Two Points of a Triangle


leonard_icon.gif sal_icon.gif

Scene Title Two Points of a Triangle
Synopsis …the apex of which is currently possessed by his future self. Sal and Leo have an immensely awkward conversation.
Date June 1, 2009

The Old Dispensary

Sal hasn't had many good mornings lately. Or good nights. Or good days. In fact, it's pretty much been shit for awhile now. It's no better when he wakes up with a busted in face and a wicked hangover. He spent the morning crawling around the Dispensary, choking back painkillers and eventually getting some food into him.

He's in the kitchen, looking showered but still very scruffy (especially if you know him as his regular metrosexual self) and squinting into a dark, inky cup of coffee.

Leo's been off helping move gear. And while it's mostly been with his power, rather than his hands, he's still sweated and tired when he comes in, white t-shirt sticking to him. He has an expression of feline distaste on his face, made all the more severe by the angular cast Sal's given his features. His expression softens a little when he spots the doc, and he says, softly, "Hey."

How the mighty have fallen. The man that stands in the kitchen seems miles away from the Salvatore Bianco that Leo first met all those months ago. His t-shirt is wrinkled and his jeans are probably a forty dollar pair, not three hundred. His hair is uncombed, his face nearly sporting a beard with days of neglect. His nose is bandaged, bruised and bloody. His right hand is bandaged too, from the wailing he gave the guy in the pub.

"Hi," he says, his voice small. He swings around a bag of chips and tugs out a few. "Coffee's fresh."

"Thanks," Leo says, and proceeds to doctor it with just unholy amounts of milk and sugar. The poor man's latte, one'd suppose. "You don't feel so good, do you, doc," Not really a question from Captain Eloquent, as hewaves the doctor over.

"Oh I'm, I'm peachy. I always beat the shit out of strangers. Didn't you know that about me?" Sal's tone is tight, and the bit of laughter that follows not really containing much true humour. He stares off at a vague spot on the wall and swallows.

Leonard nods at the table across from him. "Come an' sit," he suggests, taking a tentative sip from his coffee, and urging the doctor over with a gentle nudge of his power. "Figured you'd need to blow off some steam."

Sal tenses once he realizes what Leo is doing. He lifts up a hand and murmurs, "Don't…" Then he moves towards the table of his own accord, though he keeps his gaze cast away. Eye contact, when he gives it, is brief.

Leonard is frowning at Sal across the table, but it's thoughtful, rather than angry. At least, it isn't directed at the doc, per se. "Sorry," he says, patiently. "Listen, you wanna talk about it?"

"You gonna give me another lecture too? Tell me to suck it up? Tell me how important bandaging peoples' knees is for Phoenix?" Sal and Leo might not know each other very well, but they've interacted enough to know that he's far from himself right now. He's rarely terse, rarely hostile or defensive. But having your heart ground into the dirt has a way of changing a man.

Leonard just shakes his head, patiently. "No. No point to it. Why, Helena read you one?" he wonders, black brows heading for the dark stubble that passes him fora hairline.

"Helena has a lot of pretty talk. But pretty talk doesn't mean shit to me right now." Sal rubs at the back of his neck with his bandaged hand. "I don't know any of you and you don't know me. I'm just this tagalong T…" he can't even say his name. "…I just held on tight and ended up here. And I don't know why. But I don't have anything to go back to. Not anything happy. So what the hell am I doing?"

Leonard drumsfingertips lightly along his mug. Thinks this over,and suggests, quietly, "Finding yourself? What were you living for before? You've cut yourself off from your family, your wealth, and that's not easily done. Why did you do it?"

"Because I love him," says Sal. There's little hesitation, even though his face twists up painfully when he says it. Quite literally, as the expression makes the broken bones in his face ache. "And because I was trapped by that life. Chained to a laundry list of obligations. Forced to care about things that don't really matter. Using my gifts to make rich people pretty."

"Now you have a chance to figure out what matters," Leo says, with that maddening calm. "Sounds like you've shed the extraneous stuff."

Sal chuckles again, in that humourless way. "I don't know what matters. I don't know what good I can be here. I'm just a spoiled little rich boy who followed his boyfriend here because he would have dumped me if I didn't." That's a harsh way of putting it, but what Teo's future self did to him wasn't exactly kind. And he blames himself for Phoenix's robbery. He should have been able to tell.

Leonard taps his cheekbone with a finger. "Plenty of good," he says, rather drily. "What'm I, chopped liver? And you cared enough to come. That's….that counts for a great deal."

