1965-03-03 - Another Talk With Alex
Summary: John, Lamont, and Elmo talk Alex Cohen into accepting their help.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
constantine lamont elmo lindon 

The sun is going down on a frosty winter day, and the toy shop is so close to closing its proprietor is on his way to the door when the trio arrives. His steps slow, and he looks uncertain. Then there's something nigh defiant in the way he lifts his chin as he continues to the door, opening it to say with a German accent, "We are closing for the night."

Germans. Not even a flicker in Monty's eyes at that, but….something there. So many scars on him from them, so many losses inflicted and taken. The Shadow's dressed in one of his conservative suits and a good topcoat, and he takes off his hat as he steps within. "I know, Mr. Cohen," he says, gently. "We only want a very little of your time, and it's on an important matter."

"Hi, Mr. Cohen," Elmo says. It's awkward, talking to someone you knew as a kid when you are an adult yourself, but hey, he's no stranger to awkwardness. "It's me, Elmo Rosencrantz. You remember me? I was always tryin' to take apart your toys. You showed me how with some of 'em."

All of John Constantine's suits were conservative: black, white shirt, red tie, slept in mercilessly. He hung back giving Cohen a nod. He remembered from last time and while things were nice enough, now, it didn't escape him that last time Lamont had to tear off across the city after stalkers.

Alex Cohen hesitates, his body blocking the shop, his fingers curled around the edge of the door. He's a weary man, is Alex Cohen. From the lines of care and deep sorrow in his watery blue eyes, one might surmise the Germans weren't so great to him, either. It's Elmo, though, that convinces him. "Elmo Rosencrantz, how much you've grown," he says. "You know these men?" He opens the door and steps aside so they can enter. He looks Constantine and Lamont over. "I don't know what you'd want, but I'll listen."

"Your safety, first and foremost," Lamont's voice is gentle. "Absurd as it sounds, there's a man who would take you and use your skills to work wickedness. We are here to warn you and offer protection."

"Yes, sir," Elmo says, kind of embarrassed. When isn't he, though? "They…well, it's kinda a long story, and I'm not the best one to tell you. They want to help. /We/ want to help." Help with what, he leaves Lamont and Constantine to describe.

|ROLL| Constantine +rolls 1d20 for: 19

Constantine was about to just pull a glamour on him and say comply but he didn't and looked around once again as he had before, "Shalom" Of all the people keeping any old ways in the room he would normally be the last pick but a good con artist knew how to read the mark. So 'honest John' was the face tonight. "Cohen, been a bit. We need to talk and frankly… we could use your help so we can all go back to our normal day."

Alex's brow knits. He turns the sign from Open to Closed, then closes the door and locks it. There he stands, his back to them, looking out at the street. Then, slowly, he turns and makes his way toward the counter behind which he works and does business. "I'm sure I don't understand," he says. Though the frankness is taken well, or about as well as this weary man is likely to take anything. His glance returns to Elmo for confirmation. Elmo is a good boy. "Who would make bringing toys to life wicked? What favor could I possibly do?"

"Is the name Hargrove familiar to you?" asks Lamont, still gently. "And odd as it may sound, there is wicked magic abroad in the world that can do precisely that - turn toys into automata capable of working real harm."

Elmo /is/ a good boy, even when he's climbing shelves to get to the really complicated toys he can take apart. Okay, maybe not that time. Mr. Cohen had been remarkably patient with him. He didn't know about toys coming to life, though it seems impolitic to say so at the moment. He meets Cohen's eyes with a nod.

"We've mentioned Hargrove to you before. And since….has anyone asked you to use your skill with spirits infused into objects?" asks Lamont, still gently. "

Constantine leaned onthe counter and leveled with Cohen. "We both hunted, mate. Turns out Lamont here's right. Trying to get you to make him an army. Reckon he's after me to power it up." He sighed and said in Hebrew to him «"Not the story of the goylem I think either of us want to be in"» Not a lot troubled John COnstantine but this one scratched him a bit below the surface enough to make his right eye twitch a bit. "I'd rather not help a chap like that out."

Alex's brow furrows. "An army?" Like it's only just now occurring to him his power could be used for such a thing. A horrible thing! He shakes his head slowly. "That's too terrible. No. I would never do it." Constantine's words in Hebrew make him flinch, but he nods. "Hargrove," he repeats. "I remember the name, but I haven't heard it except from your lips." This to Lamont. "Elmo, tell me you are not in need of this protection from wicked men."

Elmo gives Constantine quite a startled look. "You're not Jewish," he mutters, almost an accusation. How dare John know Hebrew! "No, sir," he tells Cohen. "I'm not. I'm tryin' to do some of the protecting." Because he's sleeping with one of the targets, but, nice old Mr. Cohen doesn't need to know that. "I ain't like these gents, but, I'm tryin'."

"I have several safe places you might stay," Lamont offers. No using magic to compel will - hoping ordinary persuasion will do the trick. "For while I'm sure you would never willingly do so, every man has some weakness that might compel him…." He trails off, gray gaze fixed on the poor toymaker.

Constantine paused and turned that look to Elmo letting slide only, "I'm a great many things you don't want to know about." Briefly he looked to Lamont who could absolutely validate that statement. Right now though he was here and he was focused on not getting that fuckwit the army he wanted. Oh yeha, and maybe keeping Cohen and himself alive, but ciefly? It was the petty fuck you to Hargrove. "News flash, he don' need us alive for that, mate. That's the rub. That's why our kind are dyin."

