sacha_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title Spill
Synopsis Eurotrash in America. Between the Wolf, new Evolved, and actual comfort, they get a little bit more than they came for.
Date February 11, 2009

Somewhere In Manhattan — Sacha's Apartment

Sacha's apartment is decently sized; it's a studio, which diminishes the privacy a bit, but he lives alone, so that isn't really an issue. It's also up on a fairly high floor, which in turn adds to the privacy somewhat, and so the two aspects cancel each other out. The building isn't nice enough to have a doorman, though it's nice enough that visitors have to be buzzed in, and nice enough that most of the flats - this one included - have small balconies. The Frenchman's home is fairly low-key; a bed, naturally, off to one side, with a canopy to give the illusion that it isn't exposed to everything else; a couch and chair set that face both the balcony doors and a television that sits between the two. Earth-toned color schemes, not too much clutter.

Given that it's still technically winter, the curtains are usually closed over the windows, more to keep out the cold than anything else, though this evening they are wide open. The still slightly warm remains of Chinese for dinner rest on the coffee table in front of the couch, and Sacha stands at the window, looking out over the city and sipping from a mug of coffee. Possibly decaf, given the hour. The bruise on his face has purpled rather nicely, though in a few spots around the edge it's faded to that nasty shade of yellow that bad ones get.

Someone had been walking in ahead of him, ducking home furtively just a half hour after curfew, so Teo swept in after them, foregoing the intercom. It isn't until he's up the stairs, exchanging a polite nod farewell with the young woman who accidentally let him in, that he remembers the format that Sacha had requested he next arrive in. Unfortunately, it feels a little retarded to scoot back down the building and zip around to push the button, so—

He knocks instead. Rap, rap, his callused knuckles contact the flat face of painted wood. Though not familiar to him, he has little difficulty recognizing the floor, the room number, the color of electric light peering through the eyehole. It hadn't hurt, of course, that he had seen the cut of Sacha's silhouette against the velvet roof of sky outside, too. "I'm sorry," he says, either pre-empting a complaint or offering a gentle joke. "I forgot."

The knock is followed by a thunk and a shatter as Sacha's coffee mug is dropped in surprise, followed by a brief string of expletives. "A minute!", the Frenchman shouts, running for a towel and back to drop it over the mess, then answering the door. A sheepish smile, and he shakes his head. "«It's alright, don't apologize,»" he says, in French. Aside from the obvious recent injury, it's obvious he's tense about something - most people don't go dropping their liquids at something as simple as a knock at a door, after all.

Practically pulling Teo in, Sacha glances out into the hall and shuts the door, locking it, and greets the Italian properly with a kiss on each cheek - a bit more violently than necessary. He's relieved for the company. "«Come in, sit down, do you want some coffee? I, er..»" The mess is glanced at and he sighs, dismissing it as a lost cause for the moment. Things do seem to break around him a lot. "«It's been a bad week. How are you?»"

Despite that Teo's considerable history with violence has programmed him with a tendency to push when pulled, he refrains, this time, on trigger-alert and aware enough to measure the appropriate responses to things. Especially after curfew. Cops don't like it when you flip out under martial law, and there are more of them, when you have martial law.

He seesaws to a halt inside the apartment, his gaze clicking from the puddle of coffee widening on the floor, and sideways to Sacha's head. His mental arithmetic isn't bad. It's gotten better, since he turned terrorist. "«It's been a bad week,»" he parrots back in French, without error, with a smile that could have passed as wryly conceited if it didn't fade instantly into concern. He lays a thumb on Sacha's cheek, below the beginning of the clouded bruise.

"«I take it you didn't steal a pretty girl from a bad man.»"

With most of his figurative ducks lined up properly - Teo inside, door locked, mess … mentally noted - Sacha finally takes a moment to relax. He lifts a hand up to hold the one that that thumb belongs to, a faint smile spreading below the injury, and shakes his head. "«I'm usually good about that,»" he notes, the smile briefly turning to a smirk. "«I was mugged. That was alright. Then I…»" Here, there is somewhat of a pause. Frowning, he shakes his head, expelling a sigh. "«I am too curious for my own good, my little rabbit.»" French terms of endearment.

