2007-10-07: Baffling Encounters

Starring:

Felix_icon.gif Identity_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif

Summary: Two people investigating the crimes of a certain acid emitter meet up by accident. Things go a bit strange. And one of them isn't looking too good, either.

Date It Happened: October 7, 2007

Baffling Encounters


Fiesta Liquor Store

That's the joy of being FBI. One of them, anyhow - riding roughshod over local law enforcement. Though it helps that the lonely beat cop on guard at the crime scene is someone Fel used to know when he was NYPD - while he flashes the Feeb badge, he's also shown up with hot coffee and donuts in hand to soften the blow. The fluorescent lights flicker on after he flicks the switch - most of the worst of the carnage has been cleaned up, but some of the traces won't be eradicated until the building is entirely redone. Acid burns, the melted register….it's all too weird. Fel's in overcoat over his suit, but he's removing his gloves as he steps in, waving the cop on duty back out. Time for some little time alone with the crime scene, as if the chalk outlines might tell him something.

Not as alone as he thinks, actually. But Peter's glance over at the scene of the crime had been at a whim, really. It's not as if he'll find any evidence of what happened here— anything more than he already knows, but he's still curious. Slipping through the guards, he's able to keep from making much noise as he gets up close. There's a hole in the back wall of the alley, where they melted their way out, and while that's sealed off in it's own way, that's hoe he slips inside. Invisible. Unseen. But not unheard. Which will be what gets him. There's only one person close enough to hear it, but he suddenly has to cough. Try as he might to muffle it in his hand, it's still audiable inside the ravaged store.

That….wait a second. "Nowakowski, you sick?" he calls, rising from his crouch over the chalk outline by the register where the unfortunate clerk came to the clearing at the end of the path. "No, Fil," comes the cop's voice from outside. Fel scowls to himself, listening, head cocked.

No— only one person near the edge of the burnt out wall knows who really is sick. Covering his mouth, while invisible, Peter tries to muffle the sound by holding his breath. This is right up there with his dumb ideas, but he eyes the door, to see if the beat cop will return. Maybe he'll slip back outside afterall, and try to come back when it's emptier… He shifts his feet— and then his ability starts to fail, giving an impression of shifting air, distorting the wall seen through him.

Fel does not call the unfortunate cop in. Not when he's all too afraid there's another Evolved in there. Ever since the little dance with Identity, he's been packing with a round in the chamber….and there's the metallic double-note of the slide on an automatic pistol being racked, just in case. He turns, slowly, as if the little heatshimmer in the air might be merely a trick of peripheral vision, and reaches out with his power to keep the sneaky one right in his place. "Who's there?" It's a whisper, rather than a shout to summon reinforcements.

Suddenly, Peter can't move his feet. Unseen, at first, he blinks, takes quiet breaths, and then suddenly has to cough again. Able to draw his hands back up, he still coughs into his hand, but he lets the invisibility drop. Since this man can root him into place, he must know enough. "I'm not here to cause any trouble," he finally says with a wince, glancing toward the door, hoping they continue to have privacy. "I just wanted to look around— see if I could find anything." And then all of a sudden he's coughing again, trying his best to muffle it. His skin tone also looks pale.

"Last I heard, neither the Bureau nor the NYPD had an invisible man on the payroll. Who're you with?" This guy can't be Company, can he? Fel's voice remains low, matter of fact, for all that his eyes have widened in shock behind his glasses. And then he raises it, "Hey, Nowakowski. Do me a favor? Head down to that all night deli and get me a roast beef sandwich? Get yourself whatever you want, I'm buying." There's a moment's pause, and then the response, "Ha, fucking ha, Ivanov." "No, I'm serious," Fel insists. "Take your time, it's fucking cold, you know I'm not gonna kick shit over like some slob from the four-ten," There's the sound of mostly inaudible grumbling, and footsteps receding. "Good. Now we can talk," Fel says. He hasn't released his hold on Peter…..and he's levelled the pistol right at the unfortunate Petrelli's midsection.

Though he'd been whispering the first time he spoke, he stays quiet until the man instructs the beat cop to head off to the deli. Peter watches the area that he can see, then looks back to see a pistol leveled on his midsection. He takes in a slow breath, but he doesn't look quite as worried as he might have. "I doubt they go around advertising it if they did have an invisible man working for them," he says at first, voice still in whispered tones, a little hoarse too. He did sound sick, after all. "And I don't work for anyone like that. You're holding me down with your mind, aren't you?" he asks, not trying to stifle this cough with his hand, but it's less, closer to a throat clearing.

