My Best Friend's Girl


abby_icon.gif teo3_icon.gif

Scene Title My Best Friend's Girl
Synopsis Abigail and Teodoro finally have a frank and serious private conversation about what's come between them. Which would be terrorism and boys. Unfinished scene.
Date March 23, 2010

Old Lucy's: Upstairs

Though one might remember when a certain fiery woman lived here… Now the living area above Old Lucy's has changed hands. The open living room and kitchen are homey, a commingling of two people's tastes. The leather couch sits kitty corner to a one of red suede and a bit smaller. A large bird cage for it's budgie inhabitant takes up it's own corner beside dark paneled walls. Bookshelves with literary pieces of a variety both academic and not take up another small section.

The kitchen is large, with a rolling wood and black marble island to give more counter space to work on. Pots and pans hang from the roof and track lighting keeps it not gloomy. A proper oak dining table has been set up with matching chairs instead of the 70's castoff that the residents have been known to own and a bowl of fresh fruit sits in the center.

Down a hall lay's multiple doors. A master bedroom occupied by the oldest resident and occasionally have a pervading smell of whiskey and smoke coming from it when the door is open. A second door with a cross above it, a third with no marking that is occupied by the third resident of the premises. Two other doors lead to a linen closet and bathroom - Decorated in a very strong pirate theme - respectively. A black cat with a red velvet collar and a little swarovski charm dangling from it can be found meandering at will.

One more day till she's back on shift, likely sitting at the on call and stocking up supplies on rigs till they make sure she can bear the weight of someone without her knee giving out. Gone is the brace, and just an ace bandage beneath yoga pants, Abby's reclining on the couch, pillow under head, Pila is out and nesting in her hair and there's a soap opera on TV. grey tank top, new bathrobes for everyone. Abby's taking a slovenly day before she needs to prepare for a funeral, work, check on her partner. Be in touch with the rest of the world beyond channel seven.

"Tell Mary that if she doesn't return the money, John and I are going to find it. She won't like it when we do"

"No you won't" abby talks to the TV licking a spoon with cool whip on it and trace of chocolate syrup and ice cream. "You're gonna kill him, kill marry and then kill john so you can have all the money for yourself. They're just going to lead you to the cave where it is and you'll just shoot everyone. Won't they Pila" The bird doesn't answer, too happy in the fold she's made within Abby's curls.

"That's how it goes. Now, Ernesto should come in."

Ernesto comes in, but less duskily tanned than he used to be and an inch shorter than real mmmovie star material. Teo's brows are knit and he is jingling his key in one hand, navigating a small soap-flake sized wad of snow that he had somehow managed to transport all the way up the stairs unnoticed back down the stairs with a carefully trajectoried backward kick of his foot. It does not really work out. He gives up in a moment.

Steps inside and shuts the door with his butt, stooped over to pull his boots off, foot by foot. He can tell by the television who's home, or at least who's watching. Jesse's taste would be either a lot more violent or a lot more conservative, ironically. "Buongiorno, Abigail," he says, wiping a thumb at his cold-reddened nose. "It's brass monkeys out, as they say in England. Your maneuvers are clever."

"She turns her head enough to see who exactly entered, perhaps a little too much because there's an outburst of Pila noise that may or may not be attributed to the entrance of their Sicilian or that she's having to dig little pin prick claws in to keep purchase in the blonde curls. "I don't know what you mean by brass monkey's Teodoro. I'm not English, I'm Southern."

One slender hand rises to nudge Pila onto her hand, gentle grip by claws as the female avian issues her demands and she holds out her hand for Teo to take one of his two unhappy females in his hands. "I think she's catching a cold, something. You might have Eileen come over and see if she can find out if anythings wrong"

Pila is taken on the curved roof of Teo's hand, and her small feet ladder an agile course up the segments of his fingers, finding purchase easily between calluses and the subtle variations of joints, knitted breaks beneath the skin, the sweat seamed from the gloves he'd stripped off with his teeth moments ago. His other finger comes up over the crisply striped arch of her wings, and he is speaking to her, quiet, in Italian.

Ninna nanna di pace che invento
Pensando a un bambino
Che è arrivato stanotte dal mare col freddo che fa
Trasportato sulle ali del vento
Da un paese lontano, fin qua
Con in tasca il ricordo più dolce di un'altra città.

