Sonny's Girl


abby_icon.gif bianco_icon.gif sonny_icon.gif

Scene Title Sonny's Girl
Synopsis When a sweet little healer from Louisiana comes out of hiding to volunteer her services on healing his son, Mayor Bianco instantly suspects something! The wrong thing.
Date May 6, 2009

St. Luke's Hospital

St. Luke's Hospital is known for its high-quality care and its contributions to medical research. Its staff place an emphasis on compassion for and sensitivity to the needs of their patients and the communities they serve. In addition to nearby Columbia University, the hospital collaborates with several community groups, churches, and programs at local high schools. The associated Roosevelt Hospital offers a special wing of rooms and suites with more amenities than the standard hospital environment; they wouldn't seem out of place in a top-rated hotel. That said, a hospital is a hospital — every corridor and room still smells faintly of antiseptic.

The background check took twenty-four hours. Would have been less, if Harry Bianco hadn't wanted to know how many nose hairs the presumptuous little healer had, and where she kept everything she knew and loved. Actually, what turned up was somewhat less surprising than what didn't. Between interrogations by Homeland Security, her employment at a bar that Sonny never visits, and her liaising with the NYPD for peanuts' stipend, Abigail Beauchamp seems quite a character.

It is 1300, and Salvatore is in the operating theater a few bulletin boards down, already waiting for anesthesia amid the clatter of masked surgeons and orderlies. Old Lucy's littlest bartender finds herself sitting across the broad hallway from one Mayor Harry Bianco, whose eyes are very dark and very fierce, and prodigious nose seems to resemble a hawk's bill more and more with every passing second. Collar undone and tie faintly skewed against the line of his shirt buttons, he is haggard like he never seems to be on television.

"You contacted the firm behind his publicist recently. As a client," Harry remarks. His accent is as thick as his boy's is, but his voice resonates on a deeper register, pleasantly aged in a way one could easily imagine Salvatore's will be, someday. "And agreed to Sonny's terms. Which tells me you're not interested in this for the publicity. You haven't asked for money: you never ask for money. Leaves me wondering, Miss Beauchamp— how do you know my boy?"

He's more imposing than Matt Parkman. Matt Parkman she's seen in a lesser circumstances. Mr Mayor? She's never seen before. "He came across me some months back Sir. He saw me healing someone. He's kept tabs on me since then. He's helped me recently with something I went through. Made sure I had the necessary medical attention that I wouldn't be able to afford otherwise. We don't.. see eye to eye on some things. He belives in the science behind abilities. I believe in the faith." She's actually quite nervous sitting across from him.

"He wanted me to contact the publicist, that if I wanted a private life still, that she could teach me how to do that, how to compose myself in public. Deal with everything"

"I see, I see." Harry Bianco's face seems to bely those words, though not in the sense that he's trying to deceive the girl. His gaze eases slightly blank, stiff rather than steely, a faraway look to him like he's either gone off to a place Abby can't follow or trying to get somewhere that he can't. Turns out to be the latter. There's a crease through his eyelids, a hard blink. "Genevieve is very good for that. The publicist. Sonny wouldn't lead you wrong on that.

"Or other things," he acknowledges with a flick of his heavy eyebrows. "Not much of a politician. You're right about him and science. His mother's the same way." Mwothah.

That accent is older than either Bianco man's careers. The stuffed padding of the bench underneath him creaks slightly as he straightens. He smoothes a broad hand down his pant leg. Wedding band flashes at finger, plain gold and faintly misshapen from age if not from hard work. It hearkens back to a simpler time than this one. "Do you know what he's been doing in Chinatown?"

"SHopping for Chinese food? I sometimes go there, when I want to try and make something Chinese to eat" Your son has a boyfriend and they're shacked up there, he has a secret double life that would ruin you politically if it came out. She can stick with the getting Chinese food cause, he has been out there, likely for food. "I think you don't understand Sir, not that I'm implying that you wouldn't or that your not smart enou… I didn't mean to say that" Nervous Abby is a tongue tied Abby who verbally vomits words.

"We're not that close, I didn't get involved in his personal life. I met him at the clinic when it was time for his to take blood, or pick up whatever he wanted to add to my diet. It was more patient than personal" Except for the last time seeing him. "I just.. I can't repay him for the kindness that he's done me or for what he's spent trying to get me back to what I was before February. I mean I literally don't think I could ever pay him back. But he's in pain and I don't know why they did what they did in Chinatown, whoever it was, but I can fix him, I can make him better. IT's why I didn't put up too much of a fuss to every hoop you've made me jump through even though I'm here once a week and i'm healing people."

