Best in Show


felix_icon.gif leland_icon.gif

Scene Title Best in Show
Synopsis Leland and Felix are old pals. They catch up and go for a drink.
Date February 26, 2009

NYPD Headquarters, Biddy Flannigan's

It's only about a half hour or so from quitting time. The large, open room that serves as the offices of the NYPD Detectives is populated with a few agent teams. Not a full compliment by any stretch, but enough for the purposes of Leland Daubrey. There's plenty of witnesses.

The Bostonian detective starts at the far end of the room, one folder tucked under his arm. He wears a secretive, smug smile as he strides down the aisle between desks. Something tinkles in his hand. As he walks by the desk of Felix Ivanov, he flicks out something that sparkles as it catches the overhead light. Without pausing or looking over, a pink rhinestone collar is dropped around the Fed's coffee mug. Dangling from the collar is a bell and a heart-shaped black pendant with 'Felix' engraved in cursive letters. He just keeps on walking, back towards the break room.

A few of the other officers catch sight of the shiny, gaudy thing and start to snicker and elbow each other. As Leland enters the breakroom, he makes a barking sound. Laughter ripples.

"Fuck you. Fuck you very much, Daubrey," Felix says, looking up with a narrow-eyed, annoyed expression. He vanishes the collar into a pocket of his suitjacket with a stage magician's speed, and rises to follow Lee into the breakroom. Hell, he was almost done anyhow. "Long time, no see, you old bastard," he adds, as he enters, irritation and affection mingling on his face.

Leland is looking extremely pleased with himself. He grabs a cup and sniffs experimentally at the black as ink coffee that's been reducing all afternoon. He pours some anyway and waters it down with a splash of hazelnut non-dairy creamer. It smells foul and sweet and the cop doesn't seem to mind. "I saw the article where the mayor gave you your medal. I thought the winner of Best in Show deserved a little prize." The corner of his lip curls up. "The Mayor's favourite little Evolved cop."

Felix rolls his eyes. "It's a fucking token gesture. There's a hell of a lot of people who deserve it more than I do, and if I'd known it was coming I'd've refused it. They were just happy to have someone with a badge who survived the whole clusterfuck, even as HomeSec sold the real heroes down the river," Fel's tone could etch glass.

"Yeah yeah yeah. Fuck, Ivanov. If you're justifyin' yourself to me, you got a real problem, uh?" Leland claps Felix on the shoulder as he steps out of the break room and heads over to his desk. He lifts the cup of coffee to his mouth, sips, then makes a face. Apparently it's too far gone even for him, because he pushes the mug away.

"I haven't seen you in a do- in a long time," Felix says, more gently. "And hell, the instant coffee here is actually much better than what's been sitting and brewing. That stuff could clean an engine, really," He follows over, tread soundless on the carpet.

Leland taps the mouse a few times and looks from a stack of notes to the database. He starts to transcribe the report. He picks up the coffee, sniffs it again and makes a disgusted face. Ugh. "Listen. You know anyplace nearby that makes a decent damn cup of coffee? And I don't mean one of them frou frou Starbuckses. I mean, like a pub or something." He glances down at his watch. "Aw hell. Fifteen minutes and you wanna grab a pint? You can tell me how you saved the whole city, uh?"

"Yeah. There's this hippy-looking college student one a few blocks from here," Fel says, glancing back at his own desk. "Gimme a minute or two." He heads back, cleans up what little there is to clean up, and starts something printing. Ah, the neverending paperwork.

"Fuck coffee. I want a beer. After five and it's time for a little liquid relaxation." And Leland is still in a good mood over the rhinestone collar. Amused at his own cleverness.

He spends the next ten minutes or so typing up the report. Then he saves it and shuts down his computer. He grabs his coat from a hook on the wall. "You ready there, bow-wow?" It'll take awhile before he stops thinking the whole dog thing is fucking hilarious.

Felix notes, one corner of his lip lifted in a half-sneer, "You should be talking. Time was I damn nearly had you on a leash and choke collar to keep you from chewing up the perps," But he gets his coat. "Yeah, there's a decent pub not far from here. Kinna fake, but the booze is good."

