Extra Credit Assignment

Dr. Rob Stephenson was an accomplished doctor in the field of Navi Psychology. This was despite the fact that his field was one that was considered transitory at best and superficial at worst, and in spite of the fact that he himself had a laundry list of issues that would keep him on a therapist's couch for many hours, if he would ever set aside his pride and give himself what he knew he needed. Instead, he had made it to his current position through sequential, carefully crafted lies. The first lie was always to someone else, and almost always smooth enough that he never saw a repercussion. The second was to himself, and that was usually the harder one. In Rob's mind, he had garnered enough positive karma that he could go on an all-weekend bad karma bender and still be in the black. He found that having a Navi to talk to helped things, too.

His own, personal Navi, of course. Not his latest patient... who, he recalled with a sigh, was now his latest ex-patient. "Think of the opportunities you're giving that lovely young woman, Rob. Think of how you're extending a helping hand, a limited opportunity that will take her from the brightest up-and-coming student in her field to the brightest prodigy, respected by her peers. Think of all the good sleep you're going to get, and all the good you'll do with your research after getting that sleep."

Rob's ego massaging hit an uncomfortable knot there. He, of course, knew how much sleep he'd be getting. He was pretty sure Jacky didn't know how much she stood to lose. And whose fault was that?

"Jacky's an intelligent girl. She knows I've said as much as I can, and she's intelligent enough to fill in the blanks for the rest. I'm sure she can see it... But she doesn't know the whole story." Rob's internal voice seemed to be choking, and he rubbed a hand to his weary eyes.

He stood in his office, which Jacky had just left, staring at his reflection in one of the perfectly polished silver awards lining his shelf. He stared at his combed, dark mahogany hair, which he felt had only started going grey in the past month, and at the dark rings surrounding his ordinarily bright eyes. He decided to run back over the conversation in his head. His brand of selective memory was tedious, and he found it helped to recall even the hard parts in order to find which parts need to smoothed and pruned...


Jacky sat across from Rob, her right hand clasping a pen over the notebook in her lap. It wasn't his turn to speak yet. She had approached him, he recalled, and that was good. It was good that he hadn't initiated it, and it was good that he was sought after by (pretty) young, bright minds.

No, that wasn't the truth at all. Of course, he'd mentioned to her after a class that he had a research opportunity available for her. But wasn't she the one with the gleam in her eye? The one who'd eagerly pounced on an opportunity, even before the details? Even without the details?

In any case, when she'd arrived in his office, he'd broken the ice by asking about her academic goals, "Where do you see yourself in your future?" The usual. Her responses didn't disappoint. For anyone else, he would have thought they were incredibly naive, but he genuinely believed these were not just dreams, but career paths, for her. He was impressed with his own good faith.

"Excellent, Miss Newman," Rob said, his hand clamped around a bottle of water he'd set on his desk. "Why did I have the bottle of water? To have that and not drink from it makes me look incredibly nervous..."

In retrospect, he imagined that must have been the case. Jacky's responses had been flawless, clearly rehearsed, but not overly elaborate. It was clear to him, even then, that she wasn't acting as one begging for an opportunity, but simply as one showing respect for an opportunity they knew they were about to receive. "An opportunity!"

"Ms. Newman, let me cut straight to the point. I say this not to brag of what is intended as 'the good work' on my part, but simply to inform you if you are not already aware. You understand that besides teaching at this university, I am involved in certain research, as a professor..."

"Yes, sir," she had responded, quickly, obligatorily. She made a motion to push her glasses up on her nose, a motion he wasn't entirely sure she knew meant "get on with it." "That's not giving quite enough credit... Yes, she knew I was beating around the bush."

"What you may not have been aware of is that in my spare time, I accept exceptional cases of Navis requiring psychiatric therapy." He paused. Saw the look on her face: she was aware of it. By now she was probably starting to connect the remaining dots. "One of the Navis I recently took into my care..."

"Hyde," Jacky responded, with a matter-of-fact presentation that Rob now recalled had made him flinch. "If I may be frank, she has been one who has caused trouble for you, recently? This is not to say I believed in the authenticity of everything she posted in your name to the school BBS, but I can understand the trouble that must have posed to a man in your position."

Rob couldn't read her expression behind her thick glasses. He wondered how much of what was posted she suspected was true. "That was a real scramble... I don't have to tidy up that much very often." An understatement.

