Hit You or Hug You, It's a Toss-Up


felix_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif marla_icon.gif

Scene Title Hit You or Hug You, It's a Toss-Up
Synopsis Felix runs into an old friend and a new… stalker?
Date January 20, 2009

Nite Owl

It's been a while since she's been in… Elisabeth's week has been beyond busy. So tonight, when the diner's soup special is hot, steaming, cheesy potato soup and bread rolls, Elisabeth stops in for dinner. She could make it at home, sure, but it's always a bit tastier elsewhere. She's sitting in a booth savoring the heat of a mug of incredibly sweet tea while she waits for the soup, watching people come and go. Her expression is a touch pensive, as if she has a lot on her mind as she watches the world go by. She's dressed as if she's just come off duty, a pair of sturdy, warm brown slacks with a peach scoop-necked longsleeved blouse and a brown blazer that covers her shoulder holster. She absently brushes bangs out of her eyes - she needs a haircut and hasn't had time lately. It's starting to become annoying.

Fel, on the other hand, has had his hair clipped short. A bit longer than military length, but not by too much, really. He's back to his former self - light brown hair, pale blue eyes behind rimless glasses, fair skin. Though he looks younger and thinner somehow, some of his former lines gone. He's in his usual suit and overcoat, though without his attache case. And on spotting Elisabeth, he heads for her quietly.

In Marla's case, the thief hasn't had the chance to savor lunch yet today. So she is pretty visibly hungry as she pushes the Nite Owl's door open without looking at it, shoving a cellphone into a baggy coat pocket and stomach letting loose a grumble beneath the din of the rest of the restaurant. Apparently, she had beaten whoever-it-is-she's-supposed-to-meet here, and so she squints around with narrowed eyes to choose a place to sit.

When her gaze falls on Felix, her jaw goes a little slack. It's quite comical, really. But she can't possibly go invisible /here/ without people noticing, and so she does the next best thing— she meanders over and slides into the booth right next to Felix and Elisabeth, settling in to watch them with hands clasped like a stalker.

Looking up when Felix approaches her table, Elisabeth nearly drops her tea mug. As it is, she bobbles the cup and splashes some on the table as it lands somewhat ungracefully on the table in front of her. Her eyes skim over his face, and she stares at him. There's silence until he's literally right there, and Liz's voice is just a little shaky. "I'm not sure whether to stand up and hug you or slug you into next week, you know." She hesitates, uncertain how it would be taken, and then clearly decides 'what the hell,' sliding out of the seat to reach up and hug the Fed tightly. "Christ, man. I know I'm not, like, your partner or anything else, but *CHRIST*, Ivanov!"

Felix indicates the fading bruise on the corner of his lip, though his gaze is almost puckish. Not a lot of real contrition there. "Hug me, please. Demsky and his ward both hit me when I went to see them, so I'd like a little on the other side of the balance sheet." And then the air's beeing squeezed out of him, and he makes a little 'oof' noise, but doesn't seem displeased.

Marla observes the hugginess with two lifted eyebrows, frowning out of the corner of an eye at one of her hands as if this were all /its/ fault. Then: she decides to try something. Unsure of whether Felix and Elisabeth had spotted her yet, she removes herself from her booth as abruptly as she had slid into it, walking away as though to head towards the bathroom. She ducks into a dark alcove right before she gets there— and doesn't come back out.

Or so it seems. Hoho. Only mere moments later, there is a tickle of a whisper in Felix's ear, even as he is still being hugged by the other woman. "How cruel of you to leave, siiir."

After she squeezes the crap out of him, Elisabeth pulls away to look up into his face and grins a bit. "Yeah, well… good. You deserved it. God, I'm so glad they missed you." She tilts her head to look at him and says, "You look…. good. Really good. More… relaxed." And then the whisper of sound passes through their area, and she visibly frowns and looks around, clearly trying to pinpoint the source. It wasn't long enough to do so, and she looks up at him. "What the…. did you hear that?"

