2007-08-30: They've Given You A Number...


Church_icon.gif Felix_icon.gif Mara_icon.gif Mariska_icon.gif

Summary: …And taken away your name. Acquaintances and reacquaintances are made. Secrets slip out through morphine hazes and thoughtless words. Don't think too hard about this log. It'll only hurt your head.

Date It Happened: August 30, 2007

They've Given You A Number…

Hartsdale - Primatech, Hospital

Continued from Surfing the Morphine Sea

Well isn't that cute. Lawrence does a good job of ignoring it visibly, though. "Hopefully this round of healing up will go a little bit better for everyone, if we all try to y'know, get along. It even looks like Babenkov gave up on you for now. I haven't seen his nose poking around, anyway."

Gee. Whatever could be the cause of Vasili's sudden lack of violent jackassery… Mariska accepts the wounded man's hand without turning the gesture into something overly dramatic or romanticized. This is not the cue for the swell of sappy violins on the score. Instead, there's a little bit of HELLO DEATHGRIP! as Mariska opts to express her happiness at Felix's adherence to breathing by momentarily crushing his fingers before being gentle about it. "Perhaps… you could not try that again," the Russian woman offers, her tone of voice suggesting she's searching for a middle-ground somewhere 'tween dead serious and oh-so-sarcastic.

"Babenkov is going to kill me, or I am going to kill him," Fel's pleasant, rather vague expression doesn't waver as he says this. There's no snarling, no flicker of ire. But his voice remains resolute, even as he links his fingers with Mariska's. It is, sad to say, the first real gesture of affection between them, considering. "I won't attack you like that again," Felix adds, as if at Misha's urging.

"Mohinder!" The door to the room opens up and a woman with red hair and a strange accent pokes her head in. "Mohi- Has anybody seen Suresh around here?" Hazel-green eyes search the room, expecting to spot the geneticist. Instead, they grow wide and Mara Damaris - or is that Kate Parker? - gasps, "What in the hell are you doing here?" She doesn't exactly specify whom she is addressing.

Church nods just once. "I was hoping you'd say that." Anything that he might have been thinking of following with is cut short when a familiar woman appears in the doorway. Lawrence's raised brows are in no time paired with a toothy white grin, aimed heartily at who he only knows as Kate Parker. "Oh! Hello, Kate! Fancy seeing you here! I haven't seen the Doc around, but I'm sure he'll be in sometime."

It couldn't be Mariska that Mara — er, Kate is addressing because this would be the first time that either women have met, right? The Russian woman gives her attention to the new arrival and remains taciturn.

"Getting repeatedly half-killed by the bastards who work for this mutant zoo. What's your excuse, Damaris?" Felix retorts. Funny to think that likely the last time Mara saw him, he was either in a hospital bed at Mount Sinai, or having someone hang a medal around his neck. "Do not fucking tell me you're part of this crazy-ass X-files conspiracy," he says, tone half-wry, half-pleading, as he struggles to sit up. Which is not a good idea, and he gives up to lean back on his pillows, again. He's still holding hands with Mariska.

"Well, shit," 'Kate' drawls to Lawrence as she steps fully inside the room and shuts the door, "I did tell you I thought I knew you, didn't I?" She turns her gaze then to the man in the bed and raises her brows, "I did not expect to see you, though." Concern flickers in her features. "Been a long damn time, Ivanov." She shrugs one shoulder, tipping her head to one side. "I'm afraid I am. It's Detective Damaris these days." She smirks briefly at the other man, "Agent Parker." She shakes her head and sighs. "Small freaking world. Who tried to take Ivanov apart?" Her eyes narrow just slightly. Not a happy woman, this one.

Oh? What was that? Lawrence turns his eyes for a split second to Felix. That was not a Kate nor a Parker. Then the woman sorts it out for him. This is interesting. "This isn't the first time he's been in here. I hope you knew that much. Was me this time, but he was asking for it." Mara gets another smile as the older agent stands up from the edge of the bed, but just to pace a little with his hands in both back pockets, elbows akimbo. He seems oddly curious about Mara, too, judging by how he is practically memorizing her. Not in the worse ways, though. Purely out of practicality. "…Should I still be keeping your card?" One of his eyebrows lifts, and a laugh bubbles in his chest.

Speaking of conspiracies… apparently, everyone in New York really does know Felix Ivanov. For serious. Mariska makes note of one more name on the list — Kate Damaris — without realizing that that person doesn't actually exist. Her fingers remain gingerly entangled with the man being fed morphine through an ever-merciful drip, but her posture suggests a slack lack of acknowledgement for the gesture. Yes, they're holding hands. No, she doesn't care to make a big deal about it. If no one's inclined to make any sort of introduction, Mariska's perfectly content to just stand there and covertly cling to Felix for dear life; two freaks in Company care. Those green eyes keep keen watch on both Church and Mara, or Kate, or whoever the hell she is.

