Doing Better Than Finger Wiggling


elisabeth_icon.gif felix_icon.gif leland_icon.gif

Scene Title Doing Better Than Finger-Wiggling
Synopsis Felix has only been MOSTLY dead for a couple of days, apparently. Liz takes him home to Leland.
Date April 1, 2009

Leland and Felix's apartment

She's been able to tell that Felix is not acting quite right, but she has thus far chalked it up to trauma. Elisabeth gently bullied Felix into St. Luke's to be checked out before anything else. A good night's sleep didn't quite seem to shake off his vagueness. After that, she takes him home — the paperwork at the precinct can wait a bit longer. "Not like I have to tell you this… but he's going to be unhappy," she says as they get out of the car in front of the apartment building. "Unhappier than yesterday."

Felix is still sort of vague. He's got that little line between his brows, not quite a frown, that means he's fighting off confusion. "He was pretty unhappy yesterday," he notes, eyeing her sidelong. Still in the polo and khakis he wore the other day.

All is silent in the apartment. Seems Lee got his senses about him long enough to straighten up the broken bottle on the floor and a few other hazards, namely broken furniture. What used to be his end-table sits on the curb not far from where the pair parked.

The inside of the apartment still seems stale, still smells faintly of booze. Leland is in bed, the door half-ajar. The cop sleeps fitfully on his stomach in just a pair of sweatpants with the comforter balled up over his shoulders. He's been having dreams and nightmares. He's not sure which are real.

Elisabeth mmms quietly. She's been taking it easy on him today, since he seems befuddled most of the time. That worries her. When she opens the door to the apartment with Felix's keys, she skims the interior briefly. Concern darkens her gaze as she sees the mess, but she closes the door behind her and asks Felix, "You wanna wake him while I get coffee? Or you wanna get the coffee while I wake him?"

"I'll wake him," says Felix, fearlessly. Perhaps unwisely. He pads into Lee's bedroom, touches him gently on the shoulder. "Leland, I'm home. Wake up?"

Leland has been in a deep sleep. Alcohol and stress induced. At first, the cop resists. He grunts and kicks at the covers, then rolls over. From his vantage point, Felix is a silhouette backlit by light coming from the hallway. He's sober now, but he still looks like shit. He's got several days' worth of stubble and dark circles under his eyes. "…so are you fucking dead or aren't you?"

Oh lordy…. that's going to go well. Elisabeth hurries through making coffee for Leland, listening only so long as it doesn't get personal there.

Felix comes up to the side of the bed, out of the light - now it illuminates his profile. "I'm not dead," he says, quietly, hands hanging useless at his sides, fingers curling a little. "I wasn't. I don't know what Liz's contact saw. An illusion, a metamorph dumb enough to use my face…." He takes Lee's hand, puts it on his chest over the heart, which is beating a hair too fast, as usual. "See? Working just fine."

Leland yanks his hand back as if Felix were something hot. He curls his nostrils, then kicks his feet over the side of the bed. From the wince on his face, a hangover has claimed the front of his brain. But that doesn't kill his temper entirely. This is Leland.

He slowly stands, looks down at the carpet, then suddenly swings a punch around, aimed across Felix's jaw. It's a pulled punch. If he really meant to do any damage to the speedster, he'd be unconscious. A love-tap? Well, it's still bound to fucking hurt.

Elisabeth's still in the kitchen, but the sound of fleshing thudding on flesh makes her leave the coffee perking and head for the bedroom. Felix might be due to get hit, but she'll only let Lee hit the confused fed once.

It's enough to take the still bemused Felix straight in the jaw, and bounce him right off the bedroom wall. He staggers back forward, drops to one knee, hand to his jaw, eyes narrowed against the pain. So much for use of his superpower. He grunts, but neither curses nor chides Lee. Apparently he figures he deserved it.

The big man stands in front of Felix. Leland's eyes narrow and his fists clench. "Fucking reckless goddamn fucker! What did I tell you about running off half-cocked on cases? You didn't even say where the fuck you went or what the fuck you were doing." Well, the good news is, he's no longer insisting Felix is dead. Now he just looks like he wants to make it happen himself. "You need to STOP being a goddamn fucking vigilante with a badge."

Stopping in the doorway, Liz watches the two men cautiously. So long as Leland keeps it to verbal, she's not going to step in yet. She's really only here in case the two men need to be separated.

