Drink If You...


abby5_icon.gif ethan_icon.gif francois_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title Drink If You…
Synopsis It's a drinking game after having dinner with the so called enemy. Even Ethan joins in and is just a smidge less snarly than he normally is.
Date December 4, 2009

Spektor Home, Ryazan, Russia

Katarina is going to have a lot of leftovers to handle. However, Francois isn't actually thinking of the insult a full plate of food might be when he ascends the stairs at a determined pace, nor does he know about the shoplifted bottle of vodka lifted by Abigail's hand, but he's made ruder transgressions before, and always with an apology. Teo was right, about Katarina and Ivan being reluctant to invite anyone back to their house.

It's also kind of rude to invite someone's would-be murderer over for dinner, but they can claim ignorance, or so Francois hopes. As far as he is aware. And these days, he's sure of very little.

He almost doesn't knock before shouldering his way into his assigned room. In actual fact, Francois doesn't even enter the room immediately, bracing a hand on either side of the closed door and leaning for a moment, as if to try and wrestle swirling thoughts under control. He might have disappeared quicker, had he known he was being followed.

Nobody suspects the Spanish inquisition. Or in this case, the Baptist Vodka delegation bearing distilled liquids, shot glasses and quiet footsteps. Helps when you didn't have time to put on shoes for dinner. "You didn't drink enough down there. Get in there. Find a seat. Lets keep drowning the worlds problems at the bottom of this bottle, I have the advil for later" or so the fledgling EMT is ordering to the full fledged French doctor. Whether Teodoro Laudani is in the room or not is frankly a moot thing because if he is, there's Vodka being poured down his gullet too by the bartender with very little regard for the legal age of drinking back home. In the lovely country of Russia it's a very low 18. What this means though is that while sitting in the livingroom and wherever else in the house they had been, abigail's had one for every two that Francois had consumed while they mope, relate, talk and otherwise drown sorrows in the bottle of Russia's special.

Fortunately for at least one of the tactical agendas involved, Teodoro Laudani— in the bedroom— is wrapping up the tactical objective of the evening. That is, he's on his belly amid rumpled bedcovers, a pillow tumbled halfway over his head where it had provided a pleasantly smothering barrier against sensory distractions, a callused hand squared around a worn pen, looping chicken-scratch integers on the fresh front page of an already nib-scarred pad of paper.

It's a phone number, by the count of it. With an area code recognizable as indigenous to the country, should anyone happen to be sober enough to identify as much, and it's with a certain air of childish triumph that the Sicilian finishes punctuating it string, labeling it with the letters G and Z. The next instant, he's dragging his head out from underneath the pillow, his hair up in a madman mixture of cowlicks and run-over porcupine spines. Finally retracting into his head, he has enough of his cognizance about him to catch the murmur of voices outside the door, and something about their low notes and doldrums kills the smug declaration of new intel before it crosses his lips.

Bare feet connect with the floor, and he ropes himself leg over clumsy leg over to open the bedchamber up.

Flinging the cold back out the door, Ethan slams the door shut, forbidding the wretched thing from entering with the power of fireplaces and heating systems. Either or. Stepping into the house, he goes to eas the peacoat off his shoulders. Going to hang up the coat, the Wolf sniffs lightly at the air as his senses acclimate with the new warmth given to him in the house. Stepping away from the door the man then goes to pry his combat boots off. And then finally he's making his way for the stairs.

Reaching the hallway, he sends a sharp glance to Abby before heading for he and Felix' room. He is only gone for a short moment before he reappears with a notepad and a pen. Stopping dead he glares down the hall. "Wot's going on?"

Teo opens the door around when Abby is urging Francois towards it, and the sudden gape of space into the lowly lit room has the Frenchman reeling back in response, noticing Ethan's presence with as much interest as one might give someone's shadow. He doesn't quuiite knock into Abby, as much as his own momentum and the swing of his gait is more exaggerated than usual as opposed to completely tilted off balance.

"Bonsoir," he tells Ethan, as soon as the Brit speaks up, an small, arcing wave accompanying the greeting. "A celebration. You should join us."

"More than welcome to join us" Abby is hospitable at this stage of tipsy, even moreso to people that she might not care for. Bottle and glasses up against Francois when he's reeling, steadying him. "Promise we won't bite or get you killed while we drink" Sing songed to Ethan before rocking Francois gently forward towards Teo and the bedroom proper. "Evening Teodoro, we're visiting, you're drinking" No if's, and's or but's it seems.

