Goddamn Noodles


elisabeth_icon.gif felix_icon.gif leland_icon.gif

Scene Title Goddamn Noodles
Synopsis Lee really wanted ingredients… Chinatown was probably not the best plan.
Date March 26, 2009


Leland wasn't as irritated as one might think when Felix said that he'd invited Elisabeth along for dinner. Despite all the bad that's going down, the cop's in an uncharacteristically good mood. That means, really, that he's not grunting as much. So, after work the three of them hopped into the car for a stop by Chinatown before heading back to the apartment.

The Fat Choy Market is one of the best places in Chinatown to get authentic, high quality ingredients for Asian cooking. Or at least, that's what Leland says. The man knows what he wants. He moves down the aisle and grabs for things without even looking too closely at the packaging. "Felix. Grab me some chow mein noodles, will ya? The kind in the red package."

Felix is….hopelessly domesticated. It may amuse Liz, and definitely will not escape her notice that Fel is quietly smitten with his grumpy housemate. He's painfully careful about not giving any overt hints, let it upset Lee and get him kicked out of the cushy living situation, but it's there. "Sure," he says, amiably, wandering down the relevant aisle, only to be momentarily distracted by a display of incense on an endcap, which he pauses to browse.

Elisabeth is sort of the third wheel here, what with knowing Felix is watching Leland's behind every time the other cop stops to look at something. But she's truly both amused at and sympathetic to Felix's plight. Leland has obviously both no interest and no clue; Felix seems aware of that, and Liz just keeps on keeping on. It's cute! She does, however, get far away from Felix when he stops at the incense. "That's the only thing in shops like this that causes me issues. Damn, that stuff gives me a migraine." She meanders further up the aisle, between the two men, and just looks at foodstuffs. "Lee, you're going to make from scratch?" As she walks the cramped aisles, though, Elisabeth starts to notice something. Though there were a number of customers in the store when we walked in, it's clearing out. And well…. it probably should have occurred to all of them a ton sooner that CHINATOWN might not be the place to be with Leland still in uniform. Sure… he's a regular here. But right now? He's a cop.

A uniform, of sorts. As far as a neat suit and tie can be called one. But to be truly fair, no matter what Leland wears, he screams 'cop.' He could be in swim trunks and he'd look ready to arrest someone. He's got a box of something with labels only written in Chinese. He makes a bit of a face, then pushes it back on the shelf. Dried mushrooms are what he's really after. "Nfh. Not entirely from scratch. See any hoisin sauce where you are?"

But then, he too senses the change in the air. He glances towards the clerk. "Hey, Chu." A beat. "Got any fresh bok choy?" He says this with all the caution of asking a drunk driver if they've been at a party.

Swim trunks. Felix would like that. And Fel is making a contrite face at Liz. "I won't get any, then," he says, with a shrug. "I like it myself, but I know, I had a partner who couldn't deal with the stuff. No strong artificial scents at all - it used to drive him crazy if I even wore aftershave." Fel's also in that sort of suit, though his tailoring is a little more expensive. But there are enough here used to dealing with gangs to have a keen eye for when that suitjacket is tailored to hide a gun. He glances up from toying with a little shelf of red lacquer lucky figures - carp, dragons, fat Hoteis, and then looks around warily - eye heading up to see if there's one of those convenient fish eye mirrors.

Oh, there's mirrors all right. And the aisles around them are empty. Elisabeth clears her throat and says, "I don't see any, Lee…" as she moves cautiously backward toward Felix. "I'm thinking maybe I'm in the mood for Italian tonight, though. You think we could maybe get a rain check on this?" Her tone is casual enough, but the clerk at the register has that look. The 'oh God, why does this happen to me??' one. He avoids Leland's eyes and says, "No, not today. Maybe next week! Refrigerator need time to get caught up. Blackouts, you know?" He watches Lee jerking his eyes sideways toward the front door… either as a warning to get out quickly or that there's someone out there. Hard to say which, since it's nonverbal.

