A Different Light


deckard3_icon.gif felix_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title A Different Light
Synopsis Felix wakes up to find Deckard at his bedside and Teo is called in to clean up the aftermath.
Date October 3, 2009

St. Luke's Hospital

It's late Saturday evening. Visiting hours are just about done. There's no one in Felix's room. His parents, Liz, Lee, all've come and gone. There is a ridiculous plush crab on the windowsill, next to a little arrangement of cards, a vase of royal purple iris. Gotta love Richard's sense of humor. But even those little attempts can't overpower the general air of careful and antiseptic sterility.

Fel's in the bed, as he has been since surgery a week ago. Adam and Abby's little attempt has faded away the bruising at throat and wrists, though faint scars remain. The flush of fever and infection has also faded, leaving him wan and pale, cheeks hollow and eyes sunken, but he's lost that terrible waxen translucence. He looks worse, ironically, alive and tended, than he did newly dead on Staten. The room smells of sickness, of the antiseptics used, and the watery smell of the irises.

It takes some convincing for Deckard to get in here.

To be more accurate, it takes pretty much everything short of a cavity search. He's wanded, frisked, stared in the eye, patted down again, forced to give up a valid photo ID, and on and on. In the end, there's nothing on him. No guns, no knives, no bludgeons and no drugs. Truth be told, if he was trying to hide anything it'd probably jut off his gaunt frame like a third arm. Beneath a white dress shirt loose at the collar, the pit of his gut sinks in under the rickety billow of his rib cage. Lean muscle is stretched taut in the places it's still represented in reasonable force across his back and in his shoulders. Bone structure shows in knobbed joints; splays skeletal in the wide feathered fan of his fingers while he's searched over one last time. Extant color and conscious state aside, he doesn't look that much different from Felix. They even share a funeral-appropriate demeanor.

In the end though, they let him in. And they must feel a little self-conscious about all the shit they put him through first, because the door closes after him with a click. No nudges to keep it open, no double-checking to make sure the lock hasn't turned. Flint's free to scan over cards and flowers and stuffed crab with an expression that slacks somewhere dull between surprise and chagrin that there's anything in here other than a near dead body at all, leather jacket draped slack over the exasperated slope of his shoulders. People are idiots.

Eventually, he runs out of things to stare at and is forced to drag a chair over next to the bed. Eventually too, he winds the hardened rigging of his left hand in around Felix's near wrist, chilly eyes bright with resilient dislike within their hollow sockets. And eventually, eventually, healing begins as a slow and steady drain. Warm piss and hot blood into a cold puddle that he would just as soon stomp into silty oblivion.

There is no sudden Hallelujah. No golden rays of light and heavenly hosts descending. He's so goddamn busy He can't even be bothered to send one lone dove. And perhaps appropriately for Fel, that waste of flesh and breath whose only saving grace is his ability to make better people care about him, is a void. That golden energy late of Abby's gentle hands…..is just poured into him, and there's almost none of that pleasing sense of the wellsprings of life responding to Deckard's draw. The scribblings of the monitors slowly grades up, but it's an uphill battle.

Well, the first thing that becomes abundantly evident here is the reason Felix is still alive after taking a bullet to the spine and another to the heart. Mu-Qian's insidious influence has wound its tentacles erratic through chest cavity and viscera alike, sucking thick at the already heavy draw on healing the rest of Felix's damage represents.

Within a few minutes, Deckard's already let go once. His head pushes down into his hands, grizzled stubble coarse against his palms and short hair bristling its way gradually out of last month's neatly-groomed buzz. Everything about this sucks. Everything. About this sucks. He mutters along those same lines in lazy French, English muddling elegant words that translate into terrible wishes just hushed enough to sound like prayer, should anyone be attempting to overhear.

But there's no one.

After a time, he swallows, sits himself back and takes up Felix's wrist again to pick up where he left off, simple as a plug being re-inserted into an outlet. Only the outlet hates the plug and the plug hates the outlet and there's not nearly enough electricity around to keep both them going. Such is still the case thirty minutes later, with Deckard's legs bent out long ahead of him and his sunken head tipped against the chair back, increasingly hard pressed to stay awake.

Ooh, a tumor of his very own. Just what he always wanted. The formerly neat stump of his left leg has now bubbled out into a bizarre arrangement of the assorted little bones and tendons and muscle. He can be a clubfoot, like Lord Byron. Fel's still out, but it's gone from the shallow end of coma into genuine unconsciousness.

