One Way Ticket


elisabeth_icon.gif felix_icon.gif

Scene Title One Way Ticket
Synopsis Sometimes life just keeps kicking you in the teeth.
Date Nov 22, 2009

Spektor's House

She sat in the hall for what seemed like forever…. but Felix needs his phone back. And so Elisabeth, still wearing her clothes that she was snatched in, pads on bare feet across the chilly floor and down the stairs to find the Fed. It's the wee hours of the morning, somewhere maybe around three or four am, and she's not even sure he'll be awake. But Elisabeth needs his company anyway. The phone call was enough to at least warm up her insides. Padding into the living room on the main level where Felix is apparently taking up residence lately, Elisabeth says softly, "Fel?"

He has staunchly and politely refused to even countenance the idea of sleeping in a room with Ethan or Teo, for varying reasons. The living room is kindly dark, and he's curled up as much as he can in an old wingback chair, under his coat and a blanket. There's a grunt as he comes awake, rolls that eye to look at her and blinks over. "Hey, Liz," he says, in the rusty voice of one who's just come awake. "What's up?"

Elisabeth walks across the floor to where he sits, and she hesitates standing next to him. Holding the phone out, she says softly, "Thanks. I needed to … reassure a couple of people. I just thought you might want this back."

Fel gropes for his glasses on a sidetable, hand flopping, lands his palm on them and scoops them up to squint at her owlishly. ""Thanks. I'm sorry you got roped in the way you did. I don't know how or why or who felt compelled to do that. I promise I had nothing to do with it," he assures her.

She sets his phone on the side table and moves to slide into his lap, curling there with the ease of familiarity in spite of the size of the chair. She tucks her feet underneath the nightgown as she does it, and Liz rests her forehead against his. Tears that are not visible in the dark trickle down her face. "I know you didn't," she says softly. "It was a stupid thing to say."

He puts an arm around her, raises the other hand to wipe away those tears with a roughened thumb. "It's a freaky situation, and if you're at all like me, you still feel like your head is filled with nails and broken glass. PTSD's a fucking joy, right, and they did their level best to trigger everything they could. I think there should be some serious assbeating when we get home." Felix is his usual too-skinny self, almost feverishly warm, like that speedster's metabolism is an engine running close to red.

Snuggling down into his warmth, Elisabeth *finally* feels safe enough to let it go. "I couldn't close my eyes the whole flight," she admits in a whisper. "Abby shared her meds with me and I finally caught a little sleep on the train, but… then we got here. And it's so goddamn quiet, Felix. I woke up in the room upstairs and … Abby left the light on in the closet, thank God." She buries her face against him, shaking and finally letting the sobs escape. "And no one would tell me anything. They won't even tell me what the actual charges might me. They just…. let Lazarro drug me and let me wake up in a cell. And my dad… was sure I was dead. And Richard was freaking out. And I got here and all of you were here. Why didn't they just come ask me or even blackmail me?"

The Russian shifts so her weight is settled a little more comfortably, puts both arms around her. "Shhhh," he soothes. "I don't know, angel. I'm sorry," he says, nuzzling his face into her neck. "I was fucking freaking out, too. I thought HF had come for you, when your apartment alarm went off.I called 911, had uniforms over in minutes. Nothing. I was in a panic, until Cranston texted me."

Resting there with him, Liz cries quietly for a few minutes. Then she calms slowly against him and finally says softly, "God, you have no idea how damn glad I was to see the whole lot of them. And you, too… even though for just a moment…" For just a moment, she thought he was capable of betraying her. "I'm sorry that I said those things when we got here. It was all I could do to not scream the place down around our ears, honestly." She goes quiet and says softly, "Well… now that it's all said and done, I guess I get to take it one day at a time here, huh?" She smiles a bit. "Assuming we don't all get nuked or something, it'll be the last days of freedom I get. How the hell did they arrange with the KGB to get you here without them arresting you?" she asks him softly.

"I don't know," Fel replies in a murmur, burying his face in her shoulder. "I think they basically barked loud enough at the right people to keep their mitts off me, at least for the duration. I don't think I'm going home from this one, Liz. I'm betting good money there's a devil's bargain in place - once we've done what we needed to, they're going to collectively throw us under the bus. KIA, or vanished into the FSB's clutches. You know those Russians, still stuck in the cold war. And my mother gave the FSB's predecessor a hell of a fucking on the way out. But what do you mean, last days of freedom?"

Elisabeth smiles a little. "Well, like you… I figure we're on a one-way ticket. We're either going to die or if we do succeed, at least some of us will be blackholed just because they can." She lifts her head to look at him, blue eyes showing weariness. "C'mon…. you don't think I worked with Phoenix and with the other groups, still staying on the force too, without understanding from the start that eventually I'd get caught and royally fucked, do you? I'm usually pretty optimistic, Felix, but I'm not stupid. I've been pretty much assuming I'm on borrowed time since the Narrows." She shakes her head. "I generally accuse Richard of being a pessimist when he tells me he expects we're going to die, but …. chances are pretty good."

Fel closes his eyes, and his expression is more than strained. It's there, naked in his face - pain and despair and that bone-deep weariness, turning those oh-so-mobile features into a mask of tragedy. Worse, even, than when he awoke in Saint Luke's, maimed. His breath is even, there's none of the shuddering that presages sobs, but he's gone taut and afraid in her embrace.

