Little Kings Of Little Hills


cardinal_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title Little Kings Of Little Hills
Synopsis Richard and Teo have a conversation about everything professional and one or two personal matters, which isn't only to say that Humanis First! keeps hitting closer and closer to home.
Date September 16, 2009

Guiding Light Baptist Church

There is no mistaking this building as anything but a church, with its arching glass windows and concrete cross fixed to the edge of the pointed roof. Curving stone steps lead up from the pavement to a set of black double doors, often kept closed during the colder weather, but unlocked during the allocated hours written on a blue sign fix to the brick wall. In white, formal letting, it reads GUIDING LIGHT BAPTIST CHURCH and lists its hours of worship.

Through the doors, you first step into an open, nondescript foyer, with access to an unobtrusive staircase headed upwards, and a second hallway leading off somewhere less public also. Mainly, this room opens straight out to the much more spacious worship hall, with immovable rows and rows of pews. A small church, it only seats an absolute maximum of around one hundred and fifty people at a time. It has a high ceiling and is warmly lit, simple and reverent in design, colours light and earthy. The stage before the pews is wide open, with seats off to the side for other pastors and guest speakers, and there is a podium placed off center. On the other side, there is a small organ with music sheets kept nearby.

Night falls over the Guiding Light. Blots it out, sort of, except that since Pastor Joseph's been gone it's been dark inside even during the day. Shut up, locked down, the droves that the Baptist priest had shepherded before scattered away, lest the wolves find them or else disappointment. Fear. Teo doesn't know what they've been told. The police know if it, that much he's aware of, but the losing battle against Humanis First! isn't one that seems oft-advertised, not even on the broad wings and raucous voices of the media's vultures.

He sits in the pews and waits. It's nine-thirty: early for a ninja, but a generous deference to curfew, as long as they're playing at a little bit legality, between property intrusion and vigilante escapades. Playing with his cellphone, for the moment, his shoulders slightly slumped and his thumb rolling, blipping through the bright square the tiny liquid crystal monitor.


The name's a greeting from the pew beside him, a shadow having slid over the back of it; mimicking the posture of a man perched there upon it in proper seated position, the only thing missing the man himself. Like a photograph with the praying man edited out of it, or perhaps invisible. Teodoro knows better. There isn't anything but a shadow to speak of.

"I hesitate to ask where the good father's at… since I've had little but bad news lately."

The answer is blunt, flat, unequivocal, accompanied by an upward turn of Teo's eyes that catch the fluorescent glint off his handheld phone, temporarily giving his regard that eerie luminiscence of a nocturnal creature. "Humanis First! took him." Teo doesn't have night vision, of course. That would be Richard Cardinal or, at best, through Richard Cardinal. "We keep losing ground. 'M sure that's how it looks from their side of the fucking fence, too, but I swear to God. I lose another acquaintance," no, he doesn't know that Cardinal is coincidentally aware that Ivanov was a little more than that to him, "and my little blond brain is going to fucking snap."

At the news, there's a sound that stirs in the shadow, generated by the subtle vibrations that Richard Cardinal 'speaks' with - something between a hiss and a growl, an entirely unnatural noise. "I think this is actually helping us, from a purely… strategic point of view, but from a personal level, I'm entirely in fucking agreement there, Laudani. I think I'd like to have words with Mister Danko and a pair of pliers…"

"A pair of concrete shoes, grenades, knives, a phial of small pox and the wilting stench of dehydration." Torture and painful death in sundry and various incarnations. Teo grins, but it is more like a grimace, spasming through his jaws. He lifts his wrist up to rub his nose, shuts the phone with a click of its folding halves. He puts it in his pocket, visibly resists the urge to go after his cigarettes. "Word from strange bedfellows has it that you're hoping to bait a trap for William Dean using his daughter, if she'll consent to dipping Phoenix's wing in dirt again. That true?"

Strange bedfellows… "You must've been talking to the cowboy," considers Cardinal in thoughtful tones, before the 'voice' becomes rougher and more serious, "That was one thought that I'd had. I'd really rather Phoenix keep its feathers clean, but I want these sons of bitches, Laudani. I want them bad. Especially this… Douglas… guy. After what they did to Liz…"

Goes for both of them. Teo closes his eyes. Squeezes, briefly, reopens them again to variable darkness. "Yeah. Speaking of that." He lifts his head, inhales through his nose, an audible snf, his profile swiveling over to study the amalgamated shadow seated beside him. "I think I owe you a nut shot for what happened. What happened to Liz shouldn'tve. I knew from the fucking start they'd suspected something." His face changes, slightly, the corners of his mouth jerked downward before lifting upward again, the herky-jerky scribble of motion like a digital recording of some uncertain, failing frequency of sound. A wry bitter: "It was a tactical error."

