Disturbingly Human


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Scene Title Disturbingly Human
Synopsis Ironically enough, promising to live leads to identically erratic (stupid) behavior as preparing to die, but for the addition of a certain sense of 'to be continued' and a little less necessary reliance on whiskey.
Date January 20, 2008

Upscale Apartment Complex: Sonny's Apartment

It's been a very, very crazy few days. Sonny's really got two jobs - three, if you count the Ferrymen. Between the duties of surgeon, politician's son and medic, he hasn't had much time to enjoy his own plush pad. That's the trade-off of being a young professional - lots of money, little time to enjoy it. He's only been home about a half hour now, and he's been too tired to even remove his tie. He sits on the couch, a tumbler of something alcoholic in his hand, still bedecked in his neat suit. There are faint bags under his eyes and a five-o'clock shadow on his cheeks. That it's only a shadow suggests he shaved at lunch. It takes a lot to stem the tide of his chia pet-like facial hair. The TV runs CNN in a loop, but he's long since stopped paying attention.

"We're doing this backwards," remarks the voice at the door, a seamless transition from the silence of Doctor Bianco's solitude through the turn of the key and Teo's unceremonious arrival onto the scene. "I have a key. That's kind of funny, if dysfunction is. You look rough, signor." Snow shoes fall in a clatter of dense rubber sole, and the Italian emerges into the glow from the television, the angles of his face momentarily limned in blue, then orange, the yellow cast of a woman's face, jacket buttons highlighted, and then a smiling bar of exposed teeth, bright, distinctly unrepentant, before his expression fades to conciliatory. He sinks to the floor, a haphazard sprawl of legs. "What did you do today?"

Sonny snaps his head forward with a start. He didn't hear the key turn in the lock, and that bothers him. He blinks and focuses on Teo. "Mhmmm? What's backwards?" He sits forward, movements stiff. The tumbler is set on the coffee table. Now he bothers to shrug off his jacket, but tired fingers only tug the tie halfway off. "Oh…" His cheeks puff up. "…half a dozen procedures. Dinner with my parents. That went…way too long." He rubs his face. "You?"

Momentary hesitation curls Teo's fingers, before he straightens, pulling the sprawl of his legs underneath him, pitches himself onto the couch cushion on the bed of a knee and reaches over to hook still-gloved hands on the tie at the base of Sonny's throat. Reassuring himself there's no obnoxious little pin or whatever to have to wrestle with, he unknots the thing with a deft thumb, his expression bemused. "Electronic tag with people who are probably obliged to shoot to kill or put me in jail next month," he answers lightly. The length of silk winds out across his hands, in excessively tasteful contrast to the scratchy black cotton that armors Teo's fingers and palms from the cold.

Sonny's form jostles a bit at the sudden weight of Teo on the couch beside him. He turns and focuses on the other as the tie is loosened. Slowly, his lids drooped closed again, but he's pulled out of drowsy reverie by the words 'kill' and 'jail.' He blinks and comes to fuller attention. "Is this…one of these things I'm better off not knowing about?" His question is asked quietly, with a low rumble this voice and an arch to his brows. A concerned expression. He makes no protest at the removal of his tie.

Removed, the tie is folded double, then into quarters, clamped carefully, carefully, spilled out onto the coffee table, as if Teo's sincerely concerned that his gloves will snag a thread loose and something terrible will happen, like a deduction from the Bianco coffers to purchase another. "Probably," he says lightly. "You'll probably hear about all this hsit sooner than anybody cares to. It'll be fine. 'S just a few uneasy truces holding right now. How are Mama and Papa?" His head tilts fractionally to the right, his right brow stooping at the shadow of discoloration underneath Sonny's eyes. "You're looking disturbingly human today." He puts a thumb below the rim of Sonny's lashes, pressing, more gentle than experimental.

"Well you know, I'm not usually in the position to help with any of the shit you all deal with. So I try not to know more than you need me to." Sonny rubs at his neck. Human, in appearance and in body, it seems. He's feeling the wear and tear of the last few days on his body. Hunched over patients, his desk, a dinner plate, a speech his father wants to give. The touch draws a look of surprise, but he doesn't draw away. "It's yellow alert at the Bianco house right now." The words are mumbled as he gives Teo a curious, searching look. Then he quirks a half-smile. "I wasn't aware I had a history of looking inhuman."

