Weary but Whole


deckard_icon.gif hadley_icon.gif leonard_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title Weary but Whole
Synopsis Mrs. Hadley picks up where Deckard falls over unconscious and manages to get both him and Leonard back into better shape than they've been in years. Meanwhile Teo is treated to enough blackmail material on Deckard to last him to the end of time.
Date July 28, 2009

Safehouse in Tribeca

It's 8 o'clock and there's still plenty of light to see by in the hallway Deckard's taken to haunting between bouts of healing. Breaks from his effort to piece Leonard together have been more frequent over the last couple of hours — stretching from five minutes, to ten, to fifteen. Now thirty. Brown leather jacket slack over the slope of his shoulders, hands tucked deep into his pockets, Flint scuffs to a sideways rest against the drywall at Leo's closed door. Tall, gaunt and exhausted, he has all the makings of a homeless guy who's wandered in here off the street to catch a few hours of sleep, whiskey stink included. He has a chunk missing out of his right ear the size of a fifty-cent piece, blackened and burned around the edges with similar scuffing scraped in across the side of his scruffy face.

The call to Hadley went out an hour ago. Sorry to bother. Got a guy up in Tribeca who lost a hand — the healer we have up there now looks close to breaking. How fast can you be here?

A glance at his watch and a scrub at the narrow set of his jaw later, Deckard leans over the remaining few inches to the door and clasps a skeletal hand across the handle to push his way back in, brows lifted. "Still alive?"

The answer was a solemn one in an old woman's voice: I can't return his hand, dear. But I can take care of everything else, if he has a gift. It'll just take me a bit to catch the train. Whether by train or a ride from someone or whathaveyou, the trek is made. Mrs. Hadley's arrival is a bustling step, a bag big enough to hold the kitchen sink tossed over her shoulder and brought along with.

Gift. Arguably it is. Leo is flat as a sleeping kitten - the healing draws from him, if not quite as much as his healer. He's wearing nothing but boxers and the sheet he's under, and keeps drifting in and out of consciousness…..each waking leaves him perplexed and asking who the scruffy guy is anew.

Behind the lady with the enormous carryall, there's a conspicuously empty-handed young man jammed up in the traffic congestion of the safehouse's constricted hallway, but too polite to manifest much more than a mumbled salutation, unverbalized confusion as to her purpose on the premises, and a series of furtive, nigh shifty-eyed glances ping-ponging off the walls behind the woman.

Embarrassingly enough, it takes Teo three or four minutes to remember he could be politer than that, frankly. At least he's prompt in doing so once the realization cattleprods him. "Signora." He straightens, cranes his buzzcut head precariously close to Hadley's fast-moving personal bubble. He can't recognize her from the back of her own peppery 'do, either. "I can help you carry that, perhaps?"

Deckard leaves the bedroom door open in his wake, leaving room for cooler air to drag in after the scuff of his boots across wood flooring while he makes his way back over to Leonard's bedside. Voices out in the hall draw his attention dull back to the door once he's sunk himself down into a rickety chair he dragged in earlier — Teo's enough by itself to roll at his eyes.

"Mike." Slow to answer Leo's question even with a lie, Flint reaches over to take up the bare space of the younger man's wrist without asking. As far as triumphs go, the fact that the network of muscle, tendon and bone that's bared out into the room's dusty light at the end of said wrist actually very closely resembles a hand probably qualifies. "The janitor."

It takes a moment for Teo's greeting and offer to register with the old woman. She turns then, and peers up (and up and up and up) at Teo, then offers him a cheerful enough smile. "Hello, dear! No, no, I have it, that's fine. But if you could point me at the young man who's hurt? I'm supposed to help take care of him." Mrs. Hadley waits expectantly, gaze steady on him all the while. Like there's nothing in the world he could possibly do but help her with this one tiny little thing, right this moment.

"Right," Leo says, and makes a horrible face at the anatomical diagram left exposed. He turns away, fixing his gaze on a crack in the paint, following it up to where it splits near the ceiling, likethe delta of some imaginary river.