"The linoleum in here is magical and sticky," Felix says, completely deadpan. "You got caught in the molasses trap. Who do you work for?" he reiterates. ""And what's your interest in this mess?" He gestures with his free hand, taking in the expanse of the ruined liquor store - there's still the ghostly remnant of that horrible stink of various kinds of spilled booze gone bad.

"Right. And you just didn't see me because of a trick of the light," Peter says, glancing away from the barrel of the gun for a moment. Even with the hint of fear visible in his eyes, he's a little calm for this kind of situation, but… maybe he has faith that it'll end out okay. "I don't work for anyone," he repeats, looking back down before he adds, "I had a run in with a woman who… did things like this. Melted walls." he nods his head back at the wall behind him. "And I heard some of what happened here. That's it."

"Pull the other one, it has bells on. You know more than you're saying." Welcome to this evening's episode of Superhero Noir. "Tell me more. And tell me your real name," Fel's voice remains even, almost offhand. The pistol doesn't waver.

As he's called on the lie, Peter takes in a slow breath, but he does keep quiet for a time. There's a flash of regret in his eyes before he moves his hand, flicks up two fingers, and tugs on the pistol that'd been leveled on him. It jerks out of the agent's hand and sails across the distance right into the person it'd been pointed at before. He holds it, but doesn't point it at him. "I can't answer your questions. Let me go and I'll leave."

And then Pete Vaders the pistol right out of his hand. Oh, goddammit. "No," he says, from between gritted teeth. What is it with people stealing his gun? "NOWAKOWSKI!" It's a top of the lungs bellow. No matter the embarassment of being caugh this way…..he's got no intention of letting him go. Unluckily, the cop in question is no doubt safely ensconced in that deli.

"I don't work for anyone," Peter repeats, still holding onto the firearm, but the barrel is pointed down and he's holding it in a way someone would if they intended to hand it back, or put it down somewhere safely. "I ran into the woman who caused most of this. Her face was in the newspaper already— dark hair? Pretty in a dangerous way? She was recently shot in the side. But I figure the hospitals would have found her if she went there. I wanted to see if…" his voice cuts off, he ends up coughing again. Still holding the gun. If he leaves it behind the man can run prints on it, too, and he's not even thinking of that. "…wanted to see if I could find anything to tell me where they might be hiding out."

"Man, kid, you sound like shit," Felix says, sneaking a hand for the cellphone in his suit jacket pocket. "You ran into her? She rough you up? I'm hunting for her, too. Her and her buddies. There are more monsters like her out there." Maybe he can convince Peter he's part of some X-Files bit of the Bureau, or something. "The NYPD swept it pretty clean," he adds, rather mournfully.

"Yeah, ran into her," Peter explains, keeping his hand on the pistol, but not noticing where he's reaching just yet. "I know, that's why I was hoping there'd be something left behind. There's not, so I'll go. Really, I'm not here to cause any trouble with the..?" He doesn't outright ask, but he leaves a blank there to be filled in.

"You don't look like a cop." And then something either extremely foolish or perhaps wise of him, but in either light, a sudden impulse has him handing his card to Peter, rather than snaking his cellphone out of his pocket. Fel frankly sighs - if Pete had wanted to push the issue, Fel'd already be a red mist and a very unpleasant pile of paperwork for Nowakowski. "You gimme my gun back and tell me your name, I let you go. Otherwise, we wait until Nowakowski gets back and it could get very ugly."

There's a blink of surprise as the card is offered, and Peter nods, keeping the pistol turned around as he hands it forward and takes the card with his other hand. "Peter Petrelli," he finally gives, knowing that this could end in a bad situation for him. He's already out on bail for third-degree assault, which he hasn't gone to court for yet. But sometimes he wants to trust in the goodness of people. And how's he going to explain to his superiors about the telekinetics and the invisibility?

The Company? Easy as pie. The Bureau…..not if he wants to keep his job. "Man. Last thing you need is another arrest right now, huh?" he says, quietly. "Isn't your brother that politician?" He holsters the pistol, but he still holds Pete, pacing forward to reach for the other man's collar. Petrelli's not a name he's heard, but…..will he have the snakebite on his neck? "I'm not going to hurt you. I'm going to check something," he assures, quietly.

"Last thing I need, yeah," Peter says, quietly watching him for a moment, taking the card and glancing down at it while his collar is reached for. The gesture surprises him, but at the assurances he allows it, even if there's a suspicious look in his eyes now. There's no marks marks on his neck in the right location. He opens his mouth as if to say something, then seems to decide against it and pockets the card instead.

