abby_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title Weezyanna
Synopsis Teo asks permission to institute a safeguard, which includes needles and an escape option. Discussion of Italy, Louisiana, boats, broken hearts and kudzu carry them through the night.
Date January 26, 2009

Siann Hall - Abby, Alexander and Teo's Apartment.

It's not overly spacious, It's a New York area apartment. But it suits it's residents purposes. An open kitchen, crammed with all the accoutrements needed to cook, a dining table shoved against the far wall with chairs tucked in. A livingroom with a fairly new red suede couch shoved up agaisnt a window and TV set opposite on a stand makes up the rest of the communal living area. It looks fairly newly occupied and the personal touches not put to it yet. Five doors down a hall lead to three seperate bedrooms, a bathroom and linen closet. What's behind the doors remains a mystery unless one of the residents leaves a door open, though if someone knows the residents, the simple gold cross above one door indicates where the woman in this place lives.

He said he'd be back. In time for dishes— that part was a lie. Teo was delayed. By the time he's back in the Bronx, it's deep into the small hours of the morning, the dinner guests long since dispersed and the flower vases topped off with water, Pila's cage recovered in the padded cloth to armor her for the trip to Chinatown tomorrow, the staccato song of her wakefulness dwindled away along with the frenetic stress of keeping up conversation with a half dozen people off a half dozen impossibly mismatched walks of life. Teo almost gets hit by cabs a couple times on the walk over, and suspects he freaked out a would-be mugger staring so intently with his hand under the back of his jacket.

In general, how tired he is is proportional to the ferocity with which he slams into the apartment door to open it, perpetually menaced by either some stickiness in the locking mechanism or a dent in his key, he could never figure out and never will. He is quiet about coming in tonight. Cranes his head in through the foyer, looking for light in the kitchen, out of the bedrooms or refracted off the bathroom tiles.

The apartment is silent, the cat curled up beside the radiator and glancing balefully at the former tenant for daring to spill hallway light into disturbing her evening sleep. One could almost think that there hadn't been a party here, except that if you opened the fridge, there's lots of leftovers. Abigail's door is open, the lamp inside spilling light across the entryway, the gold cross above the door wathcing silently over the woman inside. "Al?" No, Al's out. "Teo?" pronounced the proper way. The soft thud from inside the room giving away what the blonde was doing. What she does every night before she turns in the for the night, even more so of late since that Friday meeting. Soon enough the light from the lap is blocked off by Abigail in her old fashioned white nightgown, eyelets and everything, bathrobe wrapped around her and hair down. "Your aunt okay? Mr. Benjamin fine?"

"I don't know." Teo doesn't know why it is, people seem to be coming to terms with the correct pronunciation of his name just as he's coming on the end of his need for it. He shuts the door behind him with a backward kick of his boot and starts to work off his gloves and shoes in a clumsy, crooked scuffle of movement, exhaling. It was so cold outside that his breath seems to retain a shade of pallor even after he's escaped into the relative warmth of the heated apartment. "Kind of.

"I mean, they're…" His throat moves, and his eyelids, struggling past the implicit rudeness of brevity and stumbling into an unsteady approximation of clarification: "I think they'll be okay if we pull this off on Wednesday. We put him to bed. I—" one association springboards him onto the next; he scrunches a bare hand through his hair and looks over her slim shoulder and into the yellow rectangle of her open doorway. "Did I wake you up?"

'Everyone will be better, if everything goes well Wednesday Teo. You convince her to get off the Island by then?" She shuffles away from her door, reaching over to flip the light switch in the hall with her slim fingers. not directly in the living room so it'll spare Teo momentary blindness, but it gives some light to the living room area. 'Reading. Worrying. Praying. Wasn't sleeping. Sleeps not.. exactly coming these days. Did you offer my services to him again? Let him know that I'd .. make him like new?"

No. "No." Teo is never convincing when he needs to be or, at least, not when his powers need to be brought to reckon with the woman who taught him everything he knows. Caged bird-whisperers and drunken club patrons are a different thing. Not that lucidity and experience were the major obstacles there, of course. Lucrezia Bennati is a member of the Vanguard, and she has consigned herself to die for the sins she committed on behalf of the Lord of Dust and Ash.