The Englishman's generous application of that term surprises Teo. He realizes that Francois is drunk. Or perhaps more accurately: that Francois is drunk again. Pale eyes narrow into a squint, refocus on the blonde woman just over the man's shoulder, and her caption and other invitations loosed off in all directions like a shrapnel grenade of alcoholic Southern hospitality twists his mouth with a smile he couldn't really help even if he'd wanted to.

"Vieni, qui." He steps back, nudging the door aside with his ankle. Makes a haphazard gesture around at the various seating options: two beds, a chair, a squat-shouldered dresser, though the class and taste of the Spektors' decor leads one to believe they would probably prefer each article of furniture be appropriated according to its make and intended purpose. Considerable art went into the ergonomic design and aesthetic apeal, after all.

Teo himself ends up somewhat predictably on the floor. "Beer?"

"Celebrating wot? That you're not a decoration for a garden anymore?" Ethan asks bluntly, staring after the odd couple down the hall. He takes a few steps down the hall, holding the notepad tightly to his side. Padding down the hall he stops short as team Joy bombards Teo's room. Watching them flatly, his eyes go from Abby then back to Francois. "If you promise not to talk while we drink, I'll stay the 'ole night, love." A usual jab, but there is less poision delivered in his tone this time. As if he was pulling his punches.

Entering the room after the drunk train, Ethan as well goes to take a seat on the floor, semi-close to Teo. His note pad is splayed out on his lap, and opened as Ethan starts to read the scribblie-scribble written on it.

Francois is not so drunk that he cannot see that again in narrowed realisation. Regardless, he is drifting along with the woman's urging him inside, and he only says, in lazy Italian, "«She made me.»" It's not untrue - Francois' flight from the dinner table had no been with a vodka bottle in his grasp. That had been Abigail. For all the surfaces offered, the floor seems to be the happening place to be, and it's where Francois lands as well, his back pressed up to the dresser.

There's a mild thunk when the back of his skull connects gently with wood too. "Non, monsieur," he tells Ethan. "I have celebrated that already. This…" He weaves a hand, and the next time he speaks, in an accent slightly thicker and encroaching on his generia American, he speaks dryly; "Perhaps we should celebrate good company."

"«I did make him. Sometimes you need to drink»" Her Italian is imperfect and the southern accent clouds it. "I'm here to have another shot of Vodka with him and then, then I am going to go to bed, so youuuu don't need to worry about me talking too much Mr Janitor. Not too much" Abigail follows in last, closing the door almost all the way but leaving a few inches. Due to the nature of thier hosts, something about three grown men and a woman in a room with the door closed is just asking for trouble. The cap of the vodka is unscrewed and the shot glass laid out. THey're topped up to the optimum level, not a drop spilled on the floor. "Drink up!"

Hey. Bartender in the house. Appreciatively, Teo leans forward to take his glass. He wouldn'tve spilled a drop, either, except that an idle instant of curiosity sidling in through Ethan's eyes pauses his hand in mid-motion, lapping a fraction of an ounce of vodka over the glass's rim to ooze transparently down the outside of the curvatured surface.


The drink does, however, ultimately reach his mouth largely without incident, that short-lived disturbance smoothed away into the rest of Teo's Weird Italian Mannerisms like the squint he'd given Francois had a minute earlier. He's clumsy and frayed after a long day's astral projection. It's been said. "If I was really going to be a facetious asshole about the latest apocalypse, I'd pitch a game of… averm—" The recollection and casual English elude his grasp for a moment. Despite his relative fluency, the curses and the SAT words and literary banks have always come to Teodoro more easily than the great tundras of pop culture that stretch out between. "'Never have I ever.' Dreyfus dropped by the house," he offers to Ethan, as an aside. He manages to keep his eyes from physically straying to the inscrutable characters on the paper pad.

"You already went over the limit." Ethan groans to Abby quietly. "Try cutting out words like 'to' and 'of'." The Brit suggests, this will give her a lot more time to talk, probably. A single character is added to his notebook before it is clapped shut and tossed to the side, pen following it. Reaching forward for his glass, his attention goes to Francois then to Teo then back again. "Good company?" He can't help but laugh at that, and allows the laughing to do the snarky comments for him.

Pulling his glass up, without even a thank you, he smirkes at Teo. "Never 'ave I ever been Evolved." The Wolf murmurs to the three somehow once upon a time or even now-Evovled individuals. Smiling at the start of the faceitious asshole drinking game. To Teo's comment about Dreyfus, his features twitch a little but other than that, there is no reaction.

