Sick Fucks


deckard_icon.gif logan_icon.gif

Scene Title Sick Fucks
Synopsis A violent confrontation in the back alley of Burlesque is more revelatory than either of its participants would likely care for anyone else to know.
Date March 22, 2010

Burlesque - Alley

The back door of Burlesque opens— spills light rectangular onto the asphalt of the fenced off parking lot, golden and bringing music with it— and closes again, meaning that Logan is alone once more after the two women have decided their smoke break is concluded. There is only so much lingering one can do when their employee is standing right there, and eventually, the blonde and brunette both dropped their cigarettes, ground them out with heels almost in sequence, and shuffled on inside, the one in the furcoat extending the Brit a wave before leaving him alone. He'd given her a compulsive smile which had shut off almost as sharply as the door had been closed.

It's cold out here but he's starting to get used to it, again. It's not snowing nor sleeting, an honest kind of chill that breathes into the lungs sharply, adds a sort of oomf to the poison Logan is already enjoying in the form of warmer, acrid smoke, blowing it out against through his nostrils. It's getting to be that hour in the evening where the security shift rolls over with a few more warm bodies than before. More girls mean more patrons mean more eyes required to watch everything.

He's not doing a very good job of it, out here, shadowed by the fire exit making metal ribcages diagonally up the brickwall building. Moonlight and streetlamps make the shadows of the metal stairway paint shadows across the huddled strip club manager, skulking at a lean against the building with a curving cane head hooked on his arm and lit cigarette, the brightest part of him, pinched between the V of two fingers.

The cold itself wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't for the snow and ice that sloughs along after it like shit behind a big white horse, thick in the streets as it is in the spaces between them, these days. The ice in particular makes for shoddy footing, and as water doesn't have the common courtesy to reflect or absorb x-rays, well.

For most of the way here, he's had to hoof it in mundane-o-vision.

Only once he's turned down the alley and seen that it's relatively clear does Deckard trigger his eyes alight, twin points of chilly blue completing the triangle that's offset by the orange ember of his cigarette. He's an intimidating figure at a distance: broad shoulders, long coat and glowing eyes all still until a wall-to-wall sweep further determines that there is no one (immediately visible) waiting to jump out and mug him for all he's worth (not much.)

The only bones around to stand out bright against cold bricking belong to John Logan, and Deckard's seen just about enough of them to wear down his potentially healthy dread of their fine construction. Cigarette rolled carefully from one corner of his mouth to the other, he presses on with his head ducked, his knit cap tugged low and his hands shoved deep into his pockets, not quite a stray slinking in around unfriendly heels for an open door out've the cold, but close enough.

Skeletons must look cold all the time, and Logan's is swathed in layers appropriate for the chilled evening. A suit, an overcoat, and feet strapped into boots instead of fine Italian leather. His scarf is hanging somewhere in his office, like his gun is in his desk drawer. Does, of course, have a knife, a feature that isn't strange on his person, and he's held a cane since the Brooklyn accident some several days ago. The end of it comes to click neatly now against the asphalt, even if the most of Logan's weight remains on his two feet.

Moving as soon as he recognises Deckard, which is not difficult to do, between his longly tall frame and bright blue demon eyes. Out from under the angle of metal stairwell, a hand up to catch against the ice-cold steel above his head. The door is just over there and Logan isn't blocking it in any way except for his voice which—


— is as sharp as a leash tug, muffled though it might be with his teeth clamped on his cigarette filter. The smoldering tip jerks and weaves, because not only his Logan genetically gifted with the talent of fucking with people's biological chemistry, he can also talk while smoking. "Where do you think you're going?"

Hey. "…Hey." Hey.

Deckard draws up well short of the door, brow hooded into a classic Who, me? knit when he half-turns to size Logan up instead. Something about his posture. Something about his tone.

Something about the question he asks with that posture and that tone.

Baffled innocence takes on a wary edge once it's all sunk in enough for Flint to perceive through context clues that Logan might've discovered a pissy old carpet stain with his name on it. Who knows. Maybe he just thinks he has.

Bereft of answers and left only with the insinuation of accusation, he scuffs his near bootheel wetly around into the rest of a turn, facing the younger man head on in all his worn out, scuffy glory. He's greyer than ever around the fringes; sideburns lost almost entirely to grizzle and bristled stubble faded into silvery patches on either side of his chin. Whiskey stink rides with him like his shadow, more acrid than warm in this weather, and his eyes burn like rings of neon in his skull, goshawk focus unhampered by his not-entirely-sober state.

"To work," is the answer. Obvious and inevitable. "You hired me."

