Tea and Biscuits


brian_icon.gif logan_icon.gif

Scene Title Tea and Biscuits
Synopsis Weathervanes, bullets and questions. These things and more are bargained for between two men in different positions.
Date March 20, 2011

Staten Island: Eltingville Blocks

Curfew is only an idea, here.

The enforcers are more like fences with the guns pointed inwards, as opposed to the common patrol that Roosevelt Island used to see, that the rest of New York City's boroughs do see, and so there is freedom in when one chooses to scuttle inside and lock their doors, and not necessarily a handful of moments after the sun has sunk completely and dragged blue velvet night after it. It's a dark patch of neighbourhood, for all that it has wires, electricity and powerlines — surrounded by black, uninhabited space. Forest to the rest, abandoned, unkempt suburbia and the Greenbelt proper to the north, the ocean to the south. The east is the most colourful, if you get close enough to see beyond it, with the docks lit up past the fences, the airfield, the barracks.

Weeds grow through the cracks in the pavement, and there's a dog barking, somewhere. A truck sits on the curb, idle with the driver smoking a cigarette and watching what's happening in his rear view mirror. In fact, a few people are watching through different lenses — primarily the windows of their own homes— "homes"— and the gauze of curtains.

The lights gleam yellow from the house not so far down from the one Brian was given one cheery spring day, but curtains obscure whatever is happening inside. Three soldiers, with one lingering on the overgrown lawn and bearing his automatic rifle with stoic boredom, headed for the door, and a boot kicks it in off cheap lock and hinges. A light in the second storey goes out, as if in a belated effort to hide. Maybe someone's in trouble. Maybe raids are standard here. Maybe maybe.

Walking by his own self propelled light, Brian had his fingers dancing with electricity providing a shallow spout of light against the cracked road. His steps are steady and quiet. Hand held up, he glances down at the small section of earth lit up by the pale blue crackling of his hand. Some late night scrounging had turned up a few nice things. An old faded picture of dogs playing poker is tucked under his arm. One of the dogs has his face ripped out. But it's pretty close to being legit. He also found a glade plug in that probably won't work any more. But that's okay. His house can look fresh.

But if his Company training and life of paranoia has taught him anything it's to be aware. Even when celebrating a picture of dogs. Eyes flick to different peeking eyes from surrounding windows. And then they search for the source. Oh. The electricity stops dead as Brian immediately goes into a crouch. Fleeing across someones 'front yard', he goes to tuck himself near the side of the house across the street from the house being raided. Pushing himself close, he lowers himself down, watching in silence. Eyes going down to the hand that had recently been his flashlight. A missing finger. Then his eyes go back to the house. He's had this kind of visit.

And whoever is in there has his sympathies.

When the show is in another building, there's a degree of silence and boredom that goes on. The soldiers disappear through the door, and the last one kicks it near closed with a heel, though it bounces on hinges and casts a remaining sliver of light onto shabby stoop. There's a flicker of someone moving by a window just adjacent, and then a bang of another door opening. Scuffle quiet enough that it doesn't reach Brian's ears, or maybe there isn't one going at all. Maybe people are obedient enough to lay down on their stomachs, hands on their heads, and wait it out. And think of England.

There's a crackle of dry grass just behind Brian, snapping underfoot.

It grows tall and unkempt around him down the narrow vein of space between one house and the next, with cobble stones barely seen through the spiky weed-life. And little light, too, because Logan isn't ~stupid~ enough to flick on the flashlight at his belt. He's dressed down from his usual chic, in jeans, a leather jacket, although his shirt is of a fine enough quality, V-necked and woolen if sedately coloured. A hand steadied on the side of the house, and his pale eyes regarding the shape Brian makes ahead of him at the mouth of the alleyway.

Eyes focusing on the side of the building. He frowns deeply. There's not enough reason to intervene. But maybe he can stop by tomorrow with a gift basket. That might be nice. At least find out what they're getting beaten for. It's probably not because they're using electric jolts on guards. But maybe they can relate over something. The picture of the dogs is lowered to the ground, relaxed against the wall. His hand raising up to press against the bruising at his cheek.