Francois is careful with his given shot, and without hesitation in downing it. Two hands, trapped slender glass between palms, fingers splayed as he tilts both glass and head back to slide vodka passed teeth, tongue, slicing warm down his throat. Which means that it's gone by the time there is the offer of games and the beginning thereof, as much as the mention of Dreyfus' name is still burning away like a brand somewhere too deep for him to easily give it a balm.

Apart from alcohol. One hand goes out, a bird-light companionable cuff of rebuke to Ethan's shoulder. Behave. "I have been Evolved," he offers, a little cluelessly. "This is the game?"

Abby's had her limit earlier and only brought enough for three, not expecting Ian. So when the shot glasses make their way back, she's carefully pouring more of the clear liquid. "Two who used to be, one who used to not be and one who's only power is his acerbic wit" Abby grins, blowing a kiss to ethan. Yup, she's had a bit herself to put her in the happy tipsy stage. "I just came to deliver Francois, make sure he's okay before I go curl up with Liz" Abby swivels her gaze from teo to ethan. "Yes, you can make fun of that, you have permission" She nudges glasses towards their respective owners.

Teo's mouth falls open. Likely, whatever snip of humor he'd been about to offer had less to do with mockery than unsavory skeezy old man interests of a different nature, but if anyone could make him remember himself, Abigail could. Does. "You're supposed to drink if you've done what was said. It's a fucking frathouse game that makes vice out of experience. You're probably going to lose, signor." He tries for saintly sweet nature, winds up crash-landed, mushrooming smoke and cratered somewhere in the region of mud-covered child instead.

He winds his arm back, gropes around on his mattress until his fingers scuff paper. Folds his own notepad shut again. Not to be deliberately surreptitious or anything. There's just— something weird going on in here. "You said 'acerbic,'" he observes of Abigail, as evidently delighted with this as he is with her stubborn quest to find her sea legs in Italian. Then, for Francois again: "Your turn."

Frowning, Ethan nods in agreement with Teo. "If you've done, wot I ave'nt you drink. You don't point out annoying facts that everyone in the room already knows." The wolf growls, pointing to Abby, motioning she needs to take a drink. Them's the rules. His attention returns to Teo where his brows furrow as he comes to the conclusion. "Tha's ture, you did say 'acerbic'." Ethan agrees whole-heartedly. Frowning slightly at Francois, drinking without the game telling him too.

But he waits patiently for Francois' turn on the game. Despite thinking that he might not ever get the chance to make good on his turn, most likely passing out in a puddle of uriodka. (That's urine and vodka). But Ethan watches him anyway, hoping he might get a hold of himself long enough to speak words. The glass is pressed to his lips in just hopes to pass the time. A quick twitch of a glance is shot at Teo's notebook and then his own, and then back to the old Frenchie.

Francois braces a hand against carpeted ground, makes sure to lever himself out of any kind of slump he's slid into since sitting down. The glass is put down for refilling, and he makes a gesture that's meant to imply that his prior drinking counts, then, for Ethan's statement. "Ah, oui?" is in response to Teo, eyes going crescent with a smile. "Then, never have I ever been to Sicily."

More conversation registers in his mind, and he steers a hazy look up to Abigail, extending a hand to her. "You are leaving? Au revoir, if so, mademoiselle, although I think you should stay."

"Mmhhmmm, I've had more than enough tonight and I'm not old enough back home" She takes Francois's hand, squeezing it before refilling his glass. "But I am sure that the three of you will drink enough for me" She grins, goofily, blowing a kiss to the other two men in the room - even Ethan - as she gets back to her feet. "Everyone should go to Siciliy at least once" Take that, how you will, but she surrenders the bottle to Ethan before turning on her heels and slipping out the door with a giggle.

So much the sylph. Naiad. Faerie. Teodoro's given to understand that the Russian and more traditional versions of all such supernatural lorefolk are creepy, alien in the malice endemic to their sheer indifference, and generally dangerous to a man's health, but Abigail's like some kind of lost evolutionary mid-phase between the old kind and the watered-down commercialized fluff marketed with butterfly wings and squeaky Hallmark intentions. She's sad they aren't feeling well, somewhere under there, but Deckard wouldn't be the only one to eat his heart out.

After a moment, Teo refocuses a hairy eyeball on Francois. Wheezes out a lugubrious sigh, and assents to drink, knocking his glass back with a sinewy flick of his wrist. He pours himself his next even as he moves on, not quite smoothly, to his own query. "Never have I ever been a part of a legally-sanctioned military force," he announces. "Glorified butchers."

