Unexpected Gifts


f_felix_icon.gif f_elisabeth_icon.gif

Scene Title Unexpected Gifts
Synopsis Elisabeth's shipped off to DC to see Felix… Abby made it happen!
Date Sept 20, 2011

Washington, DC

Being stationed in Washington in the FBI HQ is a huge step up for Felix's career. He's helping work on some spooky project to deal with the Evolved. Nominally, it's just getting the Bureau up to speed on Evolved affairs, but there's a lot of that 'can't talk about it or would have to kill you' sort of vibe. And Felix….well, he was closemouthed enough as it was. The aftermath of Columbia has made some holes in the nation's law enforcement preparedness very clear….but Fel's become as about as forthcoming as a tombstone, these last few months.

And despite the potential advancement, it's apparent he has no damn use for DC itself. It's a cool day, as he waits in the train station, wind whipping at his overcoat. He's seated in the open plaza between the connection in the subway and the actual arrival platforms, lazily reading a copy of the New York Times. The lines in his face are graven more deeply than ever, and he looks intensely tired.

Abby made the call to Felix…. Elisabeth knows she did. It had to be her. The decision to forcibly make her take some time off work was clearly a group one — every single friend she has banded together and approached her supervisor and then made a point of getting her on the train. When she steps off the train, he can see the healer was not joking about the state of their mutual friend. Liz looks positively wiped out; a bit of weight loss — nothing that looks too drastic — enhances the circles under her eyes, though. The smile when she sees him, though, is almost radiant in its gratitude. She approaches him with a duffel thrown over her shoulder and says, "Thanks for letting me come stay, Felix. I appreciate it."

"You…." The sound of him ruffling through his mental rolodex is all but audible, as he looks for a way to put it. ANd then settles on, "Don't look so hot," he says, quietly, holding out a hand for her bag. "It's fine. You need a rest, so do I. We can go and play tourist, see the nicer part of the national hog trough. The Zoo's not bad," he says, as he turns to lead the way out. "First, however, before all the festivities - you get to visit my doc. Abby can deal with injuries, but there are more chronic conditions that escape her, and she says you won't go. So I'm making you."

Elisabeth lets him take the bag and hugs him briefly. "I'm fine," she insists. "Abby's all worried cuz I'm tired… I'm just working a lot. Playing tourist sounds like the perfect restorative. Would you believe I've only been to DC once when I did my initial hostage negotiation training? And I hardly had time to take in any of the museums. I'd love to do that. So no… I'm not going to your doctor." She walks with him, though, her hands shoved into pockets. "Besides, you look like shit too. So maybe YOU should go!"

"I have been," Fel says. "And no, you are. That's the price of admission for this funfilled weekend in the nation's capital. Also, as a Fed, we do oversight on you poor local cops. Which I am doing now. Don't make me get IA on you when you get back. I'll have your badge." He's ninetynine percent messing with her, but there's worry in the pale eyes. "I've seen you tired. Whatever you are, it is not just tired."

There's a sigh. "Fine," she bites off curtly. "If it'll make all of you people lay the hell off me, I'll go." The mood change is like quicksilver — from amused and easygoing to pissed in 1 second flat. She shoves her hands in her pants pockets and keeps her eyes on where they're going, her brows pulled down into a scowl.

"It won't take long. I made you an appointment," he says, with that smugness that has annoyed oh so many members of the NYPD. He leads the way to that battered black BMW in the parking lot, slings her bag in the trunk. "And then we can go out for dinner. I've got us a reservation at a really good Italian place I know."

Elisabeth slants him the Look — the one that keeps most people at arm's length. "I'm sure you did," she snipes. "It better be the best dinner ever, cuz you're a pain in my ass, and I'm half-tempted to get back on the train and leave."

There's the distant rumbling sound of Felix's stupidity approaching. Rather like a train pulling into the station itself. But he bites back whatever comment he originally intended to make, and says, mildly, "It will be, I promise. C'mon, don't be such a princess. You get a general physical, and then we do nothing but what you want for the rest of the trip, I swear," he says, ushering her in to the car.

