Secret Burning Thread


s_logan_icon.gif s_wendy_icon.gif

Scene Title Secret Burning Thread
Synopsis It cuts me inside, and often, I've bled.
Date December 29, 2009


Need weighs heavy in the air. Like it was something that was real and tangible, wrapped around every molecule and sinks like lead into ones system when they breathe here. Darkness as well lurks in corners in defiance of the bright sun that burns down from on high, the two go hand in hand. Tempurate too hot to comfortable and no shade except the dark corners that defy the sun and it's place in the sky.

A large residence looms, all dark bricks and even darker windows with a multitude of bodies writhing and moving against each other, some watching out into the spacious backyard that composes the large home. A large pool, waterfall off to the side takes up the space between the main home and the guest house that's there for supposedly, guest purposes. Water's been replaced with a lumiescent blue liquid, tumbling over rocks and falling in a repetitive curtain that falls back into the main pool. The lounge chairs surrounding the watery entertainment have people lounging, various states of dress and undress as they slather on baby oil, drink in excess, snort delicate lines of powdery white substances, light up and here and there, others even shoot up with refrain as they sway from side to side and laugh in high tones that one can only do while in dreams.

Everywhere you go, it's a drugladen wealth ridden party wonderland. Music threads through the crowd loud and unforgiving on the ears. It's the things of movies, and dreams and you couldn't imagine that this existed in the real world. It's only in the shadows if you look real close that things are different. In thec orners, the darkness grips tight to those that are in it, overdosed, overindulged, ignored inf avor of more vices while the darkness feeds off it and the people eventually fade to nothing, consumed by the dark till someone else stumbles by.

There's no gallop of hooves, no thunderous canter, and likely for the better. No, instead, the newcomer finds himself simply within the the crowd, slipping into being out of air like a bad edit in a film. By rights, John Logan should be at home here. He could well be one of them, tilting back the thin flutes of champagne in between sips from a full bottle of impossibly expensive vodka, someone in his lap or in someone else's lap, and though he might not disappear into the darkness, he'll watch as others vanish one by one.

In reality, he couldn't be more out of place.

For one thing, he's too young, skin fair from youth as opposed to a daily three-part cleansing ritual, and there is nothing particularly indulgent in the way he dresses. Worn down sneakers negotiate over stone tiles nearest the pool, the ankle hems of jeans muddied and torn near the heels. The t-shirt hangs from his lanky frame, jersey-like and made of a rough sort of polyester, sleeves close to his elbows and long forearms bare. He's crouching down by the pool, touching the tips of his fingers to the glistening blue surface. His shock of platinum hair, longer and free of curls, makes him less pallid but does few other favours apart from allow him to stand out.

He retracts his hand from the pool, rubbing his fingertips together and brow furrowed in consternation before he looks up towards the other side, where he can see the splayed legs of a woman whose fallen, a dim smile on her face even as she sinks further and further into shadow. This seems to be the right place.

"You shouldn't touch the water, It's blue and it makes you do things and makes you want to do it more. You'll want to swim in it till you drown" Someone on the far end dives in, large party dress and all, kicking legs till they're at the bottom, little bubbles of air drifting up from thier nose. There's other people down there, blended in, turned the color of the bottom of the pool that you don't notice till you look purposefully at it. Nothing here seems to come clear, till you look at it purposefully. The blonde woman hooks an arms and legs beneath another person down there, drifting and floating, weightdown by something unseen and giggling beneath the water till she starts to convulse in smiling throes, literally drowning in the refrain that the pool is made up of.

Thin legs, lanky to almost what one would call anorexic are within view adjacent to the kneeling teenager. "You shouldn't be here, they'll see you, see you're not doing anything. You don't want that" A pale hand, it's short fingernails painted black in defiance of all the other colors present here present him with a champagne glass filled with bubbling liquid. A smell though proves that all it is is sparkling apple juice.

