Dead Men Talking


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Also Featuring:

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Scene Title Dead Men Talking
Synopsis Try to kill each other a little, too. Features Knives and The Happy Dagger.
Date February 8, 2009

The Rookery

After the bomb, Staten Island grew to become a haven for undesirables. If the Island is their home, then the Rookery is their playplace. Equal parts gritty and decadent, it boasts dark alleys, bright lights, and every pleasure that one could imagine. Provided you know where to ask, of course.

Some areas have fared better than the rest of the island; some have fared far worse. For each well-tended brothel or gaming house, there's at least one creaky, crumbling structure left over from the days of pre-bomb suburban glory.

The population is considered universally distasteful, even by much of the rest of Staten Island. Criminals, refugees, victims of radiation poisoning… Those who have nowhere else to go often end up here. The most common method of getting out is to have your body dropped in the river, followed closely by being left wherever it is you got killed.

Good luck.

It's early enough in the day that sunglasses aren't an unusual accessory to be sporting despite the cloud cover smothering any suggestion of color out of the sky, and warm enough that Deckard can still feel all of his extremeties despite the open hang of his overcoat while he trails his way down the street. He's smoking, but sober. Too early to start even for him, even under current pressures and circumstances, and even for lack of anything better to do.

Blazes of neon mark out brothels and bars along the way, ignorant of the hour. The atmosphere is dull and drab enough outside that they manage to catch and hold the eye without effort, but the only sign Deckard pauses in front of is one advertising a few empty apartment spaces.

The bar to Deckard's left cracks a door open. Shuts it again. Jarrs a foot's ingress wide, belching out a two-headed tangle of fat and sloppy patrons, dressed in some commonplace mixture of beaten canvas and layered flannel. They're talking about — something. It's hard to tell what at first, if the weapons dealer is paying attention anyway, the details addled by some amount of brain death, syllables slurred. That bitch named Pandora did what? What?

There's also some drunk kid who keeps speaking fucking Italian in there. Annoying, primarily because that bitch named Pandora was willing to do that, and secondly because it made him peculiarly difficult to insult. Maybe he just doesn't know English. Unlikely. The sluggard named Chad pushes past Deckard, aiming himself peepee-first for the nearest fire hydrant.

It's hard not to overhear. Signs discussing rent and luxurious amenities like "heat," and "running water," are only so interesting, and Deckard is forced to practically shrug one of the guys off his shoulder when he comes waddling over after the piece of shit fire hydrant a couple've feet down the curb.

One automatic reach after his wallet later, he turns to squint at the bar that just crapped these two winners out. It's not one he's been in before. Not one he's particularly wanted to be in before, despite the convenience of its proximity to things like this here fire hydrant and a few vacant rooms upstairs.

He steps away just in time to avoid having his boots splashed with an enthusiastic fountain of steaming piss.

Ooover to the door, right hand braced against the handle long enough for him to lever it open, and inside he goes, sunglasses and all.

Though it was light out enough for shades, it isn't really in here. Most of the illumination comes from the three light bulbs screwed into the ceiling above the bar, multiplied by the blistered and riven mirrors on the walls and the framed photograph of the establishment's glory days nailed onto the frayed wooden paneling in between, and one of the three light bulbs is stuttering.

Pandora is probably the buxom woman at the bar. Her jeans are holding her up by the love handles and her dye-job goes all the way down to the roots. There's something conspicuously kind about her eyes.

Or, at least, she seems tolerant enough of the sullen silence that characterizes the remaining patron she has slumped facedown on the counter. The hemisphere of Teo's head is buzzed short and lacking its blank block of sheet titanium as well as the twisted wreck it once supported, the line of his profile cleaner now from Abby's ministrations. For all that, though, his bones seem familiar. The stink of bleach and array of shotglasses, perhaps less so.

"Afternoon." The barkeep looks up and inclines her head. The great yellow hoops at her ears twitch and swivel in what might have been distracting geometry if there was enough light to make anything out by. She finishes scrunching a handtowel into a pint glass with one leather hand. "What can I get for you, fella?"

Ankles, knees, tailbone, ribs, scapulas, cervical vertebrae. All of these are Teo's, familiar in length, breadth, density, and breakage. Only the skull is wrong in the wake of a death that may or may not have actually occurred. This is precisely the kind of problem you really shouldn't run into when dealing with people you know, and here it is again for the second time in three months.

Immune to the light for a little longer, Deckard loiters just inside the door for the few seconds it takes him to make a decision about what he's going to do. He's slow to acknowledge the barkeep's greeting, sunglasses flashing dull acknowledgment in the glance they cast at her past Teo when he finally moves to pace inwards. To the bar! He takes a roundabout route, slow footfalls bringing him in behind Teo so that the younger man's hunch mask both the reach of his hand into his overcoat and the press of a gun muzzle into the small of his back that follows, metal pressing hard into spine. Hi there!

"Whiskey's fine. Whatever's cheap, on the rocks." His voice follows familiar from behind and a little aside. From her point of view maybe it just looks like they're friends.

The prod of Deckard's gun finds the younger man's back just above the flat horizon of the firearm holstered — holstered — of Teo's Glock. Which, thus, remains profoundly out of reach at a time when it would probably be a good idea to have it out. This thought seems to take its time occurring to the baby terrorist, however.

He remains curled over like a poisoned spider for all of two seconds before his spine begins to straighten between the two points of grasp and pistol, not quickly, though it's hard to tell whether it's Teodoro's rather obvious state of inebriation or prudence that prevents him from making sudden moves. When his head teeters level, he squints at Pandora through one eye.

Closes it. Switches to the other, following the familiar gravel register past his own shoulder to Deckard. His jaw drops half an inch. Hangs there for a moment as he swims through his copious word bank. After a moment, he decides to say, "Ahhhh." With appropriate modulation of volume, it seems to cover all the proper bases.

"No problem." Pandora offers a benign smile and goes to do this thing.

"Thanks." Deckard smiles a little, benign to benign. It's the polite thing to do, though he can't quite take a seat yet owing to the fact that he's busy griding the gape of his gun against the ridge of Teo's spine.

He waits until she's moved off a little ways down the bar to speak again, allowing Teo(?) his 'ahhhh,' in a stretch of silence that is as physically uncomfortable as it is socially inept. "There's something different about you, Teo." He's not quite companionable, but he's not really aggressive either. Blandly matter-of-fact, like he might've been better off if he'd decided some other Italian guy was in here aggravating Pandora's patrons and kept going on his own way.

"You have a minute to explain why your leftovers aren't sloughing off the bone on a beach somewhere before I dub myself Secretary of the department of your interior."

The points of Teo's knees thump solidly into the bar as the pressure of the gun propels him across the top of his stool, pain spurring him to action. Even if the 'action' is a sort of fidgety, twitching, hiccupy scoot of two or three inches, sharpened only faintly by some major psychological effort dedicated to giving this moment the appropriate recognition. Adrenaline helps.

