Well, You Could've Just Said That


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Scene Title Well, You Could've Just Said That
Synopsis Abby visits Burlesque and Logan, to impart some knowledge that might help and return a jacket. Not to mention frustrate the Englishman as only she knows how to do.
Date January 3, 2010

Burlesque - Manager's office

A flashy little strip club, its name advertised in bright neon pink above the door in swooping cursive, with the figure of a woman outlined in the same seeming to kick a leg with each flash of the light. Two bouncers stand by the door, which is a reflective chrome and stays closed unless opened by the security duo, with a red carpeting extending out onto the pavement. They will check you for I.D. before permitting you entrance. You'll be greeted by a woman in full burlesque regalia, with exaggerated makeup, a corset that barely keeps everything in, fishnets and feathers. Provided you can pay the cover charge, she will show you to a table, offer to get your first drink of the evening, and leave you alone to enjoy what Burlesque has to offer.

The main room's focal point is the generous stage, a circular platform with Broadway lights around the edges, and a catwalk that extends further out into the scattered round tables where patrons can sit and drink. The lights that shine down on it are never particularly clear, often shards of pink, green, blue, which hide as much as they reveal. There is almost always a dancer on the stage, even as even more girls move around the room to give more intimate shows on tabletops. There's a long bar that crawls along one side of the room, with a couple of bartenders behind it, a counter of black glass with rows and rows of liquor on display on glass shelves. Leather booths are tucked away towards the back, offering some privacy for whatever purpose.

Despite the proposed theme of the club, impressions of burlesque only factor in with the permanent staff and particular shows of featured dancers. Otherwise, the tunes are standard for any kind of strip club, and the girls will wear what they like. There are private lounges for more expensive, personal shows, and a darkly lit, obscured staircase leading up to both dressing rooms and the manager's office.

There's a lapse between the disjointed afternoon collection of patrons and the livelier evening shift at Burlesque, and it's during this intermission that Abigail finds herself being led through the strip club, the bar getting cleaned down and readied, the main den emptied of customers but occupied by a handful of security, women flitting back and forth. No one she recognises, not even the bartender she'd spoken to last time she'd come this way — whether that's a testament to the temporary flux of employment at this place or merely a change of shifts is difficult to tell, but either way, she's unrecognised and her request to speak to the manager is somewhat leered at.

Rather than tell her to wait by the bar, she's brought up directly, through the wind of the staircase. The hallway above is mostly empty, the air thick with the scent of perfume and similar scents, all a clash rather than anything deliberate — this is, after all, backstage, as much as going upstairs had meant something entirely different in the Happy Dagger.

"Door's down the end of the hallway, you can go through," the security man says once he's checked, moving past her, easily relinquishing whatever escort duty he served as he moves on back towards the stairwell. A woman steps out from a different door adjacent to Abigail, glittery from head to foot it seems like, feathers tickling the Southerner's face as the dancer sashays on by.

Someone might maybe mistake her for a woman looking for a job if it wasn't for the crutches and the cast. No guy's gonna want to see someone sashay and shake their ass while their lower leg is encased in plaster. "Thank you" She murmurs to the security guy, keeping her manners despite where she is. Not his fault he doens't - probably - know he works for a guy who dabbled in human trafficking. Another polite smile is offered for the feathered woman, doing her best not to stare at her as she goes on by and what she's wearing. It fails a bit and her soft thumps pause as she looks behind her to just look. Soon enough tonight, whatever that womans wearing is going to be gone. Dropped to the stage or draped around some man's neck like a trophy or some mink stole.

There's a brief though about whether Deckard likes it when they wear stuff like that or not.

The thought is soon banished as she keeps on down the hall to the appointed door. Knee length khaki skirt, sweater, riding boot and wool sock. Not the general clientele for this place. Weight is shifted so that she can ball her hand into a fist and knock on the door. He had told her to never come back. But in all fairness he had showed up in her dreams unbidden and very much not a figment of her imagination. Curiosity wins out over common sense as it is wont to do within the southerners head when they war.

"John Logan? It's Abigail beauchamp" As if he doesn't know very well who's on the other side of the door. "Are you decent?"

Never would be a justly coy answer, and yes would be polite and accurate, in the strictest sense. Abby gets neither of these things, just the sound of foot steps crossing the floor of the office as if he wants to see what's on the other side of the door for himself, which opens briskly, Logan's slender frame filling up the gap he's permitted open. The scent of cigarettes is almost as strong as cologne, an addition he brings to the hallway as he near steps out into it, certainly blocking the way as he blinks on down at the brunette, sleepless lines under his eyes but his appearance otherwise not unkempt. His shirt is the colour of cream with golden threads glimmering through it, the black of a waistcoat cinching his silhouette into place, with matching slacks ending in the points of Italian shoes.

