Don't Ask Don't Tell


danko_icon.gif felix_icon.gif mona_icon.gif

Scene Title Don't Ask Don't Tell
Synopsis Felix and Mona have a lot of questions. Danko doesn't have any. He doesn't exactly have any answers for them either, save where telepathy is involved.
Date August 11, 2009

Greenwich Village

A park, a scuzzy bar, and the back of a dark van.

Central's too much of a wilderness. But Washington Square Park - well, that's an old haunt, even though he and his father no longer play chess there. It's a lovely summer day, and Fel is at loose ends. Lee's furious with him, so the apartment isn't somewhere he wants to be. He's taken the day off to ramble, albeit rather slowly, considering the stitches he's sporting. He looks rather different than the last time Danko saw him; his hair's shaved nearly gone, into one of those high and tight haircuts that're generally sported by the military, he doesn't have his glasses on, and he's wearing jeans, a t-shirt under a Hawaiian shirt that's fairly subtle for him, instead of the usual blinding hibiscus print - the latter worn open, and no doubt donned only to conceal the back holster he's wearing beneath, and worn boots. There's a battered library book set beside him on the fountain's lip, and he's feeding the pigeons with the crumbs of a sandwich. "Hey, bird," he says, to one eyeing him expectantly. "Do me a favor and tell Ruskin that Felix Ivanov says she should go fuck herself." The pigeon merely blinks, and cants his head the other way.

It's a cool day in New York for all that the air is still and the night has yet to fall. Probably not quite cool enough to warrant the wear of a black leather jacket, but certain sacrifices made to pragmatism simultaneously ensure that the visible outline of a sidearm stowed under Danko's shoulder is minimal. He looks almost exactly the same as he did when Felix saw him last. Short. Compact. Pale countenance, black clothes. Different collared shirt beneath the jacket. This one has pinstripes lined light against darker charcoal.

"Looks like you've had a hell of a week."

His voice trails in coarse from behind, casual as a man in all black in the middle of a park can be over the muffled crunch of combat boots over dry grass mingled in with greener stuff.
That greeting has Fel peering over one high, narrow shoulder at Danko, trying to summon up recognition. "Yeah. I had better," he says. He's tired and woozy enough that his accent, or rather accents, are audible - the weird mingling of Moscow and Brooklyn that you get out of Little Odessa. "I know you?" With his luck, this is some mope he's arrested before, back when.

"Not yet." Easy questions get easy answers. Danko stops when Felix turns to look up over, chin lifted slightly against inspection even as he carries out his own. New hair, bandaged head, woozy through his voice. He doesn't quite tuck his hands into his pockets, but the impression of easy settling in is there nonetheless through the slack confidence in his shoulders and the tip of a brow.

And Fel lifts his brows questioningly at that. "Okay," he says, drawing out the second syllable in a clear expression of puzzlement. "What do you want?" His tone is relatively polite - he hasn't settled into that carapace of impatient brusqueness that usually helps him deal with the public. Not exactly Officer Friendly. Maybe it's the drugs.

An ambiguous lift at one shoulder doesn't say much. Certainly less than the dead grey sweep of Danko's eyes from high-and-tight to lower-and-also-tight has to say, complete with brows raised in what could well qualify as appreciation. Probably something Felix has seen before. "Come out here often?"

That's not a pass, unless he's intending to be provoking…or purely satirical. "Now and then, not as often I have before," Felix says, and then recognition dawns. Or something like it. "I remember you. You were at Old Lucy's."

"Briefly," allowed with the same hoarse inscrutability that Danko's defined himself with since his initial approach, the older man squints sideways at the sun like he isn't used to being out early enough to see it.

Felix points out, patiently, "You didn't answer my question. What do you want?" His tone is almost coaxing, as if he's trying to decide whether or not Danko is a crazy stalker.

