b_logan_icon.gif rhys_icon.gif

Scene Title Predisposition
Synopsis Logan waits to go home, but discovers he has a final mission to complete before he can.
Date December 11, 1995

England, London

It's no Wembley stadium, this place.

Just a local soccer field, and though players of the sport— and indeed, the spectators— are committed enough to attend to it in any weather, there's no one out on the expanse of green, currently. It's not raining, not snowing, but the sky holds heavy clouds just waiting to split and send buckets down. Upon the bleachers, empty of anyone but himself, Logan is waiting with surprising patience. With tiny Nick distributed back to his home, there is really not much for Logan to do but to enjoy cold London air. ('Enjoy.') He's put out his cigarette by now, crushed to a stub on the concrete beneath his feet.

Now he's cleaning his knife, having forgotten it until now. Barely remembers sticking it into Nick's arm at all, actually, that whole confrontation a blur. Part of him is waiting for Hiro. Most of him is waiting for the dark-haired string-bean Ruskin boy to come join him on the seats. At least he'll have a knife ready.

Using the hem of expensive woolen coat, Logan scrubs down the blood-stricken blade, a hunched figure in blacks, gold curls faintly ruffled by an icy wind, pale skin gone a little pink from pinching chill.

Hard-soled shoes click on concrete steps, moving down the stairs between rows of bleacher seating. It's an otherwise empty field, and having one young man intruding on Logan's solace isn't entirely unexpected. It's not until the sound of footsteps matches with movement in Logan's periphery.

Short, slim of build and not really dressed for the weather, the teenager standing there reaches inside of his buttoned vest, profile afforded to Logan looking largely unfamiliar at a glance, at a distance. Withdrawing a pack of cigarettes from inside of his vest, the boy shakes out one and tucks it between his lips, returning the cigarette pack of Virginia Slims in the same motion that he's withdrawing a plastic lighter.

One— two— three— fuck this is complicated. Four flicks of the flint wheel later and a flame joins ineffectual sparks and lights the end of the cigarette. Drawing in a deep breath, the boy sucks in a lungful of smoke before immediately breaking out into a hacking fit of coughs as he throws the cigarette aside and rests one hand on his chest.

He looks familiar…

Logan doesn't look up, at first, expecting that whoever is seeking him out will likely come directly to him. Busies himself instead with a little spit-and-shine to the gravity blade in his hands, one that's seen the inside of Flint Deckard's skull, among other intimate places on various people. At the reedy hacking coughs, he does glance— and glance again. It might be okay, to think that it's pure coincidence. But Logan is in London, not New York City.

He is also in 1995.

He flows to his feet, and with a twitch of his wrist in a fidget, he sncks his blade in and out of its fold as he moves down the row he's in towards where the teenager is standing, his expression perplexed, vaguely accusatory. His black coat exposes tailored lines beneath it, all black wool in a three piece suit, funeral chic, with a shirt the colour of old blood, vaguely red and purple both, with a metallic sheen. These things nearly obscured by his coat buttoned closed by brassy buttons that wink in the low, overcast light of day.

The bluntly pointed toe of his shining shoe prods at the discarded— waste of a cigarette, rolling it aside before gently crushing out its embering tip.

Clearing his throat into a clenched fist, Rhys offers a green-eyed look up to Logan. "Sorry, I ah…" A dismissive shake of his head later has the pinstripe-clad young man casting a look up to his taller senior. Clearing the frog in his throat again, Rhys' lips manage a rueful smile before he looks out to the soccer field.

"Sometimes I wonder how things would have been different, if you'd been able to live your dream." Regret criss-crosses Rhys' tone of voice, soft and conversational if not also rather effiminate. "If you would've been under the bright lights, listening to men twice your age cheer you on like you were some sort of Gladiator."

The corner of Rhys' mouth jerks up in a faint smile, his brows furrowed together as the smile fades and his tone becomes less conversational and more somber. "I'm sorry…" he offers in hushed apology, "for the life you've had to live, the terrible things you've had to do, for…" green eyes angle on Logan as Rhys looks up to him, the edges of his eyes reddened and glassy.

"I'm sorry for what you still have left to do." Therein is the implication of worse wear yet to come. "I'm sorry it has to be this way… I'm sorry I'm selfish."