Unless everything goes well Wednesday.

"He passed out after taking his medicine, or I would have. He's keeping them for some reason. The injuries. It will be all right for awhile: he might change his mind after a few weeks in zia Luca's keeping. We'll talk to him again then," he offers, gently, a crooked smile on his features and the weight of another dozen scales balancing behind his eyes. It works in concert, sort of: the lie of omission. In all likelihood, Lucrezia is staying for Benjamin. "I'm sorry you couldn't sleep. I'll put some tea on?" Gloves and coat crumple on the couch and he pushes his fingertips over his eyelid.

'Warm milk. I've had too much caffeine today and there's caffeine in tea. There's some vanilla above the stove" Gloves and coats don't belong on couches. They belong hanging up on the hooks that were screwed into the wall for that purpose. She scratches at her forehead when by rote almost she's shuffling over to the couch to let her warm fingers grasp at the cold collar of Teo's abandoned jacket. The gloves are next, tucked into the sleeve so that they don't get forgotten. To hang it all up properly behind the front door and join him in the kitchen so she can sit at the table. "I won't press. I'll leave it up to you and your Aunt. You spending the night or heading back out to wherever your staying?"

Messed up the couch and appropriate living space configuration with his dingy outdoors things. Teo stops, turns, to wait and watch, rueful, the finger he'd scrubbed into his eye hooking back over and around his ear, scratching his nape, abashedly. When his belongings are put away, he shuffles into the kitchen at a silent gait. The refrigerator door parts from its rubber-rimmed seal with a hiss of cold and he finds the carton, snags the illustrated glass phial of vanilla out of the cabinet with his other hand, and shuts it with his pinkie.

Saucepan, stove. There aren't a lot of things left in the apartment, almost none of his, but it had taken him a horrifically brief extent of time to learn his housemates' habits, where they kept the spices and how tight they screwed the jars, how to navigate around them in the apartment's small space.

"I pressed," he assures her, a momentary scowl, childish, the ferocity of a peeved tot. "She's as stubborn as I am. I don't know where I'm going tonight. It feels late. When it gets this late, I seriously consider not sleeping at all." In a few minutes, the milk is heating, a wooden ladle in it for Abby's use, should her ideal proportion of vanilla differ to his judicious sprinkling. He drags up a chair and drops himself in it, pulling hood over his head with a rough-skinned thumb. "I have something to give you."

"You already gave me a ridiculously beautiful yet expensive coat Teo. What could you possibly give me?" He gets a look for that, not that she doesn't adore the coat. She wears it all the time now, sometimes even when she's on the vespa. The blonde takes up her post by the stove, wooden ladle fits easily into her hand as she starts to stir the milk, keep it constantly moving and turn the heat up just a bit. "Stay, we can watch movies and not sleep on the couch. Before I start moving stuff over to the new place."

This chair fits weird. Possibly because it's a chair. Teo's brow furrows slightly; he folds his shoulder back over the support behind it, winds a knee outward, experimentally, feels as hopelessly uncomfortable and restless as he had all those years he forced himself to comply with the basic protocols and standards of Palermo and Manhattan's classrooms. God, hopeless. It's even worse after he's just come back from sea. "It wasn't that expensive," he lies unconvincingly, twisting his head around to squint at her out from under the rim of his hood's shadow, half a grin on. He's pleased she likes it.

His aunt would have; that's all he was sure about. The half of the grin fades to none. "I'm glad you've decided to move. Keeping your part of the pact, eh?" Forty seconds in, and it's enough. His long frame hiccups upright out of the chair; he stalks around, rangy as a cougar, and finds a section of counter to bounce onto, heels swinging as if off the lip of a wooden deck. "What movie? Why were you sleeping on the couch?"

'Couch is comfortable. Not that my bed isn't. Was waiting for someone to come home as well. Apartment's too quiet lately" He's within reach, perched on the counter so she shifts, sidling to lean against one of the bouncy legs. Means that leg will likely still and she drops her head to his shoulder. "I dunno. Whatever's on TV" Her part of the pact though. "No. Not keeping it. I'm sorry. It's.. hard. Sometimes I do, other times…" She shakes her head. "The party, I wasn't keeping it. Other times I've run around like Wednesday is it. That's it. How can it not be Teo. It's Sylar, and Kazimir, all in one" Abigail swallows, leaning against the Italian while stirring the milk, dissolving vanilla into it and scenting the kitchen.