He's splatted himself down on the floor near the couch, the next moment. Is unzipping his outer coat, pushing the panels wide and leaning his long torso back, making an oblique slant with a lot of clawholds for Pila to climb around on. He kisses the side of her head. Through this, she doesn't let up screaming at him, but the anxiety and pitch of her twitter goes staccato, widens gaps in between the fierce little syllables, and the white rings around her eyes are darkening gradually.

"'Brass monkeys' is their way of saying cold. I hope she isn't catching a cold. Too much sick going around lately." Teo's head is drooped down to study Pila's waddling up and down the fold of his coat. He isn't sure if Abigail is onto something. He isn't sure he'd be able to tell if she was. "Thank you for checking on her. And getting her out of her cage, and everything."

"Far too much sick going around and I wish that Kozlow and his friends weren't following me so that I could go down there and help. but they'd just take them out too to get at me" Teo seems to have taken up his regular spot on the floor beside the couch and Abigail flex's her toes then her feet back and forth, muting the television where there is baby drama happening.

"It's Pila. You know I'd do anything for her. She's family. This place could be burning and I'd go back for her. She means the world to you" Abigail points out even as she shifts to sit up and feet plant firmly on the floor so she can lean past the Sicilian and grab her coffee.

Slowly, slowly, Pila calms down. She marches around and fusses, gets it out of her system, though. Though Australian in origin, she is Sicilian in spirit, and this is the way they do things; shout, fluster, get hopping mad before it's over very suddenly and very— noisily. On the roof of her cherry tomato-sized head, her forehead feathers smooth gradually, where they had for a moment been as bushily animated as Teo's eyebrows get, sometimes. "You mean the world to me too."

It perhaps takes him too long to remember to say this, or he was thinking about something else, or maybe he thought it would sound trite. Probably does anyway, but grave times require earnest words, and one only says embarrassing shit when there's urgency enough to press past appearances. The twisted fishook hole in his cheek puckers slightly as he breathes inward. "I'm almost glad Odessa is here, wolf in sheep's clothing, spying on us for them for us. Means this place won't burn for a little while. Not as long as she can keep her fucking lies straight."

"I know" She knows, even as a lone forefinger moves to help ease those feathers. "She'll keep them straight Teodoro. But, if you came here to discuss Odessa and who she works for and came here under, I don't want to hear it. She's here and likely she will help you with whatever plan it is that y'all are cooking up. Lord above knows that if Matt knew, he'd be turning even more gray in his hair."

Beast sufficiently smoothed and half her coffee drained, she sets the cup back down. «So why are you here? You haven't slept here in a while and I see you so rarely. You need a place to sleep and Francois's place isn't close enough?» It's a touch more sharper than she usually is with her words as she starts to practice her Italian while she has the chance.

Poor Matt Parkman. Teodoro wanted to shoot him in the head once, you know. Maybe— twice. Life as Teodoro Laudani inevitably requires the occasional desire to execute somebody in the course of impassioned duty. He isn't really thinking about Matt Parkman, of course; he's thinking about Matt Parkman to avoid thinking about other things. Same with Odessa, though that's verging onto truer territory. Representative— territory. She used to be able to tell him stuff, or at least, he'd wonder less why he didn't feel like he could ask.

"Nah. I wanted to talk to you. And Alexander, maybe, but—"

Whole other can of worms, is the phrase. Or 'there is a time for everything,' to be Ecclesiastical. Teo tucks his head to the right, slightly, gets his big hairy melon out of the way when Pila fires off a burst from her papery wings, lands herself squarely on his shoulder. She uses her small bill to help walk along to his neck, methodically scaling him like a mountain. "«I'm as bad as you think. In Russia,»" and that word's the same in either language, easy to understand despite his audible difficulty saying so, "«I didn't want him for him.»"

"«I don't know what to think. Russia for me is mostly Ethan over me and holding a knife to my throat after he broke my ankle Teo. Russia is mostly a place I would like to forget, except for a few moments»" Her elbows rest on her knee's as she breathes in through her nose and holds her breath.

"«Do you want him now? Do you truly want him now?»" Her right toes curls against the rug that covers the hardwood floor as she tilts her head, runs her hand through blonde hair as if trying to dry it. "«I had to hear it from Magnes.»"

'Magnes,' like 'Russia' is the same in Italian also. Teo has the good grace to redden, and she can even see it kind of from where she's sitting. His ear turns color, the edge of it, flushing over underneath the ragged laddering of off-blond hair. "«I didn't want you to find out. I thought it would be over, even if nothing happened with you and Flint. When something did, and you broke up,»" and he can't even pretend it galls him anymore, it's so far out of his business, "«I thought for sure he and I were over.»

