Worse Answers


logan_icon.gif sasha2_icon.gif

Scene Title Worse Answers
Synopsis Sasha makes a nuisance of himself at Burlesque. Logan is more tolerant than he probably deserves.
Date June 25, 2010


The evening is pleasantly warm, clear and starry, mild enough that rather than retreat into the confines of his office when he needs a break of some description, Logan takes up a rather usual perch upon the fire escape hanging off the building around the back. A cigarette in hand and alone with his thoughts, whatever they might be, worthy of time for consideration, Logan's angular jaw clenches in some irritation at the clunky sound of some security man coming down the corridor just inside to disturb him. He ignores it for as long as it takes for the man to get to the door.

Just today, did he get his cast sawed off, and his arm retains some bruises beneath the muted lavender colour of his shirt, cuffs buttoned at the wrist on either sleeve. There is only a subtle tint of the same tone to the black of his trousers, and silver decorates his black patent leather shoes, one pointed toe casually braced against the damp metal platform.

The slow, crawling ribbon of smoke form the end of his lit cigarette is interrupted by the swinging door, and Logan pushes off his lean to head back inside, preempting it the demand. Perhaps it wouldn't be a bad thing, to have Ina work here.

Of course, by the time Logan is crushing his cigarette out on the floor and leading the guard back downstairs, it's becoming obvious that perhaps the situation did require him specifically after all. This Friday night is reasonably slow, the damage his business took almost as lasting and lingering as the state the city is in since the extended winter, both sharing the same cause. Twisting around the silver thumb ring looped around the appropriate finger of his right hand, Logan raises a shape eyebrow at the muttering he's getting as he steps down into the main room, pale eyes already seeking out whom he might expect to see.

Sasha Kozlow is drunk.

To anyone who knows him, and Logan does, this shouldn't come as a surprise. Admittedly, there's not much difference between his inebriated demeanor and his sober one, except when he's pretending — it's the reek of cheap alcohol and stale sweat clinging to him that clues the Englishman in as soon as he's close enough to get a whiff. A bruise under one eye is a recent addition, the thick black stitches — his own handiwork — already well on their way to healing, same as Logan's injuries, though these were earned in a cage rather than bumping down a flight of stairs while unconscious.

Slumped over the bar, his head in his hands, a cigarette between his fingers and a half-finished glass of watered down vodka at his elbow, he's probably had enough.

It's a little like catching the neighborhood stray drinking out of a bucket in your garage you forgot you left open.

A vague hand wave is meant to communicate that no, Logan doesn't— yet— want someone to throw Kozlow bodily out into the street, easing up towards the bar and coming to rest his elbows against it, hands linking. Close enough that though not even fabric brushes together, Sasha can still sense bodily warmth, smell both fresh cigarette smoke masking a strong splash of cologne, the earthier, subtle tones of incense that could come from who knows where.

Logan hesitates, before his hand unlinks with the other and goes to grip the half-finished glass by Sasha's elbow, tilting it to inspect its contents and amount.

Even with his head bowed, fingers tangled in the matted rat's nest of his sweaty hair, Sasha can make out Logan's reflection in the mirror behind the bar and also does not need to turn his head to confirm the other man's identity. All that requires is flaring nostrils and a short breath sucked in through his nose, snuffling as he drops one hand to scrub his knuckles across his face and take a brisk drag from his cigarette.

He hasn't been fighting tonight. There's no blood on his scalp and his teeth are clean. Less so the clothes on his back, which smell like they haven't been changed for awhile… probably because they don't have washing machines in the Speakeasy's basement, and Sasha is either too lazy or too slovenly to visit a laundromat more than once or twice a month.

"I am tired of whores," he announces to everyone and no one.

The smile that statement brings is both unexpected and silent, amusement making it an easy reaction before it dims again, the flat bottom of the vodka glass set back down against the black bar. Logan shifts enough to glance over his shoulder, where a blonde is finishing up her stage set and a scattering of other girls are making their rounds — they know better than to stay clear of where their manager leans next to the fall-over drunk. "You've picked an interesting venue, then," the Brit states, tone affectedly delicate.

There's a slight clatter as he drops his cigarette case onto the bar, but doesn't set about opening it. The smoke of the last one has already made a desert of his mouth and throat, the bitter taste of it on the back of his tongue and greased along the roof of his mouth. "Or are you trying to tell me something?"

"There was a woman," is what Sasha is trying to tell Logan. "Elaine." Lifting his head, he makes a shape in the air with his hands in the smoky air meant to resemble a slim waist and flaring hips before he places both his palms on the counter's surface. The tip of his cigarette burns dangerously close to his knuckle. "Hair like—"

A pause, and he rubs the tips of his fingers together as if to demonstrate, then grows exasperated with his inability to articulate using English words. He finishes his sentence under his breath in Russian instead, smoke leaking from his nose and mouth. "I did not have enough money," he adds. "This is a problem."

