2007-09-01: This Isn't Goodbye

Starring:

Felix_icon.gif Mariska_icon.gif

Summary: Mariska stops in to say goodbye (or not) and leaves something behind.

Date It Happened: September 1st, 2007

This Isn't Goodbye


Hartsdale, NY - Primatech - Hospital

Deal with the devil? Check. Isotope implant? Check. Personal belongings, including last remaining shred of self-respect? Check and… check. There was just one last thing on Mariska's list left to take care of before she was willing to leave Hartsdale behind and return to the 'real' world. Slowly she strolled down the hallway of the hospital wing before pausing at the little observational window that offered a voyeuristic view of an injured Felix Ivanov.

Felix is dozing on his hospital bed. He looks drawn, skin taut over already stark bone structure; hands limp over the white blanket, eyes sunken. By the flickering of the ECG, his dreams are not peaceful.

For about a minute, Mariska hesitates outside the door, debating with herself whether it’s even worth the inevitable pain of saying goodbye. Perhaps it's something of a relief that he's sleeping; that will make this less difficult, right? As silently as she can, she puts a hand on the doorknob and creeps her way inside, closing the door behind her with a gentle effort that hopefully allows the patient to remain undisturbed.

Close, but no cigar. The cadence of the monitoring equipment alters, as he drifts back up out of sleep, and rolls his head slightly to blink at her. She's in real people clothes, not scrubs. It can mean only one thing. But he says nothing, not yet.

Dammit. Busted. So much for easy street. Mariska still keeps her steps muffled as she approaches the man's bedside, pale eyes looking over the man wordlessly. He doesn't look much better off than he did the other day… maybe even a touch worse. Once she settles her gaze back onto his face, she offers quietly, «I'm sorry. I didn't mean to wake you.»

«It's fine. I've been sleeping too much as it is,» he murmurs, giving her that patient look.

Well, no need to beat around the bush. «I just wanted to…» Smother you in your sleep? «…say goodbye.» It's all very professional, really, and on the up and up. Mariska doesn't even seem interested in making the token gesture of holding his hand… though, maybe that's because both of hers are full. One carrying her messenger tote, the other appears to be clutching a photograph of some sort.

«They're letting you go?» There's not the curiosity behind this that there might have been. He figures she's been made the same offer he was, and was wise enough to accept it sooner.

Mariska's eyes momentarily distract themselves elsewhere as she confesses, «They offered to let see my daughter again if I agreed to work for them.» Not 'have'. Not 'our'. Back to Felix's face, her own expression solemn, «I accepted.» How could she not?

«I have, as well,» he says, sounding utterly subdued.

There's a little bit of surprised eyebrow lifting to be had on Misha's part, as this is apparently unexpected news. Then again, Felix felt his alternative option was 'or death' and so it probably makes sense that he opted for the piece of cake the Company was offering. A little bit of awkward silence looms…

«Good luck,» he says, finally. Since really, all he has to offer now is apologies.

«You, too.» Mariska's simple reply comes complete with a feigned expression meant to suggest hopefulness but somehow succeeding solely in emphasizing her lack of hope so far as the future's concerned. A second thought is given to her original intention and the hand holding the photograph carefully returns the picture to her bag, thus giving her one free hand with which she is able to cup Felix's cheek endearingly. She leans in slowly and bows her head in order to lightly let her lips grace his other cheek, leaving half of a kiss behind. «Have a good life, Felix Ivanov,» she whispers to his shoulder.

That's when his hand finds hers. And while he's thin enough that his hands are spidery and fragile, his grip is very strong. «This isn't goodbye, and we both know it,» he says, fiercely. «I won't forget what I owe to you. And if there's anything I can do for you, you will let me know.»

Mariska hovers there, quiet and bent, momentarily allowing herself to be lost in the temporary embrace before straightening her posture and very slowly pulling away, though her fingertips linger still against the linens. «I did not come here to indebt you,» she explains with misty eyes. «I never intended for you to find out about her like this…» Or, possibly at all but that's neither here nor there. Besides, how could she have possibly been able to anticipate any of this… unless she just so happens to be an incredibly good actress who was in on it this whole time?

And that's the sort of level of paranoia that ends with you as a character in the Prisoner. «You rightly assessed me as a probably total waste of time,» he says, drily. «It's impossibly fucked up, all this. But suffice to say I do have this fantasy that there's a world where I am not a complete asshole. Look me up when we're both out of here.» He has to believe there's a day when that'll be true.

The Russian woman does her level best to screw on a smile that sticks to her thin lips and then wears it for Felix so that maybe their parting won't be played over in his head with her portrayal made perpetually on the verge of tears. It's half-hearted but it'll do. «I will,» she says, pursing her lips momentarily and then throwing in a nod. «Take care of yourself, Felix.» One step back. «I'll see you soon.» Two steps further. She turns for the door and then — KRAK! Disappears right into thin air! Holy shit!

…but, in the wake of Mariska's alarmingly abrupt departure, a faded photograph flutters down to the floor. It depicts Mariska and Sasha, some few years ago, candidly caught in the act of laughing simultaneously at something out of frame. It's the picture the woman had previously held so dear. On the back, a sentiment both hopeful and damning has been written in Cyrillic:

One day you will know what it's like to care for someone else more than yourself.

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