Monday, June 8, 2015

Unexpected Return - Pt 1

((The following post is IC and refects the relationship between Logan and Usagi))

Logan’s eyes cracked up just enough for the dim light in his capsuleer quarters to guide him to the bathroom, this mornings vomit was an odd orange color, making him wonder what exactly last night had brought up. His stomach grumbled, hungry now that it was empty, even while his bile still burnt the back of this throat. Shrugging he spent a few minutes doing his usual morning routine, missing the familiar aches his body had associated with the last year of heavily training various forms of martial arts.

 A quick step through the shower made him feel a bit less like the underside of a bar stool, and hopefully smell less like one, a plain black t-shirt, loose pants, and station issued boots at least let him walk out the door. The hallway lights burned the backs of his eyeballs as the door opened, making him realize he had gotten dressed entirely in the semi-darkness of his room, even having assumed all the lights were on.

 His head, unnoticed before throbbed painfully from last nights activities. At least his bed had remained single occupancy he mused as he crossed the threshold to the station with a quick glance backwards.

 Just a few levels down was a dive bar with some kind of mystery meat designed to cure his every ailment, or at least weeks of experimentation proved as much. His feel knew the way in any case and he found himself quickly at the door.

 The bar was blessedly darker than the station hallways or common areas, hiding all kinds of sins he was sure. He slunk over to his usual corner booth, ignoring the rest of the patrons and terrible music.

 A form materialized next to his table, after a few minutes. Jillian, the waitress, must be on her game today he mused. He heard her say “Logan” and was confused, never having told the waitress his name. He looked up, expecting to quickly order, but his words caught in his throat. “I-”

 Wait, this was not Jillian, a red-head, impish smile, smart mouth, grey, camo shirt, he blinked for a moment, then a moment more. 

 “Usagi?” He reaches up with a hand, giving his eyes a quick rub to make sure he isn't seeing things, or people. "Usagi? really? What did I drink last night?" His mind raced, he hadn’t seen her in months, and before that years. 

 She still stood there, when his hand cleared his eyes, saying something about drinking. She indicated the seat across from him. “May I?” Logan couldn’t tell if his body tripped over itself in response while his mind flurried with questions.

 "Sure, please. Be my guest." Smooth, way to be nice. His eyes betrayed him for a moment, watching her slide into the seat, appreciating the extra time she seemed to be giving it, almost as if to not spook him.

 “How’s it going?” She asked as she sat. She seemed almost nonchalant, as if seeing just another alliance mate after a few months. He couldn’t think of what to say….

 “I, uh, good I suppose, haven't seen you in a while, not since you came back from prison... I think it was at least?” Logan grimaced, internally. What a shit question, but out of everything running through his mind it seemed the acceptable median between grabbing her and kissing, and cursing madly at her before walking out.

 Usagi handled it like a pro, filling in some details about where she had been. Logan filed away that information for later follow up, but couldn’t help but stare. Maybe his mind was finally waking up, or eyes getting used to being open, Usagi sitting across from him, just seemed so much better than he remembered.

 The waitress, finally arrived, he could feel her glance over the two of them; a near instant cooling of her attitude from when she practically waited on him hand and foot, drooling over every word he uttered. Still, the hangover cure beckoned. Usagi beat him to the punch ordering two tequila shots and then turning to face him. “What would you like? On me, of course.”

 It was impossible to filter the images that poured into his mind from memory and fantasy. All the unspeakable acts that innuendo brought to his mind, then that smirk brought home before she quickly, maybe a little too quickly, added “Err, I'm buying.”

 Logan felt the shit eating grin split his face, but it was probably too apparent to Usagi and Logan instead quickly looked over at Jillian, though the smile was meant for Usagi it may have melted Jillian as well. “I’ll just take my usual.” Jillian nodded, and moved off.

 His eyes slid traitorously (or was it gratefully?) back to Usagi. She met him with a flat stare. “Come here often?”

 He wanted to say so much just then, but didn’t, taking the easy out and answering the question instead. “Every time I drink like I did last night at least.... so yeah.” Logan smiled, “Pretty often. You?” 

 Wow, of course she didn’t or you would have seen her given the hours you spend in here doofus….

 “First time,” Logan nods, keeping his lips pressed together to block his traitorous mouth. Usagi smiled back at him, her eyes taking a far away look for a brief moment. “For some reason today I just had an urge to check this place out…”

 Jillian returned with their order, carefully sliding the plate of hashbrowns and meat under his nose, a mug of still steaming coffee placed next to the plate. Usagi’s shots were more hurriedly delivered, causing Logan to cringe a bit, wary of the rage Usagi might fly into should some of the liquid be spilled.