Snck. Logan closes the gravity blade once more, white scars on his fingers from where they'd been so slowly and casually broken a year and change ago showing in the tautness of his skin; disappears to dense, silver tool into the pocket of his coat. "You make it sound like I'm your fault," he intones, after a moment, his stare flinty and hard in contrast to the soft waver in Rhys'. He moves past Rhys, and despite going back in time and through the trials of fisticuffs on a train and a long journey back to London, he still manages to carry with him designer cologne lovingly and too thickly applied, and of course, the smoke that the younger man just choked over.

He rests a hand against metal railing, icy to touch, and leans, his posture all hard angles melded with feline slouch. It's been a little while, since he's walked with a limp. "You're the— " His scarred fingers waggle. Like voodoo. "Postcognitive that the Japwithasword referred to, aren't you.

"No one gets to live dreams," he adds, in a tone that more dismisses pity than it does attempt to reassure.

Logan's words, all of them, make Rhys slouch as he lifts a hand up to pinch fingers at the bridge of his nose. He may be young, but the stress of this war through time has been taking its toll on the young postcognitive physically and mentally — this particular incident included.

"We're all guilty people," Rhys mumbles in agreement, his hand falling away but head not lifting up. Rhys' eyes focus down on his feet, then at Logan's, then finally up to the taller Brit with a wary expression of uncertainty in his pale eyes.

"I'm here t'bring you bad news, too…" It sounds apologetic, but not enough to change matters. "Hiro didn't come for you, yet, because… well there's one more thing you do, that you have t'fulfill."

Drawing his teeth over his bottom lip, Rhys looks away from Logan, breathing in deeply and then exhaling a sigh. "It's all my fault too. But if you don't do this one thing… everything we did— all of us— won't have happened."

Logan rolls his own glassy set of eyes, steam wisping from his mouth in an exaggerated sigh as he cuts his attention out towards the empty football field, arms folding and tucking his bare hands in his armpits in an attempt to keep them warm. "Is it Eileen? Hiro said if I couldn't get 'er too, he'd look into it himself," sounds snippy. But beyond snippy, he sounds anxious, nervous about being in an uncertain reality and about what the hell this slip of a boy could possibly be talking about.

"What about the present? There's— so much fuckery going on right now, I shouldn't even be here. Zarek's going to take everything or the Triad'll just disband right when I need 'em, and I won't get to have sex with Casey again if I'm not back in time. You know how hard I worked on her? Christ."

He sits, then, back onto the bench, huffs out another breath of steam, and his fingers twitch like he might go for a cigarette. Instead, he just looks up at Rhys and looks at him rather than cattishly through him.

"I feel like I've seen you before. But not just at Cambria's."

Rhys' green eyes flick up to Logan, a glance somewhere between warning and wary the way that nervous animals can be sometimes. His silence isn't entirely reassuring, nor is the sound of his throat tightening as he tries to clear it. "Oh, you know me, just that twinkle in your eye…" There's a half-hearted laugh at the attempt of obscure humor.

"It— it isn't Eileen," Rhys finally explains with a shake of his head, though he doesn't explain why it isn't Eileen. "It's me, or— " Rhys' brows furrow as he lifts a hand up to his cheek. "It's about a woman, kind've like all of your tragedies are, right?"

Green eyes avert down to Logan's shoes again — distractingly nice! — and then shut entirely. "You won't be going far. Surrey, it isn't a terribly long trip from here, spatially or temporally. Just a year back from now," Rhys explains as his eyes slowly open, but remain partly hooded.

The unspoken but, hangs in the air.

There's a lift of an eyebrow, when the kid admits in words that it's about himself, and then his mouth twists. "Fucking Surrey," Logan mumbles, casting a look out towards the grey sprawl of the city. Surrey is so green and wholesome and snowy. London is old grey buildings with mausoleum appeal, narrow streets, subway strip malls, paint on the walls and the battlefield of riots, hate crimes, neo-Nazis and ethnic saturation. His kind of place, really.

With Rhys' gaze half-hooded, he won't see until he feels Logan's hand clamping tight around his wrist, some frission of strange chemical uneasily simmering in his bloodstream, a little like adrenaline rather than anything pleasant. "Spit it out, jailbait," is a paradox — both gently delivered and harshly spoken.

"You're going back to sleep with James' Muldoon's wife."

Maybe Rhys spit that out way too sharply, way too hastily, but it did all seem to come on one breath, didn't it? Lifting up one hand to the back of his neck, Rhys looks up with a furrow of his brows. "You have— you have to go back and do it. I know— how stupid it sounds to ask you, I just— it happened. I don't understand how this all works but it happened. I see you, and I see this event, and I see it in the past and it's where our strings cross."

