Beers on the Roof


curtis_icon.gif felix_icon.gif

Scene Title Beers on the Roof
Synopsis Curtis and Felix reminisce over beers on the roof.
Date April 25, 2018

The Rooftop of the Bunker

It's a quiet night. And cold still for being a month into spring time. A chilly 44 degrees out. Curtis is sitting up on the roof in one of the patio chairs, with his feet kicked up onto another one, and a case of Yuengling Black and Tan on the table, with an empty beer bottle sitting next to it, and a half full one in hand. He's got his phone out, but it's laying on the table, dark and he's just leaned back in his seat, looking up at the night sky, watching clouds slip past the starts, obscuring them for awhile before clearing the way for the celestial bodies to shine down again. He's alone at the moment, breath misting the air, not talking, just… sitting.

And then there's the sound of someone laboring with some big box - Fel's mostly obscured by it. Turns out that the grill alone won't do, there's gonna be a firepit, if he has anything to say or contribute to it. He sets it aside for now, not up to assembling it in the darker hours, and goes to claim another chair for himself. There's a grunt of greeting, but he's not going to immediately goad Curtis into chatter, it seems. Fel always was a close mouthed bastard.

Curtis hears the laboring, and he gets up from his seat to go and help. Curtis is stronger than he has a right to be. He's a big guy to begin with, but even he's stronger than he should be. He helps get the box to wherever Felix wants it, then goes back to the table and takes a seat. He doesn't speak yet either, but he does pull a beer out of the case, chilled thanks to the night air, and pushes it across the table to an empty seat, a clear invite for another who's not a big talker. Then he pulls a second bottle out, and with a small smirk pushes it across the table as well. Tonight is apparently a two beer minimum night. Then he puts his feet back up and grabs up his mostly empty beer, taking a few more sips to finish it off, the bottle put next to his other before a third is retrieved, the cap twisted off and tossed into the middle of the table to join the other two.

That grin is a quick flash of teeth - he appreciates the unspoken sentiment, does Felix. There's the pop and hiss of the top, the glint of a bottle opener. He must still have that old Swiss Army knife he's carried for ages. Once it's open, he lifts it to Curtis, intones, cheerfully, "Za vas," and then takes a long pull. Adam's apple bobbing, he finishes off a good half of it before he sets it down with a sigh of contentment.

Curtis turns his bottle slowly in his hands, watching condensation run down the outside. When he hears that hiss he glances to the side, a shallow nod of his head to acknowledge Felix's joining him at the table. His own bottle is lifted in response and held for a moment before he takes a long pull of his own from it, then rolls the bottle between his hands again, a contented look on his face. "Glad you're not dead." Curtis breaks the silence, though only briefly before taking another sip from his beer, watching the night sky above them. No more words from him, at least for the moment.

There is no knee jerk response to that. Fel's gravely silent for a little. "Thanks," he says, finally, with a curl of a grin. "Me, too. Glad you're not dead." DEspite the lilt of humor, it's clearly sincerely meant."Good to be here," he adds, after a swig of beer. He doesn't intend to chug them all, it seems.

Curtis meant what he said too. Sure there's a bit of humor to it, but he was being honest. It's a shared sentiment, between two people that know war is hell. "Welcome. And it is. A good place for old war dogs." Curtis puffs out his cheeks a little bit as he stares up at the sky, sipping slowly from his beer. "I couldn't give up the fighting when the time came. Hana gave me a place here. Got tired of the humidity?" He asks, slanting a look across the table at the other warrior.
The smile fades out, and there's a moment of that weary blankness. Fel tips the neck of the beer bottle at himself, gazes down into it. "That's part of it. I…I'd recovered from the war as much as I was going to, there. My parents died. I didn't have any more ties, I didn't like the climate, I missed New York, I missed having real work. And Colette….she's the closest thing I have left to kin, now."