There's a smoking cigarette between two fingers already, and over his shoulder, he appears to be alone. "That's for you to judge," he tells her, snide, glancing over her head and out into the rest of the hallway before he's sinking back into his office, nudging the door open wider. "Come in, then."

It's certainly an office, as opposed to the office-by-name of his brothel, though Abby really only saw the basement. There's a desk, a comfortable black office chair sitting opposite a couple of more sedate wooden ones, unmatching antiques picked out by his own hand and not unclassy choices. A shining black and white image of Marilyn Monroe is framed on a far wall, the pin up shot in keeping with much of the strip club's theme, and he rounds around the corner of his desk to rest a hip against it, as opposed to making himself comfortable. "You changed your hair again.

She'd be glad when she had fresh air and not the mingly of so many scenets. One could be glad that it wasn't the scent of blood and people caged like animals and sequestered with each other. No, here it was sex, and sweat, smoke and alcohol all roiling together into ones olfactory senses and urging you onwards to just taste a little of what the place had to give if the will was weak enough. Or well, that's what abby thought. Abby thought a lot of stuff and when Logan appears at the door, it's with raised dirty blonde brows at the dark circles and sleeplessness that it indicates. Or lack of good sleep.

"I think that i'm not a person to judge regarding whether you are decent or not" It comes off more rude and sarcastic than it was meant to be as she follows in behind him with the thump of aluminum and then her boot. "Pink makes for such a good target when it comes to bullets. It was time for a change. Don't like brunettes?"

"But you do it so well~," Logan says, facetious tilde trailing off the end of his voice and all, as much as the rest of him doesn't seem keen to be lively and snappish, his posture at an angle where he leans and shoulders relaxed. His pale gaze dips on down towards her leg cast, up the silvery crutches, and now would be a good time to jab at her appearance and apparent weaknesses a little more. Perhaps oddly, he doesn't, just brings up his cigarette to draw from, smoke curling out from nostrils in dragonish spirals. "I like brunettes just fine."

He looks away from her, towards his desk, and drags a crystal ash tray a little closer, rustling past loose sheets of paper, as if maybe he really does sit here and do work sometimes. "You know, between Caliban and Hokuto, I get into such trouble when you come round 'ere. They all think that if we're talking, it must be because I'm hassling you."

"Maybe because you're track record previous to Linderman employment was so … how should I put it… Devastating to my health and well-being? Something they both take a very keen interest in and not just because I could heal" Abigail shifts around, heading to one of the seats - not the plushy black one - So that she can sit instead of lean on her crutches. She doesn't care if it shows some sign of weakness or submission. She's not here to play that game with him.

"Hokuto's got others, helping against this nightmare man. Was that what you were doing in my head? What she sent you there to do or did you just stumble in there all by your lonesome on a unicorn and a sword?"

Logan starts to answer, but whatever was on the tip of his tongue is bitten back for the meanwhile, jaw setting as he looks down his nose at her before analysing the burning tip of his cigarette. "In a word, yes, she sent me. Or she… she's done something that lets me move among dreams, so I can send myself. She's not one for micromanaging." Still not entirely looking at her, as if snared up in his own tangle of thoughts, Logan ashes off the deader end of his cigarette, letting renewed embers breathe. "For the record, I don't have much in the way of control — it's a dream, know what I mean?"

A little bit of defensiveness spared to mentions of unicorns and swords, shoulders squared beneath the soft cotton of his shirt and the firmer structure of the satin-backed waistcoat, now flicking a glance to her. "I didn't think you'd— remember it."

"You'd be surprised what one can remember of dreams if they're different. You don't come riding in on Unicorns generally. Usually it's walking in with a knife to relieve me of my tongue or gut me if I won't heal. Never, sure as the sun rises, trying to protect me from anything. Which is why I remembered" One of the other chairs is dragged over as she leans forward, propping her broken ankle up on it and folding her hands in her lap.

"Why did she choose you? Of all people, is it because she hopes to redeem you in some fashion? And for that matter, was that the man of nightmares or whatever Helena is calling it, that was chasing me? That looked like Flint?"

Slowly does it, Logan eases around the opposite side of his desk, nudging out the plush office chair enough so that he can sit down, his own weariness dictating that he sit and relax, despite the presence of this woman in particular in his office. He's not banishing her, however, just rests an elbow against an arm of the chair, hand up to rub his brow as a fine falling of ash waterfalls off the end of the cigarette in his other hand.

Once she's done, he raises an eyebrow at her, then gestures with a jab of that cigarette. "I don't know. That should about answer all your questions, I imagine — one at a time, love. The day you have me at your mercy is the day you get to interrogate me. But I don't know if that was 'im or not, or if it was just— Mr. Deckard getting in the way or what. I didn't expect you — I was looking for him."