Waiting for someone to come home. More guilt then, another drop in the bitter moat Teo keeps around his ramparts, separation as protection; he should've been here, he thinks. Not that she holds it against him, and doesn't have more work to do than anyone her age ought to be inflicted with, but all the same. As long as he's being self-absorbed, Teo would prefer to have a cross to bear. "I know 's hard," he mutters above her head, squeezing an eye-blink out under the hard, fluorescent light. "I fuckin' suck at it too. You'd think I'd be better, with all the practice with imminent death.

"Ma… but— about that." He lags and trips, disoriented by the slight weight of Abby's frame and the tenebrous specter of the monstrous burden it bears across her back. All he knows to offer is half an embrace: the crook of his arm around her, one hand on her shoulder, warm through the cloth of her robe, casual in keeping that margin of distance from the hem or the young woman underneath. That, too, a habit he learned from living here. "I found out about something that could protect you.

"Not from Helena's lightning or Kazimir's touch, but the virus." Teodoro isn't sure where this falls within the demarcations and limitations of the pact. A contingency plan that allows for failure, but hinges on survival. "I think it might give you a second chance. Just in case."

"What is this great knowledge that you have found out, that will protect me from this virus, from this world ender Teo" Not that she expects to survive killing Kazimir. The edges of the milk bubble and the ladle is placed to the side, element shut off. It's with reluctance that she pulls away from Teo, reach above him for a couple mugs.

Obligingly, the Sicilian stoops his head down to the warm patch hers left on his arm. The cabinet door swivels above him, swatting through a few errant bristles of hair pointed ceiling-ward without actually managing to swat them down. "No great knowledge, bella. I don't think there's any knowledge that great, else I'd feel better about having had Doctors Ray and Chesterfield on our side." Good humor moves through his eyes, angled up at her face from inside his hood, and then he drops his gaze. "It's an antidote. I'm going to ask Jennifer to replicate some more, but I don't know if she can: never seen her make copies of living biology, so…" haplessly or merely weary, he falls silent.

Abigails mug clunks to the counter about the same time that her mind processes what he said. Whether it's the hour of the night or just the slow processing of her mind she swallows and looks over at him. "How'd you get it?" The milk for the moment allowed to remain heated on the stove, her palm over the opening of the mug, her french tipped nails resting against the brown porcelain. "The antidote I assume.. the vaccine?"

"Turncoats. We already knew." Teo's eyes shift away, to the kitchen floor. He studies the overlap of their translucent shadows, the geometry darker where combined. "Kazimir's men are turning against him. Some of them, anyway. It isn't poison and it isn't a trick. They're using it themselves." It's a stretch, but not a lie; he had requested — demanded, really, however foolishly or recklessly — protection for Eileen on much the same grounds, and ones that Lucrezia had understood. The flesh and health of one's people are no less personal than one's own. "I want you to have it. Just in case."

"I can hold onto it for you…" Abby answers, frowning. So it was happening, it wasn't just odd behavior around her. The milk is frowned at. "I can hide it some place safe, or I can give it to scout.. they can get it to the right people" She would have said Dr. Suresh but he seems to be kidnapped and altering said virus.

Quick as a lasso if slightly less rough to touch, a thumb and forefinger close around Abby's chin, as carefully as he'd have grasped an ornament wrought from marzipan. Teo turns her face to look at him, over a diminutive distance measured in inches of his hood and the length of his nose. Presumptious, he knows, but there's sincerity there in the studious knot of his brow, the way a young Italian ought to be, all the grimmer for the love and loyalty he bears. "I want you to have it," he repeats. "To use it. If you lose your shot, if you don't get Kazimir this time, I want you to have a second one. Please."

You can't not look at a person when your that close and it's some sense of numbness, guilt, fear swimming in the blue that matches Teo's eyes. Her lips are dry, every pore visible and the faint freckles scattered here and there. She's not happy about that. But she's not voicing it. Not voicing really much of anything till she drops her eyes down to his chin. She doesn't try to pull her face away from his grip. "Do you promise to try to live?"

