2009-11-10: Question And Answer Period



Date: Nov. 10, 2009


Lena learns a bit more about her 'freak' people from Felix, and Tiago wins a fight for once! Sort of.

"Question And Answer Period"

Downtown, NYC - Lower East Side

It's getting dark earlier now but that isn't a bad thing, especially in this part of town. With the sky dark and the street lights on, the broken pavement and garbage are less visible. There are kids running around in the time between being released from school and dinner, adults sitting out on stoops sharing cigarettes and passing gossip between them. Lucky Joe's Diner is turning a brisk trade in greasy meals, a warm golden glow cast out of its windows and onto the sidewalk; it's towards this last location that Lena is walking.

The teenager's progress is slow but steady. She's wrapped in a Salvation Army find of an old man's winter coat, with ratty knitted gloves covering her hands and her eyes hidden behind a pair of tackly plastic sunglasses. Her hair's been brushed forward to hide the bruise on her forehead.

He was heading for the diner. He really was. But….Fel's been playing a game of cat and mouse through the city, losing and being re-found by his tail. Takes a spook to catch a spook. He's in his own overcoat, bag over his shoulder, and glancing back. No point in pretending he doesn't know they're there. The Fed's expression is utterly unrevealing, tightlipped, save for the glitter of adrenaline in his eyes. He doesn't see Lena, not yet.

The issue with wearing sunglasses at night is that, even if you're cool enough to pull it off (and she is!), it makes it difficult to actually see anything. That means Lena's almost upon Felix by the time the dimensions of the shadowy figure, the face that gradually becomes clear, tickles at her brain's warning system. It also means that hiding the fact that she's recognized him becomes impossible, due to surprise. The girl comes to a halt directly before the diner's front door and stares at the agent, eyebrows disappearing behind the shades as they knit down over her eyes. "What the hell, man? What are you doing here?"

He was looking back over his shoulder, and the startled expression he turns on her is momentarily fierce. There's even the abortive twitch of one hand, as if for an instant he contemplated going for a weapon. The pale eyes behind the glasses are fierce, before they soften into more genuine surprise. "I eat here," he says, very drily. "And at the moment, I'm trying to lose a tail, if I can."

Lena is close enough to catch the nuances of that subtle shift of expression. Naturally, she recoils from the man, sliding back a step and lifting a hand as well. "You eat here? Jesus…someone's following you?" There's a pause while the brunette performs a very obvious looking around at the street. Her cheeks shift following that movement, indicitive of a wince. "You should maybe…I dunno. Dress down when you're around here, so you don't stand out so much. There." A finger is stabbed at a nearby alley. "That cuts through to the other street, if you wanna duck in and hide."

"They've eyes on me," Fel says, quietly. "They'll see if I try that now. I have to look normal. I'll lose them while I eat. There's a window in the bathroom," he adds. Like…he's thought this all out before? There's a man in a dark overcoat across the street. Looking in a shop window, at least nominally….but there's that indefinable air that indicates he's far too aware of his surroundings.

"They?" Not entirely unfamiliar with spotting the law trying to fit into a setting, Lena's head turns in the direction of that gentleman over there. Then she flaps a hand, dismissing the situation. "I don't even wanna know what'd get one spook a tail. Not like I don't have enough problems," she says grumpily, reaching for the diner's door handle. It's pulled open, allowing a rich miasma of smell to roll out over the pair. Butter and onions and thick coffee, oh my.

In she goes, not bothering to see if Felix is following. The shades stay on, but the gloves are removed finger by finger and shoved into a pocket as Lena goes for a booth.

And …."Jesus fuck, it's like the -Matrix-," Fel says, with a feral, angry flash of teeth. Makes him look more like a weasel than ever. Because there's a pair of suits in one of the other booths with the patient, wolfish eyes that only cops on the prowl have. He stops for a moment, like things are about to get violent. And then, after a heartbeat, decides against it, and follows Lena to a booth, scowling.

Wait…did he…? Lena is in the process of struggling out of that ridiculously large jacket, movements slow and achey, but she freezes completely in order to stare at Felix. Presumably. It's hard to tell with the shades. "Wait…wait, what are you…? Ah, christ, why are you sitting with me?" she groans. Arms are folded on the table and her head placed on them, face hidden. It gives her voice an echoing quality when she speaks again. "…why me? Why is my luck so shitty? Don't drag me into your problems, man."

Fel drops into the seat across from her, making the vinyl wheeze. He glances around the dining area quickly, as if to see just how many are arrayed against him. "What kind of freak are you?" he demands, under his breath, not even looking at her directly.

Lena's head lifts too quickly upon hearing that question, leaving her to sag back against the cushion and press a hand to her temple. There's another wince behind the dark lenses. "Uh uh, no way," she hisses at him through gritted teeth. "You think I don't know what you're trying to do? I'm not talking to you when the place is full of…whatever the hell you guys are. I'm not stupid, I saw this on Law & Order." A finger is levelled accusingly at the agent. "You're following me, aren't you?"

His gaze swings back to her….and it's about as welcoming as glacier ice. Cold, contained, unpleasant. "Whatever they are, they aren't Bureau," he says, calmly. "And they aren't NYPD, either. You're wanted for the little fracas last night in the bookstore. I'm not arresting you because I'm -not- local police anymore, and because I have a creeping suspicion we have something in common. A genetic anomaly that gives us abilities most people don't have." He's not talking about the ability to tie a knot in a cherry stem with his tongue, either, is he?

