Petty Bribery


deckard_icon.gif felix_icon.gif mischa_icon.gif

Scene Title Petty Bribery
Synopsis Deckard, Felix and Mischa encounter one another on the streets of Chinatown and conversation turns toward the recent string of Evolved murders that have been all over the news. Felix deserves a gold star.
Warning: Semi-explicit content (excessive swearing, suggestive dialogue).
Date October 26, 2008


Though it's less than two miles square, Chinatown is home to some quarter of a million residents. Cramped, ancient tenements are the norm, though the fourty-four story Confucious Plaza standing at the corner of Bowery and Division does boast luxurious accommodations by comparison. Mulberry Street, Canal Street, and East Broadway are home to streetside green grocers and fishmongers, and Canal Street also boasts an impressive array of Chinese jewelry shops.

It's long past sunset, but the streets of Chinatown are still bright and busy. Not even a bomb can destroy this little enclave, not so long as New York is still inhabitable at all. It's crowded even at this hour, shops open, neon gleaming in the evening dark. Fel's just finished eating, but isn't hurrying off to the nearest subway stop. Rather, he's lingering over the tourist tchotchkes on display outside one of the shops, idly eyeing the cheap knives and trinkets spread out on the counter. He's got his briefcase at his side, and his glasses on…and in that suit, he sticks out like a sore thumb.

Some twenty or thirty feet further down the sidewalk, Flint is much more subtle in his distant pursuit. When Felix stops at a shop, so does he. Chinese tabloid in hand, he pretends to read it with exaggerated interest, cold eyes squinted more after Felix's browsing and the more numerous bags of bones and organs that exist between here and there than the inscrutible text. His suit is less notable, maybe, in its threadbare and faded state, but it's still a suit, and he's still 6'2".

Fel steps away from the tacky tourist doodads, in favor of half-way ducking into the recessed doorway of a closed shop to go through the absent-minded ritual of lighting one of those terrible lung-searing Russian cigarettes he smokes. God only knows where he finds the things, or why he doesn't have at least one tumor by now. The flare of the lighter illuminates the stark planes of his face, and then he loiters, apparently contemplating the passing flow of people with a distant expression.

The crisp yawn of Flint's open paper goes a little limp when Felix steps out of easy sight, and the overlap of the doorway on top of the overlap of a ludicrous number of bodies interested in the same nick nack stand he was just at proves to be a little too much. Master of stealth that he is, he takes one long step closer, then another before the stall owner calls out in perfect English, "Hey, are you going to pay for that?" Crap.

That has Fel sticking his neck out of the doorway, albeit rather idly. Definitely a local problem, and not federal, but when you can stop a shoplifter with little more than a thought….well, beat cop's instincts die hard. He scowls a little once he recognizes the other man. "Going my way, handsome?" he deadpans, corner of his lip curling in a sneer.

Still in the process of fumbling with his billfold, Flint gives Felix a sidelong look that is most definitely /annoyed/ before he's able to fork over the couple of bills necessary to cover the paper. That he can't read. The change is waved off, and he folds his purchase neatly over as he turns to face Felix in full. "Are you following me? Because that is so not cool."

Felix takes a deep drag on the cigarette, exhales through his nostrils like an irritated dragon, and says, "One of the first thing they teach you at Quantico is how to recognize a tail. You've got some work to do on that front, Mr. Bond. You want a cigarette?" He proffers the worn pewter case, lazily.

"Uh huh." The folded paper is rolled, and Flint glances to the cigarette as he reaches into his coat after a lighter. "What kind? If it's that same shit you used to smoke you can take the one you were going to give me and cram it up your ass."

Felix is startled into laughter. "I've got cloves in there, if you'd rather," he says, expression sardonic. "As gracious as ever, you are."

Post-bomb Chinatown is as rife with crime as anywhere else in Manhattan, so it's probably no surprise — at least not to Felix — when a familiar face steps out of the hookah bar on the opposite side of the street, a lit cigarette in one hand and an imitation designer handbag in the other. Mischa Christinel doesn't look as out of place as Felix or Flint, but she'll probably have a hard time blending in as well. Ironic, really, since the pattern of her halter top resembles the rosettes on a leopard's coat. She stops on the curb to glance at the watch she wears on her wrist, her sallow face scrunched up into an expression of impatient irritation. Maybe she's waiting for a ride, or maybe she's just running behind schedule. It doesn't matter, though, because when she turns her head to look down the street she sees something that makes her forget what she was supposed to be doing.

"Felix Fucking Ivanov. Is that you?"

