I'm Just The One That Makes You Think Of The One


leonard_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title I'm Just The One Who Makes You Think Of The One
Synopsis Bitter and sweet in two parts.
Date October 1, 2009

Old Lucy's — Rooftop

It is completely weird to hear someone fingerpicking Pachelbel's Canon in D on a steelstring acoustic guitar. But that is what drifts down from the rooftop - Leo's up there in sweater and jeans and fingerless gloves, patiently working on it from memory. There are missed notes, hesitation, but it's still sweet on the chill autumn air.

It's that dozing hour of the evening, between dinner and sex. Teo comes up the stairs on a jogging clop-clop-scuff of shoes, interrupting but only hesitantly: he slows when he hears the music through his own ears, though he wouldn't be up here if he hadn't ghosted a few strains through the telekinetic's own senses from the ground.

He's wearing a jacket, black canvas, the hood of his sweater hanging out over it in characteristically scruffy, starved-collegiate style. Jeans, hiking shoes, already worn despite the deliberate absence of hilly forest area. A little pale, worn: a few days' absences from Leonard's company tends to produce him in such a mood, though the order of causation between those two conditions is rarely clear. He doesn't say anything when he sees Leo. He does get himself over there, though. Sits himself down on the half the bench behind Leonard, and stuff cold fingers into the vet's pockets, discreet but insistent.

If only. Sex would be nice. Leo stills the strings by gently laying a palm on them - not necessary, but courteous. HE sets aside the guitar, leans his head back on Teo's shoulder, expels one of those canine sighs of contentment. He smells of incense, same as always. "Hey, darlin', where you been?" he wonders.

The bulk of Leonard's companionable lean is a welcome burden, folded up neat and edges fitted, clever as origami. Teo puts his nose up against the faint depression below Leo's temple, next to his eye, snips a kiss off on the incline of his cheek. "Ferry work. Thinking.

"Kind of a shitty mood, but that's to be expected, eh?" Teo's knuckles peak inside the fabric of somebody else's pockets, thumbs rubbing into the cleft of his own palm, greedy for secondhand body heat. There's a half-smile half-concealed in the black nap on Leo's scalp. Its origin is 'darlin' though you couldn't tell that just from looking at him. "I'm going away this weekend with Hana. Then maybe again at the end of the month."

There's a considering hint of tension in Leo's body. "I would like," he says, very mildly, striving to keep petulance or demand from his voice, "To start going along with you again. I do have steady work, but not that much. Don't keep me at home like I'm the little wife, even if I am always the bottom." No note of complaint in his voice, either at the inequity of hierarchy or the general imposed chastity.

There's a figmentary surprise on his at this, after the tension in the telekinetic's body has resolved itself into request. Demand. -Ish. -Ness.

Teo's hands go still and he fetches a look over at the other man's face, but the configuration of their bodies does not lend itself easily to eye-contact. "The stuff I'm talking about isn't really what you think it is. Sometimes I do stuff with Eileen and the ex-Vanguard remnant. Or John Logan. Side-projects, fostering cover. This weekend's Hana stuff, the end of the month— I'm taking for just me. But I mean, in general—

"I don't ask you what Phoenix is doing anymore," he points out, his voice gone slightly odd with something that isn't defensiveness, precisely, but weary acknowledgment of how separate their respective sphres have become.

"I know. I wish you did. And that's okay. I trust you. I trust your judgement. If you think you need to work with them, then I won't monkeywrench that. You're leaving me, Teo. I don't want that," Leo says, turning hipshot on the bench to face Teo.

In the dark, it's harder to tell that Teo's face is going back to its normal fair hue from the momentary daub brush stroke of blush red that the bit about bottomming (or, the implied corollary to that: nothinnnng) had elicited. He makes room with his arm for Leo to turn around.

Looks at the concrete past Leo's knees for a long moment. "Okay," he says, hedging slightly behind a single word's acquiescence. "Phoenix— is okay? I know we didn't lose any since the church burning and Suresh Center, member count is up a little. Things going too well? Does it really feel like a kitchen in there?" He's teasing, slightly, half-hearted though his intentions are good.

Leonard's jaw clenches, the black brows draw down. Anger is even more natural to this face….Sonny took some of Alex's old porcelain reserve when he created Leo. "Phoenix is okay," he saysa, very quietly. "The acts at the church and the center were perversely good press for us. Humanis First has made clear who the real monsters are. Teo, that wasn't an answer."

"Hana's thing is Hana's business; I'm her guest and I have no business bringing anybody else in." Teo takes his arm back, puts his fingers into the lining of his jacket and pulls out two linked segments like tube, condensation slick on the plastic surfaces and icy white packed inside. He swings it end over end between callused digits, a moment, before laying it down on the bench between them. "End of the month, I need to get away or I'll fucking explode. I started a fight with Deckard the other night. I never start fights with Deckard.

Leonard looks down to the thing on the seat, still scowling, though puzzlement has begun to replace anger. He lifts it up, with power rather than hands. "I understand that, Teo. I'm not saying right this minute. But when you make your future plans, include me." Not a request. So much for southern manners. "What'd you fight about with Deckard? Is he treating Abby bad?" There's that griffin's glare again.

There's a reach, careful, into the air. Teo closes his grip around the tube nearest him, flicks a gesture with his brows: hold steady. There's a neat wrench, a little torque of force, and the two snap into equal halves, the broken ends open now. "Ma tiu in Cantonese, freezepop in English. Great gay joke also," he concludes wryly, swinging his leg over the corner of the bench, seating himself next to Leonard this time. "You bite and suck the white stuff out. Coconut flavor, I think." He demonstrates first, locking his canines around the end, a grin flashed crooked: husband placates wife. The expression fades with a glance across the rooftop. "Asked him to heal Ivanov."