Searched for, the terrorist does what the terrorist does best: hides. Temporarily. Distinctly self-consciously. In order to— uhh. Regroup. Teo retracts his hand and stands up on the floor like a crane, the socked foot he had wedged into couch cushions used to push and prop before he stumbles off, around the end of the couch, shedding his jacket even as he goes to locate his own share of alcohol. By 'share,' obviously that's referring to the fact that he's a gratuitous freeloader. "I don't know what 'yellow alert' means. You should explain," he answers, wryly, glancing back over his shoulder.

"'Human' is Sicilian slang for 'blotchy.' For example, my aunt never is." The refrigerator door splits open with a sigh of vacuum seal. For whatever reason, Teo winds up returning with a glass of apple juice. It's held out. "You have to take care of yourself. We're probably going to need doctors next week." There's a parody of audacious cheer in him saying so, ironic with the awareness that he's making further demands.

"It means everyone's on edge, waiting for something to happen. But no one knows what it is or how it'll play out. That means no real strategies can be made, and everyone's running at high stress levels." Sonny inhales slowly. The shadows are darkening under his eyes the more he has them open. The explanation and 'blotchy' makes him chuckle. "Normally I spruce myself up, but I was too damn tired. You really know I'm beat when I start looking like a woolly mammoth." He squints at the apple juice. There's a bit of a sigh, but he relents, trading the glass of whiskey on the rocks for the apple juice. "That bad, uh? Should I be logging some hours at one of the safehouses to make sure the infirmary's in order?"

In exchange for the apple juice, Teo takes the whiskey. Knocks it back in one flick of his wrist, exhaling around the sharp contours of a cough, as much out of reaction to the alcohol content of the drink as belated response to the bitter insinuations of the cold. Exhale. He folds his legs underneath him again, dropping onto the floor with a characteristic lack of aplomb. "I think that'd be a good idea. There's a calendar day. I'll tell you what it is when I know so you can pencil in or whatever." The knit of Teo's brow deepens faintly.

There are more than enough concerns to go around here. After a moment, he snags a chunk of ice out of the rim of his cup; it rounds out his cheek before he bites down with his molars, a crunch that reverberates through his bones and the empty air. "Don't tear yourself apart," he complains.

"There's this…feeling, you know? Something hanging in the air. Like the bad kind of anticipation. Not having a president'll do that," evil organization or no. Sonny takes a sip of the apple juice, then sets it down. He shifts in his seat. This has the effect of initiating a bit of contact between his leg and the floor-seated Teo. Accident? Maybe. "I've had this…weird clench in the pit of my stomach." He curls his fingers inwards and touches his belly to illustrate.

Not having a President means it's time for Teo to go back to Sicily, prudently. Unfortunately, he isn't that. Prudent. Other times, the line between that and paranoia is somewhat less distinct. Ice turns to water and is consumed absent-mindedly. His eyes are turned sideways at the leg propped against him. He understands, more or less. There's enough anxiety and ugliness boiling in the air nothing inside his skin feels right. Leads to reckless if not necessarily excessive drinking, fighting, or fornicating.

Things he promised Abigail, if only as tacit part of the greater contract, that he wouldn't do: things like saying good-bye. "Ugh," he says, suddenly, always the paragon of eloquence. He claps a hand down on top of Sonny's knee and pulls himself upright for the second time, or nearly: pitches onto his knees, ungainly, shuffling around to lean his elbows on Sonny's knees, mumbling another gem of wit or two. Cazzo. Whaaat the fuck. "'M gonna put my face right here," he says, raising his head to look the older man in the eye.

He lifts his forefinger to the air an inch from Sonny's lips, a vertical stripe upward, notched with minute scars, unfaded calluses. "Then you decide what you want to do in twenty seconds or less. Si?"

Sonny's instint when Teo starts to fumble is to reach out, to grasp his shoulders or another convenient body part to help steady him. The proposal - if it can be called that - is met with a searching look. Is Teo drunk? Has he been in another fight lately? All those things that might be signs, a catalyst for this action. Of course, he doesn't know about the impending death. "I…uh…" Doctor Bianco is rarely left speechless. "Are you…sure?"

