deckard_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title Why
Synopsis Teo and Deckard go back and forth on the subject of their respective levels of cooperation with each other, the sanctity of Abby, and THE VANGUARD (it's dastardly). Also, other things. Like: Why?
Date November 25, 2008

A Safehouse Somewhere

Some hours after his Conrad-led escape to The Old Lucy, Deckard is still a little drunk. He's sprawled supine across the width of his bed rather than the length, arms stretched up over (under?) his head on the side that faces the door and socked feet hanging off the other. On the wooden slats beneath his open hands, a robust knife slumbers next to a wedged sharpener.

The room as a whole is sparsely occupied. The few gun cases he brought along are up against one wall. His clothing has been squirreled away in a closet elsewhere. There is the chair, the bed, and a fragile, dusty desk that he doesn't appear to have bothered with much. The steel of his briefcase glints dimly from beneath the bed.

As for Deckard himself, it's difficult to tell whether or not he's awake. His chest rises and falls with a slow, lax sort of regularity despite the awkward nature of his position on the bed, and the black of his oft-present sunglasses effectively masks his eyes. To make things even more contradictory, the door is open, but the lights are off.

Despite that the door is open, Teo knocks on it anyway. Sort of punches it, really, scar-notched knuckles drubbing the wood with the physical enthusiasm that frequently characterizes young men who choose to embark on the magical adventure of life in a terrorist faction. He's probably a familiar sight by now, X-rayed or otherwise, the metal plate in his head as distinctive a marker as his height and tendency to keep the vast majority of his winter outerwear on even when indoors, despite the ambient temperature secured to a comfortable level by central heating. "Buona notte," he calls. "Signor. Are you awake?" There's a box underneath his arm. It has pasta in it. There's a gun in his belt, too, as usual. That has bullets in it.

Jacket discarded at some point, Deckard is left with the brown leather strapping of his shoulder holster bared boldly at the ceiling. And to Teo. The ominous black of his own gun is visible at the grip, distinct from the lighter backdrop of a white dress shirt with a missing button when its scruffy wearer turns his head slowly to the door.

Company. Super.

There's a clench at his jaw — subtle, but there. He doesn't get up. He doesn't even roll over, content to stare at Teo upside down for the time being.

"I am now."

Italy at least has the grace to redden faintly, apologetically. Teo forgot it was 2 AM. He's a college student, it happens. Either that, or he was familiar enough with the kind of shoe-scuzz that thrives on Flint Deckard's rung of the social ladder to expect more dysfunctional business hours, among other things. Anyway, that's kind of an uncharitable way of looking at it, so he feels a little bad. Also for waking up the guy. Who looks like he's had a rough one, if the full garb and physical reticence. The presence of a firearm, though momentarily disconcerting, is taken in stride after a moment.

Literally. Teo steps in. Holds the box out above Flint's head, spaghetti showing a white tangle through the translucent bottom of the tupperware container. "I just came by to give this to you. Abby made it. It's pretty good. I can come by later for the other stuff." 'Stuff.' He has a dozen languages' worth of vocabulary, and that really is the best he can do.

"You have nice manners for a terrorist." Teo's air of apology is noted with a tilt of Deckard's head. Still the wrong way up. Maybe it doesn't make a difference when it's screwed on as backwards as it is anyway. "I wasn't really asleep." The spaghetti is taken, but the tupperware container is dropped dimly down onto the floor next to the sharpener once it’s acquired so that he can exchange it for the knife. Given his current proximity to Teo's knees and Achilles tendons, it may not be the most comfortable move for him to make. "Hope she makes a better cook than a bartender."

It isn't the most comfortable move he could have made, no. Not for Teo. Though a certain cultivated wariness of proximity and self-defense is the first thing that triggers, the Sicilian kindly refrains from overreacting. Wonders, for a hard moment, whether it would cause his unlikely guest more discomfort if he acknowledged it, or annoy him if he did not. Before that moment, he had not failed to notice that for all the prickly and the knives, it would've been easier to take him up on his offer to piss off. Or, alternatively shoot him.

