f_felix_icon.gif f_teo_icon.gif

Scene Title Synchrony
Synopsis Bed, nudity, misery, and somehow love gets worked into there for once, too.
Date September 15, 2013

Washington DC — Hotel Room

In theory, the light out of the sky is white. All things seem to turn gray upon touch here, though, with the possible exception of the White House, whose columned grandeur and symmetrical sprawl of wings serve up glaring matte paint in lieu of actual luminosity. The sunlight bleeding through the Ventian blinds goes gray, and the cut of those intervening plastic slats is gray too.

The carpet of this hotel room is gray, and in the desaturation of the ambient shadows and runoff chill of Felix Ivanov's sodden existential misery, so are the undulated twist of linens, misshapen comforter, the lopsided pillows, clothes undone and matted on the floor, and even the ink of Teo's bare tattoos. His arm is hurdled over the agent's belly. The arm with the cross on the bicep and Italian in a tiny ant-march of topography across the top. Even his face has found a rare moment of quiescence, free of the palette of uncomfortably raw sentiments its usually wont to do.

It doesn't last, of course. They've already been in this enervated heap like this for ten, fifteen minutes, steeped in toxic bleach and parasitic monochrome. Teo's been making a game out of fingers and navel. His and Felix's, respectively. And then—

"I love you." he says suddenly, and slyly.

Save for their eyes, which are that impossible, lucent blue. Though Felix's begin to glaze and dim with tears. He doesn't move, continues to regard that crack in the ceiling as if he'd simply will it out of existence. Even as one spills over and down into the hollow of his cheek, the lines of grim restraint graven at the corner of his mouth. That hasty inhale that follows is shaky as a rope bridge. "I'm sorry," he says, after a moment, accent thick at the back of his tongue. English, traitor still, deserts him when he needs it most.

"You and everybody else, when I tell them." It's a wry parody of self-pity to take the edge off the actual pity in Teo's face, when he turns it upward. Casts a searching gaze up the harsh-cut zags of Felix's profile. He fans a thumb and two fingers over his nose, sniffing once, not because they stink but because he wants to remember the stink of them even after the water on his lover's face starts to dilute them away.

He touches Felix's cheeks very carefully, wiping moisture off of their gravitational tracks with the pad of thumb, forefinger. His mouth folds shut, and when he rolls closer to reach better, his lips press kind of a kiss to the side of the Russian's chest.

"I love you, too," Felix doesn't sound happy about it, however. "I wish….I don't know. I wish this were easier. I wish we could just be happy together. I wish I didn't have this job," But….it's never that simple. For all the comfort there is in lying spent at Teo's side, there's still the niggling ache that Lee is nowhere to be found. "Why do you love me? We've always driven each other crazy, I thought?" He's trying for lightness, but there's still that ache at the back of his throat.

Less from his finely honed assassin senses than sanguine familiarity, Teo can hear that ache. "You wouldn't love me if you knew me a little bit better," he says without uncertainty, "but that's okay. I'm a fucking expert at unrequited love." A quaver-beat. "Slightly less so at long shots."

Sheets rustle crisply across the scissoring shuffle of his legs as Teo sits up, slinging one knee across the older man's belly, brings his fingers up to his own mouth. The salt off Felix's tears goes onto his tongue as easily as variable vulgarities have before. He lets his head hang forward a little, throws its round, shaven shadow over the other man's chest. "I love you because I'm very vain," he says, quite regally. "You're like a rundown, simplified, lesser version of me. Because you keep me humble, being the better man: fewer compromises, better taste in men. Probably also women."

His eyes hood slightly. He adds, a little less facetiously, "You were the last of my firsts. If those aren't good reasons I can come up with more."

"Love is because of flaws, not in their despite," Felix says. The points of his hips are palpable, under Teo's weight. "You were, are, more purehearted than I am," he concedes, putting his palms on Teo's ribs - stroking there to take pleasure, rather than give it. "But yes, arguably, I am simpler," His lids veil his eyes, fragile as eggshell membrane. "And I suppose I can say the same for you. I was never anyone else's first, I am fairly sure," Fingernails scratch lightly at Teo's scalp.

The smile that these touches provoke is therefore, logically, an accident. Which fails entirely to diminish the smile when it comes, thins Teo's lips out and lapses his eyelids down over his eyes. There's too much cat in the expression, empty and animistic, to look entirely smug. That fades out, though only after a long deep breath. "Maybe you will be. Lee's," he clarifies, tilting a glance down at the mattress underneath them, lumps in the mattress' blank cover like the chunked topography of a cake that had been dropped and righted out again.