"Is having an ulterior motive generally a requirement for conversation with you?" Still not an answer — something Danko recognizes with an entirely different, near apologetic tilt of his brows as he leans to resume his approach more deliberately than before. "Maybe I thought you looked interesting."

"This is New York. Friendly strangers do generally have an ulterior motive. And I have a suspicious mind," Felix says, pulling a worn box of cigarettes out of a pocket. Lee's mad at him, he might as well smoke anyhow. He plucks one from it - black, with a gold filter, it looks like something a teenage goth should be smoking, and offers the box to Danko, just in case he should want one, too. "Not from around here, are you?"

"That obvious?" Must be. Jacket collar adjusted with a fidgety lift of his left hand, Danko draws up to Felix's side in time to look a little skeptically over the proffered cigarettes before he reaches to take one anyway. "I don't think I've said anything about being friendly." There's a beat while he turns the smoke over in his hand, end over end once, then lifted between them. "On that note, 'the hell is this supposed to be?"

"'s not a clove. 's a Black Russian," Fel explains, laconically. And indeed, it lacks that spice scent. He produces a battered Zippo from a pocket, flicks it alight, holds it out to Danko, after quickly lighting his own. "No, but you're talking to a perfect stranger and that's more or less against local codes. I arrest you sometime, or somethin'?"

A laconic sniff at the cig in question confirms that he's not being bullshitted, so. Danko eases it up into the corner of his mouth and leans over to take advantage of the offered light. There's no complaint once he's kicked out the first furl of smoke. Just bland acceptance in the slant of his brows and the mild line of his mouth when his eyes check sideways to look Felix over one more time. "Not yet." Same answer as earlier, delivered with the same absence of affect. "Can I buy you a drink?"

It's very smooth….and lung-searingly strong. That ninth life will go to lung cancer, apparently. "Have you done something I need to arrest you for?" Fel shoots back, tone a little arch. "I don't drink with people I have to arrest." No, he just screws them. According to Teodoro Laudani, who is thankfully not providing commentary for this scene.

"No sir." Danko's as smoothly at ease as the Black Russian, dark amusement written sidelong into an upturn at the corner of his mouth. He doesn't miss a beat with eye contact or the shift of his weight vaguely in the direction of what must be the nearest bar, calm as a crocodile in familiar waters and approximately as cold-blooded.

He's silent, a moment, turning this over. "You gimme a name, I'll go have a drink with you," he says, finally, with lazy magnanimity.

"Beatty," offered with a ghost of something dubiously warm for Felix's suspicion, Danko stops shy of dismissal or offense, smoke coiling slow from the black end of his cigarette. "William. You gotta name?"

"Felix Ivanov. No, I am not named after the cat," he says, rattling off the last with the air of a recitation he's profoundly tired of. "Honestly, though, what's this about?"

"Christ you're paranoid," rattled off with the same lack of feeling he might spare a piece of shit car he's thinking of buying, Danko tugs his smoke aside long enough to get some skepticism in with the flat asphalt rake of his gaze. Then he's taking a step backwards, cigarrete lifted again as he goes. "Even for a fed."

Stupid medal. Stupid newspaper. Fame, even local and shortlived, does him no damn good. "I've got four different bullet holes punched in me. Trust me, I have my reasons," Fel says, drily. But he does rise to follow.

"Fair enough." Permissive again, Danko turns in full once it looks like Felix is pushing to his feet, content to lead the way. If he's even coming. …One last prompt on that account probably wouldn't hurt, actually. "You coming? If you have plans to stand out here all day and stare into the distance that's fine. Thought I'd offer."

He shouldn't go. He knows it, in whatever dark recess of his mind where his atrophied survival instinct lurks. But curiosity is an overdeveloped muscle, and so Fel picks up his pace until he's at Danko's side. "And just where are we going to drink, then?"

