Taken On Faith


abby_icon.gif elvis_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title Taken On Faith
Synopsis Motorcycles, pasta, waffles, death threats. A little bit about truth, deception, and the possibility of being taken for a fool for taking too much on faith.
Date November 24, 2008

Staten Island

There's something about the fringes of Staten Island that will always inspire sentiments of unease. After the bomb, much of Staten Island has fallen into glorious disrepair, so much so that places that were already in stages of decay look more like monuments to entropy than once urban settlements in decline. While much of the island was suburban residential areas before the bomb, there were two crowning moments that drove this borough of New York into an early grave. The first was the mass exodus of survivors and panicked people fleeing Manhattan. They came by foot, bicycle and car across the bridges to Staten Island, all manner of desperate and frightened people flooding into a crowded place. While some fled through to New Jersey, others simply couldn't — or wouldn't — go further. This, like in Queens, led to an eventual chaos that would in time eclipse the pandemonium in the eastern edge of New York after the bomb.

Staten Island was in the direct path of the fallout from the explosion, and after thousands fled to the island, the entire populace was forcibly evacuated. Those few that managed to stay, clung to their homes desperately, and those few who did would suffer from radiation sickness and the ever-escalating crime rate. By the time Staten Island got the "all clear" from the government, the damage had already been done.

What was one suburban neighborhoods and parklands is now a monument to decay. Houses lie in various states of disuse and ruin, and like much of New York has seen property values nosedive. Few want to move out to a formerly irradiated zone, and even fewer want to return to a place so rife to violent crime. Now, much of Staten Island lies in various states of decay. Houses abandoned by families that fled the city, were forced into forclosure and were never resold, or simply places where entire families went missing and are now squatted in by any number of transients line the once peaceful streets. Staten Island is a home to crumbling infrastructure, spotty electricity, and people who wish to remain undiscovered by law enforcement. Few police will willingly go into this now infamous island.

Staten Island was an interesting joint, honestly she almost felt at home here to be honest. Elvis had grown up around bandits, thieves, cop killers and meth dealers so SI wasn't really -that- different. It was as quiet a night as any other on the island, and Elvis had been particularly productive. She had started with a little B&E, but that hadn't turned up much more than a billy club. Granted it was a nice Billy club, and Elvis had indeed kept it but this is really not what she's after.

In the garage of an abandoned homestead she'd struck gold, stuffing her satchel with as much loot as she could. Nobody ever checks the fridge,thankfully because inside the old fridge was four cartons of camels! Feeling flush with success, Elvis would sneak back through a maze of alleyways before popping back out on a surface street. Smiling happily as her black Triumph appeared just as pretty as ever underneath the ancient street lamp.

Whenever Teo goes to the Garden, he brings two guns instead of one. There's nothing directly proportional between the number of guns and the eminent danger of Staten Island, of course: that would be totally stupid. The .45 is his standard, purchased and licensed, retrieved thankfully undamaged by the Federal Leviathan he associates; the .9 is the one he lifted off a gang-banger, once upon a barrio, unlicensed, the one he vaguely imagines he'd someda have to use. That being said, he doesn't look too skittish for a man who nearly got blown up last week.

Throughout the trip, he'd kept abreast of Abigail, answered when spoken to, offered appropriately bad advice when asked for fashion opinions, bought a burrito and only got through a quarter of it before he lost his appetite and threw it out, smiled enough, some of it absent. It's been a slightly bipolar few days. Cold night air cuts around the shape of the scooter bearing both, blowing Abby's dyed-copper hair against the collar of his jacket. He keeps a careful hold of her, his gaze swinging through the wind-chapped sidewalks and the mazey warren of alleyways and streets so cramped and dingy they're easily confused for same.

They're about fifteen feet past the Triumph when he pauses, twists his helmeted head around. Asks aloud, "Ragazza. Was that Elvis?"

Abby's not a very high fashion girl, and as such, Teo's spared much of that, except maybe the odd pointing out. It's when it came to picking out her new cross that she got picky and made for the Italians attention. But, job done and a promise to feed him, the pair are off the ferry and heading towards the Garden. Brakes are applied gently, and she looks behind her. "Elvis?" Visor's up, new helmet, this one pink with the white stripe. It was irritating her nose and the cold air wooshing against it, actually felt very nice. "What's she doing here? She find a new place?" Abby's feet come out on either side of the scooter to twist and look back. 'Elvis?" The helmet is taken off gingerly.

