1965-03-27 - The Tool Boutique
Summary: Vitale enlists Elmo into helping him buy things for the garage and also for sprucing up the Bossman's living space.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
elmo vitale 

Vitale was determined to get the garage up and running, to supply the guys with all that they needed, but the problem herein lies that Vitale De Angelis who has never had to lift a finger in his life for any manual labor that didn't come with healing or inflicting pain, doesn't have any damn idea what kind of tools you need for a garage. What do you use to fix a car? He has a guy that does that. Now, he had plenty of money to blow on something like this, he just needs someone who can actually inform him on where you /find/ tools and also what they needed. Otherwise, the garage was going to get fifty boxes of random screws and twenty air fresheners. Vitale can admit that he hasn't any damn clue what he's doing. He's kidnapping an expert.

He parks outside of JP's garage and honks at Elmo standing out front, hoping to make the sparky mutant jump. He rolls down the window and yells. "Get in, I'm kidnapping you."

Elmo does jump! because he's nervy like that. In the middle of welding something on one of the garage doors, he flips the welding mask up and gives Vitale a classic New Yorker 'can't you see I'm busy?' fling of the hand. "Whaddaya want?" he yells back at him.

Vitale presses on the horn again, in pure annoying brother style. "I /want/ you to get in the car. C'mon." He yells back. "I'll get out and throw you in and it'll be a real kidnapping. I need your help, jerk."

"I dare ya," Elmo mutters. But he yells, "Keep ya pants on," and vanishes inside briefly. When he comes back, he's scrubbed up, sans mask. He's dressed for working around the garage, in a plain t shirt, jeans, and his usual workboots. Without his usual bright colors and flamboyance, it's suddenly really obvious how short and skinny he is. He gets into the car. "Ist nu?" he says, Yiddish for 'so what now?'

"Don't tell me what to do!" Vitale shouts back at him but doesn't lay on the horn when Elmo goes inside. He gives Elmo a quick once over once he gets in the car. "First, I need to feed you. Damn, Elmo. You're really just little everywhere." He says, and it doesn't sound like he's teasing the other man. Instead, it sounds like geunine concern. "I need you to help me. You happen to know a lot more than me about what the garage needs. By that I mean, I know /nothing/."

"Feh. What are you, my grandmother?" Elmo grouses. He gives Vitale a funny look. "Needs? Like, what needs?"

"No, I'm your friend, asshole. I can't heal skinny, I can buy you a hamburger though." Vitale fusses back at him, like an old married couple, they sound like Elmo and JP as he starts the car. "Put your seat belt on before I slap you. I mean, like, I don't know what the hell you need to fix a car. I've never touched a tool before. We have a guy for that. I want to surprise JP, but I want to surprise him in a good way, not just show up with a box of useless crap."

"You sure you're not my grandmother, 'cause you sure sound like her." Elmo puts his seatbelt on, anyway. "V…you wanna buy us tools?" he says, eyebrows going up. "We got that worked out. Kind of. Well, not yet, but…it's gonna be worked out. Probably."

"It's gonna be worked out right now, you're right. I'm going to take care of it, but I don't know what you need. You know what you need." Vitale says sternly, very old Italian father of him. "I have money, it's /my/ money, too. Not my daddy's, alright? So we're gonna spend it on the shop and JP will be thrilled and so will you and then you can start working. You won't worry about money anymore then."

Elmo folds his arms, eyeing Vitale. "Are you gonna feed me or what?" Because he needs to talk about this and that's a good way of slowing Vitale down. Plus, he's actually hungry.

"Yeah, of course I am, you're too damn skinny. I don't like it. Where do you want to go, Sparkplug?" Elmo can probably feel frustration wafting off of Vitale. "What do you want? A burger? Should take you to a buffet."

Elmo has to laugh and shakes his head. "I can't eat that much, Vushka. Got nowhere to put it, I ain't got a hollow leg like Sev. C'mon, slow down, you're gonna give yourself a hernia. Let's go to that place on 122nd." Somewhere the team's gone for lunch several times, run by a mom'n'pop mutant team. She controls heat and he's a speedster. Together, they fight crime, and make burgers on the side.

Vitale settles by a lot when Elmo uses a nickname at him. "I'm not gonna give myself a hernia, it would go away immediately if I did." He grumbles at the sparky mutant but he seems significantly less worked up over it. "Alright, alright, we're going there. You aren't paying anything. You got it?" It sounds like a speech a mother gives her child before they go into a grocery store to make sure they don't misbehave. He pulls the car into park. "You guys never let me take care of you."

"Yeah, yeah," Elmo says, waving away this dire warning, amused. He's looking at V, studying him really, as they get out and go inside. It's a typical hole in the wall place in the M.T., the type of place that has stained linoleum, bullet holes in the windows, and the food is outrageously good. "What brought this on, tateleh?" Another fond Yiddish word, with a meaning something like 'buddy' in this context.

"You guys won't let me help and all I do is stand around and look nice. I don't know how to fix a car, but I have money but I think you're all too afraid it's dirty money or something, I don't know. I want to be helpful and I want to surprise JP. He has it rough, not being able to see his baby and being so far from a family he actually wants to be around… I want to help. I want to make him happy." Vitale explains as they walk inside the building,

"Won't let you help—V, you bought the damn building," Elmo says, exasperated. "Without you, there ain't no garage. You paid for eighty percent of it. And you make Sev happy. That guy, he needs that. And you do this little healing thing, remember that?"

