The Easy Lie


sonny_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title The Easy Lie
Synopsis There is fake-fighting with Aikido and almost fighting about someone else's hickeys, but by 3:30 AM they're still stalled out on the big issues.
Date February 6, 2009

Solstice Condominiums — Sonny's Apartment

Saturday night and the young people are—

It isn't night yet, but it is Saturday. Nothing in Manhattan is where it ought to be, anyway. There are no clubs or bars open for the young people to be douching around at, anyway, and as long as the city's over-idealistic terrorist demographic is under orders to lay low, break known patterns, leave their legitimate employment behind and operate under false identities, they might as well do it in a penthouse suite with a pool downstairs, fifty-dollar leftovers in the fridge, and a four foot plasma television to keep their company while the actual lessee is out.

At five thirty, Teo isn't swimming, though. Nor eating out of Doctor Bianco's fridge, and the television, while there, intact, and in its original spaceship proportions and chromey glisten, is offline and issuing forward no image other than Teo's reflection. He's moving slowly. The kind that takes concentration to do, particular for a young man who's generally wont to literally, physically run head-first into things.

Which would probably explain why Sonny's iPod was otherwise unaccountably stolen and plugged into his head. Drowns out the noise inside, the silence out.

There is structure and flow to Teodoro's movements, not the rhythm or aesthetic investment of dance, but martial arts forms. The more recognizable to somebody who's been practicing Aikido for six years. He turns through one stance and puts the knife-hand out— stumbles short with the hiss of a curse bitten short, pausing, a grip of callused fingers on a shoulder acheing under his T-shirt. You wouldn't have thought it would take so much getting used to, losing a surgical implant in one's head.

Sonny has taken the curfew as an opportunity to reduce his clinic hours. No more late nights, no more early mornings - no more weekends. Many of his richer clients have disappeared to their chalets or beachhouses to lie low and ride out the chaos. So for the first time in years, he's actually had cancellations, and he hasn't bothered to fill them. Sure, his medical ID allows him outside past the curfew, but he doesn't want to get questioned as to why and not have a legit excuse. That's another bad part about being a known face. And an unknown face, well, then the ID would be useless.

The doc's not expecting to find anyone at home when he enters the apartment. His movements upon entering are quite unconscious. It actually takes him a second to realize that the light switch he just tried to flick on was already on. A squint, then he steps in and stops just at the edge of the living room. He watches Teo's form, then speaks, hopefully loud enough to hear above the iPod. "You're dropping your left shoulder."

The shoulder in question hitches up, seizing in a startle reflex rather than response to the constructive criticism Teo was given. He heard. It takes him a moment to actually process what was said, and by then he's straightened, twisting his head up to see, his brow creased and the diminutive knot of agonized tension in the side of his neck inundated out of sensory awareness by the fact that Sonny's home.

"And bitching about something," he finishes the thought aloud, tugging an earbud out of his head. Jazz spills tinny out into the chilled air, before he wheels the volume down, switches the tiny device off. Casts it down onto the couch with a gentle flick of a wiery wrist. "Nice way to greet a new friend," he observes, pushing hands into his pockets, cocking his head, teasing, taunting, no trace of malice.

"A new friend? Did you come back a different person then?" Sonny's eyebrows arch up. An amused smile tugs up at his lips. "You've got decent form, but you're leaving holes. And your stance is off. It should be more like this…" Despite the fact that he's wearing a neatly tailored suit, he kicks off his shoes, tugs off his socks and drops into the proper stance. He demonstrates the move that Teo was doing with practiced fluidity. "I didn't know you practiced Aikido."

It takes Teo a moment to reply because he's watching, refocusing, recalculating the hold and positions of his own limbs, setting up his feet and hands to mimic the older man's stance. He'd been dropping his left shoulder. Not something Hana's pointed out before. A new error. He doesn't like that. Means his muscle memory is incomplete, for one thing, and that he's fucking up where he can't catch himself, for the other.