"«I've been on Staten Island for a few days. It started with a girl, I went to a bad bar, then I ran into someone from it later on. I think I made him mad.»" A gesture to his face, there, and he thinks over it for a moment. "«We were arguing a little. It was kind of confusing. He sort of insisted I speak English so I didn't really.. I tend not to really translate for comprehension, especially when I'm talking to» homophobic Cockney pieces of shit. «Let's sit down. Would you like some coffee?" It'll give him a chance to worry at that mess a bit more, as well.

This chronological review makes Teo blink a lot. Not the least of which with the homophobic Cockney pieces of shit, because the break from French makes him trip between language tracks, briefly. Teo's expression turns slightly inward, then, trying to think his way through this or that and quell the paranoia beginning to tendril out of his gut. Melodramatically enough, the thought occurs to him, causually inaccurate but heavy with conviction two decades old—

Everything I touch turns to ashes.

And somewhere out there, the world's tiniest violin starts up. It's quiet in here, though, and not too quiet. Teo looks through the apartment once, twice, reviewing furniture and windows. He tilts on his feet, kicks off his boots, reaches over to drag blunt fingers gently over the bowl of Sacha's skull. "«Coffee would be wonderful. Would you mind if I close the window?»"

Closing his eyes, Sacha shakes his head gently at the question, his hand following along with Teo's, resting on the back of the Italian's palm. Another sigh is exhaled through discolored nostrils, but after a moment he lets himself snap out of his small reverie, glancing over towards the window and then the kitchen. All told, the pause isn't more than a few seconds. "«By all means; I don't mind. I remember you don't like cold.»" A small smile there. "«Make yourself comfortable,»" he adds, as he strides towards the kitchen. 'Just don't leave me alone', he does not add, although the sentiment is probably evident through body language.

Once two unbroken mugs are found, coffee comes quickly enough - there's still some in the pot he'd brewed, and he wasn't at the window for too long. He pours a new mug for himself and one for Teo, opting to just bring it into the living room unflavored for the moment. They are set on the coffee table as he makes his way back over to the mess, dabbing at it with the towel and sort of pulled into a central circle; ceramic doesn't shatter like glass, at least, and the shards are easily found even through soggy cotton. "«Thank you for coming over,»" he says, quietly, as he cleans up. "«I'm sorry to drop this on you.»"

It takes less time for Teo to text Hana a quick request for a bug-sweep than it does Sacha to get together the implements required for caffeination. He manages to look reasonable inconspicuous by the time the Frenchman is back, the angles and lines of him forced into some semblence of complacency. He sets his chin on his own shoulder, watching the curl of Sacha's spine underneath his shirt as the younger man stoops to clean up the mess from minutes previous. By then, the windows are sealed shut, too.

"«Not at all.»" There's sugar dissolving in Teo's coffee cup by the time he rises with it, uncomfortable remaining seated and drinking while his blatantly injured host hastens with cleaning. In his gut, somewhere lower, there's a wrinkle of concern for— some of this, a queasy ghost of a memory of how quickly physical connections transmute, but he waves it away; comfort's needed, and while he's here, he'll offer it. Socked feet take him quietly over to the younger man's side, careful not to trode on fragments or shards. "«Have you seen a doctor?»"

The apartment's free of any such maliciousness; Sacha hasn't left since returning from the island, and nobody he's gotten involved with is that subtle. Or cares enough to listen to him talking long enough to hear anything interesting. Almost entirely contrary to Teo's own hangup, Sacha is uncomfortable with guests worrying over him; when he spots Teo's feet in his peripheral vision, he pauses briefly, almost as if to voice an objection, but ultimately decides to just let things go. The mess is left alone once it's drawn into its little circle; still moist, but he'd rather attend to his visitor than spilled coffee, at the moment, and rugs can be washed.

