Reprehensibly Incomplete


felix_icon.gif teo3_icon.gif

Scene Title Reprehensibly Incomplete
Synopsis Felix is hunting Gabriel again, which makes him either the rat or the cat. Teo is, as usual, somewhat difficult.
Date February 26, 2010

Somewhere in New York — The Federal Bureau Of Investigation

He gets an actual office, rather than merely being cast adrift in the cubicle pool like the majority of the Agents. Winning Best in Show will do that for you. It is, however, a tiny, tiny office, basically more than a glorified closet with a window. Crammed with stuff, a desk, covered in papers. The array of low filing cabinets is also that way. It smells of coffee and tea, incongruously enough - one corner of the cabinets has been cleared off enough to hold a little electric kettle, which is burbling away to itself.

The Fed himself is behind the desk, weary-looking, narrow blue eyes a little sunken, but without that air of utter exhaustion he's had. Put on a little bit of much-needed weight, too. And funnily enough, he's cultivating a beard; not much of one, a neat goatee that's familiar enough to Ghost, as are the pairs of black framed glasses he has perched atop his head.

Teo's only half Ghost, but it reminds him anyway, as he comes sailing in on a hooligan's swagger that's more characteristic to the baby version of himself. Which he does, after all, continue to pretend to be from day to day. It still isn't gone from him.

Even if there is a ragged, scar-hemmed hole ripped up through his left cheek, extending the already generous parameters of his smiles and frowns by an inch of maniacal leer. He tends to prefer that people doesn't stare, which is manifest in his ironclad indifference to what stares the injury does glean, as he moves through the Bureau's office space and then into Felix's, in particular. If he feels trepidation, being so close to the people who've hunted him for the worst years of his life, he knows better than to let it on.

"Signor Ivanov." Customary greeting, launched from a posture as regular as his posture. Hands in his pockets, the hood of his sweater hanging down the back of the dense woollen peacoat he had pulled over it. Meltwater rims the cuffs of his jeans. "You look like a giant nerd."

"I -am- a giant nerd, Signor Laudani," replies Felix, with no hint of rancor. His tone is matter of fact, perhaps a wee bit amused. "I was supposed to be a scientst, before the lure of wearing out my shoes on the pavement caught me," he explains, absentmindedly. "Close the door, would you please? And then sit," He indicates the office chair across from him with a motion of his chin. He's got his sleeves rolled up, suitjacket coat off, which means the shoulder rig is on display.

The door clicks shut as requested. Shaggy hair, dense beard, Teo looks less the collegiate Harlem thug and more the shabby sophisticante, these days, but it all evens out to about the same level of financial and personal investments in fashion. The rasp of his fingernail carving at the line of his jaw isn't any louder. Shhk shhk. Delivering the shoulder rig a brief glance, he pulls the chair loose and drops himself on it, draws his boots together under the table.

"You would have made a terrible scientist."

"I think that requires patience or something," Teo answers, a slight smile realigning his bearded mouth. He leans back slightly in the chair, settles his arms on the rests. It would not appear that his intent was to offend, but there's more familiarity in his attitude with Felix than the inverse, perhaps. He has ten years of friendship in his head, even if he burned the series of idle one-night stands that had started it. "What can I do for you?"

Which bemuses Fel, a little, but he doesn't pursue it. "I have a problem," he says, quietly. "More specifically, New York and the Bureau have a problem. Gabriel Gray is dead….but something or someone has taken up his MO, and is killing as he did, again. I've been asked to provide a list of his known associates, before his death. You're one, of course. If it's not him, though - since death is about the best alibi known, unless you're Count Dracula - all I can think of is that that complex of disorders, whatever unclean spirit drove him to do what he did, has transferred itself. Found another person to possess. Since it was evidently possible in the case of Volken, and of Abby's abilities…." He rubs the bridge of his nose. "I want to get to the bottom of this, without conflicing with the debts I owe in that circle, kicking over sandcastles, or giving the right hand of the government reason or occasion to try and undo what the left hand did. We've got enough to fight without going back to being at daggers drawn with the CIA."