"Congratulations on your gold shield," Fel says, with apparent sincerity. "Three years," he says to Mara, shaking his head. He jerks a thumb at Church. "Got into a little altercation with the big guy there. He more or less pasted me up on the wall. I'm not here willingly. How'd they rope you in, Damaris? You got some kinna monkey trick you do, too?" He may not hear the answer. Not by the way the monitoring gear has reacted to his apparent shock and stress by dumping more painkiller into his IV - his eyelids are already fluttering, though he hasn't relinquished his grip on Mariska's hand.

"Oh, I should say so." Mara's tone of voice is almost flirtatious as she tells Lawrence to keep her card. "If he gives you trouble again, you call me. I will sort it out." Felix is given a warning look. "That's a story I'll tell you some other time." She approaches the end of the bed and gives him her most sincere smile. "Sleep. I will tell you everything you need to know soon." Not necessarily everything he wants to know, but he'll probably find out more than he knows now.

Church lifts his left hand to brush back his brown hair, shaken half loose from its combed state already. "If you think so. I have no doubt it'll come in handy. Someday." A lazy smirk crawls on his lips. He watches Mara approach the bed and listens to her speak to Felix. "Now you got me all curious too." He likes stories, but has the feeling he's not about to be getting any.

«Who is that?» wonders Mariska beneath her breath. Whatever she just said is obviously intended for Felix but it might have actually been uttered too quietly for him to hear it, especially given his leaded-lid look. When he drifts off completely and leaves her without a response, Mariska decides to take the forward approach and asks the other woman directly, "Who are you?" Oh hi, yeah. Totally Russian.

Mara flashes a grin to her fellow agent. "You haven't even told me your name yet, sweetheart." Not getting any? He just doesn't know her very well yet. "Not that I can't just ask around and find out. You can't be that mysterious." She's derailed from her train of thought when Mariska asks her question. Teasing temporarily forgotten, she gives the other woman her full attention. "That all depends on who you are. You can call me Agent Parker."

Church skirts a couple steps closer to the bed, stopping just a tad to Mara's side, who he is now also looking at with a pinched brow and a crooked grin. Oh, you're funny. "I'm your newest mystery man." He assures her, peering over at Mariska next and smiling. "Parker, this is Mariska Dmitryevna. She's one of our more recent guests." Guests, not prisoners, mind you!

"Dmitryeva," Mariska all but instantly correctly. Don't feel bad. Benjamin made the same (technically correct) mistake. Russian names are confusing, right? Especially when someone's using an alias that is little more than a pet name coupled with a bastardization of her patronymic. Even while Felix nods, she refuses to let go of the man's hand. It borders on clingy… or maybe she's just literally grasping for the vaguely familiar in an otherwise terrifyingly unfamiliar place. "Be careful," she warns Agent Parker with a lift of her chin meant to indicate Church. "He is…" Da bomb? "…explosive." Punny.

"Oooh," Mara flashes the man a Look. "Explosive, huh? Well, now I've got another piece to your puzzle, don't I?" Ha ha. "Miss Dmitryeva," she turns her attention back to the Russian, "I hope you don't mind my asking, but you are holding his hand awful tight. What is your relationship to Felix Ivanov?" There's nothing mocking in her tone or expression - she's genuinely curious.

Church just about pouts when Mariska gives some of him away, but he's fine. Really! "Nonsense! My puzzle has too many pieces for just anyone. So many I lost half of'em back when I lost my marbles…" He'll be quiet now.

When 'Kate' brings it up, Mariska averts her eyes downward and — oh, hey. Lookit that. She totally is holding his hand. Huh. She doesn't relinquish her gentle grip but she does return her green-eyed gaze to the other woman… and then Church. Lost marbles. That explains a lot. To Agent Parker, she replies, "I know him." Biblically. And that's likely sliding in just shy of the understatement of the year. Not content to merely be the one under impromptu inquisition, she wagers another question of her own, "Do you work with Doctor Suresh?" Man makes a mean cup of tea.

"We all work with Doctor Suresh," Agent Parker confirms, tipping her head toward Church to include him in the net of 'all.' "I know him, too." She lifts her brows and looks at the other agent again. "He's a friend, actually. Try to be nice." Not that she doesn't suspect Felix would have done the same thing to Church, given the chance.

