The Grumpy Cop Supper Club


bolivar_icon.gif leland_icon.gif

Scene Title The Grumpy Cop Supper Club
Synopsis Wherein no one is polite but neither cares. Bolivar and Leland talk over dinner.
Date April 29, 2009

A Fancy Italian Place, then A Mexican Place

When Leland and Bolivar randomly crossed paths and made plans to catch up over dinner, Lee didn't really give too much thought to his suggested restaurant. He's picky about the food he goes out and pays for, so unthinkingly, he named a casual dining establishment that is quite often used, well, as a date location.

Lee just chose it because they make their own pasta and have a wood-fired oven.

It's only when he's hovering around the hostess station that Lee makes note of the fact that the restaurant is packed with couples and the light is…awkwardly romantic. He's used to coming here at lunch when things are brighter and there are clusters of people in work clothes.

Given the last 'date' (Bolivar still remembers it with air quotes: 'date') that he went on involved hamburgers, goggles, and trying not to step on small, screaming children or think about the residues that they had left on the carpet, this is a pretty weird and ironic contrast.

He started squinting as soon as he saw the front. His squint got narrower as they were shown their seats, and now that he's confronted by the menu, the fact that his eyes are almost shut probably has very little to do with the general lack of light in here. That's supposed to be ambient or something. The ceiling and its craquelure dim, allowing the burnished flicker of candles to do the mainstay of the illumination.

Bolivar asks, dry in a way that Englishmen would envy, "Do you want me to not comment?"

"Look, I'm sorry man. This place isn't so…" Lee's lip curls. "…it's a fucking hell of a lot more casual at lunch time, which is when I'm normally here. We can go somewhere else. There's a family restaurant place across the street." His palate cringes, but it would certainly relax the rest of him.

He takes a mouthful of the water, but leaves the complimentary bread untouched. Just so he won't feel bad if they leave without paying anything.

Probably, Bolivar wouldn't feel bad jamming his mouth full of bread anyway. He opens his mouth to start to bitch that he's sore and doesn't want to get up again, only to remember that he isn't sore: his bones don't creak and protest like they used to, and his muscles don't shake from the weakness and side-effects of anti-seizure medication. Indeed, even exercise physically aggravates him less these days; the second sign, after the pain itself, that physical conditioning is beginning to work.

The whole thing leaves him silent for longer than he was otherwise wont to be. "Whatever. Between the two of us, I'm the queer. By nature, the one who doesn't give a fuck. Do your thing," he suggests. Caught between scar-roughened forefinger and thumb, he wags the lid of the menu. Go, stay. Go, stay. Go or stay?

Leland suddenly becomes very intersted in his menu, despite the fact that he knows what they serve. His face twitches, his fingers grip. He wasn't sure if the rumours were true, but Bolivar just admitted it. Soooo. That makes this a hell of a lot more awkward. "Let's go. Mexican. Two blocks down." He stands and drops the menu abruptly and scoops up his jacket.

Notably, he's avoiding eye contact with the other cop or anyone else in the room. Think next time, Leland. For god's sake.

"Jesus fucking Christ." Bolivar stands up without upsetting the table, although several heads pop upright on adjacent tables around them. Fortunately, he reins his voice down to a lower volume as he turns around to take his own coat, one small hand latched on the collar. "If you're going to freak the fuck out because of that, I'll go find some fucking Mexican somewhere else."

The fact that Leland had dismissed the rumors as simply rumors was— completely understandable, really. Jason Bolivar Rodriguez-Smith frequently seems like some sort of carnivorous subspecies of yeast, courtesy of radiation and mutation, than recognized subcategory of sexual orientation. He is also leaving right now.

"That was not me freaking out. If I'm gonna freak out, you're gonna fuckin' know it, pal." Oh great. Now they're making a scene. Leland glances left and right, then follows on Bolivar's heels. "C'mon. Down the street. Burritos. Nachos."

He spares a glance over his shoulder towards the clusters of happy couples. Some whisper and look their way. Fantastic. "I don't have a problem, it just caught me off guard, all right?"

For this, there is an elaborate roll of Bolivar's eyes toward the ceiling. Which has changed from craquelure to white marble finish, now that they have swept out from underneath the doorway and into the hallway of the supporting building. His legs are shorter by far than the other officer's, so even when he's walking at a fairly brisk clip, the other man has no trouble keeping politely apace.

If 'polite' is the word for it. If Bolivar is aware of the probable nature of the whispers taking place behind them, he is completely indifferent to that or to any damage that Leland's reputation may have suffered. Quite possibly, he believes Leland deserves it. It is no big deal until somebody makes it one. "I do fucking know it.