Can't instantly flush the alcohol out of his blood, but he looks more somber even if sobriety in its strictest physiological definition is out of the question. "Si." Teo's hands are still on top of the counter, spread like long, battered starfish landlocked and left to die out of water. He blinks. Realizes that he's supposed to be finding some sort of acceptable halfway point between paying imminent death a show of respect and maintaining Deckard's friendly subterfuge.

Winds up confused about how to do that. Sit still, but not too still. Answer. End it. Or get shot: belatedly blend with the rest of Staten Island's considerable assortment of corpses. His voice finally reemerges, rusted with effort, oddly accented. "Friends saved me. 'N' God." Tacked on toward the end; a looser association, if not an afterthought or a lie.

The flat line of Deckard's mouth thins and slants at Teo's eventual answer, irritation better muzzled by his unusual sobriety than it might be at a more nocturnal hour. The barkeep wavers between setting whiskey down at Teo's right or left, eventually opting for the latter on the basis of the majority of Flint's person being on that side.

"How long has he been here?" asked of Pandora, he leans around that way to reach for one of Teo's glasses rather than his own, presumably so that he can sniff at the contents. The gun stays, if perhaps a little less painfully when some of the force behind it eases off.

The click of glass on wood draws Teo's head back around, less because that's novel or interesting than because his neck was beginning to cramp up something horrible the way he had configured his torso in that futile effort to watch the gunman. He saws his toe on the base of the bar, an oddly childish fidget. He suspects that wasn't a very good answer. It was terribly — short, considering everything, but everything is too long to fit in his head right now.

Pandora puts her hand on her considerable hip and shunts her pelvis out to the side, an elaborate thinking posture that angles her eyes toward the clacky analog clock on the wall. Her eyes have long since acclimated to the light, or lack thereof. "'Bout two hours.

"I think they kicked him out down the street: he mentioned Mike's, and Mike's a tightwad." Liver poisoning is for the free-spirited, she means to indicate, exposing teeth yellower than the incandescent bulbs alone should have tinted them. The next moment, the braggadocio lapses into a crooked grin, matte red lips trying on a smile that isn't as reluctant as she's trying to make it. "You taking him home?"

"I don't know. Possibly." It's a little harder not to notice precisely what Deckard is doing when he drops Teo's glass back down onto the bar and switches the gun from right hand to left. The right, which is both cold and calloused, works itself down beneath whatever clothing is in the way to pry a gun out of its holster at the small of the Italian's back. It's dropped a little carelessly onto the next-over barstool, and followed by a stoop so that the old man can fish up Teo's trouser leg after gun number two. His gun stays roughly right where it is.

"Which friends?" It's a follow-up question, sort of, despite the delay, right hand now busy dropping magazines out of grips onto the bar next to his whiskey. "And what's missing?"

So much the fussy child being swept up and forcibly deprived of his spade and bucket, plastic sunglasses. Teo's scowl is instantaneous, decidedly petulant despite the gravity of total disarmament, exaggerated to the point of caricature by his state of drunkenness; there's no room left to scoot or he would retreat further from the scrape of cold fingers. Instead, there's a slight squirm, a constrained twist, long hands balling into fists on the bar; he almost bangs his head into the wood.

Ends up leaving his face lying there, eyes hooded, resisting the urge to stomp on the hand that hunts up his pant leg. Che diavolooooo. Busy peeling the patina of old booze and sweat off the furniture, he is thus unable to see the bartender's quiet but growing alarm at seeing that much weaponry exposed, no matter how seedy her little establishment happens to be. Teo thumbs his eye blearily. "Ha—na. Bri'n. Abby. Doctorfriend… two 'f 'em.

"Lots 'f friends. 'Nnwha?" Missing? He doesn't understand.

It's early afternoon and this joint is about as shitty as they get on this section of the island, which might explain why there's hardly anyone in here. A trio of yellow bulbs screwed in overhead lend a jaundiced pallor to the establishment's shabby decor and make Pandora, Deckard, and Teo out to be more sickly than they actually are.

Pandora's on the other side of the bar, all wide-birthing hips, red lipstick, and wide-eyes. With good reason. A tall, scruffy guy in an overcoat and sunglasses is holding one gun to a younger guy hunched over the bar's back while he finishes dropping the magazines out of the two other semi-automatics he's slung over onto a nearby stool. The younger guy, Teo, is really fucking drunk. Like. Really. Fucking drunk.

"What's missing?" Deckard asks one more time. It kind of sounds like he isn't that inclined to repeat himself again.

Cardinal has arrived.

Cardinal's fresh from the pawn shop and an exchange of not-precisely-legal goods, so of course where to go with ill-earned gains but a place like this? Sometimes you want to go where nobody knows your name, because asking too many questions can get you killed—okay, so maybe it's not exactly Cheers. The door's shoved open with his shoulder, and he walks along in with the confident sort of walk carried by people who know their way around the streets, though he doesn't try and draw too much attention to him. Oh, no. A hand lifts to pull the shades from his face, clicking the arms closed and tucking it inside his jacket as he weaves around a table with a passed-out man drooling into a pool of spilt beer en route to the bar.

Now Teo is trying to do brain arithmetic. Not the one-plus-one kind, but trying to weigh death by cantankerous old grave-robber against death by Hana, or the humiliation of having to ask Anne for a ride out against rolling into shore belly-up and half eaten by fish. Like the corpses he spent the preceding evening wrestling and segmenting. One-plus-one math is already pretty difficult. This brain math is even harder.

Not even gravity makes sense right now. Or the acrid stink of bleach that still clings to the hands he puts on his face, until he remembers why that's there, and— "Ti oddio," he mumbles, scathing as the worst he's ever had the heart to say to his own father's face. "Tioddiotioddio. Guns 'n' knives don'… don' grow on fucking trees, y'know? Fin' someone else to rob?" Despite his complaint, he sends a slow hand through the panel of his jacket.

The switchblade is offered out in a fist so loose he probably couldn't crack an egg with it. Pandora's sculpted brows escape almost into her wild swatch of false red hair; her back meets the shelf behind her, and her eyes go to the door. "Uhh," she says, kindly. "I think we're closed."

Felix has arrived.

This place is pretty much the quintessential hive of scum and villainy, sans a bunch of folks playing aliens dressed in rubber masks. Right behind Cardinal is a skinny guy, sans glasses, in dark coat, t-shirt, boots. A face way too familiar to Deckard, and pretty much literally the last guy one'd ever, ever expect to see in here. Apparently, besides the speed power, Fel has the bad penny ability. Turning up when least needed. He steps in, pauses, glares. And then there's a flicker, and Deckard is suddenly without that gun. It's in Felix's and he doesn't look at all happy about having to come to the rescue.

