Too Much Pride


elisabeth_icon.gif leland_icon.gif

Scene Title Too Much Pride
Synopsis Liz has to tell Lee about Felix's death.
Date March 28, 2009

Felix and Leland's Apartment

The call went to his cell phone, and Elisabeth was uncharacteristically abrupt. 'Go home. I'll meet you there. Now.' She hung up on him without even waiting for acknowledgment. When she hits the front door, she's a mess — her blonde hair is windblown to hell and she's covered from head to toe in… sand? Not like dirty sand, but beach sand. The fine grit is everywhere, though she ignores it. She knocks on his door in quick raps against the wood, like she's in a hurry.

The door is opened with uncharacteristic speed. Normally Lee's in no hurry to accomodate whoever comes to bother him in his home. But there was something in Elisabeth's voice that tells hi it's serious. He opens the door, still in his suit and neat from work. He doesn't say anything, but nods for her to come in.

It isn't good. He can feel it. Something in the pit of his stomach tells him this is bad news, made even worse by her state. If Felix was just injured, he would have been called to the hospital.

When she looks up at him…. yeah, her expression probably tells him exactly what the news is. Liz steps into the apartment before he can close the door in her face. "I, uhm…. I got a call from a contact out on Staten," she starts. And then she falters, her jaw clenching. Damn it…. she's had to tell people their friends or roommates or loved ones were dead before. He's a cop.. he's going to get it right off. "He was …. he found Felix's body last night."

Outwardly, Leland's expression doesn't seem to change. His eyes tell a different story. They all know this kind of thing can happen. They're cops. He's lost friends in the line of duty before. His hand stays on the doorknob, then slowly he lets it fall. He rubs his face, looks left and right, then finally back on her again. "How?"

Closing her eyes for a long moment, Elisabeth can't bring herself to answer. "Someone… to quote my contact… blew him away, and then dumped his body in the river. The contact… was afraid he'd get blamed, so he didn't touch him. He called me just after I left here." Was that really only a couple of hours ago? How could that be? "I went to Staten to… get him. But… the body's gone. My… my contact knows Felix well enough to be a hundred percent sure of his identity, though, so I'm … he said bodies go missing over there, and… " She shoves her hands into her pockets, rummaging around, and offering what's in them to Leland. Her hand is visibly shaking when she opens her fingers to show him Felix's glasses.

Leland looks down at the glasses in Elisabeth's hand. He doesn't reach for them. He just stares, for a long moment. A hand goes to rub over his mouth, covering gritted jaw. He pulls in a shaking breath, then paces away from Elisabeth. "This…this is what we get. This is what we fucking GET for abandoning a whole goddamn fucking CHUNK Of this city." Suddenly the cop's voice is booming, filling up the small apartment. "They think…they…think…" He paces back, one finger lifted, "…that they can get away with it. That they can get away with killing cops. Federal Agents? And there's no FUCKING CONSEQUENCES." He pounds a fist down on a small table by the door. The cheap wood cracks, splinters. A coffee mug and a pair of keys crash to the ground. He kicks at the shards of mug and pieces go flying. His fist strikes the wall, but not hard enough to break the drywall. He leans against it, anger slowly pulling back under control.

Elisabeth doesn't flinch…. her anger was vented at a different target not so long ago. Now all she's got is the hurt. The walk on the beach back to the boat and the ride across river took care of that. She lets him rage, her fingers closing over the glasses once more as she crosses her arms. What should she say? That it wasn't in vain? The DA has basically made it in vain — there's nothing the PD can do. "The FBI… may pick up the case. I know…" She swallows, her voice choking. "I know he was working Abby Beauchamp's kidnapping over there, that he was getting it into federal court. Maybe…. maybe they'll…. " She trails off. It'll be something she follows up on, but… in this moment? She hasn't got any faith to give Lee. "I'm sorry," is what she offers, turning to look at him with tears that she won't let fall. "I'm sorry I didn't try to pin him down sooner. I'm … " She shakes her head. Not that it would have done much good… Cardinal implied he looked like he'd been in the water a while. Maybe even the whole time he's been gone.

"It was his own fault. Goddamn fucking Felix always going off half-cocked and by himself. Off on that fucking hellhole Staten by himself. Whatever happened to letting a partner watch your back, uh? But he had to be the big Jesus hero." Despite the curses in Leland's words, they're spoken at a near-whisper and addressed to the wall. "Don't you dare blame yourself, Harrison. He did this to himself. I've seen him run off and get obsessed about shit before. This was one of those times, too. Sure of it. Stuck his goddamn nose in where he shouldn't have."

Shaking her head, Elisabeth murmurs softly, "It's not my fault. I just… " She grimaces. "Abby's case was … personal. For both of us. I knew that. I should have… found another agent to hand it to. SOMETHING." She refuses right now to let those tears fall, but it's a battle. "I'm just sorry that he didn't… think he could tell me what he was doing. I'd have gone with him."

"Go take care of yourself, Liz," says Leland in a low, quiet rumble. "Go…get washed up. Call someone." Because he's not going to be able to give her any comfort. Not when he feels like running like a raging bull around the apartment. She's holding back tears, he's got a choke chain on rage. People grieve in different ways.

Elisabeth nods slightly. "I will. I just…. need you to promise me you're not going to do anything stupid." She grimaces. "I, uhm…. I nearly hurt the contact who called it in a little while ago. I know how pissed off you are right now. Just…. call me later? Let me know you're… not in jail? And not on Staten." She will wring his word from him if it's the last thing she does, because she knows him well enough by now to know he'll stand by it.