Silence answers those words, though the silhouette of a man upon the pew has spread into a more amorphous and simultaneously darker shape there rather than bothering to keep up the mimickry. The silence lingers in the air for a long minute, before he observes neutrally, "She said you were there."

"I've always been there." That's a terrible way to explain. It explains nothing. For a moment, Teo can't think of how to do better. His eye shades down on the amoeba-like fringe of the shape that laps up against his sleeve. "I get to be the guy who lives to see the end of the story and throws himself on the altar whinging snot and asking why they couldn'tve taken me instead. It's pretty fucking depressing. It isn't an excuse. I don't think clearly when it comes to Humanis First!. I try. I don't foam in the mouth or make propositions most people would think to correct, but I'm always off the mark, just by a little, everything's kind of skewed off-center and tainted red.

"I make mistakes." Air goes back into him, shifts his shoulders. He resettles, stares down his hands, into the stone floor squared between his boots.

"You're not Edward. And even he made mistakes, Laudani."

It's strange, talking to him in a quiet place like the empty church; there's no breath to fill the pauses between words, none of the subtle rustling and shifting that a person does in conversations. A few moments, and then he notes, "That's not what I was asking, though. You can beat yourself up on your own damn time."

The silence is more black than golden, but Teo probably wouldn't fit too well in somewhere made all of gold anyway. "You haven't asked me anything," he points out, gently. He stops looking at— around his feet, after a moment, squares his gaze up ahead at the pulpit that Joseph used to preside over with his expansive smiles and articulate hands. He doesn't really think they're going to get Pastor Sumter back. Nor Felix Ivanov, or whomever else had been taken.

"Yes I have. You just don't want to answer it." The subject isn't pressed, however, a sigh hissing serpentine through the air, "You got people there in time to save her. That makes us even as far as I'm concerned, Laudani." There's less time for petty scores than there once was. Sometimes, Richard's surprised at how the events of the past year have changed him, but usually he tries not to introspect. He doesn't entirely like all those changes.

"Helena asked me to kill her father, you know."

Right. That, Teo apparently didn't know. He sits up like a automatic knife flipped. Turns on his bench.

Stares. His eyelids almost expel an audible click-click shuttering in the vacuous space of the church. It isn't so very unbelievable, which is maybe why it's worse. He can't remember how this had gone in the ghost's future, but for some reason his default assumption is that in that one, in the bright future, Helena hadn't had to do it. In so many ways, Arthur Petrelli had taken care of it for her. "Fuck." Teo tries to lever the train of his thought back onto its rails. "Are you going to do it if you get the shot?"

There were so many things that Arthur Petrelli took care of, in that future, things that still need to be handled. William Dean is one of the smaller of those things. "Maybe. No— probably not. He knows too much that we need to know. Afterwards? She can do it herself, if that's what she wants. Whatever Claire might've told her, I'm not an unwanted relative disposal service."

There's no immediate answer to that, but over the course of a few longer moments, Teo relaxes. Tries a smile on. It fits. Just a small one: an enormous arrangement of teeth probably wouldn't have suited him quite so well. "Sounds good," he says, although it doesn't really. It still sounds fucking terrible. Helena Dean asking a friend of a friend to murder her own father on her behalf is either a page ripped out of the wrong book and jammed into this chapter, or he hadn't realized how far these pages had been submerged into blood, deceit, chaos. Good God: no one ever tells him anything anymore.

He scuffs his finger down his chin, checks he's breathing regular. He's breathing just fine. "Len Denton. Trying to do this off the Company's books, which tells me first that the Company's still there, despite appearances. And second that even the most morally casual motherfuckers in our acquaintance see Humanis First! as a threat that has to be dealt with. That's both good news, for now. Eileen would bring the Vanguard's remnant, if she hasn't already. Now that Joseph's been taken."

"Originally, the Company was supposed to protect us… guess they found out where that road paved with good intentions went to, though. Seems like there's a few remnants of that original philosophy rattling around in that closet of entitled bullshit, though," Cardinal muses, "I have my people, but— they're not very organized and mostly're good for information gathering." There's a slightly disgruntled note to that admission. He has information on just about everything… and no resources to do much about it. A frustrating situation for the shadowman, but, hell, there's bigger problems than his frustration here.

