You Could Do Better


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Scene Title You Could Do Better
Synopsis Lucrezia shuns a swift return to the Phoenix nest in favor of paying Sonny a visit in order to lavish him in tough love and bind his wrists in the silk threads of her scheming. Sonny is sullen and adorable.
Date July 3, 2009

Solstice: Sonny's Home

The apartment is large, sprawling and appointed in a cooly masculine, modern style. The entire far wall is made up of windows that reveal the drifting snow outside. The floors are a deep hardwood, the furniture leather. The modern, shining kitchen is open concept. There's a winding staircase to the left that leads to a small hallway, with two bedrooms. The space is open and roomy - perfect for entertaining high profile guests.

Funny how Sonny's doing the same thing here that he was doing at the safehouse. Staying put, keeping his head down, puttering. It just so happens that this safehouse has a concierge, secure elevators, a pool in the basement and a sweeping panoramic view of the city.

He's mostly been killing time catching up on some paperwork, working out, watching movies. Moping, but in an active way.

Right now he's waiting for Lucrezia to arrive. He was more than a little surprised to get her call, but given she was willing to come to his turf, where he can summon security, well, he has little to lose.

He stands by the window, clad in a pair of black slacks and an untucked white collared shirt, tumbler of some amber liquid in one hand, a cigarette in the other. Funny. He never used to smoke.

The sound of what must surely be feminine knuckles rapping against the other side of Sonny's front door interrupts whatever sort of temporary reverie the young man had slipped into just prior to her arrival. Lucrezia lingers in the long, private corridor outside of the suite feeling more than a little bit out of sorts, although she still presents herself with that quiet grace and dignity that Teo never could manage to master.

Sonny isn't drunk, but there is liquor on his breath when he does open the door. And a halo of cigarette smoke that doesn't really become the air of boyish charm he tries to maintain while in his public persona. He tilts his head at Lucrezia, then motions inwards to his well-appointed condo. "Would you like something to drink?" His tone is even, quiet, polite. Formal, even.

Clad in a spring green, short sleeved V-neck and a pair of plain blue jeans that were probably purchased at a discount store or even (perish the thought) secondhand, it seems that Lucrezia's fall from grace has come complete with a remarkable wardrobe change. Her long, dark hair has been pulled back into a slightly unkempt ponytail but that, at least, can be blamed on the wind. Apparently, neither of them quite look the part of the roles they're meant to play— in public, at any rate.

"That would be lovely," she says, slipping into the apartment on cheap fabric flats. "I'll have what you're having." Her gaze lingers, perhaps wondering, but she doesn't tack on any additional words just yet.

Sal only gives minimal eye contact as he closes the door behind her. "You sure? I have just about everything else." All top shelf, of course. As he moves towards the barely-used, well-appointed kitchen, he crushes out the cigarette and exhales a last mouthful of smoke. Unless she indicates otherwise, he pours her a tumbler of the scotch he's drinking, refills his own and then motions to the living room. "I won't ask a stupid question like 'why are you here?' when the more important question is, what have you come to tell me or to say to me?" He says this politely, but it's clear that the politeness is hard for him to maintain.

"Quite sure," she says, mustering up a smile that seems to conceal the barest hint of pity in the corners of her mouth. Even if she did secretly long for some other sort of liquor, she finds the novelty of presenting herself as a scotch-swilling Sicilian too tempting to resist; it isn't a lie so much as it is an experiment.

"I wanted to speak to you about Teodoro." Big shock there, eh? "And offer you an apology." Now, that might be worth blinking at.

"What did you want to say about him?" says Sonny. He's retreated. It would be easier for someone who knows him well to see, but even Lucrezia should notice that he's being more abrupt, more guarded and cold. He's emotionally numb, and it shows.
He lifts his own tumbler to his mouth after handing over hers. Well. At least it's premium scotch. "What would you apologise for? If you're apologizing for him, don't bother."

Lucrezia's smile, although small, remains ever present, even as she takes her first sip of scotch and lets the amber liquid's smoky flavor smolder on her rolled tongue before she swallows with a sigh. "I know he's hurt you," she offers in generous understatement. There's a brief pause insert between sips before she says, "He hurt me, too.

But, I didn't come here to apologize for his behavior. I wanted to make amends for mine." And yet, despite the preface, she doesn't really appear to be mounting up the breath or the effort to embark on some sort of long-winded explanation; she simply lets the words hang as they are, unamended, before she physically allows for a bit more breathing room to be had between them and seeks out a seat on the couch. "How much do you know about what has happened of late, Salvatore?" A loaded question if ever there was one.

"Lucrezia, if there's a specific point to this visit, I'd appreciate it if you'd get to it. I don't have the energy this." Sonny swallows a mouthful of the scotch. Clearly, he just wants its numbing effects. There's no savouring of the flavour. "I know he's been possessed by himself from the future. Which makes it all that much fucking worse." He would have preferred it if it was some outside, evil force. A lot easier to hate. He could paint this whole situation in black and white.

"This whole thing has made me realize I don't fucking know him at all." Those words are mumbled as he looks out across the city. He takes a long, deep breath. "I don't want to talk about it if that's what you came here for."

