Cops and Politics


elisabeth_icon.gif felix_icon.gif leland_icon.gif

Scene Title Cops and Politics
Synopsis Just like it sounds. Three law enforcement officers talk FRONTLINE, Humanis First and eat chicken wings.
Date May 28, 2009

Biddy Flannigan's Irish Pub

Cops drinking after hours in a pub - absolutely a cliche. But there are cliches that exist because they're -true-. The days when the NYPD was practically a Hibernian Brotherhood organization are long since gone, but the influence remains. And this is one of those places that's more or less a cop and NYFD bar. Fel's not longer the habitue he was back when he actually wore blue, but there are still staff here who recognize and greet him when he comes in, right before Leland. He heads for one of the tables, not perhaps willing to belly up to the bar.

Leland may be of French origin, but he's a Bostonian. So that means he's right at home in an Irish themed bar - cop hangout or no. He got his hair cut today, so it's even neater and more ordered than usual, though not the buzz cut he used to get. It's long enough to wave slightly. He nods to the bartender as he walks through behind Felix, hands in pockets. "Y'hungry?" he asks of the Fed.

As the boys get settled at a table, Elisabeth is not more than three minutes behind them. And dressed in jeans and a lightweight blazer, she's not going to stand out much in a bar full of cops. She waves briefly to the bartender as she passes, though he greeted her more because she's a girl than because he knows her, and drops into a seat at Lee and Felix's table. "Anyone just waiting for all hell to break loose?" she asks mildly.

"I'm starving. And it already has. One Federal Plaza is like an anthill that got kicked over, I shit you not," Fel says, utterly weary. He's drooping at the shoulders, but there's that old manic gleam in his eyes. "Motherfucking Humanis First."

Leland scrubs a hand over his face. "We don't watch it we're gonna have a fuckin' civil war on our hands." He slides out the drink menu and blinks at the list of beers. "And us without any goddamn funding." He rubs at the side of his neck and grunts softly. "And any money we woulda got is going to this Frontline thing." Yeah. Detective Daubrey is not a happy camper.

There's a wrinkle of her nose and Liz says quietly, "Fuckin' Frontline. Won't that be a clusterfuck waiting to happen? We'll be going from the criminals holding Staten to a private army we'll have to roust — with no funding — later."

"An army of Evolved. It makes me profoundly uneasy," Felix says, before ordering something obscure from Milwaukee. "Even the Feds are buying into FRONTLINE way more than I'd like."

Leland eyes Liz sidelong. "It might not be so bad. I thought things were gonna go to shit when SCOUT was announced." When the waiter comes, he takes it upon himself to order a pitcher of a decent ale. The waiter drops off menus and he flips it open. "More worried about us not having any goddamn money to do our jobs than Frontline turning into an army."

Elisabeth waits for Lee's pitcher — she likes a good ale — and bites her tongue. She only knows a small amount about the FRONTLINE army of the future, and nothing of it can she tell either of them. She wraps a bubble around their table after they order. "It might not," she admits softly. "Guess it totally depends on who's in charge of it. And considering we've got a fuckin' liar in the Oval Office, I've got some serious concerns."

Felix snorts. "We, on the other hand…..I'll bet we get money pitched at us by the forkful. Counterterrorism was salivating like a pack of beagles confronted by a wrecked bacon truck, this morning," he says, glancing lazily at the menu. Which has not changed any time of late. "Burger for me," he decides.

"Speaking of. Had this woman come around. Apparently with the President's office. Her credentials checked." From the face Lee makes, he's rather surprised that they did. "Wanted a list of all the scum on Staten, for some damn reason. Told her it needed to go to the brass. Why do you think someone from Washington'd want that info, uh?" He cranes his neck to check out the special. Salmon. Ugh. Who orders salmon in a pub? "Chicken wings. Hot." If a pub screws that up, the world will end.

"I'm with you on the wings," she tells Lee. "As to who'd want a list? I can think of a few people — depends on what their definition of 'scum' is, doesn't it? So long as someone gave them the names on my list and they're exterminated like the cockroaches they are, I don't much care."

"Nuke it from orbit, only way to be sure," Fel opines, as the waiter hands him his bottle. It's got a yellow shield with a black griffin on it. Lee's statement has him cocking an eye at the cop. "That's weird. You'd think they'd've gone through us. God knows the current director is all but on his knees in front of the Prez, these days."

Leland's brows go up at Liz's comments. "Hnf." There's a pause, but that's only because the waiter's returned with the pitcher and pint glasses. He does the honour of pouring out one for him and one for Liz, seeing as Felix has his own beverage. Once the waiter is gone and has taken his order, he glances back to Liz. "Never thought I'd be the one at this table sayin' the scum deserve a fair trial."