The fact that the door opens at all is a distraction in itself. Head turned sharply after Cardinal's intrusion, Deckard is at a loss enough to stare for the critical minute or two it takes Felix to make his appearance on the unfamiliar guy's heels. Somewhere nearby, Teo is mumbling potentially profane things in Italian that's even more incoherent than usual. His regular-speed monkey brain doesn't manage to think that it should probably take action (nevermind coming up with any kind of action to take) before the bleached-tendon clench of his left hand is no longer occupied.

The hand in question opens abruptly, flustered by its own emptiness. How convenient then that Teo should be in the process of offering his switchblade. When action finally comes, it's in the form of a snagging, teeth-bared grab for the knife.

"What?" Cardinal's hand drops to the side of a chair to push it out of the way, and he bellies himself up to the bar, shifting his denim-clad ass onto a scratched-up barstool a little ways down from the altercation between the drunken man and the one with the gun. Well, the one who had a gun. Then there's an exchange of guns, and a lunge for a knife—Cardinal regards it for a moment or two with a neutral expression, and then he turns bloodshot eyes back up to Pandora, leaning forward a bit and raising both brows before noting dryly, "…I don't see you or me gettin' a gun pointed at, Red. Why don't we let them have their fun and you serve me up some whiskey. I've had a day. Seriously."

Normally, Teo can probably beat a contest of reflexes with a middle-aged man; even one honed on as much violence and ugliness as Flint Deckard. Today is not so much that. Normal. Before his visual cortex is processing the fact that he doesn't know who Cardinal is and that the new guy with the gun is Felix, Deckard doesn't have a gun anymore but now he has a knife. Magical adventure! Except there are cops and assholes everywhere and they're scaring the woman.

"Get the fuck out of my bar!" Pandora is hastening her stupendous curves toward Cardinal's end of the bar, though less because she intends to serve him drinks than because his end of the bar is the other end of the bar from where the other three are. By default, that command ends with a threat: Or I'll call the cops, but they're in the Rookery.

You don't do that. Can't. "Don't be a Goddamn idiot," she growls at Cardinal, making herself small behind the counter. "Even if these jackasses can shoot straight, why wouldn't they shoot you?"

Teo decides to move. About half an hour later than he probably should have come to that conclusion, but inertia is that way: he started out the afternoon having all the time in the world and hasn't levered himself out of that mode yet, apparently.

He slaps the magazines off the bar-top, emptied semi-automatics with it, and sort of smears off his bar stool and toward the men's room. Been there a few times already. Can probably make it out the window without splitting his skull open on ice. Probably. He is somewhat obviously motivated by the abstract concept of escape more than real fear.

A knife. Man, Deckard, you do not learn. There's another flash of motion, and Felix has the barrel of that so-recently-taken pistol jammed up under the taller man's jaw. "Drop it," he orders, as if Deckard were a particularly recalcitrant puppy. "Teo, stop moving," he adds, irritably. Doesn't order him to drop - the floor in here is terrifying in and of itself. His expression is unwontedly fierce. No threatening his contact/informant.

Snik! The blade slings itself out of the grip full force at the pass of Deckard's thumb over the trigger. He has about enough time to try to snag a hand in the back of the escaping Teo's collar, right hand and its accompanying knife swinging out away from his side. Out of the way, or merely getting ready to cut back in with more force than — gun. His gun, snugged up under his jaw, pointed up at his brain.

Suddenly, Deckard is doing an impressive impersonation of a living statue. Or just…a regular, non-living one. For all that he's instantaneously interested in going along with Pandora's suggestion that they vacate the premises, he doesn't so much as twitch, breath filtered thinly through a quiver about his nostrils.

He doesn't drop the knife. Frustration creases in between his brows even as a cold sweat starts to sheen across his temple. He's not dropping the knife. Not dropping the knife, not dropping the knife, not…

Clatter, clank. He drops the knife.

"Well, maybe if you'd stop screaming about it the thought wouldn't occur to them," replies the 'asshole' down the bar rather irascibly, one hand lifting to rub against the bridge of his nose with thumb and forefinger for a moment as if to ward off an incipient headache. Never varying from conversational tones, Cardinal adds the observation, "…and I think barging out right now would be kind've alarming to the people with heavy weaponry, Red."

Still, it doesn't seem like Card's going to get his drink this evening. So instead, he twists on the stool to watch the exchange of threats and gun-barrels down the other end of the bar, one arm and elbow resting to the wood of the bar in a comfortable slouch. Then he pauses, and lifts his arm, grimacing at the stickiness, "Aw, now that's fuckin' gross. Seriously. Do you -clean- this place?"

Getting up was a baaad idea, Teo realizes somewhat belatedly: it's a minor miracle he doesn't drop his armload of gunmetal. By the time he registers the FBI agent's command, he's collided shoulder-first with the corner of the tiny hallway to the restroom. The stink of piss erodes the invisible halo of bleach he's wearing over his winter clothes, which he'd appreciate if Deckard's grip weren't coincidentally pinching his windpipe.

Fortunately, he can't feel his shoulder. Or throat.

The Sicilian rebounds gently against the grip on his clothing, staggers to a stop. Turns to stares at all the old people, mentally grappling with a thought too big for what's left of his mind: the weird conviction or semi-recollection that, even if Deckard had meant him no real harm, he wouldn't say so. His eyes follow the knife's fall. Swerve dizzily up again.

"Calmati. 'Sokay. Juss' talking," the most inebriated source in the room attempts to reassure no one in particular.

A single finger emerges from behind the bar, a response for Cardinal's benefit. Red uses high-gloss orange nail varnish.

"That seemed a bit violent for just talking," Felix notes. He's slight, smaller than Deckard, less muscled than Teo. He relents on the gun a bit, enough to let Deckard talk without choking. "What's the story?" he wonders of the weapons dealer. "Also, where's my urn?" Urn. HE just asked for an urn?

"I saw him die. He had a metal plate in his head." Deckard can talk without choking, but not without rasping, and not without glaring at the join of wall and ceiling hard enough to ensure that anyone unfortunate enough to be living upstairs may soon lose the ability to spawn children with the appropriate number of arms, legs, lungs, etc. The wiry muscle in his neck is drawn taut, scruffy jaw hollowed against a clench and swallow that lifts at his Adam's apple and does more to finish drying his throat out than anything. "Now he doesn't."

His grip on Teo is released next, one long finger at a time while his eyes roll over to Cardinal and Pandora behind the screen of his shades. "What urn?" Deckard is apparently ignorant of the fact that this is probably not a good time to be playing stupid.

"Maybe later," Cardinal replies breezily to Pandora's upraised finger, never missing a beat, "There's guns being waved around still."

Although he's acting pretty casual about everything, he's definitely watching the altercation with a sharp eye—watching, and listening, and definitely keeping aware of any weapons that might start floating in his direction. He doesn't move to leave, but he's not interfering either, for the moment.

