A Friend Indeed


felix_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif

Scene Title A Friend Indeed
Synopsis A slightly tipsy conversation.
Date February 19, 2009

Somewhere in Little Italy

She called, and once more the two vigilante cops find themselves meeting for dinner. Elisabeth offered to buy this time, since Felix picked up the tab last time. It's late, and she suggests a little Italian place just down the road from Piccoli's Deli — though the deli probably would have suited just as well. It's always packed, though, and Liz doesn't want to deal with a crowd. Dinner hours are somewhat compressed, what with curfew at 9. She sits at a table awaiting her dinner companion with a glass of wine in front of her, half empty already.

Fel comes in, as prompt as usual, in his usual neatly tailored suit and overcoat, attache case at his side. For all the world just another businessman on a casual dinner date. He drops into the seat across from her and offers one of those wan, crooked smiles. "Hey, Liz," he murmurs, setting the case down with a little more care.

The blond sends one back his way, the glass of wine having begun to ease the tension of the day. "Hey yourself, Felix," she replies mildly. "How's life treating you?"

He shrugs, even as he removes his coat, hangs it on the hooks on the side of the booth. "Okay. Still haven't brought in Sylar," he says, as if it were a personal failing. Might be, in his eyes. "Still trying to scout out what's going down on Staten. I've run into some troublesome people there. An ex-Vanguard, that poor bastard Deckard. I'm fairly sure he's not guilty of what he's wanted for," he allows, with a sigh.

Elisabeth nods a little bit. "I wasn't even sure you'd get the message about dinner, honestly. When you said you were going out to Staten, I figured you'd be going undercover or something." She tilts her head, and admits softly, "I sent someone out there too. To look for Abby." She hasn't even articulated to herself why she hasn't packed up and gone over there personally yet. For now, she's just blaming it on 'too much to do' and 'been turned down for the run'. It's easier than admitting she doesn't want to go over there and shatter whatever small hope remains in her that her friend survived. "You'll find him. And if you don't, *someone* will, if he lived. I have faith in you." She pushes a menu toward him, taking another swallow of her wine.

"Thank you," Felix says, gently, even as he takes the menu. "I've had an eye out for her, myself. No sign, as yet. I shouldn't go there as much as I do. That picture in the fucking papers didn't help," He pulls an annoyed face, as he notes that. "I'll likely end up lynched off the gable of some whorehouse if I keep trying. Man, that place is a fucking pit."

There's a flinch at that, though Elisabeth nods slowly. "Yeah…. the reports coming out aren't pretty at all. It's been recommended that until I can walk and *not* look like a cop, I shouldn't go," she comments. And then grins slightly. "Your descriptor there just reinforces that idea, I think." She leans back in her chair, the silence bubble sliding into effect effortlessly now. "Of course…. sometimes I think being lynched over there would be better than what I'm doing here." She grimaces. "Fucking Homeland Security dogging my every step, running in people who don't deserve the kind of trouble they're getting handed." She shakes her head. "If Agent Marks isn't pretty damn careful, I'm gonna shoot her fuckin' ass and leave it in an alley. They won't be able to trace it to me, either." There's a tone to her voice … one that says in spite of the fact that she's smiling, she's dead serious. Her blue eyes have a flat quality to them.

Felix rolls his eyes to the ceiling. "Yeah. Talk about it. What're they on you for? Your boss rat you out, or just general suspicion? Who's Agent Marks - only one I've gotten up close and personal with is Parkman," He makes a face.

A swallow of her wine, and Elisabeth replies mildly, "Neither. Just being a general pain in my ass. I had a run the other night with that bitch — five guys jumped the National Guard contingent delivering generators in Harlem, stole three generators. She seemed in agreement with me that of the three that were stolen, there were grounds to negotiate and let them keep one of them. Hell, she even let 'em run off! The leader, DJ, was an Evolved, and we let him go once he helped us return two of them to the soldiers." She shakes her head. "And then she fucking tracked him down later and ran his ass in. And yeah… it's what should have happened, I guess. They did try to STEAL 'em — but shit, given the situations on the street right now, I'm just not inclined to run in every person who does something desperate, you know?"

