A Hand Up


eileen_icon.gif logan_icon.gif

Scene Title A Hand Up
Synopsis Some might call it serendipity, but it isn't really. John Logan has bad news written all over him.
Date February 2, 2009

The Rookery — Outside the Filatov Clinic

It's another bright, sunshiney day in the neighbourhood only colloquially known as the Rookery. Who came up with that name at first, God only knows, and in fact, it's not at all sunshiney, and it's only barely the day. Ice lines the unkempt and largely desolate city street, the winter season still ruthlessly hammering away, the pavement slick with slush and rain, and Logan is tired. Rarely awake during daylight hours, he's not paying attention as he should, and Vespas are surprisingly tricky fuckers to control.

In short, he rounds a corner too fast. Momentum, the ice on the road, and the careless turn of the front wheel all conspire against him, and the vehicle skids out from under him with a shriek of metal against asphalt, the driver himself rather suddenly taking a tumble.

"…well fuck me," he curses, bright red suddenly blooming on the knee of his pant leg, oh joyous, and rather dazed, Logan sits in the middle of the road and squints across at the blue scooter now tipped on its side, hands braced and holding himself up to sit. He only had half a street to go until he was home safe, too.

Logan's spill might be the result of an accident, or it might be part of some greater design — not only did he lose his traction at the corner where the Filatov clinic stands, but there's someone outside to witness his spill as well. A young woman, no older than nineteen or twenty, descends the concrete steps with an empty bucket grasped in one of her small hands. She can't have been outside for too long: the first thing Logan will notice as she approaches, carefully avoiding the slipperier section of the street, is that she isn't wearing any shoes. Long, bare legs march across the pavement, only a shade or two pinker than the rumpled white nightshirt she wears on her tiny frame, then come to a stop where he's sitting in the middle of the road.

Eileen crouches down, places the bucket on the pavement, and then rests both her hands on her knees, watching him with the cool green eyes of a cat from a meter or two away. She doesn't ask if Logan is hurt — that would be a stupid question, all things considered. Of course he's hurt. He's bleeding. "Would you like a hand up?"

"I would like a mechanic," Logan says, finally dragging his resentful gaze from the spilled scooter and then towards the girl. Gaze first landing on bare feet, eyes blinking rapidly a few times, before traveling up her legs, past the hem of her nightgown, then to her eyes also green, if darker than his. And it occurs to him he hasn't seen her before, also a little bizarre, considering this street. "I'll start with a hand up, shall I?" He glances at his own hands, then offers the one that isn't grazed, an expensive looking watch peeping out of the cuff of his jacket. In all ways, he appears to be a businessman, if less rigid - no tie in sight but otherwise dressed conservatively and expensively in a grey pinstripe suit and a black dress shirt beneath that.

Eileen moves closer once Logan gives her his consent, reaching out to gently take the proffered hand in her own, the skin of her palm perhaps a little colder than he might have been expecting. As she rises, she brings him up with her, free hand at his elbow for support — just in case. "You'll want something for your knee, I expect," she says, releasing her grip. The hand at his elbow also falls away, drifting back to her side so she can retrieve the bucket. "The doctor isn't in, but I can probably lend you some rubbing alcohol and a bandage. Stitches, if you need them." As for the mechanic? Her eyes shift from Logan to his vehicle, and one corner of her mouth turns up into a faint smile. "Not much I can do for your ride, though. Sorry."

At mention of the doctor, Logan glances towards the reasonably familiar clinic speculatively, before balancing on his largely uninjured leg so he can stretch the other one out a little and observe the patch of red on his own knee. Fiction has a habit of telling us that blood is hell to get out of fabric but really, all you need is Google and the inclination. "I feel like I took a spill in the play yard or something," he says, accent that of a Londoner and not entirely working class, even if that is just affectation. "Why not. If it gets stolen then I hope whoever takes it gets their skull cracked open." He moves towards the clinic, limping just a little from the freshness of the wound, observing his grazed hand with a mutter of, "Piss it. Knowing my luck it'll still be there."

Eileen matches Logan's pace, trailing about a half-step behind him in case his luck really is that bad and he takes another tumble on his way up the stairs. Back inside the clinic, she shuts the door behind him, deposits the empty bucket under a table and opens a nearby drawer. She moves with some reluctance as if she isn't sure of what she's doing or where whatever she's looking for might be, but she soon uncovers a bottle of antiseptic, some gauze, a pair of small silver scissors and some medical tape. If nothing else, she is at least familiar with the tools, and gestures for Logan to take a seat on one of the chairs in the clinic's sitting area.

"I doubt you've anything to worry about," she tries to reassure him, unscrewing the bottle's cap, "it's early yet and last night's opportunists are still sleeping off their hangovers."

"I suppose so," Logan says somewhat airily, as if truly ambivalent as to the fate of his Vespa. He sits down as gestured and leans to roll up his pant leg, exposing more expensive leather shoe and sock. There's some hesitation for a moment, eyes narrowing, before whatever the notion was passes, and he continues to pull the fabric up above his knee. The graze at the joint was once upon the least of his worries, it seems, surgical scars and some less so surgical winding around his leg, disappearing up towards his thigh. They're faded with years gone by, but obvious, pulling at skin and disrupting the usual planes and curves of a leg. He leans back once done, now studying her as she sets about tending to the minor injury. "So what did you do, just get off the boat? You're not family of Filatov's or something, are you?"