So much more innocence, so much less joy. It kind of hurts to look at her, but if you did, you'd never get your words around that old phrase, 'Love is dead'; she walks around wearing the sort of face that kept soldiers alive while they otherwise subsisted on a diet of skinny jerky, roots that come out looking the same way they went in, granola, and stale water.

"I'm really scared of dying," Teo says instead of Yes. Unsteady. The touch on her chin is becoming the same way. "I mean — really fu… really scared. I mean I fight a lot, but…" swallowing, "I'm not afraid of nothing. I could handle nothing. But I killed a girl once, and I know she's watching and she's tired. She's waiting for me to sink out of sight. For nine years. I don't want to die." He's trying to explain, though he's not sure why. Perhaps because guilt invokes guilt, some limping effort to assuage the injury to her conscience by yanking the band-aid off his own. Or unity in courage, refusal to succumb to numbness.

"I really don't want to die."

'Me neither" Another dry swallow, quick inhale, then out. "I don't want to die, not yet. So many more people to heal, so much left to do" A hand comes to rest on Teo's hip, fingers curling in, holding fast and using him as an anchor before he's used as a rest against, only it's Abigail's forehead pressed to his chest. "I don't want to kill him Teo. I don't want to be responsible for taking a man from this earth. Even if he's.. evil incarnate"

Though that title goes to the Devil himself, Teo understands what she means. Evil incarnate. He understands about killing, too. Maybe worse because Kazimir is evil. Maybe because— "You'd put him in Hell," he says, his voice turned equal parts rust and water, though not from lack of conviction. The ache of terror in his chest drones into her forehead.

If there was any man ever condemned to the most wicked circle of the Inferno and to be bitten and stung and tormented by all his sins, it would be her nemesis, awaited by all rabbling vermin of thieves and killers he had massed to his cause only to be struck from the field perhaps a century early. His thumb broaches her cheek, fingers carding her hair. He holds her head between his hands. As anchors go, he doesn't think his heart is a very reliable one, but there's no one else; not at the moment, anyway.

"'S gonna be okay, cara. I know— maybe, I guess— you don't want the last thing a man to see is your anger, even if he deserves it. Even if it's righteous. But it is. Right, even if it feels like…" Shit. So much shit. He doesn't elaborate. "Your God is everywhere and He hears you every day. He'll make you understand."

'Maybe" Is all Abby answers. "I'll take it Teo. If only because it'll be one less weight off your shoulders, one less person for you to worry about" She's not listening to his heart, just his breath, his calloused hands threading through her hair. "That's not it. I don't want someone elses blood on my hands. Just, stay the night please? Unless you have to go. If you have to go, I understand. Watch a movie, whatever, till the sun's up" The Teo habit surfaces again, bumping her forehead repeatedly on his chest, gently.

Her reasoning makes him smile, though he forebears to laugh hysterically or something equally inappropriate. One less person for him to worry about. "Yeah. Sure: I'm going to quit worrying about you because you have a little immunity to one thing fucking around out there that's capable of killing." There's an odd little hiss, a parody of pain. She isn't hurting him, banging her head around, but she should probably stop that. It's certainly done him no good, attacking things head-first. He tips her head back and looks at her face. "Movie," he agrees. Then, in English this time: "Thank you. I hope you don't mind needles."

'God will take care of the rest of things. He's done so so far. Now, it seems like… you are going to take care of the other" A scrunched up nose at the thought of needles. "Necessary evil I suppose. It's no worse than being sh.. " A pause, cant of her head to the side which means his hands follow too. "Your going to.. do you know how to?" Because she sure doesn't.

Cue the rueful grin. "Si." For no reasons Teo is particularly proud of, apparently. His brow quirks fractionally and hands shift, a gentle sort of curiosity, to try and tilt her head back on-axis before he extricates his fingers, leaving loose curls shaped by the whorls his grip left to tumble on the shoulders of her robe. "I'll bring it here." He leans over sideways and swings his hooded head to aim his blinkered vision, switching off the stove before the milk boils all away. Alights the counter. Even with both his feet firmly planted on the floor, the disparity of their heights is slightly ridiculous, she's so small.