Standing, he wipes his hands on his pants idly, and looks up to Teo with an exaggerated smile. "«Cockney Asshole threw money at me and told me to have it looked at. I'm not really sure it needs to be.. I don't think it's broken.»" He pinches his nose between two fingers, however gingerly, and wiggles it a bit. A painful gesture, but it isn't pulled out of place. That would be surprisingly gruesome, probably. "«I've had to stay home from work; fortunately my boss loves me. Insisted I stay home when he saw it, not that I can really blame him.»" And there he actually does grin almost genuinely, heading over to the couch and lightly tugging at Teo's arm as he does. He lifts his mug of coffee as he sits down, collapsing into a cushion, and absently looks out the window for a long, silent moment, reflectively. "«… Why are you here? I don't mind, I want you here,»" he clarifies, hurriedly. "«I just didn't really think you'd come over again.»"

Couldn't go to Felix's. Didn't want to pay for lodging. Boyfriend is too far from the ferry pier, and he has to be on Staten Island in the small hours. Wanted company.

That sounds bad. Kind of whoreish, potentially insulting, and leaves out the fundamental truth: there are any of a hundred other places Teo could have chosen to hole up, from Ferrymen safehouses to entirely anonymous shack-ups, but given his druthers, he'd rather not have. Tugged, his arm spans the length of floor to slip his thumb, briefly, into the little dip of Sacha's belly button, even as the rest of his frame gently eases along to follow.

"«I hope you iced it.»" Teo's shrugging his jacket off the next moment, letting the garment hit the couch with a slithering thump of zipper and panels, leaving his hoodie out to show. He's looks far more the thug now than Sacha's ever seen him, even given the Frenchman knows where every single one of his tattoos is. Shorn head, scrappy garments; nothing he'd have worn out to a club. "Ehhh.

"«It was like you said,»" his eyes flit away, briefly, eluding a visceral nudge of guilt; not because this is a lie, but because it isn't. "«I was in the area. And I wanted to see how you were doing. Let me see?»" He downs a mouthful of coffee. Releases the mug and reaches up, gently, to test the heat and swelling of the younger man's nose, the motion characterized by perhaps more haste than day-old bruises warranted; trying to change the subject.

"«You're acting as if you expect to see him again.» The Cockney fucko."

"«I think I was too busy being angry to really think about what to do about it.»" Several curses were made; in a more intimate setting and if it was someone else, it would have had the potential to be sexier. Alas. He does submit to being examined, in any case; the bruise really looks worse than it is, but with the Frenchman's not being used to such injuries, he errs on the side of exaggeration. Teo's appearance is noted, though he doesn't comment; would be fairly rude. The disparity between the two is fairly striking, though.

"«He was rude. Said I'm a woman. I think he figured I'm promiscuous,»" not that he isn't, but he looks at it differently. "«Kept calling me a girl.» 'Easier for you to woo the boys, innit?'" With that last phrase, he imitates a Cockney accent somewhat mockingly. All the while he's saying this he's sort of just staring forward while he lets Teo look the bruise over, assuming he hasn't finished yet. If he has, then he looks into the Italian's eyes with a certain level of angry intensity. "«I said he was projecting and he smashed me with his forehead. Paid me to do some stupid shit I didn't really want to do,»" that could sound wrong, "«but couldn't really refuse, got my name off my credit card. Said he'll find me later.»"

Teo is no doctor, but he knows enough about getting hit in the face to understand that there's little to be done to facilitate the healing process from this point onward. "«Painkillers after your meals,»" comes the murmur, the flat of Teo's thumb soothing down the curve of the subtle line that trails down Sacha's tearducts and the dainty bone of his cheek, gentle enough on the surface of discolored skin that the underlying nerves fail to signal back.

