Breaking Point


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Scene Title Breaking Point
Synopsis Felix decides to haunt an old friend's apartment.
Date January 14, 2009

Le Rivage — Judah and Colette's Apartment

It's early evening, and the last rays of the sun are slanting through the bay window. And there's a ghost in Judah's apartment. At least it hasn't been rude enough to help itself to the coffee or the food, or disturb anything other than the locks on the door. Because rather than loiter in the hallway for any passing neighbor to see, Fel's jiggered the locks, then carefully redone them once he was in. He's sitting quietly on the couch, reading 'The Three Musketeers', clad in his old black overcoat, white shirt, gray trousers. He looks oddly younger, some of the lines earned by all those years in law enforcement somehow erased.

Judah's key turns in the lock, and a moment later the man himself is filling the front door's tall wooden frame, leather briefcase tucked under one arm, cane held in the opposite hand. Unlike Felix, there are more wrinkles around his eyes and the corners of his mouth than the last time the two saw one another, and if Ivanov looks carefully he might detect a few gray hairs growing in up around his ears. He hasn't shaved in several days, giving his face a rougher appearance than usual — fatigued, overworked. Not expecting to find anyone occupying his couch, he doesn't even notice the other man sitting there until he's hung up his coat on the appropriate hook and locked the door behind him — but when he does, he freezes up, unable to do much more than stand and stare at what must be, by all accounts, a hallucination.

"I guess Colette's out walking the dog," Felix says, conversationally, rising from the couch and setting aside the Dumas for a moment. "For which I'm grateful. By the size of the dishes, it's a big one. Knowing you, retired K-9 unit?" His expression is expectant, offhand. No apologies yet for, oh, dying.

It suddenly occurs to Judah that this isn't a hallucination at all — not unless someone switched out his pain medication for something else when he wasn't looking. "His name is Jupiter," comes his steady, carefully measured reply. The only way this could be any more surreal is if Felix was riding a saddled unicorn and declaring himself king of the fairy people.

Judah could at least laugh at that.

Once upon a time, Felix did declare himself one of the fairy people. Mostly by a drunken pass after a wake for another cop. But that's another story, and a wince-worthy memory Fel would generally prefer to pass over. Fel's trying to remain calm and not dissolve into a puddle of apologies and excuses, and is mostly hanging on by a fingernail's edge. The pulse is jumping frantically in the hollow of his throat, as he cants his head a little, and looks Judah over. "You and Colette are okay, right?"

'Okay' is something of a nebulous, subjective term. Apart from the dark circles under his even darker eyes and the gaunt look to his face, Judah appears physically unharmed; if any of Volken's people decided to take a swing at either him or Colette during Felix's stint six feet under, it doesn't show. Emotionally—

Emotionally, Judah is somewhere else entirely. He closes the distance between himself in a series of swift strides that favours his good leg over the bad, and for a moment it looks as though he's about to throw his arms around the other man. Unfortunately for Felix, Judah has no intention of tugging him into an embrace. Instead, he pulls his arm back, squeezes his hand into a bare-knuckled fist and pitches it at Felix's face.

Apparently Judah missed a lucrative and bruising career as a boxer. Because either Felix is just too slow on the uptake, assuming it's going to be a hug, or figuring he'll take one to soothe Judah's feelings and his own conscience…..but not matter what his reasons, that blow takes him right in the jaw. A flutter of eyelids later, and the doppelganger or whatever it is that's wearing Fel's face goes over like a felled tree. Down for the count.

It's the sound of Felix's body hitting the floor that really seals things for Judah. He shakes out his hand, a fine trickle of blood snaking between his knuckles and down the back of his arm — boxer or no, he isn't built to be hitting people that hard without gloves, and he not only has an unconscious fed to show for his efforts but broken skin as well. He looks down at Felix, clutching his wrist, and scowls. Now that he's got that out of his system…


There's no coherent response from the lump on the floor. No response at all, in fact. He spun during the fall, and is currently sprawled face down. There's only a little smear of blood from his mouth - a cut lip, since he didn't have his jaw closed.