It is indeed, Elvis! She lives! She's got a new outfit since she'd bumped into Abby last(Conflicting work hours), but even in the dim light her rather distinctive swagger was immediately evident. Also, the cigarette she's almost angrily puffing on doesn't hurt. New boots with a nice silver buckle, a proper pair of leather pants(instead of overpants), a jacket cast in both black and gray and of course a full face helmet with crappola scrawled all over it. Said bike, isnt Roger either. Its a brand spanking new Triumph Street triple, your stereotypical ugly street fighter from the UK.

Anyway while she didn't immediately recognize Teo, she does recognize the peculiar tone of a motor she'd rebuilt herself. She just sort've pauses aside her bike, trying to figure out if they were coming back or she was going to them. "Yeah its me."she retorts finally, just loud enough to carry. "ain't it a little late for Boy Scouts and brownies?"

Teo's baby blues blink almost audibly, three times; he cranes his head around the bowl of Abby's armored skull. Strains his eyes through the darkness and the puddled yellow incandescence that interrupts it at every interval of street lamps. Sensory adjustment has a hard time between those polarized extremes, but he has a fair memory for voices. As if Elvis' characteristic shape and swagger hadn't tipped him off.

"Non so," he replies, in a murmur. Remembers the next moment, sheepishly, that she doesn't speak the Italian. "I don't know." In almost adorable concert, he puts his feet down almost precisely when Abby does, contributing to the stabilization of their odd little ride. "I don't have any brownies," he answers, after a moment's consideration. He slings his weight off the right side of the bike, swiveling on a heel, ducks his head as if the angle of his skull might help block out the glare of the light above. "You do owe me waffles."

"I can make some back at the house Elvis, as for Boy Scouts, not unless you got some hiding by the bike" She's far too used to the goody two shoes comments and euphemisms. That and Abby frankly doesn't know whether she meant it maliciously, or jokingly. "Do you have any Boy Scouts?" She doesn't get off the scooter, but stays twisted and looking back.

"I dated one once," Elvis returns, simply. She'd actually broke his collar bone and shattered his shoulder hard enough with a baseball bat that he was sporting fashionable titanium these days, but that's another story. "I do reckon, that I do."she least has the decency to tug open her jacket and offer Teo a cigarette."Hey wheres your XR, you don't need a good mechanic do you?" She wasn't wiggling out of her debt of Waffles, no rather she was looking to hook something new to tinker with.

After a momentary tussle with the helmet clamped around Teo's head, the cigarette is accepted between long forefinger and thumb. Electric light shafts between them, throwing an angular shadow on the tarmac below him. "You're lying," he says, about the boy scout, but there's neither rancor nor reproval in his voice when he says so. He tucks the cancer stick in his mouth and produces a lighter from his pocket, his motions fluent as if by rote, only to stop short after a moment, blinking downward, as if only just realizing he had accepted a smoke and had not meant to.

The momentary wrinkle is dismissed with a shrug, and then his shoulders slump into a lazier configuration; his eyes go squinty around a rueful grin. "What happened to my bike, I'm not sure you could fix. Had a spill. Oil leaking out and everything." Abigail knows that that isn't specifically true, but she isn't the sort of Christian who betrays private truths to punish the liar, so. There's only a quaver-beat's glance at her from the Italian, before he flicks the tiny wheel of lighter. Conjures a flame.

She's going to hell. Surely. She'll ask forgiveness later. "He pulled a you, though with far less harmful consequences and I didn't need to heal him as much" Abby speaks. "You coming back to the house or are you heading out somewhere" She looks to the buildings around where the bike was parked. "Meeting some friends?" The helmet is tucked onto the handle of the helmet. Her hand strays nowhere near the new cross that dangles at her neck.

Elvis immediately pauses her smoke, narrowing her gaze tightly. Her jaw sets, and slowly she dips her cigarette holding hand down to hang at her side. "You callin' me a liar, boy?" and indeed, her words are tainted with no small amount of menace. It was clearly sufficient provocation to produce a potentially violent reaction, but never the less Abby is talking to her. "I'm headin' home in a minute Do-… Abby."she corrects, breaking her glare away from Teo just enough to glance at Abby.