"There's a lot of things you don't know about me," he points out, his tone mild with distraction. "I was gonna say 'old friend,' but that seemed to have the wrong connotations. There's probably another term or three I could use." Teo forgets to smile when he's being serious, which can be attributed to either youth or mental pathology. There are lots of different kinds of Europeans. He tends to leave irony to the English and nervous laughter to the Irish.

"There…good, better. See how everything feels more solid, more aligned?" Sonny reaches out to press a hand in the small of Teo's back to subtly shift his centre of balance. "Now you've got this pivot point to execute other moves without losing your balance or the strength of your stance."

The doc watches him for a moment, then drops his voice and murmurs, "How're you feeling? How's things? I wasn't sure when you'd be back." If he'd be back, is the rider that's only implied.

Feet. Back. Everything in its right place. It does feel better, Teo realizes. More distantly, he realizes also that blaring jazz through his skull was probably doing nothing for his balance, either, but he needed that a little more than he needed balance, such as it were. The sudden drop of Sonny's voice makes him glance up, send a furtive glance through the bathroom and kitchen doors, a ridiculous knee-jerk instinct to check who they're hiding from.

No one. Not today. "I'm okay. Things are okay. Not the bullshitting-you or I-don't-know-what-else-to-say 'okay,' just 'okay.' Not great, could be worse, a lot of things in transit. Just not me, right now." When Teo does remember to smile, there's all picket perfect teeth and pristine sentiment, enough warmth to sun a cat and canine tactlessness to send every actual feline in the room sneering and stalking off for better company.

"How long have you been studying Aikido?" There's no form that warrants Teo hooking an arm around Sonny's waist from this angle, but he probably isn't going to change his mind until again instructed otherwise.

"Mmm. Long time. Six years or so?" Sonny shrugs. "I started practicing during my time at the hospital, before my ability came out. I was…pretty stressed." He laughs and rubs at the side of his neck with his free hand. "It did wonders. So I've kept it up. There's a dojo just down the street."

The doc leans in, grins, then ducks down to kiss at Teo's neck. He draws in a deep breath and squeezes the other. He doesn't have to say anything as trite as 'I missed you.' It's all there in body language.

It's hard not to say dumb shit sometimes. Teo tends to replace it by doing dumb shit instead. Walking on bathroom counters, writing on mirrors, dragging celebrities into his hospital bed. Dumb shit roughly translates to every song every worth listening to and drippy poem worth reading, so they're hopefully on the same page in the end.

Teo's pulse flicks like a guppy against Sonny's cheek and he runs four fingers through curly hair, acknowledging, encouraging, answering in kind. It probably isn't healthy, relying on absence and near death to make the heart grow fonder, but there are worse things and hopefully a little more than that. "Thought you said you couldn't fight," he offers, by way of compliment. He sniffs. There's ludicrous quantities of money in whatever Sonny's wearing, clothes, cologne.

"I can't. I can practice Aikido with another person who knows Aikido in a dojo. That's not really fighting." A beat, "Well, maybe it is, but I've never used it on the street." Sonny's chuckle vibrates against Teo's skin as he presses a kiss. He presses another, a little further down his shoulder. Then his keen medical eye spots something. Something…curious. Something that shouldn't be there after Abby's healing. He lifts up a hand to gently tug the collar of Teo's shirt around to have a better look.

By then, Teo has his teeth full of earlobe and his brain full of pictures is ability to discern about whatever the other man is doing is blinkered by a certain sense of tunnel vision, stirring heat and impatience conspiring to make him forget that, while he heals quickly, he doesn't heal that fast.

"Nn huh." His hand marches up the column of Sonny's back and his shoulder climbs with it, peeling away from the thin fabric of the T-shirt. The bold black points of a tattoo ride into view. As do the marks of some other man's passion. Bruises. Sonny's had to clean up enough of those off his own skin to know the mechanics behind them.

It still takes a moment for it to register. And when it does, it feels like a stone has dropped in Sonny's gut. He stares at the mark for a moment, then slowly, gently, pushes away. "I…have to go to a dinner tonight. I need to have a shower and get dressed."