It's a safe bet that it isn't the first time that Lena's received a look of that magnitude, which may explain why she scowls right back at the man, unphased. "Forget you, this is a set up. You're probably wearing a wire and…what?" The teenager's head turns slightly in the direction of that other table, color draining from what's visible of her face. "…I don't know what you're talking about."

"You do," It's a statement, not at all a question. "And I suspect, as well, that it had something to do with the trouble you were in last night." The waitress approaches, Fel pauses, puts on a faint smile, and orders coffee and pie. Not cherry, pecan.

Lena's head turns slowly back around until she appears to be fixed on Felix again. Her lips are colorless, pressed into a thin and disapproving line. "You don't know shit. Last night, some drunk dude nailed with me a chair when he was trying to hit Chi," she says flatly. That, at least, has the ring of truth. "The guy was bothering some other chick in the other store. Tiago doesn't like it when guys bother girls. It pisses him off."

Felix lays his hands calmly on the table. "It does me, too. I don't usually work 'em over that bad, though," he adds, tone more mild. "And you're lying. No one that I know of can control the way their pupils react when they try," he explains. And then offers, with a lift of his brows, "Well, at least you're not a replicant."

"What the fuck, dude? My pupils?" The frustration mounts. "I have a goddamn concussion, it's the second time I got smacked in the head this week. I couldn't see straight till this afternoon." Lena folds her arms, having ignored the waitress. Someone is doing an excellent job of ruining the grumpy child's appetite. "You think I don't know what that means? And no, I'm not."

"Yes," he says, absentedly, with another glance around. "These guys….they're after me because of that. Think about it. I'm a badged government agent, and they'll try and disappear me anyway. It's happened before."

Lena shrinks down on the bench, a hand returning to massage her temple. "Jesus fucking Christ…and you just decided it'd be a great idea to sit down with me, huh?" the brunette mutters. "Thanks for that, asshole. It's not like the cops aren't already looking for me." Temper fouled, Lena finally reaches up to take off the glasses in order to better glare at Felix. Revealed is a truly glorious black eye. "So what. You sneak out and leave me to get grabbed, huh?"

He shakes his head. "No," he says, quietly. "I think….we both sneak out at once. Unless you'd rather go first."

"You know what? You go ahead. I'm going out the front door." Having decided her course of action, Lena begins to fight her way back into that jacket. The glasses are pushed into a pocket with the gloves, leaving her better able to see. Or run, as the case may be.

He slips her a card, covering the motion with doctoring his coffee with sugar. "Wise of you," he says, quietly. "I also work for an organization that helps people like us. If you run into trouble, call me." It's not his actual business card - there is no Bureau seal on it. Just a phone number, and nothing else.

"Help?" The preparations to leave are put on hold as Lena retrieves that card, sparing it a look before it too disappears into a pocket. The look she gives Felix is narrow, troubled. "Do…do you know a girl who can…she can move stuff. She was going to talk to me, I'm supposed to…" But no. Distrust and paranoia wars with curiosity, leaving the teenager to bite the rest of that remark off. "Tell me you aren't fucking with me. Setting me up for…whatever."

"I don't think I know a telekinetic, specifically," Fel says. "And I am not. I swear on my daughter's life," He's in deadly earnest, as he meets her gaze.

Lena tucks her chin down against her throat, staring for a time at the surface of the table. "Jesus," she finally murmurs in complaint. "My head hurts." She closes her eyes and scrunches her face up in a look of heavy concentration. "I can't believe I'm doing this. You're a fucking cop. Okay…I got a lot of questions. How long do you think it'll take to lose those assholes?"

There's the flick-flick-flick of his gaze around the room, before it clicks back to her. "Hour or so," he says, quietly, before primming up his mouth again.

The nice thing about oversized jackets? Big pockets. Lena pulls a few napkins from the dispenser on the table and lays them flat over her thigh, producing a pen from a pocket. It doesn't take long to write down an address or make the pen disappear again; the napkins are wadded up afterwards and dropped on the table. She thinks she's so clever. "There. You show up there after you drop them, okay? If you got gloves, I'd put them on before you grab those. And I swear to god, if this is a set up…"

Threat delivered, the girl buttons up her jacket and slides to the edge of the bench. A breath is taken, and released in a louder remark. "Fuck you, man! I don't do that shit!" Lena stands then and proceeds stompily towards the front door.

His grin….is really more of a leer. And thoroughly unpleasant. Well, he's got the creepy bad lieutenant thing down, that's for certain. He palms the napkins, makes a noise of protest as he raises his hands to her. A whole set of censorious stares skewers him, and he refuses to blush, looking around defiantly. Hey, who hasn't offered to pay for a little company, now and then? With that, he heaves himself up as well, heads for the bathroom.

Felix's retreating back is treated to a last call of, "Asshole!" Then the bell over the door sings as Lena pushes her way out and heads up the street.

One hour later, give or take a few minutes…

The door to apartment 1209 is opened, revealing Lena there holding a baggie of ice to her forehead. Her eyes are bloodshot; the headache is worse. Felix isn't going to be greeted by a smile, alas. She just backs up wordlessly to allow the agent entrance into the apartment, padding down the hallway into the living room. The TV is on, turned to the Cartoon Network with the volume cranked all the way down. The door to Tiago's bedroom is closed.

