delia_icon.gif logan_icon.gif sasha2_icon.gif tania_icon.gif

Scene Title Discord
Synopsis A quartet of housemates attempt to settle in around harps and dogs and too much Russian.
Date March 25, 2011

Eltingville Blocks

Several hours into the afternoon has the brick house changed quite considerably, at least on the outside. The weeds have been torn up by the roots and are heaped into a pile in a corner of the yard, waiting burning or bagging, whichever comes first. The brick path that leads to the door has been swept and washed. Without the convenience of a lawnmower, Delia was forced to use a pair of scissors to cut away the excess growth of grass around the foundation and stoop.

Right now, Delia is missing from the front but there's a commotion in the back. Dogs barking, the pink of something rubbery hitting the side of the house, and the shout of a young woman calling "Foul! That's a foul!" She's out back, playing soccer with Rhett and Cheza, the dogs don't know the rules. They're just chasing the soccer ball as she kicks it around.

She's a little dirty from all the yard work and a little sweaty from all the running. Her once white t-shirt is smudged with grass stains and dirt, her sweat pants are in about the same state, and her Doc Martens make her not quite the picture of grace as she runs along behind the two canines. Unfortunately, they're the only shoes she has.

It may be the ruckus that gets Tania's attention, or the unfamiliar voice, but the young girl can be seen peeking around the house, curious and cautious. She hasn't been out and about around the house yet, but today has drawn her out of the Kozlows' room and out into the sunshine. She's pale enough to make one wonder if she's a stranger to that whole sunlight thing.

Stepping more fully into the back yard, Tania lingers there, not interrupting the game, but watching as if she might be able to work out the rules herself. Crouching down near the wall, the lanky teen sits with her elbows on her knees and her chin in her hands.

The sound of an engine rumbling down the street is not unusual. What is unusual is when it stops in front of the house. It belongs to a cheap, battered pickup truck that Tania and Delia might recognize as Sasha's — Sasha's because he purchased it from the Rookery a few days ago and drove it halfway to Eltingville before it broke down, but now that it's working again, he and the gentleman in the passenger's seat are using it to transport what looks like it might be an awkwardly-shaped piece of furniture in the back, covered by a flimsy, fluttering blue tarp in case the gray sky above opens up with rain.

It wouldn't be the first time this week. Sasha kills the engine and, keys jangling, pops open the door to swing his legs out. Booted feet smack against the pavement and he slams the door shut behind him, moving around the back of the vehicle to pull down the tailgate.

A wisp of hair is what catches Rhett's attention and he races toward the lanky teen, tongue hanging long out of his mouth as he jumps up on her for attention. The larger of the two dogs pauses and lifts her nose in the air, an action mimicked by the young woman who spots the teen's pale face and lifts her hand in a small finger wave. "Rhett get down, sit!" It's obeyed, reluctantly, indicative of the young dog's hind quarter wagging back and forth with his tail and the nervous pawing at the ground as he tries to squirm closer to the girl without violating the order.

The ball stops against the low wall separating the back yard from the empty lot next door and instead of following through with a polite 'hello', Delia runs to grab it. Her breath is heavy as she stoops to pick up the soccer ball and toss it up between her hands. "Do you want to play? None of us are very good, so we'd be an even match. People against dogs, what do you say?"

Dogs just are not something Tania has had experience with. Give her a quiet, aloof cat, those she knows what to do with. But as the dog is suddenly there, the girl tries to move back, but just ends up pressed to the wall until Delia orders him down. And she lets out a breath, shaking her head some. It takes a moment, but she reaches out toward Rhett to scratch gently behind an ear, meeting him on her own terms.

"Ah… What is the game?" Tania says as she slowly pushes back to her feet. Her own red hair is slipped behind an ear in a timid gesture before the truck gets her attention. She leans over to peek out toward the front, almost warily, but the sight of Sasha makes her smile just a little.

"I'm Tania," she says, looking back toward Delia. "You are… Mister Logan's friend?" The way she says friend makes it sound like she's not entirely sure of the definition. She is, just… not where Logan is concerned.

More leisurely, Logan exits out the car too, movements lazier and probably more reluctant to deal with whatever it is that's been tied into the back of the truck. Jeans, denim as true blue as an ocean — one that doesn't resemble any body of water near New York City, mind — and a grey sweater that looks plain from a distance, feelings expensive in texture and fit. A leather jacket drawn over, protection against the wind, silver looped around the base of a thumb and much looser in a chain around his throat.