"Take it, before they think you're not doing anything." It's Wendy's voice coming from those legs and the hand, the skinny arm attached, urgent and thrusting the glass towards him again. "Laugh, like you're having a good time"

Logan— or John by then, it's difficult to keep track, but largely inconsequential— turns clear, pale green eyes up towards Wendy, then down towards the bubbling juice within the glass, all carbonated sugar and essence of apple. Twisting awkwardly, he glances back down towards the writhing bodies in the deep blue, something like disgust and confusion written on his expression before being careful to edge away from the lip of stone that promises an easy drop into the pool of liquid blue.

He gets out of his crouch, a hand out to take the glass. His fingernails are lined with dirt, bruises on his knuckles and a healing slice where skin had split some time ago, scabbing over. In all other ways, however, he's whole and healthy.

"Thanks," he says, South London softening the first consonant as easily as it will steal away the t's when he continues, and Logan briskly tips back a mouthful of the drink, nose wrinkling a little. "Bet I could show you a better time than all of— " He gestures broadly, indicating the partygoers and their substance abuse. "This. Let's ditch." If he recognises her, it's nothing he says out loud, though he searches her face as if there were clues to find there.

Wendy's not looking at John when he does, looking over at bulky men instead that are a foot taller than everyone else - taller than her even. Bare footed, dressed in a little black sheath that could be interchangeable on any person here, pearls around her neck and pearls in her ear. The other ear is hidden by a fall of dark straight hair. Line at the corners of her eyes, of her mouth, as if the weight of need that even he can feel is tenfold for her and pronounced on every part of her.

"I can't."

Wendy leans over, picking up a delicate chain, each link seamless and etched in in lines to produce a glittering effect when the blazing sun beats down on it. Where the end is, you can't see because there's lines like these everywhere, all leading off like silvery webs to everyone's ankles. There's dead ends, lead off into the shadows where their previous owners have faded off

"No one can leave here unless it's through the shadows, or" She gestures to the pool, with it's writhing and drowning occupants. "It's so hard not to just jump in the pool it's so hot. It would cool me down" Somewhere off to left, a woman is yelling, hauled up by two of the black suited faceless men as she kicks and screams, dragging her towards one of those shadows."See. She wasn't doing it. Drink more. Before they see. I have a bottle hidden. I'll protect you"

Another generous sip is slid back, the back of his hand used to wipe his mouth as Logan takes his time to study this new information, the indefinite web of binding connection glittering in the high sun, and the suits that patrol and pace the periphery of the setting. Neediness shimmers in the air like heat waves, settling on the skin like perspiration, and he shakes his head as if to clear it. Even at seventeen, he knows what it is to be on the other side — have people who need from you.

"I can take them," he states, head angling in a cocksure kind of manner, pale eyes glittering. "You don't have to protect me from anyone." The glass, he allows it to slip through his long fingers, tumbling down onto the stone work underfoot, and promptly shattering into a million shimmering pieces.

A switchblade is spirited out from his pocket, giving the woman, older at least in this setting, a quick grin before he's crouching back down to snatch at the web-thin thread at her ankle. He puts blade to it, slicing— or attempting to, working the edged steel against the silver.

Shattering glass gets some attention from the suited gorilla's. Not that glasses don't shattere here, thrown by drunk and high individuals as a lark before they double over to inhale, or snort up another line.

They see Wendy standing beside the pool, sipping on her drink with a very bored silhouette while Logan kneels down to work on the silver chain.

It resists, the links refusing to part ways with the knife at first. Something in the way she's standing, or perhaps the shock of platinum blonde hair draws a faceless - not really - goon in thier direction, weaving between partygoer's, pausing to encourage more imbibing, snorting, injecting, smoking any form of getting the drungs into the people so they can sink them into the shadow.