That tears it. All these problems are starting to interfere with his cooking. Leland's lips purse into a thin line and he pushes the dried mushrooms back onto the shelf. He gives Chu a long look, then turns and starts for the door. "Italian it is." He can tell when they're not wanted. "Felix. C'mon." He catches eyes with Liz and starts down the aisle.

Fel does that little "dog coming out of water shake" that means he's loosening the gun in its holster. "Right," he says, as he more or less forms up on Lee. "Italian sounds great," His tone is utterly flat with a lack of enthusiasm, as he keeps glancing up towards the mirrors, making sure no one's creeping up on them.

As Elisabeth counts on Felix to be doing certain things — partnering up with him a lot lately means it's a given that she knows what he's doing — she focuses her attention on the door and what's outside it, listening carefully. It seems like the street outside is all clear, with people bustling to and fro. And she doesn't hear anything from the back room either. But like rats on a sinking ship, the fact that people have scattered has her on edge. "I love a good Alfredo with just a bit of kick to it. Or a tomato vodka sauce, maybe?" she asks casually. And then in a soft undertone, she murmurs to both men, "It sounds clear, but I can't be sure." She keeps her hands free, her weapon in the innerpants front holster she prefers so she can't really go for it.

Leland's jacket is open, his own weapon easily within reach in his shoulder holster. He's a cop, not a Fed. He's supposed to wear his authority on his sleeve. "This isn't doin' much to earn my repeat fuckin' business," mutters the cop-chef. He steps up to the door of the shop and folds his hand around the doorknob. He gives it a gentle push, body on-edge, but not threatening. The last thing he wants to do is to be the one to start the trouble. Cops are getting a bad enough rap lately.

Boy, are they ever. Fel hasn't pulled his gun. But then, with his reflexes, it'd be gratuitous, wouldn't it? But he's got his chin lifted, as if listening, too. "I like the spicy kind. Can't remember what it's called," he says, absentmindedly, even as he flanks Lee. Current partner, old partner - there's a rapport there, between the three of them.

Letting the two men take the lead, Elisabeth takes one glance behind her to the clerk. He looks alarmed, and Liz's eyes slide to that mirror that Felix has been monitoring. And even as the guys step out ahead of her, Liz hisses a wordless sound toward them to alert them to company coming up behind. Staying in the store is out of the question, though. "Move!" she whispers, enhanced so they hear it and the urgency in her tone.

Outside looks all right…. at this moment. But the three people stepping out of the store alters the flow of foot traffic some too. And Lee and Felix, as on guard as they are, can pick out at least three people on the street whose eyes are already on the doorway even as they step out. It's looking like this was a poor plan on all their parts.

"Fuckin' hell…" grunts Lee. He doesn't pull his weapon, but his muscles are tightly coiled. His fingers twitch, his jaw clenches. His eyes search the crowd for signs of interest and levels his gaze upon them. "Let's go. Get to the car." This is murmured followed by a glance to both Liz and Felix. Smells like an ambush.

Boy, does it ever. Felix glides forward, with that feline stalking tread, eyes still roaming. His hands are loose at his side, ready. God, don't let this turn into a shootout. Three armed cops….but there are way, way too many civilians present for any kind of peace of mind.

Like cockroaches when the lights go on, people on the street are starting to scatter. The three men standing at roughly equidistant points from the front of the store don't even bother to move. The one in the middle just smiles slightly. Elisabeth murmurs, "Three more coming up from behind." She moves around Leland toward the car, flanking his left as their small group starts moving. "I'm not likin' this….. how many people here know you, Leland? Cuz…. you know? Triads and cops ain't so friendly this week." The civilians scattering does NOT bode well.

"Some," says Lee. His lips curl and he stands in the door of the market like a cowboy in the door of a saloon. "Been comin' here a few years. Enough for them to know I'm a cop. Never had any trouble before." And he naively thought it would stay that way. Or at least, he could stop at the market without getting threatened. Not so, it seems. He glances to Felix and Liz, then steps forward. He looks left, then up at the man who smiled. "We don't want no trouble. Just came for some noodles. We're on our way now."