On the one hand, Felix deserved it — or so Judah tells himself. On the other, he isn't going to be answering any questions as long as he's out cold. Careful not to put too much weight on his injured leg, he crouches down beside him and places a hand on his shoulder before giving him a gentle if firm shake. "Felix," he tries again. "Ivanov. Get up."

Human short term memory is disrupted by being knocked unconscious. Which is why Felix is rather bemused, when he finally swims up from the dark waters a moment or two later. "Whu?" he asks, oh so eloquently, rolling an eye to look at Judah. I fall down go boom?

Judah grabs a fistful of Felix's shirt and hauls him into a sitting position, keeping that hand on his shoulder just in case balance doesn't return to him as quickly as his consciousness did. "You want to tell me what the hell you're doing in my apartment?" he asks.

Felix sniffs, like a kid after a playground fight, dangling limply in Judah's grip. That hurt. Whatever -that- was. "Thought I'd tell you I was back first," he says, a touch thickly - ah, the joys of a split lip. "Didn' wanna wait inna hall. Don' know your neighbors."

That's okay — Judah doesn't know his neighbors either, though he doesn't tell Felix as much. "People don't come back from where they told us you'd gone," he grumbles under his breath, using the sleeve of his dress shirt to wipe the blood away from the edge of his friend's mouth. "If you think you're hurting now, just wait until Colette gets through with you."

"They tried to use her against me. Volken's people, Santiago's people - they wanted me to betray an informant to them. I wouldn't. They threatened Colette. And then they shot me. Faked my death - 's why you couldn't see the body." Fel doesn't know what Chris did on his behalf, assuming a John Doe was stolen from another morgue. He blinks owlishly at Judah, puts hands down to try and support his own weight.

"You couldn't have told me?" As angry as Judah is, he can't conceal the grudging note of respect that enters his voice when Felix gives him his explanation. There's no way he can say for certain he wouldn't have done something similar, had he been in Felix's position. "We're the only people that kid has. Us and Tamara. Jesus Christ, Fel' — I made her pick out a dress for your wake." He rises to his feet, offering Judah the stronger of his two arms should he want any help getting up from the floor. He is, after all, the one who put him there. "Why blow your cover now?"

Felix lowers his eyes, as if ashamed. "I cut off Santiago's head. My cover's blown already. The people I was hiding from know I live, knew what my disguise looked like. No point to continuing the masquerade. And no, I couldn't've. Judah, you know - everyone has a breaking point, nevermind telepaths. What you don't know, you can't be made to betray." He rises, with help, puts a tentative finger to his lip. "Did I….pass out?" he wonders, eyeing Judah.

"No," Judah says. "I hit you." His grip on Felix's hand lasts a little longer than it probably ought, and as soon as he's released it he's turning away, briskly beginning to make a beeline for the apartment's kitchen. Although he doesn't normally drink, he thinks the circumstances of this meeting will allow him to make an exception for just one night. It's a lot of information to be taking in all at once — even for a detective working with SCOUT. "Is he dead? Santiago?"

Felix chuckles to himself, a rusty sound. "Can't blame you," he says, with a sigh. "No. It didn't stick. I think he just….disembodied. He didn't bleed when I cut him - there was only smoke, ash. I think," he draws in a hiccuping breath, unsteady, "He's some sort of undead. It's the most horrible power I've ever encountered. The bodies in Chinatown - the Reaper. That's him." He's seen death before, everything from those who passed peacefully in sleep to those who died fighting their murderers. But this has him shaking, all unconscious of it, like he's chilled to the bone. He sits back down on the couch, abruptly.

Judah takes down a bottle of Armagnac from one of the higher cabinets — well outside of Colette's reach — along with two crystal glasses, one of which he places on the counter's faux marble surface, presumably as a peace-offering. The other he sets aside on the stove as he unscrews the bottle's cap and pours himself several fingers worth of amber-coloured liquor. "I can send her away," he suggests. "I have family in Massachusetts who'll take her until this is settled. Boston. She can take the dog." What else can they possibly do?

