Here's The Kicker


delilah_icon.gif teo3_icon.gif

Scene Title Here's The Kicker
Synopsis Teo and Delilah talk about this bitchy hypocrite who has been criticizing her potential as a parent.
Date July 5, 2010

Grand Central Terminal

With the topside of the iconic Grand Central Terminal in ruins, it's its basement level that sees most activity, as covert as such activity may be. Entrances are sealed (at least, to those who don't know any better) to the upper levels leading above ground, whether with rubble, or with manmade additions of gates and blockades, and so most will find their way to this place via the countless tunnels that run like arteries in what could appropriately be termed the heart of Manhattan's train system.

Electric lights shine pallid white in the arching ceilings of the basement concourses and foyers, running off their own generators and so power is only used conservatively. Here, the wide open spaces are used for storage that is destined to be moved either towards the arching doorways opening to platforms and subways for shipping out, or waiting to be dragged down to the subbasements for longer term storage. The floors, the walls, the ceilings are differing kinds of tile and vary in cleanliness.

Tables have also been set up so that supplies can be sorted, shifted, packed properly. Folded cardboard boxes awaiting use can be discovered in most corners. Signs on the walls in the form of crude spray paint indicate where things might go, from food, to clothing, to medical supplies, and some things even more exotic. This is a place of motion and organization.

Last but not least, a makeshift recreation room has been set up for the workers of the Grand Central Station, and this can be found within what used to be known as the Whispering Walls. Famously, this interstitial space was known for its strange acoustics, wherein one could whisper to a companion from one far side of the corner to the other by talking directing into the curving corner, where sound would travel along the curve of the arcing ceiling. This, of course, still works, but now the space is no longer simply a foyer - there's a semi-portable kitchen area offering simple food and beverages, a television (which gets no reception, but is hooked into a VCR and a DVD player, with a modest library for both), a card table, a few comforts such as couches and armchairs.

Upon one of the walls, is a rough but well-meaning mural, a mock up of an aquarium - an addition that came after the Ferrymen claimed this space as theirs. It seems to grow in size every several days, with new aquatic characters added each time.

Teodoro is fixing the plumbing tonight, because someone has to do it. There aren't all that many operatives with access to this place— it takes more than a basic service liaison or supply driver detail to get a guy in here, and coincidentally, not that many of the guys who aren't actively enlisted to perform basic services and manual labor know how to fix plumbing.

Granted, the repairs he is making aren't nearly as crucial as most of those that generally take place when there's a man-sized hole in the wall. The Grand Central Terminal came to them with this remarkably convenient man-sized hole in the wall, and he figured he'd see what was up with the low pressure reported from the little water tower, no matter how sparingly used it typically is, while he's waiting for his friend to arrive.

So Teodoro Laudani would be the leg protruding from the ragged perforation in the concrete, hip-deep in the lightless bowels of the building while the quiet hubbub of dinner preparations go on behind. He responsible for some clicking, an occasional gust of dust, the erratic flickering of a light he's holding between his teeth. A fair number of swear-words, aborted and muffled by the thickness of masonry. Delilah could probably recognize this anywhere.

When you are clanking and banging in your own ears, it makes it so much easier for things outside of the hole in the wall to creep up. This is exactly what Delilah does, unfortunately for Teodoro's concentration. It wasn't hard to sniff him out, so to speak; she was either prodded along the right path, or simply heard his distant wrenching and hammering. Her figure appears with a pip of shifting color outside the hole in the wall. Her dress is that swish of light and pattern, fluffing as she moves to peer inside if she can manage. Hello in there?

"It'd be so easy to make a joke about this."

Teodoro doesn't fall into Hell through the Terminal's wall, fortunately. He's startled, though, enough to bang an elbow and come up grumbling, the beam of light fixed in his mouth swinging over his lap and puddling a skewed circle of light around the redhead's left foot, after a moment. One pale blue eye peers out at her. There is an eyebrow tucked down above it. "Gneh," he points out, motioning at her inscrutably with his wrench. "Ahng serr Ah haww 'o i'ea wha' 'er ta'kin' awow.

