Gems Of Wisdom From The Drunken Sage


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Scene Title Gems Of Wisdom From The Drunken Sage
Synopsis Love doctor advises patient to stop being a fuck-up otherwise consequences A through F may occur, as he has had personal experience. Love doctor is excessively drunk and influenced by recent near-death-experience at hands of Midtown bomb man and serial killer. Patient is good-natured and uncomfortable.
Date January 6, 2008

Dodgy Area — Outside Biddy Flannigan's

It's been a shit-tastic few days, that's the only way to describe it. Sonny's not usually a heavy drinker, especially in public. Especially in a pub and not a high class martini bar. But being threatened and bullied by one of the scariest men to ever grace the face of the earth would drive anyone to drink. He's managed to tell himself he has had enough, but that's when he's probably two drinks past 'enough.' So the doc stumbles out of the bar, onto the street and nearly slips on his ass on a patch of ice.

He's wearing jeans, a sweatshirt and a heavy, full-length wool jacket. That would be all slick and sophisticated were it not for the toque pushed down over his curly hair and the faded blue scarf around his neck. He's combined his normal wardrobe with his Ferrymen disguise, apparently. "TAXI!"

There's no hand to save him from the fall because he's saved himself, but Teodoro would have given him one if he'd plummeted a few degrees further off axis and closer to Earth. As it is, there's a gloved palm out, fingers spread, floating beyond the bobbing angle of Sonny's elbow, shy of contact. "Doctor Bian—" The salutation cuts short with a slightly wide-eyed glance over his shoulder. It isn't beyond Teo's considerable intellect to realize that the older man isn't supposed to be here. Despite the Ferrymen bits, or because of the Ferrymen bits, he doesn't match his backdrop here. The Sicilian, however, does, all scrappy jacket, hoodies, sweaters, boots, a scratch on the knuckles of the glove he lets fall to his side. "Are you okay, signor?"

Sonny spins, a bit too dramatically. It nearly has him on his ass. His eyes are pretty big, which makes it easier to see how glassy and swimming in liquor they are. "Oh heeeeey! Hi! No, no wait. I'm…I'm mad at you." He lifts up a finger and wags it at the Italian. "I might've gone over the recommended daily intake of shit that will fuck me up." He reaches out blindly. Luckily, there's a mailbox close by to stop him from falling down.

Despite that Teo's overactive guilt complex normally means he takes rebukes pretty readily, the way that Dr. Bianco is framing his chastisement is making it hard for his conscience to tingle. Let there be no doubt: it's tingling anyway, but by far the heavier concern that stoops his brow is the probability of the surgeon breaking his head open on the sidewalk. "I should apologize for being drunk. I'm apologizing for being drunk," he amends hastily, his hands still in the air, pre-empting another slide toward the icy earth. "I— you don't look right. Is there someone I can call?"

"No, no, just a cab, I'll be all right," Sonny uses the mailbox to keep him vertical. He draws in several long, long breaths. "Look, I'm not…not really mad at you," he reaches out blindly for Teo's collar, to tug the Italian close for some reason. Because talking requires being close, right? He thinks he remembers that. "None…of my business. Really. But seriously man, that was fucked up."

The stink of liquor on Sonny's breath is enough to make Teo blink new water out of his eyes. Which is fine: the winters here are so fiercely dry that he can always use a little rehydration. "I can call a c— okay." Okay. Or they can talk about him being fucked up. Teo isn't very good at hiding what he's feeling unless he's lying on purpose; his gaze goes shifty, furtively left then right, before dropping uncomfortably to the sidewalk underfoot.

There are a lot of things a lot of people don't know about him. Since childhood, he hasn't liked to let people get too close, where the subtler flaws like his oft-broken nose and the lines of his thinking scowl show. At a distance, he looks normal. "I was being an asshole. There's a lot of shit in the air. I'm sorry. Thank you for helping him. Really: it means a lot that he's better."

"Listen, not that it's any of my business, because it's not. My business." Sonny rocks back, though as he talks, if he's not shoved off, he keeps a hand on Teo's shoulder for balance. "But what is up between you two? I mean, I could guess, but you know, that wouldn't be nice, I don't think. And it would be guessing. Because I don't know."

"I don't know." It's a lie, but an honest one; Teo's looks up, and Sonny finds his face reflected back at himself in the striated pallor of the younger man's irises, pupils constricted under the white-cold probe of the sun. Years of hooligan living have left him with a mix of physical protocols for moments like this: Sonny warrants either an elbow in the jaw or an arm around the neck. He doesn't look like he can hold up under either of those, so Teo merely ends up twitching in place, wary of the frozen-slick crystal lattice underfoot, uncertain of Sonny's intent.

