Like Donor, Like Clone

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Brief Title:
Like Donor, Like Clone

Characters:
Logan, X-23

Scene Runner/Watcher:

IC Date:
04/04/13 20:30

Location:
The Jazz Club - Brooklyn

Summary:
X-23 hunts Logan down. They talk. Drinking ensues.

Social or Plot:

TS:
Yes

Log:
The pall of cigar smoke hangs heavy over the patrons of The Jazz Club in Brooklyn. The sounds of the music wash over the audience, not quite heavy enough to overwhelm the people, just enough to provide a good strong background of life to the almost sleepy atmosphere in the room. It's not like the places that the X-Man known as Logan usually finds himself. Few people are standing, few people are stomping around drinking heavily, and there's a decided lack of brawling and boasting going on. Yet somehow Logan manages to fit in here too. He's seated in one of those overly elaborate corner booths from the 70s that's little more than a horseshoe of a benchseat with him in the corner of it. He's got a bunch of empty bottles, heavier drink than normal, maybe some kind of whiskey that's met his needs. He's been here almost a whole day, but so long as he's got money the people working the bar don't mind.
At the side of the room at the bar a trio of men are all deep in their drink. The dance floor is empty as truth be told the current musical selection isn't something most folks would dance to. There is a somewhat louder group of people, out of towners, probably commuters enjoying the fact that they're in a jazz club and that it actually plays jazz.

She's been busy.
The hunt has been the singular thing occupying her mind since the revelation of destruction just a day or so ago. X-23 didn't need to be told her mission; she took the initiative and immersed herself in the hunt well before her handlers could even come to grips with the chaos that was left. One base of several was left utterly destroyed. Information was taken. None of that could be allowed to slip through her fingers - or her claws.
She pauses just outside the club. A deep whiff of air confirms the truth, even if she has her doubts; somehow, this doesn't seem like the right place. Maybe it's genetic. Maybe it's something else. Her features flatten out into dead neutrality and she presses inside. Her sense of smell is enough to direct her to his booth - not even the acrid notes of liquor nor the heavy aroma of cigars can quash the scent of him. The slight tang of the East River is noted, then set aside.
She says nothing as she approaches Logan's booth and sits down opposite him. The carefully coiled tension that claims her limbs should say plenty.

In the shadows to most people, the silhouette of Logan is little more than just a faint bit of darkness in an already dark corner. Occasionally there's the red glow of the ember from his cigar accompanied by the faint glimpse of the lower portion of the man's face when he reaches for his drink and tilts it back.
Then from that corner there's that rumble from him, the steady gravelly voice of his as he tells her steadily. "Time like this. This is the time ya ask yerself what yer gonna fight for." That crimson gleam of the cigar's tip glows hotter as Logan takes a breath. The tendril of smoke from the tobacco wending its way upwards to join that low-hanging cloud of fumes above. A rough and weathered hand reaches forward slowly to tip a faint bit of ash into the small ashtray set before him. "Sometimes it's a flag, other times it's a cause. Hell, lotta times it was because someone told me to. Curious what you'll come up with."

She reaches for a bottle with something - anything - in it and takes a swig. He speaks; she hears - but whether she listens or not is impossible to tell. X's expression takes on grim undertones when the red glow of his cigar briefly touches her features; when the darkness returns, even that note of distant emotion is gone.
"I hope you are satisfied with making my life Hell," she says. "Between you and that woman, I am almost certain you either want them to strangle me with my leash - or make me do it myself." The liquid sloshes in the bottle as she tilts it, then takes another quick swig. It does nothing; the flare of heat is familiar, but functionally ineffective. "I fight for familiarity. I fight for what I -know-." Her mouth tightens into a line that renders her lips nearly invisible. "Otherwise, I will have to run - and keep running."

"You had another option, you pissed on it." Logan's voice gives her no leeway, nor do his words. In a lot of ways he's talking to himself, about the chances he had at redemption and the people who risked their lives for him. Some of them even survived. His own body language is rather calm, just as on edge as her but there's the difference between them. He's slightly more comfortable with things, perhaps just something that comes with time... experience.
"You read my file." He says this levelly. "You know how many times I did things that for most folks there'd be no comin' back from. Wasn't until I met some folks who took risks on me." He lifts a hand, waves it to the side slowly. "None of that matters now anymore, right? Yer just doin' what ya need ta keep on keepin' on." He tilts his head, "Since ya got it in yer head that these folks can handle it if we decided ta work together. Or hell, if I made a phone call and brought the wrath of God down on 'em."