He pulls his hand back, picks up the coffee mug first, then his foot off the floor. Crossing his legs loosely atop couch cushions, he studies the younger man, his brow finding a pensive knit. Troubled. Something about this character, sketched out in so many vulgar epithets and bruises, sounds impossibly familiar. "«What did he pay you to do? Nothing the police could get involved for?»" The second query comes a quaver-beat's pause after the first, hitched with a long-standing distrust of all things law enforcement.

"«No,»" is the initial reply - simple, reassuring, and the same in at least three languages they both speak. "«He wanted me to tell people he was beating people up and looking for information. Or beating people up while looking for information. Either or.»" Sacha shakes his head, sips from his coffee, and looks at the mug distastefully for a moment. Not all that thirsty, really. He leans forward, sets the mug on the table, looks out the window. Not a bad view; lots of lights, this time of night. Stationary fireflies.

"«If he does track me down, I'll avoid pissing him off again. Paid me some up front and said he'd give me more later and more jobs.»" He shakes his head again, lets out a vague groan, leans back and looks up at the ceiling. Avoiding eye contact, at a subconscious level. "«I probably told him where he could put the money and that I never wanted to see him again, but he doesn't seem like the sort of person who listens to subtleties like that. Let's talk about something else.»" And finally, there, he looks at Teo again, his smile hesitant but at least not forced. "«I doubt you visited so you could be my psychiatrist.»"

No. An entirely different occupation characterizes what Teo came here for. Sort of. Not really. Jerks would make jokes about it, maybe. When his own mug meets the table, it's empty. Clink. He drank that too fast, probably. Wired, as if he hadn't had enough livewire, going-nowhere tension seething underneath his skin when he showed up. His mouth curls around half a smile, which only fits slightly wrong.

"«We'll do whatever you want,» Sosh," he says, pulling his other leg up. His knees tilt outward, one of them coming to rest against Sacha's hip, finding a lazy sprawl. He folds his arms behind his head. "«It sounds like something you need to talk about, though. I grew up in Sicily— we had problems with gangs and shit. There were a lot of ugly men. Some of them carried broken bottles, other ones badges.

"«Would you tell me his name?»"

Sacha turns where he's sitting, facing Teo a bit more directly, pulling his legs up next to himself. He's generally the sort to take up a lot of space himself, but tonight he's been rather physically withdrawn. Pulls himself forward, though, breaching a bit of the gap between the two of them, outer hand moving forward to rest on Teo's abdomen, fingertips stroking gently, perhaps too much so to be felt through a hoodie. "«It's not that, it's just…»" He closes his eyes, blushing a bit. Frustrated, not really sure what words to use, even in his own language.

Eyes open again, a sigh exhaled through the nose. "«…embarassing to admit that I need to not be alone.»" The gap is closed a bit more, enough now that Sacha can lean almost against the other man, though not quite enough for full contact. Harder to concentrate if he gets too close. "«He told me to tell people that» Ethan Holden «was looking for people who've gone missing since the explosion. I don't know if it's his real name. Paying me to tell people he's tough…»" A frown, then. "«Why do you want to know his name? Do you know people like that?»"

There comes a crossroads. There's always another fucking crossroads: to lie and protect everybody's sensibilities and carefully compartmentalized lives from a violently rude intersection, or to tell the truth and see what goes flying. Teo's gone awfully quiet anyway, which probably betrays something's up. Could be any of a number of things, though. Not the name.

Not necessarily the name. The density of clothing, enough to shield his nerves against the gentle prick of fingertips, is also enough to muffle the sudden hammering of his heart. One hundred dead children. It's funny how the human mind works: Teo had almost forgotten this, the worst of all losses weighed on him, in all the drama and the havoc of the days since Washington Irving's walls caved in around him.

"Oui." A quaver-beat's pause. "«A little bit. I know who to stay away from,»" he clarifies, a gentle mouth on the side of Sacha's head, skimming the curls with only kiss, not hesitant but unsteady all the same, hands off. There's a long list of people Teo is scared of, and he just remembered how long.