"You're a good boy," Alex says. "You stay away from all this danger. Your mother would kill me if I drew you into trouble like this." His brow furrows in concern. He never had children. These boys like Elmo who came into his shop, they're the closest he ever had. He nods slowly to Lamont. "I've withstood torture, and there were times I almost broke. I would rather not get captured in the first place. But who will watch my shop?" Though Constantine's words confuse him at first, he gets that 'oh' expression when it hits him: this 'Hargrove' doesn't mean to keep him alive.

Elmo winces. Both because, oy vey, poor old Mr. Cohen, tortured. Also because that is true as true can be, about his mother. "I got to do something. We can't let it get like Germany." So much history in such a brief sentence.

|ROLL| Elmo +rolls 1d20 for: 13

A slanted look given Elmo. He remembers Germany in the grip of that madness, twice over. "We may have to shut it down for a while," he says, reluctant. "But I can cover any financial shortfalls that might result. You have my word you will not suffer on that front."

Constantine nodded slowly, "Yeah, 'oh' is right, mate." The expression was loud enough even if the words weren't." With John's sleeves rolled up and the tattoos poling out he looked in this light every but learning the name 'gutter mage' but the scrappy spell slinger wasn't here to set teh world on fire and bring the dead and the damned to yield; just keep one man from joining those leions.

Alex frowns, and his gaze travels over the interior of his shop. "Business might never recover," he mentions, though it's an afterthought, not what's truly bothering him. His brow knits as he adds, "Oy, Elmotshik, be wise, be safe. I was your age when I started to fight. Too young." He shakes his head, resigned in advance; he knows full well how old twenty year-old him would have listened. "There was a man," he says. "He was here two days ago. He said he wanted me to meet with an associate of his about selling my toys to a larger market. I declined, and he seems vexed. I doubt he used his real name, but I would know his face."

Elmo folds his arms, looking away, ashamed despite knowing he can't back off from this fight, and Mr. Cohen didn't either, in his day. Constantine's tattoos catch his attention, give him a great reason not to look Mr. Cohen in the eye. …Maybe Constantine /is/ Jewish? "Mah-la-qa" he sounds out, under his breath, not quite realizing he's doing it.

"It won't recover at all if you end as a magician's lackey," The Shadow's voice is a bit more pointed. He metaphorically pricks up his ears at the mention of the new would-be buyer. "What name or company did he give you?" he asks. Still trying to keep that interrogator's imperiousness from his tone.

Constantine said in that off-handed dryness of his tone, "Well if we get nicked then the world might never recover…and still also the business so there's that." Thanks John. Real chipper there. Not wrong but a little on the nose. His attention tuned into the finer details of the answer. "Lamont… you able to scry off his eyes at all?" It's a practice he wa s aware of, but not one that he himself could do. If anyone had figured out how to do scrying off someone's eyeballs to see their memory? He recokoned Kent would be that guy.

Alex clucks his tongue, then gives Elmo's hair a tousel, and he tells him, "You're a good boy. Always the most curious about the toys, taking them apart. That mind never stopping for a minute." He then tells Lamont, "His name was Hank Sterling. Said his company was Coney Distribution. Even if he hadn't been off, I don't make my toys for wide distribution. Would you sell off your friends en masse?" He shakes his head. With a doleful look to Constantine, who he doesn't quite understand, he says, "I'll have to pack my clothes. They're all I've got besides this shop."

Elmo, flustered, protests something in Yiddish. Then, in English, "We know it's a lot to ask, Mr. Cohen. We gotta keep you safe. Who else is gonna let nosy little kids disassemble the train set?" He quirks half a grin, wry. "If you want, I'll keep an eye on the shop, make sure nobody breaks in."

"That's beyond my skill," Lamont confesses, only a hair sheepish. "And do hurry," he urges Mr. Cohen. A note of those names - there will be swift investigation tonight, though they'll no doubt prove to be false fronts. Even those may lend clues. "I will….have it watched," he adds, after a moment. He still has contacts who might offer at least mundane protection.

Constantine shifted a look to Lamont, sharp, alert, and with all tenacity he had when he was sill 14 and finding himself balls deep in the wars of others. "I'll get the car brought round and holler up to the lil big man." Strange. John picked and chose what he did and didn't leave people out of these days. This was information that needed to be out. With that he turned with the efficiency of a wold on the hunt and left to do just that,

Alex relaxes somewhat. "I'll give you the spare key," he tells Elmo. "In case you need it." He smiles a little. "Every time you took a toy apart, I got to put it together again." He putters at the cash register, since he's got to change that out anyway, and he produces a spare key for Elmo. "Yes, yes," he tells Lamont. "I don't have many clothes and they're always quick to pack." The habit of getting ready to bug out in a heartbeat never really died. "I'll just be a moment." He heads for the rickety stairs to the flat above, giving the trio a moment to talk as he packs.

Elmo accepts the key, careful not to accidentally make skin contact. "Yeah. Watchin' you put 'em back together taught me a lot. Mr. Cohen, I'm gonna keep your shop safe." He tucks the key away, and look at Lamont once the old guy has gone to pack, deeply worried. "Do you think he'll be okay?" He asks for reassurance.

The Shadow, it seems has no intention of letting Mr. Cohen out of his sight. He's following. Creepy? Of course. But Lamont's been around enough to justify paranoia, too. "We will make sure he is."

Alex emerges mere moments later with a suitcase already packed. He's had to get out faster from tighter situations. "If I don't come back, Elmotshik, you will have my shop. I have no one else to give it to." He nods then to Lamont and says, "I'm ready." He doesn't expect to come back, and there's profound sadness in the look of him, but he is ready.

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