By now, putting a confused expression on his face would be totally superfluous, so Teo doesn't bother. 'Urn's probably a code word for something. Very deliberately, he checks that the pistols in his own arms have their safeties on, before shifting around to try and reassemble them and put them back away. One gun in, he's distracted by Deckard's explanation. Stops. Looks up.

Secrets have long since become habitual for him; the circumstances of his escape from final darkness wasn't something he particularly wanted anybody in here to have assembled. He's pretty sure that getting shot in the head isn't an awe-inspiring sign of competence. "Head surgery," he reiterates, margin note to the urn thing. "Registered healer…s." His mouth consTricts around a line, shrewdly biting back the urge to ask—

"What the fuck you talking about?"

"Because people you think are dead never, ever turn up," Felix's tone could dry out a martini. "And they never, ever have metal bits that could give them away removed. If I take a step back, are you going to try something stupid? And the urn you took from my grave. Just the other night, if I remember right," He's apparently delighted to spend his afternoon damn near cuddled up to Deckard, holding the arms dealer at gunpoint.

Cranky, bullheaded silence is Deckard's answer for all of the above. He is not delighted to be here, not delighted to be held at gunpoint, and definitely not delighted to be anywhere near Felix Ivanov. His jaw turns somewhat against the dig of the gun, metal scraping rough against the grain of his stubble collection while he tries to get another look at Teo. A missing bullet is one thing. Missing metal plates screwed into the skull — and — and — for all that never ever may be factually untrue, hardly fucking ever still seems like a pretty good stick to measure by.

"You know, Red," Cardinal murmurs suddenly, reaching into his jacket - slowly - and pulling back out his shades, the plastic arms flipped open as he brings them up to slide onto his face, "I think you just might be right about it being time to make an exit. It's starting to sound like they're not going to want people to be hearing the things they're talking about." A sidelong look to Pandora, "Sucks to be you, I guess."

Not that he's getting up, no, not at all. Of course, the perceptive might notice that the light's fading just a bit where he's sitting, shadows deepening around him and upon him just a bit as he prepares to make the aforementioned exit before people start to pay attention to what he's doing. Or, you know, his face.

From over the bulk of Cardinal's forearm, he can make out the top of the barkeep's head emerging inch by inch. She pushes her hair back to show a dark eye ringed right around with white. "God damn you," she hisses at the man, sidelong. "These heels are fucking killing me. Why aren't they fucking finished yet?" Someone forgot to leave her that memo; the one that says the world trots and turns cued to Felix Ivanov's clock.

"And where the Hell are you—?"

Teo frowns about the urn. Despite his latest exercise in desecrating corpses, that strikes him as somewhat rude. The next synapse that stutters through his head then lights on the realization that Felix is trying to figure out who the dead dude is. Blithely unaware that Cardinal is making his departure under strange circumstances, he jams one Glock under his sweater. "Mi dispiace.

"Would've got in touch," he grates out, lowly, in Deckard's direction. "But I killed the guy for you. Y'know. Baaaad mojo." He focuses his eyes on the pistol under his jaw, then, brow furrowing under the urge to challenge it verbally and a effort to communicate telepathically with its owner. Failing that, he darts a furtive glance in Felix's direction.

How much is it worth, to discover the anonymous body burned in his name? Not so much. Not here. All Deckard needs to do is out Fel's real job, and he won't make it off Staten alive. Fel steps back, and breaks down the gun he's holding. Not even going to take it with him - Deckard might need it to get out of here, too. But he lets the pieces fall to the filthy floor, ringing like the fragments of bells. "Killed whom?" He wonders, flicking a look at Teo.

Feeb. The epithet is sketched rough around the rigid clench of Deckard's jaw and the hood of his brow, along with such gentle company as ever more heartfelt hatred and a strong desire to take violent action. One that he doesn't follow up on, fortunately for him.

His attention turns once again to the portion of current company that isn't aware of Felix's occupation, half of which may or may not be in the process of vanishing. Aand he says nothing. Because he's not cold-blooded enough, or because he's too much of a coward to risk it while there are still guns around. It's another one of those motivational mysteries.

A grin flickers itself across Cardinal's lips as the barkeep's bottle-red head pops itself up from behind the bar, his skill darkening by the moment. "See you on the flip side, Red," he offers—maybe he winks, even, but it's not like anyone could tell behind that black plastic shielding his eyes from view. The shadows sweep over him like a negative image of a man for a moment, and then pitch black before he bleeds away to the floor as liquid shadow as swiftly as the shift of a lamp brushes the darkness away.

Ahem. Hopefully nobody saw that. Well, other than the barkeep.

"Didn' catch his name," Teo replies. His attention, less tactful by far than the older thug's, is also yanked across the barroom by what suddenly registers as the most impressive thing in it now that the gun is in bits on the floor. Holy shit! He manages not to fall backward in surprise or some botched defensive maneuver, either granted some sense of safety by the men between him and that or too doped up to make sense of the automatic hammering of his heart.

Pandora is similarly impressed, insofar as that's way too many troublingly potent Evolved running around in the shade of her roof. She spits a curse in Cardinal's eddying wake, glances back across the room with an arching jerk of her head. "Are you three going to get the Hell out or what? Take your shit with you." She's probably talking about the guns. She's braver now that they're out of direct line of sight.

"You're drunk," It's a flat statement of fact. "Of all the places to come do your drinking…." Deckard gets a last, warning look, before Fel strides over to yank Teo upright, surprisingly strong, despite his size. And then Cardinal vanishes. It has Felix frowning, and looking around….but so long as he doesn't come back with reinforcements, it's apparently all good. Contemptuously, he comes up with a handful of golden dollar coins, and drops them on the scarred bartop. Tip? Apology? Who knows.

Deckard's visual register of Cardinal's magic trick is altogether less impressive. A sudden reduction in opacity, bones and all, then nothing. Teo's reaction between here and there is enough to prompt a tug at his sunglasses, but retardovision has nothing to see that he's not picking up through more evolved means. The guy is gone.

Pandora's hiding spot gets a distant look, as if he isn't sure why she's still talking at all, then it's back to more familiar faces and skulls. Teo's drunk. Flint watches upright yanking and the golden dollar deposit at a surly remove and makes no move to crouch down after his disassembled gun.

Tag! You're it, Felix. A shadow weaves silently through the other shadows cast across the ill-lit flooring of the bar, flowing into the other man's own and melding with it. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

In the meantime, the hold on Teo's shirt skews slightly as he bends to snatch the switchblade off the floor. More because of luck than coordination, he manages not to cut his hand in half. Wonderfully, he does prick his finger, however, a shallow, diagonal nick through the skin that he forgets to flinch from before he's being forcibly returned to his full height. He looks at the eddy of Cardinal on the floor without seeing it.

