Beware The Ides Of March


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Scene Title Beware the Ides of March
Synopsis Sent to recover a painting belonging to one of Linderman's employees, Kain Zarek makes a harrowing discovery.
Date April 7, 2010

Dorchester Towers

Come senators, congressmen, please heed the call

Despite the diffuse gray light of the middday sun burning through the enormous picture windows of the eggshell white painted apartment, there was no answer at the door. Knocking drowned out by the sound of an acoustic guitar strumming over a sound system that pipes the music from a classic turntable thorugh the entire residence. Bob Dylan has a lot to say in this perennial song, but the drawl of a Cajun cuts through the tune, swallowed by the heightened volume of the song.

Don't stand in the doorway, don't block up the hall

Dark dress shoes scuff soundlessly beneath the volume of the folk song, and striding thorugh the open apartment door, the dark brows of Kain Zarek are furrowed in disconcerted nervousness as he finds no one to answer the door. There is only the sound of the music ringing noisily in his ears, pounding out from speakers recessed into the ceiling. His mouth opens, Kain shouts, but there's no response from the apartment, he can't even hear the keys jingling in his hands as he tucks them into his pocket.

For he that gets hurt, will be he who has stalled

Stepping through the hall, his hand moves inside the breast of his suit jacket, retrieving a heavy Smith & Wesson revolver, hammer cocked back and kept readied with the barrel pointed skyward as he moves through the foyer towards the living room. The furniture has been pushed to the walls, one couch crooked and a chair backwards, canvas tarps cover everything, dappled with paint and smudged with colors. Kain's brows tense, blue eyes wander along the creased fabric before finding the enormity of a canvas with its back towards him, situated on an easel and some four feet wide and five feet tall.

For there's a battle outside ragin'

Hissing out a nervous breath, Kain spots legs on the other side of the canvas, a can of red paint tipped over and seeping into the floorboards. His stubble bristled throat works up and down in a swallow as he tries to shout over the music again to no avail, training the gun on the painting as he steps down into the recessed floor of the living room.

It'll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls

Beyond those picture windows, the snow-laden city of New York looks like a frozen graveyard from the second floor of Dorchester towers, so many monuments of gray stone crested with snow, enough to look like a field of headstones. Stepping over a drooled line of red paint, Kain circles the upright canvas on its easel, only to find what he was looking for standing on the other side.

For the times, they are a changin'

Blonde hair is a mess, toussled and tipped up and chin decorated with as much unshaven scruff as Kain Zarek's, but the normally blue eyes belonging to one Roderick Tobias Sweeney are not there, they're but pools of milky white hazed over like a blind man's cataracts, one shaky hand decked with rings moving unsteadily on a tall canvas, painting sepia colored details into a depiction of a classical work by Vincenzo Camuccini with some — artistic liberties.

Come mothers and fathers throughout the land

Kain shouts, this time at point blank range with no results. He clicks back the hammer on his revolver and shakes his head, tucking the firearm once it's no longer primed into his underarm holster, but it's then when his eyes move from Roderick, towards the painting. Blue eyes go wide, brows furrow, and Kain's breath hitches in the back of his throat.

And don't criticize what you can't understand

Kain's blue eyes flick from one face to another on the painting, a calloused hand coming up to his mouth and clasping firmly as he breathes in between his fingers. There's a lump in Kain's throat the size of a fist and the pit of his stomach is twisting so tight that he can already taste the bile at the back of his throat. Exhaling the breath he's been holding, Kain brings a hand up to sweep over his forehead and thorugh his hair, tongue brushing over his lips as he looks back to the painter.

Your sons and your daughters are beyond your command

Once more, Kain reaches into his jacket and removes that firearm, clicking back the hammer slowly with his thumb, sweat on his palm slicking the grip. Forearm muscles tensing, Kain lifts the gun and presses the barrel behind Roderick's right ear, dark brows furrowed together and eyes cast to the side as he considers the painting and its contents again. There's a slow, tight breath in Kain's chest as his head begins to shake back and forth, eyes closing and index finger brushing over the trigger.

Your old road is rapidly aging

Tongue pressed against his upper lip, Kain's eyes clench shut as his jittery index finger starts to squeeze back on that trigger and the hammer of the revolver rises backwards in like motion. Tension builds in his shoulders and up through his neck, jaw trembling, and blue eyes open with a glassy quality before he slowly, carefully lowers the gun away from Roderick's head and clicks back the hammer with his thumb into an unlocked position, a shuddering sigh sliding past his lips.

Please get out of the new one if you can't led your hand

With the gun holstered, Kain turns to examine the painting again, watching Roderick's quick diagonal brush strokes giving light and definition to the face at the center of the crowd. There's no mistaking most of the people in the picture, though a few are hard to discern, details difficult to make out. Biting down on his lower lip, Kain's eyes wander back to the man he'd come here to see, and then he winces at the shrill note of a harmonica coming through the speakers.

Oh the times they are a

Breathing out thorugh his nose slowly, Kain looks to the side and spots the turntable, stepping over and hastily pulling the needle up off of the record with a screaming screech. "Roderick!" Kain shouts at the volume the music was playing at before, turning with a look of horror and confusion as his hand lashes out, grips down firmly, and squeezes the painter's shoulder to jerk him back away from the canvas.

It's like a dreamer pulled out of a deep sleep, Roderick's eyes blink a few times until those baby blues return, that's when his whole body slumps, shoulders rolling forward as if whatever was holding him had seeped away. The paintbrush in his hand, clatters to the floor, smeared with red, either from the paint, or his blistered fingers.

