heller_icon.gif linda2_icon.gif logan_icon.gif sasha2_icon.gif

Scene Title Circumstances
Synopsis Heller demands an answer from Logan regarding his proposition related to Georgia Mayes' Resettlement Project.
Date March 6, 2011

Dorchester Towers: Logan's Apartment

National news seems strange in contrast to the local. A resignation of a senator, a gay rights protest, piracy in Africa. Charlie Sheen. The world sort of carrying on, limping ahead of New York, an insular patch of land with its own strange politics. Are there robots in Los Angeles, random bombings in Seattle, killer forcefields in Memphis? The news says no, and blares monotonous from the television in the living room once it's gotten over it's section on the fuckery that is New York City. It's probably that drama that attracted Logan in the first place from across the border, deep south, but it does make one wonder—

How is it does any expatriate or even American non-native New Yorkers wind up here at all? And stay?

These thoughts are as idle as his efforts at cleaning a basic black handgun that is done partially out of idleness and boredom, a need to do something else. Televised media and the simple act of smearing harsh scented solvent with a cotton swab along the slide of the black weapon, the other parts laid out on the glass coffee table amongst fashion magazine, help to remove Logan from the constant barrage of Internet in diverting his focus, strengthening his filters. Normal, now. It's been a long couple of months to get there.

Reading glasses, even, frameless and brought out for the occasion, resting at the end of his nose. Slacks he hasn't bothered to change out of, though he only wears business socks on his feet. An open shirt of black and silver over white wife-beater.

There is a knock at the door.

He knows it isn't Nicole because the hand is too heavy to belong to a woman and excludes Sasha because Sasha does not generally knock. If it was the Russian, he'd announce himself with an open window and drapes snagged in the breeze, cold air wafting in from the adjacent alley outside, footfalls on the fire escape to make it judder.

It's a short-lived mystery, however, as a familar voice with a cleaner accent than Sasha's rings out with, "Mister Logan." Placing it based on those four syllables alone would be much more difficult if the speaker's tone wasn't so characteristically curt.

Militant. "I hope I'm not interrupting anything," says Colonel Heller, and Logan doesn't have to be an empath to access what's beneath those words.

Traslation: I don't give a shit what I'm interrupting.

"If you'd be so kind as to open your door."

Translation: You'd fucking better.

"Fuck," is whispered, which doesn't get heard by Heller. What Heller might hear is a scrape and clatter of metal and glass, the rustle of plastic, the slam of a cupboard door; very much the sound of a Glock in pieces being put into a shopping bag and trashed, literally, beneath the sink. The television turned down, and the pad of socked feet moving across the floor.

Logan does open the door. That it snags on silver chain is maybe a stupid show of mistrust, but Logan couldn't physically bring himself to remove them immediately, too ingrained an instinct from living in shitty parts of various cities; and at least his expression is written with it — a half-smile, a hardness to glance out the door beyond the shine-less glass he's neglected to take off right away. Scarred fingers spider over the edge, as he scours a look out beyond the colonel, checking the hallway.

"My. What's the occasion?"

"It's been awhile since our last conversation," says Heller. "I figured I ought to check in. Do you mind if we come inside?" We includes a tall, dark-haired woman with strange eyes and a mouth pulled into a faint smirk. She isn't wearing her Horizon Armor, but Linda Tavara is in Frontline uniform, sidearm not entirely unlike the one Logan had been cleaning at her hip. There's a cock of her head, almost canine, and she lifts her chin as if attempting to get a look at the apartment inside by looking over the Englishman's shoulder, though there's not much to be seen from this angle.

"You're not in any trouble," the colonel adds, but he does so leisurely and without much care. Logan's comfort is not his priority. "Provided you cooperate."

He sniffs, a prissy sort of gesture, a glance to the girl then back to Heller with who's the lady? obviously lined up, but opts to let it alone. He's more concerned about taking Heller at his word for not being in any trouble. "Yeah. Hang on." Closing the door up in front of him, Logan twists his mouth in absent thought, a flicker of attention paid over whatever electronic devices the two may have on them — the digital radio of a FRONTLINE soldier, the average cellphone — but it doesn't matter. He undoes the chain, swings the door wide, to the neutral black and white and silver of his clean and near-empty bachelor pad.

