How Do You Miss It


hana_icon.gif logan_icon.gif

Scene Title How Do You Miss It
Synopsis Hana lays low in the wake of an attack on the government. Logan was just in the neighbourhood.
Date October 20, 2011

Primatech Paper Facility

Scorched, tagged, derelict; the abandoned Primatech facility is a monument to ruin, as is so much else around it. It is nothing but a brick shell around what used to be open floor plans, the interior now littered with a scattering of scavenged furniture that suggests transient use. Given the dust, that use likely ended quite some time ago. Less obvious is the interior door that leads underground, to a floor that was hidden by the original architects for the purposes of a Company that no longer exists; a door still watched by the unblinking eye of a camera that speaks wirelessly to computers within.

Once upon a time, this facility had been the closest thing there was to Wireless' home base. But between one thing and another, it's not so often she visits anymore; not when physical presence has become such a necessity to her dealings. Not when the Company has become a memory, bitter still, yet no longer one of the many concerns that fill her days.

She's here now. Has been for a couple of days, scouring the place for bugs, for evidence of unwanted visitors, and finally just for dust in the corners that matter (which aren't many). Now Hana sits in a room lit only by a low lamp, her legs stretched across a couch that has seen better days but is still nicer than the facility above, and regards the black screen of a powered-down computer well out of her reach. Reminiscing. Contemplating. Evaluating.

The unblinking eye of the camera at the door— blinks.

In a technical fashion, anyway. Of the adaptation of one set of abilities to a new host, switching things off is bordering on second nature for a man whose original power had much to do with just that. The closing off of receptors to stifle ability, the expression of transmitters to cause some other kind of effect. The human brain is more of a computer than he'd care to admit. And so, the camera goes dark as he steps into its range, more reflex than desire to be clever. He doesn't want record of where he goes. Particularly not the lions' den of a terrorist. Lioness.

He touches the door, then reaches out, smiles a little to himself, and— inside, Hana's phone vibrates.

Knock knock, says the text. The number of 'logan' should not exist, and yet, here we are.

Knock knock. That's what the noise that shatters Hana's reverie translates to, when she picks up the offending phone and checks its screen. Two words that could mean anything, accompanied by a third that gives them context not belonging here and pulls her lips into a sour twist.

Tossing the gadget to land with a whumph atop a nearby duffle bag, Hana hesitates in the middle of the room, looking at the space around her. At the handful of computers, some online, some off; all of them old, salvaged, serviceable. There's nothing in the way of data on them; they were portals, nothing more.

They were hers.

Armored in irritation against the man who now thinks to intrude upon her space as he has — albeit not by choice — intruded upon her ability, Hana traverses the room with energetic strides, climbing the stairs two at a time. Hesitates again at the door, before throwing the — manual, now — lock and cracking it open, narrowed eyes glancing past the man on her doorstep and then finally fixing intently on him. "Logan. Why are you here?"

Not exactly a warm welcome, but then, that's only typical.

Logan lists enough to lean a shoulder against wall so as better to make eye contact through the sliver of space. Pale eyes, wolfish focus, a thin smile. "It's my island," he says, to the tune of and I can go where I like. "Used to be, anyway."

He doesn't come empty handed, wise enough for that, but probably not wise enough for it be anything more than a flask. He pulls it from his pocket, a heavy thing with liquor sloshing about on the inside when he shakes it.

"All that hard work, and you're not thirsty?"

Alcohol is terrible for hydration.

His island. Hana lifts her chin at that, a tilt of her head producing a sidelong, slitted glance. She very nearly shuts the door then and there out of pure territorial spite; as much can be read in the twitch of muscles around her eyes, the momentary wobble in the door's position. Silence stretches thin and taut, one beat, two; the moment where a door slam would be a valid response passes.

Instead, the lioness breathes out a huff. "Used to be doesn't mean shit," says the woman who carries her grievances and losses eternally, who has never learned the art of letting go nor its cousin moving on.

That he comes with alcohol is no surprise — inevitable, rather. But Hana doesn't comment on thirst or its lack; instead, she draws in and releases another, quieter breath, then turns aside from the door, leaving the portal two inches ajar as she pads back down the stairs more sedately than she'd come. Leaves it to Logan to let himself in, and close the door behind.

Below, Hana crosses what might have been a living room if this were actually a house, leaning against a desk on the far wall — the very desk, with its silent computer, that she had been staring towards before — and projecting a far more nonchalant air than she truly feels. She doesn't bid him welcome, when Logan follows down, but she did let him in.

"And now you're going to tell me you came all the way out here for a drink?" Hana asks, half edged prompt and half challenge, because he might indeed; the trick is making her believe it.

Logan strolls in as if he'd been invited, gilt-edged and handwritten. Hefty wool coat with its leather elbow pads and deep pockets disguise— well, nothing fancy. Pared down in jeans and boots and a shirt with a nice dense weave to it. Tones of grey. All deliberate and high quality, a silver ring on his finger that denotes nothing at all. Still, a more sedate appearance than his expensive suits and satin-lining. That sort of thing attracts trouble, on the streets of E-Ville.

