About a Thing


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Scene Title About a Thing
Synopsis Nicole presses Logan for information on her sister's location, backed up by Manny. And his dubious sexuality.
Date February 9, 2010


This is one of those slightly quirky places that some people find cute or kitschy and some people find intolerable. The theme is apparent even from the set of swinging saloon doors that marks the real entrance beyond the vestibule/hallway used for carding patrons. Inside the bar proper, the theme really takes off. It doesn't look like it was originally built as a saloon, given its rather large, open floor plan and utter lack of old-timey architectural features, but the walls have been papered with imitation wood panelling and a couple of stuffed dear heads are stuck up on the walls. The large dance floor is hardwood, raised slightly from the concrete floor beneath it. The long, polished bar sits sturdily in front of a wide selection of booze and drink specials are chalked up on boards here and there. A few posters on the wall advertise Wednesdays as 'Ladies' Night' and there are a few advertisements for area gay bars. The real feature of the place is a roped off corner on the other side of the room from the bar. It holds the pride and joy of the bar: a large mechanical bull on an amply padded surface. The music is a mixture of country and the usual array of music popular in clubs with bumping beats that the clientèle certainly seem to get down with. Speaking of the clientèle, they are probably some of the most conclusive evidence that this establishment does indeed cater especially to the gay community. Whether or not that was the original purpose of the bar is hard to say.

How this is his first time here, Logan isn't sure, but there it is. Nichols wants to meet. He wants to sate his curiosity. Killing two birds with one stone allows for neutral territory and winds up with him talking mainly to the bartender after a decidedly disdainful glance around at the clientèle. He has a mojito in front of him, half-drained, fingers spidered over the top and rotating it around with an absent touch of fingertips as he occupies the employee's time with casual conversation, eyes verging on a brilliant green so that the flush of serotonin can carry and ensure that the man stays where he is.

It's early hours in the evening yet, and a Tuesday night doesn't guarantee that this place will thicken out its crowds any time soon, not with the weather outside. Logan has a snow-speckled overcoat resting on the stool he only stands beside, lanky frame at a lean against the tall structure, slacks black and untucked shirt white, golden thread making glimmering pinstripes through the soft material. Silver loops around a thumb, and it's about as informal as Logan generally gets when out on the town, if sparing no expense.

Nicole doesn't actually have a coat to check - or drape over a chair - when she steps in from outside, which earns her a look or two from a couple patrons. Even in the dark of the evening, mirrored Jackie O style sunglasses hide her eyes. Well, they're actually in place to hide the faint glow radiating from her eyes. With the variety of lights decorating the bar, the irregularity isn't spotted.

Dressed in an electric blue minidress, Nicole weaves her way toward where Logan stands at the bar. "Interesting choice of venue, John," she murmurs in his ear before setting her matching handbag down in front of her. He can smell the rum on her breath, though she's apparently attempted to mask it with mouthwash. "I'll have what he's having," she tells the bartender, "but make mine strawberry." She rests her hand over Logan's, her skin is almost uncomfortably warm, but there's no accompanying shock. "Work some of your magic for me, would you? I'm burning up."

When the door to Desperado opens up again the dim street lights from outside are nearly entirely blocked by the rectangle of a man that enters through the doorway, ducking his head under the top of the door as he steps in. Manny Calavera is many things, but transparent is not usually one of them. Offering a fond smile and a finger wave to one of the bartenders, he takes a few steps on inside the bar, sliding off his overcoat and slinging it over one shoulder before noticing John Logan and Nicole Nichols at the bar.

He pauses, sort've like a moose in headlights. Stoicism hides fear behind his eyes, a quickly flitted look from left to right to see of Kain is hiding somewhere with a camera or a pie, and then a look back to the pair. It's too late, because by now he's made eye contact with Nicole. But of course, Manny's still frozen in place, grimacing awkwardly before finally moving one foot in front of the other and making his way towards the pair.

"So— Hi." A toothy smile is afforded to the two anxiously. "I…" Manny points over his shoulder with his thumb, "bounce here every— you know— couple of weeks for a little… extra cash. It's— security contracting work. You— you know."

You know.

In a manner Logan would consider to be delicate, he pries the cat claws of his own ability out of the bartender's system when he feels Nicole's hand come to rest on his. His eyes only have a second or so to dim before glowing their jade-green again, and negation wraps around the woman like a wet blanket without smothering. Only then does he lift the corner of his mouth in a smile, leaning back enough to look her up and down. "Evening. That's a dress and a half," is both observation and compliment. "Or perhaps just half a dress— hey, look who it is."

