Singing in the Rain

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eileen_icon.gif logan_icon.gif

Scene Title Singing in the Rain
Synopsis Why am I smiling, / And why do I sing? / Why does September / Seem sunny as spring?
Date March 11, 2009

Filatov Clinic


Lambent candlelight paints the clinic in resplendent shades of gold and yellow, warding away shadows and the chill Eileen has come to associate with them. Outside, rain and wind buffet the windows, but no water passes through the glass except for the thin, glistening layer of condensation that's always clinging to it this time of year. Moisture has caused the sills to warp under its influence, creating deep fissures in the wood and diminishing the property's value even further than society's desertion of the island on which it stands.

Less than a mile away, the two people who mean the most to her are putting their lives on the line so Teodoro Laudani and James Muldoon can settle a score. Eileen didn't like the idea when it was first proposed, but she likes it even less now that hands have been shaken, the deal sealed not with spit or blood but furtive glances and uncomfortable smiles exchanged over a round of drinks and Shooters. She really hopes Teo knows what he's doing.

With Constantine on-call at the Pancratium in case something should go horrifically wrong in the ring, the clinic has been left in Eileen's care, though the front door remains locked and the lights switched off. It's not that she isn't prepared to take patients in the doctor's absence, but she knows the streets are empty, and not just because of the rainwater flooding their gutters — as far as the Rookery’s denizens are concerned, the fight club is the only place worth being.

Which might make the knock at the door all the more surprising.

But there it goes, the frantic pounding of a fist against the door - not hard enough to make the wood rattle in its frame, but insistent enough that whoever is outside gives the impression of really wanting to come in. Of all the places in the Rookery, desperate nighttime visitations are at least appropriate for a street clinic.

That, and it's raining icy enough to warrant it some. Through the silver sheets of rain, a tall figure leans heavily against the door once he rapped his knuckles raw against it, rainwater making his coat heavy, blonde hair darker as it streams down the back of his neck.

The first thing Constantine taught Eileen was to never turn away a client. The second thing he taught her was to never answer the door unarmed, which is why, when the deadbolt turns, she appears in its frame with her pistol cocked, thumb bent across the hammer. It's standard procedure, but if she knew who was standing on the other side of the door before she opened it, then she might've broken her employer's rules and retreated to one of the back rooms for the duration of the evening.

Unfortunately, Eileen's gift doesn't allow her to read the minds of men, only birds, and so she doesn't recognize the individual on the clinic's stoop until her eyes meet his. Gooseflesh stands out on her bare arms and legs, limbs as slim and willowy as the rest of her diminutive figure, half-clothed in her nightshirt, cotton robe, and whatever else she wears beneath it. Her bare feet undergo a subtle change in position as the raven-haired woman adopts a more aggressive stance, posture growing stiff and rigid.

Logan's eyes are hooded, a little, looking down his nose at the girl when she parts the door. He, unlike her, is unarmed, save for the addition of his now ever-present cane clenched in one hand. His dark trenchcoat cuts his shape, shielding a white shirt and slacks from the relentless rain, and though it has a hood, it drapes forgotten against his shoulderblades.

"Evening."

His arm and shoulder slams into the door, hard enough to give himself bruises, but perhaps gives her more bruises should the girl neglect to get her head, her body out of the way of the sudden jerk of solid wood. He sees the gun. He just doesn't care very much, and the snarling silver of the cane handle's wolf shaped end goes swinging towards it.

A gun is worthless if its bearer lacks the inclination to use it — it's just an intricately fashioned piece of metal with many interchangeable parts and chambers. Eileen, vengeful though to be may be, isn't the same variety of killer as Ethan Holden, Zhang Wu-Long or the man once known as Sylar, and in the moment of hesitation that sets her apart from her surrogate family she loses her one opportunity to end what's about to transpire before it can even begin.

The pistol discharges an instant too late. There's a loud crack that explodes almost a foot to the left of Logan's ear, followed by the sound of a bullet ricocheting harmlessly away into the night. Eileen staggers backwards, clutching the hand that was holding the gun, though there's no sign of the weapon itself. It's under one of the examination tables, and with no light to illuminate the metal or guide her toward it, she has little hope of picking it back up again — assuming her fingers still work.

The crack of a gun going off is punctuated by the twin sound of the door slamming shut as Logan kicks it so behind him, head shaking a little as if to rid himself of the sound of the pistol, droplets of water loosing from his hair. "Good try," Logan says, in what seems genuine between the fact he's already breathing a little shallow. Like Eileen, he, too, isn't the same variety of killer like the Vanguard - he's too excitable, perhaps, to count amongst those ranks. When he goes to grip the cane with two hands, to drive the metal head of it into Eileen's stomach, there's a brightness in his eyes that are usually so cool and shark-like day-to-day.

A hand reaches out, grabbing a fistful of Eileen's hair, catching her shirt high on her back in the same clutch, driving her close against him. The cane falls with a heavy clatter as his other long fingered hand goes to grip around her neck, and in the darkness of the clinic, his eyes seem a paler shade of green, glowing around the edge. "Did you think you could get away with it?" His words hiss tightly out from clenched teeth, vicious in its quiet tone. "No one gets away with it, not in my town. No one tries to kill me and gets away with it."