Oh. What? This is the combination of Teodoro and the ghost's worst habits. The latter because he was a jerk, and benignly indifferent to the cost of his agendas on others— Deckard had been in no shape to heal, and he should've known that. Teo's, because he tends to get a little stuck on the idiotic details of politeness and what's her name, precisely? instead of tending to the more important matter— of…

"If you mean Leo," he says, his right arm shooting out, down the hallway, pointing to the door that the 'janitor' had left ajar only a moment ago. "I thought someone was already tending to him, but thanks. Very much."

Unnatural, creeping warmth filters in like mud through Leo's veins, clagging thick under the muscles in his forearm and around his phalanges as clean tissue resumes its slow-going growth around the raggedy edges where Deckard last left off. The bones are all there. So is most of the muscle. The easier stuff that's left really shouldn't be building at such a sluggish pace. Then again, it probably shouldn't feel this deeply creepy either. It felt better earlier, surely. Kind of warm. And fuzzy. And nice.

Static buzzes in around the fringes of Deckard's hazy vision like it has been since he started — only this time, rather than bleach out again once he's picked up the pace, the crackling borders build and meet at the center. The join of wall and floor he'd been staring blankly at dips invisible under a white fog. In the bedroom, his grip on Leo slackens.

A second or two later, there's a sound like a dirty old sack of wood tipping forward onto the floor audible through the crack of the open door.

"You're welcome!" But Mrs. Hadley is gone in the proverbial puff of Acme smoke: bustling footsteps take her down the hallway in a patter to reach the door. The man on the bed is second-priority for right now. The old woman drops her bag and calls back over her shoulder, "Young man, get in here!" Imperious order given, she sinks down and tries to roll Deckard over onto his back, a hand patpatpatting at his cheek. "Dear? Wake up, don't fall asleep quite yet, come on now, open your eyes…"

Leonard looks back in dismay, and declaims, without hesitation, "I didn't do it!" And then amends, "I mean….not me, directly. I think he wore hisself out with the healing. I didn't know he was sick himself." His hands still a raw approximation of the real t hing, and he hastily draws a squareof gauze over it. No fun looking like a half-reassembled cadaver.

Clopping, an elbow-point thwop for the door, and the indefatigable white knight crashes in a few seconds tardy. There's a curse underneath Teo's breath. He's at the old woman's shoulder abruptly, as if he hadn't actually bothered crossing the intervening space from the door.

There's an automatic hand on Deckard's arm, his knuckles peaking white in the backs of his hands. A dozen pointlessly obvious queries kill themselves on his lips, stopping in the grit of his molars. He glances up at Leonard, forgets to acknowledge the telekine's reply with speech. All right. All right— he's in here. Now what?

Lighter than he should be with his bones poking like iron struts and muscle stripped down to wire and cable, Deckard's still tall and heavy enough to be pretty attached to his face down position on the floor. It takes some effort to get him levered over onto his back, the ashy grey patched and peppered into wiry hair and bristled beard growth serving to make him look even older and more worn out than he is once he's there. Dusty brown and grey stubble also obscures the hard angles of a long face that is nonetheless familiar in a nagging, distant way. The fact that he smells like the sidewalk outside of a dive bar might dissuade more detailed inspection. For the short term, anyway!

There's a pulse threading through the arm under Teo's hand, dreamily disinterested in anything more lively than an occasional brush of light pressure. Unfortunately, Hadley's efforts at the non-battered side of his face aren't getting any response, save maybe for a slick of drool that tacks after her palm.

Mrs. Hadley's gaze lifts to Teo: he's the only one who's actually looking like he'll be any help at this point, after all. "Young man." The tone is sharp, meant to get attention, though it softens a touch once she has it. "Can you tell me if he's in immediate danger?" A gesture of her free hand indicates the Leonard on the bed. "Or does he have ten minutes to spare?" The drool-slick hand remains against Deckard's cheek, skin to skin contact maintained. Once she's got him that far over, that's good enough; there's no use straining her back quite yet, after all. The familiarity of the lines of the face beneath her fingers is accepted, then set aside. It's not important right now either, something to worry about later.

