2007-08-18: DF: Monsters Becoming People Again

Starring:

DFAileen_icon.gif Felix_icon.gif

Summary: Aileen goes to find Felix and the two speak of their respective escapes, the wrongs they feel they've committed, and the possibility of making things right again.

Dark Future Date: August 18th, 2009

Monsters Becoming People Again


Alliance Hospital, Upper Floors

The upper levels of the hospital, those rooms that were once wards and patient rooms, have been converted into living quarters. The higher up you go, the more likely that it's for some of the Alliance's footsoldiers - can't expect the weakened detainees to climb all that way in the absence of elevators. Felix has been stashed in what was actually a supplies room - there's only one small window in the rear, and it's currently covered over, lest any light give away the presence of the residence. Most of the shelves are gone, and by the cots along the walls, he's not the only one who does sleep here. At the moment, though, he's not sleeping, but instead is lounging on his good side, reading 'The Big Sleep' by the light of a candle lantern, wearing only fatigue pants and a t-shirt - the door of the room is long since gone, and the light is clearly visible past it.

Heading into the room, Aileen peers quietly over, knocing lightly as she enters. "Hope I'm not disturbing you. Just wanted to check and see how the arm was. Finished all the stuff downstairs, so.."

"No," he says, putting aside the book, and sitting up. "Arm's good - between Applebaum and Morgan I'm really as good as new, just a bit sore. Like a strain. It sure beats waking up in the ICU, I can tell you, though I was fairly sure the last thing I was gonna see in this world was Morgan looking over me, and the ceiling of that apartment building, " he says, making a motion towards the sling with his good hand. "Did you want to look it over?"

"Well, if the good doctors already looked you over and think you're just fine, then there's no need for me to fuss. I just like to fuss anyways." Aileen grins, but then shakes her head. "I'm glad you made it alive, you know? I was working, when I found out. Broke the damn mug."

Felix has grace enough to look sheepish. "It wasn't supposed to be such a clusterfuck, I swear. I was gonna be all subtle, stealth away in the night, right? So it'd take them a couple days to figure out what I'd done. No, someone had a monitoring program on my workstation. I uploaded one thing, and it shut down. I look up, there are a couple of goons coming down the hall, one of 'em already reaching for the cuffs. That was enough. I headed for the window." What he doesn't note is that his former office was on the 10th floor.

"Fuck, you didn't.." Aileen shakes her head, leaning in against the wall to keep herself steady. "All I heard was that you were shot. I had no idea what happened. I even went to George because I /knew/ he'd have some sort of information. He told me everything he had. But I still didn't know how you were. Do.. you know what it's like, Felix?" She pauses. "Waiting to know if someone's dead or alive?"

Felix edges over to make room for her on the cot, and pats it invitingly. "Yeah. I got cornered at one point, and a bullet slipped past my guard. I'm lucky it didn't shatter my shoulderblade." He sighs. "I'm sorry. I do know what it's like, honestly."

Moving to take a seat on the cot, Aileen is still shaking her head. "I'm glad you were lucky. It'd probably have killed me if I got out of everything and you weren't here. You're pretty good at keeping me sane, Felix." She leans back a bit. "Those last few days were the hardest. Mostly because I had to pretend that you'd just utterly betrayed me instead of just worrying if you were alive."

"Tell me about it," he says, drily. "I spent two years living a lie, Aileen. Being a good little running dog for the government, and trying to find a balance between what my job wanted and what my conscience demanded. I still feel like i didn't find it," he says, looking at her, directly. "Like I should be doing something else, something more, for expiation."

Looking back over, Aileen smiles. "Felix.. if there's anyone who's done the right thing all along it's you. You're much more of a hero than I'm sure you'll ever realize or accept. You've spent all this time and tried to help people."

Felix drops his chin a little, so he's eyeing her from under his brows. "No. Lee is a hero. Lee has never compromised. Ditto his sister. Doctors Applebaum and Morgan. Some of the saner saints. Aileen, I sent people to fucking camps. I shot a few dissidents who dared fight back. The fact that I tried to divert a fraction of them, shield who I could - I still played along. When the time came tp speak up, I was silent."

"Heroes aren't perfect, Felix." Aileen peers over. "But they care. Sometimes they have to send people to camps. Sometimes they have to shoot people. But at the end of the day? The important thing is? They know what they fight for, and they know why."

"And you are being too kind. I tried to make my conscience shut up. I threw it scraps like a dog chained up in a backyard," he says. Apparently poor Aileen gets to be his confessor, even if he won't accept absolution. "Getting out was the first thing I've really done…done that I feel like I've made a difference with."

"You helped them, Felix. You helped them with vital information." Aileen shakes her head. "Don't think of yourself as anything but a good man. If anyone's deserving of some sort of punishment, Felix, it's me."

Felix eyes her. "No. You're absolved, because you're not one of this supposed master race," Felix points out. "And you ran, when the time came, rather than knuckle under to Petrelli. You did what you could."

"And I would have commited crimes against people and taken their civil rights away by /testing/ on them. How does that make me any better than Petrelli himself?" Aileen shakes her head. "I'm selfish, Felix. I ran because I was scared of the monster I'm not sure if I've already become."

"You didn't," Felix points out. "You balked when asked. You're here now."

"You're here too." Aileen murmurs, glancing back at him. "So we're both here now. So if I'm not a monster and I'm absolved of any guilt? You're in the same boat now. You got out. And you're here."

Felix elbows her, gently, with his good arm. "Then we can be monsters learning to be real people again, together."

Aileen smiles gently. "I like that." She glances back to him. "Someday I'm sure we'll be real people again. It'll just take some time."

"If not, then I'm going to pretend. There's a reason I worked with the Alliance, rather than the Saints. The Saints - I understand their willingness to fight. But I'm tired of being someone's Rottweiler on a leash. Handing the leash to a newer and kinder master doesn't make me any less of a dog," Felix explains, grinning at her wearily in the candlelight.

Aileen looks back over at him. "I never pictured you as much of a Rottweiler. More of a spaniel, I think. Fluffy, cute ears.. the kind that can just curl up in your lap."

Felix drawls, "I'm going to take that as a compliment. And then pretend you didn't say that. No comments about my rolling over or begging."

Aileen can't help but laugh. "What, you don't like the idea of curling up on someone's lap and being petted?" She teases lightly. "And it's a compliment. I'm sure you could be very Rottweilerish if you tried, but I've seen nothing but a spaniel." She reaches to fluff his hair.

There's really no good way to argue the point. "I've tried to be agreeable when you're around. I don't have so many friends I can afford to unleash my darker side in their presence. That's part of what a good friend is, is also a good influence, not to sound too pious about it," Felix notes, but he does duck his head. His hair's cropped almost militarily short.

"Well.. friends seem to be in scarce quantity these days. You just have to find a couple and cling to them for dear life and hope they don't hate you for it." Aileen laughs. "I think I'm pretty good at the clinging part."

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