Walk of Shame


logan_icon.gif nicole2_icon.gif

Scene Title Walk of Shame
Synopsis Logan and Nicole bring a whole new meaning to it.
Date February 22, 2010

The Corinthian - Rose Garden

The Rose Garden is both that as well as greenhouse, glass walls and rooftop ceiling off this little getaway from whatever weather happens to be uselessly battering at it. When the snow falls, it makes a flurry against the glass, an inverse snow dome, but right now it's clear, with a smoggy, starry night domed beyond. The outside courtyard that lies between its closed doors and the opened ones of the warm and bright hotel interior is empty of people save for those moving back and forth, a temporary and interstitial space.

It's warm in here, and smells of dirt and fragrant flowers, crowded with beds of roses, miniature explosions of colour and thorny stalks alike. Dense Indian Hawthorne hedges below the height of a knee create an artful and polite barrier between flowering displays and the gravel pathways, of which there are six coming together into a star-like pattern. The center of this starburst arrangement holds a small three-tiered fountain, bringing with it the scent and sound of trickling water. There are benches around the edges, wooden slats left naked of paint and new to look at, polished smooth.

It's the final hours of the ball, and after causing trouble (the kind that doesn't get back on him, which is his favourite), Logan mostly follows Nicole into the greenhouse, the fragrant smell of flowers that fills this space vastly different to the chemical perfumes that mingle in the ballroom, or the reek of ice and water that makes up the rooftop and outdoors, snow-stained and cold. "I wouldn't say this is exactly fresh air," he says, with a wandering glance at the mingling strangers within the space. "But it's a start."

"It's better than the ballroom, isn't it?" Nicole fixes Logan with a dubious stare as she walks backward through the rose garden, seeming to forget that date etiquette really dictates that she should have been walking with the man, rather than leading him. But her hands are full! Of champagne! Well, one hand is now that she's deftly drained the other and set the empty aside on a table meant for such things.

Now Nicole takes Logan's arm, resting her head on his shoulder to stroll about the garden-slash-greenhouse. "Doesn't it smell nice in here, at least?"

At this range, Nicole can probably feel, to a degree, the way his heart is racing, although he's putting on a good show like it's not. Which might make one wonder how good of a show he puts on for the rest of the time. Arm tangled with Nicole's and the other one with its hand wrapped around a glass of champagne, he moves down the gravel pathway towards the gushing fountain. "And I suppose the gala wasn't awful," he adds, catching his breath, finally, long enough to take a long sip of champagne as they go. His mind is still somewhere in the ballroom, but catching up with him too.

"I've enjoyed it," she admits. "What of it I've actually been able to spend enjoying it, I mean." Rather than making sure the finishing touches on Chambery were to her specifications. Nearing the fountain, Nicole's pace slows enough that she can cock her head to one side and peer curiously to her companion. "Your heart's pounding," she tells him, as if he weren't already aware. "I don't have that effect on you." At least, she hasn't yet tonight. "Are you all right?"

"Splendid." The same question tends to get the same answer — in Logan's world, he's always okay. He seems to have a smidgen of insight enough to realise this, and he affords her a quick smile. "I'm fine, I just think I'm a little burned up for power use. Do you think you could handle me taking a break?" he asks, eyes dimming deliberately. Putting on a slight show to back up the claim, and tapping his fingertips against his glass, searching for a subject change. "I saw you dancing with Linderman," he settles on. "You just had to have a princess moment, didn't you?" A hand raises to tap a finger against the tiara twinkling at him.

The subject change works, as Logan is let off with only a nod of Nicole's head in response to whether or not it's safe for him to take a break. Any argument she might have put up, or comment she may have made, is chased away by the sudden sensation of her own familiar ability flooding back to her. One hand stretches out, carefully away from Logan, and Nicole watches a spark of blue dance between her fingers deliberately. It brings a small smile to her lips.

It seems she suddenly feels conscious of the lack of privacy in their surroundings, as Nicole quickly drops her hand to her side, glancing around to ensure her little display wasn't spotted. She blushes both from the embarrassment of playing with her shiny new toy, and being called on her princess moment. "I owed him a dance," she insists. But Logan knows better. He's seen the way she watches their employer. This was definitely a princess moment.

The tiara is unsettled from its perch upon her hair and delicately settled on the edge of the fountain so Nicole can gingerly rub at her scalp without messing up her hair. "You were dancing with that pretty little thing anyway," she offers defensively. "Doesn't she… work for you?" See? How's it any different from her dancing with her employer?

Logan's eyes flare wide— facetious— in a subtle warning of look out! when she visibly realises they're not quite out of the woods when it comes to privacy. He opens up his jacket to take out his cigarette case, though there's a no smoking sign somewhere yonder. No one around to yell at them, however. "And she did owe me a dance," he agrees. "But she's not that pretty. Short, pale. Severe little mouth. I could have done better," and he drops a subtle wink at her as he sticks the filter of a cigarette between his teeth.

"But you didn't, did you?" Nicole smirks and offers a wink back as she teases. A quick glance around, and she's reaching just inside her bodice to procure a cigarette for herself. "Daniel will forgive us," she murmurs with some certainty around the rolled stick between her lips.