"I've been changing peoples' identities with the Ferrymen for years. That's nothing new. That kind of thing isn't exactly hard to balance with a life of luxury." Sal's tone is deeply bitter. And then, on a whim, he decides to confront that elephant. "I know there's something between the two of you. Not…that I think he cheated," though the thought had crossed his mind. "But I know. It's pretty cold in your shadow."

There's something like raw grief in the ex-soldier's face at that. "I don't know. It never seemed to settle straight, even before he met you. I've never had sex with him, in this world," he explains, awkwardly. "I don't know what he thinks. No, there wasn't anything to cheat on, 'least with me, anyhow."

"In this world. What does that mean?" Sal's words are small. His hands folds together and he stares off at a spot on the wall. "I've had to fight to hold onto him every step of the way. Or he'd slip out. Like trying to grab a handful of water. Whatever this…thing is, that has him…" he pulls in a long breath. "…be careful if you see him. It knows everything he does. It knows how to be him. That…thing…" it's easier to think of the entity in charge of Teo as something inhuman, "…is cruel. It could have easily taken me unaware and stolen what it needed. But instead it…had a whole conversation with me. An important one. It told me it loved me, then proved that was a lie by…electrocuting or…tasering me, or whatever it did." He swallows, "That takes a special kind of evil."

"I don't know what it is. And no one seems to be asking where the real Teo is. Either that's his body and he's got a rider, or the real Teo is….in durance vile, somewhere," Al points out, lifting his coffee mug and taking a few deep gulps. Like he needs teh caffeine. "In the future Helena and I were in, Teo and I were lovers. But not in this here and now."

"I'm sure something is inside him. I don't know how else it could know how to be him unless it had access to his memories." Funny thing is, Sal is right, but not for the right reasons. What Al says causes all eye contact to be broken. And when he speaks again, it's one very difficultly uttered, "Oh." He doesn't need to be told he's not in the picture. He can guess.

Suddenly, he stands. "I'm…I'm…" he sucks in a long breath. "…sorry, Al. But it's not easy to talk to you."

Leonard notes, rather apologetically, "If it helps, I think you had a bevy of society beauties you were involved with. Kinna the man about town. Listen, he does love you, his true self. I don't know what we need to do to get whatever fuckwit's driving out of the way." He just looks at Sal sadly, over the expanse of the table.

Sal laughs a bit roughly and rubs a hand over his hair. "If I was, will…then I was fucking lying to myself. I'm…" he takes a deep breath. "…I've discovered that I'd much rather be with a man. Can't…imagine being with women again." Leo gets no eye contact at all. It's too hard. Doesn't matter that the face is changed. "How do you exorcise something like that? How do we…get close to himw ithout hurting…" He bites his lower lip, then turns away from him. He leans on the door, back muscles tense, body hunched. "How do you all do/ this hero shit?"

"It's real simple," Leo says, very wryly. "I am not a hero. Not even close. i'm Helena's personal wrecking ball, when the situation calls for it, and that's about it. And I do it because I have nothing else left. I have no family, I'm poor as dirt and homeless when I'm not playing resistance partisan. I got run off the New York Police for being Evolved and stupid, drove a cab until all this shit really hit the fan…."

The two of them couldn't be more different, at least on the superficial level. Rich and poor. Fighter and healer. Sal stands with his back to Leo, fingers flexing against the wall. "Well, you have a new life now. So do I. Hard to know what to do with it, isn't it?"

Leonard's chuckle grates like rusted metal. "I've thought about fucking right off, but honestly, what would I do with myself?" he says, spreading his hands. "Got nothin' to lose, like the songs always say."

"Look, I've…gotta…" stop talking to Leo, because it's too hard. But Sal doesn't have a good excuse to leave. So instead, he just moves to set his coffee mug into the sink and starts to move off towards the infirmary.

Leonard doesn't pursue. It'd be rude, and after all Sal has done for him. Leo just looks hangdog, and offers, "Let me know is there's anything I can do to help." By his tone, he doesn't hold out much hope.

Not that Sal isn't being rude by just walking out in the middle of the conversation without giving a reason. "I think…you and I should try to stay out of each others' way unless…something needs to be done." He swallows. "Nothing personal. It's just…hard to talk to you. Thank you, for the other night though." And then he moves briskly out, towards the infirmary to busy his hands with stacking and sorting that doesn't really need to be done.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License