"I don't really need to see the KKK 'burn at the stake' upper levels to recognize 'freaking the fuck out.' Why the Hell would you need a guard, anyway?" He puts one arm into a sleeve without breaking his stride and prepares to make a decision about whether to turn left or right on the sidewalk.

"Jesus christ. Just because you're queer doesn't mean you have to be a goddamn pansy, Rodriguez." Offensive and borderline offensive words are jut part of Leland's vocabulary. There's no malice behind the words, just a bit of irritation.

"Look. My roommate's gay and I don't give a fuck. But the restaurant was a fucking bad idea whether you like jiggling tits or not." He glances back over his shoulder towards the place's facade.

"M'sorry about that. C'mon. You gonna run away and sulk at home or are we gonna go get something to eat and you can tell me what's been going down and who I need to punch in the back of the head." It's no secret that he's on Bolivar's side in the whole fiasco with the kid.

What was that, like a stylishly personalized version of 'I have friends who are gay?' Bolivar's eyebrows scale upward incredulously. They stop rising when the other man actually apologizes, park, and then, always one to be articulate, he grunts. It's no secret that there are too many people on Bolivar's side in the whole fiasco with the kid. It has become obvious to a select few people, as of late, that he actually thinks so.

"Say again when you're not backpedalling like a fucking Down's Syndrome caveman on a pretty pink scooter. Where are we going?" It's kind of like making up. Not that they'd really been fighting: Bolivar would just sooner enjoy the company of his mutts than some cop who's judging him, one of those little truths about him that most people would actually probably understand without great psychological explanation.

Sort of. Except Lee lives with a gay guy, so that makes it more relevant, maybe? He grunts, because grunting is wht he does. Hands dig into his pockets. "Up the way. Just around the corner." He jerks his head in the proper direction.

The tall cop's stride shortens to make it easier for Bolivar to fall into step. He's gone conspicuously silent, indicating just how shitty he's starting to feel.

Either that, or Leland is just being normal. He is the quiet type. Right? Bolivar thought so, but now he is navigating his eyes sidelong and thanks to the acuity of his vision and occasional ventures into insight and sympathy for other human beings, and realizes that this is not altogether the normal kind of quiet for Leland Daubrey. There are a number of ways he could respond. Option A, and his initial instinct, is to sneer about Who's sulking like a pansy now?

He goes with Option B, in the end. "You probably need to punch me in the back of the head. Baby-killer, remember?" Bolivar decides to kick something. He looks around, but there is nothing to kick. "You're living with Ivanov?"

"Figure you're getting punched and kicked enough. Truth is, it coulda happened to any fuckin' one of us." Or any of them with a hair-trigger temper, like Lee himself. "S'a hell of a thing to live with without people giving you grief over it."

Pretty soon, the bright red lights of a friendly Mexican restaurant gleam up ahead. He can't quite stop a bit of rough laughter from snorting out when Bolivar pegs the identity of his roommate. "Yeah. Few months now."

Punched. Kicked. "Shot," Bolivar replies. Most of the precinct heard about it: the attempt on his life that ended up, amazingly, with the complete restoration of all of his health. At that second statement, he stops talking for a protracted moment, his line of sight swiveling straight in the lamp-punctuated dark ahead of him. His voice lacked real bite when he said that. 'Shot.'

"Yeah?" Felix. With effort, he shifts his attention, a shake of his head, a glance up at the taller man. "Hear the damn cat's running out of lives."

"He's being a fucking moron," says Leland bluntly. "Tired of getting goddamn calls hearing he's in the hospital." He kicks at something on the ground that goes rocketing off down the street. A broken lighter, looks like. "Keeps saying he'll stop being an idiot then goes right out and acts like an idiot again."

He rubs at his chin and then walks up the steps and into the Mexican restaurant. Considerably more casual, but it smells very good inside. It's also nearly empty.

He of course, heard about Bolivar's many troubles. But he's not going to dwell on it. Instead, he simply acknowledges it with a little grunt.

The flash of the lighter skipping away end over snicking end draws Bolivar's eye, quick and hawkishly bright as he'd been on any given rooftop years ago, back when it was his particular specialty to kill people from really far away. The corner of his mouth curls upward like a tendril of a thorny plant, and he glances just as sharply into the recesses of the Mexican place, inhales before following.

"'Least Liz brings backup. Like that idiot Baxter kid. I think they're mixed up in the same shit, though.

"Felix and Liz. Only two cops who tracked down Flint Deckard, and a crazy satellite cloud of mysterious confidants nobody ever gets normal leads from blowing around them. Careless fucking kids.

