deckard_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
Synopsis Deckard slithers home again with a kickin' new style and Teo comes bearing gifts. Like the three wise men, only instead of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, he brings a vacuum cleaner, a pendant, and the promise of poon. Somewhere in all of this there are flickers of conversation that might qualify as meaningful. I swear.
Date December 5, 2008


Deckard's room is…empty. There is of course the bed, the chair, and the desk, with guest appearances by whiskey, books, and yesterday's dirty clothes piled onto the gun cases off to one side. But there are no people. And there haven't been people for some hours, which would be a lesser point of concern of the 'people' in question were not on two shit lists that any sane person would really, really not want to be on.

There is, however, a 6'2" lanky 41 year old man sidling in through a back door downstairs as quietly as possible. Clean-shaven and with freshly trimmed hair, he looks a few years younger and a few shades goofier in the absence of grizzled stubble — the positive tradeoff being that he also looks less like a homeless, crazy felon. If not for the fact that he's currently trying to sneak into his own place of residence, he might even look somewhat responsible in the black of the overcoat, suit, and sunglasses he's sporting.

Word travels by unconventional means at the Ferrymen's safehouse. By 'unconventional means,' they— aren't, really. Halfway through his second circuit through the bedroom and considering whether or not to actually check underneath the bed for — a — disproportionate dustbunny or something, Teo gets a cellphone call. He takes it out, takes the call. His eyebrows eject almost into his hairline.

Under a minute later, his head appears against the ceiling at the pinnacle of the angular spiral of staircases and stairwells, breaking the inorganic geometry and yellow of peeling paint with ragged hair and the roundness of his skull. He sort of stares, his hand shifting automatically to the firearm at the small of his back— only to freeze and really stare, as recognition emerges out of disbelief. Or disbelief out of recognition. There is a mental loop that throbs static in Teo's head before he finally calls down: "Signor Deckard?"

Right hand braced against the banister at the bottommost stair, Deckard flinches a little at the sound of his name in Teo's voice. From above. His head tips back, beetle black glasses skewing a reflection of peeling paint and rickety stairs up at Teo without any sign of awkwardness or apology. The lines around his mouth are a little more distinct in the absence of sandpaper bristle, but the ones that etch flat across his forehead are distinctly familiar.


As ever, the answer Teo finds himself fighting down is a non-committal and apologetic, 'Nothing.' He tosses an elbow up on the banister and continues to stare until his corneas finish drying up and he has to interrupt this with an eye-blink. "Your…" clothes, hair, face, "back," he concludes his ingenious observation. "I was beginning to think you might have decided to find another gopher hole, in light of the news." The other arm goes on the banister, crossing loosely the way a tomcat would put his paws while his weight goes ropey with laziness on the curve of his spine.

"I am." No shit. So? Jaw set in anticipation of more invasive questioning along the lines of where have you been and what were you doing, Deckard narrows his eyes behind his glasses at the length of time it takes Teo to spit even that much out. A glance over his shoulder after some sound or another dispels whatever suggestion there is that he might be glaring, and he starts up the stairs, taking them two at a time. "Personal business."

Despite that the safety advisory would advise otherwise, Teo ends up leaning further over the side in order to track the older man's ascent. "Anything I can help with?" he inquires. His shoulders lump high over the rail, stuffed into their usual onion layer of winter clothes. There's frost melting on the rims of his pant leg cuffs and meltwater drying on his shoes, a line of translucent tracks leading down the hallway to Deckard's room. After a moment, he adds, "I brought you a vacuum cleaner." A few more inches and he'll fall in his head and make a whole stink.

"That depends. Think you have enough control over your minions that you can order one of the more attractive ones to blow me?" Brows lifted at the lift of the stairs ahead of him while he ascends, Deckard takes his time in joining Teo on the usual level. At closer range, he's his scowling, grey-at-the-temples self. Grooming makes a difference, but not one that's impossible to see through.

Without waiting for an answer to his question, he continues on past the younger man for his bedroom, leaving his own trail of cold air and meltwater footprints as he goes.