Fortunately or not, the wheels don't tend to click too audibly when Teo's thinking; his skull's a little too dense for that, the fuzz that grows on it too blond. An eyeblink, and then he's done, legs folding lazily without to sit him on the floor, where he generally prefers. Deckard would have his jugular, now, if he hadn't settled an inch or three beyond easy radius. "I've been working on them for eight years." His manners. They've turned a little wry in the interim, but only a little. "I'm glad you like them." Sweater-sleeved arms fold pretzelled atop his knees, and he furrows his brow slightly; sounds almost indignant, when he asks, "What's wrong with her bartending?"

The knife tip tacks down audibly into the grain of the wood floor, digs a little, and lifts away again so that Deckard can inspect the nick that's left behind. There does not appear to be any scientific purpose behind this, unless one considers defacing semi-public property a science. The point is more that he is not bothered by Teo's nearness for better or for worse, as unrufflably himself as any of Jane Goodall's apes under close study. The knife is folded. Some groping around the region of his belt is necessary to find the proper place to put it, and then, with some awkward shifting so that his head isn't quite as vertical and in danger of filling up with blood as it was, he settles.

He has his bed, Teo has his jugular. Everyone's happy. "Nothing, if you're the kind of guy who likes to call in your drink orders before you go so that she can have a head start."

For all the Ferrymen's cantankerous guest may enjoy pretending, he isn't an ape, and most of those are bright enough to know they're being watched. Still, Teo registers his intent a moment later, and almost smiles at it; doesn't, mostly because he doesn't welcome stab marks in the floor of a place he helped to bring to working order. The next moment, he lifts his head from watching the blade. "I have no idea what that means," he admits. "She wanted to see you when I told her, gave me a message to pass along.

"But I take it you two managed to sort out your shit in person." The confrontation didn't go well. Teo is super perceptive! He figures that out. And volunteers, after a moment's uncertainty, "I was supposed to thank you for her. For saving her life." He manages to say that with a straight face, and everything. It takes effort, but it gets done. Broke her nose to save her life. Sure. Abigail's faith in humanity is a rare enough species to preserve.

"She thanked me in person," says Deckard, who has to tip his head a little awkwardly to keep Teo in clear view. "Gave me a kiss." Monkey he may be, but a monkey hell bent on poking every other monkey he has to deal with pointed sticks until he runs out of them or pokes the wrong monkey. His right hand stretches up/down to retrieve the sharpener, which is then flipped lazily over at the desk. "Does that bother you?"

"No," Teo says. Then he continues, verbal pace slightly staggered, "We're not…" Then he stops speaking entirely and frowns in the dark, unsure if this ludicrous vein of conversation is something that deserves pursuit, or if it might end up in a sinkhole or a mineshaft — or if, perhaps, it would be rude to dismiss it entirely. "She likes you.

"Contrary to popular opinion, she doesn't like everybody. A kiss was the least she could give to a man who saved her life." If he's aware of any salacious connotations to that particular system of transaction, Teo doesn't show it. The edge of his shoe drags, scuffing the surface of the floor before he manages to configure them into a cross-legged Indian style. "That kind of begs the question, who'd be an asshat enough to kill Abby. Among other things." Slouching, he looks up like a curious schoolchild.

Deckard seems to have a thing for ludicrous. Given that his whole life can be fit neatly inside that single descriptor lately, it's probably not much of a surprise. "I'm likeable," is his response, logical enough if…they…were talking about someone else. Given his propensity for finding things in dark and miserable conditions, probably better to just conversationally steamroll around in broad daylight. In theory. But he doesn't elaborate on the nature of the supposed kiss, or the conversation around it. His sharply honed investigatory skills have detected that this talk is trying to head somewhere else, and he turns his head as if better trying to determine exactly what that direction it's headed in. Black sunglasses reflect pale light from the hallway with the turn, and he rests his right hand across his chest. Closer to the gun.

"Got something to write with?"

Teo leans onto one butt-cheek to get at the notepad in his opposite pant pocket, ever one to be cooperative, despite the tenebrous intimation one might get shot for one's trouble. It's nice to be the co-leader of a thing to somebody who you view as nightmarishly competent. Permits you the beginning of a conviction, that even if you died a wasted death in some slum box in the Bronx because a pathological monkey man felt like it things will be okay. Either that, or Teo doesn't think Deckard would shoot his face off because Abby likes him, and Conrad seconded saving him, and because of the man's other poorly-concealed saving graces.

How is Abigail doing?