"I wasn't on a case," Fel protests, words a little slurred. "I was there just to see if the folks at the Lighthouse had seen Demsky's kid. Wasn't even there …." He doesn't rise, still in that unsteady genuflection. Why make it more convenient for Lee to hit him again?

Leland starts to take another step forward, but hesitates upon seeing the shape of Liz in the doorway. He blinks, grunts and rocks back again. "It's still fucking Staten by yourself. Without telling anybody. Half this city's got a violent hate-on for goddamn cops. Did you forget Chinatown? Or the fact you can't get any damn backup on that island?"

Elisabeth crosses her arms, leaning on the doorjamb. "I've got coffee brewing," she says mildly. She's the picture of nonchalance right now.

Felix puts a hand down, awkwardly pushes himself up, wobbles back a step or two. "How'm I supposed to go, Lee? With a whole platoon, so everyone knows exactly what I am? C'mon. I did undercover work for years for the NYPD. I was fine until this last visit."

"You were lucky," says Leland. He wipes a hand across his mouth. "One day your fucking luck will run out." The words are murmured lowly as he shoulders past Felix and moves past Elisabeth. He's no good with words. He can't articulate why he's so angry. Even if he could, he wouldn't want to admit it.

Okay…. now that is kind of a lie, and Elisabeth can't help the snort. "You used to do undercover work, but lately, Fel… I swear to God, there's not a person you come across out there these days who can't tell you're a fed from the soles of your shoes. I think…. maybe working with the Feebs has blunted those skills. And maybe you should start taking that into consideration." She watches Leland, moving out of his way.

Felix flicks a rather hangdog look at Liz. Like a fox caught with its paws on the lock of the henhouse door. "I will," he says, finally, also heading for the kitchen, and the scent of brewing coffee.

Leland would love to say something like, 'one day you'll realize you're not just affecting you when you do stupid shit.' But that would be unmanly. Or you know, sensitive and shit. So Felix will just have to figure it out fromn the way he death-grips a coffee mug and pulls it down from the shelf. There's way more noise than is strictly necessary that goes into the routine of doctoring the cup with cream and sugar.

Rolling her eyes at the men, Elisabeth walks back out to look between them. "Soooo…. if I leave you two boys to fight it out the rest of the way on your own, Felix isn't gonna come back broken, is he, Leland?" Her tone is dry and half-amused. Because it looks to her like we're through the worst of it. "Take it a little easy on him… the docs are running a bunch of tests because he's lost all the days between heading for the Lighthouse and waking up on Staten Island in a hotel just before he came home. We've got someone undercover over there that I'm going to ask to look into it all, but it'll take some time." She looks from one to the other. "You don't need a sitter anymore?"

Felix looks a little affronted. "I'm fine," he says, a bit huffily. "Honest. I just need a day or two to collect my wits again, I'll be okay." Nevermind that his lip is already swelling where Lee hit him.

Leland doesn't have intelligent things to say. So instead, he just stalks around the kitchen like a penned bull. Neither of them gets an acknowledgement either with looks or with words until cream and sugar are away. He glances to Liz, but disregards Felix as he makes his way to the living room. He's not a giant of a man, either in weight or in height. Still, he manages to create a small earthquake as he stomps over to the couch.

Ayup…. Lee's gonna be all right. She quirks him a brief grin, because …. you know…. LOOK! It's Felix! And he's alive! "Just… give him hell without hitting him anymore, kay? He's been mostly dead for a couple of days and he's doing more than finger wiggling, but …. not by much," she quips mildly. She walks back past Felix, pausing to give him another hug, a tight one. "Go make nice with your best friend. He did all the correct manly things one does when their best friend dies, but you hurt his feelings and stuff. Tell him you're sorry for being a …. what'd you call him?" she asks, glancing back at Lee. "Oh yeah," she looks back at Felix. "For being a fucking reckless goddamn fucker." She pats Felix lightly and looks back at Lee. "See you two later on."

Liz, unlike the boys, does have a way with words. Felix blushes to the roots of his hair at that, and says, all docility, "Yes, Liz. Thanks for putting me up last night, and bringing me home." She smells distractingly nice. "And I'm sorry, Lee," he adds, with a contrite sigh.

Leland is seated on the couch, one elbow on his knee and hand in his hair. The coffee sits untouched on the table. He's still at a loss for words. Or rather, words that aren't embarrasing or show the soft underbelly he pretends he doesn't have. So he'll just sit under his stormcloud.

Elisabeth lets herself out, content in the knowledge that the boys'll find their own way through — all she wanted to do was make sure Lee didn't kill Felix.