Nor does it escape him, now, that Sacha might want to start a catalogue of his own. And put his unkempt Italian swain on it. "«I try to stay away from» the Wolf."

"«Appropriate name.»" He was just calling Teo a rabbit earlier, too. The response.. isn't cold, though it is a bit more stiff than he has been. Sacha bites his lower lip, finally deciding on an expression of concern over any other emotion, proceeds, "Teodoro.. «for the most part, so long as you don't intend to hurt me in ways I wouldn't want you to, I don't.. it's okay with me whoever you associate with. Mostly. You aren't involved with this Holden person, that's fine. If you were, I'd be upset.. but I'm not.»" He's ranting, and mindful of it; his conclusion there punctuates his monologue a bit awkwardly.

"«It's just suddenly you seem more tense than I am. So to change the subject… there is something else that's been on my mind, because it came up when.. when I was talking with the Cockney. I think that's what I really need to get off my chest, and.. I'm not sure if it's that I trust you or that you're convenient but I feel like I should talk to you about it.»" Potential for insult, there. He's being overly blunt in forcing the topic change. "«I also feel like I'm wasting your time. Do you really not mind me talking about all this?»"

Teo makes an odd seesawing between relaxation and further tension when it turns out he isn't going to be abandoned or otherwise thrown out in a cold or shrieking panic. He can't be happy either way, of course. Rejection and intimacy bother him in equal course, and he foments internal trouble as if he doesn't have enough external already. Something turns over behind the Sicilian's pallid blue eyes, failing to cool his sentiment to match their color.

He smiles: a small one, restrained enough to be true.

"«I don't mind. Anything you want,»" he repeats, kindly, never one to yank out the condoms and forcibly strip his companion when, apparently, they'd much rather talk. Not since he was seventeen, anyway. His weight tips closer, shunting the line of his torso to an angle so that he can lay his head on the top of the couch, the curl of his body hollowed out to fit Sacha's fretful knots. "«Continue. Please.»"

In spite of it being a potentially bad idea, Sacha's hand slips forward, seeking out one of Teo's; fingers intertwine, his own smooth and manicured digits contrasting with Teo's callouses. Big gap between lifestyles. In a way he'd rather skip the talking, but he'd also rather not come across as someone with no interests outside of the figurative bedroom. Which encompasses the entire apartment, but let's forget that part.

He thinks silently for a moment, eyes lowered, and makes a few false starts before finally proceeding. "«There's.. just something reassuring about having somebody to talk to who doesn't move in the same circles, or who doesn't know me well.. sort of anonymity.»" A faint smile, there, and he looks up towards Teo's throat. "«Like your Confession. It's just…»" His grip tightens a bit, lip is bitten. "«…there's something inside me that I can't control. Something I just… it scares me sometimes. Sometimes it's just embarassing. But it makes me feel helpless either way. I don't know how to deal with it.»"

A work-rough thumb follows the sine wave of Sacha's knuckles. The smoothness of Sacha's skin seems emphasized, underlined, exaggerated by the contrast against his own make and texture. Which Teo had liked, the other month, and hasn't stopped enjoying since. "«I think I understand. Confession— is a little different, I think; exoneration.

"«But sometimes it's easier to talk to a room full of strangers. Fewer stakes, consequences. It's not Catholic, I think — it's human.»" It isn't fatigue that reduces Teo's voice down to a companionable rumble. Some effort at bedside manner, maybe. His brow darkens slightly, mulling over this rather troubling description in his head. Buzzed short, his scalp makes a rasping noise against the weave of couch cushions.

"«It sounds like you do,»" Teo contradicts, after a moment. Gently. "«You seem to believe you need help.»"