The Mayor scowls slightly. His face is a good build for scowling, if scowling is supposed to make an opponent or a… building feel about an inch tall. He isn't exactly scowling at Abigail, but she's in range and proximity of his face enough that the effect is probably somewhat disorienting nevertheless. She said a whole lot of words for a very short question. She probably should have just said, 'No.'

Harry thinks he might be smart enough to work this out. "He's been angry at me for treating him like a child, but he doesn't have any of his own so he doesn't understand. He's my child.

"You don't have a clutch of your own either, eh?" A bold brow tilts up on his forehead, and he studies the girl askance, before grunting, a motion of one big hand. "Well, let me tell you: I know he's up to no good. I figure it's a woman. He was always fooling around with too many women. You should watch yourself— some Chanel and pumps and you'd be exactly his type.

"I could find out, you know. I have legitimate cause. One damn phonecall, the guards and tech guys and a dozen of New York's finest flatfoots would be on him like…" Another motion of his hand. Harry Bianco's hands carry entire conversations of their own, as articulate in their shape and size as his booming bass.

She so badly wants to assure him that it's not some woman, that he's not up to no good. Quite the opposite. "Have you thought about.. asking him? And I'm not his type. Really, I'm not, we're like.. oil and water, we butt heads. I mean, the only time we haven't was when I asked him for help for a psychologist and he didn't you know, just stare at me. He always just stares at me when I'm healing. calls it a miracle but then, he doesn't believe, and that's why he's never let me help him with like a hangover or anything, just walks away as I'm putting my shirt on. Or… oh lord" Abby's mouth shuts, right fast.

Harry's had a bit to drink. The pieces seem to be assembling themselves into some uncertain pattern, and it might be an error of desperation, that he's more willing to see one there than acknowledge and suspect the vast negative spaces and secrets kept that truly are. Hmm. He ends up scrutinizing the young woman as if she were seated at the other end of a conference table amid a long row of tricky and influential suits, instead of a few feet away in a medical facility with a poster that has teddy bears pinned up between plastic flowers.

Why else, after all, would they both shop for ingredients in Chinatown?

And Salvatore certainly has been somewhat more predisposed to argue than normal. "He doesn't want to tell me anything!" the man grumbles, standing suddenly. He paces down the hallway, restless underneath fluorescent lights. "He just complains that I've been sheltering him, and he wants to live his own life, and he's sick of the charity dinners I sponsor. Wants to throw his lot in with other causes. Which," Harry raises a broad forefinger, ah ha, "he hasn't picked yet. How do you explain that?"

"Because he wants to choose the right one? His image is almost as important as yours. His reflects on yours, his actions reflect on yours" Abigail answers. "You or the Mrs. Bianco wouldn't pick a charity out of a hat and start to support it. I'd imagine that you spend many hours studying it and trying to understand the ramification of what putting your reputation behind it will bring, make sure it's legitimate and won't bring you shame down the road" Abby turns in her seat to keep her attention on the man. "Maybe he wants to start his own? That takes time too I would think, yes?"

In the end the redhead just rests her hands on her knee's, one palm cupping the other, thumbs resting on top. "Sometimes, you have to let the child leave the nest, let them try it for a bit on their own. There's a world out there that's not big fancy parties and caviar being scooped up on little spoons made of bone, and endless camera's in your face. Where no one cares who you are and you can walk down the street and not worry about licking an ice cream cone and having someone take a picture at a wrong moment and next thing you know your on the cover of a tabloid and someone's saying that your manners are bad."

This is the sort of rationalization and empathetic explanation that Melinda keeps stubbing his toe with whenever Harry tries to insinuate himself in Salvatore's life. It's very strange to hear it repeated on the lips of a young woman with a Louisianan accent, framed in red hair and blue-eyed earnest instead of his wife's olive colors. The Mayor's pacing slows, wheels to a stop like a push-cart running out of momentum.

If nothing else, Abigail Beauchamp seems deeply aware that she is swimming with some dangerously gossipy and inbred goldfish. It bothers him, as it ought, that there remains more immediate proof of piranhas. "I did." Temper scrapes in those two monosyllables, sharpening and roughening their edges. "Look what happened.

