They Don't Need A Reason


elisabeth_icon.gif leland_icon.gif

Scene Title They Don't Need A Reason
Synopsis Lee and Liz talk about Humanis First.
Date Aug 31, 2009

Central Park

The early part of the morning has been…. a goatscrew, to put it mildly. She freaked out at the last minute, opting to entirely reverse her original position on reporting her own attack at the hands of Humanis First. Then she had to convince Coren and Cassidy that if they reported what happened, it would be bad for all three of them — Liz could have covered her own ass, but she can't cover Coren and Cassidy's for covering FOR her, and their entire careers could ride on this. Not to mention that there's still a serial killer out there with a jones for Coren *and* the rest of us — and we'd be off THAT case in a heartbeat. And worst of all, one of Elisabeth's best friends and sometime partners is now ALSO in HF hands…. and his other 'partner' is the person she needs to talk to. She tracks Leland down during lunch, off the precinct grounds, and she asks him quietly, "Walk with me?" Central Park is nice today, the weather mild and starting to actually feel like autumn. As they walk along the path, Elisabeth also makes sure they're shrouded in silence…. although God help her, she hates it right now. "Have you had any word on Felix?" she asks him.

Leland's has endured so many of Felix's crises that he's become numb to it. A few years ago, he might've railed, might have set loose the hounds, hit people, demanded action. But now? He's had three calls in the past two months to pick up Felix from the ER. He endured his death and subsequent resurrection. Felix has been shot, sliced up, beaten and left for dead more times than he can even remember.

Leland Daubrey doesn't have any worry left.

He moves like a sleepwalker and stares off at some point ahead of them in the park. "Not a word," he says in a tone that's deadly calm.

There's a slow nod, and perhaps Liz of all people understands where he's coming from. She puts a hand on his arm and looks up at him. "I always thought that it'd be the sideline that would take him out. Investigating things on his own, or…. maybe the save the world shit. But this? This was… beyond anything I ever imagined, Leland." She looks pale, drawn. She came back to work today after being missing for a week, with a haircut (her hair just barely brushes her shoulders instead of mid-back) and a look in her eyes that says something ugly happened. The hand she has on his arm is trembling. "You need to understand …. they're not fucking around, Leland. Whatever they decide they want from him, if he doesn't give it…. they'll just kill him."

Leland is not a very expressive man. He has a baseline of temper that hovers somewhere around 'pissed off' almost perpetually, with maybe a dip into 'grumpy' or sometimes pinning the needle at 'enraged.' Right now, the absence of that anger is very obvious. "If he hadn't been stupid, they wouldn't have gone after him. He wouldn't have been a target. He was a vigilante for so long that he made a lot of enemies. And now it's catching him. I tried to tell him that but he thought he was invincible."

"He never stopped being a vigilante, Lee," Elisabeth tells him quietly. "Just…. know that I've got the entirety of people — contacts — that I know in the underground looking for him too." She shoves a hand through her hair. She doesn't know exactly what to say to him and finally admits quietly, "I thought it would be my fault, you know. That he'd get… in trouble pulling my fat out of the fire. Or that I'd come back today… and tell him where I've been this week… and that he'd entirely lose his shit." She bites her lip.

"Never stopped. No matter how much I begged him to stop, told him he was being a fucking idiot, told him I'd go back to Boston. He still kept leaping off cliffs and expecting something or someone'd catch him." Lee works his jaw side to side. "Do you want to tell me where you've been?"

Does she want to? Fuck no. Does she need to? Maybe. "A week ago this past Saturday… I was doing something… off the books. With backup, but under the radar. And Humanis First picked me up. Someone found me on the beach in Brooklyn around midnight Tuesday night…." Elisabeth clenches her jaw. "With a chunk of my brain missing from a bullet, among a large assortment of other damages more common to Iraqi insurgents in the hands of CIA interrogators," she grits out. "The …. Beach Street thing? It was my fault. I gave it to them… hoping they might not kill me. It didn't work."

Silence meets that. Lee's face is tilted away, off towards where a parent pushes a child on a swing, someone walks their dog, a street vendor sells lunch to businessmen and women on their lunch breaks. It's a gloss, the illusion of normal, like paint slapped onto a rotted wall.

"The fuck are you two into that's got them on your asses? Kidnapping cops and Federal agents? What information do you have that would make them do that to you? What threat do you pose to them? If they just wanted to make an example of you, the whole city would know about it." His tone isn't void of sympathy by virtue of it not really being angry. The words are patented Daubrey causticness, but the tone sounds more disjointed, quieter and mumbled. "I know you both have to be doing more than just following up on cases without backup to get these sick fucks hunting you down."

And then, as if realizing that sounds too harsh - even from him, he adds, "Glad you're back on your feet."

There's a rush of tears as Leland demands what she and Felix are doing. Frankly, her paranoia and newly acquired agoraphobia are screaming about now to get out of the open, and she's going her level best not to run away and cower in a small, very well-lit hole somewhere. She has to pretend to be okay. Elisabeth struggles to handle it while he talks, and she says unevenly, "As far as Humanis First goes? I don't have to do anything to get their attention. I'm Evolved and I'm a fucking cop. And they hate Evos. Think about how the KKK would feel about a black woman lieutenant, and then multiply that tenfold, and you might get close to their hatred." Her fingers curl into fists, but she nudges him lightly to make him keep moving, her blue eyes shuttered and almost frightened. "Keep walking, okay?" Because if you don't stand still, they can't get a bead on you, right? Or something. "I don't pose any threat to them. And I haven't been into anything that should make them come after me. Hell, even the people I know don't pose any threat to them. In point of fact, Felix and I've busted our ASSES to save their fucking lives, along with everyone else out here. But yeah, Lee… I know people. I have some informants who've… told me things. Things I believe to be true, and Felix believes to be true, but … I'm not entirely sure you would believe them. And maybe that's why Felix has just kept his mouth shut."

