About That Thing


caliban_icon.gif logan_icon.gif

Scene Title About That Thing
Synopsis Logan recovers from his encounter with Teodoro and Corbin at Caliban's apartment.
Date March 23, 2010

Manhattan: Caliban's Apartment

Hardwood floors and crown molding are typical features found in many apartments throughout New York City, both old and new. Robert Caliban's home falls into the latter category and is leased through the Linderman Group rather than owned, monthly rent subtracted directly from his salary. Walls painted a deep, matte gold lend the living room much-needed warmth by playing off the soft glow cast by a miniature chandelier hung over the dining table adjacent to the gourmet kitchen where the master of the house is pouring his guest a crystal snifter of brandy imported from France.

Most of his furniture is leather, including the sofa that Logan has been directed to sit on and warm himself by the living room's electric fireplace, but there are some pieces like an antique arm chair with deep green velvet upholstery that contrast with the other textures in the room and give the space extra depth. He needs it, because it isn't very big as far as luxury accommodations go: less than a thousand square feet altogether, and that includes both guest and master bedroom.

"I had a dream the other night," he's saying, "that my phone was ringing, and animal control was on the other end. They found you in a gutter with the back of your head caved in and mistook your fur-coat swaddled corpse for a champion borzoi."

"That must've been nice for you."

With his shoes drying off near the door, Logan has long legs tucked up onto the couch, half-curled in a sullen kind of slouch into the corner of the sofa he has claimed as his own. Coat, suit jacket, waistcoat, tie, these things are all abandoned, stripped down to formal black socks, black slacks, and a black shirt he's opened at the collar. Thoroughly cleaned himself of blood as much as he can still taste it, with half of his face gone numb with cold thanks to the dishtowel swaddled icepack he has clutched in his hand, periodically pressed to his face as the electric glow just near him makes his pale eyes bright.

Bringing ice back down to reveal the mottled bruises gone blue and black where the riflebutt smacked him, cracked damage outwards, Logan first hesitates to make sure Robert isn't about to smile or something, before commenting, "No wonder Linderman keeps you 'round for your sense of sodding humour. You're a fucking riot."

Dressed in a pair of dark gray sweatpants and a paler wifebeater, no shoes, Caliban cuts a very different figure than the one Logan has grown accustomed to when he isn't wearing his work clothes. Large, bare feet cross the distance between kitchen and living room, floorboards creaking under the force of his heavy footsteps, then come to a stop in front of the sofa as he bends at the middle and places the snifter down on one of the glass coasters that adorn his squat oak coffee table.

When he retreats, it's to the armchair, his long legs folding. Nearby on one of the built-in bookshelves is a rosewood humidor that undoubtedly contains a small selection of Churchill cigars, but Caliban appears to be lacking any desire for tobacco or drink. He and Muldoon are similar in this respect: both men prefer to keep their heads clear where fresh blood is involved. "I don't suppose you're going to tell me what happened."

Icepack is cast aside in favour of imported brandy. Leaning and reaching so that he doesn't have to unfold himself, Logan's fingertips snag on the wide-bottomed glass before drawing it inwards, fighting back the urge to cough when that now familiar tickle wells up in his throat by drowning it with alcohol. A small sip, enough to sear down to his stomach, before tucking his chin atop his folded elbow resting on sofa arm. "'s about that thing," is pretty vague, mumbled in sullen teenager speech.

And he might just leave it there, but as he eases out a sigh, there's some relief of pressure, too, when it comes to dropping a few more words. "About the blokes I warned you away from. They didn't do this, just— Laudani and some other git wanting to know about 'em."

Caliban's nose wrinkles at the mention of Teodoro's name, and he reaches up to rub at it with the pad of his thumb before scratching blunt fingernails along his jaw, scraping through blond stubble. "Eventually," he says, "you're going to have to make a decision about which side you're on and stick with it, but here's a hint: throw your lot in the home team. There's not much the Russians can offer you except money, and if they had a lot of it they'd be doing more than feebly grasping at straws and coming to you for advice."

Logan rolls his eyes in time with knocking back a sliding sip of brandy, and then a second for good measure. Clearing his throat turns into a series of coughs, the amber liquid in his glass jerking and rolling within as his body shudders along with it, muffled into the crook of his elbow. It should be little wonder, considering where Caliban found him, that he might be quick to develop a cough.

Probably. "Did you forget just now," he rasps out once the fit has finished, hand shifting to gesture at himself, "who I said did this to me? This was after I gave them a fucking name."