Teo flips the small, lined pad of paper at Deckard's chest, aiming albeit lazily for the holster, overhand. A pen emerges second, the cheap ballpoint sort you'd get a dozen of for two dollars; is offered from out the gap between forefinger and thumb.

Flop. The pad lands on Deckard's chest, half atop his hand. Flop. He lifts said hand just enough to send the pad back down to the floor in front of Teo. "I already have it all written down, Goombah. If you want a copy, cramp your own hand." His hand falls somewhat conspicuously right back where it was. He would certainly like to think he might shoot Teo's face off, at least. And if Teo tries to shoot his face off after he's squeezed him dry, well. They may both wind up with a few holes in fun new places.

"There's a guy named Ethan. He's shorter than me, but not short. Kind of going bald, but trying to hide it by shaving his hair down, like he's going bald on purpose. Cockney. Seems to be the ringleader, so far as I can tell. Knows how to fuck with people's heads."

Leaning forward, Teo eases out two hands, palm up, catching the notepad an instant before gravity brings its trajectory to intersect with the floor. "Who is Goombah?" He isn't looking up as he asks it, biting down on the cap of his pen to free the nib, in time to start jotting as the other man starts to describe. The mildly uncharitable description of 'Ethan's hair loss process inspires a slight sine curve to Teo's eyebrow but goes otherwise not remarked on. A decade of diligent schooling rallies forth bristling various and sundry relevant skills: bullet points, short-hand, a rapid adjointed font, questions saved for last. None forthcoming now. A scintillating deduction from Deckard's use of the term the ringleader, Teo gathers there is more.

"He has a square jaw, tough shit attitude. Condescending, but not unfriendly. Second guy is Asian. Around the same height, longish black hair. I don't know his name, but there's definitely something wrong with him. He's creepy — off in the head. A psychopath, maybe. I don't know. He shoved a guy out of a building and shot a kid right in front of me without breaking a sweat. I've seen him a few times, with and without Ethan. Evolved." Deckard says the word slowly, as if it's one he doesn't actually say very often. It tastes a little strange on his tongue, and he squints at Teo from behind the guard of his glasses for a few seconds before continuing. "Something with shadows or teleportation. One second he's there, the next he's nothing. Then he rematerializes. It's weird. Third guy I've only seen once. He was white, I think. I was blindfolded, so." He drags the knuckles of his left hand over the nick in the floor he made earlier. "Had some serious eyebrows going on. Should see somebody about those. He picked me up with his mind and threatened to rip open my rib cage. Don't know his name. Took orders from Ethan. Fourth guy…" Fourth guy is interrupted by the aforementioned left hand sweeping up to press into his brow, as if thinking this hard is hurting his head. It's probably more likely that being semi-upside down and wearing sunglasses all the time is hurting his head, but he doesn't actually do anything about either of those contributing factors. "Fourth guy is named Amato. Blonde. Pale. Made my bed, went through my porn. Some kind of clean freak or something. Fifth guy is named Elias. He's Evolved too — a teleporter. Shaggy brown hair, smiles a lot. Made me a drink."

On they go, nearly as rapidly committed to memory as penned in Teo's handwriting. Boys. Insane boys: the frat house of horror, to all evidence, described by distinctive traits the likes of which would probably have been close to fatal for Phoenix if he'd done the same to them for the benefit of the Vanguard. The note about eyebrows trips up his pen, hitches his brows, brings the younger man to a pause. A long one, which necessarily precludes Teo writing down the rest of the description, but he doesn't have to. He scribbles down five letters instead, rakes an underline below it.

Sylar. He would add a string of OMGs and lady shrieks after it, probably, but then there's Amato. He has to write down Amato. He writes down Amato, and then his pen stops moving, the sudden loss of its incessant scritching emptying out of the already Spartanly-personalized room.

The named ones sound familiar, between Alexander's description and some other incident he can't put his finger on. Either school or the bowling alley. Amato is an Italian name. Their band seems even more politically correct in its membership than Phoenix's, apart from the fact that there are no girls. His gaze drifts briefly toward the gun cases on the wall. "They don't have any women?" he asks. His voice is tight, but even, which is good. He suspects, if he was a little more awake, he'd be crapping himself.