"Yeah, but the difference between you and me, pup?" Leland punches Felix on the shoulder. "I'm an attack dog, you're a show dog." He sticks an arm through the jacket and hefts it up onto the shoulder. "Fake? I don't give a shit as long as the pints are cold. You done or what?"

"I suppose that explains why you keep trying to hump my leg. The cologne," Felix says, dryly, as he settles his coat over his own shoulders, lazily. "I'm done. What'd you do to get put on the freak squad. I mean, you're good police and all, but I'd thought you'd rather be doing harbor patrol or pawn shop division than working as part of SCOUT."

That seems to sour Leland's mood pretty quickly. He jerks the edge of his jacket and straightens the scarf around his neck. "What do you think?" he murmurs as he walks towards the desk to sign out. "This job's a fucking leash is what it is." So the dog metaphor continues to be stretched.

Felix checks out. "You pissed someone off," Felix says, with complete assurance. "What'd you do? You show me yours, I'll show you mine," he adds, still with that shadow of a sneer on his face.

"You? You didn't piss anyone off now, did you?" Leland's stride is long-legged. Well-shined shoes carry him quickly out of the police station and out into the cold February air. "Everyone loves the Russian Fed. Fuck." His lips purse into a thin line. This is the Daubrey Felix knows better. The one who looks like he's constantly ready to box someones' ears. "Which way's this pub, uh?"

"I'm in New York because I hacked off the SAC in charge in Seattle. He asked me where I wanted to be stationed, and where I didn't. Bottom of my list was NYC, so here I am. I pursued a case he was trying to put the kibosh on, handed it off to the SPD," Fel's shoulders are hunched against the cold, though one'd think with his upbringing he'd be used to it. "No, I'm the token minority. They basically dumped me back in the NYPD's lap because they weren't sure what to do with a special agent who was also a mutant. They couldn't just fire me without the ACLU being all over their ass, and my record was good…"

Leland can't help it. He laughs. "So. Fucked yourself over, didja? Why am I not surprised? You never could put a bone down, could you?" But as quickly as the cheery mood comes, it flits away. His nose wrinkles. "Me? I couldn't keep a handle on my temper. Got nearly written up for excessive force. Stuck me with this gig to try and make me play nice."

Felix just nods. No criticism there - Lee's temper's been a fact of life for too long. "It's not that bad. Shit's been so crazy we haven't been suffering for work," he says, mildly. "Good folks on the team…"

Leland gets quiet as they walk along. His hands are balled into fists and dug deep into the pockets of his jacket. His eyes darken and he looks ahead, trying to spot which way to go. "The pub's where?" he murmurs.

The Fed eyes him sidelong, with something that might be fondness. "A block or two," he says, mildly. It's funny. Being around Lee and his temper makes him all the calmer by way of contrast - falling into old habits of being the restrained one.

It's not hard to be restrained compared to Leland Daubrey. Hell, a prize fighter is positively zen compared to him sometimes. He speeds up his stride and moves mostly in silence until the bar's in view. He tugs open the door and tosses it back to Felix. "So. Working on anything interesting now?" He makes a beeline for the bar, like he's desperate for a drink.

"The mess on Staten. It's like our own little personal Afghanistan, only with less clothes on the women and a lot more booze. But definitely a nest for all kinds of crime and terrorism. A more wretched hive of scum and villainy, etc, etc," Fel says, cynically. He's shrugging off his coat and removing his tie. Apparently having to wear one nearly all his adult life still hasn't gotten him used to it.

Leland tosses his jacket to Felix. "Go find us a table, would ya? I'll grab the beer." No need to ask. He remembers. "Sounds like a fun place to go and bust some heads." Just his kind of action. He heads over to the bar and orders a couple of pints. He pays for the drinks and then goes to join the fed.

Felix settles into a seat, reflexively choosing the booth with the best view of all the entrances and exits. "I wish to god I'd had you with me when I got into all that bullshit with the Vanguard," he says, a wry twist to his lips. "Sure needed the old ultraviolence then."

