Some Distance Does Wonders


elisabeth2_icon.gif felix_icon.gif

Scene Title Some Distance Does Wonders
Synopsis Felix's first day in Annapolis is… quite amusing.
Date July 28, 2010

Waterfront, Annapolis, Maryland

The trip to Annapolis via private jet took place early Wednesday morning. Very very early. Much of the morning was set up to handle Felix's paperwork and getting all the medical testing and assorted bullshit that needs doing for him to officially be in FRONTLINE's records done. You know… height, weight, vision, turn-your-head-and-cough, vaccinations up to date, uniforms distributed, have you had PT before — like real PT not that pansy-assed FBI shit? Prove it. It was a long morning. A quick lunch at 11am, a four-mile run, and then Horizon training for ……

Well, it was supposed to be for two hours. The first half hour, they made him walk around the parade grounds on the US Naval Academy's grounds in the armor, getting used to the weight of it. Then one of the techs made the mistake of saying, "How fast can you go in it?"

Big mistake. Huge.

Now, as they walk along the waterfront of downtown Annapolis hand-in-hand, Elisabeth is still giggling to herself now and then. "I wish I had a Polaroid of his face to mail to Kershner."

He's pretty underweight, by their standards - taking his shirt off reveals that almost childish fragility, despite the muscle. The run - no problem. Stamina never has been, even if speed is his primary virtue. Vision - not so good, but there's RK in his future, complete with accelerated healing.

"It's not -quite- like I crashed an F-22 on its maiden flight," he says, ruefully, as he walks with her, enjoying the sea breeze. "But it's close. There were parts all over that field. I sort of figured they'd have to build me one from the ground up, to bear the stresses…."

"I'm shocked and amazed that Kershner herself hasn't already shown in person. I wonder how far on end her hair stood," Liz giggles. For the first time in what feels like weeks, she's … calm. Not completely without stress, but being four hours away from all the sources of stress seems to give her the ability to actually relax. Finally. She hasn't had a real, full-fledged smile in … God only knows how long. Much less the kind of belly-laughing she did on the parade field this afternoon. The kind that makes her continue to giggle softly and quite girlishly at odd moments. A few days away is going to be good for her, a fact for which in the back of her head Elisabeth feels beyond guilty. Who is she to get away from it all even for a few days when so much is going on back home?

But right in this moment, she simply walks with her best friend. "Do you have any idea how much those things cost?" she asks him in an amused tone. "Like…. more than the F-22." No joke.

"Damn," he says, with a sigh. "Yeah. I -told- her, straight out, she would regret asking me in on this. And I told 'em they'd have to build one to my specs. Superspeed is its own set of engineering challenges…. But here I am. And you weren't the one left standing there in your underwear in the middle of the football field. I felt like Tony Stark on a bad day." All in all, he's not too upset, though. Not his money.

That brings on a whole fresh round of giggles from the blonde. "God, Felix. Seriously… I wish I had the whole thing on video. It was fuckin' hysterical." After all, it didn't happen to Elisabeth! "At least it didn't happen to you in front of the whole squad," she offers as they walk. Pulling in a deep breath of sea air, she pauses on the sidewalk next to the waterfront, looking out to sea. "That was worth the trip," she says softly. The laughter itself was worth the whole trip. She feels human again. A little tired, but the good kind. "Wanna have seafood for dinner?" she asks him easily.

"Someone does have it on video," Fel notes, serenely. "There were cadets watching. One of 'em had a camera phone. It'll be on youtube by the end of the day, I think. I'm glad I wore my nice boxers." Nice being the scarlet ones with the yellow hammers and sickles. This jarhead thing can only go so far, even if he's shaven head and face and looks more like a Marine NCO now than ever. "Sure," he adds, grinning over at her. "You look a hell of a lot better. You got too much on your plate in New York."

She looks up at him. "It's … not just work," Elisabeth admits softly. "It's working what amounts to three fulltime jobs plus… " She shrugs a little. "I always thought that thwarting the bad things coming were a worthy goal, you know? But it's all been kind of abstract. Save the world, save everyone, stop a big bad thing from happening…. you might die doing it. Okay, sure. Not like that's not the same thing I faced every day as a cop, right? But…. " She looks out over the water and sighs. "It's a little more personal this time. And it's creating some stress. I'm not sleeping so well lately. I don't think Richard's sleeping at all."

