felix_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title Post-Trauma
Synopsis Boys only want one thing. No, really. Really. Shut up. Just one thing.
Date February 4, 2009

A Nicer Hotel

It's a nicer hotel. Less seedy. Not part of a national chain, though. Something plain, generic. The kind with the doors facing an indoor hall, rather than a motor court. Fel's let Teo know where, via a phoecall from a payphone. At the moment, he's lying lazily on his side. It's not meant to be seductive - he looks bone-weary, eyes sunken and heavy-lidded.

Without a window to the motor court, Teo's arrival isn't betrayed until he actually arrives. A foot to widen the gap of the door, his squinty face poked in a little gingerly, his motions shortened by the vestiges of continuous paranoia, more jackrabbit than boy. Man, rather. "Dobryj dyen'." His pronunciation isn't flawless, but it's good.

And his voice inimitably familiar even before he slots his long frame in and sees the man on the bed, cleverly disguised as a corpse. His head tilts to the right; he shuts the door with his heel and, in some remarkable show of restraint and deference to Felix's obvious condition, he doesn't take off his shoes, though the politeness of a lengthy stay would confer he should. "Brought you vodka."

"Thank you," Felix says, with a rather ghostly smile. He does sit up, swinging feet off the end of the bed…and holds out his hands to Teo. It's unusually demonstrative for him, really. He's not yet kept his promise to Teo's dark angel. He's been circumspect in terms of use of any chemical - Fel's fairly abstemious by nature, and he's not drunk. Not even been drinking, it'd seem. "Khorosho," he replies, approvingly, smiling at that greeting.

The gesture of invitation elicits a smile. A big one. One part relieved, one part smug, three parts still concerned, despite the other two and that his spoken purpose is apparently intact and acceptable. The boots come off, kicked down at the base of the nondescript wall, and he crowds into the space between Felix's hands without apparently pausing to consider if it hadn't been measured out for him.

The green messenger bag bangs into his hip as he sinks onto the bed, the tock and slosh of liquor audible inside when it jumbles up onto a knee. He props his foot up on the bedstand. "'M supposed to ask you about how Wednesday went. You look like Hell's stretched out longer since then, though." Long fingers push through the hair atop Felix's head, a wistful trace of envy in it. Teo's head is buzzed short now, every identifiable scrap of blond gone, makes him look more a thug than usual.

Also surprisingly, Fel does not promptly wrestle him down to the mattress. He reaches over to set the bottle on the nightstand, after delicately extracting it from the messenger bag, but doesn't wrench it open. No, he takes a moment to nuzzle against Teo's shoulder for a moment, another gesture strange to the usual body language between them. " Wednesday was bad. But we did what we needed to. I….had to kill a number of Volken's men. And then there's the riot…..It was a clusterfuck. I had to fucking shoot a sniper. He'd rigged himself with Semtex. Happily, he wasn't much of a demolitionist, but he took out a police helicopter. You saw the news. I….." Felix, veteran of thirteen years on some very mean streets, is shaking. Hard. Not the delicate shivers of someone fighting a chill, but the wracking shudders of a man in the grip of a fever. His hair is a plain light brown, cut fairly short, and really quite soft. The brick scar is palpable near the crown.

Messenger bag hits floor with a muted thump on carpet, its canvas belly still heavy with whatever staple or standard it is that young terrorists tote through the city with them in these crazy days. Teo is surprised. Which isn't the recommended state to meet Federal agents in, according to protocl, but it's acceptable when accounted for by the seep of breath into his chilled hoodie and the stumbling stampede of words that seems to drive itself out of Felix's lungs with little organization or shepherding.

Leaving his weight braced on his other arm, Teo leans close. Tacks the curve of Felix's ear against the side of Felix's head with his thumb, traces the curve of cartlidge to the lobe. Listens. Watches. Some of that is new on the Sicilian because he learned it from Sonny. "I don't think you should be here by yourself," he mutters, matter-of-factly. "Glad you are, you know. My own best interests in mind." If that's what they're called. "This doesn't seem very fucking healthy, signor."

Fel is silent, for a moment. His heartbeat makes his whole body shiver in time for a few breaths, before he sucks in air like a diver surfacing, and he peels himself away from Teo a little. Moment of weakness over, for now, anyway. He grunts. "Nowhere else to go, at the moment. Things are dodgy, I'm on….not official suspension. But I shot someone, it's on record, and that warrants a few days off, and a psych eval. This should be clean. No one knows I'm here but my boss."

"'Dodgy.'" Teo pulls his legs up off the floor and toward himself, knees bending to stop underneath his chin, filling in the hollow of his body that Felix's momentary retreat had left cold. Everybody is breaking apart. Brian almost left, Liz wept onto the stove, Abby's running home. He gathers his turn is coming. I don't know your boss, he thinks but doesn't say. His hands stay on Felix's face for no other reason than that they haven't been told to go away. The planes and angles of cheek, nose, frowning mouth, explored by conspicuously bare fingers. "So you're safe here." A quaver-beat; undeniable hesitation. "You'd feel better at the Demskies, though. Wouldn't you?"

That idea makes Fel hesitate, and he blinks at Teo. Disturbing that stony serenity he's trying so hard to reassemble. The touch is oddly soothing, however. Perhaps one of the few humans he does trust to that point. The bones of his face are harsher than ever, lines graven deep. But he turns his face like a cat into the touch. Not kissing, merely accepting. "Possibly," he allows, voice cool again, even as he raises a hand to explore that shaven scalp, intrigued by the texture under his palm.

Were Teo a slightly more self-aware person, he'd probably be able to admit to himself it surprised and meant more to him than it should have, that Felix decided — how absurd is this? — not to cheat on him. It doesn't actually mean anything he can discern or put into words. It's probably just stupid, and Felix was undoubtedly just an idiot for passing up a tumble with Lucrezia Bennati.

