For Want of Chinese Food


elle_icon.gif felix_icon.gif jacob_icon.gif

Scene Title For Want of Chinese Food
Synopsis A collision brings Felix and Jacob together. Elle stalks and eventually joins in, though for her own intents.
Date November 5, 2008


Though it's less than two miles square, Chinatown is home to some quarter of a million residents. Cramped, ancient tenements are the norm, though the fourty-four story Confucious Plaza standing at the corner of Bowery and Division does boast luxurious accommodations by comparison. Mulberry Street, Canal Street, and East Broadway are home to streetside green grocers and fishmongers, and Canal Street also boasts an impressive array of Chinese jewelry shops.

Fel totally blends in here. Yeah, right. Six foot tall, blue-eyed ash-blonde Russian in Chinatown. He comes clattering out of the Confucius Plaza apartments in overcoat, blue oxford shirt, and slacks, and turns to head down the street to one of the nearer of the zillion takeout places in Chinatown. He looks content, hands in pockets….it's just his gaze that's wary, as if seeking someone in the post work-day bustle.

And just like that, Felix is no longer alone on his journey through the lands of faux-China. Out of the door of an obscure boba shop steps Elle Bishop, a trim figure of a blonde in a black blazer, simple white tee-shirt, and dark jean-capris that are partially rolled up above the ankle. A plastic cup of bubble tea (filled with peach-colored liquid) is held near chest level, its thick yellow straw in her mouth as she briefly takes a look around, eyebrows high. When she spots what she is searching for, she casually slips into her intended path, though there are still too many people around to arouse even the shadow of suspicion in a crowd like this.

Gooshyfoods. It's what's for dinner. It is also what is for dinner every night that Jacob has a say in what is for dinner. The lawyer wanders down the streets of Chinatown with not a care in the world, holding chopsticks in one hand that have their ends buried in a box of takeout that is held by the other. It might be simple bad luck - or fate - that he just happens to not see the slight rise in the sidewalk between each plate. It's probably just lameness that he happens to trip towards Felix. Probably.

And there's a little blur of motion, like film skipping a few frames. The food is where Felix was, but Felix is not there now - he's a yard or two down the sidewalk, just like that. "Hey, watch it," he says, before raising his gaze to Jacob, and blinking. "Brent, isn't it?" he asks, ire fading from his tone.

Elle does not miss it, though she misses the very end due to her line of sight being clipped by several straggling people. Her eyes narrow a few degrees, and she slows her pace down a little so she can watch the exchange between Ivanov and - the other, pudgy old man.

Jacob manages to catch his balance in time to save himself and his suit, but - not so much his dinner. Fully half of the noodles that were once in the carton are now splattered sadly along the sidewalk. The lawyer stares at the pile of former-edibles with a frown before he lifts his chin, peering back at Felix. "…It is."

"Gonna be some happy dogs in Chinatown tonight," Fel comments, with a wry lift of his brow. "I don't know if you remember me. But when you were DA, you and I worked together on cases - I was Detective Ivanov at the time." His tone is prompting. How many bitchy Russians can you have worked with, right?

A little toss of Elle's head; as the ends of her hair shake into place behind her shoulder, the agent continues watching over the lid of her tea. Slurpslurp. By the time Felix has finished talking, she is no longer walking, but has settled into a leaning position, arms crossed, by a brightly-lit store - where she herself is in shadow. If either Felix or Jacob were to look back, they would surely see the strange young woman creepily gazing towards them. Because other than her position, she's not really making any moves to do - anything else. Which might be suspicious in itself.

"Yes, yes. I remember you, Detective." Perhaps not very fondly. But /that/ is most likely because Jacob is very well known as a super duper /grouch/. He straightens up, and, having lost his appetite for his meal, takes a step towards the edge of the curb and bins the remainder of his dinner in a nearby trash can. "Doing well?"

"I'm not a detective anymore," Fel sounds almost apologetic. "Joined the FBI. Was stationed out on the west coast, just got back here about six weeks ago. Listen, I'm going to get something to eat. I'll spot you something, if you like," IS that…a pass? Friendliness? An attempt to get free legal help? Elle….that attention attracts Fel, there's that pressure of someone else's regard. And he eyes her….but since she's neither Sylar nor Munin nor Amato, there's that false presumption that everything's okay. Maybe she's just a hooker her arrested back when he worked Vice.

