Monster Living Under My Bed


elisabeth_icon.gif felix_icon.gif

Scene Title Monster Living Under My Bed
Synopsis Or am I the monster? So hard to say some days.
Date Dec 13, 2009

Apartment, Ryazan, Russia

Teo and Elisabeth returned to the apartment with Caliban's mostly unconscious form. Once he's settled, the blonde retreats to the room she's been sharing with Felix and closes the door. By the time Felix rolls in, things have settled. Teo fills him in on the phone call Elisabeth got just after they all parted ways at the cafe — Abby's phone call, she was being Abby-napped by Muldoon apparently from Caliban's place, and Teo and Liz went after the both of them. Caliban is concussed, Abby is missing, and Zhukovsky-the-bastard stole a young man's body and controlled it, made it look like Abby, and then tried to kill Teo. Liz killed him. And she hasn't come out of the room since. Door's locked and Teo shuffles a bit, telling the Feeb, "She's not…. taking it good." It's probably a huge understatement.

Well, Felix has never ever been the soul of courtesy. Even when he's trying hard to be kind or polite, he's got that tank division bluntness to him. So he waits a little, ear more or less pressed to the door, and then says, rapping on it with his knuckles like he's got a search warrant in his back pocket, "Liz. Liz, it's Fel. Hey. Let me in, wouldja?"

There's a long silence from the other room and then the click of the lock. She doesn't open the door, but when Felix does, he finds the blonde climbing back into the bed they've been cohabiting in. Elisabeth doesn't look up at him as he comes in, she just curls back up around her pillow again. "Caliban wake up yet?" she asks huskily.

"No," Felix says, as he limps in. That leg injury has more or less put the bite on Fel's chances of him trying to renew old acquaintance, as it were. He sets aside the cane he's been using, sits down on the bed beside her, and lays a hand on her shoulder. "Laudani told me what happened. I'm sorry. That's fucked up."

The fine tremor in her body becomes evident when he lays his hand on her. Elisabeth hasn't lost it yet, but it's close. She tenses under his touch. "I've… killed people before," she says quietly. "Gangbanger with a bullet to the face. A thief who pulled a gun. All those guys at Sea View. But I've never… shot an innocent." She doesn't choke on the words. She can't yet, she's still somewhat in shock.

"Shhhhh," he soothes her, "Shhh. It's not your fault, Liz. It's not even friendly fire. Zhukovsky murdered him. Nothing's on you." Gingerly, he eases himself down to lie beside her.

As he climbs in with her, Elisabeth moves automatically to accomodate his presence in the bed, spooning her back up against him without letting go of the pillow she has cradled to the front of her. "I put the bullet in him, Felix. He… he was going to shoot Teo in the head, and he had point-blank range. I…. didn't even think about it. I didn't even look for an alternative. I just shot Abby in the chest. And she… and she…." She chokes now, those tears finally, finally releasing as the warmth of his lanky form seeps into the muscles of her back. "And she fell back against the wall, bleeding from gunshot wounds that I made! She was dead… and then it wasn't HER, it was just some kid who … who probably didn't even know what was happening. And I can't…. I can't tell if that's better or worse, Felix," she sobs raggedly, burying her face in the pillow in her arms. "What kind of fucking person does it make me that my first thought is 'Thank God it wasn't Abby.'?"

He drapes an arm over her, fits himself to her without thinking. Funny how they're almost a marriage, in so many ways. Save for the ones where they just aren't. "It makes you a perfectly normal person, Liz," he murmurs into her hair. "You didn't know the one who died, and Abby's our friend. And…." And nothing. He trails off, uncertain, but pulls her to him.

Now that the tears have started, Elisabeth isn't sure she'll be able to turn them off. She curls backward into the curve of him, as if trying to literally hide within the embrace he offers, and buries her face in the pillow that she cradles to her front. The sobs are harsh, ragged, and muffled into the pillow because she cannot deal with everyone else in this apartment hearing her lose her mind. Because she is losing it. Or so it feels. She cries until she can't breathe anymore, only to pull her face out of the pillow to suck in a couple of gasping breaths before the wave hits again and she cries some more. For her, there is no sense of time here.

There's no attempt from Felix to make her stop crying. It's what she needs right now, to let it out. He sobbed on her shoulder before, not long after they got here. So now it's her turn. He's a protective curve around her, warm and silent, face buried in the back of her neck. There are only occasional murmured reassurances, the kind of nothings parents offer to their weeping children.

When it finally seems to taper off, Elisabeth is slumped into him, and it almost seems she might be asleep. It's been quiet a long time when she finally speaks. "I don't want to be here," she whispers softly. "I don't want Abby here in their hands. I'm scared to death someone's already killed her. And now I can't get the image out of my head of her sitting against a door jamb with bullets in her chest," she admits. Bullets she put there.

