These characters don't belong to me, et cetera et cetera. And I remembered the section lines this time!
"Guys And Dolls"
A Note About This Story: I've always thought that even two dolls as tough as Adelaide and Sarah could get Nathan Detroit and Sky Masterson to quit gambling cold turkey. In this sequel, the new husbands stray a little from their wives' strict rules.
Marry the man today
Rather than sigh in sorrow
Marry the man today
And change his ways tomorrow.
Sky Masterson was sauntering down Madison Avenue one night in his old way, a confident stride. He'd abandoned his after-dark strolls around New York City since getting married, but decided to go out that night for old times' sake. He was surprised to come across Nathan Detroit, who he'd befriended over the past month of being married (their wives, Sarah and Adelaide, were together often now, so the two men had gotten to know each other better).
"Say, Nathan! What're you doing hanging around in the middle of the night?" Sky came over to Nathan, who appeared to be inspecting a vacant lot. That could mean one of two things: The man had gone nuts, or he was planning to run his infamous crap game there.
Before Nathan could drum up an excuse, Sky gave him a stern look worthy of his wife. "Now, Nathan, you're not looking to run the game again, are you? I mean, I love a good crap game as much as anybody, but if I know Adelaide, then I know she won't like this at all…"
Nathan stopped him. "I know, I know, but listen." He looked around and leaned in as if Adelaide were around to hear him. "I've got a plan."
Sky chuckled. "Oh no-"
"No, listen! Adelaide's not exactly been gettin' a good wage over at The Hot Box, and even though we're gettin' some income from the stand, she's been proddin' me to get a job-"
"I thought you worked at the A&P." Sky smirked.
Nathan put a hand to his forehead. "Not that again. That's part of the problem. She's got her mother into thinkin' I'm schmoozing with supermarket bigwigs or something. Now, I've been thinking… if Adelaide thinks I'm goin' off to work, and then I'm bringing home cash, I can get back to running the game and all will be fine and dandy!"
"But why?" Sky insisted.
"Because my boys are counting on me! I've always run the crap game. I've always been good old reliable Nathan Detroit," he smiled at the mention of his nickname, "And I don't wanna go and let 'em all down just because I went and got married. Plus… there's a few of those guys that you wouldn't want to get angry." He pulled at his collar.
Sky looked around at the lot, which was nothing but a huge slab of cement between two buildings. "You honestly think you're not gonna get busted here?"
"The spot was recommended to me by the boys…"
"It's completely out in the open, who would… Benny."
Nathan nodded. "And Rusty. Now I really am out of places."
Sky thought this over, thoughtfully rubbing his chin. "Ever tried your own house?" as Nathan started to protest, he said, "With Adelaide out? You got a room big enough for a crap game?"
Nathan shook his head. "We've barely got a room big enough for the two of us."
"And you need one for free… Well, don't lose sleep over this, Nathan, I'll find you a place if I can. I'll even come to the game, roll a few times. There's just one thing you've gotta do."
"And what's that?"
"Make sure that the day of the game-"
"…This Thursday, Adelaide brings Sarah out to the shops and what not. We can't have them finding us out."
When Nathan awoke the next morning and came out into the hall, disheveled and half asleep, he found Adelaide standing in the hall waiting for him. Her hair was in curlers and her folded arms were covered in the pink fluff of her robe. Her left slipper was tapping impatiently.
Nathan took in the sight of her. "Huh?"
"Where were you last night?"
She lightly slapped his cheek. "Nathan!"
"…Oh, g'morning Adelaide."
"Where were you last night?" she insisted. He rubbed his eyes.
"I went out…" she didn't look pleased. "Out… out… looking for a job! Yes, that's it. Looking for a job." He waited. Slowly, Adelaide broke into a smile.
"Oh, Nathan! That's wonderful!" She threw her arms around his neck and pecked him a kiss. He exhaled. "Where?" she asked.
"Oh, of course you were all over the city, weren't you? Went so many places you can't even remember… My poor baby, no wonder you're so tired! Come into the kitchen, I'll make you some eggs."
