Talk Therapy


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Scene Title Talk Therapy
Synopsis Teo stops by to do some handiwork or applications procedures at the Vanguard remnant's new headquarters, but neither Raith nor friends are home. Instead, he winds up failing to work out some issues with the man who changed his life by trying to end it with rocket-propelled grenades in 2008.
Date November 2, 2009

Staten Island — Old Dispensary

On the outside, this sprawling multi-level complex has not seen use in many years, its walls covered in greenery and stone exterior and glass windows showing evidence of disrepair. Surrounded by a chain link fence, a drive leads from the street to a large dock, and around the back one can expect to find more sprawling greenery that eventually leads to a concrete drop off into the Atlantic Ocean.

Passing through the chainlink fence and into the dispensary will reveal that the aged and crumbling outside is a facade. The loading dock is kept clear for the most part of everything save vehicles and supplies, though a section has been quartered off and transformed into an open workshop. The dispensary itself has been transformed into something akin to a makeshift dormitory, complete with common areas, a sizable kitchen and eating area, with various rooms converted into bedrooms for the residence. One room has even been set up as a makeshift clinic, amply stocked with supplies.

The back lawn and garden of the dispensary is surprisingly well tended, green and lush during the right months. Vegetables have been planted in accordance to season closer to the building, though someone has indulgently planted a plots of flowers - notably sunflowers - here and there. Further out, the ground drops a little and makes it to a concrete edge from which opens out into deeper water of the Atlantic.

It's some kind of crazy pool table or connect-the-dots, between stalking Abigail at school, getting a ride over in her pea-colored SUV, finding his bike again, rip-roaring away to Staten Island astride the Harley's matte black hide. He knows exactly where he's going, which is not exactly new or refreshing as far as his use of private transportation goes, but there's something inherently different about it this time. Not merely Point A to Point B, because he's hungry or trying to get out of the rain or to a weapons cache, or what have you, but with some kind of longitudinally significant intent.

He's answering an invitation, when he pulls up in front of the old dispensary. It looks the same as he remembers, despite the fact that the surveillance system was diligently extricated, gutted out of its blank halls, walls and shadowy nooks by Gabriel. More bird shit speckling the roof and grounds, maybe, courtesy of the littlest avian telepath. The garden that Helena, Leonard and whomever is probably dried up, browned and dead or merely turned wild from neglect. The rooms repurposed. But just from the God-forsaken road, looking in, it looks the same, from the shape of its masonry to the ivy on its walls.

The Panhead stops with a mechanical cough, and Teo unslings his long frame from its seat. Keys jingle metal on wafered metal in one hand, and he yanks his helmet off with the other, proceeds to take a look around. Psychically, first, before the first two rambling steps and a shout out in the quiet: "Anyone home?"

If Eileen was home, Teo might receive a semi-cheery greeting. Or if not a semi-cheery one a greeting period. But Eileen is not home. And it doesn't matter what other members of the Remnant are home, the remaining suspects on the roster all fail tests at making effort to yell out a greeting to motorcycle riding kinda-homosexuals. Or… anyone else. If anyone is home they aren't in the mood to shout back answers from the safety of their sorta-home.

If Teo persists in his pursuit of finding the former Vanguardians, he will have to enter the Old Dispensary, which he is allowed to. Eventually he will find one Ethan Holden. Coiled up on a chair, the Wolf has a knife laying on the table next to him. A knife used for whiddling. A small piece of wood rests next to it, temporarily abandoned. A large book opened in his lap, the Holden man gives the slightest indication that he recognizes Teo's eventual entry. Finally he closes the book and slaps it against the table. Twilight.

"You're that boy. Boy 'oo plays with little fiery birds. Did that thing with the 'oomanis and the Pine'earst facility." Ethan murmurs, going to prop himself up on one elbow on the chair. "Whot th'fuck are y'doing 'ere, boy?"