"Yes, you're well informed. HYDE, to be specific." He spoke the name loudly and deliberately, and he could tell Jacky picked up on the difference in tone. "She goes by, er, HYDE when she's in her temperamental swings."

"HYDE," Jacky repeated after him, a loud bark. Remembering that made him smile a little sadly. He didn't imagine she was a girl who raised her voice that often. He then chose to think it was funny, instead, rather than dwell on the idea of Jacky being forced into raising her voice for any particular reason in the near future.

"HYDE is a special case that I took on as a favor for a friend. My friend believes that Hyde is glitched, and he is very personally attached to her. However, as I'm sure you're well aware, I am one in the forefront of the field that, at a basic level, believes that Navis of the current age develop personalities, minds, and, well, what is often called a 'soul' in layman's terms. After a long conversation with my friend, I dissuaded him from performing some rather extreme memory clearing in an attempt to wipe HYDE's influence from his beloved personal navigator."

"If I may speak frankly, again, I'm not sure I don't agree with him. If I understand correctly, Hyde was originally a computing and operating wonder for the medical world. If her program is damaged, isn't it imperative for her to be repaired as soon as possible?"

Rob was surprised Jacky appeared to have done independent research and had chosen to engage her in debate. Rob was used to debate, and he returned a gentle smile to his student, who didn't appear to be grasping the fundamentals of his admittedly lofty science. "There are multiple reasons. First, there is no guarantee that we could get to such... deep-seated issues as Hyde seems to have developed without erasing parts of her operating programming essential to her abilities as a medical professional. Needless to say, such programming would also likely be expensive for my friend. There's also the issue of possibly damaging or fragmenting memories she had developed since the error took root. Most importantly, of course, is the consideration of the Navi's will. Hyde, herself, has repeatedly confessed that she is unaware of a glitch in her system, even with her level of medical diagnostics. As such, isn't it reasonable to assume a psychiatric problem has developed in the Navi's mind?"

"Naturally, that digital-medical diagnosis has been cross-verified?" Jacky responded. To his relief, that sounded like an obligation question and didn't carry hints of doubt.

"Naturally. My goal was to personally treat Hyde's issue, but... after the previous month which culminated in last night, I decided that simply wasn't plausible. With the research I am currently involved in, the long term research and data collection required... I simply don't see it as feasible. To be honest, if I didn't have a responsible, self-motivated steward such as yourself to take over the responsibility, I might have been forced to return the Navi to its owner. Needless to say, that would haunt me on an emotional level."

"I'm happy to help," Jacky replied with a small smile, looking more like a girl and less like a robot than Rob thought he'd seen her since she walked in. "The other qualifications I believe you were seeking, an operator with no personal net navigator and limited personal societal interactions... I believe I fit both well.

Robert smiled sadly, hearing Jacky sum that up so tidily herself. "Now, Jacky, please don't put it that way. In fact, I don't want your responsibilities with this Navi to take up any more of your time than necessary! But I am interested in seeing how Hyde responds to various stimuli, and with interactions with a proper operator. I'm worried that our relationship was too much... patient-and-doctor. If possible, I'm even hoping the two of you may become friends."

Jacky returned a sad smile of her own, which Rob chose not to respond to. "I'm sure we will," Jacky responded quickly. "I believe you warned me there were certain caution protocol I needed to follow when handling HYDE?"

"Yes, well, the word I believe I accidentally used at that time was 'danger,'" Rob didn't say. "Yes, well, I encourage you to keep a record of any interesting interactions Hyde or HYDE have with others and report them at your discretion. I believe you've already seen first hand that HYDE's personality is... very volatile. I don't believe she will seek to actively harm you, but she seems constantly driven to... instigate," he finished, taking a long draw from his water bottle on that final word. "Obviously, if you ever feel that her behavior is jeopardizing or endangering you, or even... even if it's just too big a headache! If you decide you want to spend more time with your friends... your boyfriend?" He saw that small, sad smile again and quickly added, "Your family! Feel free to return her and think nothing of it. Needless to say, this is you doing a favor for me. A favor that I intend to repay, of course, with time and effort fast-tracking your career in research with my staunchest recommendations to my colleagues, with any research assistant opportunities I can create, and with my deepest, most personal respect. "With a bedside prayer, where every night I say thank you Jacky before hopping in the bed, pulling up the sheets, and getting a straight eight hours of sleep...!"

