Play Nice


hana_icon.gif logan_icon.gif

Scene Title Play Nice
Synopsis Verbal abuse and physical violence don't usually come under the heading of that instruction.
Date December 27, 2010

Financial District

For all that it's afternoon, the air outside is frigid. The white Christmas offered a distinct lack of enchantment for Hana Gitelman, and the blowing snow of today even less; winter weather is an obstacle to be suffered through, not a trigger for romantic inclinations she doesn't have. The leather of her coat is at least protective against windchill, and her black jeans unobtrusively lined.

She stands on the doorstep of a convenient building in the Financial District, one shoulder leaning against a concrete column, the plain gray block of a cheap cellphone held to her ear. In her other hand is a folded section of newspaper, corners snapping in the wind less energetically but more noisily than the long strands of the Israeli's hair.

"— come by tonight to take a look? Say… around seven?"

Between weather — wind, snow, ice — and the recent holiday, the street is quiescent in traffic, vehicular and pedestrian alike. Nonetheless, she keeps a wary awareness of both directions, as trained habit insists. The number on the other end of the line is another cellphone, presently located within the very same District, registered to the name of Max Williams. Two other numbers are umbrella'd under the same service plan — family, perhaps.

"I'll be there," Hana concludes, and the line is closed.

There's a sharp screech of stressed tires on slick road — basically the same kind of cacophony to be expected in New York daylight traffic, someone sharply turning and making the road around them complain. Nothing overtly remarkable, heralding a black sports car coming careening down the road only slightly crowded in the cold afternoon. Its back end wings out a little in a dangerous slide, causing traffic coming down the other side to wail a horn, muffled swearing out a partially opened window.

The guy driving the thing takes no notice, black sunglasses and a couple of days worth of not shaving shadowing Logan's jaw. Probably more overt would be the half unwound window in the back, with two massive dog paws hitched out of it and a correspondingly massive dog head— wolf, practically, with her long skinny nose and big ears. ROAROWROAOWROW is approximately the sound its making, flying spittle in excitable challenge, flashing its teeth, muscular tail thudding against the back of the empty passenger seat.

Logan, apparently apathetic to the dog-wolf in the back of his car, comes to a screeching halt practically in front of Hana, and levers himself out into the open. His clothes are fine, but he isn't dressing well all the same — as if a $300 shirt was all he had lying around and tossed it on beneath his greatcoat, half-tucked into jeans. Though his eyes are disguised behind black tinted, round cut glass, the set of his mouth implies a glare.

A screech is an attention-getting thing.

The cellphone is dropped into a pocket without conscious decision, her feet nudging a little wider apart on the landing, shoulder coming up off the column. Dark eyes track the car's headlong progression down the block; lips press thinly together as she assesses the dog. Her left hand curls loosely by her side, a habit that's a bit less relevant these days.

"The hell do you want, Logan?" Hana snaps, narrow-eyed glare forbiddingly overt. She doesn't assume he's here for the office building at her back.

He doesn't slam the door shut behind him, as if valuing the ability to take off at a whim, but Logan does step up onto curb, mouth twisting at the words he gets in greeting. "What, I'm not allowed to come find you anymore? Didn't seem to mind that much a month or so ago," he sneers, taking half a step in a trajectory that might have him circle her. As far as being armed goes, and what Hana's gaze might tell her, there's no visible strip of holster, and nothing in his hands.

The right side of his coat is mildly weighted at deep pockets, adding a heavier swing and flap when it moves in momentum. "Or just a bit irritated that I can do that much now?" is quieter, less snarly.

The curve of her lips is almost a smile, in a dry sense of the word. "People don't come screaming 'round the corner just to shoot the breeze," Hana replies, though she does dial back the automatic antagonism a shade. She doesn't move, however, eyes flicking briefly to the dog as if to make sure she's going to stay behind that window. They flick just as quickly back to the man below her.

She doesn't look armed, either, even to Logan's familiar gaze: the handguns that usually ride at her hips aren't beneath the jacket. The knives are just hard to spot, though he likely knows where they live all the same. Now she does step down, one stair and then a second, hands remaining loose and free. She is irritated; isn't easily going to admit it in so many words. "And you don't hardly look like you're out for a damn joyride. Excuse me if I don't welcome fucking likely complications with open arms." The arch of her brows is a skeptical challenge: go ahead, say you're not bringing trouble, convince me you mean it.