The cane end scrapes the icy ground so that its length comes up to smack into his other palm once his hand is down to receive it, the thing held two handledly in loose fists as Logan paces a step forward, nodding once. He did do that, didn't he? Pale eyes weave up and down analytical once over, before he's securing his cigarette back between two fingers and tapping off useless ash.

"Not for much longer if you keep doing a shit job of it," is frank, for all that Logan is very capable of mincing around topics with delicate wording, it doesn't seem awful necessary for right now. "If you don't think there's a million of you in this city who want to be hired and won't bruise the paying clientele, then you're sadly mistaken."

Or show up drunk and hostile, among Other Things that Logan chooses to keep behind shut teeth for the moment, cutting himself off from saying more and tilting his jaw up to evaluate the other man with as much appraisal as he gives any one of the dancers that come looking for work.

A cunning linguist in his own right, Deckard can only talk around his cigarette so long as he speaks plainly and in short sentences. Maybe that's why he keeps quiet under scrutiny. Too much to say and not enough space to say it in around the draconic weave of hot smoke and breath through his sinuses. The cigarette's end seethes orange; his nostrils flare. There's more smoke. Wash, rinse.


He stares back for the duration of the chilly silence that follows, blinking far less often than he breathes.

After a span of nearly a minute (that seems like several) his eyes flicker and dim, blue fading into the shadows pitched in under his brows. His head tilts and so do his brows, precisely the wrong amount of insubordinately cocky while he completes his study of Logan nose to toes in dazzling, wintry technicolor. What's your point?

Getting smacked soundly across the face will leave its mark, although by now an Abby hand shaped print on one cheek has more or less faded into yellowish tinges that seem more like strange light and shadow on his face than injury, at least from first glance. Logan sporting bruises is probably even less unusual than him sporting silk and designer angles. There's still the remnant of a smirk on his face by the time flesh and colour all melt back into Deckard's view, but it's equally fading in the face of stony, silent insubordination.

Rather than take another breath of smoke, he only restlessly taps his cigarette again, spitting embers and ash both. "How much more do you think you have to lose?" comes across sharper, now, a touch sneering and as vivid as the pale eyes fixed in their sockets. He's not really looking at Deckard the way a boss looks at a wayward employee. "I might work for Daniel Linderman but I don't do charity.

"This is the part where you apologise, nicely."

Where Logan's hold on Deckard's attention was little more than a lazy concession a minute ago, it steels out into something a less ambiguous with remarkable speed. Unkempt stubble stands at a staticy prickle when the jaw muscles beneath it clench into knots. His Adam's apple bob's thickly around a delayed swallow, and nearly as an afterthought, his right hand lifts enough to flick his cigarette away onto damp concrete.

There's a spit of steam where it lands, ember snuffed too quickly to go quietly, and here comes Flint.

Not straight in — which may be a revelatory mistake in itself — but at a restless, indirect angle, left foot crossed first over right to stir him into a circling advance more appropriate for a coyote sizing up a not-quite-dead meal than a man-to-man confrontation. Even one on the verge of taking place in the alleyway behind a strip club.

His eyes stay dark.

"I don't think that's how it goes."

The heel of his boot scuffs too loud, to Logan's ears, on the pavement when the Brit makes a reasonably instinctive shuffle half an inch away, but retreat is aborted almost as soon as it begins. Steam vapors out of his mouth in a huff of an exhale, something like a sigh, and he goes to take a warm inhale of smoke in turn. His arm swings to his side when he's done, the other readjusting fingers around their sit on his cane. "I don't think that's really up to you," Logan says around the whimsical climb of emphasis that a South London accent brings to a statement.

His body shifts half a fraction to compensate for the beginning of circling, but he's not getting wound around in a swivel. "I want to know it won't happen again and see a little remorse, or you're fucking fired." He's also not extending a touch of his ability, not yet, and so his eyes are just as dull, nearly matte in contrast to the warning glow they spring, like the hide of a poisonous toad.

Deckard's nostrils flare and his eyes narrow, advance temporarily staved into uneasy stalemate by Logan's lack of retreat or the strength of his reprisal. …Or even more likely, by a third, more unconscious influence and the threat of its withdrawal.

He's quiet again, wild eyes cycling unholy blue, and dark, and blue again. And dark. The impression is one of better or worse measure and calculation, like he's looking for something and isn't quite sure what or where to start. Odds are it's been a little while since someone Logan's stature didn't back down in the face of a bristle and baring of teeth.

A held breath blasts thin through his teeth, fog kicked out in a heftier roll after it a few seconds later. In a half a minute where technically nothing's happened, he's clearly thinking about it.

