Gossipy Fuckers


logan_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title Gossipy Fuckers
Synopsis Teo does some business on Cardinal's behalf, managing to find the one thing more important to Logan than a vendetta: himself.
Date December 17, 2010

A Gay Fight Club Bar

It isn't quite a gay fight club, but there are gay fight DVDs playing on the giant, scarred televisions. Muscle pornography or something.

Teo doesn't know the terminology for it, despite that the ghost probably used to. He doesn't now if there were just problems with the copy of him that was dubbed over at the Institute's holdings, or if he'd simply— forgotten, the way that humans do. But he knows this place well enough despite not having been here before. The stage, tall ceiling, dark couches. Gogo boys with their tiny variously-colored briefs. Colorful lights lancing through the fogged air.

They aren't the immaculately groomed frat boys or the… the— how do you say? Chickenhawks who come here, not like on Manhattan with its carefully-preserved illusion of persisting civilization and culture. No, this is where you go for three-dollar beers, to get laid, to get in the mood for that by seeing high-definition erections flicker due to bad wiring, or maybe where to wake up peeling your face off the floor, sore and unsatisfied, when a bouncer kicks you awake at dawn.

He wore some pretty fucking shapeless stuff and made sure his wallet is zipped up inside his jacket before he came over, balancing carefully on the smeared slush of the entrance. Hands in his pockets, pale eyes in a squint underneath the erratic glint of cheap lasers. These places have names without logos or even particular signage. He'd had to figure it out from the phone number printed on the matchbook where Logan had dropped it on the pavement outside his private shithole.

There are some wonderland rabbit holes most people inclined to follow Logan— including but not limited to Sasha Kozlow, Tess Winslow, Nicole Nichols and once, Richard Cardinal— will dare not travel. This may be one of them.

Teo first sees Logan on his way from bathroom to bar, weaving a little with unnecessary looseness in his limbs. Doing well on a helping of molar-crunched codeine, the Brit hasn't been here very long, isn't inclined to stay very long. In contrast to a New York winter, it's clammily warm both inside and under his leather jacket, the rest of his garb not the pinnacle height of gaudy fashion save for some shine in his shirt and the hidden label of his jeans. Unlike some of the objects of attraction on television screens, he is rangier limbed. Sullen.

A three dollar beer is purchased, bartender obligingly twisting the cap off for him before passing it over. Club light reflects off leather and salon gold, a silver thumb ring. Logan expects to be watched, but not for the same reasons as why he is now.

Sometimes, paranoia is currency enough that you can even pay back paranoid people by helping them out with this kind of thing. Teo stares at the Englishman for a long moment after finding him, and is so absorbed in his speculative examination that he doesn't even notice when a pair of pretty little twinks slide by him, look up from his butt to see his face, and then grimace. The past month has taken its toll on him. He's still pretty by a lot of standards, but the shadows under his eyes and stubble on his chin is suited better for a desperate, fumbling fuck in a dive bar bathroom than a club with a marked room full of soft furniture.

He goes over and plunks himself down on the stool beside Logan. Has a hand inside his jacket, hint hint, but no gun showing: that's bad manners if you have no specific, concrete intention of using it. It's a little loud here, but the bartender has wandered off to negotiate how many shots one of the gogo boys should be allowed to consume before his shift is over. "Hey," he says, thumbing his hood back to stare. "I've been looking fucking everywhere for you, John."

It's louder in here for Logan than it is for others. Fortunately for him, it's a different plane of noise altogether, and has since learned to understand the difference between analogue and digital, and this doesn't make him any better at multitasking. Still. He hears Teo, around when he's tilting back a few swallows of cheap beer, the off-blonde grain along his jaw communicating maybe there is something desperately wrong if John Logan has ceased to shave every day. Existential identity— things—

He stops drinking and jerks beer bottle away, neatly flipping it rights again as he darts a quick and somewhat alarmed stare the Italian's way. He shifts his focus over Teo's shoulder to see what blackup was brought with him, but sees only machine-produced fog and pink lights bouncing off the shapes of it, and the Mediterranean ponytail he'd been watching some few moments ago.