"Si." Teo blinks down into the woman's face, narrowed gaze and set jaw, all, his own features adopting the dopey cast that young men are wont to when they're attempting to appear guileless and don't really have much else going for them. Big eyes and clasped hands don't work so well when you look the way he does. The next moment, he attaches a benignly apologetic, "I might have been wrong. Mi diaspace." Not to interrupt the conversation between women, of course. He looks between them a little quizzically, noting that Elvis had evaded the query but— personally thinking better than to point that out. 'Do?' 'Dorothy?' 'D—' he decides not to pursue that linguistic conundrum further. Then, "We were heading back to the Garden too."

"Need to take my pills, and I'm hungry, and I promised Teo dinner. You going to join us, or going to keep carrying on?" Abby once again ignores the start of some name. Let it never be said, that she's not polite. There's a glance around again and a frown, Abby looks to Teo but then the redhead grabs her helmet again to start putting it on. "You'll join us if you like, if you don't care more for leftovers."

Elvis leans back against her bike, suckling on a tooth some as she considers Teo for a moment more. "Yes, I'll be there for dinner. If you leave space, I'll make waffles for dessert." She pulls the cigarette up to her lips for a long pull, before flicking it casually aside and turning to mount up. On goes the bandana, then the helmet and the Triumph rumbles to life a few moments later. Snarling low, before she pulls up the kickstand and throttles up. A drop of the clutch as she leans in, to snap turn the bike and then she's off in one smooth movement. Front wheel just barely leaving the pavement as she rushes past Abby.

Wasting cigarettes never feels like a good idea. Wasting anything of economic value never does. Teo glances down at the burning cylinder still clasped between his fingers, expels a lugubrious sigh; drops it to the ground and flattens it with a single stomp of a foot, squashing ash, cherry, filter, and unspent garbage together in one grinding noise. And even as Elvis roars away and around them, he lopes across the pavement to put hers out, too. "I like that all your friends cook for free," he tells Abby, a crooked grin on, a moment before he obligingly pulls his helmet back into place. He climbs back onto the scooter behind the slight Southern belle, cold hands on her waist.

"I sometimes wonder about her," is all Abby answers, blue eyes tracing the departing path of Elvis and bike. "You just love waffles. Maybe I'll buy an iron, if I ever actually do move in with both you and Al." The face shield stays up, so her smile is visible, but she buckles it in place and once Teo's on, they're heading off at speed limit. Not a care for hands placed where, she knows he'll behave lest he get an elbow to his ribs and kicked off, while it's moving.

Elvis is of course, the first one back to the house. Her Triumph pulled around into its usual spot, as she gets out the waffle iron inside. Teo was no longer on her good side, Abby's boyfriend was now uncool. So she was all too eager to pay her debt and get that cleared, no matter how minor a debt it may have been. She lit up a fresh cigarette as she produced a bottle of Grolsch, and waited for the couple to come on in.

The Garden

The living room takes up half of the front of the house on the ground floor. Once it must have been beautiful. Now the windows are broken and boarded over, the walls have graffiti all over them and the floor's down to the bare concrete. At least someone got the trash out.

For one thing, they aren't a couple. For another, he's freezing. As for the third, Teo has no idea that Elvis continues to be out of sorts until after the scooter is parked, Abby dismounted intact, both back in through the door, and they're all three of them in the relative warmth of the kitchen. A bright word of pre-emptive thanks for Abby and he reaches over to take her outerwear off before he shrugs off his own jacket, its collar slipping free from underneath the hood of his sweater, the garment hung up on the arm of a chair. Freed, he tumbles across the room like an overgrown pup and seats himself on the counter.

His heels only bang on the cabinets once before he corrals them with restraint, breathing on his long, rough hands to get them operational again. Even if he'd felt compelled to allow them to wander, they wouldn't have been good for much. Nothing about Elvis presents itself with subtlety, least of all her disfavor. After a moment, a blue eye marks her face. He furrows his brow. Asks, blunt as head trauma, "Are you mad at me?"

In, jacket off, pills taken to get her back to relatively pain free and utterly stoned again. Abby starts to bang around the kitchen, making sure to stay out of Elvis's way for her waffle needs. Pasta, spaghetti to be precise. Seems she'd already planned to make it so the sauce was only needing to be heated up. She looks over, as Teo asks, with the utter bluntness of … well, he was just being blunt. Abigail's hand pauses over the sprinkling of seasoning into the sauce to just stare.

