2008-03-21: Consider It Done


Logan_icon.gif Nathan_icon.gif Niki_icon.gif

Summary: Logan has someone waiting for him when he returns from abroad. Trust is used and abused.

Date It Happened: March 21st, 2008

Consider It Done

New York City

By the time Logan has set foot on American soil and turned on his cellphone, it's already started ringing. No rest for the wicked. Flicking open the device and eyeing the number, even workaholics hellbent on world domination are inclined to wince slightly and close it once more, switching off the incessant ringing with a button press and slipping it back into his pocket. Long flight, long tour. Meetings, conferences, speeches, photo ops, the works. Playing the humanitarian is hard work.

Especially when you're not one, exactly. With his jacket slung over his arm, Logan moves through the airport, dressed somewhat casually - slacks, his pale blue shirt untucked and opened at the collar. Sunglasses hide tired eyes with reflective bluish glass, but apart from all that and the inherent rumpled quality people get after long plane flights, he's still neat and professional.

And yet, his business-related vacations has done little to cure his problem, the one that goes by Nathan. Being overseas as helped, kept him away from his incessant rifling through files and trying to talk to those he once knew, but that doesn't mean he's gone away. In fact, he's almost his own presence, strolling along invisibly next to Logan. "I have to give you credit," he says, his voice sharper, clearer than all the hazy noises going on around Logan. "You do a hell of a campaign. I should be taking notes."

Ignored, all the same. Logan turns his shoulder to the hallucination and takes off his glasses as he moves into the waiting area of the larger airport, scouting out his entourage to come pick him up. Likely give him more work to do. Etcetera.

Of course there's an entourage. One of the waiting has separated themselves from the others, standing out in front. Sleek black from head to toe. Well-cut business jacket, black. Stick-straight dress pants, black. Heels, black. Big shades, you guessed it. Blonde hair that's shocking by contrast falls from a midline part, hanging past the sharp lines of her shoulders. There's even a tiny red, white and blue flag pin with minuscule lettering emblazoning 'PETRELLI' to her lapel. "Jessica" looks like she could be Secret Service as she strikes a strong pose, hands clasped behind her back as she waits for the Senator. Secret Service usually wears more under their jacket, but— priorities.

When she catches sight of the man of the hour, she plasters on a grin and brandishes a white cardboard sign that has "NATHAN PETRELLI" written on it in Sharpie — bold quotation marks included. A private joke.

Well that's eye catching. Slipping an arm of his sunglasses into the collar of his shirt, snagged on the done up button to swing and bounce lazily, subtly against his chest, Logan makes his way over, brow furrowed a little as he looks down from Jessica's smiling face towards the sign, before finally allowing a rather stoic but good-humoured smile to break. His carry-on is passed off to the nearest male in a suit who looks lowly enough to carry his things, attention on the blonde.

"Think you're looking for me?"

"Depends who you are." The sign drops to the woman's side, flipped around to hide "NATHAN PETRELLI" from the world — not that they don't draw attention as it is anyway. Niki slides her own sunglasses up onto her head, pushing her mane of blonde back, revealing a crafted cool gaze with just a flicker of sly amusement. "Are you finished petting the starving children and getting your picture taken?" She starts to turn, falling in beside Logan to walk briskly toward the exit. "Not that I haven't been … busy, but I gotta say. Getting kind of bored."

Her brisk paced is matched with his impatient one, distractedly peeling back his shirt sleeve so as to fidget with his expensive watch. "Well you're not getting any action from me," Logan says, wryly, letting a beat of silence pass before adding, "You can consider my schedule clear for the next while, coordinator. Petting starving children and getting my picture taken is hard work. Cynical assessment, by the way — what the hell is the time?"

"That's me, cynical," Niki mumbles under her breath. She thinks to pawn off the now useless sign onto one of the Senator's lackeys in a careless fashion, then reaches into her jacket's slim pocket to withdraw a black flip-phone. "3:33." She lowers it, the thin gold bracelet she wears on that wrist glinting for a moment with the quick movement. "You don't … actually get jet lag, do you?"

A slight snort at the comment as Logan moves blindly, trusting that Jessica won't lead him into a trajectory that ends in him crashing into something or someone, twisting the hands of his watch to point in the right direction. "Power of flight somehow doesn't come with automatic timezone-related circadian rhythms," he says, quietly. "Besides, I was on a jet." Watch fixed, his hands return to the pockets of his slacks as they move through the shifting mass of people, entourage several feet behind. "What've I missed?"

