The Rights We Die For


elisabeth_icon.gif felix_icon.gif

Scene Title The Rights We Die For
Synopsis Liz and Felix have dinner and a candid conversation about who gets to enjoy the rights we fight and die for.
Date Nov 4, 2009

Felix and Leland's Apartment

It's a comfortable evening, despite the chill outside. Leland Daubrey can cook like ten thousand bastards, so the apartment smells delicious. Like, even coming down the hall, Liz can smell something cinnamonish baking.

The blonde knocks on the apartment door, not carrying a gift! It's appallingly rude of her, honestly, but Elisabeth's not exactly in the frame of mind to think of it. Seeing Felix …. hurts. Not that she'd ever abandon the man, but it's taking all of her reserves right now to manage her own issues so she's been…. far more scarce than she ought to be.

If he's noticed, it's not apparent in the welcoming face Fel offers her as he opens the door. "Hey, Liz, come in," he says, happily. "Lee's got a nightshift, so it's just me. How're you doing?" He moves easily enough on his cane, relatively speaking, and he's put on much-needed weight. Still thin, always will be, but no longer POW gaunt.

Elisabeth herself isn't looking too spiff in the weight department, having shed a few pounds too many over the past weeks. Her smile for him is weary, though glad to see him up and about. "Hey there yourself, handsome," she replies, leaning up to kiss his cheek lightly as she enters the apartment. "Doing a bit better, actually. Busy, as always. Completely at a loss about what to do except go about my life in the waiting pattern," she grins.

He returns the kiss tenderly….on the lips. It's entirely chaste, but also very affectionate. "Yeah?" he says, as he steps aside to let her in. "I've got chicken korma simmering on the stove, rice, and cinnamon rolls in the oven. All courtesy of Leland, who is apparently determined to fatten me for the slaughter. What's the news? I was at the building collapse yesterday, out in Queens. Dumb luck, mostly."

Looking up at him as he kisses and pulls away, Elisabeth's smile falters. "You were…. shit, Felix. Seriously?" She shakes her head. "You're like a damn cat who can't keep out of trouble, I swear." It's not exactly the affectionate sort of scolding, either — she's worried about him. "Not sure what other news I can give. I got assigned a partner. IA's climbing my ass. I've been keeping my distance from Phoenix as a result of all that. Cass and Coren are quitting — Cass is unfit for duty thanks to that fucker, and Coren's just ready to put it behind him. Uhm…. finally broke down and told my dad everything. That was a bitch of a conversation." She turns to look at him. "And I'm missing about a decade of my life from a bullet to the brain thanks to a guy that the Ferry is sitting on. Other than that? Nothing new."

"I was out just doing generic footwork. Mosque visits, stuff like that. I got the call, went to help. It was a mess," His affectionate look falters at the memory. "I… reminds me of 9-11," he adds, in a whisper, and his eyes are haunted. And then he steers her towards the kitchen. "Told your dad everything how? Phoenix? All that? And….I'm amazed IA hasn't come to talk to me. Technically I'm not in their bailiwick being a Fed, but since I'm obliged to offer all cooperation to the NYPD, and I'm deputized….."

There's a grimace at that. "Glad you missed the Municipal Building collapse. If you think the deck looks like 9-11, the Muni would have put you over the edge," Elisabeth replies roughly. "I spent nearly a week listening for survivors." Hearing heartbeats stop. Rescuing some and not others. "The IA guy's a little hinky. He might be setting me up for something." Liz shrugs. "Hell, I don't know," she says tiredly. "I've given up worrying about that. If they want to take me… screw 'em. And yeah… told my dad everything. Narrows. Virus. Pinehearst. Blowing shit up. Company. Vanguard. Humanis First. Even told him about the guy I fell for." She grins a little. "He's pretty pissed." She pauses. "Not about that last, but … the rest."

Felix says, thoughtfully, as he stumps into the kitchen, "I wonder how my parents would react if they knew. I think… mother would agree. She's pretty fucking ruthless, even if she still does look like a porcelain ballerina. The shit she pulled to get us out of the USSR you wouldn't believe." He heads over to the stove, checks the progress of the spiced orange stuff simmering in the pot there. He lays a hand lightly on her shoulder.

"Oh, I didn't say he didn't agree. He's pissed that I haven't told him before now," Elisabeth says with a bit of a smile. "He's livid that all this has been going on and I didn't come home for a while to recover." She tenses briefly as he touches her shoulder, but it dissipates quickly.