"«I have the Devil's luck and none of his principles.»" That part goes so quick, and in a mutter, that Teo is pretty sure she doesn't hear it properly. Little doubt, she gets the gist anyway. He doesn't answer her question. Maybe because he forgot. Sometimes Teodoros get wrapped up in self-pity, or better, self-flagellation.

Abby says, "«Oh, well, I found out Teodoro. You thought, hey, I'll throw snowballs and stop something, and when that looked like it might now work, you decided to screw him Teodoro.»" Forefinger is raised, rest of her fingertips touching her thumb as she waves her hand back and forth.

"«Because you know that I'll back away from whomever it is that you go after. You don't poach on your best friends territory. That's the rule. What, you think that because you changed the future for everyone else that that wouldn't change? I had genuine interest in him. We had talked, the two of us, and we had agreed that nothing would happen until I got back stateside and could talk with Flint.»" Abigail shrugs, unable to even meet Teo's eyes.

"«To hear it from Magnes and not to have seen it myself, you hid it. What else do you hide Teodoro? And I get looked at because I won't divulge who's asked me to guard and protect Odessa and you, you SABOTAGED something that could have been, because you didn't want something to end, and you wanted it for yourself.»"

If Teo were a little more grown up maybe he would point out that sleeping with some guy, secretly, and not wanting anybody to find out about it so it could be like it had never happened, is different to sabotaging. Also different to keeping secrets about guarding Odessa who has historically been a bitch worthy of solemn death threats and distrust and loathing. Maybe. Maybe not. Teodoro doesn't make her meet his eyes; he's looking at Pila, looking down, his back to her and leaned on the couch. Counting the seconds 'til he finds the courage or the right words.

Preferably at the same time. "I'm not lying. «I swear.»" He touches thumb to the black-dot patch on Pila's cheek, is nibbled greedily for his efforts. Literal birds are easier. "I didn't want you to back away; I didn't want you to find out. It was just to pass the time. He feels for you, did then, still does. I don't—" know.

But Teo does. "I'm sorry. I know— I know I should have been the one to wait."

"But you didn't" She switches back to english. "And you had better not tell him that it was just to pass time. And he may feel for me Toe and he's told me that he does, but the matter is, is that you and he are now together and I have no issue with that. I gave my blessings and if he is just like sonny and a change of pace, then he is just that. I'm with Robert, in some fashion. So long as Kozlow doesn't end my life or his."

The blonde rises from the couch, slender fingers sliding around the porcelain handle so she can head for the kitchen with barely a limp to refill her coffee. "You hurt me. Just like Flint did, only with something far different than a backhand to the face." She's unhappy about it. "Don't do it again. Maybe next time you can trust me for once. Everyone could do with learning to trust me."

Pila and Teo both look up when she moves to get her coffee. It's hard to tell how much the budgie understands about what's happening here, but 'most any person in the world could tell you that the Sicilian isn't feeling very well. Really, Caliban. Some mafia man, when Abigail could have been with Francois. Some mafia man, while she gives them her blessing. Probably, a kick in the nuts would have been easier to take. "I trust you.

"It's not about that. Generally, I have a harder time trusting the people around you. And I don't like seeing you upset. It won't happen again," Teo says, dropping his nudging forefinger from the bird's small blue breastbone. Pila proceeds to comb her bill through his bearded jaw, unmindful of the keloid-glazed hole ripped through his cheek. "I'll be honest."

Mafia man who ran guns to Russia for them, who came to Russia at the expression of a need, by the woman who's pulling the pot from the space aged contraption and refilling her cup and making one up for Teo. "Things are going to upset me Teo. I'm not in a bubble put away from the world. People are killing my friends, the bar is doing real slow thanks to the snow and not many people wanting to brave the weather for the sake of a bottle of whiskey when they can buy it at the grocery store and be home warm. Someone dies at a scene cause our ambulance can't get there and I can't go to the safehouses and help because I have cops watching me so that the same people killing my friends can't do that to me."

She is unaware of Teo's dislike of Caliban, only a few have shown any displeasure or dislike. "You trust me, but you don't. You didn't trust francois, but now you do. But you still don't trust me. Liz tells me, without fail, that she trusts me, then asks me a question I can't answer save 'you need to trust me' and then leaves in a huff saying she can't. It's happened before. Saying it is one thing Teo. doing it. Doing it is a completely different beast"

"No. I trust you, and I do." Teodoro's disagreement is gently phrased and kept at a conversational volume, but there's the unmistakable framework of insistence around it. "Whether it's Jessica Sanders who took you, or Sylar you struck a deal with.

