Auld Lang Syne


audrey_icon.gif felix_icon.gif ziadie_icon.gif

Scene Title Auld Lang Syne
Synopsis Felix and Audrey run into an old acquaintance of Felix's. An acquaintance who can tell stories about him, apparently.
Date January 7, 2011

The Nite Owl

The Nite Owl is a survivor from ages past - one of those ancient diners with huge plate glass windows, checkerboard linoleum floor, and a neon owl over the entrance that blinks at those entering. Inside, there's an L-shaped main counter, complete with vintage soda fountain and worn steel stools. All of the cooking is done on the ranges ranked against the rear wall. The outer wall is lined with booths upholstered in cracked scarlet vinyl, tables trimmed with polished chrome. Despite its age, it's been lovingly maintained. The air is redolent with the scent of fresh coffee, vanilla, and frying food.

He doesn't have glasses, anymore, does one Felix Ivanov. And he's got a high and tight military-style haircut that's more like something a Marine would wear than anything he's been seen in before. More lines, more tightness around the eyes. But he's still the same skinny motherfucker he always was, seated in the booth across from Audrey. Blue eyes, starveling sharp cheekbones, nervous grayhound air. His overcoat is hung at the edge of the booth, and he's in a long-sleeved t-shirt and jeans.

He's so far been sitting at the counter, haphazardly stirring a cup of tea and every so often hugging a black leather jacket closer to him, but when Ziadie turns around, his gaze lingers on Felix, and on his companion. The former cop looks old, these days, would be the best way to describe it. A cane leans on the counter next to him, and instead of turning back around, Ziadie simply picks up the cup of tea and continues to watch.

"You going to order the whole menu again today Felix or you going to leave some food for me?" Audrey's tone almost acerbic in nature, tongue pushing against the back of her top front teeth as she tries to decide what she's going to eat. Pax is out being Pax and assigned somewhere and it's not time to kick her ass at ball yet.

She flips over the one sheer plasticized menu and goes over the offerings. "Jesus, where the hell would you put it all anyways? I swear you have two empty legs and a gaping eternal stomach speedy. I know where half the frontline budget goes. Goes right in your stomach with all the food they have to keep for you." Sarcasm. She means it nicely. Audrey glances around, habit really, eyes stopping on the older guy at the counter. "Someone wants to take a picture. Do we flash our badges?" She doesn't know Zia's a cop.

Fel looks up from his contemplation of the menu. "I….you know how my metabolism is," he says, mildly. "I can't help it. I starve twice as fast as normal people." He narrows his eyes at the mention of a picture, looks around hastily like paparazzi might appear from nowhere. And then his attention's caught by Ziadie in turn, and he stares back guilelessly. I know that face. "Sir?" he wonders of the older man, tone quizzical.

Ziadie seems a bit flustered at being addressed, as if he doesn't know what to do, and sets the tea down on the counter once again. Before bothering to respond, Ziadie sets a scarf on the stool next to him, which reveals the medals that are pinned to the leather jacket. Finally, though, Ziadie does respond. "Ivanov?" There's a tone of incredulity in the old man's voice, but he does not break eye contact with the younger man. Not at all. "Detective Ivanov?"

Why does this not surprise her. Speedy seems to know everyone, but at least this person seems to be sliding towards the sane and non-stalker pile of folks that Ivanov knows. Audrey slants a gaze to Ziadie, up, down, cane, medals, back to Felix as if waiting for an explanation.

Someone who isn't trying to murder him in one way or another. It's a relief. "Not Detective any more, but…it's a long story," He's not huffing about how Ziadie doesn't know what he's become. Frontline….well, that's weird. "Sergeant Ziadie!" he announces, with the reflexive pride of a child who's just remembered his lesson. His smile's a little lopsided, because…..well, Ziadie was another of the people he had to step on to make Detective as fast as he did.