He had to cut it off. This was harder than he expected, and he didn't feel it was doing anything for him in the intended way of a guilt massage. Jacky had thanked him. Jacky had ultimately accepted the opportunity. Jacky had transferred the necessary data and files into her own PET and had left to begin the first task: observing Hyde in a social environment.

"After the previous month... which culminated in last night..."


Rob had been asleep the night before and had been awoken, the like the many nights prior, at some random hour between midnight and sunrise. Rob wiped his eyes, put on his bedside glasses and raised his PET to his face. It looked like he would be talking to Hyde, good. Her expression looked even. Not crazy. Good. "What is it," he muttered sleepily.

"Dr. Stephenson. I do hate to wake you up at this hour of the night, but... I think she's asleep. The other one, I mean. As you know, I can't... time it or sense it, exactly, but I feel she recently departed. At that time, I think I may have pinpointed one of the triggers that acts as a signal for her. I believe it may be possible to predict her arrival."

The doctor started in his bed, rising so his chest was bare in the dark and his lenses were lit by the glow of his PET. His eyes were lit behind them, and lit with excitement. "This could be a major breakthrough, Hyde! Excellent. Please, describe it in as much detail as possible." He grabbed his notebook and pen, fully intending to write in spite of the darkness.

"It's... an itch," Hyde began, hesitantly. She paused.

"A twitch? No, ah, you said an itch. Well, where?" The doctor was already writing feverishly.

"Well, generally..." Hyde began, dragging out her word and hovering her hand over her body, "I'd say... right about here?" She made a point of placing the hand directly over her groin and faced him with a searching, serious look.

There was no phase of confusion as the doctor quickly realized what was happening. He had put down the pen and was massaging his temple.

"Yes, right before Hyde shows up, I... start to feel a warmth, and an itch, right about here... and as it continues, I generally find... I become more hot..." the Navi made a show of moving her hand obscenely up and down between her legs. "And right... right when I feel it the most... feel the most heat... that's when she coooooooo-"

Rob couldn't stand it. It was part of his protocol to carefully observe Hyde and not to cut her off, even when he thought they weren't making progress. But then, it appeared to be part of HER protocol to allow him to fall asleep before regularly waking him up, night after night. The one night she hadn't, he reasoned, had been deliberately skipped to put him off guard. He couldn't deal with it anymore.


He couldn't deal with it anymore. But he hoped... and prayed... Jacky could. He genuinely felt Hyde was a wonderful Navi, and a good person. He genuinely felt Jacky was a prodigy, and a good girl. He genuinely felt he was a professional, and a good man.

There had to be a way they could all help each other, and it had to be the way he decided.

He returned his glasses to his face, sat back in his chair, and finished off his bottle of water. He booted up his PET, greeted his own Navi, explained what had just occurred more for his own benefit than for the knowledge of his Navi, and managed to enjoy the rest of his day.
It had been many months since Jocelyn had come to the Gloria Scott Mall with the intention of reinventing her life as a mall cop. Jacky had been through a life change of her own just a little while later, adopting her new navi. In Jacky's case, the one behind the burden had gotten out of her life as soon as he could and most likely intentionally kept it that way. In Jocelyn's, however, the man was a bit of a control freak... and determined to stretch his arms around as much of her life as he could manage.

"Buh-buh-buh-baby, Milky doll-baby," a frustratingly lazy, unnaturally deep voice crooned, as a man in a checkered pink-and-white shirt stood outside the office of Dr. Rob Stephenson, holding his hands in the pockets of skinny white slacks. Even inside, he wore aviator shades, and his thumbs fiddled with a lighter in one pocket and a pack of cigarettes in the other, both which he would be unable to make use of until he left campus grounds. "Milky, buh-buh-buh-baby!" he repeated, his lips curled into a satisfied, slightly crooked smile on his lean, handsome jaw. His five-o-clock shadow and black, meticulously styled, gleaming, oily pomp made him stand out a bit from the students around, though he wasn't a whole lot older than they were (and probably less educated overall).

"Don't you buh-buh-buh-baby me, Rodney," a quiet, harsh woman's voice came from his PET. "You're going too far. Your horseplay is grotesque enough without dragging others into it. Every additional player in the game just makes the façade that much harder to keep up."

