Full Circle


deckard3_icon.gif felix_icon.gif kurt_icon.gif

Scene Title Full Circle
Synopsis Exactly a year after he decided to move into NYC, Deckard tries to take stock of transition over time with Felix while he eats nostalgic breakfast at 10:30 PM. Meanwhile, Kurt is uncomfortable enough that he's compelled to move seats after he comes in on an especially uncouth turn in the conversation.
Date October 23, 2009

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.

At this hour on a Friday night, the Owl is busy. Not a lot of places open, and of those, few are as good. This, however, has not prevented Felix from claiming a booth of his very own, which he shares with no one but his cane, his overcoat, and his very battered copy of 'The Big Sleep'. He's got the grumpy, owlish look of someone who'd like to be home asleep in his own bed, or Lee's, and for some reason, isn't. He's wearing a striped rugby shirt, jeans, and worn hiking boots, utterly heedless of all the clubgoers around him, eating and chattering.

Deckard isn't a club goer. If anything, he has more in common with the odd homeless person who sidles in for an hour or two to work over a cup of coffee while they avoid the weather. Shabby overcoat turned up at the collar, right shoulder still blown out the back by a pair of bullets — one of which belonged to the feeb who's practicing eminent domain on an entire booth — he waits at the counter until his own coffee is supplemented with a plate of bacon and scrambled eggs. And a pancake.

A pair of paper napkins dragged out to accompany a snared fork, he doesn't even look to see if there is anything available to sit at on his way to Ivanov's booth. The plate clinks down first, then the napkins and coffee. Then the arms dealer, grey suit not much better than the coat, even if the rest of him seems to be in unusually healthy condition.

Yeah, that pair doesn't exactly fit in with the buffed and groomed bodies of New York's gay scene, whatever Fel's extracurricular preferences. Deckard's sudden appearance has him squinting like a rat at the dealer, and laying his book aside, after marking his place with a scrap of paper. There's the remains of soup and sandwich off to one side, waiting for the waitress to clear it, and a piece of pie before him.

He looks a lot better than he did - as much color as someone like him ever has in winter, and with some badly needed weight put back on. Still thin, but no longer borderline POW gaunt. The puzzled look is all the greeting Felix gives him, though he's tensed. The brain may understand that there's at least a detente, but the gut is still screaming at him to run or fight.

"Hi," says Deckard after a pause that most would probably consider awkward, halycon eyes cold and clear as unfogged ice over the subtlest slant of a smirk until he looks down to prod the tip of his fork into fluffy eggs. Francois' efforts so far have paid off. He's outstripped Felix in the race to achieve something like a normal body weight — the only hollows in his face are the ones left there by the naturally lean cut of his narrow jaw and hooded brow.

He also looks pretty relaxed, which may or may not be directly related to the fact that he smells just a little bit like whiskey.

Fel's expression is just….frozen. Not afraid or angry or hateful or even really confused any more. Just sort of….not there. Other than with enough attentiveness to make it clear he hasn't wandered off into a fugue. The eyes behind the glasses are also curiously inexpressive, uncomprehending - there are gears clicking over back there, but clearly not meshing. "Hello," he says, tentatively, like this is one of those occasions when English is going to be a problem.

A forked in bite of eggs is chewed and swallowed down, then another. One piece of bacon is shredded into crispy bits across the remainder, long fingers dusted passably clean against a flimsy napkin before he reaches for his fork again to mix them in. "Planning on eating that pie, Tiny Tim?"

Oh, right, the pie. Felix lowers his gaze to it, blinks at it like he's not sure how it got there. "Yeah," he says, and takes a bite of it. Still eyeing Deckard like he's not sure if this is gonna be on Candid Camera.

Silence seems likely to prevail after that. Deckard eats his eggs, and glances up only occasionally to see if Felix was serious about eating the pie or only took a bite to dissuade him from reaching over and taking one for himself. There's the clink of metal against china, and eventually the scrape of a flask cap being unscrewed so that the scruffy ex-con can dollop something amber that probably isn't pee into his coffee. Nothing short of normal for breakfast after dark.

"I haven't been here in months."

