So This Is Christmas


elisabeth_icon.gif felix_icon.gif

Scene Title So This Is Christmas
Synopsis Let's hope it's a good one… without any fear.
Date Dec 24, 2010

Elisabeth's Apartment, Dorchester Towers

She left him there. To his own devices. Always an intensely bad idea, really. But he's made good - there's soup in the kitchen, along with wine and snacks. There are candles lit, which gives the place a soft glow. And the distinct scent of that bath stuff they both like, not too frilly- even Felix Ivanov won't consent to smelling like a cupcake or a fieldof lavender. Also the sound of water sloshing, and classical music playing softly. Here's hoping he's not in her bathroom giving himself a pedicure.

When she lets herself in, Elisabeth is …. startled. The candlelight is unexpected, although she did tell Felix to make himself at home. It's not terribly late — almost 10:45 — and considering how she went out dressed, she told Felix not to expect her back anytime early. Maybe in her heart of hearts she was hoping for the possibility of 'not at all,' but it was an exceedingly remote possibility. She closes the door quietly behind her, hoping to slip past the bathroom without being noticed. The state she's in, Felix might … react poorly.

Felix? React poorly? NEVAR. But alas for Liz, he has ears like a fox. "Liz," It isn't a question. but it is coaxing. "C'mere?" She knows that tone. He has hopes of ruining her stockings, if not the dress, of course, and getting water and bubble bath everywhere.

There's a wince. For several reasons — he could tempt her to break her own house rules. Again. But she knows as soon as she comes into view, he's gonna shit bricks. "I'm not exactly in the mood for a bath, Fel," Elisabeth replies. Walking swiftly down the hall, her black cape-like coat wrapped around her, she sweeps past the bathroom door with a subtle shift of her face and a casual-looking movement of her hand to ostensibly push a lock of hair out of her way as she goes by. If she can strip down before he realizes the dress is already ruined …. Christ, is she actually sneaking around her own apartment? she wonders incredulously. Ugh. What a fuckin' mess. "Take your time, okay?" she calls back as she closes the bedroom door. Not that it's a huge deterrent, but …

Quick, quick, quick! Get outta the ruined gown!

The scowl is not visible. But it is definitely, somehow, audible. There's the slopping sound ofa skinny Russian emerging from the tub. Thank heaven for everyone's dignity, when he appears in her bedroom door, a sopping wet apparition like a rain-soaked borzoi, he's wound a towel around his waist. Nevermind that he's essentially naked and his hair has bubbles in it, he's scowling at his blonde lover like his KGB interrogator grandfather. "What's wrong?" he demands.

Fuck. Elisabeth is out of her coat but the dress's zipper is giving her trouble. She sighs, her back to him. "Do not fucking freak out, okay? It's nothing like what it looks like." With that, she does turn around. Thankfully, black hides a lot of damage in terms of color. But the sparkles at her throat and bosom are dulled by the matte brown-red of dried blood. "I just had a bloody nose. That's all." Well… aside from the damage he can't see — the agonizing headache that they injected her with narcotics to deal with. But she's damned if she's not going to church tonight. "Are you coming with me to Mass?" she asks, trying to change the topic. "I could use a hand with the zipper so I can change in time to go…."

His expression is completely nonplussed. "I'll go with you. I brought suit." He's startled enough to drop his articles. English decadence, anyhow. "What happened? You blew out your power again?" Not really a question.

Elisabeth hesitates and then nods slightly. "Yeah," she sighs heavily. "Not… entirely sure I didn't blow out my fuckin' brain, too," she admits, presenting him her back to unzip her, pulling her blonde hair out of his way though the zip is low on her back. It's an automatic movement, without thought. "Humanis grabbed some fucking guy and strapped him with a bomb and sent him in. Not a suicide bomber… a fucking hostage bomber." She shakes her head a bit. "And in the midst of it all, the fucking Feds were sweeping the place without telling security they were there and created a clusterfuck."

He makes a strange noise, a wheezing grunt, as if those words'd been a body blow. Her back's to him, so she can't see it. But his hand on her nape doesn't move. There is the not quite audible sound of Felix trying to compose himself, and not really succeeding.

She looks over her shoulder at him, blue eyes worried. "I'm sorry… I should have…" Not said a word. Elisabeth's regret is clear in her expression, along with the fact that now that she's looking at him, her pupils are far wider than they should be. She's … a bit high.

He's got an absurd look on his face, not really readable. But his body language is almost cringing. He's moved his hand from her zipper to her shoulder, and he isn't quite leaning on her for support.

Elisabeth turns, wrapping her arms around his wet torso to hug him tightly. "It's okay," she whispers softly. "It's okay, Felix. We stopped it."

She can feel his heartbeat gone to that indistinguishable thrum of stress, his breath fluttery as he strives for calm. His face is pressed into her shoulder now, the bones of his spine all too visible beneath the skin.