He doesn't snatch it back, but he doesn't let it linger, either. "Sit," he says, and for a moment, he sounds disturbingly like Leland himself. "I'm sure my mother would read me the riot act. I think….I think my dad would laugh himself sick, really. And pound me on the back. Apparently the Ivanovs have a long tradition of insane quixoticism. My dad's dad took out a tank by himself, back in World War II."

Elisabeth slants him a look and grins. "Seriously? Your whole family's nuts, clearly," Liz comments quietly. "You sure you don't want me to help?" She moves to sit as ordered, though. "My father was still fuming when I left the next morning." She starts to giggle. "Richard offered to go talk to him for me if I thought it'd help. I had this weird thought… I don't think anyone's ever actually tried to smooth over things with my dad for me before. It was… sweet."

"It's done," Fel says, turning off the flame on the gas range. "Get yourself a plate, they're in that cabinet there," He indicates it with a jerk of his chin. "Rice in the skillet, chicken in the pot, beer in the fridge." He chuckles, and shoots her a wry look. "You're really smitten with him, aren't you?"

"Smitten is a ridiculous word," Elisabeth snorts indelicately. "I like the way he makes me feel. It's not like we're 'going steady' or getting married or even monogamous, for Christ's sake." She moves to go get herself a plate and a beer. "Don't go getting all crazy on me, now. You're making me regret even telling you." She's feeling quite defensive about it!

Felix whistles teasingly. "Hit a ner-erve," he singsongs, as he reaches up to get himself a plate. It exposes the joint of the prosthesis, his synthetic ankle. "You don't have to be monogamous to be in love. That's a myth. I love Leland to death, I'll never cheat on him because he is monogamous and it would hurt him terribly. But….I've been in open relationships before."

"We're just fucking!" Elisabeth replies in kneejerk fashion. "It's fun, he's good at it, I like it." She now looks very much like she regrets telling him anything! Hit a nerve indeed. "It's not serious," she insists as she fills her plate.

"Liz, Liz," he says, amused, as he dishes up his dinner and settles at the little kitchen table. "First thing you learn at Quantico is body language. Your mouth is saying one thing, but your body is saying quite another," he admonishes, waving his yet clean fork at her like a teacher chiding a student.

There is a roll of her eyes and Elisabeth has what might actually be termed a pout on her face. A pout! "What do you want from me? You want me to tell you 'yes, I'm smitten'? Okay, fine…. yes. As stupid as that is… I fell for a criminal. For the second time." She glances at her erstwhile lover. "It still doesn't make it serious or anything. I love you too!" She's still on the defensive about it. "Why are you nagging me, anyway?" she grumbles as she takes a bite. If anything is guaranteed to put meat back on her bones, it's Lee's cooking. "If I say those words out loud, he's gonna run off as fast as he can manage and break my heart." She grins a little. "It's better left unsaid. I think we're both on the same page, but … you know, right now? It's just plain working and I don't want to go fucking it up."

"You love me like your friend, and we liked fucking each other a lot. We could talk. That's not the same as what you feel for this guy, and don't pretend it is," Fel's voice is cheerful, as he starts wolfing the indian food down with immense enthusiasm. "Then don't say it. If it works, let it work. But don't lie to yourself. That way lies madness," he says, between gulps of saffron rice.

"You are the biggest pain in my butt. And considering the fact that I have a lot of pains in my butt, that's seriously saying something," Elisabeth grouses mildly as she eats, suddenly realizing she's got an appetite. Blame it on Lee's cooking. She eats with great attention on her food, though she speaks between bites. Her tone is thoughtful. "I think I'm kinda fucked up, if you want the truth. The men that I can actually talk to, I take to bed with … well, I was about to say no interest in anything more." She glances at him and smiles a little. "That would be a lie too, though."

Felix notes, "It sounds smart, to me. I don't know why you haven't bought into the standard female programming where you settle down with one guy and start having kids. But if you haven't, you haven't. If no one's being lied to and no one's getting hurt, how's that fucked up?"

There's a soft laugh. "The standard female programming, huh?" Elisabeth takes a couple more bites, considering her thoughts on it, and she finally says slowly, "I think…. maybe something happened in those years I can't remember. I have this… sense. This innate kind of feeling in my gut, you know? And it's this rebellious little feminist notion that men are not monogamous so why should I have to be?" She shrugs a little. "I don't lie to the men I take to my bed. I don't take just anyone to my bed either, … although I admit that there've been more than I care to really confess to lately." She grins cheekily.

