Of Bad Ideas and Broken Hearts



Also featuring:

francois_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title Of Bad Ideas and Broken Hearts
Synopsis Emily overhears an argument between her roommate and his husband.
Date May 9, 2019

"My name is Francois — you are Emily, right?"

There's a wondering look that comes over her at hearing he was supposed to be meeting Teo, because Teo already left with the person he was meeting, and that was some time ago.

Her look changes again when he introduces himself as Francois, and not the expected Raul. Her brow starts to knit, and she stands up a little straighter.

Emily looks him up and down, takes in the state of his dress, the state of his hair, the state of himself, and she starts to wonder. "Yes," she answers cautiously about herself. She's taking some time to think about his name.

It's an odd name. Infrequently heard. Very fucking French. "Like the guy from the book?" she asks about himself, because this is apparently necessary to know. Except in the book, Francois Allegre died or something. She's not really read it, herself.

“And no, Teo stepped out with a friend of his or something,” Emily adds, because she’s not trying to hold the guy hostage on her porch.

The guy from the book only kind of smiles blandly at an answer that is less than ideal. Francois can see the wheels turning in her brain, and his own calculations are clicking along too. He is not inept at navigating tricky social circumstances — the delivery of his information upon greeting had been by design, most assuredly, to avoid door slams — but this one is particularly strange.

Which is irritating, because it doesn't have to be, Teodoro Laudani.

"Like the guy he's married to," he corrects, as for her game of association, adopting her verbiage. Selling the idea that this is a normal interaction to be having, or at least, that it is equally inconvenient for him as it could be for her. His accent is a strange mingle of his native French and generia Americana, European cadence and familiar vowels. "It is nice to meet you — I apologise, for interrupting your evening. We were meant to meet at 7 — I've tried his phone. Is he nearby?"

Perhaps he is nearby! Francois' query is hooked quizzical, like perhaps he is mistaken where he was meant to be.

Like the guy he's ma— oh shit.

Emily feels like had she ever heard this piece of information before, she wouldn't have forgotten it. After all, Francois is a rather unique name. As stated.

As stated, this is Teo's husband.

“Nice to meet you,” she replies in a slow deadpan, her poker face holding after a small slip in her initial surprise. She's looking him over, a million and a half questions about his person and how he came to be here, on her porch of all places, going unspoken only because she's fairly certain Francois seems like a charming person and they could end up chatting a while. Also, because he's not here to entertain questions, he's here to see Teo.

Also because, of the very few things she's been told about the mystery husband, she's been told he's an adulterer.

“He is nearby,” she clarifies after a beat, because she's decided she's not getting in the middle of this any more than she already is. “He's at a bar,” is an initially unhelpful response, until she lifts a slender arm into view, revealing she is in fact a whole person and not just a floating head unintentionally gatekeeping access to his husband.

Emily points diagonal to the townhome, to a neon Yeungling sign hanging in an otherwise darkened window across the street. “That bar.”

And then she closes the door without another word.

NYC Safezone, Sheepshead Bay: Epstein-Laudani Apartment

Son of a bitch.

Emily’s not sure if she whispered it or if she said it. Either way, she’s pacing back and forth in their living room, and has been ever since she saw the well-dressed Francois, Teodoro’s fucking husband, head for the bar she’d just pointed him at. Holy fucking shit.

Emily, that was a bad idea.

Maybe they weren’t really supposed to have dinner, and Francois was just a well-dressed asshole. She doesn’t know shit. They were supposed to be getting divorced. Do people who are getting divorced get together for dinner (to try and work things out)? Or was this just Francois trying to make up for things too little too late and she shouldn’t have given him the fucking time of day? She doesn’t know shit about this, or about what kind of state Teodoro might be in across the way.

Italians don’t fucking do things in moderation.

Panic gradually abates, reduced to pacing, looking out the front window on occasion, slowly resigning herself to the fact maybe everything’s all right. Almost five minutes have passed, she really should be getting back to what she was doing. Which was deciding on dinner.

Emily is in the kitchen when she first hears the yelling (sorry, raised voices), freezing over the boiling water, hand stopping midstir while her gaze slips out of focus.

She’s listening, intently, alert and coiled. Part of her wishes she had something like Teo’s ability, to be able to assess just what the hell is happening from afar, and another part of her she wasn’t previously aware of wants nothing more than to put even more distance between herself and the altercation. It’s worse than seeing a car accident you can’t look away from, because you really do have the option to turn away. With this, the voices are floating in against anyone’s will, most of all against the wishes of the two people who don’t want their very private affairs on public blast.

The noodles are done, Emily. You should probably shut off the water.

The voices on the street, Teo’s slurred and loud, and Francois’ silky attempts at keeping his own quiet, continue to filter in with the disparity between them causing her more anxiety than she thought possible. Brow furrowing, Emily tries to figure out why this is causing her so much distress, even though— well, obviously, it was a distressing thing. But why is she so…

The fork slips from her hand in the bowl as she puts it together, right as Teo




Emily sucks in a breath and leaves her bowl on the counter, steaming instant noodles abandoned midstir. Her feet are light as she flies up the stairs, trying to flee the noise. Perhaps she can give them some privacy if she goes into her room.

No. No, unfortunately they’re both still screaming at each other, and the situation is very messy. There’s no assigning blame, not even in the peanut gallery she now occupies — she just acknowledges it’s very messy, this thing. This working toward a divorce, partly due to infidelity, but mostly due to—

Did she just hear the words Wolfhound?

There’s two grown married men yelling at each other about their marriage outside, but Emily is in a daze, wondering why it sounds so similar to arguments she doesn’t remember hearing, but clearly heard. It keeps getting worse, somehow, with the sound impossible to escape because she’s frozen by it. Teo is trying to accuse his way onto the high ground, Francois trying to explain himself there in turn.

For some reason, it’s worse when both their voices go soft again, when she can hear only murmurs instead of voice-breaking, shouted specifics.

Had the argument run its course? Or were they only in an interlude, with quietly, viciously asked hypotheticals? Rhetoricals? Questions that weren’t supposed to be answered, by either party, because it could only lead to—

Emily jolts when she hears the first metallic WHAM of something striking something it shouldn’t be. She has no frame of reference to know what has hit what, and what its intentions were. One of them could have slammed the other into the car, one of them could have—

WRANG goes the second hit, and she jumps again, her arms coming up to hold at her elbow, on her bicep. Her hand slides to her shoulder and she closes her eyes as the awful noise happens a third fucking time, and she vaguely realizes she’s trying to comfort herself with this unexpected self-cradling behavior.

Maybe she should go down and try to gently separate them, before it gets any worse.

Maybe it’s none of her fucking business.

She hears Teo yelling again, decides it was him that hit — whatever the fuck he hit.

Maybe divorce isn’t simple. Maybe there’s fault on both sides. She wishes it weren’t the case, that she could easily associate blame to one side or the other, to throw open the window and shout at them both with characteristic confidence that one or the other needed to just do one fucking thing and everything would…

With an unsteady breath, Emily realizes she even complete that thought. Everything would what? Be okay? Fixed? Go back to normal? You can’t go back to normal after that. Even if Teo didn’t break his hand, even if it wasn’t Francois he broke it on, they both would still carry scars after this. It wasn’t bad enough that each other did what the other had done—

No. They had to live in the aftermath of it, too. With all the heartache that followed.

After what feels like an eternity, and also only minutes, she hears the door open downstairs when Teo lets himself back in hours later, and he has the grace, somehow, to not slam it like he’d slammed the mailbox. Dimly, Emily thinks she should go check on him.

Her noodles have long grown cold on the counter.

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