Unlike Cowardly


brian_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title Unlike Cowardly
Synopsis Despite that Brian has an evil clone, good Brian is courageous in facing emotional risks and still fiercely loyal, if somewhat unsettled by the fact that his 'bossman' is gay. Teo is generally envious and not sure what to do about Colette. Unfinished? Paused? What
Date February 2, 2009

Staten Island — Coast

The coast of Staten Island is as much of a presence as its inland, with rivers that invade right into its heart as well as cutting off the circulation of transport from the rest of New York City. The coastal regions reflect a lot of this borough's rural nature, with rough shores and plantlife, broken brick, and general abandonment. The harbors are left to the devices of those that freely come and go, a conspicuous lack of official presence - a number of them notably overrun by the developing crime syndicate, but there are still quite a few, particularly on the coasts nearest to Brooklyn and Manhattan, that are accessible to the lawful public.

The vehicle hums as it idles on the side of the street. The vehicle Brian told Teo to go and get in, where they would sit and talk. Teo wanted to talk, still didn't trust the lighthouse, so Brian set up their new meeting location. Inside the auto. But this is not the 91 Dodge Spirit. It's a truck. A sleek black truck, looking really new and really nice. Apparently Brian made an investment in the Lighthouse. Or himself. Whatever. It's not too late in the afternoon, a light drizzle of rain splatters against the truck as it idles on the side of the street.

The window is rolled down, his arm hanging out of the window. It's not raining hard enough to ruin the upholstery inside his truck or anything like that, but normal people might not sit with their windows down in the rain. Not the smartest thing to do with a brand new truck. Oh well. Even though there's not much sun out, the replicator rests with his other arm draping on the wheel, his sunglasses resting on the bridge of his nose.

The Sicilian climbs into the truck. He's still moving somewhat stiffly, but adaptation and a certain lack of patience with his own foibles, physical or otherwise, prevents him from flinching or being especially slow about walking up the pavement or hauling the truck door open or swinging his long torso into it or casting a hand up to clap his comrade's shoulder:

Hello. "Buongiorno," Teodoro adds verbally anyhow, crooking a smile at the self-replicator. The pattern of translucent shadows that the rainspattered windshield casts onto his face shudders slightly when he yanks the door shut again. "Nice ride.

"And sunglasses," he adds, only slightly awkwardly, glancing up at the decidedly overcast sky. He reaches up, pushes the damp cotton hood off the back of his head with a few long fingers. "How are you? And Kameron?"

His hand slings over to go on top of Teo's for a moment. "Hey Teo." He murmurs in greeting, giving a little smirk to him. "And here am I starting to think you finally realized you weren't in Italia anymore. Guess I was wrooong." The last word is said in a sing song tone as he goes to roll up the window. Putting the vehicle into drive the man starts to pull away from the curb. "Daniel Linderman thought my old car wasn't nice enough for me." He comments softly as the large auto starts to go down the road.

"I 'm fine. Okay. That's a lie. I'm shit. Fucking Elisabeth man. She finds out their's another me, and she sends out a message to Phoenix not to approach me? I'm still a lieutenant right? Fuck man! She needs to be flogged or something, are we allowed to do that?" He asks softly, tilting his head back. "I think I might have messed up things with Kameron. I kissed her." He mutters, giving a little sigh. "She.. I don't know if she wanted me to. She…" He waves his hand off the wheel. "Stared at me, or you know, stared without being able to see. Then went to her room. And then she says to me, it's ok because I tripped. I stumbled. Stumbled Teo."

"Si," Teo replies easily. "You're still Lieutenant." For now, he thinks but doesn't say; he isn't sure about anything these days, not about the burning bird's lifespan never mind any individual member's. They have precious few individual members now as it is.

