The NYPD Won't Know What Hit It


elisabeth2_icon.gif felix_icon.gif

Scene Title The NYPD Won't Know What Hit It
Synopsis Otherwise known as they let them work together again!! Oh, and Liz needs a favor.
Date May 5, 2019

Rochester: Highland Park

For Elisabeth, the drive from NYC to Rochester is a pure luxury — first, because she hasn't driven in years. Second, because the landscape once you're out of the urban areas and heading west is so much less devastated. Or at least, it's recovering in ways that are quicker. The land itself is already reclaiming whatever damages were done and in some places it's almost like the Second Civil War never happened.

She doesn't know the Rochester area well, but Highland Park is a beautiful refuge in the middle of the city with a peaceful feel. Stone lodges and sunken gardens, places to walk and to sit. As they walk in the spring sunshine, Elisabeth admits, "This is probably the nicest place I've seen since I got back. I'm glad you thought of it." She grins up at him. "I should have brought Aura up — maybe we'll have time before you move back into the city." She clears her throat. "Speaking of which…"

This is actually part of the reason she came up in person. "I'm going to be crazy happy that we're working together again." He gets a sheepish look. "Donovan asked me to take on the Lieutenant's position."

Land and nature will reclaim faster than humans will repair human work. Fel’s been…quiet. Still behind some sort of layers that seem to separate him from reality, just a bit. “You’ll be great at it,” he says, simply. “You were very good police, and you will be again. I can go whenever.”

What does he own? Damn near nothing, now. Clothes. A few books. A few mementos - the salary he’ll be getting will no doubt do no more than accrue.

The slow shrug she gives is perhaps telling enough of her uncertainty on that matter. But she's not entirely sure how well he reads her anymore either — it's been a long time. Elisabeth admits, "It's been a long time since the rules applied to me. And there are a lot of new ones. I'm… a little worried about it." Her blue eyes cut sideways to him. "It'll be good to have people I trust, though. I'm… still having a hard time with that." The confession sounds a bit apologetic. "It's getting better, I think." Maybe.

Now that conjures up a glint of humor. “Indeed,” he says. “I’m pretty conscious of the irony of someone whose rep always had him painted as the worst possible kinna cowboy presuming to help teach the new kids about law, order, and rule-following. On the other hand, things are a lot more Wild West than they were when we were comin’ up, so maybe they need us to be cowboys again.”

A cock of his head at her. “Yeah? Why so hard?” he wonders. His stride’s easy, as he keeps pace with her. Content to stroll.

"Too many new faces, I guess?" she ventures. "Living on the run for seven years? A general sense of not being entirely sure of my footing still?" It could pretty easily be any of those things. "I don't know. It's probably more general than all of that and explainable by the feeling that bad things are coming. Again. So even though I'm a little less worried about getting ripped out of the world again, I'm probably never going to entirely relax?"

Elisabeth shrugs. "Constant vigilance, right?" It's meant to be light-hearted but perhaps falls a little flat for all of that.

It’s a ghost of the old grin, rueful, good-humored. “See, the problem is…..I can’t reassure you much there. I agree. I have a feeling bad things are coming…and this may make me sound like a prophet of doom and gloom, but despite all the rah rah stuff they’re trying to preach about regeneration….I don’t think this generation will ever attain genuine peace. The SLC vs normal human rift isn’t healed or addressed. We may have it tamped down in America, but Europe will boil over, and we’ll have to get involved.”

Fel shrugs, at that. “But all we do is what we can, same as we ever did.” His tone is matter of fact.

There's a soft huff of laughter. "I've missed this," Elisabeth tells him softly. The very Russian pragmatism is reassuring to her. "There's a hell of a lot more coming at us than just that," she confesses. "However… all of that is for another day. I wanted to ask you for a favor." She slants blue eyes at him and clears her throat, a little uncertain suddenly. "If… you know… you don't mind." Because given some other reactions recently, she's definitely a little bit nervous about his.

That doesn’t seem to surprise him…that she’d have inside knowledge of some other disaster on the horizon. Another shrug. Something else will come unravelled and they’ll have to do their best to knot it together. The scale may change, but it’s still the same people.

Are we saving the world again? Must be Tuesday.

“Sure, whatcha need?” he asks, amiably. “Not a lot of demands on my time, Liz, outside of work….and if anyone’s got a claim on me, it’s you.”

"You are the only other person in my life that I don't want to lose. Nothing about our relationship has ever been exactly traditional, Felix… and that's not changing, so far as I can tell. But… I'd like your blessing," Elisabeth admits quietly. "And for you to stand up with me when Richard and I get married." It's a strange juxtaposition to the fact that in another world, a different Felix asked her the same thing when he married Leland. Although admittedly in that case, one of the parties expected monogamy where in this case, neither of the parties have ever expected or asked for it.