This part spoken quietly, gaze flicking on over towards the gorilla-like security man and a polite smile turning smirkier with each hesitant word. "Really? I just come here to get laid," is blithely spoken and delivered dryly, and is somehow a lie, or just precognitive honesty. "Zarek's not with you? Shocking, that."

Nicole takes in a deep breath, like she's just emerged from underwater and is in dire need of air once her power has been negated. "Fuck, I'm gonna need a coat now." She scowls and starts to look toward the floor when Logan grabs her attention and reappropriates it.

Aww! Manny thinks she didn't already know. Nicole holds out her arms and ushers the big man toward her. "Come here, you! It's so good to see you!" She turns her head to shoot Logan a look and speak to him out of the corner of her mouth. "I see what you did there." Shocking. Cute.

Grimacing awkwardly, Manny reaches up and takes his fedora off, laying it down on the bartop. "I hope I ain't interruptin' you two's date or nothin'…" Manny comments with a crook of one brow up in the air. "I uh, you know, m'here for— business— so's if you need me to scram, I can do that." Sliding his coat from his arm to lay across the back of one of the bar stools, Manny offers a side-long look to Nicole, then an assessing up and down stare.

"Sheesh, you must be pickin' up all the ladies tonight…" The giant man notes with a wrinkle of his nose and a look over to Logan. "No offense or nothin' John, but you's pretty like a girl sometimes, you know?" There's a waggle of Manny's brows and a toothy grin as he slouches to the side against the bar, holding up three fingers to the bartender, who begins preparing a round of shots, because that's how Manny rolls.

"Flatterer," sounds like both riposte and accusation, and Logan returns to his own drink, sipping the clear mix which tastes of summer as much as the outdoors, ice cubes and mint leaves pressing patterns to the tall glass before he sets it down again. Business as usual would be a nice vacation of kinds from self-sabiotage of questionable heroism, new alliances and then sodding dream adventures that guarantee he gets no rest while he's asleep.

He shrugs at Manny, with regards to whether he scrams or no. "Up to the lady," you know, the actual lady, and he raises an eyebrow at her. "You've got me where you want me, love — what can I do for you?"

Inwardly, Nicole sighs. He's such a charmer. She flashes Manny a brilliant smile and shakes her head. "I always like sharing your company, dear. You know that." She takes a sip of her drink, toying with the straw between her teeth for a moment. "So… have either of you seen my sister?" Though she directs the question to both men, her gaze is squarely on Logan.

Well, that's a loaded question. Manny offers Logan a look but then the shots arrive and the gigantic bald man is quickly passing them out to give Logan a little time to contemplate the proper answer to that, and is praying that 'on the stage at my club' is not one of the answers available in his Rolodex of responses. The strong waft of Jagermeister coming from those shots causes a curled smile to slipa cross Manny's lips, and with one pinkie out he slams the shout and then slams the glass down on the counter with an exasperated breath afterwards.

"An' now I ain't cold!" He proclaims cheerily, before affording a more serious look to Nicole. "No, I ain't seen your little Sis at all for a while. You check with her dad? Maybe he finally handcuffed her to a radiator or somethin'?"

Mouth open, mouth shuts, and then he's saved by Jaeger. Eyes still a lambent green to keep the woman's ability in cautious check, Logan occupies himself with downing the shot, whether he appreciates the drink or not, listening to Manny's response even if he can feel Nicole's stare locked on his profile. Catching his heel against the low rungs of the stool beside him, Logan levers himself up to sit, feeling especially loose-limbed with rum and now Jaegermeister in his system.

Considers his options before he furrows his brow at Nicole. "You've got a sister? Is she just as good looking as you?"

Nicole knocks back her shot and slams her glass down on the bar harder than the gorilla of a man did before her. "Manny?" she muses calmly.

"Break his fingers."

Mouth open, mouth shuts, and then he's wishing he had another shot of Jager. Manny breathes in deeply and moves over to Nicole, laying a hand on her shoulder and motioning with one hand to John. "Nickels, sweetie. John Logan is like a delicate flower, if you break him there's no telling if he'll ever be able to recover. Now that also means I could probably turn him inside out, but see, that's a last resort, girl." There's a gentle squeeze of one baseball mitt sized hand on her shoulder.

"Johnny," Manny states with both brows raised patiently, "tell the little lady if you've seen her sister, I know you know she has one because she's mentioned her before while we were out drinking. Don't make me put you on the mechanical bull, John. Don't make me put you on the mechanical bull."