"Keep your voice down, okay? Chi's sleeping…he's gonna be pissed if he wakes up and you're here." Lena collapses on the couch, tucked into the corner against the arm of it, and sighs. There are no preliminaries to the interrogation. "What'd you mean by people who help?"

"There's a group, called the Company. Formerly Primatech Paper," Fel says, quietly. "They are….were…a front. They deal with people with abilities. The Evolved. Mutants. Whatever you want to call them. Kind of a double-edged sword. They had ties to the government. But….that's no longer true, and now the government is hunting those who can do those oh-so-unusual things. We're not exactly La Resistance," he admits, with a grimace.

Lena points to one of the empty chairs to indicate that the man is free to sit, if he so wishes. "Primatech? That sounds familiar…" Evolved. Mutants. It would be enough to make her head spin if it weren't already throbbing. The teen winces and shifts the icepack against her forehead. "So…this company, whatever, it tries to look out for the people being hunted. And you're being hunted," she goes on, frowning. "I'm not. I didn't even know this shit was going on until those two guys hit Mr. Ling's store. I…I mean, I'm a freak, okay, yeah, I admit it. But I don't do anything with it."

She might have invited The Man into their private sanctuary, but she isn't about to spill the beans on the illegal uses of her particular abilities.

"On one level, that's good. You don't register as a threat," Fel's in his overcoat, over his suit, shoulders a little hunched, looking at Lena over the rims of his glasses. "On another level, it won't protect you. Didn't me. I was a fucking government agent even then, and it didn't stop them. Yes. We're not currently very organized, we're on the run ourselves. But it's better than nothing."

Suddenly, an ominous rustling starts up from the other side of Tiago's door. There is what sounds like a distinctly bear-like growl as the man awakens in his man-cave and shuffles to his feet. "Lena?" Comes his muffled voice from the bedroom. "Where're…oh. Cartoons again, huh? I had the best dream, baby…" And suddenly, the bedroom door swings open.

…Revealing Tiago. All of Tiago, in the buff with a lazy smile on his face and a fist rubbing his eye. "You should come ove-…" Wait. Wait for it… "Huh…why is there a dude in my…fuck!" Yeah. Needless to say, the bedroom door is slammed shut right afterwards.

"Fuck…okay, so why haven't you been disappeared yet then? They were right there, they've been following you. How come they haven't just grabbed you? What can you do?" Lena sets the icepack on the small table beside the couch and frowns at Felix, awaiting an answer.

An answer's going to have to wait, though. Those stirrings are heard, prompting a look of utter panic. "Oh shit, it wasn't supposed to wear off—Chi!" She's on her feet, hands clapped over a gaping mouth. "Chi! It's okay! Don't get pissed off!"

Felix has fallen silent, as Tiago's appearance. He doesn't look particularly shocked. IF anything, his expression's gone a little dry, a little amused. "The Company has before. I think they're hands off thus far because I am a government agent. An FBI agent goes missing, the other Feebs start flipping over rocks. I manipulate motion."

Pissed? Pissed. Tiago is beyond pissed. As he rummages through his room, searching for clothing - any clothing - to throw on he is murmuring under his breath in Portuguese. In the end, he ends up throwing the door open again, the tag of his shirt sticking out of his collar as he's put it on inside out. "What didya say? Who the fuck is this muther fucker, and why's he is my…" But then, he catches a better sight of Felix. His eyes squint carefully. "You're that cop. Aint you. Well, you can get the fuck out - we didn't do anything. You can go and ask around - we aint in trouble or nothin', so kindly leave us alone. Why the hell didya wake me for this, Lena!"

Lena is already on her way to the door by the time it opens again. Sure, Felix can probably take care of himself. But she positions herself between Agent and Brazilian anyway. Her hands are raised, her expression nervous and earnest, as much as the black eye allows. "I didn't wake you up! I thought you were, um…sleeping. Look, Chi. I asked him to show up here, okay? He's…he's like me, right? He moves shit with his brain. And he's answering the questions we had about the crazy stuff happening. Please calm down?"

The girl looks over her shoulder at Felix. "You don't have to go, really, he's gonna calm down and then we can talk, right? No one saw you come here?"

"No one. I shed my tail in Grand Central," Fel states, with complete assurance. "And at the moment, I'm not really a cop. I'm a Fed, and I am not here on any kind of official business," He pulls off his glasses, lazily polishes them with the silk of his tie. Ah, class, thy name is Ivanov.

Tiago is glowering at not only Felix, but Lena at this point in time. And though his eyes are hazy and tired, they do seem to harbor some sort of latent, classist sort of anger within them. "You didn't want ta wake me!" He parrots back to the girl, in an accusatory fashion. "This shit was secret! Why, huh? What you got ta fuckin' hide? Were you gunna fuck 'im after?" Yes, it's out of line - but perfectly acceptable what with the lad's current ire and frustration. Only then does he turn to glower at Felix. "I don't fuckin' care what you are, you're all the fuckin' same. Corrupt, know it all sons of bitches. Didn't I fuckin' tell ya ta get outa my apartment?"

