Forward And Back


logan_icon.gif satoru_icon.gif

Scene Title Forward and Back
Synopsis Logan returns to his temporary home after his very bad day, and demonstrates the capacity to learn only after he almost burns another bridge.
Date July 10, 2009

Chinatown — Toru's Apartment

Toru's apartment is perhaps surprisingly normal-looking in that the boy hasn't furnished it with anything that declares overmuch his involvement in any subculture. It is organized, dishes neatly stacked in cupboards and counters, the walls are white, though he generally keeps the shades drawn to keep it from being too bright inside. There is a couch, even.

The shades both in the living room and the bedroom manage to keep out most light, which is helpful when one works during the night. The only thing really out of place is a pile, on the kitchen table, of mail dating back as far as mid-April. And a pizza box, which hadn't been there when the pair initially arrived here.

Toru himself is seated on the couch, sprawled across most of it, pizza in one hand and a Japanese magazine in the other. He's dressed in a wide-limbed shirt that is somewhat evocative of a kimono, in shape and cut, though it is colored a solid dark blue and open to his chest. Matching cloth pants on his legs, shoes left by the door, and a paper plate is in his lap to guard against cheese drips. The whole picture is almost… normal.

Not quite so long ago, Toru might have heard soft footsteps in the hallway. No knock on the door however, no scrape of the key and lock, nothing. Someone just passing by.

Or, you know. Folding up just outside. Despite the fact the hallway prohibits smoking, there's a steady curl of it leaking from a lit cigarette, collecting in a vague haze towards the ceiling. No smoke detector in sight, luckily, although doubtful Logan thought to check. He sits in a collection of black clad long limbs, back against the wall and legs lying at careless angles in front of him.

Trying to pull himself vaguely together before heading inside. So far so not so successful.

Whatever he felt in the bar has long since been left behind, but it's not as though it hasn't left more in its wake. Feelings of shame, mostly, and fear, confusion. Throat as dry as the Sahara by now and eyes still damp, Logan extracts his cigarette case from his pocket with numb movements, opens it, grinds out the mostly spent cigarette against the shining metal. No smokes left, which is typical, and so now he's no longer taking an extended smoke break in the hallway.

He's just. Sitting in the hallway. Well now. That won't do. Slipping away the cigarette case, there's a pause before Logan glances towards the closed door a foot or so beside him, extends an arm out, and raps sharply with the back of his knuckles. Taking a breath, Logan works his way to his feet, velvet jacket somewhat crumpled beneath the light.

The footsteps had been noticed, and even perked up at, though ultimately dismissed. It is only because Toru isn't quite used to being back in a building where there are other people that they were noticed at all; it's difficult to re-acquaint oneself with warren life after being away for so long. Especially when your fellow rabbits are shouting Chinese grandmothers, and nosy neighbors wondering why that boy down the hall has been bringing a white man around.

Briefly, Toru wonders why he lives here in the first place, but the thought is suppressed as he sets his things aside, pulls himself to his feet, folds shirt closed and tucks folds into his waist. Trundling over to the door, he turns a lock or two, opens the door and.. just sort of looks at Logan for a moment.

It's a somewhat awkward one; his expression shifts from amused, to surprised, to worried and to nervous in the course of barely a second or two. Enough to be noticed if watched for, but otherwise, well. "… Jeez, man, get in here, you're gonna lower the property value, y'know?" It's a poor attempt at humor, but any other remark would come out even worse. He makes a gesture with his hand to guide Logan inside.

He'd tried, anyway. Tucked his hands into his pockets, attempted to loosen his shoulders, everything. But the lingering cling of acrid cigarette smoke in combination with— everything else, well. Logan lazily looks Toru up and down, silent to the attempted humour but responsive to the gesturing, insinuating himself inside and letting out a pent up breath.

As Toru sees to the door and its locks, Logan slides off the fine velvet jacket. An item that might look cheap on paper, but isn't in reality - the fabric is dense, rich, satin-lined and immaculately made. Fits him next to perfectly. It's summarily discarded, tossed over the arm of a couch.