There's a rational organization to it. Sort of. Vessels wind over and through underdeveloped muscle exposed meaty red to open air, fresh bone wet in the organic inch or two it's gained since Deckard started. The skeletal structure is the root of it all. There's no hanging skin or extraneous tissue flopping loose; everything is strapped firmly down against fibula and tibia; muscle first, then cartilage paving thick between pivots hardening into something nearly recognizable as the makings of an ankle. All in all, it's probably going to take hours. Hours and hours, given that progress has slowed to a glistening crawl of once ambitious animal cells laboring along in utter apathy while Flint sloths a slow breath in through his sinuses and takes in his own flagging effort side-long.

And….oooohhhh Jesus what is he -doing-? Fel hasn't been conscious for about eight, nine days now. He comes up from the depths with a long, long inhalation, both eyes opening wide and fixing on the vast neutral expanse of the ceiling. Pale, blue, and utterly lacking in awareness. They flick right, flick left. I'm in a hospital and my darling Leland will be- OH CHRIST. He's not bound - too weak to move, no reason to restrain him. Still too weak to sit upright, but Fel makes a game effort, somehow hitching himself towards the headboard in one motion, like a seal heaving itself out on to the shingle. The monitoring equipment sets up a massive cacophony in protest.

Slow to register the intake, Deckard jolts when Felix does, grip snatched blearily away as if from a stove top. He's groggy, himself — borderline disoriented against the sudden rush of blood and adrenaline through his starved system. It fuzzes blind in his skull and rings shrill alarm in his ears and there's nothing even really happening, save for that the machines have set to making a fuckload of noise. Rather than look instinctively to the door, he twists to stare at them instead — then back to Felix and the partially reconstructed diagram that is his heel.

When last Fel left consciousness, he had a foot. A rotten, wounded one, but a whole one. And now he's got a….science project. It doesn't make sense that Deckard would creep in here and slowly start experimenting on him. Not when there's a pillow -right there- he could've smothered him with. This is a lot cleaner, a lot nicer, than anywhere Humanis held him. But all the cogs mesh in a way that's exactly wrong and Felix is completely terrified. Not to mention…..the half-healed, half-reconstructed limb -hurts-. The Fed doesn't make any sound beyond another whining intake of breath, as he clings whiteknuckled to the side of the bed, but he's panting openmouthed like a frightened bird. The hospital gear is making the noise for him.

He could punch him in the head. Punch him until he goes unconscious again and lies still enough for him to get…more work in. Except he can't direct his efforts and the concussive damage would heal too. He'd wake up again.

There's a dull remove to the speculation in Deckard's blue eyes, considering his options to a soundtrack of clamoring machinery to his side and at his back. He's worn down and grey, still breathing too fast and hard after the startled gallop of his heart after Ivanov's sudden movement. Sickly thin too, all the hard angles of his face hatchet-hewn into sharp edges and abrupt drop offs.

"If I was going to kill you again, I would have done it already."

Fel's breath is shuddery, and there's another series of darting glances around the room. It's the stuffed crab that holds his attention for a bizarrely long time. And somehow reassures him that this isn't just an upgraded version of his previous torment and degradation. He swallows once, adam's apple bobbing stark, and his wild gaze is all his demand for further explanation.

"Four months ago, Abigail and I were cornered in an alley outside of Old Lucy's. Guy's name was Tyler Case." The rough of his voice fallen to a tired mutter, Flint reaches back up over the bed railing for Felix's wrist. With his touch floods the returned warmth of familiar healing, sullied and dampened here by exhaustion as much as it is the corrupted source. Pain lifts in a dreary fog without dulling the senses or obscuring thought, only distantly detectable through humid haze. "You've probably heard of him."

Cats and dogs living together. This is madness. This is blasphemy. This feels pretty good. Fel's face softens, goes slack, and he blinks at Deckard with equal sleepiness. Finally chokes out a pair of syllables. "Water?"

A glance aside at a nearby tray lights upon a lidded pitcher and a few overturned plastic cups. So. Deckard reaches to flip one of them over with his free hand, full pitcher wavering dangerously in his weakened grip until he's able to tilt, pour and set it aside again. It's all automatic, gears winding over gears to bend joints and grease sinew. He isn't even looking at Ivanov by the time the cup's offered out in front of his weasel face, cold eyes fixed vacant upon a speck corroded into the bed rail.