Silence. Absolute shocked silence. Then Lena draws herself up and aims a finger right at Tiago. It should be noted that she is glove-less. "Either you calm the hell down or you're going back to sleep." In direct contrast to the raised voices of just a few seconds ago, the girl's voice is low, and flat. "There are some things you don't fucking say. I invited him here and he's staying. If you don't like it, you go out for a couple hours." Poor Felix is overlooked for the moment.

Fel immediately lifts his…right hand, of all things. There's a band there, woven of three different shades of gold. "I'm married. And faithful to my wife," he says, as if the ring were a cross to ward away vampires with. "And I don't make a habit of fucking those I intend to help. Nor am I corrupt."

Tiago takes a step back. Two, even. He's staring down at Lena, at that finger like he's never seen her before. "…You're threatenin' me. /Me/. You're fuckin' threatenin' me! Well, fuck you!" Angry, he stalks right by her, shooting Felix a dark glower as he stomps his way over to the bathroom.

Lena is in no mood. Tiago's remark might have stung a few days ago but she's reached the end of her rope. She glares at the young man, watchful and silent until he disappears into the bathroom, then runs a hand over her face. "He's from Brazil," she explains to Felix. "They're like…the worst tempers on the planet. But he's really a good guy. Got me out of a shitty situation, got us set up here…I probably would've died. Look, you wanna sit down? I promise he's not gonna do anything and you're the first person who's like answered my questions instead of just…danced off."

Felix unbuttons his overcoat, but doesn't shrug it off. He nods, sits, expression flattened out into that perfect, neutral calm. "Thank you," he says, politely. The suit underneath is tailored to hide the bulge of the pistol riding under his shoulder.

"I guess maybe I should thank you," Lena admits. "But don't think I'm going to apologize for the things I said to you before. People like you, you're…you know. Chi's right about most of you." She crosses her arms, elbows cupped in her hands, and paces towards the kitchen. Then back again. Felix can project calm, Lena will fidget. "You said you didn't know anyone who could move stuff but you didn't say you could. Is that why they want you? You're like…super powered?" As opposed to say Lena.

"When I do something worth thanking me for," Fel says, letting his eyes half-lid behind his glasses. "I won't pretend every cop on the Force is a white knight. I almost got routed into IA, myself. And yes, I have an ability of my own."

Lena's ramblings finally bring her back to the couch. She sits on the edge of it, looping her hands over her knees and looking subdued. "You're answering my questions, right? Last week, I thought I was the only person like me. Then the world went crazy and all of a sudden, there are…whatever you called us. Mutants. They're everywhere." Pause. "Is it like in the movies? The government's grabbing everyone for experiments?"

Felix makes a very wry face. "I don't know how much of it is like the movies," he admits. "But yes. There's some government organization that is taking up the Evolved. I'll answer what questions I can."

"Yeah, I know it's not like the movies. It's worse, 'cause it's fucking real. I don't want to end up in a room somewhere. I can't even do much." The misery of the situation has sunk in and Lena collapses under it, sinking back against the cough. She studies Felix for a little while. Under any other circumstances, he'd look a little funny, sitting there in their run-down living room. "I met a girl," she finally volunteers. "She said they had her for awhile. Locked up. And those guys, the ones who burned down the convenience store…one was dressed like he got out of a prison. Is the Company helping them get out?"

"One of the Company's functions was to deal with those too dangerous or too malicious to be let free. A de facto prison, since nowhere else can hold them. They held me, originally. I won't pretend the Company is entirely innocent, either. But….this isn't them. These mass round ups," he states, firmly.

"Wait, hold up!" Lena's forehead rumples. "So they were the fucking kidnappers, and now the government is? Why is this all so goddamn secret? Why doesn't someone just go on the news and tell people what's going on, so we can't be kidnapped?"

Felix lifts a brow. "Who would believe? And there'd be mass panic. Imagine if the entire populace was behind having us rounded up and shipped somewhere in cattlecars. Humans've slaughtered millions for ephemeral things like differences in pigment and creed. What do you think they'd do?"

Lena exposes a certain naivete by dismissing that possibility with a flip of her hand, although her expression remains troubled. "Who wouldn't believe if they saw it happen, right in front of them? And…and that wouldn't happen. I mean, the normal people are like…look at Chi. He knows what I am and it didn't bother him any. Lots of people would be like that, right?" But it's hard to convince even herself. "When did…what did you call it? Mass round ups. When did those start? What're you guys doing to stop it?"

"What we can. I've helped free a few," he states, scratching at his scalp nervously. "And people are….easy to fool. Willing and complicit. Who enjoys having their entire worldview turned upside down? A few months gone, I think. I'm not as in the loop as I was." His lip curls in a sneer. "I was trying to live a normal life."

Speak of the devil, and he will come. The bathroom door swings open dramatically, kicked out, and out stalks the furious, looming figure that is Tiago. His brows furrowed, his body tensed, he stares at the pair in HIS living room, as if defying them to continue. "What th'hell are you still here? I wasn't jokin' none. Get out." His voice is completely unrelenting, although the grogginess of it has disappeared at this point in time.

"And now they're moving in on you? Shit." Lena hauls her feet up onto the edge of the couch, locking her arms around her knees against her chest. "I'm…I'm sorry, man. About your kid. And your wife. That's…that's gotta be scary…oh, jesus. Chi." She looks up at him, sapped of the furious Pekingese energy exhibited before. Now it's all gloom and doom. "Please, don't. Did you hear what he said? The government's kidnapping us. People like me."

