The Bianco Identity


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Scene Title The Bianco Identity
Synopsis Chivalry ain't dead, just can't take a punch. The super doctor secret spy man works on his new identity and the innumerable related relationship issues arising therefrom. It must be true love if your boyfriend asks you to bomb his surgical facility.
Date February 16, 2009

Solstice Condominiums: Sonny's Home

The apartment is large, sprawling and appointed in a cooly masculine, modern style. The entire far wall is made up of windows that reveal the drifting snow outside. The floors are a deep hardwood, the furniture leather. The modern, shining kitchen is open concept. There's a winding staircase to the left that leads to a small hallway, with two bedrooms. The space is open and roomy - perfect for entertaining high profile guests.

The throbbing in Sonny's head has finally started to subside, even though it's going to take a little while yet for his nose to heal. The stitches are out of his chin at least, though it's still swollen and angry looking. The hot steam from the shower soothed his swollen nasal passages, which means he's been in there a good long while. Eventually he emerges, towel around his waist, and pads into the bedroom. Drops of water are absorbed by the carpet as he goes to grab a t-shirt.

"How's the game, man? I completely forgot I bought it. S'been sitting there in cello for weeks. If you hadn'tve pulled it out I probably would have bought it again in a month or so."

"I'm a fucking rock star," Teo responds with extravagant humility, pushing buttons and knobs. His sniper rifle finds his target's helmet from around the corner of a shipping container, finishing off somebody else's kill. He's been lounging around on all manner of furniture and in as many odd configurations as he can like some great exotic pet cat. By now, he's made his way onto the floor, his bare heels resting on top of the drawer handles, his head on the squashy, caramel bean bag chair that was supposed to have his butt in it. "I've killed mo—" He makes the mistake of glancing away from the plasma screen and look at Sonny.


He dies. Not— in real life, of course. Just the game. "Fuck," he growls, artlessly. Twisting back, he glares as his avatar topples off the bridge and toward some warehouse floor.

"Ouch. That looks like an injury to the thoracic vertebrae and a fractured pelvis," Sonny flashes a Hollywood smile and runs a towel over his hair. "See. this is why I can't play these games, man. I overanalyze the splatter pattern and extent of injury." He scoops up the beer he was working on before he entered the shower, then pulls open a drawer for a pair of boxers. "They get the quantity of blood all wrong for the types of injuries those weapons dole out. Even if they are super futuristic space weapons."

Focus. It's harder to maintain at some times over others. Teo refrains from aiming a kick at the furniture, lest he hurt himself. Or the expensive carpentry. He is, momentarily, too annoyed or at least physically stupid to remember which one of those two things would be harder. It passes in a moment, of course— most of his moods do, burn bright and fade out.

He manages to be fairly Italian that way. "Mmmaybe the people in these uniforms have different anatomy," he points out, knitting his brow sternly as he steers his respawn up a set of stairs. Shotgun loaded, he studies the swerve and jog of dots on his radar. "But no wonder like half your games are eaten by fucking dust mites. Or would be. If you didn't have everything cleaned and polished to use as mirrors."

Sonny tugs on the t-shirt and a pair of flannel pants, then pads over to Teo. He drops down beside him and shifts as a way of offering himself as a chair-back for leaning. "I'm really…bad at these games, honestly. I rarely get past the first level in any of them. That's the problem. There's too much of a learning curve. I remember good ole' Mario with two buttons and some arrow keys. I kicked ass at those, man." He tugs the beanbag chair back and puts it behind himself. The beer he's been drinking is offered out.

"So. I've been thinking about this other identity. The one for the Ferrymen? I talked to Wireless and she's going to set me up with the papers. I just need to give her the face for photo ID."

"No levels 'f you're just killing wireless Internet people," Teo replies, as glibe as he is momentarily grammatically butchered. His shoulder ends up wedged into Sonny's ribs for one clumsy moment, a sidling squirm caving in one side of the bean bag blob in with a stab of his elbow, before he finally manages to lever the main part of his weight onto the older man's leg in a transition that passes for cooperative. The flannel ends up bunched up around the good Doctor's knee, a lap full of Sicilian squeezed slightly too close when Teo pushes his foot flat against the drawers in an effort to straighten his back.

"I was kind of hoping you'd forgot about all that," he admits, guiltily, ducking his head to slurp beer without letting go of the game controller. "A Batman face?"

Sonny winces a little at the discomfort involved in those clumsy moments. There's still a few mystery bruises on different parts of his body from the fight with the cop that Teo somehow manages to jam. "You were? I thought you'd be happy about it. I mean, it makes things safer for both of us. And…" his head teeters from side to side. "…means we can be seen outside of these walls together. We can do stuff. Dinner. The zoo?" He quirks a grin. "We have some time. I mean, people aren't going to expect me to go to any fancy parties for at least a couple of weeks. It…also means getting a new apartment. I've been looking around and found a few all right ones to go look at."

The doc starts to work his fingers over the muscles grouped across Teo's shoulders. He massages knots the young Italian probably wasn't aware were even there. "And Batman would imply that I could actually fight instead of being able to stitch people up so their guts don't fall out."

