Next Time


eve_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title Next Time
Synopsis When you die they make a list / Of every love you never kissed / Of each regret and each mistake / Every choice you'll fail to make.
Date January 4, 2008

Orchid Lounge

The Orchid Lounge, owned by the mother of Senator Nathan Petrelli, is an Asian-inspired martini bar lit by candlelight and the soft glow of wall sconces spaced evenly throughout the room. Although there aren't any employees at the door to check for identification, it's unusual to find anyone in the college-aged crowd at the Lounge, which caters to young professionals with plenty of extra money to burn. During the day, the plush burgundy drapes affixed to the windows are used to filter out the sounds of traffic and at night are drawn back to allow passersby a glimpse inside.

Seating is simple: clusters of rectangular tables fashioned from white marble, each with two leather benches parallel to the longest sides. Silk pillows in varying shades of red, brown, yellow and orange lend a splash of colour to the Lounge, vivid against the pale walls and black-painted cement floor. On one wall is a giant mirror with an intricately carved frame that reflects almost everything in the room and makes the space appear twice as large as it really is. Clearly, the proprietor of this establishment wanted to get her money's worth - real estate in this part of town isn't cheap!

The Orchid Lounge has a few people in there tonight. Eve has just about finished her set, in the middle of her last song. Dressed in a blue dress and heels, her eyes are closed as she sings some ballad about losing someone you care about. Her whole soul is into the song. She doesn't notice anyone else in the room.

Go anywhere enough times and you either learn to blend in or the indigenous people kill and eat you. Teo managed to figure out New York City, an Ivy League, Beijing. He's finally come to blend in reasonably well here. Go dark. Nothing rumpled, make sure your shirt isn't skewed, tell them you know Eve. Black hair, yay tall, heart-shaped face, sings. He's in after that, little trouble, hands in his pockets and glancing over the glitter of designer sequins and glasses of ice wine, listening to the woman in their midst. Doesn't recognize the song.

"Bella canzone, Eve." The voice from over her shoulder and behind is a familiar one to her, marked by Italian, a wry note of good humor and an easy affability that remains perpetually opposed to what Teo actually does for a living. Or with his free time, as the matter may be: neither Phoenix nor PARIAH ever paid a wage. He's loped halfway out of the gap between tables, his head canted, studying the line of her back until she looks at him. "I guess they don't write music for the ones that come easy." It was a sad song, he means.

"Grazie amico." Eve smiles at Teo and gestures to a booth in the back that she likes to sit in after she is done with her singing. As she slides into the seat. "How are you?"

A pleasant shrug hunkers through the line of Teo's shoulders. He takes the gesture with a nod, and lopes in to seat himself opposite her. "Pretty good. Heard Catherine got your dream down," he says, after circling a brief glance around the patrons and seats closest, assuring himself there's no one close enough to have to shoot in the interest of a clandestine conversation. "Sounded like a rough time, signorina. Hope that and work isn't all you've had going on."

"Well.." Eve looks down and then back at Teo. "I kind of been seeing this guy." Eve leaves it at that and studies the man sitting next to her. "I… uh…"

When the woman looks down, Teo does too, as if honestly expecting there to be something in her hands or on her lap worth examining. Not that he could see it from here, of course; the table's blocking, despite that he's leaning on his elbows, casual and perpetually polite. Which changes, fractionally, when she says. His expression cycles through emotions: surprise, resentment, blank restraint. "Can I ask paranoid and overprotective questions about him?" he asks, with something akin to humor.

"Sure thing. He is a really good guy, and please don't tell anyone this but he's a cop.. works with SCOUT actually. He might possibly join the Ferrymen if I can get him to meet with Hana or Noah. What about you? What's new? Romance? Besides all this.. other shit." Other shit meaning the Vanguard situation. Eve runs a hand through her hair and looks at Teo.

There is a profound blink of blue eyes, surprise with consternation, a shadow of an uglier sentiment that doesn't actually have a lot to do with the annoyance that Teo had let escape him a moment ago. Cops. He hates cops. No offense to the ones he works with, though plenty of offense to the one he otherwise— fraternized with. "Nothing. Not a lot of personal anything going on on my side, I mean. There's work; you know the kind. Holidays have been pretty quiet." The words come out mechanical at first, smooth out as he speaks on. He grimaces faintly and his back relaxes, lean shoulders falling against the back of the booth seat, squaring. "Mi dispiace.

"I'm not trying to be a cunt. I'm happy for you, honestly. The Ferrymen always need new contacts, all industries. SCOUT, especially. He could be an asset— sounds like a good guy. You deserve one. Mind me asking what his name is?"

"Sorry for what?" Eve raises and eyebrow and then places a hand on the table, she did notice Teo's facial expression and the singer blinks a few times and then "Non mi danno che." She shakes her head and continues to look at Teo. "His name is Darius, I know you well enough to know when something is eating at you."

Predictably, Teo has the grace to look ashamed of himself, if his sense of shame has much to do with grace at all. "I don't like cops. It's a prejudice. I'm pretty sure there are a lot of good ones— I just grew up with corrupt assholes. Didn't like him for that. And I guess I'm a little envious. Of him, you, something like that." A shrug rocks through his shoulders, and he can't be bothered to coordinate it so his left goes up before his right. He couldn't look more sheepish if he'd been caught with mismatched socks.

"Understandable." The prejudice part she means. When the man says that he is envious Eve shakes her head. "Why? I know there is someone out there.. isn't there?" Eve blinks, "Why would you be envious of me?"

"You look happy. Despite your disconsolate choice in singing music." Teo grins, crooked, though the expression fades slightly at the way that very comment — or this topic of conversation, in general, circles around on him. He shakes his head. "I don't date. Stopped about halfway through last year, little while after I met Helena." Joined PARIAH, he means, though he feels no particular compulsion to drop that line in the room. It's one of those rare phrases that might turn a civilian's head even if caught on the edges of hearing. "'S fine. I wasn't really good at it, anyway," he admits, with a faint grimace at an old memory. Involving either projectile vomit or his shit getting tossed out a window, probably.


Barenaked Ladies, "Next Time"

You can always get it right next time, next time.

You can count on me to mess it up,
You can count on me to let you down again,
And in time you'll see that I'm your only friend.

Comfort in community obliterated,
Given opportunity I hesitated,
Even my humility's humiliated.
Next time, next time.

When you die they make a list
Of every love you never kissed,
Of each regret, and each mistake,
Every choice you'll fail to make.
Oh well, oh well, oh well.

It's a shame I have to wait until the ending.
Everything I've yet to break is surely bending.
Every vow I ever take is just pretending
That this mess I make is worth defending.

January 3rd: Aunt Nancy
January 4th: Pain Is Life
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