In The Half Of A Hand


leonard_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title In The Half Of A Hand
Synopsis In the aftermath of the attack on Pinehearst, best friends harbor new injuries and old.
Date July 25, 2009

Tribeca — Ferrymen Safehouse


He may be in a safehouse in Tribeca. But mentally, he's regressed several years….between the pain and the morphine, Leo's drifting in the misty half-light of flashbacks and confusion. The dark eyes are glassy with pain, fixed on the ceiling beyond the end of his bed, and his forehead is gleaming with sweat. The bandaged stump rests lightly on his belly, his good hand at his side, as he mumbles something in Arabic. Perhaps a prayer, perhaps random phrases recalled by rote.

Mostly, he's here because it would have been cruel for him not to be. Someone should have; somebody with this face, and though Teodoro isn't clear on a lot of things, he's clear on that. A chair is dragging close, stilted wooden legs tilt-tock-tick rattling closer under the pull of rough fingers closed over the back. When he isn't concentrating, he walks with almost as much noisy asymmetry as the careless tow of this furniture, and he isn't concentrating now, a faint limp to Teo's stride.

He sits down at the bedside, knees skewing apart. He changed into jeans, somewhere between last night and tonight, a process no doubt as hitchy and painful as walking remains. "For you." Cold plastic touches Leonard's cheek, the bottom of a plastic cup before a warm grasp closes long fingers on his chin.

Of course, he raises the wounded hand…and then gingerly lowers it, staring at the mummification of gauze with bewilderment. And then he looks at Teo, in perplexity. "YOu're not Sandbourne," he accuses, tone gritty and uneven. "Where's Sandbourne?" Sandbourne is currently six feet under at Arlington - Leo was there for the death, but not the interment. He remembers the water a few moments later, and reaches out the working hand to take it shakily.

"No," the stranger replies, an ironic sort of agreement. He cups the back of Leonard's head in a lattice of scar-notched fingers, applies pressure gently against the fulcrum where the vet's spine meets skull, lifting so that he can drink easier without spilling all over himself. The stranger doesn't stare at the stump where Leo's hand used to be, doesn't even think about touching it. "I don't know." Half a smile. "You don't have to wory about him right now— just yourself."

There's a mumble of acknowledgement, and then he takes a few mouthfuls of water, blinks blearily. And then recognition bubbles up like springwater in a rock. "Teo," he says, as if he's not certain who that name's attached to.

That's close enough to the truth that Teodoro squints pale eyes around a smile, acknowledgment and confirmation, benign if not quite warm. Yes. "Jesse," he answers. There's a beat's pause, a vestige of comedic befuddlement fracturing disfocus into the blink of his eyes. He shares the grip on the cup, tips water into the other man's mouth, slow. "Alexander. Knight? Leonard. Whatever you're going by lately."

He's happy to let himself be watered, really. His own smile is childishly beatific, as he beams at Teo past the rim of the cup. "Jesse," he affirms, in a murmur, and he puts his good hand on Teo's arm, lightly. "'m so glad you're here."

It probably shouldn't feel quite so normal, sitting here at the gimped telekinetic's bedside, not when the internal contents of Gh— Teo's identity feel like such an artificial contrivance of recognizable, assembled parts. Still, it's the same way wearing this face, walking in these shoes. There's a lukewarm specter of a smile and Teo tugs the cup back, out the range for spilling. "On the upside," he says, cocking his head down at the stump on the blankets, "chicks dig scars."

Leonard looks at his hand, but his expression is remote, padded by morphine and trauma into an odd sort of curiosity. "I guess I'll have to get a hook, or something to cover the stump," he notes, thickly. "Abby can't heal anymore." He looks oddly small, under the sheet, with no shirt - like a child who's just broken his hand while skateboarding, or something.

"Deckard can heal now," Teo points out gently, shifting his arm under the uneven white splay of Leonard's fingers until he can grasp their stubby-nailed ends, his work-worn thumb scraping a boy's hapless effort at a gentle caress, first, before he closes a grasp there, squeezes once, oddly awkward in his sincerity, scaled down as it is. "He has Abigail's ability. The Ferry might have someone else."