"Ooh." 'Move,' he probably means, despite that he is obviously pleased to see her, and there is a clang when he drops his tool into the open box beside her. The seat of his jeans rasps against coarse stone, sliding, and his one protruding leg bends slightly to aim him out. There is dust in the ragged weft of his hair, and nothing but metabolic warmth in the furtive hand he cups her belly with her.

She watches the wrench when she spots it, afterward peering at Teo if he were speaking something she didn't have a chance of recognizing. "What was that?" Lilah laughs, tries to stifle, and laughs again. No use. The girl moves aside when she needs to, peering at the hole again as he scoots his way out. "You've got stuff in your hair." At the same time that he touches her, she reaches up to dust off his skull. She is a little over halfway along- there has certainly been more to literally touch upon as of late, though somehow Delilah moves just as she always has.

"Pipes leaking? Or not working? Unless you were just in there trying to look helpful and get dirty?"

"Ahng—" Teo yanks the flashlight out of his mouth and gesticulates with it meaningfully. "I'm being perfectly helpful," he retorts, flicking the switch off before he accidentally blinds his baby momma or something. He hunkers out, carefully extricating his other leg from inside the orifice of masonry. Dust sheafs off his pant leg as well, and he flicks a palm back and forth on the lapel of his jacket, all industrious animation, except for the one hand he has carefully verifying that Delilah's belly remains the proper size and shape.

Very good, very good. That was most certainly the plan. "But," he adds, "that wasn't really what I came here for. It isn't urgent. They try not to use the water tower." Her fingers comb like-sized stripes of dark through the pale particulates shed onto his hair, leaving him faintly zebraed. He squints to avoid getting any in his eyes.

"I wasn't entirely sure how to tell you about it, so I stalled-" Delilah begins, cleaning off the Sicilian as much as everyday fussing allows her to do. "I figured that I should just not embellish it. I have a stalker. Dunno for how long, but he showed up in my apartment the other day. I think he was inside of the fridge." She tries to look as unworried as she can manage, though there is obviously something that is bothering her a bit more than the fact she has an honest to goodness stalker.

"Said some weird things this time. I told you about him before, didn't I? The old guy named Samson that rescued my Samson?" She does recall, faintly, of a conversation that ran around 'random guy needs to mind his own business'.

It doesn't take too much fussing to get Teo's hair relatively presentable again, though he is— as he has been for a good many months, now, in some dire need of a trip to the barber's. He is blinking underneath the thready rumple of the off-blond locks, looks like he's distracted or not quite listening. Looks are deceiving, though. Realization hardens over his face the next moment, like winter on a lake, and his fingers close coarse in empty air. An unfortunate reflex. It's easier to pretend everything is going to be okay when you don't instantly look like you want to punch a bitch.

So monologues his internal Ghost, in a supercilious tone of voice. "Yeah," he says. "The one with an interest in W— the baby?" His shoulders mound up like a protective dog at the hearth. He watches Delilah's face carefully. Did he hurt you? seems irreverent, somehow. So: "Did he scare you?"

"You need a haircut." Delilah notes this before she answers the point of the matter. When she does, she laughs a little, breathy and vague. "Well, no. He surprised me. I think I scared him, actually. Gave him some bacon, he didn't stay for pancakes." One hand goes up to pluck at red hair, putting it back behind her shoulders. "He said he wanted to find you. When I asked him why, he said it was because you both have potentially dangerous sons? He wanted to see who and what you were?" Dee finally lets her expression droop, faint lines of worry gathering at a knot between her eyes.

