Chapter Two: Things That Go Bump in the Night
Being awoken to the sound of Madd Dogg's gruff voice over a hardcore Westside-styled beat was not in Johnny's good grace, especially so early in the morning. He stretched out in a bed that didn't belong to him, but one of his girls, and scanned the room for where the source of the sound lied. Beside him on the dresser that held his possessions for the nighttime while he slumbered. Rubbing the fatigue from his eyes he yawned aloud and answered.
"Yo… Oh, what's good—ain't see you in a minute… what!" And he hopped to his feet, rubbing his head in contemplation. In the bed Cinnamon lay in a serene slumber, unbeknownst of his movements or conversation, but the conversation would continue. "What you mean? You can't handle your own beef out there? I can't come down there right now, but I'll make a return for a weekend or somethin'. I got business to attend to and gotta sort my shit out before I even think of coming out of my way… Yeah, I'm gonna come through though, believe that Junior." And he ended the call, as Cinnamon stirred from her sleep.
"Who was that?" She queried, pulling the sheets tighter around her.
"Just my cousin." Johnny stretched and decided he'd go back out, until Cinnamon made room for him and told him to join her once more.
"Mr. Vercetti… Now I know things are real cool with you now that you've managed to spread your influence from Vice City to Liberty, but there is a serious issue at hand as well. You see, I get word of someone hired to kill you and now I have to warn you that it is not half the man I thought it was. It is a half more than the man I thought he was."
A Hawaiian shirt was his décor, and he sat in a highly comfortable apartment overlooking the club that used to belong to the Leone's. It now belonged to the Vecetti's. "I'm listening."
"Okay, word is that he actually came over here last night and was intercepted by another. I'm not sure who the other is, but he has a girl who actually lives in that building on the 7th or so floor. Apartment 7R, you should check it out because he's in there right now, and I don't know if he's trying to tag you or not."
"Don't worry about it, I'm gonna walk over there myself and see exactly what it is this guy's about. I can't have assassin's on assassin's trying to kill me." Tommy spat into the phone and flipped it closed before heading over to a pump action shotgun he had conveniently poised against a wall near his bed. Long fingers wrapped around the handle and he pumped it on time, to test its reliance. It wasn't something he could really rely on, but it was all he had lying around this apartment and it would have to do. He waltzed out of his apartment, whistling as he trotted the hallway to the room next to his: 7R.
"Hey, you really wanna fuck with Tommy Vecetti? Huh!" He exclaimed in the corridor, bringing some of his curious neighbors out, but they hurriedly returned when they noticed it was a white guy brandishing a shotgun. It was Hepburn Heights after all. When the door cracked open and a pistol pressed against his neck he wasted not time in lifting his 20-gauge to the body of the dreadlock who greeted him.
"Who the fuck is Tommy Vercetti?" The dreadlock couldn't contain his resentment, so he screamed this question.
"I'm Tommy Vercetti, hi by-the-way." Tommy started, and then lowered his shotgun. "I thought you were someone who wanted to kill me, cause someone nearly got killed last night, y'know. I guess this guy who's giving me my information needs to be whacked.
"Last night…" And that was, honestly, the only reason Johnny lowered his gun. "Last night some dude tried to kill me, but I had to put it on him. I came back earlier this morning, but the wreckage was already cleared up. They sure do clean up fast round these parts."
Tommy's eyes narrowed and his gun was, this time, aimed at the face of the dreadlock. "You are the one who's trying to kill me!"
"Don't even try it. Look down." And when Tommy followed the command of this man he saw that it was nothing more than a verbal guise for diversion. The gun came upwards, but he could not hear the clanking of its mechanics as he did countless other times he'd simply sidestepped death. When he gazed down the barrel the bullet didn't lock into place before it's ejection, but then it wasn't getting ejected. Instead the gun rammed into his face, sending him sprawling backwards and out into the corridor, still clutching his shotgun.
With a single squeeze lead sprayed into the apartment, but his foe had already seen that one coming. That annoyed Tommy, along with the senseless screaming of the girl who was with him and of the occupants of the building. Tommy scrambled to his feet and leapt into the apartment, dodging round after round that was squeezed off from the pistol. Luckily Johnny had the sense to pick up some ammunition on his way out to Staunton. Then came the hollowed click. Unluckily, he only had enough money for a single clip.
Tommy screamed and leapt out from behind a wall, his face twisted into anguish, rapture, and agony simultaneously. The shotgun, however never blew out any buckshot, though Tommy did squeeze the trigger more than once. Click after click, signifying the empty chambers of the gun, was what echoed through the apartment.
"Leave. You have to leave Liberty now." Tommy finally broke the awkward silence, considering the fact that he'd just had a shootout inside of an apartment against a man in his underwear. "Otherwise you'd be dead before you could even dial the police. I live right next door, you sure you wanna try this again?"
The only convincing it took was a trip to the next apartment; there about the mantelpiece was a portrait of Tommy back when he was in Vice City with Lance Vance, an 80's edition Infernus in the backdrop.
"I'm still not leaving, well not yet." Johnny stated, waving his pistol around as though it posed a threat for anyone at all. "I mean, I gotta leave Liberty, but now I'm stayin'. You wanna shoot at me and shit."
"You remember the man you thought you killed last night? Well he's alive and he wants both of us dead." Tommy stated, matter-of-factly.
"Wait—I didn't kill anybody! They killed themselves."
"Y'know what, do something for me. This is all I want you to do. That man was supposed to deliver weapons, big weapons to San Andreas. I just want you to take over his route, under me. Y'know, wire some of the money back and them you'll be out of Liberty and I could deal with this guy myself, cause I really don't want you in my way and I know he's coming for you."
"Tommy, we just had a SHOOTOUT in my girls HOUSE—no in her APARTMENT, and now you want me to deliver some weapons to San Andreas for you?" Johnny ran a single hand through his locks and looked back to Tommy. "I want fifty percent."
"Are you mad? There are no negotiations here, you get five percent and you shut up."
"Who says I even need you to do this, I have people that can ship out or even fly out. All I'm saying is you're doing this five percent."
"Tommy, I'm not as dumb as I may seem to you. You need me out of the city, and unless I bring that shipment for you I won't be leaving the city. And for whatever reason you want me out of the city, it's not happening unless I get fifty percent."
Tommy's visage twisted in contemplation and in awe of the guy's ability to catch on, maybe in time they'd be well off together, but for now things had to be moved along.
"No, fifty. Dick."
"C'mon, you're hurting my shit. Thirty-five."
"I'm gonna stoop to forty-five."
"Just cause I stoop to forty-five your gonna try and take advantage, fifty."
"Alright, forty-five. Jerk."
Johnny had always claimed his best character finery was his negotiation skills, he could have written a book on it. Even though he would have to leave Liberty at the hands of Tommy Vercetti he had a bigger motive in mind, not to mention Tommy's motives. After receiving instruction and telling Cinnamon that he had to leave, even ducking arrest upon leaving the building behind (as numerous cops had come to find some crazy white guy and a black guy in his underwear), he was well on his way to San Andreas.
"So, Tommy. Is he leaving the city?"
"Yeah, I just sent him on a joyride."
"Great, just remember he has to be killed after we deal with Claude."