Fortunately for Teo, the tournament ends just as the welcome intrusion of fingers locate the knot on the left curve of his neck. Fortunate, because it's hard to play Halo when you've suddenly forgotten you're a vertebrate. Or supposed to be. Also difficult to keep a grip on the perceptible evidence that one is causing somebody else physical discomfort. A body's a selfish thing to have. Blame it on that.

And the mess of knots that have replaced his musculature over the past few weeks. There's an outgoing sigh, long and lugubrious, and the game controller slides onto the floor in a suddenly boneless hand. Teo's head tips forward, droops a round shadow onto the carpet. "You didn't really think I'd be happy about it," he mumbles, always one to enlighten. From the tilted axis of Sonny's new vantage, his eyes don't look open, the line of his profile smoothed into a reasonable facsimle of bliss. "The risks are greater. Just different. I'm nnnot enough of a selfffish cccunt to… Pretend I said something generous?"

The words 'hands like a surgeon' are complimentary for a reason. Sonny works at the knots, at the muscles he knows the Latin names for. "It's a layer of insulation. I…if I'm going to start speaking up. If I'm going to do things like help your friend out with the orphanage, or hell, speak against registration or using the ID kits, I need to not be connected directly to the Ferrymen." He exhales, face close enough to Teo that the warm breath pushes against his neck. "But I still want to help. So I need this legit identity. And that means a new face, papers, and another address."

The doc's hands work down further. He gently guides the young Italian forward so he can start to work down to his shoulderblades. He makes a fist and rolls it down his spine. "I…want you to help me pick a face. Something that's not going to…weird you out. If…that's even possible." He chuckles, but it's more nervous than amused.

Like some great wheel of cheese, Teo bobs forward when pushed, not one to complain or object. Except verbally, sort of, only he isn't doing a very good job of that anymore. This battle's already been fought and lost, and Teodoro's club-footed efforts to emphasize the severity of the stakes and half-heartedly induce discouragement were defeated by an edifying spirit comprised of fire, wind, and belated backbone.

The resistance he offers now is at best a token of concern. "If you're going to start speaking up," he repeats, cracking a single pallid blue eye open. Klutzy fingers find the remote control on the floor, click the television screen off. He's rewarded by a dim reflection of Sonny's expression, all ruthlessly pensive, lock-jawed chivalry. He's left to wonder if he ever looks like that himself. Sometimes Deckard appears to want to punch his face off.

Often. "This is one of those trick questions," he decides, slowly. "'Does this dress make me look fat?' 'If you could change one thing about me, what would it— be?" There's a hitch when Sonny's knuckles find an especially ugly tangle of tension, and the stoop of Teo's back tightens. "I'll have to pick something completely fucking hideous so you don't get mad. And then you'll go mad."

Sonny rolls his eyes skyward and laughs. "Look, this isn't a trick question, all right? I can just guess, if you'd rather?" He presses harder the more Teo winces, to work away the worst of the knots. His left hand balls into a fist again and knuckle rolls up his spine, in the space between vertebrae. "All I'm asking is for something you won't balk away from, something that won't weird you out. I'm not asking you to construct your dream guy like some kinda…sexed-up Mister Potato head."

"'N' this is the part where I try not to overthink it," Teo answers, the left corner of his mouth crawling toward his left ear. "If you weren't such an unapologetically sweet young man, I'd be wondering if you were making a joke about my somewhat indiscriminate standards of the past month or so. I-II—" The air whistles out through his teeth as another lump of tension cedes to Sonny's handling after a moment that resembles agony. His knuckles fade from white, and he coughs, once, before blinking up at the face on the unlit screen again. "No problem, bello. We'll do this thing."

"Sweet? Fucking hell," Sonny rubs his face, but stops that quickly enough when he remembers, hey, his nose is broken. "I've been called a lot of things in my life, but I haven't been called sweet since I was seven and tried to bring mama breakfast in bed for Mother's Day." He slides one arm around Teo in a mock choke-hold and very gently pressues his lips to the curve of his neck. His lip still hurts, but the lower one is no longer twice the size it's supposed to be.

He inhales deeply and relaxes his face against Teo's neck. "Wish there was a better way, but you'n I both know it's the best way to be safe."

A broken face makes a good game-face. Teo has some experience in this department. His lip actually suffered a brief confrontation with somebody's fist or head recently, and the evidence still notches the line of his mouth, but the amount of damage he's wearing is easily dwarfed by the mess made out of Sonny's mug, so he doesn't complain. Merely restrains himself in falling against the other man, lest he accidentally bounce the back of his head off the blunted nose or another elbow stray somewhere it shouldn't.

He's about to argue about the best way to be safe, but something about the tone that phrase is delivered in and the tactile tug of Sonny's expression finding peace on his neck shuts him up. Reluctantly. "Burnt toast and more orange pulp than juice?" he guesses, after a moment. Long fingers scritch through Sonny's curly hair, delving through layered coils to tease blunt nails into the curve of scalp, about as gentle as his next question is tactless: "So, you gonna practice on me or what? Your face is a little too fucked up right now, isn't it?"

