2009-11-15: Begging a Favor



Date: November 15, 2009


Lena and Tiago turn to the one person they know who will answer their questions about what's to be done with George and Hallis.

"Begging a Favor"

Uptown, NYC - Central Park

The call went out this morning, a message left on Felix's phone from Lena. "Hey, dude. Some shit's happened and we like really need to talk to you if that's okay? We're gonna be at Central Park around five if you can meet up, near the zoo. This is really important, it's about the stuff you told us before."

The appointed hour arrives. The day is wet and gloomy, the number of people in the park few. Those that are here don't seem inclined to linger, except for the pair of kids loitering near the zoo's entrance. Lena's scavenged (read: stolen) an obscenely large umbrella, it's bold yellow and blue stripes decorated with the IKEA logo. She's huddled in close to Tiago underneath the monstrosity, decked out in black camo pants and a red hoodie that's zipped to the throat. It's a little chilly, after all.

"I dunno if he's going to show," she remarks to her partner, eyes scanning those walking by without stopping.

Normally lacking the patience to deal with encounters that aren't sure things, Tiago would no doubt match the atmosphere of the park: dark, gloomy, and threatening to rain of everyone's parade. But, surprisingly, he seems to be in quite the chipper mood - all due to the cotton candy he's picking at with the arm wrapped around Lena's shoulders. He has a very boyish smile on his face, and is looking at the sugary confection with awe. "How come I aint never /had/ this shit before? And you're sayin' it's here like, every day, babe? How come they don't ever run out and aren't more popular, 'cause this shit is de-licious."

It's only after his exorbitant praises of the dessert is made that he glances down to Lena and allows his grin to slip, momentarily. "Huh? Oh, right, we were here for a reason…Ah, he'll show." Beat. "And if he doesn't, we can go grab some more cotton candy!"

The weather is suitable, somehow. Isn't every spy movie ever filled with fog and the silvery lighting appropriate to film noir? He's got no umbrella, at least not open - he's in a gray trenchcoat that serves him in lieu of a raincoat, apparently, and no glasses for once. Contacts, presumably, instead. He seems satisfied that he's shed his tail - at least, he's not glancing over his shoulder, as he comes up to them. 'You called me," he states, matter of factly, pulling a battered pewter cigarette case out of his coat pocket.

"Jesus, you really never had cotton candy? It's just spun sugar…make you sick if you eat too much though." Lena has turned her face away every time the young man's tried to feed her a piece of the wispy treat. Bad experience in her childhood, most likely. But Tiago's cheerfulness has returned a grin to her face, making it possible to greet Felix's arrival with a more subdued but genuinely relieved and happy smile. The umbrella bobs as she shifts on her feet to face him, the blue and yellow shedding a shower of droplets.

"Hey! You came! We…uh. Yeah, hi." Her expression sobers somewhat. "We gotta ask you about George. The congressman guy? There was, um…something happened with his girlfriend and we dunno what to do."

"Nah, never, I swear. I never really went ta carnivals and shit when I was younger - we couldn't afford ta, and so I never really thought it'd be worth gettin'." Tiago explains with enthusiasm as he plucks out a rather large bit and tosses it into his mouth. "Jus' spun sugar? All of it? But, then why's some blue and some red…I like the blue best." He decides, before blinking a couple of times as Felix approaches the pair. The smile on his face is broad, amiable and quite goofy. Apparently, Felix has been taken off the list of bad suspects. "Yo! Yeah, we got ta ask some shit, your advice and stuff. But firs', have some cotton candy! Have you ever?"

They brought him here to discuss carnival treats. "Have I - yes, I have," Felix says, favoring the candyfloss with curious attention. And then he looks at Lena. "Yes. What about him?" he wonders of her, quizzically.

Lena shifts the umbrella's handle to her other hand, freeing the one nearer to Tiago for curling around the man's elbow. "You know him well? 'Cause like, it seemed like you guys knew each other. And his girlfriend…that rich chick, Hallis?" Lena hesitates here; speaking slowly, carefully, is not enough. She needs to consider how best to put this. "She tracked our place down and said she knows what I am. That he isn't like us but told her all about it. We thought…you said all that shit about the government, you know? Are we in trouble?"