"Or Doctor Kozlow, this Caliban man you invited into the middle of an operation to save the world. I don't get in your way." He's standing by then, his socked feet rousing no noise of impact from the smooth flat of the wooden floor. Though his ankle still isn't at one-hundred percent of recovery, his stride falls even under the scuff of his pant legs. "I know I screwed up, putting dynamite on the train tracks with Francois, and you have every right to be mad at me about that.

"So's Francois," he adds after a moment, brow furrowing. "But I trust you. Always have. The bubble I keep trying to build isn't because I don't trust you."

"Robert. His name is Robert, and you can get used to saying it because he wants to have dinner with everyone. He wants to get to know me, and my friends and date me in public and take me places that will make me terribly uncomfortable and require a billion spoons but when it says french restaurant, there will be no french fries but real french food"

His cup is slid to the side so he can prepare it as he wants, today she's going for a spoonful of sugar. "And i'm dating him. A man who works for the linderman group. Liz has already raised her complaint. yes, I know what he does, yes, I accept what he does, that there might be parts of him that I don't see. But I accept him. And when he comes for dinner again, you all will behave as decent human beings that I know you all are"

Against the counter she leans, hip pressing against the lip of the granite top as she cups her mug up and looks to Teo. "Some time Teo, I need to be the self rescuing princess. Stop with thebubble"

Self-rescuing princess sounds like a lot of work. Teo doesn't like it at all, but he isn't about to protest. He acquiesces to the removal of the hamster ball with two hands lifted. Self-rescuing princess is permitted to self-rescue.

"'Long as you'll still call me if you need me for anything, right? And I still get to ask questions, even if you're not going to tell me. I can keep secrets. You know I can keep secrets. I'm keeping one for Odessa, right now. And no, I didn't strong-arm her into a plan you won't like the sound of; I'm going along with one that she pitched, herself," he clarifies. He stops a moment, swivels his jaw to the side under the delicacy of Pila's grooming.

"So: //about //Odessa."

"Have I ever not called you Teo. You are generally the first" She points out, keeping an eye on Pila to make sure she's not about to topple off his shoulder. "I know you can keep secrets, most everyone can keep secrets. Even I can keep secrets now and then" Which is apoke at the fact that she tries to keep people from telling her things in case she has to divulge it to authorities.

"Odessa is a big girl and she'll go around me if she wants to and there's nothing I can do to stop it Teo. So what about Odessa?"

Pila has enough strength in her tiny pink feet yet, to keep a hold of her Sicilian. Well, you know. As long as he's available to be kept hold of. Long vacations from her side for nonsensical purposes of terrorism and white-knighthood lie somewhat beyond the radius of her toes, but until then, as long as he's here, she finds him a manageable size and speed.

Or he's merely being more manageable than usual, here at the last place he was wont to call home. He threatens to crack a grin at Abigail's assessment. 'Even I can keep secrets now and then.' Though Abigail doesn't seem to be feeling very funny today, at least she retains some figmentary sense of humor about that whole thing with the secrets.

Instead, Teo keeps a straight face, puts his hands up to buoy Pila aloft between his palms. Her head emerges fluffy and blue above the curve of his thumb. "Someone asked you to try and get involved in that girl's life, though. Somebody asked you to protect her. Can you tell me about that? Are you in trouble?"

"Someone did, and no I'm not in trouble Teo. I just swore that I wouldn't say who it was, it's imperative that you all not know who it was. Why does no one just accept that as an answer? That I know what is happening and I trust the person who has tasked me this? I invited her into my home before this person even approached me Teo, so it's not wholly at the behest of this person."

Arms crossed, cup in hand and lifted to take a drink from it. "I shouldn't even be talking about it. I don't know if i'm not allowed to talk about it. Teo, stay away from roosevelt island" This tacked on to the end and she lifts blue eyes to him. "Stay off it, don't go near it, don't think of it."

Abruptly, she goes from telling Teo not to get up in her business to telling him to stay off the island where all the plague victims and their mutual friends go for work every day. Wonderfully, this transition is neither unexpected nor totally illogical in their 'industry' of work. "No one likes that answer because there aren't a lot of people who would choose to make you keep secrets like this one is, and most of those are assholes. Sometimes immortal, usually idealistic, invariably dangerous, and often quantifiable as 'assholes' even if they aren't simple enough to be evil.