Ironically enough, it's Dr. Bianco's repeated announcement of his understanding— that this is none of his business, which assures Teo enough to pretend otherwise. Finally, "I think he's mad at me for fucking a stranger instead of him even though I wanted to fuck him before. And I keep getting on his case about fucking strangers." It sounds more absurd aloud. Teo winces, finally propping Sonny's wool-clad elbow up with the hollow of one hand.

"So why don't you two just fucking fuck each other already? Seriously. Tension. In the air." Sonny waves his hand in a vague motion. "I dunno how you live in that. With the tension and all. Just get it overwith so you can both get on with your lives already. You're both a pair of hypocrites and you're pissed at the other one for being a hypocrite. Is that about the size of it?"

Yes. No. "Yes. No." Maybe. "Maybe." Teo looks at the hand that's flipping around in the air past his shoulder, then focuses his vision past it, at the street. There are pedestrians, a Volvo going by with a sticker of a football on the back window. American football, that is. "I don't want to just 'fucking fuck' him," he grates out, with some vague effort at delicacy. Delicacy doesn't suit him at all; the words come spat out, harsh with the ugly clarity of self-analysis. "Sometimes tension is preferable."

"Cause he's your friend?" The way Sonny says this suggests he's been in a similar situation. He sounds pretty sage for a drunk guy. "Cause if it's good, then it hurts your friendship, and if it's no good, it'll -really- hurt it? That's…" he weaves a little. "…that's why you shouldn't be friends with people you fuck. But sometimes things happen anyway. I know. I under-stand, man. I do." He pats the other Italian on the shoulder.

"I have a lot of friends I wouldn't mind fucking," Teo mutters ignobly, watching for that telltale flash of acrylic yellow. Cabs. It's early to be drinking; not many drivers are out here right now, failing to pre-empt the Mayor's son slumming it at Biddy Flannigan's before supper's there to soak it up in his stomach. "I'm not even sure I have any friends I wouldn't mind fucking. A few years ago, I would have." Twelve years ago. Time compresses when you're trying to save the world; there never seems to be enough of it. He shouldn't be talking about any of this. It's harmless. It'll do no good. He asks anyway: "Did yours end well?"

Sonny laughs. It's the kind of slightly manic, detached laugh of the drunk. "Oh man, I'm not sure I have any friends I wouldn't mind fucking either. But politics keeps it in my pants." a beat, and a mischievious look. "Mooost of the time. I can get away with things. If…" he holds up a finger, then flexes all the fingers on his hand, for no apparent reason, "…I am careful. Ha ha." He touches his nose. Or tries to. It makes it sort of there on try number three. "Did mine what? My friend? Engh. Din't really end so much as phone calls stopped. Sort of mutual lack of contact. S'pretty easy to avoid people in this city."

Looking back, Teo almost smiles, a dysfunctional twitch of his jaw. It's all right, being a whore at heart. When one is busy doing great things, whoring can't be one of them, anyway. "You don't seem too bothered, amico," he notices, uncharacteristically quiet. Normally, his voice takes up as much space as the rest of his big, tattooed boy-body. "That the calls stopped coming."

"Well. Was probably for the best anyway. Can't get attached in this business." What business? Hard to say what Sonny's line of thought is exactly. Either Teo or the mailbox is going to have to take his weight in a second, because the doc's starting to wobble a bit again. "But listen. Do somethin' before it just becomes a hurt game, all right? Cause then you'll find yourself doing shit that hurts -you- as much as him. S'vicious. Makes you a worse person when you come out the other end of it. Either truce…say stop, stop it, or find some other way to deal with it."

Possibly, fucking a cop qualifies as self-destructive behavior for a terrorist. Teo doesn't feel especially compelled to enlighten Sonny that that part has already begun; he's never had faith in the sort of person he is anyway. Grip tightening on the older man's arm, he simply eyes Sonny for a protracted moment, skepticism, wry indulgence, and honest concern in even parts. "Thank you for giving a rat's ass, I guess," he answers, presently. "Any chance I can exchange the favor of confidence?"

"Who the hell'm I gonna tell? The socialites I spend all day giving boob jobs to only care about celebrity gossip. So unless you'n Alex rocket to superstardom in two hours, you're safe," Sonny reaches out, and unless he's stopped, he'll pat Teo on the cheek. "Sides. I know where this kinna stuff goes. Under the hat!" he declares, one finger up in the air. That throws him off balance and he needs to hands on Teo's shoulders to right him. "Sorry. Sorry."

