'Cause This Is Thriller


logan_icon.gif mu-qian_icon.gif toru_icon.gif

Scene Title 'Cause This Is Thriller
Synopsis Mu-Qian makes good on her end on what passes for a bargain.
Date October 31, 2009

Upstate New York

It's better than the meat factory, which may not be saying much— no offense intended to John Logan, his tastes or his sense of logic or practicality. Better even than the motel setup that Felix Ivanov had awoken to, once upon a resurrection, a tiny hooker under the covers with him. They are in a bonafide mansion. Not as large as some of those one might find in Los Angeles, but nevertheless constituent of three discrete parts, main building, pool house, and pool, and with a very broad street and selective neighborhood in front of and around it.

Little of this can be honestly attributed to Mu-Qian's desire to see her old friend's true love pampered and coddled with the best furnishings, cascade staircases, in the midst of the greenest acreage that Triad money can buy. No, her reasoning is somewhat less hinged on anybody's interpretation of reason and, perhaps exasperatingly, more on simple superstition. The Zhaos' home residence is reputed for having the most excellent feng shui, and Mu-Qian was not so arrogant as to think that the resurrection of this pulpily segmented, ragdolled corpse couldn't use all the luck it could get. They're in the greenhouse. A arbor latticed from camphor wood scraggles weird shadows through the ceiling light, and a miniature artificial waterfall clashes down through a makeshift mountainscape, turning through a diminutive green waterwheel, tiny porcelain rice farmers and oxen beneath the shadows of bonsai trees, a miniature bamboo grove, moss crept up leathery brown stones. It's pretty. Tranquil, in that bizarre transdimensional way.

That doesn't really do much for the fact that Satoru Lawrence's corpse is laid up on tarp on two wooden benches that had to be combined because his chapped blue feet had hung off the end with such weighty liquid lassitude Mu-Qian had had vague thoughts they might snap off before she was entirely done. Instructions for the moving of furniture constituted the only break in her silence; she's otherwise been silent for hours on hours, her sculpted brow knit with concentration, alternatively sitting with, walking around, picking at Toru's hands, feet, rounding out his crumpled torso, soothing the scratches down to a clean waxen sheen, more like a funeral embalmist than a performer of miracles.

Her clothes stay white. It's like no one ever taught her how to sweat.

Hours and hours. Logan doesn't recall anything Mu-Qian doing taking hours and hours. But then, Toru's been dead days and days, so. After the young man's immediate death, there'd been no princess attitudes towards gore, warm and cooling blood, of broken limbs and the ragdoll effects of death. Even the next day, and the day after that, the corpse within the freezer had still resembled something asleep than something truly dead, if impossibly pale and impossibly cold. There'd been a point at which Logan had stopped looking, though. When Toru had stopped looking simply dead, and on his way to being what happens to flesh after it.

Today, squeamishness has been dulled with time, and so as Logan's light and reverent foot steps bring him closer once more, continually pacing, he watches Mu-Qian work and touch. The erstwhile pimp at least appears to be in better shape than when she'd found him. Upright, walking, if sleepless. There's no scent of alcohol on him today, but the smell of smoke has been stepped into the fibers of his clothing to count as its own cologne, and he's just returned from reducing the three cigarettes left on his person to two rolling lonely in his cigarette case.

Green eyes glance to Toru's prone form, snap back to Mu-Qian. "Are you about done?"

She doesn't dignify Logan's impatience with an answer, which is either rude or practical. Kid half-Nip was badly broken, and the structural reconstruction she's forcing through his matchstick body is considerable in any available sense of the term.

Now Toru's veins stand out inside the thin skin of his wrists like blue minerals threading marble and his shoulders, ribcage, pelvic bone— plainly adorned in the conservatively voluminous cotton of a smock— are returned to their proper contours, his face motionless in its serenity despite lips ajar to cede ingress to the insidious substance that the woman had literally forced down his throat. It doesn't leave even the faintest of traces on the cyanotic pallor of his lips.

They've been in here long enough that none of them, not Logan, Mu-Qian, or the men ordered to wait outside, can smell the camphor oils off the woodwork anymore. Awhile.

When she's finished, it doesn't come with ceremony, unless you're subscribing to the howling tribal cult larking-around-the-bonfire notion thereof. She stands up, the faintest intimation of wobble to her center and her feet, and then clamps two talon-fingered hands down into the sinewy flesh of the boy's torso. It's akin to watching electrical discharge into the leg of a frog in biology class, the sudden wrench of motion, kicking, spine lurching off the table's surface in choking, guttering spasm of full-bodied movement.

He's alive~. Maybe. Whatever bolt of lightning equivalent that Mu-Qian has in her hands, this miraculous power, it seems at least to do its job when stillness keels into movement sudden enough to make Logan jump beneath tailored lines of pinstripe and black wool. His dignity will thank him later that he didn't make a sound, pale eyes going wider as he watches the horror show taking place on the greenhouse bench.