That's it. No more ceremony, no more signs of reluctance to break contact or complaints about fake people. It's just a simple statement, followed by a push off the young Italian and brisk march up the stairs.

Which leaves Teo— rather alone. The air, colder by contrast than the Doctor's body, kisses him and then leaves him alone too. Stupidly, he blinks a few times, a protest shut behind his teeth out of habitual politeness. Complaining is rude. When the thump of Sonny's feet going up stairs reverberates through, it brings the realization that some kind of laughing Just kidding is going to shunt this moment back into recognizable territory. His brow furrows.

He glances to his left, then his right, puts a hand on his shoulder, and finally remembers.

He mumbles a curse first, scales the stairs up to the second floor second. Once reaching conversational proximity, he forgets completely what he had to say, if anything. Blunt fingers grate the doorjamb. He leans on the varnished slats of the frame, and watches, listening to the wind grow arid in his lungs.

Sonny climbed the stairs, entered directly into his bedroom, then to the ensuite. By the time Teo can climb the stairs, the hiss of the shower and a shut door greet him.

The water continues to flow for a good ten minutes before it quits. But the doc stays inside for another six or seven minutes or so, before the door opens to reveal him, clean-shaven, wet, with a towel tied around his waist.

"Is this the thing you mentioned last week?" Teo studies the shadow that Sonny casts across the bedroom floor, blurred by the texture of carpet and jagged over the shapes of books, video game cases, and other stuff. Theirs.

"Yeah. It got rescheduled after everything exploded." Sonny does his best to pretend nothing's wrong, which means there's no hostility, but there isn't exactly warmth either. He flicks on the bedroom light, then moves across to his closet. He tugs the door open and selects a more formal suit. This he lays out on the bed, drops the towel, then begins to dress. His back is to Teo as he steps into underwear, then neatly tailored pants, then shirt and silk tie. The doc stands in front of the mirror and avoids looking eye-to-eye with Teo's reflection as he puts fingers through his mostly towel-dried hair, then spritzes on a burst of expensive cologne.

Throughout the ceremony of grooming and dressing, Teo remains carefully silent. He watches, of course. Neither impassive nor bleeding pparticularly colorfully into the half-light of the room. Mostly, he has his thinking expression on, the angles of his face drawn taut and dark around the same eyes that study Auden under lamp light and Midtown's ruins between the blinds, with neither any sense of ownership nor of freedom. Don't get him wrong: this blows. He stops thinking about how much it blows before his face cracks. "You're mad at me."

"I'm not mad at you." Which is true. Sonny's not. He's mad at himself. He turns a troubled smile on Teo, then moves over to the closet to tug out a dark vest. A little bit more suave, a little bit jazzier. He ducks his arms through it, re-settles his shirt and tie, then reaches for his suit jacket. When it's dropped over his shoulders, the transformation is complete. Mayor's son, ready for a night on the town. Once his feet are in a pair of polished dress shoes, he's ready.

The doc rocks forward, presses a somewhat chaste kiss on Teo's cheek, squeezes his shoulder and says, "Don't wait up." And then he's moving quickly down the stairs. His coat and keys are scooped up quickly, then the doc is out the door. He might be running from the problem, or he might be giving Teo some time to think. Or both.

Time passes.

Organization of time is an important thing to learn when you fight evil at the head of a terrorist cell. Teo can do a lot of thinking in a few minutes. The curve is exponential.

By the time the small hours of morning drain the color out of the sky, he's managed to exhaust that and most of himself. He had fallen asleep, uncertain about most things, including whether he was merely miserable or miserably turned on: thinking about Salvatore with that woman Google had turned up had been disconcerting on more levels than one. One iPod earbud has fallen out of his ear, the other trapped in by the weight of his head on his arm. No music: the battery died on him.

Sheets and comforter are massed in the shape of a bear over him. One knee sticks out underneath, garbed in someone else's flannel, matched with someone else's T-shirt. Of course, he doesn't happen to own the bed either. None of it is particularly unusual, though the spectacle of him alone is. Some people make beautiful tragedies; Teo's merely careful to cover up.