"Game's not much of a game unless there's a buh-buh-buh-bit of a shake up here and again, ain't that right?" he questioned, pulling one cigarette out of his pocket and pressing it into his lips, before realizing what he'd done and snatching it back into his pocket. "Buh-buh-buh-bullsh*t, whoever decided smoking indoors is a punishable offence deserves my shoe up their buh-buh-buh-behoonkus." He turned his eyes to watch the exit of a rather attractive psychology student, barely suppressing a whistle as she walked away. "Buh-buh-buh-but... well, some things change for the buh-buh-buh-better, Milky."

With the office now down to one inhabitant, the chief of mall security, Rodney Bills, slid in through the door before it could close, his hands remaining in his pockets the whole time. It might be a little while before Dr. Rob even noticed that Mr. Rodney had slipped in. The tall man flexed his low shoulders back and forth as he slowly approached, then smirked at the egghead behind the desk. "Doc! Ey', I say ey', Doc!" he announced himself, still not showing his hands. "I ain't got an appointment, but I got somethin' you wanna hear..."

Acting like a man with an agenda, Rodney slipped his buh-buh-buh-behoonkus onto a writing desk, ignoring the perfectly good chair that was positioned beneath it. "You got a student, uuuh... mousy little girl, what's her name... wouldn't draw a hungry look from a 'skeeter... Jacky Newman! That's her name," he spoke up, snapping a few times as though the name had escaped him (it had not). "Ho ho ho! You remember her? I know you buh-buh-buh-brainy types don't always remember names or faces so good. Say, is that nameplate real gold? Haw! Just playin," he chuckled, with some odd, snarling grin that showed a bit of his upper gums. "Alright, alright, so you're buh-buh-buh-beatin' it around in your head right now, what's this smooth-lookin' dude here for and why's he talkin' bout ol' Jacky Newman?"

"I'm a man with a real strict routine, Buh-Buh-Buh-Bobby. My Jocelyn does just what I instruct her, perfect angel, greatest mall cop on the buh-buh-buh-beat. Sometimes, though, she gets a little distracted. Jacky Newman's one'a those distractions... she's offerin' a positive relationship, you know, like a caretaker or a mom or some buh-buh-buh-bullsh*t. I'm worried all the discipline's leakin' out of her ears, dirtyin' up the tile of my dear Gloria Scott... that's the mall's name, y'know? Anywho, you're her professor! You oughta teach her the right things, ought you not? She shouldn't be distracting mall cops. You can give her a tip, right...? I mean, you share a lotta gifts with her, don't you?" he asked, raising an eyebrow and pulling out a cigarette again, sticking it in the corner of his mouth. "I hear you gave her a real fancy gift recently! You mighta forgot all about it, buh-buh-buh-but it's a buh-buh-buh-BIG part of her life. More importantly, it's a buh-buh-buh-BIG part of a lot of real interestin' videos recently... Stripping in a mall, gagging herself and shakin' her ass at strangers, telling other ladies to make out with one Jacky Newman, posin' for a little softcore porno in the network of an auditorium here at the school, encouraging Jacky to humiliate herself in that same auditorium in front of her classmates! She's been buh-buh-buh-busy. Gosh, it'd be pretty damn inconvenient if someone found that your little gift was outta her damn mind and drivin' Jacky to drink, wouldn't it?" he finished, lowering his shades to reveal cool, blue eyes, regarding the professor with hidden intentions.

"Don't worry, though! Got a couple'a rats I don't want outta the buh-buh-buh-bag myself. I got a proposal for you, though, if you wanna hear it, that'll ensure my lips stay a little buh-buh-buh-bit more tightly zipped," Rodney offered, now lighting the cigarette and cupping his hand around it, as if that would stop the smoke alarm from detecting it. "I want you to set a trap. I'm runnin' a mystery job today... fun little field exercise for my little girl, Jocelyn... I want Jacky to be there too," he recommended, looking out the window disinterestedly. "They're friends, right? Shouldn't be hard to arrange. They just need to be in the same place, is all, right here at the school. I'll take care of her past that," he smirked, crossing his arms across his chest and shifting the cigarette to the other side of his mouth by rolling his tongue. "I'm not gonna do anything unbuh-buh-buh-becoming of a gentleman, don't you worry. I'm just gonna... lay down some ground rules. Tell her the way things stand. Tell her... that mall cops need solitude to concentrate. That mall cops don't need little girls distracting them. That I don't need little girls... snooping around. I also don't need psychologists snooping around, you get it? So you just tell Jacky to show up, tell her that her friend Jocelyn Yard wants to see her. Then you buh-buh-buh-butt out of it," he threatened, raising his glasses back up with one finger, then sticking both hands quickly back into his pockets. "We good? How about I throw in whiskey on me, I''ll buh-buh-buh-buy if y'show up during happy hour at the Musical Chair..."

