felix_icon.gif judah_icon.gif leland_icon.gif

Scene Title Tattletale
Synopsis Felix, Leland and Judah meet at the Gold Luck Dragon in Chinatown for a late lunch.
Date August 28, 2009

Golden Luck Dragon Restaurant

On the surface, there is little about the Golden Luck Dragon Restaurant that seems unusual. The two-floor and upscale restaurant is one of the finest eateries in Chinatown, serving traditional Chinese cuisine alongside the more Americanized "Chinese Food". The restaurant's ground floor is an open-concept structure, with the majority of the tables and booths visible from the entrance. Much of the decour is themed with rich browns of stained wood framework around the large doorways, deep crimson carpets, and gold trimmed curtains that give the restaurant a dimly lit and intimate quality even during the day.

The restaurant's second floor is a balcony that overlooks the ground floor dining spaces, usually reserved for large parties and functions, it is often closed off by a velvet rope.

Fel's palate is being ruined, in a sense, by living with Lee. In that he's ever pickier. So the usual greasy spoons don't meet his exacting standards. This ends up being good for Judah, because Felix arranges to meet him at the Luck Dragon. The Fed's been offduty for days now, in terms of shoeleather policework, but at the moment, he's still in one of his battleship-gray suits, face no longer taped but his nose left crooked. Like a fighter who's gone a few rounds outside his weightclass. He's early, sitting at a table where he can see all the entrances and exits, running his eye down the menu.

Far be it from Judah to accuse Felix of being paranoid. He does, however, note his dining companion's choice in seating arrangements, though he opts not to make any comment or draw attention to it. Instead, he studies the other man as he peruses the menu, saying nothing. He's been to the Luck enough times to know what he wants before he even sits down and can think to glance at the daily specials. His order has been — and always will be — the chow mein and crab rangoons smothered in sweet-and-sour sauce. "Well?" he asks after taking a long sip of fresh water from his glass, ice tinkling.

As the old saw goes, you're not paranoid if they really -are- out to get you. And Fel, well, they are. "I'm having the cashew chicken," he says, with cheerful inconsequentiality. One of those funny hints of the air-headed would-be-punk he used to be. "How've you -been-? I haven't seen you in a dog's age." Other than his ruined nose, he seems in decent health and spirits.

"Decent," is Judah's reply as he lowers the glass and rests his arm on the edge of their table. Unlike Felix, he wears not a suit but a pair of dark brown slacks and a meticulously ironed dress shirt beneath his jacket, which is currently hanging off his shoulders rather than the back of his chair. "You know," he adds, reaching up to rub his hand along his jaw as he squints at Felix's face, "I know a few shelters for that sort of thing. What's Daubrey beating you with? A rolling pin?"

There's a moment where Felix blushes, furiously, going a very unflattering and patchy mixture of white and red, before he breaks into unsteady laughter. "Not Lee. Ex-Vanguard. It's nuts. They're trying to set me loose on some crazy CIA dickwad who's running around NYC trying to kill them. I got a personal spanking from the fucking director over trying to pursue this guy."

"Maybe I should have joined the Bureau," Judah suggests, his hand on the table stretching out one callused finger to tap idly against his menu. It's the first time he's touched it. "Impending apocalypses, wild goose chases at gunpoint." Straightening in his seat, he squares his shoulders and then leans forward a fraction to rest some of his weight on his elbow. As usual, his teasing is blessedly short-lived. "Do they know where you live?"

"No, that's just me and the insanity I attract," Fel goes just plain pale at that. "I'm sure they do," he says, picking at the little fried noodles left on the table as a snack food. "I honestly don't know how I'm not fired."

Judah lowers both his dark brows at Felix, forehead creasing with what is probably concern but doesn't match the other facets of his facial expression, which include a flat mouth, wooden jaw and eyes as animated or communicative as buttons. He blinks, slowly. "Felix," he says, "has it ever occurred to you that maybe this is why they keep you around?"

He blinks at Judah, guilelessly, even as he snaps a noodle in his fingers, tucks an end into his mouth and crunches, more for the texture than anything else. "What do you mean?" he asks, with an expression of puppyish consternation.

