You Make Me Complete


deckard_icon.gif logan_icon.gif

Scene Title You Make Me Complete
Synopsis John and Flint circle each other for round two on the cusp of a paying contract and mutually assured misery.
Date February 09, 2010


It's snowing outside, and the packed ice stops reflecting pink when the cursive sign outside flickers dead, curving loops of lights gone a milky version of its prior brilliant, like an eye gone cloudy and blind. The doors are closed without being locked, and two women dressed bundled in winter things push out from the building arm in arm, one of them with glitter still clinging to her face, and the heavy scent of hairspray and perfume follow them as they go.

Inside, things die slowly. The light that lit up the liquor bottles has gone out, the bartender going through the motions of clearing down. The jukebox is playing on its own, free of the amplification of speakers, and the stage is dark of life and light, house lights low and golden, barely touching the edges of shadow within the spacious open room of Burlesque. The floor still needs sweeping, dotted here and there with a feather blown loose off a costume throughout the night, an abandoned cigarette, maybe even a flutter of a tip that got away.

The bar is kind of occupied, the more brightly lit area despite the shelves gone shadowy. Logan is leaning against it, an ashtray getting a cigarette crushed into it as he talks in quiet tones with a young man who could be out of place here. Unless it is Tuesday. There are other people wandering around, dancers taking the front door on their way home, someone starting to put up chairs onto tables with a rhythmic scrape and thunk.

It's snowing outside. Deckard is snowed upon.

Less blind than he looks to be behind the lenses of black, black sunglasses, he forces a slanty smile at a pair of dancers on their way out that's apparently confident enough to convince them he's supposed to be here. Once upon a time, he was a salesman. Once upon a time he was a criminal, and a convict, and prior to that a college student. Currently, he is unemployed.

Wiry hair curled dark and damp around the nape of his neck where snow's had time to warm wet under his overcoat collar, he snuffs his own cigarette in the first tray he passes on the way to the bar. And Logan. Fortunately, there are many pocked across the tables between here and there — one still standing amidst upturned table legs.

For anyone really paying attention, Flint's hard to miss. He's going the wrong way.

The guy whose puts the chairs on the tables— one hopes that's not his only task— pauses as if maybe about to demonstrate his other skillset that makes him qualified to be here, like throwing out people who aren't. Curiousity, more than caution, because while this is New York City, it isn't Staten Island, which has its own sort of unusual brand of honour. Flint is allowed to walk far enough for Logan to notice him, the sound of foot steps easily sounding over the tinny noise of music.

Green eyes squint, and low conversation stalls. The other guy is blonde too in a more genuine kind of way, and finds himself dismissed with a bid to see him next week, and a sharper look indicates that he doesn't get to finish his drink either.

Soon enough, Deckard is being passed by, leaving Logan alone at the bar, bracing a hand against its edge and casting a baleful look at Guy Who Puts Chairs On Tables. He gets a dismissing wave — never mind — which is about all the invitation for Deckard to continue on his way as he's going to get. In the dwindling minutes of the strip club's hours, Logan's donned an overcoat for the winter outside and lost his tie, pragmatic angles of wool partially obscuring a silkier shirt, and the matching slacks and waistcoat of grey.

The further he gets inside and the more chair to table guy zeroes in on him, the higher Flint lifts bony hands away from his sides, proclaiming an exaggerated absence of mens rea where the woolen drape of his coat conceals actus reas in the form of a shoulder-holstered .40 and who-knows-what-else. Not that the absence of a tell-tale bump would stave any wizened cop off a stop and frisk. He looks like a criminal, walks like a criminal.

Probably smells like one, all the way down narrow pinstripes from dark glasses and scruff to caiman hide cowboy boots.

"I need a job." This stated with a certain directness once he's stopped and let his hands fall back to his sides some seven or eight feet from the bar proper, Deckard sizes up Logan's skeleton at an angle that's less direct than it could be. Even when he tries really, really, really hard, he doesn't actually want to be in here all that much.

