How Are You?


abby_icon.gif sonny_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title How Are You?
Synopsis Better and better, thank you very much for helping.
Date March 25, 2009

The Telecommunications World

Despite Teo's insistence that he's all right, that he doesn't need Abby, Sonny is unconvinced. He's a doctor. The wound is smelling funny and seeping things it shouldn't. So once the Italian's gone down for a nap, the doc gives a call to Abby's home number. If that doesn't work, he dials Old Lucy's.

Home number, old number. She's since moved, and her cell phone has long since been in Logan's possession therefore, a moot number. So at Old Lucy's is where Sonny gets ahold of the woman after someone else answers. "Abigail speaking, how can I help you" no trace of anxiety that he had heard before.

"Abby. It's Sonny Bianco." Like she knows other guys named Sonny. "Listen…" He glances over his shoulder to make sure that Teo isn't going to stir and catch him in the act. "…I was wondering if you could come over. Teo's got this strange arm injury. It looks almost…mummified. He says it's healing, but I'm worried it's going septic. I doubt I could drag him to the hospital."

You never know if she does or not, but she matches the voice to the name. On her end, she's scrubbing the heel of her palm against her eye as a weary sigh traverses the telephone line that separates them. "How long Sonny, has he been like this? And where are you?" It's a given that she'll come.

"He wouldn't ask you. And I wouldn't be asking either if I wasn't worried that he might lose chunks of his arm or worse if it's not taken care of." Sonny's voice is tight. He's not asking this lightly. And he's certainly not going behind Teo's back without realizing the consequences. You do stupid shit when you care about someone. A deep breath. "About a week? A little more?"

"Someone should have called me sooner. Blankety BLANK, I'm told not to heal. Not that I can't. Not when SCOUT is calling on me to save peter pan and …" Abby bites back the misdirected anger in her voice, dialing it back. It's not Sonny's fault, and if Sonny wasn't calling her now she wouldn't even know unless it got better on it's own or they were calling her to regrow his arm back. "I'm sorry sonny, I shouldn't yell at you" Not that she was actually yelling. "Where are you."

Sonny pulls the receiver away from his ear at the anger. Not that she's yelling, but. "Abby. I'm sorry. I can do a lot for him. But you know Teo. I don't know how I'd get him to the hospital short of sedating him and carrying him there. But he'll listen to you. Even if you can't heal him. Maybe you can help him realize it's a serious injury." A beat, then he gives the address of the safehouse.

"Sticks his feet and head in the ground cause he's afraid of asking for what I give freely to him." The phone is taken with her, Abby grabbing her jacket and purse, everything she needs. "Need me to stop somewhere and pick up food or coffee?" Sonny would do alot for him and WOULD quite possibly sedate him. Though Teo would be spitting mad when he woke up and likely, there would end that relationship.

"Don't tell him I'm coming. He'll just run," is groused from the blonde. "I should be there in twenty, maybe a little more, traffic" With that, she hangs up after a polite and southern goodbye. Help is on the way, and likely an ass-kicking.

Sonny looks at the phone a moment, then hangs it up. He sighs and heads out into the safehouse kitchen to put some coffee on. Teo's going to kill him.

Tribeca — Safehouse Apartment

True to her word, 20 plus minutes pass by, enough time for the coffee to have been brewed, probably devoured five times over, and Abby to take her scooter at the safest possible and legal speed. But she's there, opening the door to the safehouse and entering. She's known, heck most of the safehouses have been visited by her at some point. She's smart though, declining to call out Sonny's name, just greet the proprietor of the place and set about the first level to find Sonny or stumble across Teo. The former is who she finds.

"Hi, Abby." Sonny looks a little bedraggled, in clothes that don't really seem to suit him. Brown slacks and a patterned shirt. Suits Connor Kinney just fine, which is who he looks like coming and going from this place. "He's still asleep. You want some coffee?"

Fortunately, a series of nights practically sleepless— despite the good Doctor's best efforts to medicate and fuck the agony out of him— trap Teodoro under the weight of sleep solidly. The ambush operation is not going to suffer at this stage, at least. The Sicilian is a heap of short, rumpled hair, and equally rumpled T-shirt and track pants on the bed.