A link starts to weaken though, a catch in Wendy's breath as she can feel it, see it when she glances down. "They're coming" Whisered through falsely smiling lips near good enough to make a ventriloquist smile. "Hurry" Another few scratchs in the surface of the link as one of goons is distracted by someone else who's partaken too much and a seeming invisible command to see to the person. Wendy snatches up a handful of pills from a candy bowl on the table, varying drugs piled in there like they were hard candy's at a christmas party. A glass of champagnes that's passing by is plucked up, head tilted back and the golden liquid trickled into her mouth in the hopes it will fool the suited man.

Tougher than fatter ropes, or stubborn plastic of ziplock handcuffs, the chain slices against his palm where he holds it to cut, making quicker work of scoring flesh than he does when he puts steel to it. "Got it, 've got it, just a bit," he mutters, distracted, and as the small blade manages to work its way through it, sparks begin to fly at each grating of metal on metal, burning, making tiny marks in the polyester of his shirt and angrier red pinpricks on his skin as he hisses, turns his face from it.

When the chain does snap, knife jerking through it, it sends a vibration coarser than the subtle scrapings of his attempts through the web. Snapping the knife closed, Logan is on his feet with a kind of youthful energy he hasn't lost upon edging towards thirty, an arm hooking around her waist and urging her to move. "Come on!"

The handful of pills making for her mouth would have done well to fool them, make the suited individual turn away and all would be fine. But there's a glance down when the chain is severed, a look up when John Logan's shock of hair rises and someone who doesn't look like they belong is quite obviously there. A yell goes out, a series of heads turning in unison to look at the pair of them even as his hand slides around her waist and she pirouette's on one skinny ankle to turn towards him and with him.

Pills falls from her hand like a shower of skittles, little red ones, triangular pink ones, oval blue ones, red and white long ones, every imaginable shape and size scatter to the floor, spin and come to a rest beside the ragged ruin of the silvery chain. The other end drags on the textured cement, glittering as she takes a few steps away with him. Revelers block their way - unintentionally or maybe intentionally - a gaggle of them drifting towards the pool with raucous laughter. More suited individuals are gathering, wending their way through the party and fast closing.

At this range, John's brought the scent of London— or his section of it— with him, all cut grass, urban smoke, the mingling of marijuana and nicotine, earthier than the aromas of wine and cologne that Wendy herself has gotten used to by now. He's warm, too, healthy as opposed to feverish, sinking through his own clothing and her's, and he takes a hold of her wrist in a rough, boyish clasp. "Don't look back," is his advice, trying to shoulder and pointy-elbow his way through the cattle-like crowd of the party goers and the more shark-like approach of the men in suits.

His other hand is full, now. It's not a golden sword, which might have made quick work of the chains, nor a silver revolver which would made quick work out of the approaching men. Instead, black iron comes in the shape of what seems to be a crowbar, held with certainty. He risks a glance back, and as he goes, releases the clasp on her wrist, places his palm on the small of her back, and pushes her forward.

Pivots in the same motion, bringing the crowbar up and around to connect against the jaw of the closest guard. "I'm right behind you!" he assures Wendy.

Telling someone not to look back just means that they'll look back. Black hair shifting in an arc through the air in her quick departure, hands up to protects herself as they slice through the populace/ SHoulders jar against another persons, the other being forced into the pool of glowing liquid, prompting giggles and a lemming like herding towards the pool and to follow suit. Wendy claws at the people to avoid being swept away with them, get past them while she tries to keep an eye on Logan. Though a part of her longs to be swept up, taken away on the tide of people and to eventually become still at the bottom of the pool of refrain.

But the chain is broken, and with it a part of the pull and the heaviness that permeates the air seems to have less impact on her.

The goon was unexpecting of the attack by crowbar, expecting just hands and nails, feet, knee's. While they seem strong in looks, like what you'd see patrolling fancy clubs and enforcing that delineation between those who are it and those who are not. The velvet rope. His face crumples like paper and moments later, blows away like ash, his body soon following. This doesn't deter the others who follow in suit en mass to try and overwhelm Logan. Knives appearing in their hands and reaching out to take a swipe at the young man and his cold forged iron.

