Et Tu


cardinal3_icon.gif kain2_icon.gif peyton2_icon.gif

Scene Title Et Tu
Synopsis Kain gives Cardinal a surprising present, and Kain agrees to join the merry band. There are fringe benefits.
Date April 13, 2010

Dorchester Towers Kain's Apartment

Right from the doorway the sheer size of this penthouse seems designed to impress. The walls and ceiling are painted in a soft eggshell white that seems to only enlarge the perception of the living space, with lightly-stained hardwood floors reflecting the daylight spilling through the partly closed blinds. Immediately across from the entrance is a raised living room with three shallow steps leading up to the carpeted landing it sits on. A plush white sofa covers one wall, with a long glass-topped table between it and a matching chaise lounge. The entire opposite wall to the side of the sofa is a gigantic window that affords a view of the nighttime skyline of New York. Sliding vertical blinds are drawn drawn closed, but twisted so they remain partly open, giving a slatted view of the New York skyline. Up against the window is a jet black leather sofa with a tall lamp with a ball-shaped shade.

Further into the penthouse, there is a large open kitchen that is in plain view of the sitting room, a black marble-topped island divides the kitchen from the main floor, and beyond the island more counterspace and brushed-metal faced kitchen appliances fill the walls. From here, a hallway can be seen that is lined with four doors; one leading to an office, two more to bedrooms, and another to a bathroom.

High above much of the rest of the city of New York, the view from the Penthouse of Dorechester Towers is a wintry one. The city looks like so many concrete headstones in a graveyard dusted by snow. But where twelve foot snow drifts look like a few inches at this distance, the eviscerated heart of midtown looks like so much graveyard vandalism, all toppled headstones and poor groundskeeping. Despite the sobering view, the luxurious appointments belonging to Kain Zarek are admittedly in something of a better shape since Richard Cardinal's last trip here, when liquor bottles decorated his coffee table, floor and available counterspace.

It's visible thorugh the slowly opening frosted glass door that slides inside of the glass wall partitioning Kain's penthouse from the penthouse lobby, all muted shadows visible behind the glass coming into clearer view as the door hisses open on hydraulic hinges. Standing in the doorway, the revealed figure of that scruffy, blonde Cajun in a pinstripe suit was expecting tall dark and billowy, not short, dark and familiar.

"Well Ah'll be, ain't you a sight for tired eyes?" Crossing his arms over his chest, Kain Zarek looks something like a bouncer at the door to a lavish nightclub the way he slouches against the door frame and blocks the slim form of Peyton Whitney from entering, unaware that her shadow cast by the overhead lights is more than just a shadow.

"Well Ah'm sorry you came'a knockin' darlin', but Ah'm a bit busy right now. Don't remember givin' you my card at the gala, but Ah' can't say if mah taste ain't spot on the nose right seein' you leggin' your way up in here." Cracking a toothy smile, Kain scrubs at his stubbled chin slowly. "Ah' tell you what Ah' got a guy t'see 'bout a thin, won't take more'n thirty minutes you wait downstairs an' then Ah'll le'cha come back on up an' we can pick up where we left off over a bottle a Scotch, how's that sound, sugar?"

Honestly, he was only expecting Cardinal. Honest.

A dark, hollow little whisper stirs from behind the socialite in the doorway, a tattered shadow that spreads behind hers like the shattered wings of a fallen angel slowly bleeding off into nothingness making the presence of Richard Cardinal known.

"Kain… if you and my secretary are planning to fuck, I'd appreciate if you wait until I'm not here anymore first," he whispers, that echoing susurrence of sound that's been his voice since the accident in Antarctica, "May we come in?" Come in…

Peyton looks less surprised, but still impressed at the man who opens the door. She's much less formal than the last time they saw one another — in fact, they've done a bit of a flip-flop as to apparel. She's in jeans and warm boots beneath a warm peacoat — a far cry from the silvery grecian gown she wore at the gala, back in February when the weather was ironically warmer. Her brow arches as he greets her, and a smirk curves her lips upward, because dramatic irony is amusing. Not that trust-fund-baby Peyton Whitney knows what dramatic irony is.

"A man about a thing, huh?" she asks, nodding to him as her smirk blooms into a full-blown smile. "I'm apparently his secretary. Small world, huh?" she waits for the door to open wider, to allow her in, since she can't slide through like Cardinal may be able to. "You clean up nice, by the way."

Mouth open and pride sucker-punched, Kain's brows furrow as he just sort've stumbles aside from the door and scrubs one hand at the back of his neck. "God damnit Casper why didn't you say you were bringin' Velma along with the Scooby Van?" Blue eyes flick over to Peyton embarrasedly, and Kain quickly looks down at his feet, all of his suave demeanor having drained out him in quick fashion. Walking deeper into the open-concept penthouse, Kain turns slowly to look over his shoulder to the blot of darkness slithering across his floor, then up to Peyton.