Fel's been eating the pie fairly mechanically. Pecan - no matter what television might tell you, not all FBI agents go for cherry. It doesn't seem too awful. He looks around - boys and girls flirting with each other, the waitresses weary but bustling industriously nonetheless - and by his expression, it's all utterly alien. And then he looks back. "Well, it's often full of cops or queers and you don't much like either, last I heard. So I can understand," he says, like he's absolving Deckard.

"And here I am. With you." Who's both. Just in case the reader hasn't been paying attention for the last twelve months or so.

Breath forced out in a sigh filtered slow through his sinuses, Deckard recalculates his initial measure of a shot and tips another quick slosh in over the side of his cup. Just in case, you know.

There's an odd twitch to his face, skin tightening over the bones. A twinge of pain, maybe. "Yeah. Why?" Fel wonders, blinking again. Like it's his eyes that are giving him trouble. Is this a declaration of war, Deckard coming to gloat or taunt or explain? He's done with the pie, down to the dollop of whipped cream at the side, and pushes aside the plate with a lazy motion of his hand.

"I dunno," is the usual vacant lie, so automatic that there's hardly any pause at all between inquiry and answer. Flint lifts his coffee enough to swirl at the base of the cup in place of a more controlled stir, then it's sipped and he's forced into a rarely seen flinch against the rake of alcohol warm down the back of his throat. When he finally speaks up again, he's hoarse. He hasn't forced the line of his glare to focus back on Felix from its hazy drift after something at the counter, either.

"Everyone's different, now."

None of the above. Here to confuse him. Felix blinks at that, wanly. "Yes," he says, finally, once he's had a chance to give it proper consideration. "That's more than true." Not least of all, you. He doesn't say anything more, like each word is a chance to prod Deckard somewhere tender enough to make him shut up in his shell again.

A brow lifts as if at the threshold of further elaboration, but it never quite gets there. The rickety crook seems to have forgotten he's holding a fork with bits of yellow and white egg clogged into the prongs until a twitch at his had scrapes them against the plate. Then he glances down after it, mouth flattened thin in a short-shorn frame of bristled grey.

There's a whole multitude of bitchy questions waiting to be asked. But none of them make the leap, and Felix is left staring at Deckard, in puzzlement. Like he's waiting for the punchline. Or the explanation. He follows Deckard's gaze to the eggs. "They're usually pretty good here," he adds, as if in the diner's defense.

"Yeah," agreed mainly via a default absence of opinion, Deckard rankles his nose at himself and goes back to eating. No great hurry; he's not starving, and may well do more poking around than he actually does shoveling fork to mouth. But the eggs aren't bad, he's been drinking and it's been a long time since lunch. When he stops again, it's to down most of the coffee he has left, which. Leaves him peering at an empty cup that's placed over at the corner of the table, perhaps in hopes of attracting the attention of one of the place's haggard wait staff. "I figured you'd be the same."

Pretty good? "As I was?" Fel ventures, brows lifting quizzically. "Well, a lot of stuff has happened," he adds, inanely, but his own gaze slides down to the empty plate he's set aside. He doesn't quite blush, but looks as if he wants to. Or wants something to drink so he can stop thinking about it all.

"You never changed much before," observed a little more quickly than replies that have come before it, maybe even with a corrosive touch of dry ice burn, Deckard gives up on actually feeling hungry and sets his fork down just in time for his coffee cup to be refilled by a passing waitress. "Except maybe to become an even bigger asshole. But the pattern was at least predictable."

Maybe he should take offense. The old Felix would've been over the table with a knife in a heartbeat, at that. It seems to sort of bounce off this one, though. "Yeah, well," he says, simply. It's all true, why deny it? Why even try?

Deckard, in turn, doesn't look like he's content to leave it there. He glances up from the process of palming the flask out again. Looks Ivanov in the eye at an indirect angle. Looks down again to pour. But he doesn't say anything, and he doesn't needle further.

It's weirdly reminiscent of the interrogations he's conducted, now and then. But more like he's the one cuffed to the table and having questions asked of him. Felix just gives him that opaque stare back, reptilian patience. No, really, what?

Nothing, apparently. Champion of champions when it comes to the quiet game, with awkward silences racked up like bonus multipliers in some grand scheme to be the most obnoxiously non-responsive princess of them all, Deckard seems intent upon getting as much whiskey as he can into his cup drop by drop without breaking the threshold that threatens to send coffee spilling dark over the lip.