"His jaw is broken in two places. He has two black eyes and stab wound in his shoulder that went into the bone. Your parents must be worried about you too," he says bluntly, his dark eyes swerving across the floor, and back up to the healer, frustration etched sharp in the lines of his tall frame. "I read about your experience on Staten Island." How screwed up is my city, now? he almost asks. Doesn't. "What kind of parent wouldn't be?"

"My parents are always worried about me Mayor Bianco. Ever since I left them when I was 17 and came here after the explosion because I needed to help. The phone me always and they tell me that, but they understand that no matter how much they disapprove of me being here, of trying to help the world just a little, that it's something I need to do, to have to do"

Her thumbs still stroke against the one side of her palm. 'They don't know about Staten Island. I haven't told them about it because it's over, it's done with. They don't need to know about it. They're coming to the city in two days and I don't intend to ever tell them about it. Their lives will be for the better for it because they'll blame it on themselves instead of blaming it on a handful of men who were greedy and motivated by their own wants and desires and evil goals. Sonny is… He loves you. What child doesn't love their parent. And surely he knows that your actions are born out of love Mr. Bianco. Same as his are, and of testing the boundaries of that love."

That seems like a rather cruel exercise in Harry's perspective. Testing the boundaries of that love? Why would someone do such a thing to their own father?

Yeah, yeah he was a teenager once, too.

"He was supposed to do this when he was fourteen. I was supposed to find… heroin syringes he'd put in his eyeballs, a'right? Not— getting beaten half to death by gossipy gangsters in Chinatown when he's visiting his secret girlfriend. Even if she is very delightful," he adds, saluting Abigail with a militarily precise nod of his head and a placating gesture delivered out of a half of a hand. He exhales; deflating, fractionally, though that somehow fails entirely to diminish the size of him or his argument.

He glances down at the jacket he had discarded on his bench. "Have you healed him before?"

"I swear Mr. Bianco, on a stack of bibles and before the good lord himself that I have never healed SOnny before. It's been the other way around. Very much the other way around" She look up at him, blue eyes filled with sympathy for what he's going through. "Will you allow me to fix him? To give him back to you in one piece? I'm sure their ready for me in there and they'll want me to get all dressed and wash my hands and everything."

The lines at the edges of Harry's eyes deepen slightly around the wry ghost of a smile. Yes, he believes it. He believes her.

"Promise me you'll take care of him, and I'll see to it that your parents have a good time in New York— and that your secrets stay that." It's a litmus test of character, perhaps; one last, the most lasting, and doubtless doomed to be the most telling. There's a figment of warmth in Harry's olive-skinned features. Mind you, Abigail is a terrible liar and probably should have thought better of it, but the fact that she tells ones inspired by care for his child accrues a debt to her that he has yet to assign figures to.

"G'wan," he says, chucking his head of short, peppery curls over at the doorway. He links his hands behind his back and straightens. If no less disturbed than he had been before, pensive, now.

"Thank you sir, but.. they've already been seen to. I'm just trying to let them have a quiet trip to the city" But she's got a 'boyfriend' to go heal and with teh Mayors dismissal that she's been waiting for, the redhead is up and walking swiftly down the hall towards the operating room. SO they can walk her through washing her hands and the like and tend to Sonny.

Several hours later…

It was messy, bloody, twenty thousand ways from disgusting trying to fix Sonny Bianco back up into one piece. Wires to remove from his jaw where they'd be placed just days before, a hand to make sure was set. A couple hours pass and SOnny Bianco was wheeled from surgery a whole man. His hand no longer in pieces but how the good lord made them, not a trace of the stab wound, jaw one smooth single bone instead of not. His face no longer swollen and bruised. Abigail was brought out not long after, on her own two feet, following behind them. Mayor Bianco thinks that she's his girlfriend and though she neither denied or gave agreeance, for now, she's following along like the good girl that the Mayor thinks she is. Only because she needs to tell him before his father gets to him.

She's asleep in a bed beside Sonny's once he's been wheeled from post op and back to his room, recovering her spent energy, the stopping and starting while they kept an eye on his vitals. Curled on her side, red hair spilled across the pillow and the curtain pulled back between them. Nothing but Sonny's steady beating of the heart playing across the monitor. Because everyone's paranoid about the welfare of the mayors son, despite Abby's assurances that he's not hurt anymore.