"I can live with that. Thanks for the offer, /Officer/." About as gracious as he's going to get, Flint hoods his brow low after the title as he reaches for the case to pry around for one of the cloves in question. He's managed to light up and offer the case back by the time Felix's name is called out. A thin stream of smoke out of the side of his mouth while he squints at her. "Five out of ten."

"The middle name is Nikolaievich, but yes, that's me," Felix says, looking over with a quizzical squint, already vanishing the cigarette case back into his suit pocket. To himself more than any of the others, he mutters, "What is this, old home week? Someone gave every skell I ever arrested my phone number?" To Flint, more loudly, he corrects, "Agent. Not Officer," He doesn't reply to the rating. "I remember you," he notes to Mischa, sighing a little.

"You'd better remember me, you dickless son of a bitch." Mischa closes the distance between herself and the two men, the heels of her stilettos clicking evenly against the cement underfoot in a way that she suggests she might have had a little too much to drink tonight. Either that or herbal fruits and tobacco weren't the only things she was smoking back at the bar. "Where the hell have you been? Novosibirsk?" Dark eyes dart to Flint, sizing him up as she continues her brazen approach. "Who's this? Your mail-order bride?"

"…" says Flint initially. It's hard to tell if he's impressed or just sort of taken aback. His expression doesn't change, and he's still save for the drift of smoke from his slightly open mouth. "What gave me away?" He exhales in full, then, blowing the smoke politely down into her face before he looks over at Felix. "Was it the wide birthing hips or my delicate cheek bones?"

"And I'm delighted to see you, too," Fel says with brittle cheerfulness. "It's old home week, isn't it? No. This is another lowlife whom I am lecturing in hopes he will change his evil ways or get the hell out of my city." To Mischa he notes in a stage-whispered aside, "It's the way he begs that really caught my eye," before taking another deep drag on his cigarette. "Well, you've clearly reformed and joined the Trappistines, I see," he says to her. "Did you want a cigarette, too? I've been sojourning on the west coast."

"The size of your mouth," Mischa tells Flint, and even though she's smiling it's difficult to be sure that she's joking. There's no warmth in her eyes, and the tone of her voice is about a blunt as a sledgehammer. "He liked them big and wet back when he was on vice. Didn't you, Fliss?" Not Felix. Fliss. In response to his question, she dismissively waves her hand in front the agent's nose. I don't need a cigarette. I've got one right here, see?

"Wow." Flint's eyes narrow in turn, almost unnaturally frigid before the neon backdrop of Chinatown while he looks her over in a way that would be creepy even if he couldn't see through her clothes. "I think maybe we should up her to an honorary five and a quarter. I'm Detective Deckard, by the way. We're partners."

"No, he's not," Fel says, with the air of a teacher presiding over a class of unruly first-graders. "Flint, impersonating an officer of the law's an offense in itself. And he's not my partner in anything. Christinel, I don't think we ever discussed my preferences," he adds, dryly. Other than…not female.

"You don't have to be ashamed!" Mischa reaches out and pats Felix's arm with her cigarette-wielding hand in what is probably meant to be a reassuring manner, though this is likely has the opposite effect. She's about two inches away from singeing his suit jacket. "Just because you're playing Mr. Tough Guy for the Federal Bureau doesn't mean you can't still pal around with your old piggie friends. I won't tell anybody. Cross my heart and hope to lie."

"Oops." Chinese newspaper hand lifted into a faux-shushing gesture to cover for his unlawful mistake, Flint eyes the proximity o Mischa's cigarette to Felix's suit and says nothing. Oooh. Dangeous territory, there.

"I am still in with my piggy friends, as you put it," Fel says, easily, even as he sidesteps away from her patting. She might give him ho cooties, or something worse. "I'm a Bureau liaison."

"Liaison," Mischa repeats, nodding. "That's a big word. Sounds important." She takes a drag from her cigarette, wrinkles her nose, and blows the smoke out through her nostrils in a slow, steady stream. "You wouldn't happen to know anything about those murders in the news, would you?"

"Why would he tell you? You're not even a six." Helpful, Flint gives Mischa another unflattering look over the top of his newspaper, which he's unfolded again. Restless hands.

"I've heard of them," Felix says, serenely, even as he stubs out the last of that horrible cigarette on the brick wall beside him. "Not my case, happily," he adds, looking down his nose at her.

"If I flash you my tits, will you round me up to one?" Mischa asks, her gaze shifting from Felix's face to Flint's hands. "Damn, you sure fidget a lot." She taps the ash from the tip of her cigarette, then puts it back into her mouth. "Look," she says, "I'm not as slick-looking as you boys, but I'm not an idiot. You don't have any details about the case? Pull some fucking strings. That's why the NYPD's keeping you around, isn't it?"