Elvis keeps out of Abby's way, which is easy as the waffle maker tends to do its own thing. "If you werent the friend of my roomie, I'd have fucking killed you for callin me a liar. There are few things you could accuse me of, that could possibly hurt me more. "and judging just by the coldness of her gaze, Elvis is all serious business. She fixes said gaze, upon Teo for a moment before distracting herself with beer. She was good with blunt.

Teo watches the woman from under hooded eyelids, his mouth a line, his face straight, his shoulders sharp-angled as he slumps lazily — or tiredly — between hands gripped on the edge of the counter. He seems to be thinking about that. His face changes when he's done. "Thank you for not killing me," he says, seemingly unaware of the irony of a boy his size saying those words to a girl who is hers. "I'm sorry I hurt you. I didn't mean to.

"I thought you were making a joke, because boy scouts tend to be young, most don't date while they're still part of the club, and the archetype doesn't seem like your type. He was a lucky man, whoever he was. I hope he regrets being referred to in past-tense." He leans back a degree, maybe two, the back of his head clunking into one of the upper cabinet doors as he does so; ceding her the point. Doesn't break eye-contact, and won't until he's summarily dismissed.

Abby, is noticeably uncomfortable with the sudden turn of events. Obviously Teo had sensed something she hadn't' and she busies herself with stirring the sauce, and getting the water on to boil. Her back to the pair, though that's done with great hesitation, as she's worried if maybe she need to protect her back. It's all in the line of the young woman's shoulder. Straight, ever so straight, even still after Teo's words. One can almost hear they prayers for no bloodshed in the house. Especially since it's a safehouse.

She wouldn't kill in the safehouse, no matter what Teo says. Elvis however, seems quick to accept the apology. She offers just a single nod, before turning to procure a Grolsch from the fridge and hand it over to Teo. Just like that. "Apology accepted, next time ask. Don't make statements like that, I ain't some biker chick." Indeed. "And we were both rather young at the time." She hadn't actually gone off on the guy while she was dating him, but then again that's another story yet.

Beer accepted as easily as the apology had been. The green bottle bobs in his grip, shunted down his palm as he adjusts then secures his grip, leaning the cap on the edge of the counter. Unlids it with one sharp strike of the heel of his hand. He picks up the tiny, folded circle of metal between his fingers and casts it into the trash can with a sinewy flick of his wrist. And again, finds himself staring down at the substance in his hands a moment, as his consciousness catches up with autopilot.

Muttering an unintelligible monosyllable under his breath, he takes a pull of beer. Extends it toward Abby the next moment, offering her the cold bottle or a sip to see if she likes. "Next time, I'll either ask or mind my own fucking business," he promises. Sniffs, finally turning his head away from Elvis and toward Abigail's cooking, inquisitive.

"Thank you, but no. Drugs," Abby rebuffs the drink gently, those stiff lines melting when both seem to be okay. She grabs two spoons though, dipping it into the sauce to scoop a few mouthfuls into a bowl for either party to taste. Thick, lots of meat, vegetables, it's not the Italian that Teo might get back home, but the aroma is nice. "He was caught in the blast at the school, Elvis. He's still screwed in the head. Worse than me." She looks over her shoulder with a smile as the noodles are dropped into the water. "And we both know that I'm considered very crazy."

Elvis shrugs softly. "They figure out who did it yet?" she asks, only passively curious. Yeah, she knew but that was different than talking about it. "It would seem, that some folks are more anti-social than repressed," says Elvis, the cop fighter.

Retracting his beer, Teo tucks the nozzle into his mouth and swallows once while the conversation oscillates between the women. Then again, when it oscillates toward Washington Irving high school. He doesn't stop drinking until the bottle's mostly gone, wipes his mouth on the back of his hand and puts it down, finally. The clink resonates through the hollow and the neck into the artificially heated air.

"This doesn't taste half bad," he states, before shifting gears to objection, though his tone of voice goes crossways, facetious instead of indignant. "I'm not screwed in the head. I'm getting drunk." He doesn't answer the other question. Questions. Whatevers. The papers have already volunteered their own answers and, given his druthers, he'd rather not vomit speculation into atmosphere already dense with other stink. Though on that note, he isn't altogether displeased with what goes up his nose when he inhales, leaning over the counter again, toward Abby's recipe. "That smells great, Abby. I hope you prefer your pasta al dente."