As long as they're not bite marks or hip bruises, Sonny doesn't pay much attention to Teo's various injuries. It's like asking a pro soccer player where he got that black eye. "Mmmh. I took some of the good stuff. I experimented a little bit earlier. Still doesn't tickle, but morphing doesn't hurt as much as it did the other day. But pretty soon I'll be lucky if I feel it when I blink if this stuff kicks in."

A half-grin appears on Sonny's face and his eyes droop to half mast. He exhales slowly and rubs his thumb over Teo's shoulder. "D'ya want me to show you a couple of faces?" He cranes his neck and leans over Teo's shoulder so he can catch eye contact not reflected in the TV. His expression is searching. He never knows just how much what he does bothers people.

No. Yes. No. Maybe. Teo's normally blatant way of conveying his feelings on his face indicates blatant ambivalence on the subject, though the origins why are ambiguous even to him. There are other things they could do. Like, uh. Sex. More beer. Video games. Aikido? Which could then lead to se—

"Yes," he answers, yanking his line of sight back from its evasive trip across the wall to meet Sonny's eyes, centered, square, an accurate representation of certainty if he ever made one. "Yeah, sure. If you can handle it with the drugs and the pain and shit, that's fine. You have your own face —" Terminology. He pulls his fingers out of black ringlets and searches his mental word bank. "—templated down already?"

Sonny twitches a grin. "You don't have to worry. I'm not gonna lose my own face. I seem to have developed this new…talent, along with the headache thing. You remember how quickly I switched back from Mark's face? I've never done it that fast before. I could just…feel my own face beneath the change. I guess maybe all that pushing it lately was good for something."

The doc shifts around, enough so he's within Teo's line of sight, but without separating entirely. Okay. You wanna close your eyes or something? I know that sounds stupid, but it looks kind of weird when I…" he motions to his face. "Whoo. Uh, yeah, okay…" he laughs nervously. "Here…here we go." He closes his eyes and focuses for a moment. He thinks of an image he brainstormed earlier. Slowly, very slowly his features start to shift. He keeps them fairly close to his own in terms of general structure. His hair straightens, then lightens, and the dusky Italian colouring bleaches out to a lighter tone. His nose gets a little bigger, his chin slightly more pointed. The overall impression is of someone who is a perpetual babyface - and therefore probably too young to inspire the confidence a street doctor would need to.

Face 1

By then, Teo has done as asked and closed his eyes. Though, granted, he only does so with a sardonic quirk to his mouth, either humoring Sonny's vanity or Sonny's rather unflattering impression of the size of his cajones, he's not sure which. He perches his elbow atop of the other man's knee, a convenient armrest for himself and quiet reassurance for the doctor, squares his soothed shoulders, makes with the patience until the an audible release of breath cracks his right eye open. Seeing no movement in the thin slice of face that he can make out, he blinks wide, taking in the full spectacle of his lover's revised skull for a brief silence.

"I think you may need more of a jaw," he says, reaching up. His thumb and fingers clasp the new elfin point that favors Sonny's jaw, tightens, gently, with something like curiosity. "Less of a pout, probably. And to look at least as old as you usually do, or the thieves and sickly out there are going to think you're just some naive little Hollywood ransom-bait, trying to disinherit—" He stops. Lets go. Smiles beatifically, and leans his weight on Sonny's steepled knee. He'll close his eyes again when told to.

"Okay, okay. I get it. Too much like me," Sonny laughs, very honestly amused and apparently not insulted. "I tried this one because it's easy to shift it. But yeah, I…fuck.." He touches his tender nose. Even with the new face, the same old puffy red injuries remain. "I get your point. Okay, uh…let's see…"

Sonny's face bunches in an expression of concentration. He takes a deep breath and shifts. It's actually quite amazing how little tweaks here and there completely transform his appearance. Really, there aren't that many more steps between this face and the one he just had, but no one would say the two were even related, let alone the same person. "Better?" Brown hair, blue eyes, firmer features, though not by much. With this face, Sonny's vanity is shining full force. Far too pretty to blend in the places he wants to blend.

Face 2

There is a long pause for assessment, this time. And then something like mirth manifests with the skepticism in Teo's brow. "You look like a rent boy who got the wrong side of his pimp's hand. Not that I'd know what that looks like," Teo says, parodying self-consciousness with a half a grin. "Better, si. I like the bones. Nice with the architectural perfection." Teo's hand falls knuckles-first into the floor on the other side of the man's leg, curls, bears his weight on a straightened arm. "More Scandinavian than Mediterranean, at least. You could name yourself 'Norwegian Woo—' I'll stop." Two rows of white teeth, boyish as the look that Sonny's trying to avoid. "Older. Might actually mean taking a flaw or two."

"I'm a cosmetic surgeon, Teo. It's like…pedalling backwards for me to add flaws," Sonny shakes his head and pulls fingers through his lighter hair. He grins self-consciously as he catches sight of his reflection in the dark TV. "Fuck, you're right." He tilts his face to the side and runs a hand down his jaw, then takes a deep breath. "Older? All right. Uh…hm. Maybe…there was this guy. Met him in London. My memory's fuzzy enough that if I think of him and skew a few features, it wouldn't be the same guy. But…" His cheeks puff out, his eyes lid, and he begins the transformation again.

