Broken Feeb


elisabeth2_icon.gif felix2_icon.gif

Scene Title Broken Feeb
Synopsis She'll do whatever it takes to put him back together again.
Date June 27, 2010

Biddy Flannigan's Irish Pub

Ambient lighting blankets the establishment in a soft luminescence, glowing in tones of appealing orange from the front face of the bar and low hanging light fixtures overhead. Old style brick walls given the pub an appealing depth, reflecting the tone of lights in a more amber hue down upon the lengths of the polished, wooden floors. The bar counter of lacquered dark wood stretches along the northern wall, the forefront for shelves of numerous liquors and the substantially sized LCD televisions spaced liberally behind it. The screens flicker with the latest games and news as the labeled spirit bottles wink from lighted shelves with a beckon of their own. Barstools and high tables welcome tipsy patrons to their support, scattered with throughout the barroom with a few wedge into the darker, quieter, and more secretive recesses. Over the bar are a few banners of sports teams, most notably one of English football club Manchester United.

The thick wooden door to the west is fitted with a single neon sign sponsored by one of the brews on tap, glowing in the door's center window to shed its light onto the sidewalk outside and summoning in new customers when the bar is open for business.

She makes a point of seeing him regularly, but since Cardinal became corporeal it has been a bit more low-key. Elisabeth still spends as much time with Felix as they can manage together. Today it's for hopefully a beer and some food. Richard mentioned he'd seen Felix and the other man didn't look so hot. Liz knows that Fel's burning the candle at both ends far too much, and today is for putting her foot down in some forms. She's sitting at the table when he arrives, and she even ordered him a beer. There's a plate of potato skins in front of her, too, one of which she's nibbling on as they talk. "Things okay with you?" she asks mildly.

He shrugs at that, calmly. The Russian's not yet recovered the color he lost in that eternal winter, and he looks fairly ghostly. The suit he's wearing hangs a bit loose, though he does look better on that front, a bit. There's a lot more gray in his hair and beard than there was, though he's not quite to 'salt and pepper', relatively speaking. Still far too gaunt, however. "I'm just tired," he says, picking at his own food with a lack of enthusiasm. "I've just been on piddly little cases, mostly. Racketeering, stuff like that. Honestly, I needed the rest."

"Mmm-hmmm," Elisabeth offers softly. "You've been telling me that for weeks, Felix. Months even. Since Antarctica, really. You've not really looked right since then." Not to her, anyway. He's been too slender ever since he burned up so much energy trying to save them all. "You ever going to actually talk to me?" She takes a pull from her beer, her blue eyes steady over the rim of the glass. The beard she still kind of likes on him. Makes him look distinguished. It makes her smile whenever she sees him, and it gives her chuckles anytime they're having a cuddle.

HE gives her a surprised look, blinking blue eyes oh so innocently. "We're talking now, aren't we?" It's wondering, rather than accusatory. "What do you want to talk about?" Oh, men. Even one as gay as this one has his moments.

And his oh-so-manly response garners a roll of blue eyes from Elisabeth. "Feeb… you're too thin, you're too quiet, you're too stuck in your own head. I know you're still missing Lee, and even making allowances for that, you're still making me worry. If you don't tell me what the hell's going on in that head of yours, I'm going to call your mom and get her back up here to take care of you. Cuz you're not letting me do it properly, and I don't want my ass kicked by a pissed-off Russian superspy," she retorts gently.

There are hardened case officers in two different agencies who cower at the name of Irina Ivanova. Her son is no different. Fel's face falls. "Now that's a serious threat," he says, mildly. "I don't know, Liz. I'm just burned out. I mean, my power still works, I'm not in pain, I've been treating myself very carefuly, but…..something's missing. I don't know what. I still like my job, but….I don't know."

And there it is. The spark that has always been behind Felix's eyes, the one that's been missing for so long. Elisabeth sighs heavily and moves to lean forward onto her elbows. "Felix," she says gently. "If you need help… if you need an ear, or… hell, if you need a counselor…. tell me what I can do to help. You know it's got to be bad when the other man in my life is worried enough about you to actually tell me that he thinks you might need help. Maybe it's time to check into the meds for a while." She knows that neither snuggling or feeding him regularly, nor even regular sex really made all that much of a dent in this mood.

"I'm really tired of being in the hospital," he says, quietly. "And in my experience, if I'm not a direct threat to myself or anyone else, there's no point in it. I guess what I really need is to take a year off, but I don't know if I can bring myself to. I miss Lee. It doesn't get better, and I….wonder if I should ask to transfer to the office in Boston. Or even quit the Bureau and go for the Boston PD, if they'll have me…." He pushes at his plate, like what he's doing isn't so much eating a salad as doing spinach origami. "I haven't heard from Lee in a while. I'll have to talk to him." And he dreads it, by the dullness in his voice.