If Cardinal had a shoulder or something, Teo would probably pat it with his hand. For lack of that, there's a sidelong smile, a little wilted, husked. "It's nice to have your own people. For information gathering or anything, at all. I mean, almost fucking everyone ends up outsourcing, these days anyway— and it gets complicated. FCC, FBI, CIA, Fedor, Phoenix, against the Vanguard and now with— I hear you went to the fucking Triads for help with Logan, once. Everyone outsources. It's good to know who's always going to be in your corner, though. It's good to have your own people, even if they don't constitute a fucking army by themselves. Maybe it's better."

"You want to spend a week keeping Jessica from going on a killing spree through the nearest Linderman-owned operation, Teodoro? Be my guest. Speaking of her— and Logan— are you still keeping that scum-sucking sonuvabitch under your protecting? I caught Deckard buying coke from him this past weekend, for Christ's sake," grouses Cardinal, "You said he'd be useful in pinning Daniel down. Throw me a bone here so I have some reason not to kill him other than 'Teo asked me not to'."

Jessicadoin'what, and who—? Oh. Teo had heard of that one. Logan— his features revert to blank, and he glances over his shoulder a the wall, for a protracted moment. It's only a matter of time before Hana comes for even the mafia's mogul, the unregistered healer after which the infamous Act wa sinstituted, after all. There are a lot of wires that intersect over Linderman, a hopeless snarl that not even he is sure how Ghost thought he could possibly have thought he could interpret the spider by reading his web. Not this clusterfuck of a web. "I don't know," he answers, finally.

"I'm not Ghost, but John Logan still — trusts me as far as he'd trusted him. He's sent me word. About a raid coming up, one of the Triads' big shipments. If I go, I can probably get some physical evidence off the Chinese for law enforcement to use, maybe trace— Refrain? the guns? whatever they're moving back to its source. Or—" He tilts his head back a few degrees, studies the ceiling. It perturbs him, how much Logan doesn't. Nobody's gotten a clean slate, but there's all this— muddied, faded residue from symbols wiped but not washed, a chicken-scratch scrawl of illegible rehtoric, and he doesn't know


"He's just an informant, first and last. A good one, but that's all. I'm not going to feed you to him if you believe he owes you blood, Dick."

"Don't call me Dick." It's bad enough that Brian— no, Winters— does. It always sounds like mockery coming out of the lips of an unreliable replicator that wears the face of a dead friend. Or whatever he is.

"Of all the people he owes blood to, I'm the least," Richard says grimly, then, pushing the thoughts stirred by that nickname aside, "If we can use him, we should use him. Logan's sloppy. Always has been. He's too selfish in his own pleasures, and takes things to a personal level, can't leave them as business. There has to be a trail he's leaving, and it's got to lead back to Daniel, somehow." A silence pause, thoughtful, "Maybe I should talk to the ones that went forward. Maybe one of them knows what went down with Linderman, in that murdered timeline…"

He won't call Richard Dick, then. There's a slight grimace of apology on Teodoro's tanned features, one hand uplifted, gesture to punctuate the promise. "You're right about Logan. I'm pretty sure Linderman knows that too, though. Maybe." A beat's pause. "Logan's a pretty fucking decent liar, too. I do think we can use him." His lips flatten, biting down on the urge to add another disclaimer, that it isn't his place to say so, anymore. It isn't. He is still Sicilian, despite the ruptures in language, sex drive, memory, nostalgia. He does believe in vendetta, above many things.

Though, very suddenly, he is thinking about something else. "Hey." Hard to say why. 'Vendetta' has never invoked this particular association before, but it's been awhile, and he'd left off on a bad note, before, and they had just been talking about 'Richard's people,' disorganized but selectively gifted, a moment ago after all. It might surprise Cardinal less than it surprises him, to want to ask: "How's Sal?"

Sal? It's a good thing that Teo can't see Cardinal's expression, as for a few moments it must look bemused indeed— although it doesn't take the shadow very long to figure out who he's asking about with that sort of weight to the question. "Sonny? I don't know," admits Richard, "He decided that our… lifestyle… wasn't for him, I think. I haven't heard from him in quite awhile, more's the pity. He had potential."