Felix clicks the lock on the card door open - Felix and his ancient BMW. He backs himself against the car, turning to eye those coming from behind them, and motions his partners over, quickly. "Clearly, they want trouble," he mutters, under his breath.

Grabbing his elbow only long enough to nudge Leland toward the car with her, staying out of both his line of fire as well as not impeding his gun hand, Elisabeth has time to murmur, "Oh shit" before the guns start appearing. The three in the street are set up to be just in the right places to perforate Felix's poor vehicle if they are so inclined. And the weapons in their hands give the very clear impression that they are, in fact, so inclined. The three men in the store step out and curve out and to the right, closing the semicircle with the three cops in the center of it.

"We warned that we were not going to allow the death of Chang Ye go unpunished," states the one across the road. "And you have the nerve to venture onto our turf? Are you insane, or merely that arrogant?" He grins faintly. "The answer is of no consequence, really… I just wondered." The safeties are off, and they only seem to be waiting for the orders.

"I just wanted noodles," says Leland. Somehow he manages to keep a wry, laconic note to his words in spite of the drawn weapons. He doesn't draw his own. The cop's head cocks slightly to the right. "We get your warning loud and clear. And we're leaving. This can get messy for everyone, or we all go away. We get the warning. I'll buy my noodles elsewhere from now on."

This is why Leland's reputation for being short-tempered is really undeserved. If he really was the hothead people imagine him to be, he'd be whipping out his weapon in cursing these men out. Instead, he's calm and diplomatic. "You really want the shit that it would bring you to execute three cops in broad daylight in the middle of a public street, uh? Or do you want us to bring back the message to our people?"

It's more or less Felix who's all but foaming and snarling at the end of his chain. Though he doesn't, this time. Lee -is- a good influence, who'd've thought? But he's got that tight-lipped, hyper alert look that means it's all too close to going pearshaped. Deliberately, he opens the car door and motions Liz over. It might have been a courtly gesture, once up on a time. Now, not so much. "The NYPD didn't kill Chang Ye. Homeland Security did," he says, clearly. "And you've killed two of ours, out of misguided vengeance. You really don't want the whole force coming down on you," he says, teeth clenched. He doesn't refer to his power.

A siren wails, and it's not as far away as one might have expected. After all, there are still cops for whom Chinatown is their beat. And apparently someone made a phone call, though who it was may never be known. At the sound, which after a moment of listening is clearly coming closer, the six armed men seem to pause. They have a few moments here — because no one is going to rat them out. But the odds on taking down three cops before the siren gets here? That alters the plan.

Elisabeth moves with Felix, and she's standing next to the car when a gunshot rings out from above the standoff. It's a damn close thing — far, far closer than any of them might like. The bullet literally leaves a groove in the car's roof next to Leland and chips concrete near his feet where it hits. Her instinct is to duck behind the top of the car. "Fuck!"

And all hell starts to break loose in the group of men. Because it's NOT one of them, so who the hell just started shooting!? Two of them dodge back into the grocery store, and the other four also dive for cover.

Before anyone can blink, Leland has his pistol in his hand. Safety's off, barrel's aimed up at the direction of the bullets. He felt the air cut as the metal projectiles whizzed through the air. As he's moving for the cover of the car, he keeps an eye upwards, peeled for signs of movements to level his shot at. The approaching sirens bring reassurance, but it only takes a half second for a bullet to kill. Those cars are still several seconds away.

Fel drops into that strange absence of time, where all of the humans around him are frozen in that slow-motion tableau. He's also looking up, trying to judge the source of the shot. His pistol's in hand, as well, as he ducks for the shelter of the car. Hey, he paid the damn thing off years ago.