"They hate because they fear. And they fear because they've got a reason to. And the fear's turning them into fucking monsters." Lee keeps moving. He can tell she's hurting, can tell she could use comfort, could use understanding and a friend. But Leland's about as gentle and as welcoming as a stone pillow. Even if he wants to make himself soft, it goes against his nature. "Nothing justifies murder or torture, or terrorism."

"You pose a threat because you have power, Liz. People like them want the power to stay where it is, want the status quo to be maintained. Or they just want a fucking excuse to hate and to kill." He understands the psychology of the members of Humanis First all too well. In another set of circumstances, he might have been one of them. And he knows that Liz and Felix know this. And why they've not trusted him.

"Whatever…" he pulls in a long breath, "…whatever my political views, whatever you might think of me and the way I look at things, you gotta know that I will beat the fucking shit out of anyone who's hurt either of you. I don't give a fuck if they take my badge for it."

For a brief moment, Elisabeth has to wonder how the hell she got so goddamn lucky in this life… to have so many people willing to do exactly that. She looks away from him, out over the park, her free hand coming up to wipe her face shakily. "Yeah, Lee…. I do know." When she looks up at him, she says softly, "Just like I know the sun rises in the east." Because maybe not so much for herself, but for Felix… she knows exactly what he's already put up with. Sucking in a deep breath, she says softly, "There are… a lot of things that we need to probably talk about. Things like … the Vanguard and the virus they almost unleashed last fall. The fight to stop them is what destroyed the Narrows. But right now…. my whole focus is on what the fuck to do for Felix. There are Homeland agents, Company agents, cops, and feds all looking for him, Lee…. and the people I know are looking too. I can't help them, though — I can only tell them that Peyton Whitney was held on the docks and I was found near the docks, but … I don't know where they held me. And that's killing me."

"You gotta know someone, Liz. Some…telepath or Evo finder. Someone who can at least point us in the right direction. This city's so fucking wrecked that there's a lot of places to hide. All they'd have to do is go to Staten and they can do whatever they goddamn please." Lee's nostrils flare and he rakes fingers through his hair. "There's too many rat's nests. We go kicking at the wrong one and we only make things worse. They gotta know we're looking. They grabbed him too publically."

Elisabeth grimaces. "The only 'finder' I've ever heard of is DHS Agent Parkman's underage daughter." But that does beg the question of why no one's contacted the man. "I can put in the call, if you want. The only reason I know that is from sources … down low. And I haven't seen or heard of Parkman in months. But… it can't hurt for you to put a request through channels?" She bites her lip. "I do have… one other possibility that I can tap." And the fact that she didn't think of it sooner herself is testament to how little sleep she's gotten in the past few days. She looks like hell. But Peyton Whitney herself might be able to help Ivanov. "I'll put out a call." She can't give up hope on Felix yet. Not with the man already having come back from the fuckin' DEAD once.

That's why Leland isn't panicking or otherwise more upset. He's already mourned Felix. Any time after his resurrection feels like bonus time. It's too bad that Ivanov doesn't see it the same way. "Do you know Parkman? I can put in a call, but I don't know if anyone'll get back to me. If other people know about her, well, fuck, if it was my kid I wouldn't want anyone using her, even if it was for a damn good reason." Kids don't deserve to get exposed to that kind of thing, even if it is to save lives.

He looks away, then back to her, then off at the park. "Listen," he rumbles. "If you don't want to be alone, I have a spare bedroom." He may not be a big comforting teddybear, but he's a brilliant guard dog.

Putting her hand on his arm, stopping in the shade and relative protection of a large tree next to the path, Elisabeth looks up at him and says softly, "Thanks, Lee. I might take you up on that if I need a place. Right now… some friends are taking turns staying with me at my place. I had… a security system put in not too long ago. But I appreciate the offer in more ways than I can ever say." She swallows hard, those ever-present tears springing up again. "I, uhm…. I don't know Parkman very well… but he's engaged to a squadmate of mine. It might… get me at least a response. I can try, but I can't promise."

"I think even…" Lee stops himself and looks down at his shoes, the side of his lip twitching. "I'm more apt to punch stuff out of people right now than ask 'em nicely for favours. Point me at whatever needs going over with a blunt instrument. But I think you'd be better for the delicate stuff." A soft grunt, then, "What's your favourite pie?"

Elisabeth almost chuckles at the abashed look he gives with his confession. As if she didn't already know that he's a brute force guy. Then she blinks at the non sequitor. "Uhm… chocolate cream or apple?" she hazards. And then does grin just a little. And it's not even forced. She and Leland do sort of do the same thing when they're upset.

Pie is Daubrey for 'here's a hug.' He bakes instead of giving words of comfort, cooks instead of apologies or signs of affection. It's his own special language. It takes care to make a dish for someone, care he doesn't seem able to express in any normal way. "I know just the kind," he says.

A quirk of her lips, and Elisabeth suddenly sort of…. gets it. Not entirely, but … sort of. And she nods slightly. "Let me get back, I've got… some things that need doing." She hesitates and says softly, "Leland…. watch your back, okay?" She looks at him with those eyes that are so much older than they were last week. "Even if you're just his roommate, it makes you a sympathizer. And … since you're not, and they're probably doing unspeakable things…." Her throat closes up. "I can't lose both of you." Not on top of everything else. She touches his arm. That's all, just a mere touch. And then she hurries away.

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