A brief glimpse of the laddered serif text inside Twighlight's open leaves is enough to make Teo squint, physically, despite that he's viewing it through the lens of Ethan's own eyes for that brief snatch of text. Something about russet fur. Sloping hindquarters. He can hear his own voice echoing faintly through Ethan's hearing, which would be expressly irritating if the Sicilian's temper tended to answer to that kind of thing. Fortunately, it doesn't. When he comes lurching into the chalky rectangle of the appropriate door, he's left to stand on his two feet and contemplate the image of Englishman, whittling knife, wood thing, book.

It's the strangest thing, he's lived twice, shared so many of Ethan's friends and loyalties, but they've never actually, properly spoken. Partly for this reason, it surprises him when Ethan actually acknowledges his existence with that brief ballista of questions. Oh. Teo pauses, visible resists the urge to glance down at himself for verification. Yes, he is a boy. That boy. "I'm supposed to set up the electricity. Gabriel and Eileen asked me to," he says, jerking a thumb of his shoulder, despite that the probability the invitation specified more to do with wiring than the little fiery birds, Humanis and Pinehearst seems low to the person of average intelligence. "And you're Ethan.

"Headed up Kazimir's cell in New York City, right? Before all personnel turned on him."

Gifting Teo an agitated look, the Wolf goes to grab his block of wood and then the whiddling knife. The wood is placed in his lap before he gives Teo an impatient look. Eileen and Gabriel asked him to set up the electricty? "Then do it." He mutters, tone implying 'what's stopping you?' Holden looks down at his block as the knife meets wood, starting to put little wood shavings into his lap though he doesn't particularly care about the wood shavings in his lap.

"I'm Ethan." Holden affirms smirking slightly. "Good work. Your mother must be proud. If she's not too busy crying at her mounds of frustration gifted to her from her immediate family." A light sigh exhales. Looking up from his block. "You have a very fucked up family." So Ethan is a little more interested than it seems. "Yeah I 'eaded up the cell. And you ran around tryin' to stop it roight? Kidnapped me girl? Tried to turn 'er on me at one point." The wood block is set back up on the table.

"Thought about killin' you once."

"I thought about killing you a lot, after the Washington Irving," Teo responds, not quite mildly enough to register as a deliberate taunt, despite the chimerical wooden creature sitting on Ethan's lap, in incontrovertible evidence of its own dark existence. "But I guess I didn't have a lot else to think about after that put me out of a job. Never mind the loss of client base.

"I got over it in a few years, I think. Other things."
Temporal confusion and possessions included, he doesn't sound angry, in case that's relevant. Mostly because he isn't angry. Washington Irving, the Columbia 14, such things have gradually become more and more abstracted ever since Gabriel blendered two identities into the one, old allegiances and former passions of hate cooled off like raking a fire into the next. The move choked some things out, squashed the oxygen to nothing and blotted out the worst of the spark, leaving a stinking obfuscation of smoke and a squint through it. He doesn't mention the electrics again, twitches at the corner of his mouth at the mention of his Madre, which would be confirmation. He's sure she cries.

Appropos of nothing and everything, Teo asks: "Do you think you're going to be working on that awhile, or could you take a few minutes to spar? I had a falling out with the woman I used to go with."

A light chuckle leaks out of Ethan's lips. "You shouldn't get over something like that." Ethan growls, setting his calloused hands on either side of the armchair. Pressing himself up off the chair the Wolf goes to stand up. "Getting over a crime like that? Over deaths of innocent children?" Ethan looks somewhat offended. "That makes you some type of psychotic." Says the mass murderer. The fact that Teo had said 'in a few years' doesn't seem to make an impact or register on the Brit.

Stepping away from his chair, the man arches a brow high as he peers at Teo. "Spar?" His lips turn back as if he just bit into a rotten apple or drank chunky milk. Eww. "Do I look like the type that spars?" A little chuckle follows up as he shakes his head. "Once you reach a certain level of bad-assitude, you don't need to maintain anymore. You just automatically win." Whether he actually supports this thought or not is not truly indicated.

"You want to take out some pent up agression fuck-face?"

The English are renowned for their deadpan, dry sense of humor. Not to be racist or anything, but Teo has enough Europe in him still that that's the easiest assignation to explain away that. Joke. About bad-assitude. Possibly also the dig at his capacity to get over vast personal tragedy, staying his aquiline features in lines too austerely, geometrically straight to leave enough room for laughter.