Felix doesn't seem to see the booze. Or else is eschewing it for the moment. Russians and cops both have a reputation for crawling into the nearest bottle for shelter when things get rough. "If you think it'd help," he says, almost humbly, fixing that thousand yard stare on Judah for a moment, as if the detective were the one who'd just miraculously popped out of the grave.

"It's difficult to make an informed decision when I'm not as educated as I'd like to be. Lau's keeping everything under wraps and I haven't gotten an opportunity to pull Harvard aside yet." Judah leaves the bottle beside the glass should Felix change his mind. Until then, he leans one shoulder into the fridge and brings his own to his lips, murming against the rim as he speaks. "That disaster at Washington Irving, the string of bombings we attributed to PARIAH, and now Edison? Nobody knows what's going on — or if they do, they aren't talking." He drinks. "You tell me what'll help, Felix. I have nothing to go on."

Colette has arrived.

"Santiago works with Sylar. Yes, that Sylar. A girl who controls birds works with them as well - Eileen Ruskin. This is all apparently separate from PARIAH. There's a group that hived off PARIAH named Phoenix. More peaceful, but also working against Volken's men. Volken - he intends an apocalypse. A viral infection that will kill all Evolved, and most of the world. He'll start with New York. One of Phoenix's guys had pictures he claimed were of that future, brought back from the world Volken created. It'll be another Shoah."

His voice is flat, toneless, a recitation of a story that bores him. He's sitting on the couch, watching Judah pour and drink Armagnac, but momentarily ignoring the other glass left out for him. He looks….oddly young, vulnerable, one corner of his lip clotted and a little swollen. But very much alive.

The slide of the deadbolt couldn't come at a worse time, given the topic of conversation. There's a rattling of keys and some muffled noises of a small, meek voice. When the door's shouldered open, it's expectantly Colette who comes stumbling through, but to compound matters even more, the girl isn't alone. There's a guy with her, probably ten years her senior, maybe fifteen; light brown hair, hazel eyes, shoulders rolled forward from the cold, despite the puffy black jacket he wears. "…he's probably asleep anyway, we just gotta' be quiet." Colette whispers, taking a few steps backwards to keep pushing the door open. Her arms are stacked chest high with books. Not even fiction, but thick, hardcover textbooks, most of them look like College level science and physics books. There's a few black VHS cassette cases on top of the stack.

"Look — I'm only helping you because you came clean, okay? You should've told me what was going on, I could've done something, found someone to help." The young man walks in, not carrying any of the books, which is somewhat rude in appearance given his six inch height lead on Colette. "Put that shit down, um, and where's your bathroom I really have to — " He stops, dead in his tracks upon spotting someone seated on the couch. Immediately one ungloved hand raises in a plaintive expression of Oh hey hello this isn't what it looks like. "That your dad?" He mumbles, deadpan.

Colette hisses out a clearly audible "fuck" as she turns around, suddenly all smiles as she takes a step forward, "Sooooorry for coming by with — " But that isn't Judah. Her blind right periphery fails to afford her any semblance of catching Judah in the kitchen, and all she sees is the ghost of Felix Ivanov perched on her couch.

"Oh my fuck— holy fuck!" Colette's hands raise as she stumbles back, dropping the books and cassette tapes to the floor with a dreadful noise as she backs up into Trent, just as Trent was spotting Judah in the kitchen. "Who the fuck are you! What do you want!?" The girl's hands raise, and the ambient light in the room seems to dim ever so slightly as a pair of glowing white-gold lenses of light, swirling on the edges with tiny golden fireflies appear over her palms. Notably, though, the hardwood floor under her feet is shifting fron a rich shade of maple to a strange hue of burgundy, then bright neon orange. Trent's jacket she leans up against also begins to bleed with other colors, fibers of yellow and red seeping into the black. "Who are you!?" Welcome home Felix.