"You have more experience with the Vanguard than everyone in all the local departments combined," Judah points out. "And both the FBI and the CIA want the last of the them wiped out." He makes a vague motion with his hand, index finger crooked. "You're a worm on a hook. Wriggling. A piece of smelly cheese in the mousetrap."

But, God does not play tricks on his loyal servants, said the Metatron, in a worried voice. He stops in mid-chew, as if Judah'd just had a fit of Tourette's and started flinging obscenities and soy sauce everywhere. And then he swallows, and nods. "I hadn't thought of it that way, but yeah. Honestly, I don't know how much good I do in the ordinary case of things. That stupid bit of publicity back when makes me fucking useless for anything really undercover…."

Judah lays his palm flat on the table again. "How many times have your people just stood aside and waited for you to get laid up again at St. Luke's?" he wants to know. "I don't mean to suggest that they're doing it intentionally, but if the higher-ups are telling you to keep your clean when it's already broke, then they're at least turning a blind eye. You should be in some sort of protection program with the shit you go through. Not out on the streets."

It's like it literally never occurred to him. Fel's just left all owl-eyed and bemused, even as the waitress brings his hot and sour soup. "Likely I should," he says, but his voice is tentative. "I suppose so. Christ. I've already ended up dead, once…." It's a whole new world, and not in that shiny Disney musical sense.

"Protection program. Desk job. A retirement home in the Caymans. Pick one." There is no soup for Judah, only a refill for his water and a polite inquiry as to whether or not he'd like something else to drink. He does not, and wordlessly declines with a subtle tip of his head. "It's only a matter of time," he continues, voice low, "before someone shows up on your doorstep. And maybe you aren't the one who's home at the time. Maybe it's Daubrey. Lee."

"Humanis First has been following me," Felix says, tonelessly. "Danko himself." There's the rat's impulse to find a hole and pull it in after him glittering in his eyes. "They'd use you or Colette or Leland against me, just like the Vanguard tried to. And fuck, who am I? Nobody."

Judah reaches up and pinches the bridge of his nose between his fingers, eyes squeezed shut. He takes back what he said before. He's glad he didn't join the Bureau if this is really the sort of thing Felix is dealing with on a day-to-day basis. "How in the world did you land yourself on that radar?"

Felix shrugs, elaborately, and stirs honey into his tea with a spoon, laying it gently aside, before taking a tentative sip of the soup. "Bad luck. Being known, after that stupid medal. Thing's been nothing but a fucking millstone. And I was publically in the Registry."

When Judah's eyes open again, they're looking blearier than they did before. His fingers temporarily remain on the bridge of his nose. "So what are you going to do? Wait until Danko decides to pick you off at fifty yards with a sharp rifle the next time you make a public appearance? Or are you going to speak with that director of yours about what sort of measures the Bureau should be taking to extract you from the situation?"

Leland has arrived.

They're at a table in the restaurant, not far from the door, Fel in one of his suits. He's back on desk duty, these days. "I'll speak to the SAC," he says, quietly. "I'm still on light duty, they can keep me there for a while. I could do with a little less shoe leather work, as it is." He looks very grim, even as he munches his way through the fried noodles in the little bowl on the tabletop.

Leland is not the most social creature in the world. He's a homebody, truth be told. He'd rather lounge around the house in a tattered bathrobe than go out. At least, when it's not to work, or to the grocery store, or the occasional treat of a high end restaurant. Chinese, while something he enjoys, isn't exactly the fine French cuisine that he's used to.

Still, Felix has had a hard time of it lately, and being out provides more of a distraction than sitting around at home. So he arrives in his usual suit and tie of no great style or quality and picks his way towards the other two men.

Speak of the devil is how the saying goes, but Judah believes in neither gods nor monsters. His greeting is humourless — a tight smile, no words, his welcome unspoken. "Well," he says to Felix, "that's better than nothing, isn't it?"