"I'm okay. My hand's all fucked up," Leo says, unblushing. "But it's better than it was," He looks at the unconscious Deckard with something akin to awe. "I didn't realize he was so bad off!"

A scowl turns the dirty blond of Teo's brow dark as only the bleak of his temper ever does. "I swear," he mutters, sidelong at the big useless naked pile of his best friend in the bed, "I'm going to hit you in the mouth until some fucking gratitude comes out. Yeah, Leo will hold for ten minutes. I've seen that gift stop halfway through fixing a limb before." He swerves his attention back to Hadley with something that resembles actual force of effort, blinking rapidly in the half-light of the room.

Inadvertently, Teo stiffens as he settles into a crouch, his torso hitching inward in on itself, recoiling against the half-realized stiffness and dull ache of his own negligible calvacade of residual injuries. He is careful not to crush Deckard's toes in this process. He stares down at the flabby magma puddled of Deckard's eyelids, earnest rue making his forehead grim. "What are we supposed to do?" There's no real room for doubt, that he's referring to Hadley for instruction.

Slatted ribs rise and fall slow and steady beneath brown leather and a concert t-shirt that's suffered through so many washings that the band it was made for is impossible to determine from the patchy remains of the logo. Deckard still doesn't wake up. He does drool a little more though, narrow skull lolling slack against the flat of Hadley's hand. Halp.

"We wait, sweetheart," is Mrs. Hadley's absent answer to Teo without looking away from the man on the ground in front of her. "I'll be able to help your friend on the bed after this, hmm?" Surely Deckard's heard what this feels like, the warmth of healing turned inwards. Cheekbones begin to fill out, burns fade, flesh rising up out of skeletal thinness and back into healthy limits. That the old woman's shoulders slump some, that she settles her weight a little more solidly on the ground, these are small things, easily missed in the rush of seeing the drooling fellow recover. Ten minutes, ten and a half, nine and three-quarters; the exact time frame is unclear. But when it's done, the world is bright and fresh and a week of spending every day at the best spa in the entire world is a thrum through the downed man. She lifts her hand away and settles back, bumping into Teo's legs.

"I am grateful," Leo protests, looking properly apologetic. "I truly am." His drawl is firmly in place, and he's rolled to look at the downed Deckard sadly.

Apologies never restored Deckard to health or happiness. Believe Teodoro Laudani; many of his incarnations have tried. What we have here, instead, is work far more arcane and powerful than anything he could serve up with a floppy bit of sadness and beautifully-articulated Sicilian Italian. What we have here makes Teo stare with unabashed surprise, at the flesh renewing its definition, flourishing color— or as much as the skinny old grave-robber had ever worn between gray and slate-blue, warmth.

It would have been belated even if it were of any use, Teo snatching his hands back, lest he accidentally sap some of the healing from its intended source. He hadn't known the Ferry had another healer. That much is obvious.

For Hadley's assistance, there's no drowsy-eyed, sleepy warm rise from the pleasant depths of unconsciousness. Deckard jolts awake like a startled dog, one bone-spurred elbow swiveling down into a brace under his side so fast it's hard register the transition from prone sprawl to half sit. "What the fuck is — " Breathing hard and blue eyes blazing stark, he knits his brows in search of an explanation for why he's on the floor of a strange room with an old lady and Teo and…old…lady.

Flint eyes her, glare sweeping briefly up to take in the parts of Teo that aren't just legs on their way over to scrape at Leo. Then back again, incredulous when his unhindered hand lifts to feel at his own face, where his cheekbones are no longer sharp against the sink of his bristled jaw and he has, like. Mass. And life. Neither of which do anything to ease the bafflement that's hooded into his brow or slacked into his open mouth when he scrubs at the drool still damp in his beard. "…Mrs. Hadley?" Mrs. Hadley.

"Flink Deckard," Mrs. Hadley informs in a sharp tone. "You ought to know better than to talk like that in front of me!" The sharp words are immediately belied by the grin that rises up. "Especially when Weary, but whole. "Look at you, just as ruffled as ever, dear!" This time the hand that comes up goes patpatpat against his cheek in recognition and fondness both. "Now help me up, I need to take care of your friend on the bed. You won't be able to do anything yourself for a little while, probably a few hours, until your gift recovers."