The image of a skeleton won't communicate the way eyes flare open a little in a sign of amusement, short-lived though it might be. The pause that follows is similarly brief, time enough for the simple sentiment to be processed. "Don't we all, in this economy?" The bar is tall, enough that its edge comes to sit just above the centre of Logan's back, allowing him to hook elbows against it, hands lax on the ends of wrists. It's a quiet evening, which a lack of firearms on his person is indicative of. Keys, the metal of a ring around his thumb, and a knife in his pocket, closed in on itself to conceal its sharp edge even from Deckard's prying eyes.

The look up and down that Flint gets is plenty direct. "I've no mercenary work going at the moment," is kind of a lie, in that he omits that I want you around from that statement. "Don't know if you're quite made for the stage either." Inside, he laughs, and outside, he just casts a smile.

Deckard, by contrast, is all worn out pages in a well-read (if not much-loved) novel. Tension creeps into his neck and narrow jaw at denial, premature, maybe, to match the silver and grey bristled in amidst dusty brown around his jaw and in his mussed hair. His sense of humor isn't what it used to be — tired and brittle in the cold. Worn out as the rest of him.

So it is that anger clouds in thunderous undertones through the hard-edged length of his face, from hooded brows to clamped jaw. Eye contact is hardly necessary for him to betray himself entirely. Not with his shoulders bristled stiff and his invisible stare locked dead on target where before it angled a little off to the left.

"I can do other things," comes at the end of an inordinately long pause. It takes him that long to think of something to say that doesn't rhyme with 'duck stew.' "I have experience in sales, manufacture and pharmaceutical distribution. I can do math. I know how fast your heart is beating. I can see that there's a knife in your pocket and that you aren't just happy to see me."

Unease sets in in response for the listed qualifications after math, spine stiffens and glare narrowing as fingers curl palmwards, loosen again. On the bone level, it's an interest and subtle play of movement and distributed tension, better seen when all the affect of better than you designer clothes and British sneer are eliminated from sight. "I remember that part." Admission, jab, one of those things — Logan's response is neutral, smile melting away under serious consideration and a reminder about what kind of eyes are concealed behind glossy black glass. Fairly dampens both of their glares, but Logan tries as well, focused for his own long pause underscored by the scuff of furniture and the jukebox changing over into another song.

"So what is this, take two? Because you remember how well this went last time, for the pair of us. Badly." Logan takes his weight off the bar, hands finding pockets for a lack of anywhere else to go as he closes up a step, two steps, of Deckard's eight feet of distance put between them. It only takes thirty feet for Logan's eyes to go lambent green, like now; suddenly throwing the strip club into dimness as Deckard is forced to blink through his sunglasses with mundane eyes, and see the spark of a renewed grin from the mobster.

"Not to say I'm not int'rested, Mr. Deckard. I've changed up my game, what about you?"

Logan's seen Deckard show his teeth before, but this time it's in a switchblade sliver of coarse amusement at his expense when the world simultaneously fills in and falls away into darkness. Opaque borders of nothing panel into walls; sheer overlaps of blue and white muffle soft with color and shadow. There's malice behind it, sure, but there's also a sort of resigned appreciation for form and show that keeps oily dislike from manifesting as absolute hatred.

He tips his glasses off and folds them over once Logan has stepped closer, acknowledging an invisible gesture with a tangible one. As far as advantages go, it'll take more than a set of glowing eyes to lose him the height one, and the nearer John gets, the more he has to risk talking up to him rather than down.

"I am less sane and more morally flexible than I was a year ago. And if you knew what I was coming off of when you hired me before, you'd really appreciate the deterioration."

Logan could probably make the claim to 'less sane and more morally flexible', with the latter bending the other direction, but it might take a certain amount of insight he doesn't feel like summoning up right now. True to a sense of advantage, his meander forward stops before he can get too close — just enough that he can study eyes and the shift of expression in the low lights. "And I've no little girls in my basement besides," he adds.

Nose wrinkles, before he shifts his weight on his feet, casting a glance around that rounds back around to Deckard as he offers, words tumbling along with an exhale, "I can hire you on as security — I do enough business here that doesn't have anything to do with the stage."