There's Lee, and Fel's distraction is instant. It's only there for a moment, the look in his eyes, before he remembers to maintain the charade, and says, casually, "Hey, Lee. Siddown." He nods to Judah, tightly. "I could quit. Head across country. ASk to be transferred to…fuck, I dunno, Butte." The Siberia of the FBI. "I don't think it'd do any good. He's had the opportunity to kill me, twice, at the very least. I don't know what he wants.I could vanish, go into witness protection….but until what? When?"

"Who the fuck is after you now, Felix?" says Leland in his usual caustic, grumpy way. He tugs out a chair and starts to sit, but offers a hand out to Judah before he does. "Leland Daubrey." Daahh-brey. The Boston is thick with this one. Then he sits, cranes his neck, checks to see which way the kitchen is.

Judah takes Leland's hand and gives it a firm shake. "I've seen you around, Daubrey." And spoken of him in passing, hence his chosen form of address. He releases his grip on the other man's fingers as soon as the other man is turning his neck. That Felix apparently hasn't enlightened Leland as to the situation earns him a mild look that might be reproachful, or it might not. It's impossible to tell. "Demsky, by the way."

"Emile Danko," The Fed rubs at his eyes, sighs quietly. "Humanis First. I've seen him around twice. No idea what he wants, or if I'm just being scouted as a target. I'm on desk duty, I'll stay that way. I got a personal spanking from the Director the other day, over Daiyu….and Judah's wisely pointed out that I'm more or less being used as bait."

"Danko?" Leland's brows raise. He undoes one button of his jacket to make breathing easier. Then he grunts. "Fuck. I have a file on him. Suspicion of being part of Humanis. No proof." He eyes Felix sidelong. "Well. At least someone else besides me realizes that you're in over your fuckin' head on this." To the untrained ear, that sounds fairly harsh. But if he didn't care about Felix, he wouldn't say anything at all. Then he looks to Judah. "Someone else with sense? Huh. Didn't think there were many cops left who had any."

There's a slight tilt of Judah's head, accompanied by an even slighter narrowing of his eyes. "I know a few individuals who might disagree with that assessment," he says. "If you're willing to share, I'd like a copy of your file on Mr. Danko. Strictly for professional reasons, of course. We've been dealing with an incident that occured outside of Old Lucy's a few weeks ago that we suspect has something to do with the organization, but there's not a lot for us to go off of. Every little bit helps."

Felix swings a startled blue gaze over to Judah. "The kidnapping. I was there," he says, shamefacedly. "I….yeah. I don't have proof Danko's with HF, other than confirmation from a source I trust and can't out." He doesn't argue the 'over his head' part. It's true.

Leland rubs the heel of his hand across the side of his forehead. He picks up the menu and looks at it, mouth taut and frowning. "The file's got nothing incriminating in it. Just background information. A picture. All we got is suspicion, and not even good reason for suspicion." He exhales through his nostrils. "I swear to god cop work used to be more clear cut than this."

"I'm not looking for anything incriminating," Judah explains with a glance at his distorted reflection in his glass of water. Droplets of moisture come together and roll down its side in the form of silvery rivulets. "All I'm interested in at this point is furthering my own education."

"My source, who is Homesec, names him as confirmed HF. But of course, they don't share officially," Felix says, voice rich with disgust.

"The info I've got says he's a military man. Honourable discharge. But you know some people can hide hate pretty good." Leland sniffs once and flattens a palm on the menu. "I'm starving. Felix, I know you want the…" he snaps. "What is it? Something-beef?" He swallows a mouthful of water.

"Cashew chicken," Judah puts in while Leland has a mouthful of water. "Their crispy duck is good too, if you like that sort of thing. Xang Su Ya, I think. Under poultry. The squid's good, too." Whatever interest the detective has in Emile Danko is either passing, or he's doing a good job of hiding it behind a facade of casual apathy. "So," he says. "How are the living arrangements working out?"

"I don't touch his kitchen, he doesn't kill me. We split the rent and the utilities, he cooks, I clean. It goes okay," Fel says, matter of factly, and then confirms, "Cashew chicken. Firecracker beef is damned good,too, though," He smiles a little, to himself. "How's Colette?"