Leo is just sitting, owl-eyed. "You know him? His name's not Mike?" Well, duh. He offers an uncertain smile to Mrs. Hadley, though it slides away and fades before really making itself known.

Too busy being bewildered and cowed and confused to evade or otherwise brush off cheek pats, Deckard stares at the older woman as if he's not sure she's real. She has to be…what? Eight hundred? Nine? Nine fifty at least, and exactly the same if his memory can be trusted at all. Which — it probably can't be.

He's slow to push himself up the rest of the way, dusty boots dragged up under himself to find purchase against wood flooring while he gravels out something under his breath sounds preposterously like a muttered, "Yes ma'am." Given her proximity to Teo, once he's up it proves to be really difficult not to look at him at all as he goes about the process of offering an overlarge hand at her arm and stooping to help her to her feet. Leo gets a somewhat dirty sidelong look along the way. This is his fault.

The assistance up is needed a wee bit more than Mrs. Hadley lets on to Teo or Leo. Her weight, always solid, leans just an extra smidge-bit on Deckard's arm. He can take it, he's just had a spa-weekend. When she's straightened up, she offers Leo that same weary but cheerful smile. "Here we are then, I believe it's your turn, dear? Let me take a look at your hand, we'll see if whatever Fritzy was able to do is enough that I can finish the rest of the way." With no further ado than that, and certainly no may-I-please, she's reaching down to whisk the bit of previously dragged gauze out of the way so she can lean down to consider the mess that used to be a limb.

"I thought his name was Mike," Leo blurts, eyes still huge. It's….half-formed, weirdly fetal and unpleasant, what Deckard's brought his hand to. But…it's a hand, and not bloody rags, nor a stump of bone, so that's an improvement.

Throughout this process, Teodoro has managed somehow to nnnot stand up. This leaves his fingertips and toes somewhat exposed to trodding on, whether accidental (Hadley) or maliciously intentional (…), though fortunately people seem to be giving him a considerable few inches of berth while he sets his mind against the onerous obstruction of what the Hell is going on.


—Ah, shit. When Teo shuts his mouth, it is with an audible click of teeth reconnecting within slack white lips. He hastens upright, rubbing a sawtooth line of callused knuckles up and down his cheek with abrading force that would probably relieve most other people of their epidermis. "Hey," he says, despite that Mrs. Hadley's constituency would probably hold that that's for horses. "You two know each other?"

Deckard towers like a rickety, ex-con gargoyle at Hadley's side, long face all the longer for all the effort he's putting into keeping the shabby remains of his dignity intact. He's conspicuously quiet in the face of pretty much everything, attitude better suited for a funeral than the imminent repair and completion of Leo's nasty fetus hand. Maybe his middle name is Mike. He doesn't deign to clarify when his time is better spent glowering sideways at the wall and pretending not to be here.

When she reaches down for Leonard, Mrs. Hadley takes hold of the arm just above the wrist in question. She settles carefully on the bed next to him, no ifs, ands or buts about it, though she /does/ make sure not to jostle him too much at the same time. "Has anyone told you what will happen after we're done with this, dear?" The question down to him is accompanied by an arched brow. "I like to make sure it's out in the open ahead of time, in case it changes your mind, so we can stop if you'd rather not go on. In some cases," and at that she slants a Look at Deckard. "It's not possible to check first."

A shake of the head to that. "No," Leo says, simply. "What do you mean?" He doesn't withdraw from her, just gazes at her with that trusting expression.

The expression parading across the front of Teo's face could be a saintly acceptance of his ignorance, a psychopath's subterranean nonchalance, or what he does by default with his face when he is, by default, confused.

In short: 'not much.' Behind that pleasantly blank expression, he is listening, however, the tactically curious and scholarly part of himself crowding in with the bit that's perpetually concerned about Leonard and the stupid stuff that's always happening to Leonard. The fact that Deckard is trying to use every ounce of rending psychic force available to his cerebellum to subtract himself from the fabric of reality is filed away for later examination.