"Well…yeah." There's a, 'duh' hidden in that pause, and Deckard wrinkles his nose at upside down Teo. Aren't all terrorist cells equal opportunity employers, these days? He scratches his chest, possibly (but probably not) having forgotten why he dropped his hand there in the first place, and allows himself a whiskey-tainted sigh. "Two, that I've seen. One of them is a maybe. The one that isn't a maybe is psychotic. Wanted the Asian guy to cut my balls off. After she kicked me in them. Medium height, thin, dark hair. Severe-looking, if that makes sense. All of these guys have been thirty to forty, by the way. The 'maybe' is younger. In her teens, if I had to guess. Short, dark hair. I've seen her twice. The first time she was with the Amato guy when he offed some chick in a fucking bowling alley."

The top of his face, glasses and all, is briefly masked behind the bones in his hand, which also serves to obscure any crapping-himself reactions in Teo that might be more visible on a pulmonary level. Crazy people. They're…crazy. When his hand comes away, so do the glasses, folded lax in his grip to expose the spectral blue burn of bioluminescent eyes Teo has already seen once before. "That's it, as far as personnel goes."

Disconcerting. Not Deckard's eyes. Teo blinks his own, his own irises a shade of blue that is entirely sapien rather than supernatural. Occasionally, you could almost start to believe that there are things out there in the night that there wouldn't be during the day.

Nevertheless, he squares his shoulders like a proper little soldier, studies the long lines of the older man's possum-face, and scrapes the other logical queries out, then. What sort of resources they'd shown up with; how and what they'd paid Deckard himself; what intelligence had been conveyed to them with Flint's wire; what other contacts they have; a little bit of articulated detail on their abilities, the threats they posed, the tactics employed.

Teo's hand is cramping by the time that's through. He stands up suddenly. Suddenly enough that Deckard might think, for a moment, that QA is done and the kid's going to piss off and leave him be, finally, but he latches onto the room's solitary chair, backward, drags it over to perch himself on. He doesn't mention the muscular symptoms Deckard was presenting aloud, of course; he wouldn't want to embarrass either of them. The specters of a dozen new amorphous fears refine themselves to a hundred fresh questions and, after he looks down at the dim spread of paper for a moment, finally boil down to just one.

"Why'd you change your mind?"

Sudden movement has been anticipated from the start. Certainly, it comes as no shock to Deckard, who only has to twitch long fingers so far to clutch them tight around the grip of his gun. It's drawn, but not expressly pointed, after Teo. The bleach of his knuckles and the thin line of white that marks his bared teeth betray the slack confidence with which he tries to hold the weapon's threat. Even on his back with a reversed view of his surroundings, he is prepared to fight about as casually (and fairly) as a cornered wildcat with a spotlight's mirror flashing in its eyes.

But there is no fight. Teo retrieves a chair rather than a gun or some as of yet unknown evolved ability. There is no fire or lightning. And so, though there is definitely a gun, and there are definitely fireable bullets in the gun, there is no gunfire.

Wiry muscles corded taut, Deckard watches Teo take a more comfortable seat without blinking. As there exists a myriad of unasked questions here and now, the one that does get asks evokes a variety of unspoken answers. .45 still tilted coldly at the ceiling over Teo's head, Deckard takes his time in choosing which one he wants to go with. "I don't…like owing people favors."

Teo is not renowned for being careful, where paranoia can at times imply such but never make promises. He notices the firearm being drawn, don't get him wrong. Fail — in large part — to freak out about it. Obscurely, he's made the decision that if he had been threatened with death-by-castration by characters such as those freshly depicted on his notepad, he'd be jumpy too. The seat isn't particularly more comfortable for him. It had been his vague and unfinished thought, that it would be more comfortable for Deckard.

"That doesn't explain anything," he remarks, after a moment spent deciding whether or not to simply ask Deckard to fucking put that fucking thing the fuck down. "Connie's going to have this to hold over your head for awhile." Silence laps in, bleating against the hard stuff of the barrier between people like an enervated and impotent tide; his gaze drops to the page cluttered by his dense handwriting, and he nods down at it. "You're not helping yourself by doing this. I think." He thinks Deckard would look less nervous doing it, if he was.

There is a pause. It isn't pregnant. A little annoyed, maybe. Deckard continues to eye Teo. The fact that he does so in a highly unnatural and penetrative fashion makes the intent behind the stare difficult to translate, but slowly and creakily, he rolls himself over.

The gun does not go away.