Bones, organs filling them with muscle and flesh knitting back over them, skin, clothing and expression, and then back again. What Deckard finds depends more on what he's looking for. Logan's heart is beating as it should, if a little faster than what is necessary for a casual conversation pertaining to an employee's performance review. The old patchwork scarring of his right leg and whatever damage is detectable beneath that at a cursory glance doesn't seem to be so meaningful that he can't stand on two feet, cane loose in his hand. He's smirking again, in other news, if a slightly compulsive curl of his lip to bare teeth can be called that.

He flicks away his cigarette, expecting the damp ground to put it out, though orange scattering does manage to sparkle for a few seconds on the ground between them. "Did you pay her?" Logan keeps his focus forward and posture straight, the cant of his head quizzical if sardonically so. "The hooker in Chelsea. What's the going rate for that sort of thing these days?"

Oh no.

Sharp as the crack of a skull through a pane of plate glass, Logan has the full of Deckard's attention, eyes lurid blue in their ghastly burn through the fog of his own breath. Old muscle draws itself out in wiry cords through the stiff of his neck and shoulders; restless flinching and fidgeting against the cold sheers itself off into stock stillness. His buttons have always been easy to push. Always. But no amount of flipping switches has ever provoked a reaction quite as obsidian-edged as this one.

Oh, hello. Logan's smile is near cheshire, in that while the rest of him doesn't exactly disappear around it, there is nothing about his stance, demeanor, or the stare focused on Deckard that communicates what smiles should. Maybe fear — tension, certainly. "Paper's said it was like the killer was learning as he went," he says, voice gentle out of his throat for all that his stare is sharp much like the rest of him, and he rocks a step forward. "I'm curious about what you learned about her, but really— 's more about what we're all learning about you."

For all that he's standing very still now, Flint's pretty quick for an older guy. Necessary talent in his line of work.

…Whatever that happens to be.

There are no swords, this time. No unicorns or dragons or choking ash. Just a shaky, uneven exhale that wavers thin at the base of his nose. Then he's moving again. Forward. One step at a time, no rush — a slow, grinding, locomotive build — like he suspects he has all the time in the world. Logan only has so many directions he can cut and run in, and in this particular alleyway on this particular night in this particular timeline, John's the one with the gimp leg.

The man Deckard is bearing down on in a kind of mechanical determination is certainly not a superhero or prince charming or whatever it was that dreaming granted him permission to be, the scarlet shine of his tie about the only colourful thing on him between charcoal pinstripes and navy wool. The look up and down that Deckard gets is a little zigzag and frantic, measuring from toe to head, before Logan is retracting the step closer he'd taken with the click of a cane and scuffing feet.

"'cept I already know about it," he sneers with a flare of a less facetious viciousness, left hand hiding into his coat pocket and feeling out the folded blade, fingertips slipping to push it open in the confines of satin-lined wool. "All about it. Back up, old man."

"No." The rough quiet of Deckard's flat affect carries well in cold air. No wind to muffle it off coarse or sting at his eyes, which can't have missed the manipulation of Logan's knife into the equation. And for all that John's seen their hellish glow countless times over the last year, he's only been looked at this way once before.

There's no humor to be found anywhere in his long face. Shadows sink unforgiving into hard-hewn hollows and around lines that have more to say about suffering than they do the amount of time he spends smiling. He doesn't even look angry.

Just cornered. And maybe a little starved.

Also, he doesn't back up. He doesn't even stop. It's a wonder he slows down upon entering the region of Arm's Reach, where it becomes necessary to calculate for where that sting is most likely to stick when he pounces.

Interesting thing, about taking body parts — usually drives home a message. People don't try things twice because the notion of losing pieces is a damaging thing. Not that Logan is awful sure how that works when those parts grow back. Abby's shown her claws last week and Deckard is— right here, glowing eyes Logan knows better from when they'd been picking a translucent gaze through his torso before knives and fingers tried to follow, and the smell of whiskey, and less to lose as he'd noted before.

The knife doesn't do much right away, just exposes its metal to the nighttime chill and kept low. It's the cane that slides up through his hand in an attempt to swing up the blunt end towards Deckard's long face when he's broaching Arm's Reach — neck, jaw, eye, Logan's isn't being very fussy.

It's super effective.

Cane cracks solid to skull and static sizzles bright across Deckard's field of x-ray vision in place of pain. His head's turned with the force of impact, and with no thought spared for the expense of his suit and how the liquid warmth melting quick into his eye and across the ridge of his cheekbone is going to depreciate its value, he staggers half a step and brings his momentum back around into a bull shark lunge. All teeth and testosterone and very little in the way of bell rung brains.

Also, a fist whipped and slung into a left hook meant to exchange blow for blow while his ears ring and a delayed shock of pain explodes in his temple, fumbling efforts to grease his own knife up off his belt.