Fair enough. Lucrezia never wanted to talk about Cyrano, either, every time Teo insisted on bringing him up. The Italian woman understands, even if it does kibosh a fair chunk of her smokescreen. Truth be told, she would much rather be sitting in Sonny's swank penthouse being given the cold shoulder than return right away to sit alone in the apartment she's been borrowing from his terrorist friends. "Stop feeling sorry for yourself," she abruptly chides the lip of her glass before daring to romance it again after such seemingly harsh words. "I dare say you could do a lot better than my nephew…" Da— damn.

"I can't believe how readily you seem to sell yourself short. You're a doctor, for Christ's sake!" Mercy! A Catholic taking the Lord's name in vain. This surely must be v srs bsns, indeed! Dark eyes lift and light on Sonny's singularly unique features; he's wearing his own face for once, lately, which is more than she can say for certain other people. Herself included, maybe.

It's hard to read Sonny's reaction at first. His jaw works to the side, his hand grips tight on the tumbler. He lifts his chin. "I'm starting to realize that." What? Yes. "I deserve better. I deserve someone who isn't going to cheat on me, who is going to open himself up to me, who doesn't want to keep me at arm's length from his life. But we don't exactly pick who we love, do we?" He keeps his body angled away from her and avoids eye contact. If her words sting, he doesn't let it show.

"And regardless of whether Teo and I have any kind of future, he still needs help. Help I can't give. Help…" He grits his teeth. "…fuck, how the hell can anyone save Teo from himself? I've been trying to do that for months."

Instead of making the man any more uncomfortable by keeping him held under such sharp scrutiny, Lucrezia silently averts her gaze to what remains of the alcohol currently being slowly swirled around at the bottom of her glass. When the topic of Cupid's indiscriminate aim comes up, however, she ignores the obviously rhetorical nature of the question and says, "No, we don't." The mild and meek tone of her voice speaks volumes.

"I stopped trying years ago, carino, but not because I stopped caring. The thing you must realize is that the only person capable of saving Teodoro from himself is— himself." How cliché. But, more importantly, how terribly true. Lucrezia once again offers Sonny the opportunity to speak only after she applies another curious comment to the awkward overlay of the conversation. "…and I think that is precisely what God has given him the chance to do now. Quite literally, in fact." Well. Huh. That's one way of looking at it.

Sonny stays silent after she finishes speaking. He swallows, Adam’s apple bobbing slightly. His lips purse into a thin line. "I can't help him. Everything I've tried to do has fucked up, backfired, made things worse." He says this in a dull, detached way rather than in a tone laced with self-pity.

"He's so angry. I didn't think Teo was capable of that." But then he stops. He's opening up to her. He doesn't want to do that. His posture changes, his shoulders square. The walls are up. "Did you really come here for some kind of… emotional support?" The words are a little harsh. "Why do you care, Lucrezia? You don't know me."

The spider queen's reply seems so simple when compared to the otherwise convoluted conversation they've been having so far. "Because… I would like to." Know you— know him, that is. After she's finished off the rest of her scotch, she sets the glass aside and then asks, seemingly non sequitur, "Do you mind if I smoke?" Nevermind that fact that it was obvious when she arrived that he seemed to be entertaining an identical vice. It's just the fact that she's asking that might to apt to astound.

"I'd still like to know why you're here, Lucrezia. I'm not really… keen on being pals with you." Sonny knows what she did, with Al. It's one of the things that got he and Teo together in the first place. He's not sure if he should thank her for that or not. "Do you want my help with something? Or is there some other reason you've come?" Yes, Teo did eventually tell him about her insects. The distrust is evident. He's a man with a lot of secrets. A lot of secrets she knows. Well, at least he's getting defensive now instead of moping. That's… something?

"Fair enough," she concedes. Since Sonny hasn't seen fit to throw her out yet, however, Lucrezia interprets this as permission to fish around in the small cloth bag laid against her thigh on the couch cushion in order to retrieve a very pretty piece of silversmith craftsmanship — a cigarette case etched with floral filigree. "Your friends had asked me to find out what I could about the goings-on of a company in New Jersey called Pinehearst…" Her fine fingers very carefully pluck one of the black-papered coffin nails out from its polished bed but before she places it between her lips, she offers a bit more explanation.

"If they're going to achieve the goal that they're after, they'll definitely need your help."

"What the hell can I do? I'm a plastic surgeon." Ah, there's the self-pity back again. Sonny moves to the coffee table to retrieve his own cigarettes. They're just in the ordinary paper package. The fact that he lights it with a match rather than even a plastic lighter shows how this is a newly renewed vice. He hasn't smoked like this since he was an intern.

"They're Teo's friends." Which is part of the reason he's not in a rush to go back to being Sal Silvatti. Being in Phoenix right now is a bit like being ditched at a party by the only person you knew there.

If possible, Lucrezia will try to procure a light from Sonny's shared match, even if that means reaching out to quickly borrow him by the wrist and lean in before he can flick the flame out. If not, then she'll settle for her own lighter-derived fire without any objection. Not even an eyebrow raised. "You're more than that. So much more," she says, letting the rich smoke snake out from her mouth like wine spilling from an open skin. "Tell me something. Have you ever… worn the face of a woman?"

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