By the time his passenger door has echoed in its slam shut, Cheza is readily breaking off from the game when the distinct scent of her master comes winding on the wind. The half-wolf shouldering by Delia, galloping around the house to the front of the lawn without much speed but with enough unstoppability that there's nothing to do for it.

Logan's hands automatically go out to both pet her and keep her head off his clothes to prevent loose dog hair and drool, unsurprised to see her.

The tailgate comes down with a bang and the truck rocks as Sasha climbs into the back to untie the tarp one knot at a time. Like Logan, he's wearing the weather appropriate combination of jeans and sweater, but his denim is old and faded, beginning to fray at one knee, and his sweater is a heavy brown thing that looks as though it could unravel at any moment if he's unlucky enough to hook it on something — fortunately, the leather jacket he wears over it prevents this from happening while he works.

The full extent of the attention he pays to Cheza is a quick glance. It's a dog. In Chechnya, they used strays as target practice, and although it's been years since he shot an animal, his view toward them hasn't changed much. They're expendable.

Without the labor of running or gardening, the cool weather puckers the skin on Delia's bare arms and sets her teeth to chattering lightly. "Well it was f-football— or s-soccer," she stammers as the dog goes running past. Lowering her head, she turns to grab up the sweater lumped onto the side of the wall and pull it on over her dirty shirt. It gives her a little more presentable look, at least less grimy. A quick rub on her arms turns them from freezing to just plain chilly.

"Delia," she says in introduction. "I'm uhm…" Leaning to peek around the corner to the front, she nods somewhat and then looks toward the ground at Tania's feet. Her eyes travel up the younger redhead's legs and quickly to her face where she gives a wane smile and another, this time firmer nod. "Mister Logan's friend."

Looking down at herself with a bit of a grimace, she glances at the back of the truck and then back again. "Do you think we should go help?" The manner in which the question is asked might as well be saying, do you think they'll be angry if we don't?

"It is nice to meet you, Delia," the younger girl says politely. Her English is pretty good, at least, although that accent is still pretty thick. She glances back out at the truck, tilting her head some. She doesn't seem worried about the boys getting upset about much of anything, but she gives Delia a slight smile as she replies, "I do not think they need too much help, but I do want to see what they brought home."

A girl like Tania doesn't really get excited, at least not in the way most teenaged girls would, but she wastes no more time heading out toward the front.
Logan has partially disconnected.

Logan would say that saying he needs no help in lifting the heavy thing is a gross exaggeration of his skills.

But he also didn't catch the exchange, pushing Cheza away from him so that the big dog can just pace around curiously with a lazy wag of her grey-tinged, muscular tail and by the time Tania is coming up around the house, she'll see him turn his back on it to head over to where Sasha is. A few steps. Enough to absently help with some of the busy work of untying knots, several paces slower than Sasha. "Do we know where we're putting it?" he asks, brightly and vividly enough for his words to carry to those that approach. "Because if it's going in your room, then you can drag this thing up the stairs your self.

"Wouldn't be half surprised if it needs t'go through a window, either, we did with the bed I got. But I'd, you know. Hired people." Fucking communists.

"Downstairs, I think," is Sasha's suggestion as he unfastens the last tie holding the tarp down, and snags its edge in his fingers before the wind can take it. He folds it, although not very precisely, so it can be weighed down with one of the concrete blocks he keeps in the back for situations just like this. It turns out that their cargo isn't a piece of furniture at all, but a large, upright harp laid down on its side — not quite an antique, but twenty or thirty years old at least with missing strings and in desperate need of a good buff and polish. The sort of instrument one might pick up from from a thrift shop that's liquidating all its inventory, which is close to the truth but not exactly. It wasn't picked up at a liquidation price and this is probably why he's already removed the tag so he doesn't risk making Tania feel guilty.

She might anyway. It's certainly not for decoration.

"Nice to meet you too," Delia murmurs at Tania's back as she disappears toward the front of the house. Tucking the ball under one arm, she follows along behind with Rhett who just happens to be weaving in a serpentine fashion at her heel. Pacing.

The duo finally make it to the front to see the tarp being pulled off the giant instrument and Delia backs up a pace in surprise, accidentally tripping over Rhett and sending him whining toward the door. "Sorry!" The apology is called after the dog as though it will make everything better, if it doesn't… oh well. She'll likely go from one pair of boots to bare feet. he ball shifts and she hugs it to her chest as she steps a little closer to the truck.

"W-wow.. um.. lemme get the door." And maybe move furniture to make room.

When that instrument is revealed, Tania's eyes widen and she stops there a few steps from the truck. Eyebrows lift and she looks, for a moment, like she genuinely doesn't know what to say. Which she doesn't. So she closes that distance, to reach over and lay the tips of long fingers against it. That gesture is timid, too, as if she's not sure if she should ask permission first.