"Hff," he huffs at Felix by way of confirmation. His breath smells it, too, thickening the equally sterile tang of bleach. He folds the knife between slowy palms. Unable to hold the Fed's gaze, he turns his shorn head to glance at Deckard. "Y'a'right?"

"I'm great," says Fel, from between gritted teeth. "Let's get out of here," he says, handing Teo a scrap of clean cloth. "You're in a fucking state," He snags Teo by the other arm, and starts forcibly tugging him out the door.

Almost as much a shadow as the lingering ghost of Cardinal, Deckard watches without comment and fails to make any movement to stop either of them. Felix answers Teo's question, sparing him the trouble, and his eyes finally flicker back to the bar, where the whiskey he orders still has a fair amount of ice drifting around the bottom.

Grateful that Felix doesn't wear kilts, the shadow merely tags along for the ride silently as the pair head for the door.

A brief scowl flares white teeth through the middle of Teo's expression, a thing more raw, less padded and blurred than any given word or frown he's offered thus far, lancing through the fog of drunken stupor with genuine irritation.

"Wasn't fucking talking to you." His voice is still wrong, touched by an imbalance subtler than the hapless shuffle of his boots, some old cast-off accent encrusting the edges of every syllable like decay. "Stop that." There's equal parts defiance and compliance with the arm Teo jams into the dragging him toward the exit. He can walk. Not well, but he can walk.

Same goes for thinking, two visceral jabs of shame and paranoia, enough presence of mind to remember they're not supposed to be friends. Aren't. There isn't a lot of fighting he can do, however, and whatever style he's made to adopt, he does leave with the Fed and his odd shadow. His backward glance at Deckard is too frayed to mean anything particular.

Fel's all in ignorance of his particular shadow. Literally. His face is stony with displeasure, as he all but frogmarches Teo out. "What in the hell was that about?" he asks, as he drags the younger man through the door. Definitely not happy with the Sicilian, and looking as if he's tempted to beat the answer out of him.

Deckard has already dropped himself down onto the bar stool he never got around to occupying earlier by the time Teo glances back, one hand scuffed up over his face while the other reaches for his whiskey. Pandora's already proven she isn't going to cause too much of a fuss. Might as well stick around. He can put his gun back together after he's already had a few. It'll be more exciting that way!

Two for the price of one! The shadow of Cardinal, indistinguishable from Felix's own, moves naturally with the light as he marches out with Leo, paying close and curious attention to the conversation on hand.

The street is spinning. Well, obviously. The whole planet is, according to the mythology of Science, but that isn't what Teo means and isn't the truth of the storefronts' collective failure to parallax correctly. He pushes a fist into his own eye with enough brusque force to make it look, for a moment, as if he's doing Felix's job for him. He isn't. Trying to ground himself.

It works and doesn't. The lucent blue eye that splices back into view finds less extraneous movement in their surroundings. There's still too much going on, though.

It seems to early to be awake. He isn't sure what's up with all the fucking pedestrians. Day jobs? Seems unrealistic. "'M drunk." For a moment, it seems like that might be petulant obstinacy, but it turns out the grit of Teo's teeth signs impatience at himself. "Really drunk. Could you be more specific?" He's a nice enough kid, fundamentally, to give his rescuer a few words— if he can find them.

"Why did Deckard have a gun to your head?" Felix reiterates, with grinding patience. "How….what are you even doing on this island?" He heaves Teo's arm over his shoulder, in half of an army carry, looking for somewhere (relatively) safe to duck in and sober up the Sicilian. This is enemy territory, after all. "And why in god's name would you get drunk here? YOu do have a death wish, don't you?"

An excellent question—and if the two aren't the sort to be on this island, who are they? The shadow muses over these questions, waiting for some of them to be answered. Oh, gah, what did Felix just step over? Fortunately he has no tactile sense like this.

For whatever reason, Teo finds the need to point out: "He had a gun to my back." Big difference. "I'm drunk. Was drunk. He found me. Wan'ed to check I wasn't… some…" the arm over Felix's shoulder bobs in the air, shaping abstract concepts like— "Metamorph illusion Sylar person, I guess.

"Why not here? It's a place. I was here. I work all over," he clarifies, before elucidating, also, that, "There are places everywhere. And— 's cheap. Been here before. You should stop bothering me." His foot tumbles ice; he stumbles, narrowly avoids flattening his head against the street lamp, his weight sliding haphazardly into Felix's shoulder.

"I just saved you from getting shot. I expect more gratitude," says the Fed, primly. "Honestly. I'll dump you somewhere safe. If there's anywhere here that qualifies," he adds, looking around rather unhappily. It's seedy and frightening, and drunkenness just screams 'ready prey' to way too many predators here.

Safe? Around the Rookery? Cardinal observes with bemusement from ground level. Felix -really- must not be from around here.

The Fed is being prim. The terrorist is decidedly not. "Oh, fuck off. I'm some drunk asshole without a day-job walking into shit. I don't look like I'm carrying anything worth taking. Because I'm not." Guns and Microtech knives don't count, apparently.

More apparent, the next moment, is that Teo realizes that his manner is, indeed, somewhat less than his unexpected savior probably warrants, for all his good intentions. His gaze falls to the slush and packed ice of the pavement; his tone softens. "Making a big deal out of this 's… he wasn't going to shoot me unless —" he squints against the sting of a cold wind. "Cazzo. Deckard isn' that kind of dick, okay?

"Bu' thank you. For…" he inhales once, sharply, through his nose, sniffing the way a dog sneezes. "Good intentions." Pave the way to Hell. Whatever. He glances at a passing sign, then away when the impressionistic splash of motion and color punches him too hard in the brain. This is going to hurt a lot if he doesn't get a lot of water soon.

This scene coincides with Bebe/Logan's other scene at Hello, Stranger

The Happy Dagger

This building used to be a dance club a decade or more ago, and was later outfitted into a strip bar up until the bomb hit New York City and Staten Island became a refuge of the panicked people of New York City. After this neighborhood fell to ruin, the strip bar went out of business and was sold easily to a young man from Britain with similar but less legitimate intentions for the place. And so it became The Happy Dagger, a brothel that makes no claim to be otherwise, and a bright spot on a street with similar venues, lit up with lights of pink, red and orange, with a neon sign in cursive print reading its name.

Two strapping bouncers allow people through after a quick identity check, down a dark corridor wherein people seem to move in and out continually. The front room is crowded, more nightclub than brothel. There's a bar in the corner, and stages of different shapes and heights create obstacles, along with a quieter lounge area separated only by saloon style doors. Women dance aloofly or mingle with the clientele, marked as employees of the Happy Dagger by their costuming. There is a Middle Eastern bent in style, with warm colours and lights, women with Cleopatra eyes, wearing more silks than sequins, decked in Hollywood-exotic stage jewelry. The insincerity of this place is palpable. There's spiral staircase at the other end of the large area, a structure swathed in red light and eye-catching.

