Tintin woke up the next morning not feeling too well. He looked at the time to see that he had slept in a little bit. He looked around for Snowy, surprised that the young terrier didn't come and try to wake him up as he usually did. He looked to see that Snowy was entertaining himself with the new bouncy ball Richard had given as a gift. He smiled a little at the dog's playful behavior before getting out of bed. Snowy noticed his movement, and barked happily up at him.
"Good morning, Snowy." He greeted, bending down to pet the little terrier's head. He went over to where he kept the dog food, and topped off what little was left in the bowl before he went to wash up and dress himself. When he came back out, he saw Snowy was glaring at the bottom of a cabinet, whining and growling, moving around as he pawed at something. Tintin grinned when he realized Snowy must have kicked the ball underneath by accident and he couldn't get to it. He went over it and moved the cabinet aside so he could reach down and get the ball, tossing it to another part of the room, where Snowy readily ran after it. Tintin pushed the cabinet back into place, and Snowy came trotting back up to him, proudly showing the ball in his mouth.
Tintin smiled at the dog and held out his hand for the ball, which he dropped into his grasp. Tintin pocketed the toy for Snowy to play with later and he headed out of the apartment. He looked over across the hall at Juliet's door, which was shut tight. He frowned sadly and he walked over to it, knocking on the wooden surface. There was no response.
"Juliet, it's me. Can I come in?" Tintin asked.
"Door's open." Juliet's muffled voice came through the door. Tintin winced a little at her tone. It sounded so monotone, nothing like the cheerful, happy, and sometimes snarky, Juliet he had come to know and love. He opened the door, and could see why she was speaking that way. She sat on the couch, still dressed in her pajamas, which was a silky nightgown, and she was staring blankly at the floor beneath her feet. Her entire appearance showed just how depressed she really was about everything that had happened. And it wasn't just her, everything in the apartment seemed to sag in depression, a dark aura surrounding the entire room. The silence that hung about seemed to weigh down Tintin's shoulders as he closed the door.
"Are you alright?" Tintin asked her, coming over to where she sat on the couch.
"Yes… No." She sighed, "I don't know." Tintin put his arm around her shoulder and she leaned into his touch, resting her head on his shoulder, welcoming his company. "I just… My brain can't seem to grasp the fact my father's life, and possibly mine and Richard's are in danger. I feel so… numb."
"That's normal, don't worry." Tintin said. He gently rubbed her shoulder. "Do you want to get something to eat?"
Juliet shook her head, "I'm not hungry."
"Have you eaten?" Tintin asked.
Juliet shook her head again, "No."
Tintin frowned, "Well, you should still eat something." He got up from her couch, heading for the kitchen.
"Tintin, I said I wasn't hungry." Juliet said as she got up from the couch, following him over to the counter as he went through her cabinets, getting out some tea, and a few breakfast foods.
"I know you're depressed, but you shouldn't starve yourself." Tintin said.
"I'm not starving myself." Juliet said, "I'm just. Not. Hungry."
Tintin gave her a hard look, "You're eating something."
Juliet let out an annoyed groan like a child, "Fine." She slumped against the counter, watching as Tintin prepared the pot of tea, and got out some cereal, pouring it into a bowl and getting some milk from her refrigerator to pour into it. She stayed quiet as he prepared everything, even getting an English muffin for her to eat. "You know, you don't have to do this."
Tintin looked up from his work, "I want to." He put the English muffin down and came around the counter to her, "Juliet," He gently took her hands in his, "I know that you're going through a lot right now, and believe me when I tell you that I can understand. I know that you're depressed, and you're upset about all this, but you need to understand that, if something were to happen to you," He reached up and gently tucked back a lock of hair behind her ear, "I would be in a much worse state. I just want to make sure you're well."
"I'm fine…" Juliet said, her cheeks a light dusting of pink at the gentleness Tintin was showing her. She looked away from him, a little embarrassed.
"Juliet," Tintin put his hand under her chin and made her look at him, "Listen to me. We can pull through this, because not only are you so amazingly strong and brilliant, but because I'll help you through it."
"And just how exactly will you do that?" Juliet asked softly, her voice very quiet.
"By doing whatever I can." Tintin said, he leaned closer to her, resting his forehead against hers, "I love you, Juliet."
Juliet's eyes widened significantly. This was the first time Tintin had ever said that to her! Normally, when one says 'I love you' the words don't have as much weight as the words Tintin spoke then. To Juliet, they seemed to weigh tons.