"Ever… ever just started thinking things through and hit a wall?" Strange question, maybe. Logan turns towards Toru, tension in his expression, aggravated confusion and earnestness. "And all at once you realise you don't know what the fuck you're doing and how you got there? Today, at the bar, I just…" A smile pulls at his mouth, mirthless in many ways, a hand going up and down in defeat. Never mind.

Door is closed and locked and Toru is back at the couch as Logan asks that question; he lifts his pizza slice, bites off a piece and swallows before setting it back down. The question is regarded with some wry amusement, and the boy runs a hand through his hair, brushing at it with mild irritation for a moment, and finally he settles on standing with one arm akimbo, an eyebrow raised, other hand gesturing idly.

"Yeah," he answers, ultimately. He's aware it was a rhetorical question, but he proceeds nonetheless. "All things considered you been there for most of it. I mean, I can figure a lot of how I got where I am right now, but.." Shrug. He meanders around to stand at the back of the couch, leaning on the edge and facing Logan.

"What's going on? You look like hell and I figure even with us down for now it's still my job to make sure you work." In the 'not-broken' sense. He's sounding rather like a mother hen right now, gathering his brood under his wing and trying to shuttle it to safety. "Gimme your ills, yo."

"I don't know," Logan states, voice barely above a whisper; exasperated, too, but not at Toru. "Things should be fine— nothing happened. I mean I went to see Viv and she— " He waves a hand, vaguely, dismissing that. Women. "But everything was going fine."

There's a whine to his voice, restlessness now taking the place of what had been such still melancholy - now that he's on his feet, a certain jitteriness has set in, anxiety manifesting in the slow meandering pace back and forth Toru's living space. "But not feel, it didn't feel fine. All day, it's just— so much has changed." That must be it. Homesickness. Wherever home is meant to be. In defiance of himself, Logan forces himself to stop pacing, to fold his arms across his torso, jaw tense.

Breathe in, breathe out. "I had a few drinks at the bar at the Upper East End," he explains, voice grave, reluctant. "And I just sort of lost it, right there. I could barely get out the door." Another deliberate breath is taken. "Not sure if I'm working right now, you know."

"We're just— having a shitty time right now, right?" Toru nods as Logan mentions homesickness. Not exactly what he'd guess, but close. "The Dagger's gone," he does tend to bring this up a lot, rather tactlessly, "you're still picking up the pieces. Once we all get back on our feet and settled, things'll be alright, right?" And this, unfortunately, sounds a little too hopeful on his own part to serve well as reassurance.

And with that stated, and Logan's expression of probable brokenness, Toru's default response is to resort to intimacy. Given his recent employment and other recent events, it tends to be the only way he knows how to deal with his boss's low moments. Striding forth a bit, though not in a rushing sort of way, he stands within a few feet of Logan, tentatively offering a hand. It's a start, at least, without jumping straight into meaningless necking. Keeping things in working order is so much easier when effort isn't involved.

"Look, we just.. it'll be fine once we get a new place. Things are just crazy right now." He looks down towards the floor, bites the inside of his lip uncertainly, looks back up into Logan's face. "…I want to help, I'm just not really sure what you need."

There isn't too much hesitation on Logan's side. Hedonistic in many ways, an offering of comfort is taken, pale green eyes made paler watching his hand curl around Toru's, fingers gliding between his. This, at least, seems enough to placate him, calmness beneath the despondant attitude rather than nervousness and fear. "Settled. I'm meant to be seeking out a girl. Just like old times," he says, bitterness edging his voice, not opening up any further than handholding for the moment, thumb brushing along the side of Toru's hand, towards his wrist.

Then: "I miss Mu-Qian." This is stated thoughtlessly, heavily, unsatisfied with the fact she is not here to heal away the hurt. His gaze is still lowered, posture sullen and expression angled in misery, although it's slowly, slowly starting to keel over into the much more familiar territory of self-pity.