Upstairs is a catacomb of dark hallways and bedrooms of various sizes. It seems less like a strip club and more like the brothel it boasts to be, with more elaborate interior design. Curtains of silk and chiffon, incense making the air hazy, the walls papered with golds and reds. Women linger in the hallways to catch the strays who come up here alone and guide them to appropriate rooms.

Breaking the illusion of decadence is the occasional security camera hidden in the corner. This place is not without it's safety measures, beyond the bouncers. You may also notice that the man enjoying a drink in the corner hasn't gotten up in a while, and another prowling around outside hasn't moved from this street. The security is kept discreet and unobtrusive, but it certainly is there.

The music is never on very loud, but it's always there, playing from speakers as hidden as the security cameras. The point is not to dance, but to watch, to display. Logan is doing no such thing at the moment, seated by the bar with a glass now emptied of the gin and tonic he'd been enjoying, surveying his little Rome with only glances of assessment than appreciation for the wares for sale. This is, after all, his normal.

In contrast to the garish interior and those accessorised to match it, Logan is dressed sedately in a blue pinstripe suit and a black shirt with the top button undone, silken black tie loosened though still draped about his neck. A business meeting has been concluded, leaving the brothel owner alone at the bar of black metal and glass that reflects neon reds and yellows, but before he retreats up the red lit staircase in a similarly dimly lit room of his own, he turns his glass towards the bartender in a silent request for a refill. Obligingly, she tips the bottle of gin to allow the harsh liquid to drain into the bottom of the crystal glass, only ceasing when he rights it once more.

He's not typically a drinker, but as they say - when in Rome. Logan offers her a smile and a lift of his glass, before draining a good mouthful of poison-tasting liquor.

Voyeurism. They do that here. With cameras tucked into every corner and otherwise concealed in every room, it's the one piece of action offered for free to everyone from management down; though, the higher up you are, the more you get to see, both figurative and literally. However, unlike most of the lookie-loos come to sit uncomfortably close to unfamiliar crotches or the average geek of the street who hasn't yet got the guts to go for the gold and buy himself a girl — they're all playing look but don't touch — there's one set of big brown eyes that has been plastered on to Logan's back ever since he found the time to saunter out of the office.

There's a sweet young thang making her way through the crowd wearing next to nothing accessorized with a bobbed pink wig and a pair of those clear hooker heels that only strippers and whores are officially authorized to even think about putting on. Bebe insinuates herself next to Logan at the bar and tilts her chin just slightly to the side in order to deliver a sly, "Hello, stranger."

Wow, it's early in the evening. But ….there's a drunk guy. And a skinny guy with him. Drunk guy has a bottle of water in one hand, which Felix paid for. Fel's already had to warn away more than one hopeful predator with his Walther, and now he's desperately looking for somewhere, anywhere to sober the Sicilian up, without them getting robbed or murdered. Which is why the pair ducks into the Dagger, not that they particularly look like they're in the market for a soiled dove. Fel is trying to explain to the guard at the door. "I just want a room for a few hours. No, you… I'll pay you the going rate for one of the ladies, but you don't actually have to put a girl in it. No, I don't want a boy, either. I understand there's a place down the block that caters to those tastes. No, I don't want to fuck him, either. I just… here?" He offers a single folded bill. A Grant, it looks like. "For your trouble, and my incoherence. Water and aspirin."

There's a third presence that enters into the club with the two men - the drunkard and the one who seems out of place - though it's not one that's at all obvious. A parasitic shadow that's indistinguishable from Felix's own follows the bob and weave of his movements along the floor of the brothel, Cardinal remains a silent, watchful presence. If one easily distracted at the moment, because, well, this is a place made for distractions, and he's as vulnerable as any man. Even if he doesn't technically possess genitalia right now.

He doesn't have the ability to sense when one of his employees is approaching, or when they're staring at his back with such intention, but he'd certainly appreciate it. As it stands, Logan is taken a little off-guard when he's addressed, although it doesn't entirely show, simply looking towards her with a flash of pale green eyes before giving her an easy smile. Another bite of gin is down, the liquid lukewarm thanks to his glass losing its chill, and the drink is set aside on the smooth bar. "Don't you look pretty," he says, London accent hiked up a class or two especially for her. He keeps his hands to himself, which is more than can be said for most of the other men wandering around in this room. Everyone has a currency. Even the pimps. "Shouldn't you be too busy to talk to the likes of me?" The commotion out front the Dagger isn't something he's alerted to just yet, security keeping their distance politely - because while they may just be escaping the owner's attention right this second, the eyes have walls when it comes to the Happy Dagger.

"This is so wrong," Teo says, his head listed almost onto his back where it had stayed throughout the walk through the door in order to stare up at the signage that brightens as the sky cedes to darkness.

"This is so, sssso fucking wrong. I haven't been to one of these since I was like, fifteen fucking years old." Possibly, his sense of wrong is slightly turned around or flipped over, but at least he spares Felix the trouble of having to drag him in scarlet-faced against the dig of his heels.

Alcohol and cold have already rubbed sanguine color into the apples of his cheeks. Apparently immune to the scrutiny of the bouncer, he slops another mouthful of water down and leans blearily onto Felix's shoulder. "I've met shipwrecks with more subtlety than you, signor."

"Thank you," comes the cotton candy-haired girl's automatic chime of a reply. She still smiles and delivers with sincerity, even if it's more force of habit than genuine acceptance of the compliment. Bebe prances out a practiced pout as she asks, "I'm not allowed to stop by and say 'hi' to my favori—" Hold that thought. While Logan might not necessarily be hip to the commotion that's just stumbled across their threshold, Bebe's afforded a slightly better view and she can't help but crane her neck slightly in order to see what the slurring fuss is about. She bounces a look from Logan to the corridor that leads to the front door and back again. Lookit, she says with those big brown eyes.

"How was I supposed to be subtle?" says Fel, turning that rather hawkish stare on Teo. "Hey, this s a nicer place than…." Not finishing that sentence where other people are. "Than you've likely slept lately," he amends, in haste. "Did you not notice the goons out there stalking us? I'm not Mr. Wizard, Teo. You shoot me, I die just like everyone else. And look, you get to sleep it off in this Arabian Nights fantasy, if you want. Hell, I'll buy you a girl? Do you even like girls?" Not quite chattering, but pretty close.

Let the flirting commence. Or rather, let it hitch over something dividing her attention. Logan's brow lowers, but he takes his cue well - looking over one shoulder, he observes the drunken duo— actually a trio, but not that he can see such a fact— and sneers a little in disdain. "No one I've seen before," he says in a light tone of voice, turning back towards the bar but only to swipe up his glass and drain it dry once and for all. In a lithe movement, he gets up from his seat at the bar and offers Bebe his hand - nothing will come of the touch but simple, undiluted contact, but hey, something else could come from it. The promise is always there. "Shall we go see if they've got themselves lost?" And see if he can't offer them the prize in a pink wig. Not that the girls don't sell themselves, a few already circling in distant judgment as to what this would be worth, but the equation makes sense.