The idea of broken fingers has Logan's left hand stretching out and clenching again as the recollection of a particularly bad day twinges beneath the white scratches of scarring, and he narrows a look at Manny throughout all this talk of breaking and delicate flowers. "Just try it, big boy," could probably be spoken harsher than it sounds, but he's also— mostly— unarmed, and he's had enough to drink for the bring it threat to be a sneer and nothing more. Reluctance twists his mouth, picking up his mojito and rattling the ice within it, thinking.

"Last I saw her was in Caliban's office," he states. "Last I heard from her was some few days ago. She's in a difficult situation that I'm working to extract her from." His eyebrows raise as if to ask, is that enough for you?

Not remotely.

"What kind of situation?" Less than angry, Nicole looks exceptionally concerned. "I can't find her anywhere, John. It's not like her to not even text me back to say she's busy." Dark blue eyes search the man's face, hoping for any additional answers to the mystery of Colette's whereabouts. "Please… Is my sister in trouble?" A troubled glance is cast to Manny before moving back to Logan.

Now Manny looks equally invested, if not perhaps a little bit concerned. Logan's reputation for young women leaves the bald enforcer a bit startled when the admission finally comes. Breathing out a snorted breath, Manny's hand moves away from Nicole's shoulder, and he holds up three more fingers to the bartender again— it's going to be one of those nights where he's going to need more than one shot, it sounds like.

"Yes," Logan says, voice coming curt as if irritated that the truth is extracted from him this easy — although admittedly, if he really didn't want it to be, he could always run. He can be fast if he's being chased. The mojito is finished, using the cuff of his shirt to brush at his mouth before he sets the glass aside and turns enough to rest his back against the edge of the bar. "But nothing she didn't do to herself," he adds, hastily, a glance from concerned older sister to bodyguard. "I've a meeting tonight with some people regarding— rectifying the situation. Friends of her's. You ought to keep better tabs on your little sister, Nicole, she's been poking her nose in all kinds of places. When one's business starts overlapping with mine…"

Nicole falls backward onto the seat behind her, grabbing hold of the bar to steady herself. Her fingers are shaking. "That's my sissy, following in my footsteps." Sorry, Jenn. Your problems have just taken a back seat. Like the back seat of an extra long bus. She knocks back the second shot just as soon as it arrives, pulling a sour face. "Talk to me. Tell me what's going on." Who does Big Sis have to kill?

Somehow, Manny's certain that this is going to end with him having to shoot someone, he's just not sure who yet. By the time Nicole is downing his shot, he's taking the second Jager and offering up th other one to Logan— because he'll probably need it. Once the glass is slammed next to his last, Manny's eyes are offered up towards Nicole, followed by a crease of his brows. "Hey, you know me darlin', if there's a way I can help and it ain't gonna conflict with my work, you know I'm there for ya, but mister Linderman always comes first. So…" Manny's focus moves over to Logan, one brow quirked up, "exactly how close is the girl's business to your business, John?"

The drink is taken a little reluctantly — Logan has enough insight to know that he can sometimes, occasionally, rarely say stupid things, and alcohol doesn't help. Still, when in Rome. Knocking back the shot, nose wrinkling, the second shotglass is set back down, hand up to rub his brow. "The long and short of it— " He glances at the bartender, but he's wandered off to attend to the needs of a cowboy that could maybe be made entirely of purple suede, distracting for half a second before he focuses once more.

"We had a business relationship with a pharmaceuticals company— so goes their story— that, turns out, are running experiments that I don't think even the Group want to be associated with, on or off the books. A friend of your sister's got caught up in it, then she got caught up in it. Last I saw were pictures of the interior of the facility and I've not gotten a word back since."

Caliban might kill him, but, he did say Nicole could be told, and as for Manny— Logan's eyes flick to him, speculative. "I could use you, at that. One of the people I have working on this might need something of a watch dog who can look after himself too."

"Tell me you know where this facility is," Nicole queries hopefully. She holds three fingers up when the bartender spares a look back toward their gathering. From within her handbag, Nicole's BlackBerry chimes loudly, grabbing her attention.

A lightbulb goes off over the woman's head almost as soon as she sets eyes on the screen. "Pharmaceuticals? That wouldn't have anything to do with some of the research Pinehearst was doing, would it?" Staring at the phone, Nicole's thumb hovers over the keypad, hesitating on how to respond to the latest fire she's been alerted to.

