logan_icon.gif sasha3_icon.gif

Scene Title Suka
Synopsis Logan encounters the Vanguard while in Mexico.
Date Summer, 2007

Somewhere in Mexico

Someone shouts a warning— in Spanish— but it's too late. By the time Logan has cleared the balcony, he's remembering the hard way that he's a storey up from the ground.

The landing jars him from ankles to the base of his skull, an electric shock of impact when he hits the road and rolls, collecting bruises and scrapes like a snowball gathers ice. Hissing curses, Britishisms and plain old global fucks alike, fly out from between gritted teeth, but he's scrabbling to get up. Calculating the amount of time it will take for him to get moving and for the other bloke to get down the stairs, unless he has John's breed of insanity.

Which, at that, he might. Propelling himself up with more sheer force of will than conscious physical effort, Logan staggers first, away from the building and blindly across the street. Someone yells, tires squeak, but nothing hits him so that's fine. Boots slap concrete, the sparse crowd cutting a path for the skinny white guy on their own will as he makes for the black mouth of an alleyway, one leather-clad shoulder barely scraping around the rough brick corner.

Mexican summer heat clings like a physical presence, the air dry and harsh to breathe. There's a hitch in his loping footfalls, an unevenness, but he's running it off.

It was only a matter of time until the wrong people found out what Logan could do. Either that, or someone has hired a sweaty Russian from across the ocean to collect on his debts — whatever the reason, exactly what motivates Logan's pursuer doesn't much matter when he's coming after him with arms like thick cords of wire and hands powerful enough to twist the Briton's head off his shoulders.

The decade of service that Aleksandr Kozlow gave to his country's military has taken its toll on his body, but it's also honed it into a devastating machine capable of incredible bursts of speed and strength, and what Sasha lacks in endurance, he makes up for tenfold in enthusiasm.

Somewhere behind Logan, a pair of booted feet come down on the hood of a car that narrowly avoided clipping him when he stumbled across the street with enough force to leave a dent in the vehicle's aluminum shell. As it happens, the man chasing him does have his breed of insanity. He launches himself off the hood with the svelte precision of a lioness exploding from the tall grass and barks something at someone Logan cannot see in a language he cannot understand, and in one smooth, rolling motion pursues him into the alley.

Kazimir was right. This is fun.

The fine line between giddy adrenaline and true prey-like fear is smudgy, mingling the two together in the same way it's hard to separate night and day when the sun's only just sunken. Logan doesn't know which and doesn't care much, so long as it keeps him running and not simply caving in his own knees and falling into defeated submission. He knows this town, well enough, even if he has trouble pronouncing (and indeed remembering) its name. He can lose his pursuer. He can. Risking one wide-eyed glance over his shoulder, Logan gives a bark of hysterical, breathless laughter— "shit!"— and tries to surge forward.

He's not out of shape, but it's been a while. Already, breathing is a strain, fatigue is making his legs feel like the air is turning syrupy, air friction clinging to his leather jacket and jeans.

These factors don't stop him from running straight for the diamond wire fence that threatens to bar off his route up ahead, and doesn't stop him from leaping at it like a cat at a set of curtains, hands like claws as he finds footholds, hand holds, the toe of his boot slipping once as he slithers his way up the fence, a hand up to grip onto the top and haul up. There's a very dubious moment when he slings a leg over the top, wincing, before preparing to launch himself gracelessly the rest of the way.

He never gets quite that far. Logan's instant of hesitation is all Sasha needs as his quarry crests the top of the fence — fingers close around his ankle and squeeze hard, wresting his leg back down so his other hand can seize the man's calf and dislodge him from the wire.

He risks brutalizing himself in the process, but his heart is fueling his lungs, his extremities tingling with the anticipation of a potential kill. Dirty fingernails hook in the finer material of Logan's clothes. Sweat carves paths down the Russian's neck, back and chest, and leave dark stains where it seeps through the fabric of the gray wife-beater he wears on his trim torso. The only thing he cares about is when it mingles with the dust in his greasy hair and the dirt on his face before trickling sticky and warm into the corners of his vision, gluing his eyelashes together.

That gets a snarl, useless and bleating, a ringing sound of trembling metal as Logan is pulled down from his perch. The sole of his boot skids down the wire, hands snagging at the bar that wedges between brickwall. The sting of blood at his palm probably means he needs to get a shot when all this is said and done, but rather than making preparations for what clinic visits he wouldn't have to otherwise take if he were more careful, Logan focuses on surviving.

He's not doing a wonderful job at it, clinging too long to the fence before Sasha's strength and gravity combined win out. He comes crashing down the rest of the way, twisting in his own feline kind of thrash that lacks the other man's control and confidence. If he can deal a bruise or two on the way down—

— then he will. Does. Logan is rewarded with a throaty hiss and the crack of his heel connecting with the bridge of his pursuer's nose. As Sasha pulls him back to earth, blood streams freely from his nostrils, floods his mouth and tinges his teeth pink. He might have even succeeded in breaking it.