Abby gets little more than a glance as she makes her way out. Taking the bottle he grabs it before going to hand it back over to Francois. At his 'never' he tilts up his glass and takes a shot. Recalling his offer of the bottle, he goes to refill his glass before then relinquishing it to Francois. As the bottle is passed on, Ethan frowns at Teo's never and takes his next shot. As if challenged on this one, his brows furrow thoughtfully as he tries to come up with his next.

"I've never punched a teenage girl." Ethan growls out. Setting his shot glass down at his side, watching Teo plainly and throwing discretion out the window along with any play at being polite he might have been pseudo-attempting a few moments earlier.

Francois' neatly refills his own glass once the bottle is handed over, Abby allowed to leave unmolested— as it were— and he frowns for a moment. They need wwway more glasses. At least one more each. He closes an eye as Teo's question filters in, as if thinking long and hard on the legality of the French Resistance. This dilemma extends long and hard for the time it takes for Ethan to answer his question, and by then, Francois is not going to drink to punching little girls.

His eyebrows go up, and he sets the bottle down between them all. "Never have I ever— " His head tips heavy on his neck as he thinks. "Never have I ever been married." Look, plenty of shit he hasn't done, Teo, who is watched mainly in response for Ethan's query, quizzical.

Teo trails off into a long ellipse, his gaze moving between Ethan and Francois, now, its penduluming slowing like the fading throes of a hanged man's jig. It ends up on Francois' face for a moment too long, disconcerted by a certain mathematical prediction of diminishing foreseeable returns in investment. 'S the problem with trying to bag nice guys, when you've had lapses into being something pronouncedly less.

Honesty isn't the hardest option to take, oddly enough. Honestly, surely, is a redeeming feature and ergo falls under the 'pro' subcolumn of 'do me,' and serves humility well, even if only through proxy of, you know, humiliation. "I didn't punch Eileen," he grinds out, but he drinks anyway, to the Englishwoman in particular and some other female who remains nameless in some part because he can't remember.

"Never been married," he clarifies, belatedly. "Or— or." He doesn't want to play anymore. :( "…Thirty nine years old."

When Teo's mouth opens to offer his argument, Ethan is already tucking. "Take the fucking shot." He commands sternly, watching intently as Teo eventually does drink. The older man watches the younger with a certain angry intensity for a long moment and then Francois is unwittingly stabbing at deep dark secret scars. Reaching forward the Wolf goes to pour himself another shot. Downing it rather quickly, he obviously has been married. He stares over at Teo's remark blankly. He's not going to drink to that one, it seems. But…

Shoving one hand on his knee, he goes to stand up, tossing his shot glass down into the ground roughly. "I 'ave never been a 'omosexual." A beat as Ethan debates something internally whether to set claws to surface or to soul level. Apparently he decides soul-setting. "I 'ave never tried to desperately convince myself I'm a good person." The words are said levelly as he turns his back on the two men, going for the door again. But for poor Francois benefit, he pauses at the door. "I 'ave never been made of stone." And with that, he's storming out.

Ethan growling and storming out is not that much of a surprise, even to those who do no know him very well. Belatedly sensing the exchange between the two men and knowing the game is scattered abandoned sometime after Teo put a name to the girl he hit in the face, or something, Francois only sits quietly and listens, shot glass glistening emptily and gravity tugging at him, coaxing him to simply lie down on carpet and sleep.

He doesn't, just wrinkles his nose a little at that last throwaway question, and considers the others. "I do not think I should drink to those quickly," he mutters, quietly, and doesn't pick up the vodka bottle as he watches Teo instead. Judgment or anxiety for ruined investments of the future are completely concealed.

By now, Teo's affect has flattened down like someone backed a truck over it. Metaphorically or physically. Holden would probably be faiiirly willing to do either, no matter this tenuous alliance between them now.

Teodoro's characteristically wan-pale eyes are uncharacteristically sharp as they follow Ethan out of the room, and when he is abruptly left alone with his roommate, his hand's already hunting across the floor for the notepad that he thhhhinks the Englishman had left behind. Blunt fingers shuffle through its pages like a palsy's taken up residence in his hands, and there's something vaguely listless about the fall of his eyes to the page, before he remembers his manners.

And Francois, who bears certain physical resemblance to manners. Oh. Oh. "Yeah," he says. A beat. "The stone one was kind of a low blow. Um. Hey," his eyebrows do something friendly, a wrinkle then release, "'least you were prudent enough to eat before drinking."