At the snapping of dry grass, Brian whirls around immediately. Four-fingered hand flinging up with a crackle-POP of blue-white electricity jumping menacingly from pinky finger to thumb. Holding his hand up, the electricity dies out as he stares down the man wearing a V-neck. Hmm. Remaining silent and watching the man for a minute, he slowly starts to half turn to look at the house again. Then back to Logan. "What?" He asks, irritation clear.

Well fuck that.

Logan's reaction to the possible threat of electrocution should he make a wrong move is to— not make any wrong moves, head tilting a fraction in attentiveness, expression neutral, before he takes out a gun from beneath his jacket. He does not point it at Brian, or even move it very far from his belt, a thumb hooking into strap of leather and muzzle off tilted in the vague direction of where overgrown ground connects with wall. His eyebrows go up. "I was here first," is prim, English, and quiet. For all that he's made great pains to not be in a three piece suit, he's also a little too clean, whole and healthy to completely fit into the neighbourhood.

And Brian hasn't seen him here before now. Pale eyes cut sharp towards that four-fingered hand with speculative interest, then back to the face just beyond it. "Watching the show?"

"Not sure who lives there. Just worried about my community." Brian explains quietly.

The gun is noted with a dull gaze. It is given a little interest as Brian seems to keep looking back to it. "Where'd you get that?" The gun has his eyes wandering to the rest of the man. At least he thinks it's a gun. The darkness makes it hard to tell but.. It should be a gun. If it's not he'll just be inquiring about something else just as nice. Like a dildo or a remote control. Or a device that combines both.

"If you point it at me. I'll zap you." He explains quietly. "It hurts." Glancing down the road, his eyes catch onto where his home should be in the darkness. And Ernesto's just past it. A light frown pulls down on his lips.

He glances back over his shoulder. "Name?"

There's a facetious, voiceless 'oh' at the news that zapping hurts, but Logan doesn't put his gun away in the same way he doesn't aim it at Brian. Keeps it on standby as only someone used to needing a gun in hand might. His stare swoops over Brian, and even in the dark, it darts for the anklet braced around the man's left ankle, and then towards the phone nestled in jacket pocket, content to fall silent and 'listen' until Brian's question registers.

"John Logan," is neutral response. Fearless. "And you're Brian Fulk. My. Complete restrictions, potentially dangerous. Certainly not supposed to have any cellphones on you but then again, who the fuck would check?" Besides, apparently, Logan.

Noise from the house, now, enough for Logan to flick a glance up. A cry, masculine, something heavy and wooden upended.

"What do you want for it?" Brian asks. The gun. If he has one he can probably get another. So why not sell one? Right? Maybe not. But he will cling to hope. "Want this painting of dogs playing poker for it?" A light smile is tossed over his shoulder. Before his attention returns to the house. And then… Brian slowly turns as Logan makes accusations.

"No I'm not." He answers plainly. At least he has that small comfort to hold onto. They don't know his real last name. Or if they do, they aren't saying it and look STUPID anyways. And now Logan has been lumped into they. Fully turning to face Logan, his hand lowers to his side. "John Logan." He repeats. The name itself surging a bit of anger in him. "So we finally get to meet. I've heard a lot about you."

But then concern is etched into his features at the cry. Though Brian can't turn to face the house. His attention remains on Logan. "You with them?"

No I'm not gets a blankly unimpressed look, but no argument, Logan's eyes rolling for the patchy cloud night sky, then back to Brian. "I'm never with anyone," is cleanly delivered, relatively honest, and he steps to the side enough to lean against the wall. "But to be accurate, if I told you no, and you told them, they'd be quite unhappy with me." The gun lifts— but again, doesn't point— and Logan looks it over as if considering what he wants for it, if anything. It's a revolver, silver, and he cracks it open to check the rounds thoughtfully.

Slides a small handful of bullets into his palm, pocketing them. "I want you to tell me what you know've me," he states, frankly. "And in return, you can have this. So you don't go and do something stupid like zap it out of me — after all, I don't ever deal in just one thing, but I'm afraid I'd have to terminate the business relationship if— "

He pauses, tilting his attention away from Brian as if listening for something, leaving pause enough to fill.