"You're a bloke again," is said instead of, maybe you should have started here, and, why?

"Usually, I try to be," Teo says honestly enough! It's true. Having a vagina sounds uncomfortable the way that Casper talks about it. Not that there's anything wrong with vaginas. There are many things very right about vaginas, in fact, but when you're used to the other thing, it goes missed. Not that that's the point, of course. How many of those beers did Logan have before he got here? Can't smell liquor at this distance, or not through the cigarettes and the adultered sweetness of the fog machine.

And cheap cologne, pretzels, semen-breath. Heh heh. Christ, no wonder Teodoro Laudani hated everything by 2019; it's a bit awful in here, and the scrag of John Logan's chin might lead a man to wonder if it isn't contagious. "You look a little rough. It looks recent, though; I think it'll go away. Fade." He's never seen it not fade except for Abigail, Kazimir, and Allegre, and that was this whole other thing. Granted, they still look wore out or crazy after they got their abilities back, but Teo isn't wont to elaborate. Living in New York makes you worn out and crazy.

"Come sit," he invites, reasonably brightly, for a man who looks like melancholy wound up and punched him in either eye recently. "I got some E— you can lure somebody better than ponytail over with it."

Sliver of tooth shows with a curl of lip, designed to communicate how much Logan values Teo's assessment of how he looks, which is— somehow usually the first order of business always with their discourse. The Brit does make it easy, with his usually immaculate efforts. And when Teo offers him E, the first thing he does is snort disdainfully, instinct over remembering what he does and does not have available to him — even if he can sense the other man's cellphone in his pocket like it was glowing through his pants as bright as the UV collar someone several seats down from them is sporting.

The stool next to Teo rattles as Logan nudges it with an ankle, settling atop it and casting a look towards ponytail. "I have a better class of drug available to me, but thanks for the assist," though Logan doesn't sound very thankful. <:/ "Why were you looking for me?"

The gun in Teo's grip is released when the bartender comes nearer, swapped out for a wad of bills. Not a wallet. He is too cautious to take out his whole wallet. He orders a beer too, and clasps his hands on his lap in order to study the Englishman and whatever expression has taken over the front of his head since the last snort/sneer/snarl he was expending natural arrogance on. He is not tremendously surprised to realize that the sn-words are still lingering, a threat of curl to the shape of Logan's mouth.

"I was wondering why they say you're trying to have the red bird knocked off. You know, if they're smoking something, or. If there's something to it. He talks to people, you know." He curls his hand into his fist and squeezes it white-knuckled for a moment, maybe fighting off the numbing effect of cold or the urge to smoke a lot of cigarettes. Absently, "If your better class of drugs doesn't have as bad a come-down, I'd be curious about who your dealer is."

"I am the better class of drug." This muted into the round mouth of his beer bottle, Logan's eyes going hooded as he takes a lazy sip. Either lying or working on auto-pilot, or denial, too, sometimes it is denial. And also thinking over this first part, allowing for time with his elbows against the edge of the bar and a curve developing in his spine, medicated slothness. Doesn't appear to have a gun on him — the cut of his jeans and the way leather pinches around his shoulders mean that he doesn't really have anywhere to put it. He might have a knife.

He was just out for a night on the town and to fuck the first thing that doesn't have a digital device in his pocket. "As far as I~ know, the Triad want to knock the red bird off. And that's probably because he's a murdering wanker who gets his fingerprints on things he ought not to."

Teo considers this in silence for a few seconds, and then he starts to scoot his chair over. Screek-scrape-scrock, and then he settles a few disturbing inches closer, a cat's invasion of personal space. Peering into the Englishman's face. He's less careful about proximity with boys than with girls. It's more sexist than gay, actually. "You didn't hire them?" Skepticism is so unattractive on a Catholic, he knows, but maybe Logan will forgive him for that, given their history.