Judah warned Felix he'd be hurting when Colette finished with him, but to be honest this wasn't quite the reaction he was expecting. More curious, however, is the young man accompanying her. Silent, stony, he surveys Trent from where he stands in the kitchen, a broad-shouldered figured swathed in shadows. He doubts his ward — daughter — would have started dating without telling him first. Then again, maybe she did and he's simply forgotten, his memory overtaxed. In one ear and out the other — he's lucky if he can remember where she is most of the time, never mind who she's with.

He tosses back what remains of his Armagnac and discards his glass in the sink. "He looks like Felix Ivanov to me," Judah says, "but I can't be too sure. Last I checked, he'd used up all his lives."

Felix is up on his feet with feline quickness, but his hands are up and out, the gesture of a man trying to approach a wild horse without frightening it. "I am Felix Ivanov," he says, trying for calm, meeting her gaze. And then there's the light show, and he stops short, eyes wide. "No wonder," he says, barely a breath. Trent is summarily ignored in favor of Rainbow Brite and her magical powers.

"Bullshit!" Colette shouts out, voice cracking from the effort, "Bullshit you are! You can't say his name! Don't you fucking say his name!" All the while that Colette shouts, Trent looks like a man caught in an awkward position that he can find no good escape from. One hand moves to settle on the young girl's shoulder, but it's quickly swatted away as she leans off of him and storms across the room, trailing little tiny mots of yellow-gold light through the air from the lenses that float over her palms. "Nobody gets to use his name! Fuck you!" The light reflects off of the streaks tears have already made in her cheeks, glittering the same yellow-gold as the ambient light she's gathering. As Colette walks, the splotches of mis-matched colors on the floor where she was standing begin to fade back to normal, but at the same time her boots leave treaded paths of color all across the wood, like she stepped in rainbow-hued paint.

"Colette…" Trent tries to be a voice of reason, but the girl quickly turns around to him, closing one hand to point an accusing finger, crushing the lens of light at the same time, dispersing it into a flurry of glimmering yellow sparkles that follow the motion of her hand.

"Shut the fuck up Trent!" His eyes widen at her shout, head jerking back as if surprised, but more so in the strange manner that the mid-section of her arm seems to flicker and disappear for a moment, like a corrupted animated gif. Trent scowls, rubbing his forehead with his hand as he shifts his eyes over to Judah, looking at the stoic calmness of the man, then to Felix, and he just stands there in all his awkward, silent glory. Why does he ever listen to Colette?

"You…" Her focus turns back to the man at her most full attention, storming right up to Felix with that pointing finger brandishing at him like a gun, "You son of a bitch!" Her jaw wavers up and down, her lower eyelids soaked from tears, along with the sides of her cheeks, teardrops catching light as they fall from her chin. "Who the fuck are you…" Judah isn't surprised, Judah isn't yelling. Judah is drinking. Drinking on his medication. Too much to take in at once; her right shoulder flickers away, then her leg, then a portion of the right side of her face. It looks odd, what's missing is just a black space, as if she were a hollow porcelain doll. It's a disconcerting image, and it looks involuntary. She's trembling now.


Judah is not without a little sympathy — if not for Felix, then for Trent. It's a good thing the blinds are closed and the curtains drawn shut; if they weren't, Colette's display would be doing more than seep out through the window. Assuming that her tirade will attract unwanted attention from the neighbors sooner rather than later, he crosses the room to where Trent has been left adrift and closes one of his large hands around the young man's arm, steering him toward the door. "Judah Demsky," he introduces himself as they walk, "Colette's guardian." Father isn't a title he's prepared to accept just yet. It's still too new, funny tasting in his mouth. "I think I can handle things from here on out. We'll talk later." A more subdued threat he has never spoken.

It's a measure of Fel's stress and the effort required for its restraint that his accent is creeping in, and that he's starting to drop articles. One of those useless bits of linguistic decoration in English, to his mind. "Tsarevna, calm down," he says, quietly, eyes darting to Trent, to Judah, but mostly back to the light show Colette is putting on. "I'm fine, honest. It's really me."