"…..thank you," Fel says, once he's drunk. "Why are you here, now?" he asks, quietly. The equipment's calmed down, and there have been no sounds of the hurrying feet of nurses in the hall. "I remember…" What he remembers, he doesn't say, but a limp gesture of his hand covers his heart. Hadley removed the terrible marks of the deathwound, at least.

"I dunno." Some answers are inevitable. That one probably qualifies. He doesn't have to look up to register the rustle of the gesture or comprehend the implicit depth to the question. Which is fortunate, because he doesn't want to. There's the railing to measure, and the foot reforming milimeter by sluggish millimeter beyond that while Mu-Qian's meddling sucks hollow at his focus and soaks cold against his soul. As Felix regains some of his strength, he's drained of the last of his own, sweat slicking at his slackened grip. "There's something wrong with me."

"There are a lot of things wrong with you," Fel says, but his tone is gently matter of fact, rather than mocking. "You look really sick. I think you should stop. It looks like Abby or Case didn't give you all of this."

Hard to argue with that assessment. Deckard doesn't. Then again, he doesn't let go either. His brows tilt up in tolerant allowance for truth in observation, eyes rolling a little slack in his skull when his jaw tips back down into a rest against the inside of his far shoulder. "I've caught enough shit over this already."

Felix's gaze flickers to the call button not far from the bed. "IF they come in here and catch you, you can hardly run. You're still a wanted man," He still sounds oddly shaky, without any of his usual brittle imperiousness. "The same if you faint."

Deckard's quiet for a while after that. A long while. A long enough while that hey might well have fallen asleep with the set of his shoulder serving as a makeshift pillow save for the fact that muzzy warmth continues to seep slow through Felix's corpus, touching on cooler areas where heat fails to maintain its hold.

"There are other healers," mumbled at long last, he draws in a breath and holds it. Probably for longer than he should. "Mu-Qian practically has her arm all the way up your ass; stab yourself in the chest a few times and she'll crop up sooner or later."

"Give me your cellphone. Let me call Laudani. You're going to pass out on this floor and end up in jail," Fel says, bluntly. "My hand to God, I won't dial dispatch. You know, I've never seen her face. For all the work she's done. I don't know why."

"Casse-toi." Flint doesn't have to look at the foot to know it's not there yet. It's hardly any further along than it was when he stopped, and frustration is fast creeping in around the hood of his brow where weary neutrality reigned up until a few minutes ago.

All this effort is earnest enough that Deckard isn't going to kill him. Fel is reduced to an owlet stare, lips pulled to one side. "What day is it?" he asks, looking around for a trace of a clock, and finding none.

"Friday," says Deckard. Erroneously, actually, but he's in the right neighborhood, and if it's the effort that counts, his answer should be worth a B- at he very least. Especially given that it's the last thing he says before he starts to slump over at an odd sideways angle, ribs slanting over the ridge of his hip and healing buzzed into an irregular stutter stop. Then it cuts out entirely and Flint lies still, as much of his weight supported into a forward slope against the bedside as it is by his crappy chair.

If he's in jail, he can't finish what he's doing. If the night nurse catches him….he's in jail. They can't have long. So, Fel laboriously starts to haul himself around to where he can search Deckard's pockets, draped along the bed on his belly. Having one working foot and no tensile muscle strength makes this an exercise in absurdity.

Flint's cool to the touch and slackly immobile against groping well-intentioned or no. The brown leather of his jacket is scuffed and water stained, if not so much as the one Felix tried to drown him in four months ago. This one is ~new~, so far as second-hand things can be, and the pockets are sparsely occupied. In the right pocket, there are two spent .45 casings. In the left, there's a cell phone and an open condom package without the condom.

And open it is, even as Fel's hand trembles. He searches through the phonebook function for a name he knows.

Unfortunately, Deckard's phonebook is a baffling conglomeration of nicknames, psuedonyms and abbreviations. Odds are though, the one labeled 'Italian Stallion,' is a pretty safe bet.

Faggot Pig. Faggot Pig? ….my phone number. Unsurprising. Fel dials that number. Here's hoping it doesn't lead to a mafioso or a pizza place. Or a gay escort service.

Click. A scrambling Click, though not that Felix can hear anything but a bluster of noise and air and the characteristically sharp clip of Teo's foot traffic. "What's wrong?" Deductive powers are the go. The status of the relationship between the former graverobber and Italian doesn't leave a lot of room for commonplace phone chat subjects, the likes of which, for instance, they have never had before. As ever, Teo manages to assume the worst without fully wrapping his lobes around the magnitude of what that might mean.