"They both need to watch their fucking backs closer." Bolivar doesn't generally like Felix, but he does generally like Elisabeth, and he doesn't even have to generally like a person to want to keep them alive. He would be doing something else for a livelihood if he did. "Buenas tardes, senora," he greets the maitre d'. "Dos, gracias."

Calling them children isn't that far off in Lee's book. Sometimes Felix listens as well as a teenager. For a moment he looks surprised that Bolivar is speaking Spanish and then, duh, Rodriguez. Or maybe that's jumping to conclusions. Whatever. He's speaking Spanish. Let's move on.

"Y'ever been here before?" asks the cop as he shrugs off his jacket and drops it over the back of the chair of the table they're motioned towards.

"Nope." The other cop pulls his coat off too, ditches it over the back of his own seat. He glances up, around, automatically gauging the usual assortment of exit routes and ballistic trajectories: two years isn't enough time to rid him of a decade of sniper training, after all. There's no real paranoia in that routine check anymore, though. Not for Bolivar. No, despite an assassination attempt here or there, his concerns are far more mundane as of late.

Feeding his dogs, deciphering Raquelle Cambria's voiccemail messages, considering making a verbal complaint when the chair turns out to have uneven legs. Annoying. It clicks every time he shifts his weight left or right. "You have a pretty fucking broad range of restaurant preferences."

"Well. I pretty much grew up in a restaurant," says Lee. He murmurs a request for coffee when the waitress comes with the menus. So that's his excuse for choosing the fancy date-restaurant at first. High food standards. "Only cop you'll ever meet who isn't happy with a fuckin' burger and fries."

He folds his fingers under and runs them along the side of his slightly stubbled cheek. "Ngh. Y'ever have a partner who kept running off and trying to be a fucking idiotic hero?"

The scarred edge of Bolivar's head hollows inward slightly, amused at something that he doesn't give a fuck enough about to mention aloud yet. Or Felix Ivanov is funny. That is possible too. He waves off the coffee with a reasonable facsimile of politeness, goes with water instead. "Yeah. His excuse was he was twelve years younger than the pinko and barely knew which end of the gun you point at the bad guy.

"Still, maybe if it wasn't for Ivanov's masturbatory cowboy complex," the tiny Mexican shrugs his most diplomatic shrug, which is not very, and flips his menu open, "maybe we'd all be dead. I don't know two cops at the precinct who still think that the rumors about that whole viral apocalypse were just rumors."

"Fucking hell," Leland mutters as he keeps his eyes trained down on the menu. "Thought he was dead for a few days. Turns out it was a fucking mistake, but." A shrug. "Swear to god he's actually got a death wish. There's taking risks and then there's running into burning buildings with your eyes closed and waving a gun."

He lets the menu drop in front of him with a slap of laminated paper. The coffee is sniffed experimentally, then doctored. He may be picky about his food, but not his caffeine.

There's a snort of— laughter, agreement, some amalgamation thereof. Bolivar makes his own selection without thinking overmuch about it. Fajitas. Seafood fajitas. "People don't realize how fucking good it is to have an appetite until it's gone for two solid years," he remarks, leaning against the back of his chair, the stiff paper of the menu clapping shut in hand.

The other man's differing levels of giving a fuck between coffee and food do not go unnoticed. It is filed away for later insults, though Bolivar has no way of telling yet whether they'll be the kind that are supposed to make a friend feel cared about, or fighting words, or some middle ground. He twists his head around to look for a waitress. "Probably still enjoying how the medal he jammed up his ass feels, forgot what being a regular cop is like.

"If you can say that about any mutant officer." Bolivar drags his glass of water over in his ruined hand, looks at the disrupted grain of his skin through the layers of fluid and glass. "He didn't used to be like this?"

"He was always…eager. Just not fucking stupidly so. Like he believes that any time he falls, people'll just pick him up and put him right again. He's had too long not dealing with the consequences of his fuck-ups. Most naive experienced cop I ever met." Leland mutters this into the dark liquid of his coffee before he swallows a mouthful. Hey, if he was a cop who was picky about coffee, he'd be miserable on stakeouts.

He settles on some kind of platter with a bit of everything and tells the waitress so when she arrives. The bulky lengths of his fingers curl tightly around the mug. "Nfh. Felix might be a mutant but he can barely use his ability. Not like the SCOUT fuckers who go zipping around like the A-Team or some shit." He really meant to invoke some Marvel or DC crew, but familiar with comics he is not. So Mr. T will do.

Despite that comics have lots of pictures, Bolivar has never really read them either. Still too many words. It takes him a few sips of iced water to correlate 'A-team' with 'the X-Men.' He saw movies of that.