Down on the ground, a small crowd has assembled in the mouth of the alley to watch the fight, including a young girl with dark hair who is steered away from the assembly by an older man with silver hair, a gloved hand on her shoulder and a face with the texture of sandpaper.

Brawls are so common in this part of town that no one looking on calls for the authorities, even when Sasha pins Logan to the fence with the pressure of his own body, causing the metal to creak, groan and loudly protest under their combined weight. One arm goes across his throat in an attempt to restrict his airways without completely crushing them. The other drops to his side and gropes for the hunting knife he keeps sheathed in the leather guard at his hip. "Suka," he spits. "«You little bitch.»"

The Russian would be attractive if not for opaque blood now smearing over his mouth and chin, ringing his nostrils, and also if he wasn't trying to commit murder. On him. The pressure at Logan's throat has to contend with what he feels to be his heart taking residence in there too, wheezing out exhausted, panicky gasps of air, eyes bright and pale and fixed on Sasha's face and the snarling coming out of it. "Stop," the Brit croaks out, struggling, a hand coming to cling to Sasha's forearm, the one pinning him in place.

And the other one being more useful, fumbling down towards where he can almost feel his would-be killer's hand descend. To snag at his wrist, fingernails biting in petulant, vicious scratches. He doesn't need the knife. He only needs the other man to drop it.

"What— " This would have been a better strategy before he started running, but he tries it anyway. The staring cluster of people is a blurry backdrop, and he doesn't waste his breath crying for help. Not yet.

The fingers clawing at Sasha's wrist leave raw, red marks that would appear pink if his skin wasn't so tanned by the scorching Mexican sun. Although his hand has found the grip of the blade, something about the tone of Logan's voice — or perhaps the desperation manifested in the wide whites of his eyes — gives him pause.

He lets up on his windpipe enough for words to come a little more easily, though the press of his hips against Logan's increases in force to prevent escape. A pungent combination of tequila and chewing tobacco makes his breath rank, somehow even hotter than the sweltering air around them as it curls over his captive's face, settles in the cavities of his nostrils and invades his mouth every time he opens it to gasp for breath.

"Stop?" he parrots, blood bubbling around his lips. The hand at his knife leaves it to wipe the gore away from his face with the backs of his fingers. "Why?"

There's a flare of anger, somehow on top of everything else, as much as a pause was what Logan was looking for. Injured pride that the man trying to kill him can stop and have a fucking conversation. Doesn't matter. Thanks heavens for small favours, and that. Logan allows a moment of breathing unobstructed, keeping that grip on Sasha's arm just as firm as before, even pushing, testing, but not enough to incur a reaction. "'cause there's something you want more than— than killing me.

"Na- name it." He searches the man's face for something, anything, air hissing tentatively between parted teeth, before his eyes screw shut, open again, trying to ignore the twinges of aches and bruises form the chase so far. Uncontrolled, there's a pulse of shared adrenaline released in Sasha's system, Logan's eyes flaring bright, traffic light green when he opens them.

There's a hitch at the back of Sasha's throat in response to the warmth curling in the pit of his belly. It spreads outward through his abdomen, into his loins and up through his chest before reforming in his bloodied mouth as a hoarse bark of laughter that's breathless and thin.

He angles his head, nose trailing along the shape of Logan's jaw and eventually coming to settle against his ear, the Russian's every inhalation and subsequent release like the roar of a miniature ocean contained in a conch. "How are you doing that?" he wonders aloud, voice a purr, very much el gato with a fat little rat caught in his claws. There's something about his tone and the cruelty in his eyes that advises Logan against getting his hopes up.

Logan remains still, almost poised, jaw clenched tight and breathing as reedy as it was before, uncomfortable with the wire fence tracking against his back and Sasha's too warm frame pressing against his own leaner one, breath damp where it curls against his ear and neck. "Dunno." His voice is hoarse and wavers around the edges, curdled with nervousness and tempered resentment, but his eyes remain bright and telling as serotonin is transmitted like radio waves from Sasha's own brain.

They might even see it from this far, twin points of demon eyes that flick on and off as he blinks, hard. Logan's palm rests against Sasha's ribcage, feeling body heat through the thin grey of his wifebeater, the in and out of breath. The Russian has the reek of tobacco and tequila, and the Brit carries with him cleaner scents along with today's cologne and acrid nicotine. "I just do it." His hand tracks down, destination obvious until it veers, finding the knife at the man's belt more interesting than anything further south.

"I have a trick also," Sasha says, too drunk on Logan's chemical bath to notice that his hand has strayed. His own explores the other man's abdomen, feeling for injuries beneath the surface of his skin, burst blood vessels, older bruises in the yellowed process of healing, knots of scar tissue that he can sink hooks into.

He finds what he's looking for on his creeping way down Logan's thigh, just above the bent crook of his knee. How he broke his leg, the healer does not know — only that he did, and in four different places. "Let me show you."

It isn't a request.