Air drawn into Teo's lungs goes soundless despite that his teeth are closed, and could have provided the audience a hiss. He's staring at the Russian with an avid interest, viciously corralled down to neutral, leaving only an animalistic sheen to his stare and a weird stillness falls over his coat-cinched frame that seems more akin to a cat than the regular dumb puppy enthusiasm he likes to run around under. The distance of the desk contracts to nothing for a moment, before he blinks, and it pops back to its original expansion. He was thinking about something. In that.

Then his shoulders go up, and the rest of him squashes down in his chair like a recalcitrant teen facing the disciplinary committee. "Which debt are you trying not to renege on?" is his first question, asked with a squint. Then, perhaps a little more grudgingly, like a man reluctant to concede the prize, "And what do you know?"

"I owe you. I owe Abigail. I owe Flint Deckard, and his particular version of Francois. Presumably I owe the other version of Francois, as well. Not to mention that this supposed rehabilitation of the Vanguard who helped out with the Antarctic affair ties my hands. They're back to being citizens, not wanted men. Those names are going to get mentioned, because honestly, them asking me is fairly redundant. That stuff is on file from when I was hunting Gray before." He pulls off those glasses, and the blue eyes are oddly soft and weary, as he rubs the bridge of his nose between thumb and forefinger. It makes the lines of strain in his face more evident.

"I owe you. I owe Abigail. I owe Flint Deckard, and his particular version of Francois. Presumably I owe the other version of Francois, as well. Not to mention that this supposed rehabilitation of the Vanguard who helped out with the Antarctic affair ties my hands. They're back to being citizens, not wanted men. Those names are going to get mentioned, because honestly, them asking me is fairly redundant. That stuff is on file from when I was hunting Gray before." He pulls off those glasses, and the blue eyes are oddly soft and weary, as he rubs the bridge of his nose between thumb and forefinger. It makes the lines of strain in his face more evident.

"So, this is to some extent warning - I don't have immediate reason to think the government is going to renege on promises made and come for them, but better you letting them know it may be me or someone else trying to talk to them. What I know?….not much. Everyone tells me Gray died a sacrificial death at the Pole….but I'll believes he's dead when I see the body in the morgue drawer. I know…." He pauses, bites something back. "I'm sure he's harder to kill than most. But something is out there killing the way he did. His demon's jumped to a new host? He was training someone as an apprentice? Someone's infected with whatever pathology drove him? I have theories, and a body. And whatever he's owed, whatever he's done to atone…..this can't stand."

Training someone as an apprentice? The Ghost in Teo is obscurely affronted by this particular theory on one of his oldest and closest friends. Yes, Gabriel Gray might have fallen into wearily drunken stupors at Police Balls where his wife was being well-dressed and difficult, and even adopted Magnes Varlane, but his particular store-brand of serial-killing power absorption had always remained his own.

The Ghost in Teo is probably just trying to distract the rest of Teo. From thinking, with no small measure of horror, that Felix is right. Maybe Gabriel's back. Maybe he's Sylar again. And maybe he actually deserves more head injuries, in this case, than the Feeby pig who's cracking his Rollodex open for his hunters' use. Such uncomfortable Principal's Office thoughts. Teo's eyes close and open again, slow in the dim light, and he feels at once as tired as Felix looks.

"So, what?" He picks up his right knee, casts it over his left. The length of his shin bone comes to a stop leaned against the table's edge. "You didn't tell them anything they don't know, and they don't know shit yet?"

"Right," Felix says, quietly. "This may be a chance to clear Gray of some of the crimes he's accused of, if he truly didn't commit them." He lays his hands on his desk, and they're spidery in their thinness. The look he gives Teo is not stern, threatening - no hint of the bad cop. Almost more pleading. "And if it isn't Gray, then we need hints from those who knew him better. A way to winkle out who else, what else is doing this." He leans back in his chair, makes the cheap plastic creak in protest.

The expressive line of Teo's mouth contracts around a white dash. His eyes refocus past Felix's head and on the wall behind the desk. Best In Show, and he hasn't hung up any of his shinies to show for it. Maybe the ungrateful Russian's employers just figured they'd expend the nicer rooms on someone who gave a fuck. "If it's Gray, then you need to bug those who know him better, not ask them. If it isn't— well, you're going to get the same fucking story from them either way.