Now….now she’s succeeded in surprising him. He doesn’t stop short, but he frowns, just a bit. Not displeased, but bemused. “Wow. Sure, Liz. I’d be happy. Be your bridesman, or whatever you wanna call it. You definitely have my blessing…” And now that crooked, too-broad smile appears. What is his blessing worth? Half-jokingly, he crosses her, Orthodox-style, and recites something in what isn’t quite Russian. Some remnant of his parents’ later religiosity must’ve sunk in.

As they stop so that he can do crossing things, Elisabeth can't help the soft laugh. "I'm told that it's called a 'Man of Honor' when the bride's best person is male." She reaches up and cradles his face. "And there are no words to better describe you, dorogoy." His agreement has lit up her face with a shy kind of joy that she rarely has ever shown. "To be able to stand there with both of you? That's… well. It may sound a little strange, but it means more to me than I can say. Thank you."

She has this moment of disconnect, he can see it happen — as if a memory passes through her mind and her focus shifts. She's just… not there, mentally speaking, for a moment. It's very brief, but it brings a small laugh and she leans up to kiss him softly.

The kiss is returned, gently. “Man of Honor it is, then. Though ironically, that used to be a title the Sicilians used for a made man, long ago. I never went up against them, when I was police. Only the Russians.” Undercover work, long and long ago, in a very different world than this. “What help do you need with the planning, if any? What do you want me to do for you? It’s your show, princess.”

She laughs. "Well, I had no idea. But you're still one of the most honorable men I know." Elisabeth does roll her blue eyes though, admitting, "I have no idea what even the hell help or planning has to be done. For God's sake, the only reason we're even having a wedding instead of just eloping is because my father gave me The Eyeball. Have you ever seen my father give a person The Eyeball? It's fucking terrifying," she informs him on a chuckle. "I was informed that if he did not get to walk his only daughter, resurrected from the dead, down the aisle in proper fashion, he would find a suitable punishment. I was afraid to even ask!"

Mostly theater there — if there's one thing Felix knows better than almost anyone it's that Jared Harrison would do anything for his daughter.

“I can imagine. I imagine you, only older and male and more terrifying,” Felix says, serenely. “I’ve seen that look on your face. And sure. Just let me know. I’m your general, Liz, but you tell me what city we gotta take to do this.”

He seems to have absorbed the idea easily enough. But then, this is a pleasant occasion. Liz will be happy. It’ll be a big thing, or it won’t.

It makes her giggle even harder — it's not a bad description of her father! "To be fair… I look more like my mom. Who… you really should meet," she tells him. Of course, he should have met her father years ago too. Slipping her arm through his, Elisabeth lays her head on his shoulder as they resume walking. She wishes his parents and grandfather were here, but it occurs to her that they would not really understand.

"We've got Colette and Kaylee and you and me, Abby is applying as well. I'm really looking forward to us all being together again." Even though it still makes her just a tad uneasy — as if it's tempting the universe to fuck with us.

“For the wedding or….no, the NYPD,” he says, leaning his head against hers, for a moment. “It’s like a reunion tour. Liz Harrison and her Time travelling Cowboys, back for their first show in a decade,” Fel intones.

Then he grins….and it’s not that faintly absented smile, but a hint of that old, wicked, too-broad, too bright one. The one that used to make LEOs from Virginia to New York just itch to slap him. “It’s gonna be crazy.” He doesn’t sound like he’s anything other than enthused.

When she looks up at him, Elisabeth is literally arrested by the grin. It's the first real one she's seen from him since she came home… and the sight brings a momentary welling of moisture in her eyes so that she has to turn her gaze back to the path as she laughs. "No time travelling," she objects a little damply. "But … it's definitely gonna be an adventure," she acknowledges.

"When isn't it fun when we get to torment the bosses together?" The question is definitely amused.

“It’ll be interesting to see. To be NYPD again,” he sighs reminiscently. He’s been a Fed of some kind for so long, in one way or another. “And with you. That town won’t know what hit it,” HE’s got a hankie in a pocket, produces it and presses it into her hand, without a word.

Another Felix, another place and time… but she finally sees her Felix in the smile he offers, in his genuine pleasure at the idea of being NYPD and working with her. And even in the hankie. As she takes the cloth, she has to close her eyes for a long moment. Elisabeth's memory of the last time he handed her one makes her shake her head with a faint, sad smile.

