They started walking toward a storefront, "anyway, thanks for saving me from getting raped, I guess," she said.
"If it's any consolation, by the time I got here, it seemed like they decided to just beat you to death and call it quits," said Charley.
"That's real comforting, thanks," she said sarcastically, smiling for the first time, "I feel much better about this whole thing now." She held her hand out, and he shook it, "my names Danny, by the way," she said.
After a second, he took his hand back. "...You're taking this real well for having just been beaten up. I was serious, you really look terrible."
"So do you." She shot back, pointing at the blood on his face.
"That's different. I get in fights all the time. I'm used to this crap."
They climbed over a pile of rubble outside the front door of the store. He looked down, taking care not to lose his footing. Charley saw that Danny had on a familiar pair of uggs, which the dank may or may not have almost hit him in the face with earlier.
"Uhhh...what are you doing out here anyway?" He asked. "It doesn't seem like there's much going on around here."
They stood in the middle of the abandoned store talking. "I have no idea." She shrugged, "I just woke up on top of a pile of trash tied up with rope and with a piece of tape over my mouth. It was really weird. Fortunately, I managed to reach my pocket and cut myself loose with my knife." She reached in her pocket and pulled out a pack of gum. "You want some?"
"I'd love some," said Charley. She handed him a piece.
"Wow, you look really cold!" She said, realizing, now that they'd stopped, that Charley was shivering. "Your lips are blue! I know this neighborhood pretty well -do you want me to take you somewhere where you can warm up?"
"No?...ok, can I at least get you something to eat?" She asked.
"Eh. I'm ok." He shrugged again.
"I feel like I owe you. Is there anything I can do pay you back?"
"...Yeah, there is something." Charley reached into his pocket and pulled out the snub-nosed revolver he'd taken from the gang member and held it out to her. "Would you mind shooting me in the head?"
"Whoa!" She flung her hands up and backed away from Charley, "you want me to kill you!?"
"Nah," Charley took his hat off and craned his head around to show her the gaping wound in the back of his head. "It probably wouldn't kill me."
"Oh shit, that's weird! ...But even if it won't kill you, why would you want me to do something so retarded?"
"Cuz I want to stick it to that fog monster out there; you heard him, he'll get in big trouble if I get messed up. And...it sounded like if I did it myself I would probably actually die."
"Won't it want to come after me later?" She asked.
"It'll never know if we do it in here, and neither of us step in it when we leave."
"Alright, if it's what you want. Crazier things have happened today," she said, resigned, pointing the gun at the right side of Charley's forehead and shutting one eye, "wait a second..." (she lowered the gun) "Did you already swallow that gum I just gave you?"
Charley shrugged. "I was really hungry."
Gangland overlord D. Burrow was terrified that he'd be assassinated, so he made sure to take a random route to work every day. Or so people thought; in reality he was on a three week rotation. You'd have to tail him for a few months to figure it out, which was no small task considering that he owned two houses and five apartments, with nearly a dozen hotel suites around town reserved for his personal use. There was very little way to even tell which place he'd go to in the evening, which car he'd drive, or if he'd take a cab, and he'd become adept at slipping away with his two huge body guards if he got suspicious. It only took Charley's boys six months to figure out Burrow took the A bus from a dive on Sixth Street every third Wednesday. They'd been hoping to kidnap or blackmail him, but they never found a good opportunity.
Charley stood on a rooftop, ten stories up, with Junior and a guy with a bandage over his nose and two black eyes. The guy with the busted nose wore a leather jacket with a shark on the back. They were across the street from a stop on the A route three blocks before Burrow's office. Charley was pulling a rocket launcher out of a plastic case. "Who was that sweaty guy you got that bazooka from anyway?" Junior asked.
"Nunya." Charley said.
"Nunya fucking business, that's who," Charley said, loading a projectile, "just a guy I get crazy-ass rocket launchers from and shit."
The A bus pulled up at the stop across the street. Bill got off; he didn't have his coat with the house-punching train on today. "That's the signal," said Charley, "Burrow's on that bus, alright." He held the rocket launcher out for the guy with the black eyes. "You wanna do the honors, Peanut? He busted your nose, after all."
Peanut took the rocket launcher. Junior asked, "You sure we can't just go over there and shoot him? Do we really have to blow up a bus full of people?"
Peanut aimed through the viewfinder, and the targeting computer started beeping, honing in on the bus' heat signature. Charley said, "There's no way we could rush a crowded bus with his bodyguards as tough as they are and not get a few of our boys killed. And he always has those damn snipers waiting when he gets on or off. And I'm not going to wait three weeks to show a dick like Burrows he can't fuck with my boys."
Junior shrugged, "alright. I just wanted to examine our options." Peanut fired. The launcher kicked hard, causing the rocket to come out pointed above the bus, but the targeting computer compensated, bending its path downward as it dived across the street.
"Would you forget meeting me?" Asked Danny
"Probably. But I might remember eventually."
"When you wake up, what should I tell you your name is...I don't think you told me before?" She asked.
Charley paused for a second, and turned around, "what's the picture on the back of my jacket?"
"Oh! Its just a spaceship blasting off...it has an angry fighter-plane face painted on the nose. You know, with crazy eyes and pointy teeth?"
"Ok...when I wake up, tell me I'm Rocket Man."
"...Alright." Danny gathered herself for a moment, wrapped both her hands around the grip of the pistol and took deadly, brain-spattering aim at Charley's forehead.
"Hey Charley, its your turn to grab the brewskis."
They sat in a familiar room watching a football game on TV. Most of the gang was there, eating pizza and sucking down beers in their leather jackets.
Charley stood up, "Alright...Hey Junior, you want a beer?" (he nodded yes) "who else wants a beer?" A couple guys raised their hands, and he started counting. One of the guys seemed like he was ignoring Charley, "One, two, three...hey Cockface, you want a beer or not?"
"Fuck you, Charley."
"I'll take that as a maybe." Charley started walking toward the kitchen, when the front door busted open. Charley turned to find a disheveled, breathless member of the gang standing just inside. "Yo Bobby, what's up?"
"D. Burrow's boys found out we were the ones that killed him, they're right behind me, and they're loaded for bear!"