Climbing in, Liz just grunts. "Princess my ass — it's just annoying to have everyone in my business, Felix. I'm fine. Overworked … and maybe just … lonely a little," she admits softly. "Plenty of friends, but no one that I want to talk to right now." She is quiet for the rest of the trip to the doctor's office. Although Felix's driving makes her gasp a couple of times. She finally resorts to closing her eyes. "God, I can't watch you drive in this town, it's absolutely terrifying." And perhaps the real tell that all is not right in the world: She dozes off in spite of Felix's chatter during the mere 20 minutes or so that it takes to get where they're going.

Felix drives like….well, like someone who learned to drive on the streets of New York, and then took combat driving at Quantico. Which is to say, like something out of Mad Max. Or like every other driver in DC said something rude about his mother. Her apparent narcolepsy has him frowning…and he doesn't prod her awake until he pulls up. "First suite on the right, first floor," he says, and then makes a face. "I'll show you. Might as well wait in the waiting room."

When she rouses, it takes a minute. And then Liz sighs, gets out of the car, and brings her wallet with her. Cuz Lord knows, they're gonna charge her an arm and a leg for being out-of-network. "Good. It'll do you good to be bored while you wait," she comments.

There's the usual slew of paperwork and Elisabeth asks him a variety of questions about the FBI while she fills it out, commenting, "One of the reasons I actually was glad you didn't mind me coming was that I'm thinking about applying for a position down here in DC."

"I love my job. What I get to do is worth doing. I hate this city with an abiding passion," Felix says, quietly, ruffling through the wellworn magazines in the waiting room, and settling on a fairly current National Geographic. "What were you thinking of?"

There's a shrug. "Hostage negotiation, of course. I was thinking of stepping sideways, maybe even working on some profiling classes. I don't really know," Liz admits mildly. She turns the paperwork in and waits for them to call her. "Just… I'll miss everyone in New York, but a new start might be nice too."

He sighs. "Well, we can always use good people. And better Washington or New York than Butte," he says. It doesn't take long before she's called back. It's a female doctor, plump, motherly, middle-aged, with dark curly hair and a ready laugh.

Elisabeth looks sideways at him. "Butte? Like…. Montana? Christ…" When she's called, she gets up and leaves the room, leaving him there to cool his heels. It takes a while… maybe even a little longer than felix expected. And when she comes back out, Liz is carrying her paperwork all folded and tucked under her arm. Her expression is neutral. She speaks quietly to the receptionist, pays the bill, and turns to look at him with a raised brow. "There. I'm done. Are you ready now?"

"Sure," Fel says. He's quiet on the way to the car, still watching her as if expecting her to say something. And then he starts chattering, aimlessly, just to fill the silence. Or more to try and soothe her, perhaps. Mostly singing the praises of where they're gonna have dinner, interspersed with occasional comments on sights they pass.

As they ride in the car, Elisabeth is utterly silent. She doesn't reply to his attempts at conversation, or really even seem to see the sights. She's got one elbow propped up on the sill of the car's window. It's not a hostile silence, like she's mad at him or something. It's almost like she's not even completely aware that he's there. As they make it into the heart of the city, though, Elisabeth finally speaks, and her words are a verbal hand grenade. "I'm pregnant."

There's a beat of pause, as Fel opens his mouth to say something banal. And then it filters through, and there's abruptly the screeching of brakes, followed by a whole chorus of horns, as Fel slams on the brakes, and then abruptly veers into the parking lot of a coffee shop. Once he's found a space, he just turns to her, white-face, with that nostril pinched look. "What?" he says, very quietly.

The seatbelt locks around her and Elisabeth is thrown forward into it, and then Felix screams into a parking lot. "SHIT, Felix!" She sucks in a breath, quelling her adrenaline surge as best she can. When he's parked, she looks at him and enunciates clearly, "I. Am. Pregnant."

Cops pride themselves on being unflappable. But Felix? Definitely flapped. In fact, he is clearly resisting the temptation to do the 'Kermit the Frog panic' arm flailing thing, by the way he grips the steering wheel with white-knuckled force. He swallows hard, muscles in his throat working once, and then asks, in an airless whisper, "Am I the father?"