Tick-tock. Teodoro cracks a smile, suddenly. "I'm not surprised you drive Eileen up the fucking wall," he answers. "She's dead serious most of the time I see her, and I like to think that isn't always entirely my fault." Teodoro Laudani was gifted with a diplomatic tongue, wasn't he! Throw in a little humility, benign acknowledgment of pervasive sociopathy or the human predeliction toward indifference. He thinks Ethan is a little of Column A, a little of Column B. Somewhat empathically impaired, but derived not of the vicious, hideous self-pity that characterizes criminals who can therefore do heinous things to others.

No. Some easy, sometimes mercenary egocentricity. "I haven't been penning much up, honestly. There are more than a few people out there who think I've actually been a little excessive these past few weeks, between shooting up Company agents and kidnapping my shrink. What do you think?" he asks. A beat. "What are you making?"

"A witch doctor cursed 'er with the inability to laugh when she was little." Ethan drawls, giving Teo an impatient look. "Or maybe it was the fuckin' 'eroine and 'er missing da." Ethan tilts his head as if contemplating what the answer to this riddle might possibly be. Finally he either quietly finds the answer or stops caring because the next thing he says is, "I don't drive 'er up any fucking walls." This part is said coldly.

Slowly circling Teodoro, the Wolf lets a smirk slip out. "I was makin' a fuckin' dildo, you interested?" His eyebrows knit. "Doesn't concern you whot I was makin. Now if you wanna get slapped around, let's get you slapped around so I don't 'ave to look at you anymore."

If Teo really were here to get some aggression out of his system, he'd could probably say another thing about Eileen or two— of what thin, mean few things she was left with after her various patriarchal figures went away, but he feels no need. Which is enough to convince him he isn't angry, won't take it personally, and that he is content to retain his honor, dignity, and interest in a fair fight, blink residual fatigue out of his eyes and hold his tongue and settle into a looser stance. Left foot canted forward and right slid backward out of the doorway, bracing his weight against the flat floor in the hall.

His motorcycle helmet was long since discarded and there isn't a toolbox in sight, wonderfully, despite his declared industry of business. Just like a Mario.

He's takes the first shot, as a matter of martial etiquette or the expectations set out fairly obviously in the Englishman's posture and his goading. It's led in by three strides' sprint, covering the distance between doorway and the would-be carpenter, hooks into the right on the sudden stop, a side kick flared out from his left, the harsh-toothed sole of his boot hurled like a hammer into the trunk of Ethan's body.

"Oh fuck you."

It's the grunt that is let out as Ethan swiftly steps forward and into the kick. Throwing his hand and arm out to the side and behind Teo's flying dragon kick. The impact still happens, the crash against his side is still swift. But it's absorbed, the potential pain caused lessened by his reaction. A twitch on his features as the leg slaps harshly against his ribs. Attempting to pull the leg against him tightly for a moment, the Wolf casts a glare up at the younger man.

"I knew you would come out 'ere with a fuckin' little kick like you've been trainin fuckin Kraaav Moonga." The way he talks about it, Krav Manga sounds like a pretty despicable art. His free hand balls up in a sharp fist and his elbow comes up tight. Swinging the fist out at Teo's chest, Ethan tries to hold his grip on the man's leg and deliver a hammer blow at the other man's pectorals. Hoping to send him barreling back. "Y'fockin little prick."

The punch collides solidly, send Teo sliding back two inches before the heel of his right shoe snags on some minute inconsistency of the floor's level, nips his left back, sharply scraping himself a brace for his tottering weight. He manages to recenter himself barely, his breath gusting in and out through caged teeth. He has to clear his throat after, his shoulders up and buckled faintly concave around a long breath, inhale and exhale, regarding Ethan from over the brief distance of floor and the airy disruption of his insults.

That fockin' little prick draws seems faintly discomfitted at being labelled as such, despite that he's been called worse, deserves worse, probably from people who actually know him. That just seems rather arbitrary, doesn't it? Being called such a name for a misdemeanor no greater than studying martial arts from an Israeli. That isn't very nice. Nor is the uppercut he then jack-in-the-boxes into Ethan's jaw, but at least he's on-topic, as far as that goes, his silence locked up between his teeth.