That's a good word for it. Teo's features remain all too visible to the shadow mimic, for whom darkness never proves a hindrance. His eyes turn to the aisle, studying the repeated pattern of stones for a stilted moment. Sonny, yeah. That would be his name. Not the world's best kept secret, apparently, but you can trust Richard Cardinal with that sort of information. You can trust him further than you'd trust some incarnations of Teo, honestly. "Huh," he says, at length. "Okay.

"Well: I should probably check in on him again. It's what I do. S'pose we all go back to familiar ground eventually."

"Do we? They say we can't go home again… I wouldn't know. Never had one. If you do, tell him I said h'lo, if it doesn't all end in fighting and tears, anyway…" Blunt, as usual, Richard's bitterness seeping through now and then with surprisingly sharp edges. The shadowy informant hisses out an admirable imitation of a sigh, before adding, "I'm shored up in the old library for now, if you need me and can't get a hold of me. I'd appreciate it if you didn't spread it around too much, though."

A rueful grin. Teo agrees. "Familiar ground, not home. Important distinction, I guess. Maybe I should've said 'bad habits.'" Those are easy enough to lapse into, even if checking on people probably isn't a particularly vicious demerit of character in the perspective of most, even if it might end in — fighting and tears. Takes up time, though. Time that could, arguably, be better spent flipping stones over and searching the mud for traces of Humanis First!. "For all our differences, 'm glad he had you around while all that shit was happening.

"Thanks." A enumerated list of shit that happened is probably unnecessary. Teo doesn't volunteer one. "Which old library? There's like— four I know of, and knowing you, you might've picked one I don't."

A faint chuckle stirs in the shadow at the question, and the subject is elaborated upon. "Phoenix's old digs," he explains, "I was digging through Eddie's files that he'd left behind, and just decided I might as well stay. Although I'm setting up some security, so, you might want to call first."

A flow from one subject to the next, "You still talk to Wireless?"

Flow, bob, Teo nods his head and leaves off imagining what nightmare of spiked pits and tripwires might await the unwary adventurer into Phoenix's erstwhile lair. "Yeah. Well." He tips his skull back on its axis, glances past the top of the cross set above the pulpit, through one darkened window. "We don't talk about weather and books and shit so much, but we communicate. Train. I see her in person more than most people do, I guess. You need to get word to or from her on something?"

"I was just wondering if she might have a certain dossier laying around," admits Richard, "The Vice-President's, in fact. I've heard rumors about Humanis sympathies, but I was hoping to get confirmation one way or another… and any information on probably the highest member of the government that might want us all herded into camps and killed."

They would have appeared to have flowed to an extremely— different— area and territory indeed. "I doubt she's created a comprehensive dossier on Mitchell," Teo answers, pensively. "His agenda and political career haven't been directly relevant to the Ferrymen, never mind her own personal interests. Probably has a few notes, on his military involvement, archives on the speeches he's made and that shit. But she doesn't vote, wouldn't generally be fucked to look further than that. Either of us could ask. I don't think she'd mind doing a little looking, if Humanis First! is the fucking search phrase."

"I think he's been… overlooked," Cardinal observes quietly, thoughtfully, from the shadow spilt across the pew beside the other man, "If he is standing behind Humanis, it means that we'll have a bitch of a time getting the government to react at all seriously to the recent problems… with a sympathizer in the White House, even if it's not in the big chair, he poses a threat. I try to keep track of threats."

Hooking his left leg over his right, Teo makes the restless shift of his posture look like something more deliberate than it is. It gets worse than that, when you consider what the man who is in the big chair is doing, has done, to his own people. His own kind. "Fair point. Mitchell's someone to keep an eye on. Good to have some known quantities in the equation. Not that we were going to rely on the fucking government to take care of the local problems, anyway." These words were brought to you by the letters v, i, g, and the rest involved in the shining brightly term vigilantism.

"How much have you told Liz about what you're into now?" The Vice-President? He's talked to her enough in the foxholes to know that Harrison subscribes more often to the mentality of a soldier, and notions of higher government or interference thereof defies the constraints of that definition.

"The local problems are a symptom that needs to be taken care of, but not the cause… strategically, I think Danko's actually done us a favor, in the long run…" The words are mostly to himself, even in response as they are to Teodoro, a thoughtful musing on the situation that trails off after a moment. "We can deal with those ourselves."

A faint chuckle, then, stirring in the shadows, "Elisabeth knows everything I'm into, Laudani. Of everyone left, she's the one I know I can rely on."