Before he falls to his death, Teo pulls himself back from the edge and balances his weight on his own feet, jamming his hands into his pockets as the older man arrives at the top with all the zeal of a conquering… hnh. He watches the back that's given to him, before picking up the pace behind. "We know you didn't rob or murder anybody in the Upper-East Side," he states without further prologue. "Brian was with you that night. Seven-Elevens and knee-caps, I heard about it. He's not a very good liar, and your erstwhile business associates are pretty good at this whole frame-job thing.

"You'll continue to be as safe here as you were before." Heartening, he knows. "I should be able to find you an affiliated prostitute if you can estimate your budget, vecchio." He fits his shoes into the other man's footprints, notices his shoes are smaller. It makes sense: Deckard has a few inches' height on him.

"Super." There's no pause at the doorway, nor any move for the hanging bulb at the room's center. On or off, he leaves it be and paces to inspect…the vacuum cleaner. It's possible that it's been a while since he's actually made use of one. A tap of his foot unlocks the hinge at the base and his hand winds around the grip. It's pulled back a few inches, swiveled a few degrees. Pushed back again and released. It is a vacuum cleaner. Not that exciting, as far as presents go.

Deprived of what he'd hoped might make for a more effective distraction, he frowns down at the machine a little longer before working his way back to the room's middle, where he works to peel his gloves off in a belligerent kind of silence. "I'll pay whatever it takes, vecchio. You're going to shoot one of you ass cheeks off doing that with your gun, by the way."

It takes Teo a comedic moment spent in squinty silence before he reaches behind himself to see to that, or at least to see what it's about. He finds the weapon pointed into a slightly dangerous configuration, his sensory perception of it having been thwarted by the fact that he's all fat with clothes. He doesn't pull it out, though, adjusts the angle with a poke of his thumb before flipping the fabric back down again. Having the safety on technically precludes shooting one's ass-cheeks off, but he doesn't argue technicalities. It isn't very Sicilian of him.

He'll have to eat a vat of tortellini to make up for it, later. "Blonde, brunette, redhead, any preference?" he asks. He drops his head slightly to angle a look into his own jacket lapel, as if just remembering something. He did: the next moment, he reaches in to rifle the pocket. A weird little jolt goes through midway through the motion, as if just realizing he— just— agreed to find a hooker— and— his brow furrows.

Once the gloves are off, Deckard turns his head enough to watch Teo…stuff the gun right back into his pants. He almost, almost opens his mouth to say something, but doesn't. Rather, he flops the gloves the three or four feet to his desk and scratches at the back of his head. The hair there is shorter. There's an actual discernible line across his neck where it ends. Weird. "No preference." This is kind of a weird conversation, too. It's registered in the knit that twitches in briefly between his brows, but doesn't stay there.

"You have news, or did you just swing by to reassure me that you still think I'm a swell guy?"

"I'll see what I can do," Teo says, with an odd hitch of pause that may or may not be correctly construed as him foregoing to ask after any other preferences, descriptive or otherwise. He notices the older man's disapproval, but his question takes precedent. "Some news," he hedges, at length, reaching up to scrape his knuckles across his forehead in a meaningless gesture of effortful remembering.

"The Ferrymen are willing to do business if you're capable of keeping their confidence. Usual professional etiquette. You should probably know, the man who nearly telekinetically eviscerated you in Chinatown in that little troupe of assholes is Sylar, the man who blew out Midtown. And there's someone who could change your face, if you want." He hopes the progression of these points is linear enough to follow without further clarification. Leans backward on the wall beside the door, trying not to study Deckard's new and improved persona too loudly.

That is definitely…some news. Deckard's jaw hollows at the memory — not one of his prouder moments, really — and his face turns down a spare degree or ten. Adding the guy who blew up New York to the list of people who want to fuck him up, and all. He swallows it like the brick-sized pill that it is, quiet until it seems like nodding might be a good idea. Cool. No big deal, right? Just another crazy nuclear killer guy!

Disinclined to focus on that aspect of the Nightly News with Teodora LaudAni for whatever grim reason, he forces himself to think on the others instead, fingers working slowly at the buttons of his overcoat. "What kind of business? And what do you mean by 'change my face'?"