"You're overestimating the company I keep down the road, if you don't believe it," he says. She isn't. It's a miserable trek, honestly, getting to this fucking ruin, but perhaps there's truth in it anyway. Maybe he's overestimating her company, at that.

Doesn't act like it.

He finds a place to be. Around him, the monitors don't so much as flicker. Whatever communion he has with them goes is entirely without physical cue, but he sees enough to know they are windows only, looking out at— what he would say constitutes her island. Or used to.

He uncaps the flask. "Perhaps I came all the way out here to toast to your successes."

Nothing fancy has always described Hana, save when she chooses to exert herself; rare, that is, and always a lie. Ivory shirt and black jeans, an absence of adornments; in manners and expressions too, as she watches Logan settle himself in as if he did own the place. It grates, really — just as much as not knowing what he sees in her computers, and never mind that the answer is nothing, can only be nothing.

That underlying tension holds her shoulders square, her spine stiff; nonchalance wears thin. "Down the road, is it?" Hana echoes, looking askance at him. Circling, if only figuratively. "Just what company are you expecting that to be?" It could be a leading question, but doesn't hit that note; Hana's not wont to fish in that way. She doesn't shade the words with accusation, either, doesn't fill between the lines with automatic suspicion. That's something.

"Successes," on the other hand, is echoed with a dry, self-deprecating edge. She looks away then, at a wall devoid of window or screen, an interminable distance beyond. "I suppose you could say that," Hana adds, pushing herself off the desk, striding restlessly across the room. Across, and when she runs out of that direction, around, until they're no longer lounging in separate quadrants but face to face, the woman halting just out of arm's reach.

Mmhm. Successes. These terrorists, and their strange victories designed to make everything a little worse for someone.

"Down the road," is what Logan chooses to echo back to her. Eyebrows up, talking in conversational conspiracy. "Close enough to hear it all. If the big bangs weren't enough to shake everyone out of their beds, they blared the sirens. They thought we'd be under attack of some sort. Security — the Homeland kind — out in force. Guns in hands, turned inwards, not out."

He offers her the flask, a distance away enough that she has to dip her hand into the territory between them. "What's a job well done when it's not a success, then?" Questions as to what kind of company go ignored, for the moment. In the air that smells of dust and water damage, he's brought in the muskiness of on foot travel through the damp, and cologne.

In another world, Hana might sympathize with the tragedy of Logan's interrupted sleep, of 'security' forces watchdogging the wrong direction; in this one, her regard remains level, her expression neutral. Of course there were disruptions. In neither world is an apology for them apt to be forthcoming.

She remains still a moment, then reaches for the flask; frames it between both hands and holds it without drinking. What is it, indeed. Hana's gaze flicks past Logan, her expression momentarily distant; remembering something, perhaps. Not for long; a moment later, she refocuses on the man who is actually here now, smiling thinly. The expression doesn't reach her eyes, doesn't temper the resentment lurking there; there's no warmth in it.

"Just a job, perhaps," is said almost conversationally, albeit with the same cynical edge as before; "I can't do the ones that matter, anymore" is bitter, thorned, those thorns for once turned inward rather than out.

More than she meant to say, really; Hana pivots, turning her shoulder to Logan, her gaze towards the door. The profile of her expression is stiff, a mask of skin over bone. She seems already to have forgotten the flask, even having only just taken it.

Coming here, expecting apology, would be even more useless than looking for company.

The strong scent of liquor identifies itself. Bourbon. American. Hard to get, in his neck of the woods, and speaking of. Logan considers her, thinks about what he might have done. The subtle release of serotonin, massaging people into malleability. Failing that, he's handed her some liquor tha she's yet to drink from. Micro-decisions and impulses, unanalysed. She'd snarled at him before, when he'd lost his shit, once: that he didn't know who she was.

Which was true.

But he's getting to, on the increase.

"Spy games," he says, filling in the blanks. Seeing her turn that abrasiveness inwards is an interesting thing to see, like a flash of bare skin. Logan moves, then, a swish of dense wool and leather, and moves towards the nearest monitor, still idling. He lays a hand across the screen, unnecessary, but it's how he used to work. He was always better with his hands on. "There's always someone on the other end of one of these things. How do you miss it? Like a person? Or a habit? A limb?"

The emphasis isn't intentional, but there. He misses his.

He moves; she doesn't. She tracks his progress by sound and by subliminal awareness, by sheer sensitivity to the other within her space. There's a computer near where he stops, Hana knows full well; she swishes the liquor in its flask without looking back, and finally takes a sip. She doesn't want to think about her power, his access; can't not.

Especially since that's naturally where the conversation goes. A person, a habit, a limb. Silence descends again as Hana takes a second sip of bourbon, mulling over the options she was presented; as she finds them all lacking. The only words she really feels to fit — Hana glances over at Logan, at the wholly unnecessary contact he maintains with the monitor. Weighing what she wants to say, how much more she wants to reveal to — to whatever Logan is these days.