A mean cup of tea and a mean vaccine! Totally. Or not. Lawrence isn't about to explain the details of the relationship between Mariska and Felix, despite the obvious understatement. "I've been nice! I've been the good cop for almost a couple of weeks. We got along pretty good. It's not my fault he went crazy last night."

"It is your fault," objects the Russian woman with no shortage of fretted brow or sharp looks. "You keep us in cages! You take him off medicine!" Despite her obvious ire, Mariska's making a sporting effort to keep her voice low so as not to rouse 'Sleeping Beauty'. Yeah. As if a man on morphine might be induced to crack an eyelid open all for the sake of loud noises. He's out cold. But, still. It's a courtesy she's inclined to keep even if she's cranky.

"Good cop is my territory, honey." The smirk is wiped off Mara's face when Mariska goes off on her tirade. "Calm down. You aren't doing anybody any good by shouting." Even if her voice is kept low, she's still shouting. It's just a fallacy of language. "Yes, we keep you locked up. Many people in this place don't entirely understand what it is they can do. Many are a danger to themselves and to people around them. Until we can determine that the people here are in control of their abilities, they will be kept here. The world isn't ready to know about the Evolved. The world isn't ready to understand. People with abilities would be cast out. Hunted. Segregated. It wouldn't be a pretty picture. The less the general public knows, the better. We keep all of this secret."

Lawrence? Well, he's just crossing his arms and nodding along with a smile. He's heard Mariska's tirade one too many times from what seems like every person he has ever brought in for this job. Tuning those things out comes with time, and doing the spiel Mara is doing gets tiresome. He'll be a gentleman and let her continue.

Well, if there's anyone in the world capable of keeping a stranglehold on secrets it's Felix and Mariska. For real. The Russian woman bites back whatever brand of rancor she might have had in store because this is clearly neither the time nor the place to jump into a debate about the hypocrisy of the Company or the violence inherent in the system or — help, help! I'm being repressed! Literally. She just narrows her eyes and slices a razor sharp look between the two Company agents before redirecting her attention to the unconscious man in the hospital bed. Aw. Lookit him… he's so… stoned out of his mind and blissfully unaware of his surroundings.

Mara sighs heavily and rests her hand on Lawrence's elbow, nudging him gently toward the door. "Come on. Let's step out into the hall for a minute." Mariska is giving Felix that look, and Mara would just really rather not be subjected to the sap for the moment. And besides, she's got a mystery to solve. She even holds the door open for him. "After you, Secret Agent Man."

Church does not mind being led around at all, unless it's some butt-ugly sap or a man in a questionable leather brassiere. Then he'd mind. But for now as he is nudged to the door, the man cooperates and almost swaggers his way out. "There's a man who leads a life of daaanger-" Songs get stuck in his head, so now he's going to sing it unless he gets a figurative sock in his mouth.

"To everyone he meets, he stays a stranger," Mara sing-songs back. She's grinning at the man when she shuts the door behind him, moving down the hallway just far enough so that they won't be easily overheard, but she can still see through the window into the room they just left.

Church made a new friend! Look, ma! "Exactly." So he's yanking her chain, sure; at least he's being continually playful about it. "Seems like you're no stranger to Ivanov, though. It's like everyone I meet knows him. He must get around or something." Not in that way, though chances are that it briefly crossed Lawrence's mind.

"We knew each other in our past lives, you could say. It's probably best if our connection doesn't get around too much." She leans in with a sweet smile, "You'll keep my secret, won't you?" Can you say no to these eyes? "I think Ivanov will behave for me. And if he's in there, I'm going to guess he wasn't behaving for you."

Church leans right back, which brings him practically face to face with Mara. "I see." He begins, sharp brown eyes glancing around the hall once. "He did behave for me. I'm blaming his manic depression, cause really, I'm not hard to get along with. You're welcome to be his pal, though. Be my guest." Eyebrows lift as his chin moves in a half-nod. He'll keep the secret. As small as it might be. "Sure, sure, I'll be hush-hush. As for other secrets, miss 'Parker', let us Quid Pro Quo. I know a bit more about you, so…" The man's hand moves just in front of him to offer a close, lazy-gestured handshake. "Church. Lawrence Church." He's a real Bond, this one.

This….is when Felix comes up out of the depths of morphine-induced sleep. And on the back of a doozie of a nightmare, by the way he snaps into wakefulness. The hand limp in Mariska's is abruptly death-gripping her like he's drowning, and that seems to be what he's dreaming about, by the way he's suddenly gasping for air.

