Delivery Boy
joaquim_icon.jpg steve_icon.jpg

Steve seemed pretty mellow about Joaquim coming over to his place with the DVD player. In fact, he sounded pretty mellow in general. So he just gave over the address, warning that this had better not be a police sting, and then kicked back to wait. His apartment is no great shakes, but it's in an okay part of town. It's a one-bedroom with gray carpet and white walls, a couple of movie posters haphazardly tacked to the walls. The furniture is all obviously IKEA.

Joaquim was fairly convinced that Steve gave him a bogus number, so when the familiar voice answered on the other end surprise toned down the typically exuberant teen. The plan was made and as soon as the phone was back in the cradle he started darting around the house collecting the promised goods. Well, the DVD player and a few extras that he had on hand. The box he piles it all in oddly reads 'McDonalds' and smells of the shitty fast food joint. This is carried directly to the apartment door, which is tapped with a runner toe because both hands are occupied with the overloaded box.

"Hold on," Steve calls, and there's a grunt as he gets out of the Poang chair and goes to open the door. He eyes the McDonald's box, but motions for Joaquim to come in. "Hey. Want a beer?" Yeah, Steve doesn't care what time of day or night it may be when it comes to a brew.

"Sure!" Joao slips in past Steve and heads straight for the middle of the room where he spins around to take in everything that is Captain Sunshine. Two rotations are made and then he starts looking for a place to set the box. "I tossed in some other things, but I told you, no cops! Do I really look like a cop?" He's wearing the patented Joao stupid grin.

"No, but that's exactly the kind of cop that goes undercover," Steve points out, shutting the door behind Joao and locking it, then going to the fridge for a couple of beers. There's a wobbly IKEA coffee table in the middle of the room where the box could /probably/ go. "So what's up?"

The box is placed on the obvious surface and immediately popped open. "I tossed in some of my favorite DVDs," which Joao has an abundance of, still in the foil. "There's also a car stereo and a loaf of banana bread." The bright green eyes roll at the last as he explains, "My grandma insisted."

The table wobbles a little, but holds up. Steve opens the beer and brings one over to Joao. "Banana bread?" he asks with surprise. "Wow. Thanks." He eyes the car stereo. "You wanna stay and watch a DVD or something?"

The invitation elicits a bouncy, "Yea, great, sure." Beer taken, it's sipped and Joao spins about looking for a place to sit, then a memory seeps into that small pea he calls a brain. "Oh yea, you know Mama Makea, huh? She get a hold of you yet?"

There's a crappy IKEA couch with white slipcovers on it. Steve goes back to the Poang, looking a little wary at the subject of Makea. "Yeah…I met her once or twice. You know her?"

"Yep!" Joaquim plops down on the couch, draping long limbs in every direction. "She's awesome. I saw her last when I went to visit my good buddy Todd and she's throwing a party!" Whether she knows it or not. "We really want you to come." Naked or not. The boy beams at Steve and then sips.

"Todd?" Steve echoes. "Is that that guy with the head trauma or whatever, or a different guy?" he sits back in the chair and glugs down some beer. "What kind of party?" he asks, but he smiles a little, being that this is the first party he's been invited to since he went into the hospital. "I like parties."

Joao abruptly sits up, feet reeling in to hit the bottom of the couch as Steve pegs Todd. "You know Todd? Yea, he's great. He has a big thing for Captain Sunshine. Really thought it was cool that we knew you." A blink later he's off on another tangent, "Can you get any of that Captain Sunshine products? Like a notepad? He somehow got banged up and lost his notepad and he really really wants another one." The topic of the party is put to bed for a moment. Priorities.

Steve shakes his head a little. "Yeah, he's got brain damage or something. I even bought him pancakes one time. I feel sorry for the guy. Hold on." He gets up and opens up an ottoman that proves to have storage inside, pulling out a notebook and a pen, both printed with brightly-colored images of the cartoonier version of his character. "I almost threw all this shit out," he says, clipping the pen to the notebook and tossing it at Joao.

Joaquim nearly rockets out of his seat when the goods are spied, excitement sending an electric jolt right through him. Thankfully the beer had just been placed on the iffy coffee table or it would have surely gone everywhere. "That is excellent!" The items are caught and peered at for a moment as something, some lost memory, itches at him. Then it hits and he's up, moving towards Steve with the notepad held out. "Can you autograph it for him? That'd make his day." The perma-grin has become positively vibrant. "You can see him again at the Pecan Pie Party." Apparently that is the sort of party /he/ thinks they're going to have.

"Yeah, sure," Steve says, putting his beer down and coming back over to sign the inside cover of the notebook with 'Captain Sunshine' and under that, 'Steve Hawk.' He dates it and then gives it back to Joaquim. The ottoman, by the way, seemed to have all manner of cheapo Sunshine-brand merchandise jumbled inside. Steve gets his beer back and heads for the chair once more. "Pecan Pie? Man, haven't had a homemade pie in forever."