"Whr— Oh, h-hello sir, I— Actually I'm— " Trent is yanked out by the arm, and with each footfall he's awkwardly bowing his head, trying to make some sheepishs emblance of respect even as he's dragged into the hall. By the time he's actually let the stoic man's demeanor sink in, there's a rather obvious lack of attempt to politely introduce himself, because quite seriously, this man looks like he could eat him alive and not break a sweat.

Staggering a little when he's deposited into the hall, Trent rubs at his arm and tilts his head to the side, slouching forward as a long and laborious sigh begins to make him simly deflate. His head ducks down, eyes close, and he brings one hand up to cover his face as the door slams shut to the apartment. "Why do I ever listen to her?" Is muffled thorugh the door, followed by the sounds of dragging footsteps pacing back and forth in the hall, before eventually fading away to one side.

"How can you be fine!?" Colette hasn't even noticed Trent's forcible evacuation from the apartment, her back to the door, one hand curled tightly into a fist. "I— I went to your funeral!" Her jaw clenches, words strained thorugh her teeth like some primal siev, "I saw your goddamned jar!" Her fur-lined jacket begins shifting colors in uneven splotches, fading through hues of orange, to yellow, then back through orange to red again, she's hyperventilating.

Colette turns, focused now behind her on Judah, her whole body shaking as she watches him by the door. The empty spot where Trent once was isn't even realized, just her father by the door. She wants to shout at him, wants to scream, but he's being calm. Too calm. The young girl focuses back to Felix, her eyes jaw and a snarling look pulling back her lips.

To that line of conversation, Tamara can only shrug, her expression most unhelpfully lacking an answer. "Do they? Don't they?" She shrugs again. Stepping around Colette, she pads over to a flowerbed, snow crunching beneath her feet. The girl leans down, fingering the small petals. Whatever it is, it clearly blooms in December. "It said it does," Tamara observes, the statement perfectly matter-of-fact. Straightening, she turns back to face her companion, smiling. Therefore it does, and that is that. "But what about the white ones?" she queries, smile yielding to a more considering, contemplative expression, with Colette as the subject of her focus. "Or didn't you see them? They're sneaky and shy." Might have something to do with the coating of white snow.

She doesn't shout this time, she just looks hurt. She looks embarrassed, the girl looks pained in every way she can express with her mis-matched eyes. The strange colors bleed out of her clothes, begin fading from the floorboards, even as that small disc of light flickers out like a candle in her one open hand. She understands what Tamara meant then, about the flowers.

Silence again, but brief; a pause counted in mere heartbeats, before Tamara closes the distance between them, leaning in to speak directly at Colette's ear. "Kitty… learn to hear the music. See the flowers in the snow. There is always light in the shadows."

"F-Felix?" It's a whisper, not so much real words but words enough to be heard as her jaw relaxes. "Felix?"

There's an undeniably voyeuristic element to this that Judah isn't sure he's comfortable with. He's already had words with Felix — it's time for Colette to have hers, alone. For now, he slips out into the hall to observe Trent's departure from a vantage point on the other side of the door, wary of people down the hall who might be thinking of poking their noses where they don't belong.

If they try, he'll set them straight.

"It was faked," Felix says, patiently. "They hurt me, yes. But I didn't die. It seemed like a good chance to make them think I had, though. I'm sorry." He looks her over. "I see you've come into your power," he adds, almost proudly. "Could you always do that? Is that why we had that conversation, back in October?"

The sound of the door shutting again gets Colette's attention, and she looks back, now noticing Trent's gone only because Judah is as well. She can only hope that Judah isn't bludgeoning him in the hall, what with his adoptive daughter coming home with a twenty-something, after all. Her brow furrows, and she looks back to Felix, all that emotion still visible in her eyes. Questions to whether or not she's always had this get ignored, thrown to the side, "Why?" That's a loaded question, "Why didn't you tell us?" At last, though, she's believing now. She doesn't want to, she'd finally gotten over his death.