Yeah. What does she mean?

There's a touch of a rankle at Deckard's nose against the Look. It blips onto his radar without him having to actually see it directly, countering irritation washed off harmlessly against the wall he's picked to take this all out on. He could argue that it isn't all that common for him to pass out at inconvenient times and in awkward positions, but he would be lying.

Teo's distraction with Leonard's case is deemed cover enough to nick a sideways glance in after his face. Past that, Flint continues to loom and make a conversational vacuum of himself.

The slow circles that Mrs. Hadley draws and presses into Leonard's arm could be considered a come-on in some circles. Only… it's Mrs. Hadley, so it's more of a grandma's absent comfort touch than anything else (thank gawd). She keeps her attention on him while she explains, gaze steady: "All of your gift… and I don't need or want to know what it is dear, that's your private business… is going to turn to one single thing over the next few minutes. That's to make you better, hmm? Only it'll feel like you used it all at once, in a great burst, so it'll need time to recover afterwards. You won't be able to use it." She pauses there to let that sink in for a sec, then goes on, tone firm and gentle all at once. "It won't be gone! It'll just need a little time. From the looks of you, probably a day or two, you're pretty bad off." A brow arches at him. "Do you want me to stop, dear?"

"Ah don't," Leo says, drawl ever more in evidence - he's on the borderline of sounding like a refugee from 'Hee Haw'. "But I'd best lie down. If it's like what happens when I use up all my energy at once, I'm gonna pass out," Because boys, even from the South, don't faint or swoon. That sounds like what happens when your corset is on too tight. And he settles himself back down, head on his pillow.

That ridiculous accent pulls Teo's face into a grudging grin, all the more unmistakable in its sincerity for its reluctance. Serious matters, of course. Leonard's hand looks like someone was trying to peel it clean and add the contents to a bowl of fruit salad. Teo scratches his chin with a thumb, hazards a glance at Mrs. Hadley.

Traumatic memory threatens to elicit protest, but he keeps his peace; it's easier for him than it was for Ghost, to remember that the world of 2009 should only be so lucky to crawl onto the tracks that had taken it into the 'bright' future. And Leonard being without his telekinesis for like three hours isn't an automatic guarantee he'll be assassinated by Humanis First! in the defenseless interim. Somehow, he resists the urge to add his approval like a chaperon signing off a consent form. He glances at Deckard about a half a second after Deckard glances away from him.

Your boyfriend sounds like a refugee from 'Hee Haw,' says the next flat look Deckard sends sideways after Teo. He pushes his hands back down into his jacket pockets so that he can better adjust the swing of it to where the butt of his gun isn't poking out now that his clothes fit again. One thumb eventually hooks out and up beneath the lapel to tug at a holster strap that's drawn too tight across his shoulder.

The fact that the work he did on Leo's hand so far looks like something out of The Isle of Dr. Moreau is something else he's trying hard not to pay attention to in the meanwhile. It's hard to put a hand back together again from scratch ok?

"Good, good." Mrs. Hadley never lets go. Deckard was asleep through his healing, which may or may not be a blessing. Because the sensation that begins crawling along the inside of Leonard's skin is an odd one. The sensation of internal pieces shifting and sliding about, his telekinesis turned to where it's never worked before. It isn't unpleasant. It doesn't hurt. It's just weird, and all the more awkward because there's nothing to be seen beyond the flesh knitting itself back together, strength flowing where there was so little before, color returning to cheeks and skin. Even the twisted little freakish not-a-hand uncurls like the proverbial flower blooming, until it too is as whole as anything else. And still she keeps hold, even as she deflates just a little more, wrinkles deepening, shoulders slumping by a hair.

It does knock him out, sweetly and simply. Since he's already got his head on the pillow and his eyes closed, it's perceptible only as that limpness that creeps into his muscles and the way his head lolls to one side. At least he doesn't snore.