Deckard lifts a brow. Just the one. Then he smiles. Honest good humor looks a little off on his face, though, and it's quick to fade. "I'm always up for free boobs." Taking his time with his own cigarette, Flint tips his head sideways towards Felix. His breath smells like smoke, noodles, and cheap whiskey. "You have nice friends."

Fel fishes the cigarette case of his pocket, clearly contemplating another one. He glances up and down the street, as if expecting someone else. OR reflexively looking for further surveillance. "Of course I have details," he says, calmly. "But I'm just the go-between. And I have no desire to see your breasts, thanks."

"My breasts are a work of art. They're the Munch's 'Scream' of bazoombas." That's probably not a compliment. "Sure, one's a little bigger than the other but what's beauty without imperfection, right?" Mischa, her cigarette finished, tosses the butt to the sidewalk and smothers it beneath the toe of her shoe. "What about money? Don't tell me you couldn't use five grand to buy a better man-wife than this asshole you have hanging around."

"See, when you call them 'bazoombas'…" Flint winces, teeth bared briefly around the fast-shrinking stub of his cigarette. "It kind of kills my enthusiasm. Not that I wouldn't give them a cursory glance. You know. In the name of science." Both brows lifted now, Flint turns the page and glances back over at Felix. "You don't want to see her boobs?"

"Are you offering me five large to give you the dirt on this supposed serial killer?" Fel's eyeing Mischa over the unlit cigarette he's just brought to his lips. "You have got to be kidding me. You don't have five thousand period, let alone to spare." He makes a face at Flint. "No. She's tried that trick before. They aren't worth writing home about."

It's true, Mischa doesn't have five thousand dollars to spare. Her boss, on the other hand, does. "I don't expect you to believe me," she says, starting to fish around in her purse, "you've been so distrustful ever since that time I threatened to cut off your balls because you lied about being a cop. Here—" The brunette pulls out a card, flips it between her fingers a few times (a truly impressive feat when one considers just how intoxicated she is) and offers it to Felix and Flint. "Just in case you two change your mind and want to get in touch."

The front of the card reads:

LINDERMAN GROUP - Establishing Connections
Kain Zarek Mischa Christinel
Public Relations Better Than Kain Zarek

On the back there is a phone number.

Fast Fingers McGee drops one side of his paper so that he can lean forward and snatch up the offered card before Felix. He smirks about it, too. Until he actually reads it. His expression sours almost imperceptibly, jaw hollow in its off-center set. It's offered over to Felix with a dirty look at Mischa. As in — well. Not the same kind of dirty look he's been giving her. "Why is it illegal to lie about being a cop, but okay to lie about not being one?"

"A little piece of advice," Fel notes, affably, sticking the cigarette behind his ear, still unlit. "Attempting to bribe a cop, also a crime. Because I will get endless shit from the precinct if I drag your ass in for even trying, I'm gonna pretend that was a little joke. It's very funny. Haha." But he has, however, taken the card and vanished it into his suitjacket. "Because if people could get away with pretending to be cops, they'd wreak all kinds of havoc. And we have to lie to get certain evidence. Now, citizens," he says, archly, "Have a good evening. Deckard, whatever she asks, haggle her down to half the price." And with that, he's turning to head for that subway stop down the way.

"Ciao, Fliss!" Mischa blows Felix a kiss of farewell. "Next time I get arrested, I'll be sure to tell all the good boys and girls down at Crown Heights what a gentleman you are!" To Flint, she offers a lopsided smile full teeth that aren't quite as white as they probably could be. "I was serious about the money," she says, "if you ever happen to find out something you think I might want to know, you just give Meesh a call and we can meet up somewhere."

Deckard watches Felix off until he's well out of easy earshot before he turns back to Mischa and sets to folding his crappy Chinese paper flatly back into his original arrangement. Or something close to it. "If you're palling around with Kain, I'm not really sure we'll have that much to talk about."

"My relationship with Kain— " Mischa pauses to lick her lips, a disgusted expression on her face. Even his name tastes bad in her mouth. "— is strictly professional. I don't like him any more than I like getting my annual pap. The only difference is I only have to see the doctor once — I have to put up with his stupid fucking face every other goddamn day of the year."

"In that case," folding finished, Flint stubbs his cigarette out into the folded paper and tosses both into a conveniently placed trash can, "we may have something in common. The Kain thing, that is." He studies her expression for a moment, then fishes in a trouser pocket for his phone. "I love getting pap smears."

She ran out of regular business cards. Really she did.

October 26th: Library Conversations
October 26th: What Do You Do with a Drunken Alex?
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License