"Mama Makea makes the best pecan I've ever had and I'm a cona-… cona-… whatever the hell it's called." The double signatures are gazed at and Joao's face screws up a bit. A moment of decision making pauses the youth where he stands until he comes to a conclusion. "You think you could write a little note too? He really really likes you, even though he doesn't remember even knowing you." There's a hint of sadness to soften his features as he wanders over to hover over Steve's chair while holding the notepad and pen out to him.

Steve leans and puts the beer down on the floor, then takes the notepad, frowning a little. "What should I write?" he asks, obviously taking it seriously. "I mean, I don't know him well, but he seems like a good guy."

Joao cheerfully informs, "He /is/ a good guy. A great one in fact." Then he goes silent while scrounging around in his head for words. For the duration of what is obviously a painful moment, his eyes swivel this way and that, as if somehow he'll manage to spy inspiration that will trigger action in his brain. "Well…. how about… " he drags it out as nothing seems to come, and then very slowly it dribbles out, "To my… faaaavorite fan. Yoooou rock Todd." His gaze jumps down to Steve to see if he approves.

Steve lifts an eyebrow. "Well…whatever, I'll write something," he says, and stares down at the page for a moment before he starts writing. 'Todd— You are one of the good guys. Keep fighting the good fight. Your friend, Captain Sunshine.' He hands it back to Joaquim. "How's that?"

"Excellent!" The pen and notepad is swiped and transplanted to the top of the box as Joao drops back down to the couch. Leaning forward he grabs the beer and takes a drink. "He'll dig it. Every time he opens his book he'll be happy. Thank you." The beer is placed back on the table, nudging the box over just a tad to assure enough real estate. "This place ain't bad," he says while peering around.

Steve smiles a little at that unexpectedly nice sentiment, then leans down to get his beer, glugging down a bit more. "Oh, thanks," he says. "Better than the place I had in LA. Rent's cheaper here. 'Course, I don't work as much here, either…"

Joaquim nods as he listens and then pipes up, "You get that movie you were going for?" He doesn't really remember much about it at all, which is why it's put so vaguely. A fingernail absently tings against the bottle to make it sporadically sing. "Dallas is right next to Hell, so the rents are cheap because no one reallllly wants to live here." The emphasis drags the word 'really' out to expound on that which he truly believes is the truth.

"Huh?" Steve asks. Apparently he doesn't remember which movie, either, so he lets it go. "It's okay," he says with a shrug, about Dallas. "I've lived worse places. And even better places aren't as great as people think."

The 'huh' is left alone and passed over for a topic that Joao is actually well versed in. "Yea, but Dallas is a pit full of redneck cowboys and women who wear too much - too much of /everything/ but clothes." The town is well known for the ample cleavage. "Especially makeup and jewelry."

"Well, LA's the same, except with, like, vegans instead of cowboys," Steve asserts, finishing off his beer. Apparently he doesn't have a very high opinion of vegans.

Joaquim shrugs, conceding to his lack of travel, "Probably so, but I know there are places that are better. I've seen them on TV." An avid nod follows that up to elaborate his assurance. The beer is taken and several pulls are made on it in an attempt to catch up with Steve, which will likely result in a sleepy Joao.

"If you saw it on TV, it was probably a fake they produced in LA," Steve points out. "Which we already figured is lousy. Once you go enough places, you'll figure out they're all the same."

Perplexed, Joao questions, "Everywhere? There's nowhere good?" This idea makes the boy's eyes droop. "I had really hoped I'd escape Hell's Gates sometime in the - distant future." It'll not happen soon. One would need a job and a plan for that.

Steve frowns a little, looking over at Joaquim's droopy expression. "Don't listen to me," he says. "I'm just talking big. I've hardly been anywhere. Just LA. I bet there's great places like…Paris or…Macchu Picchu."

Now there is a name Joao likes! So it is repeated, repeatedly, "Macchu Picchu. Macchu Picchu. Macchu Picchu. Macccccchuuu Piiiicchuuu." That brings him right out of that fractional moment of sadness. It's hard to keep Joaquim down. "Where is that? I gotta go."

Steve blinks at the repetitions, but refrains from asking if Joaquim is high. "Peru, I think. You should check, though. I'm no good at geography."

Peru is another name Joaquim likes, but he won't replicate that one out loud. "Neither am I, obviously." He's not really good at much that had to do with school. "Do they have squirrels there? Flying ones? Do you like squirrels?" An eye twitches as he waits for the answer.

"Flying squirrels?" Steve asks, bewildered. "I have no idea, man." His brow knots. "I've never even /thought/ about squirrels, to be honest. I mean, what's the point of them?"

Joaquim had reached for and had been taking the last sip of beer in the bottle when Steve speaks, only to choke on the swallow. A rough clearing of the throat shoves the liquid on through, clearing it for speaking. "Squirrels are amazing. Humans moved in and dropped a nasty city right on top of their world and they just inked out a life amongst them, no complaints, no bother. They adapt well - better than humans, in fact."

Steve shrugs. "I don't know what makes squirrels better than pigeons or rats or cockroaches, in that case," he says, not impressed by the adaptability of the common city squirrel. "Let's try out the player, watch a movie. You can pick out whatever you want."

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