"No, you can't," Felix agrees, quietly. "I mean, broken window policies work great when things are normal and you have enough cops on the ground, but shit, no. Not now. And you sure as fuck don't bring in the ones that cooperate. There are never enough informants." Says the man who's the son of a KGB agent.

When she looks at him this time, it's with all new appreciation. "Thanks, Felix…. cuz I swear to God, too many damn people out there just flat don't seem to get it. I just…." Elisabeth's smile this time is just a bit sad. "I love this job. And I hate it at the same time right now. I keep wondering what the hell I'm *doing* out there."

Felix orders a soup and sandwich combo, as the waitress appears, and then looks back to her. "Protecting and serving, as best you can, sounds like to me," he says, mildly. "Homeland Security doesn't seem to understand how intel works. If you want info from underground networks, you don't jump all over the first little fish you catch. You send them back out, and let them bring you the big fish."

Elisabeth blows out a breath and orders the soup and sandwich as well, with another glass of wine as she finishes the first one. She's clearly intending to go off duty tonight and stay there for a good eight hours. "Sorry to unload on you," she says quietly after the waitress is gone. "Seems like we only call each other when shit's hitting the fan or we need decompression." Liz grins at him, amused at a thought that passes through her head. It's one of those 'heeheehee' kinds of smiles that just makes her shake her head at her own whimsy.

He offers a hand to her, over the table. "That's okay. I was a cop, I understand. Better than you snarling at your kids or beating up on your spouse or crawling into a bottle," Clearly, he's teasing. "What're you smiling at?"

Elisabeth squeezes his hand and starts to laugh. "Well, …. I was thinking it's too bad you're not straight, cuz this is generally about the time I fuck up everything in my life and find a new guy to bed, Felix."

He gives her a look that's a mingling of bemusement, and something puckish and sly. "I've played innings for both teams, let's put it that way, Liz," he notes, drily.

That makes her giggle even harder, somehow. Maybe it's the glass of wine she consumed before ordering. "Oh Lord, don't tell me that, I'll fuck up our friendship entirely and make a pass or something. I've done it three different times before, you know," she says around chuckles that get a little waterlogged. Embarrassed, she yanks her hand from his to reach up and wipe the tears, arranging her face in an amused expression instead of anything else.

Fel pats her hand, gently. "I….you're a beautiful woman, and I'd make you miserable in quick succession if I were your lover. Three times….messed up another friendship? Or made a pass at me?" he wonders, going a little owl-eyed.

Okay… that's it. Elisabeth totally loses it. Hysterical laughter pops out of her, and it's several long minutes before she can regain control of herself, out of breath and red in the face. "Hun, every lover I've had has made me miserable. Right up to my current — or rather, most recent ones, who both went off in January and died on me. So… I'm not sure you could do much worse," she finally says. She smiles at him. "I was actually thinking I might hit up an Army major I met recently… he was pretty damn good-lookin'."

That has Felix making a face. "Time to change the pattern of men you choose, I think, kid," he suggests, before turning to pour cream into his coffee. And then dump unholy amounts of sugar in - he brushes away a spill, impatiently. "Army major, huh?" He's still blushing, a little.

Elisabeth chuckles again, more softly now. "Yeah…. a career criminal-turned-hero and a cop-turned-vigilante just didn't quite cut it. Then again… I've dated an investment banker, a Fed, a lawyer, two teachers, and …. well, several cops." She looks thoughtful. "Although, to be fair, the only ones I've really dated have been the lawyer, who I almost married until he cheated on me, and the cop-turned-vigilante, who died on me. The rest were just….. stress relief." She grins wickedly. "And for that, any old cutie'll do."