"Purity of heart's a flaw, then?"

The fingernails become splayed hands, heavy and tired, "No," he says, sadly. "No. Lee doesn't want me. I don't think Lee wants any man like that. He's my dear friend, but he won't ever be my lover. He's always afraid of that, of any hint of weakness. He put up with it when we roomed together, but it was a flaw he tolerated, like my bad vision or my Evolved genes." He looks down at Teo, thumbs the Sicilian's lower lip, sighs.

The Sicilian's lower lip joins his upper lip on either side of Felix's thumb, a damp, open-mouthed kiss for the digit that physically qualifies Felix as human, even if the true seat of that nature is somewhat more existential and harder to do away with, despite all the abuse he subjects himself to. Teo's jaw works once, his mouth pulls back and nudges forward, cedes the finger back to its hand.

"You just have to show him." Teo doesn't raise his head or meet his eye, dips his head down to Felix's collarbone, his weight slanting, thigh skewing oblique across the cut of the other man's hip. "That he'll feel stronger when he's with you. Harder to say than to do. For you," he says, dragging the tip of his nose down sternum.

It's enough to make Felix's eyes flicker, head tip to one side. "It's a moot point. Lee is gone and won't come back here. And he's not gay," It's about all the argument he can muster, before his breath goes shuddery and uneven, though no longer from restrained grief. This is always a terribly potent distraction. He shifts underneath Teo, with that cruel speculation in his face. He's never lost that sense of restraint, like he's always pulling the strength of his blows.

"I don't really want to keep fucking arguing with you about this. I am in love with you, you know," Teo points out, his voice a dislocated reverberation against the striated plane of Felix's ribs, his face pressed warm against his stomach, scaling downward, gentle the way that he so rarely bothers to be. "It's not like you have a choice. I'm going back to Israel," and that might be cruel, too, except that Teodoro Laudani is pure of heart— everybody says so. By default, his motivation is kindness. "And you can't hide here forever. It's a great sucking tar pit. It'll spit you out in the end, even if you're just bones by then."

And for once, Felix does not feel compelled to goad him into roughness and force. "I know. I'll go back to New York, soon. This place is a pit, and I hate it." He tosses his head back, even as the hand he rests on Teo's head is light. Hesitantly, he draws up one knee.

Teo awards a kiss to the the knee, open-mouthed on the doubled round bone of its peak. He closes his fingers on the flat bar of Felix's shin, slides his thumb down the smooth rift of divide between muscle and bone, peers down the incline of his pale thigh with interest that is only very, very little bit pretend. The top of his buzzcut rubs prickly velour into Felix's palm. "Don't make me ask again," he requests, peeking down at the man from around the V-shaped splay of his legs. If his smile weren't so even, and sad, it would probably be more vulgar than this is. Instead, it's gray.

"Because you are quixotic and brave. Because you hold on to ideals I lost long ago, and don't remember where. Some turning in the road I wish I could get back to. Because you love me. Because you are beautiful, and I never cease to desire you, whatever else I feel," He rubs firmly with his fingertips on Teo's scalp, almost a massage. He's utterly unself-conscious - whatever his various neuroses, he's not bodyshy, at least.

It's nice not having to deal with timidity in a lover one's come to enjoy. Teo's mouth slants a grin, catlike satisfaction that has very little to do with satiation of appetite— give or take an utterly hopeless metaphor about cream. "They'll ugly me up someday," he says, flippantly, planing a hand down the outside of a lean thigh, settling his weight onto one elbow. He pushes his nose into the crease under Felix's knee, briefly, affectionate as a pet, something domesticated; sometimes, he almost is. He breathes in sweat and oil and the residual note of interchangeable no-brand hotel soaps, a bouquet that inks a print onto the back of his nose, then tugs his head back.

Teo's eyes squint melancholy mirth, kind of gentle, kind of kind. 'Silly old man,' says the nuzzle against Felix's navel, and 'I'd make you happy if I could.' That is how it goes.

"That was part of why I couldn't resist you, when I was Dantes," Felix admits, sounding strangely abashed. He curls up, slips a hand under Teo's chin to draw him up and over him, like a blanket. "My weakness, my folly," he admits, voice fond, a little wistful. "I should've resigned my badge long ago, over you," Blue eyes meet blue. "Love me, Teodoro."

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