Breakfast Part II: My Brother's Keeper

"I told ‘em I know a guy.”

“That so?” Axel laughed a bit, both out of eagerness and a bit of embarrassment that he had earned such high regard. “Well I’ll have to think about it, haven’t done anything like that since I got the track gig with pops but I’m pretty sure I can still out-drive a cruiser and a few drones…” He thought back to the last time he and Matty had actually had to outrun anyone from a deal gone bad. It was a simpler time, less drugs and kids, more drugs and thugs thinking that their busted out jalopys could catch Matt’s car with him behind the wheel.

“Hopefully you won’t have to out-drive nothing, just keep it low key.” She offered, sliding into a booth to wait for her brother.

“That’s always the goal CC, but you know how it goes. No one’s ever happy with what they get or someone thinks they’re some big shot and next thing you know I got a few bullet holes in the trunk and I’m scrapping toasters for extra metal.” He tossed the comment out almost too nonchalantly, “Though I appreciate any opportunities of course.” He considered sliding in on her side of the booth, but figured it might be a bit too much to sit there and set himself up across from her.

“I know how it goes when someone is addicted to going fast s’they can.” she quipped, taking a sip out of one f the waters on the table. She absently chewed on one of the small cubes of ice, not wanting to think about Axel getting shot at or worse. Why couldn’t she find him a safer line of work? That was why for him race would always be greater than rave. The high he got from adrenaline, from going fast, from whatever was thrown at him, it gave him the same feeling she had in front of a big crowd. And once you had a taste? That took hold and nothing else mattered, not how shitty things were in the slums, not how citizens treated you - nothing.

Axel leaned back into his seat and raised his legs below the table onto Cyd’s seat row. Shrugging he said, “It’s what I’m good at, gotta make use of my talents somehow right? You got your music, Matt’s doing his pharm stuff. We all got our -ish.”

Cyd squeezed his knee as his feet rested on the bench seat next to her. “Don’t sell yourself short. You’re good at a lot of things Speed.” She shot him a glance across the table with a sly smile, but elaborated on other things he was good at as well. “No one fixes cars better n’ you. No one repairs headsets better n’ you. And yeah - you’re fast. You’re gonna be way more than someone’s pharma runner. Champion racer, winners circle all the way. And you’re gonna comp me tickets to every race you’re in. No nosebleeds.” Saying it made it fact.

His eyes drifted down with a soft smile, picturing the scene himself. It was a good dream, one that he held onto tighter than anything else. “You know it.” was all he could muster as he pictured the scene in detail again like he had so many times before. But that was a vision of the future, and at the moment he was hungry as all hell, “It’ll happen obviously, just give it some time. Speaking of time though, where’s Matt? I’m dying over here.”

“Something mighta come up with the kids. Just order, if he can’t make it, I’ll go drop the jacket to him after.” She slid a menu across the table to him. “Happens sometimes.” She put her feet up on the seat next to him, hoping that’s all it was, but something nagged at the back of her brain. Mr. Chuckles had been looking for him. Matt was a fighter - he could handle himself and then some with a bat, but a bat weren’t a match for a gun. “You dropped him at home, right? After you guys left yesterday?”

“Course, wouldn’t let me go anywhere else. Didn’t get to meet the kids but he seemed fine.” He could see a bit of worry on her face, “He’s fine, what are you worrying about him for?” At this though he recalled the events of the night before, “You’re not still thinking about that asshole from the party are you? Matty can handle that guy no question.”

“No, not Hendrix.” Cyd replied, dishing another ice cube out with a spoon. “ I know Matty can handle ‘emself against a punk like Hendrix.” Hell she near kicked his ass with a little help. But Mr. Chuckles? He shot up a bunch of kids. KIDS. And Math didn’t own a gun that she knew of.

“Oh so you knew his name?” Speed added with a cocksure glance. He hadn’t known much of anything about the situation from last night but if it meant protecting Cyd he was sure to get involved. “Business as usual I suppose.”

“He collects, anytime I rave run that part of town. Some places are kind of designated as turf. If you don’t want no trouble, you give them part of the take. Two and a half is standard,I go as high as five if it’s a good venue. But Hendrix said his boss wanted half or an exclusive to sell and I weren’t willing to do neither. S’when you got there. Maybe I should call ‘em, make sure everything is okay.”

“Hey I’m staying right here ‘till I get my pancakes and eggs as promised.” Axel added with a shrug and a smile.

Cyd half smiled, knowing it was better to not come between Speed and food, but as she ordered him a “fit-for-a-king” special, she couldn’t help but glance at the door each time it opened. “Don’t make yourself sick.” She chuckled at the boy wolfing down almost an entire pancake in one bite. She half heartedly nibbled the corner of a piece of toast, cut on the diagonal, her stomach in knots. She rubbed her chin as her eyes again glanced up to the clock. Speed said he drove Matty home. They couldn’t have been followed, not if Speed was driving anyway. And Mathias always takes note of his surroundings, he’d know if they were followed. He’s not stupid. But why isn’t he… The bell above the door rang, and Cyd visibly relaxed seeing the lopsided grin belonging to her brother.

“Sorry I’m late,” Matty apologized, “Connor wasn’t being very co-operative. How’d we make out last night?”

“Like Bandits,” Cyd told him, hugging him a little too tightly before sliding out of his jacket and handing over the clicks. “But don’t worry - breakfast is still on me. “

Joint Post with Turk

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