jack_icon.gif logan_icon.gif

Scene Title Discreetly
Synopsis Logan and Jack take out the trash.
Date January 27, 2009

Somewhere on Staten Island

On a winter evening on Staten Island, it's a good a time as any for some spring cleaning.

The truck, a vehicle bandied about to people under Logan's employ for whatever purposes they desire, trundles down one of the many mostly empty roads of Staten Island, rust red with the highbeams turned on to light up the journey ahead. Logan doesn't watch where they're going, knowing the route well enough and typically speaking, he doesn't drive when someone else can be doing it for him. He's pushed his seat right back, feet braced against the dashboard in posture both restless and relaxed. Cigarette smoke escapes out the inch-wide gap at the top of the window, the near spent cylinder pinched between two fingers, hands resting casually on bent knees.

"I don't know how long Muldoon thinks we can keep this up," he says, mostly addressing the driver for wont of anyone else in the vehicle cab to talk to. His habit of raising his English accent up a class or two isn't in affect here, the usual Cockney shaping each word. "I keep telling him, we take the blonde, we don't have to risk our necks. She's one girl. I don't care how many friends she might have."

"Agreed," Jack mutters darkly from the driver's seat as he swerves around an especially unforgiving pot hole. As quiet as the streets are at this hour, there's little concern of bumping into oncoming traffic. Still, he keeps his eyes fixed on the road and his hands at ten and two. He takes his job seriously. He always does.

"I can keep finding them for you," he continues, leaning back in his seat and wiggling in to restore some circulation to his backside. "That's not nearly as hard as getting rid of them. This area is quiet, not deserted."

Logan lifts his hand, pushes the cigarette butt out of the window, the embers pin wheeling off into the darkness, flaring faintly before dying out somewhere behind them. He rests his head back against the seat, although, despite the very late hour, he's far from tired. His business and other investments means he has a nocturnal circadian rhythm, which isn't the healthiest of lifestyles but then again, only those that maintain a legal existence can afford truly healthy lifestyles. "Making people disappear isn't the problem," he agrees mildly, watching the stranger shapes of partially rural Staten Island go by darkly outside. "Not in this city."

Jack bobs a quiet, agreeable nod as he pulls the lorry into a dead end that's seen obvious preperation before their arrival. Enough grass and brush has been cut away from the ditch surrounding the road that he can back up comfortably close, concealing the vehicle from casual view in the process. He sets the parking break, drags his fingers through his dark, bristly hair, and lets out a quiet sigh. Then he digs a pair of latex gloves from his jacket pocket and wiggles into them with a surgeon's precision.

"Hop out and keep an eye on the road for me?" he requests as he slides out and drops lightly to the gravel. "Wouldn't do for some refugee to stumble over us."

Logan doesn't nod or confirm his agreement - just opens the door and pulls himself out. His feet don't touch the ground, however, as he deftly swings himself up onto the hood of the durable truck with only some awkwardness, right leg, as per usual, somewhat stiff. "I don't know," Logan disagrees lightly, perching on the top of the truck, legs making shadows over the windshields as he sets about lighting himself another cigarette. He's not really a chainsmoker, but out in the cold of the night, having something to do, even such a simple action, lends a little warmth. "We run into refugees, we can make quick work and not have to go hunting all over the bloody city. Make my night."

Jack pauses in the process of lowering the lorry's tail gate and tips his head to the side. "You know how I feel about improvising," he replies neutrally, though the prospect of less work for him is enough to pull a small smile from him.

BAM. The gate drops and he starts wrestling out large, heavy packages wrapped with burlap and string. Each heft is met with a grunt or curse as they're dumped into the ditch one by one. When a particularly stubborn bundle hangs up on the edge of the embankment, he kicks it roughly and sends it flopping down with the rest. "Shit— fucker!"

Logan's feet echo a little against the metal of the vehicle as he restlessly moves across the top of the steel container, watching as Jack wrestles with the cargo, trailing cigarette smoke making the nighttime air hazy around him. Out here, it's impossibly dark, but he can make out enough and nods in satisfaction. "As you can see," he drawls, voice raising in volume a little to catch Jack's attention, "he's been hungry."

He shifts to lower himself down the side on the rickety metal set of footholds, boots crunching wet grass and dirt as he hops down and moves in to assist Jack with a particularly heavy bundle. He clenches his cigarette between his teeth and grips the rough fabric with both gloved hands, dragging. No one ever said that he couldn't get his hands dirty on occasion, although once that's done, he doesn't spring to help with the next, merely stands at the lip of the ditch and peers down.

There aren't enough stars in the sky to light up the depths, and he can only imagine what it must look like during the day. He doesn't particularly want to. "We're gonna need to find a new one've these soon," he mutters.

