2007-09-08: The Bourne Audit


Benjamin_icon.gif Felix_icon.gif Church_icon.gif

Summary: Church happens upon a pair of paper-pushers named Benjamin and Felix. He and Felix also have a heart-to-heart about other things, which includes coupons and Mariska.

Date It Happened: September 8th, 2007

The Bourne Audit

Office Wing, Primatech Research; Hartsdale, NY

God. It'd be so nice if he had a decent office, somewhere. In the NYPD, he shared a cube with about a zillion other detectives. In the FBI, he's crammed into a file cabinet with the unfortunate Stan. And….well, here, he's the low man on the totem pole, so Felix is off on a rickety desk in one of the spare offices, patiently going through more induction paperwork. They don't show this stuff in the spy movies, do they?

Felix isn't the only one low on the totem pole around here. Benjamin's setup isn't much better, but he understands he doesn't warrant much more than what he has. Not that his surroundings mean much to him today, other things are on his mind. The hangover he's got, the information flooding his mind.. the brief report he's filed, and the anxiety looming as a result of said report.

"I…." Fel looks up from his paperwork, having come to the 'next of kin' part. "Do you think I should put down my parents? They're my only living relatives other than Sasha," the agent wonders, looking over at Ben, like he might be able to help. "They don't know shit about this, though. They don't even know they're grandparents," he says ruefully.

Benjamin rubs at his temples, thinking how bad of an idea tequila was. Especially when drinking with a Mexican. Yikes. Not a big coffee drinker, today's an exception, he takes a drink from his mug, 'Accountants Have Great Assets!', it cheerily announces, he glances over at Felix. "Put down your parents. If something goes wrong and they need to be notified, they'll be given a story. They won't be told the real details."

Church may have a shiny office with a shiny desk, but that doesn't really mean that he uses it all the time. It is a slow day, and the tediousness of what paperwork he did have to do has worn on his Srs Bzns nerves. The last one of those got shot, but at least he finished his work; now, Lawrence isn't so much in the mind to remain in his most boring of moods. He has been quiet for a couple hours, which is perhaps astounding. It is almost no surprise that he comes rolling out of his office with an intent for mischief. Literally rolling. He's taking his chair for a ride down the empty tile halls, earbuds in both of his ears. Clickclickclicks of metal wheels can be heard in the hall. Nobody is walking there! No harm! Unless you count the distracting 'boomf' that precedes the chair (and Lawrence in it) rocketing down the hallway and past the windows of nearly all the offices. If you blink you'll miss him!

I so didn't just see that. Fel himself is tired and irritable enough that somehow….seeing Church zip past has him snickering like a bored schoolboy. "God, this place is so surreal. And I still have to do insurance paperwork, even though I'm now working for some company that's basically a collective Bond villain. It's like… I don't know. Asking what sort of dental plan SMERSH has," he says, rising to stretch, lazily. "I feel like one of the Monarch's henchmen."

Mug at his lips, Benjamin glances towards the door and Church beyond it, then lowers the cup. "Surreal.. that's an appropriate word for things here." Shaking his head, and regretting the movement, Ben winces as he takes another sip. "They're not evil. They have questionable methods for good reasons." There's a rational reason here. "But I understand what you mean."

Clickaclickaclickaclicka- boomf. There he goes again! This time, however, the chair clickaclicks to a halt outside of the spare office occupied by Ben and Felix. Hi! I'm here to bother you! The door opens, and Church coasts into the office on his new set of wheels. The earbuds have been pulled out, at least! Sounds like something Spanish. "Howdy, fellas! I heard you like paperwork." Lawrence smiles to both of them as his chair comes to a halt at the other side of the room.

Felix pulls a face. "Like isn't the word. I'm tolerating it because. But between the Bureau and here… fuck. I should give up and become a secretary. Or something," Felix says, despairingly, even as he flips to the next page.

Benjamin winces again at the volume of Church's voice. "Paperwork is one of those job necessities." So okay, the tedious monotony of paperwork has its soothing moments where he's free to zone out. Not that he's admitting it aloud. Felix is given a brief glance, "I always kind of thought cop and FBI work involved a lot of paperwork. More than the movies let on anyway."

Church raises an eyebrow at the wince from Benjamin, allowing his voice to become decidedly less excited and in turn, less volume. "Too much protocol for you?" He asks Felix with a chuckle and a sideways glance. "Think of it like those things you fill out at the beginning of school, only for grown-up secret agents. You still need to fill out your taxes, too. Imagine that."