In a juxtaposition of the bruises dealt, of the grip of his hands, giddiness starts to seep through Eileen's nervous system. A panicky kind of happiness that starting to surface, slowly climbing.

Elias once told Eileen that the outcome of most fights is determined in the first fifteen seconds and hinges on whoever can get the upper hand in the shortest amount of time. If what he said is true, then the odds of her coming out of this encounter on top are so slim they might as well be non-existent.

Not that it's going to stop her from trying.

The hand closing around her throat draws a quiet snarl from Eileen, her upper lip curling back just enough to expose of sliver of tooth, but she doesn't have the wind in her lungs to form actual words or fuel an audible response beyond the heavy hnn, hnn, hnn of her breathing as she struggles to pull in oxygen through her nose.

The blow to her gut has left her at such a disadvantage she doesn't notice the prickly sensation building in her chest at first. It's only when it begins to tickle that she realizes what she's experiencing isn't just a bizarre byproduct of the adrenaline coursing through her system. She lifts her eyes to his, and for the first time since Logan has known her, there's fear brimming in them.

His fingers clench, the dull pressure on her throat enough to bruise both inside and out, but it's not maintained for too long. Long enough to get his power going, to counter her natural fear with the giddy manipulations of serotonin, eyes becoming twin points of vague, preternatural light as he works. He could make her panic. Make her start breathing so hard as to hurt, make her head swim, make the walls close in. And he plans to. But not like this. No, like this, Logan gives her the gift of euphoria, or at least the beginnings of it. The initial burst of pleasantness that seems so alarmingly apart from the natural sense of fear and adrenaline coursing through her system.

A single shove, more strength than necessary put behind it, Logan pushes the young woman away from him without regard as to how she might land, bending to pick up his cane. "Never seen the Pancratium so crowded," Logan murmurs, his Cockney making his voice all the harsher, barely really talking her as he inspects the wolf head of his cane, fingers tracing over the ridges that define it. "Fight's probably gonna be a close one, don't expect it t'end for a while yet. So I've got time to make my point."

Glass shatters when Logan suddenly drives the cane into a glass-faced cabinet, letting it sweep across the exposed shelves, spraying broken glass like water, along with boxes of pills, bottles of tonics. He steps forward, and the process is repeated.

Pancratium. Crowded. Fight. Time. Point. It's just as well Logan isn't addressing Eileen when he speaks — her focus is elsewhere, engrossed with impossibly blissful stirrings, and so she fails to catch every word that comes out of his mouth, bits and pieces blurring together into a slurred amalgamation that sounds like it's coming from somewhere else entirely. Much more real is the crash of glass, busted shards tinkling against the clinic's hardwood floor, then crunching under Logan's boots when he winds up to take another swing.

Eileen's arms and legs are too numb with pleasure to obey the firing neurons that command her to rise from where Logan cast her off, but she manages instead to heave herself up onto her knees, both hands planted in front of her, arms held straight out to help support the weight of her upper body as it pitches drunkenly forward, then back again.

"Stop." Tonight is a night for firsts, it seems. Eileen's voice finally comes out in the form of a thin, hitching keen. "Please."

Logan only goes for the ones with glass. The ones that will give beneath the swing of his cane. The ones that will break. Although there is an open row of shelving that gets attention paid to it, a spray of debris of clinic equipment and product following along the trajectory of his cane. Her words do, however, work. He stops, body swaying a little with halted momentum as glowing green eyes glare down at her, cane held loosely in his hand and angled wildly, lackadaisical in his grip.

"No," he says, with a curl of his lip. The cane slides through his hand, grip tightening once more just beneath the hilt. "I'm not finished yet." The cane swings again, and though it's not the blunt force of the savage wolf that makes contact with softer flesh, the heavy wood leaves bruises and welts aplenty. He aims for her shoulder, to strike her down, takes a step forward, departs another blow to her back, her side, and then a kick, the toe of his boot snapping across her jaw to send her head whipping around. It could have been harder, he used his bad leg for it, the one the girl knows is scarred, but it does its job.

An effortless laugh fills the clinic, broken glass crunching grittily underfoot as he backs up. "You should've left it alone, girly. What you did was you dragged yourself down to my level, and I'm better at it than you. Than all of you stupid children. Go back to Man'attan if the way we do business down 'ere don't suit your tastes, right."

If Eileen could have fathomed a response through the haze, she loses it when Logan's boot connects with her jaw and snaps her head to the side with enough force to split her lip against her front teeth. She's only vaguely aware of the blood filling her mouth, tasting of salt and copper, hot on her tongue and in the cavity of her nostrils as it dribbles out her nose.