As she saunters along quickly, not, in fact, leading Logan to crash into anything at all, Niki puts on a look of barely contained laughter, even if Logan isn't looking — that's barely faking it. Come on, it's kind of funny. On his last question, however, the laugh that emerges in reality is not so humorous. She waits 'til they've jostled down a set of stairs to the waiting doors beyond, pushing through them into the afternoon sunlight. This, so that the entourage is caught out of hearing distance, even for a few seconds, separated by doors. "Everyone and their brother is trying to take Pinehearst down. I'm guessing that's nothing new. I met your old pal Hiro. Cute."

From weary good-humour to something more suitable for a certifiable sociopath, Logan glances at Jessica with a look of attentive severity, brow furrowing and a frown tugging at the corner of his mouth. The air-pressure sound of the sliding doors interrupts any reply he might have, the two or three employees of Pinehearst's and his own private security stepping out into daylight too. They get a calculating glance and then a nod. "Get the car around," is code for, take a walk. They're used to such nuances, moving to make sure the arranged ride is on its way, leaving him and his schedule coordinator in peace.

"Hiro Nakamura," he reiterates, looking back at Jessica, gaze narrowed. "That's… that's interesting. What more do they want with Pinehearst, anyway?" What do they know is a better question, but the two are sufficiently connected.

Despite the glaring sun, which makes a point to glint off every available reflective surface — of which there are many, given the multitude of vehicles — Niki doesn't bother to put her shades back on. "I don't think he even knew what he was looking for," she lies, knowing exactly what Hiro was looking for. "They think we're the bad guys, right?" she says flippantly, her tone shifting to caustic, callous. "Someone's always trying to be the hero." 'Jessica' gives the Senator a cavalier shrug. "I found him snooping around outside, so I took care of him."

He doesn't relax much, despite Jessica's reassurance, his sunglasses hanging neglected from his shirt even as his eyes squint a little against the bright spring sunlight. "People generally know why they want to be a hero," Logan counters, doubtfully. Less calling her on her lie, more injecting the circumstance with his own cynicism. "Hiro, he can… do things with time. Which means he can teleport." A vague handgesture to fill in the unspoken 'apparently'. The workings of time and space are not things he or Nathan would consider sinking their teeth into. "Double-check the security tapes to make sure he's not pursuing any leads."

"Unless he's coming back from the future…" The blonde waves a hand dismissively as well. "I don't think he's much a problem anymore. But I'll double-check." She glances past Logan to determine if the car is going to slide up to the curb any time soon. Likely yes, but she goes on. Rather… she intends to, but just as she's about to speak, something makes her hesitate. Her features harden through a concerted effort; hopefully she just looks hostile toward the subject matter she's about to bring up. Five, four, three, two— "Your brother tried to contact me."

There are a few cars to get through. Taxicabs pulling up and loading in luggage, but beyond them, the Sleek Black Car moves on forward with its purring engine and well dressed chauffeur, Logan's back to it as he studies his assistant. "Kid really needs to stop doing that," Logan notes with a sneer he can't quite contain, but doesn't care to. As much as he can pretend to be his somewhat smarmily charming counterpart, the gloss fades a little over the course of conversation with someone who knows better. "What happened?"

Niki, as she plays her counterpart, is the one putting on the veneer. It comes with frightening ease, most of the time. This is not one of those times as she forces herself to fabricate everything she's saying about Peter, starting with: "Nothing." A toss of her head, another shrug, meant to be nonchalant. "He called looking for Niki, so I played along. He seems to think Pinehearst has your mom." She raises an eyebrow, as if prompting for an answer she's not particularly interested in, save for passing curiosity.

There's a pause, tension making his back go stiff. Not because Jessica's caught on to something important, or even Peter, despite the dangers inherent in that. A guarded glance to the nearest window reveals nothing to the woman in front of him, before he gives her a strained smile and a nonchalant shrug "Smart cookie." Damnit. Logan rocks back a step and glances towards his car's progress, which comes to a squeaky halt just in front of them. He watches it slide into place, the fleeting, shifting reflections catching his attention for a moment."What gave him that impression?"

