Pack Mentality


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Scene Title Pack Mentality
Synopsis John Logan confronts Kain Zarek about his summoning of Gideon d'Sarthe to New York City, and while Logan questions Kain's sanity, Kain pays Logan back for a prank Logan helper perpetrate on his apartment while he was away.
Date August 15, 2010


Tourists come here, threaten to white-wash out the ethnic crush of crowd but never by enough, and Logan could well be one of them, at least on paper. In practice, there is a comfort with which he steps out from the squat basement-having Chinatown store, through painted door with incomprehensive Chinese characters marked along its border, some meeting or affirmation concluded. It's dusk by now, having slept away the middle of the day like a vampire, though sunlight still lights the west on fire.

Oh my goodness what a busy week it's been, fiddle-dee-dee.

It's raining, too, which he hadn't completely counted on — but only a light drizzle that he can tolerate. He did not wear suede today, after all. Jeans, formal leather shoes of the handcrafted variety, a black T-shirt and a white linen three-quarter coat with some design in the swoosh of its collar, left to hang unbuttoned and probably concealing some kind of rig beneath it, the way his hand ducks beneath the fabric to adjust a strap at his shoulder. A palm reaches, turns up to the sky to test the fine, fine mist of falling water in the stifling warm air, then twists that wrist to observe the time on a silvery, expensive watch.

Being busy becomes him. Healthy and alert, unharmed, unidle, which is about as close to happy as John Logan gets, really. He waits for Kain on the curb and denies himself a cigarette that he doesn't really need anyway.

Kain's smoking it for logan. The black-papered Djarum cigarette that is poised between Kain's lips has a faint peppery scent to it, the distinctive aroma of a tobacco-clove hybrid is drowned out by the smell of grease, fried meat and sweat that makes up much of Chinatown's crowded streets in the middle of summer. Wet dog is also an unfriendly smell to add to the mix, but that Kain Zarek has a four-legged companion instead of a two-legged companion with him is likely to blame for that.

It's more of a wolf than a dog, though don't tell that to animal control. What Kain Zarek is leading in skittish approach to Logan's perch on the curb is silver in fur with a marbled black and gray patterning to her fur. Green eyes stare up to the dapper-dressed man on the wolf's approach, bushy tail down and ears flat, eyes wide and clearly not liking being out in the open like this.

Kain's smiling, this can't be good.

"Well hey there John-boy, you're lookin' dapper ain'cha?" Leather jacket and plum-colored button down shirt finds Kain well outside of his suit and tie comfort zone, the jeans he wears may be expensive but unusually casual for the typically Mobster-chic thug.

Running his one free hand through rain-soaked blonde hair, Kain offers Logan a crooked smile while his lips try to keep that cigarette in place. "What's the word?" Sure, he doesn't explain the wolf hybrid, because that would be the expected thing to do. The dog, in turn, begins creeping towards Logan in a low crouch, nose up and eyes angled towards the Brit.

Logan isn't much of a dog person, or a cat person, or a goldfish person, or a potted plant person. Basically anything that needs semi-regular nourishment and companionship. Needless to say, he's not greeting the giant wolf puppy, his hands having come to settle on narrow hips enough to show the hint of holster peeping beneath the rough white cloth of his coat, mostly accidentally, as he wanders a glance at Kain head to toe, then down at the canine who creeps forward. Stands his ground, territorially.

"He'd made an excellent rug. I think I know a restaurant round 'ere that'd make use of the rest of him," Logan comments, looking back up at Kain with his customary knife-edge smile, pleasant demeanor chilling a little. He had said not to bring anyone else. Next time, an addendum is needed.

'Dogs also.' He does, however, grant a single concession — a hand drifts off his waist to half-heartedly offer the back of his hand for wary inspection, fingers lax and curled, regarding the beast out the bottom row of his eyelashes. "Thanks for coming by."

"Ain't no matter," Kain obliquely offers with a shrug of his shoulders, giving a subtle tug of the leash to get the dog to both climb up onto the curb and then heel there beside logan, green eyes wide and ears drooping to the side somewhat helplessly, every few moments blinking when a drop of rain lands on her forehead or snout.