The linens were stripped off his arm before he went to sleep, which might have been part of the conspiracy or not; the explanation had made sense to him anyway, something about the injuries needed 'breathe.' The limb in question is laying over his ribs.

It is laddered with moist and twisted scabs where desiccated skin had finished dying and come off in layers, eroded away by fresh material as muscle reconfigured itself with the subtle chemistries of strength and life. His veins show purple for the most part, merging into green further up his bicep. The only flaking, ashen gray that remains is on the very tips of his fingers, ridged now by the nubs of new fingernails emerging from the pitted cuticles of old.

Smells funny, too. Hilarious.

As healing goes, it's going well; it looks like it's dying, but it had looked dead before, a dichotomy that presented Teo with no shortage of morbid fascination. One mild infection, new nerves growing in. Though his lips are open, he breathes without a sound. His other hand is curled up under his cheek, rough calluses against rough stubble, a glimpse of bare toes twitching around the corner of the bedroom doorway.

"Not supposed to have coffee right now. Mess with me" Abby taps her forefinger against the side of her head. "Maybe in another week." She's less jittery than she was before and the lack of clone boy following her means that maybe he's got a break, or he wasn't there at the bar with her. Still thin, but it's coming along. She's still coming along. "If there's some orange juice, if not, you should probably take me to him" Off she peels her jacket, in her own usual clothing. "Kick his rear to hell and back."

Sonny nods to Abby and moves towards the fridge. He pulls out a small carton with the straw attached, then hands it to her. "He's there. I…didn't tell him that you're coming." He bites the edge of his lip, then looks away. "Dunno how he's gonna react."

He walks ahead of Abby and pushes open the door. Gently, he murmurs, "Hey, Tay? Tay, wake up. Abby's here."

At first, there is no response. Most people instantly regress to cranky tot mode when they're interrupted from some direly needed sleep, and Teodoro is unexceptional in this and other ways. Obtusely threatening, his toes scissor at the foot of the bed. His eyelids twitch, tighten, shadows creasing into them. Stubborn refusal. No, no. He absolutely refuses: he isn't going to wake u—


A single lucent blue eye pops open and he pushes upright with a halting jack-knife motion of his right arm. He sees Abby. He looks at his arm next, though his vision leaves watercolor-blurred tracks in the arc of motion. Back up at Abby. He means to say, 'Cazzarola, Salvatore,' but what comes out instead of a crooked stack of syllables.

"Good gracious Lord Teodoro Laudani. I can smell it from here. Were you waiting for it to fall off?" She's used to how he wakes up. She's seen it a few times in the short span of time that they lived in the same abode. She much the same way when she's waking up. Refusal to accept the morning until she's got a couple cups of coffee in her. She's beside Sonny, arms crossed, one hip jutted towards the door and a.. well it's not exactly angry, more disappointment. "There's no excuse for that…" She gestures with her own perfectly fine arms, though a little bony still, towards his arm. "… and you darned well know it. Do I need to get a flowerpot?" Sonny won't know the reference, but Teo would.

Sonny stands in the doorway. He rubs the bridge of his nose. Yes, he's going to pay for this. His jaw twitches and he casts an apologetic look past the healer to the man on the bed. "I had no choice, Tay. You wouldn't go to the hospital. There's nothing else I can do to help it." Besides. He needs to be healthy for the raid. The odds are stacked enough without Teo down one arm.

Good gracious Lord Teodoro Laudani is more angry than disappointed, however. Probably just not thinking clearly. Not that that's singularly unusual for him or anything, but truer now than it is normally. His eyes go dark under the granite hew of his brow. "Neither of you fucking know.

"It's getting better." That mutter has real syllables in it. He tumbles off the edge of the bed, hits the floor lopsided but on both feet. Passing the heel of his other hand over his eyes doesn't do a lot to clear his vision, but it helps a little; the healing one hangs lankly, the only strength he gives it donated toward keeping it from touching his side.

He'd turned a few times before falling asleep: the golden crucifix he normally hangs around his neck is rucked out on top of his shirt for once, thin chain corkscrewed. His other pendant remains inside. "You're supposed to be taking a break!"