Felix looks over with no particular startlement or fear in his expression. His gaze swings back to Lena, and he doesn't rise. "We can go elsewhere. I shouldn't be tailed, at least for the rest of the night. And my wife and daughter are safely in hiding," There's a little glimmer of smugness, in his face.

Tiago is about to drawl on about how he doesn't care, how he's the /man/ of this house and pays them bills and all, but he's suddenly sidetracked. His mouth, still open in that half sneer, closes, and he ends up furrowing his brows heavily and pursing his lips into a tight frown. "…What d'you mean, the government's kidnappin' you?" Beat. Petulantly, his gaze swivels over to Felix. "…Who /are/ you, anyway. And how d'you know you can trust 'im, Lena?"

Lena hugs her knees more tightly, as if she could hide from the look on Tiago's face by hunkering down behind her legs. "They're taking people like me. Rounding them all up. That girl said she'd got away from them and now this guy…Felix, right? They're after him too, I saw them, Chi. It…it didn't smell like a set-up." Pause. "He swore on his kid's life," she adds, almost meekly. It might be that's an apology for the threat earlier.

"My name is Felix Ivanov, and she doesn't know if she can trust me," Fel supplies, with a funny exaggerated casualness. As if it's all the same to him if they do or don't. "I am an FBI agent, but that doesn't seem to have protected me from being singled out for surveillance by some other agency."

Tiago's next question is immediate - it follows a very deliberate pause, a very pronounced suspicious glance. "Why d'you want ta help us out. What you got in it for you." It's not even a question so much as it is a demand, for in the man's world no action is devoid of an ulterior motive. Licking his lips tentatively, his eyes narrow and he takes a step closer to them. "Why're they takin' people like you? What agency is this?"

Lena shoots a one-eyed glare at Felix. Don't tell the angry Brazilian that there is no reason to trust the spook in his living room! That's about all the ire she can muster though. "He got grabbed, Chi. By this other group that's…trying to help now, I guess. He knows what it's like. I dunno why…in the movies it's always for experiments." The Agent is going to have to field that one, and she looks from her roommate to the man in question, waiting.

"I don't actually know what agency. My clearance level isn't that high. Experiments does seem likely. To determine our capabilities, see what sort of threat we do represent," Fel says, quietly. "Because that's part of my job. And because the more of us that are free, the better we'll do. Listen. Let me show you something," He tugs at the collar of his suit jacket, removes his tie and stuffs it in the pocket of his coat, and opens the throat of the pale blue Oxford shirt he's wearing - trying to expose some point on the back of his neck.

Tiago lets out a short bark of dry laughter, although he is anything but amused judging by his expression. "You're workin' for the government that's tryin' ta track you down. Fuckin' priceless. You're all a bunch of hypocritical ass holes." He has nothing but nice things to say about the authority figures in this country, obviously. "It's real easy ta say nice shit like that. Look - I can say it too. I was grabbed for my superpower. Now I'm fightin' them off! Rar!" His point made, he /is/ rather curious about what Felix seems to want to show him. Eyes squinting, he shuffles closer to catch a better look.

Lena lets out a puff of air, cheeks swelling with the breath. "This is serious, Chi. I could end up in a lab somewhere, with my brain in a jar! He's the only one who's answered my questions!" And to think she's supposed to be the paranoid one, while Tiago's the charmer. Of course, even Lena can't argue that Felix might be telling them lies… "What's he got?" Curiosity compels the girl to get off the couch and circle around the chair, closer to Chi, to get a look at Felix's neck.

Just below and to the left of the nape of his neck is a weird double scar. Like someone tried to…staple him? "Do you see the mark?" he asks them, even as he ducks his head to let them get a better look. At least he doesn't have long hair. "That's an isotope tracking mark. If you meet someone and they claim to have been employed by the Company because of their powers, they'll have that scar."

Tiago shoots Lena a truly irritated sort of look, scowling in her direction. "If you think I don't take this shit seriously, then you don't know me at all." It's short and concise, spoken with little to no emotion. Peeking over, the sight of the scar takes him aback slightly. There is is. Irrefutable evidence that /something/ is going on. Despite himself, he can help but wish he /didn't/ actually see it. "…Tracking. So they can like, track ya here, right now? And…and they're the good guys, yeah?"

Lena is in trouble, and she knows it. Her shoulders end up around her ears, chin tucked down while she regards the mark and ponders its implications. "Jesus," she remarks faintly. That will be her one contribution before retreating to the couch again. There she will curl up, choosing this time to hug one of the cushions to her stomach.

"The system is offline," Fel states, with the charming lack of affect of an android. "And no," he adds. "There are no white hats in this fight. Just shades of gray." He straightens, glances from one to the other. Apparently feeling they're in need of further demonstrations, he reaches into his suitjacket pocket, comes out with a quarter. He displays it to them on his palm, like a stage magician starting a trick. And then flips his hand to drop it. It doesn't drop to chime against the floor, though - he removes his hand, and it's caught in midair, hovering.

