Mostly Harmless


alexander_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title Mostly Harmless
Synopsis In which Alexander is a tease and Teo is virtuous and the holy holiday spirit pervades above a busted lip and $300 of stolen cash.
Date December 16, 2008

Abby, Alexander, and Teo's Apartment, The Bronx

It's not overly spacious, It's a New York area apartment. But it suits it's residents purposes. An open kitchen, crammed with all the accoutrements needed to cook, a dining table shoved against the far wall with chairs tucked in. A living room with a fairly new red suede couch shoved up against a window and TV set opposite on a stand makes up the rest of the communal living area. It looks fairly newly occupied and the personal touches not put to it yet. Five doors down a hall lead to three separate bedrooms, a bathroom and linen closet. What's behind the doors remains a mystery unless one of the residents leaves a door open, though if someone knows the residents, the simple gold cross above one door indicates where the woman in this place lives.

It takes about forty minutes to get to the Bronx by subway, which is record time considering the wreckage that weather has made out of Manhattan's traffic system. An express car takes them up North, before they pick their way through the rest of the stops on a regularly-scheduled train. Navigating the sidewalk should be easier after that much time between now and the last drink, but there's this slight problem with the streets being less well-maintained up where it's cheap to live.

Teo almost falls four times, actually does once, and by the time they ramble into the apartment he's bitching fiercely in Italian under his breath, hanging his jacket up to dry in the bathroom.

Alexander has fallen a time or two on his own, but he's still cheerful. Entirely heedless of Teo's presence, he's stripping down for the shower, leaving a little trail of clothes behind him as he heads for the bathroom. He's cold, grubby, and smells of beer and smoke, so nothing else will do. Al, god help them all, has been singing. He's tuneful, even when blitzed, and cheerful after his victory, despite the blood on his chin.

For whatever reason, Teo had assumed that nobody was going to come stomping into the bathroom somewhere late in the systemized process of nakedness while he was still hooking his jacket up to the shower rack in there. Thus, when he turns around, he almost has an aneurysm. Cantankerous Italian verbiage aborts instantly, and he tosses his hands up in front of his face as if he's like seven years old, then has to remind himself not to peek as if he were fourteen. Failing that, he snags the shower curtain, pulling it helpfully open. "Jesus fucking Christ, Al. Seriously?"

Well, Al was in his boxer shorts. Blue cotton, to be precise. But since Teo's holding the door open, he skins out of those with a complete lack of self-consciousness, and steps into the shower, before snapping the curtain shut behind him. "I'm cold. I'm dirty," he says, with childlike directness. "And grubby from working in an overheated club earlier. 'scuse me. I won't be long, honest."

If Alexander were a child, he probably wouldn't warrant peeking. For all Teo stalked a lot of high school students, that was all perfectly professional. He shoves the curtain shut after the other man gets in, and swats the folded fabric in over the lip of the tub as he trawls for the door, carefully stepping over discarded boxers in order to scout out Alexander's pants. To go through his pockets in search of Hagan's wallet. "I'm taking the Mick's shit," he calls out, by way of grudging acceptance of the stated terms and conditions. "I know where he lives. Can get it back to him."

"Right on," Al agrees. There's the sound of water running. "He's good people, even if he is batshit crazy," he notes, then hisses, as hot water hits the wound on his lip. Oh, that stings.

Though Teo had kicked his shoes off before tracking across the floor, his sock-clad feet thump audibly across the floor as he roves to gather up Al's shit and put it somewhere that won't make him trip and fall and die amid his other fluster. They provide an adequate distraction, though if he weren't paying attention at all to what was going on in the shower, he probably wouldn't have thought to straighten and echo his voice back: "Are you okay?"

Alexander chuckles to himself. "I'm fine," he says, positively chirping. God, he's obnoxious. "Be out in just a second," And it doesn't take him long, with practically no hair to wash. "Thanks," he adds, to the sound of Teo cleaning up behind him.

Through some unexpected miracle of self-awareness, Teo manages to stop himself before he ends up folding Al's unkempt things. He lumps them into a pile on the dining table and starts shucking off some of the layers that he had retained. Fortunately, his jacket is dense and waterproof enough that he didn't have to worry about dirty meltwater bleeding through into his sweater in discolored patches. He barely sweats at all, ever, after November. Even if he's chasing muggers and superspeed Federal agents. Deprived of stuff to do, he shuffles past the television to poke his head in the fridge.

