Almost, At Times, The Fool


bebe_icon.gif felix_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title Almost, At Times, The Fool
Synopsis Bebe brings Felix to the dock in search of a ride. Teo is heading off the island, himself. He accidentally notices that Felix is not dead, which is an odd moment of deja-vu. He is venomously suspicious. Bebe fixes this by ditching the two.
Date March 30, 2009

Staten Island: Just Inland

Tiny hookers are unlikely guardian angels. But then, on Staten, considering it's basically the 10th ring of hell, that's perhaps the best one can have. Felix is trundling along behind Bebe, trustingly, still wearing that little line between his brows that indicates he's keeping the lid on some massive confusion and no little worry. He's in those uncharacteristic clothes - slightly too large jeans, baggy t-shirt, hoodie, but his own bloodstained boots.

It's still early in the morning, and the light is changing from gray to gold as the sun comes up over the water. People are streaming towards the docks, businesses are opening, even in these slums. "Jack, huh?" he says to her, as if merely making conversation.

The harbor is privvy to a few zombie shuffles at this time of morning, of ill-conceived hangovers moving out from an evening of debauchery on Staten, or else forced by martial jurisdiction to wait until the cadaverously gray fingers of dawn lift curfew after having missed the last boat the previous night. It's cold. Teo's still stiff in his right shoulder where a joint-lock and throw had put him into concrete floor instead of the mat. It hurt.

Still, he knows better than to swear aloud even under his breath and jiggle his shoulder around. It's savanna out here and looking like you got the worst end of a fight isn't the best way to go about survival, even if most others making their way toward the gull squawk and sea's susurration here don't look a lot better off.

He walks steadily. Left foot, right foot, scab-nocked hands in his pockets and rough-haired head forward slung at a hooligan's slouch. Left foot, right foot. He doesn't look up. Not even Teo remembers everything there is to about these times and ages, but he knows the way and its demographic well enough to keep himself armored and blinkered by purpose.

"Mmhmm," murmurs Bebe through a pair of uncharacteristically closed lips. For someone who normally works nights in what roughly equates to the graveyard shift (in more ways than one), she's still wide awake and kicking without a hint of sleep hanging in the corners of her big, brown eyes. Odds are, she hasn't slept a wink since taking up the title of Felix's solo minder from the stitch who fixed him up the night before. This doesn't pose any sort of problem that her young body can't reconcile, however. The long and the short of it is… Bebe's being vigilant, especially so now that they're out and about.

Unfortunately, by the time she and her awkward and older ward make their way down to the end of the dock, it doesn't appear that the 'Jack' they're looking for is here. There's no familiar ship moored to the pier; no sign of the pirate's crew milling around in search for would-be commuters. "Merde," she hisses unhappily before turning her hooded head up to look at her little, lost Fed. "I don't think he's here."

The blue eyes are still as innocent as they ever have been. Since he first got issued that badge and gun, and stepped fearlessly out onto the nastier streets of NY. He looks at her trustingly, still, hands in the pockets of his hoodie, shoulders a little hunched against the morning chill. "What should we do?" he asks, quietly, squinting a little. No glasses, no contacts, it makes for that owlish look.

Bebe gives the gathered ships another careful bit of scoping scrutiny before she announces to the spring salt on the air, "We wait." Gosh, doesn't that sound like fun? With her hands still tucked into the pockets of her own slightly off-sized hoodie, she begins to shuffle back down the boards toward the benches that line the boardwalk in order to cop a squat somewhere not entirely painted in gull guano, hopefully. "There's a bigger ship that usually comes in closer to seven," she says, trying to sound reassuring instead of disappointed by the lack of Jack.

Well, okay. "I'm hungry," says Fel, in a plaintive, rather ashamed voice. Unsurprisingly, considering he has about as much fat on him as a racing greyhound. "And I don't have money for passage," he adds, voice even lower.

The whore regards her blue-eyed companion with a studious and sort of fascinated look, as if she'd not even reckoned that he might be up for eating after his most recent ordeal. It's one of those 'well, duh' moments that only registers as logical six or seven seconds after the fact. Seafood's probably right off the menu, too. "Come on," she says as she begins to embark on a semi-circle detour that will swing them 'round the benches and back down the main drag that will lead them back into the spirit-sucking mouth of the Rookery, presumably for Bebe's current soul food of choice — some of the Sheung Wan Kitchen's tree lizard soup. She must have some kind of sponsorship deal with them or something.

The whore regards her blue-eyed companion with a studious and sort of fascinated look, as if she'd not even reckoned that he might be up for eating after his most recent ordeal. It's one of those 'well, duh' moments that only registers as logical six or seven seconds after the fact. Seafood's probably right off the menu, too. "Come on," she says as she begins to embark on a semi-circle detour that will swing them 'round the benches and back down the main drag into the spirit-sucking mouth of the Rookery, presumably to fetch some of Bebe's current soul food of choice — the Sheung Wan Kitchen's specialty, tree lizard soup. She must have a sponsorship deal with them or something.