"Intuitive aptitude is a pretty rare ability. Comes with a pathological drive to break things down and see how they work— probably comparable some of your pathologies," joke. Teo's smile lasts only half an instant, however, before his gaze drags past the wilted fold of Felix's hands. He lifts his brows briefly. "Makes you smart, too. Or the functional equivalent thereof. That doesn't leave a lot of patterns to trace apart from cracked skulls. Do you have a list of the abilities he's taken?"

"A few. Reprehensibly incomplete," Felix says, quietly. ""And yes. We can't use power use as an ID or signature, because we can't prove and don't know what he can or can't do." He gives one of those knife's edge smiles. "I've heard that theory before. That my ability is part of why, specifically, I do what I do." No. There are no personal touches in the room at all, actually. No photos, no trinkets, even his mug is a plain blue. Other than a calendar that's currently set to display a vividly colored image of some tropical beach.

The back of Teo's hand passes over his nose, roughing calluses against the itch. He sniffs like a dog, glances out through the blinds at where the rest of the hamsters are running in their wheels beyond the corner office's demarcations. "It isn't a theory, with Gabriel's. There are unfortunate psychological side-effects.

"You don't have to believe me," he adds, after a moment, the corner of his mouth opposite the scarred hole in his cheek lifting in a wry smile. His younger incarnation had never understood how anything could get so personal between the Bureau's finest hunter and the quarry, and for the older, things had gotten personal enough with both that he no longer had a reliable frame to judge or real interest in doing so. "I mean, of the recent vicks. Could I get the files on those? Copies? I'll ask around."

Felix's lips curve in one of those thin, humorless smiles. "I do believe you. Because it's a compulsion here, I can't imagine how much worse it is for Gray. So many powers, so many fragments of other people's lives to reconcile in one human brain. They all take trophies, and he has that whole assortment jangling around in there. "I'll try. I'm not sure I can just give them to you."

"I saw a lot of the abilities he had in use," Teo says. "Could help to run the lists against each other. Though—"

He probably ends that sentence slightly too abruptly, a thought bitten short just as his own great internal sprawl of plots and plans, both ones available for sharing and ones better kept to Sicily until the Appropriate Time arises. Should it arise. His expression changes slightly, his jaw scissoring to the side, and then the blunt of his fingers sawing briefly through the dirty-blond snare of his hair. A half-beat, and he finishes his thought, or one close enough.

"Forensics first, profiling extrapolations second," he suggests, pushing the chair back.

Those thoughts, scurrying into their respective holes like mice at the sound of the cat's bell. It has Fel leaning forward, just a fraction, an entirely reflexive motion. "If you could make a list of what you know he could do, that would be immensely helpful," he adds, almost sweetly.

Teodoro isn't as good at sweet, but he does contrive a smile. "If you could get me the files, I'll make you a list of what I know he could do," he offers. He sets his heels even on the floor, pushes his chair backward a few inches and starts to find his feet again. Pulls his shirt straight with one hand, reaching up at the ragged hole in his cheek with the curl of his pinkie finger. The gesture, and the smile that comes with it, nearly passes for shy.

Which means it nearly qualifies as unrepentant impudence, probably. "You still have my number?" Parting words; the Sicilian is already glancing out of the window.

He wants to threaten, force the issue. He doesn't. Maybe, just maybe, the Fed's learning a little restraint. "No," he says, gently. "I don't."

"Liz does," Teo decides, after a moment. He notices that restraint, and it puts a smile on his face that is no less sincere, and somewhat more innocent. He stops at the door, one callused hand on the handle and his weight shifted onto one foot. By now, it's visible— subtly— that he's favoring one of them slightly, eroding the usual loop and bombast of his hooligan's swagger.

There is no swagger to his pensive instant's stillness, on the other hand. Or when he looks back. "If it's him, and he's killing innocents, I'd help you. Veramente. You know that, right?"

The look the Fed gives him from behind those glasses is as blank as river ice, lips thinned out. He looks like some relic from the cold war. Or, unnervingly, like kin to Noah Bennett. "I'll call you later," he says, looking down to his desk, and picking up a heavy fountain pen. The interview's apparently over.

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