Once more an easy question makes for an easy answer, and Danko tips his head vaguely in the direction of the city crowding in around the greenery of Washington Square, opposite the fountain and the arch. The street isn't too far. Odds are if they're walking, the bar isn't too far beyond that. "Malone's. It's a little lower key than Old Lucy's. Also closer. Unless you have somewhere you'd rather go."

Being a glutton for his doom, as the song goes, Fel shrugs amiably. "No, not at all. You're buying, you're choosin'," he says, voice lazy.

About three-quarters of a block down from where Danko and Felix are standing, there's another couple closing the gap— and taking their sweet time about it, too. Two women. One would be entirely suspicious. Mona does not have the gift of a metamorph, but she has done her best to make herself less immediately recognizable. Her dark hair is wound tightly into a bun, she is in darker, 'punkier' clothes than usual, and she is wearing large shades. The other woman is also dark-haired, but shorter; it is she who is doing most of the quiet murmuring and giggling. They pause, still a good distance away— conceivably so Mona can fix a shoelace, but really, so she can stop and tune in.

Ambivalent in kind, Danko tips his head after Felix's acceptance without comment. Conversation is, in fact, sparse for most of the walk out of the park. Across one street and down the block.

It's a little early in the evening to be drinking and the interior of Malone's reflects as much at first glance. It's sparsely occupied and dimly lit, warm lamps playing dull off of a dark wood bar and similarly shadowy furnishings. Not exactly rough per se, but not the kind of place likely to play host to partiers and college kids once it gets dark.

The guy behind the bar vaguely resembles a gorilla — there are more tattoos on his arms than there is hair on his head. But everything's clean and there's classic rock piping tinny through a portable radio stowed up with the hard liquor. Could be worse. Danko certainly seems comfortable enough. He's even polite enough to hold the door for Felix before he continues on to take up a seat at the bar.

Aw, a real gentleman. They still make 'em, even. "Thanks," Fel says, quietly, as he precedes Danko in. Yeah, it's seedy, but he's been in a lot worse. And this is the US, they serve actual liquor here instead of filtered tractor fuel, unlike back home. He's got a stripe of bandage along one temple and his hair shaved back nearly to the scalp, as if he'd just been in a fight; he's dressed in a white t-shirt under a Hawaiian shirt worn open over it, jeans, and battered combat boots. Without asking Danko what he prefers, he takes a seat at the bar.

Somewhere in Mona's black, Anthrax-logoed sweatshirt pocket, a phone vibrates. She spends a full minute or so chatting away with whoever is on the other end, her words lost in a plethora of outside sounds: a rattling bike chain, a whistling breeze, one or two passing cars. When she flips the thing shut and glances up again, Danko and Felix are out of sight, but look— there's the entrance to the bar, right there. "Feel like a drink?" she says easily to her companion without looking, already sauntering her way down the walk. "I'll treat us both.."

There is no door-holding when the duo arrives on Danko and Felix's tail; the telepath briefly holds the door up with a forearm, but then lets it fall on her friend. Mona ignores the "ow!" that follows, her gaze trailing first from the tattooed gentleman to the two men she had come here to observe. "Sorry," she answers cheerfully above the thudding of the radio, hoisting herself up into a seat somewhere past the middle of the bar, close to the other end. From her earlobes, skull earrings swing at the end of little chains as she packs away her shades. Even beneath them, there is a whole lot of eyeshadow and liner— striking, heavy makeup of a sort that Mona usually never wears. Ah, the things she puts herself through.

At least here, she's in range for some pretty nice telepathic reception.

"Vodka and sprite," muttered across the bar once he's settled in, Danko's too busy looking sideways down the bar at undesired company in the form of Mona and Friend to bother with being perturbed that the 'tender doesn't ask for his preference of vodka. He just grunts and gets to doling a shot or two out've a generic-looking bottle into a generic looking glass of ice. There's nothing like familiarity in the cold touch of his eyes over the curve of each of their faces, but there's no friendliness either. If anything, annoyance cinches into well-defined crow's feet before he turns his focus forward again in time to receive the glass pushed across the bar to him. "And whatever he's having."