 Logan’s mouth opened, uttering “You sure it wasn’t the sign advertising two shots of tequila for the price of one?” Logan wondered what, or if he was thinking, his mind seemed to be fuzzy, almost unable to control his words, or body. His words were the problem though, could he say any more stupid shit?

 Usagi just seemed to agree, “That's certainly a more logical conclusion than some kind of divine inspiration.” In Logan’s mind eye he could see himself passing judgement on the conversation, frustrating him further. Maybe if he hadn’t gotten drunk last night this would be going better? Fuck.

 Logan’s eyes drifted back up to Usagi, and was once again struck by her. “You look a little different Usagi.” There was something there, something different he couldn’t quite place. Something in her eyes, or behind them…

 She took the first of her shots, apparently having toyed with it enough, prompting Logan to start digging into his food as well. She looked up at him after the shot, “Oh?” Usagi self consciously ran a hand through her hair, bringing back memories of her doing the same to his hair, sending an involuntary shiver down his spine.

 “I guess I have had my hair lightened…” No, it had nothing to do with her hair, or her body, though they both looked better than his memory could recall…

 Logan’s hand’s idled on his coffee, twisting the mug back and forth, trying to put words to what he saw, “Can't put my finger on it though, just better than you looked in my memory I suppose.”

 Usagi’s slow grin caught Logan off guard, pushing him back in his chair as if getting ready for an attack. “Ohhhhhhhhhhh.”

 Logan couldn’t help but laugh, wondering what he had gotten into. “What’s that supposed to mean?” Usagi’s arms slid to her sides, pushing out her chest. Wait her chest had never been that big? Logan’s gaze locked on her chest despite his attempts not to leer.

 “Best plastic surgeon in Venal. I had some work done on my butt as well, but you can't really tell with these baggy pants on.” Logan tried, hard, not to think what that all looked like, uncovered, but failed. He wasn’t immune to her no matter what torment resided in his chest. “You like?”

 For once Logan’s dirty mind saved him as he thought of her suddenly bikini-clad, inspiring his comment: “Not exactly what I was referring to, though they are very nice. Better in a bikini I bet.” The wink at the end felt like overkill but the thought of her stretched out in a bikini blocked any shame he might have felt.

 Usagi’s response was serious, her head cocked to the side, “Then what…?”

 Her hand slid across the barren table, grabbing a small piece of his hash, and then chomping it down hungrily. He hurriedly, but carefully cut off a few pieces of the wonder meat.

 Still at a loss, “Said, I couldn’t define it….” He slid the plate towards the middle of the table, the greasy meat lubricating his mind a bit more. “Why did you have work done on your ass? It was a masterpiece.” Perfectly round, muscular but not too muscular… No work needed there.

 Usagi grabbed a piece of the meat, gratefully, devouring it quickly before she spoke.. “I guess having an obsession with Gallente pop idols will put weird ideas into your head…” Logan nodded, remember Usagi’s penchant for the strange music; music that had more than one time that music had led to bed, or the floor, or both.

 Usagi took her second shot quickly, finishing her thought, “..about how one is 'supposed' to look.”

 “Well I hope he didn't fuck it up or the universe has lost something impressive.” A mistake the alleged doctor would die for it if true.

 Usagi, disinterestedly looked for the waitress, seemingly all too ready to depart, begging mentally that Jillian keep her distance for just a few moments. Then Usagi spun Logan’s world on it’s side.

 “I’ve heard no complaints.” Logan’s mind raced, paused, raced again. Not even her catched comment of “Not that I've been parading it around…” Saved the thoughts. Of course Logan, of course, it’s been a while, why would she even remember, or care what you thought. She’s just sitting here with an old mate, maybe back then she cared. Now….

 “Been soliciting them?” His comment came out unbidden, angry, hurt, despite the smug smile resting on his lips. Her head already turning to deny, it just wasn’t enough. “You sure about that?” Logan seethed as Jillian, of course, picked that - THAT - moment to reappear..

 Logan didn’t want to wait for an answer. He found himself wishing he had brought his gun and knife to get an answer quicker by dismissing the interloper. Usagi ordered some more drinks, Iced tea, and some of the same thing Logan had in front of him. Her words still echoed in Logan’s head... 