"I… have no words for how much I regret what's happened," she admits, wiping her tears. "And there's not jack shit I can do to change it."

He can’t piss away career and freedom for vengeance. Not with the forces now in play. “I will find her killer…. and keep her son safe."

He trails off, takes a shuddering breath. And then, from some pocket, produces a handkerchief that he offers to her.

It makes her laugh a watery chuckle. "You and your handkerchiefs," Liz teases softly, reaching out to take it. She does a little mopping up.

He cradles her face, studying it intently. As if she knows what he's looking for in her face, Liz simply closes her eyes and lets him trail his fingers across her features in farewell.

A goodbye, indeed. A farewell to a beloved ghost, for all that the one wearing her features has an entirely different history.

Then he lets his hand fall, steps back, and says, in an entirely different voice - that raw cops’ humor, “Do me a favor. When you get back to your own world, go find your Felix and screw his brains out, okay?”

She made a promise. This doesn't seem the time or place to keep it at this precise moment, but it feels right to simply rise to her toes, slip a hand behind his neck, and draw him down to kiss him without warning. Heatedly, the way she used to kiss him in the old days. When they do finally part, she whispers, "It's really good to see you." Seeing him really connect, come out of that shell even if only briefly, is another piece of her world righting itself.

The disconnect has a little fillip of irony to it - a kiss like that after she tells him she’s going to marry another man, even if neither have any illusion that the wedding bells to come will ring in an era of monogamous domesticity. It takes him a moment to respond, as if he were jarred out of sleep by the kiss - isn’t it supposed to be the reverse, with the princess the one woken by true love’s kiss?

But even if it’s for old time’s sake, well, good enough. The curling smile is bemused. “Good to see you, too.” Reaching for flippancy, failing to find it, and settling on just keeping that smile…though it seems to have left him a little too bright around the eyes and tight in the throat. It’s as if she’s come to reclaim some of the kisses she left there so long ago, for there’s been no one since.

She's talked about the other version of Felix… the one who had Leland. He's seen it for himself. But perhaps he doesn't even now quite realize how integral he is to the foundations of her world.

Tipping her head, Elisabeth's grin is a little watery at the edges still. "I broke my promise to all of you. And I came home to… so much that's different. I've been afraid for you… that you weren't going to come back out of that place you went to hide," she admits softly. "I can see you again, it's the first time since I found you." She touches his face, her fingertips gentle on his skin. "I've missed you."

He doesn’t bother to deny it. Not in the least. The smile turns a bit wistful. “Missed you, too, angel,” he says, closing his eyes for a long moment. Letting her investigate the contours - the lines, the new scars. Still him, though. More him, in a way, for all the damage - as if it’d only pared him down to the essence. “But I’m here. Still here.”

In the same way the other version of him once searched her face, she now searches his with soft fingers. Elisabeth's touch remains soft, a whisper across the taut skin and toughened scar tissue. "Thank God," she whispers. "When I knew there'd been a war… I knew where you'd be." The admission is quiet; she's spent too many hours at a hospital bedside with him because he was reckless… and she'd known he'd be hurting. She had been terrified he had nothing left to lose.

Fel cocks his head at her, not certain if he should be amused or touched. “Whaddaya mean by that?” he settles on, going for the former. They may neither of them be telepaths, but with a friendship that old, that deep, it’s not needed. “I mean yeah, I headed west, got into it.” As if the maelstrom that raged on the Pacific coast were just a traffic jam he happened to have gotten stuck in.

But he follows that thought to its conclusion, and nods at her. She’s right, with what she hadn’t said. Of course he went courting death with the enthusiasm of a teenager chasing his first crush. Whatever peace he knew in the water is still calling him, despite life being just as persistent.

She sees the realization of her meaning in the way he softens and nods. So Elisabeth doesn't say it. She simply leans up and kisses him softly one more time and then steps back. Wrapping her hands around his arm, she urges him into motion once more… there's a peacefulness to walking through the gardens here. "Wanna tell me what Donovan said to you when he brought you in?" she asks, her tone sliding from the serious topic to amused. "He told me that he wasn't going to put a 45-year-old woman on the streets — It's annoying to be considered long in the tooth at my age, you know." She grins.

“Wasn’t Donovan. Wilson. ‘Member him?” he asks, quietly. “He was a rookie ten years ago, when we were dealing with the Vanguard and R. Ajas. I guess that’s why they sent him - we knew each other back then, at least a little.” He presses his lips together, in that way he has when he’s suppressing a smile. “They may consider putting a forty seven year old man back on the streets….but maybe they realize what a disaster I’d be if they tried to pin me to a desk this early in affairs…”

He shrugs. “We’ll see.” For all his apparent reserve and quiet, and all the scars, there’s no sign that he’s slowed down on that front.