She said nothing as she suddenly kissed him. Tintin returned it, bringing his arms around her waist as she brought hers around his neck. It was slow at first, as their kisses had normally been, but it soon became more passionate as Juliet's tongue slipped between Tintin's lips. He had been shocked by the suddenness of it at first, but quickly became used to it. The kisses became more urgent and fervent- on Juliet's end. Tintin was having trouble just keeping up with her. Without really knowing it, Juliet had been walking him back towards something. He hit the something, which was the armrest of Juliet's couch, and fell over onto the cushions. Juliet followed him down and continued kissing him. Tintin had never really been in a situation like this, not with Juliet at least. She was never so needy. He could have pondered the reasons behind this obscure behavior, but his mind was too distracted by Juliet's soft lips on his. Tintin put his hands at her waist, his fingers bunching up some of the silky nightgown, holding Juliet as she kept kissing him. He was incredibly surprised when Juliet's fingers, which had been on his shoulders, now went to his shirt and began undoing the buttons.
"Juliet!" Tintin exclaimed breathlessly when he pulled away.
She stopped, looking up at him innocently, "What?"
"I've… I've never seen you like this." Tintin said, catching his breath.
"Do you want me to stop?" Juliet asked, beginning to pull her hands away.
"I never said that." Tintin said, taking her hands in his. "Don't you think this is a bit fast?"
"Well… I—" She stopped when she heard the whistling of the tea kettle on the stove. She looked over at it, then back at Tintin, "I'll just… yeah." She got up off of him and went over to where it was, taking it off the stove and letting the whistle die down as she got some cups. Tintin took this moment to sit up and straighten himself out. He considered redoing the buttons on his shirt, but didn't really see much point at the moment. He made himself comfortable on the couch as Juliet carefully picked up some of the breakfast Tintin had prepared for her and began to bring them over to a table just to the side of the couch. Tintin got up and took a seat at the table, the only one across from the one Juliet was going to sit in as she went and picked up the teacups and teapot. As she came over to him, something struck Tintin that hadn't in their passionate moment before.
"You never said it back." He said, Juliet paused in putting his cup on the table.
"What?" She asked.
"You never said 'I love you' back to me." Tintin said, he gave her a small smile.
"Oh…" Juliet was quiet as she put her own cup down and started pouring in the hot water. Tintin's smile fell as she quietly added some sugar to her tea, not meeting his gaze.
"Juliet?" Tintin asked quietly.
"Do you want sugar with your tea?" She asked him, "Or do you want milk?"
"I think I have some honey hiding around here somewhere if you want that."
"Juliet." His firm tone caught her attention and she met his gaze. He was taken aback by the fearful look in her eyes, as if she was a child that feared punishment from her parents. His surprise must have shown on his face, because Juliet looked away.
"I'm sorry." She said quietly, "It's just that… I…"
"No, no," Tintin said, "I should be the one saying sorry. I was moving too quickly and…"
"Tintin, I don't want you to think that I didn't say it because I don't feel that way." Juliet said quickly, "Because I do… At least, I think I do."
"What do mean?" Tintin asked. Juliet let out a sigh.
"It's just… with everything that's been going on," She began, "I'm not sure if I can say something like that to you and mean it. I just… I don't know. My thoughts are all jumbled up in my mind, and my actions are just—well, you saw what just happened—and I… I just can't make sense of everything anymore. I don't want to say something that important to you, unless I'm completely and entirely certain of it in my mind, and I'm not sure if I can be certain of it because my mind's just been going a mile a minute, and my emotions have been flip-flopping ever since I woke up, and…" She trailed off when Tintin reached over and took her hand.
"It's alright." He said gently, "I'm not upset. I understand. And I don't want your mouth to run as fast as your head." Juliet's cheeks flushed when she realized she had been ranting. She looked up at Tintin and he gave her that same smile she had always seen on him, and she returned it with a small one of her own.
"Thank you." She said quietly, tightening her grip on his hand.
Tintin waited patiently as Juliet finally finished putting on some clothes, which was just a simple white shirt and a pair of jeans.
"So, what are we doing today?" Juliet asked, wondering just where it was Tintin was taking her to.
"We're going to investigate what happened to your father." Tintin said, "And we'll start at the head of that little mob gang," He held up a newspaper that bore the face of a heavy-set man wearing a white suit and a fedora on top of his head. "Darren Kaminski." Juliet glared at the sight of his picture, recognizing him. She took the newspaper and unrolled it, showing a picture of him being taken into a car by a pair of police officers, "We'll be able to talk to him because he was arrested the other night for disorderly conduct in public, and he still has yet to pay his fine."
"Good." Juliet said, crumpling the paper up in her hands, "I've been waiting to have a nice 'chat' with Mr. Kaminski for a good long time now."
"Thompson and Thomson might be able to get us a visit with the man, but there's no guarantee about that." Tintin said, "Civilians have only so much power, after all."
