Naughty Old Man


elisabeth_icon.gif felix4_icon.gif

emits of Mikhail Ivanov by Felix

Scene Title Naughty Old Man
Synopsis Felix's grandfather is old enough to say whatever he wants.
Date Aug 1, 2010

The National Mall, Washington, DC

He's in his black BDUs, crisp and new, with the FRONTLINE insignia that draws looks no matter where they go. Standing next to him is a wizened little man, very old, leaning on a cane, his other arm linked with his grandson's. Both are standing before the glossy expanse of the Vietnam Memorial, almost as if admiring their reflection. "We," says the old man in a voice that's rough with age, but still very strong, "Should have something so well done for Afghanistan. Though soon they will have to have one for Afghanistan, soon, too," His voice is rueful. "You think they would have learned from us."

Elisabeth is standing back a little way, quiet as the two look at the Memorial. Perhaps lost in her own thoughts of this place. Her father served, as many young men did, before Liz herself was born. He never speaks of it, and he only served the minimum requirement. He does not consider himself a vet. "Those who ignore the past are doomed to repeat it," the black-clad blonde says softly. She's not really speaking to Mr. Ivanov, though her words will carry. "They would do better now to pay attention to the lessons of earlier wars and persecutions." Ones that Felix's grandfather is old enough to have seen firsthand. Pulling a deep breath, she pivots on a combat boot-clad heel and walks toward the far end of the wall where a book sits — a directory for names carved on the wall and where to locate them. She touches the stand that holds the directory and looks around the beautiful corner of the Mall quietly.

"Yes," says Mikhail, as he turns away from the wall. "You are right," Fel turns as well, smiles at her brightly. A look that his grandfather does not miss, as he stumps after Elisabeth, eyeing her keenly. The bright blue eyes are the same as Felix's, in that wrinkled face, more watchful, somewhat less haunted.

She waits for them and smiles slightly. "Felix didn't mention whether you'd been to DC before, Mr. Ivanov," Elisabeth says softly. "It's quite an interesting town. We've managed to take an evening and go through the Air & Space Museum and to the top of the Washington Monument. But I like the history of the place more than anything else."

He looks her up and down, and there's that dismaying sense of being measured on many levels. "No," he says, after a moment. "I never have been. This is my first trip to the US. I am Mikhail Borisovich Ivanov. Felix's father is my son, Nikolai," he notes, extending a broad hand to her. "You are Elizabeta." He gives it the Russian pronunciation. Fel's almost braced, as if for some sort of impact, though there's a glimmer of amusement in his face.

She doesn't seem to mind the pronunciation, though she offers the elderly man her best smile. "I'm very very honored. Your son and his lady wife are amazing people to whom I am very grateful — they gave me my best friend," Elisabeth replies as she takes his hand. "I have looked very forward to meeting you, sir." Her parents raised her right; manners and politeness with no hint of insincerity in the matter.

"And I you. You have saved his life, more than once, I understand," he says, shaking her hand firmly. It's not one of those pissing contest grips. "I am glad to meet you." He casts a glance back at Felix, notes offhandedly, "He was smallest of my grandsons, when he was born. I think phrase is 'runt of litter'." He's very proud of his English. Felix rolls his eyes in fond exasperation, as Mikhail pats him on the arm, proprietarily. The old man looks around. "It is good to see this city. So many years, hearing so much about it."

Elisabeth laughs at that, squeezing the older man's hand companionably and then releasing it just as easily. "Really? I don't think he ever mentioned that," she twinkles at Felix with a look of amusement. "I think he's certainly outgrown any concerns that being a small child would have caused," she adds naughtily, just to tease the younger man. But she looks back at his grandfather and says, "It's a beautiful city, truly. In spite of being a cesspool of politics and home to the scum of all countries, politicians." She slips her hand into the crook of Mikhail's arm and starts to wander toward the Lincoln Memorial. "Will you be remaining near Felix in New York or joining Nikolai and Irina in Florida?" she asks mildly. Cuz Lord knows, Felix could use a babysitter, right?

"New York, for summer," Mikhail says placidly. "It is….Mecca for the Evolved. It will be different, to be able to be and not be secret. I am Registered, you know. When I got my citizenship. Maybe in winter, I go to Florida." He looks at Felix again, as if his grandson were a prize puppy, against all expectations. "Irina brought him here. Americans overfeed their children, but I think it helped," he notes, nodding firmly. HE snorts. "Moscow is the same way."

Elisabeth laughs at Mikhail as she paces her steps to keep with the older man. "He eats like he hasn't seen food in a week in spite of ready availability. I think it's that crazy metabolism." She tilts her head and studies him, asking, "Do you mind if I ask what your ability is, Mr. Ivanov?" She's kinda nosy like that.

He slants a look at her, sidelong, sly and amused. It's very much that glance that Fel gives her so often. "When I shoot, I don't miss. Ever. Even now," he assures her, with a hint of pride. "I earned many medals in the war, that way."