Brian watches him carefully as he takes a few bullets from the revolver. "I'll give you a piece of information for each bullet." Winters offers quickly. He takes a step forward, peering at the man's face. It makes more sense now. He's dealt with the man in person. Just not in this face. But linking the voice and the face obscured in darkness with this odd location, well it took a while. Fortunately Brian knows a lot about John Logan but..

"Just a disclaimer before you sell your bullets. It's all bad."

He pauses as well when Logan goes quiet. Listening just as intently. But he unlike Logan, most likely, hears nothing. Glancing over his shoulder at the house for a moment, he looks back at Logan. "And if I had questions.. I suppose that would cost me something?"

"Yes." Suddenly, sharp, pulling himself from whatever snagged his attention. "Too bad you've got nothing."

A disdainful slide of his stare towards the painting, then back up at Brian as the rest of the bullets are slid from their chambers. Then, the empty revolve's hand is offered out, but not given — obviously, Logan needs something for it himself. He'd offer to stick to the passing of information, but it can pay to be generous, in his particular career of choice. It's a nice gun, anyway, silver and polished wood finish on the handle, a little bit impractical in comparison to today's modern semi-automatic pistols, but efficient enough to put bullets in people.

Said bullets click in Logan's hand. "But I'll take smokes if you've anyway. As for the bullets, that depends on the quality of information."

"I have things."

Brian answers defensively. Rolling his head back in anger at the older man. "I especially have the ability to kill you very easily, now that you have unloaded your gun and are holding it out like that." Brian points his fingers at Logan as if his hand was a gun. One thumb up, index finger extended in a pistol motion. Blue electricity pulses over the index finger as he holds it steady. "But I don't want to. I just want that gun and it's bullets. I'll tell you everything I know about you. And if my neighbor has any smokes left. You can have them." Ernesto will be fine with it after Brian shows him the gun. Well probably.

"I know about your dealings with the Ghost Shadows." A light smirk turns up on his lips. "Your involvement with the Rookery… Burlesque. Really, you do a lot." He allows his tone to sound impressed, slowly lowering his lightning gun. Brian lets his hand dangle at his side. "I know a contact that you would be very interested in meeting with. In your line of.. particular interests. He would be very interested in working with you… I think."

Quiet and a little taunting, Logan whistles for Brian's attention beyond threats, and, once lightning gun is properly lowered, he tosses the one made of metal to catch. "Killing me would give you one less friend," because Logan's definition of friend is a mile wide, "and a finite amount of bullets. I think you're a bit smarter than that." Said in a tone that Logan isn't actually sure of this fact, but is recommending it with enough steely confidence that it seems truly in tune with Brian's welfare as opposed to his own lifespan. He hasn't many talents, but being a fucking liar could be one of them.

But who's counting. Two bullets from one hand into the other. He tips his head, and carefully neutral expression flashes with something like interest — from his "involvement" in the Rookery and over the river. "I'm open to conversation and the trade of goods, in that case. Who's your contact? And what's your tie to the Rookery?"

The real gun is caught with one hand. Though it is almost dropped. That fifth finger would help a lot right now. His other hand comes up to help secure his capture of the pistol. His good hand goes to check the weapon before tucking it into the back of his jeans pants. Brian's brows screw up some at Logan calling him a friend. "If you're my friend, will you come to my birthday party…?" He asks quietly. Shifting from one foot to the other, his hand dangles at his side.

"You have no idea how smart I am. I'm pretty sure I will disappoint you on every front there. So don't even think to test my intelligence." Electricity leaps away from his hand a bolt jumping and burying itself into the ground a few inches away from Logan. "You've dealt with him before. But maybe you should pay him a more personal visit. His name is Dong-Tian with the Ghost Shadows. One of the xu biu twins. As the Shadows call them. My tie to the rookery? Only that you cut the tongue off an annoying bitch there." He gives a light shrug. "I wish you would have made it a bit more permanent."


It's close enough to Logan's elegant patent leather shoes to have the Briton stepping to the side fast enough and blindly enough for his shoulder to connect hard against brickwall, a huff of an exhale wisping steam from between his teeth and eyes flashing with suppressed anger that he slipped. Technopathy can be fancy, helps with the smugness when you can silently communicate with satellites— but he does miss negation. "Triad," he says, on an exhale, tipping his head as if to loosen his neck of tension, and slowly push his weight back off the wall. "I might know 'im. All those names start to sound a bit the same, don't they just?"