Callused fingers waft vaguely through the air as if the answers are floating around somewhere with whatever motes of dust the brief shriek of vacuum cleaning hadn't sucked up. "Selling shit. Buying shit. What you do, except probably a more diverse array of shit. Maybe real estate, medicine… there's a lot of shit that needs moving in Manhattan." That's a lot of 'shit.' Teo's vocabulary has been intermittently abandoning him as of late. "Maybe something else, if you have other skills to contribute to the pool."

He lapses into silence for a moment, as if to counterbalance the quota of nauseated daze that Deckard had just caught up on. "I mean like cosmetic surgery 'change your face,' except painless and fully reversible. For eventually." He used that word before, in previous speculations, but he has no better idea now of what that means than he had then. Teo's shoulders go up around his ears. "Vecchio means old man," he adds, after a moment. Forgets to note: You used it wrong.

"Is that what you do? Plastic surgery?" The idea doesn't appeal, with wariness clear in his expression where it fails to find purchase in his voice. No, the voice has gone all flat and unimpressed in the face of that added vocabulary lesson. His shoulders, previously tilted at an angle towards the bed, square themselves around to Teo, just on the border of aggressive. Mr. Deckard, your fuse is showing. "How do you say 'impudent shit' in Italian?"

Teo's eyes blank for a moment, assembling an insult not oft-used in his head. "Sfrontata merda," he produces after a moment, always one to be helpful. Comes out of his translation fugue with a beatific blink of blue eyes. "I don't do anything." That probably wasn't the most encouraging answer he could have volunteered, and he realizes it the next moment, flattening his frame out against the wall as if to placate the aggression curdling up Deckard's own posture in a like language. "I'm not trying to insult you, signor.

"But they're looking for you, and now they have the police doing it too. I'm putting the option on the table, signor. Don't get them in a twist," he says in a voice that could probably do to be more diplomatic, though the scowl that traces over his face has no real heat behind it.

"Sfrontata merda," Deckard repeats, nowhere near as elegantly. His tongue is rough on languages not his own, maybe particularly so now that the fork of it has to find its way through the slight bare of his teeth. Long face chiseled into a pretty solid semblance of unhappiness, black lenses watch Teo over to the wall and pin him there, unfeeling. His glasses don't blink. "You don't do anything."

He's doing a lot of repeating things Teo has already said. He does that sometimes. There's another pause, heavily mistrustful, and he says simply: "Nobody's fucking with my face."

The twitch in Teo's right cheek probably betrays that he takes this as vanity, unexpected if not quite unbelievable. After all, Deckard did figure out how to clean himself up something reasonably sharp. "Nobody's fucking with your face," he parrots right back, either to be an impudent shit or because that is really the best way to convey his full comprehension of the answer what was given to him. "That's mostly it," he rounds off, pushing off the wall by running a sine-shaped flex through his spine. "Except I got you something.

Think of it as an early holiday thing, if you want to think about it at all." There's no haste or stumble between one segment of that sentence or the next; he didn't only just remember, because he would not have forgotten. Teo reaches into his jacket and snares at something that seems to fall loose in segments. Asks, belatedly, "How should I be wearing my gun?" Intelligently, he refrains from smiling when he asks.

As hawkishly as Deckard is watching Teo, the twitch is hard to miss. Fortunately, it is easy to misinterpret, and against all odds, he manages to file it away as something that doesn't piss him off any further. Nobody's fucking with his face. Teo even said so. Fine. Good.

He doesn't actually let up much despite having established that. He is grumpy. His life still seems to be stuck in free fall mode, not having the common courtesy to wreck itself into the ground in a splattery mess so that he or someone else can try to scrape up the big pieces. It's hard not to be aware of that.

At mention of gifts, he glances back at the vacuum cleaner, almost suspicious. Is he being too messy? Is this some kind of elaborate hint? He doesn't actually ask, just levels his brows back at Teo. "In a holster. They make ones that point right at your dick, if you have some kind of masochistic thing going. Look into it."

"Where's yours?" comes the next question, as innocuous and as empty of innuendo as any query about where your holstered gun is possibly could be. Fairly? Teo finally gets his fingers around the thing and tugs it out, diminutive, jointed metal parts rasping faintly one against another. It's out in a moment: an ovoid pendant on a chain, both constituted from the same gray metal that probably lacks any origin of luxury like silver, dangling in a slithering mess until he manages to snatch it up into the hollow of his hand like a yoyo. Underhand, he lobs it at the older man.