After a moment, she looks up at Sasha, her expression soft and appreciative, but a little nervous. "«You found a harp,»" she speaks in the more familiar Russian, "«It's beautiful.»" Her hand withdraws, though, and she puts it on her hip. "«You are very extravagant,»" she points out. There may be a little guilt there.

Glancing back towards where Delia is headed for the house, Logan lets his attention linger there — specifically at the region from waist to knees — as Russian goes uncomprehended over on the other side of the pickup. Only when Delia is finished opening the door, allowing for a brief, hook of a half-smile her way, and there's a lapse in talk on the other side, does Logan steer his gaze back towards brother and sister. Doesn't actually interject, just stands waitfully, fingers rapping with veiled impatience against the metal edge of the truck bed.

"«Not extravagant,»" Sasha corrects his little sister. "«I only saw it in the window.»"

He isn't very good at lying. His knee bumps against the floor of the truck, and he slips his hands under the harp to secure a grip on it. "It is not too heavy," he assures the other man. "I can go in first or you can. Bad enough to walk like crabs, but to walk backwards like crabs — maybe not enough dignity for you. Look out for fingers."

It would be easy to crush them between the harp and the door. "Count of three?"

The Russian chatter goes from sounding like a rattle of Eastern European cities to something akin to an adult in a Charlie Brown movie as Delia catches Logan's smile and flushes a bright red. It's returned, if only by a small dimple at the right corner of her mouth as she lowers her eyes to the ground and studies the dirt on her boots as though it's the most interesting thing in the world. The door is held open with one foot, the soccer ball balance on her hip with a wrist, and her free hand travels to tuck a few long strands of hair behind her ear.

Tania plants a foot on top of the wheel, her hands planted on the edge of the truck bed as she pulls herself up to sneak a kiss to Sasha's cheek before she drops back down to the ground again.

Heading over to the door after Delia, Tania ducks inside to make sure there's a clear path and all. Although, she does not rearrange any furniture herself. Heavy lifting? She seems as adverse to it as, perhaps, Logan is.

Tania also gets that same, tracking look as she goes — although maybe not quite the same, more speculation than appraisel, certainly higher than hip level. By the time Sasha is back under Logan's scrutiny, the other man is given a narrowed glare, but at the very least, he does go to help — he moves to find himself a grip on it without needing to get inside. "Onetwothree." It's not too bad. Awkward, though, big, weirdly weighted while also fragile, and Logan huffs out a protesting breath as he backs up to guide harp and Russian both out from the truck.

"You're going backwards," is agreement, angling it so this is what will happen. "If only so— " Hrp. He adjusts his grip on the thing. "— it falls on you if it falls at all."

That seems fair to Sasha. If it falls on him, the harp is more likely to break than he is. He's not sure if the same can be said of Logan. He swivels around, mindful of his large feet in their heavy work boots, and turns so he's backing into the doorway first, and although it takes some maneuvering, the two men manage to get the instrument into the house unscathed and locate a spot in the living area where it can be set down without blocking the path to the stairs.

They may have to move it again later, but it works at least for right now. When the harp is down, he wipes off his hands on his jeans, then roughly drags fingers through his hair with a look steered back out to the truck. That can stay where it is, too, but he'll slip back outside for a few seconds to put the tailgate back up and make sure the doors are locked.

Rhett picks almost the same moment as Sasha and Logan to slip into the door. His large paws scratch a pattern in the carpet as he weaves, trying to get out of their way but still trying to be in the middle of all the action. More than once, one of Sasha's feet come a little too close and send the dog running for the kitchen, only to trot back a few seconds later. As soon as there's room, he ghosts behind Logan, brushing the side of his knee every few paces.

Once the two men are inside and turned into the living room, Delia whistles for Cheza. She waits for the last member of the household to saunter in before closing the door. Her boots are pulled off and pushed to the side as they always are, then the redhead makes her way to the stairs. Stepping up the first two, she turns to look into the living room at the new piece. "It's nice, it'll look great when it's polished… and… stuff…" Whatever it is you do to a harp. Tune it? "I'm uhm.. just going to shower." Her socked feet are noiseless as she walks up the stairs, using her arms to pull along the banister more than she uses her legs to propel herself up.

Once it's set down, Tania does test the strings, just for a moment. And she doesn't seem displeased, a slight, but happy smile on her face. But she looks up as Delia excuses herself, lifting her hand in a wave. "It was good to meet you, Miss Deliya," she says, ever so politely. "I will see you again," she notes, stating the very obvious, but more as a farewell than a real observation.