"Then tell that to Isabelle before she fried up Officer Baxter and Elisabeth before being taken into homeland custody and leaving us with the bar. Then while your at it, have a conversation with Elisabeth again about getting shot before that. How about Ivanov about getting shot too? Then we'll tack on Victor when he took on Sylar. I'd take a break but it seems God doesn't want me to take a break. I'd probably be fatter than a pig right now." In from the doorway the blonde starts to make her way, hands on hip. "And that doesn't look like healing from here. It looks like it's infected and gonna fall off. Will you at least let me look at it, Teo?"

She rounds the bed, hoping that he won't flee as she comes to sit on the end of the sleeping platform. "It'll make me feel better Teo. I don't.. I don't like knowing your hurt, seeing you hurt, and i'm fine, it will be nothing, I promise. Just a drop in the hat and Sonny's here. If he thinks I can't handle it, he can stop me" Her tone's gone softer, opting for a different tact since browbeating didn't seem to have an effect. Her palm comes out, facing upwards and extended to him. "I came all the way out here, just for you. Which means that I probably had other things to do and sooner I fix you up, the sooner I can get back to doing them. Just a little?"

Sonny is really starting to wonder if he made a mistake in bringing Abby here. He rubs a palm over his face and scruffs up through the mess of curls. All he can manage is a rather pitiful murmur of, "You've got other things to think about without worrying about bandages or whether your finger will fall off." He flares his nostrils. "If you'll go to the hospital, then Abby doesn't have to help you." But the hospital means questions. And lectures. And tests.

Bare feet plunk the floor in a stolid rhythm headed toward the door, despite that there is a neurotic metamorph in it and a healer on Teo's other side, holding out her small beseeching hands toward him. He feels bad, mind you. That's not exactly new.

His temper is tearing at his nerves like a file on metal, and the noise it makes is worse for his thinning patience. "Mi dispiace, bella, but I'm not the same kind of asshole as Ivanov, Baxter or whoever the fuck else. I don't have a day job or an egocentric ignorance about what you went through on Staten Island," which is to say, he remembers. After Deckard left the safehouse, the other week— "I have time.

"My fingers aren't going to fucking fall off: the person who did this knew what he was doing." Despite the considerable vehemence with which Teo blares out these words, he finds himself incapable of looking up at Abigail. Guilt trip on a Catholic is a little like bringing a cricket bat to open up a particularly small tangerine. It gets the job done, but it doesn't exactly get the job done.

Lacking the mental or physical coordination to abscond out of a window this time, he's aiming for a cold bathroom to lock himself in. He's terribly mature that way.

He's walking off. There's a soft sigh from the blonde. "They asked Teo. I could have said no. It's not like… there" There. That place on the island that still rips her from slumber at night. She can see the direction he's steering towards and there's a motion for Sonny to close the door. Block off all the exits. She's not going to flower pot him, but eventually, the mountain will wear down the mountain. "The sooner I do it, the sooner I'll leave you alone. God only knows, I owe it enough to you. Or I'd still be in that … cage. Please, Teo, just let me do it. You cna make sonny cart me off and tuck me into bed and be all…. doctor, if your worried about me taxing myself, but just let me do it"

"Tay…" Sonny walks into Teo's path and reaches out to set a pair of imploring hands on either shoulder. He doesn't really mean to do it, but he's giving the other a pretty good kicked puppy face. "I'm sorry. Please. I know what you have to do. You need to be healthy." He glances to Abby. "I'll take care of her. I promise. Maybe I can find out just what's making her weak." He addresses Abby now. "If I can find out what it does to your body when you heal, then I can design a special diet that will help you recover faster. Supplements too. That sort of thing."

The plan he's suddenly come up with takes a moment to formulate. "I'll take her right from here to the clinic and draw blood, run a few tests. In order for me to get the data, she'd have to wear herself out anyway. Why not do it and help you at the same time?"

Before Teo can experimentally sidle to the left and navigate around Sonny, he's trapped by hands and a set of ludicrously large gemstone eyes. It doesn't help that Abby's are burning into his back at the same time.

The worst, most unfair of all of it is how much it annoys him, unrelated to his martyrdom or masochistic streak, that his boyfriend is touching him in front of Abigail Beauchamp. He goes stiff like someone just flipped the switch to start a livewire current channeling through him. His jaw twitches. He is pretty sure if he looks at Sonny, he'll say or do something regrettably malicious, an altogether different kind of regrettable than he's ever let Abby see of him before.