Clear blue cut and polished sharp around swollen pupils, Deckard is watching Logan closely in turn. This interaction has all the makings of a canine butt sniffing session with fewer fleas and no actual sniffing of butts, and tension lingers in the obtuse slant of his shoulders under his overcoat despite every concentrated effort to mellow out in the face of open consideration.

He really needs the work. Slogging misery is slushed grey at the heart of everything, simultaneously fueling intensity and keeping it from being suspiciously slick. Anger, frustration, and old malice charred and blackened over in the intervening months since their last altercation all show in ill-suppressed shades in the hood of his brow and the sullen sinkholes around his long face. Fool him once with little girls in the basement, and apparently he'll still eventually beat himself into coming back to bet it won't happen again.

"Security is fine," is what he actually says after a beat or two. He likes looking at people anyway, and looking at people is light on maths. He opens his mouth to say something else, only to hesitate with the hanger door halfway ajar when deja vu strikes him with fury enough to derail…whatever. His jaw re-clamps. His brow knits. He squints at Logan a little closer.

"Good," is stated, almost haltingly, because Deckard is looking at him like that now, somehow a little different than the posturing and eyeing of just prior. It's a stare Logan gets often enough and tends to make him mentally backtrack over what he's done recently to gain such analysis. He sold Deckard cocaine at one point in return for brief loyalty. And there was that thing—

There was that thing about gutting him with a sword, spilling tar and ash onto shining gold.

His eyes are still luminous points, jade chips of a lesser quality being caught in sunlight that doesn't exist in Burlesque even during the appropriate hours, but a moment later, they flush back into dilute fish-pale, and like a waltz, Deckard's will return to whatever state he desires them to be. He can keep flesh and colour if he wants them, but Logan is apparently content to be bones and metal once more. "Cheer up," he hears himself urge, pushing a sleeve back to regard the watch on his wrist with a casualness that doesn't convey the dizzying sensation of dreams once again matching up with the waking world. "You'll decide this was the right thing to do around when you get cash in hand. Usually how it works. I can have a contract for you by tomorrow night."

It's super effective. Disorientation is brief but distinct — Deckard leans slightly back off balance when unholy light leaves Logan's irises to ring bright back into his own. It's toned down enough in here that they read dimly lambent in the gloom, unnatural without the full impact of demon eyes in a dark alley.

He's shaken loose from his thoughts and a sensation like cold sludge stirring in his gut by the disruption and makes no real effort to get himself back on track. He'll figure it out later, or he won't.

Mention of a contract is what narrows one of his eyes before he can get his sunglasses back on, naturally. As strays flinch from bath water, Flint flinches from obligation. Maybe he used to be a better actor, or better at selling himself. Right now, he finds himself following the empty burrow of Logan's eyesockets down to the tick tock of his watch and takes a step back. "Same time?"

Logan raises an eyebrow at the flinch, but doesn't press. This is how it works and Deckard can voice his concerns when he has paper in front of him and a pen in his hand. "Same time. We can sort the details over a drink or three." Without thought, Logan tips his head towards the door, a dismissing gesture if there ever was one, before his attention on Deckard— the visible kind, anyhow— breaks off, digging a hand into his pocket to extract car keys, jingle of metal once they're clutched with scarred fingers. He'll go out the back.

Which doesn't mean he isn't watching out his periphery in case Deckard decides that now is an awesome time to pull a gun and finish the job. That Logan believes trust and loyalty can be bought and paid for doesn't mean it can't be awfully fluid at the same time, and everybody lies.

Not entirely used to being dismissed so deliberately, Deckard lingers for a moment out of stubborn irritation until he thinks better of it and turns his back to continue on his way. Either he isn't worried about his own hide or he doesn't care. Paired fingers lift enough to itch at bandaging pasted in flat under his coat and shirt and he glances back just once to see that Logan is on his way out himself before he shoulders on out the door.

For two men uncertain exactly how fast the other wants to see them dead, that could have gone worse. Logan does glance Deckard's way for as long as he's convinced that those few steps are for real, and just now allows for a touch of serotonin to squiggle warm down the older man's spine, in his belly, before Logan's ghosting off too to allow the remaining employees scattered around to do the locking up for him. He disappears out of sight by the time Flint's own paranoia takes over, headed off towards the sports car parked out back with.

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