Niki squints, and it's not due to the sun's rays. She steps toward the car, one high heel stepping off the curb in front of the wheel; all the while, she keeps eyes on him critically. "Hell if I know, I can't read his mind. I'm surprised you haven't just gotten rid of him already." True enough.

Logan raises an eyebrow at her as he moves for the car, beating a security guy to it by opening it himself with a creaking grind of metal. "Oh, it's that easy?" he asks, a little snippishly. "You're free to go ahead if you think you can. Shooting him through the skull apparently doesn't do it like it used to." One of the suited entourage can't help but glance his way, vaguely alarmed. "It's a joke." And into the car, the entourage left behind to follow in a lesser car to Pinehearst, abandoning Logan and the woman to the vehicle.

The Senator's Schedule Coordinator laughs. Maybe it was to give credit to his "joke," maybe it was because she's paid to humour him, maybe she actually thought it was funny. In reality, it sounds like none of those options, given the vicious timbre to the woman's voice. Niki will pay for this later, through karma, possibly involving a metal beam of some kind; likely, her guilt will make up for it. She climbs in after Logan, rather than using the opposite door. Before he has much time to move, she manuevers past him, over him, closer than honestly necessary given the roomy backseat. "You want me to do it?" She flops languidly into the far seat, hitching a knee up and digging a spike heel casually into the upholstery. "He thinks I'm Niki, remember? And believe me," she spreads a self-assured smirk across her face. "He trusts Niki."

Professional flood of the scent of perfume and hair product drifts by as Jessica insinuates herself into the car, and such things are not unpleasant. Eases the tension a little bit, if not completely, drags Logan's mind away from plots of death and treason if only for two seconds. He relaxes an arm casually along the back of the car seat, hand resting barely an inch behind her shoulder but making no contact. A slow quirk of a smile, he opens his mouth before— hesitating, freezing up.

He turns his head away to rub his forehead with the tips of his fingers, just at the top of his nose, as if to ward away a headache. "Niki isn't— " Christ. His jaw clenches, and he gestures to her as if to say: one moment. The driver glances back into their seats through the rearview mirror, awaiting instruction and puzzled when no such thing occurs.

… What's going on. Niki's gaze shifts from Logan to the front of the car and back again, and she leans back, twisted, nearly against the door. "Isn't what?" she snaps for a response. "Hey. Are you okay?" She's careful to keep most hints of actual concern out of her voice. She'll wait through that 'one moment', but she's on edge while she does.

"You going to get one of them killed," says the angry opaque reflection, a reality that seems to suck the realness out of everything else. All windows, all mirrors. "Probably Niki, or whoever the hell she is, and you can't afford to lose friends, don't be a moron— "

"Tell him to drive," Logan manages to grit out to Jessica, casting her a glance. "I have a headache." There's enough meaning in there that she might understand. She might not. His hand goes out to grip her wrist. "Do it. He trusts you."

She understands. Niki looks sharply down at her grabbed wrist. The slender muscles underneath Logan's hand go tense. Where is the line between helping Nathan and hindering him by playing this part for Logan? How far should she go to hold this all together? Lowered lashes, dark with mascara, serve to hide her more vulnerable side while her other features remain stony. "Consider it done, Senator." A bright, full-fledged, toothy smile replaces all else as she looks up. Mix a whole lot of Jessica's wickedness with a bit of Niki's sincerity and what you have is someone who looks pleased as pie to, apparently, kill someone. She knocks on the partition to alert the driver. "Drive," she snarls through her smile.

And he doesn't suspect a thing. The grip on her arm loosens. It's done. Nathan shimmers in reflective surfaces in angry silence, before vanishing altogether. "You really need to get me on whatever the hell it is you were on," Logan mutters, more serious than he'd care to be, leaning back in his seat. "You'd think a vacation to Africa might cure all ails." Swiftly, the car pulls out of the airport, and onwards towards the greater city.

The smile becomes not quite so huge, but is left to linger, curving up one side of her lips as Niki just regards Logan as if she knows something he doesn't. True, but not at all uncommon for an expression of her alter ego, either. She glances at the car window beside Logan once, a brief acknowledgment. "Right." She slides her foot off the seat and sits more properly, leaning an elbow against the door. "You just need a good welcome home."

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