Something that doesn't torment him while he sleeps, so much as he spends every other waking hour of his day finding ways to mortar the holes in their ranks with allies, training, or a lot of grumbled prayer. At least money still isn't a problem. "If you could get with Hana or Claude — and maybe also Gillian to see about some training against psychic assaults for the stray clone, that would be good. I don't know if he's going to — fuckin' — attack us or some shit, or how, but if he is I figure you're probably our first and last line of defense, eh?"

He crooks a smile, sidelong, neither particularly mirthful nor insincere. Reaches up to draw the seatbelt down across his torso, only slightly ginger at the awareness of his own rain-dampened clothes touching the car's expensive new fabric and parts. He hates to get his filth on other people's nice things. "Yeah? 'M sorry, man. I fucked up like that a few months ago, too.

"Kind of." Not exactly. "Think she still wants to be friends, at least? Or is that the problem for you?" You know. There's a vague gesture through the air, articulating the unspoken two words that every rejected amour must, by nature, hate. Just friends.

"So. Are we going to tell Elisabeth not to be a retard? You think that's how I want to hear about myself?! Have it go through everyone else. People in my own fucking faction avoiding me cause she says so?" Brian mutters angrily. He gives a nod. "Claude or Hana. Will do bossman. Gillian? I don't know if she would be able to train me." He gives a little shrug.

"You did?" Brian asks, tilting his head at his comrade next to him. Turning the next corner he gives a light hum. "With who? I didn't know you had a lady." The young man says, keeping his bespectacled gaze on the road. "Man I don't know what she wants. She.. She acts like she's totally oblivious. Unaware of how I feel for her. I brought her roses, told her how special she was to me and was all 'thank yooou' and put them as a table piece thing. Then I kiss her and she thinks I stumbled on the stairs and landed perfectly on her lips." He gives a shrug. "What do I do?"

The back of Teo's head knocks into the cushioned flat of the seat's headpiece. Automatically, his eyes shift upward, examining the light above, then the flap of the sun shield in closed configuration. He remembers breaking those in like three different cars during his youth. Politely, he keeps his hands to himself this time. "Yeah, we'll tell Liz and everybody else what the plan is. Don't be mad at her, please? She's just trying to protect everybody.

"Far as I know, Gillian doesn't offer much with instruction herself, but from what I understand, getting a boost from her is a test of control by itself. Might come in handy. Kind of like learning how to bike without training wheels. Might be worth the investment, I don't know."

As for girls, uh. Ummmmm. Insert other awkward drawn out syllable here. Teo's gaze goes through the windshield, cuts to the right, examining the passage of drab and weather-beaten storefronts, rusted fire hydrants, bedraggled pigeons huddling under the blistered lips of roof overhangs, drainage pipes, and gutters. He stops on the verge of explaining that he isn't sure, that, in actuality, most of the girls he's ever kissed made no bones about enjoying it and subscribing for more, deciding that that wouldn't help.

Teo and Catholic prudery regard each other balefully from across the distance between opposite ends of his mind.

"Well." Well. "Uhh." Ummmm. "'S more like I told 'em I was in love with them and it really didn't work out. A-Alexander." Sympathy held out, clumsily, blindly offered by way of comfort, uncertain whether or not it will invite spite, confusion, disgust or merely a blank absence of interest whatsoever. "He said he didn't think of me that way and fucked my aunt a few hours later. Me, I just backed off after that," he says.

There's something all-consumingly riveting about the water drops on the dashboard in front of his face; he is apparently incapable of looking away. "Figured I should just give him some space. It sucked, but I guess it was better than not knowing."

"Yeah we did that. And he — I, kicked my ass, Teo." Brian mutters with a frown. The man stops at a sign before pressing the gas again, going through the intersection he glances over at the passenger seat as the other starts to speak again. And then..

A small animal or child must have raced across the street because the truck comes to a sudden halt complete with screeching tires and honking from behind. Glancing at the rearview, Brian quickly presses on the gass again to keep up the flow of traffic. Alexander? He clears his throat. "Alex? Hm? Oh. I uh, didn't. know. You. Guys. Were." Brian says in an awesome staccato as he tries to keep his shit together. "Yeah. That does suck man." Don't mind that he didn't hear half of what Teo just said.