Felix has gone still, with that cat by a mousehole poise. Behind his glasses, his eyes are darting around, trying to figure out where in their surroundings that came from. "I did. I feel better. Now I know I didn't acquire schizophrenia while I was away," he says, drily.

There's a narrowing of her eyes, and Elisabeth scans the entire diner crowd, half of whom by now she knows by face if not name. She gestures Felix to go ahead and join her. "C'mon, have supper," she invites, offering him a bit of a smile as she retakes her seat. Her eyes, though, continue to skim past him periodically. Not like the shoulder rig she's wearing didn't give away that's most likely back on the job. She also sharpens her hearing up to take better advantage if the sound whispers through again — though it means having to tune out the extra volume of the chatter around them more. It means she can't enclose their own conversation, but… they both know how to keep a conversation private. "So tell me, mister Eff-Bee-Eye…. how much fun are you having getting your assets unfrozen out of probate?" she asks in a mostly teasing voice. She gives him worried eyes. "Did you square away the situation that sent you underground?"

Ohshi. Ohshi- ohshi- How did she hear that? It hadn't been /that/ loud. Marla freezes where she is on her tiptoes, mouth hanging half-open to let her next few words die right on her tongue. "Hsss," she goes into Felix's ear, awkwardly mirroring her position to Felix as she does so to adjust to his sitting back down.

That has Felix suddenly flailing the arm beneath that ear. It looks comical, like a man being tormented by mosquitos. "What the fuck?" he says, irritably, before before he notes to Elisabeth, "No. But my cover was blown, so there wasn't any particular point in trying to hide, anymore. The jig was up, as they say."

What the fuck indeed. Elisabeth frowns and says quietly, "~All right… I don't know what the hell's going on, but it better quit. *Real* damn fast.~" Her tone is a direct order, and her voice is laced with the subsonic suggestion as powerful as she can make it. She's not liking being screwed with. At the same time, she snaps a bubble up around the table so that at the very least, if it's someone in the diner or what have you, they have no ability to project sound inside our vicinity.

And so Marla does. Stop whispering, that is. That sort of creates even more awkwardness as her eyes fall onto Elisabeth; she straightens her bent, invisible form away from Felix with a grimace. All she knows is that quite suddenly, she's having a tough time hearing anything outside of a couple feet. One of her fingers is stuck into an ear and tweaked a bit, as though there had been a sudden buildup of earwax. "…Hey. Hey. Turn the volume back up, wouldja," she croaks. She's saying it as a joke, though she doesn't know, yet, that it's quite real.

Felix is still groping for the source of the sound, wearing a ferocious scowl. "Who are you?" he demands, voice heated and furious. Trying not to look too much like a complete lunatic.

Elisabeth raises a brow and looks at Felix, calmly commenting, "Whoever it is, they are clearly standing within about three feet of us. Being as the silence field only extends about that far from the table. And they'd better show themselves, or else I'm going to do something far nastier …. like vibrate the atoms of their body so hard, they scatter to oblivion or something. Never done that before," she muses thoughtfully. "Not sure what the effect would be. Splatter, maybe?" Yeah… she's totally deadpan, and totally NOT able to do it. But who needs to know THAT?

"…Now. /That's/ going a little far, don't you think?" comes Marla's grumble out of thin air. Elisabeth doesn't know it, but she's heard that exact threat before.

And quite suddenly, there is a fairly short, dark-haired woman where two seconds ago there was nothing. She is draped in a overlarge man's coat, and there is a baseball cap on her head; what hair is visible is both closely cropped and spiky. There is a severe frown on her face. "'Scuse me, blondie. You Conrad's sister, or what?"

"YOu. The girl from the bar," Felix says, utterly perplexed. He even takes off his glasses, the better to peer at her. "What're you doing here?"