"I can hardly blame you," Felix says, drily. And does not volunteer that his own last lover was a college student-turned terrorist. Some things should remain veiled by obscurity, as it were.

Elisabeth glances up when their soups arrive, along with her wine. "Hey… I'm free, white, and over 21. And cops don't make good long-term bets, so eh." She grins at Felix. "And don't mind me tonight — clearly I've already had too much wine and should stick to coffee. It's bad when a single glass goes to your head and makes you chatty Cathy." She rolls her eyes expressively. "But it's this or seriously shoot that woman." She grins at him, again with the wicked amusement. "I belted her in the face today. It was fabulous. We were sparring. I lost… choke hold. But she's gonna be sporting a serious mark tomorrow. Which makes me feel better."

Fel gives her an arch, amused look. "I know. I've dated a cop or two in my time. I'm amused that you're such a cheap date. You hit her sparring. Good deal," he says, shaking his head. "What a vindictive little creature you are," he teases.

Elisabeth slants a glance at him and smirks. "Welllll…… let's just say that it's not the one glass of wine that's the problem. It's probably the four beers I had with Darius before I got here. And yes… I am a vindictive little bitch sometimes. I like it that way."

Fel whistles at her. "That explains a lot. And not as cheap as I'd thought, clearly," he says, shaking his head. "Not that I can claim otherwise, myself."

Elisabeth grins in amusement. "I'm not drunk off my ass… just feeling a little good. For the first time in weeks," she tells him. "If I were drunk off my ass, I'm not entirely sure you'd want to be anywhere around me. I have a feeling I'd be a sloppy drunk just about now." She picks up her spoon and starts to eat, glancing at him. "Seen anything interesting over on Staten? Besides the fact that it's a pit, that is."

"There's a wonderfully decorated whorehouse I hid out in for a night," Felix says, drily, as the waiter comes ghosting up with their entrees. "Happy Dagger? Lucky Dagger? Something like that."

Elisabeth chuckles softly. "Do I dare ask who you pissed off so early in the game that you're hiding in a whorehouse to get out?"

Felix notes, "I had a drunk informant with me, and a couple of guys with ready knives giving us the eye. I can fight okay on my own, but I wasn't sure about defending the guy with me. So, we ducked into the Dagger. He slept on the bed, I slept on the floor. Didn't cost me too much more than a night at a pricey hotel,"

"Why did you say it that way?" Elisabeth's tone doesn't contain anything except pure curiosity.

"Because saying I ducked into a brothel and leaving it at that make it sound….nefarious, at best," Felix says, in a drawl, eyeing her. "There was one bed, I was hardly about to share it with a drunk man or the hooker du jour."

Elisabeth snickers softly. "Uhm, well, I suppose…. but you made a point of telling me that you slept on the floor. I didn't realize that you cared so much about my opinion of your sex life, that's all." Her tone is gently teasing, not being mean.

Fel's momentarily at a loss. "I suppose it does. I've never paid for it, and don't intend to start now," he says, wryly, picking up his fork and toying with it.

With a quick smile at him, Liz says, "It's funny…. I think you're the only person I've even remotely felt at ease with in weeks." She ducks her head a bit and tears a bit off her sandwich without looking at him. "I just wanted to say thanks… for, you know. Hanging out sometimes."

"You're more than welcome. Nice to hang out with an actual human being, as opposed to someone connected with the job," he says, wryly, reaching over to pat her hand again.

Elisabeth turns her hand over and squeezes his, looking back up. Now the amusement is back in her expression. "Interesting that you see me as a person first and a cop last," she tells him mildly. "I like it. Cuz lately? All I seem to be is a cop — first, last, always. By choice, mostly," she admits. "If I got stuff to do all the time, I don't have time to be freaked completely out by what's going on around us."

He hesitates, a little. "I know the feeling. The faster I run, the less time I have to think." He links fingers with her. "Ad I need someone to remind me that I'm human."

