felix4_icon.gif ziadie_icon.gif

Scene Title Worries
Synopsis Fel's not waiting up. Really, he's not.
Date January 19, 2011

Hamilton Heights: Felix's Apartment

Ziadie didn't return home Monday night. He's done that once before, got stuck on the other side of the city when curfew struck and stayed in a motel so as to not have to cross around.

But this time is different. Tuesday came and went, and Ziadie's not back yet. The older cop still isn't back by Wednesday morning, either.

It makes Fel, even dimwitted, rather selfish and self-absorbed Felix, take notice. He doesn't put out an APB, but he does pass the word amongst his law enforcement contacts to keep an eye out. And the hospitals, too - they get calls.

Word comes back. Ziadie's been … busy, in his time spent not coming home at night. Hospital emergency room Tuesday morning, but minor injuries that he wouldn't explain and checked out on his own recognizance soon thereafter. Despite protest. He'd been by a substation, but before people were keeping an eye out, and by then he's gone. That's the only word back, though.

Wednesday passes without further word, but in the evening, close before curfew, the door clicks open. Cutting it close before curfew, even, and Ziadie carefully closes the door behind him before leaning on the door for several minutes.

Fel's not waiting up. Really, he's not. But he is in the little shoebox sized kitchen, sipping what must be herbal tea by the scent of it. He's in his favorite fluffy robe of dark blue fleece, pajama pants, and a t-shirt with a cosmonaut pinup girl on it. Classy. He looks up wordlessly, squints a little. "Hey," he says, and his tone is gentle, concerned.

"Evening." Ziadie seems surprised, a little, that Felix is up, and equally flustered, as he hangs up a coat in the closet, then the leather jacket. Something seems to have happened to the coat that Ziadie had when he left on Monday morning. In fact, aside from the leather jacket and the wool sweater, it seems something happened to the rest of what Ziadie was wearing. He's wearing what probably is whatever clothing the hospital happened to give him, and he leans heavily on the standard metal cane, nearly but not quite limping to the kitchen.

"What happened?" Fel's tone remains soft, and the blue eyes are sad, lost. As if he'd been the one out roaming in the cold, rather than lurking in his warm, booklined apartment. "I mean. do you want to say? You don't have to. I've been thinking, though, and I have a suggestion for you, if you want to hear it." He sounds almost deferential.

Ziadie takes a seat. "I…" Ziadie pauses. "No, I do need to. I lost track of time, Monday night," he says. He meets Felix's eyes for a moment. There's a bandage on the older man's left hand that possibly extends up his arm, and gods know what else he managed to injure, rolling around in rubble like he did. "Went to cut through Midtown to get back," he continues. He leans on his uninjured arm, and winces audibly. "Didn't quite go as planned."

Felix lifts his brows. "Do you want some tea?" he says, rising already. He wants more, even if Ziadie doesn't care for it. "I mean, it's this herbal stuff I drink at night….tell me about it. You weren't hurt too bad?"

Ziadie nods. "Yes, tea, thank you." He pauses, pushes the chair back, and takes off the sweater. The polo shirt underneath reveals that the bandage does go all the way up his forearm, and his arm looks swollen, but not too bad. That done, he takes off his belt, setting it on the table next to him. Including a holstered Smith & Wesson service pistol, likely the reason Ziadie was taking off the belt to begin with.

"There were robots in Midtown," he says, and then he fixes the chair again so that he can lean on his good arm once more. "Hell, that sounds even more ridiculous saying it this time."

Felix offers one of those little chuffs of laughter. A literal scoff. "I can believe it. The things I've seen in this town….it's like that old line about learning to believe six impossible things before breakfast."

"Seven feet tall, looked like a cat," Ziadie says. "Had machine guns, spewed a rather nasty yellow gas, and ran after me like nothing else until I could get behind a concrete pillar." Ziadie shakes his head. "Shot it a few times, lucky shot plus it running into the concrete. Someone else saw to it I didn't end up staying around long enough to find out what it was …" He shrugs again. "Haven't been able to find out what the fuck they are."

"I've never heard of the like," Fel admits, lifting his brows. He looks amazed, but not disbelieving.

The lines in the older man's face are more pronounced than usual. Fatigue, most likely. "In my day someone mentioned robots and we threw them to whoever had the detail of dealing with crazy people for th' week," Ziadie says. "I'd picked up more ammo just Monday morning. Maybe three rounds left now." A pause.

"I got half caught under the bricks and concrete that fell when the robot did. An' I know that the people who showed up soon after didn't state who the hell they were. And whoever got me out of there didn't tell me who he was either. As for this?" Ziadie nods in the direction of the bandaged arm. "Ain't as young as I was. It's not too bad, but."

Felix whistles. "If you need more healing, let me know," he says, gently. "I still know a few healers. And that reminds me - do you want to try going on suppressants? THey aren't easy to deal with, but it might help…." The kettle's whistling, and he pours the steaming water into a couple of mugs.

Ziadie nods. "If it helps…" the older man trails off. He's not so sure what to say, now that he's finished recounting what happened when he went through Midtown on Monday night. "Then yes." At least this time, Ziadie didn't have to omit details. He sighs. "If I can take it easy, I should be alright." If. Given what he's gotten into so far, between rescuing the teenagers from the pond and now the robots, Ziadie hasn't proven himself too capable of taking it easy.