He's literally in no position to protest. So he follows with collieish obedience, flanking her reflexively. The darting of his eyes is nervous, narrow shoulders still hunched as if expecting a blow.

When the whore and her clueless companion round the corner, a familiar face confronts them. Insofar as that there's nothing immediately aggressive about the look of the spiky-haired boy, slouched across long strides, garbed in his jeans and tattered sweater with its sleeves stretched to the limit of their elasticity, hiding even the tips of his long fingers in that ridiculous self-consciousness that contemporary college students are characterized by. It's Teo.

He stops on the brink of a pleasant smile for the whore and nod that lacks a little for personality, if not for sincerity. Stares instead, unabashedly, wide-eyed and white as bone.

Well, isn't this… something. Bebe's big, brown eyes settle with uncertainty on the face of this familiar stranger — a man who's swiftly becoming the closest thing she's got to a 'regular' even if their encounters only seem to occur fully dressed and outside the den of iniquity in which she otherwise peddles her flesh. Some might even call that a 'friend'; Bebe isn't apt to go that far just yet. She and Teo has only gotten to first base insofar as friendship is concerned.

She sees that look. She knows why he's wearing it. And yet, she utterly feigns ignorance and instead strikes up the 'what a happy coincidence' band. "Hello, stranger," she says, curling the corners of her mouth up into a brightened smile that's carefully constructed so as not to outshine the sunrise. It's with a tempered tilt of her chin that she adds, "What are you doing up so early?" And out here on the Isle of Death and Imminent Dismemberment.

Felix looks utterly blank, completely innocent. Just sort of a waxen facsimile of the usually bitchy and cantankerous federale. He meets Teo's stare with one of his own, lifting his brows interrogatively. What? And then Bebe greets him. Oh, a friend of hers. Fel lets his attention wander away to the passing crowd, as if there were no possibility that Teodoro might be someone relevant to him. He's pokerfaced and gaunt, hollow around the blue eyes. But so very definitely alive. Look at Bebe and her pet zombie.

"Leaving," Teo replies first, easily, automatically, honestly, despite the fact that he looks very much like he isn't going anywhere for this protracted moment. He is also looking at Felix instead of at Bebe, which is more profoundly rude than the Sicilian ever is— not that Felix would know. The weight of his gaze takes a moment to shift, but when it does, the motion is sharp with the suspicion that's probably responsible more for Teo's persisting lifespan than any particular skill.

It makes sense, that this atrocious doppleganger does not recognize him— the company that it keeps schools with some pretty fucking sinister fish on Staten Island, after all. "Friend of yours?" he inquires.

For a second or two, Bebe's forced to reconsider the integrity of her own recollection — there's been a lot of near-death experiences all around and so there might be a chance that she's accidentally cut-and-pasted Felix's face onto someone else's body back when both men first met her disguised as cotton candy in the sultan of twat's harem — but once she's sure that these two actually are acquainted, she counters easily with: "Friend of yours, isn't he? Unless I'm misremembering…" And, hey, maybe if they're both standing in close proximity and try to recall the same memory, somewhere a bell might right twice.

Wait, they're referring to me. Fel reorients on the pair, looks to Bebe, back to Teo, blue eyes blank. "We are?" he asks, looking to the whorelette to explain this. And then he looks back to Teo, expression going a little apologetic. "I'm sorry, I don't….I have this condition," he says, earnestly. "I….things are a little fuzzy," One corner of his lip pulls in an apologetic smile.

Bullshit, though the Sicilian isn't rude enough to say so out loud. No, instead—

"If he doesn't find himself another face soon, I will kill him," Teo says, in his most polite voice. Pretty fucking polite, given it's Teo's voice, and his manners are as perpetual as the weather— marked by exceptions as often as by rules. The pale of his eyes swerves right, followed by a distinctly aggravated jerk of his head; his shoulders turn with it, and he falls into his next stride, the line of his torso hooking low, distinctly defensive. He turns his boots for the dock.

Now, while Bebe's begun to begrudgingly accept the casual fashion in which she has more and more frequently found herself referred to as a 'whore', she's never quite been able to adjust to the insinuation that so often accompanies it in that she's also a liar. Relatively nebbish though she may seem, she isn't ill-equipped for dealing with such things with brutal efficiency. Instead of choking on a contradiction, Bebe's wee fingers find their way out of her pockets quickly in order to snag Teo's arm at the elbow and announce, "You wouldn't be the first." Whatever that's supposed to mean, eh?

"This is the only face I have," Felix protests, tone surprisingly gentle. "How'm I supposed to get another? Did I do something to you?" And then he looks to Bebe again, awaiting an explanation. How does that make sense? He touches the mark over his heart, unthinkingly. Still looks like he's going to cross himself.