Elisabeth's smile changes a bit, to a somewhat more … wistful? one. "Yeah. Don't get me wrong, I like working with you, I'd trust you at my back any day of the week and three times on Sunday. But these dinners we've been having? They're the only bright spots in my whole week. Everything else just pretty much sucks."

Fel nods. "Same here. I work, I exercise, I sleep. Not a lot of social contact," he says, shaking his head. "I got invited to a few of these swanky parties after I got that medal. What a waste of time and good wine. The people…..so false."

There's a snort of laughter at that. "Yeah," Elisabeth says. "My folks used to hang with some of the political hoi polloi in this town. They both hated it, but it was good for their business. I used to go to a number of those things — and I hated every second of it. Those people are pirahna in Prada."

"Reminds me of the parties my mother used to go to, back when I was a kid," Fel says, lips curling back to expose the tips of his teeth. "The big Soviet muckety mucks. Everyone afraid to say anything untoward, lest they come and get you for it after."

Elisabeth nods, squeezing his fingers where they lace through hers. She seems reluctant to let go in spite of the fact that it's difficult for either of them to eat soup and sandwiches that way, but finally she does so and starts to eat her soup again. "You know that's what it's going to turn into nowadays too… unregistered Evolved are going to be scared to death constantly of being chucked into maximum security. Disappearing." She grimaces. "I caught up to the kid who started the New Year's tenement fire. He was about to throw himself off the top of a building because he was so damn scared…. and some other Evolved asshole was also putting WORSE thoughts in his head than the poor kid already had. Just…. a huge mess."

Fel shakes his head. "Why would he DO that? Like it's not hard enough, being what we are? Do we have to turn on each other?"

Elisabeth shakes her head. "I don't know. But I let Homeland Security have his ass without even blinking, honestly. It was the young pyro that concerned me. He was scared to death, Felix. And Parkman was with me on the run, so I couldn't even …. honestly, I'm not sure I *wanted* to get him out of trouble. The kid's powers aren't in his control, and he *is* a danger until he learns them. And that sucks more than anything else." Maybe it also explains why she's drinking today.

"That's hard," Fel says, quietly. "The little things they can use for justification…..that kid needs help, but not jail time. Or being disappeared…"

"That's what he was most afraid of. He kept telling me and Parkman he didn't want to 'disappear,' he wanted to just be close to his mom." Liz sets her spoon down, her appetite shot again. She's dropped a good ten pounds in the last three weeks, not much of it affordable either. Right now she merely looks svelte, but it won't take much more to hit gaunt. She picks up the wine glass to sip from it slowly, and then sets it down to gesture for a cup of coffee instead. "Poor kid's power erupted New Year's … it was so cold then, and the blizzards were just starting. The tenement didn't have heat, and he said he was just always so cold, wishing all the time for it to warm up." She smiles a little. "Funny how it seems to work for some of us… we get something useful or something related to our mindset somehow."

That has Fel looking oddly wistful, pale eyes distant. "I…huh. I don't remember for wishing for it. It just happened. I remember the first time I did it in front of someone. The look on my father's face…."

"Yeah… I don't remember wishing for it, either. But it came in damn handy during 9/11 when I could calm crowds and stuff." Elisabeth shrugs a little bit, taking the coffee cup from the waitress and sipping from it. "Was your father unhappy with your power?" She grins just a little. "I only just told my father about mine. He was…. surprised. And shocked. And … kind of afraid for me, given all this."

"My father was afraid. The state would take away the Evolved, experiment on and with them," Felix says, solemnly.

Elisabeth nods a little bit. "Guess we're always afraid of what we don't understand… and those in power use it as an excuse to run their little experiments and try to gain more power," she comments softly. But she smiles gently at him. "I'd love hearing about your parents, if you feel like telling me a little." As he talks about his memories of his parents, Elisabeth settles in to share anecdotes about her own parents, keeping the rest of their dinner on a far more pleasant note.

February 19th: The Search For Cally
February 19th: Not Going To Kentucky
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