"Adelaide, you don't have to-"
"Eggs!" she repeated triumphantly, and scurried into the kitchen. Nathan was deep in thought, as deep in thought as he could get anyway, and still barely awake as Adelaide babbled about how happy she was for him.
The same morning at Sky and Sarah's, the two had opted to sleep in. It was Monday, and since marrying Sarah, Sky had, amazingly, convinced her to work at the Save-A-Soul Mission only on Sundays and Fridays. He came along once in a while, but Sarah no longer implored him to. Still, every few weeks, he would insist that the group needed someone to keep time, don his uniform, and march out with them.
After breakfast, Sky pulled his hat from its hook.
"Where are you going?" Sarah asked.
"On a walk. I know, I went out last night, but I've… I've got some things on my mind…"
"Oh. Well don't take too long. Try to keep in the shade, and-"
"I'll be fine." He smiled at her and kissed her. " 'Bye."
Really, he was setting out to get Nathan a good hideout. Sky wasn't usually one to break a promise. The only requirements were free, big, and hidden. Hidden was the hardest to find. Sky searched the street behind the mission and finally came upon an old house, which he could tell was empty by looking through a broken window.
As he peered in, carefully positioning his neck so it wouldn't be cut, he smiled to himself. "Well, that was easy," he said aloud.
Sky, startled, pulled his head from the window and turned around to see none other than Nicely-Nicely Johnson.
"If it isn't Sky Masterson, looking like his old self again!"
Sky put his hand out, relieved. "Hello, how've you been doing?"
"Nicely-Nicely, thank you," he said as he shook Sky's hand. "Never thought I'd see you out alone, and not behind 'the fold.'" He laughed. "What brings you down here?"
"You must've heard from Nathan Detroit that he's looking to run his crap game again?"
"Of course, and I thought Benny and Rusty Charlie came up with a spot."
"They did, but it was no good. So yesterday, I met up with Nathan and I told him I'd go find him a place as long as he gets his wife to take mine out that night."
Nicely-Nicely peered in. "Looks like you found one."
Sky nodded and stood silent a moment, thinking. "Say, could you tell him for me? Give him the address? Seeing as you work for him and all."
"Sure, Sky. And here's his thanks in advance, just 'cause I'm sure you'll get 'em."
With that, Nicely-Nicely walked off, and Sky set for home.
Word spread quickly about the Thursday night crap game. A half hour after Nathan and his two cronies, Nicely-Nicely and Benny, ducked into the empty building and got three or four bare light bulbs working, the place was flooded with the usual brood of gamblers. Sky was what he called "fashionably late" and put down a wad of cash and rolled every few rounds, as promised.
Nathan explained to all the boys that, for a while at least, this was the last game. Though disillusioned, they fortunately understood when Nathan got up on a crate and announced that, "Due to the circumstances, it ain't gonna work out anymore."
Sky maneuvered around the throng of noisy gamblers, cheering or groaning depending on wins and losses, to get to Nathan.
"When d'you suppose Adelaide and Sarah will be back?" he asked.
Nathan shrugged. "I told her to stay out as late as she wanted, but I'm thinkin' that wife of yours'll tire out before midnight."
Sky nudged him with his elbow. "You shoulda seen her in Havana."
"You mean the doll lasted all night?"
"Yep. With a little… help."
Rusty Charlie came up to Nathan. "Hey, I've been thinkin'-"
"There's a first."
"…I've been thinkin'… Shouldn't someone be out on lookout? We don't wanna get caught again."
"You're right." Nathan put a hand to Rusty's back and led him toward the door. "Go on out."
Rusty's shoes skidded him to a stop. "Hey, hey, I didn't mean me!"
"Then try gettin' a volunteer outta that group," Nathan gestured to them with his head.
Rusty Charlie glanced at his friends, engrossed in their crap game. Eventually, he slouched and shuffled off to the window to keep watch.