Elisabeth is out of her depth with his hurt. She's not exactly great at relationship stuff, really. She's always been more of the 'face it, deal with it, move on' kind of girl. Though admittedly she lately has some far deeper resonance with his emotional hurts than ever before. "So don't go into the hospital. That's not really required for depression meds, you know," she replies. "You're the one who told me that better living through chemistry is always a good option." Her tone is gentle. "You're scaring me, Feeb. I don't know how to help you, and you're crawling into this hidey hole and just…. turtling. I want to tear you out of there kicking and screaming, but I honestly doubt that would do you any good at all. So now I'm going to bully you into either seeing a shrink or going ahead and going to Boston. I don't care which it is that you do, but God help me…. I can't stand this anymore. It hurts me to see you like this."

Now he grins at her, though his eyes remain tired and shadowed. "I understand," he says. That's the other thing that's missing - venom and snap. Fel's always had a bitchy edge to him, even when sad. And this fading into gentle melancholy is….kind of ridiculous, honestly. "I'll go see a shrink. And call Lee," he adds, before taking an actual bite of the salad.

Well, it's a start. Elisabeth eyes him and murmurs, "I wish you'd just be pissy at me. For anything at this point." There is a sadness to her, too, that she can't help him. That he's in so deep.

"I keep having nightmares," he says, suddenly. "Of being in HF's hands, or remembering the beach. It's like I wasn't all the way dead, somehow. Or my brain recreated what it thinks should've happened, to fill the space for the memories I don't have," Fel lays his fork down, and ….by the way his lips have tightened, he's fighting back tears.

Leaning back in her seat, Elisabeth blows out a soft breath. Sympathy fills her gaze, and she says softly, "I don't …. dream as often about HF anymore. Maybe three or four times a month." Her tone is one of confiding. "I still… feel exposed in the open. It's milder now. And I can't sleep in the dark." He already knows that. It hasn't changed in all the months since. The nightlight is a requirement, even now. "There are things that trigger anxiety attacks still…. silence will do it, or if the lights go out. Sometimes just… emotional tension." She pauses and says softly, "More nowadays I dream about Antarctica." Which would make some kind of sense. "I always dream that I'm … running and running and running, trying to save you, him…. and getting nowhere." She toys with her own food now. "It's a pretty regular dream, but I guess it's better than waking up screaming." Because the few times she's done that, she's shattered mirrors and glasses in her apartment.

"Yeah," he says, quietly, looking down. "Laudani….just dumped my body in the water," he says, finally. "But I washed up. That's why Cranston found me on the beach." For some reason, the words hurt to say. "A….I…."

Her whole body jerks. When the name Laudani pops up, there is a moment of … shock. Disbelief? "What?" she asks in a whisper, not even able to dredge up horror. "T-t-t-teo? I th-th-thought it was D-d-d-deckard who shot you." He can't have said what she thinks she just heard. Really.

"He did. Deckard murdered me," Felix says, and his voice is utterly neutral, in that way he has. "I think Laudani found it later. I used to wear a medal," he explains, touching his chest over his heart. "He gave it back to me. Eventually."

The stutter gives away how truly unsettled — how horrified — Elisabeth is. She drops her blue eyes and cannot respond right away. Thoughts race through her head. What few memories she has of her time in Humanis First custody are … horrifying. And a few of them include Teo in her head. He dumped Felix's body? He didn't even bother to say anything? She doesn't know how to react. Physically can't react. It is part and parcel of her psyche to give, of all people, Teodoro Laudani the benefit of the doubt. And Felix's very lack of emotion only feeds the shock and horror. Her chest feels tight and Liz can't breathe for a long few moments, struggling to get the anxiety under control. Did she mention she didn't have as many nightmares? Almost guaranteed she's going to suffer them full-bore tonight…. and of course it's the night she's at the apartment alone. She can already feel it clawing at the back of her head. "I… I… I don't know what to say," she finally admits, her tone lost.

Felix goes on, ignoring his salad entirely, "I…..when I woke up. Or was resurrected. I didn't remember who I was." His voice is soft. "It was weird. I was so blank."

That doesn't surprise her. She remembers waking up from being shot in the head. Sort of. Not the first several times. But she remembers not even really knowing who she was or where she was ….. only that she was in danger. It took months for her to get over that partcular phobia — that of waking up. Elisabeth looks at him and nods slowly. "I know," she whispers. "But you have to find a way through it, Felix. You have to."