"I don't care." Juliet said, she threw the paper in a trashcan as she and Tintin headed out of the apartment, "I'll break into that holding cell if I have to. I'm getting answers."
As it turns out, Tintin got special privileges down at the station, because he was so well known by those that worked there. Thomson and Thompson immediately led him to the cell where they were holding Darren Kaminski for his disorderly conduct. It was a tiny charge, and jail time didn't really last long for it, but they needed it to get some more time to get some evidence against him to prove he was the evil mob boss that he was. Tintin and Juliet were brought to a barred room where a table and four chairs sat. The two detectives asked Tintin to wait while they went to get Kaminski to see them. They did so, trying to make themselves comfortable in the stiff, steel chairs as they waited for him to be brought in.
They only waited a few minutes before they brought a handcuffed Kaminski down the halls in his black and white striped prison uniform and put him in the cell, sitting him down on the chair across from them and attaching his handcuffs to the table so he wouldn't be able to hurt them. Darren Kaminski was a rather heavy set man with a good bunch of stubble on his face from being kept in the jail overnight. His face drooped a little, like something similar to a hound dog. He had lines in various places that came from his age, with little wrinkles at the edge of his eyes, and lines around his mouth.
He looked over the appearance of the two before him, looking Tintin up and down, seeing the serious expression on his young face, then looking over at Juliet, who was glaring daggers at him with her eyes.
After a moment of silence between the three of them, Kaminski pointed at the two of them, "I don't know either of yous two. Who are you?"
"I'm Tintin, I'm a journalist." He introduced himself.
"And I'm the daughter of Geoffrey Ryder." Juliet said, glaring at him. The man let out a noise of acknowledgment.
"Yeah, yeah, Ryder's little girl." He said, "How's your pops doin' by the way?"
"He's in a hospital thanks to you and your goons!" Juliet snapped at him. Kaminski looked at her in surprise.
"What?" He asked.
"You sent one of your goons after my father to get more of his money!" Juliet snapped at him, slamming her hand on the metal table that separated them. Kaminski held up his hands (As best he could when they were handcuffed to the table) in a surrendering way.
"Whoa, hold on." He said, "I didn't send nobody after Ryder. The guy paid what he owed, I didn't do nothin'."
"Then why was he beaten within an inch of his life?!" Juliet snarled at him. Tintin reached up and put his hand on her shoulder to try and calm her down.
"That's enough." He said quietly to her, "Maybe you should wait outside."
"No." Juliet said firmly, she took a deep breath through her nose, "I'm fine. I'm fine." Tintin looked wary of her answer, but let her stay anyway.
"Look, I ain't harrassin' anybody that don't owe me money." Kaminski said, "Your pops paid his dues. I ain't got no reason to go after de guy, an' I certainly didn't send someone after him."
"If it wasn't you who did it, then do you have any idea of who might have?" Tintin asked.
Kaminski shrugged, "You got me. Aldough…" He looked away in thought, "My boy's always been a bit of a smart ass. He's eh… well, he's a mook. The kid assumes he'll take my place when I croak. I ain't picked nobody yet, so he just might be. Maybe he's tryin' to run de joint when I ain't there."
"And where can we find your son?" Tintin asked.
"He's probably at de bar wit' de guys." Kaminski shrugged, "Dat's my best guess. De place's called De Monkey Paw."
"Well, we'll speak to him." Tintin said, he stood up from his chair, "Come on, Juliet." She got up, still glaring at the mob leader as she headed for the door. Tintin nodded to the officer just outside the door, "We're done." The guard nodded and went back in the cell, undoing the restraint that kept Kaminski to the table. He escorted him back to his cell while Juliet and Tintin walked out of the room and back into the station.
"Now what?" Juliet asked Tintin, "If he's not the source of it, then his son is? I can't exactly imagine a dad wanting to give up his son to the police."
"Well, it didn't sound like either of them got along with each other very well." Tintin said, "Maybe he feels that his son is too overzealous and wants him to have a little time in jail."
"…I really don't like this man." Juliet said after a moment, glaring at the ground, "Or his children."
Tintin reached out and took her hand in his, linking his fingers through hers as they walked out of the station. She returned his grip, needing the comfort, "Don't worry." He assured, "He'll make it through this, and so will you." Juliet nodded.
"Thank you, Tintin." She said softly, leaning on him a little as they walked. They were silent, enjoying their little moment together as they passed by other people on the street. "You know, we can't go into a mob-controlled bar alone. We'll need some back up."
"I have a revolver back at the apartment." Tintin said.
"No, I mean, we'll need to look intimidating." Juliet said, "We'll need to bring someone to act as our muscle, if only for protection reasons."
Tintin hummed in agreement, "I think I know just the man."