It's the weight in his voice that tips the balance, the glimpse of a mirror image, a matching sense of loss. Or alike enough, anyway; her version of the digital world is uniquely tangled. Hana pads across the room, extending the flask back towards its owner. "Family," she says at last, soft, somber, sincere; a single word that reveals more than a little about her worldview.

Leaning a hip against the desk, the woman shakes her head a bit, breathes out. She could say more; doesn't.

Logan removes his hand from the monitor, accepting back the flask. Seems to weigh that offered word, to taste it in his mouth when he takes a swig of bourbon, tongue swiping against the back of his teeth. He decides, immediately, that he has no empathetic understanding of what she means, until — traitorously — his subconscious reminds him of forged family, not blood, the strange loneliness of being surrounded by people he can only understand less than skin deep, and he almost does.

No heroic designs here, though. All selfish, all the time.

"I likened it a bit to when you have something bespoke dry cleaned the first time," he says, after he's allowed the silence to weigh the room. Comfortably irreverent, crisp consonants, feather-light cadence. "The process, you know, is meant to preserve the integrity of the textile, but you can always tell it don't wear the same way as it once did."

Teeth, a smile to the canines. It's like missing a person, a habit, a limb. All three, as far as he's concerned. The loneliness, and the itch, and the phantom impression when he forgets it's not there.

He offers back the flask.

…dry cleaning. Hana looks askance at Logan, her expression incredulous, disbelieving. Dry cleaning. That toothy smile gives a layer of context to his words, hints at deeper sentiments she would recognize, but it doesn't change the fact that the surface irreverance is just so very… very… alien.

She takes the flask, because it's there, because it's something to do. Looks down at the vessel, brushing a thumb across the metal curve of it. Dry cleaning. The woman huffs something that approaches amusement, swallows down another mouthful of liquor. Two. "I can't imagine valuing a piece of cloth that much," she observes, extending the flask. Not that he needs to be told; he knows well enough what Hana wears.

Hana turns slightly, her back to the desk, hands braced at its edge. "Not wearing the same, though…" That resonates, in a way the value of purely material things does not. Things changed. Missing. Lost. Hana has long defined herself by her losses, and not in the combative sense. She closes her eyes, breathes out.

"I'm not going to leave it like this," the woman adds a beat later, a declaration of intent to the open space of the room, to the man beside her, mixed up with her.

The declaration of intent is not a surprise, but it does feel like a tug of a fish hook, embedded in flesh. Slightly painful, a reminder both of the way it's attached and where it leads. Discomfort, even, seems to glimmer beneath the surface in the way Logan subtly shifts his weight. The shine of having evoked something that approaches amusement sobering, just a little.

He remembers that the process itself had been violent. He can't imagine that the fix will be easy. That he will have an option as to the level of his participation.

But it's also inevitable.

"And then everything will be like it was," he says, and now moving, taking the flask as he goes. Putting his body between Hana and the rest of the room, the desk behind her. Close, of course, because in people's personal space is where Logans like to be. Here, he'd be working his magic, but he has no magic to work, just the kiss of bourbon on her mouth. It doesn't mean there isn't a glint of predator in his eye, above where jackal smile is mostly gone, but remains as a hint at the corners of his mouth. "Out of each others' hair."

Hana's paying too much attention to the silence after her words; knows it, can't help it. Is aware on some subconscious level when he shifts, even though she's not looking, refuses to look. There's a texture to the silence that hangs between them, one she cannot decipher without turning, except perhaps to label it as something more disquieted than in accord. She hadn't quite expected that. Wasn't at all sure what she had expected instead.

However, she's none too surprised when he moves, two steps and a turn, because it is so very characteristic: they wind up here nearly every single time, the jackal fencing the lioness in. It's equally characteristic for Hana to react by meeting that predatory glint head-on, surrendering nothing to the intrusion into her space. Less typical is the way she studies his tone, expression, the angles of his face and posture; it's easier, safer, more comfortable than turning that scrutiny inward. Several beats of silence pass before her lips quirk sideways. "Didn't you just say, nothing goes back the same?"

Hana lifts a hand, reaches for the flask at the edge of her view, and never mind that he hasn't taken his turn to drink. Rests its base on the desk behind her, though she doesn't quite let go. The smile widens, more tooth and edge than geniality. "You're going to give up infringing on my space just because you won't be able to track me across the city anymore?"

Her words are very much more challenge than invitation, but… maybe not just that.

"No," he says, like he's thinking about it, when she puts it like that, "that doesn't sound like me."

In Logan Land, it almost doesn't matter. Challenge and invitation are the same thing. She takes the flask and he surrenders that much, all the better to set his fingertips on the edge of the desk on either side of her. Open to study, her finding safety in analysis turned outward and him finding comfort in being predictable. He'd never been at his best, with her — and if he's being honest, he hasn't been at his best since his Staten Island kingdom burned down, forever accumulating bruises and sleep debt — so there's no reason to read into tired shadows at his eyes or the slightly inconsistently shaved grain of dark blonde on his cheeks, his throat.

But he did put on cologne. And he does kiss her anyway. It's the smile that reads like a green light when most people might take a hint in the word infringing, but those people aren't Logan, nor, he reckons, do they try to kiss Hana Gitelman.

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