Tiago grows more solemn as the tale unfolds, though he still finds the time to feed himself. Once Lena provides the general overview of their concerns, the man draws himself up to his full height, stoic. "We need ta know what you know about him, you understand? 'Cause he's a powerful man, who apparently knows about your…weirdness. We need ta know whether we need ta skip town or not. Or…well, what would /you/ do, sir?"

"I don't know him well," Fel admits. "Very little, in fact. I've run into him now and again in the city. I don't know if he's Evolved, no matter what he might say. But he apparently knows all about the subject, eh? And why did she come to talk to you? Why'd she warn you?"

Lena's expression falls when the answers she'd been hoping for from Felix (reassurances, no doubt) do not arrive. Disappointment makes her look younger, as does the apprehension that shows plainly on her face as she glances up at Tiago. "That's what she said, yeah. That he told her all about people like us. She was…she said she wanted to apologize for taking the credit for me saving her life, and a few other folks," the teen explains, looking back to the Fed. "It's bad, right? If he's government and knows about it? 'Cause I maybe…made her forget."

Fel goes still at that. Not freezing in fear, per se, but more that air he has of being a spaniel come to point. "Made her forget he told her? Made her forget she told you? Made her forget she ever saw you?" he probes, lifting his brows at her. His eyes are oddly soft, without his glasses. The fact that his hair is plastered to his skull with rain doesn't help, either.

"Forgot that she told me, that she came to our place. I think I did it, anyway. It was…um. What I was trying to do but I haven't tried it before, so…" Lena looks for reassurance from Tiago, leaning against his side at an angle that causes the umbrella to tip. More water is shed from the surface, pattering in a ring around the pair. "I dunno if it really worked or not, you know? I panicked, okay! He's with the fucking government and told that stupid bitch everything! She knew where we live!" Defensive much?

"Did she say how he knew about you? Have you used your ability in front of him? And did she say what his intentions were? It's hard to know whose side he's on," he says, ruefully, wiping at his forehead. And then he glances around. "Do you know if you were followed here? Did you come here from where you live by the most direct route?"

Lena's face twists in a grimace of insult. "Cmon, man, give us more credit than that. We made sure we weren't followed, no one saw us coming here," she grumbles. "We only ever saw him the once, that time with you there, so he hasn't seen anything I don't think but…you ever try to question someone rolling on Ex? She said couldn't do anything like us, and she didn't tell him about us but what if she went back and spilled everything? She told him about the other two at the convenience store that I took out. I dunno if it worked, making her forget."

This is apparently confusing the Fed even worse, though Fel doesn't seem upset. There's just that little stitching of wrinkles between his brows to indicate his bemusement. "Convenience store?"

Lena hesitates again, this time looking like a kid with their hand in a cookie jar. She gnaws on her lower lip for a moment before offering an explanation. "These two guys robbed Mr. Ling's, right? Weird guys, like us. One could throw fire around, the other one was like super strong. Hallis was there, Tiago too…they…they killed Mr. Ling, and this guy in a suit," she says slowly. "I kind of…made them stop. Long enough for the cops to get there. They ran off."

"Level 5 escapees, sounds like," Fel opines, letting his eyes half-lid, almost sleepily. Nothing dozy about his expression, however. Far from it. "And how did you make them stop?"

Lena's brows knit down over her eyes as she frowns. "Level 5? I don't remember, did you tell us what that is? Whoever they were, they were bad guys…Mr. Ling's been on that corner forever." She pauses to glance after Tiago, who has decided to go fetch more cotton candy, then looks back to the agent. "I make drugs," the girl explains. "All kinds of drugs. I mean…I'm still learning. I can do more, since we ran into them. But I got the fire guy woozy enough that he couldn't burn anyone anymore." Her free hand flexes at the memory. "And I think I knocked the strong guy out for a minute. It's why I started practicing."