Or maybe not. Come on. That blazer is too /nice/ to be owned by a random streetster. Elle just /leans/ some more, sucking one of the squishy black balls at the bottom of her cup through her straw with a mild 'thlunk.'

No matter what Felix's motives are, Jacob isn't biting. He frowns - more like scowls, really - at the other man, and then just shrugs once. "My wife will be expecting me at home, I'd imagine. I'd rather not annoy her. How's the federal life been treating you? Save any damsels while filling out your endless paperwork?"

Felix's gaze slides to Elle, once more, and he gives her a polite arch of the brow. Do I know you? Jacob gets a nod. "Well enough. And a few," he says, smiling to himself as if Jacob had said something funny.

Though they're too far away to bounce a conversation back and forth, the look Elle gives Felix is an affirmative, mysterious smile as one pointer finger goes up to tap her cheek. As if to clearly imply 'why, yes, you /do/ know me.' He's seen her. No use pretending anymore, unless it's of a different sort.

Jacob, for one, is not going to stick around to hear whatever else it is that Not-Detective Ivanov has to say. Instead, he just nods back at the man, following his gaze towards Elle. "There's one. Enjoy yourself, if possible. I should be heading home."

Felix snorts at Jacob. "She's no hooker," he says, with assurance. But he claps the other man on the shoulder with a hand by way of farewell, and heads for Elle, curiosity writ large on his face. "Do I know you?" he asks, politely.

When Felix is close enough for a comfortable exchange, Elle uncrosses her legs and subtly shifts her weight to the other hip she'd been leaning on, her back still up against that wall. "You might," she answers with a hint of slyness in her throat, though it's warm enough to easily be classified as 'friendliness'. "I think I've seen you around. Agent Ivanov?" The question, however subtly, contains the hope of expectation of recognition in return.

"At the risk of sounding rather cliche, I think I'd remember if I'd seen you before," At least he doesn't punctuate that with the sort of looking-over that men usually do at that point. His expression remains politely curious. "I have to say, if we have, I don't know your name. But yes, I'm Ivanov."

"Cynthia Vollmer?" is the very matter-of-fact reply. From out of the breast pocket of Elle's blazer comes a small wallet of the black leather type, pinned with the gold-and-blue badge of Homeland Security - plus an actual id card on the inside, which she flips open methodically for Felix to visually whip through. "I haven't been there very long. Sort of low on the totem pole, you know?, though I've been there long enough to recognize faces that I see more than once or twice." There is a little irony in this, though it's not unkind.

He doesn't lose color at the flash of that badge, but his smile turns a hair brittle. "No, I don't recall," he says, apologetically. "And I know the feeling. Not particularly high on the Bureau ladder myself," he says, looking up at her. "What precisely can I do for you?"

Back in that badge goes, neatly, as Elle quickly dredges up what to say next. She shrugs one shoulder. "Saw you on the street and figured I'd take advantage of a small world. Becktold used to talk about you sometimes, before—" One hand, the one that's not cupped around her plastic drink, gestures vaguely; sorrowfully. A strobe of the fingers to represent a miniature 'boom'.

Jeremy Becktold? One of the dead whose names is emblazoned on the memorial in Calvary Cemetary - dead in service to the NYPD. Eigth of one familiar November.

Felix's face falls. "I….yeah. We worked the beat together in the Four-Seventeen, back when I was a rookie," he says, expression rueful. "Uh, do you want to join me for dinner? It was just gonna be cheap Chinese, in all honesty, but you're welcome to. How….you're HomeSec, huh? YOu used to work with him?"

"He was a family friend," Elle offers, index finger inching up on the surface of the cup as she briefly intakes another sip. Her own bearing reflects Felix's ruefulness, tone sinking into a casually reflective bent. "I never worked with him directly, but I knew plenty who did. You know how the chain works. I have a lot to look up to him for."

"-And mm, yeah, if you don't think it's too awkward or anything. I was just here to grab something chintzy, too, but if you knew Becktold—" It sounds like she has stories and reminiscences to offer, along with warm, over-the-table conversation to solicit in return.

His lips thin out, and the blue eyes behind the lenses are momentarily clouded. "Sure, sure," he says. "Seven Stars is down the block, it's really good for the price. Come on," He urges her that way with a gesture.

And Elle - no, Cynthia obligingly steers herself that way, Felix by her shoulder, to head towards the restaurant pointed out. And there? To fade away in muted discussion with one of New York's great Social Uniters: Chinese cuisine, as a backdrop. It's better than eating alone.

November 5th: Where Loyalties Lie
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