Her gaze slides over to Logan, who also gets a bit of that smile. "And thank you, too, Mister Logan, for the help," she adds, a hand coming to rest on the harp. "I apologize he sometimes does these crazy things." And ropes Logan into them. You know, like pulling people out of Russia. But the apology also carries a certain amount of appreciation as well.

Logan shoves his hands into his pockets, distractedly glancing over the swoops and curves of the elaborate instrument, admiring it now that it's all upright and within the gentle light of the lounge room and then glancing at her through the strings. His head tilts at the sound of Delia's departure, but doesn't follow with a look nor call out to her as Tania does. He does press a thin smile for the Russian girl, and uses a much gentler, richer tone of voice than he does the sharp, snippy comments he deals her brother: "Call it a house warming gift.

"As long as you can play the bloody thing, think nothing of it."

"Maybe she would like to play us something now," Sasha says, and it's really not up for negotiation. As he speaks, he's moving to fetch one of the chairs from the table — much lighter than the harp, and something he can heft with only one hand. He carries it back to the instrument, resisting the temptation to look between Logan and his sister. In the time that she's been with them, he's grown marginally more comfortable having them in the same room together and with Logan's eyes on her form.

Marginally. He sets the chair down in front of the harp. Steps aside to make room for her to sit, if she chooses. If she has a choice.

"Oh yes. I can play. Some," Tania says, her head tilting a bit as she thinks it over for a moment. It has been some months. But as Sasha makes it a more pertinent topic, she gives him a soft nod and seems a bit more sure about it. Being asked to play is nothing new, after all.

So the seat is taken and the girl shrugs off her coat and brings fingers to the strings again. At first, there's just a light, quick run over the strings, just getting a feel for the instrument. But it isn't long before she falls into a recognizable piece, for those who would know such a thing. Schumann's Traumerei, as it turns out. The girl has to close her eyes, a matter of keeping her concentration as well as trying to remember it all, but their mother, it seems, did well enough by her musically. It isn't at all bad.

Lacing long fingers together, Logan's head tips a little as he listens without the appreciation that a young girl's working of this kind of piece deserves. But probably slightly more appreciation than he gives any kind of music from this era, so there's that — albeit not a century and then some ago. After allowing himself to be adequately mesmerised by dancing fingers navigating strings in a skill he'd never be able to touch — not mechanically nor creatively—

He opts to watch Sasha instead, even if it's out the corner of his eye.

Sasha is satisfied, or at least that's what the expression on his face suggests. He seems relaxed for the first time in days, which is a dramatic change from the tension that's kept his features tight since first setting foot in the Reclaimed Zone. The high number of soldiers keeps him on edge — he's spent too much time on the other side to feel completely comfortable with the situation their little family has recently found itself in.

Eventually he will introduce himself to Delia, but not yet. Later, maybe, when they're alone and he can't feel the other man's eyes on him. "Our mother," he explains to Logan, "teaches music."

Tania's fingers slow to a pause at the mention of their mother, the girl left a little torn on the subject. And she's not too good about not wearing her heart on her sleeve just yet. But they start up again, picking out a more random tune, but since it's the harp, it still sounds so angelic. "We should find what happened to her." It's only after she speaks the words that she risks a glance Sasha's way.

Apparently she doesn't mean right this instant, because her gaze moves over to Logan, lighting some. Just a little. "I wonder, Mister Logan, if you would mind if I asked for a favor. A little crazy. Just enough for a Kozlow, yes?" That little tease, though, is meant for her brother.

Tearing his attention from one Russian to the other— effectively deflected by talk of peoples' mums to begin with— Logan suppresses the urge to roll his eyes — puts on a smile as polite and practiced as Sasha's ever seen.

Stepping forward close enough to rest a hand against the edge of the harp, absently testing its weight and sit, Logan asks for what it is she wants with a small gesture of a nod, an inquisitive head tilt that does more to expose the line of his throat than really ask questions. Silver thumb ring, taptaptap against wood that needs a good polish and probably some sort of treatment for the scratches of age and wear.

"And what's that? A tampourine?" Tambourine, but try and correct him without getting a sneer.

Sasha raises both his eyebrows, either at Logan's mispronounciation of tambourine or at his sister's question. Almost certainly the second one — he couldn't tell them what a tampourine or a tambourine is if they asked him.

What could his sister possibly want from Logan that she hasn't already been given?

When Logan comes over to touch the harp, Tania's fingers pull away, her hands falling to her lap as she looks up at him. "Ah… no. This one, I think, is perfect enough," she says, warmth in her tone, even if her expression is fairy mild.