"Allll dente. To, the tooth." Abby grins as she finally understands something he said. "Elvis, watch out." The redhead is scraping a string of pasta out of the pot and suddenly tossing it at the wall, seeing if it sticks. "You're not crazy, no more so than I am. I'm just very… grounded in my faith and it scares some people. I believe in God, and how he directs me, but, enough of that. Elvis. Thank you. For fixing my scooter. I don't want to know how it got back here, but it's good to have it back, because I realized that I hate the city bus now. Almost done. How much longer are you here, Elvis? or are you helping Jez out?"

Elvis slips the waffles from their little maker, content to set four nice fat waffles and some syrup before Teo. Slipping out've the kitchen soon afterward to light another cigarette. "It's a scooter Abby, When I found it all I had to do was kick it over and fix a mirror. Scoots are pretty tough little dudes." She sniffles, rolling her shoulders some as she walks over to where Roger sits. "I'm here for awhile, hun. I'm helping Jez out, and the ferrymen but I dunno. Helena seems nice." Almost to herself.

Dessert before dinner. Dessert before dinner? Dessert before dinner. Teo looks down at his waffles for a moment, raises his head at the connoisseur who made this minor miracle possible. Looks down again. His mouth curls at one end before the other. "Grazie, Elvis," he calls after her. Snags one waffle between forefinger and thumb and manages to shove half of it into his mouth before his teeth cage down, severing the confection, syrup-free but entirely welcome.

Fortunately, he has enough manners to cover his chipmunk face while he's working on that, and doesn't speak again until afterward. "Either of you want some? I won't ruin my appetite," he promises Abigail in the next breath, ever so slightly cheeky, and entirely earnest at the same time. Mention of Helena warrants a glance over, and then at Abby. He says nothing of it.

"She's very nice, and she has high hopes for Phoenix. I'm sorry that I can't… help her make that, or be part of that dream as much as she'd hope I would." Abby grins, much as she can beneath splint and bandages. "Eat the whole thing Teo, if you have room, you do. Besides, spaghetti tastes good the second day, as much as the first." Abby works swiftly at draining the pasta, rinsing it with cold water quickly. "I think you'd fit in very well with Helena. You seem very…" Abby pauses for though, to find the word. "Proactive? Pro-active."

Elvis isn't sure she's proactive, she just doesnt like sitting here. "I dont know what I am, I'm just starting to think I'm not this."she loved the place she lived, thought Jez was a doll, had a good job. It was all very nice, but she was rapidly loosing her will to remain, she didn't have it hard anymore. She didn't have something to push against, it felt like free fall. Like she was drowning in normality. "Too easy."

The plate of waffle is pulled onto Teo's lap and syrup snagged with his free hand. In a moment, glistening ropes of viscous sugar are racing zig-zag across the remaining half a waffle which he had abbreviated with his first bite. "Well," he kind of exhales that syllable. "If you feel like using bombs, elbows, spraypaint, and super powers to end a whole lot of embarrassingly shameless instances of civil injustice, government-funded and otherwise, you should probably mention to her you want to join up. Always some more assholes need taking down." He glances up from his waffle to proffer half a smile, and down again.

"And I'll still be reachable to heal your ass when it gets dragged back and possibly injured." She said the A word. Drugs are kicking in big time. "I promised that before I left." Abby's dishing up a plate of food for Elvis, the plastic bottle of parmesan offered up, fork and spoon and knife placed where she can grab them. "I'd come, when I could, to heal what I could."

"No bombs, that;s unacceptable. "she offers, without turning around. "if someone is worth killing, its worth doing personally. Murder is no small thing, the government does it like that. A needle, a switch, a bomb. I don't care who they are, they deserve to know it was personal. Otherwise, it ain't worth doin'."she sighs, bombs. Christ. "I think I'm a little more wore out than I thought I was, I'm gonna snag a shower and head to bed."

Picking up the plate by its edge, Teo finally hops down from the counter. "Demolitions are for the walls that get in the way, not the people you're trying to get to," he says, his tone is a little flat, low, consonants sharpened against some offense taken that he doesn't bother to press. After all, he's failed entirely to announce his personal associations, even if he imagines most of the Ferrymen already know. It's nothing. Friday afternoon is still too near, that's all. He circles across the floor to Abby's side, his shoes squeaking against tile. He salutes with the plate he still bears in hand, and inclines of his head. "Buona notte."

"Good night, sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite. Leave some hot water for me," Abby sing songs, taking the untouched plate that was laid out for Elvis so that she can eat it herself. Teo settling beside her is paid very little attention to, she's gotten used to it and offers parmesan to him. "Sweet dreams, Elvis."