"Yeah, I probably would've counted as one of those and might still do. Everybody accepts the answer, Abby. You can't ask them to like it." He glances up briefly, then back down into the splayed book of bird he has assembled between the leaves of his palms. He boosts his hands slightly, sends Pila fluttering up in a mad skitter of flight—

—but she merely lands on the top of his head the next moment. Teo lifts his eyebrows, and winds his gaze upward to study the long blue stripe of tailfeathers hanging down, but he doesn't insist on motivating her to more exercise. In the back of his mind, he's worried she's getting old. Or, as Abby had said, sick. "Jesse and Francois and half the Ferry are operating out of Roosevelt Island. Is it just me?"

"I was told to stay off of it." There comes the slight lift of Abby's shoulders as she relays the mysteriousness of the message as easily as it came to her. "Just got told to stay off roosevelt island. Whether that is just because the person doesn't want me on there because of something relating to me, or just because something in general is going to happen I don't know. Last I checked Teo, I did not have mindreading. I'm to keep Odessa off it, and stay off myself"

Worried blue eyes lift to the budgie, checking her out from afar and Teo can tell that it's another instance where she wishes she could still heal. She could take away what, if anything, was ailing his little queen. "It's not Adam Monroe. You can wipe him off your list of possible suspects. It's someone held in great esteem. Someone I trust, you trust, everyone trusts. So I trust the person implicitly and when they say jump, I say how high and how long."

She takes a gulp of her hot liquid, perhaps a little too soon as she's hastily swallowing then airing out her tongue. "IF there weren't consequences to spilling the secret Teo, you know i'd tell you. That, in and of itself, should make you realize how important me not telling, makes this. I tell you everything. You're my best friend, lord, I learned Italian for you" She points out.

Pila's wings flatten, and she shrugs her small shoulders up comfortably around her head. Her fiercer, louder tweets have given way to a mumbling burble of birdy nonsense-syllables now. Teo strains his ears to listen to it, as if he could better understand what's happening to her if he could hear.

More's the pity: he can't. "Last I checked, I don't have mind-reading either," he replies, first, pitching Abigail a belated glance. To check whether it's still runoff irritation varnished over her exaggeratedly obvious word choice, or something different. Well, obviously irritation either way, but sometimes it's less for him than the pressure-cooker their world's turned into, and the distinction is important to him.

He's selfish that way. "It's okay. I understand where you're coming from. Though it's worth nothing, I might not trust this person 's much as you wish I did. That might be my fault, though," Teo adds, smiling lopsidedly. "I'll try not to go to Roosevelt too often. Lost my fuckin' job there, anyway. I'll try to keep you covered if people start wondering why you don't come by too."

"I have a police escort wherever I go Teo. It's pretty obvious why I don't. It'd be poor form to bring by the cops to a safehouse and I don't need to go down to the bookstore. The guy who runs it doesn't know me. I only knew Hokuto and was friends with her" But he lost his job and she catches that if only a few moments after he speaks it and it causes the former healer to actually look at him. "He's closing the store then" She could understand why. How many people would want to go to a store where the owner was brutally murdered.

"I'd offer you a job at the bar, you know you have one. Except the hours are pretty bad right now and if the snow doesn't let up I'm going to have to let some people loose until it goes away because no matter how fast I shovel, that snow just keeps falling and just cause my pathways clear doesn't mean they can drive to here"

Most of her irritation with Teo is fading, like she needed to get it out and laid on the table about Francois and the derailing of a potential relationship. It probably hadn't helped that there was everything else happening and the stress that crazy russians or having Peter Petrelli as ones co-worker brings with it.

Teo gestures slightly with a hand, dismissing the guy at the bookstore. Mostly— because the guy at the bookstore has been recruited into this Charlie mess in ways that not even the Sicilian who invited him over fully understands, just yet. They'll see what Corbin wants to do. What he's willing to do, and capable of, and maybe if that diverges dramatically from the man he seemed to be before grief drove him to it, Teodoro will reconsider something of this but for now…

Being an enabler is kind of like trust, and being on the same side, for good reasons. Close enough, anyway. "You have a police escort most places you go," he points out, gently. "But you're hunted by homicidal Russians wherever you go. Which I take it you don't want everyone knowing about." He scrubs the blunt of his fingernails across the base of his head. Normally he'd go higher, likely, but he doesn't want a certain tiny hen's pinions to bent.