It's nearly 3 am by the time there's the scratch of a key and the turn of a doorknob. There's rustling downstairs, the thump of shoes hitting the floor, a slow exhale and soft mumblings. A light flicks on in the kitchen as the doc reaches for a bottle of water, drains half of it, then pads up the stairs.

When the doc appears in the doorway, he's not nearly as polished as when he went out. The vest has disappeared, the shirt shows signs of wrinkles, and he's got an air of a deeply feminine fragrance hanging around him. It's enchanting, exotic, and seems to match note for note his own expensive cologne. He stops at the doorway, as if afraid to enter.

The dozey kid on the bed notices— something. Twitches, one pair of eyelids splitting apart around a lucent iris, pupil flaring in and out of the constraints of his eyelashes as his brain tries to figure out what distance he wants to try and focus on. His arm skews out from under his head, despite that he seems to momentarily lack enough awake to get up. Snags the second earphone out with it. No bedhead: he doesn't have enough hair for that anymore.

"You're home," he says, fuzzily, sniffing once. Twice. That redolence in the air, faint but recognizable even from here — however obvious his other observation had been, refines some of the sleep out of his voice. "C'mere. You can have some blankets."

The dark of the room hides Sonny's expression from Teo. Guilt, perhaps? Guilt, mixed with anger, mixed with regret. It's not a good look for him. He takes a moment to shrug off his suit jacket. The silk tie dangles out of his pocket. Then he steps out of the dress pants and leaves them a crumpled heap on the floor. He slides into bed in boxers and dress shirt. He's not aware of how strong the perfume still is. HIs body is stiff. "Didn't mean to wake you," he murmurs.

A big Finnish nose winds up pressed to the shirt over Sonny's hip, a breath drawing the scent with something like the morbid curiosity that slows drivers passing by car wrecks. Except, you know, Teo being Catholic, he's pretty good at being the driver and the wreck all at once.


To acknowledge something that he probably shouldn't have, and then Teo rolls his head back on his arm to squint up at Sonny's face. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he files the scent away for future reference. "Hope you don't have to do that again for a couple days," he says. He gains a clumsy grip on the edge of the blankets over his shoulder, tows some down for his lover's use.

Infidelity's a funny thing when it slaps you in the face. Sonny experienced it a few hours ago - Teo's getting a dose of it now. He tenses and his skin goosebumps as he realizes the aura of a woman clings to his clothes. "I didn't…have to." his tongue rolls over those words carefully. He clearly doesn't mean the dinner. The dinner was required. What happened after wasn't.

Abruptly, he starts to work at the buttons of the shirt, to tug it off and to toss it aside. Destroy the evidence, so to speak, or at least push it away for the time being.

It will probably take less time than bruises to fade away, Teo is aware. Chastised first by the hour, again by the perfume, and third by the verbal confirmation, that Sonny hadn't had to, he has grace enough to lower his eyes. Automatically, he takes his hands off the blankets to help with unfastening the other man's shirt instead, working from the bottom while its owner starts from the top.

Manages to fidget three free before Sonny is ready to pull it off, so he rolls closer, clumsy as a cub coming out of hibernation, a warm weight on Sonny's lap and mouth on the older man's belly, scaling up until he stops, chin propped on the older man's sternum. Stares. "I guess we're even," he says, mechanically.

Goosebumps rise at the placement of lips, but the pleasure is short-lived. Sonny has the good sense to be ashamed by that look. He reaches up and flattens his hand against Teo's buzzed head. The hand drops down to squeeze the base of his neck, then his own head lolls back. He stares at the ceiling.

"What the fuck are we doing, T?" Even in the low light of the room, the fact that his face is knotted with conflicting emotions is obvious. His lips are pressed into a hard line.

There's a noise of that might be termed pain at the grip on the back of Teo's neck, but it is small and just as short-lived as the other man's pleasure. His shoulders settle across the flat of Sonny's hips, and he turns his head, pillows his cheek on the other man's belly. His eye-blinks tap piano-key nonsense against the subtle spar of ribs, while he looks at nothing in particular on that side of the room. More stuff. Theirs.

