The Grave's A Fine And Private Place


felix_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title The Grave's A Fine And Private Place
Synopsis They say that you're truly loved when somebody knows the worst thing about you and keeps you anyway. Other times, that's just mean people indulging each other's fatal flaws.
Date February 7, 2009

Nicer Hotel — Felix's Room

The main stipulation had been No marks. No explanation forthcoming, partially because there was no necessity, and partly because there were other, more urgent priorities.

Some hours later, the reading light is still on. Teo suspects that Felix might actually be reading, too, but it's hard to tell from here, pillow under his throat, the older man's ambiguous weight slumped into the curve of his spine, his hearing still blowing static and the subwoofer register of his heartbeat and breathing. He blinks at the wall, drags his foot through lumpy linens and decides, after a moment, to get his companion's attention by dragging his fingers down the back of Fel's — shoulder, he's guessing, from the blind reach of a hand.

"Tizio. Do you want to go to Christian's funeral?" They don't have tact in the part of Europe where he comes from.

Fel was, in fact, reading. He's finished 'Heart of Darkness' and moved on to 'Naked Lunch', of all things. He doesn't wear his glasses in bed, or for any particularly close work. He's merely been lying, back to Teo but cuddled up to him nonetheless - it exposes that terrible knife scar so recently got, so recently healed. As Teo evidences wakefulness, Fel sets the book down and rolls back onto his back to eye Teo. "I do," he says, somberly, blinking.

"Then you should go," comes the voice muffled by the bulk of the boy's own shoulder pressed flat to his mouth. Teo's nose sits on the top of his tattooed bicep, eyes hooded from something halfway between grief and sleep. Maybe a nightmare. He drags his arm back, scrawls fingers over the shaven curve of his own scalp hard enough to make himself blink. His eyes manage to strain the shape of that new scar out of the blur. "Bring him something for me? D'no what yet. It's next week. You could ask Minea to go."

It's a mark of how deep the waters are getting that Fel grows more tender. There are no endearments between them - Felix has no affectionate nickname for the Sicilian. And he's restrained out of bed, even though there's no one to see. Long habit, perhaps. But not every touch, now, is a demand. He strokes the line of Teo's back as if gentling an animal, with that odd light in the pale eyes. Not affection, or desire, so much as pride and greed. "I will go, then," he says, quietly. "I'll ask her."

The point of Teo's elbow drags a groove down the mattress and there's a creak of seams somewhere as he turns slightly in the pull of Felix's hands. The better to see and the more to feel. Not that, by his own admission, he's much to look at relatively speaking. Subjectively, however, Teo has an uncanny knack and tawdry habit of seeing differently shapes in things. He might be a worse Catholic if he didn't. Not that he's a particularly good one; there's nothing particularly edifying about his associations with Felix's eyes, nose, or mouth.

"I know he was fucking crazy," he mutters, in a tone of apology; the tone in which he might otherwise have retracted the request, You don't have to. His gaze flits elsewhere. He snags the book, keeping Felix's place between pages with a deft thumb; pulls it up to look, the idle interest of a restless mind. "Killing people didn't bother him. Enough. At all. Live by the sword, die by a fucking motor accident. 'S that fair?" Stupid question. Groggy question.

It's near to nonsense, an author spilling his id in ink over paper in the way that no one has before or since, really. And yet it hangs together. "He was. He'd lost something vital, or perhaps never had it." And Felix knows that it's slipping through his own fingers, little by little, grains of sand. "Fair. What's fair got to do with it?" Fel sounds darkly amused at the question. Fel's features are increasingly stark, line graven. Back, almost, to his actual age, despite Sonny's careful work.

That kind of prose disturbs people the same way the latter third of that film, what was it called— Apocalypse Now, the surface of someone's thoughts eroding through in too raw and intimate a language. Makes a person cringe and look for something more polite to occupy themselves with. Lagged by fatigue and other things, Teo needs a moment to remember to do this.

The book is flipped over, tented on skewed linens. He puts his shorn head down on his arm. There are bruises on the skin under Felix's hands. Some of them the Fed's doing, sharp-edged, distinct shapes one could match inch for inch to teeth or fingers; others, the broader arcs and clouds of color easily identified as violent trauma, more recent than Abby's healing. "Nothing," he answers, blankly. "Everything. You can get it back, I think.