Elisabeth smirks at Leland. "I didn't either. But some scum…. like the fuckers who held Abigail Beauchamp, the sweet little healer, hostage? Deserve to spend a little time at Riker's getting raped."

Fel opens his mouth to bring up one Gabriel Gray, and then thinks the better of it. "They do, because that's part of what makes this country the wonder that it is. But, personally, it does tempt me to a little police brutality." Liz gets a nod in sympathy.

"Jesus. You two really have gone vigilante on me, haven't you?" Leland looks between them both rather incredulously. "Listen to yourselves. Nuke 'em from orbit, let 'em be raped. You really lost all faith in the system to give these fuckers what they deserve?" He lets the menu fall. "Maybe one or two just need to be put down, but I bet half the population of Staten's no worse than the scum we got here on the mainland. And how many of your Evolved buddies do you think're there just to lie low?" He grits his teeth. "I can't believe I'm the one saying this," he mutters.

Elisabeth sighs and takes her beer. "No, actually. I haven't lost all faith in the system itself," she says to Leland after a long drink. "But I'm sure as hell losing faith in the people who have the money and influence to manipulate the hell out of the system so that it's barely recognizable as a democracy." She actually gives Leland a look of sympathy. "For what it's worth to you, Lee. You'd never believe me if I told you half of what I've heard. Things like… the previous president-elect being blackmailed out of office, the current president being a closet Evo. All kinds of stuff…. and a lot of it comes from sources that I would not generally call conspiracy theorists."

"I've lost faith in the system's ability to -hold- them at all, not its fairness," Felix says, more mildly. "And you're right, you're right. There are plenty of citizens left on Staten, and getting them protected and within reach of rule of law is our primary concern. We -got- Gray, Lee. Had him. Took him into custody. He was out again within 48 hours, escaped. And HomeSec? Notified -no one-. Not the Bureau, not the cops, not the goddamn Avon lady. Now I know how Jim Gordon feels, when it comes to the Joker," His voice is mournful, as he looks down into his bottle.

Leland scrubs a hand over his face. Politics. He's not good with politics. He likes his little cop handbook, he likes laws and procedures. Politicans enjoy circumventing all of that. Lawyers too. He's a straightforward man in some ways. "Nnngh. Fuckin'…Homeland's a different beast. And so's Gray." This is what he doesn't like about this brave new world. The rules have changed, and the new ones haven't been written. "But if things are going to not end up as a shitstorm, people like us gotta follow the law. Else it really will be pitchforks and mobs in the street. You might privately not believe it, but I sure as hell hope you don't go telling anyone that. If the cops don't believe in the law, then why the fuck should Joey down the block?"

Elisabeth nods a bit. "You're absolutely right. Hence why I do my level best to uphold the law, Lee." Her level best doesn't exactly include turning in all the "terrorists" she knows, but hey! Lee doesn't want to know that!

It's the spirit, rather than the letter. "Yes, yes, they are," Felix concedes. "And you're right. I'm honestly just venting. If I thought it was as bad as all that, I'd resign my badge and go grow orchid in Hawaii, or something. T hat reminds me. Lee, you haven't been home yet today, have you?" His expression turns a little sly.

No, no, Lee really doesn't want to know most of what the pair of them are up to. And he's starting to wonder just how deep into the vigilante side of things these two really are. "Yeah, well. You two worry me with talk like that." He takes a long pull of his beer to drown the thought. Felix is eyed sidelong. "…no." Suspicious. "…why?"

Elisabeth smirks mildly. "You shouldn't worry — it's all talk until I shoot someone, Leland. Seriously." She leans back in her chair, interested in the Felix's cute little slyness. She wonders if they're ever going to figure out their relationship.

It's very armed forces. No asking, no telling. But it seems to work, for now, at least - they're both unbruised. "You'll see," he says, picking at the label on his beer bottle, before apparently remembering what it's actually -for-, and taking a deep pull.

"Felix. You know I don't like fuckin' surprises." Leland eyes the Fed dully. And just in time, their food arrives. A big plate of wings for he and Liz to share, some fries and Felix's burger. "Can we get a side of gravy, too? Thanks." Might as well go for broke. As for the rest? He's an expert at ignoring…things.

Elisabeth tucks into wings as soon as they arrive, though she asks, "Ranch dressing too please?" She really hates bleu cheese. Resting her elbows on the table while they tear into food, she comments to Leland, "Aw, c'mon…. not even good ones?"

Felix is apparently very tempted to continue to bait Lee. But with the stress they're all under, he just gives in. "You kept bitching about how hard it was to get the right herbs here. So I stopped by this garden near the Newark office, got you some actual live plants," he says, before he tucks in to the burger.

From the way Leland suddenly tenses and shoves his mouth full of chicken wings, he's regretting shaking that out of Felix. He clears his throat. "Okay," A beat, "What did you break? Did you scratch my pans? Dull my knives?" He swallows a few big mouthfuls of beer and looks everywhere but directly at either of them for more than a beat.