Well, it's that or suicide, fast or slow. Or insanity. "I know," he says, simply. "But I don't know how, Liz. I don't know. I….don't even have any idea how to process all I've been through. I was murdered. I still remember it. He shot me in the spine, first, so my legs gave out. I was just lying there on the beach, I couldn't feel my feet. And….brought back, somehow. And then Humanis First, and Danko….." He's begun to shake, nearly imperceptible fine trembling.

Elisabeth slips out of her own seat and over to Felix's side of the booth, wrapping her arms around him tightly. If nothing else, he's finally talking about it. He's dealt with so many of her crises, Liz thinks maybe he's been using it as a way to not deal with his own.

Fel's clamped his hands on the edge of the table, like he might be blown away by a stray breeze if he let go. "I have to kill him, Liz. I'm never going to know any peace until I do," he says, in a breathless, strangled whisper. "I have to see him dead."

Sliding her arms around his waist, Liz isn't even entirely sure which 'he' Felix is referring to. Deckard? Danko? The list is not exactly huge, but there is some uncertainty in it. She whispers softly in his ear, holding him tightly, "Danko? I'll help you kill that bastard if you want me to. Deckard?" She hesitates and says softly, "Deckard you have to find a way to come to peace with, Felix. For my sake. He is the only reason that I live." It's a brutal truth — an awful compromise. But she'll ask it of him because someone once told her that someday in the future, the man is actually worth saving. That future has been obliterated, but the promise of it still exists. And she owes him her life.

"Danko," he says, after a breathless moment. "Deckard….he gave me my life back. He tried to, anyhow. I…we're even. Relatively speaking. And Abby, whom I do owe my life and sanity to several times over, has pleaded for him, too. He's safe from me, so long as he doesn't come at me directly. But….I'm losing it, Liz. I really am. I've been a bag of broken shards since they got to me."

Elisabeth more than almost anyone else in the world can understand that. She got help from a lot of sources — even the bitch Sheridan turned out to be. Some drug therapy, some dream therapy, some really good friends. And even now, she knows she's not entirely whole. And then Liz nods slowly. "You know what, Feeb? If Danko dead will give you the peace you need to put yourself back together…. I'll put the word out, and it'll be done." Something in her very quiet tone, something that slides behind those cerulean eyes as she looks into his face, says she is not kidding. He has but to say the word.

He draws away enough to peer at her, curiously. "How, Liz?" he says, simply. "If you can reach him so definitely, why is he still alive and free. I don't understand. And….I think I need to do it myself if it can be done."

She watches him, something cold in her eyes that he's likely never seen before. "He's alive and free because someone got him out of Antarctica. For a reason. And he may yet prove useful in some fashion. It's the only reason that the man still breathes so far as I'm concerned." Her tone is matter-of-fact, pragmatic even. "When you're in the business of murdering futures, you have to look a little further than your own need for revenge." And perhaps, in some small part, Elisabeth still has not taken that step required for cold-blooded murder.

And he, on the other hand….he's broken, and it shows in his eyes, though otherwise he'd mostly assembled that accustomed pokerface. After a moment, he simply nods.

Elisabeth leans up to kiss him softly. "If that's what it takes, Felix… I will back you all the damn way down," she whispers. "To hell with the future."

He returns the kiss, and it's a tender gesture. But his eyes remain haunted and lost. "Useful?" he says, finally.

Elisabeth reaches to bring her beer to this side of the table. The silence field she slapped into place as she moved to this seat was instinctive, to keep anyone from hearing their words. And she leaves it in place now. "Antarctica is not the end of it. There is a thing called the Institute — we believe it's going to be the Company's replacement. They are behind the fucking endless winter, and they're also behind the mass visions. Someone out there pulled Danko out of Antarctica, and it wasn't — at least so far as I know — Kershner and her faction. Which means that it was someone else, and that they think he has a role to play." She pauses and says quietly, "And if that's the case, he may have ties to this Institute that could lead us to where we need to go."

"What do they want? Why that permanent deep freeze? Why the visions?" Ah, curiosity. That, at least, brings some life into his face.

It's good to see him interested. "The deep freeze was …. punishment," Elisabeth replies finally. "Someone escaped from them and was being kept from them. They wanted her back and we," because though she is not exactly a part of the Ferry, she is in agreement with this move, "refused to comply. She can basically be used as a weapon. So another Evo in their custody was used to create the winter as leverage."