There's a long pause there, and Elisabeth looks out the front window of the car. "It's…. possible," she finally admits softly. "Given the time frame we're talking…. it's definitely possible." She shoves a hand through her hair, resting her elbow on the window, her hand propping her cheek up. "But I don't know. It's also equally possible you're not."

He opens his mouth, but no questions emerge. "So, you're a few months along?" he says, finally. He's gone completely pale. "I….okay, listen. I….if I am, well, hell, even if I'm not - whatever you choose, I'll support."

She's quiet, and then she looks at him. "Felix…" Elisabeth offers a faint smile, goes pure white, and then says, "Okay, this is so cliche…. " She shoves the door open and gets out of the car, making it to the back of the vehicle before she vomits in the parking lot. Bent double, holding the back end of the car for support, she tosses her cookies (well, what few she has — she hasn't eaten since last night) and then dry heaves a few times for good measure.

Oh, that's no good. Thank god she didn't puke on the upholstery. "Oh, Liz," he says, unhappily, and rummages behind his seat to produce a bottle of water.

After a few minutes, Elisabeth manages to get control of herself and comes back to the car. She shakily takes the bottle of water he offers, rinses out her mouth, spits that out, and then slowly sits back down in the vehicle. "Fuck," she says softly, leaning her head back against the seat. "What the fuck am I gonna do now? It's …. there aren't any abortion options, Felix. I'm already 4 months. There's….. there's a heartbeat, and it moves around, and there's…. " Oh, yeah, let's not go there. Her stomach makes unhappy feelings again. That timing literally puts it within a couple of weeks before and after Columbia. "I can't…. "

"Let's go home. We've got time before we eat, we can talk there better than in a parking lot," Felix says, quietly. "You're going to be a mother. What you do past that point, we can figure out."

Elisabeth looks at him and says quietly, "I don't…. there won't be any way to tell whose it is until it's born. There are several possibilities, Felix. Are you going to be okay with this?" Now's a fine time to ask, after she lobbed it at him in the middle of DC traffic.

He eyes her, with something of that old impish gleam in his eyes. "WHat're my options if I'm not? Never talk to you again? Fight off the other bucks and make you part of my herd?"

She responds to that gleam, some of the tension leaching out of her face as Liz smiles in return. "Okay," she says softly. "I'll…. figure out what the hell comes next. I guess…. eating's a start, huh?" She bites her lip a bit. "Abby's going to flip out."

He pulls back into traffic. "Wait," he says. "Has she seen you at all recently? Wouldn't she be able to tell?" He flicks a look at her. "ANd listen, if I'm the father…..if you keep it, I'll help support it. Hell, I'll marry you."

Well, now there's a thought…. and Elisabeth grimaces. "Oh, nice, Abigail," she grouses. "The wench couldn't just tell me 'go to the damn doctor, you're pregnant!' … No. Instead she sends me to you, and spends time laying her hands on me constantly. Sheesh." She sighs and looks back out the window. "No, you won't. Even if it is yours, Felix, I'm not going to marry you. A kid is a shitty shitty reason to get married." She looks at him and smiles. "You're one of my best friends…. but I'm not dragging that kind of obligation around anyone. If it's yours, you'll have full and complete access, I swear it. Hell, you will anyway. But seriously… you can take care of it any way you want. Marriage is off the table. I'd make you miserable."

"Interesting," he says, quietly. "And I don't know about that," he says. "There's no other woman I like better." And three guesses as to why he doesn't say 'person' rather than 'woman'

That brings a grin to her face, true amusement finally taking away the last of the tension. "Well, that's always nice to hear. But… I would make you unhappy, Felix. You may not like any woman better than me, but I happen to know for a fact that if you find the man you love more, you'd want to be with him. And I wouldn't want to be in the way of that. Besides…. when you get married, you promise to be faithful to that one person for always." She looks a little sad, but she tells him the truth. "I've never met a man yet that I could say that to. That I would forsake all others and be with him til the end of time. Not even Norton." With whom she had a years-long ongoing relationship. "And I loved him more than any other person on the planet."

He simply nods to her, something wistful and a little sad coming into his face. "I understand," he says. "At least you're upfront about it."

