Sophie's Choice


logan_icon.gif ryans3_icon.gif

Scene Title Sophie's Choice
Synopsis Benjamin Ryans approaches John Logan about shelter for his daughter, at the recommendation of a mutual associate.
Date January 29, 2011

Near Burlesque

It's lucky that Mister John Logan is here at all. That's what the guy at the door said, after taking some basic information and before pointing Ryans to the side alley that veins down between Burlesque and the out of business music store it neighbours. Snow gathers gray in the gutters, filthy looking, and in the alleyway it's even worse with trash and cigarette butts, but the narrow corridor opens up into space before long, a diamond wire gate partially opened into the parking lot situated at the back of the strip joint. Above, the grey sky is darkening swifter, but there's still enough light to see by.

There's a clatter as a soccer ball rebounds off fencing, and by the time Ryans is there, Logan is moving to still the sphere with the toe of his shoe. A slightly nicer shoe than football in the meltwater parking lot of a strip joint would normally allow for, but hey. It keeps him warm, the activity. His suit is a black three-piece, with the jacket removed and left somewhere, his shirt white with hints of gold, cuffs and collar unbuttoned. A lanky man, young enough without being unreliably youthful, blonde hair that thins premature at the temples, and pale, pale eyes.

He ignores Ryans mostly, in order to properly collect soccer ball, and kick it again. It's good technique, the object rebounding off fencing, back to him. "Who are you to Delia Ryans?" is called out, without looking over his shoulder. He doesn't look like he has a cellphone on him, despite the fact that Ryans left the security guard thumbing into his phone. "DoEA?"

A strip club is probably the very last place you'd find, Benjamin Ryans. Yet, there is he… or at least close to it. The older gentlemen feeling some relief over not having to really step foot in there. Old training from a wife long gone, makes him desperately want to avoid such places.

"Her father." Comes the rumbled reply, softly spoken and void of any really emotions. Yet, Logan still clearly hears it. It's been far too long, since this voice was heard, when pulling the other man from the wreckage of a car.

A glance at him, Benjamin doesn't even look old enough to be her father.

While his hair still needs a trim and his' got the beginnings of a beard peppering his jaw, Ryans made sure to dress at least a little nice. Meaning, instead of flannels, he wears a pale blue button up shirt. Goes well with the dark jeans he's wearing, tucked in neat. As he slowly approaches, the duster he wears seems to try to billow behind him dramatically, left open as it is. Most likely for easy access to whatever he's wearing.

Closer, the old gray fedora was pulled off his head with one hand, making a lock of that longish dark hair fall across his forehead. "Benjamin Ryans. Eileen said you might be of some assistance." He watches the younger man kick the ball around, judging this person.

Her father has Logan halting the next kick, whipping around to look and see for himself with mild surprise written onto his symmetrical features. Paranoid, too, but he manages not to immediately claim, I didn't touch her, seeing as no one ever believes him. Even when it's true. A critical glare follows at the next familiar name, of the bird girl, Logan sniffing once as he folds his arms across his narrow torso, soccer ball still by bracing a heel against it.

The temptation to leap to conclusions is difficult, but avoided. "Depends on the sort," he says, while he scrutinises Ryans' distinctive features. There is something terribly familiar about him, but it's not surfacing, especially when this context puts Ryans in a sort of Delia-based world instead of—

Cars exploding. Bridges. Severe snow.

There is a small nod of Ben's head, as if in understanding. "A place to hide, Mr. Logan," he says softly, not really in the mood to beat around the bush. This isn't easy for him, going to others for help. "My daughter has only recently woken from a coma." The fedora is held lightly in one hand, fingers gripping the brim. "She's weak and still recovering. Susceptible to illness. Her needs, don't allow me to put her…" He gives a small gesture of his hands. "In certain situations."

He pauses, studying the other man as if trying to place him. Brows tip down curiously, taking a step closer and still keeping a respectable distance.

"Right now," he rumbles on after a moment. "She's with people I don't trust." Not that he knows the younger man well, but… "Eileen seems to believe that you might be the answer. I can only guess she sees you as trustworthy enough. Another pauses as he yet again considers Logan. " At least, in this case and I trust her."