—well probably not, but Teo's presentation is plain and straightforward as a jackhammer, as if expecting Logan to quite honestly admit to sending squinty ninja assassins after Cardinal and give a bullet list of reasons when asked. Lie slash auto-pilot slash denial is permitted to persist futilely in the void of Logan's existence for now. Dryly, Teo says, "I don't think we're in any position to be using 'murdering' and 'wanker' as denigrations, signor."

Without regard to sexism or gayness, or maybe special tribute to both depending on the circumstance, personal space is sort of Logan's thing, for all that his stare does go flinty and his posture rigid when Teo gets all close and accusatory. Fingers hooking hard around the body of glass beer bottle as if waiting for attack, hand drifting to rest high on his own thigh like there's a pocket with a gravity blade not far away from there. Then, his mouth curves into a smirk, a wicked pull that makes punctuation in the haughty angles of his face.

"What's it to you?" he probes back gently. His breath is warm, carries stale smoke and beer, and curls near Teo's ear when he lists a little to the side to direct his words directly to it. "I mean, didn't I have him on the floor at one stage, bleeding and dying, and didn't you watch it happen?"

As long as neither bottle nor knives come flying at Teo's head, he appears largely copacetic. Just all space-invadey, the football hooliganism of his youth rearing up to the foreground of his behavior. "A little, sure," he says. "But that was before he made friends with a sociopathic tiny gerbil-man who can read the probabilities and patterns of events that can span continents and focus in as narrow as a given death. He changed. Maybe. Maybe he didn't and he always had a little bit of that." The Sicilian reaches into his jacket again, but this time it's cigarettes, is all. With a lighter.

"Anyway, I'm checking up on him." In the phone aglow in his pocket, there isn't a single text message to be found— no call history, but under the contacts, there are initials, BH, a phone number registered under the name of one Elisabeth Harrison and a recent call enough, a few weeks ago. A constellation of information that Logan may or may not have the knowhow, knowledge, and sobriety to go sniffing for and extrapolate from. Whether or not that would be inculpating at all. (Teo isn't lying, of course.)

(Edward fucking Ray. You'd have to be an idiot to trust a categorical padawan of his.) "I'm allowed to change my mind." A pull of beer, and a steam of carbonation like a feather plumes up inside.

"I'm allowed not to."

A look up and down from his limited vantage point, before Logan retracts those several inches and turning more towards the bar to slouch comfortably against it. His hands remain free of blades, and one curls around the neck of his beer bottle, a rhythmic tensing of knuckles. It'd probably be a little high profile to try and kill Teo in a room full of homos with a mostly full beer bottle, very likely to make the evening news, even in this city. A tick of tension working in his jaw, making a deeper hollow beneath a cheekbone.

He takes another swallow of liquor instead. He doesn't remember how that sociopathic tiny gerbil-man once stayed the night in his brothel. It's been a long time. "If I did put a hit out on him, and you dunno why, then you dunno Cardinal. And I dunno why I should fucking enlighten you."

Teo cocks his head like a hawk. It's probably a somewhat annoying thing to watch him do, speaks of patience and arrogance that could reasonably easily be wiped off the front of his head with a judicious rake of a smashed bottle. Everybody applaud Logan's restraint! This Teo has spent enough time with his cheek gouged open, thanks. "If you know some shit about Cardinal that's so bad you think he deserves to die, I don't see why you think the fewer people know about it the better," he points out. "Enough people think you deserve to die.

"Logic? Social savvy. You're a people person, you know how it works." He exhales smoke through his nose like a bitchy dragon, blinking absently at the bartender for a moment before deciding he doesn't actually care about reading what's silkscreened into the front of the guy's briefs. How can he merely be wearing briefs? It isn't that warm in here, though that thought reminds him to glance at John again. See if he's sweating. See if he's— whatever. "Come on. Why the fucking slapfight? Christ. Is it personal?

"Did he rape you?" Staring chilly into Logan's eyes now, as if his pupils are readable at all in this fucking light. "Favor for a friend? Trying to cut off the foot he's dangling into the Timestream? Squaresoft reference," he adds.