The smell of warm decay has kept him from approaching at any distance up until this point. As much as he is equally moved to flee and so that he can simply witness the final product when its on its feet and everything, a stronger magnetic pull has Logan moving for the younger man's side, opposite the white-clothed lady. His expression is as sharp and attentive as it was moments before breaking into the Golden Luck Restaurant and the messier underside of the Red Cellar, and he's not about to touch. Not yet.

From Toru there comes a panicked sound; a harsh intake of breath, like a drowning man finally coming to the surface. Apprporiately enough. In that same motion, his torso rises up from the bench, left arm clawing desperately at the air. Eyes snap open, he hisses through his teeth and growls, guttural and feral, "I'll kill you, I will kill you!"

When Toru falls back to the bench, he rolls to his side — facing Logan, fortunately enough — and pauses, blinking several times, all quite anticlimactic. He takes in a few deliberate breaths, looks around the greenhouse, but ultimately settles on thrusting forward and latching arms around Logan's waist. "Dammit, where the fuck were you?! I thought I was going to die!" Cling tight, claws in. Or close enough, anyway. "What the hell is going on? Where are we?"

Mu-Qian is, frankly, a little surprised it worked. Not that she'd really let that on to anybody who knows her. She falls back, fingers releasing their quarry the instant her quarry starts writh-ing and snatch-ing at the air like it's out to maim or kill.

There's a pale undertone to her skin that has nothing to do with the reinforcement of her ability— she's tanked, weakened, and painfully aware of it, but she seats herself on the chair, only a little more heavily than she would have liked, and fixes her features into a sneer of feline hauteur. She is instantly distasteful of the mess that Toru is, and she doesn't mean blood and gore, either.

She fetches a glance up at Logan at what may or may not be an opportune time to catch his eye around Toru's back, neatly lined brows arching in the fondest of insults.

He's always like this, Mu-Qian. Which is so, so, so much better than glassy eyed silence or perhaps, you know. Just coming back wrong, which even Logan had enough imagination to force out of his head during the long, idle hours between then and now. But no, it's certainly Toru that is cursing and clinging to him and getting the clinging smell of old death on his Armani. Logan's hands hover in the air, fingers fanned out as he looks down at rumpled orange hair and a face that is no longer bloodless, alive quite suddenly.

He steals a glance back towards Mu-Qian, who is looking at him and his particular choice of companion, which is enough to split a smile over a still bruised mouth, abrupt and relieved.

"We're— " Logan quits while he's ahead. "It's a long fucking story. Shut up a moment." Gripping, now, onto Toru's upper arms, Logan pushes him back enough that he can kneel down, connect a knee against the not immaculate greenhouse floor as pale eyes study the other man's darker ones, as if maybe he could detect anything there. As if his own intuition ever went that far, a hand coming to clasp Toru's chin.

This is weird. Very weird.

Weirder still being on Toru's end; he has no idea what's going on, after all. Logan's a bit better-informed about the whole thing. Though now that he's not clinging and shouting and carrying on, he does — smell something. And that gets a frown from the zombie'd lad, glances around the room and a cautious look at Logan. He lets himself get pushed back, but when his chin is gripped, eye contact is held and then lost. He… glances around.

This is weird, but for different reasons entirely. "What's going on?" Oh, sure, Toru managed to shut up for a moment, but he does have a hard time keeping his silence. At least he's using his inside voice, now. "What is that smell? Are you okay?"

Is he okay? Mu-Qian would have asked aloud if she had energy enough, comfortably ignoring the fact that the Englishman does indeed look like Hell between the stab wounds and the other stab wounds, haggard from sleeplessness, desperation.

The healer keeps her mouth fixed in a frown to suppress a smile, in the end, turning her head to study the burbling clarity of the bonsai fountain and its microcosm. After a moment, she creases her brow slightly with a squint, studying the big-shouldered silhouettes of her men outside, their flashlights slicing bars of light through the darkness as one gestures to illustrate whatever idiot thing they're talking about. Liu, probably. The Flying Dragon, or how it's falling. She shifts her foot discreetly inside the uncomfortable socket of her highheel. That was a little bit of a bad decision.

A minute, maybe a little longer than that, and the burly enforcer who's talking with his flashlight abruptly notices the lady's face turned toward him, through the obfuscation of long-leafed fronds and boughs. Startles, slightly, surprised at the first sign of change in the greenhouse since sunset; he starts in under the trellis, his footfalls loud in the dark.

"Wo xiang qu he cha— " It takes Mu-Qian a moment to remember that Satoru's rumored Chinese half is as inert and impotent in him as his Japanese half, a fact she acknowledges and dismisses in the same flit of manicured fingertips. When she speaks again, in English, it's a little loud, alllmost fussy. "I am going to have some tea. Are you two staying here?"