"Alright, well, when Ah's aid Ah' had a present with a bow on it maybe Ah' should've worn that fancy ribbon belt've mine…" Cracking a smile and quickly working back up his smarmy self-confidence, Kain slants a look over to a five foot wide and three foot tall canvas frame mounted on an easel covered with a white cloth. "Ah' lied about the bow but Ah' can tell you right now Casper, you're gonna' be creamin' yer nonexistant jeans about what Ah've gotta' show ya…"

"…but first," Kain notes with one brow raised as he makes his way towards the painting, "have either a'you heard of a feller named Roderick Sweeney?"

"You said that I had a present… I don't exactly have hands at the moment," Cardinal observes as he slithers through the door, a shadow whispering over the floor of the apartment within ahead of Peyton, "Besides… I thought it might help in convincing you that I exist…" I do exist…

The shadow pools across the floor like some Pollock painting splattered there, "Roderick Sweeney…? It isn't familiar."

"I'm the hired hands, except without any pay," Peyton says, looking a little amused at the stumbling surprise of the Cajun as she steps inside, glancing at the painting he leads them to. "And please. Velma? Really? I mean, I'm no redhead, but I would have cast myself as more of a Daphne," she adds with a fake pout, glancing over at the slithering shadow.

The last question makes her pause, her brows knitting together. "Funny… I think I met a Roderick the other day — I think that's what he told Lazzaro his name was when we had to give statements afterward," she murmurs. "'Bout my height, British guy?" she looks up to the tall Southerner curiously.

"Bingo Shortie," Kain retorts witha click of his tongue and a gun-hand pointed in her direction. "He's a painter t'be more specific, got himself a knack for painting things that actually come true. Works for ol' Danny Boy and just so happens to live right here in this ol' building. Roddy's got himself a bit of a love for the ol' classics…" Sauntering over to the painting, Kain reaches up and winds fingers into the white sheet, then looks over towards Peyton and Cardinal.

"You know Ah' could always use a secretary an' Ah'm willin' t'bet my form of compensation's a whole lot more material than ol' Capser's there." Yes, make fun of the bodily challenged, Kain. "But we can discuss them details later— " and with that smirking commentary, Kain yanks back the cloth to reveal a reimagining of the classic Ides of March painting depicting the fall of Julius Caesar and his betrayal by his closest allies.

Immediately faces are recognizable in it, from John Logan to Laura Morgan, Kain Zarek and Jessica Sanders, Daniel Linderman himself and so many other smaller — and perhaps more worrisome — details. Kain's brows furrow, blue eyes cast to the side and slowly he shrugs his shoulders, rolling up the white sheet around both of his hands.

"Tada," the cajun delivers in all deadpan seriousness.

"Lazzaro…" A whispered bit of derision from the shadow splayed upon the floor at the man's mention. Obviously, Cardinal doesn't think much of him. The other matter swiftly draws his attention, however, and his interest. "A precognitive painter? Valuable assets, those, I've a whole collection of those kind of works…" Prophecies…

Then the painting is revealed, and he ripples closer, tendrilling along over the floor. "…well, well. This is… interesting. Gabriel? What role does he play in all this…?"

The socialite's cheeks have the grace to blush a touch at Kain's hints, though she looks amused and tosses her hair over her shoulder as she steps closer to look at the painting. She does not know all of the faces but her head tilts at the sight of Niki's (or is it Jessica's or Gina's or that woman on the news, Tracy Strauss'? Hard to tell), then Logan's, and then at Gabriel's when the shadow mentions his name. She bites her lower lip, studying the painting quietly. "Creepy," is her only commentary — a career as an art critic is not in her future.

"Doesn't look like a Gabriel to me, looks like that terrorist nutjob who went an' blew himself up in Kirby Plaza and got me my free ticket to radiation poisoning a few years back." Oh boy that's going to be a long story to explain to Kain. "But Ah' think now you see why Ah' done gone and called you up here personally? Roddy's got a bunch've paintin's he's done over the years, but this one Ah' figured was of personal interest t'you Casper."

Moving in front of the painting, Kain motions to a man barely visible on the left side of the painting with glasses on. "Ah' ain't figured out who this here bald fella is," then a motion to the man with his back to the viewer, "or this guy," then down to the man with the goatee ducking behind the scene, "this guy," and then finally up to the dark and fearsome shape of the devil beside Laura, "or ol' Beelzebub here. Though Ah' got mahself a few ideas…" Kain offers with a furrow of his brows, looking down to Cardinal.