He cleans his plate, down to the last grain of rice, glances over his shoulder at the stove. More. Yes. More. "Well, why should you? With modern birth control, you don't have to conceive unless you want to. That double-standard's bullshit, anyhow. Sexual purity is afucking myth."

Without asking, she gets up to refill his plate. And refill her own while she's at it. Elisabeth sets it back down in front of him and drops her comment calmly, "I'm going to. Not … maybe not in the next twelve months, but soon thereafter, I think."

Cue the record-scratch noise. Which is still relevant, somehow, even in the age of MP3 players. Fel's left with his glass half-way to his mouth, staring at her past the rim, before he puts it down with that terrible gentleness. "YOu're going to confess? Or you're going to conceive?"

Elisabeth laughs softly as she settles back into her chair with her full plate. "The latter, Felix. If I go to confession after this long, I'm pretty sure the church is going to fall around my ears."

She's seen him suffering, seen him smug, furious, frightened. She has never seen him brought to a wordless halt by anything before though, staring at her lips parted. And then, after the silence has been permitted to hang just a few heartbeats too long, he wonders, "Why would you -do- that?"

There's a long pause as Elisabeth takes a bite of her dinner and enjoys it before answering. "Why would I not?" She glances at him. "I've helped save the world, at last count, at least twice in the past year. And I'm up to my eyeballs trying to do it again. And I realized, back when that test came up negative…. that part of me was sorry that it did. So… I'm not getting any younger, and if I actually want that, it's going to have to be in the next couple of years."

"Liz. Jesus," Fel says, still giving her that owl-eyed stare. Like she's proposed a mission to Mars, instead of the perfectly normal process of having a baby. "As a single mother? And a cop, and Evolved? Who's the father going to be? That's….." he trails off, takes another bite of dinner.

She sets her fork down and those lovely blue eyes have taken on a hint of temper. "Oh," Elisabeth says coolly. "So…. it's okay if I don't buy into the standard female programming when it comes to who I fuck, but it's not okay if that extends to the rest of my life? Nice illustration of the double fucking standard alive and well, Felix."

"No, Liz," Felix says, quietly. "That's not what I'm saying, and don't let some voice from the past make it into that. Parenthood is the most terrifying thing I can think of facing, and I say that as someone whose parents loved him enough to leave everything they had and risk death to keep him out of the hands of the government. I just don't want you to have to make that same trip over the Canadian border in ten years, the rate things are going." He shakes his head, more in amazement than denial.

"I see…. so had I been pregnant a couple of months ago, you'd have advised me not to have it?" Elisabeth watches him with a neutral expression. "And think carefully about that answer, because I seem to recall your first instinct was to demand of me whether it was yours."

"That's different. You conceive by accident, that's up to you. It'd not've been my choice. Though if it'd been mine and you didn't want to keep it, I'd've offered to. I was an accident, and I know it," he says, with a shrug. "Deliberately setting out to conceive, when chances are damned good you know it's going to be Evolved….that seems like a tough row to hoe. The war is coming, Liz, no matter what we do."

Elisabeth nods slowly. "I'm pretty sure I know better than anyone that it's already here," she finally responds, picking up the fork. Though her appetite appears to have fled. "And part me thinks….. that you're absolutely right. And the other part of me? Plans to run away from all of it if we manage to save the goddamn world this time around. Life continues, Felix… because if it doesn't, what the fuck are we fighting for anyway?" She looks at him and shrugs a little. "But I'll take your opinion under advisement if I ever hit the point that it looks like I might get serious about the thought."

Felix spreads his hands. "I don't know. I'm fighting for this country. I have nowhere else to go. I haven't been back to Russia in twenty five years because I am still for certain sure my name is on some moldering list in some old KGB file cabinet. We're all outraged about Moab and the Company - the USSR was doing this stuff since Stalin, Liz. There's a place in Siberia where they were trying to breed us like rabbits to create supersoldiers."

"Now there's a cheerful fucking thought. Thanks, Felix. I needed that slap upside the back of the head," Elisabeth says drily. And promptly pushes her chair back from the table to take her plate to the sink to hide her expression from him.

"It's the reality we've got. I'm sorry, Liz. I really am," he says, and there's genuine contrition in his tone. And then he adds, "There're cinnamon buns warming in the oven."