Elisabeth mmms softly and leans over to kiss his cheek. "Would that you were still of a mind to take arms, Mr. Ivanov," she murmurs softly. "God knows, we could use a talent like that." She smiles at him. "Don't let your grandson fool you, though — for as many times as I have helped him, he has helped me just as many. Perhaps more." She reaches up in an uncharacteristically shy motion to smooth the back of her hair in its braid. "If it weren't for him, I'm not entirely sure I'd still be here." He's saved her sanity more than once.

The little old man looks grave. Very somber, as he glances between them, lids suddenly heavy. "I wish I could," he says, softly. "There is war coming, and they will make it us versus them, even though it should not be. Irina ran with him because of what they did with the Evolved. It is bad here, now, these laws. But it was worse. They were going to take him, make him like a little white mouse in a cage. They did with many. She had warning because of her work, so they got away. Most did not. I…..they could never tell. Not to prove, before they could be sure with tests. And by then, I was living in the woods." Mikhail shakes his head. Felix nods, and his blue eyes are sad, as he looks up to Liz. "He's right. My mother got us to defect because the USSR used Evos as lab rats. I was on the list."

She knew that. Liz and Irina had some time to talk while Felix was unconscious, after all. And Felix has told her as well. She nods slightly and says quietly, "Well, here's hoping that our little group can murder this future too, hmm?" She rests her head on the older gentleman's shoulder very briefly as they make their way up the path toward the Lincoln Memorial. "On to more pleasant topics, yes? Tell me what Felix was like as a child?" She asks of his grandfather with a cheeky grin. "Was always such a smart ass, with the deadpan humor?"

"Very quiet," Mikhail says, reminiscently. "Never a noise. Always watching and listening. I thought for a while, that that might be his power. To be quiet. Most of us have them, our line. His father is an exception." He looks amused at his grandson, who keeps pace with them silently. "Very respectful, very helpful, when he came to visit. He followed his cousins around, all the time."

Elisabeth grins toward Felix. "I think perhaps some things don't change," she replies. "And others…. well, he's a little less respectful of certain kinds of authority now. For which I for one am grateful."

Mikhail clicks his tongue at that. "He is an American now. They do that," he says, placidly. A fond look at Felix. "Or so I am told." And a sharper one at her, in turn. "You wear the uniform. Are you respectful of authority?" he says, very nearly stumbling over that last foreign word.

There's a pause as she considers that. "I respect the office of the President," Elisabeth finally replies. "Not so sure I respect the man who currently inhabits it. Laws are supposed to protect people, not oppress them. So…. the answer is yes. And no."

Mikhail's laugh is very rusty, almost a wheeze. "Spoken like a politician," he says, and it's not entirely approving. "But, I see. Why do you not respect the current president?" It's apparently thrilling to be able to be that blunt on that subject - he's puffing up a little. Fel's amused, by the look on his face, there's that quirk to his lips.

Liz slants a look at Felix and says with a cheeky little grin, "Let's just say that I think the man's a complete bastard and if someone were to get past his security it wouldn't hurt my feelings a bit." She winks at Mikhail. "But you didn't hear that from me, Mr. Ivanov. And I'm no politician, I promise you that."

It's enough to widen the eyes on both Russians….and again, that similarity of expression is almost comical. Even more so when they both slant that look at each other. It's like seeing Felix through the timelapse of sixty years. Here's how he might look, if he lives that long. Mikhail pats her on the arm, proudly. "Good," he says. "Good."

The bubble of laughter that wells up at the identical looks is squelched behind her hand, and Elisabeth muffles the chuckle. She continues to walk with the two Russians toward the huge marble memorial. "Tell me what you'd like to see, Mr. Ivanov. What things interest you about this city. Felix doesn't talk about his family much — very careful, our Felix, to not draw attention to his outside life." She says this like it's a good thing.

"It is long habit. His mother was KGB. And many of us were powered. Special," he says, musingly. "We learned to keep secrets. Even so, many of us were disappeared. My brother…..I don't know if they dissected him, or just shipped him off to Siberia," he says, with a shake of his head. That's apparently a revelation to Felix, who turns to stare. "Your brother Alexei?" Mikhail nods, grimly. And then he forces a smile. Back to more pleasant thoughts. "I don't know. The museums, I think. Air and Space. Science. The Smithsonian."

"I do love the various Smithsonian museums," Elisabeth admits. She listens to the parts about his family, but she'll let Felix ask any additional questions about that situation — it's his business, not really hers. "The Museum of Natural History is always kind of fun, since it has the Hope Diamond and such. But my personal favorite is the Museum of American History."

"Then we will go there," Mikhail declares, imperiously. THe many years of giving orders….well, they've left their mark. "I need to learn more about it, if I'm going to be an American," he says, as he insinuates his arm into Felix's again, unselfconsciously. "Fel," he says, giving the monosyllable that odd russian twist, the E oddly indeterminate. "We talk more about it, later." The speedster looks as if he'd really love to argue…..but for once, miracle of miracles, he doesn't.

Elisabeth says softly, her voice carrying only to the ears of the speedster himself thanks to her ability, "I think I love your grandfather, Felix." She grins at the younger man. "If he were 20 years younger I might marry him and be your grandmother. Horrors!"