"Personal how? And why aren't you sleeping?" he asks her, worriedly, even as he leads them along the waterfront, heading for a rather upscale restaurant. The black uniforms - well, those get them looks. And deference, frankly.

"I saw something the day of the visions," Elisabeth admits as they amble along. "Ugly rioting. All of us in gear. Didn't see you right there, but saw Ruth Crow-Dog. We were… keeping back a wave of rioters. It was bad, Felix." She pauses, automatically glancing around every few seconds to keep tabs on their surroundings. "I know Peyton and Richard both saw something too. Neither of them will really say what they saw, but…. I'm pretty sure it was way worse than what I saw." She looks up at him with a small smile. "I think Richard watched me go down in that riot or something. He's been…. too anxious. Very fierce in the idea that whatever he saw, he's going to change it. And I made a joke at one point, not even thinking about it, about… I dunno, if I died, where the hell would he be then, and he just… shut down. Entirely closed up. Blew it off, but…." She blows out a slow breath. "I think maybe if we don't thwart it, this time I'm the one whose number's up." Her tone about it is … calm. She's had a lot of time now to think about it, in spite of the fact that the stress of the suspicion is making her have nightmares.

"Nothing is written, Elisabeth," he says, looking at her, stopping short, turning her face to his. He looks so different, without hair and beard and suit. Much starker, much younger, the eyes that startling, lucid blue. ."It is different now. I'm going to be there. I'm going to have your back. Don't accept it. Fight."

"Oh, I will. Don't mistake understanding what could be coming for accepting it," Liz replies tartly. "It's more that I don't know how to … talk to him about it. He won't talk to me. And when I am at the apartment, we're both so stretched so damn far beyond thin that we wind up just… not really fighting. He doesn't fight with me. He just .. sighs." She quirks a grin. "And I'm being a huge bitch and I know it."

Felix puts a hand on her shoulder. "You need a rest. Of sorts. DOn't worry about it, Liz. Just for a little. Be here with me. Show me around. You've seen how eager I am." And he is, childishly so. This rather puerile fantasy of playing super soldier. "That reminds me. I'm bringing my grandfather to the States. You'll like him."

Tipping her head and reaching up to stroke his cheek lightly, Elisabeth makes the pouty face when she reaches the spot where his goatee was until he shaved it off. "You look about twelve," she teases with wry twist of her lips. "Geez, Felix, how'm I supposed to talk about girl shit with you when you look twelve?" she demands. Then she throws her arm around his waist and starts walking again. "Tell me about him," she invites. "Your mother's father or your father's? And speaking of them, tell me how your folks are doing. I know you've been in DC before, but you better believe we're playing tourist in our spare time," she grins. Because he's right… being here, being away and just being able to do 'normal' for a while… she feels a huge amount better.

"My father's father, Mikhail Borisovich Ivanov, hero of the Great Patriotic War, Order of Lenin, veteran of Stalingrad. He was a sniper. He's hardcore, Liz. HE approved of me being in the FBI, because any man with the brain and influence to get in -should- be part of the secret police." By the way his lip curls, Grandpa was presumably joking. "He was in the army for decades, retired to kill wolves in the mountain. But now he's very old….and when I called to tell him about FRONTLINE, he told me I was bringing him to the US. ANd that was that. Mom and Dad are fine. I'm gonna pay off their mortgage when I get my first paycheck."

His first paycheck will pay off his parents' mortgage? Seriously? Wow. Elisabeth doesn't seem in the slightest bit surprised by the idea that Felix would worry more about his parents' living conditions than his own. "I'll look forward to meeting him. But you better get back to teaching me Russian." She grins, resting her head on his shoulder as they reach the front courtyard of the restaurant. "I can't properly converse if you have to translate. You might not tell me what he says if it's rude or something you don't want me to know!"

HE laughs. "Grandfather speaks English. Not well, but he speaks it. But ….yes, I will. I promise. But he'll be pleased if you can speak Russian to him. He's a character."

"It is polite to at least make the attempt. Besides… I picked up a little bit in the weeks we were in Russia. I just want to learn more, I guess. Maybe because it's just terribly satisfying to cuss in such a gutteral language." Elisabeth laughs as she says that last, but it's TRUE!