She's silent again, save for the sound of her swallowing another drink. X is doing well to keep things under control on her end but such control is prone to slipping. When she sets the bottle down on the table, the sound is a little louder than she likely intended. There is no flinching for the noise, but it's enough to draw a curious eye or two their way.
"Maybe I have done those kinds of things as often as you. Maybe more; maybe less." She can't remember. He likely read as much in her file. A shoulder rises and falls in a lopsided shrug to slough off the comparison. She doesn't rise, but she shifts in the seat in preparation for doing just that. "I do not want a new leash," she replies with a slight narrowing of savage green eyes. "And that is precisely what you seem to be offering, just in a different form. What I fight for and what I -want- to fight for are two different things. The choice is familiarity or freedom - and I know which fight I can win." Her mouth twitches and, finally, she rises from her seat.
"There is no God, Weapon X. Call Him - and see what happens."

"You stick around long enough, kid. There are a lot of things that come mighty close." But then Logan tilts his head to the side, his neck giving a short metallic crackle. He rests his hands flat upon the tabletop and leans forwards slightly to meet her gaze.
"As for yer leash, I don't give a damn about what ya end up doin'. From one standpoint I plan ta exact a price from the bastards that are holdin' yer leash if for no other reason than they're close relations to the same people that did to me what shouldn't be done ta anyone."
He reaches for the bottle and tilts it on its side, pouring himself another drink of caramel-coloured liquor. "You don't gotta join with the X-ers. Main thing I'd want for ya is a chance for you ta make yer own decisions."
There's a pause, then a faint smirk as he gestures with the bottle. "Tell ya what. If ya can drink me under the table, I'll lay off. I win, then you let me do what needs doin'."

"Close. But not the same."
She places both hands on the table and leans forward, mirroring his posture in her own small way. The roll of her shoulders and pop of her neck is pure and natural; sinew and bone. More mirroring. More physical echoes. And where she might normally push away and leave- she's held. By what, not even she can say. Maybe she doesn't even know.
X takes a deep breath through her nose and releases it as a slow, soundless exhalation past her lips. Can she fault him? No. The majority of his words go without contest; she knows well enough that stopping him is impossible. With roles reversed, she'd do the same. It's when he pauses that her brow furrows.
When he speaks again, her mouth distorts. It pulls slightly to one side, while the furrowing of her forehead deepens. Others are looking in their direction again and she sits again, only to lean back slightly. Her arms cross as she regards him through the gloom and cigar-smoke haze. "What if I refuse to take you up on your 'offer'?"

"Bottom line, girl. We're both gonna do what we want ta do." He takes one of the empty shot glasses from off the top of one of his empty bottles and casually flips it over, letting it clink onto the tabletop even while the jazz band slips into a new song behind and to the side of them from the stage. He tilts the bottle on its side and fills that glass as well, then nudges it towards her with the bottom of the bottle.
Slouching back into his seat he looks at her from the shadows and tells her, "You don't take me up on the offer, s'fine. At worst some booze gets drunk." He takes a pull from his glass and sets it down, starting the cycle over again of refilling it. "S'like flippin' a coin. Comes up heads and if'n ya want it ta come up heads then you abide by it. Comes up tails but ya want heads, well then two outta three."
There's a pause, then he adds levelly. "Why don't we just start with you tellin' me about this woman. N'mebbe I can make that lil bit of hell just a smidge bit easier."

She grunts once in assent. The offered glass is taken, though she doesn't drink; instead, she lifts it to eye-level, only to look at him through the liquid. Her consideration of him through that caramel-colored lens is brief; she drains the glass and plunks it down, leaving him to the onerous task of refilling. He offered, after all. X leans back again and her arms re-fold while she awaits the next shot, green eyes still keen.
Her regard sharpens just a little at the question. "The other one that approached me? Redhead. With some blind person. She must have gotten into my head, but- I am not sure." Her mouth twists with distaste. "Called me Laura, but I do not know why. That is not my name." It might have been given by the good doctor, but those memories are long gone. "She said the same, more or less, but I get the feeling she would prefer I join these X-ers. Whoever they are."