Elvis waves absently as she slowly heads upstairs, snuffing out her cigarette in an ashtray on her way. Soon enough she's gone, and the sound of the showerhead upstairs announces you're alone.

Elvis has disconnected.

He seats himself after Abby does, retrieving the syrup in time to place it alongside the waffle dish between them. The first dollop of sauce warrants him poking his face into it, sniffing in unabashed pleasure. Leans his elbows on the table, momentarily forgetting his manners in terms of being able to prop himself up bodily. Callused fingers twist fork, clasp knife, start in on his share of the pasta. "Remind me to restock the beer tomorrow?" he requests, glancing up. "I don't want to impose. She might, you know." He jabs fork at the ceiling, through which the sound of the running shower is still audible, albeit only muffledly. There's a lazily quizzical gesture of eyebrows. "Kill me."

"Some kind of chocolate stout" Abby offers up. "I don't think she likes you, though." A forkful of pasta offered up. "I thought for sure, she might take a run at you while we were on the road. I've never seen her like this. Maybe being in one place really is getting to her." Abby waves the fork back and forth, trying to make him work for the mouthful.

Teo smiles with his eyes because his mouth is busy chewing for a moment. His expression and swift-shifting eyes do, however, chivalrously assert that he's game to lunge for the next mouthful right after he answers. "I think we're okay now. At least she doesn't dislike me, I think." His head bounces on the end of his neck like a yoyo, teeth snapping shut on the forkful heedless that she might accidentally stab his eye out on a minor miss of trajectories. He catches the stray end of a noodle with his thumb, sticks it back into his mouth with an apologetic grumble. "You could've fooled me, bella. Thought you hadn't noticed a damn thing until I spoke up."

"I'm the dumb religious blonde, Teo. From backwoods louisiana. Most don't think I notice. Though, it was only after she spoke up that I thought maybe… she might have, could have," Abby confesses, yanking the fork back when he's taken his bite. Time to feed herself. Spoon and fork in concert scoop up a bite. "Tell you I'm thinking of maybe going to school. Learn massage. Proper massage."

Humility is so last season. Teo looks at hers disbelieving, before glancing down to guide his own cutlery around his plate, shifting his focus as she had hers, to the ever-essential project of making oneself fat. 'Course then she goes and distracts himself completely. His eyebrows almost scale the vertical distance to pop off the top of his face entirely, blue eyes gone big with surprise, and the various and sundry insults of the preceding week momentarily dispensed with.

"Bra-va. What the fuck, I had no idea you wanted to be a masseuse," he confesses, with a little bit of consternation. "But that sounds awesome. Mostly for me." A half-grin, playful. "You'll do it after all this blows over?" He reverses his fork in one hand, gives the end of one dyed-red lock a nudge.

"Laaaaaanguage." She looks at the poked hair. "I can't go back to blonde, not yet. I want to. It's been interesting, but… still worried. Even more with what happened." She gestures to her face. "And I didn't, but, I can get away, with healing people, who need it, doing it that way. People get warm, and the rush of blood to the flesh, it's a reasonable explanation. There's good money to be made in it and hurt people, go for massages. Beats doing little hand massages in restaurant on my 'breaks' to people who walk in and are hurt." She scoops another forkful into her mouth.

Oops. "Sorry, sorry." For the cursing part. Eh heh. As for the rest, Teo acknowledges it with a nod. It's true. More in her department, perhaps also more fun to do. Not that she didn't seem to bring life and animation to the fine art of waitressing, honestly. He finds that a respectable craft. His gaze falls.

He goes a few more bites without speaking. Then, "Speaking of people who walk in on your restaurants hurt." One shoulder seesaws higher as he leans his weight onto that elbow, angling her a sidelong glance, studying her expression carefully out of bright eyes. "We got Flint out of a clus… some trouble he was in," he finishes. "Stronzo's staying on Ferrymen property right now. Shook up and jumpy as Hell, but he seems okay. He wanted you to know he was sorry for the broken nose." Metal clinks porcelain, scrapes sauce onto noodle.

Blank. The look in her eyes is just blank. "He.. did it? He.. did.. " She looks down at her nose then to Teo. "He killed the guy… and shot another… and then he hurt me?" The blank look is slowly evolving. Hurt as her brows pull down, then inwards and her mouth sets in a firm line of anger. There's not throwing down of her fork, but suddenly the plate of food is not that appealing. Abby pushes herself away from the table abruptly, grabbing the now abandoned plate and starts to make her way into the kitchen proper.