The edge of Sonny's face melds into a more defined jawline - less boyish, less pretty. Perhaps five or six years older than he is now, which given his natural babyface, gives him a decidedly more mature look. He gives himself a sharp grecian nose, somewhat shaggy brown hair and a heart-shaped face. Definitely a face one could call 'professional.' Handsome. Despite the fact that his features couldn't be more different, it's still him, somehow.

Face 3

Though it might not be saying much, Teo thinks he would probably roll over for that. There's an errant thought, wondering, if Salvatore had but that's neither here nor there. Handsome makes sense. Is appropriate. Possibly even necessary. Being good-looking gets you a lot of free shit. Like trust. Alcohol, sometimes spare computer parts, if you play your cards right. The formermost item is probably the most important for a doctor. There's a dark strength in that brow that indicates a man you'd want on your side, a tall forehead that promises intelligence.

"Rare, I know, but it happens," he says by way of agreement. He's right. Leaning back on his hands, Teo pushes a shoulder up high enough to fold his earlobe and swivels himself out of Sonny's way, allowing him a look at the dark, matte mirror of the liquid crystal television. He doesn't know what to say, and it shows. Eventually, his hesitation as obvious as the skitter of a horse at a rope bridge, "Not bad for an Englishman?"

It's true. If Sonny really wanted to, he could study advertising and don a face designed to provoke the precise response he wanted from someone. But he's not that manipulative. The doc takes a moment to study his changed face. "Yeah, not too similar, fortunately. The spirit of it is kind of there. I could be a brother or a cousin. And he wasn't English. Australian, I think? Either that or a Kiwi."

The self-examination only lasts a moment longer before he swivels his attention back to Teo. "Does this work?" His voice is still the same, which leads to an eerie disconnect. Given they had an entire conversation the other night where he wore a different face with his own voice, perhaps less eerie. He looks the young Italian dead on with darker eyes underneath that stronger brow. "Can you handle this? Me, like this?"

There's a wrong answer to this question. Teo is sure there is. He's never good at discerning that from the wrong answer, though, when the honest one is staring at him baldly in the face. It's gotten him in trouble before, and it will probably get him in trouble again before he's done being alive. If he couldn't lie to a bumbling, amnesiac revision of an Evolved serial killer and mass murderer, he isn't about to do so tripping over some absurd, wires-crossed sensitivty to vanity that might otherwise get his lover knifed. "Yes, it works.

"Perfetto." There's no insincerity in the smile that crooks Teo's mouth then, but it isn't mirth, either; his mind's roved on to something else, reminded by this curious little shopping montage of the ominous shape of things to come. Sonny has his heart set and his face reconfigured. Teo leans off the other man's leg, then, tilts his head closer for study. It's only a fleeting notion, and to no tactic detriment, that he thinks this man looks like he could be crueller. "Si. You're still you, eh? What are you going to name him?"

Perhaps with a less gentle face, Sonny Bianco can learn to be less gentle. Something he'll need if he wants to survive the rough streets of this new New York. He'll need to rely on more than charm and his last name to get him out of trouble.

The doc looks hesitant - hesitant to touch, to get too close. He can only imagine what this must be like from Teo's perspective. A little grin quirks and he swallows. "Kinney, I think. Maybe, Connor? Do I look like a Connor?" He shrugs and darts his gaze away a bit awkwardly. "Our first house was on Kinney Street."

"That's like two fuckin' surnames," Teo says, his eyes going slightly crescent-shaped with amusement. He picks up one bare foot, pulls a quick corkscrewing of his torso to swivel around, face the older man with his back straight, a more comfortable configuration. Even for Teo, crouching around the outline of a pretzel gets uncomfortable eventually. "Connor's Irish. Kinney's from that region too, I think. You're white enough for that, si. It works well.

"It's all coming together." The palm that comes up to the side of Sonny's new face is slow if not ginger. His thumb tucks parallel into the subtle seam of a frown-line folded between the corners of nose and mouth. Teo's seen his work before.

Gotten a lot closer to it than was, strictly speaking, intelligent, but this is different in as many ways as Felix Ivanov and Salvatore Bianco are. Not the least for what they mean to him. He flits his hand up through the fall of straight, dark hair, holding it out of Sonny's eyes. "Connor Kinney should have a tattoo or some shit. 'Cause he's a badass doctor. And I want you to practice before I ask you for one."

Sonny rolls his eyes and scratches the side of his head. "I'm not good with names, all right? If it's so damn funny, you pick a first name then." His tone is lightly teasing, his look a challenge. It's the eyes that make it possible to find him in this new face. They're the same shape, the same size. His natural shade might be light blue rather than dark green, but that's a superficial change. More of him is visible than in the faces that are closer to his own, strangely enough.