Surprise happens behind his face, and Logan manages not to reflect it — his expression is business-like and neutral, absently rocking the soccer ball back and forth underfoot, before he kicks it away from himself and paces towards the building. Not to go inside — to take down where he hung up a woolen greatcoat on the fireescape that zigzags up to the rooftop. He takes a silver cigarette case from a pocket, first, before shrugging on the garment against the cold.

"I've resources," he says, after some silence over this concept of trustworthiness. His teeth nip the filter of a cigarette, drawing it from case, which is snapped shut, and speaks around it. "Your daughter came to me for a fake ID. She got stung, through no fault of mine, mind." He pauses, them, derailing from his own train of thought, eyes hooding contemplatively as his hand wanders for a lighter.

He meanders forward some, before plucking cigarette from his mouth to add: "I had some weird dreams about her. Dream dreams, not the regular sort."

Brow tick up just a little, turning just enough to follow where Logan goes, yet still holding his ground. The fedora is placed back on his head, if anything cause he has not other place for it. And it keeps his head warm.

That she went looking for ID and got caught isn't a surprise to the old man. "Yes, well… she doesn't have the… street smarts that go along with such deception." He remembers having to pick her up from the station.

A time before he had to run.

"And it's those very dreams that have landed her in that situation. Delia has a lot to learn about what she can do." Fatherly affection manages to creep into his tone. Boots shift on wet asphalt, bits of the whatever crunches under the soles of his boots. "And unfortunately, thanks to the loss of my place of employment last year shortly after the Great Storm… I don't have the resources that I once had." A bit of a sore point for the old man.

The Great Storm. That's the one.

Small damn city.

Logan has by now lit his cigarette, so the ember end glows bright orange when he jabs the air in Ryans' direction, recognition now showing sudden in his expression and amusement pulling at the corners of his mouth. Ahaha, it says, though laughter never does occur, something somewhat compulsive and canine about his smile that isn't to do with mirth. Foxes grin like that too. Could have sworn Ryans was heaps older tho'.

He takes a deep inhale of smoke, blowing it out through his nose. "Well. I know the management of the Corinthian. Put some people into hiding there before.

"It's the last golden fortress of the city. Secure, safe, insulated, and there's room service. A coma's serious shit, though. I was wondering where she'd gone." Well. Maybe he was wondering. It occurs to him now, at least, that he hadn't really heard from her, and his fleeting look around the hospitals in the aftermath of the first dreams had yielded nothing and only assured him all was probably right in the world.

Brows lift higher on his head, lips press tight for a moment. One of Linderman's building. An old friend and employer even. A small smile tug up at the corner of Ben's mouth, only ever so slightly. It deeps the lines there for a moment. "Not a bad idea." There is approval there. Some of the tension easing out of those shoulders.

The fact that his son is now engaged to Linderman's personal assistant helps there too.

Maybe, just maybe that could work. Of course, things like this are never free. Blue eyes narrow hawkish and wary, one hand brushes back the edge of his jacket and tucks into the pocket of his jeans. "I'm curious what it would take to get you to help me, make this happen?" Head tips a fraction to one side, curious as to the answer. Voice deep like a big cat purring, he continues,"Unemployed as I can I have no real way of compensating you monetarily. And while, Eileen seems to think that you both could come to… some arrangement. This is my daughter."

Logan's regard for Ryans narrows in thought, hesitating whatever it was he was about to say before the corner of his mouth turns up in compulsive smirk, though it twists a little, thoughtful. Had he had his way, serotonin and euphoria might be glowing in Ryans' system, but he does not, which doesn't stop him from moving closer, the ground crunching beneath the soles of his Italian patent leather shoes. He flicks his cigarette aside, his posture loose and unassuming by the time he comes to a halt some couple of feet away.

"I quite like Delia. She's very— fresh. I wouldn't ask for very much, in the long run," he says, letting his voice take on its natural huskiness, emphasised by a lower volume and the smoke he'd been enjoying. A hand plays out, then, fingertips coming to pinch the edge of Ryans' duster hem.