Despite the slight jerk of startlement in Teo's shoulder, what would normally be as noisily flustered a reaction as one could expect from a good (if not great) Catholic boy, his sensibilities are apparently inhibited enough that he can answer in an overly reasonable voice. "I like mmmmost things I can get for free. But.

"I don't think I can do anything right now. I had a shitload to drink, 'case you di'nt notice." It's taken some doing, hydration, walking, and staring down the crap-caliber barrels of wannabe-death, but he's emerged out of his stupor enough to string multiple sentences together. "You should've put me on a ferry to Manhattan 's what you shoulda done.

"Buuuut it's too late now. I'll get 'nto trouble with the fucking cops. Ha. I'm smarter'n you even when I'm smashed out of my fucking head." Of course, Teo couldn't have volunteered this recommendation earlier. He raises the arm around Felix's shoulder, angling a long forefinger down Felix's cheek to point at the pink coming toward them. Look.

An extended opportunity for hand-holding to be had with John Logan is not something a girl has the heart to pass up… especially not if she's done it before and caught him on a 'good' day. Bebe beams, slipping slowly into that sunny and stunning smile she rarely so often wears outside of these walls; it's put on both for her boss's benefit and in the hopes that the ambiguously -gay- stray duo who just plunged headlong into the meat market might manage to lay eyes on something worth buying. However, before that can make it over to the door, there's a lanky bleach-blonde that's reached out to snag Logan by the arm. She's whispering something to the pair in an urgent tone before she crawling her way back into the crowd in an attempt to hide from what very well might be her 'third strike'.

While Bebe remains reluctant to relinquish her grip on Logan's hand, the situation suddenly calls for something a little more hospitable than a pretty smile and a vacant stare. "Here," she says, slinking up to Teo's unoccupied side in order to snake a thin arm around the younger man's waist. "…let me help you with that, officer." Oh hi, Felix. Made.

Fel eyes Bebe with displeasure, which is swiftly transmuted into that dry amusement. "Your radar's very good," he says, apparently not having noticed that blonde. "It's been a long time since I worked Vice, though. And this is hardly my jurisdiction. Retired, in fact," he says, hastily. Teo gets an ungentle nudge. "I….just need a room. For a little while." Bebe gets a looking-over that's critical, rather than lascivious. "Little Shahrazad, you can tell us a few stories while he sobers up. Won't even muss that pretty pink hair, and I'll pay you for your time same as usual." He looks to her, then up at the bouncer.

All of a sudden there's plenty of interest for the shadow to soak up; information about the identity of the man he's attached himself to tops the list, followed shortly thereafter by a pink-wigged little piece of T&A in next to nothing. It's definitely shaping up to be an interesting night for Cardinal, even if he's just a voyeur right now.

Once told of the fact this is, indeed, a man of the law, or was, Logan's amicable vibe frosts up a little, letting go of Bebe's hand and hanging back for a moment as she goes to help the drunken one of the pair. Logan's hands find their way into his own jacket pockets, watching Felix talk to her, before stepping on over with more authority than one of the customers here and less intimidation than the burly men he pays to watch the happenings. A judgmental glance from Felix to Teo, one that reads, 'there are hotels for this sort of thing, lads', but he's going to be nice enough. "A room," he repeats, voice cutting through by way of introduction. "Well we certainly have those, with all the trimmings. Are we having a good evening, gentlemen?"

It may lend Felix's disguise as not-an-officer some credibility that Teo is, without room for doubt, genuinely drunk. Barring that, at least Felix apparently isn't very good at what he does. Ought to be reassuring. Albeit not for Teodoro himself, who has recovered enough of his faculties to register that the words that accompany the woman who's insinuated herself on his other side are bad, even as she smells really good.

Teo's surprise is not manufactured. He turns his head toward Felix and leans away as if to get a better look, and his brow creases deeper when the FBI's boy decides they're staying anyway. He's fairly paranoid, even as terrorists go, and even when drunk, now beginning to wonder how life around Ivanov is survivable. No wonder the guy played dead. Of course, being drunk, his natural conclusion to that is: Oh well.

"Si." He swings his gaze up to Logan. Is rewarded with the revelation that his eyeballs no longer swerve three feet past their desired mark when he does that. Just a few inches. He turns up the corners of his mouth, a gallant smile for everybody involved. "How about you, England?"

A coy look is tossed casually over her shoulder as Bebe regards 'England' for a moment before cleverly coming back with, "He's not for sale." More's the pity, right, boys? Sure, she knew that wasn't what Teo was asking. She got it wrong on purpose. So says the wink she punctuates her statement with just shortly before amending, "I am, though." Big shock there, eh?

However, after a moment, her nose wrinkles ever so slightly and she says, "Of course, if you two'd rather be alone…" Is she actually trying to worm her way out of some sort of sordid threesome with these two now? "…my room's available, even if you'd rather I wasn't in it. Rates are reasonable, too." The fact that she's doing it within earshot of Logan, too, begs the question — why? Except that, you know, one of these guys is blazingly drunk and that usually doesn't make for anything akin to 'fun tiems' for anyone. She's a real trooper, too, volunteering to have her hooker hutch almost certainly thrown up in. So, okay, maybe she doesn't wanna watch that

…lest she be shanked for shirking a sale, though, she does pitch what might be her best effort at a compromise. "Between you and me, I make a pretty good nurse… got the little hat and everything… and my bedside manner is extremely gentle…"

"Lovely," says Felix, hastily, to Logan. He can't help but give Bebe one of those too-broad grins. "Done and done," he says, blithely. "Which ever you'd prefer. Or, we can pay you for your time, and just watch," He nods past her at the dancers on stage. Just…sanctuary. Please. He's still mostly supporting Teo's weight, and glances back over his shoulder, as if he expected their pursuers to come pounding on the door. And the shifting crowd moves to momentarily expose the blonde who ratted them out. "Lyudmilla, princess," he says, with a faintly mournful air. "I see you there. Couldn't stay away from the life, huh?" She'd clearly love to give Fel a thorough cursing, but forces a plastic smile, instead. "You know it," she says, in her accented English.

As Bebe manages the two men, Logan mostly watches her, the corner of his mouth lifted in a half-smile of knowing amusement, but she's not wrong— it's becoming obvious that all they want is a room and perhaps to no longer be standing in the middle of the garish dance hall. At the little exchange between the ex-cop and one of his whores, Logan's eyes narrow a little, turning to study her for a second, before returning his attention back to the clients. Bored of this show, that much is clear. "You're easy to please, aren't you," he says to Felix. "Allow Bebe," a tilt of his head to the bewigged woman in indication, "to accommodate your needs and show you to your room. Whatever's clever." His hand goes out to touch her elbow, adding quietly, "Have Vivienne see to our guests and their wallets once they're done with the room. I'll be in my office if you need anything more."