His bare feet, barely seen under a long pair of jeans, leave red prints behind, as he shuffles until the back of his legs hit the edge of the couch and he sits heavily bouncing slightly. His white ringer t-shirt covered in smudges and spots of color. His hand runs through his scruffy hair, wincing as muscles protest.

"Oh… bloody hell." His eyes turn to the center of the room, seeing the painting for the first time, it's like for the moment, Kain isn't there. The much shorter man rises from the couch and shuffles towards the painting, a look curious and almost awed as he studies it.

His shoulder slowly straighten as his eyes wander the painting, seeing all the strokes for the first time, fingers scratch at the scruff on his chin "This…." His voice a bit rough, his head turning towards the other man, head tipping up slightly to look at him. "…is a bit of a — problem."

"Interesting time to decided to stop by the flat, mate." Those blue eyes, looking a touch worried turn to the taller man, even though his words have an uplift to them. Snatching up a rag to wipe at his sore and paint smeared hand he adds, "What can I do you for, Kainy me boyo?"

Opening his mouth to bark out something of a response, Kain finds himself voiceless, a hand lifted up to his mouth to scrub over stubble and blue eyes downcast to his feet. The Cajun shifts his weight to one foot, looking back at the painting and then back to Roderick with a crease of his brows and the growl of his voice deep. "You're damned straight it's a problem, Picasso."

Motioning to the painting, Kain doesn't look away from Roderick. "Ah' came out here 'cause Danny said you were workin' on a painting for him that was done. Told me to come out and pick it up," blue eyes move down towards a brown paper wrapped canvas leaning up against the armchair beside the sofa, then flick back up to Roderick.

"Yer' damn right we got ourselves a problem," Kain slowly steps towards the short blonde, chin tilting up and blue eyes narrowing as he sizes the artist up, then slowly cranes his neck to look over his shoulder at the larger canvas. "But Ah' think maybe there's somethin' that we can do 'bout that…" one hand reaches inside of Kain's pinstriped suit jacket as narrowed blue eyes go back towards the painter, and withdraws —

— a fat money clip.

"How much?"

"I don't know…" Roderick starts slowly, eyes going to the money in Kain's hand, he turns away as if not interested, hands still working at the paint on his hands. "Linderman might not like not gettin' his hands on this bit of…" He glances back at his beautiful work of art. ".. intrigue." The word is emphasized. The cloth is dropped on a table and a camera picked up, not looking at Kain as he fiddles with the lens.

"Et tu, Kainy boy?" He asks brightly, the camera comes up and there is an immediate click of a digital camera, aimed at his fellow employee. It's a really nice camera. As it lowers, the younger man looks down at the image, his jaw working back and forth. His head doesn't move, but his eyes lift to Kain. "The question should be, what happens to me if this happens." His head jerks at the painting, brows lifting slightly, before the camera comes up to take a photo of the painting itself.

"Ah' think you better start wonderin' about what happens to your tiny ass if you don't put that goddamned camera down." There's a narrowing of Kain's eyes, and a scowl as he looks back to the painting, the wad of money pinched between his fingers wagged up and down idly before he looks back to the artist in question. "It ain't what it looks like," is perhaps the most diplomatic answer Kain can give for what he sees there.

Rolling his tongue across the inside of his cheek and closing his eyes, Kain breathes out a frustrated sigh and lets his shoulders rise and fall with the motion. "Ah' ain't walkin' outta' here with that thing sittin' in your livin' room. Ah' dunno what sorta' trick you're playin' Shorty," Kain takes a step closer to Roderick, pointing a corner of the folded bills at him, "but you ain't got the cajones to keep playin' this game."

"I have a good thing here, mate." Roderick looks dead serious as he says it, camera still in his hands. "And that painting, looks abso-bloody-lutly like what it is, you've seen my paintin's, Kain. You've seen them come true." The Brit glances at the painting and shakes his head. "You wanna walk out of here with that paintin'?"

The camera comes up for one more picture, before he steps away, making sure Kain can get to it, "I want a guarantee." A silver ring glints on his finger as he points to the taller man, a stubborn look on his face, "I want an ironclad guarantee, I don't get tosses in with the boss if he goes down."

"Besides…" The short blond, flashes that cocky grin, makes is ars shift a bit on his head. "You'll need my sorry arses. You'll see."

Tilting his chin up, blue eyes narrowing as he stares down the bridge of his nose towards Roderick, Kain purses his lips and breathes in deeply, then slowly exhales a sigh and slides the money clip into the right front pocket of his slacks. "You want a guarantee?" Kain asks with a furrow of his brows, jaw working from side to side as his tongue rolls across the back of his teeth. "So do I," is delivered with a sneer, bitter and resentful as he looks back towards the painting, eyes angling up on the platinum blonde beside the chiseled statue.

"You let me walk outta' here with that there new classic a'yours, Nostradamus," Kain's blue eyes avert from the painting back towards Roderick, "an' you got my word, as soon as I figure out what the hell it means…" one of Kain's hands slowly lifts up, fingers spread. "You got yourself an iron clad ticket out the back door."


The word is said firmly, "Just remember, mate." His mouth pulls to one side in that smug smirk. "If it happens to be in a body bag? The shit will hit the bloody fan." There is a threat in those softly spoken confident words. There is a soft beep of the camera as it is shut off, he got what he needed with it.

Strutting over the painting, he gives it another glance. Turing a shoudler to it, a finger, with a blister on the pad of it, the nail painted black, points at a painted face, and looks up at the owner, teeth flashing white. "I do have to say, you and John look very fetching in dresses, but then Logan has always been such a pretty boy. Just didn't expect it of you."

Then he's agilely backing up, with a gleeful look on his face, like the devil having just made a deal with a poor soul, expecting a fist to come flying at him. "Want me to wrap it up with a red ribbon?"


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