"Yeah, this is the last time we can use this one." With a creaking and wrinkling protest from his surgical gloves, Jack shoves the final package down onto the pile. "Christ, dead people are heavy," he mutters as he leans back against a rusty fender for a breather. After a few moments' rest, he climbs up on the rear bumper and drags out a hefty metal canister. The smell of gasoline fills the air as he pops the bung and empties the contents on to the trash pile. When he's finished, he removes his gloves with a sharp, rubbery popping sound and tosses them down along with the gas can.

"Spare a fag?" he queries innocently. "And a light, if you have one."

Logan digs into the pocket of his leather coat, pulling out a pack of cigarettes with the lighter tucked into it. This, he tosses to Jack in the darkness, takes a final, long pull from his cigarette, and pitches it into the ditch as well, the spent embers burning into nothing before they can hit the gasoline soaked bodies in the darkness. "I do hate this part," he says with a slight nose wrinkle, smoking still trailing out of the corners of his mouth as he speaks. "I suppose that's what I get for micromanaging. Hurry up then, Jack Discreetly." A clap to Jack's shoulder, and the younger man is moving off back towards the cab of the truck, skipping over 'this part' in favour of waiting for it to be over. "It's fucking cold out here," he tosses over his shoulder as he goes.

"Ashes to ashes, right?" Jack mutters rhetorically as he lights a cigarette. After a few quick draws to flare up the ember, he tosses it into the other end of the ditch. Between the two sources of ignition, it's a matter of seconds before the gasoline-soaked pile bursts into flames.

Discreetly, indeed.

As soon as the fire takes hold, he scurries back around to the cab and climbs into the driver's seat. "Christ, that smells bad. Next time, pick people who aren't so hairy."

"The homeless of our great city aren't known for their personal hygiene, Jack," Logan says, already seated within the car by the time he's joined. He cranks the window up to close completely, and resumes his position, feet resting on the dashboard. It's a shame someone long ago gutted the radio out of the truck, or else there'd be something else to fill up the silence as the engine roars to life and they start to pull out towards the dead end road out in the open. "Oh, well. Done and dusted. If I get my way this'll be the last trip of this kind we'll make for a while. Providing other's behave themselves. I think a trip to Manhattan is in order soon. Want to come?" It's not really a question.

"Absolutely." It's not really an answer, either. Such is the nature of their accord. "Let me know if you need me to set up any business while we're there. Best to handle as much as we can in one trip."

Jack grips the steering wheel for a few seconds. Hard. Hard enough that it creaks and his knuckles go white for an instant. Otherwise, he remains neutral and serene. "Can I have an hour off when we get back? I'd like to spend some time with my woman."

Pale green eyes flick a glance towards Jack in fleeting assessment, before going back to boredly observing the terrain they drive by, the appearance of streetlamps after a time breaking the dark monotony and sending flashes of artificial light into the truck's cab. Logan raises a hand to scratch at his cleanshaven jaw, head tilted, body language apathetic in contrast to Jack's show of tension and careful neutrality. "Well that depends on whether she's busy, doesn't it?" he says, then pushes back his sleeve to observe the time. "Don't see why not otherwise."

There's a tightness around Jack's eyes and mouth that betrays his displeasure. Still, he nods agreeably. "Thanks," he mutters under his breath, doing his best to sound genuinely grateful.

Unconsciously, he starts driving a little faster.

"You have anything else that needs doing tonight?" As earlier, his eyes are fixed on the road. There's a single-minded determination and intensity to his gaze this time, though.

As Jack attempts to mask his displeasure, Logan keeps a leash on the smirk that threatens to occur at Jack's question, turning his head a little further away as if, perhaps, the side of the road were really interesting. "No, nothing in particular," he says, and perhaps, as if sensing Jack's irritation despite his efforts to mask such a thing, Logan allows a little bit of calmness to bloom through Jack's system. A pleasant chemical reaction usually spurred by happier thoughts, and to perhaps give the abrupt feeling a little bit of grounding, as well as making what he says all the more rewarding, Logan murmurs, "Thank you, though. You've been most helpful."

And suddenly, things are so, so different. Jack is reminded of all the reasons he likes Logan. All the things that his benefactor has done for him. The many ways in which this really is an equitable arrangement. "Anytime," he replies gruffly, angling his face away in an attempt to conceal his pink cheeks. "I'll stay at the Dagger tonight in case you need anything. It's the least I can do, right?"

"The least you can, yes," Logan says, airily, and leaves it at that, allowing satisfied silence to lapse and engulf the conversation into nothing, and allowing happy feelings to simmer away in Jack's blood for the rest of the drive back to civilisation. 'Civilisation' being a highly relative term, all things considered, when it comes to the dealings of men and lesser men.

January 27th: The Night Before Normandy

Previously in this storyline…
A Cautionary Song, Part II

Next in this storyline…
Discerning Tastes

January 27th: Bad Terms
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