Didn't You Turn Into A Feeb?


felix_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif

Scene Title Didn't You Turn Into A Feeb?
Synopsis Felix and Elisabeth have a chance meeting at a cop diner and chat about things.
Date Nov 4, 2008

The Nite Owl

The Nite Owl is a survivor from ages past - one of those ancient diners with huge plate glass windows, checkerboard linoleum floor, and a neon owl over the entrance that blinks at those entering. Inside, there's an L-shaped main counter, complete with vintage soda fountain and worn steel stools. All of the cooking is done on the ranges ranked against the rear wall. The outer wall is lined with booths upholstered in cracked scarlet vinyl, tables trimmed with polished chrome. Despite its age, it's been lovingly maintained. The air is redolent with the scent of fresh coffee, vanilla, and frying food.

Felix has been coming here for nearly twenty years. Back when he was a high school kid, during his chequered college career, while he was a beat cop….old habits die hard. And now that he's back in town, there's no better way to beguile a sleepless night. He's got paperwork spread out all over the worn Formica of the table before him, a cup of coffee shoved off to one side, and his glasses tucked on the sill of the big plateglass window. In his suit, there's nothing to mark him out as John Law, save for that perpetually wary look in his eyes.

She hasn't come into the diner in a while. Mainly because walking in usually results in at least a couple of people she knows harassing her about coming back to work. But tonight Elisabeth was nearby and some amount of nostalgia hit. And the gossip in here is a good way to keep an ear on the pulse of the city. As she comes through the door, Liz glances around, idly nodding to a couple of guys and a woman that she knows only in passing as she heads for the counter. "Hey, Rita," she greets the waitress. A short conversation ensues that results in pie and coffee for the blond. It's only then that Liz takes a longer look about and spots Felix. He's familiar, and she offers a slight salute with her coffee cup when it appears.

It takes him a moment, and Liz gets first a squint, then a hasty retrieval of his glasses, before Felix grins slowly. Not -quite- a 'HellO, Nurse' doubletake, before he lifts a narrow hand. "Harrison," he says, with a faintly self-congratulatory air, as if proud of himself for remembering her name. "'s been a long time," he adds, and waves her over.

Elisabeth chuckles at his befuddled look. She remembers that look. Picking up her cup and the dessert plate, she heads for the table, sliding carefully into a chair around his stuff. "Ivanov," she greets him as she settles. "What the heck are you doing here? Heard a while ago you went to the Feebs, man."

Felix hastily sweeps up the paperwork. "I did. I mean, I am. Still with the Bureau. I was having a great time out on the west coast, working in the Seattle office. But I hacked off the SAC, and he asked me what my preferences were in terms of next places to be sent. I put New York on the bottom of the list, so he made sure I ended up here." He pulls a sour face. "Officially, I'm one of the Bureau/Department liaisons. Which translates to the Bureau not entirely knowing what to do with me, and dumping me back on the NYPD."

There's a soft snicker when he explains how he got back here. "When you piss off the brass and they ask where you wanna go, you put your FIRST pick last," Liz counsels mildly. She sips her coffee, leaving the pie for a while. "Thought you liked it here," she adds in a not-quite-questioning tone. "What made you decide to go Fed?"

"I love it here - I grew up here, after all. I just wasn't sure I could deal with seeing it post-Bomb." He takes off his glasses again, rubs at the bridge of his nose. "I….lots of reasons. I wanted to play on a bigger scale. And the Department…it's a family, but it can be kind of an incestuous family. Last but not least, I'm Evolved, and that raid that got me shot also had me showing off my stupid person trick," He's almost stammering on that last. "I was sort of hoping to avoid dealing with that particular reckoning. But then the Linderman thing came along…"

Elisabeth starts to laugh softly at him when he comments on the incestuous family part. Cuz he's right. It's bad sometimes. And then he explains why he left, and she goes still. "Oh geez…." Her expression shifts to sympathy. "I'm sorry. I've heard that it's not…. terribly pleasant, dealing with Homeland Security when that becomes known." She shakes her head. "Things in the city are definitely pretty … crazed," she admits. "I resigned about 18 months ago, myself."

"Well, I was vetted, and eighteen months into the Bureau. They couldn't kick me out without looking like bigoted assholes," Fel notes, a touch wryly, as he blinks at her. "I registered the moment it passed, pretty much. I'm only a Tier 1, so." And then he's peering at her. "You quit? Can I ask why?"

Elisabeth grimaces, toying with her coffee. "C'mon…. you saw what happened to this place after the Bomb. And I lost my mom in the blast. Had some problems afterward and decided to back off for a while. I'm not sure how things are shaking out with all this Evolved stuff, and frankly? I don't like the way people's civil rights are being trampled on. So…. I took a walk." She shrugs.