Felix's abrupt awakening jars Mariska out of her absent-minded reverie, especially since he's now returning the deathgrip that she'd delivered earlier. She tries to apply a delicate tone of voice in order to reassure him, «You're okay.» But, uh, you know, it's Russian; anyone unused to the glass-chewing edges of the mother tongue might mistake it for chiding. «You were sleeping… it was just a dream.» She's about a second away from 'shooshing' him like a child. Warding away bad dreams is something she's had practice with, once upon a time.

Mara takes the offered hand and shakes. "Mara Damaris. Agent Kate Parker, if anybody other than one of us asks you. I'm with the NYPD. You can see why I might like my identity kept hush-hush, as you put it." She glances through the window in the door and then back again. "It is a pleasure to meet you, Lawrence. I'll answer to Mara or Kate. I'm… flexible." Movement glanced through the window wipes the playful look off her face and she's turning to head back into Felix's room. She's concerned for the man, that much is apparent.

It's like some weird amalgamation of a great day and a bad one. Felix is back in the hospital wing, but as a plus he met the redhead again. When she turns back towards the room, he turns his attention to what must have gotten hers as well. Oh, he's awake again. Instead of filing back into the room, he'll just stand against the metal doorframe to observe. Mara wanted a shot at him, and she'll get it.

And just who the fuck are -you-? It's all the drugs - consciousness is there and running before memory can get its boots laced, so there's a vital few seconds of disconnect before Felix remembers where he is, and who's got his hand. There's real panic in the blue eyes before awareness filters in, and he takes a slow, deep breath. The monitoring equipment is beeping like a bunch of disturbed budgies. He blinks up at Mariska, for a moment, then looks to Mara. Oh, right, she's here, too. Apparently he's not the only one down the rabbit hole.

When the door opens again, Mariska turns her head and expects to see a doctor but finds only Mara. She isn't feeling very generous in sentiment, judging by the cloudy expression that soon casts a shadow over her face, but she avoids engaging in any further bitter bile-spewing for the time being.

"Alrigh', Ivanov?" Mara's brows furrow and she glances only briefly at his companion. "Do you need anything?" She approaches the monitoring equipment, trying to make heads or tails of it all. He's not gonna croak on her, is he? That would be bad. It would involve paperwork she's fairly certain neither she nor Lawrence Church would like to have to fill out.

The frenetic beeping begins to slow, as he calms down. Fel even looks a little embarrassed. "Yeah," he says, more quietly. "I….the drugs give me really vivid dreams," His explanation is very sheepish. He twines his fingers with Mariska's. At least she's beginning to forgive some of it, right?

Only because he's not currently being a bastard. No doubt, when's he's off the IV and back on his feet, that'll probably change. But, for now, Mariska's content to, if not forgive, at least forbear. She's playing the part of the strong, silent type and seems content to let old friends talk.

Once content that he's not about to die on her, Mara turns back to Felix. "This wasn't exactly my first choice for places to work," she tells him. "I made detective about a year and a half ago. But the department thinks I'm a little crazy, so they put me on leave." She spreads her arms to gesture to the facility around her. "Any shelter in a storm. You know me. I just can't stay out of work for too long. I live to put away the bad guys. You two don't qualify. If you think this is prison, you should see where the monsters end up."

"These guys kidnap and imprison, Damaris. That mope Babenkov works for them." He touches a white scar on his brow. "They gave me this taking me in. I've got a lot of evasions, a lot of bullshit here. Lotta cock and bull stories. They tell me I have a -kid-, of all fucking things. What happened to you to get you on leave?" he wonders, blinking.

See? Like that, right there. The kid thing. Mariska all but flinches as if she'd been slapped in the face. But, hey, they're still holding hands so everything must be hunky dory, right?

"You got off easy." Mara sits down on the end of the bed. "I was attacked in my home and had my memories of it erased." So then how does she know it happened? Well, she isn't telling. "You're still here. You still remember." She glances back to Lawrence for a brief moment. "A kid? You sly dog. Everyone on the force thought you were gay."

And Fel? Goes completely red. "They can take memories, then?" He seems willing to trust her more than anyone else he's met thus far. Mariska gets an apologetic look, before he looks back to Mara. "This is her mother. And well, with good reason," he says, sounding rueful.

Mara's unusual revelation and Felix's summary lack of outright denial scrawls a notably queer (ha!) look over Mariska's face. «What is she talking about… 'gay'?» She apparently has no qualms about engaging in a cross-tongue conversation for that particular query.