"I'm going to make her weak," he states. In lieu of pointless, fuming curses, each word is delivered in a coil of razor wire, but it is acquiescence. There's no doubt of that. He turns toward the little Southern belle, one last glance at the bathroom.

"He took my tongue Teo, and I'm still standing here, I'm still going to work and I'm going to school and I'm seeing someone that Sonny sent me to for my.. head. I wouldn't think to call me weak. I'll let Sonny do whatever he want even… needles, if you'll just let help you. Please Teo. That's all I'm asking" Abigail's refusal to come close, to remain on the bed is more out of respect for the two. "It takes more out of me, Teo, because I'm not drinking 8 Red Bulls and 15 cups of coffee a day. I'm not drinking any coffee most of the time except when I'm at class. So.. it has nothing to do with how much your taking from me and everything to do with how I'm… doing it now. Just.. " Abby shakes her head, letting the words die on her lips. "Let him go Sonny. I'm not about to do it if he won't take it. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink."

Sonny is chickenshit. And he's also unwilling to force Teo further. He looks at Teo one last time, then breaks off both eye and physical contact. He walks out of the room and stalks towards the kitchen, hand to his forehead. He remains in the kitchen only for a moment, then grabs for his coat and moves quickly towards the patio door. It takes some effort, but he manages to tug it open and step out onto the balcony. Teo is not the only stubborn Italian in this apartment. In retrospect, he should have grabbed a pair of shoes.

Refusing to dignify his lover's departure with a look, Teo simply walks himself over to the girl on the edge of the bed. Some part of him is aware that he is being an asshole, and not the overdeveloped and constant guilt complex he carries around with him irrespective of actual causes, either. No, he did something this time. He knows it.

The tips of his fingers dangle in air over Abby's lap. They're gray, dry, too much so, no organic salt or oil cupped in their desiccated pores. The gradiant of reemerging health is obvious, going up his arm toward his shoulder; there's blood and feeling and strength the higher you go, even if it's marked off in increments of pus-dribbed scabs, pain, and knotted-stiff muscle tension.

"Are you feeling better?" he asks.

She's this close to not healing it when he dangles it in front of her face. That and really.. it's gross. Seriously Teo. She lifts her hands though, trapping his palm delicately between hers as she rattles off a prayer in her head. Something to do with the ocean and gods love being vast and but a vessel on the sea of his faith. Not that any of them could hear her. But Teo can feel it.

Her gaze goes to the other Italian, the one currently freezing his toes off. Yet her eyes still drift back to Teo, eyeing certain places where she knows the healing is going, and not just his arm. "As good as expected" The healthy patches widen a bit with her touch. "Good enough you could have called, Teo." It's soft gentle chiding. "Nightmares still. I get a few hours in at work, your boyfriend sent me to someone who's helping. Between Brian and Huruma, and Ivanov.. I'll make it."

Sometimes life is gross! That isn't Teo's fault. Except for the part where he handed his mitt over to a former serial killer willingly, but then again, it was either that or having Gabriel Gray stand over Abigail Beauchamp while she did her work on Eileen instead. Alternatively, a telekinetic stranglehold—

Oh, he doesn't know. There's no point in pretending you had a choice simply because commonplace logic would make everybody else think so.

The sensation of healing is immediate. Familiar. Welcome, in that it cuts through the pain like a wind through stale humidity. He blinks hard. Fair skin unspools over his arm, healthy with elasticity, support for arm hair and room for completing nervous circuitry. "I was going to be fine, or I would've called.

"I promise," stubborn conviction gives way to sheepish reassurance. Quiet now. His eyes flick to her face when she says those words— your boyfriend. "How are they?" he asks, blankly. "Brian, Huruma, Ivanov? Someone pointed out to me recently I haven't really been— around."

Your boyfriend, the plastic surgeon. The guy. There's no odd flickering of disapproval, just her saying it as if he's just that, Teo's boyfriend. She's an oddly tolerant woman at times, accepting. "I don't care if you were going to be fine, Teo. They need you. They need you in one piece. There's the rest of you too. So please, Teo, we both know you'd have had to been unconscious or bleeding from a knife in the belly before you would" What did he do? did he walk through a window? Slowly it creeps, little by little accelerating what healing was already being done, making the damaged brand new. "I can't go running willy-nilly to help you save the world, but I can do this." because she's on so many watchlists as it is. An ally to the vigilantes.

