How Do You Survive The Guilt?


elisabeth_icon.gif felix_icon.gif

Scene Title How Do You Survive The Guilt?
Synopsis They each have their own brand of survivors' guilt… and no answers to that question.
Date Oct 4, 2009

St. Luke's

Fel's awake these days. But it's a bleary, dreamy definition of 'awake', really. He's in a hospital gown, covers drawn up to his waist, head of the bed raised. He was reading, but seems to have drifted off on the morphine drip - there's a worn copy of 'Scaramouche' propped open by one leg, but his eyes are closed, and his free hand rests limply on his belly. The Fed is still thin to the point of gauntness, bone of his shoulders and the muscled cords of his throat stark above the patterned cotton of the hospital gown. And one of the legs concealed by the white cotton of the hospital blanket ends in a lump of bandages.

Elisabeth has made a point of avoiding either looking at or touching or otherwise even acknowledging the leg. It still has the power to make her stutter and quake. Early this morning the nurses contacted her to let her know that Felix was 'stable' finally. And had even been awake, though his condition was still serious. To walk in here now, see him with a book on his chest. Elisabeth hesitates silently at the doorway, unable to stop tears from flooding her eyes. She only steps in far enough to allow the door to close silently behind her, shakin fingertips pressed to her lips to keep, perhaps, any sound from escaping and waking him. She'd recognize the work of Abby's - now Deckard's - ability anywhere.

Unconscious under the influence of the drug, his face is slack and stupid, lips slightly parted. He's lost the waxen, translucent look overlaid by the flush of fever ….while still pale, he's orders of magnitude closer to a normal color now. And while quiet, there isn't that terrible stillness. Now he's just a man sound asleep, rather than comatose.

She almost leaves. He looks…. so tired. And Elisabeth has to quell a great many emotions at the sight of the sleeping man. She steps forward very quietly, and her hand trembles as she ever so gently smoothes across his temple and back into what little hair he has over his ear. Liz isn't sure if she wants him to wake or not, but she couldn't merely walk out of the room without touching the man who has been friend and more over the past year. When at first he doesn't even twitch, Liz hesitates one more time and leans down to lightly buss his temple with a kiss, intending to leave him to his rest.

That does wake him, though it's very far from violent startlement. He drifts up slowly, and there's a long inhale. Apparently her scent's familiar, and why shouldn't it be, considering how many nights he spent with his face tucked against the nape of her neck. "Liz," he murmurs, a statement more than a question. One eye cracks, rolls a moment, tracks on her, and he smiles.

That sleepy smile brings a faint, soft grin to her face. "Stupid asshole," she whispers, resting her forehead lightly against his, struggling to keep those tears from falling. When she pulls away, the sheen may or may not give her away — depends on how many drugs he's on. "They told me you were awake," she says somewhat inanely. "I … needed to see for myself."

"Now and then," he says, in a murmur, blinking at her dreamily. The morphine's blocking the pain, so there's nothing to do now but rest. No explanation from the Fed as to how or who or why - maybe he doesn't actually know. Or hasn't bothered to puzzle it out, as yet. "Hi," he adds, belatedly. "I'm glad to see you too."

Elisabeth strokes his forehead with the backs of her knuckles, her free hand slipping into his. "I'm so far beyond glad to see you," she says softly. The enraged will wait until he's awake enough to hear about it. If she ever says it aloud — might depend on how hard Leland goes at him. "I'm so sorry, Felix."

The smile fades out, and Fel's left looking very lost. "Me, too," he says, simply, lacing his fingers around hers. There's no strength to the grip, though. He doesn't affirm that it'll be okay - he's honestly not sure what he'll face beyond this.

She can't erase the lost expression. Elisabeth can only look at him quietly, blue eyes somber, and hold onto him. That's not entirely true. She can do one other thing, and she does it — she leans down to rest her cheek against his, her shorter hair sliding down around his face to brush his cheeks.

There's the faint stubbliness of someone who only gets shaved every few days. "Thank God you're okay," Fel says, quietly. "They had you, too, didn't they?" It's not really a question, honestly.

With her face pressed to his Elisabeth kisses him softly and doens't… can't… give him a verbal answer. When she pulls away, she looks into his eyes from that close a range, and the bleak expression in her gaze gives as much answer as the very faint nod.

He nods in turn, grimly. "I'm sorry," he murmurs, eyes closing for a few heartbeats. Just by the look, he can guess how bad it must've been.

Elisabeth shakes her head slightly. "Don't be. I lived. Sans a bit of gray matter, but I lived." Those blue eyes are oh-so-glacially blue right now. "He didn't."

That's treated to a blank stare from Fel. Almost idiotically empty - maybe some residual brain damage there, too? "Who's 'he'?"

Elisabeth moves to sit gingerly on the edge of Felix's bed. "Guy went by the moniker 'Doug'," she tells Felix softly. She pulls out her phone and shows him the picture on it - it's the only picture she HAS on the thing, and she hasn't been able to get rid of it yet. Nor can she look at it, so she finds it and just before she brings it up, she turns it so he can see it. It's a sleeping 'Doug' from when he was in Phoenix custody.

"I know that face," And Fel's voice is utterly cold, flat, when he makes that pronouncement. "He never came to me by himself, but he was there, at times, when others were."

Elisabeth nods slightly and turns it off. "He…. handled my… interrogation," she tells him softly. "And then Danko blew my brains out personally." She shrugs a little, looking down and then looking at him. "I can't…. begin to imagine how much you have in your head, Felix. But… if you need me, I'm here." She'll listen… she's lived it.

His face more or less crumbles, and there's the scrape of nails against cotton, threads fraying. Not reduced to tears, but there's that terror and desperation there. "Ah, god, Liz. They killed a little girl because I wouldn't talk," he says, in a shaking whisper. "It was my fault."

With slow movements, Elisabeth leans forward and hugs him tightly. "I'm sorry," she whispers, tears now escaping her control to trickle down her cheeks as she listens. Not because she believes him that it's his fault…. but survivors' guilt is incredible. "They broke me in less than three days and they killed Ferry operators and innocents because I did talk. There is no winning in that situation, Felix. There is only… surviving." And technically, Elisabeth didn't, which only confuses the matter for her sometimes. She holds him tightly.

Fel still doesn't sob aloud. But he's trembling in her arms, and now the tears do come, spilling freely down the hollow cheeks. He clings to her arms desperately, a drowning man.

It is far far far easier said than done — cradling the frail man to her, Elisabeth merely holds him while he cries. His anguish and guilt and fear are all emotions that she shares. Hell, she's on medication for them. Sharing may not make them easier, but she wouldn't dream of turning him away either. Instead, she very gently climbs further onto the bed to simply sit and hold him like a child humming softly under her breath as she does.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License