Rodney Bills rose back up to his full height, casting a long shadow of Rob Stephenson's desk ominously. Dr. Rob Stephenson was faced with two options: stick up for his student, call Rodney out, maybe try to get help... or abandon Jacky for the easy route. Past precedence suggested which may he might go.
Dr. Rob Stephenson typed away at the terminal at his desk, rubbing his chin as he got the clear sense someone was parked outside his door. It was a normal thing for him: no doubt some frustrated young mind looking for a one-on-one session and trying to weigh their pride versus their need for help. He got back to typing, casually, knowing that giving away that knowledge would only drive the youngster away. "A balanced curriculum, a stern course load but a helping hand freely given... that's what students expect from Dr. Rob Stephenson," Dr. Rob Stephenson internalized, smirking a bit more than he realized as he got back to typing.

He didn't stay that way for long, though, as he realized the strange man who'd entered his office was clearly not a student at all. He didn't look like he would be the parent of any student, either... was he some sort of salesman? "Hello, there... no, there's no need for an appointment. I have an open-door policy, after all. Please, have a seat." Rob gestured to the seat out of habit, although he sensed the man didn't need to be goaded into getting down to business.

The body language of the man's strange decision to lean against a desk instead wasn't lost upon him: "A man with places to be." Rob listened quietly for just a second before growing pale. His expression didn't change, but the energy in his face notably drained (he'd recently started getting lovely sleep and staying very well energized). The doctor rose from his seat and promptly put a hold on his open-door policy, gliding to the door and shutting it before Rodney could get into specifics. "My apologies for the interruption, just need to keep the noise from the hall down," he commented, drifting away from the perfectly silent doorway and back to his desk and leaning on it rather than taking a seat again. He didn't answer the question about the nameplate, seeming to assume it was just small talk.

Rob was, indeed, buh-buh-buh-beatin' Rodney's question around in his head. "That ludicrous outfit... is this man a used car salesman? A pimp?! Good lord, what have I gotten Jacky- that is, what has Hyde gotten Jacky into? What has that Jacky gotten herself into?" The man tried to keep his face at an even, stern frown in spite of the questions zipping like bullets through his mind, grasping the water bottle on his desk without looking and raising it to his lips with the cap still on before realizing his mistake. "I'm afraid I don't follow," Rob responded honestly when asked, as he literally had no idea who Jocelyn was, what Gloria Scott had to do with anything, and how Jacky or this man could be connected to any of it.

The doctor finally found the cap on his bottle and began taking a big gulp at exactly the wrong time, spitting it out and hacking violently as Rodney began to rattle off a rap sheet of his pet project's latest activities. He'd gotten a few weeks of absolutely perfect sleep recently, but he suddenly felt like he needed a month in bed. "I, hck, I haven't been keeping up with her! That is, she hasn't spoken to me about it! The project is a bit of an, um, a self-study project, if you will, and really whatever activities she involves herself with- well, I certainly haven't given her any instruction to that effect! Jacky is, of course, of a responsible age to do whatever she wishes outside of my classroom but I really don't think there's any need to publicize my part in the arrangement." "Sh*t, I acquiesced just now, didn't I," Rob realized, gritting his teeth. "That last part of that stream of consciousness, that admission of guilt, was not smart. That was the line he was waiting for."

Rob watched Rodney carefully now, offering only a cursory "You can't do that in here" as Rodney violated the school's smoke-free campus directive and his personal smoke-free office directive. "No. Goodness, no," he said, reflexively, from the moment Rodney said the word "trap," although it wasn't really a measured refusal so much as an unconscious complaint. "Good Lord, Rob! Surely security can take care of this predator? Who would even listen what a man like that had to say about-" Rob shut off his own internal voice, not willing to let it go into the details of what Jacky had been up to. That was a memory he was going to probably have to keep stored for revisiting when he was feeling very, very at peace with himself. After he'd given a really great grade to a student who'd tried really hard.