Her physical anguish is so intense it's palpable, yet so are the ecstatic twitches induced by Logan's ability as it continues to work her magic and reduce her to a heaving heap on the floor. Pleasure and pain, agony and ecstasy — the two sensations are so disparate that her brain utterly fails to comprehend how it can be processing one in conjunction with the other. Tears slick down her cheeks, lending her skin an unattractive sheen made uglier still by its paleness and the way the flickering candlelight reflects off it.

"You're right," she wheezes, breaths coming in short and shallow gasps compounded by violent tremors, "you're right. Never should've— never should'a poisoned y'. Should'a shot y' instead."

There's a hiss of metal against leather and wood, the thin blade of the sword-cane catching the light of candles as it slithers out of his sheath. A pause, and he uses the tip of his blade to shift back the loosened bandages plastered to her cheek, head tilting with catlike curiosity as he inspects the damage beneath it. Nose wrinkles a little, gaze switching back to her eyes. "Probably," Logan agrees, eyes glowing in defiance of what shadows angle on his face, urging on the confusion of chemicals in her system, like mastering a symphony, composing his own rhythm. "But I always got a sense you were slow on the uptake on how things work 'round 'ere."

His foot buries into her side in another kick, and another as he switches foot, and again. Almost a dance, in smooth, jerking movements, before stepping back and back. A pause, before he locates a brown glass bottle of pills, and he kicks this towards her, the object scuttling and bouncing against the floor. "There you are. Don't overdo it, now. You wouldn't like what 'appens if you do."

An almighty crash as he turns and heaves a heavy examination table over on its side, ramming into a shelf, tipping books to the floor. Swift footsteps take him across the room, carelessly swiping his sword across the dressing screens as he goes, humming.

That cane. That fucking cane. Eileen squeezes her eyes shut, searching for a beacon of clarity in the darkness, but sees nothing except for inky black and brilliant white whorls swimming in her vision like stars. When she opens them again, she finds what she was looking for in the guise of a muzzle-shaped glimmer several feet away. In the act of overturning the examination table, Logan unwittingly exposed the pistol that had come to rest beneath it, its stark shape standing out against a sea of broken glass, acrid-smelling liquid and hundreds upon hundreds of tiny pills amassing on the clinic floor.

Eileen's gaze darts from the gun to Logan's back, and does not dare linger on either for fear of prematurely alerting one to the other. As the tip of the sword cleaves deep gouges in the dressing screen and slices cleanly through the fabric stretched across each carefully-constructed panel, she rolls onto her back and raises her eyes to the ceiling, bloodied lips coming together to silently beseech whatever gods there are, if any.

Smash. Smash. Bottles of cleaning alcohol located, and being dashed upon the scuffed wooden floor with almost jovial flings. Glass breaks, skitters, gives way to the strong smelling chemical now pooling on the floor, candlefire flickering in dangerous reflections. Pills burst into smears of powder underfoot as Logan walks, destruction following him as he lays the clinic to waste.

Perhaps he's not supposed to kill her. Perhaps the environment is getting the rest of his pent up frustration instead. Or maybe he just likes breaking things, that's fun too.

"I wonder if your Italian friend'll come for blood too," Logan says, his voice sounding miles away beneath the thrum of pain, adrenaline, and pleasure. "Just like you did. Wonder what I'll do to 'im, then, when he does? Maybe I'll just end this vicious cycle right then and there, but it don't end with you, does it. Not tonight."

Eileen's hips lift off the floor, her spine curving into a high arch that transfers most of her weight to her shoulders. At a distance, the act could easily be mistaken for misplaced display of desperation and need as her body contorts, twists and writhes, one arm reaching high above her head, fingers curling, fumbling—

She feels her hand close around the pistol's grip, but what she could have easily lifted five minutes ago is as heavy as lead when she tries to pick it up again.

Clunk. Eileen's arm succumbs and the pistol's muzzle glances carelessly against the floorboards.

A pause, and more swift footsteps. Despite her weakness, a boot comes down slowly but firmly on her wrist, pinning it there while the sword catches the weapon, lets it slide heavily against the wooden floor with a flick. "Now, now," Logan says, in his muted, distant voice from somewhere further than he really is. "Now's not the time to make up for past mistakes." His boot lifts again, freeing her hand, and finally that feeling of unnatural pleasure relents, although the body will have to spend its own time in reaching a balance.

"Take care of yourself."

The cane swings once more, a swift and blunt blow to the head to render her unconscious, an easy thing to slip into after all the bruises, after all the play of adrenaline and serotonin. When she comes to, in a flickering haze of eyelids parting to take in the fuzzy surroundings, Eileen finds herself a few feet from where she'd landed. Discarded in the middle of the floor like a broken doll, glass shards dig into her skin and alcohol seeps into her hair, her clothing. Candles, burning low now, surround her body like an honoured funeral, separate from chemical spills by a mere handful of inches and stalk of wax, some tilted precarious in their holders.

Blessedly alone, the sound of the rain battering at the glass of the windows is the only ambience to keep the girl company before she can succumb to her injuries again.


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March 11th: Learn Something
Previously in this storyline…
Learn Something

Next in this storyline…
Nobody Expects...

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March 11th: The Fast and the Furious
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