"I'm not stupid Logan, I never have you at my Mercy. You're at Robert's and Hokuto's mercy. I highly doubt she'd have qualms about tossing you to the night mare whatever if the thought struck her that it would work. You're at God's mercy, but most certainly never at mine. Unless it was in my dream again and I wanted you as such" Abigail has a working grasp of her dreams and how to control them. Somewhat. Mostly it involves high-tailing it to Mississippi of her mind.

But there's a confusion that slides across her face, elbowing the certainty and coloring it with shadowed caution. "Deckard getting in the way?"

The silence that descends between them is sharp and brittle, his expression unchanging from a distinct chilliness as she informs him as to whose mercy he's at, visible affront earning none of the usual bluster and hissing and spitting, but a contemplative, sulking silence that's as cold as it is long. Logan swallows, and delicately crushes out his cigarette completely. "I'm helping her," he finally states, ignoring her last query, slicing a glare across the desk as he settles back in his chair. "She's weak. She's dying. If I'm at anyone's mercy, it's that of the one I'm trying to get rid of, so why don't you watch your tongue."

"Gosh, you know. I can't. It's somewhere in the basment of this brothel on Staten Island. I should have kept better track of it you know"

That's about the only joke about her tongue that she's going to give though she does scrape her actual tongue against the back of her teeth. "This one, this ones a loaner" Raised brows, and lips pressed together as she nods her head.

"What did you mean by Deckard got in the way? Deckard in Mexico, he can't get in the way. Last I fathomed, this little mental mind jumping was only occuring with those who are here in the city. Nothing like this happened in Russia it was only until I got home. And Hokuto is more stronger than you think and has more resources than you think. So don't go underestimating her if I were you. Look where that got you last time. underestimating. It got you short a healer and less a stock of fighters for your little pit fight logan"

Now, old impatience crests into anger, Logan peeving out a short sigh before leaning forward in his seat. "She's not my fucking enemy, Abigail. She told me she's stretched thin, I've seen what this thing is doing to her from trying to fight it on her own. Why the fuck else is she recruiting my help, right? Why is she recruiting help at all if she has so many resources and such power? I'm not underestimating her, you stupid cow, I'm telling you the truth."

He stands up abruptly, chair skittering out behind him at the sudden movement. "You come in here despite the fact I told you not to and start throwing questions at me like I owe you a single fucking thing, and I don't. Best you could do is not argue when I deign to answer them. I told you — I don't know about Deckard. If it was him, or the Nightmare Man, or what. Something a lot like him as been giving me a hard time every time I close my eyes, so I went looking for it instead. Simple is as simple does."

His hands come to rest on the surface of his desk as he adds, "And I don't need redemption. In whose eyes would I be redeemed, anyway? I don't give a fuck about God, so, that's out."

"I came here because you were in my head which last I knew was not a special trick of yours. Because Helena Dean's tasked to the same thing as you. Go into others dreams and help them. Keep them from getting hurt or whatever" Abigail startles at the sudden movement and the sound of the chair riding back across the floor and flinching. For all that has gotten the courage up and come in here time and again and even told him that she pities him, this is evidence enough that she's also still very much afraid of him. has a little to do with the beating at the hands of Ethan and the memories it brought up roiling inside her.

She pulls her foot down, grabbing Crutches so that she can heave herself out of the chair and back to standing. "SHe's trying to teach people to make a patronus in their head, something from harry potter. I never read the books at all. Wizards is not a subject that gets highly thought of in my house. She said there was a shadow version of everyone, some sort of amalgamation of things that are dark inside you, that can be summoned up to protect you. I came Logan to give you that bit of information. Because if she's stretched thin as she is trying to help people, then anything gleaned from others can only help."

The one seat is pushed back with her crutch, making sure it's where it's supposed to be, how it was before she moved it. "Whether that will help you or not, I dunno. You can also teach them to find their sanctuary. It's what she taught me. Some place safe where nothing can touch you, where you can will yourself to. you're the one in control in there. you're mind is, not whomever this man is. People jsut don't realize it so caught up in the darkness and what fears them"

Logan doesn't read much as a general rule, his excuse being that he lost his glasses in the nineties. Incomprehension dawns on symmetrical features, but smooths out into neutrality, which is better than tense and snarling anger anyway — he's more attractive when he's not being himself. Eventually, when she finishes he says; "Oh," and looks down at his desk as if it were a thing he needs to decipher. "Well, you could've just said that." He flumps back into his seat with great drama, bringing up a hand to rub at his face as if to stimulate wakefulness behind it, before looking at her.

"It does help. Or I guess it might help. I don't know what a pastro— p— that thing is. Who's Helena, anyway?"