Curtis tips his head slowly, a gentle nod forwards in acknowledgement. "No ties. Get that. Set adrift. Family isn't just blood though. You've got Demsky. She's a good kid. Smart. Tough. Glad you've still got some family." Curtis looks over with a small chuckle. "I hate tropical climates too. Always have. Hated running missions anywhere tropical. Ran em. But hated em." Curtis tips his bottle up, draining down a little past halfway before settling it back on the table. "Don't know how many more hunts we've got left. Tracked down a lot of the worst ones. But there's still a few holdouts that need tracking down, or digging out of their bunkers. We'll get to have some fun yet."

There's something old and cold in his face. "There will always be those for us to fight. We may track down the war criminals….but there will be others to follow them." It has a strange air of prophecy, though precognition was never his gift.

"True enough. But that's not what I meant. There will be more conflict. Someone will need people to fight it. Just not sure how much longer Wolfhound will be a necessity that the government allows." After all, they're a merc unit running around on US soil shooting and blowing things up. "Other people have told me to look past the conflict, for what I want to do when it's done. But they don't see that it doesn't stop. I've been fighting since I graduated high school and joined the marines. The fighting has never stopped. Slowed down at times, but never stopped. Not sure what I'd do with myself if it did." Curtis's broad shoulders lift in a half hearted shrug. "What about you Ivanov? Been fighting all your life? Or just most of it?"

"The government will always need deniable assets," Fel retorts, mildly. "Wolfhound won't dissolve when the last of those guys is rounded up, I betcha. They might rename and rebrand, but there's always been guys who go do what the government's standing forces can't afford to be seen doing on record. So yeah, you're right. You wanna keep fighting, you'll be able to." He pauses , sips from his beer. "A lot of it. Not all. I didn't want to be a soldier. I wanted to be a cop," He sounds only a little plaintive, mostly bemused. The idealistic rookie in the NYPD seems so very far away now, a part of his life seen down the wrong end of a telescope. "And I was. I made detective. But…..each step took me away from that. I was in the FBI. I was in FRONTLINE. And….my genetics made it so I couldn't just be the guy on the beat. I still can't believe it came to that, pogroms in America. I ran away from Russia as a kid because my mom knew the government would come for me….and I never thought it would happen here." He shrugs. "But it did, and I had to fight. Couldn't just roll over and let it happen."

"Especially now. They'll have to take down anything like the Institute quietly and quickly lest it become a greater problem. That's going to require disposable and deniable assets. Wonder when those projects will start back up." Curtis finishes his beer, scooping it up off the table and raining it down, putting the third empty with the first two, eyeing it a moment, not immediately reaching for another one. "Hey. Honorable. Serve and protect. I have a lot of respect for police officers that actually believe in the motto and the uniform. They put their lives on the line just like soldier. Well, in a different way. But they still do it." His head tips slowly again, a sad nod. "Yeah. I should have railed against it after getting my… self back. But I didn't. I was lost. My old friends and allies killed my grandfather. He was my hero all my life, who I lived up to be. But when I was undercover as Ash… my allies killed him. And as Ash I killed my best friend as … me. As Curtis. I was adrift. I needed something to hold to. Frontline gave that to me. Wasn't a good thing, but it… was a thing." He sighs softly and tips his head back to stare up at the sky.

He turns that blue stare on Curtis. It's full of….not pity, but a kind of understanding, at least. "I loved being a cop," he says, simply. "And being an Agent. I loved chasing down assholes that think they got away with fucking over people and proving to them it doesn't work like that. This…" A sweep of the bottle takes in the Bunker, "Is just more, you know? But I also found out that I like fighting. I really like violence. So maybe I wasn't as good a cop as I shoulda been. But….you're here now. That's what matters. And FRONTLINE was it was. Did some good, at least."

