Moral Turpitude


eileen_icon.gif felix_icon.gif

Scene Title Moral Turpitude
Synopsis Eileen comes to collect on Felix's half of their bargain.
Date March 24, 2009

Staten Island — Coast

It's evening, and the shadows are long on Staten. Fel's been to the Lighthouse in search of Colette, and while the grown up in attendance denied knowing she was there, the way her eyes refused to meet his make him certain it's a lie. But here of all places, his badge is no good, so he's just left a message for her, should she ever appear. Call Felix.

At the moment, he's trudging along one of the overgrown paths towards one of the safer harbors. One where folding cash buys you passage back to Manhattan, rather than one where being law enforcement of any kind ends up with you sleeping with the fishes. Fel's in drab clothes, skinnier than ever, cigarette dangling from the corner of his mouth - he's settled for a cheaper one than those black posh things generally found in his pocket. His hair's much shorter than the last time Eileen saw him, in a nearly military buzz.

There are a few places Eileen has a reasonable expectation of running into Felix Ivanov. The Lighthouse isn't one of them — if it was, she'd be actively avoiding it rather than winding her way along the path that runs parallel to the coast, her slim shape partially obscured by the oscillating waves of crusty sawgrass.

She sees him before he sees her, pauses, a narrow column swathed in a gray coat topped by a tangle of wild black hair. It takes her a moment or two to recognize him at a distance, but when she does she resumes her trek at an altered course, aiming to cut the fed off at the pass.

Eileen has a bone to pick with him.

He's in a decent hurry to make it to the harbor before true night falls, but he does pause to finish that cigarette, tucking the end away in an old mint tin rather than flinging out into dry grass where it might start a fire. And thus momentarily oblivious, lost in a little reverie that he doesn't come out of until she's far closer than she should be. Perhaps someone is losing his edge. Felix doesn't bother to threaten her, but his scowl is less than welcoming.

It's been over a month, and though Eileen can't honestly say that she's happy to see him, a look of relief washes over her face as she approaches. Finding Felix here saves her a trip to Manhattan and eliminates most of the risks associated with attempting to track him down on his own territory. Out here, he's alone, and like a wolf isolated from his pack brothers and sisters, a lot less dangerous than he would be elsewhere. "My records in exchange for Abigail Beauchamp," she says as soon as she's within earshot, her voice smothered by the wind. "That was the deal, wasn't it?"

Wolfish is a good word for him. Not in Ethan's way, precisely, but that perpetual air of hunger and restlessness. The severe haircut and his general aura of being permanently underfed don't help much, either He snorts, pale eyes fixed on hers. "Abigail Beauchamp is no longer in captivity. You need somethin' else to bargain with now," he says. "Something else I need or want." His tone's dismissive, Brooklyn accent sharp on the tongue.

"No," Eileen corrects him, pointed with a note of reproach. "Help you get the healer back, and you'd fix things." She maintains a respectful distance from Felix, more out of caution than a misplaced sense of reverence. A wolf is still a wolf, whether or not it travels in a pack. "If you don't believe me, ask Abigail. Ask her friends. I was there, they'll vouch. You don't get to go back on your word, Ivanov. Not this time."

"Okay," he says, eyeing her with that distant amusement. "What exactly do you want me to do?"

"What you said you would." Nothing more, nothing less. Eileen is in no position to make demands that aren't directly associated with what she feels she's already owed, and she knows it. "Remove everything that you can. Like the American government never knew me, you said."

Felix considers that, letting his eyelids droop lazily. And then assents with an inclination of his head. It won't be much, what he can do.

That was easier than Eileen was expecting it to be. She blows out a slow breath through her nostrils, silver and vaporous, like smoke. Her eyes leave Felix's face and she redirects her gaze over his shoulder to the Lighthouse looming red on white in the background. Whatever business he has with Fulk is a mystery to her — it's probably best they keep it that way. "Thank you."

"We caught Gabriel Gray," he says, apropos of not a damn thing, but clearly awaiting her reaction.

If provoking a reaction is what Felix intended, then he succeeds. Eileen's eyes dart back to Felix's face, her stare affixed on his, wild and searching. She doesn't say anything, not at first, not until she's positive there isn't anything to glean from the expression he wears or the way he holds himself. Authorities can be difficult to read. He's no exception. "When?"

The marble angels, broken winged and broken armed, that watch over the dead at Calvary are about as revealing as Felix, at the moment. He's still got his head lowered slightly, against the wind coming off the water. "About a week ago," he says, tonelessly.

