2007-10-12: Spat


Niki_icon.gif DL_icon.gif

Summary: What happens when you finally realize that your wife doesn't need you?

Date It Happened: October 12, 2007



Walking down one of the more familiar streets in Queens, close to home, Niki has a slightly faraway and cloudy expression. There's a trim-fitting trench style coat wrapped around her in a shade of dark blue, soft around what would otherwise be sharp angles; faux suede. It's a good thing she's holding tightly onto the hand of the man next to her, D.L. Hawkins - he's probably serving as an anchor, otherwise her unfocused moving through the world might cause her to bump into one of the other many bodies roaming NYC. "I think there's someone following me," she says out of the blue - so it would seem, but the sight of a particular apartment building near a playground jars her memory.

D.L. is always the anchor. Always. This is probably why he only tends to show up in random spurts or during plot-driven moments that further along the story. But that's just fine by him. He knows his place and sticks in it well. His hand is clutching Niki's pretty tightly, as if to make sure that nothing can take her away from him and the moment she says that, he's immediately looking around to see if there's anything suspicious going on. He doesn't want to have to beat the holy majoly out of somebody right now. But he will. "I'm here. Don't matter." Cuz he'll pulverize 'em.

"I might just be paranoid." She has reason to be, these days. All days. Every day! While Niki appreciates D.L.'s reassurance, she can't help but glance sidelong at him and give him a soft … look. A look that says 'you can't stop everything'. And hey— maybe this really is nothing, after all. "He just keeps showing up. Says he lives nearby, but…" The woman shrugs, almost imperceptible underneath her coat, save for the light jostle of blonde hair over her shoulders. "He's FBI."

"Then he's a problem." D.L. doesn't sound like he's worried. But he probably is. In fact, he's more worried now than he was before this conversation started, because if the FBI's involved, this could mean big trouble for some other things that he has going. But that's neither here nor there. The priority, now, is keeping Niki safe and that's it. "I'll find out how nearby he lives and take care of it." Yes. Yes, he can stop everything.

"He lives right there." Niki twists as she strides along the street, looking back at the apartment they just passed and pointing over her shoulder with her free hand for her husband's benefit — in other words, the detriment of said FBI agent. "His name's… Ivanov," she offers up with a more obvious shrug, playing it off as casual, now, as if she's not worried, either. "Felix Ivanov. It's just… the timing. I dunno, with those men who showed up looking for you, and those guys in Vegas…"

D.L.'s feet manage to come to a stop the moment she points out the apartment. "Let's go." And he's already turning on his heels and making sure to keep a firm grip on his wife as he makes it a point to back track so that he can get over to the apartment building. "We can settle this right now." Anger is already rising, in that Over Protective Husband way.

Niki's cowboy-styled boots skid on some stray gravel underfoot when D.L. gets it in his head to backtrack. Her grip is just as firm, but anxious; she stops in her tracks. "What?" She stares up at the building and, in turn, at D.L. with the same expression: 'OMG'. "I don't even know what floor he's on! What're you gonna do, spy on an FBI agent? What if we get caught?"

"Actually, the plan was so much simpler than that." D.L. states, also stopped in his tracks by the stopping of his wife's tracks. He ends up looking at the apartment building also, but only after looking back to Niki. "You point him out. I knock him out. Problem solved." The sad thing is that he really thinks that's the solution.

You know, that… that does very little to change Niki's feelings on this sudden mission, D.L. Her features only grow more skeptical and worried, maybe for her husband's sanity. "I'm… not… following. In what world does knocking out a fed sound like a good plan?"

"Last time I checked, as your husband, I would've thought you'd want me to knock out anybody that's following you around." And now is the part where D.L. is going to have to pull his hand free from her grip. See, this is the hard part of not being the strong one in the relationship, because then you have to deal with not actually being able to protect your woman and having to overcompensate in a bully-ish manner. "Feds or anyone else.

When it's released, Niki brings her pale hand to her forehead as if it might soothe away the lines of stress there (it doesn't) and closes her eyes against the sights of Queens for a moment. "He might not even actually be— " Deep breath! "This isn't high school. You're actually … talking about hitting an FBI agent. Just stop and think for a second."

Figures. Just figures. When did standing up for the honor of the woman you love become a bad thing? All he ever wanted to do was love and protect his wife and son and now he can't even do that without getting hassled. Maybe he should've just stayed dead. "Y'know what? Fine. Let him follow you." And D.L.'s little temper is rising enough for him to get back to walking… right on past his woman. "Forgot you can take care of yourself anyway." Mutter.

Is— is this— he's actually— and zoom.

That's about the extent of Niki's wordless reaction. She gapes, stares. Incredulous, but maybe she shouldn't be. Seeming stuck to the sidewalk, it takes her several seconds before she starts stalking after D.L. to catch up. "Yeah, you're right, D.L., I can take care of myself. I have practice," she snaps back without thinking. As she catches up, falling in place beside him, she adds in a hushed tone that's just as tense, through her teeth, "Excuse me for not wanting you to go to jail again after I just got you back."

These two were due for an argument, it seems. Because now it's happening. And it's all an unseen FBI agent's fault, apparently. Because D.L. sure as hell ain't going to be taking the blame. Even though it's going to come down to being his fault, in the long run, because he's the guy and guys are always at fault when it comes to arguments with their significant others. "No jail can hold me." is the only thing he says, not even looking at her. He's just going to keep walking. Maybe he'll get lucky and she'll give up or something.

"Fine." Niki's one word, flippant answer is all too typical and infuriating response of females everywhere. Her strides are faster than they were several minutes in the past - you know, when they weren't arguing and just strolling down the street. Her heels seem to slam the sidewalk harder.

Oh god. Now here we go with the silent treatment. Maybe this whole married life thing is for the birds. Or for people that can actually stand each other. Or something. Sighing and stopping, D.L. just shakes his head. "Look." And now his tone is less angry and more frustrated. "I'm just tryin' to make sure you're okay. If you don't want me beatin' up on people that mess with you, then I won't. I won't do nothin'." What /can/ he do that she can't anyway? Not much. "I love you, Niki. I can't…" He gives a wave of his hand. "Just forget it. I'm sorry, alright? Let's just… go." Yeah. His fault.

Resigned to petulant silence, Niki doesn't stop for a solid two or three feet after D.L. does, even though she hears him. After her sharp footfalls come to a stop and the blue coattails of her pseudo-trenchcoat fluttering to catch up, she turns around with her arms crossed. "I know you wanna protect me." While there's a tense edge to her voice, at least there's the telltale twinkle of understanding in her eyes. "Just— you're jumping the gun." Arms stiffly uncrossing, she starts to turn back around. "C'mon."

Yeah. Right. D.L.'s always jumping the gun. Because not jumping the gun usually means that it's too late. And then what? Then something happens to his wife and he's got to try and raise Micah by himself and that's not something he's going to be able to do. No matter how much he loves his son. "Sorry." is the only words he has for the woman now. D.L.'s going to have to be more secretive and compliant, if he's ever going to get out of the mess that he's in. Even if it means that he never gets to see his family again. Wait. Spoilers.

Anyway, D.L. takes the steps needed to draw himself back up next to Niki and he shoves his hands into his pockets, just in case she's not wanting to hold him right now.

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