"The guest house!" Wendy yells out to him, one hand outstretched toward him even as she is surged towards the pool and yet manages to take more steps to safety balancing on the balls of her feet. "Run for the guest house!"

A knife is turned aside by the swing of the crowbar, but it's a blunt weapon wielded by hooligans who don't know how to fight properly. Logan circa late '90s is no different, crying out when a knife slashes too close, jumping back as if burned and quite prepared to take Wendy's advice and run. But he turns, instead, seeing her swallowed by the crowd, pushing and herding her towards the edge of the Refrain lake. "Wendy! Fuck it— "

The downward swoop of a knife has Logan ducking aside, pushing further into the crowd of users, reaching out a hand for Wendy as much as it leaves him without much to do but get swept up or cut down too. "Come on," he urges, fingers snagging at her's, pulling against the push of the crowd as much as it leaves him just as open to being swept away. But as soon as their fingers touch, there's a shimmer of light. A thin chain of glittering gold wraps snake-like around her wrist, taut between them where it disappears up his sleeve. It cuts firm into her skin without slicing, reels her towards him.

Goon falls to the crowbar, knives clattering to the ground amidst papers that fall to dust when feet trample. Where blades strike there is burning, some unknown chemical painted on the blades that seems to crawl underneath the skin. The throng getting deeper and deeper as the seconds tick by with the guests all getting in on the game of jump into the pool and swirl around in the liquid. For a moment, Wendy seems to teeter on the edge and about to go over with the rest of them.

But it's Logan once more to the rescue, even as a blue drenched hand scrabble's to latch onto the severed chain around her ankle and pull her in with the rest. The music increase two fold, base reverberating through everyone's chest and drowning out the altercation that brews. The golden chain from him is stronger, her own fingers closing around it as her other pushes at people to get them out of her way. Pushing them into the water, pushing them into the goons, fighting against anything that promises or looks like it might keep her from the teenager who's turning out to be an ally against the nightmare and the temptations that are all around them.

"You don't belong here" A goon far more present than the others is approaching, a bigger knife in hand as he pushes his companions away or behind him while he bears down on Logan and Wendy. "She does. You don't"

"No," Logan snarls, turning a furiously bright green glare at the man bearing down at him, jutting the crowbar up in warning, pointing its hooked end towards the goon's chest. "No, she doesn', so you can just— sod off." Silver tongue is apparently something you mature into, and he takes a step back as much as he and his own chain of addiction, gaining its own avatar in the rules of Wendy's dreamscape, don't release the lady. "Wendy— "

He looks back at her, certainty suddenly alighting in his expression. "Tell them. Fight them. I can't 'old on forever." As if to lend credence to this claim, the golden chain slips just a little, in tandem with emerald eyes diluting back to paleness, before burning bright once more.

It slips again, a hand around that silver chain yanking back and causing her to jerk in his grasp. One foot slides back towards the pool and drives her off balance even with that request from Logan. The green eyes. Lord. Even in her dreams she knows now who it is in tandem with the english accent. "Logan…" Both hands now reach for him, tug him towards her and get a better grip. "I don't want to be here Logan. I don't want to be in all this. I don't-" She jerked again, another hand on the silver chain making her teeter. "I don't… I don't belong here"

She yanks back with her raised foot, giving power to the english teenager as grips are lost on the delicate chain around her ankle.

The summoning of his name has him smiling, sudden and relieved and youthfully encouraging, giving her a brisk nod. Whatever heart he has to aid an addict, it apparently comes from a time when he was a little less— himself, as it were. "You're better than this," he adds, feeling that surge of control dealt to him upon her affirmation. If it's a lie, it's a sweet one, delivered with belief and feeling. With a sudden yank, the slender teenager has her jerked forward completely away from the pool, arms promptly around her waist, as much give to the golden chain as they need.