His thoughts are turned inward. Not strictly to hatred, though the fog of it coils persistent as ever through the icy crevices worn into his brain. There's something more mechanical going on here. A plan in action, making the transition from part A to part B flawlessly up until now. Cigarette snuffed out and exchanged for a toothpick, he rolls another look over onto the female pair further down the bar while the bartender lifts a brow at Ivanov in dim expectation.

"Vodka gimlet," Fel says. His usual, not that this bartender would know it. Because (of course) he's a Chandler fan. The two ladies down the bar get a reflexive looking-over - somewhere between a guy's standard checking out of a pretty woman, and a threat assessment. Nice curves, not packing iron, balances out to nothing much. Mentally, he's fogged from the ache in his head, wondering at Danko's motives, resisting the temptation to pester the other man with questions - waiting him out.

Mona and Friend seem to be completely unaware that they are undesired company. There is a guttural laugh from the stockier woman at some mumbled comment, and a mirthful Mona interrupts the flow of conversation just long enough to direct "Two Sam Adams," at the bartender once Danko and Ivanov have been finished with. Instinctively, the telepath flicks her eyes over at both men when she feels their own on her. Just for a split second, without saying anything, before casually turning her head back again. Danko's thoughts tumble critically through her mental eye, but it's difficult to concentrate when—

Woman #2 is making no disguise of waggling both her eyebrows quite specifically at Felix. Yum. "You know 'em, sweetie?" That's to Mona, of course, in a barely lower voice. It looks like Felix isn't the only one who is here without quite knowing the full story behind the person buying them drinks.

« Friends of yours? » Russian rolls off Danko's tongue grammatically as easily as English, though it's contaminated with an American accent so oppressive that it's very nearly belligerent in its unapologetic strike through the flow of the question, even as the easy lift of his brows when he turns to focus more pointedly upon Felix borders on companionable. The bar tender looks more dubious than ever at the introduction of foreign accents and nonsense talk into the venue, but he turns his back to shuffle around for lime juice all the same. One gimlet, coming up and it's all Danko can do not to offer to cover the girls' drinks as well.

He forces himself to ignore them instead, tension biting visibly into the join of fuzzy skull and wiry neck when he glances at his watch. How long until they're out of here? How long until the drugs take effect? The hell do these fucking kids want with this place to begin with?

"Nyet," Fel says, reflexively, before turning a surprised look on Danko. « And where'd you learn to speak like that?» he wonders. Mona's companion gets an absent-minded smile, reflexive flirtation, but his mind's really on Danko…not without some faint internal ruefulness. That's the only downside to being in a love affair already. No longer able to even think about playing the field.

…Russian? Hmph. Well that's just cheating, innit. It's a language that is woefully nowhere near Mona's realm of experience, and so she is confined to scanning Danko's thoughts via images-only — if his mental voice isn't taking place in Russian, too.

Mona's buddy appears a little disappointed when she only receives a half-present smile from Felix in return, and soon her wildly colorful nails are tap-tapping on the counter's surface as she squares her shoulders and shifts herself back around. "Think I've seen his face before, sure," is the shrug-filled response from the other, Mona's accent a convincing imitation of her female friend's. "Got a medal for somethin' or other on the news. Don't remember exactly." But now, Felix's brainwaves have caught her interest as well. And should she be concerned that the two came in together?

As gently as a warm breath, she seeks to push and press Danko's hostile attention away, as though encouraging a scuttling beetle to avoid the placement of her hands. No direction in particular, but at the very least, so it's more off the women at the bar. Ignore the silly kids, go on; they're not why you're here.