"Lord help me Logan, you don't see much beyond breasts and business do you" There's a roll of Abby's blue eyes as she thump thumps over to his desk, searching for a some paper that doesn't have writing on it that looks important. Don't need him throwing a drama llama fit that she wrote on something that might have been of some important. "Helena Dean. Leader of Phoenix, and another person that Hokuto saw fit to enlist. I guess I was too far away but that suits me fine. You're not alone in not knowing what a patronus is. Only thing I can surmise is that it's some sort of… protector, I don't know." Paper is found, now it's time for a pen and she makes a gimme gimme motion with her hand while balancing her weight on the slender aluminum.

"Teodoro, you remember him surely since he deigned to work for you when he wasn't right in his head. You'll want to maybe suss him out and have a chat with him. you'll find he might be another good source in how to deal with this thing. Whatever it is"

Logan helps, absently, pushing aside reasonably important bits of paper in favour of yielding her a blank notepad, and he only lifts up one shoulder in response to what he doesn't see beyond. In comparison to her other perceptions, this is one he doesn't bother arguing. A silvery pen is discovered, needlessly expensive for a writing tool and dense to hold, and he holds it out for her to take, more curious than particularly requiring whatever bit of assistance he'll glean from contact details and information. "I might have done something like that," he mutters, trying to remember the recollections of dreaming, but it's hard to recall when you're operating from multiple points of view.

Leaning back in his chair, he angles a look back up at her, curiousity sparking in pale eyes. He allows for a pause to fall, designed to flag acknowledgment as to her recommendation, before asking, "Not right in the head?"

"Not right in the head, as in anyone who works for you is not right in the head and out to be slapped by their momma's. Including those peddling their bodies in that manner" There's a gesture in the vague area of the floor and likely the stage's and patrons. It sickens her to a degree that people feel the need to go down to doing that for a job. Even if they enjoy it. Or that people partake of it. SHe means not right in the head in other ways too in that there's two versions of him smushed into the other taking up the space of one and it can mess with him at times.

Helena's number, the last number Abby has for her that worked, is written down, as well as Teo's. "You'll want to get a hold of Teodoro first. He might be taking off soon, can't keep him stapled to the ground no mater what he's always done running off to something. "If you need help … figuring out how to help people make their sanctuaries just-" She can't believe she's saying it. "Call my… Cellphone" It's written down too, likely he'll toss it. "I know how to do that at least"

Logan's hand goes out towards the notepad when she's done, spinning it around with a flick of fingers to scan names and numbers, while he works on being unreadable to her. He doesn't peal off the loose leaf of paper, nor tuck the notepad somewhere safe, but at least he's not discarding it utterly. The backs of his fingers rub beneath his chin contemplatively, before he considers her as opposed to her penmanship. "I'd half thought I was just going mad. Weird dreams and…" His fingers wriggle, designed to convey whatever it is he thought about restless sleep and dreaming.

"I guess not. She says it's the Refrain, that attracts him to some minds. I suppose I should do something about that."

"That blue stuff?" Abigail frowns, turning around to hobble back to her bag where it was dropped and wrangle it back up to her via clever use of the end of the crutch. "I never touched it, yet you mosey'd on in and it was maybe there" She points out. "Can't even stand it in my bar, I kick out any dealer we find" She doesn't know that he, next to the Triad, was the source of flow. But he did say that she supposed that it attracted him to some minds. This nightmare man.

"I think i've helped you enough for one day" She's pulling a jacket out of the backpack where she'd stuffed it when she left the house this morning. "Brought you back something. Try not to forget it next time Robert drags you around. I had it drycleaned. Almost had it tailored to fit me perfectly. It's a beautiful jacket" She drapes it across the back of the chair as her fingers close her backpack up again. "You have a good day Logan. Try not to get yourself killed"

"The Refrain isn't needed, but it helps. Christ. Talking to you is exhausting, did you know that?" Before he can set his chin back into his hand, his attention perks again at the sight of what was once missing crush velvet, recognition lighting anew. He's forgotten about that jacket, and now that it's remembered, possessiveness sparks up strong enough for Logan to reeeach over his desk to steal it back, fingertips brushing velvet and finally snagging it. "Come to my funeral if I do. From what I've heard, it would be quite the celebration."

The garment is shaken out some, looking it over in some assessment, before looking back at her as if to judge who would be prettier in it. He doesn't vocalise his verdict, just drapes the thing over the arm of his chair, and scoops up his cigarette case resting somewhere on his desk clutter. "You've got a cock drawn on your leg," he points out in parting, snaring a cigarette between his teeth before his head ducks to light up.

"Gallic cock" Abby lets fly over her shoulder as she opens the door and heads out.

"Better than an english cock"

Conrad would smile at the words that just came out of her mouth.

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