One would imagine he's just moved in, as opposed to having existed here for nearly two years. Or something like that.

The air holds the scent of cleaning chemical, stale cologne and cigarette smoke. The news continues to gleam in colours on the flat screen television, sound muffled right down so that all it serves to do is underscore the silence as Logan turns his back on the two military types and moves further inside his living space. Black Chinese dragon patterns stitched over his back in the soft silver of ridiculously expensive shirt. Reading glasses off, and folded in a hand.

Logan's eyes skim windows, the surfaces of things, and he lets his guests go first.

Linda enters first. It wouldn't be standard protocol, but the military isn't fighting a standard war. When no one rolls out from behind the sofa to blast her away, she moves across to the window to glance down at the street below, confirming that the truck they left outside hasn't gone anywhere in the time it took them to trek up to Logan's apartment.

It hasn't. She can see the soldiers milling about on the curb, a carton of cigarettes shared between them as they enjoy their smoke break and a few minutes unsupervised by a greater authority.

Heller follows, his boots leaving tracks of moisture on the floor, though he apparently had the courtesy to lose most of the snow that had caked to their soles somewhere in the hallway. "You can leave it open," he says of the door, "if that makes you more comfortable.

"Have you given my offer any consideration?"

Click, goes the door, as shoved so by Logan in impulsive defiance as to what should make him more ~comfortable~. "Oh, I have," he says, tracking Linda's movements around his apartments with his eyes rather than following it, lingering in some neutral angle of space, arms coming to fold. "Thought about giving you a ring, too, but then I figured, what with the dirty great dome putting a dampener on the likes of Roosevelt Island, you'd have had your hands full.

"Hello," is now verbally offered to Linda, with which would be accompanied with a touch of his former power if he had've had it in possession. He does not.

"Hello," Linda answers, and her attention shifts from the street outside to Logan, eyes a shade somewhere between brown and green flicking up and down his lithe frame with undisguised interest, though it isn't clear whether his physique is responsible or something else. Her lips press into a thin line to keep the smirk from curling any further than it already has.

"Had," Heller concedes. "Past tense. My focus is back where it belongs, and considering how helpful and accommodating the Department of Evolved Affairs has been to me, it's time I repaid the favour. Yes or no, John — what's it going to be?"

It being Logan, he assumes physique.

He also doesn't bother correcting Heller to Logan from John — this clarification seemed more important in street-level politics and posturing than it does lately. Glasses set aside, long arms folding to rest hands on narrow hips as he listens, chin tipped up as his excuse is accepted and reflected with another back at him. "Just like that?" he asks, teeth setting in a half-smile. Life's a series of rooms. Rat philosophy. Survive the one you're in without thought to the next. Not always good strategy, but one Logan is inclined to as a last resort. "It's going to be 'yes', colonel."

Whatever Heller might have been about to say next is cut off by Linda as she finishes her assessment of Logan around the same time he announces his decision. Her hand drops to her sidearm, its heel resting on the grip, though she does not wrap her fingers around it or indicate that she's about to free it from its holster.

"You said he was a negator?" she asks, placing her emphasis on the worst possible word for it.

It wasn't his physique.

Suddenly, the apartment feels a few degrees colder than it did a few moments ago. Maybe it's a draft. Maybe it's Heller's eyes icing over, their crisp blue flicking over to the Frontline officer at the window, one brow arched in silent inquiry.

Veered off rails, Logan sends a sharp look Linda's way, one that bounces back to note he no longer has Heller's attention. Eyes blink and behind them, some puzzle piece is trying to find its place, but too distracted with the room theory to do much about it as he tries to pick apart the meaning of her emphasis. Takes a cue and settles his attention on Linda as well, glance from the lax hand on her sidearm, up to her smirky fucking face.

His mouth gets ahead of him with, "It's what's on my card, innit? I'm sorry, I don't think we've been introduced— "

"Officer Tavara is a woman of many talents," Heller supplies. "Every now and then we find someone whose— gift— isn't limited to a select few applications. If you'd said no, I'd be showing you just what that means, but given your acquaintance with the late Miss Hunter and the details surrounding her death, I don't think I need to be any more explicit than that." He slips Linda a look. You were saying?