"What, because he can actually shut me up?" Fel wonders, as Mikhail ably feigns deafness, or merely chooses not to notice. He adds, fondly, "He's a charmer. That's apparently an Ivanov trait, one I missed out on." Mikhail pats his arm again. "You are too like your namesake," he says, with a sigh. "It is true."

ELisabeth giggles softly. "Indeed," she retorts to Felix on a laugh. "C'mon, you troublemaker. I wanna see the museum!"

Fel just rolls his eyes, tolerantly, and leads the way. "His other grandfather was named Feliks," Mikhail goes on, looking up at Elisabeth. "Feliks Suvorin. And he was a bastard." His tone is cheerfully assured. And now Fel wears that tolerant sneer. "He really was," Fel adds to Elisabeth. "NKVD, KGB. The kind of guy who blithely sent who knows how many to the gulags."

Elisabeth mmmmmmmms. "Well, I guess perhaps your grandson takes after that man in more ways than one," she laughs, her arm in Mikhail's companionably on the other side. "He's chucked people in gulag!"

Fel looks a little sour at that. "I was just a cop," he argues, as Mikhail just turns and uses the Eyebrow of Doom. One small motion conveys worlds of 'we both know that's bullshit, child'. And Fel, of course, buckles before it, lifts his free hand, and sighs. "I know, I know…."

And Liz just laughs, a full-out, very amused, honestly happy laugh.

"For me, I am glad you area soldier now," Mikhail says, smugly, once Fel has rolled over and showed his throat, metaphorically speaking. "But then, I am biased," Fel raises his gaze to heaven, beseechingly. "Even in America, to be the state police…'s a very risky thing. No one's heart is pure," the old man asserts, looking to Liz as if she might back him up.

"Don't look at me, dedushka," Elisabeth retorts. "My heart's as pure as blue ice." She winks at him.

"You should marry him," Mikhail notes, serenely. "You would make him a good wife. Keep him in line." Felix gets this expression of absolutely excruciating pain, like even the word 'marry' is like nails on the chalkboard.

"I absolutely should," Elisabeth agrees readily. "And if I were one of the ones who could clone myself, I would marry him in a heartbeat." She smiles at Felix's grandfather. "Unfortunately, marriage is not in the cards for me." Though exactly why she honestly cannot say. Somewhere in those lost years, the answer to why her stomach heaves at the idea of marriage is hidden.

Mikhail elbows Felix. "Get working, boy," he says, both peremptory and fond at once. "Grandfather," Fel begins, hesitantly. This really isn't the time or the place to come out of the closet. "I know about your policeman," Mikhail cuts him off, leaving Felix looking stunned - really stunned, as if that little sentence had been a blow to the jaw. His lips are parted, for a long moment, before he clamps them together. Mikhail just looks at him, with that maddening calm. "I don't care," the older man says, eventually. "I know about that." He looks at Liz, and knows -she- knows, apparently. Fel doesn't seem to have a reply, but he looks as if he'd crumble and blow away on the wind….but God forbid he cry in front of his hero. Mikhail pats him on the cheek, and sighs. "

The expression in Elisabeth's eyes is both soft and grateful as Mikhail tells his grandson that he flat doesn't care. Her smile is gentle and she moves to give the older man a kiss on the cheek, slipping around him to the younger Ivanov to slide an arm around his waist in silent solidarity. She tells the elder Ivanov, "Dedushka, I couldn't marry him knowing I was only second best any more than he could marry me for the same reasons." She rests her head on Felix's shoulder. "Because if the one who truly holds the heart came calling, neither of us would want to hurt the other…. instead, we'd hurt ourselves by turning away. So this suits us just fine. Now come… stop harassing Felix, you." Her tone gentle scolding, Elisabeth adopts the mannerisms of the older Russian women who tsked so nicely at her and Abby. She nudges the two men into motion and clucks her tongue. "I swear, I think all of you Ivanov men think you are so smart, when it's really we women who keep you on the not-so-straight and narrow. You tease and taunt one another mercilessly," she lightly comments as they move.

"But how am I going to get any great-grandchildren," It's a theatrical mutter that calls a watery grin to Felix's face. "Dedushka, you have litters, already," Felix reminds him. "True," Mikhail allows, as if this point were of no relevance. Fel adds to Liz, "My father has four brothers. I have a -lot- of cousins, and most of them have bred. We're like rats. Russia can't get rid of us."

Elisabeth simply rolls her eyes at the blatant manipulation and snorts. "You don't honestly believe I'm going to fall for that old line, do you?" she demands of the old man. But her smile is affectionate. "You are shameless," she informs him. "Perhaps, if the world doesn't end in the next couple of years, I shall consider the matter," she adds with a grin. "Now quit being a manipulative brat," she instructs Mikhail.

And Mikhail suddenly looks….smug. Like a Persian cat who's just discovered the key to the cabinet where they keep the Fancy Feast. If she and Felix and Mikhail all live…..there will be questions. Like, "Are you going to name it Elizaveta, or Nikolai?"

And the answer is….Nadezhda.


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