"How are you defining 'all right'?" The Russian's tone is oh so dry, even as he props himself against the counter, eyes the older man with evident skepticism.

Ziadie shrugs. "No worse off than I was?" comes the response, after a few moments. He doesn't say anything further, though, and there's a slight pursing of his lips. It's not a lie, not by any means, just ducking the question. "I'm doing better than I was yesterday morning."

"I'll talk to a doctor I know, soon. We'll see what options there are?" Fel wonders, with that quizzical lilt to his voice.

Ziadie leans back, and nods. "Yeah." The older man is pensive for a moment. "One other thing about the robot," he says. "When I first saw it, it was … guarding something. Someone. Like some great big cat with a mouse. I don't like the concept. I don't like anything I've found out about them." Which is nothing. Nothing at all.

The Russian all but scowls. It's a singularly unpleasant expression, more appropriate to an interrogation in a basement than a comfortable kitchen. "Like what, do you think?"

"Guy I know, his younger sister works beat in Chelsea. She's heard things about robots from people," Ziadie says. "And that he was discouraged from looking into them further. A DA friend of mine pointed me towards private sector people, told me that inquiries further weren't a good idea." Or said as much, really, in her reaction to the existence of robots. There's a faint mirror of Felix's scowl on the old cop's face. "Frankly, I don't like anything with machine guns on its shoulders like that."

He snorts. "It sounds like a Transformer. Or something else from some crappy old cartoon. This sister - what has she heard?"

Ziadie raises one eyebrow. "People've said 'bout sirens going in and out of Midtown at night. She found out they're not sending patrols with Evolved officers near Midtown. No one patrols near Midtown, not anymore. People're starting to worry about friends they have who went to cross Midtown and didn't come out the other side." Ziadie carefully moves so that the injured arm is resting entirely on the table. His tone of voice is carefully quiet as he speaks.

That makes him sit up and take notice. Quite literally - he's abandoned his slump to peer more narrowly at the old cop. "Frontline hasn't heard of this. I don't think…."

Ziadie raises both eyebrows now. "I don't like any time that the advice is to not look into something," he says. "I don't like the overt lack of information. The nonofficial advice."

His face is calm, cool, but the blue eyes are alive with curiosity. He's not a cat for nothing….Felix shoves aside his mug, resolutely. "I don't, either. I'm going to talk to my boss about it."

Ziadie nods, and leans on his hand. The good one. "Yesterday felt like I could sleep f'r a year," he mutters, not entirely talking to Felix here. "Today, not even tired a' the end of th' day." Sometimes, Ziadie forgets that there are other people in the room, goes back to talking to himself.

"I know the feeling," Fel says, wryly. "Too well." How can he? He's like what, forty at most?

This time it's Ziadie's turn to grin. "No, but you will." Then he winces again. Whatever happened his shoulder, it's bothering him a lot more than he's been letting on. "Eventually, you will."

"How bad off are you?" wonders Fel. "Do you need a doctor, or to go back to the hospital….." He's risen to wash out his cup.

"No worse off than I've been, times in the past." That's not saying anything, though. After all, he's been shot a few times, broken a few small bones, all in the line of duty — when he was much younger. It's just Ziadie's same old stubborn line.

He knows -exactly- what that means, and levels the patient, accusing look of a mother with a stubborn child. "Which means what, exactly? Hell, if you believe what people've said about me, I've been dead."

Ziadie is not being the first one to give up here. "Means that my shoulder hurts like a son of a bitch," he says, meeting Felix's gaze. "I don't know. I didn't stick around the hospital long. They said I dislocated it." He did what?!

"Did they relocate it?" Fel says, nearly dropping his cup in the sink, as he lifts it out to dry it with a rag.

Ziadie almost laughs. "Yes, and it still hurts like a son of a bitch," he responds. And he's still got a reduced range of motion with that arm for the time being, but that's not going to stop Ziadie from downplaying it.

He clicks his tongue. "You'll want to take some ibuprofen, if you're…suffciently sober," Fel opines, wryly. "It'll help keep the muscles from locking up."

Ziadie grimaces, then nods. "Yes, mother," he says, a hint of humour edging his voice. This is falling into the category of things that Ziadie doesn't have the energy to argue with the younger man over.

Fel's expression is positively sanctimonious. He has a gift for that. "Do you want a cup of warm milk?" he teases.

"You're good at that face, you know," Ziadie responds. He's biting his lip, pensive, and then just as quickly — which isn't very fast at all, but as fast as the older man's reaction time happens to be right now — he's back to a neutral expression.

"And what face is that?" wonders Felix, eyeing Ziadie from under his brows.

Ziadie stares straight back at Felix. "Th' one y' just did." He laughs a little. "Right after I admitted y' were right." Which the older man has now done twice. One of these days, he'll figure out some good way of getting even with Felix.

And now his face is arranged in lines of feline satisfaction, blue eyes narrowed. Like all he wants is a scratch behind the ears. "I practice it in the mirror," he says, archly. "And now…I'm going to bed."

"Yeah. Night." Ziadie nods, approvingly. He doesn't say anything about going to sleep himself. But he will, eventually.

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