"Brian's good. He's got… a comfortable shoulder and while he says it doesn't bother him to watch over me when I'm sleeping and help with the nightmares, I'm pretty sure it does. Ivanov… is… taking my case and bumping it to the FBI since New York won't touch it with a eighty foot pole" It's a testament to her drugs, that she's not scowling at that. "Legal or illegally, he said he'd make them pay." Huruma though… She moves her hand, turning his so she can get a good look at it and satisfied with the rate, her fingers remain interlocked with his, despite what really really gross stuff is getting on it, and her other hand starts to touch here and there where she can see cuts, scrapes, a little more direct healing to make it all go away.

"Illegally's probably better," Teo admits, thickly. Bruised ribs soothe out, miniscule cuts and scabs knit closed again. "Or Muldoon and Logan will be dropping lawyers on us to ask you and me about about Flint Deckard. Ivanov already almost got him shipped off to the same shithole that our missing went to. Mind-wiped, no trial or anything. 'S for starters.

"'Legality' didn't have a lot to do with the artillery that wiped out their warehouse and gunned down their men either, eh? And I guess I have a few fucking secrets I hope Homeland Security doesn't get to find out about." His face goes tired. Jumped through a window. Got shot by light machine guns, mauled by a man missing an arm. Killed him. Sonny's mad or something, left without his shoes. Brian needs help. Deserves help. Isn't the only one.

Uncharacteristically passive, he lets her prod around under the thin fabric of his shirt. He looks at the intersection of their hands. Even fully repaired, hers is the more beautiful, easily, him with his fat man-veins and knobby joints. "I think we're through saving the world."

Piano fingers, long, slender. All the more better to grasp at people and heal them with instead of tickling ivories. There's still that thin scar across her palm that they both know where it came from and why she doesn't get rid of it yet. Little nicks and such that she doesn't usually bother to expend energy to heal. Her cornflower blue eyes though, look up at the surmising of what Muldoon and Logan might do with regards to lawyers. "It won't get anywhere. They're on Staten Island. No one cares what happened, and those who do, are powerless to do anything about them" She's long since gotten an education in real life and not the imaginary one she existed in before she met them all.

The hand under his shirt rests there, cupping the side of his ribcage, a little cool to touch since she wasn't the one under the covers. "How are you doing? Don't.. don't tell me anything about phoenix, I can't know. I don't want to know. Just.. how are .. you"

That's hard to explain, but when he oversimplifies the answer at first it's just because of rote: "'M fine." Rote is rude, though. Teo knows that. After everything they've been through together, the least he can do is to contribute actual cognitive effort to an honest answer, or the best facsimile thereof. Squinty, he thinks hard about it. His thoughts are still furred by sleep and possibly stress.

Whatever complaints he is about to manifest, however, he hasn't lost overmuch weight though, fortunate and apparent enough to the inspection of Abigail's dove-necked hands. Distribution of muscle and fat intact, though never enough to keep him sufficiently armored from the weather. In lieu of singing keys, his rib spars fit her fingers. "Tired. Keep wondering what Hel would do 'f she was here instead.

"I've been angry a lot, but just because of…" There's a bob of the healing arm strung out between them, a wince of rue rather than of pain. He doesn't like to think that his personality is so easily influenced by physical discomfort, though some things have less to do with strength of character. "I'm pretty sure I'm okay. Simple guy with a complicated job.

"I think I'm lucky I don't need much to keep me happy." Teo offers a fragmented half a smile, searching her face with his eyes. The pain is gone now: she can stop— if she's ready—

There's no cessation, not till there's nothing left for her to heal, to make whole. Every square inch of him repaired. Sonny needs her worn out, and she intends to let him do what he promised Teo he'd do. Because it'll make Teo happy. Ergo, it'll make Sonny happy. "You never do. Good food, warm clothes and your health. That's all you need. Your friends." Her eyes drop, looking for anything else that's wrong, but they come back up soon enough once again.