Leland pushes the pint towards Felix, then slides into the booth. "Mmhmm." From that one noncommittal sound, he manages to say 'yeah, me too.' "Y'hungry?" He grabs the little laminated menu from between the salt and pepper shakers. "I'm fucking starved."

"Me, too," Fel says, calmly. "Food's good here, happily. What were you up to until you got transferred?" he asks, after a long and rather greedy pull from the pint.

"Narco," says Leland. He flags down the waitress to get a full menu. "Fucking lot of Evolved running narco these days. Least it seems like I got 'em a lot. Do you know how hard it is to chase down someone who can fly or freeze the whole bloody place or run really f…" he stops and quickly averts his eyes down towards the menu as it arrives. One's dropped off for Felix as well.

He can't help it. Lee gets favored with a broad, vulpine grin, before Felix says with exaggerated sweetness, "No. No idea at all." He reaches over to sock Leland in the arm. "Don't look like that. I don't give a shit about my stupid people trick, no use in you being sensitive about it. I'm a freak, but I like to think I'm a useful one."

Leland tenses his jaw and gives Felix a dark, angry sort of look. But it's not really anger directed at him. It takes awhile to interpret his different facial expressions. Most people just read it as broad, sweeping hostility. This? This is the anger of the inadequate. "Yeah, well you and all the others with their 'stupid people tricks' sure as fuck make my job a lot harder."

Felix's smile fades, and the look he gives Lee over the rim of the glass is somber. "I know. But now they're out in the open. They can be classified and dealt with. Not like back in the days where even talking about it had your superiors assuming you needed a psych eval."

"Yeah," says Lee. He stares into the golden liquid that is his beer. Scarred hands flex into fists and then relax. If he was a telekinetic, the glass'd be shattered into a million pieces right now. "Least we know what we're dealing with."

"They're going to institute tests, soon. Starting with those of us who work for the government, possibly expanding into all citizens," Fel says, tone carefully neutral, as he watches the bubbles rise in the pint glass.

"Hah," says Leland with that smile creeping back on. "Maybe they'll test me and find out that my ability to hate fucking everyone is my 'Evolved gift." He makes air quotes. Hey, he can sort of poke fun at himself.

"If that were a trick, half the NYPD'd qualify," Fel notes, before taking another eager pull. Trying not to to just inhale the booze, and it's clearly taking effort.

"So is like, is your metabolism all supercharged?" Leland takes a pull from a beer. "I read this file on this guy who could move real fast. He had to eat like, three times what a normal person eats in a day." Speaking of that. When the waitress comes, he orders the biggest, greasiest burger with fries and gravy. Health nut he is not.

Felix shakes his head. "Not like that. I'm in the high end of human normal. In my case, it's apparently an endocrine mutation. Superadrenaline. The catch-22 is that it depletes electrolytes, and tends to interact with my meds to give me lithium toxicity. 's why I have to be careful about using it."

Leland just blinks at Felix. He's not stupid, he just doesn't have a brain for certain things. Like a lot of those scientific words that the fed just bandied about. "English?" He curls a little smile.

Felix's expression is a little sheepish. "I don't have to eat like crazy. I'm on a medication for another condition, remember? If I use my trick, it makes the levels of medication in my blood spike too high, and it's like a quick and nasty drunk - I get incoherent and unsteady and nauseated."

"Well," a beat, "Short end of the stick for you, uh? I mean, what's the good of being a freak if you can't use your freak powers uh?" Somehow Leland makes 'freak' sound more like a term of endearment. He swallows a mouthful of beer.

"It's good that I don't come to be overdependent on it. I'm just a cop with an extra trick up my sleeve, not the Flash," Felix says, ordering a strip steak. "I'm not out there in spandex wearing my briefs over my pants."

"Thank fuck for that. No one seems to be taking it to costumed extremes. Else I'd be feeling like some kinda villain." Leland drops the menu down and swallows a few more mouthfuls of the beer. It's going down like water.


February 26th: Whiskey And Drugs
February 26th: Just Like Bogey
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