She takes a step away from the window. "If you're a negator," she practically purrs, "negate me."

"Look— "

Why couldn't 'Casey' have invisibility? Teleportation? The Midtown Man's particular selective arsenal? He lived through that, if Logan knows his current affairs.

"I'm not a negator at the moment. And considering— who you are and what you do, I imagined that might be something of a problem. I was going to say. Something happened— " And plink goes the puzzle piece, and it's like Logan's been given a weapon — one he doesn't know how to work, which end points to who, but just that it's the only one he has— unlike having, say, negation— as he points index digit at Linda. "One of them did something to me. FRONTLINE. My power changed."

"Changed," Linda parrots like she doesn't quite believe it, but whether or not she believes is irrelevant. Logan has Heller's attention, and he stays his attack dog with a gesture of his hand.

"Not one of mine," he says with unabashed confidence, and maybe he does believe it because he isn't demanding more of an explanation than the one Logan has already offered. "Can you describe what they looked like, or did they have their helmets on?" He pauses then, the stilted silence accompanied by a fractional narrowing of his eyes. "Was there an audiokinetic with them?"

Tempting as it is to say yes, to give Heller something familiar to latch onto—

"No," Logan says, after a paranoid beat of silence, his voice containing hesitant uncertainty. "Teleportation. The other had— dunno. Red light. Then I don't remember much, and I woke up different. But yeah, they had their helmets on. There was two of 'em." Tone of voice suggests he has more to say, but encroaching words are scissored off out of some unknown tactical judgment, sinking into resentful silence with a glance out grey window, the black above and city lights.

"Doesn't sound like any of Harrison's crew," is Linda's contribution to the conversation, to which Heller tucks his chin into a nod. No, it doesn't. "But he's telling the truth, for what it's worth. Either that or someone's been up in his head. He believes what he's saying."

The colonel seems to consider this, paying little mind to the woman straining at the end of her leash. Linda's fingers flex. She grows impatient. "You said we needed a negator," she says. "If he's not, I don't see why you can't just let me take it—"

She's interrupted by the gentle click of a pistol's hammer being pulled back, and she darts her gaze in the sound's direction to catch Sasha Kozlow emerging from the bedroom, his weapon already trained on her dark head.

There's a scrape of metal that could signify Logan too drawing a weapon. He's doing no such thing, not gun nor knife, but picking up a cigarette case from glass coffee table because he is in desperate need of one by the time Sasha is in the room. There is no room for surprise. He picks a white cylinder out from the flimsy tin clasp, a minor tremble in his movements, but his expression is steely, his posture secure.

"I don't like getting cornered. And I don't like people in my head," is directed towards Linda, then back to Heller. "Like she says. I'm not lying." There's a proper look spared to Sasha, now, an attempt to read the Ruskie.

Sasha's eyes are cold, his mouth pressed into a flat expression of what might be fury. It's impossible for Logan to know exactly how long he's been listening in on the conversation, but it's enough to invoke in him a violent response, unflinching when the tips of Linda's fingers begin to crackle with blue-white electricity.

"I had hoped for a negator," Heller corrects Linda after Logan has made his own clarifications, "but our friend's ability is largely irrelevant. Command over the dead — I'm impressed."

The Russian's nostrils flare, and he looks like he might say something, then thinks better of it at the last possible moment. His teeth show instead in a snarl.

"Maybe you want to explain why you're harbouring a member of the Vanguard in your apartment? It's in your best interest to be honest, and not only because Officer Tavara will be able to know whether or not you're lying. I'd like one for my own collection."

"Tell Officer Tavara to sit down and behave," Logan suggests, syllables only slightly obscured around cigarette filter as he lights up, tosses the case and lighter both aside, and gives a sharp shrug. "For her own safety, mind. I don't think this room's got any men hesitant to pull triggers, colonel." The smoke that slides out between teeth comes haltingly, the rest of it streamed through nostrils. Stalling.

But not for long. "I don't really harbour him. He sort of lets himself in through any open window, like an overgrown cat that doesn't shed. We've a history — he tried to kill me once. He wanted information from me about Vanguardish things and we have an understanding. That's the long and short of it. He's not a terrorist anymore," is whispered in mock conspiracy.