When Logan offers his hand, her ears perk forward and nose bumps along his knuckles, cold and wet and sniffing all across the back and side of his palm, eyes never moving off of Logan's slightly more vibrant green eyes, though the quick lap of her tongue over the Brit's fingers seems to imply a certain fondness— or hungriness. "What's a pal for, right? Ah' like t'think that you'n Ah' can trust each other, an' when we ask each other a favor, Ah like t'think we'll follow through an' do a good job."

Kain's dark brows lift and he plucks his cigarette from his lips, tapping ash down into the flow of water in the gutter beside the curb. "So what's got Johnny Logan callin' up his compadre tonight?" Stepping up onto the curb beside the dog, Kain only briefly offers a blue-eyed stare down to the mottled-fur of the green-eyed dog before looking back up at Logan expectantly.

There goes the slightly wistful glance of an addict, at the flow of smoke in the air, though the continual press of dampness in the air is enough to disperse it swiftly and contain its acrid, mingled scent. Logan retracts his hand from too much snuffling, using his other sleeve to clean off generic dog wetness from the scarred ridge of his knuckles. "I'd like to think that too," he says primly, if not completely insincerely — just holding a small frission of irony in his tone. Anyone who calls him friend usually wants things.

He backs up a few steps, the heels of his shoes tracking along the line of curb. "When did you find out D'Sarthe's set foot in New York City?" he queries, his voice neutral, and uncaring of those around them that might listen in, not all that concerned with men and women moving from the dispersing market place over yonder, none of which resemble Triad, though the haunt they stand just outside definitely is.

"Round about the time Ah' asked him t'come t'New York," is Kain's flatly delivered answer that comes with a friendly smile but the intonations of what the fuck is it to you subtly layered beneath the Cajun's tone of voice. "See, ever since Ah' saw ol' Roddy's painting, Ah've been lookin' t'get mah affairs in order, an' a side-trip out to the Windy City was what it took. You don't think Ah' was actually spendin' all mah pent up vacation time on some sunny beach in Cancun with Manny do ya?"

One black brow raised, Kain breathes out a throaty laugh and brings his cigarette back up to his lips, drawing in a slow breath before exhaling nostrils of smoke in twin jets. "Ah'd take a pretty little thing like that hot minx Anderson to go have some fun in the sun with, not bald ol' Manny." Snorting noisily, Kain looks down to his cigarette, then to the silver-fured wolf-hound that bumps her nose against Logan's hand again, then ducks her head beneath it in an attempt to get him to pat her even if he doesn't want to.

"Oh, thank goodness," is— elaborate sarcasm, Logan temporarily ignoring bristly dog head pushing at his hand, the other one setting back against his hip as he looks across at Kain. "Because you know, here was I thinking that if you knew about D'Sarthe and his ego-grudge Frenching around the city, you'd surely let me know immediately— oh hang on." The dog misses out on her pettings, as his hands go up in a kind of lackadaisical shrug. "Did you say you invited him? Fuck me sideways."

A cigarette is required more than ever, but he left his case in the car parked a block from here, along with his umbrella in the trunk, so he's out of luck there. "I don't recall seeing that fucker's face in that little painting you showed me, you know. What is it that goes on in your head?"

"He wasn't, but Ah'll be damned if he ain't got the resources t'handle the job. You don't think just because ol' Roddy painted it that it's just gonna' come true if we sit on our fuckin' hands, do ya John?" Both of Kain's brows pinch together and he flicks the only half-finished cigarette down into the water of the gutter, then looks back up to Logan. "The way Ah' see it? We got a battle on two fronts, cause Danny's got himself a corporate empire, an' he's also got the Ghost Shadows an' all the smaller Triad leaning over t'polish his royal scepter. We gotta' pull in somethin' t'keep his attention over, " Kain flick shis hand away from himself, "there, an' not on us."