Logan hasn't recently risen from the dead, but he certainly looks like he could do with some sleep and other kinds of sustenance. He's too busy looking at Toru to listen to him, or maybe that's an excuse because he's not actually sure what he should be saying, and his attention catches onto Mu-Qian's words too readily. Hand loosening on Toru's face and coming to rest on his shoulder, Logan looks at Mu-Qian with some incomprehension. What?

Oh. "Yeah. Just— give us a bit." Time, that is, as if all three hadn't been in here for hours, and dismissing her, he focuses again on Toru. "I'm fine. You— bloody hell, you don't know, do you?"

How can one not know! It's not as though Logan didn't spent a little time hissing obscenities at Toru's corpse. They'd had an argument, you see. Toru just wasn't around for it. If it would make him feel better, he won. "You were dead," is stated, like this was the most obvious thing in the world.

Figures it would take dying for Toru to win an argument; though he probably is more eloquent when he isn't conscious. So he just looks at Logan for a long moment, eyebrow raised, and then somewhat abruptly turns to look back at Mu-Qian. Oh, hello, didn't realize we weren't alone here~ Though she is greeted with almost rude dismissiveness, given the circumstances. Craning his neck to look back, he gives her a wee little wave with his digits and a brief, "Yo. Ain't you that girl from the Dagger?"

Aaaand attention back to Logan. "Don't make jokes," he notes, tone going a bit dour. "You aren't really that funny and that's not funny." As far as Toru knows, he just— blacked out, or went into a coma, or something. … Though that doesn't explain— "— why am I okay? That guy— I mean I feel a little weird but I don't feel hurt, I should have— bruises— " Smock is tugged at a bit so that he can look down at his ribs, investigate for some sign of Chinese Ultra Hugs. "— and where the hell did these clothes come from?"

Toru's momentary delusion is further reinforced by the burly guard's chin-chuck and salutation, when he creaks the door in: "Welcome back, coma guy." He turns his shaven skull over to light his regard on the healer, even as his bright black shoes click and scratch steadily toward her, moving around a long-necked drove of flowering orchids and ducking slightly under a potted tree. "Laiba. Women rang tongxinzai wanwanr ba."

"Wo yijing zhidao." She props a thin white hand on his arm when the big man lumbers over, pulls herself up onto her heels. Pick heels. Why she wore pick heels today— "I saved your life. Show some gratitude, baichi. Hn." Stilting ricketily past the two men, she flicks the pale stones of her fingers sharply at the young man's back. Though her digits never make contact with the sterile fabric that clothes him, never mind bare skin, there's a dimple of movement through his skin tension, a jolt through his lung, as if someone had delivered a smart clap to his shoulder.

The bouncer, perhaps. To John, who has clear line of sight, doubtlessly not. Mu-Qian quirks his mouth into a smirk and moves toward the doorway, flaring another brief backward wave without turning.

Reaching a hand to grip onto the bench, Logan levers himself up to sit. His hands are off Toru, now, watching Mu-Qian and the bouncer go. He owes her, but they've already had that discussion, and it's not one he feels the need to bring up again, here and now. "She healed you," Logan confirms, watching, wwwatching as the door comes to close before he's readily extracting light and cigarette. If he has lungs that aren't mostly tar and tumors by the end of this ordeal, it will be a wonder. His movements are quick and vaguely guilty.

You're not meant to smoke in here, Logan's pretty sure. "He broke your arms in a few places. Crushed your ribs and probably more than that, I dunno." His teeth bite upon the filtered end of the cigarette, talking around it as easily as he does without. "Your spine, too." The lighter clicks, bandaged hand moving instinctively to block the flame from the lack of wind. "You died, and she brought you back."

Hands shaking just a little, and it could well be from exhaustion that has nothing to do with superpowers. Related to the poison, still toxic in his system. "It's Saturday."

Thudding forward from the lack of physical smack, Toru glances back at Mu-Qian and co., looking utterly lost at the whole situation. This, as well established by now, is weird. As Logan explains, Toru gradually pulls his knees up against his chest, laying on his side in fetal position, mildly appropriate for someone being brought into the world, albeit for a second time. Cringes, at the frank explanation of injuries, eyes closed, not really sure how to— react.

There are questions, of course, most of which he isn't actually certain he wants an answer to. In the end he decides on the most neutral one; complicated things can come later. After he's had some time to think about this. So. "… Can we go home? I don't like it here. I need a shower." Nobody can argue that point, probably. "I just… let's just get out of here, at least, I need someplace more comfortable to think about this."