Mara's dart to Mariska when she speaks in Russian, but she lets it go. "A kid, and she's the mother? My goodness, Ivanov. Did you get drunk and have a wild night or what?" She suddenly tips her head upward and taps a finger to her lips. "Hey, didn't you- Never mind." She flashes a smile. "That's for another time." With more privacy.

There actually is no polite word in Russian for that. So rather than use the crude ones, Fel explains, laconically, «She and I were police together. And when she knew me, I had a male lover. Dark blue uniform, light blue…..» He leaves the pun hanging, with a rather sheepish grin «That's why I'm a bit skeptical when someone tells me I have a child out of wedlock. Though I do remember you,» He hastens to add, before looking at Mara. He's still blushing furiously. "Something like that," he says, in English.

Church watches the trio from the door, smirking when Mara glances back at him. It peters away on a couple bits, though, and alllll the way from across the room, Lawrence suddenly exudes something uncomfortable, even straightening his posture and crossing his arms in a guarded manner. Ahem. He would look perfectly professional if his ears and neck weren't turning red from the effort to keep a poker face. Just when he stopped thinking about it, too. Now he's back at square one. He waits a little bit longer before piping in with something irrelevant. "If you wanna see a picture of her later, Kate, she's pretty cute." Sasha is enough cute for anyone. ANYONE.

Mariska's reaction? Probably not what anyone might be expecting. Brace yourselves for this one, boys and girls, because — she laughs. Loudly. Like, seriously. Whatever Felix just said must have been /hilarious/. Real comedy gold. «Yeah, tell me another one. Baby blue just like your eyes, right?» The free hand that isn't currently clutching at Felix has gone up to wipe away ecstatic tears from the corners of her eyes. «Pale as the moonlight, I'm sure. Whatever you say, Malvina.» Deep breath. In. And out. Whew! That was a good one. Hey, everybody… this guy isn't so bad when he's all doped up and delusional. Church's return on the subject of Sasha drags Misha's humour down the drain, however, and she falls achingly quiet at the mention of pictures. Which reminds her: "I would like my bag back, please." Because the last time she say it, it was occupying a chair in the sitting room that served as her initial accommodation.

It's sad. Church would likely make poor Sasha a better father than Fel ever will. AS if looking for some way to share the embarrassment, he latches on to poor Church. "She's a very beautiful child," he agrees, mildly. He gives Misha a bemused look. "No, I'm completely serious. She met my boyfriend," he says, jerking his free thumb at Mara. He adds, to Mariska, not entirely sequitur, «And that one there wants me.» Speaking of Church, by the way he cuts his gaze to the taller man.

"I'll see about having that returned to you, Miss Dmitryeva." Not that Mara is making any promises. She flashes a smirk back to Church. At least until Felix mentions that she met his boyfriend. She turns back, and it's her turn to flush red with embarrassment. "Yeah. I remember being absolutely smashed, you saying you would call us a cab, and the next thing I remember, I'm waking up on this lumpy hide-a-bed and this guy I have never even met before is coming out of the bedroom. Followed swiftly by you. I thought I had had some kind of fucked up threesome. I was more upset that I couldn't remember it. Man, did I pass out in the cab or what? I was always too afraid to ask." She did just kind of… run from the apartment after seeing the two men together. "I totally wanted into your pants, but I just didn't think I was quite so freaky."

Church would make an awesome dad, for the record. The verbal latching comes as somewhat of a surprise, and it does look like Felix is trying to get away from the topic like a cat from a hot flea bath. It doesn't help that Mara starts talking about 'meeting' boyfriends! No sir. The topic makes poor Churchie a bit stuffy under the collar. He looks like he wants to say something, but it mostly just comes out as a puff of air before he stops. Uhh. What. If this wasn't taking place because they were originally talking about Felix's level of queer, he might be Way More Interested in what Mara was saying. But. As it stands- well.

Mariska's green eyes lose some of their sparkle as she passes a look around the room to include each conspirator in turn — Felix, Mara, even Church. This is a joke; they're having a laugh at her expense and she doesn't find it funny anymore. «Stop it,» she says sternly. «That's enough.» In fact, it's so not funny that, for the first time in what surely must be hours, she lets go of Felix's fingers and takes a step away from his bed.

"Really? I mean, you tried to crawl into bed with Paul and me," Fel adds, voice dry. "More than once. Honestly….well. Had you been more sober or Paul less, your siege might have succeeded. He did go back to his wife, after all, so it's not like he didn't go for women, too," It's the first sign of genuine hurt he's displayed. Apparently it still stings. But his expression turns serious, as he watches Mariska's dismay. "I'm sorry. I remember how different it is back home. But most of my affairs have been with men." Most, not all. "I'm sorry if it disgusts you," he says to her.