"He said something about the baby having some …cosmic powers or- bullocks like that. That he'd need to learn right and wrong from good people. I think he was trying to give me advice. It just made me angry 'cause it felt like he was telling me I was bad." Delilah lifts her hand to rub at her face, fingers running in a massage along her cheek. "After all that he asked me what I saw in the flash. He didn't tell me what he saw though, not sure what to think of that."

From Dee's liberal dropping of news, it sounds as if she has been wanting to tell someone this since it happened. Can't really tell many people, though, not about this.

It's certainly better this way, judging from the look on Teo's face. It is not his Holy fuck, time to get word to the network, nationwide, through Hana look. It's his Holy fuck, full-stop, end of line, brow in a knit and the scarred hole in his cheek sucked nearly shut by the lock of his jaw. The world throbs uneasily at the corners of his eyes, and he closes his fingers, opens them again, closes. Debates lying, but he's done a lot of that, already. Has a lot more to do.

So it comes out like a crack in one of the pipeworks he was just peeking through. "It's Sylar's dad," he finishes, finally. "I think they're of a similar build, somehow.

"The motherfucker is trouble. I think there's more to him than… fucking— precognition or ability sensing or archetypical creep monologuing, whatever the fuck he's working with. I'm sorry he bothered you." Teo's brow flattens above a scowl. He stoops to toe the toolbox shut, a clack of clasp, machined edges. He scores his sleeve across his forehead. "I have no fucking idea how to take what he said. Grain of salt sounds good."

Teo's very important addition slathers a look of faint dawning onto Delilah, who looks vacant as she considers this news in her mind's eye. Oh. Oh. "Wow." She chews on her lip. "No wonder he seemed a little familiar. There was something under the being a creep and sneaking in and being- a creep- couldn't put my finger on it. Well." The redhead hugs at herself, repressing a shiver. "It explains a lot though. His turning into smoke, the knowing things, the deus ex machina Rumplestiltskin thing…"

"I wonder if he is bothering me for me or- for you guys. I didn't tell him anything. Or maybe he just likes me because our names match and I gave him a hug that first time." Hmm. Obviously that is all that bad guys need. "Mayb- ow, ow, ow-"

Lilah pauses mid-thought, pressing her hand to the lower part of her pelvis, leaning slightly into it. She looks pained in the way one might by getting unintentionally elbowed.

Teodoro's reaction is a predictable but peculiar mixture of delight and alarm. Of course, he does not want Delilah to be in pain or elbowed by anybody, but since they are alone and he has yet to try anything that horrible, so the obvious culprit is one whose continued vivacity and energy is a certain kind of encouraging.

He comes over so quickly and quietly, despite the big stupid boy-size of his boots, that he might not have bothered to acknowledge the intervening space between them at all. Reaches out, dusty hands forward, clasping the young woman's belly in two long, callused parentheses. Words come. Nothing that Delilah's Italian is good enough to decipher, but it sounds soothing, hastening, is punctuated by a kiss delivered onto his thumb, nudged onto the fabric of her blouse.

"I can not believe," is the veritable growl, not unlike Delilah's own Samson, "he is already upsetting my fucking child."

Delilah wants to be serious at such a moment, both tender and heartening in that Teo is ready to go biting and barking at whatever cuts too close. She has always found the best way to assauge pain to be laughter. She chuckles, dryly, her hand at her pelvis and the other gently finding wiry Sicilian wrist. "He knows when he's being talked about. Unfortunately he uses blunt force trauma to let me know." Dee lets out a breath through her nose, palm rubbing gently on the lower part of her stomach. "I think the heat has something to do with his moving around. The last couple days have mostly consisted of bathroom breaks and hugging pillows."

Blunt force trauma indeed- there is a very concise kick just a few moments after she massages her belly, a fluttery whump of movement under Teo's hand.

"Why aren't there any telepaths who specialize in babies?" Teodoro mumbles, brow furrowing. "They'd make a killing." His hands move, separate from the tiny flailing drumrolls coming from Delilah's belly, moving over to press the young woman gently toward the hole that he had been hanging macaque-like out of just a few minutes earlier. Steering to sit her there, with a mutter of suggestion or two. Here. Breathe. It doesn't smell bad in there, just of earth and darkness, cold age-scarred metal.

