2007-08-06: DF: Coffee with a Side of Hope


DFAileen_icon.gif Felix_icon.gif

Summary: Aileen and Felix bump into each other while getting coffee. Again.

Dark Future Date: August 6th, 2009

Coffee with a Side of Hope


This is pretty much the only place he drinks decent coffee. What the Bureau has on tap isn't much better than engine cleaner, and when at home he actually tends to drink tea. Felix is in his usual suit, patiently working his way through a sandwich, briefcase at his side, papers spread out before him as he waits. It's after the dinner rush, at least.

Coffee. Coffee is good. Really, it hadn't been intentional. She'd just wanted coffee, and so her tired brain brought her here. Even still, when your brain is tired and needs coffee, it can do silly things. Wandering inside, Aileen fetches her own cup of warm coffee before she glance over, just watching the FBI agent at his table. "Working late?" The blonde asks, quietly.

"Something like. Trying to track down an absolutely epic fuckup in supply," he says, pushing the opposite chair out for her without hesitation. "A faulty batch of suppressant drug got distributed. I administered it to an Evolved suspect, and of course, it did fuck-all." Despite the profanity, he no longer seems angry. More wearily amused. "One guy in a warehouse gets drunk the night before, and now there are hundreds of anti-government Evolved loose in the pacific Northwest. Makes me give thanks to God I am no longer in Seattle. What about you?"

"Sounds like a pain in the ass." Aileen murmurs, settling down at the table, sipping from her cup. "Kind of the same. Well, mostly just sorting through research and trying to get ahold of more samples for comparison. It's a tedious process. It's progress, but it's slow.

Felix smiles at her, patiently. "I'll bet. I saw Dawson today. Checking out part of the pill screwup. It let someone we took in escape, someone who's definitely part of this insurgency. Left me looking like a huge jerk." Not a flicker of guilt, there. Bizarre that he's managed to pull off this charade as long as he has, considering that he's horrible at concealing his reactions. "All for want of a horseshoe nail, like the old saying goes."

"You saw George?" Aileen murmurs, her expression curious. "Ah. That's George for you, though. If anyone would want to double check on a huge mess, it's him. He's pretty through in all that he does. Especially when it comes to work."

"Good. It's what we need," he agrees, finally shuffling the papers away and stowing them. "He's in the sort of position that requires it, after all."

The coffee is sipped again, and a nod is given. "Yeah. It can definitely be a good and a bad thing sometimes. Sometimes he's really dense, though. I can't always tell with him. Never have been able to tell." She smiles, setting her cup on the table as she watches him scoop up his papers.

Felix arches a brow. "Yeah, he does seem to play it close to the vest," he allows. "How'd you end up with him?"

That causes a bit of a laugh from Aileen. "Really, hit it off with him the first time I met him. He's a little more personable when he's had a few drinks. Met him at a bar. Played some darts, the usual flirting. He was kind enough to walk me home. We were stopped by a mugger but we were lucky enough to get away. He just ran like hell and dragged me along with him. It was kind of romantic, like something in the movies, where the guy does something dashing for the girl and saves her. And the entire time he was a gentlemen. That was the first time we met." She sips at her coffee. "I don't see much of the George I used to know anymore. We hit it off well and when it came down to the detention centers, I knew he could keep me out."

There's precisely no judgement in his eyes at that comment. Not considering his family, and their history. "I see," he says, mildly, steepling his fingers before him, and blinking sleepily at her from beyond them.

"I think he just knew I needed help too." Aileen shakes her head. "I don't think I was his first choice, and I could tell, sometimes. There was this girl that he was close to, back before everything went to hell. At the time I think it could have gone either way. It could have been me or her… but I think he knew it was either help me or leave me to fend for myself. Turns out I'm not the best at that."

"I think you're underestimating yourself," he says, quietly. "The question is always how far one is willing to go. You can end up where you want, but you may have to jettison a great deal to arrive there." Like him. He deported his family, as soon as the order came down.

"Maybe I am. Maybe I'm not. But it could have turned out differently. They were close, I know that much. Now? Now I think she's on the other side. I hear her, sometimes. She does those radio things. I listen to it, sometimes, and I wonder that if I hadn't picked George, how things would be different." She glances back to Felix. "I know. There's a lot of possibilities. I've just.. the thing is that I've never really lived by what I want. Most of my life was spent pleasing other people. The whole thing with George was one of the first steps in me doing something for myself.. but even that? Even that decision was based on where I'd be able to help. I'm not really good at doing things for myself. But I look out now and I see a lot of different possibilities, each of them equally unsure. Equally dangerous."

Felix lets his eyes half-lid. "No, you're not. And no, you haven't been. Were it any other time, I'd say now is the time to begin learning. Here, I'm not so sure. But for god's sake, don't let regret start to poison you," He's addressing his interlaced hands, at this point, not entirely meeting her gaze. "What possibilities do you see?"

"I don't know. Regret's driven me to a few good things so far." Aileen takes a moment to glance back at him with a little smile before she turns serious. "Well, there's a lot. Each is a little bit different. There's the first one where I keep going on like things have been going on. I see this thing all the way through. There's another, where.. things go wrong. If something happens with the project, I've got backup information stored elsewhere. My notes, my research, all that.. not to mention having an antidote for the project. And if something goes wrong, I can release the information to whatever hands are needed to take care of the situation. Mostly, that's to protect the people. Both of those plans? They're full of a whole lot of not worrying about me. Then there's other ones, where I just run. I just get out and ignore everything. Canada, Mexico.. run off to London again and pray that they shelter me in case something happens. I guess there are probably other options, but.. I don't really know. My life usually doesn't have so many choices. There's a lot of shades of grey, here and now."

There's times like this, where Felix's mouth completely bolts out of his control. You'd think growing up in the literal shadow of the KGB followed by all those years in the Bureau would've given him circumspection, but no. He raises his gaze to hers, though he turns his face just slightly to one side, before nothing, "Well, you could likely buy asylum from another government with that research," he says, sounding oddly blithe about it. "Not making a suggestion that you should, just pointing out another wrinkle in the situation."

"Always hated politics." Aileen murmurs at the idea. "Yes, I suppose that's another idea." The coffee is poked with a finger, frowning a bit. "I just.. I've got a bad feeling about all of this."

Felix reaches over to chuck her chin, teasingly. "These are tough times," he says, offering a reassuring grin. "But don't lose hope."

That causes more of a smile. "Maybe. Just remember to say that at my funeral." Aileen teases, moving to have a sip from her cup. There's mirth in her eyes, but.. there's also some truth to it. She's not entirely best at hiding it.

Felix shakes his head. "Listen, between George and I you have protection, and an escape route," he says, patiently. "You're far more likely to speak at my funeral."

"Your funeral?" Aileen shakes her head. "No. You'd better not. You'll be fine. You're careful, and you're good at what you do." She shakes her head once more. "Who would I talk to over coffee then?"

"I also have to contend with gun toting rebels and rogue Evolved on occasion. But I do try to be careful, yes," he says, simply. "And now I've got to get home. Another gloriously early day tomorrow." This last with a disgusted face - he hates rising early.

She makes a face at that too. "Yeah. I'm feeling that. Twelve-hour workdays tend to make it a little hard now and again when getting out of bed in the morning." Aileen looks back over. "So.. take care, okay?"

"I will. You, too," he says, getting his gear together and rising from the table. She gets a firm squeeze on the shoulder as he passes, and then he's out the door.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License