"I don't have anyone to chase down," murmurs Leland. And from the way his shoulders are set and the way the wall is getting glared at - it's a damn good thing. If he someone to blame, they wouldn't have a face left. "M'not going anywhere." No, he'll just tear his own apartment to pieces. That way he's not hurting anyone but himself.

Elisabeth watches him for a long moment. Instead of leaving, she heads further into the apartment, leaving Felix's eyeglasses on the breakfast bar. She isn't going to leave him to rage alone. She opens and closes several cabinets, searching for glassses, and comes back into the living room carrying them, stopping only to pull a bottle of Jack Daniels from his well-stocked liquor cabinet.

"Elisabeth…" Leland's hand flexes against the wall. He turns his head just far enough to figure out what she's doing. "…you really need to leave." A grunt, then, "M'sorry." He needs to let the rage out. Alcohol plus a raging bull? Not a good thing to have a human target in the room. "Please go." He said please. He must be serious.

He pushes off the wall and tries to straighten his shoulders. They refuse to. They stay rolled forward. His facial expression is oddly blank. The shock has set in now that the initial urge to hurt someone is fading.

"Nope," Liz replies quietly. "No." She stands up and looks at him. "Get pissed, yell, break things. I'll go in the other room if I need to. But no, Lee. I'm not going to leave you here alone to destroy the place and possibly hurt yourself… because you're too fucking stubborn to call me if it happens," she says. "He was a fucking asshole sometimes… but he'd come back from Hell to kill me where I stand if I don't make sure you're okay."

Leland steps towards her in a way that would be threatening if she knew him a little less than she does. By now she's likely figured out that Detective Daubrey is a man who uses his reputation. He has morals, and for all he doesn't look it, for the most part he's in control. "I need to be fucking alone, Harrison. I don't fucking need someone here for me. I need to get my head sorted. I don't want to fucking drink and reminisce and whatever the hell else you think will make me feel better."

For a minute, it looks like he's going to grab her and physically shove her out. He still might. No way in hell he's going to let her see him go to pieces. He'd never forgive himself for showing that weakness. "Get out."

Oh God…. please don't let him take a swing at me is the only thought in Elisabeth's head. "Right… you don't need anyone, right? You don't need Felix, you don't need friends. And yet here we are. Sucker punched in the gut because Felix Ivanov, asshole extraordinaire, made the time to be a friend… and managed to stick us together. Did it on purpose, you know. Because he knew if something ever happened to him — WHEN something ever happened to him — that I wouldn't leave you alone. So go on. You gonna take a swing at me? Do it, Lee. Give me your best shot. Scare the shit out of me if it makes you feel better about the fact that you're pissed off at him." Elisabeth's going to, somewhere down the line, remember this moment as the one that she waved the red flag at the bull, she's pretty damn sure. But she stands up to him because as far as she can tell? He's got no one else, and she's not going to leave him alone with this. Everyone needs somebody sometimes.

Leland would never punch a woman, cop or no. At least, not one who wasn't attacking him. But he isn't going to break down in front of her. So while she's still here, all he can do is rage. Because that's what people expect him to do. And really, she wouldn't want to see him that way. Because he would never look at her again. Pride is one of his failings. And his definition of what strength is.

So he walks over to the door and swings it open. Then he charges towards her, aiming to grab a wrist and then by the shoulder to forcibly shove her out the door. He's not trying to hurt her, but it's strong enough to make a very firm point. This isn't some veiled, passive-aggressive attempt. He's serious.

Wary, cautious eyes watch him and when he heads for the door as if to walk out himself, Elisabeth just sighs, "Goddamn it, Daubrey." She actually was planning on letting him go, her assumption of his mindset being 'if she won't leave he will.' She is leaning down to pick up the bottle and the glasses to take them back over to the kitchen when he charges her, which means glasses and bottle get dropped to the floor when he comes at her and she visibly flinches when he grabs and connects — it's not that she's expecting him to hurt her, it's just an instinct when confronted with a raging man. "No, Lee, don't!" Whatever it was he was going to do, 'don't' should cover all the bases, right?

Leland stops. He keeps hold of her, but he stops pushing. He leans in close and looks her in the eye. His breathing is ragged. There's hurt in his eyes, pain that he's covering up with physical bluster. But he needs to be alone. He stares her down for a long moment. His hand on her wrist relaxes to be more of a hold.

In a tone that sounds more fractured, and even quieter before, he murmurs, "Please go."

Elisabeth looks up at him, meeting his eyes, and slowly nods. There's regret mixed in with the sorrow in her expression. That she can't get through to him. That he's going to make her leave him like this. "Call me," she tells him quietly. Then she gently disengages her wrist from his grip. "I don't care what time it is." Only then does she turn away from the man who is … was … Felix Ivanov's best friend.

Leland follows behind her. He gives her one last look, then takes hold of the doorknob. To his credit, when he shuts the door, it's gently. He doesn't slam it in her face. As soon as she's outside, there's the sound of locks engaging. The world can stay out there for awhile.

Elisabeth pulls up a patch of wall for a short while, just in case he's going to rage through the apartment. After a short bit of time, when it's evident that he's not going to cause a big furor (which she fully intends to mute for him, if need be), she goes ahead and takes her leave.

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