Fortunate that Teo had his head back, otherwise he probably would have brained himself on the front of the truck's cab. Would have been unhelpful; the Sicilian is woefully short on clarity most of the time as it is, these days.

His hand spikes up, catches himself. "Thanks." Recovering from the urge to hoist the door open and run away takes him a few more long seconds. He swallows, manages to keep his hands still; studies the laminated glass and its liquid contents for another protracted moment, his eyes slowly making the focal transition to his own ghostly reflection on it.

Then, abruptly, "So," he glances down at his hands. "Kameron probably needs space or some shit, I don't know.

"I was also wondering if you knew what Colette was doing on Staten Island. The little girl with one blind eye? She's supposed to be living with a cop or something. Adoptive father." Despite floundering both visibly and audibly under the unspoken weight of Brian's judgment, Teo finds his footing being somewhere between being constructive and supportive. Tries to, anyway.

"Space." Brian repeats coldly with a little frown. "We live together." He says with a little frown as he keeps driving the vehicle ignoring the awkwardness quickly flooding into the car and drowning everyone. "Um. So.. Yeah."

Oh Colette? Oh great! Subject changes are great. "Colette? She's staying with me." Brian reports. "At the lighthouse." Adoptive father? Hrrm. He gives a little frown. Tilting his head back. "She said she had nowhere else to go."

Life is more complicated when you have a personal life. It suits Teo to pretend again, at least temporarily, that he doesn't. Everybody else's is apparently such a knotted clusterfuck that that seems to be an intelligent thing to do.

"Really?" he glances sidelong for a quaver-beat. Then, "Fuck." Something happened. Apparently. Something that isn't his fucking business, preferably, except that the timing is awfully coincidental with the re-emergence of her missing sister's dead-ringer, major political figure formerly associated with a disasterous and scandalized failure of a Presidential candidate.

His eyes thin, glass-blue slivers, before he muffles a sigh in the crook of his arm, scraping his sleeve across his face. "Not physical space," he mumbles, belatedly. "I mean. J'ss. Make sure she's not just— being shy, and if she doesn't want to be in a relationship right now, then… fuckin'… let her go? Or—" he lapses into a silence of consternation. "I guess that sounds a little yellow-belllied."

"Remind me to never come to you for advice ever again. Ever." Brian murmurs casting a look over at him, with a creasing of his brow. "I know what you mean. But she's just." He waves his hand up in the air. "Colette is gonna talk to her. Do some girl spying." The replicator murmurs, "So she stayed with a cop?" He asks curiously. "Wh-Hm. She made me promise not to ask her why she came to the Lighthouse." Maybe that was a mistake. "Maybe that was a mistake."

"Yellow bellied? Just let her go? I.." Love her? "I really like her, man. I.. Can't just let her go." Pfft. Turning around the corner. "Do you want me to take you some place?"

There's a slight scowl when Brian says that, about him being useless for advice even if that's probably true, and Teo almost looks at him in order to deliver it. Still feels too early for eye-contact, though. He lets the subject of Colette Demsky fall temporarily to the wayside, a slight, if not altogether optimistic shrug of his shoulder indicating that he doesn't feel particular need for alarm just yet. Coming from Captain Paranoia, that might mean something.

"'Yellow-bellied' like 'cowardly.'"

Which is distinctly uncomfortable to think about on a number of egocentric and self-absorbedly uncomfortable levels even if, really, their situations are only the dullest, faintest echoes of one another. "Hey, I'm just saying you guys— I didn't think you guys knew each other for that long. You know? But it seems like you have a good friendship. It might not be worth…" he trails off into ungainly silence, staring leadenly into the dashboard. "Docks would be good."

Paused? Faded? What

March 2nd: Something to Hold On To
March 2nd: Pouring Fire on the Gas
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