2007-09-13: Conservation


Felix_icon.gif Mariska_icon.gif

Summary: (directly after You Stink) The Russians return to Queens to discuss such fascinating things as mental health, shared space, and what it's like to take two to the chest.

Date It Happened: September 13th, 2007


Queens, NYC - Felix's Apartment

KRAK! A split second of two-dimensional existence later and suddenly they're both standing in the middle of Felix's sixth story apartment in Queens. Ingram and Glock both come darting down the hallway from the master bedroom to see with the popping ruckus is about; the cats still aren't quite used to Mariska's little magic trick and they both exhibit bushy-tailed wonderment to find peoples where there previously was no peoples. Even though the trip is over, she seems unwilling to let go of her companion just yet. «Doctor Eames,» she explains. «…he's a psychologist who works at Primatech.» Note: not for Primatech.

She can see the pulse jumping in his throat. He smells of whatever faint, clean aftershave it is he wears. Glock, the larger and dumber of the pair, comes running up to Felix for protection from the scary, mewing impatiently. «Interesting,» he says, without real enthusiasm.

God, what is it about this complete trainwreck of a man that still manages to make Mariska go all weak in the knees?! Here they are, having a perfectly good conversation about his emotional dysfunction, but somehow having him so close had thrown her thoughts on the fritz. She ducks her chin ever so slightly, leaning in as she half-lids her eyes and inhales with an audible, "Uh huh." It's not really a reply so much as the perfunctory noise of acknowledgment that her tongue tosses out there to assert that she's listening even when she really isn't.

That's gonna be a problem, isn't it? If it can be considered one. He inhales sharply, steps out of the embrace, and ducks to pick up big dumb kitty - Glock is sixteen pounds of amiable stupid, in black, with white shirtfront and socks, busily trying to bite Felix on the chin affectionately. «I'm loathe to tell them any more than I have to. I want some part of me they don't touch.»

Saved from certain interlude by a sixteen pound hairball. Cats really are magical creatures. Relinquished from the embrace, Mariska disappears down the hallway and into the room from which the kitties came, as if perhaps that had been her entire intention all along and she'd only hesitated because, you know, her shortcut home makes the brain spin a little in the skull. «Then find someone else,» she says in a louder voice, continuing the conversation while she climbs out of her clothes. «A professional. Someone who might know how to help you…» Because, clearly, she doesn't have a clue. And, sweet baby Jesus in the manger, does Felix need some kind of help.

Felix cuddles the cat-monster gently, and then dumps Glock on the couch, the better to follow her down the hall. «I've seen a psychiatrist. They help wonderfully with the medication, not so much with the rest. And now anything that ends up in their records ends up in the Company's. They have their tentacles everywhere,» he says, matter-of-factly, removing the overshirt to expose the shoulder holster beneath, which he works on taking off - the gun is set in its usual bed in the nightstand drawer. There is no Bible there, Gideon's or otherwise. Maybe he shouldn't have come in that fast - he's caught by the amazing prospect of her, in his bed of her own free will, both of them sober, even. «I could sleep on the couch, if you want,» he offers, with a complete lack of actual enthusiasm for that project.

«Why?» she wonders in the audience's voice, set on the edge of the unmentioned bed that yet remains at the heart of their conversation. «Are you done talking to me already?» Mariska knows he didn't mean right that very second but the point she's trying to make is that pillow talk is sometimes hard to have in separate rooms. «Besides…,» she adds as she peels out of her pants. «…there's no point in pretending either of us has any modesty left.» And yet, within the same breath, she literally turns around and sheds her shirt while showing her back to him instead of, um… her breasts. (Yes, they're still right where he left them.)

Fel protests, gently, «Not what I meant. I just didn't know if you'd gotten tired of sleeping next to me. I know I'm not the best bedmate. The fact that you're willing to have sex with me doesn't necessarily mean you don't want your own space.»

Mariska has disappeared into the bathroom in order to brush her teeth and climb into her nightclothes. She does the latter first and then leans a shoulder against the doorjamb while she makes with the oral hygiene routine, eyeing Felix thoughtfully.

He waits for her to come out. There's only the one bathroom, after all. There's the sound of the shower running - he also bathes at night.

If Felix was implying his own desire to have some semblance of personal space, Mariska doesn't pick up on it. At all. In fact, she even lingers in the bathroom while the man showers, so as to hitch a hip up against the edge of the counter and ask him questions. «So… have you ever lived with anyone before…?»

«Come in here and ask me that question,» he retorts, amused. «No. Not since my first year of college.»