Chin tucking in, Logan regards the lights that reflect in the clear silver lid of the cigarette case as his fingertips spin it against the surface of the bar, making pinks and halo-shaped whites wobble and waver in its mirror. There is a lack of sympathy for his cigarette case in his expression, and it would probably be the same if his eyes were turned towards Sasha, one eyebrow raising in a prissy show of irritation which never makes it to actual words, or anything.

Instead, he states; "You could have written a cheque. Brought along a voucher. Knifed the pimp. Money isn't everything." That cracks a smile across his face, before he glances at Sasha. "Blonde?" he guesses.

"Red," is Sasha's brusque correction. He reaches out a large hand and lays it over the top of the cigarette case like a hefty paw to keep it from spinning. A sharp tug forces Logan's grip to relinquish it, and a moment later he's snapping it open between his fingers, withdrawing a solitary stick and running it under his nose.

Theoretically, he might be able to determine something about the quality of the tobacco this way, but it's more likely that the Russian is just looking for something to occupy his attention. He touches his lips to the paper case, then the tip of his tongue. "My last— she was blonde. A dancer. Ballet."

The carrier is fancy, initial engraved, expensive, and the cigarettes within are unique, self-rolled things that carry both tobacco and some leaf of a spicier scent that probably has to do with that more exotic aroma Logan carries with him. A tick of irritation shows in his jaw when the cigarette is nicked, but his only protest his a hand moving to snag back the case and not offered a lighter. "Strange, you never struck me as the kind to worry about where his next shag will come from. Or to remember what the previous was like."

Possibly, John is projecting a little. "It's Friday night, Sasha. This place has a few standards and my boys are about two seconds away from dragging you out by the collar. Did you come here to torture yourself? The girls don't actually put out," he feels it necessary to add, before he picks a cigarette for himself out from the case.

"Have you tried?" Sasha tucks the cigarette into the front pocket of his leather jacket, either for later consumption or study. Possibly both.

He wrinkles his nose at the suggestion that he'd come here for sex, whether or not it's true— and it probably is. Fingernails scratch at the reddish stubble under his chin before he hand drops back to the counter and he runs his tongue over his upper one way, faintly yellowed teeth the other. "You could have any woman you want," he points out after a beat. "Glow and they open. Like flowers. Easy."

The smile that gains is one that even shows in his pale eyes, superior as opposed to flattered. "Easy," Logan agrees, and there's only a touch of reserve in his voice, a taint of hesitation that he probably would not have had but a year ago. Times of change. Getting girls stoned out of their minds to enable fornication is— not always the standard, subtler degrees than that, but the spirit is the same, and he's read enough books, now, to know. Which—

Which does not mean he won't, anymore, or even dislike it, necessarily. He'll just know. Now, his eyes light up, mostly for effect, enhancing the way alcohol is already meddling with Sasha's chemicals. "You'd know."

Sasha goes from about two seconds from being thrown out of Burlesque to— something significantly less than that. It's not exactly snake-quick, or even cobra-strike precise, but it happens so fast that there's very little Logan can do except twist away from the Russian as he sweeps his arm across the counter, knocking the glass to the floor, and launches himself at the other man.

A muscular arm bicep hooks around his neck and bears down his windpipe, hauling Logan into him. They're on the floor a moment later amidst broken glass and lit ash from the cigarette Sasha had previously cinched between his fingers, a knee digging into the small of the Englishman's back and a wet, snarling mouth at his ear.

The music keeps playing, the speakers not completely caring if the girls stop dancing to stare at the sudden happenings going on at the bar, patrons in turn distracted from these displays to the new one. Characterised, now, by the thud of security men stomping towards where the sweaty drunk at the bar just tackled their manager to the ground.

Said manager twists like a cat in the sudden grasp of Sasha's arms and grabbing hands, but gravity works, as does the bearing of the other man's weight coming to a painful point at the knee digging into his spine. Logan digs his long fingers into the Russian's arm with a wordless gasp of air that would probably be a litany of curses if he had more oxygen in his lungs to fuel them. He is distressingly unarmed. All the while, almost unwillingly on Logan's part, that invasively warm feeling spikes higher through Sasha's system, Logan's eyes points of traffic light green when his eyes blink open.

Meaty hands from above are coming down to grab the back of Sasha's shirt, a shoulder.

If Sasha intended to kill Logan, he'd either been a worse position than he is now, or security would have a lot more trouble pulling his attacker off of him. Alcohol affects his coordination. Logan's ability is fucking with him, too. Nails leave raw, red marks along the side of his neck where Sasha's fingers rake at his throat as he's being hauled back to his feet, chest heaving and blue eyes wild.

He kicks out with a leg, sends the stool he'd been sitting on clattering to the floor to join his glass. This, at least, does not scatter into shards.

Sasha is shouting something in Russian, and it's possible that he doesn't even realize it. The Russian part, that is. Not the shouting. It would be difficult not to notice, the way he's scraping his throat raw.