"Exactly what we said," he points out in his most factual tone of voice, dull with the knowledge — perhaps not mutual, yet — that he didn't have to stay in bed alone tonight, either. It isn't exactly what they said. Not exactly. Teo could have chosen to ignore the sex, but he chose otherwise; knew Sonny wanted him to feel it. "I don't know. I'll still fucking hate it if you take them to dinner. I don't take anybody to dinner."

"I can take you," says Sonny. "I just can't look like me when I do it. I can take you anywhere you want to go." The words come out quickly and he regrets the eagerness that covers them. He pinches his eyes closed. "I could…find someone. Someone who doesn't want anything from me. Someone who has to put up a front too." He tenses beneath Teo's pillowing. "But…I don't think that's what you want." Monogamy.

The whole thing makes Teo feel like he's coming down with something, a fire-line blazing through his temple to match the pounding illness on the side of his neck, the sterile dizzying of pain before it multiplies into something organic and outright disgusting. He suspects he shouldn't have said anything the other month. Let Sonny find some other guy — girl — whatever, stick to mooning after Alexander and tackling everything else into different beds.

"Why is it what you want?" 'It' comes easier than second person or first, depersonalizing the thing. Which might be pointless anyway, given Sonny's almost naked and right there, somewhat reducing the chances of ignoring the intimacy of the quandary. On the other hand, if there was no difference to Teo, between getting naked one way and the other, they would have a few less problems to discuss.

"Maybe it's not." Sonny pinches the bridge of his nose. "I don't know. Fuck." He lets a hand drop and smack against the comforter. "Maybe…" a deep, long breath. "…maybe you shouldn't live here anymore. You can call me sometimes, and sometimes I'll call you. We'll get together, have some fun…" and never have to see evidence of each others' trysts. And most likely lose the intimacy that has been the real comfort the past few weeks. "Be casual. Like this was supposed to be."

All of this is addressed to the dark ceiling. His body is stiff beneath Teo's. "I can help you find somewhere safe. I'll need an address if I'm going to…" ah, right, he forgot to tell him about this. "…have a new identity for the Ferrymen. It's safer."

In contrast, Teo's body isn't stiff: it's heavy, as if someone had replaced his bones with iron and filled his skin with sand, a weight on Sonny's lap that would probably pass for a corpse if his heartbeat weren't going like a hammer against the other man's knee and he weren't remembering to blink now and then, erratic in the half-dark. He doesn't say anything for a moment. It turns into a long moment, and then into a long time.

Throwing stones at Teo is a little like doing so to the blasted remains of a statue that's managed to survive a nuclear blast, of which there are several throughout Manhattan. There's still something to chip away at and room enough for breaking, but he manages not to look like it. When he finds his voice, it seems he's had to drag it a long way to get it somewhere Sonny can hear. The edges are scratched and the shape and fit are wrong.

"I don't want to go away, but it's your house."

"Goddamnit Teo. I don't want you to go away either. But that's the problem." Sonny knots his fingers back through the mess of curly hair. "I want you here. I want to sleep beside you every night. I want to have coffee and eat dinner and play fucking video games. But I can't have that with you and also find bite marks and bruises all over you that I didn't make. Or…wonder if you've really disappeared for work to be with someone else. I don't want to feel like I have to be with someone else just so our relationship can be equal." The frustration he's been feeling lets those words tumble out his lips. He's breathing hard when he finishes.

When he speaks again, Sonny's voice is low. "I'm not going to ask you to only be with me. That wasn't what we agreed, and I don't think that's what you want. But man…something's gotta give. Or we're going to tear what we have apart, and then we'll have nothing."

Finally, Teo decides it would be a good idea to get up. Sometimes he remembers what is appropriate, and this conversation warrants eye contact, however horribly difficult it might be to give it. He pushes up on a hand, rubs a palm over his buzzed head, drags his legs under him, winds up making himself — uncharacteristically small, perched on the linens next to Sonny's waist, plying his sore neck with thumb and fingers above the line of the borrowed shirt.