Was that an actual invitation? If not, then what Mariska does next is probably going to cause a scuff. Sleepwear is discarded in a tiny pile on the floor by the door. The shower now houses two bodies. They're just, uh, conserving water. Right. That's what this is. Conservation. «How is it suiting you so far?» she wonders from literally right over his shoulder.

There's the ugly star of the bullet exit wound. «I'm still in shock,» he says, turning a little to eye her, amused. Apparently, he did mean it.

Mariska can't help but wear that 'curious cat' look, chin tilted ever so slightly as she is both regarding and regarded. So, uh… oh, look. A washcloth and some soap. It's time for her to make herself useful. With a minimum of heeded fuss, she begins to quietly assist Felix with this whole showering thing by dragging a soapy cloth over his back. If she's actually doing something other than standing there naked in the haze, that'll make things less awkward.

«I heard you were looking for places out in Brighton Beach. Good neighborhood - I grew up there,» he says, reminiscently, leaning into the touch. The sort of person whose muscles are generally tense - he carries himself like he's armed, even when he's not.

«Did you?» That's not honestly all that surprising. The shock would have come from finding out a Russian immigrant didn't grow up in Little Odessa. Mariska's fingers slide up the back of Felix's neck and into his hair briefly before attending to the tension in his shoulders; she's not so much washing him now as attempting to give a massage. «I thought that'd probably be my safest option.» Which… reminds her of something. She'll ask later, though.

There's a nod, as he leans in like a cat. «From when I was eleven to midway through college,» Oh, god, that feels so good. He makes a little pleased noise in the back of his throat.

So, this is nice, right? Unfortunately, it can't last forever, and the water reminds them both of this fact by slowly grower colder. Shower-sharing time's over. With the last of the suds shed from Felix's skin, Mariska moves out of the man's way, claiming a bath towel only briefly before pausing in front of the bathroom mirror. She gently draws Felix over to her and situates him so that he's facing the mirror, too. She then indicates the scar on his shoulder and asks, «How did you get this?»

The light fixture is one of those fluorescents that flatters no one. And Fel looks particularly defenseless there, hair plastered to his skull. He puts a hand over it, and its companion a little bit further down his chest. «Someone shot me, part of a botched raid with the DEA,» he says, meeting her gaze in the mirror.

Well, duh. Mariska had managed to figure out that it was a gunshot wound all on her own. «What happened?» she asks, eyes on their mutual reflection while her fingertips take a stroll over the man's chest lightly.

«We teamed up with Narcotics, and this other agency to stage a massive raid on warehouses that were a primary drug distribution center for the New York and Newark region. I was wearing a vest, but vests don't stop high-powered rifle rounds. We got waylaid - part of it was an ambush, to let the others get away. This - » he indicates the wound high under his collarbone, «Wasn't so serious. This one….> A mark lower on his chest, a little ways to the right of his heart, «Collapsed that lung.»

Such is the perilous life of a police officer. Mariska's expression of concern if reflected in the mirror and it makes her fingers pause and press flat against Felix's flesh. «How long ago?» Obviously no more than seven years ago.

He lets his eyes close, quietly. «Little more than three years ago. That shooting was part of why I decided to leave the NYPD, join the Bureau.»

Mariska leans forward, pressing her front to his back, and rests her chin on his shoulder, eyes likewise half-lidded. «Is being a part of the FBI really less dangerous?»

«I don't honestly know. The part I'm in….it seems a bit tamer,» he says, with a faint sigh. «I also wanted to live somewhere other than New York for a while. Honestly, I'd rather be back in Seattle. I pissed off a superior, and he sent me here precisely because he knew I'd rather not.»

«Lucky you,» she quips, withdrawing slowly. They can't stand around together in the bathroom all night, right? She takes a towel to her damp hair which avails her ample opportunity for a series of sidelong looks before she finally reclaims her nightclothes from the floor. Again. The question is… should she even make the effort to put them on again? For now? Yes.

For now. Honestly, trying to be less of a dog, for what it's worth. He finds a towel and dries himself off, before slipping into the ancient t-shirt and boxers he sleeps in.

With sleeping arrangements for the evening previously sorted, Mariska settles in beneath the bedlinens and waits for Felix to join her, eyes tracking him around the bedroom. She's wordless but wondering.

He turns off the light and comes to bed, smelling of soap and detergent - sprawling out slowly, and going limp.

Mariska inches over quietly to curl up by his side, head rested on his shoulder, one hand laid against his chest. It's her usual cuddling pose. She closes her eyes and pretends to drift but her brain is restless and sleep seems far, far away. This might actually be the first night that they've shared a bed, mutually sober and clothed. One wonders how long the latter'll last, though…

…not long.

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