She isn't wrong. Logan has trouble written all over him on the best of days, let alone when there is a slightly unhinged quality not only to his driving skills, but posture and intent, tone of voice. The wolfily illegal dog, Cheza, has quieted her incessant barking, but remains in her hang against the window, blasting steam in each labourious exhale, long tongue pale and lolling out the side of her mouth. But not taking, simply watching the sidewalk with green eyes as dull as her master's, Hana as interesting as any other part of the scenery.

"Who'd you tell?" Logan asks, after a second of pause over this idea of complications. Or an attempt to rein back his temper, which fails in the next moment. "Who did you fucking tell about this? Do you've any idea who I am?"

Hana descends the rest of the stairs, chin up and shoulders squared, tension curling her fingers in against her palms and stretching her lips in the beginnings of a feral smile. She walks right up into Logan's personal space, nearly nose-to-nose, projecting enough energy forward to seem to loom despite their near-equal heights.

"Fucking think about it for a minute, Logan," the woman retorts, too much teeth displayed around the words. "What do you think I know about you?" Dark eyes flash, and she turns the question around. "Do you have a fucking clue who I am?"

A fight between a man and a woman on a sidewalk will grab some attention, and for all that even in a passing glance, Hana is no wilting flower, it's Logan in the equation that will inevitably get eyed warily from concerned citizens, because the myths about New York City being collectively uncaring aren't 100% accurate. Abuse gets noticed. But if he's taking any notice of this at all, it shows not even a little in his expression, sunglasses yanked off his face by the time she's coming up close to him.

He starts to talk, but words stall out as he does as instructed. Whatever small beginnings of epiphany are sparking behind his cool green eyes aren't actually improving his day.

In theory, he can intimidate too. She can see it in the way he catches his breathing high in his chest, being not a fighter, being someone who's never had to really hide the cues. Logan's hands clamp down hard on Hana's arms, fingers in claws above her elbows, and a pressure that by rights might swing her to land her back against the metal body of his car.

The operative words are in theory: Hana has a contrary response to attempts at intimidation. Today isn't any different.

Warned at a subliminal level, physical cues registered and interpreted by honed instinct, Hana swings her weight against the pressure of Logan's motion, holding them both still for a critical instant. Hands lifting to brace on his shoulders, her weight shifts, foot slamming down in search of his instep, coming back up to drive for Logan's groin in the second stroke — just in case the first doesn't hit as expected, isn't crippling enough.

Her hands don't hold him up, but break outward to either side to try and dislodge his grip. By rights she should take the advantage, follow with an elbow to Logan's temple; but Hana doesn't. When it comes down to it, she doesn't feel him a threat — not in that sense. She settles for stepping back, out of arm's reach.

"Fucking idiot" is judgment passed in scornful tone.

Instead of sending Hana into a brutal shove carwards for further interrogation, it's Logan that winds up bouncing his back against it, driving Cheza to give a whine and slip back into the car fully, circling leather seats anxiously, as opposed to doing anything useful like attacking the erstwhile technopath. Pain is communicated in a wheeze out of an exhale, Logan bent double before a hand goes out and latches to the top of partially opened drivers' door to steady himself.

This was the opposite of how things were meant to go. He rolls a stare towards her, judging distance between them, but doesn't act on it — neither re-approaching, nor putting more between them. His voice comes thick from his throat, heavy in his natural South London accent of soft consonants and round cockney vowels, and attempts to say what he'd been hoping to hiss into her ear.

You make do. "There's another one of you, out there. It knew who I was. It knew my name. 've got enemies and they knew as well. Didn't fink t'give me a heads up before shouting it from the fucking rooftops, you shady bitch?"

"I told two fucking people," Hana snarls back at Logan, angry energy fueling a step forward. Her hands fist at her sides, stopped short before reaching for him. "People who can't depend on my ability because it's in your damned self-centered head. And what they did with it— " Her voice climbs in irate volume, though not so loud as a shout. "— I don't fucking care!" Her other foot comes up beside the first. "I am not responsible for protecting anyone from the consequences of their own damned actions!"