Toru hasn't quite gotten to the point where 'other people' would stir up envy; to that end, he isn't upset when Logan mentions Mu-Qian, though he does reply, "She's weird, and you don't need her. You can do stuff yourself without her, she's just a girl anyway." Fingertips rub gently against the back of Logan's palm, in small back-and-forth motions. Maybe just a little envy.

"I can try and help you find the girl if it's something you need help with. You coulda told me." Although the fact that he hadn't does suggest that maybe help isn't needed — or wanted — after all. "I just, y'know.. I just wanna help you out here. The sooner we get everything worked out, the better, right?" After a moment of thought, he gestures to the couch with his free hand, tugging gently with the other; though he doesn't move that way if Logan doesn't.

"What you gotta find the girl for, anyway? Are you running jobs for some other cat, now, or what? You ain't really been keeping me up on what's going on nowadays."

Logan starts to shake his head in denial, that Mu-Qian isn't weird or just a girl or perhaps even that he doesn't need her, but the argument never does manifest in words. Convincing Toru isn't a requirement, and he's more interested in the way the other man's fingertips are writing over his skin, beckoning him towards the couch. There's a moment of hesitation, as if desiring to be urged a little more, before he allows it.

Folding himself onto the sofa, Logan lets out a sigh, as if trying to will himself to just let it go. "The Linderman Group. The bloke who made that law, thing, about registration. He's not entirely legit, you know? Muldoon has dealings with 'im and his people. Rich as fuck and looks like there's a place for me. Bit classier than your average crime circle, and I'm gonna see if I can't have him loan me some cash for a new business."

A shrug, and he drags his gaze back to Toru. "A woman threatened him, so they're having me persuade her to stay away. Gave me her life in a file. I don't know. It just all feels a little bit hopeless today." Sniff. Then, "Do we have any Stoli left?"

Toru would be generally unconvinced regardless, but the headshaking comes with no reply. No need to start an argument over a girl, after all. Once the couch is reached, he sits with his legs folded underneath himself, releasing Logan's hand but only to stroke the man's wrist and forearm. Comforting, like.

"It all sounds… I 'unno. Beneath you, kinda. I mean, I get that you gotta do what you gotta do, but it's kinda weird seein' you runnin' around for some other guy when you're s'posed to be the guy in charge." He's laying it on kind of thick, there. "I mean, is this a guy you're gonna have to do favors for a lot, down the road?"

That question comes with somewhat of a personal concern as well; after all, the more bosses he has, the more complicated things are going to be for him. He barely likes taking orders from one person, much less multiple ones. Leaning his head against the back of the couch, he ultimately lets out a small sigh, closing his eyes. "'s in the kitchen. You know how I get when I drink."

A foot against the edge of the coffeetable and one curled beneath him, reclined into the corner of the couch, Logan is more shut off to Toru than he might have been, despite the arm available to touch. His other has his elbow braced against the arm of the sofa, heel of his palm supporting his head, expression far more brooding and thoughtful than is healthy. Tenses a little further as Toru continues to talk. "And how do you think I got the Dagger up and running, if not for doing favours for people who could make it so?" Logan says, a sharp look directed at Toru, visible affront. "I know Muldoon was before your time, but think, would you? This isn't new."

No, it's a repeat, and that's why the heartache— although this is a new, disappointing angle all its own. Logan's mouth draws into a line, and he pulls his hand from Toru's clasp, levering himself up from the sofa and pacing on over towards the kitchen where the vodka is retrieved. "I do know how you get when you drink, speaking of things beneath me," he tosses over his shoulder, sneer in his voice if not on his face.

"I j— bu— " Confusion at that sudden change in mood, Toru frowns, blinking, and shakes his head. "I didn't know, I thought maybe you had the cash in the first place. I didn' know. I was just tryin' to make ya feel better." He isn't as good at that as his employer tends to be, unfortunately. Getting just a bit upset, he starts to talk a bit more 'dumb' even than he usually does. There's a bit of street accent thrown in.