There is a pause and she says quietly, "And as to the visions? We're … not entirely sure. But we do know that they have in their possession Edward Ray, Gillian, and possibly Tyler Case. In addition, they have hold of an Evo who can create independent clones. They appear to be attempting to build an Evo army, just instead of using the Formula to give humans Evo powers, they're — or so we're speculating wildly — looking at perhaps augmenting the clone guy and having Tyler Case rip powers from one person and put them in a clone programmed by yet another Evo we know is in their custody." Liz looks at him and says quietly, "It's a big fuckin' mess is what it is. And we think the visions were caused so that they had enough data points to feed Edward Ray in order to determine the best possible outcomes of their experiments."

"The girl. Linette," he says, suddenly. "It was her, wasn't it? She's supposed to be another multi-power, like Gray." HE sits back, stunned into silence. Mark that one down on your calendars, folks.

Elisabeth simply nods. "Liette," she corrects quietly. "But yes."

Fel's lips thin out. "I had someone ask me, off the record, to look for her. Some other agency….lucky I never did find her." If he's mad Liz kept that from him, well, it doesn't show.

Elisabeth would guess the Company, but she's not entirely sure of that. She simply nods slightly. "You were never even close — if you had been, I would have warned you," she says softly. "It's been a long time since I asked you how much information you want…. but if you want in on this, Felix… I'll read you in."

"Yes," he says, softly. But there's a curious air of resignation there. AS if he were deliberately abandoning something.

She's no stranger to going through the looking glass and leaving the world she knew behind. She got sort of shoved over that line with the Russia run, but truth be told? She hasn't looked back. Not once. Elisabeth says softly, "You sure, Feeb?" Frankly, she expects he is — he's already seen too much, and she wonders sometimes if that's what's sparked the malaise. That he can't go back to 'normal' knowing everything else that's out there.

No doubt that explains some of that permanently morose look. "I'm sure," he says, even more quietly. "Very sure." He's laid his hands on the table, as if he literally needed to brace himself.

Elisabeth smirks faintly and she flags down the waitress. Dropping the silence field, she says, "Bring us a bottle of vodka. Top shelf, please, from the freezer if we can get it." She figures Felix might need it. It's only when it's been delivered with a couple of shot glasses that she shields them once more and says, "I'm not entirely sure where to start, so… for now, it's with Antarctica and the Vanguard. Obviously that wasn't the first time we'd been up against them. Washington Irving was my first time, the Narrows and stuff was my second, Russian and Antarctica my third." She pauses. "Each of us in our various parts of the world learned things … things that when put together started to look bad. It's one of the reasons that I took the job for FRONTLINE. Not just because it was a job I wanted — though it was — but because Kershner needed someone keeping an eye on her."

There's a pause as Elisabeth watches to see if any of this at all surprises him. "Come to find out, Kershner had an agenda of her own — get Mitchell and Petrelli out of office. Which coincides well enough with our plans that we've been … existing in a state of armed truce ever since."

It doesn't, apparently. Fel just looks utterly bleak. "Why? Why is that her goal?"

"In part," Elisabeth says, "I would assume because Petrelli's policies are turning this nation into a fascist state." Her tone is dry. "But that might be crediting the woman with too much patriotism. In point of fact, so far as I'm aware, the Nathan Petrelli currently in office is the Nathan Petrelli from 2019. The one from 2009/2010 is either dead or being held somewhere, I would guess. The Company rigged the election that got him into his Senate seat anyway, and then they blackmailed Rickham to drop out of the presidential race. A lot of what I know or believe is speculation, but it all fits. Mitchell's goals have been pretty clearly laid out, as well — Evo concentration camps." She shrugs a little. "I don't honestly know to what end, Felix. I only know that in stopping Arthur Petrelli's plans, we opened a door that allowed these other things to come to pass….. and now we're desperately attempting to just… direct it. Keep it from getting worse."

There's a grimace. "So far, it's getting pretty damn bad. Mitchell was behind the raid in Canada — it was an Institute raid on a Ferry safehouse that is entirely off the grid. If I understand correctly, Tyler Case and Delphine Kuhr were last known to be at that location, though we can't confirm. This is why we think the Institute has them. And we already know they picked up both Gillian and Sumter, though they've apparently released Sumter after he gave half the fucking city precognitive visions."

Elisabeth adds quietly, "And just so you know — the Nathan Petrelli from 2019 had been incarcerated in Moab Prison for a number of years. I don't know what for precisely. But that is the current leader of the free world."

That little tidbit proves to be all that Felix can handle in this moment. Stopping there with a promise to continue to fill him in when he's had time to mull over this much, Elisabeth spends the evening with him until he's ready to go home and get some sleep, then heads for her own apartment.

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