Without giving away any relationship she might have with Conrad Wozniak, Elisabeth merely studies the woman. "I suppose it's going a *tad* too far, yes. Not even sure I *can* do it. But then again… standing around invisible eavesdropping on a couple of cops who *could*, so far as *you* know, have itchy trigger fingers is going a bit far too, don't you think?" She glances at Felix. "You know her?"

There is a slight moment of silence as Marla connects the dots. Dante…Felix. Creepy wanted man…'serial killer' man. "So dude, that /was/ you," she says to Felix, one of her eyebrows nearly disappearing up into her cap. "Bigshot FBI guy, eh?" She throws a look at Elisabeth, next. "And don't pull that cop shit on me, Mrs. Conrad; I /know/ you're not supposed to shoot people just —- randomly like that. Even if I'd known you were cops." Which she hadn't.

Felix snorts. "Bigshot? Far from it. FBI, yes. What do you mean, that was me?" He seems curiously relaxed, before peering at Elisabeth in turn. "Who's Conrad?"

Elisabeth rolls her eyes. "I'm assuming she means Conrad Wozniak. Small-time conman who happens to share a similar powerset to mine, I do believe." She grins slightly. "I think I must have busted him like a half a dozen times, back when." She glances at Felix, flushing slightly as she realizes that it's the first time she's acknowledged her own status with him — not like she had much time before he went and got fake dead on her!

"That was you. You know, the one you met 'at the bar'?" Marla enunciates as though Felix is retarded, gesturing with both hands as she drawls through the phrase. "And. Yeees. I /do/ mean Conrad Wozisface. Itty bitty world we live in."

Fel's just confused, now. He mouths at Elisabeth, "Evolved?" He doesn't look horrified, but clearly he's several pages behind in this newspaper. "I think I ran into him a time or two. But you and he are both Evolved?"

There's a faint shrug as Elisabeth gives him a bit of an abashed smile. "Yeah… coincidentally enough." She shrugs, not wanting to give Felix the whole story in front of a stranger. She looks at the dark-haired woman. "So… out of curiosity, are you being annoying for a reason, or just because you can?"

"Duh, because I can." Botherbotherbother. Like an exasperatingly determined spirit, Marla isn't going away just yet. "Ivanov, is it? So why'd you come back? You had a pretty good disguise going — had /me/ fooled." Briefly, she takes a glance about her; the bubble seems to still be in place. She still can't hear anything, and likely, neither can anyone else outsid.

"Because there was no longer any point to being someone else," Felix says, having mostly recovered his aplomb, blinking at Marla. He doesn't press Elisabeth any further. "Invisibility, huh? Must be handy…"

Elisabeth mmmmms softly and picks up her spoon to eat her soup while it's still warm. The bread's nice too. She lets Marla play with Felix for a few moments … at least, as long as the Fed seems to wish to entertain the dark-haired one. She watches her, though.

"Not around blondie here, it isn't," Marla answers with a meaningful, one-shouldered shrug in Elisabeth's direction. "Just my luck that it's a coupla goody-two shoes cops I /happen/ to drop in on. But other than that, yeah. Pretty handy."

Felix wonders, more slowly, "And how did you know I'd been someone else?" His tone is deliberate, but there's an edge there Elisabeth at least will recognize.

Smirking at Marla, Liz comments, "I'd advise you not to assume it's safe to do around ANYONE in this town. The things I've seen out here? Some of those folks could actually slit your throat while you're invisible. Could get dicey if you listen in on the wrong conversation at the wrong time."
Like Felix here!

"You, um, really want me to tell you? How about we say 'deductive reasoning' and leave it at that?" Somehow, Marla doubts that Felix will take the news that she broke into his residence and snooped around very well. Her response to Elisabeth is to silently quirk an eyebrow as she awaits Felix's response, possibly to signify 'I know. Thanks.'

"Let's not," Felix says, tone flat as a Kansas highway. "Tell me. I've got plenty of time. You can even use big words, if you want."

Skirting the issue as the other woman is, Elisabeth glances up. The tone Felix uses alerts her to the fact that it's not something he's going to let go, and things are about to get nasty. She sets her spoon back down again, hoping waitress will be so kind as to reheat her soup in the microwave if she needs it.