And fortunately for Sonny Bianco, he was unconscious for all of it. It's worse being a doctor and knowing what's going to happen in surgery. And he knows what a wreck taking out wires and stitches prematurely would make. He tried to protest of course, when he was told Abby was going to heal him. But it's hard to protest with your jaw wired shut.

Now, he lies on his hospital bed, still achey, still feeling drained, like he's run a marathon. He grunts, twitches, then wakes up with a startled gasp. A hand goes to his face, rubs his jaw that he knows logically should hurt. But it's all intact. His hand that was once crushed and sealed in a cast now looks good as new.

"Abby." A frown. He's talking to himself. It takes a second for him to look to the left and spot the healer in question. Mmmmg.

"Hmmm?" Blue eyes shuttered by pale lids open up and look over towards the recovering plastic surgeon. There's bottles of water and the remnants of swamp sludge in a Styrofoam cup with a straw. She's been taken care of while he was sleeping off his Anesthesia. "How feel?" Few words missing a she's waking up, shifting, stretching. Her arms reach above her and displace her pillow, back arched and legs sraight but back to curled on her side she goes, taking in the Mayors Son.

"M'fine. Your ability does the trick." Sonny's jaw feels stiff. But really, that's just in his imagination. Things should feel off after surgery. That's just the way it goes. Miracles shouldn't happen.

He sits up slowly and swings his leg over the side, bare feet dangling. The spot on his shoulder that was once a gouged hole is pressed on, searching for any sign of damage. But of course there's none. He still feels a little bruised and weak, but not nearly to the extent he was before Abby prayed and healed. He rubs his face. "How're you?" He won't say you shouldn't have healed me. That would seem ungrateful.

"Mhmm good." She watches him carefully, studying the way he moves. "Sonny. I met your dad" The way she says it, might tip him off that there's something perhaps inherently not good about meeting him. Hell, he knows his father.

It's a good thing his neck's not hurting anymore, because Sonny's head snaps around. His already large eyes widen considerably. "You…" He exhales a whuff of breath. "What…what'd he say?" Or more importantly, what did you say to him?

"He thinks that.. you were in chinatown because I was there. That we.. are dating" Abigail's still sleepy, always that slightly submissive tone to herself when she's trying to break bad news or unhappy news.

And the good news just keeps on coming. His shoulders stiffen, his body hunches forward and he plants his fingers deep in his nest of curls. "Why…did you do that, Abby?" He manages to keep his voice calm and not accusatory.

"I didn't Sonny, I really didn't. Your father was drunk and he was… you can't understand what I had to go through to come here and do this and he knows everything about me and he was.. he'd had a little to drink. I didn't say I was, but I didn't say I wasn't. He just.. You trusted me with a secret and.. I couldn't say why you were in chinatown. and I didn't, your father just,.. made assumptions" SHe's feeling bad, she's feeling guilty.

Sonny slowly sits up straight again. He looks to Abby. At first, his expression is twisted up, contorted by conflicted emotions. "It's…" a sigh, "It's all right, Abby. My father is…well, he's the mayor. And there's a reason for that. He's a human bulldozer." No wonder sweet Abby wasn't prepared for him. "I'll clear it all up once things settle down. Give him some other excuse for my being in Chinatown."

"Said I thought you were shopping for Chinese food" either way, his father was going to probably think she's a terrible lier and the good lord only knows what." Whereas Sonny is upright, Abigail remains reclining. "He just.. he assumed sonny and .. he…" Abigail closes her eyes. "He's worried about you. He knows your rebelling but thought you'd be over it by now. He's worried sick and then you showed up beat to hell and back…" Thee's a soft sigh from her, she's entered into the Ben fletch sighing olympics this entire day. "Just, i'm sorry I didn't tell him I wasn't. It was better. Protected you and Teo."

"Abby…" Sonny rubs at his hand. It still feels so strange not to feel anything odd there. "I…know what you tried to do. And I appreciate it. But you don't know what you've gotten yourself into. My father…" He glances towards the door as if he expects Harry to march in any moment. "…he's a good man. A strong man. But he wears blinders. Gets tunnel vision, especially when it comes to me. He might not think of it right this second, but he will start thinking how he could spin you and me to the press. And you do not want that. And I'm going to stop it before things start to go that way."