He manages to meet the other man's eye for about two seconds, before his gaze roves the room again. Alexander wasn't wrong: he's bad at keeping still, never quite managed to settle. He may be the worst terrorist he's ever met, but he was born for nothing else. "I fuck other people for the distance. To keep us safe: believe it or not.

"You fucked someone for —" He fills in the blank with a shrug, then folds his knees out to sit, pretezelled, cross-legged, Indian-style. "The first thing you ever knew about me was my best friend slept with my aunt instead of me, and by now, either you've worked out that I was kind of asking for it or you really don't know shit about me. We quit now, it'll sting. If I died last week, you'd be sore — awhile. If HomeSec shot you helping me now, it wouldn't kill me.

"Caro—" a half-beat. "There's a reason people don't ask for more from guys like me." His mouth finds a line, stretches too wide to be neutral. Either a smile or a grimace, or a chimera of both. Teo scratches his jaw and makes the joke: "I have too many tattoos."

"I fucked someone so I could feel like there was some equality to this. Me being only with you while you go off with I don't know how many others… Well, honestly? It makes me feel like shit when I'm the one sitting by myself. Makes me feel foolish." Sonny's jaw grits. "Cause that's not what this was supposed to be. I have no right to be angry or hurt or whatever that you're fucking other people. I really don't. I know this. But it still feels like a kick in the nads every time I see proof."

Sonny sits up and wraps his arms around his knees. His stares at the mountains made by the sheets. He thinks, for a long moment. Just…thinks. Then, "I can do this if you're not living here. I can be with you the way you want to be with me. And I can be happy about it. I'll miss…this…" he motions between them. "…but I'll get over it."

Another thinking silence, and then Teo's reply is stilted from a grim sort of surprise, more than slightly disconcerted by the implication to the contrary: "I don't want — you just for sex." His face changes. Goes unreadable for a moment, uncharacteristic, though less because he's trying to hide any particular thing than there being too much to present on such a limited canvas: mildly injured, distantly amused — cold from relief. Sonny's denial, should it come, would probably come too late at this point. It makes sense, anyway. That that would have been the major expectation.

It makes too much sense to be true, honestly, but he grasps at that while there's no other clear delight or origin for this sadness.

Deciding he needs a change of perspective, the Sicilian falls backward. His head bounces on the mattress and he stares at the ceiling, wonders how it is his people are trapped in jail and this is what he's trying to do. "I need some time to… f… think. If that's okay?" The question is an afterthought, timidly tacked onto the end, no real conviction of what to do if it isn't. Then, "There is somewhere I want to go with you."

Sonny remains upright, arms around knees, eyes unfocused and staring off into the darkness somewhere. "Yeah, yeah. Of course." He pulls in a deep breath and slowly lies back himself. He rubs both hands over his face and scrubs, then inhales long and slow. He can smell her perfume now, as Teo must have smelled it.

His hands drop after a moment, then he turns his head to face Teo. Then he asks, gently, "Where do you want to go?"

"You'll laugh," Teo says, twisting his head around to peer across the bed and up at Sonny, who is suddenly no longer there to peer at. His mouth bends up, then down. He looks at the ceiling again. "Well—

"You'd laugh if we weren't in the middle of a grim conversation about the alternately sluttastic and asstastic way things are going. The zoo. I haven't gone in years." Teo's right knee suddenly decides it's getting stiff, folded flat with the supine line of his back. He pulls one foot free, unwinds his leg, peaks it toward the ceiling. Four toes end up perched against Sonny's calf.

In spite of the serious relationship conversation they've been having, the admission of where he wants to go brings a wide smile and a flash of Hollywood teeth. Sonny rolls to face him and moves close, within an inch or two. A hand goes up to run over the stubbly head.

"Sure. Which zoo?" No laughter, but he does look amused, but in a warm, fond way. The warmth he feels lasts for a moment, but then he realizes with a pang to his gut that this is the very thing they're talking about giving up. Bargaining intimacy and affection for meaningless sex.