"It did. It does. I hated it then, I hate it now," Felix says, but his tone is more resigned than bitchy. "It's the one part of those jobs I really hated." He shrugs, and riffles through what he's working on. "At least I still have a job with the Bureau."

"Tequila," Benjamin says, a little grateful for the reduction in volume. "Taxes, I can help with," he offers. He even has the mug to prove he's qualified. "At least you do, it's a good cover I imagine." Another drink of coffee is downed, "How much more do you have to fill out?"

"Where did they take you? Africa or something?" Lawrence asks about the backstory offhand, hands occupied with his little MP3 player. "Too bad you didn't get a tan. You're kinda pasty."

"I'm Russian. We don't tan. We crisp," Felix retorts, shooting Church a look. "Not much more. A lot of personal history. Man, I don't even remember the name of my elementary school. It was in fucking Moscow, anyway. Yeah. According to the official story, the CIA renditioned me because I'm a foreign born national they thought was stealing secrets."

"Whatever information you can't remember, it can be found out," Benjamin points out helpfully. "I think this company can dig up any information on anyone they want to. So don't worry about what you can't remember." When Felix answers Church, Ben's brows lift a little. That's a good story, plausible. Why wouldn't anyone believe that?

Church gets the Look, but he's unphased this time. Perhaps because this is not a one-on-one, nor in the Hospital Wing under other circumstance. "Crisp, tanned, browned, roast, burnt, whatever. You could use some color. When winter rolls around we'll probably lose you in the snow drifts." He gives Benjamin a glance at the input he adds. It's a fleeting look, and not really interested in much but the 'what you can't remember'. Don't remind him.

Felix shakes his head. "I'm the color God made me," he says, with a snort. "Get them to station me in Florida or California… though even then I didn't have a tan. San Francisco's too fucking cold to tan around. It also makes my scars look more obvious, and they're glaring enough already," he adds, before signing his name on the last bit of paperwork, and handing it off to Benji.

Benjamin grins a little at the conversation, then takes the paperwork when it's handed to him. "We'll put you on street assignments, keep you outdoors. You'll burn a few times nice and red, then you'll adjust… I think." He gets up from his seat and plucks up his coffee mug, "I'll get these down to HR for you. I have to go track down a few people anyway." Items in hand, he heads out of the room.

Just before Benji heads out the door, Lawrence responds with a Very Serious "Scars are badass.". Once he's gone, Church adds. "And pretty damn sexy, too." He's not hitting on you, Felix, no. Just trying to be your pal. Really. "Like, I once met a girl with scratch marks from a tiger. She was an animal trainer in Vegas."

"Now, that I haven't seen. Mine aren't anything so exotic," Felix explains, reaching for the next round of paperwork. He's got his glasses on the desk beside them - apparently he doesn't wear them while doing close work. "I just got shot a couple of times when I was a cop, and got a sabre scar during a competition when someone's blade broke. Only a flesh wound, though."

"That's what the black knight said." Scoff. Church wheels over to the side of the desk opposite Felix, perching his forearms on the edge of the wood. "I've only been shot in the ass once. Not the best of places to be shot, let me tell you."

"Well, it was - only snagged a little muscle, nothing critical," Felix says, looking up from under his brows, patiently. He grins at that. "I know. I had buddy who had that happen to him. He was so furious he didn't get shot somewhere he could boast about later." He taps his chest and shoulder with his free hand. "Ended up with a sucking chest wound after a botched drug raid. Got a medal for it - it was damn near posthumous."

"Hey, an ass-wound is awesome. He's crazy. I can tell regular people that and they just go nuts. I don't have phantom pains, though, thank god. I heard some people get those… do you?" The older man follows Felix's motion with his eyes. Lawrence's attempts at conversation get a bit more subdued now. He's still excitable right now, though.

Felix nods, quietly. "I do. I don't have any real lasting damage, in terms of loss of lung capacity. Made me mostly give up smoking, though, I can tell you. But one of the bullets shattered a rib, and that still aches a lot. Not beyond what over the counter painkillers can handle, I'm glad to say," he says, patiently checking off boxes on some questionnaire.

"Ow. I suppose we didn't make the rib thing any better…" Church's chair swivels side to side as he leans back into it, hands in his lap. "…Sorry I blew you up." He makes a point of remembering that last word.

Felix makes a little gesture, not quite a shrug, spreading his hands. "I attacked you. You warned me, I persisted. I'm gonna treat that whole period before I signed on like it didn't happen, because otherwise I'm not gonna be able to work here. No hard feelings," he adds, extending a hand over the desk to Church, as if to shake on it.