His head jerks up at the sudden impact under his chin, Ethan's foot swings backward. Catching himself to stabilize his backward stumble. Brows knit firmly as the Wolf glares over at the other man. His body rocks somewhat at the powerful blow deliverd to his head, though he doesn't topple over. Standing firmly, Holden takes a step forward to reaffirm the space between the two. Staring down at Teo, his brows knit angrily, hands flexing at his hands.

His mouth closes tightly for a moment before opening. A small wad of spit projects itself from Ethan's mouth, tainted with a light glint of pinkish red. The projectile fluid makes its way from Holden over to Teo's face. This is the only attack the Wolf makes at the moment.

And then there's a viscous glob of blood and mucus hanging off Teo's cheek, just below the slight cringe of his eyelid around its socket. It takes him a moment, maybe two, before he blinks his gaze wider, only dully surprised to find that that was no tactical effort to blind him or anything, just. Just. Spit. The Englishman just spit in his face, and that would appear to be about it, despite the obvious temper knotting up the height of his brow. And the part where it meets with the balding area over the crown of his head.

The Sicilian's own jaw tightens, a vein lining the oblique angle of his jaw in a faint vine of pastel green, irritation mounting. He says nothing, for the moment, does nothing, and it's quiet as the reading room Ethan's quarters had been a moment ago, as if the boy is ve-ry seriously considering the possibility that there is more to this situation than simply having a go at a mass-murderer, because what's a go between old friends? Of course, if they were old friends, he probably wouldn't be dead-locked against saying any damn thing to him, his heckling, or otherwise.

He could call a time-out. He could; it's an option, something that belongs out on the floor while the air is a mess of ugly undertones.

A beat, and a muscular tic of motion jack-knifes through Teo's shoulder. He lunges. Fist at Ethan's jaw, folding into the piledriver dig of an elbow into his chest, a clawing wrench and scrabbling yank of planted knee and shoved weight to haul the older, heavier man bodily at the rickety-legged table where the poor addled little wooden caricature fortunately no longer lays exposed to accidental crushing.

A light grin tweaks up at Teo's pause, his silence. Ethan is a very proficient combatant. Ruthless, efficient, lethal. Though it's not just his physical prowess which has allowed him to not-die this long. Though he claims a small, very small bit of morality mostly clung to in Eileen or sometimes Delphine's presence, Ethan does not practice holding up any code of honor in fighting. Cheating is encouraged. And though he feels no need to fish hook or go for balls, he's not above baiting and hooking.

And even though Teo is not a slave of his temper. It works enough for Ethan's purpose. As soon as Teo makes the tiniest vague notion that he is moving forward, Ethan is moving to the side. Flinging his hand up to, with difficulty, parry away the elbow. Cleanly pushing himself out of the man's path, a follow up hand is delivered roughly at Teo's back to help the man continue with his forward momentum into that poor little wooden guy that will never have the chance to live. :(

"You've got anger problems, fuckstick. You should see a therapist." Smile.

Despite that Teodoro Laudani's abdominal muscles are an architectural dream come true, they don't directly combine with furniture too well at this angle. Whumpf.

The Sicilian gets his arms in under himself just in time to spare himself a uniquely bizarre-shaped bruise creased across his middle where the edge skids into him, palms catching scarred wood broadside, his chest knocking a hollowly percussive report down out of the air underneath the table. He pushes down on his elbows on reflex, finds himself slumped under the weight and force of Ethan's hold on his back. One of the table's legs lifts off the floor, creaking off-axis slow as a wave trying to travel through the surface of a swamp, before it settles uneasily.

Teo's nose hangs an inch above the table and saliva finishes slipping off his cheek, to land on the table in a dot-dash-dot stipple of bubbled fluid. Somewhere in the distance, a wee wooden fellow is tumbling to a windmilling halt at the strip of wood at the base of the wall. "Historically," he grinds out, "this kind of thing works much better." Abruptly, there's a foot hooked around the back of Ethan's calf, yanking the base of the Englishman's balance out as he twists, gets his face out of the fucking table, swings an arm up, over Ethan's shiny dome to yoke him with a backward headlock.