"God, you're infuriating," Leo says, with evident disgust. But he takes the pop, chomps off a wolfish bite and chews experimentally. "What's going on with you? You sleep next to me, but you don't say a damn thing, now. It's like you think I'm retarded."

A knot of consternation pushes into Teo's brow, and he glances at the youn— ol— other man with a protracted moment's confusion, unsure of whether that's supposed to warrant fretful reassurance— I don't think you're retarded, you're smart, I'm sorry that I— or a clip of defensive temper.

In the end, neither wins out. He gnaws on frozen sugar. Whoever made it didn't put too much syrup in it; it's a good clean mix, even half-melted after its stash inside Teo's clothes. "I explained the cold desserts," he points out, at length. "I told you about Deckard and Ivanov, and I'll bring you if another job comes up where it's logistically feasible." 'Logistically feasible.' It is the kind of verbiage that Ghost used out of long habit and experience, without thinking or ulterior motive, and the kind of language that younger Teo had once retreated into when he was avoiding something else. Now, Teo could mean anything by it, or not at all. "I asked you about Phoenix. What else is there?"

Leonard pushes Teo. With his free hand, not his power. In playful irritation, and he follows it by hitching himself over so he's hip to hip with the Sicilian. Who promptly gets a chilled and sugar-syruped kiss.

Fffslfskg Teo is being pushed. He rebounds from the shove of Leonard's hand with a ragged, slight moue of huffy incredulity on his face, pushing his shoulder back up into its original configuration with a grumbled whawasthatfor ready for launch. The words wind up stuffed back into his mouth by the kiss that Leonard sets on him. That's nice, if 'nice' is the word you'd use to describe snogging your sweetheart on the first day of October on a rooftop with sucrose breath. He had left that off the list, admittedly. Not that you have to be really smart to kiss.

Maybe he just wanted his lips warmed up. That seems to be the order ofthe day, for now. It's slow and deliberate, as Leo slips an arm around Teo, draws him close. No, you don't have to be, happily.

By now, proximity — and the other kinds of intimacy are acceptable within the parameters of their relationship in its current incarnation. Arm around, pull close. Teo's half of the smooch bends slightly around the inadvertent tug of a laugh, suppressed, though it squeaks a small, brief wet seal pop out from between them anyway. He winds up with an arm up around Leonard's shoulders, the big white point of his nose bent warm into the other man's cheek. The ma tiu's plastic tubing juts half-empty in one hand.

It's not the sort of kiss that's supposed to necessarily demand immediate and passionate reciprocation. More like he's simply enjoying it, than using it as a prologue to more vigorous activity. It's been a long, long time.

Mind you, reciprocation there is. Not the chemically combusting ardor with which Teo used to grab, shove, map out the walls inside Leo's mouth with his tongue and breathe an imploding ache of appetite down his shirt collar, but he enjoys it too. It's one way to be close, and a language that seems to suffer less for the encumbrance of translation and personal differences. It solves nothing, and there are problems, but sometimes problem-solving is a lot to ask. So Teo kisses, which is like giving back anyway. Little pushes, rhythm sought and found, easing the insults of difficult circumstance and cooling weather with company.

It ends with a last sigh, and Leo's head on his shoulder. He's abruptly limp, silent, eyes closed. "Why don't you want me anymore?" he wonders, suddenly plaintive. "Is it this Fed?"

The side of Teo's head bundles itself neatly against the top of Leonard's head, comfortably pillowing one overgrown buzzcut against the bristly fluff of the other, blond threads fraying ragged into Leonard's black. This way, Leo doesn't see it when Teo's face changes, at that question, uncertainty etching different lines into the edges of his eyes, an incipient frown notched in around his mouth. "No. I d'no. I'm broken, I think. Bad memories, brain trauma. I mean, I think about it sometimes— I know that's the normal— the… that's what we'd do.

"When I can't sleep, I end up going around and round in my head about that and other things. Getting it up, getting angry, things outside the little hamster ball of wet operations and grocery shopping I live in. Seems like there's only two ways I know how to go about those things anymore: either don't think about them at all, or overthink it and get crazy. I've opted to stay sane. If it's really a problem…" His fingers spasm, shut then reopen, an insect belly-up and dying its death in cold air. He reaches up, curls his index under Leonard's chin.

Well, he can hardly blame him for that, can he? Not at all. Leo relaxes a little at that answer. Nice to know it isn't merely that Teo's carrying a torch for a cop dying by inches in a hospital room. "No," he says, quietly. "Not really. I'm just greedy, I guess."

It's embarrassing admit for all the normal socially boring reasons, and rankles of transforming into a cyborg besides. Teo doesn't like that much. Humanity seems like something to hold onto with both hands and nails cut clinging in, and losing it is already the default threat when you kill people with reasonable frequency. No sex, or interest in it, is subhuman on a different, arguably baser level, as is the distance that stagnates between them whenever they aren't making out or sleeping, the deliberate stranglehold on temper and misery and whatever.

"Sorry," he says, at length. "I don't like disappointing you."

"I don't want to lose you, but I'm afraid you're already gone," Leo says, and his voice is very sad. "You came for me in Moab, but…." He buries his face in Teo's shoulder, murmurs something incoherent.

Title's thieved straight off dEUS, "Roses".

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