And what does that actually mean? Well, Tiago needs clarification as he blinks, a handful of times, to Felix. "…So…they /can't/ track you usin' that thing, then." Beat. He watches the pseudo magic show, not with awe, but with a calculated sort of grimness about him. It's looking like he can't just write off Felix as a liar any longer. "…Okay. Fine. So, pretendin' you're who you say you are…what can ya do ta help? What does she got ta do?"

Lena's eyes shift towards Tiago, the expression in the good one indescribable. There's a little nausea, a dash of hope, maybe a hint of surprise. But before he can catch her looking, she returns to observing the sideshow. Coin-floating…for some reason, it makes the girl crinkle her nose. "There needs to be some good guys. We're fucking good guys," she says without a hint of irony. "How do we know if I've been tagged, too?"

"Do you have the mark? There may be other systems, I don't know," Fel admits, without a twitch of shame. "You'd've lost time." He flattens his palm under the coin, lets it sink oh so slowly down to his hand. "Be ready to run," he says, simply. "I'm not Superman, I don't have a sanctuary for you. I'm not even in contact with other agents of the Company, at the moment. We're not some all-powerful monolithic organization. We're also on the run."

Tiago licks his lips gingerly. "Ta run, you say. We need ta be prepared ta leave everythin' behind and run…/again/." Fuck. He had just gotten the apartment the way he liked it, too! Lost in his introspective musings, the man recoils a little, thrusting his hands into the pockets of his baggy sweats before, finally, his eyes shoot upwards with a new sort of determination. "Well…I still aint sure why you're here. But…thanks. I'm sorry I freaked out at ya. But you gotta understand, it's been…" Sigh. "It's been one hell of a fuckin' week." His eyes cut over to Lena. "She…well, she knows how ta contact you, yeah? I aint tryin' ta be rude now…but I think maybe I got ta talk ta her. One on one. You know, personal-like."

Lena claps a hand to the back of her neck, sitting bolt upright and looking rather terrified at the thought. "N-no…I'm not, I can't be. Drugs don't work on me, they couldn't have knocked me out, right?" She looks to Tiago for confirmation, reassurance. Funny, that she can't seem to find any of that in the young man's show of confidence. A talk, huh? She'll just…sink back against the cushions and looks pale. "I…yeah, I got his card. Thanks for…thanks for telling us, Felix. You're okay for a cop. Fed." Whatever.

"Believe me, I do understand," Fel says, voice very dry. "And thank you. Call me. We'll figure out a safe way to contact each other."

Tiago nods to Felix solemnly, absolutely ignoring Lena for the time being, and he continues to walk forward to escort the cop out. "We will, sir. Y'can count on it. Thanks again. She's right, you seem like a good guy. I…er, I don't know much of what I can do ta help, but I'm like…here and shit." Beat. "Oh and…if you can like, forget about me jumpin' out naked and stuff, I'd be super grateful. Ahem. Stay safe, man." The door is opened respectfully for Felix.

"Yeah…good luck," Lena puts in, from her safe spot on the couch. Behind the pillow. "We'll call you, definitely."

And Fel vanishes into the hall, without a further word. Work here apparently accomplished.

The door closes behind Felix's departing back without further ado. Silence hangs over the apartment, heavy and suffocating, only broken by the soft click of the lock turning in place. And if that wasn't bad enough, the look that Tiago gives Lena once he turns around ought to be enough to make the Evolved want to curl up and die. For once, Tiago is in the right. And by George, he's going to milk it for all its worth.

Lena curls up but she isn't dead yet. For all that she might wish she were. She huddles behind the cushion, her one good eye peeping over its tacky green edge with definite apprehension. The silence drags out, longer and longer, until finally it's broken by a rather childlike explanation. "I, um, went out earlier. While you were sleeping. Things got kinda weird after that."

She drops that like a penny into a pool and waits to see what ripples take shape.

"I figured." Tiago deadpans, his expression curled into one of wry, dark amusement. "I'm pretty sure the Feds don't take fuckin' house calls. He was all up in our grill, but didn't know shit about me. So /obviously/ you had ta be the one ta go out and fish him up then drag him over." Can you taste the bitter dripping from his words? He is silent for a moment longer, considering what exactly he wants to do next before he moves towards the woman, crossing his arms over his chest. "I'm pissed at ya. And I shouldn't even be tellin' you this. I should do that bullshit thing that you always do and pretend ta be fine and then cuss you out after."

"I couldn't think of anywhere else I'd be safe to talk to him alone. I knew you'd be in the next room, so I'd be okay? I…I had to talk to him, Chi. He knew stuff we need to know." Lena's arms tighten around the pillow and she sinks down, until it looks like she's either about to melt into the couch, or slide right off of onto the floor. "I know you're mad and you're right to be mad, but…I thought this was important."

Tiago fixes his unrelenting, unforgiving stare on her. It's terrible, the way his usually warm green eyes seem to have chilled over, taken over by a foreign, clinical man. In fact, his entire disposition in general seems to make him look like a different person altogether. The Tiago that Lena and everyone else knows is young, vibrant and immature - this present Tiago is anything /but/ that. "So you disappear while I'm fuckin' knocked out. And you know what, at first I never thought you'd so shit like that…but now I'm wondering if /you/ were the one ta put me ta sleep in the first place. You fuckin' /threatened/ me, in front of someone else. You undermined me, made me out ta be some fuckin' joke in front of a fed, and then /threatened/ ta put me in my place." He is darkly silent, but only for a moment. "I could hit ya, you know. Ta put you in your place. I could beat ya, but I don't. And I don't /threaten/ ta either. So how come its fucking okay for you to do it."