There is an acid undertone to the cologne he wears, thick and liberal. "I feel we missed out on the kiss part of last year's valiant rescue, don't you?"

His personal space breached, Benjamin doesn't do what most men might quickly do. Even though there is another man so close, he doesn't take a step back to regain that distance, holding his ground. Being the larger, taller of the two men, chances are he'd be able to keep that little patch of blacktop.

Even so, brows lift with surprise… well, maybe not surprise. Ryans' head tips down a little to regard those nicely kept fingers gripping his coat, obscuring his face a little for a moment. This is not something he really expected.

"The handsome young gentleman with nice car." He sounds as if he's suddenly remembering himself.

Benjamin's head tilts to the side enough to get a glance down the length of Logan's form to the leg he remembers being injured then. "Recovered well, I see." Ryans says softly, with the slightest hint of amusement, blue eyes flicking up to paler one, even as strong fingers move to bracket those thinner wrists. Tightening like iron shackles, but still fairly gentle as he attempts to remove them from their hold. He doesn't want to bruise the man that could be his daughter's savior, after all. "Pity about that car… It was a nice car."

He still doesn't let goes of those wrists, held between them, as he leans down to where his head comes along side the younger mans, brim of Ryans' hat keep the distance respectable. This close his own scent is just noticeable, breath warn against skin. The older man's voice is a rough whisper, yet still unreadable, "Kisses from damsels in distress are not necessary, Mister Logan. There is no thanks is needed, it was a pleasure to help."

Ever the gentleman.

Ben moves to straighten then, finger's releasing Logan. A single brow lifts as he ask, "Surely there must be something else?"

Tension is a give away, winding hard in Logan's shoulders when Ryans' hands close on his wrists, posture expecting, maybe, violence, and not having his hands to use is a fucking awful tactical error. Still, confidence holds, pale eyes unrelenting in stare when Ryans' allows for it, expression unassuming and watchful for all that Ryans has the kind of still, stoic expression that statues would kill for. Grip on coat is easily plucked away, his own fingers loose.

And then wrists released. Logan keeps his hands raised for a split second, fingers splaying in musical rhythm, before they drop down on either side. "For shame," he chastises, tone rich, before he backs up out of the older man's personal space at a sort of reversing saunter. "I'll consider this an investment for the future, Benjamin. A favour for when I might need it, in exchange for a favour.

"Delia'll be safe, for as long as the Corinthian is."

Except to a subtle flush to his skin, it is almost as if Logan hadn't just offered a kiss. Hands moving to tuck casually into pockets, Ben measures the weight of the other man's words carefully.

A favour.

It's never good to owe people things, especially when you don't know what they will be. However, it is his daughter and the chips are not stacked in the old man's favor.

"Alright," he draws out the word just a little, followed by a short nod. "Favor for a favor." Ryans isn't happy about it, but his back is against the wall. "I meet with these people soon, I hope to retrieve her then and get her settled in. Knowing her, the idea of staying at such a posh establishment will make her happy." Spoiled thing she is."You'll contact me with the information, I assume?"

Impossible to see in this light and distance, Logan's pupils expand briefly, listening to buzz of presence and signal that Ryans' cellphone picks up, plucking out the number for future reference. "Send us a text when you're good for it. Dial my last name for the Bat line, and I can send a car if you need it or collect her myself." And Logan acts as if he didn't just offer (or ask for) a kiss. Or maybe this is how he acts about such things anyway. Simple transactions. Best, also, to make the favour a good one, an easy one, for ease of use for when he has something in mind in turn.

His coat flares a little as he turns sharply, heads for the backend entrance of the strip club. Yanking open the door spills warm lights out into the dimming, desolate parking space, golds and reds, and music winds out, brass and piano. "Is that just about everything?"

He watches the young man walk away with that mildly amused expression again, the hint of a smile on his lips. It fades away when Logan turns back. "I do believe it is." Ryans gives a slight bow, hand to his hat in a gesture of farewell. The slowly smile widens into something more noticeable, something you might expect on a cat more then this old man.

"It was a pleasure, Mister Logan."

Then he to is exiting, well away from the strip club itself.

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