The metal tipped end of the cane bounces off the asphalt when Logan's hand loosens from it, the thing clattering to the slick pavement after Logan's staggers in the wake of a small sound which might be the equivalent of reaction to a broken nail as opposed to a punch to the face. Not that it doesn't hurt, a dark line of blood making his smile look a) existent and b) wider than it should be when his palm smears at broken skin.

His other hand keeps a clamping fist around his knife which hooks upwards mostly to stick as a warning between them before Deckard can lurch back in, Logan in contrast lurching back and towards his building. Blade kept low like it might aim for the softer stomach than the hard casing of ribcage up a little higher, and his other hand presses its back to his own mouth. Bright, now, are his eyes, not just with his own adrenaline or fear or anger but the pleasanter chemicals fired into synapses, micromovements and their pleasure signals from Deckard's brain down to the minor erogenous areas, tingling that has more to do with happiness than arousal.

Logan'll start talking when he knows it won't come out as a slur. And still standing.

"Hhhh—" is the thready sound air makes when it's forced out of Deckard's lungs without purpose: words forgotten, pleasure and mirth not militant enough to organize the exhalation into a laugh at his own expense, no matter how choppy or harsh. The sentiment's carried in a show of his teeth, jackal slash of a grin bared white until a second shockwave of pain strangles it into a flinch instead.

Holy shit, his head.

There's a split at the side of his brow — the kind of thing that's going to need stitches — and blood already matting thick at the bristle of his beard growth on that side. It is a little creepily unnatural that he is still conscious to reap the benefits of Logan's ability at all.

A drag of one gloved hand scuffs his cap off his head and does little to ease the pain. That task is left to endorphins and Logan's influence — both of which he seems retardedly content to stand and endure without resistance or further assault.

Air judders out between Logan's teeth, something like a shudder, something like laughter, and he's not lowering his knife even with that continued assault of serotonin and general artificial feel-goods. When he swallows, it's mostly blood slicking a dry throat, which is gross — he'll spit next time rather than stand that iron taste at the back of his tongue. Glowing eyes tick up and down Deckard's frame, rest on that wound with a sort of fascinated curiousity that the hooker's innards might have gotten at one stage.

"There's a good boy," is thick sounding, Logan edging around so that he might collect his cane up off the ground, silver and black handle spattered with red though it may be — it's still nice. Four of 'em, so they say. Maybe more, if you were smarter about, but I get the impression you don't care."

Wood and metal scrapes as he goes to pick it up, without taking his eyes and concentration off Deckard, without dropping his knife, without making his right leg twinge. It's a mission. "Only recognised the Chelsea trick for what and who it was, if it's any consolation. You. You're a sick fuck, did you know that."

Words can hurt.

That Deckard is unusually susceptible to them where he is extraordinarily resilient to being cracked over the head with metal and wood might not surprise those who know him well. Or even those who just know him the way Logan does, because it makes him easier to manage the same way a little picker upper every now and then keeps him weaving warily along at the pimp's heels.

It's beneficial to know these things. Every now and again it might even save your life.

Flint stays put, shoulders slack and scruffy chin up, black hatred as bright in his eyes as the genetic pulse of electromagnetic radiation that rings on unabated at their core. Miserable submission hollows his jaw and furrows his brow — even angles his face and all its hard edges slightly away where his eyes stay put, focus shrill through fading pain and the gummy drip of fast-freezing blood off his chin into his collar.

Logan brings his knife up only to close it with a dance of long fingers, opening his coat to slip it into an inner pocket. Slowly, that warm haze of chemical happy retreats like a fading tide, exposing the sharper edges and debris of the littered landscape that makes up Deckard's usual mood. Now pale eyes blink and assess. Food chain established, leash tested, and he's somehow not saying the words you're fired. "Finish the job with me and everyone'll know," he says, switching his cane into his right hand, tongue darting out to collect blood from the corner of his mouth before giving Deckard a chin up. "Bet I didn't need to point that out."

And he's retreating back into the strip club from his smoke break, showing blatant hatred the span of his back and taking with him knives, blunt weapons, insidious power.

Demon eyes rolled into a slow close at Logan's turned back, Flint stays standing where he is long after the pimp's cleared out and left him to marinate in his own filth.

After thinking fails to go anywhere productive and shuffling inside no longer feels like a safe idea, having a panic attack seems like the thing to do. He sinks into a crouch and eventually a sit in slush and bloody dribble, battered face buried in the crook of his elbow.

One hour, one butterfly bandage, one glass of whiskey and a borrowed dress shirt later, he's inside frowning at patrons who don't behave themselves and wresting drunks off their bar stools and out the door like a pro.

He can think later.

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