Sacha smiles lightly at that contradiction, shakes his head. "«I need help because I don't know how to deal with it beyond that.»" Loosening his grip, Sacha disentangles fingers to wrap his hand around Teo's, rubbing lightly with one thumb. He blushes just faintly and murmurs, "«Human nature can be so frustrating sometimes. Too prideful to admit to needing help… and getting comfortable enough to do it means my brain stops wanting to work.»" Less 'human' at that point, more specifically his own hangups.

"«It's happened a few times… I first found out about it in Spain somewhere. I did it intentionally once, felt stupid about it then. Happened when I was with the Cockney.»" He's being vague intentionally, sort of dancing around the issue; wanting to talk about it, but not sure if he really wants to talk about /it/. Instead he scoots more towards Teo, close enough for thighs to rest against one another and barely a shove away from sitting in the Italian's lap. Maybe trying to give himself an excuse to change his mind about talking, but finally he does ask, "«Remember the plates?»" Sudden shattering and excuses meant to defer attention rather than offer explanation.

Teo couldn't possibly forget the plates. Noisy fornication one night, a kitchen in pieces the next. He's been friends with too many interesting characters to fail to notice something awry when it's there, but at the same time, he's been friends with so many interesting characters that he knows where to draw the line between his business and theirs. Which might be solid logic for, you know. Shutting the Hell up, and ending this conversation before he says—

"«Are you» Evolved?"

The tact of a sledgehammer. His hand permits itself to be held; his socked foot turns, angles, threads down underneath the bridge Sacha's nearest leg, lacing over the shin of the other. Teo's face stays pleasantly blank, and where his mind once would have been sent racing at this notion, it brings him a peculiar moment's quiet. "«Like the ones on the news. Throw fire, lift colors, change the color of an apple with a touch?»"

'Evolved'. The word brings a bit of a cringe on the Frenchman's part. "«I don't really like that word but it does strike to the heart of what I'm getting at.»" And now that that's settled, he pushes himself forward, grip on Teo's hand tightening again, coming to a stop at lying, catlike, along his abdomen. "«It's just.. it's sort of condescending,»" he continues his train of thought, though his tone has shifted to one of vague disinterest in the topic that he brought up in the first place. Free arm loops behind Teo's back, holding him in a loose embrace.

"«Makes it sound like I'm supposed to be better because of it. It isn't even useful.. like healing. Or flying. I scream and things break.»" And despite the disinterest there, he looks up from examining clothing to level a fairly serious gaze on the face of his new cushion. "«I don't know how far it goes. Current list stands at rocks, ceramic, glass. I don't want to find out if 'bone' is somewhere down a few entries I haven't made yet.»"

underneath, jeans, the socks of some no-name brand that has a symbol worked into the ankle elastic that no one outside the sweatshop workers who wrought it in Bangkok would recognize anyway. Teo doesn't follow the the roving of Sacha's gaze, but he accepts the tactility happily enough, reciprocates the solemn stare Sacha sends him.

His shaven head leans forward, gently, resting his forehead momentarily against the Frenchman's. "«It's nice that you think of it that way. That» Evolved «ought to mean useful or better. Too many assholes out there these days take the word to mean otherwise.

"«You need to be careful, with testing backing Registration these days. I don't know if you want to explore your ability, but — if control is an issue—»" The way Teo talks, it's like he has all the time in the world. Doesn't, actually, but haste would be undue. Here is shelter, temporary, but shelter nonetheless.

Examination perhaps less for details and more to commit to memory the way Teo dresses. Adjustments of mental image of his 'friend', given how differently he'd been dressed before. Considering how much better clothing tends to look on the carpet than on the boy sitting underneath him. "«It's just.. it's a silly word. Politically correct, I suppose. Better than 'freak' or 'mutant'. Even if that's how I feel sometimes.»" Obligatory moment of self-pity there, his empty hand proceeds to find its way under the back of the hoodie, flutters towards waistband of pants briefly, but ends up just resting against small of Italian back.

"«I don't know if I want to do anything with it. In a way it feels wrong to deny it.»" He pushes himself up a bit, nuzzling into the fold where hood meets sweatshirt. "«I don't plan on registering. American issues are not my concern. This is not my home.»"