Movement is a natural progression, sudden freedom, or the attempts of. If Logan could truly control the landscape, everyone would turn to simply dust and ash, but for now, he can only urge her to retreat with him, carving a path through those around them with brute force.

People part, like hot knife through butter, allowing the two to move without hindrance or very little. To them at least - The goons still try but meet up with the throng as they close back in the wake of the woman and teenager. Some are trampled as people realize there's more than the pool of refrain to pay attention to. The safety of the guest house is within reach, the lack of people coming in and out, the curtains drawn and the French doors that beckon. "Door, in the back. We can escape there" She doesn't know about Logan being real, very real and in her head. She looks back constantly, stumbling now and then but her grip on the teenager is iron, the scent of pot, other drugs, the eighted scent of paints on her skin and fingers digging into his upper arm. "Don't leave me"

He only charges in the given directions, not needing to keep a hold of her. The glimmering chain does that plenty, as does Wendy's steely lock on Logan's upper arm. "Not now," he assures, breathlessly. "Just 'old on." The windows of the building show nothing, curtains veiling the interior from prying eyes, but Logan isn't sparing them a second glance, moving on towards where the French doors hang still. With all of the bulldog grace of a teenage boy, he busts on through them with Wendy in his wake, dirt tracking sneakers squeaking on wooden floors as he staggers to a halt.

There's a loud clatter as he pitches the crowbar away from him, where it bounces, then deletes itself from the dreamscape without particular drama or flare. "You going t'be okay? In 'ere?"

Door's clamp shut behind them, shaking and vibrating under the weight of the suited goons who try in vain to get through, fingers scratching at the doors, windows letting through muted sounds of laughter, angered shouts, even the music. Wendy stands near Logan in the main room of the guest house, surrounded by canvases of ever changing oil paintings, pastel's, sketches. People, places, snippets of the day, past days, history that rolls through various frames then disappear. Gone is the need that was palpable - replaced by something less addictive, less oppressing but easier to deal with.

"If I don't go out" If she doesn't get a moment of weakness for the pool, or the things around it. Hands cling to the golden chain much like she did to the little blue syringes in reality. The chain more physical than some would realize, an addiction of a different kind.

Logan as she knows him flits into reality on two of the multitude on fcanvases that cover the walls in their frames. Some lurid, some not, others… The various facets of John Logan that wendy's seen. Fast as they come, they go.

"If you…" He's about to say, wake up, but somehow that telling detail seems more like a quick fix than the solution. Instead, Logan trails his pale eyed gaze over those reflections of himself, fidgeting with the golden thread held taut between them as the corner of his mouth hooks up. "Yeah, that's me." Would be, one day. Logan moves towards one of the canvases, touching a hand to its border, shifting colours briefly reflecting on his skin before the surface seems to shift, distort, and become more mirror like to portray an angle of who he is now, a slice of Wendy as well. "But I think I'd better go now. You'll be safe in 'ere."

Finger by finger she lets go of the golden chain, almost letting it slip from around her wrist and pool loose as she looks at the altered frame and canvas, of what Logan's drawn there with his hand and his thought. "I'll be safe" She echoes, bare feet shifting on the floor nervously. She takes up the slack of the chain, looking over at him. "Leave me the chain. I'll be safe with the chain" in as much as the silver chain kept her anchored out there.

Logan glances down at the chain, and then nods once in agreement. "It'll stay," he promises, with a glance towards the doors, then back to her. The smile he gives her is almost apologetic— kind, for all that he can't quite seem to manage the same thing in true life. "I can come back. I'll know if I 'ave to." And he leaves it at that, turning towards the mirror-canvas and promptly ducking through it, the silvery surface shimmering over him as he disappears. The chain trails after him, but only for a moment - one end remaining hooped around Wendy's slender wrist, and the other floating connecting in the center of the canvas restoring back to her usual paint and oil.

As if maybe her addiction weren't only to Logan, too. And just like that, he's gone from the room, and her head.

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