One Down, More To Go


elisabeth_icon.gif leland_icon.gif

Scene Title One Down, More To Go
Synopsis Liz and Lee talk in Felix's hospital room.
Date Sep 30, 2009

St. Luke's

She's a regular sight in Felix's room. Though Elisabeth looks like hell and didn't come by on Tuesday at all. Today when she arrives, Leland's out — the nurse tells her that he'll be back in just a moment, that he'd only gone to get coffee… but she needs just a few seconds with Felix alone anyway and that suits her fine. And she hasn't the heart to ask Lee to leave or anything. Most of her visits, she doesn't talk much… instead she sings. Her repertoire is extensive, and the range of her voice is pretty impressive. It's a side of herself she rarely shows anyone, not really finding time to be a singer too much. She slips her hand into the Russian's slack one and stands looking at him. "He's dead, Felix," she says quietly, not realizing that Leland is slipping back into the room already just behind her. "I … I didn't pull the trigger myself. I had… an open shot, and I couldn't cross that line. Not for myself… not even for you." There are tears choking that voice. "But he forced the situation… and so he's dead. I don't… " Her free hand lifts to her mouth to hold back a soft sob as her shoulders shake. "I don't know… if that even matters. P.. please wake up soon."

Leland Daubrey has been at the same level ever since Felix was captured. There's not much lower one can get than knowing your best friend is being tortured. And he isn't a man who expresses a wide range of emotions. If he's feeling lower, or feeling higher than that, it's all internal. His face is a mask. His body is stiff. He's kept clean-shaven and showered as a matter of pride. That would be an outward show of emotion just as much as shedding tears would be.

He lingers in the doorway, styrofoam cup in one hand. "Who's dead?"

She goes still and wipes her face as she turns to look at him, gesturing for him to close the door behind him again. Elisabeth bites her lip. "One of the men who…. hurt Felix. And me." She watches him with wary blue eyes, wrapping a silence field around the two of them and the bed so that in case the nurse comes back, she can't hear us. It doens't block out the sound of Felix's monitors, but everything else is gone.

Leland closes the door and steps towards Elisabeth. He looks at her for a moment, and then a single syllable falls out of his mouth.


Abject relief crosses her face. She's been afraid to tell Lee too much. Elisabeth hesitates, and then she nods slowly. "I don't know how much he had to do with Felix's condition for sure… but I have my suspicions that it was the same man. He took…. great pleasure in his work," she says quietly. "They won't be recovering his body," she says evenly as she looks at him. There are shadows in those blue eyes that haven't existed before. Knowledge of actions taken, of choices made that are … dark. "How're you holding up, Lee?"

Leland looks at Elisabeth, though his return gaze doesn't reveal much about his mental state. "You don't want to ask me that." He moves to a table and sets the cup of coffee down. There's three other mugs there, all with as little as a few sips out of them. It's a ritual, a reaason to leave the room every now and again. Besides, hospital coffee is horrid.

"Yeah… kinda figured," Elisabeth replies. She looks toward the unconscious Feeb and moves to stand in front of Leland, studying his face. "Can I help you? At all?"

"You can find me one of them." And it's unspoken what Leland would do once she did. Subtly, his left hand grips into a fist. he looks away from Elisabeth after a moment or two.

There's a movement on her part, an aborted reach up to touch him. Elisabeth nods slightly, tacit acknowledgement of his right to rend someone limb from limb. "I'm sorry," she whispers. Though what exactly she's apologizing for maybe even she's not clear on.

"There's only so much a man can take," says Leland. And then he paces away. Not to get away from her, but out of a need to move. He's sat still too much lately. It's not good for him.

Elisabeth nods slowly, watching him with weary eyes. "I know," she says quietly. "I don't know why he insists on such foolish actions. But if you choose to walk away from him, I wouldn't blame you a bit."

