India Ink


sonny_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title India Ink
Synopsis In which Sonny is loving and Teo's conscience threatens to rise from the murk of his subconscious.
Date March 16, 2009

Chinatown — Connor and Teo's Place

A shag pad furnished with remarkable humility, if you know anything about Connor Kinney at all.

It is also not actually in Confucius Plaza, but there were no other rooms to +rent in Chinatown. Oh well!

Whatever Salvatore is dreaming about, it finds itself — over time — intruded by a cool brush and trickle from real life. It's a peripheral sensation, really, incessant. Faint.

Superficial, more kinesthetic than external, easily concealed by the feel of solid weight and metabolic warmth, the familiar body sprawled companionably on top of his. He has no way of knowing, at least while he's dreaming, that his boyfriend decided to alleviate his fit of boredom by purchasing a hue of India ink near the exact same shade of green as their bedsheets and is writing things on his skin. Lots of things. As of late, Teo has been having this problem where he can't sleep very well.

Feels like a waste of time. Probably the least of his problems as of late, honestly, but this one is the most harmless and one of the more visible to his lover, or wont to be. Teo's head is bent low over the other man's naked back, eyes intent, tattooed shoulders stooped, breathing quietly, slowly drying the skewed and loopy rows of numbers, symbols, citations, and quotations in eddies through his nose.

In his dream, Sonny is swimming deep beneath the water. There's no need to worry about breathing and no danger of drowning. Little fish nibble at his back and seaweed tickles his skin.

Or rather, that's what he's dreaming until he slowly begins to realize that sensation is not a product of REM sleep. The doc's body shifts slightly, toes curl and he makes a low, whuffing sound that is the exhalation of breath. One eye opens, then closes. He stills.

"Tay," a beat. "…whatcha doing?" At least he doesn't sit up. His words are muffled against his pillow.

"Drawin'." Which he is, now, technically. The cheap filaments of the brush contour the round bones of the cervical vertebrates at Sonny's nape, a set of interlocking figure-eights winding their way down until the density of muscle obfuscates the discernible line of his spine and, also, the brush dries up. Cheap made-in-China piece of shit. Barely any mass to it, really.

Frowning in consternation at the thing, Teo tilts the implement upward, stares at its translucent tip against the light, before he cranes his head to find Sonny's face. His own looks slightly bleary and lined around the eyes, still, though his eyes themselves are alert in that somewhat manically lucent way that is known to all graduates of medical school. There's a band-aid on the edge of his face. "You were snoring."

Sonny squints and tries to peer over his shoulder at Teo's design. But of course, in the dark of the room and because, well, it's on his own back, he can't really see much. "Can't sleep?" It says something for his laid-back nature that the fact that he woke to his lover drawing on him barely produces a blink.

"Y'should let me set you up an appointment at a sleep clinic, babe. S'not healthy." He feels around blindly for one of Teo's hands so he can squeeze it gently.

'Nnghehg.' That's what Teo's unenthusiastic answer sounds like, a mottled syllable of no particular language. His hand isn't hard to find. Slightly cold, a trace of tapwater moisture, the necessary and natural residue of the ink mixing process.

Since Abigail fixed his head, the bones of his fingers have smoothed out under the prowess of her ability, but Sonny's easily expert enough in his particular craft to notice the faint ridges of healed breaks that did not knit straight years ago and haven't been wholly reset since. Teo's grip doesn't lack for strength. "They'll put electrodes in my head," he answers. "I'll turn into a cyborg again."

"They'll put them on your head. There's a difference." Sonny closes his eyes again and exhales against the pillow. "Time is it?"

Blindly, he caresses the hand caught in his own. Yes, he can feel the breaks. Part of him would like to smooth out those imperfections until the bones were pristine again, but part feels in doing so, it'd take away from the fabric of Teo.

God knows that would do Teo no good: he loses enough weight during the winter as it is. Little in the way of muscle matter, of course. Hana makes sure of that. His eyes sweep the supine line of the other man's profile and shoulders. Salvatore, on the other hand, is architecturally perfect by preference and definition. "I don't know. Sounds like work. Coincidentally also boring and creepy.