"Do I even want to know how you know…" There's a layer of something on the milk and while Teo slides off, Abigail gives her head a shake, set hair back to it's proper place, no trace that his hands were there while skimming the top layer off the milk. That and pour the two mugs with the hot liquid. "What would you have done, if I said no Teo?" Back to above the kitchen, grab the cinnamon and shake a dash over each mug. The waitress in her never dies, and so she easily brings both mugs to the table so she can sit down, watch him.

He isn't long coming back. The apartment is small, his coat is only right there. There's a capped syringe fetched between his fingers by the time he returns on long strides, the plastic tube and its laddered etching inhousing fluid within. "I'd say one of my girlfriends had anti-radiation medication she needed me to help her with before.

"But I knew how to stick somebody before that," he admits, with grace enough to examine the tiled floor on his way back into the kitchen's brightness. He posts himself at the corner of the table adjacent her, puts out a long, work-rough hand to request her arm. His fingers seem warmer than they had near her face, though the disparity is her skin rather than his hands. He's careful not to jostle the powdered mug at his elbow. For a moment, he doesn't answer.

"I don't know. I guess I hoped…" his brow furrows, barely visible underneath the strandy shadow of his hair pulled close by the cotton wreathe around his face. Quieter then, "What… Whatever I had to do." The wrong answer, probably, or an incomplete one. He thumbs the hood back, finally. His hair is all up and down like crazy.

"Flower pot to face" Abby answers, the corner of her mouth turning up. She digs an arm out of her fuzzy bathrobe, fingers working to push her sleeve up as far it will go, expose her upper arm to him. "Who was she? The girl you killed" He doesn't get to see her face while he's going to go about saving her. She looks away, focusing on the flowers in the vase that serve as centerpiece. Her palm flat to the table, tapping her slippered foot on the floor in anticipation of the sting that is sure to come.

It does, though it takes a moment, a grip on her upper-arm and enough time for the blood to filter through her ridiculously slender lines and thicken a vein enough to press in. His teeth click plastic and there's the low fft of the cap spat aside, a glance over the syringe's meniscus and level, before the needles bites into the subtle green line winding through the milk white of her inner-arm. "Her name was Gianina. She and my brother were in love." His thumb scales the plunger down, not too quick. "We were all pretty fucking young. But not too young for that. Apparently." Love or murder, he doesn't specify which. Might not know.

Unconsciously, she sucks her breath when the syringe slides home beneath her skin, looking up at the ceiling, waiting for it to be over. It always seems like an eternity, like it can't end quick enough, her footing keeping some very quick staccato tune on the floor. not enough to irritate the people who reside beneath. For all that she heals, she hates being hurt, or hurting. "what happened?" Abigail asks instead of asking 'are you done yet?'

If not quick enough, he is done in a few seconds. The dose is considerable, but not ridiculous. "Mi dispiace." The syringe is capped again and tissue snagged from the box, folded into rectangles then squares, rectangles then squares, small enough to pad the needle prick wound under pressure of his fingers. He doesn't ask her to press her own; figures, if he's the one inflicting drugs and small injuries on people, the least he can do is hold down the blood. "Rommy is a human portal.

"More or less," he answers, at length proportional to the difficulty of engineering the answer. He hooks the mug handle with his forefinger and thumb, glances down into its wobbling sea of ivory froth, the chunky topography of powder on it. "When we were kids, he used it to protect me. Anything that came for me would go out of him and vice versa. I got into a terrible fight when he was with Gia." His accent is creeping up like quagmire. He coughs it up, and is toneless again, squinting at cinnamon. "There was a gun, but it wasn't quick."

'The miracles. That's how we were going to get in and out…" It's murmurs very quietly, something clicking into place. She looks down though, the capped syringe now devoid of contents. She's mumbles under her breath, shaking her head before looking up at him. "someone shot at you and… it hit Gia instead.. through Romero?" trying to make sure she has the right of it all. "So your protected, and I'm protected and… some other people are protected. In case nothing goes right" Abigail shoo's his fingers away, no pressure needed as the mumble was a prayer and there's nothing left to put pressure on. "They can take our blood, doctors, make a vaccine from it"

Teo leans his face on the curl of his hand, the nails biting firm into the bone of his cheek and his eyes showing the blue of dirty chalk, elbow swaying on the table top. He lets himself be shooed away, of course: she knows what she's doing. All that's left on the underside of the tissue pillow is a streaked daub of crimson wedged between his fingers. He doesn't answer. That term rarely feels so far away as when he's thinking about Gia. Miracles.

