Hanging By The Moment

By: Beccatdemon13

©2007

Disclaimer: I don't own anyone but Nathaniel, Aurora, and anyone you don't immediately recognize. I don't own The Black Donnellys because they wouldn't be canceled if I did. Please don't sue. You'd only be getting about seven weeks of minimum wage. What? Don't look at me like that High School ain't a paying gig you know. But god I wished it was. Becctdemon13 now will go off to fantasize about being paid to go to school. Oh, right, the story! On we go…

Synopsis: When Nathaniel and Aurora Quinlan moved to Hells Kitchen twenty years ago, the neighborhood wasn't ready. Within Hell's kitchen, there are two rival mobs fighting for seniority making it a dangerous life for anyone in general.

Author's note: Joey's narration will be in bold. Memories, if there are any will be italized and if there is Joey narration in the memory it will be bold and italized.

Chapter One: It's The Life

"Can you tell me who these people are, Joey?" The defensive attorney asked.

"That's Nathaniel and Aurora Quinlan." Joey said. The first picture showed an auburn haired girl with light blue eyes wearing a simple tank top and jeans. The picture next to her was of a guy who had brown hair and green eyes, wearing jeans and an AC/DC shirt.

"Do you remember anything about them?" The defensive attorney asked.

"Well, they were in with the Donnelly's almost as soon as they moved here." Joey said, "The Quinlan's moved here when Nathaniel was fourteen and Aurora was eight. She was the youngest, even younger then Shaun. But the bad part was that Nathaniel and Aurora didn't come from the best home environment. Their father was one twisted son of a bitch. Not so soon after they moved from Boston to here their father died. People said that it was an accident…but it wasn't."

"Then what happened?"

"Well, Nathaniel says that the bastard was going after Aurora, he was abusive see. But, Nathaniel, Nate had always protected her from that. Well, there was this one time where he was to late. He never quite forgave himself. But, he shot his father dead. Huey Farrell got ride of the body. From then on it wasn't uncommon for Nate and Aurora to be at the Donnelly's house. Momma Donnelly just loved them and if you met her you'd know that was not an easy thing to accomplish."

"How exactly did the Quinlan's get involved with the Donnelly family lifestyle?" The defense attorney questioned, "They have almost the exact same charges the Donnelly's do."

"Well…"

Eighteen year old Aurora Quinlan made her way to the Firecracker Lounge, which was a bar located two blocks away from the apartment she shared with her older brother, Nathaniel. Nathaniel or Nate, as he liked to be called had been looking out for Aurora or Rory since she had been born. When they moved from Boston to Hell's Kitchen not a lot had changed. The mobs were still there, high crime rate. You could basically die if you did something stupid. That was part of the reason why Rory Quinlan decided to keep her nose clean, well at least for the most part.

Rory had taken the smart route. As a girl who had been constantly underestimated because of her looks. People thought she was a little too pretty to live in Hell's kitchen. With her small lithe frame, auburn hair and bright blue eyes she was fairly attractive. Rory always tended to wear jeans, with a tank top and a hoodie. Basically anything that was comfortable she wore. Hanging around her neck was a small gold cross that had been her mothers. It stood out against her pale complexion and dark colors that she was wearing. It was getting colder and her mood was fairly bad. She arrived at the firecracker in minutes and burst inside.

"About time you got here, Rorz." Jimmy Donnelly exclaimed, "We open up in two hours."

"Jimmy." Rory growled, "You pull me away from my college classes to bartend?"

"You'll get paid." Jimmy shrugged.

"Damn it, Jimmy." Rory sighed, "If Nate gets mad I got nothin to do with this."

"Just stay outta the stock and he won't get mad." Jimmy said, "Shouldn't you be in high school?"

"We've gone over this, Jim." Rory stated, "I told you that I got my GED when I was fifteen. I took a little bit off and then went to college."

"Right." Jimmy shook his head.

It was two hours and some change when the Firecracker became hopping with activity. It had been a dump for a while before Rory convinced the boys to fix it up and for Huey to fund it. Rory was serving shots and dancing to the music when a banging sound started filling the general vicinity of where she was working.

"Can I help you?" Rory demanded icily at a guy who was at least twenty years her senior, who seemed very wasted already.

"Double shot of scotch." The man barked.

"No, I don't think so." Rory said, "I'm cutting you off."

"Why you little bitch?!" The man yelled, grabbing Rory by the shirt and pulling her close to him.

"Get off of me." Rory said calmly.

"What are you going to do, short stuff?" The man snickered

"You're really startin to piss me off." Rory snapped. Before the man could even move Rory had slipped from his grip and had a gun aimed right between his eyes, "you were sayin', short stuff?"

Aurora!" A sharp voice came from her right side, "What's going on here?"

"Hey, Tommy." Rory said calmly, "An asshole needed a little bit of an ego knock, so I gladly assisted."

