2007-07-18: Sanity and Compassion Don't Mix

Starring:

Aileen_icon.gif George_icon.gif McAlister_icon.gif Felix_icon.gif

Summary: Four people who all happened to be in the same location the night before end up converging in Common Grounds. Felix and Aileen chat about work and re-meet after having met several years ago, Ali and George wander in for some coffee.

Date It Happened: July 18th, 2007

Sanity and Compassion Don't Mix


Midtown, NYC - Common Grounds

He looks awfully corporate, and definitely not the usual clientele here. But it's got fond memories from his college days, so Felix is waiting patiently in line for mocha, briefcase in one hand, idly texting with a thumb as he shuffles forward one step at a time.

Aileen is headed into Common Grounds for.. coffee. Why, yes, what a novel thing to get from a coffee shop. Really, last night was a bit restless. She couldn't really sleep. With a lot on her mind, she really just needed the coffee. Especially if she had to go in for work. Stepping into line, Aileen rubs her face a little in an attempt to wake up.

She's right behind him. And Felix sends off his message with a last flick of the thumb. Aileen has his attention, and he's frankly craning his neck to peer at her, brow furrowed. "Don't I know you?" he asks, almost diffidently.

Glancing back over, Aileen offers a smile. "Possibly.. so long as you didn't lose a wife a blame the hospital or go around trying to mug people." She rubs her head a little. "Sorry, just having an interesting couple of weeks. Dr. Aileen Kincade. And now that you mention it, you do look familiar."

Felix smirks, which looks decidedly odd on his long face. "I…..now I remember!" he says, recognition dawning, even as he steps forward a pace or two in the line. "When I was in Mt. Sinai after I got shot. You were one of my attending physicians? Or were you an intern at the time?"

"Gunshot, gunshot.." Aileen blinks for a moment, then grins. "Oh, I do remember that. Yeah, I was an intern at the time." She looks back over at him. "I see you're doing much better. Not getting shot anymore, I hope?"

Felix lays a hand over the old scar. "Managed to avoid it, since then," he explains, bright-eyed and a little smug.

Aileen offers a bit of a nod at that, as well as a grin. "Good. Keep it that way. I won't be able to help so much next time.. unless you get shot in the head or something. I'm in neurology now."

"Now that's a step up," Felix approves, grinning brightly at her. "Felix Ivanov, by the way. Transferred out of the NYPD, myself. Into the FBI, though, so not perhaps wiser than I was…."

"Dangerous profession. Less chance of getting outright shot.. but I'm sure there's more of a chance of getting blown up, being held hostage, or tortured." Aileen nods a little. "Well, you definitely moved up though. Good to see that."

Felix hastily places his order, and steps out of the way, reluctant to abandon the conversation. He's in suit and oxfords today, rather than the sweats and gear he was toting last night. "Most of my old colleagues in the NYPD would disagree with you," he says, with a very rueful grin. "They'd look at joining the Feebs as something of a demotion. But happily, less danger of being shot, and no one's yet begun planting IEDs on my way to work. Still at Mt. Sinai?"

Ordering her own coffee, Aileen steps out of the way for the next customer, looking back at Felix. "Oh, I'm sure they think lesser of it, but I think the general populace respects the FBI a lot more. But yeah, I'm still at Mt. Sinai. Almost working as many hours as I had during my internship, which is really saying something."

"—two mediums and a small for over fifty?" George is in mid-conversation with McAlister as he steps inside, pushing the door open absently with one shoulder. "Guy needs to learn the difference between a pizza dive and Commander's Palace. I mean, he's already dealing with one of those mid-parking-lot zones that changes names every year because nobody can keep open for longer…"

"Yeah, well - he really /likes/ his pie." Ali admits, following the fellow in - "And it's pretty good pie - maybe even better than Joe's, but not for the price." The Jersey girl looks positively wiped, yawning and moving stiffly, hands stuffed in jeans pockets - but that doesn't seem to stop the flow of conversation. "Don't look at me. I'm broke, remember?"

Oh, it's….did he get their names? Do they remember him from the near-accident that other night? Felix pauses, and looks chagrined for a moment, before dragging his attention back to the conversation at hand. "I don't know how you do it," he says, with a tinge of admiration in his voice.

