abby_icon.gif sal_icon.gif

Scene Title Fooled
Synopsis Sal's multiple warnings of a counterfeit Teo get to Abby ten minutes too late.
Date June 10, 2009

On the phone

Abby thumbed through her phone, trying to figure out who to call, because in the end she should call. Teo had been gone ten minutes. Ten minutes in which she'd calmed down his probably soon to be depressed budgie that it's original slave - because we're all their slaves - had left and she was left with the blonde. The phone she picked up though was the "Business" one. One she hadn't checked in… weeks. The smattering of messages on there were all from Sonny it seemed. Sal actually. Semantics.

As she pressed buttons and listened, the horror on Abby's face grew, little by little from what she was hearing. The spate of words the flew from out of the receiver, worried at the first and getting progressively panicked by the time she hit the seventh message. That's not Teo. It's something else. He attacked Sonny and zapped him. Stole the formula. What formula? He doesn't know how long it hadn't been Teo. Sal's voice rolls over and over and over, the words enough to shake the blonde as she stares at the lariat around the door handle. The seventh message is Sonny stating that he's coming to find her.

But it.. was Teo. There's that clawing panic hitting her chest, heart skipping a beat or two as Abigail does what Abigail does best. Panic. She can't call who she'd normally call while she's in a panic. He's been .. what? Body snatch? brain washed? Something? Abigails chest tightens at the though. She hated body snatchers. God, Teo, real Teo. She can call sonny. She screws up the number three times before she checks the call list and mashes a few buttons to hit call back as her palm hit the door and flips locks. Who'd been in her home? Who'd… he knew her ability was gone. It's not some random little bit of information that got out. So it was… at least when Sal had come to the safehouse to look her over and take blood.

When the line is picked up there's a thin, panicked "So..Sal? He was here."

Sal nearly has a heart attack when his phone finally rings. There's very few people who know this number. Phoenix, Abby, and, well, the imposter does. But then, the imposter knows a lot of things - more than he realizes. He nearly hangs up on her, he's so anxious to answer. "Abby, Abby thank -…" And then he stops.

There's a sharp breath, and then, "Fuck. Are you okay? Jesus, I thought he got you." His voice cracks. Even over a cell phone line, he sounds utterly exhausted.

"I'm okay. I've had school and then Dr. Yee and Staten Island and I've been ignoring the phone." Stupid her on that account. God she feels like throwing up. "He didn't hurt me. Lord, Sal.. it was him. It was him tattoo's everything. Pila recognized him. I made baloney cake with him and let him lick the spoon. He didn't hurt me. I asked how you were and he said you were… fighting." The now blonde paces back and forth across her floor, not yet going for her pills. "He left ten minutes ago. I wasn't going to call, but I changed my mind and then I found all your messages."

"Listen to me, Abby. It was not him. Something has control of his body, access to his memories. He fooled me for three days. On our weekend." Which is tantamount to rape, but Sal can't bring himself to think of it that way. He feels violated enough. "He lied to me, zapped me with some kind of Evolved ability, robbed Phoenix and took off. Trust me, Abby. Do you really think our Teo would ever attack me?" He takes in a deep breath. "This guy is a sick fuck. He seems to enjoy fooling people, making people think he's Teo. A friend of mine and Teo's had a similar experience. He didn't hurt him either. I don't know what his angle is, but it's sick whatever it is."

She's running through the things that he said in her mind, the various things through the half hour that he was parked in her kitchen. He was with sonny,t hat weekend. Even Abigail is not dumb and knows what that means. She knew the relationship between Teo and Sonny. "Oh lord. Sonny. Oh Lord." The back of one palm covers her mouth

There's quiet on the other end for a moment, then a dull thud. "Abby, be careful," he murmurs. "I don't know what this thing's angle is. But it can't be good. I…" he takes a deep breath. "…I had considered that Teo maybe just…lost his mind. But there's one way I know for sure that was not my Teo."

There's another brief pause, then a murmur, "He told me he loved me." His voice tightens and he adds with a loose, humourless chuckle. "And then he attacked me."