For one thing— this response manifest in a brief but distinctly defensive jut of jaw— that's not Teo's boyfriend. For another, it's somewhat more distressing than any misshapen contusion of provincial accent, how everybody in here is dropping like Goddamn flies. His brows tip downward, rooting alarm into a frown that has absolutely nothing to do with the pristine repair job that the lady just completed of Leonard's hand.

"There's an empty room just down the hall," he says, addressing Mrs. Hadley and her assistant scarecrow as one. He circles slightly across the floor to square himself in easier conversational view of them, though there's hesitation there, the sort with which any good Italian boy would address an elder. Particularly one who'd barked acerbic command over his head only minutes before. "I think— signora, not to be ungrateful, but you've done a great deal. Thank you very much. If you'd— please, I think it's all right if you stop."

The gaze Mrs. Hadley lifts to Teo is steady, her expression calm. "If I let go now, all that hurt will flow right on back and his gift will still be out of commission for a while, dear. Give it just a little more." Action to word: she doesn't let go, so there! Another long minute passes before she shifts her grip to set his previously-injured hand across his abdomen lightly. When he wakes, he'll feel like he's just had a week of 8 hour nights sleeping and days of rest and relaxation: fit as a fiddle and rarrin' to go. The power will be a dim glow — still there, just taking some time to recover from unfamiliar use. There, now she can let go. "Flint?" It's a single-word request for help up, and a tired one at that.

For all that Deckard has seen the world in weirder ways than most, the easy push of dubious flesh and uneven regrowth out into completion in a matter of minutes is enough to slack at his scruffy jaw again. Cool. Also, gross. Maybe just a little entranced, he stays still until Teo speaks up. Then he's ballsy enough to reach a hand down open over Hadley's arm with clear intent to prrry her away. Politely! Politely pry her away before something bad happens and he and Teo have to argue over who does the CPR and who does the mouth to mouth. What she says back staves him off into a more supportive hesitation than a 'hay seriously let's go,' leaving him to stand there close and more than a little awkward until she says his name and he feels like he can move again.

Help is given where it's requested, more automatic than it should be considering the source. "Want a piggy back ride?"

Teo wants to know why he's thinking about how long it's been since he's called his mom right now. Except he doesn't really want to know. He finds himself standing succinctly corrected, and holds his peace, a wry twist to his mouth and his head dipped, either in a nod of acknowledgment or deferential humility. He refrains from putting his hands behind his back like some penitent child at a piano recital.

He watches the healing finish, and doesn't plan to speak again until Mrs. Hadley does, only n-now Deckard— what.

There's an odd little metallic clinking, as something rolls out from under the sheet that's draped over Leo, and hits the floor.

"Naughty boy!" Mrs. Hadley's free hand rises up to swat at Deckard's arm when he makes his suggestion, but there's laughter enough in her voice to turn it into a joke instead. "Ought to be ashamed! Help me over to where I can take a bit of a nap, dear. And don't you disappear on me again, you need to come see the bakery these days. I put in a fancy new display case… I can show off the lemon-bars properly now!"

Deckard doesn't actually smile, but there's something that almost vaguely resembles one in the fuzzy lines around his mouth when he complies, right arm looped careful around Mrs. Hadley's back to help her up off the bed and onto her feet. All the way to and out the door, with only the briefest of say a fucking word and I'll twist your head off like a peach looks cast over his shoulder at Teo before they're out into the murky hallway to get some sleep. Presumably not in the same bed.

Not saying a word, but a picture is worth a thousand and a snapshot of Teodoro might even do justice to the sentiment clangoring in his head, now. He spares Deckard the true height of his incredulity, choosing instead to mumble something about— "Oh, please. Go ahead.

"Thanks, signora, I'm— gonna—" he jogs a pointy-finger at the region of empty air floating around over Leonard's bed, before stooping over the mattress' edge, scraping one rough-edged hand along the age-scarred floorboards, in search of the thing. "Clean up in here." There's no mess, of course, but something fell. It's the most good he'll be able to do here, today in the house of healers.

It's an odd little thing, a slip of silvery metal. A pin, strangely enough, like a length of knitting needle. There are other bits,as well, shards of what looks like iron.

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