Rolling his hsoulders, Kain tucks his now free hand into his pocket, crinkling something. "Ain't about likin' the guy, 'cause Ah' sure as fuck don't. But he's a means to an end, ain't no more or no less. 'Sides, if we took down Danny d'you think ol' Giddy-up would just sit there an' not try t'swoop in and finish us off while we're wheezin' and pantin'? Hell no."

There's a scowl that crosses Kain's face. "Ah'm gonna' be on th' winnin' side this time, John-boy. Did he piss in your hair-gel or something? Steal your favorite call-girl? Slash the tires on your vespa?" Truth be told Kain actually isn't aware Logan may have ridden a vespa before but he seems the type.

"Not yet, no." Instinct has Logan's pale green eyes darting to where Kain's hand has disappeared, jarring wariness, but it passes as intelligence overrides visceral reaction. He's used to knife-pullings, guns, just as much as handshakes. He stands for a moment, and it might be a satisfying sight, to see him stop to think about the other man's words rather than explosive reaction of anger, sardonic snarling, accusations or braying betrayal. It also proves to smooth his own nerves, taking a breath, releasing it, smokeless.

His hands go up again, displaying his palms, as he moves forward again. Between thumb and forefinger, the hem of Kain's jacket is snagged in a nagging kind of hold, pressure of which felt all the way up to his collar. A small and wrinkled Chinese lady in floral deals them a glance as she passes by. Whiteys.

"What you're doing," he starts, with tested primness, a severe near whisper, "is dangerous. There will be people shooting people. Blood on the streets. The sort've thing we've not seen since I took an automatic rifle into perhaps not the heart of the Flying Dragons, but certainly another vital organ, and got my boyfriend killed." He came back.

That is neither here nor there. "If you want me on your side, you're going to keep me in the fucking loop. Smart of you, to keep me on your side. Now keep me there. Buy me flowers on occasion. Tell me who you're having murder my employer."

"Ah'm tryin', but truth be told one'a my business partners doesn't care much for you, what on account of you nearly torturing him t'death once." Sure, that's a pretty narrow margin of people, but Kain's at least giving Richard the confidence of minimalist anonymity. "It ain't much of a concern a'mine if mobsters shoot mobtsers, happened all the time back in the day, an' if you asked me this city could use a few less people like us in it, might make for a good reduction in crime. All we gotta' do is be able to sweep in when the mess is done an' be the hero. People'll be beggin' for somebody t'get order restored once Giddy-up Buttercup and Danny start clawin' at each other."

For the barest of moment Kain recalls smoke and fire viewed through the windows of Linderman's office, back straight and shoulders squared. He slides his tongue over his lips, furrows his brows and then dips his head down and looks at the wolf.

"Ah' got you a dog," isn't— related— to this at all. "You know, for takin' such good care'a mah apartment while Ah' was away on business." Blue eyes lift back up to Logan, and Kain lets one brow twitch slightly. "Now Ah' don't know what little miss pixie was doin' in mah closet with mah clothes, but Ah' know full well you had somethin' t'do with it."

Then, offering out the leash Kain notes, "So Ah' got you a dog."

Well that's disarming enough for all of Logan's razor severity to go skittering to all directions, taking his hands off Kain to look down at the leash end offered as if it were something cut off a dead homeless guy. He takes a suspicious and abrupt step back that nearly collides with the green-eyed wolfdog attached to the strip of woven fabric. And it's a narrow enough margin of people for Logan to look abruptly puzzled, a what you on about in the lines of his brow and the pinching in of shaped eyebrows.

Small city is small. "To clean things up, you're making a mess," Logan enunciates, after a second. "Try harder. Fuck, use me, there's a good slice of the cash that'll be peddled around after all's said and done that I earned myself. And believe me, that's another conversation we'll have having whevver you like it not.

"And you did not give me a bleeding dog."

"Ah' did," Kain says with a broad smile, lifting that crinkled piece of paper out of his pocket to hold up to Logan, showing the registration of a Sarloos Wolfhound named Cheza as a rescue from an animal shelter. The dog liscense is even in Logan's name. "See Ah' got a buddy who works in animal control, came in real handy when Ah' used t'do some dog-fights on the side back in th' day, so he owed me a few favors. Legally you sir own this fine animal. Boys at the kennel tell me she was an import from Russia, ain't got no idea on the prior owners, but she's trained an' smart… bet she could probably do yer' taxes for ya."