« The Cold War, » isn't entirely honest. Not that it isn't true, just. It isn't completely true. There's no difference in delivery to account for the missing fraction anyway. He could be lying about the weather for all that it registers in the dead grey rest of his eyes or the slant of his brows. « You? » Keep it simple, keep it safe. The gimlet is set down at Felix's hand; Danko doesn't deign to look at it, preferring to focus on taking the first sip of his own drink instead.

Disjointed images of a prison cell fracture through his thoughts. Thick, bulletproof glass and an old man seated quiet on the other side. Thoughtful. He glances up, corpse grey eyes not yet having lost their spark and — Christ, did he put any sprite in this thing?

Those same eyes set in a different skull flit irritably after the bartender, Mona and the idiot grin that comprises her friend temporarily forgotten as a potential problem.

Fel slants a look at Danko, one brow arching as he eyes the other man. "You a spook?" he asks, bluntly, the hint of a sneer curling his lip. He's allergic to them, even though they make up a fairly large branch of his own Bureau. "I'm a native," And indeed, his Russian has the clipped intonation of a Muscovite. "And I grew up in Little Odessa," His own accent has slipped in, as he sips from the gimlet, grateful for the cold after the heat outside. Suspicion has begun to curl like smoke in his brain. Who -is- this guy?

Brow arch matched for brow arch, there's a less malignant lift at the corner of Danko's mouth when he sips at his drink again. "No." He's not a spook. But he is American, and back to English. Also, giving the bartender a sideways look of the sort that tends to sends puppies cowering for cover. Might have something to do with the fact that said 'tender is staring at Felix, brows screwed up in hazy anticipation of…something. Maybe he has a booger.

That is fascinating; Danko hadn't told Felix who the hell he is? Mona takes a thoughtful drink, one hand curled around her mug and the other elbow resting on the counter, making absent hand gestures to pretend she's absorbed in her reply to the newest of whatever her friend is yammering at her. Right now, it's that suspicion of Felix's that has her attention hooker— she's just as curious to see what Danko says as he is.

"And what did you do in the Cold War, then?" Fel inquires, mildly, between sips. In no particular hurry to finish, since he only gets the one. "Since it's been done, officially, for nearly twenty years, you must've been young." He flicks a look at the bartender, lofts a brow. What?

"…Waste management."

Friendly handshakes in the light of day, screaming in the dark. Thrashing in muddy water unable to overcome the weight dragging them down, down. "…Was that a shark?" "Hell if I know. Where's the wife?"

Outwardly unaware of the increasingly infuriating nature of his non-answers, Danko smiles sidelong to himself again at Felix's remark about his probable youth, hollow ice clinking end over end along with a tilt of his wrist. "I got an early start." And thaaat's about the point where his attention starts sliding sideways over onto Mona again, persistent as an empty bullet casing on an incline.

And that's when Fel's eyes begin to leach not color, but warmth. He was prepared to relax, and a vodka gimlet isn't something to sneeze at, but the blue eyes are abruptly chill. "You still haven't told me what you want with me," he says, bluntly, as he swirls the ice in his glass.

The second she picks up on the gradual, reflexive discomfort of being watched once more, Mona inches her forearm forward on the bar and hooks her fingertips more firmly onto the back of her skull, making sure her back is still solidly facing Danko. She flips her wrist upwards in midair, a casual gesture that accompanies a series of little nods and another falsely engrossed response at her companion. "Mm-hm. Mm-hmmm." Though no longer attempting to telepathically persuade him otherwise— he is getting too suspicious— she finds herself edgier, in spite of herself, underneath that outward vibe of enjoying herself.

Danko's brows cant easily in the face off seeping warmth, unphased save perhaps for the presence of creeping amusement at the expense of Felix's ongoing paranoia. Man really has been fucked over sideways every which way. His own cool drink find its way to a temporary rest at his temple, glass flush with the curve of his skull while his gaze sweeps mechanically across Mona's turned back and up onto the face of the girl she brought in with her. "I wanted to buy you a drink. You're a good looking guy. Interesting history."