"You need to apologize to him Teo. He loves you. He called you because he loves you. Because it's something he can do for you and I'm sorry I got angry with you, but… I know what I can do, I know what my limits are." The weariness that's so ever present after a mass healing is there. She'll be drowsy when all is said and done, but not falling down unable to support herself, unconscious in Teo's arms like he's had in the past. The him in question gets a glance through the window to the balcony, Sonny pouting. "You're worth pressing my limits Teo. Do you understand that? I'd wade through fire to pull you out and I'd heal your rear back five times over. You and that man sulking on the balcony."

Though Teodoro could pull away, he doesn't. It's either greedy or deference to the reasoning and sympathy she has given him in so many sad eyes and sweet words. Probably not both. Both is cheating. You're either good or bad, your actions inspired by either virtue or sin. Catholicism predisposes him to think in terms of stark dichotomies, 'either or.' The necessity of making decisions means no cop-outs.

He holds her hand.

"Si." He ducks his head, kind of like nodding and a little bit like studying one's toes in steadfast woe. He understands.

She'd wade through fire for him and Salvatore. However unwise that seems, well— he wouldn't be one to invoke that either. Also, he's a self-absorbed asshole. "I understand." Both things. The sunlight out of Sonny's window refracts off the striated white-blue of his iris when he glances backward, then back at her. You'd think he'd be better at this, having had so much practice: "I'm sorry."

"Oh, Teo." It's mournful, sad, quietly spoken as she pulls her hand down and away from his ribs so she was wrap her arms about him and pull him close. Cheek pressed to the stubble behind his ear, cradling him much like Brian does her at night after she's woken. "I know you are. You never have to say it. Your a big walking ball of sorry, you say it more than me. You'll be okay, everything will be okay, it all works out. In the end, it always does."

God handles it, right? Yeah. His endless Kingdom, righteous light, plan of limitless intricacies and infallible justice. Teo remembers that part. Being held by Abigail is somewhat less familiar to him, but it's not alien, either, and astoundingly comfortable for it. She's pretty good at this, having had only a little practice. Impressive learning curve.

Teo is careful with folding his arms around her, the way he's always wont to be. "Have to say it to Sonny." The words are a rumble, felt as much as heard. "Can't hear it otherwise. Not like you." A rough fingertip daubs her earlobe, a weary intimation of chiding right back at her. As prone as he is to thinking poorly of himself, she as often thinks well of others. People only change so much.

"Of course you have to say it to him, if you didn't I would gut you right here" One second, two, three then four and finally she lets him go, back to non touchy non contact Abby unless your needing her ability. "He could stay out there five more minutes, so that I have something else to heal and be even more worn, and he can poke and prod me" there's a baleful glance out to the Italian popsicle. "I'm going to have to let him poke me with a needle, won't I? Just to make you happy"

Simple guy, complicated job, doesn't require much to make him happy. The lopsided grin that splits Teo's cheek does, however, indicate that a full battery of blood tests, a physical, and whatever ridiculous dietary supplement plan that Salvatore had been prepared to inscribe in great and elaborate detail. Sonny is good at what he does, just as Abigail is. Healers.

"I like being happy, thank you," he says, ceding her her space with a shuffled half-step backward. There is probably somewhere out there who would deny the strict or consistent factuality of his response, but at least it isn't any kind of deliberate lie. Teo straightens his T-shirt with a tug of rough fingers, looks over his shoulder again.

Annoyingly, Teo's primary association with a balcony scene comes from the Bard. A bad thing: no happy endings.

He sniffs, scrubbing his nose with the heel of his hand because he is classy that way. "What do you th… uhhh. About…" Teo's face goes blank. Though she has carefully withheld judgment regarding Salvatore— and Alexander— and Fel— well, you know, he still balks at it. Reddening.

She hates needles. He knows that. What however does she think about Salvatore out there on the balcony. Her gaze swivels out to the dark haired handsome man. "You're good for him, and he for you. I don't know, if it's a permanent thing but… what I've seen…" That he calls her up to drag her down here for him, that he did what he did, in the hospital when he wouldn't have frankly done it for anyone else, at least not to the degree that he did. "I think you need to fight for what you want, and if he's worth it, then… you have to fight for him. That means not straying, and not lusting after others. That means…" Abby who's never even dated and only over kissed in earnestness and not thankfulness two people. "It means that I'm the wrong person to ask. Right now, my boyfriend is God. But I see you look at him and I see him talk about you. And… you look a little less hurt, and you looked relaxed in this bed when he brought me in here. I've never… Teo, seen you like this."

