2009-12-01: Touching Base



Date: December 1, 2009


Lena checks up on an old ally.

"Touching Base"

Zoltan's Bakery

Lena has been a busy, busy bee today. Out of the apartment early, a rambling trek around the city to flee a guilty conscience, a rooftop conversation with a super genius and now this: a visit to a small bakery several blocks from her new digs. Oh yes, and a text message sent to an ally. Short, sweet and to the point, it reads simply 'u still alive? i am. wanna chat? @ zoltan's bakery 1 hr. - lena'

At the appointed time, stepping into the bakery would find the street kid tucked in at one of the tiny tables that line the left-hand wall opposite the counter. The smell of bread and sugar are thick in the air, and a cheerful gentleman with red cheeks and no hair is bustling about behind the racks of cakes, pastries and assorted other goodies.

In front of Lena is a plate with a cinnamon roll the size of a softball, drenched with gooey melted sugary goodness. It is so large a sweet that she is having to tackle eating it with a plastic fork and knife. But the look on her face is one of happiness; the girl's lost that hollow, haunted appearance.

'alive and free. will do.'

Fel is thinner, and more dour than ever. Winter doesn't suit him, not a whit, for all his upbringing and he's gray - graycoated, hair beginning to silver, pale. It makes the blue eyes, somewhat reddened from the chill, all the more vivid. The sweet scent and the warmth are both enough to soothe him, at least a little, as he draws off his gloves languidly. "That's enormous," he notes, and his tone is wondering, rather than disapproving.

"Fucking A!" Lena greets the agent with a full mouth, a smile that's somewhat distorted as a result, that obscenity and a wave of the fork to urge him into the opposite chair. "You want some? They got extra forks at the counter and I can split this in half, I promise I haven't gotten anything on that side so you won't go all loop," she goes on after swallowing. That bite had enough sugar to send a small child into a diabetic coma; the teenager just grins. At least until she gets a better look at him.

"Jesus, man, you look like shit! Alive, free but…damn."

He retrieves a fork, settles himself across from her with that almost-prissiness he has. "You look well, too," he says, calmly, even as he takes off his glasses and regards her from under his brows. "It's a waiting game. They're not even, mostly, bothering to make a secret of the fact that I'm being watched." His lip curls in a snarl. "So much for escaping from a fascist state." His tone is bitter.

While extra utensils are being fetched, Lena very carefully wipes off the knife and fork she's using and separates the cinnamon bun into two halves. Hers is slightly smaller, due to bites being missing. By the time Felix has returned, another bite has disappeared into her mouth. "In th'movies, tha' always mean' the're 'bout t'grab you," she mumbles. "I foun' place t'hide. People. Helpin', fightin'. Can get you in maybe?"

It's incredible that the little pink princess has become such an effective recuiter. Of course, that may not reflect well on the organization.

"Can you?" Fel wonders. There's not gratitude in his tone, as yet. "Do you want to risk it, if you have a network? I do still work for the government, even if the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is up to. If you're working with others, that could be….divisive," he says, even as he sets about devouring his half of the cinnamonstrosity with that surgeon's precision.

Lena grabs a paper napkin and drags it across her mouth to clean it of flaked icing. "I said maybe. If you're being watched it might be too big a problem, I think some of them have had problems already, you know? But hey, worth a shot, right?" And she is fairly certain that Felix is at least more a good guy than, say, Dex. Still…his complications just come in a different flavor.

"You mind if I pass your number on? I won't if you don't want to, but…" Her forehead rumples. "Hell. What if you do get snatched? How's anyone gonna know?"

Felix's tone is matter of fact. "There's nothi-" He stops, frowns at himself. And then pulls a business card out of his pocket, scratches another number on the back. Not even an American phone number. "Call that code, if you do know. You may not. That's my wife. The number's Australian," he adds, perhaps unecessarily. "And no, I don't."