Church sways his seat a little more, stopping when Felix extends his hand. Leaning forward with one hand on the front of his seat, Lawrence extends his other one with a slowly growing white smile. Shaking on it. Great. Awesome. Even his handshake feels like it's on the verge of being a bit overeager. "Sounds good to me." Does this mean they're friends? Maybe, maybe not. TBD.

Fel, on the other hand, is his usual reserved self, expression curiously neutral, as he leans back in his seat. "I make no promises, other than not trying to kill Babenkov," he adds, drily. "But if this is where I'm going to be, I might as well make the best of it."

Church bounces back in his seat once more, wheels shifting underneath. He seems to be considering what Felix just said more seriously than the rest. "…I recall saying pretty much the same thing, way back. Hm."

"I can't escape this," he says, reaching back to touch the isotope mark on the back of his shoulder. "I can't fight these people. I mean, Jesus H Christ, they can suborn the CIA and it's just nothing to them." His face has tightened - there's a haunted look there. "So I have to knuckle under or be ground down. Maybe I should've killed myself before I let them do this to me. But I tried suicide once, and swore I never would again. And now there's Sasha, and Mariska…." he trails off, lips thinned out into a very grim line.

Church leans an elbow on the arm of his chair, the side of his face following to rest on his knuckles. Felix is way more interesting than he was made out to be the first few weeks. "I guess that sometimes people come out of trials with more than they went in with, that's all. Life as the whole series of paths, and what not. String theory. You just happened to get a secret life, a lady-friend and a cute little daughter out of this one. Now you have something else to keep going for." Gee. For Lawrence, that's kind of deep.

Felix's gaze flickers around the world as if he were looking for a literal escape. There's nothing, just the sunlight of the autumn evening striking sparks off the dustmotes as it slants in through the window. "Yeah," he says, pinching the bridge of his nose as if trying to fend off a headache. "I….I mean. I know she's mine. But I still can barely believe I'm a parent."

"You've got plenty time to let it sink in." Lawrence just smiles plainly and sinks into his chair. "You're definitely not the first guy to find out that he had a little kid he didn't know about. But at least you found out, right?" This isn't an awkward topic, is it? Churchie doesn't seem to think so, judging by his casual volume.

"Seven years later. And if these guys hadn't taken her, I'd never have known. I'm pretty sure Mariska never intended to tell me," Felix says, letting his hands fall into his lap again. "I don't know what to do. I'd not know what to do even if it this were an ordinary situation with an ordinary kid. And she's not. She's something special enough they didn't wait for her adulthood to grab her. And nor will they give her to Mariska, it seems."

"Mariska doesn't seem like someone that likes to stay in one place. If Sasha's not with her now, that's probably why. I wouldn't know for sure, though. Just guessing." See? He doesn't know much about it either. At least so far as he's making it seem. "I'm not sure about fatherhood, either, but it seems like the kind of situation where you should just be giving it all you can, in terms of trying. That's all any of us could probably do." A tiny shrug is paired with Lawrence's response.

Felix scratches at his scalp, a nervous gesture. "Yeah," he says, softly. "I wonder if they'll ever let Misha have her, and where she'll go if they do," He sounds oddly almost morose. "In the meanwhile, I'll do what I can to make it right. For what it's worth."

"If we had her, it's probably for a good reason. But… I expect she'll be back with her mother eventually, especially now that Misha isn't popping around the globe." Lawrence likes to see parents with kids. That's generally where they should belong, save for other circumstances. "How's Misha settling in, anyway? I heard she might be finding a place in the city?"

"So I hear. I assume the Company is getting her legit ID, so she'll no longer be an illegal immigrant," Felix says. "She… well, she knows where her daughter is, which is why she came. Even if Aleksandra doesn't remember her," he says, voice rough.

"Human life expectancy is around seventy-seven years. There is always going to be time to rebuild." Church sounds obviously hopeful. "One step at a time. If Misha's going to get legit papers and move into the city, that's a great start. Is she staying with you until she gets her own place?" Subtle topic shifting.

Felix's lip quirks at that. "Yeah, she is, for now," he says, nodding. "And you're right. Sasha's still young, so it's not as bad as it might be."

Church nods a little. That's the ticket. Little kids are loving, anyway. There's that quirk, though, that makes Lawrence capital 's' Suspicious. "You two-" How does he even ask that? "-are you straight for her now, or what?" That's about as softly as he can put it.

And that… the Russian's face freezes at that. "I… what did you just ask me?" he wonders, half-choking on the question.