The water shuts off, after a little, Al is ever thrifty, and he emerges….padding past the kitchen door wrapped in a towel, before he ducks into grab his stuff. "Thanks," he says, sounding somewhat contrite. Aw. Someone picks up after him. He's flushed from the hot water, smelling of that frankincense and myrrh soap he uses, like a Mass all year round. The scars on his arm and face and side stand out livid, as he shuffles down the hall towards his bedroom.

Partially immersed in refrigerator, Teo doesn't move, eyes visible, peering over the top of the refrigerator door like a hopeless child playing hide-and-seek. His grip is on the handle, his shoulders stooped, knee half-bent to angle him toward a bottle of something that had been sitting at the bottom. Something. He can't remember what. What? What. "No problem," he answers, what feels like half an hour after Alexander drags his corpus out of view. He closes his eyes, squeezes them, then opens them again, glancing down at the butter compartment of the fridge door a moment, before standing up before getting anything. What. "Al?" Tentatively, he bends his head around the kitchen doorway.

There's the sound of Al's door swinging mostly shut. "Yeah, T?" he wonders. More sounds, namely that of Al going through clean laundry and dumping the dirty in favor of the t-shirt and boxers he sleeps in. "Whatcha need?"

Teo's shoulder meets the wall with a lazy scuff of contact, and he slides down to seat himself on the floor, as per custom. He glances at the couch, then at Abby's door, the gap underneath it conspicuously dark, no noise coming from therein. "I have decided to make all my friends get me boats for Christmas. Small ones. Toys, models, whatever. Plastic is fine. Gumball machine would be hilarious and therefore awesome." He peels one sock off, then the other, despite being discomfitted by cold toes — among other things. "This is a fucking requirement. Do you understand?" He kicks his bare heels out across the floor and folds his socks into one another, tugs the skewed hem of his sweater down his hip.

There's a moment of silent puzzlement, before Al pokes his head out of his bedroom door. "Ah, okay," he says, mildly, blinking like an owlet. I'll work on it. Any kind of boat in particular?" His hair is spiked with damp, what there is of it.

"No. Nothing particular. Whatever you think of. It's sentimental like that. For Christmas." Teo looks up, head leaning against the wall. Blinks to focus Al's face silhouetted against the light in his bedroom. For all that he can scold and demand like a spoilt prince, he's really still a silly cub abandoned on the floor, trying to figure out how soon before he needs to pee and a dozen other logistics, mundane and otherwise. "How about you?"

Alexander offers a hand up, as if Teo had fallen down yet again. "Hell. I don't know. I don't need much. Books, maybe. A gift card to a bookstore." It's the good side, rather than the ruined, that Teo gets for now.

After a moment's hesitation (glancing at the bathroom, confused about logistics), Teo wraps a hand around Al's and pulls himself up. "That's boring," he informs the older man, with a frown. "And that's not what Christmas is about, anyway. Tamara said so. You remember Tamara. The uncanny one." He flattens his palm and floats it in the air at about the seer's diminutive height and makes a critical face, that fades away into beatific amusement that doesn't change even when his gaze shifts tactlessly to that busted lower lip. "I like books, though. I'll think of something."

Alexander grins at that, guessing at the import of that look. No contrition. Far from it - an almost sated enjoyment. "Thanks," he says, before abruptly sweeping Teo into a hug. An oddly spontaneous gesture of affection, and one that only lasts a breath or so before he lets go.

It's true: Teo tends to be the spontaneous one, generally. Italian. It happens because it's inevitable. He is taken by surprise, but not exactly shocked. "Oh," he says ignobly at Alexander's ear. He hunkers an arm around the other man's waist and gives the hug its missing half, lets go without breathing too conspicuously. "Yeah, well. Say again once I've come up with something actually original, eh?" He claps a hand on Al's shoulder and rotates his head on its axis, glancing back out into the living room, their television unit glaring drowsily at the couch. "I'm going to wait until Abby gets home and let her know what to get me," he decides, imperiously. "Good night, signor."

"Night, man," Al says, clapping him on the back in return, before flicking off his light, and withdrawing into the dark bedroom. Still very spare - just that cot, a trunk, and a desk.

December 16th: A Caricature of Vigilantism
December 16th: Keep Your Enemies Close...
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