The whole fence shudders as if Logan were trying to fling himself back through it, a shocked cry echoing down the alleyway as the chemical manipulator convulses, just once. It's a familiar ache, one he lived with for a long time, flaring back to life with a vengeance, old scars like stripes of heat beneath denim. Bone tightens like it might break all over again, a dull throb that springs fresh sweat to Logan's brow, his palms, the nape of his neck. Beyond pain, there's fear — rewarded not only to Sasha, but of the injury.

His response is trigger quick, but subtle. Green eyes don't even change, even as they stare sightless for the time it takes of Sasha's ability to sink its hooks in. Serotonin stops, lapses in favour of a numb kind of settling in his system, shielding off the pathways of adrenaline and robbing the man of his trick.

The second thing that happens is a knife eased free of its leather holding place. Sasha only feels it briefly knick against grey cotton before the blade glides up to touch his throat. Logan's breathing draws in and out, fluttery nervous in his throat when Sasha can feel it at his forearm, but his jaw has set like steel, eyes blazing.

This is what Sasha had been warned of. His arrogance is ultimately his undoing, and as the knife slides from the guard with a smooth sound, whatever pleasure he might have derived from his suffering in combination with the cocktail coursing sweetly through his veins tapers off, replaced with a fresh surge of adrenaline that has nothing to do with Logan's manipulations.

Sunlight glares off the blade, momentarily blinding Sasha to the man he has pinned to the fence — the man who is now holding his own knife to his throat. The corners of his mouth contort into an expression that's as much a smile as it is a grimace. "Very clever," he concedes, some of the confidence sapped from his voice, making it huskier, rough. The hand at his thigh does not move. "What will you do now, mysh?"

Logan has the look of a man just barely keeping it together, eyes wild in the set of his attempt at stoicism. He can feel where Sasha's power is no longer doing its harm, but there's still a low and dull pain that didn't flee with the sharp feeling of active power use. Weight is kept off that leg, but he doesn't rely on the fence more than Sasha is forcing him too. Subtle pressure weighs against Sasha's arm, hips. Logan's fingernails continue to bite in somewhere past his elbow.

The question is ignored. "Fix it," he grits out between clenched teeth, keeping lambent green eyes on Sasha's darker ones. A tick of a second crosses by, lip curling as he angles the knife to feel its sharp edge deeper against Sasha's skin, and he rephrases, "Can you fix it?"

"Nyet," Sasha says simply. "I like you too much." His throat contracts against the edge of the blade, blood beading along its metal surface as he swallows what has gathered in his nose and mouth, still too wet to crust. "Reconsider," he adds. Then; "I am not alone."

Blue eyes search Logan's face, unable to keep amusement from creeping into them. If he's a poor loser — and he usually is — it does not register in the quirk of his mouth or the sly shape it takes when he sucks the sticky fluid from his lips. "You should climb away while you still can. Maybe I will make it so we do not meet again."

"Now that would be a crying fucking shame, wouldn't it." His voice is harsher, just above a whisper, South London tinge marking him just as foreign as Russian verbage mingled in English. Evenly, Logan pushes — not a jerking shove, but an even application of pressure, encouraging Sasha's arm off his neck, his body away from his directed by the knife making a line into the healer's neck. He manages to school his glare into expressing a single sentiment— stay— as he edges along the fence, putting distance between them until only the tip of the knife touches Sasha's jaw.

Pulls away before he risks his arm twisted out of a socket, a hitching step taken back. He should ask Sasha who, and why, but his tongue feels more inclined to stick against the roof of his mouth than form words. His free hand gropes up, clings to the fence, and as he levers himself up half a foot, he tosses the knife over.

With more frantic motions, Logan continues to climb, right leg dragging but he bears through the continual twinge under flesh, in flesh, that's come to settle.

Hunger gleams behind Sasha's eyes as he tracks Logan's ascent. Kazimir won't ask for proof of this kill, though one of his compatriots might ask him why his knife is missing and there's a mark on his neck. The vibrations rattling through the fence are mirrored in the Russian's tense posture and compact body language. His every muscle his telling him to uncoil and spring.

He does not. Instead, he takes a scuffing step forward, shards of broken glass crunching under his booted feet — the remains of a beer bottle smashed against the alley's brick wall the last time a scuffle took place here.

His fingers curl around the wire, knuckles bulging under the strain of his grasp. He's on the wrong side of this cage.

Logan's lanky frame goes crashing to the cement floor of the alleyway, sparing himself the regulated climbdown two steps in. He only gasps at the pain that starbursts around his knee when it buckles, throwing his balance off enough that his hip meets the ground in a graceless kind of tumble. Fingernails scrape cement, snatching up the knife as if falling had always been the intention, summer light bouncing its gleam off his leather jacket coming loose off one shoulder in the effort of standing back up.

He looks back at Sasha, a sweeping glance from head to foot, then back up again, fingers rhythmically going straight and then curling around the grip of the knife. The blade goes up in something like a salute, tip to his temple and angling towards the healer, before Logan is making his uneven stride away with as much dignity as he can scrape together.

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