Blushing with embarassment, Aileen reaches for her coffee. "It's called sleepless nights, lots and lots of coffee and an almost non-existant social life." She grins, moving to take a sip from her coffee. Or trying to. It's a bit too hot quite yet. "Really, though, someone has to do it."

George is already reaching for his wallet. "And I still owe you those corn dogs, I know. I swear the guy /was/ there the last three weeks in a row! Must've come down with something." At this point, he looks around, spotting Felix and then Aileen. "Ooh, and speaking of last night…"

".. I know - I'm sorry. We got to talking and then we didn't pay any attention.. " Ali rolls her eyes, trailing after George. "She's a friend. I hadn't seen her in a while." It's a leeetle defensive.. but Felix and Aileen get a grin anyway. A vaguely blank grin, but a grin nontheless.

The grin Felix offers in return is sheepish enough to give him trouble with Scotsmen, were any present. Almost sickly. "Better you than me. I don't know how you maintain both your sanity and your compassion with a schedule like that, honestly," he says, turning back to Aileen.

"Oh, god. You can't possibly think I'm compassionate /and/ sane. You have to give up one or the other." Aileen grins. "It's anyone's guess which one I've actually got." She sips her coffee now, which seems to be cooling nicely.

George waves a dismissive hand. "Hey, don't worry about it— schedules get hard to keep up with sometimes." If he knew what the friend was capable of, he'd be a lot quicker to register his lack of objection. "Well, you missed an upstanding young citizen driving under the influence and nearly getting into two separate wrecks. /That/ was fun. And I think someone was trying to swipe Jane's guitar case on top of it."

"Well, you were certainly kind when you treated me," Felix offers, cocking his head at her, gently. "And you seem sane enough. Unless the sheer workload has broke you?" He motions with his chin at one of the seats. "Join me? I'm offduty for the evening."

"… uh." Ali.. laughs. She can't help it - settling into line with George - "Can I honestly say that doesn't sound like I /missed/ anything - more.. .. can I say I'm glad I avoided it?" Frowning, abruptly - "I wonder if it was.." A shake of her head. "No. No way I should be /that/ paranoid, right?"

Aileen notes George and Ali out of the corner of her eye, offering a wave before looking back to Felix. "Who knows. Most of my patients are the worst… head trama can get pretty bad. I don't hang out with enough normal, healthy people to know if I'm completely out of my head or if I'm good for a few more sane years." She nods, moving for the table with her coffee.

George waves back to Aileen, leaving her to her conversation with Felix. If they want to chime in on the Stratus incident, they've got an easy opening to do so. "I think you can— I mean, anyone could've been hit. Guy did hit the brakes at the end, just ended up bruising somebody's—" But that last comment catches him off guard; he turns and squints. "Paranoid about what?"

"Nothing." Ali steps up - and orders. Perhaps even a bit pre-emptively. "A triple-shot mocha? I know. I need the caffiene, right?" That would be a blatant question dodge, there - but at least it's done with a smile.

"Wouldn't cocaine be cheaper and easier?" Felix opines, all innocence. He glances over at George. "Hell of a thing, wasn't it?" He interjects, quietly. "Glad there didn't seem to be any real casualties." His tone is polite, cheerful. He grins at Aileen again. "No more benchmarks for sanity, eh?"

Glancing back over to George and Ali, Aileen jokes. "Well, cocaine isn't.. you know, entirely legal." She smiles, rubbing her neck. "Yeah, it was kind of a lucky thing. If those cars had collided? Definitely a casualty, and if not that, someone would probably end up not being able to use some parts of their body. Strange thing, though. Don't know how they managed to stop."

George shakes his head. "Those lines haven't crossed /quite/ yet." He leans over and murmurs something else in Ali's ear, then straightens up and nods to Aileen. "I don't, either, but good thing they did. We can use more of that kind of strangeness."
"Good brakes?" Ali tosses that lightly Aileen's way, with a wink - slightly startled at George's nearness for the murmer, blinking as he leans away. ".. you getting coffee?"

"Amazing what luck some people have," Felix says mildly, glancing down ito his own cup. He grins lopsidedly at Aileen. "I know, I know. But there are times when I think a triple espresso is as chemically potent, you know?"