"I know someone who might be able to identify some of these faces…" A thoughtful murmur from the shadow, "…and yes, that would be Gabriel, although… he wasn't actually the one who exploded, it's — a long story, Kain. Ask me when we're sitting down to a bottle of scotch someday." Someday…

"That one could be either Jessica or Tracy — I presume Jessica, she does hate the bastard… do you finally believe me, Kain?" Amusement to Cardinal's voice.

Dark brows furrow at Cardinal and Kain's eyes narrow just a touch. "Know who Ah' don't see in this here picture? Your little crazy cajun Lola. Not that it should surprise me one bit that she ain't takin' a lick've responsibility where it matters, but Ah' jus' thought Ah'd point out the obvious here an' let you run with it." Offering an askance look to Peyton, Kain tucks his hands into the pockets of his pinstripe slacks and gives a shrug, helplessly.

"Ah' don' know what this proves, Casper. Sure as hell shows that it's goin' to be a clusterfuck pullin Danny down, but Ah' ain't the plannin' type Ah' guess. Leave all'a that schemin' t'you and your Scooby Gang?" A look is offered up to Peyton suspiciously, then down to Cardinal. "Ah' take it Shorty here's gonna carry this here paintin' down and out? You might wanna wrap it up first before hand, otherwise someone might just get the wrong idea."

"Oh, so now she belongs to me?" Me? An amused twist of voice from Cardinal, "Fortunately for you, I am the planning type, although… there might be other peoples' plans who intersect. You can't take these paintings literally, Zarek, there's always metaphor strewn throughout. There're many people involved, this may just be the people who profit most directly from his unseating, in which case…"

Note to self: Destroy Linderman's brain.

"I'd hope that it doesn't literally mean there's going to be a big gang-bang assassination," Peyton chimes in, hands in pockets as she looks from painting to shadow to Kain and back, a little skeptically. The painting's almost as tall as she is! She raises a brow at the mention of Lola. She remembers the woman, having met her more than once. Any plan without Lola in it is okay by her. Crazy Cajuns with drug problems don't tend to improve strategies, in her mind, but Peyton's new at the business of murdering futures and taking down moguls. She goes to pick up draping to wrap around the painting once more.

Offering out the sheet to Peyton, Kain eyes the painting once more before looking in Cardinal's general direction, it's hard to tell exactly where he is when the apartmet's as dimly lit as it is. "If Ah' know how the Linderman Group works, cluster-fuck is probably more'n likely. You got Johnny Logan in on this mess, and Ah' can't even figure out why Laura'd be in on it, she's Linderman a security technician…" Squinting, Kain glances over to Peyton and holds his tongue on the more crude commentary he might have made about Laura were it just he and Cardinal.

"So if this whole big prophetic picasso's some sort've metaphor, exactly how valueable is it to actually getin' this shit done?" Theres a look back to the painting, and Kain jabs his index finger at the picture of the blonde woman next to him. "An' tell me this ain't that crazy Sanders bitch." Apparently they know each other — wonderful.
Poseorder is not enabled in this room.

"Don't worry, Shaggy," Cardinal replies mockingly, without missing a beat, "I'll make sure Daphne doesn't shoot you." Shoot you…

"Logan, though… Logan, I'm not surprised. You and he should have dinner, maybe, see if you can find out how he feels about working with the Group," the shadow whispers, "Maybe mutter about the debts you owe, see if he does have plans and if he's willing to deal you in." A pause. "Don't mention me, though. We don't exactly get along." Get along…

The clairvoyant wraps the painting in the sheet as well as she can — it will be an awkward carry to get it to a cab, and the cabs won't get them all the way to the library — she doesn't look forward to carrying it through the midtown snow. Too bad she doesn't have a mystery van of her own. She scowls at the mention of Logan, glancing at Cardinal's shadowy form and then Kain's. "Does John Logan get along with anyone?" The only person she can think of that likes the man is dead.

"Me an' ol' Johnny go back a ways, he ain't that bad once you realize he's just a skinny little fop with some bad fashion sense. He's like the kids who're in the Glee club in High School, all tight pants and suspenders, prolly a lil' queer." Kain shrugs his shoulders eyeing the painting before looking back to Cardinal's umbral blot on the floor. "So Ah' guess this is the part where Ah' ask exactly how crazy you are for wantin' me t'feel out ol' Logan because Roddy painted his face here?" Kain looks back to the painting, pursing his lips and shaking his head.

"Ah'll do it," Kain notes after just a moment's pause, glancing Peyton up and down before looking at Cardinal, "on one condition, though…" reaching up to scratch under his chin, Kain's blue eyes assess the shadow as best as anyone can something that looks mostly like a living oil slick. "I'm in for all the chips, no more of this midnight phone call bullshit. You show me the Bat Cave and I'll get you the Joker." Such as he is.