Logan is, now. Checking Teo's phone. A hand drifts up to soothe some headache developing between his primly shaped eyebrows, rifling clumsily through the information available, considering pinging texts off the numbers stored inside just for a lark but decides against it. Later, if Teo thinks to check through his own message history, he'll find that he mysteriously!! sent a blank text message to a phone he does not recognise, kept for later. For now, that's as much as Logan is willing to do, effort-wise.

He is sweating, a little, but that's more to do with the constant pressure of the Internet on his brain, and the mixing of painkillers and booze. "Unless you want to take the job yourself— " Logan gives up on this new measure of snark, mouth going into a line before he takes a deeper pull of beer. Absently settles his eyes, dully, on the nearest television screen without really taking notice of African American abs flexing on low definition footage. It would be nice for it to be more exciting.

There are better videos on the Internet.

"It's underworld shit. He was using a colleague of mine to profit from Daniel Linderman getting toppled. Brought in some big shot mob boss from Chicago to break some property, I dunno what else, even Zarek didn't let me in very closely. Zarek got wiser, in the end, and we put out the hit. Zarek got killed on the 8th of November, and I think Cardinal did it. I haven't gotten around to calling off the hit yet. Why, you think I should? Maybe buy him some flowers while I'm at it?"

This, spoken with a sort of facetious earnestness, pallid eyes focused on Teo and communicating not much but icy contempt. "His little firm already got a fair slice of Zarek's money, after his death. Gardenias might be overkill."

That is a great deal simpler than most of the things angry little gerbil men have ever been involved in, and somewhat more complicated than what he'd (perhaps unflatteringly) regarded as the most probable motive: curmudgeonly vendetta. Granted, killing-people-for-fun didn't seem a lot more likely than the alternatives. Teo blinks. He doesn't look exceptionally surprised when blinking. After a moment, he twists his mouth, and then eyes the Englishman for a protracted moment.

Hhhh. His boyfriend was abducted and ditched through time. He could be working up a lovely case of eye-strain over crumbly ancient documents nobody cares about anymore instead of doing this. … :( Life as a ninja used to be somewhat more illustrious for both of them, it'd seem. "Yeah, you should. He knows about the hit. He's talking about the hit. Some of his people would hit you in the face with a semi sooner than advise on fucking flower arrangements." A beat. "Sorry about Zarek. I think you guys had awhile to get to know each other."

Before the ghost towed Logan over to the Lindergoons by the scuff of his neck, anyway. And speaking of that! Sicily has the good grace to mutter, "I guess I wasn't a very good life coach." Rookery's still standing. Linderman isn't.

"I've money. A few assets. Don't feel too bad." Like don't strain a heart string, or anything. Logan rolls his vision ceilingwards as he tips back more beer, snags his attention on something pretty in PVC drifting by, before centreing his focusing once more and inspecting his own nails, and Teo, in his periphery. "Somehow I don't think calling off the chinks will land me in their good graces, and if by doing so I'd by myself some time by becoming irrelevant— "

He swings beer bottle a little, as if contemplating it. "It won't last. Besides, you never know, maybe they'll actually kill him." Logan laughs, then, somewhat bitterly but no less genuinely, expressive lines at his mouth, at his eyes, more youth than encroaching mark of thirty. He flatters himself more when he actually smiles — unfortunately more taken with smirks, harder cynical expressions.

Wanders his attention to Teo's cigarettes. Addict. "How'd you hear about it?"

Generosity. Teo offers the Englishman one. Cigarette, that is. "Doing him a favor, in case I need another one." Light, too. Crick-crack, the tiny wheel goes under the Sicilian's callused thumb. Have some lung cancer, 's generous. "Chinese aren't as well-equipped to hunt him as he is to hunt you. C'mon," cajoling. He doesn't have dimples, but his teeth are even and clean and white. "We can make a deal out of it, even. There has to be something you want. Not that you look— wanting." There's too much brightness to the smile that cuts across Teo's shadowed face at that. He's a bit of a jerk, this one. It's been said and shouldn't be unsaid, even if he isn't trying to screw Logan particularly.