Rhys swallows down a lump in his throat, eyes watery and welled up with unshed tears. "Do not make me explain this any more, John Logan."

It would be very, very embarrassing to cry in front of him.

Logan remains frozen, hand as hard as a too-tight handcuff on Rhys' wrist until it releases sharply. Oh. Open and honest disbelief proves to make him look younger, less severe, possibly too young for this conversation to make any sense at all unless you know what's going on. Something he's only barely grasping. "Mul— " That word shorts out, revving as a growl in Logan's throat as his eyes drain back into their icy chilliness after they'd gone flarey bright green upon that small nudge of power.

But no less vivid in some misplaced anger. For Muldoon, unrelatedly, and for Rhys, Logan back on his feet and curling his hands into fists. In a rare moment of uncertainty, he isn't actually sure what to say. Does move in a wolfish semi-circle, as if something in Rhys' features, his posture, would be able to confirm that implication.

"You're impossible," is the first statement, and then, "You don't want money, do you?"

"Wh— " Green eyes snap wide as Rhys looks up in sudden surprise at Logan. Bewilderment paints itself across the young man's face as he takes a step back, redness coloring his complexion as his hands sweep down to his sides, balled into fists. "That's all you have to say!?"

Stamping one foot down to the ground in a huff, Rhys stares up at the man who's relation to him could not even be explained properly with a Venn diagram and flowchart. "I tell you what I tell you, and— and— " Rhys sucks in a sharp breath and exhales a frustrated sigh. "John Logan you are imposs— "

Rhys cuts himself short, eyes shut, one hand pinching fingers at the bridge of his nose,

"You're an ass," the boy murmurs instead, best not to be too much like the man he's giving impossible orders to. "You're an ass, and you're a jerk, and— " Rhys' hand slowly lowers from the bridge of his nose as he looks up to Logan, eyes reddened around the edges and wet.

And he can't tell him that most of John's life is his fault. If Rhys Bluther were never concieved, John Logan would well have gone on to play football, probably. History would be changed, and at the core of that one omission is the tie that binds disparate family members together.

Genetic predisposition to selfishness.

It could be worse. He could have asked, is Missus Muldoon attract-ive? Logan doesn't get a chance to as stammered verbal abuse is shot his way, eyes narrowing in warning green but also putting up hands in surrender, mouth opening and shutting again. "Oh, you are precious," isn't a compliment, sneering disdain for damp-eyed offense instead, although maybe Rhys knows him just well enough to know he's making a valiant effort at stemming harsher words, in the same Rhys is withholding certain truths.

"I just figured if this was to ever happened, it'd be some years off, like Zarek. I'm not ready."

Fucking time travel.

"You and me both," Rhys coldly explains with a tightness in his throat. The venom that Rhys tries to share with Logan is quick to dissipate though, too dishonest to be maintained given his sullen mood. Tucking his hands into the pockets of his slacks, the well-dressed young man turns away and closes his eyes, lips downturning into a frown.

"I'd been looking for you since I was a little boy, ever since I…" Rhys trails off, slowly shaking his head. "When I found out what I could do, I found out because I was so insistant on finding out who my father was. Maybe if I never looked, none of this would have happened. But I did— I looked— and I knew what would eventually have to happen."

Swallowing tightly, Rhys looks up to Logan with a pleading expression. "Do you have any idea what kind of burden that is on someone my age? To know the kinds of things I had to put you through in order to— to even be born?" His voice cracks, jaw giving a slight tremor.

"I thought about what would happen, if I was never born. If I just let it not happen, maybe I'd just fade away. You never wanted be anyway— you still don't and I— I didn't ask to be born." Yet, in a way, he is asking to be born. He's demanding it.

"I don't have anyone to blame for the way my life turned out except for myself," Rhys murmurs, looking away from Logan. "It's… it's not fair."

There's a soft snort of amusement from the taller of the two, a scrape of soles against concrete, though Logan doesn't approach. "Dunno about you, but I don't think there's anything fairer." Unlike someone else being to blame for the way one's life turned out, which is what Rhys is suggesting, which is what Logan is proudly rejecting— or attempting to. Except it nags him now in the same insistence of his stare on the younger man's back. "You sent someone back, like you sent me back and Nick was sent back," is sudden realisation in place of but we've never met

"No, fuckit. I don't want to know. Life was always going to be shitty, no matter what happened and what didn't happen. I like who I am now," and not many people do, and he's done terrible things, so this might not actually be much of a reassurance whatsoever, but it doesn't change his conviction, "and you— you can't be more'n— jesus. Sixteen?" A bark of dry, harsh laughter.