He might ask, what do you have to do with the Triad, white boy, but— stones. Glass houses.

Speaking of houses, the one across the street is quiet.

"That right?" is said of Abby, and the half-smile that cuts across Logan's face is— wise enough to be vaguely uncertain. A hand goes out, in a fist, but it's to distribute bullets in an open palm. "You had questions. Then I've a proposal."

A light smirk lingers on Brian's features as he watches the man jump away from his bolt. At Logan's comment about the name sounding the same? "No." He murmurs with the tiniest amount of defensiveness. His alter ego may be faking to be a Chinese man/men, but living that life every day can make one defensive of his adopted culture.

When Logan leans forward to give him the bullets, excitement bursts in his chest. It is immediately followed by a wave of depression. He is excited for bullets, for a gun. He used to have a basement lined with guns. Better guns. And now he's begging and wheeling and dealing for a six shooter.

Receiving the bullets the four-fingered hand grips around the bullets and pulls them back. "That's right." He murmurs dully.

As for his questions a quiet breath is taken, shoulders heaving up into a preliminary shrug as bullets are shoved into a pocket to accompany the broken glade plug-in. His bandaged hand returns to hang readily in front of him. "What is your position with them. And where are we exactly? Staten, right, but where? And.. What kind of monitors do they have on wireless calls here?"

Hands empty, now, Logan tucks them into the pockets of his jacket, leaning again against wall and fingers twitching after recently emptied cigarette case, the smell of smoke still clinging to him. The questions are considered and weighed carefully, their quality measured, texture tested. "I'm— a resident. With privilege. Something between you lot and the soldiers. But I don't know the details quite yet — I'm not on the clock at the moment, just looking. And before you ask, or don't ask— no. I don't got a lot've choice in the matter.

"Staten Island, a neighbourhood that used to be called Eltingville. The arse end. We're just west of Miller Airfield. And as for wireless monitoring— " That's not a bad idea, actually. "I'll look into it and get back to you."

Going to lean against the opposite side of the alley. Shoulder dipping to lean into the wall, his bandaged hand shallowly tucking into the pocket where the bullets had been pushed down. Watching him quietly, he gives a light nod. "Alright. Good." Brian murmurs softly. He glances over his shoulder to the house. Frowning quietly. "You know who lives there?"

Brian glances back over to Logan, "What's that proposal, you were talking about?"

"Future conversation and open trade, potentially over tea and biscuits. And no zapping me. I don't know what the climate is going to be like in here, so I suppose I'm looking for a weathervane. You'll do. In return, I probably stand a better chance at getting things in and out've this place as needed than anyone you might know. Including people." Logan flicks a glance towards the house again, mouth twisting. "Nah, I just followed— "

He stops short of saying their radio, and amends it with: "Talk. Someone with the red scarves. I don't expect it will go— "


Murder in the night sounds like a gunshot, loud enough for even Logan to flinch mid-sentence as muzzle flare flashes inner lightning on the windows. His weight off the wall and backing up, as if desiring to sink into shadows and slide away invisible. His expression is steely and slender, and though he doesn't have any pity for the nameless stranger executed across the road, there's a look of disgust and vague, weary anger that has his jaw clenching sharp. Even if he manages a quick smirk. "Well, it's been fun…"

"People? Wait did you say people?" Brian tries to shove down the excitement that is clear in his voice. Can't look too eager. Someone like Logan would take advantage of that rather quickly. "How can you do that?" And then his attention is being snagged over his shoulder. The gunshot has Brian turning rapidly on his heels to crouch some. Instinctually the man reaches for his pistol in the back of his pants. Even though he has a new ability, instincts still demand guns.

He pauses, hand going in front of him protectively, as he backpedals in the alley.

"My house is just down the road if you want to visit." Winters murmurs, taking a step back into the darkness. "You'll have to bring your own tea and biscuits." A few steps are taken to round the house and take the back way to his own house. "Have a good night Logan." He calls out as he goes to retreat into the night.

He was nicer than expected.

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