Elisabeth just shakes her head and shoves chicken into her mouth because you know what? It's too damn funny for words to see Leland trying to work through his awkwardness with Felix's regard. She'll probably give Felix crap later and ask him if he's ever going to lay it on the line with Lee, but for now? The boys are cute and in spite of Lee's annoying, brash self, she likes him. And she likes watching them tango around it all.

For a moment, Felix looks as if he's going to get defensive about it. "No….." he says, mildly, clearly resisting the impulse to snap back. "I don't mess with anything in there, other than to microwave leftovers or open the fridge to get a drink. It was a whim, and because I miss having plants to tend. They're in the living room window, since it's the biggest." By the little lines that've formed between his brows, Lee's reaction puzzles him.

Leland has never been good with receiving nice gestures like that. It makes him uncomfortable, especially in public, especially with Liz sitting right there. Especially a thoughtful gift that clearly took effort and was given for no particular reason. "Well," and then he murmurs, somewhat grudgingly, "…fresh herbs are a lot better'n buying them at the store. Way better'n dried." He wipes his fingers off briefly and then adds, "Hope you're a green thumb though. I once killed a cactus."

Elisabeth giggles softly. "I couldn't keep a plastic plant alive…. but I'm seriously calling dibs on a dinner made with fresh herbs. I cook, but I don't *cook*." Lee will totally understand what she means.

"I'm good with plants. At least, growing stuff in containers," Felix is….actually boasting. "I mean. I have ever since I was a kid in Moscow. Never owned any actual land I could garden in, but I had a rooftop garden when I lived with Bren."

"Can't garden," says Lee with a grunt. "My ma had a small one. For the restaurant. Tried to teach me. Figures I can perfectly portion up a lamb and finely butcher it. But fuckin' hell, I can't work a pair of pruning shears. I can perfectly season a sauce, but I can't give a plant the right amount of water." The beer's going down fast because of the heat of the wings. Or that would be his excuse if one of them commented. He refills his own pint glass and tops up Liz's.

Elisabeth smiles her thanks and licks the hot sauce off her fingers. A fine sheen of sweat has broken out on her forehead as they eat, but damn… they're good. "Well, heck… you two are the most complementary roommates I've ever met. One who gardens, one who cooks… works like a charm," she grins. It's only a light tease.

A lazy shrug from Felix, and he finishes munching his mouthful of beef before answering. "It's nice living with a cop. He knows what to expect, doesn't get bothered by odd hours. Saves a lot on rent and utilties……I'd be in a shoebox, on my own."

Leland avoids saying anything by stuffing his mouth with chicken wings and occasionally dipping into the gravy-drowned fries. One wouldn't imagine him as a gourmet at the moment. But hell, even a foodie appreciates a good chicken wing. His lips are reddening with sauce, but the heat of it causes him to wipe it off fairly frequently. The only response either of them get is yet another grunt.

Elisabeth merely smirks and eats her chicken. There's no point in antagonizing Da Boyz. Instead, she changes the subject to something easier to natter about between bites and eats her chicken and drinks her beer, unwinding from some of the insane week.

Felix wolfs down his burger as fast as is seemly. Still got that hummingbird metabolism. He's not as loquacious as he might be. "I was gonna have my parents visit," he notes, sourly. "Not after that attack. And god only knows when I'll get the vacation time to go see them. I really want to go sit on the beach for a while."

"Y'ask me, you could use to get away for awhile, Felix." Lee jams a fry into some ketchup. "Get you out of this city for awhile. Stop running down your quarry like a damn bloodhound." He polishes off a few more wings, then tears open one of the wet naps thoughtfully delivered with their meal. He wipes off his face and fingers. "You got that damn medal. Remind them of it. Put in for vacation time."

Le Rivage: Leland and Felix's Apartment

Leland is a little bit buzzed, though the amount of beer he's consumed was cushioned and absorbed by a mass of chicken wings and fries. He enters the apartment and goes to the kitchen sink where he gives his face and hands a good scrub down. "Skin's still burning from that hot sauce. Don't think I'll be able to taste anything proper for a week."

"That's why I don't dare," There's the sound of the various locks clicking into place, and rather than trail after Lee into the kitchen, Fel heads to the little plants in their square pots, set on a new shelf on the living room window sill. Like they might've magically grown in the interim.

"Don't dare what? With spice?" He wipes his hands on a tea towel, then emerges into the living room to have a look at the herbs. He bends down and rubs a leaf of cilantro between his fingers, gently, to release the oils. Then he bends over to have a sniff. "Mn. Nothing beats fresh herbs." That's probably the closest Felix is going to get to a thank you.

Felix notes, a little sourly, "And I get tired of seeing nothing but concrete, asphalt and glass. The only thing I miss about Russia is my grandfather's house in the Urals," It's weird to hear wistfulness in his voice, but there it is. He touches the leaves of the basil with gentle fingertips.