Logan is twenty-nine. "And now you've found me, and you're done with this— puzzle of yours. You get to go back to 2010 and figure what to do next, don't you?"

Silence is Rhys' first and easiest answer, silence and the noisy swallow that tries to work down the lump in his throat. Breathlessly exhaling a sigh, the young postcognitive stares up at the man he knows is his father, but has never known as his father. Nothing more than a compilation of genes and regrets, bundled into one resentful package.

"I'll still be there," Rhys shakily offers, like some sort of attempt at armistice. "When— you get back." Youth shows through in his features, youth and hopeful idealism, youth and soft uncertainties and the desire to make this impossible connection work.

We could catch up sometime isn't expressedly stated, though there's surely a line in the song Cats in the Cradle that deals with this scenario.

There is something jarring, about implicit offer. Like Logan said: he's not ready, but at the same time, he can't quite find that same connection with the teenager that said teenager does with him. He hasn't even met the lady yet, hasn't done anything that would bring about the creation of the pretty-eyed postcognitive. What would they do? Throw a baseball around? Kick a football? Maybe peruse one of the Hugo Boss outlets in the Upper East Side?

Not a bad idea, actually.

He gives Rhys a look, as if to say 'really? really now?' but Logan doesn't bother putting it into words, managing instead a cut of a half smile. "Money would be easier," is at least phrased as a wry joke, if as callous as a shove. "But you'll know where to find me." It's sort of a limply delivered olive branch, aloof, unappealing in its emotional immaturity. He never desired to find his father, personally, doesn't particularly desire to hang out with his brand new son—

Even if Rhys was considerate in sparing him all the awkward parts of parenthood. Babies and toddlers and developing personalities. Vain intrigue is what keeps bringing Logan's eye to him. "I might not be anyone's first pick of a parent," he adds, "but you have to admit you've got fantastic genes." In his humblest opinion.

"A doctor I spoke to once tried to tell me that fashion sense couldn't be heredetary," is Rhys' tongue-in-cheek application of flattery and compliment, a ghost of a smile crossing over his lips despite the more overwrought expression in his eyes. Swallowing tightly, Rhys looks away from Logan, towards where a dark silhouette has been standing at the top of the bleachers for who knows how long.

Hiro Nakamura isn't watching, his back to the awkward family unit gives him a view of the city beyond the football stadium. Rhys' attention on the sword-wielding time traveler lingers for only a brief moment before watery eyes blink shut and open dryer than before.

"We have the time," Rhys finally offers, off-handedly, unable to look Logan in the eyes, and instead choosing to stare at his shoes. "Me, more so than you at the moment." It's a tacit invitation for Hiro to make his presence known, and to put into motion the last step of a long journey through time that has kept father and son apart.

A journey that has cruelly united them, only take them apart again.

Logan might have some good advice. Falling in love is okay if it's other people. Good drycleaning services in New York City. Guns that are both handsome and practical. Show less of what you think in your eyes. His own skip past Rhys towards the figure of Hiro standing like a watchful hawk on the edge of the bleachers, mouth twitching and obviously keen to get things over with and return to his life in the present, but he lings long enough to sweep one last immortalising stare over Rhys, head to toe.

Then he's gone. Not vanished, but moving past the young man with British stoicism— something that doctor's might not say is hereditary either— and climbing the staircase to meet Hiro's perch, hands tucking into his pockets with one last glance back.

Rhys emulates that stoicism in his silence when Logan passes, watches the Brit move up the concrete steps toward where Hiro's dark silhouette waits vigilantly. When his father looks back to him, there's conflicting emotions playing out across Rhys' face. Pride in his father being able to accept his lot, being able to accept his unusually cruel mission through time without so much as a single fit pitched.

But in Rhys' eyes there's also regret, that it took something this terrible to bring them both together, and ultimately take them apart. His smile wanes, even as Rhys closes his eyes and turns his back on John, looks out over the soccer field beyond with reservation and nervousness.

Maybe people can't live their dreams, but if they try hard enough they can live something close.

And close isn't that bad.

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