Special Agent Felix Ivanov, FBI. Fel steps back, and does finally pull out his cellphone, hitting a button to speed dial a number. "Hold on one sec," he says, almost politely.

The fact the man checked for the marks, marks he knows of, is enough for Peter to realize exactly who the man might be calling. As he dials, there's a deep breath from the Petrelli brother and he finally says, "Don't tell them about me."

Felix's voice stutters oddly, over the phone. "Hey. I-Ivanov here. I'm at the Fiesta Liquor store. Checking up on the crime scene." But he pulls his gun, and jams it immediately into Peter's ribs, baring his teeth. He can't tell Peter to stop, not and keep within the limits of the compulsion laid on him. But the threat is clear.

Over the phone, Identity is silent only for a moment. "What's your point?" The Company has some awesome partner programs. Bestest buddies EVAR. There's some faint noise in the background.

The gun against his ribs makes him grunt. Peter'd known it was a risk he had to take, but he grits his teeth and waits for the moment. He's close enough to the phone they might hear him if he spoke, and he's pretty sure the commands, if he could manage them right now, won't go well over the phone. Unfortunately, whatever has been making him cough isn't quite so cooperative. He suddenly has to cough, but can't even bring his hands up to muffle it.

There's still that odd stiffness in the Russian's voice. "I need you to get down here. As soon as you can." There is, strangely, the sound of coughing brought to ID's ear. Fel has a cold? He's almost cheek by jowl with Peter, at this point, still favoring Petrelli with a warning glare. Do your magic powers let you comfortably take a couple of .45 rounds to the gut?

Identity pauses before asking, "Just me?" There is the sound of boots being zipped up, then sharp footfalls moving across a hardwood floor. Keys jingle.

Not comfortably, no, but Peter does wince visibly. The persuasion must have worked, to an extent, or he might have been identified, but instead… This isn't going to be good. There's no attempt to shove the man away, though, or escape just yet, and he looks right back. Even with the wince. No coughing this time around.

Felix's voice is suddenly crisp. "I can't say," he says, bluntly. "Hurry. It's urgent." Please, God, get here fast so this doesn't go really, really wrong and he has to explain why he shot a politician's little brother in a ruined liquor store.

On the phone, Identity sighs, slams door. "Times when I wish I had some grenades left."

*click*

It wouldn't be the first time he's been shot somewhere— first time in a liquor store, though. Peter takes in a slow breath, now that the phone call has ended, the dial tone heard at this range, even if he couldn't make out the voice on the other end. "You don't need to do this, Agent Ivanov."

Felix clicks the phone shut, gun still firmly lodged right under Peter's solar plexus. "Oh, but I do, Mr. Petrelli. We're going to wait a little, before I decide just what to do with you. Keep calm, don't move, and you won't get hurt. I see you flicker out, I'll shoot you. You try that Jedi mindtrick crap again, I will also shoot you. No tricks, understand?"

"I'm just trying to find the people who did this," Peter says with a frustrated voice, but he doesn't attempt to move away, nor is there anything persuasive in his voice. Frustration and emotion, yes, but nothing that tugs on the man in an unusual away. "They're dangerous. They could kill people. I just want to stop them. I'm not getting in your way, or risking exposing anything. If you hadn't held me down when I coughed, I would've moved right back out the way I came."

"I am, too. But this seems a little suspicious, don't you think?" Fel's voice is quite calm. "And you have quite the bag of tricks, apparently. MEddling with a crime scene is in itself a crime," he points out.

"You're one to talk," Peter says in the same frustrated tone— but then has to cough again. He does his best to keep his mouth closed while he does it, since they're pretty close physically and he doesn't risk putting his hands up. He's a little paler than when the first saw each other, but not looking too much worse. "I doubt you came here to investigate for the FBI. We're on the same side."

"Put your hands behind your back," It's an order - there's the clink of chain, as he pulls handcuffs out with his free hand.

"I'd honestly rather not," Peter says in the same frustrated mutter, but he does put his hands behind his back and cooperate. "I guess it's too much to hope you called Mr. Bennet?"

It's only a fractional hesitation, but it's there, as Fel works on securing Peter. "Nope, can't say there's a Mr. Bennet in my speed dial," Fel says, amused, as he clicks the cuffs home. He's merely got his hands bound behind his back - he's not cuffed to any one thing in particular.