As carefully as he can while the finer points of coordination continue to elude him, Deckard pushes himself up and around to drag his legs over the side of the bed under him. He's stiff. Still tense, sore from failing at proper use of a common bed. Middle-aged. Regardless, he's back at eye-level with Teo again, left hand braced against the bed at his side while the right lifts the gun to scratch just a little bit carelessly at his scruffy temple.

"What difference does it make? You have me here. You know what I know. You could kill me yourselves. Poison my meals," a socked foot curls over tupperware down below, "throw me back to the wolves. Whatever's coming from Conrad, I can take. These guys…" he shakes his head just a fraction.

The bullets just won't come out. Over time, the prickling tension donated toward the awareness of that fact begins to run low. Teo flattens his mouth, without specific displeasure at the attitude of the response nor the lingering threat of getting a cap put in his ass, but an expression of effortful thought. He's fairly easy to read, whenever he isn't lying on purpose.

"I'm sure it's tactically relevant somehow," he answers, at length. Corollary to this scintillatingly intelligent response, he raises his right shoulder then drops it, a half-shrug of rue. His shoes slide apart against the floor, right knee stretching, to dig his heel absently into the notch Deckard had carved into the floor moments before, conveniently forgetting he hadn't wanted that there.

A meaningless fidget. "Or some shit like that," his eyes revert downward, then back. "But I guess it's the kind of question you don't know what difference asking makes until you hear the answer, so…" His cheeks puff out around a soundless sigh. Captain Articulate, Teo is. "I asked."

"If you're worried," says Flint, resigned and uncharacteristically patient while the gun finds a place to rest across his knee, "I'm sure Brian would be more than happy to come over and beat a more convincing answer out of me." His eyes flicker over Teo's face, subtlety of study lost with a gain in fine perception. He's quiet again. A minute passes. Two. The gun gapes soundlessly at Teo across Deckard's knee, forced into harmlessness by a finger that prefers to remain hooked around the guard rather than the trigger itself.

"Did you bring me here because I was Evolved and in a shitty situation, or because you thought I might have information that could help you?"

Silence for a beat. Then, "If you were trying to throw in my face how awkward it sounds, parsing questions that have painfully obvious answers that some sentimental asshole would like to hear, then mission accomplished," Teo says.

His voice is wry, his gaze inclined to drift lower than the level of the handgun's humorless maw. He makes for a rather abashed terrorist on the best of nights. He hasn't been having very good ones. His mouth tightens. Despite the relatively straightforward options Deckard had balanced in front of him, the possibilities expand on a fractal the closer he looks at their component parts.

Who you is, whether Evolved is supposed to imply he isn't, whether or not this information could help him. Them. He summarily ignores being stared at, or the bit about Brian. Deckard already knows enough to get himself killed; no need to saw the end of the plank off.

Teo is somewhat tired and not very bright, so it takes him a moment to answer but he does look like he's trying to think of one in the duration, which hopefully precludes being shot or chastised. "I brought you here because you were in a shitty situation. I guess I wouldn't have noticed that you were in a shitty situation if you hadn't been doing research that could help me. If I had," he looks up. "I'dve done this anyway."

Tick. The safety is armed. …Tick. It's flicked back in the direction of death again. The corner of Deckard's mouth twitches slightly upward, and he sits back. Just a hair. Enough to insinuate a shadow of genuine amusement, which may or may not be preferable to the grim tension that has defined him through the conversation thus far.

"I don't do research." Research is boring. It implies a certain directed, scientific interest in a group or phenomenon. Tick. The safety is compressed. Tick. Back the other way. "I pay attention. I'm a salesman." That's offered as if it's supposed to be an explanation, and Deckard pushes to his feet. Restless, now that he's no longer lying down. "I watch people. But spying — doing research — that's something else."

Not strictly relevant to what they were discussing. Tick. The safety again. Which way? Hard to tell — his hand shifts to cover it again while he pads over to the desk. "Not a wise policy decision. Dragging in every helpless retard with a gun to their head. Eventually someone's going to tattle."

Abruptly, Teo grins, shows a little bit of teeth. "People die every day," he points out, possibly the closest he's come to unkindness since they've met. The remark may seem irrelevant, but it isn't: he has few quandaries about what Hana Gitelman or Noah Bennet would do to protect the Ferrymen from hostiles both from within and without. The Sicilian is almost getting used to the incandescent lambency that comes and goes from Deckard's eyes.