The stubbly head does that velour thing, with the fibers either flattening one way or the other, but bristlier than that stuff of decadent moth-eaten luxury, organically harsh, and unalike to the blond stuff that had shagged out of his scalp before. That might eventually grow out again, from the bleaching of the sun. He looks up at the bar of Sonny's wrist. Smiles, despite himself. It probably would have been all right by Teo if he laughed, anyway.

Hard to begrudge anybody that in a time like this. "The one in the Bronx is close and intact. There's a public bus. I could help you figure out how to use it," he offers, archly. It sounds a little like mockery. Probably because it is.

Sonny rolls his eyes skyward, but in an amused sort of way. "Teo. My family didn't always have money, you know. I took the bus when I was a kid." Back when dad was only a lawyer and mom was only a biochemist. A beat, then, "But…it's been a long time." So, offer accepted.

He bumps noses and slides his hand down to touch gently at any sort bite of muscle at the base of Teo's neck. "We can go tomorrow if you want. Get some lunch first?"

"Tomorrow's Saturday," Teo replies, with a slight squirm that lengthens and expands into a wriggle onto his side. Freeing access to his neck, greedily, formatting encouragement in a sigh and lazy stoop to his eyelids. The tension in his neck loosens fractionally under the ministrations of the older man's fingers. "So I guess that depends on how much you'd mind me beating the shit out of some five-year-old girl's asshole father for judging."

Not that Teodoro Laudani would, not really. But he'd want to. Some part of him remains vigilant for repercussions, consequences, cruelty at the hands of the demographic that — frankly — he used to belong to. The other part of him is morbidly fascinated by the possibility that the person who turns you on could be the same one who makes you laugh and also the one you can talk to, instead of— you know.

A network of strangers who have no awareness that the others exist. Teo hangs an arm over Sonny's bare hip. "We'd have to go in the morning," he disagrees. "Or we can't fuckin' see everything. And they feed the animals in the morning."

Sonny has the hands of a surgeon and he makes use of that dexterity and skill to press out the knots of muscle in a gentle, yet firm way. "I doubt anyone's taking their kids to the zoo with all the shit that's going on. Seems a safer idea to stuff them full of candy and drop 'em in front of some obnoxious cartoon."

He reaches down and takes gentle hold of Teo's wrist to draw it further over his body. He moves closer in response. "We should sleep if we're doing anything tomorrow. It's bloody late." And he's got this pinging headache that throbs in the back of his skull for some reason. He didn't have that much to drink.

The arm over the Doctor stretches longer to grope blindly through the dark in search of blankets and pillows. Stuffed cotton and comforter are towed over, layers and folds and misaligned hems flopped over the corner of Sonny's bare skin and Teo's borrowed nightclothes.

That accomplished, Teo fails entirely to cede Sonny's personal space back to him. Chooses instead, to sidewinder up until they're in rough reflection and point contact. His neck bends into the prod and push of Sonny's fingers, tipping his forehead against the other. "I need a Plan B," comes the indolently drowsy growl, "for when you figure out you're too good for me."

"What's good about keeping you holed up in here like some princess in a tower, huh?" Sonny chuckles roughly and moves in closer with no hesitation. He's all for tangling limbs. For all there's so much more to say (and more to do) the weight of the day, the stress of the night and the firey neurons in his head help draw him down towards sleep. It doesn't take long for him to doze off, fingers going slack against Teo's neck, breath evening to solid push and pull of breath. He's had too many nights with an empty bed lately. He's been looking forward to this, and he indulges in it despite all the words that have been exchanged.

The Weakerthans' "Plea From A Cat Named Virtue"

For girly drinks and parlor games.
We'll pass around the easy lie
Of absolutely no regrets,
And later maybe you could try
To let your losses dangle off
The sharp edge of a century,
And talk about the weather, or
How the weather used to be.

February 6th: What Do You Want To Learn?
February 6th: Speaking Asian
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