Kain shifts his weight to one foot, offering out the leash further to Logan. "C'mon, she's a sweetheart an' she likes you too." At that emphasized like, the wolfhound whimpers as if on cue, pale green eyes wide and brows lifted, ears folded back and tongue briefly flicking out of her mouth as she sits down as if to say look I'm a good girl love me, I'm lonely.

"She needs a lotta' attention, pack-mentality an' all that." Grinning broadly, Kain keeps the leash held out before he finally concedes. "Alright, Johnny, he's the deal. You wanna' be cut into the loop? You're gonna have t'take a leap've faith with me. The boy Ah'm workin' with's got himself a good plan, good backing, but he ain't gonna trust you as far as he can throw you an' Ah' bet yer bony ass is hard t'toss." The joke inherant in that is lost on Kain, fortunately.

"You want all in, you gotta' trust me. Ah' won't do you wrong, Johnny. Hell, Ah'm the one who got you in this mess in the first place," even if Logan isn't quite aware of that. "You say you can trust me, an' Ah'll get you a meetin' with mah business partner. Then we'll talk the long and wide details."

Jingle jingle goes the leash, and Kain's smiling still.

A look down at dog, a look upwards at Kain through the top tier of eyelashes that could almost convey that it's not Logan being inflicted with something. Poor puppy. Mentally adding something to Ina's list of errands, his hand darts out, viper-swift, and takes the leash out of Kain's hand, along with the papers that get crumpled in the other fist, squinted dubiously. Then down at the dog, all green eyed and sad faced. Fucking hell.

"You'd better buy a sodding wolverine for Laura," he notes in a grudging tone of voice, with a warning glance at the Cajun before the papers are being crumpled into one white pocket to join forty cc's of Refrain.

Long story. "Fine. I'll trust you," and he says this like it's a game. "All I want to know is what I'm trusting. You get that done and we'll be thick as thieves." If he's lying— well it's difficult to tell. Honesty and lies both are generally delivered in a mess of mixed accent and edged snark. But he did take the leash.

"Gimmie' a couple'a days and I'll see if I can get a meeting put together," Kain admits with an incline of his head. "Y'know Ah' was worried you'd pussed out on me, Logan, in everythin' we talked about. Ah' mighta' been wrong 'bout you," and that does come with a quirk of one of Kain's brows, his hand that had been holding the leash tucking down into the pocket at his side as he takes a step back and away from the curb, then starts to turn and walk away, as if he were content in leaving it at that.

"Oh," Kain suddenly notes, turning around and holding one finger in the air, then slowly points down to Cheza, "one thing Ah' forgot. The ah, lady at the shelter told me that Cheza's former owners were kinda' hard on her. So Ah'w ouldn't go kenneling her up in a crate or nothin' unless you wanna' lose a hand…" there's a hanging quality of Kain's voice, eyes cast to the rainy sky, then back down to Logan.

"Oh and— " of course there's one more thing, "Th' lady at the shelter said something about skittish bladder or something… Ah' wasn't payin' attention." Kain's smile grows to a big, toothy thing that has his eyes closing a little and that raised hand waving fondly at Logan as he treads backwards towards the rainy street.

Don't worry about Laura, she'll get hers.

Logan glares holes through Kain's back as he leaves, pale eyes abruptly flaring traffic light green with a compulsive push of power that barely does much at all, with the other man swiftly out of range and forcing vibrant irises back into slushy icewater colours. Glancing down at the long face of Cheza still watching him expectantly, Logan remains standing on the curb for all of a few seconds, fall of fine rain catching in the texture of his coat and snagging in thinning blonde, and making the bright eyed old bitch— the dog one— blink up into it as if confused.

Eventually, he breaks off, dog at his heels, to travel along the current of the sidewalk crowd as he heads for his car, strangely unsettled by the other undertow he's inviting his way.

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