They might almmmost see eye to eye on that subject, even if that created semi-recent misadventures with the whole capture and torture deal. PERHAPS Richard will have better luck. Teo rubs callused fingertips over his mouth. He doesn't mention the lady cop again, acknowledges the bond between her and the erstwhile thief of shadows with a slight nod, before returning to the erstwhile subject. "Mitchell isn't the cause, either. Is it politics, social activism or black operations you're thinking about getting into, with this dossier?"

"I just want to keep an eye on him, is all, for now. He's an unknown factor on the game board, and you might've noticed…" A thread of humor, "…I like knowing things." It's a lie, of course, but it's difficult to read the lies or truths of a man with no face, no subtle tells to read. And it's a believable lie, for the most part. "But no, he's not. The cause is inherent racism and a grassroots movement to support it… which is difficult to fight. Our friend Danko, however, has been kind enough to give that movement a face, and militarize it."

It's very far from home and out of the way for a specific intelligence project, and there's no way Teo wouldn't be aware of that. He squints at the amorphous body of shadow adjacent to him, which is either a tell or him merely showing a certain measure of discomfiture. He doesn't press the point, though. Ghost would have, in icicled mirth and sociopathically wry observation. The other Teo would have, too. Big puppy eyes, a woobly frown of consternation, 'But Caaardinaaaaal,' enough earnest concern shining out of his face to blind an ordinary man.

This Teo— whether by merit of past trauma, pending discomfort, or other distractions, merely lets it lie. "I wouldn't overexaggerate the importance of Emile Danko to the overall movement. He's one man in the trenches. Humanis First! doesn't need a face, and it's always going to have guns until we disinvent them. My opinion," he tacks in, for politeness' sake. "Far as our local interests go, though, I'll give you that. Man needs to fucking burn."

"I don't think that he's important to the movement overall, no… but he's attached it to something, now. To blood, to terrorism far more pointed than what Phoenix has done," observes the shadowy figure, a 'hand' gesturing across the pew's slightly-scratched but polished wood, "The moment he started releasing those videos, he turned what was before a rather ignorable political and racial movement into— something that people won't want to be connected with."

Chff. Teo's shoulders drop a fraction of an inch, a sigh exhumed out of his lungs, disagreement: he shakes his head slightly. "Danko wasn't involved in Chicago Air. Or in the threats on Mrs. Bianco in July, the attack on Multiple Man's set, the Colorado suicide bomber in May, or the wave of hate crimes after the elections. I'm not saying Danko isn't important," Teo says, shifting forward. His foot drops to the floor again, elbows braced on knees. He links his fingers and glances over his shoulder. "And I'm sure as shit not saying he isn't worth going after. But don't think it's over, after we take him down." At least he doesn't say if. "It won't even make a fucking dent."

A faint, stirred chuckle emerges from the shadow, lacking in mirth. "I'm not— nevermind, I think we're talking on different levels here. I don't disagree with you, not one bit. Although I suspect he was involved in the hit on Chicago Air. Those sons of bitches who shot us down had missile-fucking-launchers, and every one was ex-military. That sounds like baldie's operation, to me."

"You'd be surprised how many ex-military shitbags armed with fucking missile launchers there are who want to use them on your kind." This, Teo says without even thinking about it. Their kind still isn't his kind, because the ability he has somehow isn't quite his own. Not a comfortable dichotomy to have to straddle, nor one that he sees much benefit in discussing with the shadowmorph. "But I take your point. Might well've been. It's the kind of work they recruited him for."

"I try to keep an optimistic viewpoint on things." It's dry, dry as the smoldering ash of a fire. Silence falls then for long moments, the air still in the empty church which has had its heart stolen from it, before he asks quietly, "Do you think it'll come to a war, Laudani?"

Something morbidly appropriate about talking to a shadow in a church called the Guiding Light after its pastor was abducted. In the interim of silence, Teo wonders where his optimism went off to, or whether even his younger analogue had ever had any. There is and always has been something inherently blond about blithely bopping off to a war you can't win, but that's a different species to thinking any of it is going to turn out for the better. Cardinal asks a question. He pops the knuckle at the base of his right pinkie, and then his right ring finger. "I think it has.

"Evolved versus non-Evolved, pre-emptive action versus reactive strikes, education versus violence. Lot of sides. Refusing to take one is to take another."