It's not bad. It's just….surreal. "Teo," And there it is, that old tone of bitchy imperiousness, even though his voice wavers like an old man's. It's just the completely wrong voice to be coming from that number. "I'm awake in a hospital. Deckard is asleep on my bed." Bad kitty. "You have got to come get him. Now."

Oh. Teo's eye-blink, close and reopen, is almost audible despite the undercurrent noises disruption behind or around him.


Gears stall. March. Begin to glow red, overheat, accelerated past the engineer's safety standards. Whatever he lacked for, you know, blood pressure and energy after rolling onto the island, child in tow, and dragging his corpus out of the stolen car some hour ago, is abruptly replaced by three quarters a tank of adrenaline and he has to push the phone closer to his ear to hear it over the reverse percussion of his pulrse throbbing outward. It feels like an afterthought, almost. This disclaimer: "If this is a trap, I'm going to kill everybody. Okay?"

"No. He's here. He healed me, mostly. And if you don't hurry up, he's going to end up in jail. I have his phone. Is there someone else I should call who might help?" Fel is….Fel. Brutally efficient in whatever particular cause. Deckard was right. Being snatched again out of the waiting hands of Azrael has not changed him a whit. "Did he heal the preacher? Did….did the preacher live?" He's just realized he's utterly unsure how it all went down.

There's stilted silence, a moment— not wasted on physical stillness, of course— in which Teo balances the wisdom of allowing the Russian, or his wobbly old-lady reedy voice, the opportunity to further convince him that he is who he says he is and everything went down the way he said it did, against the fact that isn't practical for any number of reasons. It'll distract him in transit. Paranoia's important. Stuff. "Yeah," he answers, after a moment, sifting through a pool of dozens of names: Ferry-affiliated nurses on night-shift, Salvatore, Hadley, hacking it down to a skeleton crew with minimum need-to-know for the Russian in question. "Tell Abby I'm gonna bring him to St. John's, ask her to meet us there when she can. I'll forward you her number. Joe's okay.

"For fuck's sake. Wake him up.

"Ciao." The line snips with one electronic blip to mark it, goes dead in Felix's ear.

It isn't long— it isn't long at all before there's a resident knocking twice, white coat and blue scrubs, a SARS mask covering up half his face — with no insult intended to the Fed himself, of course, but you can't trust a pig. Teo's shown in with a wheelchair. He looks like he could probably use the wheelchair himself, not limping but favoring an arm slightly, his fingers twitching around a trigger he was prudent enough to dismiss out of hand.

There Fel is, in all the flesh a hospital gown does not cover. He's been prodding an unresponsive Deckard, after having called Abby and passed on the information. When the masked form of the Italian Stallion himself comes in, Fel recoils a little, aghast - no glasses, it takes him a little to recognize Teo. And, he's still got no working foot, just Deckard's play-doh sculpted attempt, which hurts like hell.

Wonderfully, Teo smells of bleach and compressed air. If his feelings had an odor, there would probably be overlaying notes of scorched vegetable matter, something dry and cackling. He is— has been— somewhat surprised to find few alarming discrepancies, signs, worth pulling a gun on since getting within range to astral project over the grounds, even with all of his post-Pratt paranoia primed to go.

The dead man isn't walking, but he's propped up and peering about like a myopic child in his speckly hospital smock. Deckard, there: the jumble of hollow mechanical parts irregularly jumbled together and welded tight, and drooly-jawed exhaustion. Teo twists the handlebars of the wheelchair, quelling the errant and completely useless conviction that the man is far too long of limb to fit in this thing. He stops it beside the bed, his eyes moving blank past the creepy embryonic stump of Felix's foot. Reminds him of Alexander's hand.

Leo. Whatever. "I don't believe this," he informs everyone and no one in particular, stooping to haul Deckard up like he is A Princess.

"Me -neither-," Fel says, with immense fervor. He's still staring at the ruin of the end of one leg with some horror and no little wonder, blue eyes wide and still a little crazy. Deckard's done yeoman's work in getting him to this state, but Danko and Harlow and Dean between them have cracked a mainspring in there somewhere, and it shows in the way his eyes stay haunted, no matter how his expression changes around them. Like a child, still, he settles back into the proper resting position for a hospital patient.