Felix's gaze slides to the scratched coffee cups, the scuffed checkerboard linoelum. "It…it makes me uneasy, too," he confesses, running his fingers through his hair. "I'm sorry to hear about your mother."

Elisabeth nods to his condolences. "Thanks," she says. "It's okay. It's not like I'm the only one." She chuckles wryly. "Hell, there's a whole support group for cops." She shrugs. "The whole thing is just… insane. You know? Not just here, but around the world. It's not like people haven't talked about humans only using twn percent of their brain or something and powers like telepathy and telekinesis for decades….. and now that suddenly it's a reality, everything's deemed a public threat. How do you stay in the system and deal with it?" she asks curiously.

"I keep my head down and I work like a dog," Felix says, bluntly. "I've got a clearance and conviction record good enough to keep the brass off my back, mostly." He wraps long fingers around his coffee mug, as if trying to absorb the lingering warmth.

Elisabeth nods slightly, her lips twisting in a wry smile. "Yeah, I can see that," she agrees. Glancing around the diner, noting all the boys and girls in blue taking a quick break or stopping off for a bite on the way home, she shakes her head. "This whole registration thing just sits wrong with me, that's all. And in spite of the fact that I loved what I was doing…. It just started to seem like Big Brother."

Felix closes his eyes, in a brief moment of utter weariness. "I…yeah. It's starting to get to me, too. It doesn't let us keep track of the real bad guys, and it annoys the lawabiding. Fuck. I…." He shakes his head, biting something back. "I wish I could have it taken off the books."

Elisabeth sips from her mug of coffee and smirks. "Don't we all?" Well… maybe not all. Maybe not the people benefiting. "So now that you're the liaison… what the hell does that mean your job actually looks like?" she asks with a laugh. "Cuz you know how the guys feel about Feebs."

"I'm basically the den mother. I hold people's hands, I sing Kum Ba Yah, I pat the NYPD on the head," This is all delivered entirely deadpan, before he grins, despite himself - that too broad and crooked smile. "No. Basically, if the NYPD has a case they think might actually benefit from bringing in the Feds that doesn't fall under the rubric of one of the already established task forces, they send me over to check it out. The fact that I used to be real police smoothes a lot of feathers. Functionally, these days, I run around and attempt to be useful. I was working with Damaris and Demsky on that guy killing Evolved. The one where the bodies were left desiccated," The smile melts away, like mist, and his face is left gaunt, haunted. "I met him. He used to be an FBI agent, long ago," he admits, voice having dropped to a whisper.

Elisabeth winces visibly, keeping her voice low. "I'm sorry. That was a shit case. There's a lot of them these days." She shakes her head a little. "You think you're still making enough of a difference?" She smiles a bit. "My old boss keeps trying to convince me to come back."

Felix finishes the last of his coffee, making a face at the dregs. He gives her an amused, rather puckish look. "Harrison. I'm not ….let's face it, I'm bent for this job. I still love it, all the bullshit aside."

Elisabeth smirks. "I'm so not commenting on what you're bent for, Ivanov. Really. I have *no* need to know." She pulls her pie over in front of her — it's apple. Taking a bite, she says around it, "How do the other guys handle your being out?" It's almost like talking to a gay cop — Evolved, gay, begin outed as either can really screw with you when you're a cop. All the macho crap.

It is like talking to a gay cop. For real. Which is why Fel gives her a politely puzzled look, over faint unease. "I assume you're talking about my being Evolved?" he asks, after lifting a finger to summon the waitress. Apparently he wants pie, too.

"Well, yeah!" Her tone is surprised — what else would she mean? That's what they were just talking about! She takes another bite of her pie and then pauses, eyeing him. Did she just put her foot in a huge cow pie? Liz goes back over in her head what she just said, and gets this 'oh crap!' expression that's probably comical in its scope. She struggles to swallow the mouthful of pie and chokes a little, before saying, "I'm sorry. That was a terribly rude question, wasn't it? I promise I was raised better!" She's thoroughly embarrassed now — open mouth, insert foot.

"Well, happily, they didn't make me register for that," Fel says, sardonically. "Or put it up on a website so people could know where I lived." He glances down into his refilled cup….and is that an actual blush? "It's fine."

Oh lord…. yeah, she put her foot in it. Majorly. "Shit, Ivanov. I'm sorry!" Liz grins at him, though. "For what it's worth, I couldn't care less which way you swing on EITHER question… although that's got to be one hell of a double whammy for you with some people."

Felix wheezes laughter at that. "Yeah. Tell me about it. I damn near got one idiot cop drummed off the force about it. A mutant fag was more than he was willing to deal with, apparently."

Elisabeth winces. "Damn," is all she can say to that one. "That's gotta suck. I'm sorry. Really."

He shrugs, gracefully, and then proceeds to dump unholy amounts of sugar into his coffee. "It happens. And it's nice when the idiots come right out to where you can confront them. So, if you've quit….how do you keep yourself?" he wonders, blue eyes meeting hers again.

