Back In The Game


cardinal3_icon.gif felix_icon.gif

Scene Title Back In The Game
Synopsis In a motel room wallpapered in deja vu, the shadows ask Felix Ivanov if he's back in the game.
Date Feb 17, 2010

The Mountcrest Inn, Brooklyn

It's one of those extended-stay places that hover in the no man's land between apartment and motel. The Mountcrest Inn - out on the edge of one of the seedier parts of Brooklyn. Fel's sleeping, or trying to, curled up in a barely visible bundle in the middle of the queen-sized bed. It's a strangely early hour for it, not long after most people eat dinner, but there's just the lump under the covers and a ruffled nap of light brown hair to be seen.

"Felix." Wake up. A hollow whispering about the bed, from a voice that's strangely echoing - and the echoes don't always miss the words spoken. "Ivanov! Wake your arse up, Fed…"

When he was a little boy in Russia, he slept with a stuffed toy wolf. His parents have it somewhere, one of the few things that survived the emigration from the USSR. It's worn and faded and much-loved.

What Felix sleeps with these days is considerably less fluffy and adorable, and much more dangerous. The curled lump abruptly flickers and resolves into Felix, in his pajama pants (a boring dark blue), and a pistol in his hand.

No, he's not happy to see you.

He's poised in the middle of the room, as if waiting for the threat to present itself more clearly. "Who's there?"

There's silence for a moment, before unseen a chuckle echoes hollow through the room. "We've done this dance before, Ivanov… a motel room, you asking who was there…" Here… "…Abigail's not kidnapped this time, but the strings still lead back to Linderman. Funny, really, how things repeat…" Repeat…

Fel half-collapses in relief, like one of those bead and string pushpuppet toys. That and the fact that he's shirtless just highlights how underfed and overstressed he looks - there are still the scars from the bullets he took in Russia. "Cranston. Jesus. You damn near gave me a heartattack. What about Linderman now?" By the tone of his voice, Linderman's just some minor annoyance, like a dog who's crapped on his lawn.

"It's good to see you… back in the game, Ivanov…" A shadow crawls up the wall; no shadow-puppets this time, not even a solid silhouette, but instead a lacy tatter of black, trembling dark-splinters that's barely holding it back together, "…I was starting to wonder." Wonder. "Forgive me if I don't offer to shake. A bit of… indigestion."

"Well, an atomic enema'll do that for you," says Felix. His expression's warmed a little, though the pale eyes retain that shadowed stare. "I'm fucking impressed. You did save the world, you bastard. You ever gonna be solid enough to shake hands, again?" He shrugs, the the play of sinews in shoulder and chest clearly visible. "I can't quit, I might as well stop pretending I'm gonna," he adds, tone leaden and blunt.

"I told you. We can rest when we're done…" A moment's silence as the torn shadows pull themselves back together, more coherent, "…and I don't know. I… hell, Ivanov, I'm barely holding myself together as it is. I don't even know if I'm still alive." Dead…

"You with us again, then?"

"Where else would I be?" Fel shoots back. He's in full 'grumpy old veteran' plumage today, apparently. "Some jackass is after my nearest and dearest, just like all the rest of us who survived the little party with the penguins down there. He pauses, frowns at something, and then asks, after a funny hitching hesitation, "Can you possess a body? A physical form? You ever tried?"

At that question, the shadow's silent for a long moment - and then Cardinal's voice stirs dryly, "Do I look like Kazimir?" Actually, he kind of does, at the moment. "I'm not a ghost Felix…" Yes I am. "I'd heard. Russia? Kozlow?"

"Hey, listen, Lazarus, you were the one wondering if you were alive or dead. Yeah. I was with Liz there. He's takin' it real personal, looks like," Fel's accent is far more Brooklyn than Moscow, at the moment. "And hell, try it. Might be what you need."

The idea about possessing a body is dismissed, or at least not responded to at the moment. "Wonderful. Have you talked to Jensen? He was Vanguard for a very long time, he might have some insights…" Sights… "Into this bastard. Although he did do us one favor, at least…"

Felix shakes his head at that. "They don't talk to me, Cranston. You know what I do for a living, so do they. Amnesty, my lily white ass. The government's gonna fuck 'em, fast or slow." He settles down on the bed, elbows on knees, gun dangling loosely between them. Felix and his highcalibre binky.

"Hah… true enough. Just like they'll fuck you, and would've fucked me if I hadn't died…" A hollow, cynical little chuckle from Cardinal, "…and speaking of, maybe we should give them someone worth fucking. I have a… long term operation you might be able to help with." Help with…

"They already fucked me, Cranston. But I signed on for that long ago," His tone is completely devoid of self-pity - flat and bleak as the iceshelf they visited. "So in other news, water is wet and France surrenders. What is it you want help with?"

"I'm nearing the final stages of a long-term infiltration of Daniel's organization… when the time comes to bring the house of cards down, I might need some help from the Bureau. Immunity from prosecution for a few people, that sort of thing…" Thing… The echoing whisper of the living shadow observes, "…you might even get to take credit for it. Get a second parade, or whatever."

Felix's lip curls at that. "I don't need another medal," he retorts, and each syllable is bitten off short. "Thanks. But if we can actually put away some bad guys, sign me on."

"Just the big one… Daniel needs to answer for his sins. I'm tempted to just give him over to Monroe, but this is a better way…" Safer… The shadow draws itself further together as he pauses for a few moments, "Thank you, Felix."

Felix lifts his chin. "It's all good, Richard," he says, easily. And that'd be the first time he's ever addressed the other man by that name. "Coming down the homestretch. And you'll get over being dead," he says, scratching his cheek with a fingertip. "I did."

A laugh - without any humor to it - answers those words. "Maybe I will. Maybe I won't. We'll see, we'll see. If you need me to help with Kozlow, just let Liz know…" The shadow spills down the wall, tattered splinters dribbling like ink towards the floor.

"You will," Felix assures him, though now he's speaking to mundane shadows only. His tone remains adamant.

Those shadows hold no answers, and Cardinal's isn't there any longer. But now that he's risen from the dead… he will be again.

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