From Russia, With Love


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Scene Title From Russia, With Love
Synopsis Another one of Team Charlie's loved ones finds herself targeted by Dreyfus' people.
Date March 8, 2010

A Nightclub, NYC

To celebrate her newly obtained health- that cold just refused to go away for the longest time!- Delilah has forgone going to take care of surely ill children in favor of getting some time for herself. Sure, it looks selfish when you read it, but when you aren't exactly looking forward to mothering people with a virus one doesn't want to get, it adds up as practical. Well, it would, if it didn't already apply. The less anyone knows, the more it hurts later.

Her dress is not particularly short, and her lips are not very red; Delilah is not trolling, she is just out while she can be. The weather is getting more frigid and more of a hindrance for everyone. Though it is odd, for this time of year, Delilah has simply chalked it all up to bad luck and global warming. Sounds like a good enough reason, right? At one point or another, the young woman finds herself in the restroom of the club, having found that the lipstick she'd thought to not rub off has. It doesn't hurt to wash her hands while she's in there, so she does this before perching her handbag under part of the long mirror in front of her. It reflects the ladies room, the neutral navy blue of floor tiles and stall doors washing the background out against the lighter walls. The blues contrast with her presence in the mirror, and the black dress cuts clean silhouettes and stark lines with the paler quality of her skin and the sheen of her red curls. Polished nails on slender fingers dig inside the lip of her purse for a tube of opaque lip gloss.

When the door to the bathroom opens, it momentarily increases the volume of the music that had until a few moments ago had been struggling to permeate the wall. Bass resonates the loudest, creates strange vibrations in the air — visiting clubs like these gives Delilah insight into how some audiokinetics must experience the world. The men and the women thrashing out on the dance floor don't hear the music as much as they feel it vibrating in the marrow of their bones and the soft, spongy muscle in the pits of their stomachs.

Delilah's ears are still in the process of adjusting when it bumps shut again, followed by the brusque sound of the lock sliding into place behind it.

She isn't here to make notes on what others do. She is here to pry open the cap of her gloss and take the brush to her lips. Delilah's ears swim with the vibrations of the music that comes into the bathroom, and her fingers are occupied with clutching the tiny brush to her mouth. The redhead leans in to carefully study how she does this, coming nearer to the mirror and peering very intently at her open lips by the time that the door closes again. A puff of an exhale mists up a spot in front of her face, and Delilah edges her portraiture up another half inch to avoid its blur.

This is the women's restroom, so it is perhaps a little bit strange — never mind alarming — when a tall, lean man appears in the mirror's reflection, dressed as though he came straight in from the alley behind the club. Vodka reek clings to the heavy wool fabric of his overcoat and the greasy curls of his light brown hair. Fine crystals of snow are visible in the bristle of his beard and on the lashes that shadows his pallid eyes, which are either palest blue or a shade of gray so light it absorbs some of the colour from the bathroom's tiles.

Cinched in the knit of his gloved fingers is a squat wrecking bar made from carbon steel and designed to be used as tool rather than a weapon, a fact that might be more reassuring if the fissure at the end of its curved point wasn't caked with gore and thin strings of somebody else's hair.

"Delilah Trafford?"

It would be an understatement to say that Delilah is surprised- she does jump in her skin when the stranger appears in the reflection of the mirror- but she also nearly jabs herself in the eye with the brush of her lip gloss, trailing a short shimmering line across the front of her cheek. To her credit, she does not immediately turn to face this man in the women's restroom. This gives her enough of a pause to curl her fingers around each half of her makeup tube. Incidentally, after this is when her brown eyes meander over the mirror to study what the man is holding.

She's familiar enough with what blood looks like by now, surely. Doubtful that he attacked a jelly-filled pinata out back. Keep it chill, Dee! The redhead lifts her eyes in the mirror, pinky finger wiping at the line of gloss on her skin as she studies him. As it turns out she does have a buffer for ratios of creepiness to purpose- not all weirdos are crazy, but somehow his tone of voice strikes her as just what it sounds like. Just what he looks like.

"Uh? Who's asking?" Usually this would be key in avoiding anything- but there is only one woman in the restroom. It comes off as simply a bad attempt at erring off track.

He turns the bar in his hand — not a full rotation, just enough for him to adjust and secure his grip, fingers stained red by the viscous trickle oozing down the length of its matte metal shaft. His face, absent of expression, watches Delilah's eyes watching his and does not change as he takes a step closer, narrowing then eliminating the short distance that remains between them.

His answer comes in the form of swift blow to the back of Delilah's skull, but rather than strike her with the hooked point of the bar, her catches her with its column. A smaller, more delicately built and fragile woman might succumb before hitting the floor, but Delilah is taller than some men and the attack — however vicious — isn't aimed to put her down permanently.

His lack of verbalization gives Delilah a second to gauge things and tense like a doe hearing a noise in the distance. In her case, it is a man with a bloody metal tool looming up behind her. Ironically, this is the very type of thing that Teo had been trying to school her on now and again. He always pinned her or bettered her- but it was Teo. This guy is no such person, nor is he someone that she trusts to pull punches. He's a stranger wielding a very real crowbar.

Delilah is more than ready to bolt away from him, but he still does have the element of surprise; the bar whacks at the back corner of her head as she turns herself to flight. She isn't able to get a forearm up to catch herself before her head glances into the long mirror. A simple attack, with a complex purpose- it does its job, in a sense. When she scrabbles a hand up to push herself hastily away from the wall, Delilah leaves a steak of red along the small crack embedded in the mirror. There's a fresh throbbing at the back of her skull, and a pinching cut on the side of her forehead, and all that echoes in her ears is that snickt of her flesh hitting the glass.