"Then listen, you gotta promise not to murderize me or uh— slit my throat or whatever it is you do. Man, and I thought I was only /kidding/ when I called you a killer." But the man's been on national television! Weakly, Marla sets one hand against the divider between Felix's booth and hers. She sneaks a mean look at Elisabeth; if it weren't for /her/; she could easily go invisible and get the heck out of here right now.

Elisabeth merely raises a brow at Marla. Mess with the wrong person, get burned. Sorry, so sad.

"I have killed people before," Felix says. There's no threat in his tone, it's a mere statement of fact, but somehow the sheer lack of affect is worse than any growling or bristling might be. "I have no reason to hurt you, though," he adds, after a moment's pause, offhand. Elisabeth's seen him do this before, that kneejerk bad cop act.

Yeah. Sheezus. Monster. "Well, you know how you invited me into your home that uh, one time? When we first met?" Vaguely, Marla waves her fingers to indicate 'waay long ago.' "Well um. So I kind of took that invitation." So there — technically, that's a loophole. Right? Right?

It's funny…. they've never been partners, but Liz almost automatically steps in as his good-cop. "You do realize that one invitation doesn't mean a STANDING invitation, right?" Her tone is a bit nicer, a contrast to the tone Felix is likely to take.

"So, you snuck around in my old apartment," Felix suggests, still with that dangerous gentleness to his tone. "What'd you see?"

"Noone ever said that, honey blossom." Currently, Marla isn't liking Elisabeth much. Not much at all, in fact. The snarkiness in her look promptly melts when she turns her attention to Felix again, much like a cornered cat going from hissiness to fright. "I uh. I saw whatever was in your apartment that was there to see? I wasn't…trying to…sightsee…" As she says this, her voice slowly dies.

Yep…. there it went. Felix went and got all scary-nice Fed. Shit. The girl's gonna pee her pants or something. Elisabeth's seen it happen! "Look… much as I would possibly enjoy seeing him tear you a new one, cuz well…. breaking and entering is a crime and you just admitted to it in front of my eyes… I'd really like the chance to catch up with my friend here. He's been mostly dead for a few weeks now!" She looks, or attempts to, all cheery and mildly amused. "So…. you gonna sit and play nice and stop being all smart-mouthed at us, or….?"

And that has Fel backing down now, turning up the wattage on the humanity a little bit. "Seriously," he says, with a sigh in his voice, polishing his glasses with a little piece of cloth pulled from his coatpocket.

Marla is liking this situation less and less, and the way her irises sneakily roll towards the corner of her eyes confirms it. "I. I didn't /take/ anything, you know. Well. Except one bottle of wine. /One/. Bottle of wine." She isn't stuttering, but in her antsiness, words are spilling out of her much faster than she would like. "And ex/cuse/ me, blondie." This at Elisabeth again, of course. "S'not like I was /planning/ on telling you that." Or even being visible right now, for that matter.

That makes Liz grin. "OH, that's even better. I didn't even have to persuade you, and you confessed!" She grins cheekily. Oh, she's goin' to hell for that, she's sure. Picking on the woman when she's clearly out of her element. She shrugs mildly. "You also just confessed to stealing from his premises. And if I *really* wanted to be a bitch, I'm supposed to ask for your Registration card because you've used your abilities where I can see you, and should you be unable to show me one, I'm supposed to run you directly over to the center to register. So…. seriously. I highly suggest you might want to go ahead and quit while you're ahead. Cuz if you confess to one more thing in my hearing, I'm gonna go ahead and run you in." Nice cop? Well……. sort of. She'll give Marla a running start, anyway. "Oh…. and if I ever catch you pulling that stunt again? I'll run you in on general principles."

Felix lifts a hand to Elisabeth, focussing on what to him is the main point. "But the disguise. What'd you see that gave it away?" he wonders, quietly. "The wine….it's not important. Though she's right."