He leans in to the touch of the hand, reassured that Teo isn't afraid to touch him, isn't reacting to him like he's a stranger. "Hah. Badass doctor. Sewing cuts for great justice." The smile that appears is still his, too. Straight, white teeth. A touch of Hollywood, even if the face is a little more Indie film now. "A tattoo, huh? Well, it would need a story behind it. And I'd need to concentrate really hard. Which…I don't think I can do with this many drugs in my system, honestly." He shifts and weaves ever so slightly. Yes, he's pretty doped up now that the painkillers have worked their way through his system. He'd probably fall over if he stood up too fast.

"That's like two fuckin' surnames," Teo says, his eyes going slightly crescent-shaped with amusement. He picks up one bare foot, pulls a quick corkscrewing of his torso to swivel around, face the older man with his back straight, a more comfortable configuration. Even for Teo, crouching around the outline of a pretzel gets uncomfortable eventually. "Connor's Irish. Kinney's from that region too, I think. You're white enough for that, si. It works well.

"It's all coming together." The palm that comes up to the side of Sonny's new face is slow if not ginger. His thumb tucks parallel into the subtle seam of a frown-line folded between the corners of nose and mouth. Teo's seen his work before.

Gotten a lot closer to it than was, strictly speaking, intelligent, but this is different in as many ways as Felix Ivanov and Salvatore Bianco are. Not the least for what they mean to him. He flits his hand up through the fall of straight, dark hair, holding it out of Sonny's eyes. "Connor Kinney should have a tattoo or some shit. 'Cause he's a badass doctor. And I want you to practice before I ask you for one."

Sonny rolls his eyes and scratches the side of his head. "I'm not good with names, all right? If it's so damn funny, you pick a first name then." His tone is lightly teasing, his look a challenge. It's the eyes that make it possible to find him in this new face. They're the same shape, the same size. His natural shade might be light blue rather than dark green, but that's a superficial change. More of him is visible than in the faces that are closer to his own, strangely enough.

He leans in to the touch of the hand, reassured that Teo isn't afraid to touch him, isn't reacting to him like he's a stranger. "Hah. Badass doctor. Sewing cuts for great justice." The smile that appears is still his, too. Straight, white teeth. A touch of Hollywood, even if the face is a little more Indie film now. "A tattoo, huh? Well, it would need a story behind it. And I'd need to concentrate really hard. Which…I don't think I can do with this many drugs in my system, honestly." He shifts and weaves ever so slightly. Yes, he's pretty doped up now that the painkillers have worked their way through his system. He'd probably fall over if he stood up too fast.

That would be all right. Teo would catch him, no problem. It is consistent with his physical strength and Phoenix's modus operandi, carrying each other around when they're doped up on painkillers after energy. As long as Sonny is keeping himself based close to the ground, however, the Sicilian is content to bear only the slight dependency of his refurbished head in one hand, physical support to go with whatever else he is capable of offering. He glides a thumb around the ambiguous edges of the fading bruise, smiles crookedly in return to the familiar symmetry of the grin that makes its way out of an otherwise unfamiliar set of features.

For a moment, all the personal insecurities and tactical stresses that plague their relationship fuck off out of Teo's mind. It's a job well done, at least as far as he can tell through the harsh lens of paranoia and available intelligence. "Connor Kinney's going to fucking need a story as it is. Tattoo wouldn't be a bad way to start. 'Specially if you remember: the vast majority of the ink the vast majority of people get done is a mistake."

"I know mine was a mistake. That's why I got rid of it." One of Sonny's brows arches. Without parting from Teo's hand, he looks towards the darkened TV again. "God, I have to get used to looking older. No one should have to do that before their time." And then his attention's back to Teo. A hand drops experimentally to rest lightly on his thigh. Nothing aggressive, just testing the waters. "The funny thing about the tattoos that I'd make, is that I'm actually changing skin pigment. I can't create ink, but I can do something to the cells so that they change colour." When he gives someone blue hair, the hair is really blue.

He reaches for the beer and takes a sip out of it, even though it's almost empty now. "I've been thinking. This guy's probably got blemishes on his record. Malpractice. Dispensing controlled substances. It would give me an excuse to work at free clinics and offer my services at the trailer farm. So they don't see me as this altruistic doc. They'd be more likely to accept me as one of them if I'm not seen as doing it just out of the goodness of my heart." Seems he has put some real thought into this.

It's like being thirteen and measuring physical intimacy according to numbered bases all over again, struggling with the line between seeming over-eager, or discouraging, a dozen prospective accidents of shame or unexpected discoveries of one's own boundaries. Teo hadn't really liked anybody he was screwing around with at thirteen as much as he likes Sonny, either. Problematic, the way he'd described it on the bridge. The stakes are higher. The hand on Teo's thigh is a baby step, and he's so aware of it that he has to consciously refrain from looking at it.

It's okay with him, he decides. He isn't sure if it's really okay with Sonny that it's okay with him, and maybe worse, he isn't sure Sonny would tell him if it wasn't, but as long as they're being practical, this line of thinking obviously isn't.

"I figured," he answers, smiling. "Melanin concentration, right? Probably take longer to fade and won't turn fucking hideous shades of green. I think you're on the right track. Some mistakes are good to keep." He might still be talking about tattoos, or he might be referring to the foundation on which Connor Kinney's being constructed. Both, probably. "Not sure how that precludes altruism, amico. So you're selectively taking money for the medication?"