Ziadie picks up his tea and his scarf, and slowly walks across the space to the booth, and tips a small nod to Audrey. "Either'f you mind if I sit?" He sets his tea on the table and pulls up a chair without actually waiting for an answer. As he pulls up his chair, a paper bag and a small plastic bag both fall out of the leather jacket and onto the floor, and he shoves them back into his jacket and sits down. He's seen better days, obviously, as has his clothing. As has the bottle he just shoved back into his jacket.

"Nope none at all, friend of Speedy's is a friend of mine." Usually, generally. Audrey gestures to the chair, even as Zia's taking up a spot, loosing belongings everywhere and picking them up. "Sargent? What precinct?"

He knows those signs, does Fel. The Russian's face is grave. There are a lot more lines on his face than there were last time he and Ziadie were face to face, and they're lines of worry. "Please, join us," He's also mellowed a hell of a lot, if his manner's any indication. The sneering young turk busily riding roughshod over the officers unfortunate enough to be beneath him is gone, at least to first glance. "This is Special Agent Audrey Hanson. We met while I was part of the FBI," he says, simply. "I believe he's been retired for some years, if I remember right?" he offers, tentatively. Which is why he's still alive. So many NYPD died during the Bomb.

"Retired sev'n years now," Ziadie says, nodding briefly. "'Fore that, Crown Heights." The older man picks up the cup of tea, and leans back slightly. Not enough that he'd become unsteady in the chair he chose and fall, though. His hands shake a little, but that might just be age. "Special Agent Hanson, my pleasure." Ziadie's speech is slow, and slurred, but at least he's not drunk right at this instant. "Nocturne Ziadie."

"Now that's a pretty different name. Makes me think you were born at night." Audrey offers her hand out though, to shake his. "Pleasure is all mine. Anyone who's stepped all over speedy here and lived to tell the tale, becomes my pleasure. You got any stories to tell of him that will earn me some blackmail? Because I'd sure like to hold over his head when he gets sour."

Felix goes all solemn and big-eyed. Like he does. "He knows a lot. I was a fucker when I was NYPD, Audrey," Fel says. Like he's Scrooge repenting for all the people he screwed over. "I really was. Getting tortured has improved my personality." He's serious. "The Sergeant knew me when I was a pup out in Spanish Harlem. Why the NYPD saw fit to station a cop who's bilingual in Russian and English on a beat in a Spanish speaking area, I never could figure."

Ziadie apparently can't help but smile at that, and perhaps simply at Felix's current demeanor. "You mean you regret spilling coffee on my desk full of paperwork at eleven at night?" he asks, before he takes another sip of his tea. When the tea is set down again, Nocturne pulls his jacket closed again. It probably doesn't even zip anymore, and odds are he'd rather not have anything fall out of it again. The medals are more clearly visible now, though. Two bars with the purple heart insignia and one commendation for integrity between them.

"And you're still not a fucker? I know some people who would disagree with you. Anyways. Mister Ziadie. How's retired life looking for you?" If the bottle that fell out and the jacket that won't zipper up are any indication likely not good. "What brings you around to here? and seriously. Blackmail stories, I need them."

"I say a rosary for it every night," Fel retorts in that Brooklynese accent. But he smiles again, and it's rueful. The blue eyes are very sad, though, and he folds his lips for a moment like he's biting back some comment. He shoots a look at Audrey. There but for the grace of God…."I'm a woolly and pettable lambiekins now compared to what I was when I got out of Academy. Remember Daubrey? We had a clearance rate on cases that still hasn't been matched, nor will it, and we were pretty much the most hated pair of detectives who weren't actual IA since, fuck, I dunno, Tammany Hall days." He speaks his former partner and then briefly lover's name without heat or emphasis. It's been consigned to water under the bridge, now.

"No clearance rate on cases'n th' world would make up for how much extra paperwork you caused, Ivanov," Ziadie says. "I reckon somewhere they're still clean'n' up 'fter you." Then he shrugs. "I don't know why I came back to the city," he admits. "Had to see what was on down here, I s'pose." The gravel of age creeps into Ziadie's voice, more than the usual bit, and if he saw the look Felix gave Audrey, he pretends not to. Or maybe he just didn't see it to start with.