"I only vaguely remembered him when Marcus mentioned him, but I know he's the new boss of SCOUT. I haven't seen him yet. As to not sticking me out there? Maybe it's just sexism at its finest," Elisabeth chuckles. But he can feel the subtle shiver. "It's okay, though… I'm actually happy with a job behind a desk or in supervisory roles in the field. I'm… ready to slow down." It shouldn't really come as a surprise. She is technically just coming off a battlefield of seven years, and the several years before those were no picnic either.

“You’re about to be a married mother, too,” he says, stating the obvious. “Yeah. I’ll be glad to have someone in the brass who I trust better’n anyone else. We’ll need you there. You know there’s gonna be all kinds of fuckery people’re gonna try, while we’re rebuilding the force. If I survive the next few years, then they can just chain me to a desk or have me terrify the cadets.” By his grin, he likes that prospect - it’s very nearly feral.

She laughs outright. "It almost petrifies me how happy you are at the idea of terrifying cadets," Elisabeth giggles. The image alone is worth a million words, because she can so see that happening. "But yeah… I'm grateful, really. The chance to build a team from the ground up with people who are trustworthy, and we can help develop the regulations that govern responsible power uses in the line of duty, maybe? Helping show the world that powered cops aren't going to be… Heller's assholes. I … can get behind that, you know?"

Imagine that. A bleating flock of terrified cadets, with this maniac as their shepherd. It’ll happen.
“Exactly. That’s really a lot of what got me - not just being a cop again, but we’ll be doing what they haven’t done since 1845: building the NYPD from scratch. The old culture’s gone, so I figure we’ve gotta take the best of the past but make sure we don’t repeat its mistakes…..and yeah, make sure that the responsibilities and place of powered cops are carved out from the beginning.”

What kind of police force will it be, with him as one of its founding fathers? His eyes are all but gleaming in anticipation.

It's amazing what a little hope can do for people. His glee has her chuckling, but it's the outlook on what they'll be doing is what brings Elisabeth real happiness. "I didn't think of it quite that way, I guess," she admits. It's difficult to think not of rebuilding the NYPD but literally starting over. Can they do that? Rewrite all the old policies and procedures without the baggage that was attached to the department before, without catering to and finagling for compromise with the political power of 'we've always done it this way' and without having to fight the good-old-boys-in-blue network?

It's… a daunting prospect. A shimmering, brilliant possibility. And one that, as they walk, she can't help but relish.

Habit dies hard, and he’s doing that thing where he checks for stubble with an absent-minded pass of his hand over his jaw. No, he shaved this morning. “There won’t be a lot of old dinosaurs left to croak about how it was always done, blah blah blah. You and I and Wilson and Donovan….that’s it. Maybe a few more. But yeah, this really is from scratch, whatever traditions we pick and choose to bring into the future. A lot of it….New York’s altered. It’s not the place I grew up in, and it’s not the town I spent my adulthood in. It’s somewhere new, and we’ll have to be careful to see that, you know? We can’t even pick up the pieces that the war left, they’re gone. I think a lot of the challenge will lie in adapting strategy to that.”

Now he’s got that self-satisfied aura, pleased as punch. A bright look slanted at her. “If we can just keep the Feds and the money men from trying to crawl up our collective tailpipe or dictate everything, I think we can do something that’d make Robert Peel roll over in his grave.”

"I think Marcus is really good at dealing with the money men… they can crawl up his tailpipe and leave Wilson, you, and me the hell alone. We might actually get some shit accomplished," Elisabeth agrees slowly. And then she grins up at him. "Well… I came up here to give you a happy day, and you're the one who's given me a sunny outlook. How the hell did that happen?" she teases on a laugh.

“And the Feds,” How quickly the Feds are back to being ‘them’ and not ‘us’, no matter his FBI and FRONTLINE career…”You and I have enough ties and enough pull to keep some of ‘em off us. We’ll find other ways.” By hook and by crook, as the saying goes, since he’s utterly merciless when it comes to seeking his own advantage. It’s just that he’s decided this nascent NYPD is his baby, which means he’ll be arching his wings and hissing any time he deems someone to have threatened it, like a furious father swan.

“You did give me a happy day,” he says. “By reminding me of the present that Wilson just dropped in my lap.” As if the hard, dangerous, and dirty work of dealing with policing a ruined city and keeping all those woven threads from tangling or fraying were a vacation to look forward to.

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