Church looks kind of like someone buzzed him awake, with his eyebrows up on his forehead and his mouth in a flat expression of 'wait, what'. Mariska looks peeved, too. Hm. Where did he leave Mara's number…? "Uh." That is supposed to be 'should you be talking about that out loud?', yet sounds absolutely not like that at all.

Hokay, well. That seems to have surpassed Mariska's threshold for tolerance of the 'big ol' fag happy funtime hour'. Time to cue up a retreat, if there's one even available to be made. She makes for the door, her stony expression of something akin to rejection cast in cold iron. Maybe she just needs a breather… or maybe she won't be able to catch her breath until she gets back to the previously-lamented confines of her cell. Wow. Buzzkill.

"That's a lie! Oh my God. Did I really?" Mara covers her face with her hands. "I- Jeez." There is a very good reason why she didn't ever talk about it after it had happened. "Let's, uh… Hey. Is that Suresh in the hall?" Of course it isn't. The woman, whose face now matches her hair, gets up from the bed and bolts for the door. She does have to get past Church first, however. And it seems Mariska just had the same idea. She steps out of her way, figuring she should allow the former lover the grace of the exit. Mara deserves every moment of mortification she endures, after all. She brings it on herself.

Well, welcome to the smoking battlefield that is Felix's romantic past. He's gone pale and tired-looking again. "Yeah," he says, shaking his head, ruefully. Misha's look has him blushing, though it's only scarlet on his cheekbones. "I didn't bring it up after you bolted. I thought it sort of freaked you out - most cops don't deal well with that. Now you see why I didn't talk about Paul around the precinct." He adds, after a faint sigh, «Mariska, I'm….this isn't a joke.»

There's likely someone happy to escort Mariska back to her cell, if she really feels the need to leave. To avoid being struck by the Russian physically or just with an EVIL DEATH GLARE, Lawrence moves out of the doorway, but that just puts him right beside Mara. He's not quite sure what to say, so he just turns his head and offers the redhead a somewhat bewildered smile. Lawrence says nothing, but a few things pass over his face. Hi. Are you going? Uhuh. Hi. I think I remembered where I left your card.

Mariska isn't in the room to hear (yet another one of) Felix's apolog(ies); she's currently pacing a little path outside of the room with lips pursed and hall monitor ever-present and at arm's length. While her left arm has tucked itself firmly beneath her bosom, hand gripping the side of her shirt in a fist, he long, hard-knuckled fingers of her right hand drum a marching beat against her chin. She hasn't fully committed to fleeing yet, but odds are she's close to conceding. Right now, what she needs is some fresh air… too bad she's suppressed, else she might actually be able to get some.

Mara hangs her head and looks up at Lawrence through her bangs with a look that's somehow managed to embody embarrassment, disgust and dismay all at once. "I seem to have lost my dignity," she mutters to him, "can I borrow some of yours?"

Yeah. He spends a lot of time groveling when Misha's around. And will no doubt continue to do so. Especially when they have to get married to defraud the INS. Fel just sighs, and relaxes back against his pillow. Of all the people to see here in the mutant zoo….

"Oh, honey, I lost the last bit of mine a long time ago in Vegas, with a pair of showgirls and a bottle of peppermint schnapps." Lawrence says this Very Seriously. Is he joking? Maybe. Maybe not.

The Russian outside of the room pauses long enough in her pacing to give the Russian inside the room a pretty pointed look through the pane of glass (not to mention the massive gulf of misunderstanding that comes from a seven year separation) that has once again come between them. Someone's in for a world of hurt… and it's probably not Felix. Mariska then turns her head to say something to the guard that escorted her up and the pair head off, presumably back to holding cell hell. Nice job, Malvina.

"Lovely. Showgirls and schnapps, huh? I can see how that might go horribly wrong. But, really, I can see how you might have thought it could only go amazingly right." With Mariska gone, Mara reclaims her seat at the end of Felix's bed. "Man, Ivanov. I'd forgotten how much I missed having you for a drinking partner. You better behave yourself so that you can leave this place and we can start up again." She sighs in a dramatic sort of fashion and smirks over to Lawrence, "I suppose I'll just have to settle for you for now, hm?" She did meet him in a bar, after all.

Felix has already had more than his fair share, really. "Yeah," he says, giving Mara an uncertain smile. "Assuming I do. They want me to work here, Damaris. Or did, before I jumped him," he says, jerking his chin at Church. "Honestly, what are my chances of leaving here in something other than a body bag if I say no?" he asks, far more seriously t han before, after watching Mariska go. "Man. I was a one man demolition team on that poor woman's life, if I truly did father her kid," he adds, ruefully. "Must be a shock to find our that the father of your kid is a spook for American counterintel, mentally ill, a fag, and a mutant. It's like she set out to find the worst possible choice, huh?"