Nicole waits patiently for a light for her smoke, pondering in the brief space of time it takes Logan to procure his lighter. "Perhaps she looks better in feathers and sequins than you imagine I would." One brow quirks as a mischievous smile plays on her lips. "Have you imagined what I would look like in feathers and sequins?"

Flame flicker for him— and the air is still, in here, nothing like the struggle of the rooftop— and then for her, pocketing both case and lighter before he's properly sucking in a lungful of smoke, easing it out and allowing that acrid scent to mingle with the smell of roses and water. "We've got amateurs' nights, sometimes," Logan says, a smirk making lines at the corners of his mouth, moving then to sit on the edge of the fountain and pick up her tiara, inspecting it. "Why wonder, I say?"

Nicole mock gasps, her hand with cigarette poised between the vee of two fingers flutters over her chest. "I'm not that kind of girl!" She giggles rather drunkenly as she attempts to take a drag from the stick between her fingers, resulting in a tiny bit of a cough, thankfully shortlived. "A private show, though. That would be another matter entirely." Even though she's making a show of being a shameless flirt, the inexperience shows in the way her words sometimes halt, or the shade of pink her cheeks have flushed, well on their way to crimson.

His gold tie has slipped out of his waistcoat, so, he clamps his cigarette between teeth, set aside his glass of champagne and places her tiara atop his head all for the express purpose of slipping his tie back into place. There's a grin around his smoke cigarette, wolfish, and he manages to talk around it — a genetic skill only some are born with. "Ms. Nichols," Logan says, in an affectedly shy voice. "You're making me blush." He's not, but she is. He pegs his cigarette back between two V'd fingers.

"Oh, shut up," Nicole responds defensively, turning half away from Logan since covering her face isn't entirely an option unless she wants to set aside her champagne or her cigarette, and those vices are entirely too comforting right now. Sip one, suck down another. She does eventually set the glass down on the fountain edge, however. It hasn't quite sunk in yet that her tiara is no longer sitting there, but atop Logan's head. She hazards a glance back to the man, but never quite manages to get her gaze higher than his mouth before she's looking decidely away again. Suddenly shy.

His forehead crinkles along with an eyebrow raise, but— Logan does what he's told, taking now of all times to obey as he crosses one leg over the other and listens to his heart slow down. His fingers and toes are tingling numb, alcohol making the world a little softer and a tiara seem like an excellent idea— now he gets to be a fucking princess!— but more importantly, helping him mellow out. Likely he's lucky he didn't go down just as quickly as Eileen did. His teeth set against the cigarette filter, fingers rolling it in an absent fidget. Shutting up.

Nicole keeps waiting for him to say something. And waiting. Finally, she turns, concern etched in her features. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean it." Of course she's apologising. It's just so like her. Cigarette only half-smoked, she's brushing it against the edge of the fountain to drop the burning cherry off the end and leave the rest salvageable. For now, it's set next to her campagne glass before she sits down as well. "That was mean. Sorry. I don't actually want you to shut up."

The slightly hooded kind of look Logan's eyes gets communicates that offense she's apologising against, eyes trained down to the leak of smoke from his embering cigarette. "I forgive you," he says, magnimoniously enough, before he's setting the cigarette back into the corner of his mouth. It's then that he reaches down towards where her flat-shoed feet are set against the concrete floor, easy from where they're both perched on the low side of the fountain, and efficiently steals her legs out from under her, levering the purple-clad woman back from her seat and into the burbling water just behind them with a jerk of his arm.

You know the effect that happens when one drops, say, a plugged-in toaster or radio into a bathtub full of water?


There's an audible POP! when Nicole hits the water, and the day's electrical build-up is discharged all at once. Fortunately for her, she's as unharmed as the appliance would be, rather than the person in the bathwater. She's left gasping for air, wiping water away from her eyes and effectively smearing eyeliner and mascara across her face, leaving it to run in dark rivers down her cheeks and drip off the end of her chin. Coughing and sputtering, she stares incredulously at Logan. There are no words. Not at first.

"Oh my God, that's fucking cold!" she cries after she manages to take in a full breath. Nicole reaches out both hands toward Logan, soaked from head to gold-slippered toe. Did she really deserve that? ;_;

Logan is cackling. It's a gleeful, hyena kind of sound that reaches the glassy rooftop of the glass, and it's a toss up as to whether his smile is a cruel one or just genuinely mirthful at her expense. Some people are looking over, and some share smiles, some wrinkle their noses, and all of them ignore them. "That's what you get," he says, around his cigarette, but at least he's putting his hands in her's to pull her out — the dress is likely to get heavy with all that water.

Not as heavy as his suit is about to get.

Rather than actually allow Logan to pull her out of the water, Nicole uses all her strength to pull Logan in after her. "See how you like it!"