Deckard does, in fact, win. The waitress hustles by, refills both of their coffee cups, though she hesitates when she sees what Deckard's up to. Fel doesn't, takes his time doctoring his own cup with unholy amounts of cream and sugar, like he's trying to fake up a latte on the cheap. "Did you want something of me?" he asks, finally, frowning like just getting it all out in coherent English is really a problem.

A dry sniff and a 'what' glance at the hesitant waitress later, Deckard has to lean over to sip the film off the top of the cup to avoid spilling it when he slides it in closer to himself away from the table edge. He shakes his scruffy head once he's gotten that far, non-committal or — really no idea. Or both. In any case, he doesn't actually bother with putting the flask away this time, and busies himself with salting his eggs instead.

At a distance, unless you know them, there's nothing too unusual about Deckard and Felix sitting across from each other in an otherwise vacant booth against the Owl's outermost wall. It's late, after last call but before curfew, and the place is hopping with freshly ejected young adults who smell like everything from ash trays to toilet bowls. Flint and Felix are both older, skinnier, and shabbier than most of the lot. Also, vaguely reminiscent of an old gay couple that's just had an argument over bedsheet colors or something and is trying to pretend otherwise.

Fel's in a rugby shirt, jeans, boots. His overcoat is on the seat beside him, carefully arranged so he can get the pistol in the pocket out in a second's notice. He's watching Deckard over the rims of his glasses in obvious confusion, brow furrowed. There's a watching carefulness, like the other man might be a threat. There's also a very plain cane beside him - not the sort of walking stick carried as an affectation, but one meant to deal with genuine lameness.

A yawn on his face as he enters the diner, Kurt just had to escape the apartment and the normality of his life for a little bit. Sliding into the empty booth beside the apparent old gay couple the dark man leans back against the cracked scarlet vinyl and it makes that annoying squeaking noise against his leather jacket, "Stool…" He mutters to himself under his breath and then says up to Natasha as she comes near his table, "Coffee and um…french toast." He decides without seeing the menu.

Maybe Deckard gets violent if he isn't given free rein to decorate as he sees fit. He looks he type. To become inexplicably violent, that is, grizzled hair bristling its way out of a month old buzz and stubble collection on its way to catching up. He's tall and lean and wearing cowboy boots with a suit the color of wet ash under the battered black of his ratty overcoat, and there's a distinct touch of alcohol in the air about him that crosses uncomfortably over into the zone Kurt has opted to occupy.

"What's it feel like to die?"

Old queer divorced couple, by the sharp look that Felix gives Deckard. But he doesn't snarl or spit or hurl hot coffee on the other man….and even the anger fades into that waiting nothingness. His gaze focuses on some vague middle distance, not his murderer. "It….it feels like nothingness. I mean, it hurt, the wounds hurt. I didn't singe my whiskers in Hell, I didn't see any vision of the pearly gates. I remember the water, somehow, though. I was so cold. So very cold, and quiet. And when I woke up, I was still cold, and I couldn't remember anything." Fel's drawing with a fingertip in the spilled sugar on the formica -aimless doodles, not mystic sigils. "There were shadows of leaves on the wall," He's hesitant, speech increasingly accented, though still easily intelligible.

Coffee is brought and Kurt tries to cover up the pungent smell of alcohol afflicting his noise with it's spicy aroma instead. Taking a sip of the dark black liquid he runs a hand through his military style haircut and then covers another yawn that threatens his face, "You're a life saver Natasha." He smiles up towards the waitress who waves off the compliment. Kurt's facing the 'couple' so can't help but see and watch them a little, their conversation causes him to raise an eyebrow slightly but he forces it not no after a second so it's just a hair upwards before he moves the coffee back up to his lips.

There's a silence from Deckard's side of the table. Maybe not awkward. Maybe thoughtful. Maybe he just doesn't have anything to say. Until he does.

"The ninth circle of hell is encased in ice." Why he feels compelled to remind Felix of as much — probably doesn't require much speculation, actually. He's taken up his fork again even though his eggs are cold, and turns a narrow-eyed look over his shoulder after Kurt when the little hairs on the back of his neck start to prickle under scrutiny, blue eyes approximately as chilly as the aforementioned eternal freezer.