"Maybe. But really, am I a guy you'd think suits tattoos?" Sonny's brows raise questioningly. Connor Kinney might be, but Sonny Bianco, in all his clean-lined Hollywood glory? Perhaps not. "I suppose I've never been connected enough to an image to get it put on my body. Which tells you how brave I am, since I could easily erase it if I decided I didn't want it." Tattoos are no commitment to him.

He looks down at the hand on Teo's leg, then up to his face. His gaze searches for signs of discomfort. "Are you…" he hesitates. "…comfortable at being…you know…" he bobs his head from side to side. "Because there are places we could go where people wouldn't throw things at us if…" He's clearly uncomfortable with talking about being out in public. The words keep getting caught in his throat.

A shrug seesaws through Teo's shoulders, casual as the conversational topic of tats go. "Don't know. Maybe? Maybe you'll finally earn that fucking Caduceus. I get the sense this spring's going to be your little experiment in courage, and symbol or no, you're going to have a story worth telling." Or a secret worth keeping, as the fact may be. Teo takes his hand back as Salvatore — ah, Kinney — tips his head to and fro, either in order to free his axis of movement or because now seemed the time to grasp the hand on his leg. Perhaps both. Even with the Batman modifications, Teo's hands are rougher than the other man's, a familiar grain and warmth and reassuring in its strength.

The rest of Teo seems to have a little less conviction. He doesn't reply for a moment. Not a short one. He has his thinking face on. "I said the zoo," he points out, at last. Seemingly to himself. He was prepared to do so before. Logic holds that he wouldn't balk now. If logic has anything to do with it, this bizarre confrontation with all of his prejudices and passions given corporeality in flesh. "You mean like— I'll introduce you to my friends 'nd shit?"

Sonny's body hasn't been changed at all. Which might be disturbing, although if it is, Teo's going to have to point it out. The shapeshifting doctor hasn't thought about it. "That's not what I meant specifically, but you could," a beat, "…if you wanted to." If he wants to be openly dating the mysterious Doctor Kinney. There's little for him to risk as this identity has no family or friends to come out to.

There is a sense that he wants to move forward, wants to close the space between them. It's evident in the way he looks at the young Italian or the subtle way in which he leans in. His fingers flex where it touches the other's thigh. But he hesitates. The TV over his shoulder keeps reminding him that he doesn't look like himself. This isn't the same as wearing a face to protect his identity from people he passes on the street. That's like wearing sunglasses or a hat. This, this has to be an entire identity. It's not clicked in that he's going to have to pretend to be a different person. He'll have to face how he defines himself without his father in the picture. And without his looks. Or rather, without the same looks.

The body might be disconcerting. Teo doesn't know. Isn't sure that he's expected to have to deal with it, how frequently, to what— extent of nudity, if this is supposed to be some odd kink or something to accept facilely as part of this obnoxious world they live in, which exists frequently in defiance to understood physics and, worse, in ever-expanding moral gray areas. "I'll go to the zoo with you when there's time. That would fucking rock. I'm not sure about my friends, though. Not— just yet? Not trying to be an asshole," he says, though the furtive flit of his eyes across the room betrays real concern he might be coming off that way. "I mean it's not like we'd all go out bowling, or whatever.

"I don't have a lot of friends outside of work anymore, so I don't show them anything personal anyway. I—" Strange conversation.

Fucking weird conversation. Bumping into the monolithic size of its peculiarity, Teo's jaw finds a sudden, solid set. A stubborn scowl that ought to characterize an Italian about to throw down with something, and he proceeds now as bluntly as head trauma. "Is this a mask? Like— are you going to peel it off the moment you come home, or am I going to have sex with Doctor Kinney? What do you want to do? You have to tell me," he asserts, pre-empting a protest with a straight face, a level stare, artless as one would expect the knight to be underneath the white armor.

"No, you don't have to at all. I mean, you brought it up," Sonny looks a bit taken aback. "But yeah, we can definitely hit the zoo."

Then the question comes. It makes the doc balk a little and blink. "I wanna be myself," he says, tone ever slightly confused. "Of course. But I don't want you to treat me like a stranger like this. I'd like you to…" a sigh. And with that exhalation of breath, his features meld back into his own. He flops down against the beanbag chair and knots his fingers tightly into his curls. "I know what I do is pretty creepy." Then his tone drops. "…I know it's asking a lot for you to be okay with it. M'sorry." His eyes look a touch glassy, a touch unfocused. The sudden motion with the painkillers in his system has set the room to spinning. The elephant might be out of the room, but now they've got to figure out how to work an actual relationship. Which means dealing with shit like going out to dinner and meeting friends. The bubble's gotta burst.

A tall Italian boy looms up in Sonny's wavering view, then, unfolding up into full upright and standing, his shadow throw back on the wall and half a grin on his face. "'Course I have to. Eventually. With the right people." Granted, Teodoro has very little real idea of who the right people are, given those few people he lets closer than arm's reach tend to be the same group he alienates in the same swing, but the principle's in there, somewhere. Of honesty. One bare foot swings up around Sonny's hip, hits the floor on the other side; he sinks down onto the older man's lap, seating himeslf straddled across the struts of sprawled legs.