And gravity works, Logan gracelessly sliding off the slick cement— fuck me, this suit was eight hundred dollars, the shirt— bloody hell, it's probably the two hundred dollar one, why did I have to wear that one it's not like anyone can see it, I wonder if I can avoid ruining the shoes— and splash, into water. There's a yelp for how cold it happens to be, a gasp in at the shock of it. Tiara slips from its precarious sit and sinks to the shallow bottom, cigarette also going out and floating, spinning like an unmanned canoe in white water.

His hands release hers to brace against the bottom, long legs tangled over the side of the fountain and icy water leaking down his collar from where it spills from the second tier. "Blimey, turns out you're— C-captain fucking Obvious after all," is juddered out, shaken by chattering teeth and laughter.

Nicole is all but howling with laughter when Logan joins her in the shallow water. She fishes around the bottom and retrieves her tiara, settling on top of her head. Who's your princess now? Even though she's still cracking up, Nicole is reaching out to smooth Logan's hair away from his face. "Oh, I do feel a little bad," she admits. But he did deserve it a little bit, too.

A funny thing happens, though. Well, perhaps not so funny at all. In either case, whatever ice remained to be broken has been now, and is floating away from the pair in metaphorical chunks. Nicole shuts her eyes and leans forward to press a kiss to Logan's mouth. It's a short-lived experiment, as the way her lips quiver against his has Nicole laughing all over again, if extremely embarrassed at her own audacity.

The kiss is kind of a surprise, but not enough that Logan doesn't instinctively kiss back, eyes sliding shut, and his mouth hooks into a smile as she giggles into it. His chin angles up, feeling the breath of her laughter curl against his neck. "Oh, shameful," he mock-sighs out. At them, sitting in the fountain, falling down drunk and shuddering from the cold that is only going to get a billion times worse upon walking out of here. "Linderman'd fire us on the spot, even if we're the prettiest."

"Please. Do you think Daniel's schedule magically arranges itself?" Nicole makes light of just how much truth there is to Logan's statement, playing up her own importance. "And Burlesque, well, that's got to offer something of value, right?" She starts giggling again, leaning against the side of the fountain as an attempt to pull herself upright is aborted in favour of laughing at the absurd way this evening has wound up. "This was a tragic accident," she insists. No funny business led to this point. They totally can't get fired for slipping and falling into an ill-placed fountain.

It totally crept up on them, okay?

Logan has a harder time of it, attempting to save his poor soles from getting drenched and squelchy. It's awkward, but where there's a will, there's a way. He keeps his legs hooked, grips onto the stone side of the fountain, and uses the other hand to brace against the slick tiled floor of the bowl to lever himself up. He's in dubious danger of slipping right back in, but enough squirming has him more or less falling on the dry side, dripping onto concrete and casting a grin over at her.

"That's our story and we're sticking to it," he agrees, getting to his feet and holding out his arms as fine purple wool is practically navy with water. "Fuck it. I can work this." And now he offers out a hand for her to be helped out, a warning glare that promises slaps if she tries the same trick twice.

Even Nicole isn't quite that crazy. Or drunk. She reaches up to take Logan's and and slowly, if only to ensure she doesn't slip and take him right back in with her, she rises out of the water. "Your shoes didn't even get wet," she pouts. Hiking up her skirt to her knees, she attempts to wring some water from the fabric, for all the good it will do her. "Oh, look at me. I'm a mess." And she hasn't even fathomed what her makeup has done yet.

"I had to work very hard," Logan says, near defensively, looking down at tortoiseshell oily patterns, creaking them with a lift of his toes before he looks back at her. He snorts, slightly, lifting his hands to snag hr jaw against his palms, and use his thumbs to rub away the worst of smeared mascara with all the practical care of someone's BFF as opposed to smooth moves from the man she just kissed. "Hold still," he instructs, before it seems like the worst is greased away, and he lets her go, rubbing his palms together. "Much better. Don't worry, no one'll notice."

Nicole flinches at first when the man reaches for her face, but once she realises what he's attempting to do, she relaxes and lets him rub the smudges from her face as best he can manage. When he's finished, she fixes him with a dubious look. "You're lying," she states rather dumbly. But then she smiles somewhat impishly. "Thank you." Even if the whole thing is his fault. Or maybe her fault for telling him to shut up. But he teased her first. … Maybe this whole situation was just inevitable.

He'll just wipe his hands on a napkin from some passing by tray of hors d'ouevres, though there's none in here. He sniffs, once, rubs his damp sleeve against his face to uselessly free it of water, before Logan tilts his head for where the door opens to the ballroom across the courtyard scene outside. "Come on, let's take our spectacle where people can appreciate it," he says, thinking nothing of a cigarette and empty champagne flute floating in the fountain.

Nicole sighs and shakes her head as she takes Logan's arm. "Clearly the audience isn't as good here," she agrees, then laughs, resting her head against his shoulder, her own hair so damp she can't even tell his suit is just as bad. "Do you think we should just get a room?" she asks. If she realises the double meaning to what she's just said, she doesn't show it.

Hooking his arm with hers, Logan blinkablinks ahead of him as they walk down the gravel pathway leading for out. "I bet the bloke near the wine table thinks we should," is all he says, before they sweep on out into the bitter cold of twenty feet between here and there.

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