Leland shoots a paranoid glance over his shoulder, towards the door. "You don't know how many times I asked him to stop doing this shit. To think before he acts. He says he knows, promises to be smarter. But then I'm picking him up at the emergency room again." His voice is low, barely above a murmur. And he's staring at the wall.

"I know." Elisabeth's reply is both simple… and sympathetic. She really really does know exactly what he's going through. She's been distraught over Felix's disappearance too, but she hasn't felt exactly free to share her thoughts or emotions with Leland any more than he seems to wish to share his with her. They share an affection for the same man… but thus far, she doesn't know how to use that to help him or offer him moral support at all. She's tried… and she feels like a failure for not being able to find a way to do it. It seems as if they ought to be able to talk to one another. But that's not Lee's way, and she'll respect it. She looks down, hiding her tears from him.

"Someone told me…" begins Leland. "…that he jumped into their van. Is this true?" His teeth clack together, his nostrils flare. "Cause it's fucking hard to be close to someone who has a goddamn death wish."

Elisabeth sighs and looks up, admitting quietly, "That's what I heard. Agent Dahl shot Danko or something, and when his boys showed up to retrieve his body, Felix chased them. I don't… think he really thought of it as a death wish. I think …." She bites her lip and the tears flood her eyes. "I think it's my fault," she admits. "I think he wanted Danko so damn bad because … they had me." Maybe that's conceit on her part, though. She's not sure of that - she only knows that Felix knew Humanis had her, but she's not sure he knew she'd been retrieved.

"Which may be fucking noble, but he's smart enough to know what would happen. All it does is make me'n you go through what he did when you were captured." Leland glances towards Felix, but not at his face. "It's easy to risk your life. The hard part is watching someone else risk theirs. Especially foolishly. Especially when things coulda been done different." He takes in a long breath. "I told him once that I thought about him every time before I draw my gun. Cause I know what he would feel if it was me in a hospital bed. Gotta weigh whether or not the risk is worth it. But if he was thinking about me before he jumped into that van, then he made his choice about what was more important. It meant more for him to get his teeth in the bad guys than to be there for the people who give a fuck about him."

Elisabeth's reply is perhaps not what he was expecting. "The trouble with Felix… is that he's never had someone who actually cared that much about his well-being. He doesn't understand what that means… and because we're not stupid shits, we don't put him through this." She feels her way through the thought hesitantly. "I don't know what he was feeling about me being missing, Leland… I can only assume that as my friend, he was scared.. and worried. On the one hand, I'd like to think that it wasn't noble…. that he cares enough to take that risk out of desperation and not out of sheer … ego. And on the other hand, I don't want to be the reason he did it because… it makes what happened to him so much worse somehow in ways I can't even articulate well." She bites her lip and looks up at him. "And I don't want you to look at what I just said and think that it was some kind of choice between me and you, either. He just…. doesn't know what to do when people care for him, and when he cares for someone else, he just… gives it his everything. I think this stupid reckless act wasn't noble… it was just desperate."

"What happened to him is so much fucking worse cause he brought it on himself. Humanis First are ugly fuckers, but he jumped into their arms. He thinks he's invincible and doesn't know what it feels like to be on the other side of it. Cause we don't do the stupid shit he does." Leland looks over at Felix, then back to Elisabeth. "And I don't know if this'll be any different. No matter what they did to him. He died once. I got no reason to think he's going to change. That the horrible, inhuman shit he went through is actually going to make him wake up. It might just make him want to take revenge and be even stupider. And I can't keep going through this." And then softer, a little hoarsely, "I can't."

"I'm not going to try to change your mind, Lee." Now Elisabeth does step forward, putting a hand on his arm. And if he allows it, to rest her forehead against his cheek. "You have to do what's best for you, no matter what that means."

"I ain't going to walk out on him when he's like this. I owe him more than that. And I'm gonna give him a chance. But he's going to have to give me more'n a promise. Cause he's promised me lots before and he always breaks it." Lee shies away from the contact after a breath or two. Allowing it admits to feeling things too. And that's not allowed in Daubrey world.

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