"Sonny Bianco," Abigail lets one eye open, staring up at him. "I knew what the hell I was doing when I walked onto the Veranza-Narrows bridge. If I can face a man hell bent on destroying almost the whole world, then I can surely as the sun rises, deal with your father if i'm prepared. I'm not some little country bumpkin who's ignorant of the world. Or some bumbling naive young bible thumper who doesn't know what she did when she sat outside that operating room while your father question me up one side and down the other." The blue eye closes again. "Besides. Didn't you tell me to go see a publicist in case things like this happened?" Your biting the hand that healed you Sonny Bianco.

Sonny leans over and flops back down on the bed, hands to face, feet strangely catlike in the air until he unfolds them. "My mother knows, Abby." A beat, "You don't need to do this for me. You don't owe me anything. And it's going to bring you nothing but grief. I'll find another way."

He lets his hands drop to his side, clenches his jaw and stares up at the ceiling. A week ago, he was so happy.

"Suck it up Bianco. You want your time with Teo" She looks over at him. "Then maybe this is how you can have that. If your mother knows then… she can be in on it. She can help me. It'll give you time with him, without the pressure of needing to hide it so hard. After.. a proper amount of time, you can 'break it off' with me" Her eyes are still closed. She's thought it over it seems in the time that she was awake and he was sleeping. "I'd daddy approved Sonny. How many of your girlfriend's were before? And I don't require getting in your bed to keep up the illusion. And it'll make some guys I know back off if they think I'm taken."

His life is full of lies. And they just keep building up. Sonny keeps his hands over his face. What he really wants to do is just burrow underneath the blankets and stay there until some of the shit storm has calmed. He doesn't say anything, can't gather his thoughts enough to mount a proper response. He's not a guy who is often rendered speechless, but Abby's done it.

And she's silent as well. Not speechless, just, indulging for a moment in the revival of the silence, the beeping of the monitor the only sound, that and their breathing. It's not her fault. It's his fathers and Abigail with her big heart unwilling to break a secret and possibly destroy what he and his father had.

Sonny probably should say thank you. But that would mean facing the fact that the lie is probably a good idea. That would also mean getting her wound up in his life and committing to another lie. All of those things just leave him with a sick feeling in his stomach. Well, sicker. It started churning the moment his mother walked in with Teo over him.

She still doesn't get a response, though his hands have dropped from his face. He stares at the ceiling.

"Do I need to perform mouth to mouth?" Comes quietly, a crack of blue as she opens her eyes just a sliver.

"I need some time to think," says Sonny. "It's been a fucking shitty few days." He's not usually much of a pottymouth, and he also usually does Abby the courtesy of watching his language around her. But after all he's been through, no kinder words really describe the week he's having.

"My parents are coming down on the 8th for four days. I'll be with them, either way. Just let me know, so I can … do something, either way. Like hide from your father" Abigail shifts up after swinging her legs over the side, getting upright again. "I'll tell them your awake."

"I…do appreciate what you're trying to do, Abby. Don't think I don't. I…just…" Sonny draws in a slow breath. "I'd like to find a better way, if I can. Something that doesn't mess up your life so much and force both of us to lie."

"That's just it Sonny. I never lied. Sometimes though, it's not a lie. It's just an illusion" It's all an illusion. "And i'm just a willing participant. Just do what will be better in the end. I'll go along either way. I made my bed, I'll sleep in it Sonny. Because surely it's not that unbearable"

With that, and a scooping up of her messenger bag, the redhead is heading to the door.

"You don't need to speak the words of a lie for it to be a lie. My father believes something that isn't true." Sonny frowns at the ceiling and then sighs. "Avoid the press, if you can. They're good at ferretting things out. And stay safe." A beat, "And…see if Teo's okay? I'm afraid he's going to stay away from me."

"I'll go find him. Don't worry. Genevieve i'm sure is on red alert. Your father probably alllready told her. If it helps, he called me delightful and gave me a salute" But she's going to leave him to rest. Healing takes a toll on the body and Abigail slips out the door so that she can dig out her scooter and head home. Shower and change and she can maybe slip some hours into work.

"Thanks," says Sonny. Although it's ostensibly in response to checking up on Teo, it's clearly more of a general expression of thanks. Then, once it's clear she's heading for the door, he rolls over and pulls the blanket up around him. Suddenly, he feels very, very tired.

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