"No—" There's a hand on her arm, suddenly, fingers curved around the round bone of her wrist, not a grip but a touch. Which, Teo realizes, might be construed as overly imposing anyway; he snatches it back the next moment, as if flinching from a burn or the possibility of burning her. "I don't think so.

"I don't think that's how it went. I think it was— complicated," he finishes, lamely. The word had sounded retarded enough coming from the man himself; he can't imagine they are much better from him. Teo stands up because she had, insistent for reasons he couldn't articulate if you paid him. He may have less of Abigail's naivete, but he utterly loathes to see that end. "He said he did it to save your life. And there was another man there who would've killed you. He looked sorry."

Abby's jaw is tight, even as she sets the half finished plate on the counter. "How'd you find this out? Police report? The other guy? Someone else?" She stares at the plate, both hands gripping the side. "Was he really sorry, or was he just looking like he wanted to not get his ass handed to him by you or someone else?" Abby hangs her head back, eyes closed. 'he wasn't lying, please tell me he wasn't lying. I want to believe that he's telling you the truth. That he had no other choice."

"I asked him. He didn't know you couldn't remember," Teo admits. He's speaking quietly, but with her eyes closed, everything darkened by her eyelids, the deprivation of one sense amplifies the other. "He might have just been trying to… I don't know, ingratiate himself. I don't think he gives much of a fuck about ingratiating himself with people, though. He didn't look scared, not of me. Or anyone else I brought— and I fucking brought Wireless. And Conrad. Something else scares him.

"He doesn't seem like a killer." His sentences, ideas are jamming front into back, fitting all wrong, zagging of the tracks, he knows. Might be the beer, might be the weird week, but he means it. His voice comes closer, an impression of warmth and mass on her right arm, not quite near enough to touch. "Or— I guess— he seems like a better liar than that. If he didn't mean it, Conrad would've been able to tell. I don't know what happened." Admission, finally, miserable and quiet. "But I think he didn't like hurting you."

"I don't like Conrad, and Wireless… doesn't scare me." Abby's mouth presses in on one side, there's wheels turning in her head, thoughts churning as well. She lifts her head, looking at the now closer Teo. "What house? What house do they have him squirreled in?" because now she needs to know. Know that her insane crazy faith that she puts in the singularly strange man, isn't misplaced and because who wouldn't want to know what happened for a chunk of your life that's been missing. The blue eyes still set on the Italian's own.

Teo's eyes thin slightly, almost a scowl. For all he hopes and perhaps even believes Flint wouldn't have fucked the young healer over completely, there's a regretfully realistic part of him that knows that little good comes of them being near one another. Or, if not little good, then great danger. A protracted moment, and his features go still as the air inside these walls. "I can ask him if he wants to see you," he says, finally.

"Just tell him thank you," when the answer, the one she wants isn't given. "Thanks for making it just what he did, and not more." Faith, she has to have it. "I think, Teo, I'm going to go ask Him to heal my face. You can stay here, I'm sure, or you can borrow my scooter to get back." Abby turns, her arms swinging out, one around his waist, the other to lope around his neck and shoulder and pull the guy close. "Thank you, Teo. For telling me, even when you didn't have to. I understand."

Rarely does Teo feel more hazardously huge than when he's held. Which probably accounts for at least half a dozen failed relationships, and friends lost besides. And doesn't he look it, for a moment, a big lumbering beast of a boy with too many clothes on, the top of his head half a foot higher than hers, or would be if he hadn't bowed it momentarily over her russet locks. It takes him a second or two to remember how this goes: puts his arms awkwardly around her. Squeezes once, releases carefully. "I wish I had more to tell you," he tells her, in the tone of apology. He means: he wishes he could. "I'll see you tomorrow, bella."

"Maybe. Maybe a few days from now. Call if you need me. Go, Teo. Just leave it at the diner, I'll run by and get it or have someone fetch it." She releases him as quickly as he does her. For a woman who's contemplating masseuse school, she's not very much of a toucher. "Take some spaghetti for him. He'll be starving. I suspect Flint doesn't get to eat much too often."

November 24th: Welcome Home, Honey

Previously in this storyline…

Next in this storyline…

November 24th: The Writing in the Dust
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