Brows furrowing, Manny gives Logan a look that implies scrutiny, before he hangs his head and exhales a tired sigh. "Woof woof," is his only response, resigning himself to getting in to this fiasco, and for once he actually can't blame Kain Zarek for it. "You know I'm good for it, Johnny, as long as it isn't gonna make Danny come crashing down on my head, I should be fine. Kain's been— I dunno what Kain's been up to lately to be honest, me an' Dixon have been moonlighting more than workin' with him, so I got's nothin' but spare time."

Reaching up to rub a hand across his chin, there's a furrow of Manny's brows and a look between Nicole and Logan. "If you think there's room for one more, I'll see about gettin' ol Dixon up in on this. Can't hurt to have one more've us hittin' somethin' flatter'n a pancake if the need comes. But, I dunno if he'll be up for anythin' too dangerous, he's got his little girl to take care of."

Logan's hand goes out, and even though whatever call Nicole gets is likely unrelated to this, the gesture is clear when he wraps his fingers around both her hand and the BlackBerry, his lazy focus suddenly sharpening as he looks from her to Manny. "I'm handling it," he tells them, evenly. "Linderman knows— he knows everything, and he'll want to see the Nichols girl restored as much as any of us, now, doesn't he? But for my sake, this can't become common knowledge, so don't start calling in the cavalry just yet. I dunno about Pinehearst anything — but I do intend to find out."

Hand pulling away again, the negation on Nicole's self absently drifts free again, distraction dimming Logan's eyes. "I know where the facility is," he thinks to assure, a vague handwave following it, then looks to Manny. "It's Refrain drug trials. I need the drug destroyed and the woman in charge secured as much as we want Colette safe. I have someone on this and helping out Colette's people— name's Magnes Varlane— and I need to make sure he doesn't fuck up."

Nicole shakes her head quickly at Manny. "Leave Dixon out of this. He doesn't need the headache, and the less people that know about this, the better. Colette and I are on thin ice as it is. I only want people I can trust," or pay off, John Logan, "knowing what's going on." The less people out to blackmail Nicole Nichols the better. She's got enough of that already.

Nicole dashes off a seemingly absent reply and tucks her phone away again after Logan allows her to do so. She opens her mouth, about to respond to the way he refers to her beloved sister as simply the Nichols girl, but the mention of Refrain trials causes her to take notice and simply listen. She finds herself glad she did. "Magnes Varlane? You mean the stupid fuck that said all that dumb shit on Glenn Beck's show?" Politics is Nicole's arena, and that means knowing the name of everyone who's ever disgraced themselves on Beck's show.

"Oh, my God. My sister is doomed." The well dressed woman finally tugs off her sunglasses and buries her face in her hands.

Resting a hand on Nicole's shoulder again, Manny offers a plaintive smile and a soothing, "There, there…" followed by a slow nod of his head. "Idiots can achieve great things," he admits with a fanciful wave of his hand, as if trying to show Nicole the grand vista of competent mentally handicapped people all around New York City, "how else can you explain Kain Zarek?"

"On the plus side," Logan starts, tilting his head so that he might catch Nicole's gaze, "I don't intend for Varlane to go near your sister, and fortunately, he doesn't need political prowess and a brain-to-mouth filter to get this done. His orders are to help break in, destroy some things, and get out, though I have a feeling he might try to help them anyway. But no, it seems like Colette has got her own little band of loyal heroes ready to snatch her out of harm's way, and I'm lending them the means to do so. Now."

He hops down off the stool, picking up his coat and swinging it up to drape over his shoulders, hands clutching the black wool. "I should probably go see about that, shouldn't I?"

Nicole slides off her seat, fishes some cash out of her purse and puts it on the bar. "Well, I'm coming with you then." She wobbles just the smallest little bit as she attempts to follow after Logan. She casts a look over her shoulder. "Coming, Manny?"

"I— " Manny tugs at his collar, motioning to the back room behind the bar, "actually gotta talk to a guy about a thing…" he notes with a grimace, "but I'll catch up. Promise."

He has to see a guy about a thing.

"You dog, you," Logan states, but dismisses him in the next moment, casting a smile at Nicole. "Finish your mojito, love, but I'll be in contact. And make sure Manny doesn't get in too much trouble, yeah?" The brush off will have to do, pulling his coat on and moving out for the door without a glance back, as one does when late for a very important day. He needs to go see a guy about a thing too.

On unstable legs, Nicole kind of stumbles to a halt when Logan blows her off. With a huff, she turns back to the bar where her mojito still waits to be finished. The rest of that liquid courage might not be a bad idea after all. Turning back on her sensible heels, Nicole reclaims her seat and her drink, pulling out her phone again. She sends a message.

We need to meet.

Nicole has to see a woman about a thing.

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