"You should move out to the 'burbs one day. Have a yard. Plant a garden." Leland straightens up and sets his hands deep into his pockets. He looks out the window, then down at the little row of herbs, then over at his friend.

The Fed is looking out the window, but his gaze has gone unfocussed - lost in some hinterland of memory. And then he shakes himself out of it. "Maybe I will, someday," he says, but there's no real force behind the words.

"Think've it as a reason to stay alive long enough to retire," says Leland, his voice somewhat tight. He rocks back and turns. "M'gonna make some tea." And it's a given that he'll make enough for two, even if Felix decides not to partake.

"Right on," says Fel, turning away from the herbs in favor of cookies in the pantry. Like he didn't eat anywhere near enough at dinner.

"Those cookies are shit. All dry," says Leland. His food snobbery shows through a lot more now that he's comfortable living with Felix. "I'll make some decent ones on the weekend." He pulls down the teapot, loose leaf tea and puts the kettle on to boil.

Felix says, between mouthfuls, "Don't throw 'em out, I'll eat 'em." He drops down into his favored seat at the kitchen table. "I….am coming to suspect that guy didn't steal my power, or something. He switched 'em. Which means I need to find the girl who has mine," he says, swallowing hastily.

"You got that shit under control, don't you? Why's it so bad, then? At least using this one doesn't make you pass the fuck out." Leland's a pragmatist in some ways. He fills the tea ball with the right amount of loose leaf. Rooibos. He really is an incongruous man. Most everyone he meets would take him for a cheap beer and fast food kind of guy, not a roast duck and microbrew ale sort. And certainly not the type to enjoy fresh herbs and loose leaf tea.

"It's mine, I want it back," he says, with utterly childish simplicity. "Not yet, but I haven't really exerted myself with it. Anyhow. This girl - she's a whore who worked out at the Happy Dagger on Staten. Bebe is what I've heard her called. DOn't yet know her real name."

"Why does it always come back to Staten?" Leland mutters. "You're not thinkin' of going over there and hunting her down, are you?" A beat, "Even if you do find her, how do you think you might get your power back, if she even wants that?"

Felix grinds a knuckle into the tender spot at the inner corner of his eyes. "The guy who did it is already wanted. Need to catch him, anyhow," he says, matter of fact. "Tyler Case. Again."

Leland leans against the wall, head tilted upwards. He gives the ceiling a longsuffering look. "Sometimes I dream about running off to the fuckin' beach. Every goddamn Tuesday, as a matter of fact." He exhales slowly.

"You could come with me, sometime," Fel offers, without thinking. "You've met my parents, they like you." Mostly because Lee saved the life of their only child - hell of a first meeting, over Felix's hospital bed. "Sarasota's nice, if not the hippest part of Florida."

Leland grunts softly and pushes off the wall. He reaches for the kettle now that it's finished boiling and slowly pours hot water into the pot. "If I go anywhere, I gotta go see my own folks. Ma'd kill me if she found out I took a vacation and didn't come to see her." Never mind his overbearing chef of a father. He makes Lee look positively chatty, he's so laconic.

Felix nods. "I know. but honestly, how long can you stand your parents? And I know you, I bet you've got vacation time pooled up like crazy," he says. Felix's mother is quiet and sphinxlike, but Felix's father is intensely charming: a natural musician and storyteller, and so far as he's concerned, Lee is now their second son.

"Ma's fine. I'd like to see my sister. My cousins. Old friends in the department." It's just Chef D'Aubrey that Leland would rather avoid. "Sides. You should spend the time with your family." Not worried about how he might be uncomfortable or translating the grunts in conversation with his kin.

"I will," Fel murmurs, propping his chin wearily on his hand. His eyelids are drooping a bit. "Boston's a neat place."

Leland lets the tea steep for a few minutes, then fills each of the cups. It's not something you add sugar or milk to - or you're not supposed to, anyway. "You look beat. Heading to bed?"

Felix takes it. And then adds honey, anyway. Because he's hugely fond of it. "Soon," he says, glancing at Lee for a moment longer than he should. There's something strange in his face, not -quite- readable.

Leland is getting fairly used to receiving strange looks from the Russian. The one he returns is a touch confused, but not in his usual grumpy confusion. He looks away after a moment and raises the mug to his lips. "Surprised you can sleep at all after eating cookies. I get twitchy if I have sugar before bed."

"I burn it off that fast," he says, and moreor less inhales his tea. "Gonna take the shower, go to sleep," Mug goes in the dishwasher, and Fel stretches luxuriously.

Leland eyes Felix as he stretches, then nods. "All right. I'm gonna read for awhile, I think." Something by Tom Clancey. His upper class tastes don't stretch beyond food.

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