"Behave," says Heller, and the crackling around Linda's fingers abruptly stops. To Logan: "I have men scouring Argentina and Madagascar for remnants like him. He's valuable— a fortunate ability, too, or so my records show. If Harrison didn't already have a healer under her command, I'm afraid I would have to insist, but—"

Sasha's aim snaps from Linda to the colonel, unwavering. It's the but that keeps him from pulling the trigger. "I'll let you keep your cat," Heller concludes. "As a gesture of goodwill. I'd very much like this arrangement to work out, and as long as you have him, I won't have to assign one of mine to wherever it is we put you. At least not initially. How soon will you and your animal be ready to move?"

And it's Sasha that can probably sense it more than either of the other two— save for any special talents Linda Tavara might have— which would be the beginnings of a manifesting temper, sparking bright like flint off metal in Logan's eyes and the flash of ivory as he opens his mouth to snarl something, but the words don't come, nor the sound effects. His cigarette smolders untapped and he wonders how different would this be, if he could negate the lady of many talents, and if Sasha just.

Pulled the trigger.

"To where?"

"Staten Island," Heller answers. "Inside the borders of the Reclaimed Zone. It's the DoEA's project, not mine, but I'm here to make sure that Georgia Mayes and her people don't run into any trouble. You'll hear the media calling it a ghetto— it's got such an emotional impact doesn't it, that word? — though I'm here to assure you it's nothing of the sort. Miller Airfield's just next door. We'll be neighbors, you and I, and I'm more than willing to hand out cups of sugar and any assistance my Frontline unit can provide. You'll be given the best accommodations available, naturally."

"There's no such thing as best accommodations on Staten Island since 2006, or have you people really worked some magic on your bit've territory?" is probably needlessly sharp and sarcastic, but. Logan is stressed. And for all that the barren quality of his apartment betrays it not at all, and for all that he'll sleep in the beds of other people when he gets a chance, it's probably the last shred of Linderman Group privilege left available to him without a fight.

And he's currently dropping ash on the carpets but whatever. "I've been in ghettos, Colonel Heller, so why don't I be the judge of that?" When he gets there, presumably. It's kind of like consent. He likes the interior decorating of his Upper West Side pad. He'd rather it without gore spattered across it.

Heller angles his head to one side, and that's a little like consent too. "I think you'll find that, regardless of how pristine things look, you'll enjoy the kind of privileges you haven't had since the last time you were there," he says. "Here in the city you're just a little bit bigger than the average fish. Your ties to Linderman provide you with a little bit more than the average Brooklyn businessman, and you've got access to green resources, but money isn't everything, now is it?"

Rhetorical question. Sasha doesn't need to have an expert handle on the English language to recognize that, and he makes a sound at the back of his throat like a warning growl.

Linda balls her hand into a fist but does not move. Heller, meanwhile, takes one hand in the other and begins popping the joints in his fingers one at a time. "Do you remember what it's like to be a big old shark in a little ocean?" he asks. "No Gideon D'Sarthe to contend with. No Triad or rival organizations moving in on your territory. I'll even let you reopen the Happy Dagger if that's what you want. My men are going to need an outlet."

Nose twitch. People brought up around money say things like money isn't everything and there's a cynical tip to Logan's head before he swings a gaze towards Sasha to watch how he takes the words as opposed to analysing his own discomfort. That familiar kind of snagging on despite himself, too, the way the colonel had phrased it the first time— the poetry, about people taking orders. People giving orders. It's just that the first time, no one let him open the Happy Dagger.

The geography's different, though. "Everyone does," he agrees, sharpness sheared off his words again.

"Then I'm glad we're agreed." Snap, snap, snap go Heller's knuckles, the sound not at all muffled by the leather of his gloves. Each repetition has Sasha bristling a little more than the one before it — that it has a similar effect on Linda seems not to bother the colonel. If Kozlow is an animal, then so is she, though it must not be their Evolved status that transforms them into something less than human because Logan is too, and Heller seems to be treating him as something less than an equal but something more than the Frontline officer he's commanding to heel.

"All that's left for you to do," he says, "is to answer my original question. How soon?"