"I don't know what it is you can't get here, but I figure there must be something. I'm pretty decent at finding shit. Or even getting some of your old stuff to you, if that's worth calling off a fucking hit squad to you." Teodoro Laudani: fetch and carry, errand boy extraordinaire. At least Francois isn't around to see this.

"I'm sorry, you're doing this as a favour for Cardinal, am I hearing that correctly?" This, spoken around cigarette filter, having paused on much partaking to listen with an incredulously narrowed stare, smoke gently burning off nonchalant and adding to the smoke machine, garish lights, interruption of loud music. Head up from where he'd ducked for the flame. Logan possibly isn't looking to make deals, judging by his reserve and abandonment of negotiatory wiles — the exchange he was after in this nameless place is probably simple enough.

He breathes smoke out his nostrils. "He, what, had you go out've your way to find me to ask me politely? Try to spin a deal when you've not even thought about what to bring to the table to make me say yes? You're barking. And insulting. I'd do better favours for you than he ever would." Logan might tip a wink there if he were feeling better. He at least allows the corner of his mouth to curve up slightly.

No you're not!! Okay yeah, Logan heard correctly. Teo doesn't even have the good grace to look contrite about this bit of truth. His eyes shift to follow that upward twist to the corner of the Englishman's mouth, before levelling back on his face again.

"I'm sincere," Teo corrects him, palming the lighter, before flipping its small container over his fingers, thumb, forefinger, playing them along like piano keys, until he runs out of digits and catches it instead. Cheap plastic thing, but it serves as something for him to occupy his fidgets with. A casual glance up, and the bartender's still yelling at that poor kid about how his bonbon shakes-per-minute scale down whenever he's had more than two beers in him.

"How about negation drugs, bambino?" See? asks the expressive splay of his long fingers. Sincerity. They even come up under Logan's chin in a moment, a thumb and forefinger splaying around the angle of his bristly jaw, taking a grip there if the gripping isn't immediately bitten or slapped or ducked away, tugging his head around to see. Then, maybe because he's had a bit to drink, "I don't see a higher class of that around, lately."

Eyes remain their dull ice-green as they do when Logan's ability isn't in play — the only effect Hana Gitelman's power has on his eyes is making him look stoned. Right now, there is frozen anger reflected back at the Italian, which matches the way Logan goes still on his perch, cigarette tucked up near his knuckles and jaw tense against Teo's callused fingers. Swallows around a dry, smoky throat, and tugs away from that grip, dropping his stare instead on the burning end of his cigarette.

"Tell me how you know a thing like that." His voice huskier from the volume he takes, which is low, beneath the music and conversation; smoke; and an element of defeat as well as that anger put on reserve, vaguely misdirected. The cunt in question is Tyler Case('s body), not Teodoro Laudani, in the end.

"People are gossipy fuckers. Maybe not you." Teo's fingers fold back inward, fall fisted to the top of the bar. He isn't blinking very much either. Not enough for this lighting and all the particulates in the air. Cigarette's in his other hand now, wiggling briefly, sending ash downward and smoke curling upward, until he stubs it out into the trash can among its crumbling ancestors all of a sudden, on impulse. Dismissing that. His shoulders hunker up and the side of his shoe goes knock-knock-knock on the stool leg near his ankle. "You don't really expect me to get more specific than that.

"Anyway, I hope you don't feel insulted anymore. I did think about it a little." He plugs the nozzle of his beer bottle into his mouth, tips it back, and the rest of it's gone in one, two pulls of the bone in his throat, before it meets the counter again with a chilly clink, not— deliberately trying to add insult to injury. If he were frinkle, it'd have an awkward quality of fidget to it. It feels rude, somehow, to stare at a mutant who just got his power pissed on and switched in for porn, instant messages, and encrpytions he wouldn't be fucked to learn to crack.