Eileen visibly relaxes, the muscles in her shoulders growing slack as she allows herself a momentary lapse in guardedness, entire body seeming to deflate. For whatever reason, "a week ago" is good news. Might not be difficult for Felix to guess why, if he knows what transpired shortly after Sylar's capture. "Good for you."

He hasn't the faintest idea. To the best of his knowledge, Sylar lies swaddled in the comforting billows of whatever morphine derivative can keep an Evolved of that power down for the count, in Homeland Security's tender care. "You were afraid of him?" he asks, with that raptorish tilt to his head. He's not got his glasses on, so perhaps one can blame it on his nearsightedness.

Felix's question catches Eileen off-guard. She adopts a perplexed expression at first, wondering at why he might ask—

Only then does she realize what an open book her body has become. Swallowing hard, she straightens her back, squares her shoulders and curls her lip at the fed, exposing a pearly sliver of tooth. "Oh yes," she tells him, distinctly mocking but not without a little mirth, "terrified. They give you another medal?"

Felix snorts, eyes widening in mock innocence. "Yeah. It says 'Best in Show'," He pulls a little circle of enamelled steel out of his pocket, flicks it at her with a thumb. There's the glint of a rhinestone, even. "Someone told me he had a change of heart. And since I'm alive and here, I'm actually starting to believe it."

Eileen catches the object in her gloved hands, both her palms securing it with a muffled clap. Leery to take her eyes off Felix, she hesitates before spreading her fingers and looking down her nose at whatever it is he tossed at her. "So you arrest him anyway," she observes. "Typical, though I can really blame you. Following orders, acting without thinking. S'what you're best at, isn't it?"

"Change of heart doesn't negate a dozen counts of murder one," Felix says. "I'm neither a priest nor the ghost of J. Edgar Hoover, and I don't run the FBI. What'm I supposed to do, go to my bosses and tell them that the most vicious Evolved serial killer in the history of modern crime -might- no longer feel like killing people, so we should just ignore him from now on? You and Laudani don't seem to understand how law enforcement works, but then, most people don't. And that's a fuckin' laugh considering who you used to take orders from." It's a black enamelled actual dog tag. It's even engraved with 'Felix' in an ornate script. The back reads 'Best in Show'.

Well, it's Eileen's now. In a gesture of what has to be defiance, she closes her fingers around the dog tag again and slips into the front pocket of her coat. "Are there many vicious Evolved serial killers out there?" she asks, lifting both her dark brows at Felix. "In the history of crime?"

"We don't know," Fel admits, easily. "There are records of serial killers that go back to the middle ages, but how much of the stranger ones can be attributed to actual Evo genes and how much are just manifestations of the grotesqueries in the human heart, no one knows. The Beast of Gevaudan, Bathory, the Ripper….." He doesn't ask for it back, plucking another cigarette out of his coat pocket with narrow fingers, and touching the lighter flame to its tip, lightly.

"Hard to really judge then, isn't it?" Eileen might be a little more persistent, adamant or resolute under different circumstances. Whether or not they caught Gabriel Gray, they aren't in possession of him anymore, and for now that's enough for her. "Let me know how the prosecution works out for you," she says. "Assuming he gets a trial at all. You preach a lot about morals and ethics, about how you can't turn a blind eye to the things he's done, but what about turning a blind eye to the things your people are doing? You don't really think he's going to be treated like everybody else, do you?"

"By definition, he can't be. There's no one and nothing like him. HomeSec has him, so likely he never will. And they are a bunch of shifty motherfuckers, which is why I avoid dealing with them as much as I possibly can," Fel concedes, without an ounce of contrition. He exhales smoke, languidly. "I speak out, when I can. You got a problem with Homeland Security, you'll have better luck writing to your congressman than complaining to me. They don't listen to us flatfeet any more than they do the civilians. What should I be doing, Eileen? You were part of a group that was at best ready to commit genocide based on genotype, when they weren't ready to slaughter the mass of the whole human race for supposed moral turpitude. How do you even live with yourself?"

She doesn't. Not really. "You could stop playing both sides," she suggests, "for a start." Beyond that, Eileen doesn't have an answer. Not for Felix, not for herself. Her face smoothes back out into something more neutral, though the resentment beneath its surface never completely disappears. "Try not to get shot. Be a shame if one of my friends put you in the ground before you got the chance to fulfill your obligations." She begins to move around him in a wide circle, headed back to her original course. "You don't want to carry that sort of thing to the grave."

Felix watches her go, with that same lupine expectation. I won't run you down now, but I will later. He doesn't answer that, expression flattening out into equal emptiness.

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