It's warm out. Or at least it is compared to the hospital, which was always near freezing. It's not raining, anyway, a rarity in this city. I welcome the lack of rain; I'm still getting used to walking--or rather, limping--on my bad leg. The last thing I need is a layer of water on the ground to make the going more difficult. Soon enough, though, I find that something else is determined to give me trouble getting back to my hotel. Waiting for me outside with a huge smile on her face is Nadia Ness.
"Norman!" she greets with a large hug that sets the parts of me that are still sore screaming and very nearly knocks me over. "I'm so glad! I was afraid I'd missed you! Daddy wouldn't tell me what hopsital you were at, you know, and when I finally managed to get it out of Detective Remington today he told me you were being discharged!" She squeezed me harder and let out a sound like a teeange girl at a Sinatra show. "But here you are!"
"Ah, good to see you, too, Nadia...." I force out, prying her arms off of me. "But I have to get going, so-"
"Back to your hotel?" she asks me. "Let me drive you." Nice of her, really, but I don't exactly want her to know where I'm staying, even if I won't be staying there much longer. I know that if I let her get to my hotel, she'll try to get in my room, and even if I was at the top of my game as far as my ability to defend myself, I wouldn't want to fight the chief's daughter. Sure, I'm not working for him anymore, but I'd rather not cross him, just the same.
"No, it's all right," I say. "I already called a cab from the hospital."
"Oh, then I'll just wait with you," she says. I panic a bit; I didn't call a cab. We'd be waiting all day.
"I'd actually rather just be alone right now," I try. "The hospital was... suffocating. Doctors and nurses all the time...."
"Oh, all right," she says, still smiling at me. "I understand. Well, if you want to see me another time call the police station and my dad will tell you where I am."
"Won't you be at the Fedora?" I ask, though I have no intention of looking for her. She hakes her head.
"Naw, the Fedora stopped being fun after that girl started playing there. Everyone wants to see her so it' s so crowded all the time, and she plays the same set every night, so there's no variety."
"What girl?" I ask. Last time I was at the Fedora they were hiring.
"Oh, you know," she said, dismissively. "Anna Fontana."
Anna Fontana. I wonder if Robbie Banks has heard.
Nadia and I say our goodbyes and I hail a cab back to the King's Hotel. My car is still where I left it, but I don't feel like going to get it now. When I get to the hotel I go up to my room for the last time; I'll be checking out tomorrow and moving to a less expensive hotel. It won't be as nice, but hopefully I can manage. If I have trouble there's always triptocaine.
I go to my closet and remove a tube from my suitcase. I'll have to restock eventually, but it looks like I'll be fine for now. My instinct is to put the tube right to my nose right where I'm kneeling, but I make myself get up, change into my pjs, and get to my bed. I get comfortable and make myself relax as much as I possibly can. Only then do I twist open the cap and take a deep wiff. I manage to close it up again, saving the remaining blue powder from spilling before I drop the tube on the ground. I let the tripto take me far away to a place where both my legs work properly, where I never got taken off of a case for getting closer to getting myself killed than getting the killer, where my girlfriend can touch me without sending me into a fit of anxious panic, where orange skunks-- Well, orange skunks aren't something I'm particularly fond of, but if having them around is the price I have to pay for everything else, then so be it. Eventually I fall asleep, and it's the deepest, most restful sleep I've had in a long time.
Last edited by the_crankmaster
on Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:24 am, edited 1 time in total.