"Firecracker. That's the one." Leland makes a face and gives Felix a -look-. He makes it sound so domestic. Plus he doesn't like people knowing that he cooks. It somehow doesn't fit the tough guy cop persona he's got going. "I just want some noodles. And something crunchy." He sucks a bit of air through his teeth. "Fuck, I'm more in the mood for Japanese." Isn't he a barrel of fun?

"Colette's growing into herself. She has some issues with her identity that she's still sorting through, but she's not the little girl we knew a year ago. Eighteen this October." The look Leland gives Felix does not go unnoticed by Judah. It does go uncommented upon, but this isn't anything out of the ordinary; in the past twenty minutes, he's said more outside of the bullpen than he has in as many days. He scrutinizes the pair from his seat across the table, silent for a few moments. Then, "You cook, Daubrey?"

Felix looks bland, and at least affects not to notice. "He cooks very well. Grew up in a restaurant, or something," And then he goes still. "Has Colette mentioned her friendship with Gabriel Gray to you? It's like the bastard is suddenly Lambert the Sheepish Lion, or so people keep telling me. Last time I encountered him, he apparently let me go because of her."

"My family owns a restaurant in Boston," says Leland, punctuated by a grunt. He's not going to elaborate, not without a lot more prodding. "That your kid? Sister?" That's his way of trying to get into the talk of Colette. He's really not so good at smalltalk. He tugs a pair of chopsticks out of their plastic sleeves and starts to rub them together. Felix gets another look for talk of 'encounters,' but he bites his tongue.

Judah is about to further pry his way under Leland's skin by asking him about Bobby Flay, but Felix's inquiry abruptly jars him from the question, half-formed on his tongue. "I'm— sorry? Gabriel Gray?"

"Sylar. He's hiding out on Staten, and rumor says he's had a change of heart. Ask Colette about him. I've warned her, multiple times. And she pulled a teenage shitfit, insisting I didn't know him." Felix sighs, nods at Leland. "His adopted daughter. I had care of her for a little while, back last fall."

"Felix…" Leland makes a low, snorting sound. "Please tell me you're staying away from Sylar." His hands clench into fists, and suddenly the chopsticks look like they could be used to kill a man.

"Excuse me." Judah is folding the napkin from his lap and placing it back on the table. The wooden legs of his chair squeaking against the floor, he rises from his seat, reaches into the back pocket of his jeans and fishes out a palm-sized cell phone which is then flicked open. "It was nice meeting you," he says without looking at Leland, his voice lacking sincerity. He's already begun to thumb through his contact list. "You two enjoy your lunch. I have a child to throttle."

Felix winces, clearly chagrined. "Yes. I am. I can't take him, none of us can. So, I've given up the Captain Ahab stuff, I swear. I don't go to Staten, I don't go looking for him. HF on my tail, I don't need to go breaking lances against Gabriel Gray."

"You just tattled on a teenaged girl, Felix. She's never gonna speak to you again," says Leland. There's no humour in his tone. Hey, if he can throttle Felix for talking to Sylar, surely Judah has cause to take a teenager to task. "Good luck with the disipline there, Demsky. If she takes to it like Felix does, y'ain't gonna have much luck." And no, he doesn't realize how that sounds.

Judah doesn't realize how that sounds, either. At least not right this minute. He will later, long after the Luck Dragon's door has closed behind him, long after he's completed the journey back to his car and turned the keys in the ignition. Indeed, it will strike him somewhere between Chinatown and SoHo when he's stuck in traffic that's backed up for several blocks due to an accident on the corner outside the Piece of Cake Bakery. Fortunately, the only set of eyes to catch the abrupt change in his facial expression will be his own, reflected in the car's rear-view mirror.

For now, he takes his leave of the table, brow knit with concern, his focus elsewhere.

Felix watches Judah go, frowning, and then looks back to Lee, apologetically. He apparently doesn't realize how it sounds, either. Too worried for his usual sense of humor to function. "Likely you're right."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License