Lena flinches. There's nothing attractive about it, the cringing back, the way her expression transforms from merely apprehensive to horrified. Is that what she did? Treated him the way she used to be treated? "Chi, I…I wouldn't, I didn't…I swear to god, I didn't. I shouldn't have said that, you just…when you said I brought him back here to fuck him, I just snapped, I'd just found out that the government's taking people like me, and I…" It's a spastic, sputtering recitation and at the end of it, the girl sets the pillow aside in order to stand up. She only means to walk by him towards the kitchen, looking numb. A glass of water is in order.

"You did." Tiago has no sympathy for her. None at all. He's had a lot of time to think thing over, while he was holed up and freaking out in the bathroom, and he has a lot more cause to be upset than she ever did, and she /tortured/ him for days on end. "And then you started acting like I was a dumb ass. Like I don't take your fuckin' situation seriously, like I don't fuckin' care about you. I've done /everything/, I've given up /everythin'/ for you. I go out there ta work every day so that we can live like this, I watch ya and protect ya all I can. I mean, fuckin' hell. I was the one that got you out of Miami, remember that? Remember Jose? And remember that I did all this shit without ever gettin' anything back, that I couldn't even touch ya until a month ago, when I 'forced' myself on you." It's clear, he's dumping all of his grievances with their relationship on her at this moment, having taken advantage of her screw up. "So maybe you can stop actin' like an entitled bitch and show some appreciation sometime. God, I swear, sometimes it feels like /you're/ the one doin' me favors by stickin' with me. Like I'm the one that always has ta fight so hard for everythin'."

The tap is turned on in the kitchen, a glass held under the water, but instead of drinking it, Lena holds it to her forehead and closes her eyes. "I said I'm sorry," she mumbles, too upset to worry about silly little things like proper enunciation. The Southern accent is thick and heavy. "I'm sorry. I shouldn'tve said that to you in front of him, Chi. I fucked up, okay? But I'm not doin' you any favors by sticking around and I never acted like that, not once. Jesus fucking christ. You think I'm not grateful? Like, really?"

"Yeah. You did. Jus' like I did, and guess what? I had ta sleep on the fuckin' sofa. So yeah, welcome ta the fuckin' doghouse." Please tidy up after you leave it, as Tiago undoubtedly will be habituating it soon, as per the natural order of things. Out of steam for the time being, the man makes his sullen retreat, looking incurably solemn as he returns to their bedroom behind him. The fact that he keeps the door open is encouraging at the very least, though.

He's allowed to make that exit, given the last word. Hell, he's earned it after putting up with Lena and her baggage for a full month. So she lets him go. After a few minutes, the pipes gurgle as the water is poured out, glass tinks as the cup is returned to the cabinet. Floorboards creak (she's crossing the living room towards the hall), then creak again (back from the hall to the living room), and the springs on the couch protest when she sits on it again.

Then, very distinctly in the near silent apartment, is the vwwwwip of shoelaces being pulled up tight, followed by the rustle of Lena's old winter coat being pulled on.

Who knows what Tiago was doing in that dark, dismal place known as their bedroom, but he magically emerges just as she gathers her belonging to do her little disappear act. At first, he doesn't recognize the signs of her desire to flee, doesn't register that the trainers plus the coat can only mean one thing. But as he peers at her retreating back, it occurs to him - and frankly, he gets rather irritated. "Are you fuckin' serious! You were the one who heard all that bullshit about kidnappin' and whatever, and you're /still/ wanting ta go outside! Fuck you, no you're not! You aint takin' a step outside this apartment, Lena! Fuck, the last times ya did, you got hurt, and that was with me ta protect you!"

"The last time I did, I found someone to answer our questions," she corrects him in low tones. Lena has to stop to do up the snaps of her coat and then draw her gloves on; walking plus additional action are a little beyond her at the moment. As she adjusts the fingers, she throws a look at the man. There's no anger in that look. Maybe a little of frustration, but mostly she's looking glass-eyed. Shell-shocked. "I'm not sitting in here while you grind your teeth in the other room. I'm not gonna sit here and think about how fucked up things have gotten. I can't take anything to turn my brain off for awhile, so I'm going to the arcade, okay?" Bright lights and tinny music are a decent substitute for drugs or liquor.

"I wouldn't be bringin' that up, Lena. 'Cause you found a bull answer for /some/ of our questions, but you also managed ta fuck me over big time. You're /not/ going outside." Tiago repeats dryly, his lips pursing into a tight line as he moves forward swiftly to cut her off and stand between the woman and her only method of escape. The look on his face is determined and resolved. "God, why can't ya just fuckin' listen ta me?"

Wait, what? He's standing in her way? This new, determined Tiago earns himself a stare when the line is drawn in the sand. "…" It shouldn't seem possible that a human being could make that sound but Lena pulls it off somehow. The wordlessness lasts only a moment though before the girl lashes out. With words, thankfully. "Fuck you up? You mean after you accused me of sleeping with another guy? While you were in the next room? Knowing I haven't fucked around with anyone but you since Jose 'cause of what I am?" Lena takes a testing step forward, her eyes locked with his. "I'm listening to you and I don't like it much."