Teo had kind of preferred in that way. The ill-tempered, cheating, duped and circumvented version of himself is the one that he prefers Abigail not to know about. He'd be better off asexual, loyal, efficient, and master of an immaculate vocabulary. Bore everybody to tears, Sonny likely most of all—

"Unnh," he says, by way of acknowledgment. He rubs his hands on his face. They're rough, notched with infinitessimal scars, round thick calluses and the disrupted grain of other abrasions. Better than having a pulpy, suppurating healing thing dangling out of the socket of his shoulder, granted. It does nothing to make his face stop blushing. Symptom of being Italian, or so would be his excuse, except Lucrezia rarely has that problem. "Thank you."

He isn't merely repeating himself. He smiles at her a little, motions gallantly for her to sit down and enjoy her citrus beverage. "I'll go get him."

"And I'll get rid of my bullet scars and whatever else I can so that he'll get what he wants from me. You din't wear me out as much as you thought," but wore her out enough. "You should be happy she has me on pills, Teo. Or I think I'd have been healing you a new rear." She was that angry when she saw his arm. But she's shooing him and the OJ gathered so she can stab it with the straw and sip while she sets about to wearing herself out more for Sonny and his evitable poking and prodding.

Tribeca — Safehouse Patio

Sonny is on the balcony. It's cold, especially a few floors up. He's got himself snugged up in a down jacket, but his toes are curled under and shoved beneath a tarp. He stares out across the early spring cityscape of New York, gaze distant, shoulders rounded.

The door had kind of stuck when Sonny pried it open to get out here, and it isn't a quiet undertaking when Teo does same in order to follow. Rusted hinges squeak, weather-swollen wood scraping out of a frame that no longer fits. He comes out. He has no shoes on, either, but he's carrying Salvatore's hooked in a forefinger and middle.

Crossing the brief stretch of tile, he quibbles momentarily at the notion of putting his arms around the other man and hiding his nose in the stiff starch of Sonny's collar, but Abby feels to near. Instead, Teo stops beside him, halts against the railing. The older man's footwear dangles out into mid-air.

"I'm sorry I got mad."

Sonny looks from the cityscape up to Teo, then at his shoes. "Nfh. I ambushed you. But there wasn't any other way." He digs his hands further into his pockets. He exhales a cloudy breath. "After…I heard your plan for Moab, I couldn't let you go in there with one good arm. I knew you wouldn't listen to me, but you might give in to her." He nods back towards the apartment.

One foot is tugged up to tuck under his leg. "How is it? Did you let her heal you?"

"Your toes are going to drop off." Teo holds out the shoes. With his left hand, which shows intact, skin returned to its normal color, scarred knuckles and callused finger-pads, strength enough in the arm behind. "I'dve gone to her before I went to Moab," he insists, quietly. He's far too practical for that. "I did. She's cleaning up now, getting ready to go to the hospital. Getting rid of some scars. She was keeping one or two of them as penance for January.

"Christians," Teo explains, wryly. "We do that sometimes." The toes of that footwear bump into Sonny's elbow.

"Well, you can't blame me for thinking you needed to be held down and forced to take your medicine," says Sonny in a wry tone. He reaches up to take the shoes and then slides his feet into them. He stands and looks Teo in the eye. "You know she knows about us. So why did you flinch when I touched you? It's not like I stuck my tongue down your throat."

Guilt darts over Teo's features like the winged shadow of a drive-by passerine: an uncharacteristically furtive species of guilt. He almost breaks their gaze. Doesn't, through some supreme effort of will.

"I'm not sure." As words go, that answer is almost voiceless. "Habit? I wasn't very nice to fags when I was little. Abigail doesn't judge me, but I'd be more of an asshole if I never did, but…

"I don't always get things right." His smoothed fingers curve on top of the corrugated iron of the railing, and his toes splay on the balcony floor below. What started out as an ordinary, automatic eye-blink aborts into looking at the tiled space under his toes. "I'm sorry for that, too."