Knees are lumped down. Shoulders slung back with— a few too many pounds of force when Teo's shoulder gives and the wheelchar skews, creaks under the crooked distribution of mass and gravity. Methodically, Deckard's are bits set down in rough alignment with the shape of the wheelchair. It is kind of like trying to wedge a Ken doll into the plastic casing of a Barbie's box. Not that Teo ever, you know. He isn't that kind of queer, but the principle is there, this awkward effort to make bits fit without breaking anything, for safety and smooth transport. He drops into a squat to set Deckard's feet on the panels with his left hand.

This way, he isn't looking at Felix when he asks: "Did he say anything?"

"He doesn't know why he's here and why he healed me," Fel says, still earnestly. Teo's the recipient of that thousand yard stare, now, even as he plucks the bedcovers back over himself. He's weak and sweating and gaunt and all but vibrating with nervous energy. Like there's nothing to him now but adrenaline and painkillers.

With the healer now properly installed in the wheelchair… <:( sad sentence fragment that that is, Teo straightens, draws himself back to the upright in a weary puppet-stringed hitch and pull of muscle strings ratcheting muscle strings, sore as an old man, though not for his back. He hides it. Tries to. A small portion of effort donated toward quelling the symptoms.

Stacking himself up against the back of the wheelchair, Teodoro lifts the brake with a click of his favored hand, a slight frown. His eyes stay downcast, not quite shyly, glad yet unsure of what to make of the disparate parts that make up this situation. "Do you remember anything?" he finally blurts, pulling the handles backward just a few inches, testing the maneuverability, the weight. Tall wheels rotate on their axles, ungreased, click-click. Deckard looks caved in on himself, older than he's supposed to be.

"The last thing I definitely remember is…..I remember a woman preparing me to die. They washed me as if I were already dead. It was to be a public execution," Fel's tone is uncertain, halting, but his hands are clenched whiteknuckled. "I….dreamed, I think. Maybe that was a dream. There were things…." He's begun to shiver.

There is a moment of stillness, silence to go with it. Teo glances down at the tilted roof of Deckard's head, checks the hallway with a wrinkling shift of thought and psychic projection. He isn't sure what to do with himself, so he does nothing with himself for a few long seconds, idling on his feet with his hands prepared, ready to bear Flint away and into the street. He could probably just steer him all the way to St. John's like this if he needed to. It's not far. He could kill the half-dozen or so mugger packs on the way even with one gimp shoulder, probably.

He isn't really thinking about all that, though. Despite pressing logistical concerns, Teo is very much here— and so very, very surprised. "Lee'll be here within an hour if I have to brick his window myself. Is there—" His eyes shade down at the unfinished foot protruding from the bedsheets, flinch back up again. "Is there anything else you need?" When all else fails, Teodoro Laudani merely does the tactless thing and asks.

"You had better go," Felix says, and his voice is very small, threatening to collapse in on itself. Being crippled is the price for his folly, despite Deckard's best efforts. Modestly, he draws the sheet back over the wounded leg.

Being told to go tends to evoke the obstinate in Teo. Most recently, one Abigail Beauchamp experienced this and it's been the source of residual tension between them for weeks since. He has unfortunate timing with the having his cellphone on or doing the tracking and the walking in on people with things to hide under bed covers. He stares at Felix a moment. Felix's face, this time.

"Okay." Acquiescence comes easily when it finally does. Teo ducks his bristly head, leans into the push and pull of the wheelchair. There's a squeak and rub of metal on metal, a brief pause as he reaches to steady the scrawny stem of Deckard's neck with a very gentle hand, and another push, steadier now, more certain in the taking of this leave. They clunk door, ease out into the hall together.

It's a little like birth, or hatching, maybe - waking to find yourself in an entirely new world, exposed and helpless. The Russian's face is open, vulnerable as it has never been, save for a very few moments - at least in Teo's presence. He watches Teo go, stare a little fixed. And for all his urging, he clearly doesn't want him to go.

There's a whine of hinges easing back against the wooden plank's weight, a bump of rebound off the snubbed rubber toe of his boot. In what would generally be regarded as a bad move, he pauses long enough to angle his voice back into the room, after a staggered beat's hesitation, his mouth slacked half-open in the empty air: "I'll be back to pick up Deckard's phone if Lee isn't here. And call your doctor if you need him, you masochistic little fuck.

"They have morphine for that shit, you know." As advice and promises go, those weren't great: past curfew, few things are going to move faster up the island than a cop on-call, and few things are going to get in Leland's way. The doctor's a logical step, a button push away, and one that will be made for Ivanov sooner than it'll take for Teo to get to the cathedral and back if he doesn't make it for himself, but Teo figures it's probably better to hear it said out loud. That somebody's going to come and get you.

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