"Rory." Tommy sighed, "Get out of here, Pat."

"So, how are you, best friend of mine?" Rory smirked.

"I'd be better if you weren't underage serving liquor in my brother's bar." Tommy said casually.

"It's not hurtin' anyone." Rory shrugged.

"Don't you have school work to do?" Tommy asked.

"You're brother made me come down here." Rory said, "not my fault I'm a nice person willing to help out."

"You're bartending." Tommy said crossing his arms.

"Serving, not drinking." Rory shrugged, "Isn't that bad."

"Aurora Elizabeth Quinlan what the hell do you think you're doing behind that bar?" Nathaniel 'Nate' Quinlan demanded.

"Serving drinks, Nate." Rory said putting her hands on her slim hips, "Why do people keep asking me that?"

"Because you're not old enough to be back there." Nate said.

"Neither's Shauney but oh look there he is." Rory said pulling Shaun up from where he had been hiding moments before Tommy came over.

"God, thanks a lot, Rorz." Shaun muttered shifting out of the slightly younger girl's grip.

"If I'm going down I want company." Rory shrugged, "Besides, I'm not drinking anything."

"You're not supposed to be serving it either!" Nate shouted in his sister's face, "Don't you have homework you need to be doin?"

"Jimmy tricked me." Rory stated, "And I'm here anyway so…"

"Rory, go home." Nate ordered, "Or better yet go to the diner where you're paid to work."

"Nate, lay off." Rory said, "I'm fine. I gotta gun."

"I'm not even going to ask where you got a gun from." Nate shook his head before turning away, "Jimmy!"

"Jimmy's gonna kill you for setting Nate on his trail." Shaun whistled.

"Not my fault he agreed if Nate came he'd take the heat." I shrugged handing out pints to people I'd normally see in church.

"Well, hello, Rory!" Joey Ice Cream smirked.

"Joey." Rory greeted.

"Don't be like that bad." Joey pouted, "You know you want some of this."

"Buzz off, Joey." I muttered handing him a beer.

Normally that wouldn't be enough to dissuade Joey from hitting on Rory but when Tommy was coming back to the bar it was more then enough incentive. You didn't mess with Tommy Donnelly's best friend.

"Joey Ice Cream botherin you?" Tommy asked.

"No more then the usual bull." Rory smirked.

"Come on, I'll take you back home you're done for the night." Tommy announced suddenly taking the beer glasses out of Rory's smaller hands.

"Okay." Rory shrugged.

As she walked step in step with Tommy she nodded goodbye to Nate who looked relived that she was going sooner then expected. It was slightly chillier then it had been when Rory had rushed to the Firecracker earlier in the reason and her state of unreadyness showed as she began to shiver. Tommy then pulled her closer to himself.

"So, how did it work with that photography student?" Rory asked.

"Who?" Tommy responded.

"Bonnie?" Rory answered.

"It don't work out." Tommy stated.

"Aw, that's a shame." Rory said.

"The one thing about Tommy and Rory's relationship was that everyone expected them to get together. First everyone thought it was going to be him and Jenny but there was always something in the way of that. Personally I never thought that Jenny was suited for the Donnelly lifestyle the way Rory was. Rory had lived it, seen things at a young age. Tommy and Rory belonged with each other but the two were just too stubborn to see it. They clung too tightly to the best friend label. But let me tell you it might've been best friends earlier but it wasn't anymore."

"So, you're saying because of Tommy and Rory's relationship is how the Quinlan's got into the Donnelly empire?" The defensive attorney asked

"Partly yes." Joey said, "But at the same time, no. Tommy never wanted Rory exposed to any of the things that his brothers and him dealt with. But what Tommy never realized is that sometimes in order to protect those you love you can't shield them from what is meant to be seen."

"I don't understand." The defensive attorney said.

"And that's why I'm telling the story!" Joey laughed…

"I guess I'll see you tomorrow?" Tommy asked.

"Of course." Rory said, "After all who else will be my subway buddy to my morning classes?"

"You're lucky that our campuses are across from each other." Tommy laughed.

"Yeah, I know." Rory said. She gave Tommy a quick hug before shutting the door.

Rory barely had time to let out a breath before her green enV started to ring. She fumbled with the phone and then checked the caller ID before answering.

"Hey, Kev, what's up?" Rory asked.

"Rory, be honest how much money do you have on you right now?" Kevin asked.

"Why?" Rory groaned, "Kevin, I'm begging you please tell me you didn't gamble."

"Well, I don't gotta tell you, you figured it out." Kevin stated.

"Kevin!" Rory growled, "How much?"

"Five." Kevin muttered.

"Thousand?" Rory squealed, "Damn it, Kev."

"Do not tell Tommy." Kevin ordered.

"How the hell are you supposed to come up with that kind of money?" Rory squeaked, "Who do you owe it too? What game did you play? When do you have to have the money?"