"It's not asking that much." Not the most eloquent words that Teo has ever chosen, granted, but it's lent sincerity by the big Finnish nose that nuzzles Sonny's cheek, his weight braced on an arm tucked into the gap between Sonny's elbow and side. "We just have to figure out — guidelines and shit then work with it. You know," he squints up at the ceiling, a cheerful parody of deep thought. "Making out with Kinney's okay, but only Salvatore to get naked with. If it doesn't work out, we figure something else out. Non problema."

Sonny laughs. It's a warm, deep-chested sound that brings a few of his bruises to life. Serious conversation has suddenly become difficult now that he's being straddled. "You don't need to make out with me like that, but…" He stops and just stares up at Teo for a long moment. His eyes are half-lidded, his lips slightly pursed. His hips shift subtly. What? Was thinking happening? Really?

Suddenly Teo's got a hand on either side of his head. His face is pulled down roughly to meet the doc's and he kisses, tongue probing deeply.

The kiss lasts for a few seconds, but then, hot pain radiates out from where his nose was mashed up against Teo's cheek. His swollen lip burns and twinges. He reels back against the beanbag chair and pinches his eyes closed. A hand goes gingerly to his nose. "…Ffffffuuuuck." What a moodkill.

There's a dispirited grumble and grasp of objection when Teo finds himself being summarily abandoned by hands and mouth. Not that there's much to be done for it, regrettably. He can recognize real pain when it's cringing and grabbing its broken beezer and nursing another dozen inches of bruised bones and broken skin. Teo's own fat lip is caught up between his teeth, giving his resulting scowl a petulant quality that scowling by itself wouldn't have held. In another moment, he rolls his eyes toward the ceiling, and promptly falls backward off Sonny's lap.

His back hits the carpeted floor with a hollow thump. Folding his arms underneath his head, he pulls his legs up, sliding a bare foot underneath Sonny's shirt, antagonizing the flat of the older man's belly with discomfittingly cold toes. "Lame." Apparently, God or coincidence insists on serious conversation happening.

Sonny's eyes water from the sharp pain that pulses through the painkillers. He makes his own frustrated, irritated sound. A few feeble hand motions paw at the air where Teo used to be. "Fuck. Remind me to get hit in the ribs next time." He sniffs, but that proves to not be the best idea. Ugh. "I'd move the injury, but it'd have to be to a finger or my toe or something. And I need my hands for work. And I also need to walk."

Speaking of toes. He arches his back in protest of the cold toes, but then his hand reaches under his shirt to rub it. "Tay…" he tries out the preferred nickname. "C'mup here." His hand waves again, out where Teo can snag it.

For a moment, there's no response. Teo is busy sulking. Or thinking about something else, projected across the blank space of the ceiling. It's hard to tell with him sometimes, so much the cat shut in behind a glass window. He might be imagining birds, watching them, plotting an escape, or — sulking.

Or he might just be watching that spider, there, inching across the plaster, slender legs pulling its sleek carapace and diminutive weight along on a careful, clinging grip.

After that moment, finally, one of his hands jigs up into open air, closing five rough fingers around the edge of Sonny's palm. There's torque in his arm, a sudden weight and pull against Sonny's shoulders, lazy, a test, deliberately uncooperative. Either Salvatore's going to have to get him up there or he can come down here, thank you very much. His toes curl defensively and then, grudgingly, splay out in Sonny's hand, accepting warmth when it's offered.

"So are you going to say Salvatore Bianco's leaving town, retiring, or what?" Sal-va-tore. Though Teo's English tends to be oddly toneless if not accentless, every consonant of the man's true name is clipped out of a nigh musical cadence of Teo's native tongue.

Sonny gives a few more tugs on Teo's arm. When it's clear he's not going to help, the doc sits up, swings around and smacks him in the face with the edge of the beanbag chair. It's shoved to a spot where Teo can lie his head. Probing hands reach under and pull Teo's shirt up, then his own head dips to press very careful kisses against his chest. It's fine as long as he isn't rough. "What?" The word brushes air against bare skin. "Mmm, from the Ferrymen, yeah. People'll expect me to be a bit of a recluse after the cop thing. And…" He exhales and rolls over onto his side so he can face the other. He runs his fingers up along Teo's side, like fingers dancing over piano keys. He drags his nails gently. His expression is troubled, yet thoughtful. "I've been trying to think of a way to reduce my client load so I'd have time for more. Even with so many of them leaving town, I'm still overbooked. So I've…been thinking…"

"Would you blow up my clinic?"

Smacked, pillowed, and peeled part of the way to naked, it's… very much Teo's turn to be distracted. Not that he hadn't been distracted before, but there's audible complaint in the loud huuuuff of breath he expels when infuriatingly gentle touches give away to verbal response to a question he almost regrets asking. There's something very annoying about all this, the mixing of genres and interpretations of what kind of conversation they're supposed to be partaking in at this juncture.