"Thanks, but not for now. I don't want to deal with—" He lapses into a brief silence, and his scar-tipped leer tenses, relaxes again fractionally, and Teo points at the side of his head as if indifferent. "Well, I don't have a police escort.

"Don't want one, don't want to get your girls in trouble. Or scare off the couple of patrons you have left with this. I'll find something if I need it." A beat. "I think mio Padre would prefer to think I'm just wasting my time drinking and getting into fights here."

"If I don't teleport, then I have a police escort. Or a Russian" She corrects him. She's been able to get to the terminal once, and then out to Louisiana thanks to Elias. "I don't want them figuring out where I go for the Ferry either Teo. Lest they decide to torch a house and the people in it because I went there. We know they're not above torching random places for their own amusement"

Out of the kitchen she's moving with her coffee in hand, pausing long enough to grab a mango and a knife from the basket and drawer so that she can have something that's not chocolate sweet. Why didn't the rest of them have a police escort? Matthew didn't consider them important enough or was it only because she went to the man and the others… were preferring to take care of this all on their own.

"Thank you for the dress. You picked beautifully. Robert liked it, though the shoes were a little high"

Teodoro is genuinely surprised. He starts to shuffle back to the wide wire cage hanging by the window, his tiny blue hat turning and chirping inquiringly where she's perched on the roof of his skull.

Teo holds the cage door open with one thumb, lowers his head toward the ingress. His free hand goes up, one finger lifted out of the five to grant her a perch. "Police underfoot while you're at the ER? Or— fuck, I don't even know what kind of work you do. Guess I figured they can't fit extra uniforms into crime scenes, but I take it they make do best they can."

Don't they all? "When Odessa moves out," his voice slows fractionally. The back of Teo's head is slumped ragged-haired as he carefully choreographs the bird's diminutive body on his fingers, lifts Pila to her home. "And I figure that's sooner than later— I'd like it if you and Jess would too. Someplace with fewer people coming in and out of it as part of everyday business. Think you'd be okay with that?"

"NO, I haven't seen them at the ER. We only drop off patients and then back to the rig Teo. I think they just drive behind me till i'm at work and out in the rig and then" She's probably fair game to any Russian. There's another shrug as she settles on the couch to slice and score her mango. A piece offered up to Teo to put into the cage for the bird.

"I don't really have a lot of places to move to right now Teo. Francois suggested it when this all started. There's not a lot of places that I will willingly subject them to cops and russian" Like cops and robbers but with accents. Seems though, that she's okay with that. She'd been okay with that when Francois had suggested it. "I could temporarily rent some place, I don't know. Find a place that takes animals" Or she could impede on Roberts hospitality again and do the Teo thing. Temporarily move in with your boyfriend.

Because Caliban totally wants a crazy redneck in his guest room.

Moving in with one's boyfriend is not something Teodoro would recommend, based on that past experience, but that's neither here nor there, and apparently not to be pitched aloud just yet. Pila's tail-feathers flit back inside, and his gait bounces, a series of swift hops along the slender stick perch. He closes the door behind her carefully, and the cage tilts slightly under the pressure of his forefinger. It locks with a click, against the bright white of the snowy afternoon shining behind it.

No doubt, Teo privately agrees, if by 'fair game' Abigail means it wouldn't be fair!! at all and he'd sooner it over his dead fucking body. Still, they do the best they can. The best anyone can, against a vengeful lunatic who has men like Feng Daiyu at their beck and call.

"Or you could take a couple weeks off work," he says, suddenly a little brighter. As if he's talking about a childhood chapter of their lives, when there were deep woods and camps and candy-bars instead of grown-up responsibilities. Simplifying factors like Kazimir Volken to kill. Teo puts his fists in his pockets. "Go into hiding a little bit, 'til shit blows over. Used to be our way, wasn't it?"

"Used to be our way when it was just Isabelle and she was all I answered to and I healed and I didn't have responsibility" she points out to him. "When I didn't have a bunch of people who relied on me to keep a business running so that they're employed or an ambulance company that took a chance on me and hired me to drive a rig. I won't get hired back Teo. It's one thing to need a few days off because one's knee got hurt." Smacked by a cane. "But I need a few weeks off to hide out, there's no way that i'll still be employed by the time it all blows over. In fact I'll likely not be employed the moment I ask. I just don't have the luxury of up and hiding anymore."

Teo wrinkles his nose suddenly, like an irritable teenager confronted with… with— homework, or whatever it was that he used to wrinkle his nose at. However immature Sicily sometimes is, childhood feels a long ways back. "Fine," he says. "Fuck it. A terrifying amount of security, unpredictable schedule, and Federally-surveilled job will have to do.

