth, I think we're a great team." A half-smile tugs at his mouth. "I'll teach you to make latkes, then you're gonna put hot sauce all over 'em. My bubbe would whap you with a newspaper."

JP relaxed a bit offering an easy smile to warm up his tired face. "Eeeeh I think we make a helluva fuckin team too. And tha's good, I don' make a plan. I jes' look at wha's in front of me, pick a direction? Go. Plans fall apart. Instincts? You got good instincts, Elmo." He laughed and sat up, more energy coming back to him unable to be too serious for too long, not unfocused though. His lower eyelids squint at the electrician and nodded with approval. "Le's try t'set that out ass a goal though. Merde, can you imagine us doin legit business? Wha' the hell, if you're in I'm in. we can start gettin some idea what we need. Shit, we ca be dirty lil Robin Hoods."

Elmo shrugs an I-know-right? shrug. "You can't live off stealin' forever. You're gonna get caught. It's a numbers game, right? If you have to steal that much, it's gonna fall apart sooner or later. Then you'll go back. We don't want that." He smiles fully. "Robin Hood, yeah. That's what we're doing, anyway. We could do a lotta good, JP."

JP held up a hand and shook his finger giving Elmo that look of 'give-me-a-little-credit'. "Elmo, I been doin this my whole life. I get caught? Eeeeeh, coule times oui, couple times no, but what 'am tired of?? The workin' for other people. Thaaaaaa' cause more trouble. THe don' think things through? Whoop! Under the bus they throw us. We ain' expendable, Elmo. I know you know that so?" Both eyebrows went up and his head wobbled until it settled into a nod, "So yeah we go into our own business. I mean you make it soun' like I got no choice? Maybe I don', maybe I do, but this is my choice. " The grin warmed to amusement, a fondness given to his worrisome companion, "You worried about me though? Careful. Is a good way to have a heart attack. BUt no. I ain' goin back." The back of his knuckles tapped against Elmo's shoulder, "WE ain' goin back. But… we are gon' help some people out. We should talk to Sev."

Elmo tips his head and a hand, mouth quirking. "Yeah. You know better'n me, huh? I worry though. You will give me a heart attack, but I worry. Oy, I sound like my mother." He laughs under his breath. "Okay. We'll talk to Sev. We'll get it worked out. Now," he gestures to the road beyond the windshield, "drive, willya? I'm starving."

WIth a grin JP said no more on it and let the car go forwards. To crepes!!!

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