"You let a fucking cop in my house! /My/ house! Do you realize, Lena, how much stolen shit I've got here? D'you realize all the drugs and shit? D'you realize the fact that I'm /fuckin' illegal/, huh? Did that cross your mind once, at all? He coulda arrested me - no fuck that, he coulda /deported/ me! You don't bring cops here! Ever!" Tiago points out, highly defensive, he arm crossing over his chest as he stares her down, not moving a muscle as she approaches him. "Yeah you know what, this bein' super power thing is impressive. Okay. It's dangerous - whatever. But that don't mean that the non-special shit counts for any less. Jus' 'cause we now can get barbecued by convicts means not bein' arrested is any less important. And okay, whatever, so the cop wants ta help you out. But what if he wasn't so cool, huh? What if once he realized that I can't do jack squat, that I'm a fuckin' loser, that he didn't want ta help me, jus' you. What if he took me away?"

"He wouldn't!" Lena protests. "He doesn't give a shit about any of that! I closed your door, cleaned up the place. But he doesn't care, Chi, about any of that. See, it's good you're not a whatever. A mutant! It means to people like him, people like the ones…snatching people, you are less important. And that's gonna keep you safe, okay? You're safe. That's what matters." Seeing that he is not about to back down and kindly remove himself from the way, she eases backwards a step. Blinking rapidly, to keep her eyes clear. "Just let me go, Chi. You're not just pissed about tonight. It's everything. Let me go."

"What're you, deaf? I said you ain't goin' anywhere. You might as well take off that stupid coat, or else put me ta sleep, 'cause I aint movin' otherwise." Tiago declares mulishly. And indeed, standing there with his arms crossed, his chest broad an expansive, the man is resembling something of a brick wall in his stoicism. "And you don't know he wouldn't. You didn't know, and you put everythin' we had at risk. Fuck, Lena, you're not /stupid/. You know how bad people can be! He coulda been playing you the entire fuckin' time. He's said it himself, didn't he? There aint no such thing as good guys. He aint no good guy."

Lena's expression suffers a cramp when he brings up the earlier threat. Again. Without a word, she turns on her heel and stomps back down the hall, shedding the coat as she goes. The gloves stay on, that might be reassuring.

Could it be, he's won this round?

It would appear so. Lena ducks into their bedroom, appropriates a blanket and reappears a moment later. Then it's off to the couch with her, where she kicks off her shoes and lays down with the aforementioned blanket pulled over her head.

For the first time since he's woken up tonight, Tiago shows hesitation. His brows furrow, and he peers back at his defeated girlfriend with a conflicted expression. In the end, he finds that all he can really do is swallow thickly as his mentally wars it out. On the one hand, he wants to run to her, to comfort her. But on the other - she has made him suffer much worse. She needs to be taught a lesson. In the end, he ends up dragging his feet back towards the bedroom, though he pauses right beside the couch that the girl has curled up in. "…I'm jus' tryin' ta look out for you, Lena." He grumbles under his breath, justifying his seemingly harsh tactics. "You might hate me right now, but I'm only doin' it 'cause I love you and I couldn't stand it if anythin' happened ta you…"

They have such a healthy relationship. There is a suspicious silence under that blanket, a stillness that comes holding the breath completely. Lena is waiting for Tiago to move on and stop rubbing it in. But as his justifications continue, a low trembling starts. And then there's a hitching breath. A sniff. A thick voice that mutters, "…don't hate you," before the covers are pulled more tightly around the lump that's probably the teenager's head.

Tiago pauses at this, his eyebrows screwed together in thought as he considers what the appropriate response should be, or if there even is one. In the end, he lets out a slow, deliberate sigh and undoes the arms crossed over his hands, dropping on arms to reach over and touch what he estimates to be her shoulder through the barrier of the blanket. "…Well…jus', don't pull that whole disappearin' act until after I wake up. I get too worried when I dunno where you are."

Crying is such an insidious weapon. Not that she ever intends to use it that way, generally detesting the whole cry-baby weak woman act; she has better ways to get what she wants. Also, Lena loathes the way her nose gets all big and puffy when she's been acting like a girl. So she remains safely hidden under the blanket and does her best to sound as if she weren't quietly indulging in some hormonal misery. "I'm not goin' anywhere. I'm goin' to sleep."

"Okay. Okay, good." Tiago offers, licking his lips tentatively as he gives her one final pat of support before retracting his hand. He's left to shuffle uncomfortably on his feet for a couple of seconds, unwilling to leave her alone during such a vulnerable situation, but still seeking that bit of revenge and, on a nicer side, dimly aware that she'd rather suffer in peace. In the end, he offers this. "…Don't…don't cry, baby. I…uh. Yeah."

"I'm fine," Lena insists in a low, nasal tone. Her nose is stuffed up now but god forbid she sniff to clear it. It'd ruin that whole I'm not really crying act. She remains motionless under the blanket, neither turning away or softening towards him. "Go to bed, Chi. I'll be here in the morning."

Tiago adopts a sheepish kind of look, before lowering his eyes to his feet. "Well…okay. Good night. I - uh - sweet dreams." And he, finally, ends up shuffling off in the direction of their bedroom.

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