Going home— somewhere that's worthy enough of that name, anyway— would be splendid. Logan is caught watching the smoldering end of his cigarette, face angled away slightly from Toru as he watches paper brown, black, crumble into shock white in the minute distance it travels, and he taps the beginnings of dying ash and the small fall of burning debris onto the limestone ground.

"There's nothing left to think about. You're okay when you weren't before. What's done is done." Innit. Logan gets to his feet and moves towards where he's left some clothing, having pawed through Toru's belongings for whatever seemed suitable. Jeans, a T-shirt, a coat, and he tosses the items onto the bench's surface. "How do you feel?"

"Weird," Toru sighs as he pushes himself to an upright sitting position, leaning forward a bit, hands on the edge of the seat. "I mean. Okay. Kinda.. I dunno, fuzzy in a few spots, but it's getting okay. Was worse before. Not bad, just more.. fuzzier." He shrugs, looks up to Logan helplessly, looks to the clothes. Jeans are pulled on before smock is removed, so as to protect fragile modesty, and shirt and coat pulled on afterwards. Nice and tidy.

He stands, a bit awkwardly, and does a few experimental hops once he is upright. Everything's where it should be, at least; or as far as he can tell. Nonetheless, he takes the opportunity as an excuse to lean on Logan, if only just a little bit— not so much out of a need for physical support as psychological. His voice is only mildly accusatory as he grumbles, "You have no idea how scared I was."

The new clothes do something to mask the scent of death and frost damage, although Toru will still benefit from hot running water. As he approaches, Logan doesn't quite open up enough to accept an embrace, as much as he starts to avidly watch the younger man when he begins to move around. Checking for defects, all that. It takes that comment to knock down enough defenses for Logan to wind an arm around Toru's waist, cigarette in his other hand and held primly away.

"Got some idea," is muttered against the curve of the younger man's cheek— equal height has these advantages— as if perhaps it were a secret to share. He glances down at Toru's bare feet against the brick, and sighs. Forgot shoes. Perhaps he didn't want to jinx the idea of Toru walking again. "I've got a car," he points out, before this can be bitched about.

In point of fact, Toru almost did bitch about it— but figured Logan couldn't decide what to bring. The azn's shoe closet is typically female; seemingly dozens of shoes of various colors, though in his case they all match in style. Converse All Stars; he does try so hard to be punk. That or, y'know, he didn't think about it. Either way, he waves a hand vaguely at the mention of cars, surprised enough at the arm-wrapping to care about such concerns as footwear. This is nice. And apparently something he's missed for a week.

"Where are we?" His head tilts a bit, in gesture to the greenhouse. "I mean, like, geography-wise. I think I want to just lie in the back on the way home. Maybe take a nap or something." Which might be funny, given that that's pretty much all he's been doing for several days, in a manner of speaking— but he's been hit with some pretty overwhelming mental stimuli that it's hard to take it all in at once. Brain rest, more than anything else, would be nice.

There's a slight nudge from Logan's shoulder against Toru's, directing him to walk for where the doors are, leaving the white cotton smock behind. The unbroken fingers of his hand clenching light to the fabric of Toru's coat at his back as they move, other hand bringing up his cigarette to pull from before he's pitching it down towards the ground, crushing it out with the edge of his shoe in a smear of ash. It's almost as difficult to let go as it is to initiate any kind of contact.

So very weird.

"Out've the city a bit. A way's enough, you can sleep." As much as Logan is superstitious and, if he had it is his way, he'd demand Toru never sleep again, just in case. Irrationality is crushed down, however, hand going out to open the greenhouse door, pushing it forward for Toru with a glance up and down. Not to discredit Mu-Qian's work, but, he can't help but keep checking— "Happy Halloween," he adds, with a twist of a facetious smile.

Once they get outside the greenhouse, Toru's steps shift into a more rapid pace, due primarily to suddenly cold ground at his feet. He doesn't run to the car at all, but at least the fact that he's moving at more than a snail's gait might help assuage Logan's fears. See, he's just as he should be. Pretty much. In any case, he sort of jogs in place, bouncing from one foot to another until they actually get to the car; he's inside and in the back seat in a pretty brisk motion.

Wait. "— Wait. Halloween? Fucking seriously? Jesus." That's almost funny, but he doesn't laugh at it, though his tone may be a bit more jovial than it had been. Once comfortable, though still upright, in the back, he sets to rubbing his feet, getting some more warmth into them. Tempting to ask where he'd been for the last several days, but not quite sure he wants to know the answer. The truth of the matter would likely be upsetting, at the very least.

At the very least, such information can wait. Sliding into the car, as designer and European as the rest of Logan's belongings, he glances in the rear view mirror at Toru. Hey, he has a reflection. So he can't be a vampire. That's definitely a benefit. Starting up the engine. "Him too," he adds, at that exclamation about Our Lord, before the car is pulling out of the drive way, away from the very lovely mansion and its acres of front lawn, out through black iron gates.

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