There's a disappointed wince, but Peter doesn't struggle to get out of the cuffs just yet. There's still a gun between them, and a bullet in the wrong place isn't something he wishes to experience right now. Especially since he's getting rather sick of dying. "I was going to call him if I found anything. We have an arrangement. And it's not like I could call the police about this sort of thing— and I can't take care of it on my own. I tried that already." And there's that coughing again.

"And who is this Mr. Bennet that he'd be interested in the crime scene?" Fel's voice remains amused, even as his gaze searches Peter's face. What an interesting development. "What's the nature of this arrangement?" They're standing in the middle of the ruined store, close by the chalk outline near the cash register. Fel's in overcoat and suit. The buzzing fluorescent light isn't kind to either of them, but it's clearly Pete that's the worse off.

Identity comes walking around the corner, out of the shadows, boots crunching debris as she rounds it wearing a pair of sharp heels. A to-go cup of soda, extra ice, is in her hand. She finishes off a meatball hoagie, mutters, "Jesus, I'm going to feel that tomorrow," and continues along. Sluuuurp. Shake shake. She glances down at the empty cup, and tosses it in the direction of a dumpster in a nearby alley. She does not wait to see where it lands. The approach to the store isn't long from there. She subtly kicks open the door to the place. "I don't have TiVo. This better be good." And then even more subtly brushes some crumbs from the lapel of her jacket.

The man's never even heard of Mr. Bennet? Peter can't help but wince again. Maybe he'll just have to go along until someone definitely does. Unless the FBI has formed a branch that looks for marks on people's necks now. In which case… he'll have to pull many Jedi Mind Tricks. He doesn't struggle or try to move away, but he does shake his head a bit. "My deal was to lay low and share information," he does say, before he ends up coughing again. He's in the middle of a cough when the door gets kicked open and he looks up. He's looking a lot closer to his 'just broke out of the Company with Elle' days, hair cut short again, except his skin is pale and he looks as if he's sick.

Oh, thank god, there she is. "I came by to check out the scene. Found Claude Rains here peeking over my shoulder," Fel says, glancing up. "Says his name's Peter Petrelli, and that he's investigating this crime, too. Nevermind that he's not, oh, an an actual member of any law enforcement agency known to man." He sounds almost cheerful about it. "Claims he's working with a Mr. Bennet." Oh, Fel knows very well the glory that is the Horn-Rimmed Glasses, but hasn't let on yet, seemingly.

Identity's eyes shift from Felix to Peter. And back to Felix. "Unless our target recently had some sort of emo sexual reassignment surgery, that isn't her." She reaches under her jacket to draw an impressively chromed company issue weapon. "Observe and report. Pretty simple. Your feebee instincts had to get involved." She waves the gun. "If we shoot him now, it's a lot less paperwork. Especially if they never find the body." It's a small wonder nobody at the Company can ever tell if and when she's kidding. She eyes Peter again, though it's unclear if she recognizes him. Sharing info isn't a Woods strong suit. "He looks like he might puke." She glances down. "And I already have marinara on my shoes. Beautiful." The gun isn't pointed. Id taps the flat of it against her thigh, finger behind the trigger rather than on it. "What's the plan here, Red October?" Supportive.

There's a deep breath and Peter looks over at the woman, watching her weapon. He doesn't do anything to toss her away— but he does glance over at Felix at the mention of 'Claude Rains'. Considering it's the name of an invisible man, as well as actor of the invisible man, it's hard to know which one he's referencing. He definitely was pulling a Claude Rains, though, either way. "I'm not going to throw up," he says thickly, a tightening of his jaw as he actually moves to stand up straighter, even with the pistol still on him, and the new woman who'd entered. "Your target has a gunshot wound in her side. Probably going to need to seek medical attention, if she hasn't already. Did you know that?"

Well, the Agent's face falls at that. But she's a hundred percent right. He speaks, hurriedly, perhaps to hide his embarrassment. "Boy's a bundle of information. As well as tricks," he says, looking to her for some sign, some advice. "I've counted invisibility, telekinesis, and the Jedi mind trick. Obi Wan has taught him well," he deadpans. "He doesn't have the hole punch on him, that I can see, though I sure as hell didn't strip search him. We let him go, or what?"