There is benefit to the offer. Good night's sleep. Not needing to ask Abby instead. Logan watches Teo finish his beer, and then follows suit, mouth pinching once he's done and setting the emptied beer bottle aside. "I didn't take her to be the gossipy kind." There would be hurt in Logan's voice, although it's difficult to tell if it's affect, or unfair, edging his words roughly and resentfully. Bitch. How the world got to get so fucking small while Logan wasn't looking, he won't ever know—

"Soon as you give me a week's worth, I'll call the chinks off. Or try to. I'm convincing, when it comes to making people think it's in their best interest to kill someone, you know." His closes his mouth around cigarette filter, and the lit tip flares bright orange and burns paper with vacuumed ferocity.

Would it help to know that Teo is her padawan? In the traditional Dark Jedi sense? Probably not. The Sicilian watches the other man sidelong for a few seconds, and supposes that he doesn't quite feel moved to reassure him about the limitations of Hana's communications regarding their respective states. "I don't know who the fuck you're talking about," he answers, technically a lie. He jabs his fingers at the brown bottle, sends it skittering dangerously close to the edge of the counter, but he doesn't look up. Puts his hand out, instead, callused palm turned sideways, fingers cordially splayed.

Logan knows what to do. "Four days' doses first, three when Cardinal's ass has been clear for two weeks." He hikes his fuzzy, friendly-looking eyebrows expectantly.

"The only other person who could have possibly told anyone, is all." No one special. Someone who might come across an angry Englishman in an abandoned railway station, soon.

Neither here nor there. Logan slides a resentful look sidelong at the offered hand. Then, he swaps cigarette over and places his skinnier hand into Teo's — scarred knuckles and a politician's grip doing something to make the exchange masculine and undainty despite the mildly too long cut of nails dimpling skin near the Sicilian's wrist. "And send him my love," he adds. There is no serotonin flutter of a good deal made in Teo's system. Probably there wouldn't have been one even if Logan could.

"It's not over," he advises, with a subtle lift of his chin as he goes to steal his hand back.

Teo stares at that anger for a few long seconds. Interrupts his stare with an eventual blink, releasing John's hand, and then sucks in a sigh deep enough to lift his shoulders.

What on Earth some mong like John Logan thinks he's doing, having the right— to be angry at Hana Gitelman is beyond him. Insofar as that he doesn't really want to know, doesn't really want to wonder— what circumstances under which their abilities had been switched. Falling out of touch has its pros as well as apparently a whole lot of wildly unexpected cons. "I'll call you in a couple days to set up a drop." He pulls out his cellphone and, quaintly enough, hands it over.

Just in case Logan's changed his number or something. Set up an E-mail address he accesses only with his mind powers. Hana's old tricks.

Logan glances down at the phone and declines to physically take it. A raise of an eyebrow has the miniature screen lighting up like magic — possibly showing off a little bit, unwilling to be painted a victim in all ways. The contact listing opens, a number is input. It's not very creative. 56426 spells Logan on a keypad, if one were to check, but it serves its purpose with not an entirely unwise simplicity.

"Don't try calling it," he says, remaining where he is with the expectation that Teo is wise enough to piss off soon. "But feel free to drop me a text." Sharkish smile.

Quiet for a moment, insofar as 'quiet' isn't a tremendously relevant term with the subwoofers going thunka-thunk-thunka-thunk in the background and the smog making a pall so thick you can practically chew on it. Teo preferred version of the victim in all ways, at least, insofar as that Hana's gift has strong associations, for him, with Hana, and Hana was as more kinds of predator than you could shake your stick at. Without expecting to have your hand bitten off to the fucking elbow, anyway.

"Nice trick, England," doesn't sound like Teodoro thinks it's very nice in the end. But he is standing up, running a coarse hand briefly through his hair, pulling his jacket collar up to cover his neck. "Buona notte." He hides his hands in his pockets, turns in time to catch a face full of mustard yellow fluorescence. Ponytail glances past him at Logan's skinny hangdog sit.

"Merry Christmas." Maybe because Teo's Italian kind of sounds like a seasonal greeting or, you know. It is that time of year. Logan crosses a leg over the other as he watches the other man depart, nothing particularly predatory or speculative in the stare drilling between shoulderblades — not predatory by the standards of the club. Takes on a different intent by the time he's meeting eyes across the club with Ponytail, who probably won't be getting Logan's number, but won't need it either.

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