Hung Up


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Scene Title Hung Up
Synopsis Teo is hung up on Leo who's hung up on the other Teo, and there is an understandable argument over the phone, which results in a different interpretation of that phrase—
Date June 30, 2009


Abby's digs, and Ghost being anywhere.

It's not far from midnight when the call comes in, splitting at the darkness of Abigail's Greenwich apartment with a ring of the land-line. The healer herself— is either abed or out; hard to tell with her, her classes and church work these days, their demands on her. Anyway it's a wrecking of the quiet, sudden and arguably unexpected given the hour illuminated on the wall's analog clock.


Leo is up. Sal has purged his record, given him a new lease on life. What Sal has not done is to get rid of the nightmares or the PTSD. So a sleepless Leo is up and nursing a cup of herbal tea. In the sense that slow tears one by one diluting the solution of honey and chamomile is nursing - he's snuffling to himself in the way men do when they don't dare sob aloud. The ringing of the phone startles him enough that he summarily flings the mug into the wall, where it shatters, splashing tea long the wall and counter. He swears to himself, and summons the phone to his hand, takes a deep, ragged breath and says in a fairapproximation of evenness, "Yes?"

"Ah," says the stranger. Not a syllable of revelation because he noticed something in a particular spike of cognition, but because he'd been halfway through greeting Abigail by name before noticing, retroactively, that the damp, male voice emerging over the cell— wasn't. There's a quirk of startled silence, short-lived, before the man inconveniently forgets to introduce himself. Concern knives up through the surface of his voice. "You a'right, love?"

"You have a wrong number," comes the Brooklynite growl over the line. "Or, if you're trying to reach Abby, she's not here, I can take a number," There's always that alchemy that transforms pain and shame into anger."

Familiar as the back of his hand. And even the new ones that Sonny had fitted onto Ghost's wrists look much like the old, give or take a few shades of skintone. Scars notching fingers, calluses rounding out the points of knuckles, heels of hands and the thicker parts of his palms. Oddly, the carapace of the cellphone bites through them anyway, when he tightens his hand with a few too many ounces of pressure.

"Nah. Well, maybe— kind of. Fuck it. It's me, Jess. It's Teo. Did—" he stalls in a brief silence, examining the high probability he's about to be hung up on from across the room. "Did something happen, or another rough night?"

There's a tight silence over the line, for a little. A handful of paper towels descend like little ghosts, mop up the mess he's made. "Teo," he says, distantly, like he's trying to remember why he should know that name. "What've you been doing? Killing cops, I mean….Jesus."

That isn't an answer— and there's an irritated intake of breath that indicates that Ghost knows it, too, but he falls too easily into the habit of not pushing it.

Either because Leo's questions are equally relevant, or because this is the way it has always been, or had, perhaps even to the indirect causation of a fatal trip to Columbia University, once upon a time. Some things, Alexander always insisted on doing alone. Anyway. Anyway, he always hates this part— it sounds ridiculous, but if you can't stand to be a little ridiculous around your lover, that doesn't say much for your love.


"I'm from the future." There's a quaver-beat's pause. "Cleared most of the tar off Deckard's name, finished the asshole who was about to get away with handing Abigail over to the Pancratium, got HomeSec looking closer at Humanis First!. One stone, couple birds."

"You're fucking my Teo's life over, you know that. Niceof you to come crusading, didn't think to ask him if he wanted to be the white steed, did you?" Leo's voice is utterly world-weary. "That conversation we had at the dispensary….you raped Sonny. For forty-eight hours straight. Who the fuck do you think you are?"

Then quiet, for a little bit. Ghost is either pushing a smile out of his voice because he's a sociopathic nutcase, or courting shame because he isn't. Maybe both. "I didn't touch Sonny. I haven't even punched him the fucking face, although trust me, it's been tempting.

"I think I'm Teodoro Laudani. A mere mortal and humble terrorist drudge. From the sounds of things, you should be a little past quarrelling who has the fucking right to commit what trespasses. I—" —am beinnnng an asshole, he realizes retroactively, and cuts short with a sharp, clicking meet of enamel between his jaws. "I'm sorry you're upset."

That's when there's the final click of the phone being hung up. Leo has apparently had enough of that particular conversation. Evening there, Mister Dial Tone.

Possibly paused, idk.

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