Phone Call


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Scene Title Phone Call
Synopsis Deckard talks someone into letting him phone home long enough to sort a few things out with Teo in the realm of How and Why.
Date March 6, 2009


Relieved of suit coat, holster and belt, Deckard looks better than he could, all things considered. The sleeves of his dress shirt are rolled to his elbows and his slacks are creased in all the wrong places, but he slept better than he should have on the hard pallet provided him. He could probably stand to shower. Later, according to the people in charge. Fine. Like he has much room to argue.

His access to a pay phone is monitored by a squat uniformed officer currently in the process of tucking recently unfastened cuffs onto his belt so that he has both hands free to put the hurt on Deckard should he decide to try anything funny. So far, he hasn't. With one last glance back over his shoulder at the guy, he lifts the phone off the hook and starts dialing. Collect. They took his spare change too.

Ring, ring. When Teo answers, there's a breath of cold wind throwing the trajectory of his voice off, an odd aspect of a shout underneath it. He's on Staten Island, probably; Midtown rarely accomodates Phoenix as of late, at least by evidence of their encounters.

"Hello?" Either it's a side-effect of the wind and the volume he's summoned up to combat it or the incredulity in Teodoro's voice is just that, informed by whatever technological magic that baby terrorists as Phoenix's leader have at their disposal. Calls from the New York Police Department precinct house. Not Teo's usual fare of conversation.

Ring, ring. Deckard double takes at something smeared across the receiver and holds it a little further away from his mouth, right hand curled to a lax brace against the phone's bulky frame. They've left him his eye patch so far, so. That's nice of them. Apparently the band isn't long enough for him to hang himself or anyone else with.

"Hey." His voice is familiar across the crackle of a connection that could stand to be a little stronger, weathered rough and just a little hoarse. "Ahh," something to say, something to say. "I'm in jail."

“I know." That isn't the most diplomatic answer that Teo could have summoned out of his mind, possibly, but it is consistent with the average amount of tact he's displayed throughout the beginning and middle parts of his day. Stress is telling. It might be just as well, getting it out of his system: he has a quota to fill before he talks to an erstwhile serial killer.

The protracted pause falls into odd, almost humorous fit with their habitual patterns of conversation. Silence, in place of the multitude of other concerns. Secrets that have to be kept, loyalties that would sound really stupid if he articulated them out loud. "Figure it won't be long until HomeSec gets you. You want to do this shit with legal proceedings, or what?" A car blares past him, audibly.

"…I dunno." The absence of stress on the other end of the line hangs slack through the wire. Annoyingly so, maybe. The silence that follows is unhurried in a lazy way, Deckard's middle finger pushed into the coin receiver to check for spare anything almost automatically. There's nothing, of course. An ancient piece of chewed gum blackened by the passage of too many fingers.

"I can't tell them what they want to know. I probably wouldn't anyway, but…" the trail off is a leading one while he brushes his freshly stickied hand down the front of his shirt. "I've got Scruff McGruff about five paces aft and the line may be tapped."

Another interval of radio silence insinuates itself between men, as if there wasn't enough distance between the precinct house and Staten Island. Then, "Heard you held out your wrists and told them to fucking take you in.

"I—" —want to explain how he'd heard that, but the line's tapped, and Deckard would know the instant he cared to stop and think about it, anyway. Elisabeth Harrison's name was up on the projector, and there are enough rumors between Felix Ivanov and the Italian to rebuild the Verrazano-Narrows in stacks of tawdry pornography. "I didn't know what to fucking say.

"What could be this bad?" Earnest confusion, then.

"The fed gave me an ultimatum. Talk or go downtown." A breath breezes harsh over the line, the ghost of a laugh, maybe. Or a sigh. It's hard to tell between crackles of unrelated static. Anyway, it passes quickly, and Deckard's back to leaning his weight into the box again, much to the annoyance of his current keeper. "I guess I could've tried to shoot him and jumped out the window, but apparently he's quick on his feet. So."