She reaches out to touch his face. "Yeah… for all the good it does me when a man like you is willing to give up his life and tie himself to me for the sake of his child." Elisabeth's smile is gentle. "You're one of the best men I've ever know, Felix Ivanov. And my kid…. " She pauses. "God, I can't believe I'm saying that. My kid will be blessed to have you in its life. So I hope… whether it's yours or not… that you will consider us family."

"Provided the actual father will tolerate me, as- " Oh. Norton. Shit. What he's thinking is written very clearly on his face. "Yes," he finishes, "And thank you."

Elisabeth nods slowly. "Yeah…. exactly," she says quietly when she sees the realization dawn. Her smile is rueful. "There are three of you who could be in contention here," she tells him candidly. There's a hint of a blush, but not much of one. "You're the only ones I've been with sans double protection." She grins a bit, the night of that event not so clear in her head… the morning sure was, though. She asked him if he was sorry. And now she repeats the question. "You gonna act all weird about this?"

Fel wasn't sorry, so much as he was asking for the number of the truck that hit him. "No," he says. "I mean, I'll try to remain sane. I just….if I'm a father, that makes a difference," he says, rather simplistically.

There's a slow nod. "Yeah… it does. I know it does. I just…. " She bites her lip and looks down. "Will you think I'm horrible if I tell you I hope… that it's not yours or Alec's?" When she looks up, she's got that half-sorrowful, half-stressed out look again. "Not because I don't want it to be yours or … but because it'd be nice…. if there was something left of him here."

"If I were married to you already, I might be upset. As it stands, no. If I'd meant to be a father by now, I'd be one. I'm just telling you that if it's mine, I won't be some deadbeat dad," he says, as he pulls into the parking space in front of his apartment.

Elisabeth smiles slightly. "See? Now that…. that right there. Is why I never did it. I'm Catholic enough that I just can't make a promise in front of God that I know I can't keep." She looks at the building he's living in and says, "Nice place, Fel…"

"Thanks," he says, getting her bag out of the trunk. "And I don't blame you. Never really felt the urge to marry, myself."

"Really?" Elisabeth gets out and walks up to the apartment with him. "I've often wondered if you wanted to… and just hadn't found the right person."

Fel slants an amused look at her. "I've seen too many cop marriages fall right apart. And I'm no good at making a woman happy."

Elisabeth snickers mildly. "That's not entirely true," she says with a wicked grin.

"I said nothing about making a woman scream with ecstasy. Not the same as making her happy," Felix says, utterly deadpan.

Laughing outright at him, Liz just waits for him to unlock the door. When she steps into his apartment to look around, she nods slowly. "Nice, Feeb…. nice place." She walks around the living room a bit and then drops onto the couch to put her feet on the table and lean back.

It's ….almost utterly barren of real personal touches. Felix doesn't spend enough time there to give much of a damn, apparently. It's nicely furnished, albeit with extremely simple and plain things. There's only the sword mounted on the living room wall, and the icon in the kitchen. "AMazing how much more space my salary will get me down here," he says, musingly.

"Not as expensive as New York?" Elisabeth shrugs. Even without personal touches, it's still a bigger place than most in New York. The only reason Elisabeth's place is so large is that her mother's insurance money purchased most of it. "You gonna stay down here?"

"No," he says, quietly. "I can't stand it. All the backbiting and stupid political bullshit, multiplies times a thousand. I'm not a spook, I'm a cop, and down here the spooks are in charge."

Liz looks at him and says softly, "Then come back home and be a cop." Like it's that easy. "It'd be nice…. to have you home."

"Gimme time. I still have work to do, making sure the Bureau's policies and procedures regarding Evolved make some damn sense. We aren't going to be the new Gestapo, and we need to get a handle on making sure HomeSec doesn't getto that point, either," he says. "You want something to drink….oh, fuck, no, you don't, do you?"

"Actually, I'd love something," Elisabeth sighs quietly. "Of course, the answer is 'no,' unless you have another bottle of water in there." She shoves herself off the couch and walks to the window to look out. "It's starting to hit me, I think." She smirks. "As if puking about it weren't enough."

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