Felix sucks in a slow breath. "That," he says, quite obviously impressed, "is one hell of a power. Do the effects wear off, or have you ever done anything….permanent?" Oh, the joy of euphemisms.

"You think so?" Lena is obviously surprised, perhaps even pleased. It's a lighter moment in an otherwise depressing conversation. Her frown returns all too quickly. "I mean, it's not like fireballs or anything. Or throwing shit around with your brain. But…um. They…do wear off, mostly. And it's not like they're getting all the bad effects, it's only the good stuff," she's quick to add. "But…see, folks get addicted. After while. And that is bad."

'To you?" Fel's tone is still….not quite incredulous, but definitely still taken aback. "Tell me how you discovered you had this, and what you've done? and have you ever had anyone from the Company talk to you before?"

Lena shifts her weight from one foot to the other, the questions beginning to make the girl distinctly nervous. "Yeah, to me. Like…Tiago. I mean, he liked me before but…I don't think he could be away from me for very long," she confesses, glancing down. "I haven't ever…seen what happens if someone's that hooked and then can't get anymore, you know?" The matter of the Company, and her discovery of her abilities draws a sharper look, a deeper frown. "Why do you wanna know?"

"They tend to keep very careful track of the Evolved they run across," Fel says, rubbing wearily at his forehead.

Lena tucks her arm across her stomach and hunches down under the umbrella, looking defensive. "I don't think anyone knew I could do it, I hang out with a lot of junkies anyway. It's just when I touch folks or they…um. Shit. Look, man, you seem cool and all but I really dunno if this is important. What the hell should I do about George?"

"Be ready to run. If he has ties with those who are abducting the Evolved, you could be in great danger," Fel says, quite seriously. "When she returns to him not remembering a stretch of time, and possibly having forgotten what he told her….that's going to stand out. I wish I had a useful sanctuary to offer, but truly, I don't."

"I knew it. I knew it. God damnit, I should've…" Like the not entirely mature person that she is, Lena stomps her sneakered foot against the ground, sending up a little splash. "Can't you find out what he's about? I mean, you know the guy, you two were being all friendly at the waterfront, right? Just 'cause he knows and isn't one of us doesn't mean…" But she doesn't sound very optimistic.

He watches her, expression wry. "I can try. But…I know I'm already wanted. I'll do what I can to sound him out."

Lena goes still and quiet, studying the man's face. Her eyes are wide and hopeful. Of course, then her mouth has to go ruin the whole youthful innocence look. "You mean it? Like, for real? Fuck…thank you. I'd…I'd shake your hand or hug you or something but they probably have pee tests where you work, and then Tiago'd be gunning for you too."

Felix can't help but laugh….and it's a surprisingly piratical sound. "They do indeed, now and then," he says, grinning at her conspiratorially.

"I dunno if it'd show up but yeah, not like you don't already have enough heat on you, right?" It's beyond her control; Lena has to grin back at the Fed. What has the world come to? "Not gonna take the chance. And…and you know, if there's ever anything…like, if you need a place to hole up or something. There's a shit ton of places in our neighborhood, we could pull in some favors. The ones we don't use to get ourselves moved."

"That's a very kind offer," Fel says, gently. "But…I've got boltholes of my own. I may have to take you up on that someday….."

Lena wrinkles her nose. "Yeah, but you're a cop. Fed. Whatever. You don't know fuck all about how to hide right from people like you, trust me," she says, meaning no offense. That grin lingers. "Me and Chi, we'll hook you up if you need it. You got my number."

Felix's smile is wintry. "I know more than you might think," he says, amused. "My mother had to sneak me out of our homeland, while the KGB was looking for us both."

Lena's eyebrows shoot up. "For real? You really are like…huh. That's messed up, man." She glances off in the direction that Tiago took earlier. "I should probably go find him, we gotta start making plans. But thanks for showing up, Felix. If you find out anything, you'll call me, right? And…and I guess I can tell you more about what I can do if you wanna know. Just later, okay?"

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