"Right. I can do that." Lena looks a little wide-eyed at being awarded such responsibility. The word 'wow!' is written all over her face as she reaches for the card in order to study the number. "What if I like…just texted you every week or so? If you don't answer, I know you're caught? Then I can let your wife know and we can fucking bust your ass out of the concentration camp."

Felix nods to that, swallows another neat bite of the cinnamon roll. He's all but demolishing it. "Do that," he says, quietly. "But be wary. If they take me and my phone, it'll be in there for them to trace. Better to email me, if you can. Make a new account each time, some free thing like gmail."

Lena tucks the card away in the pocket of her oversized jacket. "Sure, I can do that. They got internet at the library and I've been there a lot…I'm learning all sorts of new shit, like you wouldn't believe," she tells him, awfully smug for someone who was discussing Felix's imminent capture not thirty seconds previous. "If you get caught, man, we'll get you out, I swear to god. I owe you like a huge favor." Pause. "Hey…you need anything else? I got some extra cash, too."

His smile is about as warm as the scene outside, but genuine nonetheless. "No, I'm fine," he assures her, gently. Doesn't argue with her promise, other than to note, "Don't risk yourself. I'll be fine."

"I don't know how to live any other way, dude. Besides, this way I get to pat myself on the back…how many times you think a dealer like me gets to help the fed?" What Felix's smile lacks in warmth, Lena's smile makes up for in brilliance. She sets her fork aside, crumples the nakpin and tosses it aside too. "Don't crush my dreams, man. They're all I've got anymore."

Fel doesn't persist with his refusal, nods at her solemnly. He's thin and worn, but not too weary. If anything….a little keener than before. "But I, being poor, have only my dreams;I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams," he quotes, softly.

Lena is fighting against an interrupted high school education, but some memory stirs in her eyes when those lines are recited. She snaps her fingers repeatedly, using the heel of her other hand to knock her forehead as if the knowledge could be jarred loose. "Oh, jesus…I know that. It's…it's…god." Her face twists in frustration. "Why'm I so fucking stupid? Tenth grade English. And you're not even from the States, you got it memorized."

"Yeats. And I grew up here," Fel notes, mildly amused. "Over in Brighton Beach. And I went to NYU." ABruptly, his voice takes on a stereotypically thick Russian accent. "I did not just step off boat, you know."

"Yeats!" the girl cries. As if she'd been about to say just that. An exaggerated sigh follows, leaving Lena slumped in her chair. The emo is nipped in the bud with the introduction of an accent, however. She stares at him, wide-eyed, before suddenly grinning. "Oooh…do that again."

Felix says, drawing each syllable out like taffy, "Moose. Undt. Skvirrel." Like it's a parlor trick.

Lena rolls her eyes, the expression positively dripping with teenage scorn. But it's laid over amusement. "Now you're just messing with me. Asshole. My dad made me watch those cartoons, they seriously sucked." So there. Killing blow delivered, she grins and begins to struggle into her coat. "I should run, they're gonna start freaking out if I don't show soon. I'll email you Friday, okay? Better answer or I'm telling your wife."

"No, seriously, that's my accent, I was born in Moscow," Fel says, mildly, though now it's back to that English burnished to flawlessness. "And I imagine they seem to lack much now," he adds, as he picks up a bit of pecan with a graceless finger.

A hand is flapped at him. "You know what I meant! But fine, I don't wanna hear the awesome accent. Dream crusher. Oh, look…" A crumpled ten dollar bill is extricated from a pocket and dropped carelessly on the table. Such largesse draws another smug look from Lena. "Someone whose bank account is probably gonna be frozen soon better pick it up before some creep does!" she announces, rising from the table. "See you, man!"

«That accent got me so laid in high school,» Felix says, absently, in his mother tongue. He snorts at her comment. "Take care," he adds, lifting a hand to her, even as he slips the bill under the plate, presumably to be left as a tip.

Lena is ignorant of Russian, alas. Which means that she just missed the comedy GOLD of hearing a straight-laced agent talking about the smooth moves he used to pull on the high school ladies. "You too! Remember, Friday!" she says, before breezing out the door.

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