The tension doesn't so much snap as whiplash, the woman pivoting on a heel, furious energy carrying her to the base of the stairs. Around in a hairpin turn, wind trailing her hair aside as she strides back. "You have enemies? Tough," Hana spits out. "That's fucking life." At least as she practices it.

Hana slides forward one last step, eyes blazing angry amber. Under the touch of manipulation, Logan's muscles stiffen, seizing clenched as if jolted with electricity — except they stay that way, painfully rigid. "Piece of advice, Logan," the lioness growls. "Don't push to become one of mine… unless you have a fucking deathwish."

Then she lets him go, eldritch gleam leaching out of the Israeli's eyes.


Muscles seize and release, and Logan kind of goes with it, toppling forward enough to take a knee to pavement and only just catch his hands against the concrete, the two highlit pinpoints of shining amber still burned into his immediate memory. By the time he's tipping a stare back up towards her, there's open and honest surprise and bafflement. If he responded with more fear, that would be a smarter animal instinct to have, but businessmen sometimes don't have time for these more basic reactions, even if he doesn't right now look the part.

Punished and derailed, Logan's fingers make claws against the slick pavement. "I'd've used you," he says, after a second. Not the most romantic thing, but. He starts to get back up on his feet, unsteady, a hand out between them as if to fend her off. He aches. "I'm the one that fucking— begged you to work with me. I'm not makin' any fucking enemies out've you."

Really? He grips one arm in the other hand. "Don't want to know advice. Just want to know where we stand." Like not selling him out. "How'd you do that? What was it?"

Standing motionless on the sidewalk, hands still clenched at her sides, Hana snorts. "You'dve tried," she corrects. A moment later, she folds her arms, though the narrow glare doesn't lighten in the least; it's only a partial allowance towards detente. "You're going to go right straight back to demanding answers from me?" The disbelief isn't very strong; irritation runs thick, however. "You're an admitted self-absorbed manipulative git who wouldn't think twice about stabbing me in the back once you were done with me. Why the fucking hell should I give you any damn thing?"

Someone's working on a grudge.

"I've done nothing much to you, sweetheart," is scornful enough, but lacks the poison and edge of Logan's usual snarls. It isn't— exactly— denying the truth ringing in her words. "You're the one who doesn't give a fuck if loose lips sink ships. Admitted, and all that." He breathes in chilly air through his nose, before nudging his car door open a little further, stepping back towards it, taking sunglasses out of his pockets and flicking his wrist to open them.

Slides them on, rubs his fingertips down the side of his slightly scruffy jaw in absent fidget. "Sentiment's the same — you don't want me as an enemy ever, not while I've got what you want. And no, that's not a threat. Play nice, Casey."


Hana lifts her chin slightly, watching him loiter in the pocket formed between car door and seat. Her lips curve in the closest approximation of an actual smile she's put forward in this entire encounter — thin with an edge of grim humor, it isn't much as smiles go. Her fingers uncurl, left hand lifting for an open-palmed sweep towards John and his car. "I have yet to not 'play nice'." For certain idiosyncratic values of nice.

Letting her hands come to rest in the low pockets of her jacket, Hana steps out into the middle of the sidewalk, turning her head slightly into the brunt of the snow-laden winter wind. "Goodbye, Logan." She begins to walk up the road.

Bitch is muttered into the wind, too quiet to follow Hana all the way to her ears, before Logan is sliding his way inside the driver's seat with a wince. He remains there for the seconds it takes for him to navigate a hand into the pocket with the telescoping baton, locate a small pill container that he rattles; decides against dosing himself with codeine for now and tosses it into passenger seat. For all that he'd value an icepack to curl around and recover, he does have to get driving, absently batting Cheza away when she goes to dip her cold nose against the back of his neck.

Pauses, then, when his calling code— a simple logan— is pinged by an unknown number, eyes rolling skywards. Yet another unwanted non-stranger who knows to contact him in such a manner. By the time he's tearing his car out from his idle at the curb, Hana is too well into her journey for him to want to think of vindictively driving ice cold gutter water her way, instead peeling off in an illegal, angrily wrenched turn the other direction to live to argue another day.

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