She can't help him, can't talk him down as easily as she could before she blew out her power. Elisabeth can only offer what she has ever offered him — her affection, even her love after a fashion. She buries her face against his bare shoulder and just holds him tightly. She hasn't had time to really react to the whole thing. She was too busy dealing with FRONTLINE people on the ground and Redbird people on the ground and fucking terrorists and Feds and God alone knows what else. And she doesn't have time to react right now either. Because… Felix needs her to be strong for him. And so she does. She kisses his shoulder and just holds him.

After a moment, he's straightening, wiping his nose witha hand, and realizing he's still got bubbles in his hair. "Sorry," he says, hoarsely. "I'm glad you….you're okay." His eyes are the watery blue of topaz, made more vivid by the red rims.

Elisabeth smiles up at him as he steps back. "Don't be sorry… I'm not," she admits softly. "Go get the soap out. It'll take a bit to get to the church, and they got a special dispensation to hold the candlelight Mass. I don't want to miss it." Curfew, of course, is usually stopping any and all such things from going on. But just as d'Sarthe can get a special pass for an after-curfew event, there are a few others who can too.

He nods to her, and dashesinto the shower, letting the water run out of thetub. Then he's dressed, lickety-split, as they say in old tales. Literally, in his case. He did bring a nice suit, and with his nap of hair brushed into order, he's presentable again. If keyed and nervous.

It actually takes Elisabeth longer than it takes him. Maybe because the painkillers are making her dopey to start with and the headache barely has the edge taken off. She gets dressed, a pair of heavy hunter-green slacks topped with an ivory sweater laced with glittery crystals. A pair of black boots. Her hair is loose but baretted off her face. She looks presentable. She pauses to look him over, giving him a silly grin. The drugs have kicked in. "It's not fair that you can get ready that fast," she informs him.

"I'm a man with a speed problem. By definition, not fair when it comes to grooming," he retorts. His grin is shaky, a shadow of its usual insouciant glow.

Liz hmphs, meandering a little unsteadily toward the kitchen. Coffee. She has time for coffee, right? Sure. And considering what she's been through tonight, she deserves it. "Caffeine," she informs him lazily. "I gotta go to church to pray for people's fuckin' souls and say thank you for the help tonight, but I'm not gonna make it without caffeine I think."

A nod from him. "I'll drive," he says, simply, eyeing her with evident worry.

She makes the coffee carefully. Elisabeth is very precise in her movements. She does turn around while it's perking to look at him and smiles beatifically. "Don't make the face. They gave me a painkiller for my head." She absently reaches up to touch not her temple where she usually rubs in agitation but the bridge of her nose. "Something…. popped or something in there. I think I sprained my brain again." She smirks. "Sprained my brain. That sounds ridiculous, right? I'll have to remember to tell Richard that one. Maybe he'll finally smile for a change." Because the man does not smile lately. Especially, it seems, not at her. "Oh! I asked him to dance! Right before the guy with the bomb derailed it, selfish fucker," she observes. Because Felix already knows the woes of loving a man in crisis.

He makes a funny hang-dog face at her. "Oh. I'm sorry, angel," he says, softly. "You know, one of the variants of Laudani asked me out, and I said yes."

"Ooh!" Elisabeth looks…. well, it's a cross between thrilled and uncertain. "Should I say congratulations?" Because she remembers quite well the whole Teo thing! "It … could be really wonderful! I'm so glad you're going…. well, glad that…. oh Lord. That's stupid. I don't want Teo to hurt you again," she admits. "Now I'm kinda confused. Okay. So … anyway, when?" she demands. "You gotta tell me everything."

He's grin is shaky and odd. "I don't know, Liz. He didn't, really. In short, Abby called in a favor I owe her. One of the million. And apparently, what this version of Teo asked for for Christmas was me. I'm still not sure in what sense. We had dinner at the Owl, once…" He looks uncertain, brushes nonexistent dust from his suit with a flutter of hands.

There's a soft giggle. "Why Felix Ivanov… are you nervous?" She moves to wrap her arms around him, resting her head on his suited shoulder. "Really? You're nervous about a silly Italian boy who likes you and asked for you for Christmas? Man…. I wish I had the nerve to do that." She doesn't. Not right now. "I think it's terribly sweet."

"I am nervous," he admits, without hesitation. "Do what? You have me year round," he adds, confused.

"I do indeed," Elisabeth replies. And somehow she manages to bite her tongue and not say something that would hurt his feelings and come out all wrong anyway. "I just meant that I used to be far more fearless than I feel these days, that's all," she says with a smile. "C'mon, you…. Mass waits for no man, Russian speedster or not." She moves to go pour the coffee into a thermos cup to take with her, doctoring it liberally. "Don't let me fall asleep in service, okay? I have a lot of things to talk to God about tonight."

"I'll keep you awake. I'll even pinch you if you start to snore," he adds, more brightly.

"I do not snore," Elisabeth retorts good-naturedly.

Felix eyes her, gone all po-faced and solemn. "Liz," he murmurs, as if they might be overheard. "You do."

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