Dr. Stephenson straightened up and straightened his tie, running a hand through his hair. "Mr. Rodney, I'm an educator. I can't possibly... do that... However! Jacky is such a shy, introverted girl, and I most certainly should take initiative in ensuring she's making the most positive social connections. If you, having more experience with this 'Jocelyn', feel that a continued relationship with her jeopardizes Jacky's path to success, I most certainly should take action to correct things." The doctor, not realizing he'd switched his train of reasoning mid-dialogue, continued. "Of course I don't need your whiskey! A clear conscience and the benefit of my student is plenty for me, Mister... um," he trailed off, rattling his fingers on his desk. "Just... keep in mind, that whatever you have in mind... I have your word you don't plan on doing anything unbecoming of a gentleman? Jacky's a wise girl, not to be underestimated. If you involve her in any malfeasance, I'm certain you'll find yourself in trouble. And, of course, if anything happens to her, you'll have me, her teacher, to answer to!" Rob really didn't want to take on that burden, but he understood it was really the bare minimum standing up his conscience would allow him to get away with in this situation.

"If I can make a suggestion, though... why not simply tell me where you want her to show up, and, um, I'll tell her that? If I tell her 'her friend Jocelyn wants to see her,' she's surely going to become curious as to how I know this Jocelyn and why I care...?" Rob took another slow sip of his water, sweating a bit. He didn't want to tick Rodney off at this point (or, really, spend any more time dealing with him than he had to), but it wasn't like he could do what Rodney wanted until he knew the location, anyway.
Rodney's antagonistic grin showed that he clearly enjoyed Rob's comedic spit-take. "You get it!" he added, before continuing his explanation of how things stood. "Oh, yeah, looks like I'm keepin' up with little Jacky a little buh-buh-buh-better than you are, Doc. That's cause I got an interest in who she's been hangin' out with," Rodney reminded the professor. "I agree with you there, though; no reason to pubuh-buh-buh-blicize that you're the one who hitched that wagon to Jacky's hoss, 'less I had to do it as a means to make sure that she isn't bringin' that little, uh, social experiment into Jocelyn's pure and wholesome daily life."

He gave Dr. Rob a little bit to speak, smirking silently and rolling his cigarette back and forth in his match, while his hands continued fumbling in his pockets, almost as if he was going to pull out a second one. He did not, but if Rob was looking, he might see that one thumb was dangerously playing with the hidden lighter... either that or he was doing something even less savory. "Oh yes, you got it. You're quick at picking this stuff up, just like you oughta buh-buh-buh-be! The friendship ain't good for Jocelyn and that means it ain't good for Jacky neither, so's this train's stoppin' at the next station, and it ain't getting buh-buh-buh-back on the tracks after that." He listened to the rest of Rodney's warnings with an annoying aloofness, seeming suddenly interested in looking around the office. "Uh, I'm sure Jacky's got school-smarts just like you do, Doc, but respectfully, I ain't too worried about that. And, respectfully, I sure as Satan's stovetop ain't worried about answerin' to you. Anyways, she ain't got nothing to be smart about! I'm not doing anything buh-buh-buh-bad to her, I'm just trying to pull her out of a relationship that's going to be not so great for her in the long run. Jocelyn, bless her soul, is a bit of a silly buh-buh-buh-birdy, so keepin' her out of danger's a full time job for me."

Having said that, he straightened his collar, then stood up again from his lean. He fought off the urge to hide the lit cigarette inside Rob's desk as he did, which could start a small fire in the office, but wouldn't be good for his keeping actual police off of him. Something about the professor saying "you'll have to answer to me" had made him want to do that, though. "Little bitch, you stick to shrinking heads..." he thought ruefully, perhaps not catching the truth of how little Rob Stephenson actually wanted to defend his student. "You've got a good head on your shoulders though, Buh-Buh-Buh-Bobby. I'm gonna take you up on that. See, that's why you get the buh-buh-buh-big buh-buh-buh-bucks," he commended his new acquaintance. "I like that attention to detail. You tell Jacky-baby where to be and I'll handle it from there. Sorry, uh, just Jacky. Ain't got no interest in that young lady, I assure you that. My Jocelyn's all the lady I need."

"You follow through on your end of the deal, Doc. Remember: Jacky's got it hard enough. She don't need Jocelyn's problems too," he finished, turning and holding one hand up in a lazy wave of dismissal, before sticking it hard back down into his pockets and shuffling out. When he reached the door, he took the cigarette out of his mouth, inspected it for a moment, then flicked it onto Rob's floor and put it out with his shoe. "Wouldn't want to buh-buh-buh-break any rules out there, eh?" he laughed, slouching and slipping very quietly through the barely cracked door.