Elisabeth shrugs and says, "Went back and picked up a lateral entry teaching certificate." She grins at him, more amused at her own perhaps bizarre-sounding jump. "I had a crap-ton of music lessons as a kid, had a bit of talent for it. They're letting me teach music. I just picked up a fulltime position that starts after the Christmas break at Washington Irving. I've been subbing there for the past few months." She smirks. "Lemme tell you…. being a cop? Definitely good job training for this gig."

Felix's lip curls. "I can imagine. I never had the patience for dealing with kids, myself," he says, with a shake of the head. "Do you enjoy it?"

Elisabeth hesitates. Maybe longer than she ought to. "It's…. different," she finally says. "Being a cop was all I ever wanted to be. So it's… been a huge change."

There's something like sympathy in his face, as he watches her. "I can bet. I can't imagine being a civilian, now. I don't know what I'd do, if I got tossed out of the Bureau, and couldn't go back to the NYPD."

When she first did it… when she first walked away… Elisabeth was sure it was the right call. It was as much fear-driven as it was an actual choice, though. And 18 months later? She's not so sure now. "Well, the up side to the way I left is that I can always come back, right?" She smiles a little. "Honestly, I might already have done it if things were… a little better."

His smile is immediately sly. "You know you can't resist," he teases. "Or maybe you should join the Bureau," he suggests, drawing a pattern in the spilled sugar on the tabletop, with a fingertip.

Elisabeth groans. "Oh lord… don't even think about trying to recruit me to the Feebs, man." She grins at him. "Seriously…. I just don't know if I can work inside the system when it's depriving people of civil liberties." She shrugs a bit. "I'm sort of waiting see what shakes out."

Felix concedes the point with a little gesture, lips thinning out. "I see your point," he says, ruefully.

Elisabeth shrugs and concedes quietly, "It may not ever shake out." Her smile is soft. "I just don't know. We'll see."

"I know there are many, many perks to not being law enforcement….but, I'm still not the guy to talk to, really," Fel concedes, looking very rueful. He's actually blushing again.

Elisabeth laughs softly. "Oh, I'm not going to attempt to convince you to quit. Not by a long shot. I'm just…. biding my time. I have time to spare."

"I do, too, really," he says. "I mean, we're still busy, and I still work long hours. But man, this place is still such a ghost town, you know?"

Elisabeth grimaces. "Yeah… it is. People don't even go near the crater much. Not like when the Trade Towers fell." She was here for that too, on the streets. "You know, people all pulled together for that, it was an outside threat. Now they're all terrified of each other. So they're not even …. it's like they all look at each other suspiciously."

"I know. It's a tremendous wedge of division. I mean, crap, they made mass crematoriums over what was essentially a religious dispute. Physical difference and preternatural power….." He trails off, but that haunted look is in his eyes again.

Elisabeth nods with a faint moue of her lips. She reaches out and touches his arm lightly. "For what it's worth to you, I admire the hell out of you for sticking with it. You're not the only one out there."

Felix forces a smile. "Thank you. You're kind to say so," he says, quietly.

Elisabeth shakes her head. "No. I'm not." She smiles a little. "I'm not a bit kind. I'm honest. And I worry for all of you who are outed Evolved. And I hope to heaven that each of you stays safe. Because that incestuous little family you were talking about? It can be pretty deadly when it turns on its own."

Felix's smile turns sour, at that. "I know. Believe me, I know. That's part of why I'm glad I'm a Feeb, at this point."

Elisabeth nods with an understanding grimace. "I can see that. Just … be careful out there, okay?" She reaches out and pats his arm. "Real careful." Pulling a napkin toward her, she snags his ink pen and scribbles her cell number on it. "Feel free to give me a call if you're… I dunno. Around with nothing better to do. Wanna grab a coffee. Wanna talk. Whatever." She pushes the napkin toward him with a small smile. "I'm around. I might be nothing more than a music teacher these days, but … hey, it's a dangerous job too!"

"I'd love to. Let me give you mine in return," he says, vanishing the napkin into his suit jacket with a magician's swiftness. He drags a little black notebook out of an inner pocket, and writes down his now cell phone number. "I'm glad to see you alive and doing well. My family wasn't here, but god knows I lost enough friends in that bomb."

Elisabeth smiles at him and says softly, "It's good to BE alive and well, that's for sure. In spite of it all." She reaches out to take the phone number and shoves it into the pocket of her jacket. And then she moves to stand up. "I have to head back out — I actually have some grading to do tonight," she says with a roll of her eyes." She drops a ten on the table to cover her coffee and pie, and then grins at him. The only hint that she might worry for him is the faint line between her brows. "I'll be expecting to hear from you sometime." And then she heads for the door. "Good luck with your paperwork."

November 4th: The Voodoo That You Do
November 5th: Remember, Remember
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