Okay, that is it. "Figure it out for yourself," Marla directs at Felix, testily. That could mean any number of things, but she isn't discussing a single thing more with this human root canal in their presence. "I'm thinking I'll take Miss Bleachead's here's advice. Ta-ta." With that, she is already invisible by the time she hits the ground at a stride to melt into the nearest mass of people, heading for the door as swiftly as she can - that is, if neither of them follow and grab her first. Several of the patrons go 'ouch!' and 'hey!' as they are barreled into by invisible joints and elbows.

Pissing off the police /and/ inadvertently confessing to two of her most recent crimes in their presence? Smart, Marla, smart. Good thing the person she was supposed to meet never showed.

Elisabeth only realized what precisely he was looking for when he asked the last question, and she looks apologetically at Felix. "I'm sorry — I should have bitten my tongue on that last one." She offers a rueful look. "So here's my question… just how good WAS your disguise?"

Felix slants an unreadable look at her. "NEarly flawless. However. I used to carry a bullet in me, near my spine. Normal surgeons couldn't take it out without crippling me. But someone with X-ray vision noticed that both this face and my new one had that same little bit of lead……"

Elisabeth looks thoughtful. "Interesting… though she seemed to indicate that her ability was more eavesdropping and invisibility. So maybe she overheard something with the people who hid you… If you want, I can keep an eye out for her and 'suggest' she talk to me a bit. She could be hard to spot, but not impossible. She's not silent."

"No, she's not," Fel agrees, quietly. He resists that greyhound impulse to give chase, in favor of turning back towards the booth.

Elisabeth watches him quietly. "So you said you hadn't yet managed to work out the situation that sent you underground the first time. What are you going to do now that you're back in the picture?" The silence bubble still encases their table, rendering conversation around the pair mute to Felix's ears.

"I go back as a cop, as a Fed, and I fight. And do my best to keep them away from those of mine they threatened," he says, completely matter of fact, expression smooth and resolved. "Had I been able to keep hiding, I would've. But that all went pearshaped."

Elisabeth grimaces slightly. "Yeah, well… you know what they say about the best-laid plans, right? I'd have kept hiding too, if I'd thought it was viable." And then she offers him a small smile, "Uhm… by the way… surprise."

"WE're every where, aren't we?" Fel wonders, rather wryly. "How long've you been able to do that?" He doesn't seem terribly alarmed, as he takes his former seat in the booth.

There's a faint shrug, and Elisabeth picks up her cup of tea to sip from. "Since 9/11," she replies. "That was the first use I ever made of my ability. After I worked out what it was that I could do, that was when I went into hostage negotiation. I used it pretty extensively there."

Felix eyes her over his coffee cup, lips pressed into a thin line. "All this while, and I'd no idea. And I had thought I was very good at clocking Evolved in hiding," he muses, shaking his head.

As she sets down her cup, Elisabeth offers softly, "I'm sorry." She meets his gaze and says, "After the Bomb, a friend of mine disappeared. Homeland Security grabbed him, and he was tortured. This was right at the beginning of the whole public thing, just as Registration was getting started. Pretty much scared the shit out of me. So I ducked …. hard. Left the force. Laid low. Maybe for too long. I don't know."

"I can't blame you. Are you registered now?" Fel wonders, raising his gaze to hers. The blue eyes are utterly guileless, transparent.

With a small grimace, Elisabeth answers in a tart tone. "Would I be using my abilities around you if I weren't, Felix? You're a Fed, and you have a reputation as being a bit of an asshole, you know." She doesn't seem to hold it against him, though.

He raises his hand in the gesture of a fencer conceding a touch, expression going dry. "Point," he says, quietly, trying to conceal just how much that did sting.

Elisabeth reaches across to touch him. "Not that you've ever been one to me," she reminds him gently. "I'm sorry… you didn't deserve me to snipe at you." She offers a small grin. "It's been kind of a shitty week, and I'm taking it out on you. Crappy welcome home, isn't it?" She squeezes lightly.