Blue in the darkness, he doesn't appear discomfited by the sudden disparity in their altitudes again. Grin fades to smile. "Or maybe we are discriminate, and you made the cut, eh? Humility does you no good, signor." Only then does he remember to put the notebook away. Shifts on the seat of his pants with a sound of friction and fabric, reaches behind to jam the wad of paper into the back.

Deckard's eyes light on the desk, distinct from the rumpled stack of his silhouette while he drags open a drawer and paws through it after…a bottle of booze. The contents are shaken, and the resulting slosh is weak enough that he thunks the bottle down on top of the desk and continues his search until he finds a second one. It's heavier. Satisfactory. The process has an air of blindness to it, the way he listens and weighs instead of turning each bottle against the light from the door, but he has no trouble navigating his way back to a post near the bed.

The gun is holstered along the way, with a final 'click.' Unscrewing bottle caps requires the use of two hands.

"If you discriminate, I can't help but think we're back to the whole using me for your own gain thing, unless you aim to convince me that my charming personality and dashing good looks won you over after weeks of extensive discussion and review."

There has to be some kind of physical irony in this: that Deckard's gun finally goes away just as Teo's hand brushes past the one tucked into the back of his garb. The younger man might even notice said irony on some level, but the titillation is too far gone for him to appreciate its mitigation.

Automatically, his nostrils flare as if to catch whiff of the vapor that escapes the bottle when it opens, but there's none to be caught.

Arched as he was to store his notepad away, he relaxes then, shoulders squaring parallel to the chair's back. "There's no need to talk about it as if it's a thing. It's hard for me to ignore somebody who needs help when they're being hard to ignore, and they've done me a good turn, aren't likely to betray. You do it. Abigail's yours. It might not be wise, but it's hardly incomprehensible. May I have some?" No segue. Perhaps it was intended as an ambush.

The brush, if it's noted, passes unacknowledged. Deckard no longer seems worried, but then, it's hard to look concerned for your life when you've just officially placed refreshing your blood alcohol level above having a gun at ready on your list of personal priorities. The cap is unscrewed. The bottle is tipped back. Vokda is bolted down.

He coughs and clears his throat, free hand swiped lazily back over his mouth. His smoking of late makes the process sound particularly horrible, but he doesn't seem to notice. Just draws himself back up straight again, takes a deep breath, and holds the booze out at arm's length for Teo to take.

"Abigail isn't mine. She belongs to God. Just ask her. And there are a thousand reasons I could be helping you, not the least of which is that the people I described to you want to torture and kill me." That's a lot to say after suffering a minor coughing fit, and Deckard quiets long enough to pull in a coarse breath.

"Thanks, though. For the time I've been here that you haven't fucked me over in."

Over time, a would-be Catholic boy might come to resent the inconsistencies that associating with characters like Flint Deckard evoke in him, aghast one moment, indifferent the next, noble then opportunistic. Until then, it suits Teo to be self-ignorant — and that might well be parcel with the same mediocrity, really. If you're often enough two ways, you might as well rot in the middle. He takes the bottle, eyes Deckard from over the nozzle for the moment before he takes a pull.

Hacks a cough out, too. Sounds like an engine discharge, but only once, brief, followed by a long, low breath. He doesn't argue with that. It's none of his business, if a bloke insists on advertising himself as a remorseless and irredeemable prick.

That's private business. Trust him on this one. He'd know. "I always thought there was something implicitly teleological about Evolved abilities," he finds himself saying instead, sort of a mumble, glancing down at the label. "Or perhaps a self-fulfilling prophesy of nurture over nature— I don't think there's a difference. Abby heals. Of course, Abby heals.

"You…" the bottle is boosted up at Deckard by its neck. "See through shit, but not everything." He offers a smile, that is the sort of lazy that comes with people who replace their 't's with glottal stops and drop the 'g's off the ends of words, slangy and provincial. Teo isn't going anywhere particular with that thought; he had merely been listening to Deckard manage the darkness. "Grazie, and you're welcome."