 ‘No complaints’

 Usagi’s answer was both not believable and too hasty, “ehh… yes?” The quick answer drove Logan crazier, jealousy licking his mind. He looked back over her body, this time really taking it in, realizing the implications. Of course Usagi had taken lovers, used that body (or at least a just as remarkable facsimile) without him. A quiet voice passed through the back of his head asking if he hadn’t done the same?

 “If you are trying to emulate your pop idols I am surprised you are not wearing even less. Keeping it decent around the alliance mates?” Logan’s mind writhed, caught between the petty comment and the swarm of feelings long suppressed.

 “Surely it's not been so long that you'd forgotten that I have no decency?” Thoughts filled Logan’s mind of all the times shared with her and less clothes. One particular notion of her in this; a little nothing she had picked up a few hours before at the Crystal Boulevard.

 Logan let out a small laugh “No just remembering the time you went shopping on the Crystal Boulevard. And the things you returned with.” No decency and certainly no end to the fun with that outfit.

 “I'd say this attire is my 'go away drunken executives' outfit.” Usagi mentioned, pointedly. Logan wondered if he was in that group of executives… “Not as if there are any on these levels, but still…”

 Unsteadily Logan added, amidst a laugh, and a sip of coffee, trying to delay his words. “You always did have the ability to draw attention from those management types. I think they just like the bad girl aura you have.” He saw and felt the ice form over the conversation at that instant and nearly ran from the bar. The hell was he thinking? He knew in the back of his mind the things that would turn her sour, and heedless had headed for the same.

 Logan, struggling now, remembered the comment he had put away for later, hoping to turn the conversation back to better things. “How is your father doing?” This was not at all how he wanted this conversation to be going, but couldn’t really say how it was he wanted it to go in the first place.

 It was small consolation when her food arrived, meanwhile his foot had finally found his stomach, the greasy faire’s near medicinal effects providing some lubrication for the rocks banging around in his head, calming his headache by each passing minute.

 “Well, thanks. Sleeping on piles of ISK when I saw him last.” Usagi munched on the food, cutting a strip of the steak off and chewing on it greedily. Her quick stop, mid bite, was startling as she spat out “What the fuck is this?” Her face contorted; her expression silently, but demandingly questioning ‘what am I even tasting?’. His tongue moved through his mouth, feeling the strange, slightly slimy residue that coated the inside of his mouth.

 “Supposed to be some kind of steak... I just know it clears up my hangover every time.” Logan filled his mouth with another bite of steak, munching slowly.

 Usagi resumed eating as well, muttering, “I wasn't complaining, mind you. Just couldn't quite figure it out.” She laughed a bit, adding, “Guess it's been awhile since I've had quality meat.”

 Logan’s eyebrows shot up at her comment, his mind wandering down a dirty path, suggestively adding "How long exactly?"

 Usagi’s laugh and eye roll felt good, almost a relief to Logan after the dark thoughts of her with other men. Suddenly so much more palatable if they were shitty in bed. “A while” was her retort, soothing Logan further, making him blurt out, “Good answer.”

 It was strange, almost as if the hurt left by her departure could toss words to ruin any good feeling Logan had of this conversation. “You sure you can still handle quality meat?” Logan caught himself, trying to inflect the comment as a joke, tossing a large grin over at her before chugging down the rest of his coffee.

 Usagi was obviously not expecting the retort, coughing as she replied “I guess *cough* I'll not know *cough* till I find *cough* some…”

 Then trying to buy time to regain her composure she adds, “So….”

 Once again, Logan lost control over his mouth, or maybe said what he was really thinking. “You looking for some, or just looking to waste some time?” He felt like his words hung in the air for eternity, unable to pull his eyes off Usagi, as he waited for her to answer. Or kick him. Something.

 She just avoided his gaze, slouching down in her seat as the question was finally, if poorly asked. The question that had been hanging in the air between them since she sat down. ‘Do you care, do you want me?’ 

 Her answer broke the eternity. “I don't fucking know what I'm looking for, to be entirely honest.” No, Logan thought, no, no no. She pushed her food away, “Every time I think I know what I want, I run off because I want something else.” Logan’s mind laughed, he was right, she had gone off seeking someone, something else, something other than him.

 She cared for him as nothing more than a passing fancy. Rage bottled up inside of him, but he couldn’t turn away. He suddenly wanted to be sick again, his chest wrenching in a most humiliating way.

 They had been nothing.

 “Fair enough, you just never said that before, and then completely disappeared on me, had been kinda hoping there was more to us than nothing."