"You didn't punch Mr. Glass Jaw in the face and knock him out, unlike certain detectives who shall remain nameless and Demsky," Fel points out, touching the remaining swelling around the cut on his lip. "So I'll forgive you. This time," He squeezes in return, and grins, sheepishly.

Laughing softly at him, Liz just shakes her head. "I'm sorry I didn't tell you. I didn't trust anyone…. I didn't even tell my father until I had to register."

"I knew what I was and what I could do for more than twenty years, and the only people who knew about it were my parents. My mother begged me in tears not to register when that act passed," Fel says, quietly.

Elisabeth looks surprised. And then she tilts her head, her expression curious. "For me… *not* doing it was as much my fear of what they'd do to me and what they were doing with the information once they had it as it was my statement against the fact that it's a massive violation of civil liberties. Why did you choose to?"

He looks….sheepish. AS if he'd been caught in some sort of act of perversion. "I had no choice. I was already a Fed. They'd've bounced my ass right out if I'd been caught, and it was already something of an open secret in the NYPD in a way. Just like my sexuality. Ignorable, until it wasn't."

Elisabeth smirks at him. "They didn't bounce my new partner out. Just filed a formal reprimand on him." She shrugs a little. "Who'm I to talk? I quit a job I loved because I didn't WANT to register."

Felix shrugs. "Feds….well, we're legendarily uptight. I didn't want to risk it. And if they were going to force me out for being Evolved, well, I wanted everything on the up and up for the fight to come."

"Good to know you saw the trouble from the start too," Liz comments with a sigh. She hesitates. "Things are getting pretty dicey on the streets lately. Lot of things coming down."

"I know," he says, softly. "Boy do I ever. Volken, whatever he is…it's going to be awful if we can't stop him. And I have no idea how that can be accomplished."

Raising an eyebrow at the name Volken, which has not been bandied about that SHE knows of except in circles she's been hanging with, Elisabeth smiles a vague, enigmatic smile as she sips her tea. "Oh….. I think there are a few ideas floating around."

Ask Fel about the company he's been keeping. In more ways than one. He perks up visibly, ceasing to stir sugar into his coffee. "Oh?" he wonders, with an arch to one brow.

"Quid pro quo, my friend," Liz replies softly. "Where you been since you died?"

Felix notes, drily, "In the tender care of some groups I don't dare name aloud. Suffice it to say that I am coming to understand some of the more subtle gradations in the various underground Pro-Evolved groups. They have their hooks in further and deeper than one would expect…..and some of them remind me of the French Resistance under the Vichy. Which implies some very disgusting things about this adopted country of mine. Not to mention me."

Elisabeth gets a strange look on her face as she queries, "I'm not sure I'm following the last part of what you said there — I have a degree in law enforcement and Homeland Security, not French history. But as to the first part of your 'don't dare name aloud'…" She smiles. "That's what I do, Felix. Nothing outside this bubble is audible or recordable from outside. No microphones work, nothing." She shrugs. "But I don't think you have to name names…. and those same people have a plan. It's already in the works. Whether is succeeds…. well, I guess that's up to Fate, hrm?"

Felix taps his temple with a fingertip. "You block physical sound. Can you prevent a telepath from going digging? What you don't know, you can't betray." He steeples his fingers, and leans back. "I came, or more accurately, my mother brought me here from Russia because she feared what happened to Evolved children in our homeland."

There's a shrug and Liz replies mildly, "There's little to be done when a telepath gets their hands on you, I've already learned to my concern." She doesn't want to know what Matt Parkman may have taken from her without her knowledge. So long as he keeps it to himself. "For what it's worth…. I find there's far more gray in the world than black and white. The good guys and bad guys aren't so terribly clear-cut as some would like us to believe." Her lips tighten into a rueful expression, and she shrugs a bit. "And the longer I'm immersed in the world, the more shades of gray I notice."