By the time security have the squirming, twisting shape of the Russian up off the Englishman, Logan has fairly curled up on the ground at the risk of exposing parts of himself to kicking limbs and thrashing hands. Two seconds past before a safe distance has been established, and no one is helping Logan up— probably at the risk of being snarled at— by the time he's climbing to his feet, his casual collected demeanor shattered in harshly breathing anger.

Absolutely not is he calling the men off Sasha, watching with blazing pale eyes as the other man is dragged towards the door. Logan lifts a hand to clasp it against the now bleeding side of his long neck, left wrist aching a merry symphony of agitated bruises, and then, in sharp foot falls, Logan is following. One of the girls who like to get in good with their employer is interrupted from reaching for him, hands fairly slapped away as he goes.

Outside, it's a warm summer night, still. Pleasant to enjoy a cigarette out of, his case forgotten and gleaming on the bar as Logan steps out onto the pavement a few seconds after the burly security guards are tipping Sasha out onto it.

It's not a terrible place to be, the pavement. It smells like grease, but it's also still warm from having baked all day in the sun, and in spite of the taste that fills Sasha's mouth as he's pushing himself off it, it's better than being unceremoniously dropped into a dumpster or rolled into the river.

He'd know. He has experience.

His first reaction is to fight his gag reflex and swallow down the vomit roiling at the bottom of his throat, which he does by drawing in a long breath through his nostrils and then holding it until the world around him stops spinning. A pair of headlights swings by, and he recognizes it as a car. It's this, rather than his scraped knuckles and palms that clues him into the fact that he's no longer inside.

On the bright side: he didn't have to pay his tab.

A princely gesture of both hands have both the hired muscle suits headed inside with a dubious glance at their employer, who remains outside. And, you know. Ready, this time, and Logan would flatter himself to think that he on a sober evening and prepared to a degree could fend off the drunkard crawling on the filthy pavement if he had to. His hands travel to make sure his shirt is sitting as it should, doing up the button that had popped free.

His shoes creak with their newness as he paces the beginnings of a circumferance around Sasha, lights reflected both in the polished leather and the silver that rims his heel and toe.

"Mind explaining yourself?" is icy toned but not tempered enough to entirely mask the fact he's only just together. Secretly, his heart is still panicked pounding from the attack, too familiar with the way such scuffles can end for his own good. Logan adds, with a more vocal sneer, "In English."

Sasha rolls over onto his back — in the direction of the club rather than the street, lest he go over the curb and into the gutter, or under a tire. He drapes an arm over his face to block out the glow of the lamps hanging overhead, bright pools of white light with no discernable source his bloodshot eyes can detect. A low groan in the response that Logan initially receives, neither apology nor explanation, but sounding heavily of both.

His jacket hangs open, revealing the shoulder holster he wears beneath it along with the pistol fit snug inside, the gunmetal matte… at least in comparison to Logan's shoes. "Do not," he starts, voice low and thick. "Do not." Use your ability on me, presumably. He could also be warning Logan not to come any closer, though it's difficult to know for sure.

That Logan actually sympathises with this statement, the revulsion in having an Evolved power tangle its control around you, is something that will have to be guessed, as his expression doesn't betray it. The masquerade of social politeness has been scrubbed away to depict him in more honest angles — his stare his hard, unblinking, and his expression arranged into icy neutrality as he studies Sasha in his sprawl on the pavement. He doesn't come closer and he doesn't use his ability.

He does ask, "Why?" Probably cruelly difficult a question for a drunk man.

It's so difficult that it takes Sasha almost a full minute of hoarse breathing before he settles on his answer, then translates to the closest approximation he's capable of in his current condition, and were he sober it might not be much different. He lifts his arm off his face, a wet smear of spittle on the leather of his jacket, and turns squinted eyes up at the man looming above him.

The glow leaking out of the street lamps bathes Logan in painful illumination and makes his hair appear blonder than it really is, a halo of light shining angelic and unforgiving around his head. "I am myself," he says finally. "The decisions. They should be mine."

There are worse answers. Because I'm not a fag might be one, even if Logan couldn't credit that much of the English language to Sasha's vocab. His pale eyes scope the other man out, briefly, from ankles to throat, wavering back down and back up again until some internal decision is made, one that involves leaving Sasha on the sidewalk. But not before he takes a breath and says, words like precise scalpel cuts, "Don't attack me."

Which is probably less effective, in practice, than Sasha telling Logan not to use his ability on him, but Logan has the height vantage right now. And other vantages, of a sobriety and monetary nature. His heels clip-clop on the pavement as he heads into the vibrant building face of his strip joint.

Sasha's tongue is clumsily wrapped around something about how attacking Logan is his decision, too—

He places his cheek on the cement, head turned to watch the other man's legs stride briskly back into the cub. It's entirely possible that the word fag isn't in his vocabulary, but there's a Russian equivalent for it, and he didn't use that either. Logan is free to make of this what he will, just as Sasha is free to wait another few minutes before attempting to gather his bearings and right himself.

And he does, however haltingly.

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