Leonard mms at that, pleased. He doesn't know, apparently, that that power entails being able to actually regenerate a limb. He brings Teo's hand to his lips, plants a dry kiss on the knuckles, smiles dreamily. Ah, opiates.

Abrupt tension flattens out the splay of metacarpals under Leonard's mouth, knuckles shying away from kiss, only to run into the inevitable barrier of the shared clasp of fingertips. He stalls only a few seconds, for politeness' sake, his smile disfocused by the urge to look elsewhere. There's infinite gentleness in the retraction of his hand. "What's your favorite book?" he asks, hefting forward, as if to rise. "I'll get it and read it to you."

"…..what?" Leo says, softly, watching Teo with a fraught expression. "I….you don't need to stay, dance attendance on me, if you don't want to…."

Three open-palmed pats alight on the incline of Leo's hip, underneath the linens. "It's fine. You deserve a little company and shit, after what you've been through. I'd like to stay until you go to sleep." Long legs straighten, taking Teo upright with the difficulty of bruised ribs and fading sprains. He brushes a seam of dried paint off the leg of his jeans; uncharacteristic wear for Ghost, both the garb and the dishevelment.

Leonard blinks at him, dreamily. "You're not bad hurt, right?" he wonders, in that slurred mumble. "Huck Finn is my favorite."

"Just need some sleep." Teo's eyes squint a smile and his shoulders incline once, a hapless shrug, as if his shoulders were a little too large to execute the maneuver he's trying to. They are, of course, the same size as ever. "Huckleberry Finn it is, then. Christ, I don't know if you're like a kid or just a stereotype." There's affection in the rough of his voice, like a gruff tousle of fingers through hair.

Leonard admits, gently, "Both, maybe. What do you mean?" he wonders, settling his head back on the pillow, and closing his eyes.

Automatically, a hand goes back over Teo's shoulder. He pulls the hood of his sweater up over the roof of his close-shaven head. "Book about kids. From the South. I guess I should just be grateful you've never seen fit to fill your head with Ayn Rand or bullshit like that. You want anything else while I'm out there?" He puts his hands in his pockets, fingers folding around sharp-jointed angles, slants a curious gaze across Leonard's prone head.

"I can't hold any one thought in my head for very long right now, so best to go over something I know and like," Leo offers, quietly. "I hate Ayn Rand. Can I have a Coke?"

There are many things that the ghost had known about injury and recovery, and Teo retains all of this knowledge. No physiological harm in Coca Cola, not really. Still, there is a figment of somewhat more personal concern, then, that hearkens back to the other Sicilian who was— still is?— enhoused in this head. "It'll keep you up," he points out. It isn't a No.

Leonard chuckles, and it's a rusting ghost of his usual laugh. "No, it won't. Not with the stuff the doc has me on. I'm like a junkie on the goddamn nod," he demurs.

So the plan goes, there will be time for laughter later. For now, Teo's willing to put in the greater proportion of lung power "Coke and Twain, then. I'll be back in a little bit.

"You ride that out." Tugging his chair back an inch behind him, he leans into his next step toward the door, pauses long enough to fetch a glance back over his shoulder, as if to ascertain some previously concealed defect or detail of mood that might otherwise have been cracked open through pretense when he'd turned his shoulder.

He's turned his face away, but it isn't sufficient to hide that even the morphine haze isn't enough to block all the pain. Leo's biting his lip, and his good hand has knotted itself into the cotton of the sheet covering him.

A frown digs sharp into the ends of Teo's mouth, his frame clutched inward, a moment, as if the bloated agony wasn't in the telekinetic's docked-off wrist but caged somewhere inside his ribs. It takes him another moment before he can straighten up. Resolve, pragmatically, to locate some marijuana before he gets back. He eases soundlessly through the door, like a cat strays, his return inevitable but easy enough to doubt, if you don't know him. Coincidentally, Leonard doesn't really; not anymore.

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