"I'm just paranoid." It is okay to say that lightly, to joke about paranoia. Keeps it from actually making a man insane. It's still paranoia if they really are out to get you. You just have to remember that that's them, not to forget us, or everyone you might tear apart in the crossfire. "You've taken a lot of precautions." He drifts away from Pila's cage, and she merely follows him with a sleepy warning trill. 'But not out of sight, please.'

"Liz might have space. Or Felix. I think Al has some of his assets back, too, so he could do to share some living space with you. I don't want him to live alone, or at the plague house full-time," Teo adds, and it is almost thoughtless, the way he says that; like he has any right to project what he wants on ginger's living circumstances. Still, it comes that naturally to him, like breathing, timing the blink of his eyes, or remembering to smile at her.

Blue eyes roll in their sockets at the use of foul language that until now has been sparse and the comments about security, job and schedule. "Have you not noticed that I live in for knox? Or that I'm forever looking over my shoulder and asking myself if I really need to go out and cause a possible hullabaloo. I could stay at Liz's but then again Teo, they already know about that place. Considering Is pent a couple weeks living there when my parents were there, it's out of the question. Besides, a can of thermite solves the security of that place." Danko had done that already.

"Maybe Al needs to go stay at another safehouse instead of the den, since that's on Roosevelt. Felix… I really don't think I'm an appropriate temporary roommate for Felix. Tell you what. I'll ask Robert okay. Maybe he has an idea. One that doesn't include pulling a You and moving into the penthouse that Logan still doesn't know he's got part of. Maybe Robert knows of a place that I can bring Scarlet and Pila to temporarily"

"Maybe Robert knows of a place you can bring Alexander, too," Teo says a little drolly. He stops above the trash can, brushes loose feathers off his jacket. The callused backs of his fingers catch against the fabric, make scraping she can hear across the room. "Dorchester Towers isn't bad.

"It has its own security, and since you have a work schedule you have to stick to and a car-load of cops trialing you everywhere anyway, they'd find out where you were living. It's less a question of a place you can defend from anybody than a place where a pack of ninjas, diseased Europeans, or random kids they might've hired our of Central Park would be noticeable entering. Last I recall, they don't let pizza boys above the lobby in Liz's apartment complex.

"S'pose Robert could have ideas," he concedes, dryly. No, he obviously doesn't think that that's the best idea ever, but she just got done taking a tone with him about being polite in the mafioso's general direction. As long as he isn't in the room, that isn't entirely impossible for the Sicilian to do. "But that's the principle."

"Last I noticed you needed a crapton of codes and biometrics to be let up here and a key" Abby snaps out at Teo. "Or else why would they have sent odessa to get up here Teo? Because it's fort Knox and they couldn't just barge in." The mango is put down, lips pursed. "Listen, I don't know what your issue is with Robert, but. Get over it. I'll try and find another place, that's not Liz's. I'll do it with Al and I and offer to Odessa to hunker down in it and you'll have no choice but to be satisfied that I'm at least giving in to that demand. Happy now Teo?"

She dries her hands on a paper towel, heading over towards the front door so she can start grabbing her jacket and bundle up. "If it will make you happy and make you sleep at night because the lord alone knows I don't get much of that these days. You should take part of your worry and focus it on Flint. He was staring at the place a couple weeks ago to the point he was scaring customers and told me he misses me. In front of Magnes while reeking to high heaven of whiskey. I couldn't even get him to come in. SO maybe take some of that concern and don't forget about your other friend. You know, the one that you did approve of me dating, sorry, fucking. Something Robert and I are not doing" She tugs on her boots. "I have to go get groceries. You can let yourself out"

A long-fingered hand catches her jacket by its sleeve. There is not a lot of strength in Teo's grasp, but that he does it at all makes more of the gesture than he's normally wont to impede her life in all its terrorism and mafioso choices. "Abby," he says. "Look. I'm sorry I don't like people in the mafia. I just don't like the word, the idea. Never have. Kids I grew up with in Palermo used to get into a lot of trouble because of them. I'm glad he liked the dress. I'm glad he makes you happy.

"But he doesn't market himself as a good man, and as far as I'm concerned, that's as much honesty as I need to respect from him. He's not my problem, and he's not my business. The fact any poor kid could come in with a box and blow up the second level of Old Lucy's through the ceiling of the first is.