"You have nooo idea…" Lawrence drawls just a bit in the time she turns away and addresses Felix again. He wanders a bit closer, but just because he's already back inside the room proper. "I don't mind being settled for." Hands in his pockets, he then eyes Felix somewhat apologetically. "You forgot to mention a jerky little bitch." WHAT. IT IS TRUTH. "But if it helps, I still like you." Even if you attacked m- oh shit wait. He just did that. "…Acquaintance…wise…" Look! A pink agent.

"You're going to have to tell me about that sometime," 'Agent Parker' drawls to Lawrence. But right now? Serious moment. "You're a decent man, Ivanov. Don't beat yourself up." Mara shakes her head and scoots down the bed to take his hand, much the same as Mariska did before. "I'm going to be honest with you… You may not end up in a body bag, but you may not leave here at all. Or they may alter your memories. If you want a chance of living life mostly normal again? You're better off accepting this… employment opportunity. It's not as bad as it seems. I promise." She smiles gently, "I'm the idealist? Remember?"

"You like me -because- I'm a bitch," Fel says, with a certain self-deprecating sneer, giving Church a bitterly amused look. I see what you did there. I know what you really want from me. He looks levelly at Mara, squeezing her hand. "The job was all I ever had, Mara," he says, quietly. "They've taken that. I couldn't even go back to the NYPD, now, let alone the Bureau. If you're not cop, you're little people," he quotes. "Alter my memories? Make me forget this? I can't excuse two weeks AWOL."

"I know exactly what you mean." Mara squeezes Felix's hand gently. "When they put me on leave because they thought I was crazy, I thought I would die. I don't know how to live any other way. Believe me, Felix," and she's using his first name for emphasis here, "this is your best alternative. But, I'll see about fabricating some sort of cover story for you. It certainly couldn't hurt to have two of us working behind the scenes, right?" It'd be nice to have someone on the force covering her ass. "Give it some serious thought. There is a lot of good to be done here. I swear it. This is bigger than taking down petty mashers and gang bangers. So much bigger."

Felix merely nods at her. He's already fading back into the mists of the drugs, again - that thousand yard stare is back in place. "We'll talk more later?" he says, pleadingly. "I gotta sleep….."

"We've excused worse before." Probably true, and Lawrence backs up Mara's words as Felix drifts off a bit more. "I'd like to see you stick around." Even if Felix isn't all there, at least he said it.

"I'll be back. I promise." Mara gives Felix's hand one more gentle squeeze and sits there with him until he drifts off. Once he has, she disengages and strides up to Lawrence. She stares up the couple of inches difference in their height, looking terribly serious. Maybe even almost angry. "I will sleep with you every night for the next week if you promise not to tell a soul about that story he and I recounted tonight."

You see this? It's Churchie speechless. He really has no reply to something like that, so out of the blue. A couple slack-jawed seconds later and a hand lifts to rub at the back of his neck while he eyes Mara tentatively. "As tempting as that is." The older man pauses, glancing around at the sleeping Felix, then at the room's door. Then back at Mara. "I…think I'm going to have to refuse that offer." He also leaves a pause here for effect. Just effect. "How about one night dinner and drinks instead?" See, nobody can ever say that Lawrence Church is not a gentleman.

Mara actually looks stunned. Did she just get turned down? Granted, it was a bribery, and not truly an expression of interest, but… Wow. It's her turn to be speechless and slack-jawed. Blink. Blink blink blink. "Y- Yeah. Sure. Dinner and drinks." She finally smiles a quirky sort of smile. "You surprise me, Lawrence. I look forward to this."

Church is just that awesome, you see. "I don't surprise me at all. Here you must have thought me such a hound dog." The man scoffs just a little. "Is that the vibe I put off? Golly me." He's smiling his white smile again, for little other reason than this is so amusing. "Ohoho. I'm looking forward to this too."

"No, I just think you're a man who had a woman offer to sleep with him just to keep his mouth shut. I think most men would have jumped at that chance." Mara's smile widens and her lips part to reveal a peek of the gap between her two front teeth. "If you were a hound dog, you would have called me two minutes after I left the bar and asked me back to your place."