Nerves almost jarr a laugh out of Teo, but he politely keeps himself shut up, even as he helps prop the other man up, easily taking the brunt of his fall and his standing weight, first with the hold on Sonny's elbow then the offer of an arm over shoulders. Drunk people are funny. Unless they're Teodoro Laudani, who spent most of his youth drinking primarily to harden up in order to humiliate the shit out of kids as hard-hearted and thick-skinned as he was. Words, fists, broken bottles, knives, guns; they used whatever they could. He suspects Sonny's better at being drunk. "Non c'e problema.

''S not what I meant, though. You look like you could use someone to talk to. Drinking alone. The sun isn't even down yet, and the sun sets early in the winter, amico." There's nothing chiding about his tone.

"So what, you're gonna be my confidahnt?" It's amazing Sonny manages to use words bigger than two syllables in his state. "Listen, listen. You got your own shit to deal with. Sides. Can't tell you." He peels away from Teo and finds the lip of a display window to sit on. He's passing out of the goofy into the uncomfortable. The kind of drunk where the room won't stop spinning. "Justneedagohome," he mumbles into his hands.

There's a gallant arc of an arm which Sonny can't see. Which is okay, because Teo is also flagging a taxi down. Finally, there's one coming, a yellow block of metal with its sign lit up. "Never underestimate my capacity to have shit to deal with, signor," he says, waving optimistically. "Cab's coming up. You have your wallet?"

Sonny pats down his jacket pockets. He does indeed find his wallet, which he tugs out and holds up. "Yes." Then he has to close his eyes. "Oh…fuck me. Does your friend cure hangovers? I might…might need her tomorrow." A beat, "I have to stand now, don't I?"

"You have a few seconds. There's a lot of traffic. It's probably better if you do, though," Teo agrees, dropping his arm. He turns, sees the wallet. Smiles. "In case somebody gets the door and slides in ahead of you." New Yorkers are a pitiless culture. He walks back across the sidewalk, offers a sturdy hand up. "She does cure hangovers. Willingly, most of the time. For a doctor, I don't have much doubt. Hana knows how to find her." And everyone knows how to find Hana. Belatedly, after a click of ice and shoe rubber, a stray wind, he adds, "Me, too.

"If something happens." In all honesty, Teo can't think of any case scenario that would bring the Ferrymen liaison to him, given he's established himself as little more than a repressed faggot and hateful drunk, but.

"I better, better get up then. I'd rather vomit in the privacy of my own home." Sonny stands, but only with Teo's assistance, then moves towards the cab, leaning on the other Italian all the while. "I'm…not going to remember any of that," he says blearily. There's another cheek-pat just before he opens the door and drops into the cab. "You're a good guy, Teo. And Alex is a good guy too. Be good guys together and don't fuck it all up, okay? No hurt-wars. Hurt wars lead to…hurt. Uh. So don't." Sage. That's why he's a doctor! "Decide to be friends, decide to fuck off for awhile or decide to fuck. But this simmering anger shit's gotta go, y'know?" He leans his head against the headrest in the back seat of the cab. The woolen toque is crooked on his head, but he doesn't seem to notice. He reaches for the door a few times, but can't quite seem to get there. "Could you…the thing? Thanks."

It is only with the subtlest of growing embarrassment that Teo watches attempts one through four to grab the door handle. He's all too pleased to assist, prompt and rueful as he was with good-natured squinting under the patter-pat of Sonny's palm on his cheek. 'Good guy.' People tell him that more than they used to. Once upon a time, zia Lucrezia seemed to be the only one who thought so. "Words to live by," he says, swiveling the door open. Hopefully without summarily slapping Sonny into the smoked-gray roadside snowdrift. "I'll remember. No hurt-wars." A long hand goes to the top of the door, cushioning the edge of metal for Sonny's head to pass underneath.

Sonny is fairly boneless once he's finally warm and seated properly. "M'gonna go home now. You think about it, okay?" And then he murmurs his address to the cabbie. Swanky. But is that really a surprise? "G'night, Teo. Ciao." It'll be a minor miracle if he doesn't pass out on the ride home.

Assuring himself and the driver that the seatbelt has been connected, Teo steps back far enough to reach for the door. "As the doctor orders," he offers, gently. The cab clunks shut. He waves, his hand mirrored back to him on the painted chrome of the taxi. His smile fades in the plume of exhaust.

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