Teo is not drunk. It takes more than a little bit of somebody else's whiskey to make him drunk. He has probably been in another fight, but he can't remember very well: it wasn't an important one, whatever it was. There's a hot war, a cold winter, the urge to shut himself up in a boat, at sea, and not peek out again until the swallows begin to fly. It should be okay, he thinks. Catalysts imply that the raw material was already there, anyway. "What?" Teo stares.

Remembers to blink, after a moment. "Yes. Of course," says the least reliable source on the planet. "Well I know what I'm going to do. What you're going to do is up to you. Twenty seconds," he reminds, his eyes wintry with patience. The corner of his mouth goes up. He leans forward, weighing against the flats of Sonny's palms. Until his nose touches the tip of his finger and he stops there, folds his hand down, away, passive from patience and neutral mirth, something akin to a taunt in his expression. Twenty. Nineteen.

"Jesus," Sonny whispers, the word a breathed surprise. At this proximity, it sends a whiff of apple juice breath towards the other man. He swallows. Maybe he lied about his record. Maybe there's more at stake here. Whatever it is, it seems to have made the doc a little nervous. Eighteen. Seventeen. Sixteen. His eyes half-lid. The darkness beneath his eyes deepens as Teo blocks the light. Fifteen. Fourteen. The gap closes. And then, there's no more space between them. Thirteen. His lips touch and he inhales slowly as he does so. The press is gentle, but no longer hesitant. Soft. Slow - despite the urgency a countdown might have imposed on the situation.

Despite the deliberate absence of nerves, there's a telling tug to Teo's half of the kiss, an inchoate smile curving against the original contours of contact. In the simplest terms and the most basic field, he wins. A pleasant change of pace, by his reckoning of things: the countdown hadn't been as much for the good Doctor's benefit as it had been for his own. Whether you're canvassing a police precinct or peeling your face off the bloody print it left on the asphalt after a riot, it is important to know when to move on.

If also nice to think, for a few seconds, that you don't have to just yet.

Thanks to whiskey and half-earnest mind games, it isn't the kind of kiss where one has to worry about drooling an overenthusiastic fountain or humiliating oneself with the garlic had after breakfast. When the countdown reaches six, Teo puts a hand into Sonny's hair, huddles closer, deepens the angle, lets Sonny decide whether to break or to have to figure out how to breathe and kiss at the same time. Treading some odd line between hands-off and hands-on, though whether because of once bitten or doomed to die — he's too occupied to explain why.

Human contact. With someone who isn't doing it for connections, his money or his ability. There might be other things wanted out of this, but Sonny can handle that. He pulls an arm around Teo's waist and tugs him closer. He craves more contact now that he's had a taste. There is a brief moment of separation - just enough to draw in a series of ragged breaths. Then he's pressing forward again as he takes time to explore a scenario that's played through his mind to distraction. But then he draws back, from lips if nothing else. "You know…it would be smart to stop now. And think." But the firm hand around the other indicates he may not be willing to be smart.

"Stop now, think later," Teo corrects, once he manages to organize his breathing into something that he can talk coherently with. Sonny's ridiculous glut of black, black curls look like they have all but eaten five of his fingers down to the knuckle and his heartbeat fades into an interlude between the blaring derangement of acrobatic circus acts, and his other hand keeps a prying grip on the other man's shoulder, unsure of what he's trying to extricate: himself from their embrace or Sonny from the couch. After a half-beat spent with somebody else's breath snaking in through his mouth, he remembers to shut it. Nods, clumsy with another imaginary scenario or seven, and starts to get up out of kneeling, limb by limb, each slowed by some hiccupy, mangled, cautious version of haste. "Later," he repeats, intelligently.

Sonny tilts his head into the hand in his hair. He makes a soft sound and smiles his own little quirky smile. Less Hollywood this time. He doesn't let Teo go easily, but he doesn't fight either. It's the smarter thing to do, but that doesn't make things less…difficult. "Just as long as you don't run off for good," he murmurs. A hand goes up and light fingers brush Teo's cheek. Then both hands drop, leaving space for the other Italian to backpedal. He remains on the couch, head tilted back, eyes half-mast and watchful. "Just time. To think."

January 20th: The Birds and the Bees
January 20th: Hit You Or Hug You... It's A Toss-Up
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