There are worse questions Heller could be asking.

"I've no business to conclude here," Logan allows, as a sort of implicit whenever without actually saying the word itself. Anything else would be a lie, and he sends a look to Little Miss Tattletale over there before stealing back a drag of his cigarette, turning his back on all three of them to pick up a crystal ash tray and tap burning embers into it. "I've been meaning to pass management over at my strip club, in any event."

He isn't telling Sasha to put down his gun. Suddenly allergic to equating him as a dog in the way Heller does with Linda. That may not be the only reason, but. "I need time to pack my things, I've many of them, you know. Can I bring my dog?" He glances over a shoulder. "Of the canine kind."

"Bring however many dogs you want, and if there's anything I can do to make the transition easier for you—" Heller makes a vague gesture with his hand. "Just because you'll be living on Staten Island doesn't mean I expect you to give up everything that you have here. Think of it like a business trip, but instead of going overseas you're just taking a short hop across the water, and while we are asking you to reside on the island for the time being, there's absolutely nothing to stop you from coming or going. Whether or not I can say the same for the people beneath you will be up to Mayes.

"You're making the right decision." This is usually the part where he'd be indicating the door with his chin and suggesting to Linda that she slink grudgingly in that direction, but.

There is still the matter of the gun barrel he's still staring down. "Call him off."

It feels a little like slinking in and out of a poised cage door, actually, but Logan doesn't say it out loud, just wriggles a shrug of 'great, fine' and leans a hip against furniture as the overtures of leaving commence. And are stalled. Logan hesitates for a protracted moment, before setting ashtray and cigarette both aside. Takes a few long steps across the apartment building, lazy in their pace, before he reaches a hand to clasp fingers over slide and the knuckles that steady it.

Applies pressure, urging Sasha's aim downwards.

Initially, Logan meets some resistance, but if Sasha really wanted to shrug the other man off, then he would. Although his grip on the pistol does not loosen, his arm lowers, and Heller can breathe a little easier than he was before. It's unfortunate that Logan no longer has his original ability; he'd be able to sense the change in the colonel's chemical composition.

The relief very literally floods through him even if the expression on his face does not even twitch. "Much better," he says, even as Sasha responds by taking half a step sideways and angling his body to put himself between Logan and Linda. "Be sure you keep that one in line," is Heller's suggestion. "One inch in the wrong direction and he's ours."

"Fuck you," is Logan's suggestion, but harmlessly delivered — carefully so. A crooked smile that doesn't meet his eyes when he adds, "I'll keep track of his inches, don't you worry. Have a nice evening, you two." Logan also isn't moving out from where Sasha provides cover, as it were, for all that he does back off some — hand retracted from the pistol, a smallish step backwards, as if worry and anxiety were something that has a scent and he'd rather not have the Russian pick up on it beneath cologne and smoke.

His dialogue is pushy, too, as if urging the soldiers out of the room before Sasha gives into instinct and gets government official all over the carpets. Explain that to the Central Intelligence Agency.

Heller and Linda take their leave of the apartment in the opposite order they came in — if anyone is going to be shot in the back, it's the woman who might just be able to survive it with the arsenal of abilities she's collected since she took her first. Sasha's chest rises and falls, and even after they're gone and he turns his head to listen to the military truck outside revving its engine, he does not relax. Tension makes his body taut with the kind of energy that pulling the trigger might have released.

Didn't. He's tucking the weapon down the back of his jeans as the truck is rumbling away, and he crosses to the door the pair left hanging open to grasp its edge in his hand, then slam it shut with a sound like thunder.

That doesn't help either. "Come here."

When the door slams shut, the tension Logan was building in waiting for bullets to fly has him startling like he thought he'd breathed too soon. Even if he very well knows the difference between a firearm's blast and the crack of wood in wood, and the rattle of the chain that follows. Relief that the military man and his bitch is gone fritters away when Sasha doesn't just. Climb back out the window. And all the way back to Russia, is dimly frustrated reflection. Not that he wants him to.

Might expect him to. But that's a thought for later, pale eyes gone slate and flat like ice in blank aggravation at being told what to do, but there's no urge to go off the rails in response. "The chain," he mutters, less conviction in order dealt back, a glance for the far wall where they can hear the truck drive off.

