Dodging the Bullet


kain_icon.gif mischa_icon.gif

Scene Title Dodging the Bullet
Synopsis Kain stops by Mischa's apartment to update her about the situation with Danielle.
Date September 24th, 2008

Bronx — Mischa's Apartment

Siann Hall isn't a very nice place to be unless, like Mischa, you have claws sharp enough to secure a hold on New York's criminal underbelly. If she didn't possess a connection to Daniel Linderman, she might have a harder time sleeping at night or leaving her son home alone during the times when business calls her away from the apartment at unexpected hours. Fortunately, she can rest peacefully in the knowledge that she and her tiny family are well looked after — even if she sometimes has trouble scraping together enough money to pay her utility bills. After all, having your power cut off for a few days pales in comparison to living in fear of being brutalized every time you set foot outside your front door.

Tonight, Mischa doesn't have anywhere else to be, and so it is that she sits on the floor of her apartment with one leg outstretched, the other tucked beneath her, a series of cottonballs wedged between the toes of her left foot. Say what you will. Painting one's nails electric blue is a perfectly acceptable way to spend one's time off. It might not be very productive, but neither is Mischa.

A loud, almost thunderous and impatient knocking slams on Mischa's apartment door. "You had best be home if Ah dragged my ass all the way up here." Kain's muffled voice on the other side of the door is unmistakable. Kain never comes here, and as far as Mischa was aware Kain doesn't even know where she lives, let alone have reason to come by her place of residence.

Out in the hall, Kain paces back and forth in front of his erstwhile business associate's residence, arms folded across his chest and head down, blonde hair swept back from the dampness of the rain coming down outside. "God dammit woman open the door!" He's strained, aggravated and clearly out of patience, using the side of his fist to hammer against the apartment door again as his eyes dart around the dirty and narrow hall he's finding himself most unfortunately situated in.

When you're as strung-out as Mischa, it isn't uncommon to start at sudden noises — and the BOOM-BOOM-BOOM of Kain's fist pounding against her front door is about as sudden (not to mention loud) as they come. Her leg jerks to the side as she scrambles onto all fours and then to her feet, spilling her bottle of hard-earned nailpolish all over the apartment's hardwood floors. She might not even notice either, if it wasn't for the sickly, sticky sensation that registers on the bottom of her foot. "Zarek," she hisses through her teeth, knowing he can't hear her through the door, "you son of a bitch."

A few moments later, the lock turns and the door opens, revealing Mischa's very short, very irate, very undressed figure. She must not have been expecting any company this evening, because the only article of clothing that she appears to be wearing is an old football jersey several sizes too large for her diminutive frame. If that wasn't ridiculous enough, she stands on one leg like a pink flamingo with glittery blue nailpolish oozing out from between her toes. "What?"

Kain's standing in the middle of the doorway once it opens, peering first, angrily at Mischa, then slowly looking down towards her feet and the impractical stance she's assumed. Some of that frustration drains away, and he looks back behind himself before muscling past the woman into the apartment, a task not too difficult with both her small frame, and her one-legged stance, "You an' me were about three meters up shit's creek without a paddle." One hand smooths back a wet lock of hair from his face, shoulders of his suit wet from the rain outside.

He storms into the apartment like he owns it, eyes flitting about the furnishings with a distasteful expression before looking back at Mischa with a snarling visage, "Your halfassed handling of that spook we put into the reporter?" Of course, from Kain's perspective it's Mischa's fault, "She had a tape recorder. Of us. Of everything!"

As Kain pushes past Mischa, she thumps against the doorframe, using it to right herself at the last possible moment before losing what little balance she actually has. "My halfassed handling?" The door slams shut, and for once the brunette doesn't bother locking it behind her before she hop-hop-hops after Kain. "The whole thing was your idea!" As usual, her voice is piercing — shrill. Her face, on the other hand, is uncharacteristically gaunt and pale. There's fear in her eyes, and the more she tries to hide it the more it comes out through her words. "You stupid— you fucking stupid— Why didn't you have her frisked or something?!"

"Because Ah met her down in the lobby of her apartment!" Kain waves one hand animatedly in one direction, as if it were anywhere near Dorchester towers, "Them's a real smooth pickup line!" He rolls his eyes, voice taking a mocking tone, "Hey babe, nothin' suspicious goin' on, how's about you elt me frisk you for eavesdropping equipment!" Running his fingers through his hair, Kain growls and folds his hands behind his head, pacing a bit more into her apartment before turning around again.