He has water, too. Pulls out the bottle from his bag, the beaten olive-green messenger thing that a dead soldier whose name he borrowed gave him for Christmas, once. "That would be a pretty good superpower," Teo mutters, unscrewing the cap from bottle with a clack-clack rowl of plastic on slickened plastic, holding the vessel up for the Englishwoman's hands. A weak joke. It is obvious that he is less in the hug the bad guys school of thought. "Knowing when you're being talked about."

She's in no mood to fuss over what he is fussing about; Delilah perches herself where he motions her to, already trying to get the rumbling she feels to stop again. Dee is able to feel it much more vividly, the kicking- at least whenever is apropos. She does, heartily, seem surprised at the degree of fire she's got inside today. Lots of stomp-stomp-stomping, it seems. "Thanks." The bottle is accepted and sipped from once she has settled into that sit. These few moments her own, the redhead waits for a good time to start again.

"I was going to ask, what should I do if he comes around again? "

Superior question. The phrase 'cut off its head and salt the bones' comes to mind, but that's neither appropriate nor particularly realistic, given Delilah's apparent state of vulnerability. Teodoro's eyes flicker this way, then that. His thinking face, and she knows him well enough to recognize that for what it is. Dark at the brow, restless at the fingertips. He breathes in, and then out again. "Be somewhere else," he decides, finally. "Gabriel would probably have some interest in seeing the man again, so if he could borrow your shape, that would probably be handy.

"He was involved in taking something valuable from us." It's on the tip of Teodoro's tongue to say more, but he doesn't. Can't? Won't. Raith asked him not to, and there has been a considerable amount of concerted effort toward burying those details while other people try to do constructive shit. "But if you see him anyway—" Yeah, Teo knows the type, too. He drops into a crouch, back to the wall.

"Try not to stay alone. And you can tell him his son knows his father. Stronzo doesn't really seem like the type to be volunteering parenting advice, does he?" he asks, after a moment, a humorless twist to his marred mouth.

"Yeah, right." Delilah snorts. He really didn't have a place to dole out advice, did he? She seems curious to know more, but generally if Teo doesn't want to share, it is either not important to her, or he just thinks she is better off not knowing. Whatever his reasoning, she defers to it most instances. Dee bites her tongue right now.

"Borrow my shape?" It is pretty easy to guess what that may entail. "Mimicry is easy, it might not so easy to actually pretend to be me, would it? I'm not usually alone, unless I'm at home and Else goes out. I have Samson though, if he counts." She takes another sip of water, feet wriggling at the floor. "When he asked about you I didn't say anything of note. On the off-chance he finds you- don't do anything too stupid, alright?" Just in case.

Teo? Do something 'too' 'stupid?' Surely not. He gives Delilah a long squint, the kind of humor one arranges around a situation that isn't at all to make it bearable. There's a slow smile, the next moment, the dim curve that a wave makes lapping up on untouched sand during the starker change of tide. "Yeah," he says, after a moment. "Non problema. I plan to be around for this smart one." He cocks his ragged head at her tummy. There are still flecks and faint threads of dust riddling his hair.

"I'll come by some time," Teo adds, after a slightly stilted pause, on a different register, something more innocent; less angry. Sadder, maybe. "Bring some pasta for you and your roommate. It just occurred to me I've never really met her."

"She's a riot. I'm sure you guys'll get along." Delilah says, with an assuring tone. Not that he seemed too worried. "I'd like that." She is notorious for visiting everyone she knows; it is not often that the gesture is reciprocated. "I'd love that a lot." Her feelings on the idea have cemented, and one hand reaches out to brush again at his hair. Boys, they get so covered in dirt! After, she closes his water bottle and passes it along.


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