By rights, he should be moldering bones off Staten. And it's left its marks, if none easily visible during normal business hours. The Russian looks somewhat mollified. "Thank you, I guess," he says, finally. Liz has accused him of being a paranoid twit more than once, and that scolding is coming back to him. "I mean, thank you, period," he adds, with a little irritated face.

There is a mild wince from Mona the next time she drains a gulp of beer; fake lip piercing is starting to chafe. As for the the woman who had accompanied her in, there isn't much that is out of place for Danko to see— she is stocky; busty; wearing a tattered jean skirt, fishnets, and tanktop much in the same style as the telepath. Possibly Filipino. And yes, she's still gabbling. Good thing, too, because it just means that Mona has to do less talking herself.

But now that they've come to scraping the bottom of their mugs, it might be getting close to an ideal time for Mona to excuse herself. "You've only had one, dear," is the protest she hears when she opens a wallet to scrounge out enough cash for the bill and tip— something which only receives a smirk in return. No, the trick now? Is getting out. As smoothly as possible. "Nah, I'm got a hangout elsewhere. You take care of yourself, yeah?"

"You're welcome." There's no depth to Danko's eyes while he watches Mona go about the process of shuffling around for cash in her wallet. No amusement either — absence of feeling masked from Felix by the turned angle of his face while he calculates for her imminent absence. It's more problematic than her presence in a way, with no name and no knowledge of intent and no determination of whether or not her being here is pure coincidence, but. Emile is pretty clearly one of those who doesn't let inkling ghosts of familiarity slide.

Fortunately, the bartender is paying attention when he tips his chin lightly in their direction. Fortunately for him, that is.

"Ahmm," grunts the 'tender, awkward if not particularly sheepish, "if you're gunna pay all in cash I'm gunna need your driver's license number. We've been havin' problems with counterfeits in here. Sorry for the inconvenience."

There's something here he's missing. Some cosmic joke, Fel is -sure- of it. But he doesn't say anything, at the moment. Far from it. He finishes that gimlet, and says in Russian, «Thank you again. I should be going,» It's a little awkward.

There is an annoyed-sounding intake of breath from Mona— inconvenient indeed— but otherwise, no argument. "Never mind, I'll use a card," she tells him in a dry tone of voice, zipping up that compartment of her wallet again and opening another so she can retrieve it. No tab, either, if the 'tender should ask whether she wants to open one.

Danko will be a more difficult case than she is used to; that she had readily ascertained from her readings, if not her general impression of the man. She also needs no special training to tell her what a danger it might pose if he is allowed to keep that inkling of familiarity, or let it grow. With a last, carefully concentrated effort, she funnels one gut notion into his mind: that it is sheer, unworrying coincidence— a fluke— that Mona is here, simultaneously bolstering the sense of complication that Felix's suspicion presents. He'll no doubt latch back onto his original train of thought sooner or later, especially since there is no way she can hold back the tide of his feelings forever, but with luck it should doctor things up long enough for her to disappear.

Maybe it'll hold, too. Probably not, but maybe.

"Sure," says the bartender. « No problem, » says Danko. The card is rung up; the appropriate receipts are distributed. Emile finds cause to be more interested in his half-finished drink than the promise of Felix and Mona's respective departures. There isn't a lot've give with his brain, but subtle pushes do the trick neatly enough. There's very little resistance to the glide of his attention sideways over onto Felix's near leg and he doesn't look up to make sure that the bartender he prompted into action is scowlingly taking down Mona's name on an old receipt at the register.

Hugh offers a wan attempt at a half-smile, which doesn't reach his eyes. He notes the direction of Danko's gaze and even begins to flush, perhaps more than can be blamed on the booze. "Take care," he says, in accented English, and slips down from his stool. Frowning a little, as if woozy. Shouldn't've had that with the painkillers still in his system.