"Laura was the name you went by, from the way ya spoke of your namesake was one of the few people that were... decent to ya." Logan pours her another glass, refilling it. If she gives him a look about him refilling hers before his own he points out casually, "Hey, I'm like four aheada ya."
Then he goes on, "That'd prolly be Jean. She means well, and yeah she prolly would like it if ya joined up with the X-Men. But that should be somethin' ya come to on yer own, if ever." He crosses one boot over his knee and looks across the table at her. "If you got any questions about things, now's the time ta ask 'em."

"Not any more." The glass is taken, drained, and put down again. There is a look, but it's one of expectation, rather than questioning; his response is countered with, "Only because you pour slowly."
As to the rest, X listens. Her features screw up for just a moment before settling back out again - as if something unpleasant crawled into being just long enough to register as revulsion on her face. "No. Do you know what I want most? To be left alone." If he's not quick enough with pouring her next shot, she'll take matters into her own hands just so she can empty the glass again before asking:
"Why do you care what happens to me?"

Logan does indeed pick up the pace, but it's not exactly a frenetic one. Just wouldn't fit with the place being the Jazz Club after all. He takes some time to enjoy his own glass before continuing on. "Yer the closest thing to kin that I have." The X-Man tilts the glass back and drains it, then ponders the bottom of it for a time.
"Is it any surprise that I see a lot of me in you? Not just from the whole genetic angle. But from what's been done to ya, the why, and how yer reactin'." Logan reaches for the bottle again and starts the next refill cycle. "You think I didn't have the same thoughts? Or do the same things?"
There's a pause for a time, then he adds, "I needed the help of some good people ta come inta my own. S'only fair I pay it forward."

It's difficult to say what might be filtering through her thoughts. X retains her indifferent mask, no doubt bolstered by the steady - if not hasty - flow of liquor. She studies him while he studies his glass, then for a little longer after that. It's her turn to consider her glass when the next round comes; her eyes flick down to the liquid that fills it, while she mulls his words - or possibly her own.
"Why would being kin matter?" The question might be rhetorical. She follows it up with a flat, "No. It does not surprise me. But I am not a telepath - I just know what I have read and what I have seen. I can only guess at what it was like for you." She looks up and lifts the glass to her lips for a sip. "But we are not quite the same. You cannot know my mind, not as well as you think you do. Maybe good people will not be enough to help; maybe you are just throwing good money after bad."

"I sometimes think that about my own situation every day." Logan doesn't look away from her as he speaks, his gaze staying level and attentive even as he watches her. "S'not somethin' that just happens and suddenly all out of nowhere yer fine and normal and ya got a clean mind and conscience."
Logan takes a pull of his drink and sets the empty down with a resonant clink. He leans forward a bit as he tells her in that same no-nonsense tone of his, "Not a day doesn't go by that I think that maybe it's all an act. Mebbe I really am what they say I am. A beast, monster. That all these people who think I'm more'n that that mebbe they're all mistaken. What's more, mebbe I'm trickin' 'em." There's a pause, then he leans back and says simply, "It's a fight. Every day."
He refills her glass and then adds, "But first thing is ya gotta want that fight."

The last glass is finished and she pushes it aside. The concession is a small one, but still significant. This time, when X stands, it's purposeful. "Maybe you are. Maybe you are not." Her voice is low, though not particularly soft; in this, they are especially similar. The hard quality of her voice might well be an echo of his no-nonsense tone. "Maybe I am. Maybe I am not. Maybe we are something else entirely." Her chin lifts. "Maybe we are ultimately fooling ourselves into thinking that what we are doing is best. It does not matter."
She starts to move away, a wry curve claiming the corner of her mouth. "We will outlive them, with or without fighting." Her hand lifts, cutting a subtle salute to him. "I will think about it." And that's as much of a promise as she's willing to give.

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