Given the nature of Chinatown, with windows all over the place, it's difficult to pinpoint exactly — but there are several candidates in the building across the street from where Felix's car is parked — the angle would be about right for the third or fourth floor. With Felix's speedster ability, he has the leisure to study it — third floor, second window from the left has a telltale black smudge where the gun is pointing out from behind a blanket or drape.

Leland's eyes dart from windows to rooftops to try and catch any sign of a shooter. But he can't from his angle, so instead he angles towards the car, to try and give whoever is shooting at them - him - a less clear shot.

«Oh, you bastard,» Felix says, under his breath. He shouldn't return fire. But….they're shooting at the two people in the world he cares for most. So he squeezes off a couple of shots at that window, popping up from behind the shelter of the car.

Elisabeth is pulling her gun even as Leland moves down and next to her. "I don't think we should hang out here waiting on them to keep at us. Lee, I think you're driving. You get us out of here, the drinks are on me!" The echo of their first meeting would make her smile if this weren't so damn serious. Since the back door is open and she's already within its curve, she slithers into the back seat of the car to the far side so Felix has room.

More shots come from above, one of them puncturing the roof of Felix's car and making Liz give one of those very very brief, muffled wordless girly shrieks of 'WTF are you doing??' "Get in here!" she barks at the FBI agent.

"Felix!" Leland barks. He manages to make his friend's name sound authoritative. Hopefully it's sharp enough to cut through whatever reckless thoughts the Fed's got into his head. "Get in the goddamn car!" He doesn't yet - not until he's sure that Felix isn't going to go running after the sniper. He glances to Liz, but delays getting behind the wheel.

The four guys on the street are deciding now that the sniper is in their corner. And now two of them start shooting toward the car. Cuz you know? Fed shooting at something in Chinatown! Invitation to open fire!

Hopefully that worked as suppressing fire. Fel hastily ducks into the back of the car, still shooting. It's not an armored Beemer, he's not 007.

"Oh for Christ's…" Leland fires off a series of shots towards their original attackers. And then he slides down and into the driver's seat. The door slams closed. "Felix!" he barks, "Keys!" The body of the old car isn't going to protect them for long. One of them will get smart and shoot out a tire.

Turning in her seat, Liz doens't want to shoot out through the window — it's Felix's car. But she calls out, "They're getting braver." Just, you know, as a reminder. Three more gunshots ring out now, and Felix's car has several new holes!

Lee abruptly has the keys in hand. It's like magic, isn't it, dealing with this crazy bastard? "Drive," Felix says, tightly, even as a bullet shatters the window he's in front of.

"No, I thought I'd fuckin' sit here and listen to the radio!" Leland's irritation at the whole situation is starting to show through. He jams the keys into the ignition and turns over the engine. His foot slams down on the gas and the car lurches forward. As he drives, white-knuckled on the wheel, he mutters, "All I wanted were some goddamn noodles."

Well, now, that offers Elisabeth the ability to fire back, at least! And she turns in the seat and fires off four rounds in the general vicnity of the four men now coming at the car. The sirens are still a block or so away, and instead of continuing to fire, she drops down low in the seat to dial 911. "Operator, this is Officer Elisabeth Harrison, SCOUT. I am in Chinatown near the Fat Choy Market and there is a black-and-white inbound on a report of shots fired. Tell them do not stop, change direction and get out of the area with all due haste."

"Jesus Christ, Liz, we have to stop meeting like this," Felix deadpans, even as he ducks down in the back seat.

In addition to the speed holes, Felix's car is being stained a nice shade of crimson. Leland apparently didn't realize one of the shots grazed his lower back. There's a quickly growing red stain on the right side of his jacket. Gray tweed sops up most of it. But the cop keeps driving until they're well out of Chinatown and heading back towards the station. "Gonna be a lot of fuckin' paperwork."