Most girls would probably take this opportunity to get away or plead for an attacker to leave them alone- well, to say the least, she isn't a shrinking violet. Somewhere in the world, a drunk Irishman stands up defiantly and throws down his shotglass to the tune of a sharp fiddle.

Here in the ladies room, Delilah finds her footing and lunges into a tackle.

Delilah's attacker hits the wall with enough force to dent and flake plaster, plowing the breath from his lungs as she drives her weight into his middle and sends them both down onto the tile. The wrecking bar creates a cacophonous clamor of metal against ceramic, breaks that too — this is a room that was designed to be attractive to customers, not to withstand a brawl in which several hundred pounds of tangled limbs go careening into things.

He coughs, and the oily mixture it dredges up is composed of equal parts blood, saliva and phlegm forming fat strings between his teeth that become visible when his lips curl around a wolfish snarl. It's a hissed expletive and by the thick, almost clumsy sound of it: Russian.

Damp fingers find purchase in the redhead's fiery ginger hair, and grabbing a clump of the stuff in his white-knuckled fist, the stranger uses it to slam her face twice into the door of the nearest stall.

Delilah's own snarling is unmistakable when she comes about face-to-face with him, and her anger only seems to boil Irishly when he grabs onto her red mane. Her head is already bleeding and pulsing from the inside out with an echo of the blunt force from moments ago. Things are dizzy around her, but somehow her eyes find the Russian out of need to find something to concentrate on.

Hairpulling is Trailer Trash 101, mister. Delilah has learned during her stint that some things are just never as important as others- if a girl is worried about pulling your hair hard enough, she probably isn't worried about what you're going to do with your hands. Or teeth. He is able to hit the door twice, though the second swing is forced less than the first, but only because Delilah is using her thighs to push her spine in the other direction. One hand claws for a purchase on his head or face, while the other set of fingers pinches deep into his wrist just before she writhes her head in his grasp to try and sink her teeth into his forearm.

Delilah's fingernails leave raw red marks across his face, and even his beard cannot protect the rough skin beneath from being split open by their edge. Incidentally, she isn't the only one with sharp teeth; as a low howl of agony building in the Russian's chest compounds the wet, haggard sound of his breathing as he twists his head to the side and catches one of the young woman's fingers in his mouth much the same way hers has clamped down on his exposed forearm, his blood bubbling up in the space between her lips.

The difference between forearm and finger, however, is demonstrated by the loud crackling sound that fills Delilah's ear when the pressure exerted by his jaw crushes the distal phalange of her left pointer but fails to rip it off in his teeth with a sharp jerk of his chin a moment later.

The hand that had been groping at her hair goes slack, and although Delilah cannot see it, she can hear the sound of the wrecking bar scraping across the tiles as he hefts it again and this time hooks it across her throat, using the weapon like a garrote to forcibly pull her back against his chest and apply steady pressure to her windpipe and carotid artery.


Lack of success doesn't amount for lack of trying- the flesh on her finger cuts open bloodily under his teeth, and the nerves there scream terribly when his right canine rips into them. It's rather like being bitten by a big Russian dog. Delilah makes a good spaniel, for how well she's been clinging onto his arm with her teeth. Seeing red, she can hear the scraping of metal on tile in the distance, but she does not register it until the chill iron is pressing hard against her neck, and her back aligns with the curve of Kozlow's ribcage. At first her hand claws in vain at his, teeth bared and gritted red between her lips. The cut on her head bleeds freely down the side of her face, pooling slightly at the corners of her eye and mouth, dampness in the strands of hair near it. A superficial wound- it looks worse than it is- but somewhere in her head is the knowledge that there is contusion blooming under her hair, and it is likely worth a damn good concussion.

Delilah's voice is mostly spittle when the crowbar finds her throat, and the air comes out as a splurt of sound. It doesn't take an immense amount of time to choke the consciousness out of someone, really, but it might be sufficiently distracting when the victim is reaching down to punish your nether-regions.

A shrill noise leaks out the gaps between the Russian's bloodied teeth, but the fist closed around the his testicles has the opposite effect of what Delilah intends. Instead of growing lax, his grip on the bar only tightens, and so does the amount of force it exerts on the Englishwoman's throat. Darkness swims in the corners of her vision — when she blinks her eyes, blood sticks to her lashes and forms a natural adhesive that binds them together, making it difficult to see what's two feet in front of her, never mind the ceiling over their heads as he angles hers back, back, back

The last thing she'll hear before losing consciousness is the rasp of his breath hissing in her ear, accompanied by the warmth of his body pressing against hers and the wet heat of his mouth in the wild curls of dark red hair at the nape of her neck as he buries his face against it, turning away from the pain.

If nothing else, Delilah will be able to leave him with a painful memory and a purple crotch. She twists as hard as she can until her oxygen supply runs short, and the world turns literally a foggy shade of red. Delilah doesn't know if she's going to wake up from this- it's a painful truth- she only knows that much as the space around her wobbles with uncertainty.

She also knows that there is little more reason to this than the fact this Russian man wants to hurt someone else through her. It's not her fault that he wants to hurt her. Nothing personal, when it began. It was impersonal and vicious, and completely unprovoked save for one unchangeable, unknowable fact: John Logan pegged her to be hunted down.

The temperature of his presence is misleading; the last things that she can notice before passing out are the throbbing of his heart inside of his torso- a drumbeat thrumming at her spine- and the intangible breath seeping into the roots of her hair. Physically, Sasha is warm as a man ought to be, but the barren iciness of his spirit is one to rival Winter.

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