Felix mimes handing her a card. "Here you are, welcome to the human race, here's your union card," he says, teasingly. And then he frowns. "You have? What happened?"

"The 'gas main' explosion a few weeks ago was actually an assassination attempt on Rickham. Some of our mutual friends got him and his bodyguard, an ex-NYPD cop named Parkman who now works for DHS — and a telepath — out of there." Elisabeth sips her tea, and then adds, "Let's just say he and I didn't QUITE have a meeting of the minds when I went by to check on things. And I have to wonder what he learned, and what he'll use. He's had access to a *lot* of people on that underground."

Fel goes still and pale. "Parkman. I've met Parkman," he says, laying his hands on the tabletop as if proving he has no weapons, means no harm. "I didn't know that. Yes. If he turns on them, they're fucked. Do they know what he is?"

Elisabeth narrows her eyes. "I'm thinking that you're NOT asking me if they know he's a telepath and in the pocket of the now-deposed President who was supposed to take the oath of office."

"THat is what I was asking, yes?" Fel says, confused. Did he lose English there for a moment.

With an expression of relief, Elisabeth nods. "I thought the fact that they knew he was a telepath when they took him to their safehouse was evident in what I already said, that's all. Yes… they know, and knew at the time, who Parkman was. But he was badly injured along with one of the other cops with me on the detail, and Rickham wouldn't go with our friends without him. He wouldn't leave him to die, and our friends had a good healer with them." She sighs softly. "Honestly, that night compromised a LOT of us. But Parkman, in spite of his support of the Linderman Act, seems a decent man. I believe… and maybe it's naive of me … that he knows which shades of gray are worth keeping on the streets. You know?"

"One can hope. One can hope the chain holds," Fel says, quietly, groping for the glasses he's laid on the table. "I wish I'd known that when I met him."

There's silence from Liz for a couple of moments, and she finally says quietly, "You have to trust sometimes, Fel." She could tell him part of WHY she thinks Parkman will keep the secret…. but that would bare Rickham's secret, and that's not hers to tell. Ever. "Would it have changed something about your introduction to him, if you'd known?"

Felix notes, with a faint curl to his lip, "I'd've been making a point to think in Russian, assuming that helps. I can't trust anyone with that skill, no matter how benign their intentions."

"Yeah….. guess I know what you mean. I want to trust him, but … it's hard." Elisabeth smiles faintly. "It's hard to trust anyone at all, especially when you're in hiding in some fashion." Then she shakes her head. "Now that you're back among the living with a target still on your back… You let me know if you need backup, Felix. You have the number. It's yours to use anytime, okay? I'll keep my mouth shut if you need me to… or I'll bring additional backup if you need it."

His face softens a little at that, even as he's obviously scanning hers to be certain of just how sincere she is. Satisfied, he lets out a breath. "Thanks. I'll remember that."

Elisabeth quirks a smile at him. "You better." She reaches to pat his arm lightly, and chuckles. "I'm kind of liking being a lot more proactive these days… and I get to kick a lot more ass, too. Covering a friend's ass when he needs it and being able to carry a gun legally makes me…. happy." She winks at him.

Felix's expression kindles at that. "I know. Funny, huh? Hard to resist the temptation to be a cowboy, at times, isn't it?"

"Yeah… sometimes," Liz chuckles. "Be careful, okay? I hate crying. It makes me all puffy and red-faced and ugly." She moves to get up, leaving some money on the table for her dinner, which she never quite finished. "Don't hesitate if you need me. I'll be there." It's not an empty promise.

"God forbid, princess, you ever appear less than your best. THough I can't talk - I once had a friend accuse me of scrambling to make detective just because the uniform was so unflattering," Fel drawls. "And the same goes to you. You need me, call."

She smirks at him as she pulls on her jacket. "Yeah, I can see how you'd hate the uniform. It's terribly unisex," Liz teases. "I will. I promise you." And then she heads out.

January 20th: Disturbingly Human
January 20th: Crumpets And Tea
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