Oh, but it flatters the boy's tiny pride. Which, being tiny, is easily dwarfed by the proportion of Teo's consciousness that worry is taking up, but he tends to reserve a margin for his flaws. The age is back in Felix's face, Sonny's careful work and perfectionism marred if not completely undone by the grindstone of human cruelty and mundane disaster.

Teo's nose nudges past Felix's wrist on his way to slanting a kiss there, a token of acknowledgment. His buzzed hair goes rasp, rasp. "So seven people have to die by your hand before you feel it. That makes me feel better, I guess: I was beginning to think there was something wrong with me, but I only did one." His voice is dry rather than cold.

Fel is an idiot, when it comes to those matters. That's established. And visions of Lucrezia will haunt him for a long time to come. But he withdraws at that comment, as if Teo'd physically hit him, eyeing the Sicilian as if utterly uncertain how to take that. There's an odd light in the blue eyes. "No," he says, quietly. "I'm not an assassin, not a soldier. I'm a cop. We're not ….I don't kill casually. It makes me sick," He sits up, propping himself against the headboard carefully, with regards to that new scar, and watches Teo as if he weren't certain that's the boy he knows. "Still."

"I don't kill casually or ceremoniously," Teo replies. The statement has appreciable weight and clarity to it, cohesion, structure, like a bolt of crystal, unambiguous and sturdy under the heat of scrutiny. It is slightly at odds with the fact that his hands have been abandoned so now he's hugging his legs and peering at the older man from over his knees. "I killed him because he was pointing a gun at Deckard. He didn't die right away.

"He got up, three fucking rifle rounds in him, and then he shot me in my fucking face. I'm sorry he made me, but I'm not sorry—" he doesn't finish that sentence because he would be lying, and it's evident, then, the way he looks at nowhere instead of at Felix. Teo suspects regret is cheapened by generalization. Feel it so often, you might as well feel nothing at all.

"You're not sorry he's dead," Felix finishes, calmly. He doesn't seem to know what to do with himself, exactly. He edges over to Teo, as if not entirely able to refrain from touching him. There's that odd fascination, fingertips gentle, as he cups the back of the terrorist's skull. "First person you ever killed?" he asks, before reaching back with his free hand to the vodka so conveniently left.

Momentarily deprived of his voice, if not by raw sentiment then by the feel of fingers on the knot of tension striping fire up and down the line of his neck and scalp, musculature troubled by the loss of a imbalance and weight he had grown used to over the years, Teo is unable to answer. He shakes his head.

It makes him look about four years old. A muddy and scabby-kneed tot out of whom higher brain functions and sophisticated verbalizations have to be bullied or bribed, instead of the shabby sophisticant he passes for most of the time. "Just the first person I wouldn't really mind doing it to again." Awkwardly, Teo turns an ear toward the vodka bottle.

How do you offer comfort to that? Fel just eyes him, and then simply wrenches open the bottle. He puts it back on the nightstand, however, as if not willing to be the one who makes the first move on the liquor. It's an awkard kiss, instead, that Teo gets, less certain even than that first in Minea's loft. A tentative offer. He'll keep breaking that promise to Lucrezia, for now.

To be fair, Teo isn't the one with the nightmares, rage, shakes never mind tears. One more or less corpse or experience with death doesn't insinuate much of an interruption in his regularly-scheduled self-loathing, but he knows how this works. Sort of. Offering comfort brings comfort, and he is neither above nor below accepting that. He doesn't duck away and kindly refrains from smiling at the clumsiness of the kiss. Sneaks a hand up the front of Felix's shirt and roves the flat of Felix's torso, examining fresh scars with familiar fingers.

He's still the same slat-ribbed, skinny bastard. All the use of his power has not helped, burning away what little spare flesh he had left. No scars there. But once Teo's hand wanders to the line of his back, just along the spine, there's a horrible seam of keloid twining towards one shoulderblade. He survived, but not unscathed. No flinching as Teo lays a hand on it, though, merely a pause. Fel's more confident, now,but still deliberate, as he pulls the younger man towards him.

And Teo isn't left with a lot of options, thanks to the coincidences of physics and furniture. He could go backward and crack his head open on the floor. Abigail would disapprove. As if. The younger man winds up dropping forward, one knee hitting mattress, the other finding a hip to lean on, broad shoulders squaring into Felix's grasp, hand clutching the wedge of the older man's shoulderblade, having followed the snarl of scar tissue to its conclusion. Out of a slitted eye, he looks at the curtains waving in and out of the heating vent's thermals. For the first time, he has to fight down the ludicrous urge to ask if Felix is sure.

Oh, Felix is definitely sure. But he pulls back again, that wordless question in his face. A far cry from his usual confidence. AS if Teo were the fragile one, who might be inclined to flee from the blood on Felix's hands. But it's only a moment, and he ducks his head to start working on the buttons of the oxford shirt he's wearing, a clear blue that makes the color of his eyes that much more vivid.

Felix Ivanov wouldn't be the first to suddenly reimagine Teo as if he were made of glass and emotional fragility, but it would be the first time the sentiment were derived from somebody's very real capacity to murder him — or disgust at themselves, rather than deference to some vulnerability in the Sicilian himself, real or imagined.

It doesn't matter that much. In the end, Teo's sure too. Pulling his hand free, he diligently applies help to help with bottons, starting at the bottom where Felix had begun from the top. Freeing two, he reaches back to pull his own sweater up, snaring the shirt underneath in the same scrunch and torque of cloth, and shucks his torso clear in a practiced motion. Sometimes he goes swimming. They could account for it by that.

February 4th: On Penance
February 4th: Eve of Battle
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