Oh no the little wooden man :( Perhaps it is that he is suddenly debilitated by the overwhelming loss of a sudden fallen wooden comrade. Or maybe it's because Ethan figured the man would be less fight-y once the Wolf threw him into a table. But when the foot slinks behind his ankle, Ethan gets pointedly more frownyface. Once the Sicillian boy has his leg crooked around his own, Ethan quickly buckles his knees and allows Teo his move. But more than he had expected.

Buckling his knees instantly, the shiny dome quickly drops down and under the grasp of Teodoro's flaily arm. Crumpling quickly against the ground, the Wolf grunts as his back slaps against the floor. Though once he's there, one boot quickly flies at the back of one of Teo's knee joints. And then the other boot flies up rapildy to propel towards forcefully at the middle of the Laudani's back to slam him once again into that table.

It's like watching those little rubber men jolt and pinball swivel around the railings of the tilting Titanic, not that men of this caliber ever watched Titanic anyway, or the ones who read Twilight wouldn't have the right to say, anyway. Teo drops over the compromised push of his knee, bounces off the ball of Ethan's foot before he's bodily flipped forward into the poor abused table for the nth time. Instead of merely seesawing on its skinny little trotters this time, though, the furniture skids with a sound like talons ripping chalkboard, busting a brassy bang of impact against the wall. This time, Teo's fingers end up clutched white on the table's edge, Ethan's head popped out and freed like a factory chicken's egg rolled onto the conveyor's belt.

The room's too small for this fight, really, and neither man is particularly small. Too full of embryonic carpentry creations and secondhand furniture and bad books and immaculately plastered walls. Ow. He heaves himself up with the heel of his hand bitten white on the table corner, straightening his legs, or trying to. The left works just fine. The right is sore, sort of clicks mid-motion, slowed down enough that Teo's left scowling by the time he squirms around to face the older man. "Ca-gna," he grunts, the word broken up between the two syllables sluggish from the rattle Ethan's put through his teeth. "Thought you said you were going to beat me up."

One knee hugged to his chest, the Wolf is sitting up going to place his chin on top of his knee. Tilting his head lightly at the other man struggling with a coffee table. He stays seated for a moment, a light smile playing on his lips. Glancing up at Teo's words a little chuckle leaks out of his mouth. "Is that how the little birds talk shit? You wouldn't get a rise out of a yeast infection with that shit, mate." Ethan places one hand behind him, slowly pushing himself up to one knee.

Rising to his full height, he lets his head bobble around, stretching. "'oo taught you 'ow to fight? I'd say it was either an old man or a fuckin' dyke. Not the lesbian dyke though, you'd be a little angrier and less feminine." Reaching behind him the large man brushes off his back lightly before giving Teo a non-plussed look. "That spar enough for you? Or do y'need more bruises?"

"That isn't 'talking shit,' that's a sincere question," Teo responds, after a significant half second or so spent visibly clamping down on the urge to sass the older man right back. "You didn't try a Goddamn thing." According to recent collection, anyway. Got hit in the side and face a few times, said some things, pushed Teo into a table at the cost of a tiny wooden man's life but— that aside, Teo remains conspicuously free of the catastrophic damage that Ethan had promised to deliver.

Or, possibly, that was just 'talking shit,' he dunnos; been too long out of harrassing English football hooligans, or vice versa. The Sicilian swivels the foot attached to the vaguely-problematic-knee, his heel down on the floor and toe tipping side to side, gingerly testing the torque and discomfort of the sum of parts. Not too bad. He'll just have to walk it off, probably, possibly involve an ice pack. "She's straight, it's true. Really angry, though."

"That makes sense. Probably wouldn't let y'fuck 'er. Or did she?" Ethan asks somewhat curiously, giving Teo a quizzical look. Glancing down at the coffee table, Ethan takes a slow step forward. Tucking his thumbs into his belt, he looks the other man up and down for a moment as if looking at him for the first time. And in a way, it is. "She won't ever talk about it." Though it seems clear that the 'she' is an entirely different person now. "Gettin' caught by your birds. What 'appened?"