Except Sonny just asked Teo to blow up his clinic. Although Sonny wouldn't have asked him to blow up his clinic. Right? Teo's arms had started falling out of their triangles underneath his head, fingers curling sullen, stubborn furrows in the beanbag's slippery fabric.

Rough sex is one thing. Sex that aggravates existing injury that's already getting in the way of sex seems unnecessarily complicated and unfair, even if the fact his shirt is shunted up under his armpits seems to be simplifying matters at an exponential rate. The old knife wound from Eileen's hand is a faint, unremarkable smudge of scar tissue at his belly, one of many subtle disturbances to the grain of his skin, goosebumps among them.

Teo squints from over the underside his of his arm. "Could you repeaat the question?"

It's perhaps not fair of Sonny to be asking this while his hand roves over Teo's chest. He leans over occasionally for less-than-chaste kisses over bare skin. Yes, he is trying to rev the engine up again after it was sidetracked by his howl of pain. "Mmmhmm…" the sound is made with lips pressed at a spot on Teo's side, up towards the curve of his arm. "Something small. Not a lot of damage. At night, when no one's there. Just enough to scare them away. I'm feeling…oppressed by that place. I just don't care anymore. I'm tired of all the bullshit. All the faceless beauty my clients want to be." Sort of like him?

Sonny rolls and hooks a leg over Teo's side. He manages to shift his head in such a way that he can pillow against the Italian's chest without causing himself pain. "I still need to do it sometimes. The money's too damned good. But I need an excuse for it to close that won't have people asking what I'm doing with my time."

"Oh." That is the sort of rationalization which is exactly why the Sicilian asked his devious aunt to spy on him. Other people have to worry about infidelity, chemical addictions, or gambling. Other people hire private investigators. Sick of all the bullshit. Oppressed. Granted, Teo's logic for doing anything probably doesn't hold much more water than that and, honestly, people have gone to war for far less righteous causes and weaker passions, but as long as he's the one who knows how to measure out the C-4, he'll complain in his head and do a bad job of controlling his breathing.

He looks down at where Sonny is, peering up at him. Beautiful, yes; faceless, no. His features are briefly shadowed by thought again, that same foreboding annoyance he's confronted so many aspects of this new crusade with.

The next moment, he breaks into a grin, sudden, all boyish adrenaline and macabrely flattered. "You want me to nuke your clinic," he says. One knee steeples up, angled, strains the gap between Sonny's thighs, unrepentant lechery tempered by another set of five chilly piggies sneaking up Sonny's pant leg and into his calf. "Really?"

Somehow, from the way that reaction was building, Sonny was expecting this conversation to end differently. Perhaps with an 'are you crazy?!' or something of that like. He didn't really mean to blurt out the words in that clumsy way. And he didn't expect it to earn him a hand up his pant leg.

"Hrrghrgh…" perhaps there were words in there, somewhere. He blinks twice, breathing quickened. "…yeah. M'tired of it. Tired of walking in to that spa every…" he loses focus. Cause, there's a hand up his pants. If they're both not careful, he's apt to jam his nose against Teo's cheek again.

Well, Teo would be the first to admit he isn't very good at romance. Being asked to blow up a surgical facility seems kind of romantic. Like, there are a lot of other people who could do it. The Sicilian's teeth show bright white in the bedroom lights, too beatific to qualify for the word devilish, ego and dutiful support both present in full force. It probably isn't all that strange, in the end: Sonny knew he was dating a terrorist when he started.

"I would be delighted to bomb your place of employment, dottore Bianco." His voice is a gravelly register. "You can even push the button." His elbow thumps the floor, weight rotating on his supine axis, carrying Sonny with him. Slow is kind of like gentle; he flips them over and tumbles them down in the same gesture, returning himself to the lap he had originally claimed with the audacity of a kid prince on a throne he did nothing to earn. the hem of his sweater threatens to inch back down with motion and gravity, but it's probably a weak threat at absolute best.

Princes earning thrones are overrated. The sexy ones are the ones who seize power. Speaking of seizing things. Sonny wastes no time in grabbing the edge of that sweater to pull it up over Teo's head. If he stretches it or rips it, well, he'll replace it with a cashmere one or some other extravagance.

The dark enthusiasm Teo has for this seems to be catching. He finds himself grinning as well - for several reasons.
He cranes his neck up to loop hands around Teo's. He pulls him close and gently kisses - more gentle than he usually does, but that's to avoid hurting himself. Then he shifts to nip at his ear. His warm breath hits the lobe as he whispers, "Say my name again." The request is followed with a deep rumble in his chest. He presses his lips along the curve of Teo's jaw in a slow, intimate line, working down to his throat.

"Sssonny." There's a rush of soundless laughter through the good Doctor's ringlets, harmless impudence. The first consonant went of Teo like air whistling out of a balloon. No; he knows that wasn't the name that his lover wanted to hear, that much is obvious. Even if this does pass for resistance, it's token and doubtlessly short-lived. Five minutes at best: probably two.

February 14th: A Kind Of Fear
February 14th: Sugar Coma?
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