"Frontline was something for me to cling to. But it definitely wasn't what I needed. Should have been in a damn psych ward, not running around in super powered armor. But…" Curtis’s shoulders lift in another shrug. "Such is life. I guess. But I got to meet some new people there. You, Liz, Emerson. A few others. Was good. Helped me feel a little less like shit after killing Spalding. Spalding was the best friend I mentioned. Mentored me through a lot of my time in the Marines. I was supposed to be part of Frontline's inception alongside him. But the Institute and my grandfather had other plans. Fuckers." He laughs then, though not an amused laugh. A tired and bitter sort of laugh, and cracks another lid off of a bottle, fetching it out of the box. "You know, there's some truth in your word choice though. You said you like fighting, you really like violence. But you loved being an agent. I think the thing you loved is more powerful. Ever thought about seeing if you can go back?"

Fel nods, finally finishing off that first beer in a few swallows. He takes his time about getting to the second, looking thoughtful. "No," he says. Then pauses a beat, and clarifies, "Well, yeah. I've thought about it. But….I won't. I'll never trust the US government to not fuck over the Evolved again. I won't serve them directly. I'm not people to them, no matter what peace accords we've come to now. 's part of why I'm here, basically a mercenary now, and not a US soldier or Marine."

Curtis tilts his head forwards, and leaves it there, his chin on his chest as he thinks about that. "I want to trust them. Even after everything. I want to. But I know I can't. You're right. We aren't people to them. We're things. Rooks and bishops rather than pawns, but still dispensable. Fucked up world we live in Ivanov. But we're alive. And we're here. And a lot of others aren't." He raises his bottle up towards the stars in silent salute, then lowers it and takes a slow pull from it, sighing. "I'm not a terribly cheerful person to be around these days." Ash admits with a small smirk on his lips. "Melancholy and broody. Except when we're on the hunt. Different then."

Fel slants a dry look at him, from under those level brows. "Do I look like a ray of fucking sunshine to you, Autumn?" he asks, and his voice is raspy with dry humor. "I don't remember half my life, but I remember being repeatedly getting fucked over because of a quirk in my genome. Russia, America, Humanis First, the American fucking government. My family's dead, my lovers and friends are dead. The fight is all I got left," There's neither pity nor grandiosity in his tone. There isn't even bitterness - it's a matter of fact statement. HE shrugs. "And I like the fight, like I said. This is somewhat righteous, by some standard. But honestly….say Wolfhound kicked me out tomorrow, I'd go find somewhere else to do it and get paid." Then that grin curls his lips. "I don't even have ideology to do it for, now. I'm a whore, I fuck for money, not for love."

"A ray? Nah. At least two rays. I mean, made Colette happy as can be. So there's a ray. Made me happy to know you're still kicking around. So there's a second ray. And once the team sees you fighting they'll be happy you're there. So two rays now, and a third ray to come." Curt's response holding no small amount of snark. "I never felt fucked over before. It wasn't until the war that I hit that realization. And the realization that no matter what happened I wasn't going to be in the marines anymore. Even if we won I was going to get drummed out because of my grandfather. He's the one that put me forward to the institute as a candidate for their shenanigans. And like a good soldier I took my orders. And sure enough. I got a promotion to Captain, and the benefits that entailed. And then I was honorably discharged with a thank you for my service in the war." He snorts, a bitter laugh leaving him and takes a drink from his beer. "Whorehounds?" Curtis asks, with a small smile on his lips, amused even if it's the sad and bitter sort of amusement.

Fel laughs a little, and it's surprisingly not bitter. "That's true," he allows, tipping the bottleneck at Curtis. "Colette's alive. So are you. There's more to be done. I don't know what I'd do if true peace came. The war just kind of sealed it for me. That there is nowhere we're safe. There is no Israel for the Evolved, no place we can put our backs against the wall. America maybe, someday, but I doubt it." He rolls a shoulder in a half-shrug, finishes the beer in a few swallows, and gets up. "But I'm for bed. Training to do tomorrow. Good to talk to you, Curtis. I'm sorry about all that's happened, but….what can we do?"

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