"I don't either. WE'll find her, though. God looks out for fools, saints, and little children, and she's certainly one of the three," Felix notes, wryly. "She's going to learn out to use a gun, by Heaven, when we get her. She's got to find some way to be a self-rescuing princess, instead of counting on someone to come over the hill at the last moment, like the cavalry.. He nuzzles her hair, and sighs.

There's a soft, teary giggle. "You will never convince that woman to shoot another person," Elisabeth objects in an exhausted voice. "It's not in her nature." She still doesn't turn to look at him, comfortable with his presence and his touch, but not with the idea that he's going to see what that crying jag did to her in her face. What the guilt is still doing to her. "Could I have winged him? Would that have been enough to save Teo?"

Felix snorts. "She doesn't have to. She just has to have one, be able to carry and fire it safely, and be willing to make people -believe- she can use it. Probably not. Situations like that, you have to drop them. I wasn't HRU, never have been, but I've been in those situations. Sometimes you do what you must, ugly as it is."

And therein lies the struggle. Elisabeth was HRU — or Manhattan's version of it. Hostage rescue and negotiation was her stock in trade. And she didn't even try. In part because she knew delay might cost Teo his life, but … in part, because she's had a fundamental shift in her world view over the past months. And in this case, she didn't even think before she killed him to protect one of her own. Even as fucked up as he is, even as a murderer of a friend… Teo is still one of her own. "The worst part is that I'm not even sure…. that I'm crying because I killed that kid, Felix," Elisabeth finally admits in a whisper. "Not exactly. I feel guilty that he's dead, but I'm …. not even sure I'm sorry. And that … makes me feel like a monster."

He's silent for a little, and there's the weight of guilt, like a third body between them, some interloper. "No, Liz. The human mind is infinitely adaptable….and that's not always an easy or comfortable thing. You and I…..there's that old line about gazing into the abyss. And that's what we've had to do for a long, long time now. It's not your fault, Liz. It isn't. Don't bear Zhukovsky's guilt for him. Don't reach for more burdens that aren't yours to bear." He sounds weirdly like his mother.

There's a soft snort of …. it's not laughter. Not really. And Elisabeth says softly, "Well, then, I guess I really have gone all-in at this point. I've crossed the line of do what has to be done no matter the cost." She sounds in some ways adrift with this realization, and in some ways almost relieved. "That'll probably make him happy…. he won't have to worry he fell in love with someone who'll let him down." Liz reaches down, bringing the arm Felix is cuddling her with up a bit higher around her so that she can hug it along with the pillow in front of her. "I … can't remember the last time the world was simple."

Fel plants a kiss behind her ear, but it's affectionate, rather than a prelude to other activities. "I do," he murmurs. "The day I graduated from academy. And yeah, I left that border behind long ago, and burned my passport after."

"Is it stupid to wonder… if I have a life to go back to?" Elisabeth asks softly. "I'm lying here worrying about getting Abby back, getting her home in one piece… because I can't bear the thought of facing her parents with the news that she died over here. And God help me, I have this…. driving desire to go rip Ethan Holden's fucking face off until he tells me where Zhukovsky would have taken her. Teo says he's 'following up on old contacts' and you know that has to fucking include Zhukovsky." She can't even work up enough energy to inject vehemence into her cuss words. She just sounds tired. All that crying'll knock you on your butt, after all.

He can't help himself - there's a bitter little chuckle at that. "No, it's not. I'm wondering the same thing myself. But it'll all keep until we're done here. It has to. Liz, if I didn't have a shred of morality left, and the suspicion he may yet be of some use, I'd've shot Holden myself. I think he's a rat and we should kill him. But we can't yet."

"Okay," Elisabeth whispers softly. Maybe because she believes him, or maybe because her breathing is deepening and evening out a little finally, her blue eyes sliding closed in spite of her best efforts. The combination of tears and the extra dosage of Xanax she had to take when she first came in are taking their toll on her — she had the full-bore panic attack before Felix arrived. "We have to get her back, Felix. I won't let her die. Not here. Not while I have breath left."

"We're going to get her back," he assures her, without an iota of doubt in his voice. "C'mon. God has marked her out to go back to East Bumfuck or where-ever she's from, marry, and have a million kids and be the matriarch of the flyspot town who spends her days recounting her old adventures to her grandkids."

"'m holding you to it," Elisabeth murmurs sleepily. "I hate Russia. C'n see why your mom left. Bastards," she adds as she drifts off on him.

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