"Rory!" Kevin shouted, "Breathe and calm down."

"Calm down!" Rory yelled, "Calm down? You call me at midnight asking how much money I have right now? I'll tell you right now I don't have five thou on me!"

"Rory, this isn't the first time this has happened, would you please calm down?" Kevin pleaded.

"Did you tell Jimmy yet?" Rory asked, "He normally gives you some genius idea."

"There is no need to get sarcastic." Kevin sighed.

"I will talk to you in the morning, Kevin." Rory said shortly, "Just answer me this. Who do you owe the money to?"

"Louie Downtown." Kevin said.

"You bet with the Italian Mafia?" Rory laughed, "Man, Huey's gonna love this. You have a death wish or something."

"It would've been fine if I won."

"You NEVER win!" Rory snapped, "Bye Kevin."

"Why did you have…"

Kevin's complaint was cut short as Rory closed for phone and then turned it off. There were sometimes that she hated being part of the Donnelly's inner circle especially when Kevin gambled and then Jimmy tried to help. Yeah, Jimmy never helped, he always made it worse!

The Next Afternoon

Once again Rory found herself in the firecracker lounge. Rory knew she really should stop hanging out here but it's where everyone eventually migrated. She began to do some of her homework working in one of the back boths when a sudden loud noise interrupted her movements. Since this was Hell's Kitchen the firecracker lounge was broken into every so often, which was why when the basement door slammed open Rory leapt up. Nothing was getting stolen on her watch. She grabbed the gun Jimmy put under the counter, switched the safety off and then made her way down the stairs. She cocked the gun but then sighed. It was only Kevin. But then she heard someone yell.

"Help me!" The voice yelled, "Someone please! These people are phsycos!"

"Kevin." Rory growled, "Please, please tell me you didn't do what I think you did?"

"We did the same thing Bobby and Jackie-o did." Kevin snapped.

"And where are bobby and Jackie-o right now?" Rory demanded.

"Attica, I think." Kevin said, "Look, Rory, I went down there with goodness in my heart to ask for more time. But what does he do? He starts threatening me. What was I supposed to do?"

"Kevin, when you kidnap people they're not supposed to know who you are!" I yelled.

"Don't worry we wore masks." Kevin smirked. Clearly thinking that Rory would applaud him for his quick thinking. Poor guy had another thing coming.

"You went down there with goodness in your hearts but you wore masks?" Rory repeated, "Does that make any sense to you? Damn it, Kevin. Was this another one of Jimmy's half-baked ideas?"

"Hey, watch yourself, baby girl." Jimmy ordered coming out from the backroom.

"He's tied with the Italian Mafia you morons!" Rory shouted, "Do you have a fascination with finding yourself starin at the inside of a body bag?"

"You're overreacting." Jimmy soothed, "Once we get our money, we give what we owe and him back and then everything's okay again."

"I don't know what fairy tale life you're living, Jimmy, but that's never gonna happen." Rory snapped, "That's Sal Minetta's nephew."

"What?" Kevin yelped.

"Do you realize how much crap you guys are in?" Rory demanded, "I'm not so sure you can dig yourselves out."

"Well, I think we're all in agreement that Tommy never finds out." Jimmy said, "Right?"

"You think I'm dumb enough to tell him?" Rory scoffed, "No thank you. I sort of like being able to function properly."

"Guys?" Tommy's voice rang through the upper part of the bar.

"Fuck." Jimmy muttered.

"Damn it." Rory sighed.

"Man." Kevin whined.

"Rorz, where are you?" Tommy shouted, "You couldn't have gone far your laptops still here."

"Shit." Rory muttered.

Kevin and Jimmy really knew how to throw Rory to the dogs as they pushed her towards the stairs. They argued silently for about five minutes before Jimmy gave Rory fifty bucks. At that Rory smirked before heading back up to the main floor.

"Where'd you go?" Tommy asked.

"Was looking for a soda." Rory answered.

"At a bar?" Tommy questioned.

"Some bars have soda." Rory replied, "And seeing how your best bartender is underage I figured you'd be one of them."

"Okay." Tommy said, "Have you seen Kevin or Jimmy today?"

"Can't say that I have." Rory responded.

"You are just about the worst liar ever, Rorz." Tommy grinned, "Seriously where are they?"

"I really don't know, Tommy." Rory repeated.

"Then why are your nostrils flaring?" Tommy asked, "They only do that when you're lying about something."

"Well, I uh." Rory muttered.

Suddenly the basement door opened. Tommy and Rory heard a loud bang noise followed by a string of cursing. For people who don't want to be found Kevin and Jimmy couldn't be louder if they tried. Making Tommy even more suspicious he rushed down the stairs and found Jimmy and Kevin almost immediately.

"What the hell are you two doin?" Tommy asked.

"Well, you see…" Kevin started.