"Did she know? What Romero could do?" after a protracted length of silence. The sleeve of her nightgown pulled back down, arm snaking it's way back into the robe. His cup of warm milk nudged in front of him. "You really think she's.. waiting for you to die Teo?"

The wobble of cinnamon landforms makes Teo remember that they are there and sinking. He glances up, abrupt, almost furtive or apologetic, sticks his face down into the level of the milk to drink down half of its volume in a gulp. "I don't think she knew.

"Romero and I, we thought it was a blessing. Some miracle." Miracle. "And didn't explain it to anyone. You want to know the truth, after I found out it was his gift and not ours, I was glad." He closes his eyes, pinches them tight enough to wrinkle, then opens them again. "Believed that meant he loved me more than he loved her. I still think he did. Doesn't matter— eh. I know it doesn't matter. It's over." He leans his weight onto his elbow on the table, pushes her own mug of milk closer to her with a callused forefinger and offers her the wan ruin of a smile. He really does think so.

A quarter of her milk disappears, traces of it left on her upper lip which soon disappear when her pink tongue darts out ot lick it off. "You'll never know, unless romero tells you, but… Accidents happen" Her hand tightens around the mug, looking down to where he'd injected her. "SO you run around, trying to make up for that, find some way to erase that sin?"

"Yes. No. Not exactly." Teo stands up with a rattle of chair legs on floor tiling. He pitches his arm over, casting the not-quite-immaculate square of tissue into the trash can recently emptied from the party clean-up. He offers her his free hand and lists his tousled head toward the living room. Couch, movie. "Accidents hap—" there's flare in his tone that fails to conclude in temper actual, his teeth meeting behind a brief, white line of his lips. "I goaded the shooter. I liked fighting, and I liked knowing what Romero would do for me. Something was bound to happen. If not to Gia, then my mother, a priest, the old man selling tangerines in Ballaro.

"I wouldn't have even given a shit about the old man. Not really. And I wouldn't come here if it was that poor bast…" His eyes march the circumference of the room like a soldier deranged by the lack of a war. "There's no erasing," he finishes, quieter, his head stooping a degree or five, as if apologizing for the note of tension that had begun to blare through his voice.

One hand lifts her mug to gulp down the contents, the other takes Teo's hand, letting him lead her to the living room and towards the TV for some movie and a lame attempt at sleeping. "Atone then, not erase" His hand is squeezed in hers. "Deckard's right you know. I can't heal everything. I can't fix your heart Teo, and what you've just done" a gesture to the discarded syringe on the table "can't bring Gia back, but… it's something. For now, for right now, we stop thinking of her" She shuffles, shifts, starts to lead him to the couch. For once she'll make him sit on it, if only so she can curl up, maybe lay her head in his lap to watch the movie. "Thursday… Thursday Teo. We just have to make it till Thursday. Drink your milk"

Couched, Teo's lap is available to rest on and his sensibilities are worn down enough by the millstone of existential terror and emotional exhaustion that he doesn't balk or marvel with overmuch ceremony at the tactility the woman chooses to show him. He drinks his milk and thinks about Thursday. Just until Thursday. On Thursday, he can have his pick of new enemies: Homeland Security, the Company, Christian's ex-partners, the Triads, any one of a dozen entities Phoenix had had to hold truce with. He finds the remote between couch cushions and presses Power.

That was the word Lucrezia had invoked when she gave him the syringes. Atonement. In his heart of hearts, he knows she hadn't taken any of the medicine for her self. Either.

For all she liked to call them the dark mirrors of their cleaner, brighter siblings, Lucrezia and Teodoro probably aren't doing a very good job of being selfish bastards lately. Or maybe they are: they agreed on one thing, at the very least. Wouldn't want to live in a dead world, anyway. "I'll ask Anne to teleport you out the second the fail safe is activated. The lightning storm," he intones quietly, dragging blunt fingers over her scalp, gently.