If you try to fuck me, I will fuck you back. One of you. Some of you. All of you. On the heels of gratitude, Deckard has courage enough to level a look at Teo that says something along those lines while he resumes control of the vodka. But it stays there. His luck is not pushed into the realm of threats made verbal and recordable. He punctuates the sentiment with the sound of the cap being screwed back onto the bottle and drops the finished product back onto his bed. Slosh.

"Being able to wonder if something is teleological is inherently teleological. If you ask me, whoever is in charge got bored and decided to throw in a few special effects. He just…you know. Over did it a little, in Midtown. I've been there, though. I can sympathize." So don't worry, God. Flint's got your back. Sarcasm makes a bumpy transition from the menacing that came before it, and Deckard works his jaw against Teo's speculation.

"Most things."

It's a brave look to confront a sitting high-school teacher with, to be sure. Teo would probably look more impressed if he could see it better. As it is, he acknowledges the glare with a frown that approximates respect, or as much so as your slightly below-average twenty-six-year-old is capable of manifesting. He doesn't feel particularly threatening, right now. He isn't sure if it says much of him or less of the corner Deckard's been backed into, all the bared teeth and hackles.

At least the gun has gone away. "I think one could say the same thing about coincidence," Teodoro answers, after a moment. "All of the most godless sciences promote wonder. Skepticism was founded on it, I think. The scientific method symbolizes a certain commitment. Maybe you're talking about something different," he lags into a murmur, and halts to silence. Brief.

"Thank you for helping us," he adds, irrelevantly.

"There's coincidence, and then there's — Ok. Look. I left school like twenty years ago. I'm not having this conversation." Whatever that means. Deckard scruffs both hands over his head, which doesn't work much better than the shot to ease the ache muffling through his skull. "The reasons don't matter. Shit happens and you have to deal with it." As a last resort, his eyes muddy grey over blue. The glow that so clearly marked the line of his glare fades dull and vanishes entirely while he squints back at the bed. And booze.

Teo's thanks earns a tip of his head. Even lazier than a shrug. And that's about it.

That means someone has a chip in his shoulder that dates back at least two decades, as far as Teo can tell, but he isn't one to wheel his chair up real close and pick at it until the details bleed out.

"Of course the reasons matter. You fucking asked me for mine. We went back and forth on it for five minutes," he points out, faintly irritable, as if that's proof; as if people can't, don't talk of nothing and anything merely to relieve the oppression of silence, internal and external, to pass the time, to psych each other out before forces larger and imminent interrupt their petty games with defeats worth mentioning.

Teo is reminded of those, then. And, finally, starts to hunker himself off the chair, hands on his coat, receding inside the tangibility of fabric and cold. "Do you want me to bring headache medicine next time? Anything?"

"Reasons matter when we have control over what happens. If you only pulled me in here to rack my brains for information you aren't going to give a fuck what happens to me now that you have all of it. I need to know so that I can plan accordingly." Deckard doesn't necessarily get mad or emphatic. He just gets kind of loud. The volume of his voice increases while the tone remains level, as if he suspects that single adjustment will somehow make him more comprehensible in his slightly deranged entirety. "Christ. Just…bring me something to read."

Teo doesn't generally enjoy being yelled at, and he generally takes to it like a dog cuffed around the ears. Whether thanks to the vodka or the rough week, however, his jaw finds a stubborn line instead. He kicks the chair. It stumbles to a halt two feet away, and he recenters his balance adroitly.

"Whatever!" because that's mature. "You're failing completely to make me hate you, amico." His tone falls somewhere between the sneer that would imply Deckard unworthy of the effort, and an obstinate, childish sincerity akin to Abigail's bared-tooth determination to… be herself. "I hope it reassures you that I give a fuck." Not even he could distinguish his sarcasm from his sincerity at this point, if asked. "I have a shitload of books. Later, then." He starts out, raising an arm in salutation.

"Fuck you," is delivered at a flat remove. It's really late, and it's only with a great effort of will that Deckard manages not to 'whatever' Teo right back.

He scowls instead, old irritation lining out across his forehead when he turns to drop himself back down onto the foot of his bed. He sits there dumbly while Teo makes his exit, with no sign of reprise until the younger man is already out the door.

"No pictures! Bring me real books!" is called out as an afterthought, and he turns to lift the vodka bottle out of his sheets by its neck.


November 25th: The Radio Star Is Dead Again

Previously in this storyline…

Next in this storyline…

November 26th: Just Ask Alice
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License