 Usagi’s nod was just further indictment they had been nothing. Even if her soft words denied it. "I never thought we were nothing," she denied, still not looking up. Logan couldn’t handle it, had to say something, anything.

 “Well that's all you made me feel like, when you decided to leave. Twice.” His heart felt on the brink of breaking for a moment before an unexplainable urge to toss her over the table overrode his senses. “The shitty thing is my body still just wants to throw you over this table and make you earn forgiveness in front of all these people.”

 Logan briefly dreamt of her spread out on the table, under him, writhing, begging for forgiveness, earning it. It was a pipe dream. “I know Jillian over there would enjoy the show. But I know that's not really a solution.” No matter how much he wished it was so simple.

 Usagi’s voice wasn’t audible over the twang of the music, just her lips moving for a second. Logan read her lips. “I'm not a good person, I'm not a good friend, I'm not a good lover…” She looked over at Logan, meeting his gaze, finally. “All I really deserve is to be handled for what I am…”

 Her words struck a humorous chord. Them, good people, good friends? As if capsuleers could be. It made this whole conversation nearly hysterical. Two killers, two absolute terrorists, being torn apart by feelings, of all things. Logan broke into a laugh. “I don't think either of us would qualify as a good friend or a good person, But don't you ever say shit about you not being a good lover.” The last bit came out as a bit of a mutter, his mind returning to the gutter. “Or I wouldn't be comparing every woman to you.”

 Usagi took a few breaths, poised to speak, but Jillian arrived just in time to forstal her, Logan making the quick decision for two shots. Usagi remained silent until  Jillian moved away. Usagi murmured something; something Logan missed entirely. 
"What was that Usagi?" Logan looked up, staring at Usagi.

 “I’m scared.” She wiped tears from the corners of her eyes hurriedly, “I'm fucking terrified,”

 Logan still didn’t follow. “Of what?”

 “Of you.” What? Why?

 “I--” She sighs, stopping, “Do you know what happened the last time I told someone that I loved them? They told me that they were incapable of love and walked away. That hurt like hell; I can't handle that with you. I can't -- I can't let you leave me like that…” Her features set in a hard line, staring over at him, like it was his fault. Like it was him who had left her, forced her to feel.

 Logan just nodded, deflecting, “I remember, I also remember I was not that person.” He looked back at her, steel in his gaze as she compared him to another man.

 She stammered, maybe from his gaze, maybe because she was searching for another excuse. “I know, I know... But you're the same as him. The same as me.”

 Logan snorted, bottling his emotions again. “So instead it seemed like a good idea to walk away and make me feel like you did before I had the chance to do the same thing to you?” So you did exactly what happened to you to me, to save yourself. Logan found it impossible to keep his anger out of his eyes and instead looked away from Usagi for a moment. 

 "I'd rather you think of me as manipulative scum than realize I'm simply a coward."

 Just then Jillian arrived with his two shots, and while his mouth opened to say something, he filled it with first one and then the other shot, downing both in an instant. The searing liquid reminding him of why he had been throwing up a few hours ago.

 “I'm sorry. I-- I shouldn't be acting this way.” Usagi said, looking for some kind of absolution, but it just wasn’t there with Logan, his rage had trickled down his body, pooling in his feet, and now, now he had to move.

 Logan slid out of his seat, looking at Usagi as he stood next to the booth, trying to decide if he wanted to leave her here or drag her with him. He gave her the choice. “What way should you be acting?"

 Usagi’s head slid into her hands, and for a moment Logan wondered if she thought he was about to hit her, looming like this. Instead she just replied - “Like a damned adult, not some high school drama queen..."

 That was a good enough answer, and Logan turned on his heel, headed for the door. “Well then come on adult Usagi, it's time to take a walk.” He slipped out the door well ahead of Usagi and started away from the bar, intending to force her to run to catch up to him. Walking away like this seemed a bit overdramatic, he realized, turning again to retrace his few steps back to the bar. Leaning on the wall next to the door, waiting for Usagi to emerge. In that brief moment, months of memories and thoughts darted through his mind.

 The most dreadful was that Usagi had thought of them as nothing; they were at best, friends who fucked. Logan mused at the asshole he had been during the conversation, and wondered if Usagi would even come with him. Moments passed, and then minutes. 

 Maybe she wasn’t coming out. Logan stirred a bit, adjusting his clothes, preparing himself to walk away this time. Before he could move, the door sprang open, Usagi coming hurriedly out, looking the opposite way first.

((Pt 2 - Wednesday))

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