"He tried to kill me once, it's one of those things you don't really forgive very easily…" Eileen… An odd choice of echo, but Cardinal's whispering voice sometimes lets his inner thoughts out. It's one of the many disadvantages of being half-dismembered, one supposes. Then there's that statement, and the shadow is silent for a long moment.

"You want in for all the chips, Kain? That's a lot to ask… then again, I suppose I'm asking a lot as well." A lot… A pause, then, "I'll have to speak to someone else before allowing it, but— if you want in, I can let you in. But then you're in, Zarek. No more backing away…" Away…

The murmur of Eileen's name gets a surprised look from Peyton, who is now just leaning her chin on the top of the painting, now held long ways in front of her. "One more reason to hate the bastard," she adds lightly. Glee club dork or not, Logan is not someone she's a fan of — especially in light of what Magnes told her recently regarding Abby.

Her dark eyes slide from Cardinal to Kain and back, and her lips curve into a smirk again. "What's with men and comparing everything to cartoons? I thought you all were supposed to do sports analogies," she adds. "What's that make me, if he's Batman? I think I have a bigger chest and lack the parts for Robin." That's all she knows about Batman, however. She's run out of allusions.

"Catwoman," Kain very deadpan delivers to Peyton with a duh tone to his voice, like she should have somehow thought that up all on her own. But as the cajun's trying his damnedest not to burst out laughing, he's withdrawing his hands from his pockets and crossing his arms over his chest, head shaking slowly.

"Ah'm pretty sure Ah' got that whole no backin' down part, Hoss." Kain furrows his brows at the shadow on the floor and feels ridiculous for doing it. "You ain't the one who almost put a bullet in the back'a Roddy's head when he saw this paintin'. But if you think all'a the shiny faces in this here work'a modern art's all Ah' got t'offer you, y'ain't lookin al th' whole picture yet. Roddy wanted somethin' in exchange fer the paintin': Amnesty."

"Roddy wants a back door out once the shit hits the fan, so maybe you can go on and haunt him or somethin'? He lives down on the second floor. Maybe a visit from the Ghost of Christmas Future might not be so bad, y'know what Ah' mean?" Then, slating a look at Peyton Kain adds, "An'… you know, Ah' can keep your secretary entertained in th' meanwhile?"

"You have more to offer than you know, Zarek…" A stir of dark humor from the shadow, "…and I just might slip down to visit the painter to see what else he might have produced and not handed over to Daniel." Danny-boy…

Cardinal muses, "I hadn't planned on bringing you completely in, given that you seem to think I'm utterly insane, but… what the hell. If nothing else, I know you know how to keep your mouth shut when it calls for it, unlike certain others."

"I thought Catwoman was a villain. I'm a good girl. Sometimes." Peyton arches a brow and smirks at Kain — somehow the often-stammering and blushing girl is totally at ease when flirting with bad boys, go figure — but that's more her forte from all the years of club-hopping and entouraging than fighting terrorists and murdering futures.

She tips her head to look at Cardinal. "He seemed like a decent guy in the elevator, for what it's worth. Everyone else was pretty nuts," she says, by way of recommendation. "And, for the record, you are utterly insane, but that doesn't make you wrong, Card." The words are said with affection.

"Hey, all'a the fun people I know are crazy." Kain comments with a shit-eating grin and a shrug of his shoulders. "Now how's about Casper goes off and haunts himself a tormented artist," Kain notes as he saunters past Peyton and walks across Cardinal over towards the island in the middle of his open-concept kitchen, "an' I fix our lovely Catwoman here a nice drink t'pass the time while you make with the rattlin' chains?"

Turning around when he reaches the island, Kain lifts both of his brows and flashes a toothy grin. "You know, Ah' think there might be some fringe benefits a'joinin' yer merry band'a thieves after all."

"You haven't the faintest idea, Kain…" A shadowy chuckle from Cardinal as he slithers towards the door, leaving Peyton to play the vamp as she likes, "…the faintest idea…" Idea…

There's a slight furrow of her brow when her hero is walked across — poor Cardinal, everyone steps on him! — before shrugging, and tossing her long hair over her shoulder to smirk up at Kain. She leans the painting against the wall and follows Kain toward his kitchen, to watch him gather the refreshments, giving one glance over at the shadow as it slithers away. There's a slight shrug and a wink to the shadowy tatters. There's no Cat and no Manny to crash the party tonight.

"Well now darlin'," Kain admits as he slouches back against the island, reaching across to grab a bottle from the rack and waggle it back and forth, "why don' you tell me what you take with your Southern Comfort."

Oh boy.

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