"Hello, Warren."

"No."

"I...em, I need ya to come with me."

Warren didn't have to say anything. He head was in a bandage, his leg was too, there was a crutch leaning against the back wall and he had stitches on that beautiful face.

"Please?"

"I can pay ya more?" He thought about threatening Warren or using force, but couldn't bring himself to.

"I got f—"

"I know you got fucked up last time you came with me. But if you don't come with me now, I'm goin' to get fucked up." His voice lost all of the lyrical Irish lilt as he dropped into a more Americanized English. It was easier to here his voice shaking without the accent.

Warren's silence hurt. Maybe he did deserve a bit of a beating. He considered Warren a friend after all that had happened which was what he was betting on now, friendship. That Warren would consider him enough of a friend, despite all the small wrong turns last time and he wouldn't let his friend get killed.

He knew Warren cared from his confused muttering about failing after their last mission. But it was really Quincy who had failed him. He should have been there to catch him maybe, or remembered that bloody gun any time sooner.

Quincy felt like this would be the last time he ever spent with Warren. He was hoping Paulie just wanted to talk to his friend, though it was clear Warren wanted nothing else to do with the mafia. The Irishman understood. If his life didn't probably depend on it, he would never have come. He didn't want to drag Warren into this life. Being acrobat was safer, comfier and paid a lot more consistently.

He had thought he could continue to be friends with the young man, but it was clear he had always been a danger to Warren. He had known that all along. He hadn't cared that first night freezing outside the boxcar and had taken the rocky escape from the factory and the exhausting ride back to the circus.

Dangerous people, like Quincy, couldn't get close to people. It hurt too much.

He wondered if his brother had thought about that while in prison. When Louis told him about leaving the mafia, and that Quincy should too, Quincy had thought prison made him a coward. And maybe it had. Maybe, just maybe, it had given him the time to think about who he cared about in life. Like his younger brother who he had forced into the mafia with him.

Louis knew! He had known the mafia would pick him off the whole time and that's why he had wanted Quincy out! Because he was too much of a danger to be with.

It was too late to keep Warren away from the mafia. He had taken their money and seen inside the warehouse. But Quincy could stay away. They didn't need Quincy to find Warren, did they? He and Hank were the only two to know his actually sleeping place, unless Hank said anything. Gurd knew where the circus was but so did everyone. Maybe they did need him. That was comforting.

Fiddling with the rim of his jacket collar, he imagined himself not bringing Warren with him. And then imagined himself tied to a chair in Mercurio's basement, beaten bloody, one hand with every finger broken, unable to breath from broken ribs. It would be Hank of course. Quincy trusted Hank so if he fucked up, Mauro would force Hank to take care of him. But he would probably live.

The next time though, he would end up in the river.

"Alright. I'll come." Warren's face was impossible to read and Quincy could tell there was a unsaid "this is the last time." Warren was only doing this because he cared about Quincy, and that care was getting stretched taunt.

"Thank you."

He would never ask Warren for anything again. If that meant dying for him than to hell with it. He didn't pretend to be a good guy, but sometimes, he tried to do what a good guy would do. And right now, a good guy would figure out someway to never have a nice guy like Warren involved in the mafia or a bad guy again.

Because really, he was a bad guy, but he would never stop trying to be otherwise.

---

Paulie was taking advantage of them. It was one thing to do a job and not ask questions, but completely another to be singled out and told he had to pick up an April Fool's surprise. There was no comfort in the way Paulie tried to sweet talk them down and get them to back off.

The waves from knowing top secret information broke on both shores; they were a commodity, irreplaceable and necessary or they were another loophole to be closed off. It all depended on how useful they were to the information and how much they were trusted.

Quincy didn't believe in trust anymore. There was no such thing in the mafia.

He wasn't sure what Johnny had thought of him at T.G.'s, but he had probably trusted Quincy to make good on that distraction favor sooner rather than later. Later just fit his needs right now. He almost managed to disgust himself.

He watched Johnny hauled to the backroom, eyes dead. He had told Paulie to help sway the waves to the right shore, but he had nothing against Johnny, had tried to warn him, even owed the guy. Doubtful Johnny would ever know the respect Quincy had for the bouncer. Johnny seem like a nice guy, but he too had the misfortune of getting involved even a little with the mafia.

The system spawned hatred the more he lived it. He might have been a good man once.

Warren brushed past him toward the door without saying a word, Quincy wanted to, but his tongue was heavy with guilt. Another good man dragged down with him. Maybe his real job wasn't recruiting, but ruining lives. At least Irene had still been...holding together.

He wanted to stay and wait for Irene, maybe gather what info he could on Johnny, but Paulie had given him a final dismissal and the guards gave Quincy hard glares that told him he would have better luck with the harsh air outside.