And that's enough for Mona. The moment the business with her card is finished, she tucks it, her receipt, and her wallet back into her sweatshirt without further ado, swinging her legs off her barstool with one last "See ya, huh?" There is one last, apologetic wink directed at her female friend before she has already stridden out the door, lost to sight.

"You too." Backing up off the throttle is a hell of a lot easier than leaning on it, and Danko lets Felix excuse himself with only the vaguest of private smirks while he reaches down into his coat. Not after his wallet, but after another smoke. Mona's remaining friend gets a glance and a twitch of his brow, but no suspicion.

Fel's out the door and on his way without a backwards glance. Nevermind the prickling unease. But what he's been deeming the interaction of prescription painkillers and drugs really starts to hit when he's less than a block away, leaving him stumbling as if he'd had way, way more than one vodka cocktail, even bumping into the brick wall of the building next to him.

Felix is out the door and Danko's glancing at his watch, regular white cigarette lit up without urgency.

Five minutes later, when a black van grits over towards the curb playing host to Felix and the back door swings open, Danko's there to step up in off the bumper while a squarish brute in a crew cut swings himself down and out. Said brute is quick to rectify Felix's stumbling problem with one hand blocking stiff around his gun hand and the other hooked around the skinnier Fed's waist to haul him up into the back of the van with the bald. All aboard.

By that point, Fel'd seated himself at the curb, head in hands, trying to master his fine motor control enough to punch in a goddamn number in his stupid cellphone. "No," he says, but it lacks conviction, even as the cellphone tumbles from his hand to clatter on the asphalt. He lacks his usual reflexes, so it's no great trial for Danko's goon to keep him from going for his gun….and the surge of adrenaline only makes the drug work all the faster. He's only half-conscious as he's hurled into the back of the van.

Once Felix is in, it's Danko that reappears to pick up the clattered phone. The fact that he's already in latex gloves is probably not a promising sign, but then — nothing about this situation is terribly promising.


He's back in and the door swings shut hard after him, biting off the late afternoon light entirely. There's a computer monitor glowing somewhere in a far corner, but odds are Felix is too busy being thrown down onto his face and having a knee planted in his back to make heads or tails of it and it's a second or two before Danko gets his bearings enough to flick a light on overhead so he can get a better look at the phone.

The van rumbles away from the curb; they're moving. Back into the flow of traffic without anyone so much as having lifted a finger to dial 911. Welcome to New York.

"Want me to flip him over?"

"He's fine. Hold him there."

"Wha - what is this? You guys HomeSec?" Fel isn't really all that sanguine about that being the case. "I'm a Federal agent," he notes to them, trying for indignation and not quite piercing the dull haze around him. Things are so blurry, even with his contacts in. He's not used to being the one being treated like a perp.

Danko's brows hike up further than they have all evening at what he manages to ascertain in the few minutes he spends clicking around through private correspondence, but there is no comment accordingly. He tosses the phone to a third guy waiting out've Felix's line of sight and crouches to pry around in the younger man's pants. After his wallet. Obviously.

It's flipped open with the same lackadaisical absence of fear that's defined him from the start, fingers bustling through cards. Badge. Identification. Whatever's in there.

"Are you really? I'd missed that." Shuffle, shuffle. Danko pries without apology, frown distracted. "Who's Leland?"

There's the FBI's gold badge. A subsidiary piece of paper deputizing him as a member of the NYPD. About forty bucks in cash, a subway card. A photo of a smiling elderly couple, no doubt his parents. A library card. A couple of credit cards and one debit card. A gym pass, and a brightly colored holy card depicting Saint Michael vanquishing the dragon on the back, with a prayer for policement inscribed on it. A worn enameled dog tag that reads 'BEST IN SHOW'.

Fel's head lolls and he regards Danko with the puzzled frown of someone not doing a very good job of translating from English to Russian. "'s my room-mate," he says, finally. "You drugged me. Wh'd'you wan'?"