Taking his hands off his sides, he starts walking circling the other man for a moment, watching him closely.

Too many 'birds' in this conversation for Teo to track easily, and given the other proclivities of some of the birds in question (Ie., avian telepathy), thaaat's… confusing. At least, he's capable of observing that the net effect of Ethan's response is that, indeed, unloading a diagnostic nightmare of broken bones and blood-filled eyeballs on him isn't about to happen, something that Teodoro regards with a mixture of disappointment, curiosity (suspicion), and wary amusement. "Just once." Sex, he means.

Though he only ever abducted Eileen Ruskin once, too. His features ease to neutral as he identifies the entrance of the burning bird onto the conversation, as well as one woman swapped out for the other. Teo keeps himself leaned against the table at the hip, which works for two reasons: first that he gets to look outwardly more nonchalant and unconcerned than he is, second that that way Ethan can't get behind him or into his blind spot anyway. Of all the most agitating topics they could discuss.

"She was looking for Flint Deckard on Volken's behalf," he says, finally. "Wound up asking a colleague and I, weird coincidence— and we already knew Deckard was in trouble with your people. So we tracked her. Caught her. She almost permanently blinded my best friend in one eye and kicked the shit out of the other guy. Afterward," his voice slows, grating, negotiating treacherous terrain. Either paranoid of the indigenous Englishmen's hostile response to it, or uncomfortable with memory that belongs to the half of him that still remembers 'regret.'

"Afterwards, she got me with a knife someone forgot there, and I hit her. And after that, we talked a lot. I worried about Stockholm's awhile, but I think she's too clever for that."

"She was looking for Flint Deckard on my behalf. Deckard couldn't 'ave made a blip on the old man's radar." Ethan clarifies, "Get your facts right fucker." The man falls silent as Teo continues to talk. A half grin when she stabbed him and then his features flatten when he reports that he hit her. Lips thinning, Ethan looks up level at the man for a moment. "She's a fighter. Your girl didn't put up half as much a fight." A little grin.

"But we're on the same side now, right?" And with that question, Ethan is leaning forwarrd on the ball of one foot. His opposite flies forward in a swift hooking kick at Teo's ankle, his opposite arm flying out to strike Teo's other shoulder and finally the signature Holden move. The Wolf's forehead cuts through the distance quickly, aimed at the center of Teo's face.

Contact! The crown of Ethan's forehead runs into the middle of Teo's face with a wet squelch of cartlidge giving way, blood popping beads out of nostrils to leak a thin line down his upper lip. He doesn't really have the time to lick or wipe it clean, mostly because the next half second or so is occupied with the fine art of falling onto the table: a practice that the Sicilian has begun to perfect since entering the room. Same side. Right.

Not for the first time, probably not for the last, he regrets being in this body, too slow, too weak, too young, compared to the higher-performance vehicle Ghost had driven before. …In the future.

Fuck. Ethan is talking about Danielle, isn't he? Dani and Cat, and it's absurd how late this recollection comes, detached out to some backward corner of his brain, and how violent, heavy its impact when it finally does, though Teo is already moving by then, rolling off the furniture on one foot, driving the other into Ethan's leg on its way back to the ground. This time, he's the one trying to push space in between them.

But Ethan's new fire for the fight is not so easily squelched by a little space. Throwing his back foot out to stabilize his backward motion, Ethan's face contorts into something rather angry as his hands fly out at the foot planted on his thigh. Actually taking Teo's push as a suggestion more than a command, the Wolf decides that it is a good idea and does go back quickly. But both of his hands are latched onto the foot and ankle of the bossy boot that kicked out.

Lifting from the legs, and then unwisely from the shoulders and the back (you're going to hurt yourself some day Ethan) he pulls and lifts powerfully and swiftly. With Teo having lost a little balance in this whole roll-y fall-y adventure, Holden hopes to yank the appendage clear out from under the young man, taking his whole body for a ride. After lifting up Ethan then lets go, allowing gravity to take care of the rest.