"Agreed. While I love my job, it's one that the world would be better off if I had less to do." Aileen smiles. She glances over to George and Ali for a moment, studying them before she turns back to Felix. "Ah, very true. Not to mention you get pretty hooked when you've got that much caffiene in your system." She sips from her own cup, letting out a breath. "Well, I simply hope I don't end up running into something like that again. I'm better off in situations where I've got at least a few others to back me up and some anesthesia if I need it." She chuckles.

George returns his attention to the counter now, flipping through his wallet and taking out a small handful of bills. "I was thinking hot chocolate, actually. Used to it being hotter in July." Handing the bills over, he looks for a place to settle in afterward.

"You're.. insane. It's like ninety in the /shade/." Ali's exaggerating, but not by much, grinning. Once her coffee's together, she tags along wherever George ends up heading, blowing on the hot liquid. "What - were you doing the Afghanistan thing or something? Or Phoenix? That's about all I got."

Felix admits, lifting his own iced mocha, "Oh, it's very much an addiction. Just a legal one," he says, with mock solemnity. He gives George a looking-over at that offhand comment. "Afghanistan?" he wonders, rather rudely.

"A legal one." Aileen echoes, looking back down at her coffee, sipping it quietly. She's got no prying questions of her own, nor is she really eavesdropping. She's just thinking.

George grins back at Ali. "Good guess, Holmes, but no— east Texas. Ninety in the shade /and/ hundred percent humidity. Maybe higher, really. Dry heat, I can deal with." Of course, an oven counts as dry heat, too, so really he /is/ being a bit nuts here.

"Uh-huh. Texas explains a lot, though." When the pair gets to chairs and tables, Ali settles, grinning widely - "So how many guns do you own? I've heard the rumors - there's got to be /some/ truth to 'em." She props a foot up on a chair, comfortable - giving Felix a pointed - "Hey, it was worth a shot, right?"

For a moment, Felix assumes the question was aimed at him. "Well, there's my duty piece, which is a SigSauer .45, but I also own a Walther PPK," he says, somberly, before blushing. "Oh, you meant him." He grins at Aileen. "For what it's worth."

Aileen smiles, a little amused at Ali trying to further the stereotype, but she looks back to Felix, laughing at his mistake. "Well, just be careful with those. I don't want to hear you've been shot /again/."

Invisible cowboy hat! George pantomimes hanging it on the back of his chair before sitting down. "My dad took me shooting, once, just tin cans outside the city limits. I was terrible at it." He shakes his head, then glances over at Felix and wisely keeps his mouth shut.

He's blushing, still. "Well, I didn't shoot myself the first time!" he protests, voice still mild. "Someone else did that for me."

"No, but it doesn't hurt to be cautious." Aileen grins, sipping from her coffee before setting it down.

"Oh, I generally am," Felix assures her, earnestly. "That was getting shot in the back by a perp. Never had an accident on the range myself."

"Well, that's a good thing. No getting yourself shot in the back, then." Aileen glance into her rapidly dwindling cup of coffee.

Felix nods, fervently. "Once was more than enough, believe you me, despite the quality of the treatment I got."

"Well, I do hope you enjoyed your stay in Mt. Sinai. Honestly? I just got lucky they were a bit understaffed at the time. Usually they dont let interns do important stuff." Aileen wrinkles her nose. "Usually they get bedpan duty."

"I lived. I won't argue with their decision," Felix says, voice very dry.

Aileen smiles a little. "You lived. It's a good thing."

Felix gives her a lopsided half-smile. "I give thanks every day, honestly," he says.

"Glad to hear that." Aileen finishes up her cup, setting it back down on the table. "Doctors don't usually get thanked unless they perform a straight out miracle." She rubs her neck. "I'm pretty sure it'll run me into an early grave sometime. If not simply from the thankless work than from the disgruntled families."

Felix reaches over to clap her on the shoulder. "I know. We don't value good health like we should. But let me thank you, eh?"

She pats the hand on her shoulder, smiling again. "Thank you. It's just nice to know you've done a good job every once and a while.. you know?" Aileen says.

Felix hands her his card, having pulled it from some inner pocket of his suit. "I do. Listen, if there's ever a favor I can do you, call me?" he says, simply, proffering it to her.

Aileen nods, reaching out and taking the card. "You don't have to try and make it up to me. I was just the intern." She does smile, however, pocketing the card.

He actually winks at her. "I'll consider it a return on my good karma."

Aileen can't help but grin, nodding back to him. "I'll definitely call you, then."

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