He rolls his remaining eye up to the ceiling, the lines around his mouth creased in a little deeper for a second or two. What could be this bad? He declines to answer the question, even with a 'be more specific.' "Whatever this is — I don't know. It has them worried. Scared. Something. If things get bad, you better let Boo Boo know he's going to be dealing with worse than the usual public indecency charges."

Teo's conscience is such a clumsy thing; bleeds loudly, bruises colorfully, and the thunder of its complaint manifests in a complete dearth of words. It would have been adequately soul-crushing if Deckard had gotten himself slapped with cuffs and dragged off out of stupid pride, only days after he dragged his battered corpus out of another one of Abigail's clusterfucks short an eye on Phoenix's behest. It's infinitely worse

"Jesus Christ, Deckard. I…" Air blows shapeless noise over the receiver and Teo's knuckles bump indistinctly into the phone, some struggling effort to regroup, piece together a bit morale and constructive advice, before it all comes apart at the seams with a hiss of a sigh. "Fuck. How bad?"

"Dunno." It's a catch-all in the way of zero information, both syllables dictated more sharply than need be when Deckard feels the shadow of his shadow leaning in a little closer. "I really don't. I wouldn't have given them anything anyway, so." Don't let the asshole get a big head over it or whatever.

Head tipped forward into the brace of his arm, he stays where he is for a breath or two, the sound muffled into his sleeve while he fails to say anything useful or informative. "I wouldn't have told them," reiterated at a more distracted distance, there's a dull series of taps while his fingers dap along hard plastic. "Hate them too much."

Brian's ego isn't that big, surely.


All right. Fuck; whatever. Teo scrunches up his face and his voice goes proportionally nasal, hollow with fatigue. "Give my number to your lawyer? I mean, unless you know already, you could talk to him, and he could let me know. What kind of plea, or terms or—" Legalese deserts him, displaced with the uncomfortable knowledge that if, maybe, Deckard didn't fucking hate them so much Elisabeth and Felix wouldn't have made him hate them more, and the whole stupid vicious cycle wouldn't be rolling toward Homeland Security's invasive curiosity and dark dungeons with Deckard lashed to the spokes.

"If you want to."

"Nisha Kotecha…s'the lawyer. I dunno if she cares. I'll probably talk to her before too long." Deckard's diction is uncharacteristically lazy, words tripping over each other on their way out. A tap on his shoulder leads into a tap on current company's watch, and he straightens to rub his hand over his face. "They should charge me soon. Unless they run out of paper while they're typing it all out." At this rate, it doesn't seem like too much of an impossibility. "I gotta go. I didn't say anything before, but I think maybe I should've. So — thanks. For getting me out of the basement."'

Way to grind his heel in, though it might be unkind of Teo to think so about gratitude offered in such rote and simple terms. From the old man, it isn't. The younger flounders in a little more quiet despair, breathing in and out with the same enforced regularity that he conditioned himself to learning how to swim.

Deckard's apathy pisses him off the way Alexander's apathy used to piss him off, and he's still sorry besides. Trying not to apologize for that whole thing. The basement. It's very difficult to not apologize. "Hey," he says, at length, some lopsided and equally maudlin attempt at humor. "Would you hang up on me 'f I told you to just tell Officer Harrison whatever the fuck she wanted to know?"

Teo's answer comes in the form of a lifeless click. Granted, there's a pause that precedes it that may or may not mean something, but it doesn't make much difference one way or the other. The line is dead without any more actual words, and brows lifted, Deckard turns one wrist over behind his back, then the other. Assume the position and all of that.

"When I was saying how much I hated those guys a few minutes ago, I hope you know I didn't mean you—" The cuffs cinch tighter. Deckard winces.

March 6th: Error Margin

Previously in this storyline…
The Right to Remain Silent

Next in this storyline…
Open and Shut

March 6th: Open and Shut
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