"Don't— think I'm judging you, Abigail," and Teo's voice winds thin over that emphasis, uncertainty uncommon to him now. He's expanded his comfort zone since 2008, but with an easier appetite for violence and strange mutant hijinks comes a decreasing familiarity with what a friend might consider normal. "I'm not very good at life as a civilian anymore. Getting— out of… Us-Them, tactics mode.

"Feels like whenever I try, somebody gets shot in the head by Humanis First!, or decides to disappear for a three month soloist road trip, or… or looks at me like— I swear to God, I can't ask Liz out for coffee before she's sucking at the teat for a new lead or assignment. It feels like I'm fucking disappointing her if I don't have one, and I think she's one of two friends I had before Phoenix. That isn't an excuse. It's— an 'I'm sorry.'

"Mi dispiace." Teo's hand has long since fallen away, left Abigail's personal bubble sealed up behind the iridescent glistening of its goldfish-breath. He holds his face still. "Onestamente. I'll try harder."

There's a drawn out sigh from the blonde stuck in his grasp and she makes no effort to tug away. "He's in the mafia, and you're in the resistance and we've both been around the world, saving it side by side. Maybe you need to go pick up a pause magazine" There's a gesture to the one on the coffee table. "And go read about him. OR maybe you need to know that at one point, a little more than just the british guy who I sometimes call for help or who took me to a fancy party. Or that he's helped the Ferryman with that raid on Bella's hovel, and is willing to help again. He, not Linderman, is willing to help again"

When he does let go, she doesn't bolt for the door, just looks down at his feet before looking back up again to lope an arm around his neck and tug him down so she can headlock him, rub her fist over his head and noogie him. "You Teodoro, are my friend and for all that you have poached, told me of a future that won't ever come to be anymore, snap and snarl at who I'm seeing and whatever else. you're still my friend. Go read the magazine Teo. See in him, what I see in him beyond being.. what do you call it? Lindergoon?"

She lets him go a moment later, heading for the door. Things should be a bit easier between them, hopefully. "I'll find a place for Al and I."

"I will." Teo almost says 'Okay,' but he stops himself, reminded of what she just reminded him of, too, and reinforced with a grinding of her knuckles at the back of his head. Old man Deckard, what's he doing now? What the fuck is he doing, now? Besides, you know.

Avoiding the fuck out of Sicily forever. Teodoro's brow knits slightly, and the ragged, off-blond hairs stick up at the back of his skull. "We call them mafioso," he says. "I don't know about your other friends. Thanks for keeping Jesse."

It catches the slope of her cheek suddenly and gently, the tap of his forefinger. Though she had her eyes averted, her attention on the door at the time, she probably knows that the long digit had carried more than a comradely chuck, that he'd added something extra to it in that brief instant she was unravelling her slender arms from around his neck, a small token of affection. This, too, is just like the old days.

This could be fun. He can make a civilian friend. Maybe, this time, the civvie won't whip out a gun and turn out to be a Company agent, or the skinny adoptive daughter of a lifeforce-manipulating tyrant king, or a Vanguard operative with a malicious interest in blondes. "I'll try and look in on Flint. Ciao, Abby."

From here, a contemporary lullaby, Ninna Nanna di Pace or Lullaby of Peace:

1st singer:
Lullaby of peace that I invent
Thinking of a baby
Arrived tonight from the sea with the cold it does
Transported on the wind wings
From a faraway Country to here
With a sweeter memory of another town in his pocket.

Lullaby of peace and tomorrow will be a new day
Like inside a fairy tale telling of happiness
Without the shadow of bad wolf and the witch won’t come
With a king like my grandad who doesn’t do the war.

2nd singer:
And I’ll sing slowly in a language you don’t know today
And suddenly every word you’ll understand.
And it’ll be a song of peace, of friendship and fantasy.
Lullaby and your hand is in mine.

1° solista:
Ninna nanna di pace che invento
Pensando a un bambino
Che è arrivato stanotte dal mare col freddo che fa
Trasportato sulle ali del vento
Da un paese lontano, fin qua
Con in tasca il ricordo più dolce di un'altra città

Ninna nanna di pace e domani sarà un giorno nuovo
Come dentro una fiaba che parla di felicità
Senza l'ombra del lupo cattivo e la strega non arriverà
Con un Re che assomiglia a mio nonno che la guerra non fa

2 solista:
E canterò piano in una lingua che oggi tu non conosci,
E all'improvviso ogni parola capirai.
E sarà un canto di pace, di amicizia e fantasia
Ninna nanna e la tua mano é nella mia

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