"Fuck. I don't know. You don't have to worry too much," the younger man asserts, his expression cracking slightly, but hard to say to show what. His arm is covering too much. He puts a thumb to Felix's chin. "The people who do are the ones who don't need to."

Obscenities written in blood under skin. Fel should feel guilty about them. Hasn't managed to yet. Not when Teo doesn't seem to mind when they're given. "You think that?" Fel wonders. And by the way his voice hovers on the edge of fracture, Teo's opinion matters. He kisses the thumb, turning his head just sufficiently. And now he strokes Teo's skin as if he could smoothe the bruises away, all the gentleness he has in him. "I hope so."

It's good to be young. Selectively ignorant of the appropriateness of saying this, too enamored with one's own losses and torment to consider anybody else's except to borrow the colors, too physically occupied with draping oneself tragically all over the cheap hotel furniture to just shut up.

Teo frowns. Importantly. Under Felix's hands, the subtlest hairs on his skin prickle upright; the ones that answer slightly to cold and mostly to touch. He doesn't mind the marks, usually. Sonny would probably hate this futile effort to cure them even more than he does the mechanics and circumstances of their acquisition. His nail ends up in the hollow of Felix's chin. "Yes," he answers. "I do."

"Who-" Fel shuts up. This is life in the warren of the shining wire, and questions, save for a very few, are taboo. The price of admission. "Good," he settles on. He can't seem to decide if now's the time to let desire take the reins again, obviate any need for conversation….but that greyhound urge to chase things down is almost as strong, right now. The time to ask real questions is when Teo's lost in whatever distraction Teo can conjure. The honey trap is literally the oldest trick in the book, after all, and it's merely his luck that either Teo has no questions to ask him he's not willing to answer, or has never chosen to take advantage of those moments of weakness. Pleasure can look so similar to torment, in what it does to a human face.

Maybe. Maybe not. Possibly, the Sicilian has forgotten what they are supposed to be talking about, anyway. Teo tends to rely less on self-control than convenient coincidences of character to keep secrets where they belong. He rarely feels the urge to puke up about Phoenix's logistical conundrums and secrets when he's drunk, for instance; the names and stories he has to bite back are a decade old and deformed by time and psychological mastication beyond most recognition.

He also isn't quite as stupid as he thinks he is, but almost as kind. He lets his arm go slack, elbow hitting mattress, fingers dropping from Felix's face to the subtle rift of muscle down the older man's belly. "Ask," he says.

"I find it hard to think when you do that," Felix points out, tone drily amused, even as his muscles tense reflexively, and his breath catches. "I have no questions right now. Maybe later. If you're good."

There's an mumble pressed to the back of Teo's arm, grammatically incorrect and ignobly sincere. "You, too." Hard to think around, he means. Something about the progression of time implied by that term, later, makes him stop.

The stopping. Oh, that's no good. Fel makes a little growling noise of protest. "Don't stop," he says, irritably, eyes already half-closed.

Other answers insist on emerging unasked. Teo's throat moves, pallid eyes continuing the course his fingers failed to conclude until they close, reflexively, sealed behind a blink that wrinkles his face before he straightens his features. A sigh gusts into Felix's ear, suddenly near enough to cut individual eddies under the edge of jaw, ear; too near to see properly, should the Russian suddenly decide to open his eyes. "Hey.

"You know when I said you only had to do one or other of two—" he aborts to silence in lieu of a curse. Closes arms around Felix's neck and bends them back around, double, finishing and reinforcing a circle. He stares, intent from something other than intimacy, close but ever self-contained. It's either a waste of a gesture or so counter-intuitive it's farcical.

He's always liked that admission came at a price. It implied something quantifiable and therefore affordable. "My boyfriend's decided he doesn't like me fucking other people," he mutters.

Unlike Sonny, Felix does not recoil from that little statement. Because it doesn't sting Felix in quite the same way as it does the unfortunate doctor. Gentleness, however, is abruptly gone, and Teo'll find himself rather neatly pinned and at Fel's mercy. "I see," he says, breath already gone ragged, though whether it's from ire or lust isn't yet clear, "He doesn't have a problem with you getting fucked by other people, however." And that's all the talking there'll be, for a little while, at least.

Title from: Andrew Marvell's To His Coy Mistress

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