She should say no, tell him to not tell Anne. It's one of those things that wars within her. But she'd be useless when it came to the lightening storm. What's making it's way through her body and tricking her system into making more of it, is gold, and it combined with her ability… Priceless. "Okay" She'll feel more guilty about that later. Her arm bent across his knee's, head pillowed there, curled on her side. There's some infomercial playing. The sonic scrubber! only 19.99 gets you super scrubbing power, along with a little caddy! But wait! There's more. "I'm going to visit home, after this is over. I need to see my parents" Death, immanent death makes you object less to some things, and his fingers in her hair, is one of them. There's a few people who can get away with touching her. Helena, Teo, Alexander. "at least… I kissed a guy before I died"

"Magnes, right? 'The gravitationally-gifted pizza delivery boy?'" Despite the invocation of a rather silly moniker, there's little in way of rancor in Teo's voice. Which is not to say that there's none — he has kind of a bad way with territoriality sometimes. Erratically. The levels of superficiality or facetiousness vary with the depth of his real affection and a few other factors. Like whether or not they're fucking his aunt. It's stupid shit, mostly. Not that hard to switch off. He's a do what you have to do kind of person most of the minutes out of every day. Sometimes that means getting people to do what you want. Others, letting them do what they want. Flower pots or no. "Seems like a sweet kid. I should probably go back to Palermo to see mine, but I don't think I'll have time."

"Magnes. It won't go further. He's sweet" and Sweet is cute, but sweet isn't what she wants if she's ever going to look at a guy in such a fashion as other than friend. Abigail shifts, reaching over to take the control, start flicking channels, find something to watch other than the infomercial. "Palermo. Maybe i'll go there some day. Learn Italian and break some hearts. See all the hearts you've broken" There, gone with the wind playing on some obscure station and she leaves it there for now. "Is your aunt really Lucrezia Benatti. The movie star?"

Even the hand on Abby's head flinches then, albeit only slightly. All the hearts Teo's broken. He kind of remembers what they feel like beating bloody in his teeth. "Si. My aunt is really Lucrezia Bennati, the movie star. She taught me everything I know about poker, silverware, and drinking out of crystal. Mind you, I don't know a lot, but… She has a beautiful soul, you know. I know there's some bad air around right now, but it'll blow away. She was the only one who'd listen to me when I said I wanted to become a fisherman. Be at sea all day. Catch tuna in la camera della morte — 'the chamber of death,' those great elaborate labyrinth fish traps forty meters wide.

"Giant tuna. Big as you," stretching his arms out, measuring the curl of her torso on the red couch with his hands. "I wanted a face like raw leather and to name my boat after my wife. She humored me. Said she'd give me starting capital." His voice smiles slightly. It's only a little less morbid to speak of Lucrezia than of Gianina, but he'll take 'a little.'

"She's like this… beautiful hurricane. So .. there. You can't miss her" She twists her head, crane her neck enough to see his outstretched arms. "But you didn't?" Because he's not on a boat with weather beaten skin, wife, or even a boat. He's on a couch in the Bronx watching Scarlett bitch and moan about the state of her life while a blonde lays half across his lap. She almost tells him that she's sorry about Al and his Aunt, but she refrain. 'Would you break my heart? Would you take me to Palermo and onto a boat and break my heart? If I wasn't Abigail, gods healer"

On Teo's part, it comes and goes, whether or not he's sorry about Al and his aunt. Sometimes he's merely sorry he chose Alexander, how little it took to push the ex-soldier into the woman's bed. Other times, he figures he deserved the whole thing and he isn't really sorry at all. You skin your knees, you get up. Before you know it, you're running again, the new scabs splitting wet around the fresh stress.

He glances down and blinks her back into focus. "I found out I liked swimming with tuna more than killing them. Then I wanted to be a mechanic. And then I didn't want to be anything." Which is almost a self-fulfilling prophesy, he supposes. "Lucrezia accepted that too. She and Romero." Being a terrorist is like not being anything. There is no such box to check in the tiny gray immigration forms. His hands fall. "I'd take you to Palermo and show you how to drive a boat.

"You're too smart to give a boy like me your heart to break, signorina. Even if you weren't God's healer, and you weren't scared of dying. You'd be too fucking smart for that." Proper smile now.

