title: the story so far
characters: currently: joey ice cream, some lawyer dude who ain't really important, a scumbag cop, and tommy donnelly (on the phone)... but the other brothers will show up, most likely in the next chapter.
rating: pg
warning: character death. violence in later chaps?
disclaimer: nothing is mine. and i'm poor.
summary: And knowing Tommy and his brothers, Dokey would also soon know that Helen Donnelly did not deserve what he did to her.

He shot their Ma.

And didn't Joey sound so fucking sincere when he said that? Like maybe for the fist time in his life he wasn't lying. His lawyer didn't know whether or not it was the truth, actually – but the cop standing behind him, right there by the door, hand always straying to just beside the holster and the gun tucked within, knew it was the truth. And he had smirked. "Their ma, Joey? I understand that's their type of language, but you really been hanging around them that long?"

He knew Joey and the Donnelly's had known each other since he was a kid – since Joey was ten and Sean was only three, to be exact – but the cop hadn't gone that far into the details of Joey's life. He'd only needed the basics - that yes, he knew the Donnellys, quite well, and had since they were all kids – to get him into the jail cell. Joey couldn't understand what was wrong with what he had said. He had never known his own mother; she'd died when he was three. Since he'd met the Donnellys, the four brothers had always been shouting 'Ma' at Helen. To Joey, it just seemed right to say that Helen was their ma, instead of mom or mother. Or maybe it was just another part of his being that longed to be a part of the Donnelly family. He would never voice those thoughts aloud, though, and if he ever did it wouldn't be to some scumbag cop who wanted him to rat out his closest (and only) friends.

"Yeah." For once in his life, Joey didn't feel like talking. The cop probably already knew all about the shooting. No point in him dragging it back up after all the time he'd spent trying not to remember it happening. He cared about Helen but he hated to think about what had happened to her. Especially now.

He had been arrested only a day after the shooting and he had no idea what was going on with Helen or her sons or anybody else involved until a week after the shooting. None of the brothers had been to see him, but it was expected, and none of the cops seemed willing to give out information to a convict.

The cop standing by the door raised his hands up and waved them wildly at the room around him. "You've been in here a dozen times, Joey. Now, where are the bodies? I don't care about their ma, or Dokey, or any of the living Italians. Got it?"

Joey hated the guy. He had a New York accent and a tendency to enunciate almost every other word he spoke. When he did, his accent grew thicker and his words harder to understand. But Joey knew that there would probably be a new guy in there with him tomorrow. There usually was one after every third trip or so. This was Officer Gregson's third trip to this room with Joey and his lawyer. Joey had yet to tell him anything of any real importance.

He said that none of the Donnellys had been to visit him since the shooting. They hadn't called either, at least not until that very morning, right after Joey had awoken and was being led back to this room by Officer Gregson. His lawyer would be waiting and he was expected to talk even though he never had before. Instead, though, he'd first been led to the pay phones. The officer gave him a slip of paper.

"What's this for?" Joey questioned, glancing at the number scrawled across the sheet in neat lettering.

"Tommy Donnelly called."

"Yeah? He say why?" Joey was already lifting the receiver – a harder task with cuffed wrists, but he managed. Dialing was harder and he eventually needed Gregson to press the buttons while he kept the phone cradled between neck and shoulder, both hands fisted together and making sure the phone didn't fall.

Tommy picked up on the second ring. "Hello?"

"Hi." Joey wasn't sure what to say. He thought that Tommy would be at the hospital with Helen, yet the number written out on the paper – now scrunched up into a ball in Gregson's hand – had been the Donnellys home phone number.

"She died." Tommy sounded pained, yet okay. Joey wasn't even sure how that was possible. "They... They tried to help her, but it wasn't enough. She lost so much blood, Joey." Tommy sounded like he was crying now. "All week, they've been doing so much to her. But it wasn't enough. She just... died. Last night. Jimmy was with her. I was trying to get Seanie and Kevin to eat something." Joey just stared at the bank of phones, vacantly, and all he could think was: "Tommy hates me, his ma died, why's he calling me?"

He kind of knew the answer already.

"Tommy?" Joey spoke quietly, afraid he would start to yell if he tried to speak any louder.

"Yeah," Tommy sighed, loudly, then let out a choked sob that Joey knew he was tying to hide. "I, uh. I thought you'd like to know. I know how much you liked her. She was like a ma to you too, Joey. I don't know if you ever thought that. But when we were kids..." he trailed off, but Joey understood: he remembered spending a lot of time at the Donnellys. He was always like a puppy, following them around, but they had never made him leave. and Helen was always nice to him, too. "I gotta go. Seanie and Kevin... they're not takin' it too good. It's like dad all over again. Jimmy is a mess; I think he's drunk. I'd be more surprised if he wasn't, though." Tommy sighed again. Joey cold tell that he was crying now. "And... I'm sorry you got arrested, Joey."

Joey smiled at that. "Yeah, well, it was bound to happen sometime. I'm really sorry, Tommy. She was a great lady. Didn't deserve this."

"I know."

And knowing Tommy and his brothers, Dokey would also soon know that Helen Donnelly did not deserve what he did to her.

Joey hung up. The cop coughed. Joey turned and followed him into the interrogation room. It would be a waste of time, though; Joey would never rat out the Donnellys. Although he figured that once Dokey's body was found (he had no doubts a body would be found after what he'd done to Helen) he wouldn't really have to say anything that would aide in the Donnelly's capture.