Summarily remembered, Francois offers a smile as a reward. Hi! He blinks a few times at that assertion, eyes narrowing a little about whether he remembered to eat, and if a couple of bites of salted herring count. "Ah, oui. Very prudent." Cccarefully he sets aside his drained shot glass, reaches forward. His hands mostly paw air for as long as it takes him to push his weight forward enough to grip onto carpet, and consider standing up, and the distance between here and his bed. Or Teo's bed, for that matter.

"I do not think you have to convince yourself you are a good person," Francois decides to say instead, turning a curious stare back towards the Sicilian. "Good deeds are enough. But that is why you didn't drink, si?" A joke, kind of.

The look Teo delivers the older man is a feeble attempt at droll disagreement. One corner of his mouth is pried up like he had to use a crowbar on it, it's that stiff. "I ran her face-first into a bedpost because I was frustrated she wouldn't turn on the rest of the Vanguard before renovating my navel with a fucking breadknife. I'm actually trying to make myself hungry right now." He pushes his glass down along the floor until it parks beside Ethan's, adjacent the bottle, and discards the notepad on his lap, effectively empties his hands and splays his digits at Francois' knee level, fixing his features in an expression of faux serenity. Either preparing to field Francois' untimely capitulation to gravity or Nirvana. "Not really working."

Lost his appetite, he means, but his English loses accuracy after enough liquor. Relaxing his arms, Teo offers an upward squint, a fool's appreciation for hopeless causes.

"Ethan killed his father." Apropos of nothing. However, this seems important to say, with a hand gesture and a sneer in the direction of the retreated once-husband. So anyway, standing up. Ssstand— ing. He gets his knees beneath him until legs slide back out in a kind of graceful sprawl sideways, managing to catch himself. Here is good. Here is fine. "And we are all saving the world together. There is dinner downstairs, you should eat some."

That was hours ago, but in truth, it's where Francois' mind has remained, numbed into its pause and marinated in vodka straight from the table. His hands seek out the floor before he can lower himself fully, rest a head against a folded arm, so goes the plan.

The Sicilian shortly thereafter hits the floor like a log nearby. Two logs, actually: he manages to get his knees underneath him, an armload gift of comforter bequeathed upon Francois for his smothering. Teo didn't know that about Ethan's father. It obscurely surprises him, as does the Englishman's newfound proclivities for weirdo typography, currently jutting in pad paper form from the seat of his jeans.

In a series of haphazard yankings, Teo untangles enough of the comforter to get it on the Frenchman upside-down. You can only tell it's upside-down if you pay attention to how carefully Katarina tends to match the two-toned sets of blankets with linens and pillows, though, and besides: Francois is on the floor.

Teodoro folds up his hands on his lap. "Would you really go after Robbie Dreyfus to get at his dad?"

A hand rises, grabs limply at the comforter, but it needs not much in the way adjustment, tugging it up as far as his shoulder before relaxing again. Then, Francois opens his eyes and turns his head enough to angle a suspicious look upwards. Stands to reason, of course, that Teo had remained watching, as much as he wasn't there. "Not as fast as the Vanguard would," he says, whatever that's supposed to mean, words lilted stronger than usual.

Unfocuses, though doesn't close his eyes. Studies Teo's knees instead. "I have hurt a man once. For information." His arm shifts, so that it's the back of his hand his temple rests against, jaw grazing carpet. "I healed him, but it was not a proud thing."

"I don't think he or Zhukovsky know what their former co-workers really have planned." Teo's hand descends, pats haplessly at the corner of the blanket over Francois' shoulder, before a moment's consideration pulls it up to very precisely cover the curve of the Frenchman's ear. There's probably a little apology mixed into that, both ambient and specifically for— eavesdropping, as it were. Teodoro doesn't tend to explain the limitations and requirements of his ability. Hasn't.

Probably won't; it's a convenient sort of regret, that you expend on a necessity without changing the action. Teo's spine stoops slightly, his shoulders hunkering forward under a shift and pull of his sweater's weave. "I hope we don't have to do anything like that here, but I guess I'd assumed we would. Think you'll see raptors tonight?" Conversational topics slide too facilely to and fro in their socket, like an unhinged joint or with tendons snapped. Teo's knee bobs once in Francois' field of vision.

Slide too easily for a drunk man to really keep a hold of them, save for later, when he's sober and picking out memories like thorns from his side to examine. For now, Francois gladly hinges on a happier note. There's a slice of smile just visible. "Non, not tonight," he murmurs, continues in his mother tongue as if his gradual slipslide of accent was an inevitable road in dropping English completely. "«But I can hope I do.»"

There's not much more to say after that, vodka dragging him into warm comfort and away from conversation about what never has he ever done, and what he has. And what they all might.

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