And he's done, Logan lifts his hand in something like a dismissive wave. "Good evening," and he adds to Teo, "and feel better." Which is code for: don't puke on the chiffon. Logan turns on his heel to head for the spiral staircase across the room ahead of them, waiting only for last second questions and comments. They don't have a suggestion box, after all.

Something like a complaint aborts off Teo's face when Felix takes over answering that whole thing about Logan not being on sale and the rooms or whatever. He's only half tracking what's going on in his immediate proximity, his attention essaying onward into the distance of figures gyrating to music, before it goes translucent, dissipates into some further reach of time or spatial memory unavailable for anyone here to follow.

He comes to when spoken to, squeezing out a blink of his eyes. What. Fuck; he's relapsing into that other zone. Full of bleach and piecemeal corpses. "You shoul' go do — other shit, signorina," he says, suddenly, glancing down his shoulder at Bebe. "'Least for a couple hours." Saying so requires about as much pain tolerance as kicking through a phonebox window to get at some asshole thug with a screwdriver, or so he recalls, but such as it were—

Teo knows just enough about these establishments to remember about discreet photography and realize that a few questions or, you know, someone reading the fucking newspaper could blow Felix's cover.

A lot. If he didn't have to pee for completely other reasons, he'd probably be in a state to do so out of horrified discomfort at this whole absurdity. "You should go, too. Soon," he tells the Russian, clapping a rough hand atop his head, pointing a deliberate blue eye into Felix's, a crooked grin. "Give me the money. I'll pay you back." It sounds beatific. Mostly because he isn't thinking that far ahead.

Bebe blinks almost audibly. There's barely a braincell to rub together between these two but it says something when it's the intoxicated one spouting more sense than the one that's sober. Then again, the sober one's hip to buying in, so she frankly doesn't give a fuck what Teo has to say about much of anything right now save something shy of 'I don't feel so well…' or maybe 'Changed my mind, bend over, kthx.' Instead, she stands there for a moment, hearkening to Logan's murmured message before casting her wide-eyed gaze after him in retreat. She then lends her less than suitable height to assist in toddling Teo toward the stairs and says with a waxing smile, "Right this way…"

Let's go, faggots! March! Bebe's pace isn't precisely rushed — because, let's face it, no one could ever rightly run in those hooker heels and keep both ankles unbroken — but she's sort of hoping to make it up the stairs and out of the room before Teo turns green and unfurls his technicolor stomach contents all over her brand new satin bedspread. Plus, there's the added incentive of as close to an open invitation to join Logan in his office as she's apt to get without exhibiting brutally bad behavior. With a bare shoulder slung in the doorway and a hand hung on the hardest knob within reach — that being the doorknob — she offers a sweet, "I'll be back in about an hour to check in on you two." That's what they call in the business 'fair warning'. Now, if she comes back in an hour and they're both fast asleep with a pile of puke on the floor… that's gross… and she just might have to have Viv charge 'em extra for that. However, if she comes back and they're both testing the box spring integrity of her bed… well then, that's pervy… and she just might have to join them. Occupational hazard.

Fel is as agreeable as a tourist with way too many traveler's checks. And lucky Bebe will no doubt find Teo fast asleep between doses of bottled water, and Fel sitting idle. Apparently he really meant it about wanting a room.

Hey, no, no, don't brush off that particularly delicious piece of feminine flesh! Cardinal glares up at Leo as he finds the capacity to be logical and right-minded in his current state, not that it's at all visible. Oh, the shadow'll get even with you for this. You'll all pay!

The Happy Dagger — Upstairs

One lumbering trip up the whorehouse later, and Teo crashes facedown in satin. If he does manage to remember that the last time he visited a room Felix paid for he wound up gagged for describing another man's virtue, that token regret is neatly inundated under others, more recent or otherwise approaching, that he doesn't make jokes. His boots are kicked off, and the water bottle rolls out of his hand to park by the pillows.

"You need to be more careful, 'f you do give a shit about keeping your fucking job," he points out, his voice low from fatigue and the compulsion for secrecy, both. He props chin on hand. Despite the number of curse words that find their way into his words, they lack real heat.

"'Nless I remember wrong, FBI agents aren't allowed le battone either. Not even resurrected fucking hero agents with their bullshit all over the Goddamn papers."

"Which is why I am going so sit, over here, in uncomfortable chastity, rather than lay a hand on you or the little piece of cotton candy downstairs," Fel says, quietly. "I don't want my various indiscretions on any sort of tape or record, and I am damn sure this place likely takes all sorts of notes. You're right. I will. But I couldn't leave you there, now could I? Sleep, T, we have more talking to do in the morning," It's hard to know when dawn will be, considering there are no uncovered windows here. The place smells of incense and perfume, heady and narcotic. "Now hush." He actually puts a finger on Teo's lips, the one piece of familiarity he'll permit himself.

There's beauties downstairs performing all sorts of sexual acrobatics, and Cardinal is settled in up here to watch the bromance. There's no justice in the world. He settles under a cushion and broods.

Little piece of cotton candy. There's a lugubrious sigh at that, and Teo squints his right eye shut, remembering. Would've been fun. Will be. Maybe. If— "Morning?" That note no doubt rose above the hum of hearing and into electronic perception. Teo squints up along the hand pointed into his face. "What the Hellll. Are you serious?

"You're serious." Suddenly more the petty fourteen-year-old sweating at the girl's locker room than — whatever he'd been playing at before, he rolls onto his back. Ends up eyeing the mirror ceiling with automatic distrust. Huffing out a sigh, he lists his head to find a bathroom door to stare at. "I wouldnnuv minded if you'd got the Hell out. Or now."

"Absolutely," Fel says, curling himself into the absurd little chair in the corner. "Go to sleep. I'm not leaving you alone here until you're sober. You'll end up chained in the basement for the pleasure of bored businesswomen."

Hm. FBI. FBI. Is there something familiar about Felix? Cardinal'll have to think about it, after all of this is over, unless he's figured it out by then. He does have all night to work on that memory!

The pillow above Cardinal jounces when Teo levers himself onto that, kicking the bottle and its remaining contents closer to hand. "They're pimps and hookers, nnnot… kidnappers 'n' rapists," he points out, having absolutely no idea to what truly extravagant extreme he's wrong about that. "Ffff." That might actually have been a word, but the dimensions of the pillow consume his coherency completely. He raises a single lucent blue eye above the level of shiny fabric, pries out enough space to breathe. "'Night f'rever, fesso," he acquiesces, before shutting down as if struck through the head.

February 8th: Mr. Fagin, meet Oliver Twist
February 8th: Blue Eyes
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