The game pressed on late into the night. Nathan kept his watchful eye on the pile of cash in the center of the room, ever worried that he'd be going home with merely enough for a subway ticket.
At 10:45 on the dot, Rusty spun around, put his fingers in his mouth, and whistled loudly.
Nathan ran from light to light, yanking on the cords until the room was dark. The gamblers crouched down so as not to be seen by anyone peering through the window. Sky and Nathan came over to Rusty, practically on their knees.
"Who is it? Not Lieutenant Brannigan?" Nathan whispered.
Rusty peeked over the windowsill and immediately dropped his head back down. "Worse. And I think they saw me."
Sky tried to get a look outside. "Worse than the police?"
Rusty nodded frantically.
Just then, the door burst open. Four heels clacked across the floor, and a single light came on.
At the same time, both intruders saw who they were looking for.
Adelaide dragged Nathan out by the ear. Once out the door, she pulled him up to full height.
"Nathan Detroit!" she repeated. Inside, the boys that weren't listening to Sky and Sarah didn't even need to press their ears to the wall to hear Nathan being reprimanded.
"Adelaide, let me explain-"
"There ain't nothing to explain, Nathan! You've been running the game again, and I know it!"
"I know you know, just let me…"
"Let you what?!"
"Explain. This is the last game."
"You've said that before, Nathan."
"But really, it is! I promise you!"
"Not another promise, Nathan-"
Meanwhile, Sarah, oddly enough, was the one of the two women who didn't care if she scolded her husband in front of everyone. But Sky was faring much better than Nathan.
"Sarah, please just let me explain everything."
"But… oh, fine."
"You see, Nathan wanted to find a place for his last game," a few disheartened mutters from the gamblers (still on the ground), "and so I told him I'd give him a hand, you being friends with Adelaide and all… I found this place, and along the way I promised Nathan that I'd roll a few times, add some money to the pile. He takes what's left at the end, and you know," he put a hand to his heart, "I am always there to help a friend."
Sarah tapped her foot.
"…That's not flying, huh?"
"I believe you, I'm just… disappointed in you."
Sky hung his head a bit, playing the sad little boy card. "What're you going to do?"
She thought a moment, then pulled him along, by his sleeve, out the door. "Adelaide will help me decide."
"Oh no," Sky mumbled.
Nathan had gotten Adelaide to believe him, but she was still fuming.
"Oh, Adelaide!" Sarah called, "What do you think would be a proper punishment for two unruly gamblers?"
Adelaide stepped back to stand beside her friend. She put a hand to her chin and tilted her head. "Gee, I don't know. What are their offenses?"
Sky and Nathan exchanged guilty looks.
"Hmm… Sneaking out of the house, for one," Sarah said.
"And lying," Adelaide added.
"Gambling, of course."
"Not to mention, now, keeping me awake when I've got work at the mission tomorrow morning!"
Adelaide snapped her fingers. "That's it!"
Sky turned his head to Nathan and returned his uneasy look with a slow nod.
For the next two weeks, Sarah worked at the Save-A-Soul Mission every day. For those two weeks, the band consisted of Arvide at the front, Agatha, Sarah, Sky Masterson, and, shuffling at the very end, Nathan Detroit.
Sarah and Adelaide were glad. Both had a feeling that this would cure their "unruly gamblers" from disobeying them for good.
As "the fold" passed through Broadway, Rusty Charlie, Benny Southstreet, and Nicely-Nicely Johnson watched them from the sidewalk they were sitting on.
Rusty shook his head. "Would ya look at that? Nathan Detroit, marchin' along with the mission without a word."
Benny rested his chin on his hand. "…I guess that's what happens when you've got a wife pushing you around."
"And when you go around breaking promises… Gambling," Nicely-Nicely added.
They exchanged looks.
"…Kinda like us," Rusty Charlie said slowly.
In turn, the three stood and caught up with the mission band. Dragging their feet along at the end of the line, hands in their pockets, they began singing along, almost in monotone. "Follow the fold and stray no more…"