Eileen's accent, not entirely unlike Logan's own, suggests otherwise. "Actually," she says, dipping a cotton swab into the antiseptic solution, "I fell off of a bridge." The end of the cotton swab comes out dark red instead of white; it isn't rubbing alcohol she's preparing to clean his cut with, but what appears to be — if the bottle's label can be believed — povidone-iodine. When she touches it to the wound, it produces a brief stinging sensation that's quick to pass, though the orange stain it leaves on his skin continues to linger. "I'm just helping out for a few days until I've got my feet under me again." As she works, her eyes are inevitably drawn to the surgical scars. Perhaps to be polite, or perhaps to be prudent, she doesn't comment on them. "What about you? You don't sound like you're a native."

"I'm not one," Logan agrees, only briefly watching her treatment on his leg, barely twitching at the first touch of chemical to broken skin, and more interested in watching her. Usually he's alerted a little more ahead of time when it comes to severely angelic women roaming this part of town, after all, head tilting to the side. "Been here for a fairly long time myself. London originally, just down the road most recently. You've heard the name the Happy Dagger yet?"

"I have." Eileen discards the cotton swab and begins unrolling the gauze, too focused on the task at hand to watch Logan as she speaks, though she keeps an eye on him in her peripheral strictly out of habit. "Some codger tried to sell me a piece of shit kevlar vest for fifty dollars," she says. "Real ballsed-up. Told me if I wanted a cheap piece of shit, I should go knocking there." There's amusement in her tone, soft and frivolous, but the expression on her face remains as guarded as ever. She slices off a strip of gauze from the roll with the scissors rather than taking the time to cut it, easily cleaving through the flimsy fabric with the sharpest edge. There's nothing angelic about that. "Let me guess. Logan?"

Logan's head tips back as he gives a short laugh at her story, smile bright but eyes, as ever, hard and cold. If someone's going to badmouth his business so liberally, well, it's something to look into, in one way or another. "If there's one thing the girls aren't, it's cheap. I wonder what I did to piss 'im off, then," he says, relaxing back into his chair and boredly, affectedly, inspecting his nails as she continues her efficient treatment to his leg. "Logan," he confirms. "Stick around you'll hear all kinds of names around these parts. Gettin' to be a tight-knit little community. Considering the bridge you must've fallen off, you might find it costing you to get back over to greater New York City, you know. What's your name?"

Logan's remark about the girls not being cheap gives Eileen pause. Her hands falter as she wraps the bandage around Logan's leg, one fingernail catching on the gauze in what appears to be just a clumsy mistake on her part. She recovers soon enough, tucking the very end of the strip away and fastening it in place with about half an inch worth of medical tape, measured out in much the same way the gauze was: casually.

"Eileen," she says, rocking back on the balls of her feet to better inspect her completed handiwork. "Believe me, I'm in no hurry to make my way back to Manhattan — you can count on me sticking around."

Where else is she going to go?

"Wonderful," Logan says, the word rolling out with far too much emphasis, but whatever that emphasis was supposed to mean is dismissed as he peers at the bandages, observing her work. "Well you're not the gentlest of doctors," he says, as if she were looking for feedback, turning his leg a little. "And you've got cold hands. But you do the job and that's all a man can ask for, isn't it?" He sets about rolling the pant leg down, wrinkling his nose for a moment at the splotch of drying blood. "Is it going to cost me anything?"

"Only your gratitude." Eileen stands up, taking Logan's attempt at constructive criticism in stride. Wu-Long, Elias and Ethan never commented on her skills as a makeshift medic, and if Sylar ever had anything negative to say about it then he kept his thoughts to himself — the fact that he's calling her a 'doctor' at all is something she should probably take some small amount of pride in. She does, however, rub the palms of her hands together somewhat self-consciously in response. "Peroxide, by the way. For your pants. Should take the stain out with some cold water." If there's one thing Eileen has experience in, besides patching up injured men, it's washing the blood out of clothes.

Gratitude might be hard to come by, really. Logan has more money than he has gratitude. But he's not about to argue, getting to his feet and fixing his jacket. "Cold water and a splash of ammonia, usually," he says, with a bit of a shrug. "Either or. You can fix most things with chemicals, can't you." He then looks her in the eye, and offers a smile and nod. Last impressions, in Logan's book, count for the most, and so perhaps the flattery of being called a doctor is spiked a little, just enough. Chemicals really do fix anything, save for superficiality, which such a sensation definitely is. "You have my gratitude then, Eileen."

The tiniest of flutters in her chest brings an even tinier smile to Eileen's face. Logan is subtle — as cautious as she is, she doesn't notice anything unusual about what she's feeling, except perhaps for the fact that she's tingling just a little more than usual. It feels good to have helped another person, and there's nothing wrong with that. If anything, she needs this to combat the sense of loss that has steadily been consuming her these last few days.

Ethan, gone. Elias, gone. Sylar, gone. All in one fell swoop.

It's about time she started thinking positively again.

"You're very welcome."

You can get by on a wink and a smile, but it doesn't hurt to have a little help. "Good to know," Logan says, before turning his back and heading for the door, involuntary limp stealing away from his usual swagger, hand coming up to touch the doorframe as he goes. Dust from the road creates a fine, dirty film over half of his jacket. "Give my regards to Filatov, also," he says when he pauses there, glancing back over his shoulder. His pale gaze goes up and down her in a rapid glance before meeting her eyes. "Seems we agree on some things." And with that likely baffling, pointed comment, he disappears around the corner. His Vespa needs retrieving.

February 2nd: Honey, I'm Home
February 2nd: Going Damaris
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