The operator doesn't seem to give Liz too much crap, transfering her over directly to Central Dispatch. She raps out the information she's got — shots fired in Chinatown at three cops, get the black-and-white out of there or it could turn into a bloodbath, it was an ambush. And then she hangs up, dropping her head back against the back of the seat as Leland drives away like a maniac. "Felix…. do you have any idea how much I'm going to hate Chinese food from now on? Shit." She turns her attnetion toward the front seat, unable to see the spreading blood low in the seat being as she's in the back. "Lee? You all right up there? Paperwork be damned."

"I….well, fuck, I'll help you cultivate a taste for Thai," Felix all but snarls. And then Lee's ruining his upholstery, the bastard. "Lee's hit. Nearest hospital is Queen of Angels, three blocks northeast." He's gone paler than Lee, himself, with worry.

"What? Oh, fuck." Leland takes one hand off the wheel long enough to tug up the side and see the seeping blood. So that's what that pinching, stinging sensation is. You'd think he'd be used to it by now. "Motherfucker…" he grits his teeth to stop more crude curses from spilling out his mouth. He drops a hand down to put pressure on the wound as he drives one-handed towards the hospital.

Elisabeth puts her gun on the floor, safetied, and scrambles over Felix to climb over the seat to get into the front. "How bad? Did you take a bullet, or is it a graze? Pull over." We should be far enough away by now that he can let someone drive if need be. The busted windows are letting air in to blow all about the occupants. "I love Thai," she tells Felix absently.

The joke is…they call rapid fire rearrangement of the seating order in cars a 'Chinese firedrill'. And well, this literally is. As soon as Lee does, Fel more or less flings himself for the front seat. "Liz,please, sit next to him in the back, do what you can," Not that it'll be more than a minute or two before they make it to the ER.

"Jesus, everyone stop crawling around the car like fucking cats!" Leland finds a spot up ahead and pulls the car over. He lifts his hand and checks the wound. "S'just a graze. Not bleeding that much. S'fine." He winces a little bit when he moves, but it's not extreme.

When Leland pulls over, Elisabeth does what Felix asks, though this time she uses the door to move from front to back. When Lee is settled in the back seat and Felix is the one driving and the car is underway again, Liz nudges Leland around so she can get a look at the injury. "Don't gimme any shit about it, just lemme look," she gruffs at the cranky officer. "This is what you get for wanting noodles out of Chinatown, mister," she quips mildly. The adrenaline is making her hands shake as she checks him.

Times like this, Fel wishes to god he still had a flashing light he could jam on the dash. He peels into the ER entry of the hospital with unseemly haste, managing not to scrape or rearend the ambulance there. There are already doctors hurrying towards them, as Fel hustles out and opens the backdoor. He doesn't talk, letting Lee and Liz explain.

"Will you two calm down? I don't have a bullet lodged in my side. It's just a scratch, for fuck's sake." All the fuss over him is making him even more irate. It's like poking at a porcupine. He just gets bristlier. He walks fairly straight as he heads towards the ER. His palm keeps pressure on the wound. "S'probably not even gonna need stitches."

Just throwing her hands up, Elisabeth climbs out after him once the car is stopped. "Yep… tough guy, Lee." She looks at Felix and shrugs. "He's fine," she reassures him. "He'll be pissing in cornflakes again first thing tomorrow."

Fel notes, mournfully, "Pissing in -my- cornflakes, I live with him," Lee is promptly more or less hauled onto a gurney, as Fel trots to catch up.

"Only if they're yours," says Lee through gritted teeth to Liz. It's almost a smile. He grunts. He'd say something to Felix, but he's out of clever or gruff responses. He sighs but relents and lets himself be fussed over. Then he's rolled down, away from where Liz and Felix can go.

Elisabeth grins cheekily at Leland. "Awww…. I didn't know you were hot for me," she teases. "Pissing in MY cornflakes means you gotta stay over. And you just don't like me that much." She's teasing to cover worry, since the fact that he's letting the nurses actually fuss concerns her. She looks at Felix as he rolls away. "He's such a wicked flirt," she comments facetiously.

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