In Other Words, Miss You


sonny_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title In Other Words, Miss You
Synopsis Sonny checks in to see how his terrorist boyfriend is doing. Fresh out of a whorehouse, his terrorist boyfriend isn't sure what to say, so he vagues it up, and they predictably end up discussing Sonny's job and interior decoration.
Date February 21, 2009

The Telecommunications World

It takes only two rings for the call to click connect. "Buona ser—" There's a distinct pause as Teo retroactively checks the caller's ID. When his voice reemerges it carries a distinct note of surprise, amid the background texture of low traffic and sea wind. "S—ala?"

"Hey," the voice on the other end sounds cheerful, but tightly so. "Hey. Uh. How's it going?" How do you call and say 'just checking up?'

'Just checking up' works. Most intents and purposes. Prodding a terrorist on the clock may not fall into that general category, however, which may or may not be why the other man pauses before asking, unwontedly sharp, "Did something happen? Are you okay?" There's no distinct temper in Teo's temper, but he'd caught that tension, false brightness. Assumed the worst.

"No, no. I'm, I'm fine." A sigh, "Look Teo. I was kind of worried. I just wanted to make sure you were okay." Sonny's tone is sheepish. He laughs awkwardly.

It takes Teo a moment to stop suspecting the air that his boyfriend blows over the receiver is supposed to be code for something, this jumbled mix of sighs and laughter. It isn't code for anything.

Which leaves Teo to do something that accidentally sets him in another pedestrian's path, by the sound of it; a scuff, somebody else's voice cursing, a muttered apology. "'M fine. Grazie. I'm sorry I haven't come back. Some things happened, I can't…" explain, but they already both knew that. Makes these How was your day, honey? conversations pretty awkward, though. "I'll try to see you tomorrow, if… Would that be okay?"

There's the sound of shuffling, of the TV in the background that Sonny turns off. "No, no. I understand. You're doing what you have to do. I just…" how can he say 'I miss you' and have it not sound sentimental and girly? "Can I help at all? With anything?" A beat, "…I got some furniture for the new place. It's all set. Some stuff to unpack, but…" he trails off.

Oh. "Oh." Teo wastes a few breaths, before sanguine warmth jolts back into his voice. "You could tell me you'd like to see me tomorrow, asshole. I mean I understand if you want to have a new bed all to yourself for a few days, but just ignoring the question does nothing for my ego." The background noise blurs out with a ping of some distant bell; Teo ducking indoors somewhere to talk.

"No, I don't want you to come. I want to lie in bed all by myself." a beat, then, "Of course I want to fucking see you, Teo. Jesus. No I'm just calling you to tell you to stay away longer." Sarcasm. Thick and crackling over a cell phone.

The younger man's stretches his next word out, playfully lazy as a cat's hands kneading at a ball of yarn. "Fiiiine." The, quieted by contrition, "You sound like battery acid right now. I'm sorry: I have bad humor. How was work?" Peculiarly enough, the question seems to operate pragmatically and inoffensively this way though it's just awkward the other.

"Oh you know. Made a few B cups into Ds. Did a few nose jobs. Did a shift at the hospital. This guy had a shattered jaw. Now he has a shattered hand." It sounds like Sonny just yawned. "Hospitals. Draining. You never walk anywhere."

There is a rattle of plastic on metal, a huff of sigh as Teo squats down. "Yeah, I know." Paper flipping. Idle, frenetic actions, of a restless body that defaults to motion. "When are you going to get to do the new clinic?" he asks. "That doesn't sound like the thrilling change of scene you fuckin' signed up for."

"You mean the one in the trailer farm? I start tomorrow. It's…it's gonna be okay. I'm not expecting the same politics as at the hospital." Sonny exhales a long breath. "Mmm. I…should let you go. Get back to saving the world or whatever it is you're doing."

Embarrassment makes Teo mumble. Having done that once doesn't constitute a modus operandi. "I'm not doing that. Just a… something smaller scale. Right now, I'm fucking around in a store on my way to the place I'm sleeping tonight. God. I don't know who half of these celebrities are. I—" he seesaws back into silence. "If you have to go, I understand. Early day and all that shit, right?"

"M'don't have to go, Tay. Just didn't know if I was keeping you from you know, hero stuff." There's a smile in Sonny's voice and a half-tease. "Hey, you see my face on any of those rags? I found this article on a gossip website. Had this really bad picture of me with my face beat in."

Hmmm. Hmmmmm, goes Teo's voice, thrumming across the line below the papery flit and rustle in the background. "I wish you wouldn't call it that," he adds, belatedly. Then, "Oh, here. It's very small, though. Only an inch tall — I guess they've run it before. It's a follow-up story, says you're safe on the road to recov… Holy fuck." Apparently, Teo just got a closer look. His voice drops. "You look like you were trying to snort coke out of some girl's crotch at the wrong ti… whhh. Ignore me. I'm Italian."

"Gee thanks babe," says Sonny, his tone flat as a pancake. "It's not that bad at full size. I just look like I had a very violent run-in with a door. It doesn't look bad at all now. My nose is still a little crooked though. I have to wait til the bone has mended to fix it." Him? Walk around with a crooked nose? Psh.

Psh. Teo snorts a laugh. "Maybe. If the door had a mean uppercut and right hook, both. Or you ran into it twice. Good job. Hey, Lori Levonian. I met her once. She was sweet. And completely fucking wasted. Fff." That's the sound of a tired man dragging himself upright. "Are you going to put posters up? You don't have to freak out about staining or putting holes in the walls over there."

"Believe it or not, interior decorating isn't my strong point, all right?" Sonny manages to sound very New Yawk with those words. "I hired someone to do up my condo. What, you thinking we should shove some Escher posters on the wall or somethin? I doubt bringing in a decorator for a rented Chinatown apartment would go unnoticed, y'know?"

This warrants another laugh, a smudgey click as Teo shakes his head. "For fuck's sake. Go on the Internet. Ebay a few posters of whatever you like. Bands you listen to, photograph prints. Le Baiser de l'Hôtel de Ville by Robert Doisneau, or Calvin and Hobbes, Mardi Gras — something you like. Anything. Then I'll pick some shit, and we'll put it up, and it'll fit because nothing does. Don't overthink it."

"Jesus Teo, it's not a college dorm room. Posters. Man. We should at least get some decent art prints. We're not nineteen. Nothing's going on the wall with packing tape, okay?" Sonny's laughing too. But then his tone slowly slips into a more serious one. "I should…get ready for this dinner thing with my folks. Mmm. I'll see you tomorrow then, right? Call me if I'm not at the new place?"

"I fucking miss being nineteen." It's an odd admission, quiet and tuneless. And then over in the next moment. Teo sniffs once, loudly, scratches his nose briefly. Makes his voice momentarily nasal, then not. "Okay. I should get something to eat too. Have fun with the parents, bello."

"Yes, because that's what it is to hang out with the Mayor and Mrs. Bianco. Fun." A rough chuckle from Sonny. There's a pause and only the sound of breathing for a beat or two then, "…be careful."

The noise Teo makes into the receiver is supposed to sound reassuring. Either that, or he's trying to speak dog. "'M always careful. Th—anks for checking in," he says, with the awkwardness of a young man who has had very little experience in this department. In the department of being checked in with. "My turn next time."

"If you don't come home soon, I'm gonna kick your ass," says Sonny wryly, as a way of covering up the worry he's feeling. And then he murmurs, possibly ironically, possibly not, "Bye, babe." Click.

February 21st: Perfect Circle
February 21st: On The One Hand
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