Every light casts a shadow, after all, and no shadow can exist without a light to cast it. The shadow that remains in the wake of Joseph's disappearance is silent for long heart-beats once more after the other man speaks, before finally responding in quiet tones. "Maybe you're right. I think the blood we've seen so far is— will be— nothing compared to what's coming. It'll just get more 'us' against 'them' as time goes on, unless something changes, dramatically. Edward wrote that if we didn't find a divergence point soon… he thought we were all out of time."

"Or what?" Teo's tone takes a turn toward unwontedly disdainful, but stops at tired before it actually gets there. Pop goes his middle finger, last, and then he's flexing his hand, testing the loosened ligaments. "Ninety percent of the world dies in bloody mess, on the political agenda of some old white man with an existential penis complex? We stopped that, once already. There's our silver lining: the worst of all case scenarios has already been averted.

"Far as I'm concerned, there's always time to turn shit around, and there's always room for things to degenerate something worse. Edward's gift was based off established quantities. People he's met, photography he's seen, maps he's read. For better or for worse, we don't live in a closed system. People change. Wildcards bring bombs to the table. Messiahs are born." A beat's pause. He scrunches his shoulders up under his ears, suddenly sheepish. "I guess that's like optimism."

"You say you stopped it. I worry you merely delayed things a little while." There's a dark chord of pessimism in response to the optimism mentioned, the shadow spilling back across the pew's wood in the form of a man once more, roughly, laid upon the seat as if someone not there was kicking back and relaxing. "Although everyone seems to think I'm completely and utterly wrong, there, so I suppose we'll just have to see how things turn out."

"And— maybe. Maybe. We'll see. One thing at a time, I guess, and on our table's Danko. Maybe we should meet with Dean. I don't know if we should mention the cowboy to her, though. She might… disapprove."

That much, Teo can defer to with yet more of his finest quality rue. "It wasn't the Shanti Virus prototype strain 00001-alpha that we stopped. It's true. But hey. You put anything off long enough, it never fucking happens. Principle works for apocalypses as much as for laundry." Teo settles out of his shrug, twines his fingers through the cuff of his opposite sleeve. "She might." Disapprove. "But there's a shitload of other things for her to frown at. Meeting with her is a good idea. You want me to set it up, or can you get her?"

It wasn't the virus, necessarily, that Richard was referring to; but he leaves the shadow at the forefront of his mind there for now, lingering but not forgotten. "I can probably get in touch with her to arrange it," admits the shadowmorph, "She may not end up involved directly, but— it's her damn father."

There are lots of ways to kill lots of people, it's true. Particularly handy to have them angrily hack at each other. Part of a world where fathers and daughters set assassins on each other. Teo is already frowning at the prospect of this meeting, but he steels himself. He's told himself before, resolved that he wouldn't stand in Phoenix's way. He owes Elisabeth and Leonard that much, and Helena something no less, but different. "All right. Chances are decent we'll need her consent to borrow her face for something, anyway. Digital, or by way of Sonny."

"Whatever happened to the old way of doing things… slap a blonde wig on some similar-looking chica and call it a day," the shadow laments, tongue firmly in cheek, the shadow swirling in fractal patterns up the pew's back and spilling over Teo's upper arm and shoulder to perch there, "That about does it for business, then, I think… figure out a way to use Logan, meet with Helena, pick up Mitchell's information…"

Abby used to smile about this: the winged shadow that would pass the concrete at her feet, dispense a chirp in her ear, despite that there was no hollow-boned creature passing through the trajectory of sunshine over her bright head. It's pretty fucking hard not to smile at, and Teo doesn't try to repress the urge. "Si/. I'd call it concluded. You have number, and now I know your address, and the fact that you have landmines buried underneath the fucking carpet. We can call it a night."

But the shadow remains.

"One thing I want to tell you, though, before you go."

By then, Teo's already stood. Half-expecting the blot of darkness on his shoulder to slide off like ink or water, flow away to ambush its other business, but it stays. It speaks. Halts him partway into his next stride, and he turns his head, blinks his baby blues, one knee propped up against the back of one wooden bench and fingers hooked around his cigarette box. Yeah?

The shadow lingering upon the man's shoulder waits for him to pause, to look towards his shoulder with those blue eyes. Even then, he waits a moment to ensure he has Teo's attention.

"You still have some friends, Laudani. Stop beating yourself the fuck up about the past and move on before you lose the ones you have now. Just some advice."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License