"Well, yeah but that's the only reason I'm here, the healing thing. I want to help more." Vitale says, air of frustration growing around him again. "Once you get it running, I'm not going to be much help, the least I can do is buy you what you need to get started." He insists as they take a seat. He encourages/insists/basically demands that Elmo get whatever he wants and how much of it he wants. "Now, tell me where does one buy tools? Is there like, a boutique for it?"

Elmo orders soup. Then looks at Vitale, and orders a sandwich too. It's not the first time he's had to eat to soothe fretful relatives. V's not the only one who thinks he's way too skinny. He tries not to laugh, but it happens anyway. "A what? No. No, mostly though you order 'em from a cataloge, especially the stuff we're gonna need. Look, whaddaya mean, 'only' reason, that's a huge reason. You saved JP's life, you saved Bethy, you're gonna save us again. You got nothin' to prove to us, okay?"

Vitale tries to look upset about the fact that Elmo is giggling at him but it soon fails and has him smiling too. "That's why I need you, I don't know anything about this!" He says around a laugh of his own, reaching across the table to squeeze Elmo's wrist, quick so that he can't get nervous about being two men in public touching each other. "I know I don't. I just.. want to make your dream come true. There's not like, a parts shop we can go to so that I can buy things? Like tools? Can't you buy them at a shoppe." And you can practically hear the extra 'pe' at the end.

Elmo pats Vitale's hand when it comes over, affectionately. "We could get some things, there's an auto supply warehouse in Brooklyn. But, look. I dunno if buying a bunch of tools would make JP happy. He hates feelin' fussed over. I should know, I keep trying. I agree, though. He ain't doing so well. We oughta think of something to help him feel better. We just gotta be sneaky about it." When the food comes, he obediently eats.

"Well, then we don't admit to doing it. The tool fairy just showed up if he asks. And technically, we ain't fussing over him. We are fussing over the garage. There's a difference." He says, pointing at Elmo and winking. "We'll get stuff for the garage, and we'll get him stuff for the part of the garage he's living in. It's not raining. We could get him a bed!"

Elmo points back, comically. "A bed! That's what we oughta do. Get him a bed. That's a real good idea. He really liked all those pillows and blankets you brought him." He grins, wryly. "Fussin' over the garage. Okay, that's fair enough. It's our baby, right?"

"It is, exactly. He can't tell us we can't fuss over the garage. We'll get him a bed. I'm sure you'll like to have a say in that." Vitale winks at Elmo knowingly. It wasn't as if it were a secret that the two of them were something to each other. "What else does he need? We could get him more stuff for his kitchen. Even I know about kitchen things." He sits up straighter like he's quite proud of that statement.

"Feh," Elmo says, unavoidably blushing a little. "Yeah, maybe. Kitchen stuff! He's got a bunch of old pans and stuff, but he can't say no to some nice new ones, right? Tools, very important, for cars and food." He adds, going shy, "I promised him I'd teach him to make Jewish food."

"Real cute when you blush." Vitale says quietly, half trying not to be too loudly affectionate and half because he doesn't entirely mean to say it out loud. Dumb Elmo, being cute. How dare here. "He'll like that. Alright. So we have a plan. Take care of JP, despite all his fussbudgeting."

Elmo makes another of those waving-your-nonsense-away gestures, blush deepening because Vitale had to go and mention it. "That's right," he says, pretending like it isn't happening. "Now that stuff, we can go to regular department stores for. I think. To be honest, I never bought a bed. Or much kitchen equipment. How hard can it be?"

"I know where to find furniture. I'll take you to the finest place for a bed. Think he'd like a canopy one?" Of course Vitale knows where the best places to buy expensive furniture are. "We'll be alright, Sparkplug. We make a good team. You know everything I don't know."

Elmo, laughing again, shakes his head. "Maybe? It might remind him of home. Sleepin' out under the trees." Which he'd done, in New Orleans, with JP. "I dunno. Can you take it off? …Eh, if he doesn't like it, he'll saw it off." Finished up, he hikes his eyebrows at Vitale. "Well, let's go spend some a that money you're all hot to spend."

"Good, glad you came around to it. It wouldn't be great if you complained the whole time. You know, I'll bet we could find one that looks like trees. We'll get him a green curtain. Oh, I'm so glad I picked you to kidnap! You're perfect. I could kiss you." Vitale says, hopping up with all the excitement of a child going to a candy store. He leaves way more than neccessary on the table and gestures forward with Elmo. "Where do you want to go first?"

"Please don't kiss me," Elmo says, grinning. "I don't wanna have to fight somebody while we're tryin' to get stuff." Other times, sure, he'd like to fight someone over kissing a dude, but this is way too important now. Now Vitale's got him on board with this plan. "Bed. Let's do that first. …Do you think they make one looks like trees?"

"I said I could, not that I would." He teases, clapping Elmo on the shoulder as the go back out to the car. "Well sure, pal, they make beds to look like anything. They have ones with iron vines and branches, or we could buy one with a wooden frame, a real wooden frame."

Elmo goes home.

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