Little touches, small signs, none of them mistaken for accidental contact or platonic gestures. Teo's been doing this awhile, too. Finds it harmless as often as he does not.

"«You're not a freak.»"

He's blunt. Well-meaning. Maybe embarrassingly so. This, at least, seems to align roughly within the outline of the oddly flustered young man that Sacha had met at the bar last month, who had offered to speak in any tongue he was asked and paid for his aggressor's drinks in unceremonious generosity. Just as artless now as he was then, he curves a palm around the small bones of Sacha's throat, thumbing the guppy squirm of pulse below thin skin, glancing down the line of the younger man's profile to search out his eyes.

Some conversations deserve such weight, however casual the acquaintance of the conversationalists. "«You probably need to learn to control it, though. To hide it, if nothing else. Be careful, little master. You're on American soil and the earth is shaking. A little less strictly metaphorically than I'd prefer.»"

"«Hard not to feel like it when you have to start replacing broken dishes with paper and plastic to keep costs down.»" He tenses just a bit at the touch of hand against throat, but after that initial pause, makes a quiet, encouraging sound. "«I suppose.. when it comes down to it, not everyone is going to buy the 'coincidence' excuse. Or not buy it, but let me get away with it anyway.»" Not that anyone here would have experience with that. "«I hadn't really even thought about consequences to discovery. I've been lucky enough not to have it become an issue.»"

"«I do think it's part of the reason why most people don't visit twice. Got to be something weird about a place where the dishes keep breaking.»" A weak smile, there, but he shakes his head, dismissing the thought. Hand travels a bit further up Teo's back, the bottom of shirts starting to ride up a bit. Slow like. "«Since I was young I've always looked at my parents and their safe and secure system and wondered why anyone would want that… but I still hate being alone. It's not always bad, but with everything that's been going on… it'd just be nice not to have to think for a while.»"

Teo didn't have time to drop his guns somewhere safe. Which might be just as well, with the possibility that Sacha's home isn't, but still, there might be some reason for pause or alarm when the second thing that the Frenchman's slender fingers touch, after taut skin, is the line of a holster fastened shut around the narrow of his waist.

Teo ducks his head down into Sacha's line of sight to offer a fleeting smile, apologetic; reaches down to pull the strap free, let it fall to the floor, clunk swinging on the end of his hand. Slowly, again concerned if less so now, that he might send France into a hasty retreat, second thoughts and revulsion. Not that he really expects that. Not really. Guns are commonplace enough in Manhattan; probably expected for a young man who's heard of Ethan Holden, homophobic Cockney prick.

The sweater comes off in one easy yank, the T-shirt fitted inside it. Every tattoo, muscle, and ordinary scar is in place to offer Sacha some form of reminder, even if he lacks enough familiarity to remember. Teo's tired of thinking, too. Really. "«You're not,»" he answers, a nip on Sacha's elbow, warm fingers splaying the flat of his stomach. Alone, he means. Not yet.

Nonetheless, it does seem like every time the two of them meet, Teo's in a rush to get somewhere else not too long after. Not that Sacha's ever aware of this; if he had been he probably would have skipped the talking. When fingers find holster, he does tense a bit, glancing up and meeting Teo's apologetic expression. He does think for a moment there, against his own wishes, but ultimately shakes his head and silently mouths, '«Whatever»'. With Teo's shirts removed, he lifts himself up away from the man's chest, opting not to slide against flesh for fear of buttons pinching something.

And with that lifting comes one hand up to unfasten those little distractions, though the shirt itself stays on for a moment. As if to verify that every surprise is taken care of, he gives Teo a quick, questioning glance, head tilted, but regardless of what the reply may be, finally allows himself to move in for a slow kiss; gentle, in light of his injury, but nonetheless a bit insistent, in light of the discomfort developing below the belt.


February 11th: You Can Run
February 12th: Cross
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