"I am not a traitor," Felix says, with a hint of his old assurance, even as he nurses his coffee carefully. Not quite peace, but he's not flinching from the implied accusation, either. It is a very strange conversation to be overhearing in a dinner near midnight. Deckard's glance has him leaning over a little, peering to see where the other man's looking - the lights of the diner glint off his glasses, leave the lenses momentarily opaque white moons.

"Where traitors reside…yeah" Kurt looks down towards his coffee before back upwards to meet the narrowed eyes looking back towards him, "Sorry, maybe I should move or something. Didn't mean to eavesdrop like that just always been a Dante fan." He gives the other strange man a touch of a smile, trying his normal friendly tactic on the two people he just realized are a touch creepy. Kurt picks up his coffee cup and starts over towards the metal stool at the main counter, though he isn't willing to be driven to the other side of the restaurant so he's still within earshot, just trying to ignore.

It's hard not to argue that point, even if it catches on Deckard's overlarge ears while his attention is focused 'round on Kurt. He watches the younger man get to his feet without blinking, like a fox staring sharp-eyed after the fluff and flutter of a flushed pheasant, only turning back to Felix once he's satisfied there's nothing more to it than accidental overhearing. "You're not a saint," is all he has to contend in the end, and with a last clatter of fork to plate, he's leaning to slide himself off of his bench at a wiry slouch.

"No, I'm not. But whatever ring of Hell I do finally land in, it won't be in that one," Felix admits, easily. "I wish I could claim some sort of mystical experience. I didn't have one. You, though. Abby thinks she argued you into healing me, as much as you did." Which is sort of a bitter joke, leaving him crippled and in pain. "But that's not the case. Why?"

Kurt just raises an eyebrow towards Natasha as he takes his new seat, he's constantly surrounded by the weird and most of the time he's stumbling into it. "Always outside looking in." He shrugs and waves his hand at the waitress as he shakes his head, "Sorry long day filled with far to much thinking." He tries to explain his oddity of the day, "So you need a computer fixed, hey want a new identity? I got birth certificates down pat." It's obviously an odd joke between the two and Natasha just laughs Kurt off as he shakes his head at himself, "Ah come on lady, it's all the rage I heard." He jokes again before laughing lightly, not really on the look out for cops since it's a joke. He glances a little back towards the 'couple' cause he just can't help himself. Coffee, focus on the coffee.

"Nothing mystical about realizing whatever worth you might have suffered to earn for yourself in the eyes of others goes out the window as soon as they realize there's something else they'd rather have you be." As far as answers from Flint go, that's a particularly long one. Honesty is cast resigned into the pale blue of his eyes, made lighter than it should be by a lift at the corner of his mouth before he pushes the rest of the way on out of the booth. "Abigail was the only one who took no for an answer."

"How about passports?" Felix says, as an aside to Kurt, entirely deadpan. Might be serious. To Deckard, he wonders, real confusion in his face, "Someone else asked you?"

Kurt looks towards the weird glasses man with that laughing expression on his face still, "Oh yeah sure easy stuff." It's hard to tell if he's serious either. He picks up his coffee and swings a little in the seat, "Look sorry about earlier, I'm normal not so…um…well whatever you'd call it." He tries to both give them smiles, "Just been a long day and well anyways, everyone has long days in this city so I shouldn't have been an ass like that."

Cynicism skews at Deckard's brows, which looks to be the only answer Felix is likely to get re: the souls that set to flapping their hands about the state of him. Doesn't look like he's getting anything towards the tab, either. He retrieves the flask, tucks his hands into his coat pockets, and doesn't take them out again on his way through the crowd for the door. A final coarse, "He's a Fed," scrapes back across the mutter and drone of intervening conversations and he's gone out into the cold.

And that shuts up a good half of the conversations in the room, right there. Leaving Fel in the metaphorical spotlight, watching Deckard go with spots of color blooming on high cheekbones. Touche, and bout, both to Flint. Hastily, he takes care of his bill, gathers up his coat and scarf, then picks up his cane to limp for the door.

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