But the last remark comes as a bit of a slap in the face, and with it, he shoves himself off of the couch, staring at Logan's back for a minute, almost shaking. "Th.. That ain't cool, yo, you don't talk to a guy like that in his own place." Standing there, though still with the couch between the two men, Toru takes a moment to debate internal fight-or-flight reactions. … And as he isn't generally inclined towards aerial pursuits, the former does tend to override the latter.

He storms into the kitchen, which is really only set apart from the living room in that it has linoleum flooring, and while he doesn't hit Logan, he does invade the man's personal space somewhat threateningly. Tense. "Here I am goin' out of my way to help you out, you don't gotta be a dick about it."

Appeals to Logan's sympathy regarding Toru's intentions are about as useless as darts off a brick wall, apparently, the erstwhile pimp keeping his back turned as he pours himself a couple of fingers of vodka, foregoing ice for convenience— as well as the fact he can hear and sense the younger man's approach from behind. He allows himself a quick sip, grimacing some at the burn of it, before turning.

There's cool regard in the face of anger, looking him up and down with eyes still not completely free of evidence of being distraught, but cutting through it in a glare. "'s far as I'm concerned, I can say whatever the fuck I want, seeing as I'm s'posed to be in charge and all." The half-filled glass of Stoli is determinedly knocked back, emptied and set back down behind him on the counter. He hasn't backed away from Toru since the younger man came storming over, and he doesn't now.

"Crawling back to the Rookery would be beneath me. Frittering away my savings and staying here for however much longer is beneath me."

It's … hard to be angry at someone when they aren't playing along. Though more words do help fuel the fire of tiny Torurage. Any residual distress on Logan's part is thoroughly misinterpreted, and Toru just bites his lip for a moment, looking off to the side. "I was jus' tryin' to help, y'know." He calms a bit, though he's still rather tense. Refuses to make eye contact.

Fists clenched at his sides, he takes in a deep breath, sighs. "Y'know you're not even payin' me and I'm still lettin' you stay here. I didn't run off. Y'think maybe there's a reason for that?" Toru turns, slams his fist on a countertop, and stifles a wince. Too hard.

"You got some kinda.. some kinda like victim complex or somethin' right now, you're bein' stupid, here I am helpin' you out and you're tryin' t'go alienate me just like the others. You're just bein' fuckin'.." And at this point, he waves a hand dismissively, strides back over to the couch, and sits down with a slump. "Whatever, fine, fuck you too. If stayin' here's so beneath you, you can go sleep in the car."

It's likely that around now, the previously vodka-filled glass would go glancing off Toru's skull shortly before a door slam would crack through the building. Logan knows it, too, the familiar anger and trying to find some irrational outlet, pulling his mouth into a scowl as he tracks Toru's walk back towards the livingroom. But something said, there, enough to cut through sharp enough that Logan barely understands why, renders him momentarily paralysed.

Like the others. It rings true of recent harsh exchanges, of a nightmare he once had, and of course that doubt that had dogged his foot steps all day, that had finally snapped him like a twig.

There's a static pause, wherein Logan turns and curls his fingers about around the bottle of Stoli, considering a refill. Likely one enough to make him sick, drinks from the bar already mingling with the fresh shot of vodka. Wine and gin. He caps the bottle instead with a faint grimace, replacing it on the shelf. "Are you asking to me to leave?" Logan eventually asks, his voice wrestled into some semblance of casual.

It's a difficult question to answer, and one that Toru does know the answer to, but … honesty would be an admission of something or, at worst, a confession that he'd overreacted. Somehow, he's sure he won't come out looking good for it. He sits silently for a moment, elbows on knees, leaning forward, fingers entwined in his hair. A frustrated posture.

He sighs. Gulping heavily, he finally answers, just loud enough to be heard, "I'm not askin' you to leave, I'm sayin' that if you don't like it here, you don't have to stay." He is, in effect, asking Logan to have an emotional response. Gross.

With that ultimately expressed, he moves to lie down on the couch, still facing away from his boss, one arm tucked under his head to serve as a pillow. "I just miss the way things were before. I know we can't get it all back, but it.. it's just nice to pretend. I figured maybe you'd think so too. I don't know what's going on anymore."