The cigarette is crushed into crystal on his way to here in a few loose limbed steps.

The chain. That thing that keeps the door locked. Right. Sasha doesn't even glance at it. The deadbolt, too, goes similarly ignored for the time being, and maybe it's because locks haven't made him feel safe since he was the one kicking down doors back in Russia, that place Logan semi-expects him to go back to, presumably with Tania slung over his shoulder in a fireman's carry.

The cigarette is out, and for Sasha that's a good thing because Logan has nothing to burn him with. When he arrives at here, a hand goes out with expert swiftness and all the strength of an ox behind it, catching Logan by the throat and swinging him so his back is up against the door.

Hips press in, pinning him there. "Tania goes with us," is not a question, but instead his side of an argument they haven't had yet but Sasha evidently imagines they will. The hand clutching Logan's throat rises a little higher, a thumb hooking under his jaw and angling his chin up.

No cigarette, nearest gun he can claim to be his dismantled in a Morton Williams bag amongst orange peel and beer cans and butt ends, his gravity blade in a pocket of a coat he isn't wearing. Logan should have by now become accustomed to walking around the safety of his apartment whilst armed, like so many of the criminals and terrorists and heroes of New York City occasionally do.

But who gets ambushed on a quiet Sunday in?

There's a hrrnng as long throat is caught up in fingers, axis of gravity directed doorwards before Logan can get his feet back under him. Fingers lock on Sasha's shoulder and upper arm as opposed to, say, going for his gun. Hisses. This doesn't seem like a good time to analyse potential tactical errors in bringing along kidsister, the girl that tends to trigger bigbrother into grabbing people by the throats, and so Logan is at a loss for the time it takes for thumb to press in the underside of his jaw, where his heart beat can be felt beneath Sasha's own pulse.

"Wha'ever you say," is breathless almost-laughter, shoulderblades tense against the door. Sasha is right. It's an argument they'll have.

Sasha can be cunning, but he is not particularly sharp when he thinks he's getting his way.

For the record, he thinks he's getting his way now. Whatever you say, Logan says, and Sasha is okay with that, or at least as okay as he can be when he's still shaking with anger. It's not something Logan would have been able to pick up on had he remained where he was — this close, at such intimate proximity, he can feel it not only in Sasha's hand but in the hammer of his heart beating against his chest.

It's a little bit about Tania. He's right, too. Under normal circumstances, Sasha would be the first to admit.

These are not normal circumstances. There is something about finding a military truck of soldiers outside the home of the man who he owes everything, and while that's not Logan's fault— Logan is also the only other person in the room. He hooks his thumb into the corner of Logan's mouth when he opens it to speak, then captures it roughly in his.

Words get swallowed and reduced to a throaty, muffled vowel sound, whatever they happened to be, in favour of— whatever this happens to be. Eyes blink then squinch shut, lines in Logan's brow before a hand finds anchor on Sasha's jacket, fabric curled around knuckles. Logan knows something about making heart beats quicken, making them slow down too if he's on a decent enough roll, and he's had fascination since for ones that go like this outside of his immediate influence ever since he stopped having one, much like Sasha's weight pressing him to door, the hand at his jaw.

As opposed to a diamond wire fence in Mexico, the intent to slither away as painlessly as possible, Logan doesn't remain too stunned and still for long, that hand in leather serving to tug himself closer, hedge in on control. Gratitude that yes, Sasha is coming to Staten Island, will have to be read in the grip on his jacket, and graze of teeth.

He must register it as gratitude instead of resistance because when Sasha tightens his grip around Logan's throat, it is not so tight that it cuts off his air flow. This is both familiar to him and not, and that's not say he hasn't had men the same way he's taken women — it's only the first time he's had one that's willing. Or.

Mostly willing. Sasha isn't sure which and does not particularly care because it makes very little difference to him. This is happening whether his partner wants it to or not. Teeth are met with teeth, and Sasha bites down on Logan's lower lip hard enough that he stops just short of drawing blood. The hand not holding him by the throat twists a fistful of blonde hair between his fingers.

He will take this as far as it can be taken without moving from the door.

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