"She handed it over to the police too, if that don' top everything off with a nice shit-brown cherry!" Kain clicks his tongue, lips twisting into a manipulative smile, "But thanks t'me," Yes, he's going to take credit for it all, "Everything's worked out so that you an' I aren't hangin' up by our necks and swingin' in the breeze." His head crooks to the side, eyes following Mischa as she moves. "Got one of our housecleaning agents on it, and she's picked up the tape. By now, Manny's got it in his big greasy gorilla-fingers." Kain clicks his tongue again, eyes flitting over to the trail of electric blue nail polish smeared across the floor, then slowly back up to Mischa. "We dodged a big ole' bullet."

As Kain speaks, Mischa makes her way over the couch and flops down in between the cushions, her entire body positively quaking with rage as she ferrets around in search of something to wipe her foot off with. In the end, she has to settle for a page from last week's newspaper, which she then crumples into a ball between her hands with an indignant huff.

"She's a reporter, Kain!" she snarls. "What the hell were you expecting?" With nothing large or heavy within arm's reach, she has to settle for something a little less bludgeon-y to lob at Kain's head if she wants to fully communicate her anger. The balled of sheet of newspaper covered in nailpolish will just have to do.

"Dodge this!"

The piece of crumpled up newspaper buffets off of Kain's slacks, and he raises one brow after it falls to the floor, "Ah don' know how Ah'll ever recover from yer savage beatin'." His eyes narrow slightly, and one polished shoe nudges the crumpled paper ball aside. "It ain't no matter now that she had a tape or didn't, shit's covered, but Ah wanted you t'know what the hell's goin' on, because it could'a been both our necks on the choppin' block out there." Kain shoots Mischa a sidelong stare where she's seated, "Daniel would've had us swingin' in the breeze if that tape had gotten out. We lucked out," He adds, arms folding across his chest again.

Mischa gives Kain a flat look, saying nothing for several long seconds. When she does speak, her tone is as tight as ever, but softer too. "What makes you think there's only one copy?" She leans forward, retrieving a pack of cigarette and a lighter from the coffee table. If there's a clause in her lease that prohibits smoking in the apartment, her landlord probably doesn't care or Mischa isn't worried about the consequences of getting caught. She needs something to calm herself down now, and the nearest bottle of alcohol is all the way over in the kitchen cabinet.

"If it was me," she says, selecting a cigarette from the pack at random, "I'd have made a back-up. Insurance."

"I ain't all that concerned." Kain closes his eyes and shrugs, slowly opening them again as he very judgmentally begins examining the contents of the apartment, only now noticing the distinct lack of a rugrat scrambling around at Mischa's hip. "If she made a copy, we'll find out. Our cleaner is assigned to her case, so any evidence will end up in her care." Kain's lips twist into a confident smile, perhaps overconfident knowing Kain. "You ain't gotta worry your nappy little head 'bout that." He cracks a smile, shifting his weight to one foot as he looks down at where Mischa is seated. "Now Ah think the bigger question is, the hell are we going to do if she takes a copy to another source." There's a distasteful tone there, and it perhaps is the first time Kain has outwardly showed any signs of conceivable concern towards a plan in progress. "If she's gone an' smuggled a copy of the tape to local papers, it ain't gonna' be jus' me an' you swingin' in the wind." Kain's eyes wander around the apartment. "Ah'd hate fer y'little monster t'be all orphaned on a'count that his momma' didn't think t'frisk her either."

"Like you really give a shit about anybody's hide but your own?" Mischa snorts. "Please." A quick glance toward the bedroom door should give Kain a good idea of where August is. Careful not to make too much noise now that things have settled down, she rises from the couch as, as she lights up, crosses over to the door and gently pulls it shut. Whether or not the earlier ruckus woke him, he shouldn't have to listen that's conversation that's currently transpiring in the living room. "What about a preemptive strike?" she suggests. "Discredit her now, and no one will listen when she tries to break the story."

"You're sure as shit right about that sugarlips," Cracking a smile, Kain watches Mischa's movements carefully. "But Ah know if you go down, you'll be sinkin' your teeth into me an' draggin' me down with you. An I ain't goin' down with you even if you paid me." His taunt is teasing and at the same time scathing.

"Ah pulled a few strings down at the hospital, got a look at her medical record." Kain shifts to the side, walking back up to where Mischa is, arms still folded. "We sure did a bang-up job busting her up, 'parently she's got some crap goin' on in her head, memory problems. Doc had her signed out with her Lawyer of her own will." His head cants to the side, eyes appraisingly peering towards one of the windows in the living room, staring at the urban view outside of it. "Ah'm thinkin' a more permanent solution might be in order soon," His eyes lift up to look back ay Mischa, "Kay's pretty sure we shouldn't solve this with a whole lot of guns an' bullets. Ah disagree."