"Thanks for the update, Petey." A glance is flicked to Felix. "Did you shoot her?" She sounds a little surprised. Way to inspire confidence. "Score one for the new guy." Agent Woods shakes her head. She shakes her head and she gives Peter a long, hard look. "You look like shit. You shouldn't be here. Red gets upset about other people sniffing around his…" She smiles, choosing a word carefully, "Jurisdiction." She holsters her weapon. "If he promises to be a good boy and keep his powers off my body, I see no reason to piss on miniPetrelli's parade today." She tugs her jacket over the holster, hiding it from view again. "That's mostly because my painkillers just kicked in. Mostly."

"I'm not tagged, if that's what you're referring to, but your people have me on file. They were kind enough to let me stay with them for a few months," Peter adds, looking between the two, even if he doesn't recognize them. If they don't recognize him, which he's surprised of really, they can probably look him up later. The persuasion isn't in affect anymore, after all. They can talk and ask about him all they want. "My run in with the acid woman didn't end out well for me, but I'm doing better," he adds, trying to keep from coughing. Voice is hoarse, though. "I won't try anything. I wanted to leave when I realized the place wasn't empty. I wasn't trying to get in anyone's way."

It is all so, so counter to all of Fel's cop instincts. He gives Identity a look that resembles nothing so much as that of a Dobermann told to drop the chewtoy it's carrying, a mixture of incredulity, amusement, and anger. You fuckin' kidding me, right? "So this guy's already in the catalog, we just let him run loose?" he prompts, like he really does want to stuff Peter in the trunk of his car and drag him to Kirby. Perhaps so he can drop Pete's unconscious body in front of Noah, like a cat bringing its owner a mouse. But, taking his cue from her, he holsters his pistol again and sets about unlocking the cuffs. "You're a lucky man, Mr. Petrelli," he says, with only the faintest tinge of disappointment to his voice.

Identity smiles a bright smile to Peter that doesn't come close to touching her eyes. "No one cares." She then shoots Ivanov a look until he gets the clue by four she dropped when her weapon went away. "You get the same memos I do. Plus it's no fun roughing him up when he looks like he might pass out at any moment. Sportsmanship, Red. Look it up sometime… after you finish calling the hospitals and using your credentials to ask after GSWs. Sounds like fun, huh?" She glances over to Peter. "Shoo." Identity drops her hands to her hips and says to Felix. "Stop trying to make us look bad."

The whole exchange is really surprising him, Peter glances between the two agents as he rubs his wrists. There's that hint of a cough again, but he does move away to the door that she kicked down. "Good luck finding her," he adds on his way out, once he reaches the door. "If I get any new information, I am intending to share it. I know you're the only ones who can keep her from going around and killing more people." It sounds like he doesn't like the idea, but he's resigned himself to it.

Oh, man. Thirteen years at this, and you're a rookie again. It's like watching a switch flip - he really is that bent for the job. The light fades out of Fel's face, leaving it that impassive cop's mask again, and he looks positively weary. Denied. "Not hard, is it, huh?" he says, pulling a little lens wipe out of a pocket to tend to his glasses with. "Damn skippy," he adds to Peter, settling his glasses comfortably on his nose again, with a rather Hiro-like gesture, though it is considerably less charming on the harsh-featured Fed. "Go to a hospital, Petrelli."

Identity casts another look at Peter. Could be something he said finally sunk in. She slides a plain white business card from her pocket. A number is handwritten on the back. She tucks it into a crack in the nearby door frame, nodding from Peter to it, "Voicemail works best." She steps over to Felix. "And people call me cranky." Id smiles. "Good job. At least I know you can tackle wounded ones."

"Not sure a hospital can deal with this, but I'll go see someone about it," Peter says, not coughing this time, but still looking pale and tired. The business card is taken from the crack in the doorframe and glanced at. He still doesn't know what to call this woman who just defused the situation, but he tucks the card away and says, "I'll do that. Thank you." There's a hint of wide surprised eyes in his gaze, but he shakes his head and slips out the door.

Felix just shakes his head in disbelief, worrying at his lip. But he literally shrugs it off, and glances around. "Nowakowski's gonna be back any second now. Scoot out, and I'll join you in a moment," he says, giving the scene a last look.

"You owe me," is all Identity says. She zips her leather jacket, and moves to step out into the New York night. "And you're paying my fucking cab fare." Who's she kidding? Felix is going to be paying for something for as long as he's partnered up with her. "Hurry up, it's cold out here." The sound of her boots receding down the block is sharp, but less irritated than before. Could be hosing the newb is a mood enhancer.

It's only a moment or two before the unfortunate cop comes back, and Fel hands the scene back to him. And then he hustles to catch up with ID. "My car's down the block," he says, jerking his chin at an ancient black BMW. "I'll drive you."

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