"Christ, the messes he would leave me when he tagged along on DHS cases." She agrees with Zia. "So what are you up to. I haven't seen you here before and from the looks of it Speedy here hasn't seen you in a while." Audrey smirks at felix. "Woolly lambekin? Really?"

"Yeah. I shoulda stayed away myself. I was in Seattle, San Francisco, LA. I joined the FBI….and then they sent me back here," Fel allows. There's something in the older cop's face that's mirrored in his own. "I shoulda fought 'em, but your first couple years, they send you where they like. And then I got back here and fucked up things just like old times, until the Bureau could dump me on Frontline." He spreads his hands. "I know I should stay away, but…." He trails off. Something about New York. He flashes one of those too-broad grins at Audrey. "I am not kidding. I really am not. You know me. This is my mellow middle age."

Ziadie nods slowly. "Civilian life hasn' suited me much, t' be honest." Ziadie picks up his tea, taking another sip. "I ended up in Rome, upstate. Wasn't much of myself. Got …" Ziadie trails off. "I won't lie. Got arrested and sentenced to mandatory rehab. Life settled out there, 'ventually. It was okay." Ziadie continues to drink his tea. "But eventually I had no reason to stay. Lost my job, and a department pension's only good f'r so much, y' know?"

"Department pension only gets you so far. They expect you to make up the rest out of nowhere," Audrey murmurs, inward sympathy for the older man, but doesn't let it show on the outside. Rehab. Likley alcohol issue, if the bottle is any indication. Audrey's about to speak up when her phone bleats and the blonde lifts a finger, getting up from the table to take the call.

"I know," Felix says, gently. The…obvious influence of a guardian angel is ever more evident. "What are you doing now? Do you have somewhere safe to stay?"

Ziadie stares at his teacup for several long minutes. Something suggests that he'd been spending most nights inside of whatever 24 hour place happened to tolerate him, and as much hoping. "I'd had a truck, but that went to impound." Ziadie pauses. "It's harder a' find somewhere these days. Had somewhere, but they were lying about some stuff, an' I left." Ziadie stops watching his teacup, and watches Felix again. He doesn't say how he knew about the lying.

It was always sort of an open secret that Felix was a freak. Speedster….that's hard to hide, try as he might. Especially with his greyhound's compulsion to chase. But it's never occurred to him to wonder if Ziadie's Evolved. Not until now. The lightbulb going off is almost visible. "Listen. You can crash at my place," It's a juvenile way of phrasing it, from a middle aged man to his elder. "I have room."

The older man nods. He'd have nodded anyway, as he knows better than to argue with the younger. "Thank you." There's simple gratitude in the two words, and unexpected gratitude at that. Then again, the two of them have both changed a lot in the past five years. He goes as if to say something, and then perhaps decides against it. Ziadie will leave whatever argument he has for a time where there's no one else to hear it. Instead, he repeats himself. "Thank you."

There are a lot of platitudes he could issue at this point. But they'd be either useless or insulting, so Fel's silent. Instead, he holds a hand out across the table.

Ziadie sets the tea down, and grasps Felix's hand firmly. The older man's hand is weathered and rough, what as comes from hard living rather than from hard work. He then leans back again, and picks up his tea again, staring slightly at the empty cup before putting it back down.

"Good to see you again," Fel says. It's sort of a pleasant inconsequentiality.

Ziadie nods, and leans on his hand. His other arm still holds his jacket closed, and there's a sort of frailty about the old man now that's at great odds with everything else, and at greater odds with his past. "It is. 'S was quite th' s'prise to turn aroun' an' see you 'f all people," he adds.

"Sir, it's been a crazy few years. Like, if I tried to tell you, I don't know if you'd believe me," he says, and there's an unwonted gentleness.

"You've had a busy few years, I'd as much think," Ziadie responds, thoughtful. "I believe you."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License