"I try not to jump anywhere unless I know the floor is solid." At least in terms of this manner of goings-on. Other times it comes and goes. Can never be too careful with the ladies. They're wily. Lawrence's smile doesn't waver much, only changing because of a chuckle. "Okay, so not a hound." His eyebrows lift and he motions an idle hand towards the door of the room. "Still makes me wonder what kind of message I'm sending. I met some ladies the other day, and one of them pretty much thought I was a creepy old man. Out loud." The last few words sound distraught. "I'm not that old. I'm middle-aged and spry, that's what." That is the sound of feathers ruffling.

"Please. My last b- … fling was eleven or twelve years my senior." Mara heads out into the hallway, grinning the whole way. "Older is not an issue, Lawrence. And if you were creepy, no amount of wanting to keep this quiet would have made me make that sort of offer." She frowns faintly and then touches her freckled cheek. "Am I getting wrinkles? Are my grey hairs showing?" She gasps in horror. "Am I losing my touch?"

Church feels better once she mentions all of that. Oh. Well, then. He follows Mara out into the hall like her shadow would, closing the hospital room behind him and skipping once on his heel to step up beside the woman again. "I never saw the one you had before." Good touch? Bad touch? Don't know. He lifts the hand nearer to her to wiggle his fingers practically under her chin. "But you look great to me, baby. Wrinkles and grey hairs are irrelevant."

The smile Church earns from Mara is genuine. And she's actually blushing. "Thank you." Does a woman really have any right to be embarrassed by a compliment when she's offered to hop in bed already? Apparently so. "The last one has… a face that looks really good on camera. It wasn't in the cards, though." A wife and kids really puts a damper on things. "Other fish in the sea, right?" She raises her brows and tips her head to one side. "Where are you taking me?"

"I feel like the biggest old tuna fish right now, if that's the case. And my face looks awfully good on camera too." Lawrence is probably one of the few people around capable of making a flirtatious fish joke without being dirty at the same time. He lifts his hand back towards himself to stroke at his jawline. This thing -belongs- on a screen. "Wherever you'd like! Show me the town a little, I've only been here in New York a month, y'know."

Mara gasps and lights up at the same time. "I know this great cocktail lounge. It's called the Fly By Night. You'll love it." It's obvious that she does. "Way classier than the Della Rosa."

"The Della Rosa was just a place to sit down. My feet were killing me…" Church responds with mock exasperation, smirking at the bubbliness from the woman. "I can do classy /much/ better than I can do dive."

"Oh, really?" Mara looks down at her attire and then sighs. "Not feeling so classy right now." Especially after, well, everything today. "The Della Rosa's a great place to sit down. I like to think of it as my own little chemist. My pharmacy." Painkiller cocktails. Yum, yum. Her fingers brush over the scratches on her face, which are healing nicely at least. "Yeah. I could do with a little class right about now."

Church lifts some careful fingers to brush at some of Mara's hair, near where she grazes the marks with her fingers. No asking what it is, but there's an obvious curiosity. He slows down a step, but just so that he can try and look her in the face. "Oh, now now, you're the classiest lady I've seen all day." Except for that offer, but he'll chalk it up to a bad joke! See, all better. "But lemme tell you now, I'm a bad drunk. So if I start acting it, feel free to…take me home." Not that that means anything else. Really.

Magic indeed. "Way better," Mara agrees, though she has no idea exactly what he's considering doing for fun. "I, ah… Did this evolve past bribery and into a date while I wasn't looking?" She smiles sheepishly. "Not that there's anything wrong with that."

"Depends. Which one's more fun? I'm not bribed very often. Especially not like /that/." Just so Churchie can remind her of that first offer, his tone playful. "I'm fine if you're just wanting a night out. I'm good for it. I'm /walking entertainment/."

"I'm all for a date. I've been stuck upstate for the past month on assignment. I need to feel alive in the City again." Mara shrugs. "You want a lift back? I'll have to drive out here again tomorrow anyway, so there's really no sense in us both driving if we're both headed to the same place, right? We'll just ditch the car at my place and call a cab for the night." Makes perfect sense to her, really.

"As long as I don't need to be cannonballing anywhere. That's damn tiring." There's little clue as to what that even means on Lawrence's part, but it seems like something casually minded. "With the price of gas what it is, when you get it- if you get it-" Yes, cab. Nevermind the Sweeney Todd melody of those words. You heard nothing. Really.

"Good, you got it," Mara quips without missing a beat and then takes his arm. "C'mon. I'll drop you off at your place and drop by in the cab once I've finished getting ready." Sure, she could just bring him with her, assuming he doesn't need to get ready himself, but that would be breaking her rule. Never bring a man home. To break that rule is to have her heart broken. "This is going to be fun."

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