Sonny's face breaks into a small smile. It's a rather sad expression. "We…do fight a lot, don't we?" He rubs at his chin and hunches his shoulders. The time on the balcony has chilled him right through. "I won't do anything obvious when it's not just you and me. I promise you that. But if I pat your shoulder, no one's going to guess. All right? Just…don't fucking twitch when I touch you, okay? Going to give me a complex."

He glances back to the apartment. "I should get her to the clinic before she passes out. I do think I can help her. All I have to do is find out what exactly gets depleted when she heals."

"Okay. I'll watch myself. I'm sorry." Teo's always sorry, but it isn't merely inertia that pushes him into doing so now. He follows the other man's line of sight back through the windows.

Abby's head is lowered, the top of it showing yellow through the dim screen of reflected neighborhood and differing lighting. It is cold out here. He probably should have brought shoes too. Would have, if he thought he was going to stay for any length of time. Reassurances fall out of him fretful, neurotic, frail and timidly slow as the growth of a winter window frost pattern or its melting. "We're like that metaphor, that's all. Bickering like— you know."

Sonny chuckles. The sound is actually rather warm. "Yeah, well. I don't think old married couples fight about the kinds of things we do." He heads towards the patio door and reaches out for it. He pauses. "I'm sorry for the guilt-trip. Really. I shoulda talked to you about calling her. But she knows her own limits. And, she cares about you."

He pushes open the door and inhales the warm air. "I'll be an hour or two. I'll drive her home after the tests."

Nobody fights about the kinds of things they do. Or maybe everyone does, after a fashion. Seizing on the lopsided whimsy of this notion and a sudden desperation that stabs perpendicular to comfortable reticence, Teo trundles forward on audaciously naked feet. "I disagree. 'You're working too hard, honey.' 'Why do you always have to do everything by yourself?'

"'Why can't we stop for directions?' 'Damn your pride and see a doctor.'" He hooks two arms around Sonny's waist, both restored to their a perfect state of health and symmetry, fingers linking to complete the rough shape of a lighter flame. Loose, though the leaning weight of his chest against Sonny's back isn't. He peeks querulously into the peripheral of the older man's vision. "And then the strained smiles and insisting, 'I'm not mad, sweetheart, it's not that I'm mad.'"

Sonny groans softly as he realizes the perfect logic in Teo's words. He exhales and leans back against the Italian, greedy for the warmth he always seems to toss off. "That makes me the nagging wife in this scenario, doesn't it?" The words are flat, dry, but also amused. "With my hair up in curlers."

He glances sidelong at Teo. Yes. Like he needs curlers. If his hair was any curlier it'd be a brillo pad. He rests a freezing cold hand atop the folded hands around his waist. "This is what happens when you double up on the testosterone in a relationship." And from the sly half-smile and the fond look in his eye, that's just the way he likes it.

It is sentimental but it is also kind of depressing, that the one thing that Teodoro has really learned from his year with PARIAH and Phoenix is that, ultimately, they're all human. He learned this making car bombs, spraypainting walls, teaching the yellow-eyed children of fugitives, and lazing around with limbs interpolated with the Mayor Bianco's mutant son in secrecy. Flawed species, really.

Evolution can't help that much, and God won't. Teo tightens his arms. Wills warmth through the chilled layers of disparate clothing and the separation of their skins and cells. He kisses Sonny's curls. Abigail has a look on her face, but he can't tell what, exactly, from here; she's trying to be discreet.

"G'wan." He unlaces his fingers. "We should do something for dinner before I work tonight." Meeting Sylar, coincidentally, but that's elaboration for later if at all.

If Sonny knew Teo was going to meet Sylar, he'd probably tie him to a chair. And not in the good way. "Mmm. Feel like cooking or ordering in? I'll call just as I'm leaving the clinic so you'll have time." He glances through the window towards Abigail too. If it wasn't so damn cold out, his cheeks would be turning a little red.

He turns to face Teo and looks him in the eye for a long moment. Well. At least their fights are short. It's the emotional equivalent of throwing a punch and getting it out of their systems. It helps that Sonny doesn't like holding grudges, doesn't like being angry. He lifts a cold hand and pats Teo's cheek, like he used to do back when they were just a pair of flirts. "I'll be back soon." He reaches back and pushes open the patio door, then steps into the welcoming warmth of the apartment. "Abby? You ready?"


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