"Maybe after Moab and Al and everyone get back." The corners of his mouth turn upward, the kind of smile that isn't merely humoring. It fades. "Five. 'M sorry I woke you up."

Perfect, and perhaps bland in his perfection. Something that Sonny has only started to realize as he's become bored by the perfection in others. He peers up at Teo. Even with his eyes half-squinted, they're larger than some people with theirs fully open. "C'mere,"

A hand reaches up to tug at Teo's shoulder. He's mindful of where Teo might've set the ink pot, so his movements aren't abrupt. He rolls just far enough on to his side to open a space for Teo to fit himself against. "Tomorrow night?" he murmurs softly, "You're gonna get a nice hot shower. I'll make up some of this herbal tea full of relaxing ingredients, and then I'm gonna give you a nice, long massage. F'that doesn't knock you out, nothing will." He presses a kiss to on the nearest bit of skin.

"You generally don't have much trouble knocking me out, signor. I just…" Teo is beginning to get somewhat embarrassed. Ruddy around the edges, a furtive, almost bashful flit to the fringy-lashed eyes that had held Sonny in steadfast regard just a moment ago.

"—Not that I'm going to complain." Recovery, when recovery comes, is quick. Cheeky, hasty, boisterously lustful boy-bravado slapped on over the self-conscious twinge of inculcated Catholic psychological pathology. He falls shoulder-first into the nook of mattress he's afforded, pot of ink in one hand, his other clapped over it to block its contents from spilling.

The nearest bit of skin happens to be the top of his bicep. The small ceramic bowl goes onto the bedstand with a delicate clink of salutation, and wet fingers wind up smeared dry on Teo's own stomach. "How you feeling about this shit with the burning bird so far?"

Sonny pulls Teo as tightly against him as he can without turning over onto his back. The kiss goes to bicep, then finds the Italian's mouth for a quick, but less than chaste kiss. "Mhmm. In over my head. But I'll deal. Feels weird to be trying to play it as another person though. Specially since I've met some of those people before. They'd probably be pissed if they found out, huh?" A soft grunt.

Then he strains to try and see what's on his back again. "What'd you draw back there anyway? Had a dream that fish were nibbling at me."

Letters in smudged copperplate and skewed cursive, meaningless contours fitted to the topography of his skin and bones, dorsal line, two dimple wells at the base of his back and, of all things, a series of simple, fork-tailed fish schooling their way down the curve of his ribcage, following tropical currents matched to the subtle rifts between spars. Most of the words aren't in English.

Kisses turn out to be an acceptable currency for Teo's artwork, if it is that, and one slightly green hand comes to curl underneath Sonny's chin, a wet fingernail rasping along the growing bristle of an incipient beard. "Witless platitudes," he answers, wearily. "And some fish. Ironically. That sounds like a nightmare." A beat's pause. "If anyone would understand about lying to protect your identity, the Phoenix kids would be them."

It doesn't take long for Sonny to relax once he's got his arms wrapped around Teo. It's starting to be quite comfortable and familiar to sleep with the Italian snugged in close - even if he does insist on staying that way through the night.

The doc yawns a big lion-mouthed yawn and exhales through his nose. There's a soft, grunted sound that follows and his eyes drift closed. "Mmhfp. Think you can sleep a little?"

So much more the lion because of the mass and density of Sonny's curly mane. Makes Teo smile, almost laugh, his mirth delicately hidden away by the shut-squeezed pinch of the other man's own eyelids and the enormity of those jaws. By the time the good Doctor is done— relaxing, his lover's expression has faded slightly. Thinking about something. Something unpleasant, but easily missed as Sonny transitions neatly into the bleary first phases of sleep.

"Yah," he lies, harmlessly. He wraps an arm around Sonny's shoulder, smudging green ink with green fingers, closes his eyes. Tries.

Some of the words—


There is nothing you can see that is not a flower;
There is nothing you can think that is not the moon

Basho Matsuo, translated by R. H. Blyth

March 15th: Little More Than a Man
March 16th: The All-Seeing Cat
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