Well as long as he's not asking. Logan rolls his shoulders, trying to loosen some of the tension beneath the fine fabric of his shirt. "Then let me break it down for you," he says, the sound of his feet against linoleum switching to the softer impact of feet against carpet. "I've lost everything, and I've not enough money to just snap my fingers and wish it all back. So I'm getting in good stead with a powerful man who can offer protection this side of the river and money enough to see me through, in exchange for a few favours here and there. It's nothing I didn't do on Staten Island for James Muldoon."

His words are patient, as if truly attempting to explain it to Toru, as he moves around to lean a hip against the back of the couch, peering over and down at the younger man, arms coming to fold. "Once that's all sorted, things will be like they were, except it won't be in the mud with the other Rookery lowlife, will it?"

A jerky shrug acts as punctuation, chin tucking in a little, sullen. "So I am trying. I don't need you to tell me I'm doing it wrong, not after today of all days."

"That wasn't how I meant it." Toru closes his eyes again, sighs. "I was just… I can't put words together great. It just.. it really isn't even all of that." He rolls onto his back, resting one hand on his chest in a vaguely catlike pose as he looks up at Logan. "I mean, I get all that. I just.. you're usually really stoic about things, and now you aren't, and.. I guess there ain't nothin' wrong with that, but I dunno how to act."

"I mean, I keep sayin' it's on account of the Dagger.. business, but dammit, it just isn't somethin' I'm used to dealin' with. So I'm tryin' to make you feel better but it ain't workin' 'cause you aren't the Logan I'm used to."

He finally lets a small smile form, though it's an awkward one, and mildly forced. A hand is tentatively offered. "I mean, shit, do you really think I'm the kinda guy to be subtle if I wanted to be a dick about all this?"

"I don't know what got into me," Logan admits, with a slight shake of his head. Emotions, sure, he has them, sometimes so loud and compulsive and passionate that reason barely stands a chance before a trigger is being pulled or a slap is being executed— but never an internal attack, nothing so inwardly destructive. Nothing like guilt. He glances down at Toru's hand, offered for the second time tonight, considering it.

Seems to make a decision, and his smile is just as forced if more convincing. "Then don't worry about dealing. I'll be fine. I always am." He allows his hand to slide into Toru's, accompanying that familiar, subtle shift in serotonin, too mild to be dizzying, not invasive enough for his eyes to glow warning green. They stay that slightly frosted over forest tone as per usual, despite the adjustment of good mood in Toru's chemicals.

"Also drank too much. 's probably all it is." The contact is pulled away before it can meld into more. "I'm going to go lie down."

Toru sits upright when Logan takes his hand, leaning against the back of the couch. There are still some residual feelings of hurt after that earlier statement, but the chemical boost does help to alleviate some. "Things'll get better. Eventually, they gotta, right?" It's mostly a rhetorical question. He gives Logan's hand a small squeeze before it's pulled away.

And for a fleeting moment, Toru almost offers to come along, but thinks better of it both due to Logan's mood and to his own. He feels a little better, yes, but not enough to offer to jump in the sack after getting somewhat of a verbal lashing.

Good enough, though, to watch Logan as he heads towards the other room and finally say, with some resignation, "It's.. just that I kinda think of you as a friend. I don't hate you as much as I hate everyone else, anyway. I don't wanna see you get fucked up."

A hand coming to rest against the door frame as Toru speaks, other drifting inwards to flick on the light switch, Logan turns back just enough to look over at him and the offered sentiment. Not sure quite what to do with it other than comb it for insult or mockability, gaze turning to study his nails on his raised hand for a few moments. Then, "Tomorrow's a new day, then. Just—

"Just do us a favour and forget tonight."

That's Logan's plan, anyway. With that, he slips around the corner, abandoning both Toru and his jacket in favour of burying himself under bed covers to sleep away the remnants of alcohol in his bloodstream, as mood altering chemical balances itself back into normalcy in Toru's nervous system. Not the most generous of parting words, but the best he can do with the material he's always worked with.

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