The flat is engraved with a nun of all things. Her plain face framed by her habit and haloed, a wreath of thorns pillowed in her arms by a rumpled mass of cloth, the top curve of her border declarative of SAINT RITA and the bottom, PRAY FOR US, both sets of words blacked out against the pewter. Despite that the item being captioned is probably self-evident by then, Teo jerks his chin toward it. "She's the champion of lost causes," he says, without sparing volume toward profundity.

Left hand lifted automatically to snag the chain and pendant out of their incoming arc, Deckard just kind of eyes Teo for a moment before he looks down to turn Rita over with his thumb. Caught off-guard, he's mired in a baffled fog of something or another that doesn't register as familiar in the lines of his face. Awkward. A little. Sunglasses tugged off and tucked into his pocket, he pulls aside the lapel of overcoat and suit jacket alike to expose the snug fit of leather straps around the shoulder of the crisp dress shirt beneath. Gun and all. Teo's seen it before, but to be fair, the gun was pointed at him for most of that conversation.

"Why are you here, if you don't do anything?" Deckard doesn't look up, squinting at the pendant with his naked eyes for a few seconds longer before turning them up onto Teo.

That question is remarkable because of who it came from. Deckard doesn't bother, generally. Demands of news, free passage, the right to return, meals, hookers, books. Not about who they are or what they do. The one time — and Teo remembers this clearly — that the vecchio asked why, the conversation fell into a ruin of criticism. You're all too weak, too soft. The pendant underlines this fact, probably, but perhaps also that they're terribly realistic about being weak and soft. For all of their strength, furtive cunning, and courage, it's come to this: early Christmas presents because nineteen days seems like quite a bit to ask for. Teo remembers to stop staring about…

Now. Looks at the holster, finally, and readjusts his own holiday wish list in his head. "Because I have nothing else to do, obviously. And— fuck." He screws up his face like a ball of Kleenex, suddenly so much the child confronted by orthodontistry. "Sleeping dogs, vecchio. You need anything else?" His eyes swizz through the room once as if searching for inspiration. Perhaps unsurprisingly, he finds none.

Not the most reverent of souls, Deckard drops the chain out to its full length so that he can swing it back around through his fingers again. His hand splays, the chain slithers down, pendant and all. The process begins again in the opposite direction. All while he watches Teo and waits for an answer. Which…he doesn't quite get. Annoyance limited to a skeptical tilt of his head this time, he shakes it out in short order anyway. Nope. Just some poon.

Just some poon. Obligingly, Teo starts toward the door. Stops somewhere between inside and outside, blocking out the light from the hallway, though the yellow glare from within the room and without manage to almost cancel out both his shadows. He turns around because to do otherwise would be rude. Looks at the pendant jumping around in Deckard's hand in a manner not unlike that which he'd flung it around himself. The irreverence hadn't struck him until he saw someone else do it. It's funny how that works, if you like bad jokes. Things have changed, he thinks to himself, blankly.

"We're Phoenix."

The swing of poor, increasingly dizzy Rita slows into a sagging loop that ends flat in Deckard's palm when Teo pauses at the door. The most likely cause for this sort of thing is that he's done something wrong and is about to get the beatdown, so his instinct is to glance back over his shoulder. But there's nothing incriminating there, and when he looks back to the younger man, he's puzzled again. Until he isn't.


"Okay." It seems like something to say. Something neutral, that is. Maybe even accepting, in a vague, default, not unaccepting way. The chain hisses over itself, metal over metal. The pendant drops through his fingers.

"Here's hoping it's a while before we have more ashes to rise from."

Teo's shoulders turn before his feet, and his head goes last, as if there was something about that spectacle worth preserving in time or memory. He lifts the corner of his mouth. It doesn't fall before he's turned around, raising a hand in backward salutation. "You been reading too many books, vecchio. Ciao."

Blue eyes follow Teo's lingering stare carefully, measuring the reception of his own 'we' with a chilly breed of curiosity that seems a little out of place, considering the way the conversation has turned. But. In a simple, "Fuck you," it's gone, and the pendant snaps back into his closed fist. "Later."


December 5th: A Night at the Orchid
December 5th: Who He Was
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License