"No, I wondered if you could find out about someone. His name was… John Eaddy. I want to know if he… is," Tania frowns at the word, as if it wasn't exactly how she wanted to put it. "If that would be alright?" She looks over at the harp strings there, a finger reaching out to pluck idly.

Too minor a thing to really catch, Logan's pupils constrict as if a torch were held to bright to them, and expand again like it were stolen away. His vision glazes over, but his posture remains as alert and attentive, falling silent as he sees or listens or whatever his power is to the rush of information that flies through the air as invisible to the human eye as the winged bug traffic in amongst the clouds. "Why?" he asks, meanwhile, before his body gives a full-bodied, compulsive shiver when dizziness threatens to pierce pain through his head.

Hand gripping harp harder, it's just a small frission of weakness that's over by the time he's focusing on her again. "If he is," he repeats, a little flatly. "Well— he is in in the city. Overdrawn back account and two cellphones. Either cheating on someone or it's for work. Who's he to you?"

He'd better be nobody to Tania if the sudden hardness on Sasha's face is anything to go by. His eyes flick to Logan's hand on the harp and his brow rumples — he has a few guesses as to what's happening, which Logan confirms with what he says next. Technopathy is such a useful ability.

So much more convenient than a healing power that cripples. Nostrils flare, and he looks back to his younger sister, circling around harp and chair a little like the wolf whose namesake Kazimir once assigned him. "«I have told you about talking to strangers,»" he cautions.

"No one, I have never seen him before in my life," Tania says to Logan. And she certainly doesn't seem happy about the news; more troubled than anything. But when Sasha comes over, her attention shifts and she shakes her head. "«I promise. But it was…»"

The girl lets out a bit of a frustrated sigh, and as she goes on, she starts to gesture through her words, which is possibly the most animated she's been, "«I know it sounds childish, but I had a dream. And he was there and asking for my help. And he'd said he knew you and something about his daughter. I don't remember it very well, but I remember him. And I woke up and it just felt strange.»"

Her hands drop back to her lap and she leans back in her chair, her expression confused and perhaps a little upset. But mostly because she thinks she sounds ridiculous.

Tension strings up Logan's arm like he might petulantly heave the harp off to the side, but since living in New York City and learning a thing about immediate consequences in the event of instant gratification, he doesn't chance it, with Sasha right there. His question answered, at least, also helps, but the torrent of first language has the Briton rocking back on a heel and pivoting away in irritated clomps of boots on hardwood.

Ones that carry him for the stairwell, following Delia's path. Maybe not so closely that he ends up in the shower with her, the sound of which can be heard drifting down from the second floor and groaning in the pipes. Though he may try.

Sasha observes Logan's departure from where he's standing near his sister's side, and does not move to stop the other man. Explanations can come later, when he's had an opportunity to cool down— or whatever it is he intends to do up there. It isn't until he's out of earshot that he looks back down at the top of his sister's head. "«I do not know a man named John Eaddy,»" he supplies at length. "«A dream is just a dream, Tania,»" except when it isn't, and Sasha spent enough time with the Vanguard to at least realize that's a possibility.

But what are the chances, really? Eaddy sounds like it could be a common American name. "«You should apologize when he comes down again and tell him why you asked. I think you've put him in a mood.»"

Tania, conversely, does not watch Logan's exit, instead she becomes suddenly very interested in her feet. She's used to anger, but she's never quite known how she's supposed to do with it.

"«Yes,»" she says to Sasha, apparently for both his points. Or maybe she just doesn't have it in her to argue. Her gaze lifts from her shoes and she nods gently. "«I will apologize, I didn't mean to upset anyone.»" There she does glance toward the stairs, but she has the foresight not to go try to talk to him right now, at least.

"«Of course you didn't.»" And Sasha leaves it at that, fishing the truck's keys out of his jacket pocket. It occurs to him that he should probably move the vehicle, but there's also an urge to just drive. Given the size of Staten Island, his options are limited, but he does not have to stay in Eltingville. "«If he asks,»" he says of Logan, "«tell him I'm at Rookery's Kitchen. I'll bring you and Delia back something sweet.»" Custard bread or carmelized sugar made with a pinch of baking soda — whatever it is they're selling.

Scavenging for dinner makes him feel like he's being useful, earning his keep and Tania's both. "«Behave,»" serves as a goodbye, even if he knows damn well he doesn't need to tell her to. She isn't the one who used to get in trouble for killing stray cats as a child until properly learning how to either hide or dispose of the evidence. Long strides carry him to the door and out.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License