She looks alarmed when he goes still, and Elisabeth holds him tightly. "Don't," she whispers to him. Leaning to kiss him softly at his temple, she murmurs against his skin, "It'll be… whatever it'll be, Felix."

"I spent twenty five years running away from this place, and here I am again. I can't do this, Liz. Dying's not that bad, but I won't be imprisoned again," It's no grand statement of defiance, not delivered in that under-the-breath coyote's whine. Now he sucks in a shaky breath, and there are tears in his voice, if not yet in his eyes, "Liz, I got ordered here. And Lee left me over it. I'd gone in a few days ago, to prove that my foot was fixed and that I was fit for duty, but I still wanted to go for that forensicist position, once I'd gotten the retraining done. And they told me to pack up and get ready to go. I went home to try and find a good way to tell him, and he…he…" He gulps air, steadies himself like a tightrope walker. "He didn't hit me, he didn't roar. He…j-just gave me that look, like I was a perp who tried to bullshit his way out of things one too many times. I've never seen him look at -me- that way." There are tears now, spilling, try as he might to stifle or ignore them. "And told me I had to choose between going and him. I whined and begged, because you know, fuck, when've I ever had any pride where Lee's concerned? B-but I couldn't not go. This is my job, my duty. And th-this is still my motherland. I c-c-couldn't live with myself if they turned Moscow into a smoking crater, and I could've done something to prevent it. I don't believe my own press, I don't think I'm anything special." He sniffs back tears. "But he told me to leave, that he was done. I packed up everything I own before I left, Liz. Not just what I needed to come here. Not that there's m-much more of the former than the latter." He essays a smile, and it's a ghoulish rictus, rather than a self-deprecating grin.

Oh fuck. Elisabeth holds him tightly, cradling him to her as close as she can get without melding them into one person. "God, Felix… I'm so sorry," she whispers. There is nothing else she can say. She can only cradle him and hold him while he loses it this time.

There's an animal sound of pain from him this time, wordless and aching, as bad as anything Danko or Bill ever wrung from him. "I can't live without him, Liz," he confesses, in that tight-throated whimper. "I can't go back to that city and not be with him. He's the only thing that keeps the nightmares at bay. I wake by myself, and it's always as if I'm there again, naked in the dark, with their hands on me." He's shaking in her arms, trembling far more than mere chill can excuse, racked like he's on the edge of a seizure. "I don't understand why I had to fuck that up. I don't."

There are so many feelings tied up in those words, Elisabeth can't even begin to help the man sort them. All she can do is say softly, "For the same reason that if he'd been approached, he would have come. Because there's something that needs doing…. no matter what it costs us personally." Her tone is sad as she cradles him, and Liz moves to tip his face up. She kisses him tenderly, chastely. "I'm sorry, Felix…. I'm so sorry," she whispers against his lips.

His mouth tastes of the salt of tears. "H-he s-said he was sick of watching me commit suicide on the installment plan," Fel unashamedly tucks his face into the curve of her shoulder and sobs bitterly, "I am so tired, Liz. So tired."

Elisabeth cradles him, her arms around his neck, her cheek against his as he cries. She kisses his cheek, his temple, his hair. Her fingers stroke the back of his head as she holds him. There's just not a damn thing she can say to her former lover for his loss. It's too deep, too sharp.

Like a child, and as he hasn't really done in eight years, he cries himself out. The fit of weeping leaves him utterly limp in her arms, almost as if asleep, but his breathing's too harsh, too regular for that.

Elisabeth simply sits there, holding him. If this is all she can give him, Elisabeth will give him everything he could ask from her — she doesn't know how to ease his pain any other way.

"Sit with me until I sleep?" he says, finally, voice rendered a harsh croak, like one of Eileen's birds. He's reassembled his mask for now, shattered and taped as it is. It'll have to hold for now.

"Of course," Elisabeth says softly. "I wish you could sleep upstairs with me. Abby'd rather bunk in with Teo anyway," she says with a soft grin. And then there's a bit of a chuckle. "Well, if we can't have the men we love, our comfy snugglebunnies are a good substitute, right?" Her tone is mildly cajoling, as if asking him to hold on. If only for her — she can't quite hold it together alone yet either.

Fel suggests, finally, "You know, we should just switch after lights out. If no one tells….."

Elisabeth laughs softly. "If you don't think Katarina Spektora will be knocking on that door less than five seconds after we swapped room partners, you are absolutely out of your frickin' mind. Seriously." It's also a matter of respect. "Maybe we can talk to Katarina about the situation, though … explain that Abby and Teo are roommates back home, entirely platonic. I hate for you to sleep in this terribly uncomfortable chair."

"I'm not sleeping in a room with Ethan Holden or Teodoro Laudani," Fel says, and his tone is equally flat. "And likely not with Francois, either. I don't know. Maybe I can have a cot in the attic." Oh, that'll go well.

Perhaps. Elisabeth leans forward and kisses him once more, snuggling down to stay with him until he falls asleep. "We'll see," she says softly, resting her head against him while he slouches into the chair. "Get some sleep, Felix. I have faith… that no matter what happens, it'll work out like it's meant to."

And with a last, soft sigh, he does precisely that - in a few moment he's dead weight against Liz.

Elisabeth stays with him, cradling his sleeping form for a long time. Only when she's so uncomfortable that she can't remain does she finally slip from his lap, gently smoothing her hand back along his head with a sad, affectionate expression. She kisses his temple softly and pads on bare feet back up the stairs to lay down again.

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