Then he's stepping back, bringing one hand up to wipe at his lips, bringing the hand back to check for the pink tinge in his saliva.

When someone is dragging you around by the foot there isn't a lot you can do until they let it go. There are two main options: fall down or stand up. No other multi-tasking is about to occur, without weapons or complications available to the rules of engagement, and it's all Teo can do to resist the yanking on his ankle. He knows as much about falling as the next guy who's taken a little combat training, but it merely saves himself the time otherwise required to get up and recover his feet again.

He winds up clinging to a stone like a kitten capsized out of its basket in the stream, awkwardly balanced on his other foot, making equally cranky faces from across the length of his leg at Ethan. The table in his grip scratches and squeaks twice, jerked along the floor in syncopation with the Sicilian's grip on it and Ethan's grip on the Sicilian. Gabriel is going to demand everybody put coasters underneath the furniture legs, probably.

Upon release, his knee feels even more unhinged and there's bile in his voice, though he doesn't quite physically spit when he asks: "No fucking regrets, then?" He drags his foot back in underneath himself, eyes jerking saccadically in their sockets, narrow.

Once Teo has reclaimed his leg, Ethan's hands fall to his sides. The Wolf watches the younger man for a moment, eyebrows sinking in and lips dragging out into something that resembles a scowl. A glance does down to the table Teo has been dancing and playing with for this whole freaking time and then back to the man clinging and leaning on it.

"Regrets?" Ethan starts to turn, a bit of his back showing to the other man. But he pauses, backpedalling swiftly Holden launches himself off one foot, and flings his back foot at the square center of the oldest Laudani's chest. Hoping to end this fight and the life of one crappy coffee table in one fell move. Once both his feet are under him again, he grunts. "A few."

The impact rams heavy into Teo's arms, an incomplete Aikido redirection, lagged because he's half hobbled and slow and already getting sore, though the reading table's far worse off: with a crack of wood severing under rending kinetic impact. It snaps clean in half, ground up against the wall under the tottering wheeze of Teodoro's regrouping balance. When he spars with Hana, she doesn't hit him that hard. Tests of method, speed, reflexes, with rare and sparing use of real impact.

There is a table-shaped bruise forming down his leg, now. Probably not too bad of one, but unattractively greenish for the next few days. Teo's hands are a few extra seconds coming out of their block. Splinters fall off the seam of his pant leg, the collar of his jacket. He swats dust off his arm and makes a parody of indifference with his smile. A poor parody: there are too many teeth in it, bared like a grimacing rictus more than anything else. "I take it Dani, Deckard, and going to fucking war with Phoenix and the rest of the world don't make the list."

Stepping forward, Ethan raises one hand as if to say, I'm not going to hit you. Instead he bends slightly and goes to retrieve the book and the half formed figurine that Teo crushed. Holding them at his sides, Ethan takes a single step back. "No. Probably not." Stepping back cleanly, Ethan turns his back on the younger man and starts to make his way away.

"Thanks for doin' the electricity." Ethan calls out as he makes his way for his room where people won't be coming and crushing his wooden projects with their stupid buttholes.

The Sicilian pulls himself out of spindly wooden-legged wreck, leaning to full upright, his sleeves now clean of sawdust and his features set in the harsh angles of stubborn neutrality. This is fine. Of course, this is fine.

Teo can do this. He's going to work with the dillweed who slaughtered a hundred children, took Dani's hand and then her life, and doesn't see to much wrong with the fundamental principles of the genocidal crusade he resigned from. Of course he can do this; why the Hell wouldn't he be able to do this? It can't be worse than a lifetime in jail, or the chair, or the widening gulf of separation to his old friends. He watches Ethan extricate his book, flushes fractionally at the salutation that the older man casts back, for once— for the first time in years, irritated at having been somehow reduced to handyman status.

"Non problema," he answers, curtly, his voice only faintly clotted from the soreness beating in his nose. It isn't until after Ethan leaves that he snorts blood back up it, tips his head back, wipes his mouth off.

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