"Oh Sonny…" He told her he loved her too. But it's a different love than what he would have meant for Sonny. She knows too how Sonny wanted to hear that word. "He brought me a present." The one thing that seems to off. "He said he hadn't bought me anything pink this year Sonny. But he had. He bought me the coat for my birthday." God she wants to be beside the Italian, and to just hold him instead of sitting on the floor and talking over the phone. "What formula did he steal?" She doesn't have Teo to calm her down, and to get her on the right road.

"I…think. I…" Sal hesitates. He isn't sure he wants to worry Abby more. "…my friend? The one that also came across the imposter? He said that Teo was talking like he had cancer, like he didn't have time left. I…" he hesitates. "…I think this thing is planning on using Teo up and disposing of him. And is…giving him some sort of sick courtesy of tying up loose ends and…telling people what they want to hear." It makes his stomach churn just thinking about it.

The formula. Shit. He wasn't supposed to tell her about that. But in his hysteria trying to reach her, it must have just come out on one of the messages. "Something I was working with. It's…" a deep breath. Phoenix might kill him for telling her, but he'll deal with that if it comes. "…supposed to give people Evolved abilities. I was trying to figure out how it worked."

And he stole it. Now she knows why he said he loved Sonny. "He said it to distract him…" Abby spills it out, before she can shut her mouth. Talking out loud sucks. "He didn't have anything on him here, he was in when I came home, he was playing with Pila, we made baloney cake and he gave me shit about the calories, he told me he was sorry about god taking away my gift. He asked me if.. if there was anything that I needed him to do. That he'd do it. He didn't.. he didn't." He didn't what. "He didn't pepper his words with a lot of Italian." She runs over what he did and his actions. "It was him.. it was him Sonny but it wasn't." Little things, that she should have noticed. The combat gear. She should have clued in about the combat gear. Teo never wore it.

"It wasn't." Sal doesn't mean to say that quite so sharply. But she's the second person in as many days to insist it was Teo. And it hurts like hell to hear anyone say that. Because that means Teo would be capable of hurting him so horribly. And he can't quite fathom that. All he can manage to add is a quiet, broken sounding, "This thing is sick."

"It wasn't" She agrees. Just someone really good at playing at him, but forgot to read the fine print of the owners instruction manual. "I'm sorry sonny, Lord in Heaven, I'm so sorry he did that to you." Teo hadn't hurt her, but he'd ravaged Sonny. All scars and wounds aren't ones that can be seen. "What do you want me to do?"

And the fact that this duplicate is being so kind to everyone else in Teo's life only twists the knife in Salvatore's gut deeper. Others get kind words, hugs, genuine-sounding sentiments, gifts. He gets violated and attacked in a way that makes the kind words that came before obvious lies. He isn't sure what he did to deserve that.

It's going to hurt more when he realizes what this doppelganger really is.

"Stay away from him. Be careful. And," a brief pause, "…answer your phone if I call."

"I will. Answer the phone. Stay away from him. I'll load my shotgun. he knows I never load it except for that one time." The first time Sylar tried to give himself a Christmas present. "I'm sorry, about the phone. It's .. it's the one people use to call me for…healing." Of which she hasn't been carrying because she doesn't want to have to tell people she can't do it. She rattles off another number, her personal number for Sonny. "Call there. Don't call the bar. I'm not working there anymore."

"Try not to hurt him," says Sal. It's a tiny, distant tone. Like the phone is held away from his mouth. "I…" a pause, "…I have to hope that he's still in there somewhere." Doubt creeps into his voice. Doubt that his Teo is still there, worry that this thing running about is his Teo, doubt that he ever really knew Teodoro Laudani to begin with, that he was ever his Teo at all. "You can get me at this number. I always have my phone."

"Okay" Abigail ever so quietly says over the phone. "Sonny? You need me to come over?" Wherever he is.

"No," says Sal. "I'm on Staten." And that says it all right there. "Stay where you are. I…think if he wanted to hurt you, he would have done it already. Just…don't be fooled by him." There's a deep breath, and then, "Goodbye, Abby."

Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. "Take care Sonny, call if you need to…talk." She'll let him hang up first, since it's polite. in twenty minutes, she's gone from the middle of the mood spectrum to the bottom, hovering probably a little above Sonny.

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