"'Room-mate,'" echoed with another cynical brow liftand audible quotation marks, Danko glances up to check on the progress of the thug with the phone before he flops the wallet closed and stuffs it back in wherever he got it from. "You got anything you want to tell us about now?" « While you're still technically a free man? »

The switch to Russian is more condescending than helpful. It also coincides with the draw of Felix's firearm out from where darkly-dressed thug #1 had it pinned down beyond easy access.

He's begun to pale. Oh, god, they know what he's been up to with Phoenix. And all his little shortcuts and dodges come back to haunt him. Fel just stares at him, owlishly. "Yeah. He's a cop. What is this about?" he wonders, brow furrowed.

Gun in hand, it's Felix's sudden pallor that gives Danko pause in the process of dropping the magazine out into his waiting left hand. It falls on a delay, like its own little piece of punctuation, weighed out and turned over while Danko scans carefully over the angles and planes of Fel's face. "Why don't you tell me?"

"I've no intention of telling you anything," It's stated quietly. "I don't know who you are or who you work for. Why'd you grab me? I'm just a cop, myself, really. This isn't the KGB's vengeance, twenty five years too late." How is that sequitur? Most likely he's just rambling, borderline incoherent.

"…But you do have something to tell." Interesting. Gun pointed loosely at the ceiling of the van, Danko remains still in his crouch, shoulders moving only to maintain balance against bumps in the road and touches at the brake. He watches Felix's face closely for a beat or two more before returning to the task of emptying out the magazine, chamber checked with a quick rack on his way to clapping the gun neatly back together again. A louder, "Ready up front?" earns a muffled, "Yes sir!" None of Felix's questions are answered.

"Everyone has a story," Felix retorts, glaring at Danko. But that little exchange between driver and interrogator has a strange calm coming into his face. They're going to kill him and dump him in the river, and he'll never even know why. He's silent, and almost relaxed.

"Is yours worth dying over?" It's an oddly earnest question, under the circumstances. The van has eased into a gentle halt. Traffic's still audible through the walls, but at a distance: wherever they are, it isn't completely out in the open.

It takes him a moment to answer, and his gaze is vague as he mulls the question over, blue eyes fixed on some indeterminate middle distance. "Yes," he says, gently, and smiles. "It was."

"Well," says Danko, resigned as he pushes up onto his feet, "we'll see if we can't make that happen for you. Check him over. Get him to his feet." The latter two orders are tossed hazily off at the guy whose full weight has been pressing into the middle of Felix's back for the duration of his stay aboard the Bigot Van and carried out with a quickness. A last minute frisk yields a set of keys — they're swapped out for the cell phone so that Danko can flick open a pill case and take measure of the lithium stored therein. Once again he has nothing to say about it, but he can't make himself look surprised when he tosses the keys back and lifts his eyes lazily back up onto Felix's face. "Anything else you wanna tell us while you have our full attention?"

Fel shakes his head. "You haven't asked me any questions worth answering," he says, simply. The keychain's charm is an enameled Felix the Cat, of course. And then he says, "Get it over with."

"To be honest, Mr. Ivanov, I don't care enough to try." A step closer brings Danko well within arm's reach, and he strikes: not by pulling a trigger, but by swinging the emptied pistol up hard into Felix's face. Thug #2 is kind enough to open the rear door in time for The Hunter to complete the effort with a stiff shove out onto the pavement beyond. It's a good two foot drop, but so long as he's lucky with angles it shouldn't crack his head open. The gun is tossed out after him like an empty beer can, almost as an afterthought.

They're in a parking garage. A basement level that's probably been forgotten in the wake of the blast — at the very least, it's sparsely occupied. The doors slam, one two, and they're off again, tires not in any hurry enough to screech.

Fel's out like a light, sprawled on the asphalt of the carpark. At least, at the angle he fell at, he hasn't broken anything else. He'll wake there, after a few twilight hours, to stagger home.

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