Felix looks to Lee, lips thinned out. "I am sorry," he says, again, brows still lifted, like he's got no idea what he should be saying. Nothing useful. I love you….well, that'd go over beautifully, wouldn't it?

Leland scrubs his hands over his face, then leans back against the couch. "Go to bed, Felix." His words are rough as sandpaper. The Fed's only given the briefest looks. He looks…exhausted.

"You, too," Felix says, reflexively, looking to Lee. He does pace over, put a hand on Lee's shoulder by way of apology, biting his lip.

Leland's shoulder tenses under Felix's hand, but he doesn't flinch away. "If…" He grits his jaw. "If I catch you doing this reckless shit ever again? I'll break every fucking goddamn bone in your body. You got me, Ivanov?"

Felix kneads the muscle, reflexively, fingers tightening. "I understand," he says, simply.

"And you better not make Liz file the paperwork. You do it for her. You've put her through enough." Her, not him. Oh no. Leland keeps staring forward, but Felix's wrist isn't broken. Yet.

"Yes, yes," Felix says, with a sigh. He does, however, move behind Lee to put the other hand on the other shoulder, and sinks fingers in there, too. "Jesus. You're like iron," It hasn't, perhaps, occurred to him that this is touch beyond what's permissible.

And in any other situation, Felix wouldn't get away with it. But Leland is emotionally and physically exhausted and his brain is slamming up against the confines of his skull. "Yeah well. I just spent the past three day thinking my fucking friend was dead. It's a tad stressful." The words fall off his tongue like lead.

His grip is surprisingly strong, for the apparent fragility of his bone structure. "I don't know what happened, Lee. We'll find out, though," he assures the cop. "It won't happen again, either. Honest," he insists, as he works his fingers deeper into the bands of muscle, gently.

Leland really does want to protest. He wants to pull away, grunt, stomp off to his bedroom. Any of those things would be his usual response. And they all require energy. Energy that the cop just doesn't have right now. He used what little reserves he had to give Felix a fat lip. Even through the haze, he finds enough clarity to mumble, "What're you doing?"

What am I doing? Fel hesitates, a moment, blush rising again. "Trying to work the knots out of your shoulders," he settles on, finally. It's all perfectly innocent. Except….that it's really not.

"Since when are you a masseuse?" Leland's words are hard to read. They're half-mumbled into his chest as his chin rests against his collarbone.

"Now?" Felix asks, sheepishly, but he removes his hands. Not quite snatching them back. Hey, there's coffee, he'd forgotten about it. Face still pink, he turns for the kitchen.

Leland stands slowly and follows Felix towards the kitchen. He leans in the doorway and scrubs a hand over his face. "Sorry," he murmurs. "That was a delayed reaction. When Liz came to tell me what happened, all I wanted to do was hit you." Deconstruct that as you will.

Felix exhales a long sigh, as he doses his coffee with his usual unholy amounts of sugar and cream. "I don't blame you. I'd feel the same way if you'd done that to me," he allows, pointedly not looking at Lee - there's still the stain of a blush spread over the high cheekbones.

Leland is so exhausted that the world is kind of pulsating at the edges. It means he doesn't pick up details like blushing. Or if he does, he doesn't react to it. After that initial burst of adrenaline, the past three days are catching up to him fast. "Difference is, I wouldn'tve done that to you. You're not a fucking lone dog, Felix. You want to act like one? Move to a different city and don't make any goddamn friends."

"I know," Fel says, quietly. He is accepting the scolding without a flare of his usual temper, and a great deal of humility. He still doesn't look at Lee, gazing out the kitchen window at the building across the alley.

Leland inhales a slow breath and lets it out with equal patience. "We need to find out what the fuck happened to you. Elisabeth was sure, otherwise she woulda never told me. Something is fucked up here." He inhales slowly, then starts to walk past Felix. He stops just beside his friend and reaches out to squeeze his shoulder. He can't bring himself to hug, so the Fed'll have to make do with that. "M'going back to bed. Clean this place up, will ya?"

Felix just nods to that, glancing sidelong at Lee. "Will do," he says. "I think I need to sleep a bit myself, first," he adds, looking down at the coffee.

"You're in luck. I didn't turn your room into a rec room just yet," That's Lee's attempt at humour. You know? Like kids going away to college? Ha ha ha. Morbid. He casts another look back at his friend, inhales deeply and enters his bedroom. The door closes with a soft click.

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