She's turned Felix's demise into a motivating force, it's given her direction, purpose, something to struggle towards. Now, though, he's here, he's alive. Everything she assumed about the world, about the people she cares about. Inverted. But it all comes down to why in the end, doesn't it?

He reiterates, quietly, "Because what you do not know, you cannot be made to betray. And the point was to protect you and Judah. I have no family here, Colette. I have no friends. You and he are as close as it gets, and of them, Eileen, knew that. They wanted an informant of mine and threatened you to get it." The Fed's face is quiet, and he finally pulls his glasses out of a pocket, starts wiping them with a scrap of cloth, a useless, habitual gesture.

The Fed slipped. "Eileen?" Colette's eyes narrow as she takes a step closer to Felix. The last time she saw Eileen she had said that Felix was in trouble with a man namd Peter Petrelli, that she was helping him. "What the fuck are you talking about? What Eileen? Ruskin!?" The girl looks for all her worth like she's going to reach up and grab him by the collar with both hands, but she doesn't, she just sinks back down onto her heels from her toes and looks away, hurt. Confused.

"Yes. The girl who lived down the hall from me. She works with an anti-Evolved terrorist group," Fel is certain on that point, absolutely so. "And she controls birds - she herself is Evolved," He gently urges her to sit on the couch, after settling his glasses comfortably on his nose.

"He'd be real cross if you tried to treat him like a dog," Munin says with a laugh. "He's nobody's pet. Just used to people." With a slight bounce of her wrist, she encourages the raven to hop from her arm over to Colette's. His claws tangle in the fabric of her hoodie as he awkwardly shifts his weight from one foot to the other and tries to find purchase. "Careful you don't get up in his face," she adds as an obligatory warning, "I doubt he'll nip, but you're better safe'n sorry."

"Terrorists?" Colette takes a half-step back, curling her fingers close to her palms. The young girl's head downturns, teth pressing down into her lower lip as she closes her eyes. She bristles, just a little, at what Felix says, "E-Eileen's not— " It only comes once Colette cracks open her good eye, assessing Felix in some cyclopean manner. But she's getting off-topic, they're all so far off what's important.

"Y-you're… You're really real?" Really. "You're really… a-alive?" Trembling at the very thought, of all the anger she had, of all the things she considered doing in Felix's name. How would he react now if she told him. "Tell me this is a joke. This is a dream. I— Y-you're not really here. T-tell…" She sniffles, trying to stop the sobbing from bleeding into her words, "T-tell me."

"Very real, for what I'm worth," he says, gently, holding out his hands to her. "I'm sorry for what I had to do. I promise." He leaves the issue of Eileen for now. That can come later.

"I hate you." The girl spits out as she heard Felix apologize, winding up to rather ineffectually slug him in the gut, "I— I hate you so much." She leans in, bending her extended arm as she slouches forward to rest her forehead against his chest, letting her hand move, up, fist pounding on his chest. "I hate you." Thunk. "I hate you." Thunk. Every few words, interspersed by the choked out sobs of a girl who's at her emotional breaking point mirrors the next, until she buries her face in Felix's chest, shoulders shaking, and just for the first time since Felix's funral…

She lets it all out.

That one at least he saw coming, and is thus able to brace for. The tears….not as much. But once she's put her face against his chest, he gently puts his arms around her. It's the awkward motion of a man not much accustomed to human touch. He even pats her back, tenderly.

So Felix Ivanov is back from the dead, does this mean he's regained all nine of his lives? Or is he just living on borrowed time now? None of that, to Colette, seems to matter though. For the time being, she's content to share her emotions with someone she opened up to before, someone she trusts without question, even if that trust has been damaged by so many words left unsaid.

Everyone has their breaking point, and losing family is it for Colette. Her sister's death, Judah's ner death, and now Felix's remarkable impression of Lazarus. It's got her thinking, but for now she's pushing it all aside. The thoughts, the worries, the what-comes-next's. She's focusing on the here, and the now.

"I missed you so much."

And that's not too bad.

January 14th: Cops and Robbers
January 14th: Jigsaw
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