"Laudani," Caliban echoes. "Loud and clear. I'm not sure if you missed the memo, but he, Beauchamp and Harrison are all in the government's pocket and have been since the tail end of last year. Homeland Security will do worse than rough you up if it finds out you've been consorting with terrorists." You know— the bad kind. Blond brows lower, and the older man gives Logan a dubious sort of look that tacitly acknowledges yes. He is aware of Teodoro's less-than-sterling background.

He amends: "I'll have a chat with him just the same, shall I? Let him know that Mr. Linderman won't tolerate him batting his employees between his paws?"

Pale eyes go flatly disbelieving at the news that Teo and friends have more than their side than good intentions, until it kind of— abruptly— makes a certain sense, gelling together the pieces of information gleaned from what they're doing getting on the bad side of the bad kind of terrorists. Sigh. Shifting enough to sink his back against the arm of the sofa, Logan rests his head back there and blinks up at the ceiling in some degree of thought. "If you like," he says, after a moment. "They won't listen. They leave me alone 'til something comes up and if something comes up, then—

"Speaking of which." He lazily points at Caliban over the rim of his glass, not giving him more than that and his bruised profile. "Keep your blonde in the kitchen. I can't promise keeping my hands off 'er if she can't keep 'er hands off me."

That settled, Logan takes a long, finishing sip of brandy, wincing around it and wincing around the wince.

"Two birds, one stone. I'll swing by Lucy's Friday night, but if you know something that you think might help them with what they're doing, please don't think me too forward to suggest that you tell them. Kozlow won't protect you; stick your neck out and Laudani will." The corner of Caliban's mouth crooks up into an easy smile. "He can't help it. He's Italian."

Hands braced on either side of the armchair, he pushes himself back to his feet and stretches his muscles by attempting to bring his shoulders together behind his back, resulting in a wet popping noise that sounds like it hurts but draws a sigh of relief from his nose instead. "Hot water's out, but that shouldn't stop you from helping yourself to the shower if you feel so inclined. I'm afraid I haven't got much in the way of food, either. Some Wensleydale cheese in the fridge and leftover chow mein."

"Fantastic. Just point me to the nearest bed and I'll be out of your hair once everything hurts less." Setting brandy glass down with a clink, Logan picks up ice in turn and applies it against the bridge of his nose, cutting loose a soft groan that is both pain and relief, closing shut shadowed eyes with a crinkle laddering through his brow. There's no comment as to the worth of sticking his neck out for the likes of Harrison, Laudani, Beauchamp. He'd rather offer his throat to no one.

Logan's eyes are closed, so he hears Caliban move off rather than seeing him. That said, he does not go far. Footsteps track across the living room to the bookshelf where the humidor is kept, but he does not reach for the cigars. Instead: rustling paper and the soft scratch of leather sliding smoothly across wood. A moment later, the footsteps are getting louder again and there's suddenly a hand at Logan's shoulder seeking his attention. "John," he says. "When you do go, there's something I'd like for you to take with."

Never mind a bed — Logan could well sleep here, after knocking back a couple of painkillers and that glass of brandy. Later meaning that he'll probably have to pee like a racehorse later if he doesn't have a heart attack when confronted with his own reflection, but for now, things are okay.

He doesn't so much as jump as simply twitch beneath Caliban's hand when the man is abruptly closer than he first estimated, had he even bothered to do so. Logan pulls buffered ice off his face and blinks his eyes up at the other man expectantly, already lining up whatever snarky retort will be necessary to deflect— whatever is coming. It's just been that kind of evening.

It's a book, which seems an odd gift to give someone like Logan who would probably prefer some additional spending money to expand the size of his closet, especially one whose cover and title are protected by a custom leather slip that looks as though it was a separate purchase.

Caliban does not provide an explanation or even flip it open to the first page. As if sensing the exhaustion saturating every fiber of the younger man's body, he leaves it on the arm of the sofa. Says, "Have a look when you're feeling better."

Which is great advice, Logan's eyes bloodshot and demeanor lazy enough to succumb to the exhaustion of sickness and minor injury and whatever else comes with being interrogated at gunpoint and so he— ignores it. Sniffing, a hand goes up to lazily flop over the book, too curious to just leave it there. No one gives him books. People give him guns, drug samples, propositions and punches to the face — never books. He slides it off the couch and into his lap, fingertips skimming over the cover before going to open it.

Caliban retreats from the living to take sanctuary in the master suite, which has its own bathroom attached; should Logan take a shower, it will be in the hallway half-bath and without needing to worry about sharing it with anyone. His superior lives alone in an apartment that reeks of sandalwood and solitude.

The door shuts. The book opens.

Understanding the Brain and Its Development: A Chemical Approach

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