The younger man glances back and it looks more like a flinch on the visible slice of his face than anything else, for that hairline split of an instant before anger blocks in. Teo snaps at the young woman in some language that isn't English, yanks his arm free of her candy-tipped fingers. The swing of his elbow threatens to recurve as if, for a moment, he might actually hit the girl.

He doesn't. The look he levels at Felix is one of accusation and little else. Teo isn't thinking very clearly. The color is back in his face, a technicolor spectrum of livid. Moab's coming, Abby's broken, too many people are already dead, and it's cold. The last thing he wants, ironically enough, is an excuse to shiv John Logan.

"Find someone willing to play," he tells the little whore, clearly.

In the split second between hostile dislodging and violent backlash, Bebe doesn't so much flinch as she does merely blink with an oddly audible metallic creak; a shearing sound that seems to temporarily echo from all around as every ferrous particle within one hundred feet heeds the call of quick adrenaline preparing to flood the vein hidden beneath china doll porcelain skin. Or, then again, maybe what they're hearing is the echo of a cargo container being opened on rusty hinges on a barge not too far from where the triumvirate stand: law enforcer, law bender, law breaker… each and every one of them on any given day.

"Wait," Bebe pleads with an eager earnesty welled up on the rims and against the long lashes of her babydoll brown eyes. "Please, just… look…" It's time for a little show and tell, apparently, as the young woman turns to her thin companion and begins to futz with the hem of his hoodie and the t-shirt worn underneath until she's able to lift it up enough to show off scars that Felix Ivanov earned over the course of his unnaturally extended lifetime — some more recently than others.

That, of all things, Fel wasn't expecting. He bridles a little, backs up a step, but not fast enough to escape her motion. It's all there, that weird map of so many incidents written on the body. Including the deathwound over his heart, where the medal used to rest. This really is a revenant.

The cold water dip into revelation and public nudity drains the expression and the color out of the Sicilian's features as if someone had pulled the plug out of the bottom of the tub. Felix's face; Felix's death wounds, of all things, even his gore-colored shoes, retroactively noticed with a saccadic downward jerk of Teo's baby blues in their sockets.

When he lifts them back to Felix's face, there's something distinctly off about the young man's face again, the contents of his armor banged up, bruised, blanched despite that their fortifications don't show a scratch. He looks back at Bebe with what seems like too much effort, to turn his head on the rusted stem of his neck. It would appear that John Logan can raise the dead.

At least Teodoro doesn't have to worry about angels. That's a relief, and you'd know why if you know anything about angels.

"He just needs to get home," he says, thickly, dragging rough knuckles down the stubbly line of his jaw. "And I swear, if you or any of your people fucked with his memory like that idiot Thespuda—" Teo's voice clicks to mute for a protracted moment; his throat moves. "Your boss should know better."

With careful consideration given to their current confines, Bebe easily releases her hold on the hem of Felix's shirt and relinquishes her awkward grasp on the former dead man's hand and suggests at a casual and conversational volume, "Take him home, then. I'm pretty sure you're both close to wearing out your welcome here." She teeter-totters on her flat heels for a moment before finally taking a step back in order to designate by proximity that Felix is in Teo's care now and no longer hers to lead about on an invisible leash.

"Some people never learn," she says just shortly before burying her hands deep in worn-out hoodie pockets and making the first few steps of her retreat backwards. She allows her ambiguous words to hang there in the air awkwardly between the three of them and without any more than a machete's worth of definition. But, just before she disappears into the early morning din of the Rookery, she does offer them both one last unusual look pitched over her shoulder though whatever it is she's trying to relay won't immediately be clear until Felix puts his hand back in his own pocket and finds the small wad of bills stashed there. And two coins.

For the ferryman.

Fel looks back after her, and then swings his gaze back to Teo, desperately. The pair of pennies….he's not entirely sure. "I don't know why she did that," he says. "For god's sake, tell me how you know me?" It's a plea, and fear is clear in the blue eyes. Defenseless, in the way he never has been. He brushes t-shirt and hoodie back into place, fixes that dog's begging stare on the Sicilian.

And Teodoro is left—

Confounded. By a woman, which isn't singularly unusual. His forehead finds an irritable crease the next moment, his intellect and ego rebounding from the sudden dearth of comprehension he found himself sunk in. The fear in Felix's eyes annoys him on a level less than heroic: it smells like a trick, not the least of which because a hooker turned it to him. Fortunately for Felix, however, altruism is a habit Teo is incapable of kicking merely because all signs and instincts and logic point Away. Alternatively, Felix Ivanov is a habit Teo is incapable of kicking merely because of same.

It's only been a few months since the gangly old Russian counted as a misappropriated charity case. One dead FCC Agent and a viral apocalypse ago. Teo's lip curls, suddenly; he resists the urge to spit. "Did," he says, glancing across the dock after the departure of Bebe's petite frame. "How much money do you have on you?"

No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.

— TS Eliot, The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock

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