What? "I. I asked if you were straight for her." Lawrence looks confused. Maybe he only thought Felix was pretty-damn-gay, not fluidly-gay. What? It's a perfectly reasonable question. He tries to make an offended face, but it looks more like a bewildered mutt than someone really offended.

Fel has gone first white, then red. "I… I mean, yes. I suppose I am."

Church tilts his head to the left, watching Felix turn different colors. "Oh." Okay. Hm. So. There goes a few potential questions for later on. "…how's the sex?" What.

"Amazing," Fel says, voice gone flat. "She used to be an Olympic calibre gymnast. I can barely keep up,"

Church can feel his eyebrows lifting higher onto his forehead. "Wow." He'll never be able to make a totally serious face at Misha now. "Russian gymnast?" A smile quirks on his face at the thought. "You lucky bastard." Excuse me while I picture her at work. Ahem.

His voice has an uncharacteristic touch of smugness in it. "You have no idea," he drawls, letting his eyes half-lid.

Church looks a little bit spaced out now, courtesy of Flexible brain!Misha. "…I …I think I hate you a little, Felix." With all the love in the world, though. Honest.

Felix just arches a brow at him. "Oh?"

Coming back to earth now. Lawrence looks right in those blue eyes. "Yes." … "But just a little."

"I consider it only just compensation for the rest of the way fate has fucked all of us," Felix says, drily.

"Point noted and considered." Lawrence suddenly raps his knuckles on the desk. "Speaking of fate fucking you. I think you still have some papers to fill out."

Felix's lip curls, "Yes," he says, glancing back down to that questionnaire.

"I remember filling mine out. There weren't as many." Way to be helpful, Churchie.

"Paperwork always multiplies," Fel says, very ruefully, as he continues to mark boxes off.

Church can't help but try and peek over the table at the paper. Leeean. "Actually, I think I had so few because I didn't know the answers. I made those ones up. It was fun. My first employer's name was Chuck Roast."

Felix snickers at that, wryly. "No, I remember. God help me, I remember. My first job was with Barnes and Noble. I loved working in a bookstore. And then the NYPD, and then the FBI."

"A bookstore? Really?" That for some reason is a surprise. Maybe Church didn't peg him as an absolute bookworm. "I worked for mister Roast as a Custodial Engineer."

"Oh, yeah. It was wonderful. Quiet, clean, pleasant. And I liked being around books," Fel says, quietly. He grins at that, but it's almost pitying. How can you live with not remembering?

"I always loved that 'new book' smell, but it would be creepy if I just went into bookstores to sniff the books." Lawrence hums.

Felix just laughs. "People more or less do. That's part of what browsing is about, right?"

"Browsing is about actually looking at books. If I'm not looking for something, then I'm liable to get distracted." Church speaks truth! "Sort of like when I go shopping in general. I always end up with shit I never went in for."

"Me, too. That's why I tend to confine myself to trips only when I know exactly what I need," Fel admits.

"Does this mean we can never go shopping?"

Felix finishes with the questionnaire and sets it aside. "Not necessarily. I just tend to not go shopping idly - I don't generally enjoy it, and it keeps me from wasting money."

Fft. Lawrence smiles. "I'm a coupon monger and a blue-light junkie." SALES. YAY. "You should see me go grocery shopping. I have so many clippings."

"Sounds like my father. He's that way, since he's the one in charge of family grocery shopping," Fel comments.

Church grows a tiny frown. "I wonder what that says about me. Either I'm a cheap old man, or just cheap." Or, it could be the fact you eat like an elephant.

"Frugal is a better term," Fel says, gently.

"Maybe. I guess eating like I do, I have to be more careful about the food bill." Church glances down at the floor, where he scuffs his heel at one of the chair wheels. "I do a lot of eating out. And one can only get so many meals out of other people before they start realizing it's just not worth it." He laughs as he says this.

"Your power requires that much of your metabolism? You don't look fat," Fel says, bluntly, after giving him a critical looking over.

"It does take a lot to keep it steady, but I'm also a glutton. It's a mixed deal. Thank you for telling me I don't look fat." Honest. Church sounds honest, anyway. "I can handle either fat or old, but not both at the same time. I'm not even sure I like the 'old' by itself."

"I don't think you're old? You're what, mid forties? That isn't old. I'm heading towards forty, myself," Fel says, lazily. "No, you're not fat."

"Yeah. I think I'm forty-five." He thinks. "Gaw. You should hear some of these younger people talk to me. One girl had the nerve to say 'ewwww you're so old' to my face. I appreciate the honesty, but not so much how she said it. Maybe I just need to find friends my own age."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License