There's another of those flashing, sidelong grins. "I know. It lacks certain shades of expressiveness in some areas, but there's nothing like it for giving someone a thorough verbal hiding, is there?" They're in the entryway of the restaurant, and the uniforms are very definitely attracting attention. And Felix is very obviously trying not to preen. Too obviously, anyway.

Elisabeth, for her part, seems to be entirely ignoring the attention they garner. It's a military town, so in spite of the fact that yeah — the uniforms mark them as 'other' in terms of which branch of military they might be, it's not so 'other.' They'll get attention just because they're different, and that's nothing new. The blonde's expression is casual and easygoing as she steps into the restaurant just ahead of him, if only because his manners are quite firmly ingrained, and tells the hostess they need a table for two. She glances around at the place and comments, "I didn't get to try it the last time it was here, but damn, something smells amazing. I've heard they do the best crab everything in the area."

"I've never eaten much seafood, but I do like salmon. And swordfish," he says, sniffing the air eagerly. God only knows how many fish will have to sacrifice themselves tonight. He's got an appetite like a wolf, these days.

There's a soft laugh from Elisabeth and she warns the hostess, "Would you mind telling the chef this evening that it's going to be a big order? Probably better if he knows ahead of time." There's a little bit of wrangling off in a corner, but the two are finally seated at a table near enough to the kitchen for ease of service but far enough from the rest of the patrons to afford them a little privacy. Even in a town of military high muckety-mucks, FRONTLINE still gets some amount of 'holy shit, really??' reaction.

"It's weird, not being little people anymore," he comments, wryly, once they're seated. "There are a lot of goddamn agents in the FBI, adn I never got all that high, you know? Ditto the NYPD. But now….now we're something special." There's an odd satisfaction in his voice.

"Mmmm," is Elisabeth's response. She's actually relatively mum on this topic, uncomfortable with the idea as Felix has raised it. "It's the same job, different clothes," she murmurs. She glances up and says, "A glass of the house white, please. And water." She hasn't had time to look at the menu yet, though now her hands are picking it up and her eyes skimming over it.

The waiter can't be more than sixteen, and he looks scared spitless. The hostess is watching him, and the manager has an eye on things from the kitchen too. Liz adds in an undertone that only Felix will hear thanks to her abilities, "And I think some people don't know what to make of publically acknowledged Evos, either."

Because how often does something like that happen? Someone walks into a restaurant, they're part of an elite military squad (all of which happens regularly around HERE, what with the Academy and SEALs and what have you), and they're Evo — might as well be wearing a brand on their foreheads. What is it they can do? If we don't give good service, will they trash the place? The manager, of course, thinks nothing of the sort — he just wants to make a good impression.

"No, Liz, it ain't," he corrects, in cheerfully execrable English. "It's not remotely the same. We're poster children, now. We make a point, just by existing." And then he sobers. "You and I and all our mates….we're the Praetorians, now, you do realize."

In a mumble, Elisabeth retorts, "Great. And when the empire falls, we'll be the first ones executed."

Felix leans in, counting on her abilities to keep others from overhearing, "It won't. It'll be up to us to make sure the Republic remains what it's supposed to be. Somewhere where all are equal. We keep an eye on the government. Think of it. There is no unit in any of the American armed forces that is our equal. We are the top of the heap. If we chose to go rogue, no one could stop us. They know that, Liz. Count on them knowing."

Those crystal blue eyes of hers meet his and she says quietly, "Don't ever forget that Kershner already knows where your sympathies are, Feeb." Her tone is gently, but the warning might as well be neon. "As it stands right now, we suit her purposes just as much as she suits ours. But it might behoove you to be aware that much of what Endgame is up to is predicated on the predictions of a fucking lunatic. And in the middle of it all, babe? I'm not sure who in this group of super soldiers would even be willing to look past their training and conditioning to see what the right thing was. I'd like to think they would, but… " She shrugs.

He nods to that. And despite that grim expression, there's that imp of mischief dancing behind his eyes. "They would," he says, quietly. "I'll bet you."

Elisabeth rolls her eyes and says sternly, though her eyes are gentle. "You're the one who said 'let's just be here' — so order supper and eat the place out of whatever you like, willya?" Dinner, another walk along the waterfront, just some time spent without pressure — the next few days, Liz has a feeling, will be the saviors of her sanity.

He laughs at her, unashamed. "Yes'm," he says, before lowering his gaze to the menu.

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