"People do pick him up and put him right again," he points out, without overmuch joy present in his observing so. Guess who was not so entirely lucky two years ago when a nuclear man sat on his face? "Seems that little gringo healer they got on retainer is doing her fucking job. Elisabeth doesn't 'go zipping around like the A-team,'" he adds, his eyes narrowing slightly at the notion. "She can't dodge gunfire if somebody points a gun at her. I'm pretty sure that's what kevlar's for."

He pauses to give his order to the lanky young woman who meanders up with a yellow pad of paper and pen, waits long enough for Leland to voice his own decision before sending her off with a Gracis, chica. "Did you hit him in the face?"

"Goddamn right I did," mutters Lee. "N'Liz is smarter. Still. Fucking…powers, man. Just don't sit well with me. Knowing that they can do stuff, and the criminals. It's us one-upping the criminals til it ends in mutually assured destruction." And how is that different than the cops having better guns? He doesn't know. He's not a thinky guy.

Idly he shreds up the empty packet of sugar, face contorted into his familiar curdled milk expression. "Felix fucking passes out after he uses his power. What good is that?"

A shrug moves through Bolivar's shoulders, which aborts abruptly when that little fact comes up about Felix's particular superpower. He doesn't know a lot about this particular area of interest, himself. "What?" he says, somewhat incredulously. His eyebrows draw together in some facsimile of confusion. "He passes out every time he uses his power? That is pretty fucking retarded. Unless he needs sleep aide or something, I guess. Getting a legal scrip for marijuana is still a pain in the ass."

Ignorance. If either man had a functioning sense of humor, they'd probably find their own kind of hilarious.

"I don't like 'em either. Wish Liz didn't have hers. And—" Judah's kid, he almost says aloud, but Bolivar manages to shut the Hell up before he blows that little secret, sweeps it under a wrinkle of generalized dissatisfaction. He certainly has a lot to be generally dissatisfied about.

Leland's eyebrows go up at Bolivar's aborted thought. But, he doesn't push. He's not a pushy guy. His way to do so is with his fist, and this isn't a situation where that would be useful. "Yeah. Something about medication he's on or his power fucking up his system. I dunno." He waves a vague hand. "But if he goes zipping around, he gets really fucking sick."

Another mouthful of the coffee is swallowed. "Fucker asked me to be his partner again so I could keep him out of trouble. Don't know if I could handle it before I lost my goddamn mind."

"Well." Bolivar doesn't usually waste his breath on 'Well's at the beginnings of sentences; they're a waste of time, generally, bearing little meaning in and of themselves. People start sentences with 'Well' when they're thinking, placeholdering words, or trying to make something sound palatable. The formermost seems likeliest as far as Bolivar is concerned. "Used to make me feel better that at least the little mutants still fucking bleed like everybody else.

"Even Knowles," if you can get through his skin. And you can get through his skin, if you know what to use. Bolivar's scowl darkens another fraction; he studies his scarred hand, a restless twitch shifting through his fingers. "Then I killed a fucking twelve-year-old in a menstrual explosion of hate. I dunno. Losing your mind on the asshats who keep Swissing your friend, or losing your mind running barefoot circles in the kitchen while the boy's at work. Which one sounds more fucking stupid to you?

"Rhetorical question," Bolivar provides. Smiles, thinly.

"Nnfh." Leland's 'well' is a guard dog-like whuff. A way of confirming that he heard and understood Bolivar's words without actually forming his own to articulate a response. The sugar packet gets quite neatly torn apart. And you know what they say about people who do that or tear the labels off beer bottles.

"Was thinking I might go back to Boston. I dunno if I can take being the one who's always pulling his ass out of the fire. With Felix, it's a fucking full time job."

Some point before the end of this meal, Bolivar will decide whether it's nice to be talking about somebody else's problems or not, especially in light of the fact that the original premise of the invite had been his miserable little parade. This kind of sounds like something somebody's friend should be doing, and he and Leland aren't that: not yet, anyway.

Perhaps more importantly, some point before the night is out, Bolivar will probably also realize that his lack of specific compulsion to haul the conversation around his guilt and insensate rage at what happened may be as much a function of male bravado as the simple fact that he already realizes Lee understands. As much as someone who's never shot a twelve-year-old kid with glowy eyes could, anyway.

"Frankly?" Bolivar asks— rhetorically again, a slight lift his lip to indicate that, yes, he's aware he's rarely anything less. "It doesn't sound like you've been doing jack and shit other than picking up the phone and talking in his ear. Maybe my sense of loyalty's too much with the dogs." He shrugs again. "You can't call that pulling his ass out of the fire. Put your back into it."

Possibly, Bolivar just means to hit him in the head again, but harder.

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