"But you'd take me to Palermo and teach me how to drive a boat, sail a boat. That's good enough for me" Her chest expands with the deep breath as she settles again, gaze back to the Television. "How long have you had the antidote, in the syringe Teo"

Drive a boat, sail a boat. Teo corkscrews his finger in one bright yellow lock of hair. Motor-powered, wind-powered. "Not long. Things happen fast now." He turns his arm and her hair unscrolls in a flare of tensile strands. "I'd sooner die than break your heart," he clarifies idly, squinting up at Scarlett in her elaborate coif. He remembers fragments of this movie. They kill a child with a horse. "Hey. Would you let me follow you to Weezyanna and break mine?"

"Weezyanna" Abigail parrots back. Her body shakes a little at his way of saying it. "Yes. If I have to break a heart on purpose, i'd break yours. Take the dinghy and show you the island I'd sneak to as a kid" as if to some, she's not a kid anymore. "Moss, and trees with vines the frogs, bugs. It made the perfect hideout. Stars poking down between the holes in the kudzu. I'd break your heart there." She'd never really given it thought, but she knows what she'd do. "Then I'd introduce you to my parents who would hate you, because your not a good boy. They'd know. But you are a good boy"

Mosquitoes, he suspects. If there are moss and vines and frogs, the some of the bugs will be mosquitoes. Weezyanna and her cornsilk-haired daughter would eat Teodoro Laudani alive. "I would row your dingy," he declares in a chivalrous sort of tone that precludes the presence of raunchy euphemisms. "I see how it is. You'd break my heart first, then introduce me to your parents. I'm not sure what your logic is, ragazza. Unless 'break your heart' is slang for something sweeter or more sinister in the deep South." The lazy, ursine rumble of the voice seated in his chest fails entirely to take offense anyway. "I swear too much," he points out, in case she had forgotten. Her parents would notice that. Perhaps her parents would be right.

"Slang. But it'd still break your heart I think and I swear too much. Imminent death makes me loosen my principals. Not necessarily a good thing" Not that they've loosened too much. "Break my heart, because your not meant for me and I'm not meant for you and if… it happened… heart would be broken" Mamie is called for on the TV, the black personal maid in all her hefty glory coming onto the screen. "You'd reign it in for them, if only to avoid getting your ear twisted by my mother or soap in your mouth"

Slang. For something sweeter and more sinister. Which makes Teo sit still for a moment, struck by the revelation like a mallet through his head. They're talking about sex, then. Or something mechanistically similar that goes by a different name and resonates on an altogether different level than anything he's ever tried before. It's funny. Out of all the hearts he could or would break, he has the sense, the uncomfortable conviction, that hers is the one his boat should have been named after. He knows this, or believes in it, as deeply as he knows and believes that Gia was meant to be with Romero.

Abigail was like her. Knives and fists weren't the only physical reverberation that mirrored through the portal. Teo still remembers feeling Romero's heart beat like a drum when his girl walked into the room. "You believe in that sh—" excuse me. "Stuff? What — or who — 's 'meant to be?'"

"I believe in a lot of shit Teo. Sometimes I believe in that. My parents wouldn't like you though" And she still lives to please her parents as much as she can. "I shouldn't believe in it, but I do. Things happen for a reason, we're where we're supposed to be. God and fate play hand in hand" A point of contention between her and Brian and their different personal beliefs. Her thumb starts to stroke a path along the ridge of his kneecap. "Broken hearts mend Teo. Time, the right person. The right words. i'm babbling aren't I?" Abigail shifts, easing up from her spot on his lap to flip one hundred and eighty degree's. Her feet in his lap instead, slippers kicked off and the throw blanket that's draped across the back of the couch unfolded.

And, awfully enough, Teo lives to please himself. An impossible task, but therefore, not one he'll grow tired of or wear out any time soon. He puts his hands out, catches her swan-necked ankles deftly across his palms and pulls her feet in, to protect them, even as he scoots his butt out a few inches, his neck propped, bent on the red suede. Adjusting his perch, finally. Get comfortable. Thirty hours until the end of the world. Comfort is important, even if God wants you to die. If there isn't enough time for the right person, at least there is time for the right words. "No," he answers, twisting a look at her, a half smile. "I think you're just telling the truth. Grazie."

January 26th: No Takebacks
January 27th: Worst Lunch Ever
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