"Who's to say she didn't do all that to herself?" asks Mischa, raising both her eyebrows at Kain. "What better way for an aspiring journalist to catch a break than to fabricate a scandal involving New York City's most amicable crimelord?" 'Preemptive' and 'amicable'. Mischa must be on a roll tonight, because those are some of the biggest words she's used in weeks. Or ever, really. Maybe there is something to be said for all the abuse she puts her body through. "We can't kill her, if that's what you're getting at. Too suspicious."

Kain snorts, derisively, shifting his eyes to the side at the dismissal of his plan. "Better she get dead now before she breaks a story." Kain raises one brow, eyeing Mischa, "Hell, we just up and make her disappear. Ah got a coroner down in Harlem that'll doctor up some death certificates. We get him to doctor up her body, say she's some other dead person nobody'll miss, and then she's old news." One shoulder raises in a half-hearted shrug, "Worked down in N'Orleans."

"This isn't New Orleans." Mischa brings her hand up to her mouth and bites down on the tip of her thumb in between puffs of her cigarette. "What if she has a family? Friends? People who might start poking their noses around where they don't belong? What if they have copies of the tape? It'd look bad, Kain. Real bad." Mischa likes guns and bullets as much as the next thug, but in this situation she has to side with 'Kay'. Whoever she is. "We don't need to kill her. Squashing her reputation will do."

There's something of a disheartened sigh from Kain as he nods, "An' how d'you plan t'go about doin' that?" His head cants to the side, blue eyes peering at the glowing end of her cigarette, then up towards the thumb she chews on. "Far as Ah've seen she ain't got a reputation to squash, Ah ain't never heard of her." But, of course, Kain doesn't read the news often. "This sounds like a whole lotta' work that could easily be solved by about a buck fifty in bullets."

"Which is about how much Linderman will spend between the both of us if he finds out what we've been up to." Mischa opens a nearby window to prevent the smoke alarm from going off — assuming it still works. She takes a seat on the sill, one leg dangling out into space, the other firmly grounding her to the old steam pipe radiator beneath it. "Let it sit for now. We'll play it by ear."

She has a point there, and Kain's lack of a sarky retort is proof enough of that. "Ah don't like playin' it by ear." He finally admits, staring out of the window Mischa is seated in, "An' Ah don't like sittin' on m'hands." His eyes narrow, a scowl crossing his face as he slides his hands into the pockets of his slacks. For a moment, he seems to consider a few options, then just shakes his head and lets out a grumble of acceptance, turning away from Mischa and looking at the door. "You got any other bright ideas?" Kain's anger, while evident in his tone of voice, almost seems more directed at himself as of late.

Valued negotiator Mischa may be, but her bright ideas are few and far between. She's used to appealing to people's hearts rather than their heads, and it's her talent for manipulating the emotions of Linderman's enemies that has kept her around this long. "No," she admits, frank, "I don't. And neither do you, so shut your mouth before I stick something in it."

Kain's brows raise, and he looks at Mischa out of the corner o fhis eyes, "Normally," He begins with a laugh, "Ah'd take that opportunity to say somethin' crude and salacious about your female anatomy." Kain struggles to use some more eloquent speech to make his sentence stand out even more from his usual manner of speech. "But it'll be a cold day in hell," He adds, laughing to himself as he heads to the door, "Before Ah' even joke about bein' that desperate." With his hand on the apartment door, Kain hesitates and looks back to Mischa, a thin smile cutting across his face. "Hope you ain't too crushed."

"If I ever end up fucking you, Zarek, it'll be your ass — and a broken snooker cue." Mischa blows out a ring of smoke into the cool night air. She taps the ash from the tip of the cigarette, and while she might not be smiling like Kain is, there's a vicious gleam in her dark brown eyes and a slight curl to her upper lip which exposes the very tips of her canines, her expression cool and catlike. "You will call me if there are any unexpected developments." It isn't a question.

Kain cracks a smile at Mischa's harsh words, feigning a hurt expression, "You'll be th'first on mah speed dial, darlin'." Kain laughs to himself, shaking his head as he opens the apartment door, then hesitates, looking back to Mischa. "And next time you're gonna sit all legs akimbo in the window sill," One brow raises, and Kain steps partly outside of the door, "Put some damned underwear on." The door closes with an abrupt thump, and Kain's out in the hall. He's known Mischa long enough to know that something will be thrown at the door, and that telltale crash he hears by the time he's halfway down the hall is affirmation of his assumption. Working with Mischa, there's just some things you take for granted, and some things you play safe.

Being struck by a potted plant once was lesson enough for Kain.

He's a quick learner.

September 24th: Back To The Stage

Previously in this storyline…
Back to the Stage

Next in this storyline…
Call by Morning

September 25th: Two For The Lion's Den
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