"No, thanks," Elisabeth says. She puts both her hands on the counter, her back to him. "You know… I didn't exactly expect your response, though considering what we've both been through, I should have. I guess the difference in our perspectives here is…. that I think I deserve the right to have these things. I've fought… and killed… and even died for these rights."

"So've I, Liz. So've I. But this is 1939, it's not 1945. I'm not arguing that you deserve it. You do. The rest of the world….doesn't care. 'He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to Fortune'," Fel quotes, gently. "I'll never be a father, never have a child. But I will do what I can to help make things safe for those who do. But you and I both know that it won't be over in a year. You can have that baby, you can bow out of the fight and take off, if that's what you really want. No one's gonna stop you. But you going to go to Canada? Go to the UK, because it isn't safe to be Evolved here, raise an Evolved child?"

"Well, shit. I didn't know that just wanting something meant that I had to have it all figured out today, Felix." Elisabeth shakes her head. She turns to look at him and says quietly, "Thanks. The reality bitchslap is appreciated."

Felix tucks his chin a little, looks abashed. "I'm sorry, Liz," he says, quietly.

"Apparently I've done it in at least one other timeline, so you know what? If I choose to do it, I'll keep you out of it," she says with a faint quirk of a not-quite-smile.

Felix scowls at that. "I'll help you do whatever you chose to do, Liz. I was your friend, last I looked."

Elisabeth mmmmms. "You sure? Cuz, wow…. could have used a little bit gentler of a smack in the face, if that's the case, Felix. Been kind of a rough month, you know?"

"If I didn't care about your happiness, I'd not've said anything, Liz," Fel says, deliberately. "And yeah, I know."

Elisabeth walks back to the table and ruffles his hair. "I forget that you're a bastard sometimes. Don't rattle my cage for me for a while, okay? Not up to it."

"The fact that I have a boyfriend fucking me doesn't mean I've turned into a woman, Liz," Fel says, a little sourly. "Still not so hot on the empathy front. Bear with me."

Elisabeth snerks softly. "And yet some of the time, you're ridiculously empathetic." She shakes her head. "Tell me how your folks are doing. Are they still in town? I had hopes of seeing them before they left." She eyes him. "Did your mother give you hell?"

"I have no skin under my clothes," Fel says, completely deadpan. "They've gone back to Sarasota. You ever want a beach vacation, you have a place to stay with them. Yeah, she did. I felt like I was about six years old."

"Good," Elisabeth says unrepentantly. "Your mama and I were on the same page about you." She leans over to kiss him softly. "And pass along, please, my great regret that I did not get to see them again before they departed. I liked them quite a lot."

"I certainly will. They liked you. They like Lee, too. My mother knows, Liz. I've never come out of the closet to either of them. But she knows, anyway. And doesn't care." He sounds amazed.

There is a soft laugh. "Yes, Felix… I know she knows." That was evident as soon as Elisabeth and Irina Ivanova met one another's eyes over the quip about Felix having other women. "I have the sense that she's known maybe even longer than you. And of course she loves you. She's your mother. Any parent worthy of the name … would respond the same way."

He blushes, and drops his gaze. Of course she would've known.

Elisabeth chuckles quietly. "I'm getting out of your hair," she tells him softly. "When's Lee getting back?"

"Tomorrow morning," Fel says, unhappily. "Night work."

Elisabeth awws. "You want me to stay?" she asks.

Felix hesitates. "That would be good, honestly. My old bed's got clean sheets on it." Because he doesn't sleep in it any more, quite likely.

Elisabeth tilts her head and then nods slightly. "All right." There's a pause, and she says, "I need…. the lights on. Okay?"

"Liz, so do I," Fel says, very quietly.

Elisabeth grins a little. "Well… if you wanna snuggle, you're welcome." She moves to take his plate away so he doesn't have to, making herself useful by puttering and cleaning up in the kitchen before she takes him up on the offer of the bed.

Felix nods. Apparently snuggling is in order. "Just don't let me be in bed with you when Lee comes home," he mumbles, sleepily. "He'll read it all wrong."

Elisabeth rolls her eyes. "Won't happen," she comments quietly. "I move around too much in my sleep these days to actually *sleep* in the bed with anyone. I'll move to the couch if you actually get to sleep."

Felix smiles at the idea, a little smugly, a little dreamily. "I understand," he says, finally. What, no salacious comment?

Elisabeth raises a brow at him, and leaves it alone.

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