2008-01-22: The Hand That Feeds You


Jack_icon.gif Logan_icon.gif

Summary: The cost of loyalty is less steep than one might expect.

Date It Happened: January 22nd, 2008

The Hand That Feeds You

Petrelli Mansion

When Jack arrives at the Petrelli Mansion at some insanely late hour that caters to insomniacs and those involved in nefarious deeds, the place is empty save for the man who contacted him. Almost all the lights are out save for the soft glow of the lamp at his desk in the den, and Logan waits for him there, the front door unlocked as invitation for Jack to simply make his way in. It acts as his guide, but there are more things to greet him on his way. Spattered on the ground is blood, a wide arterial spray that makes patterns on wooden floors and walls both inside his den and just outside of it. Within the glittering red are pieces and fragments on bone, and a little more discreetly, a bullet hole in the wall is a shadowed indicator of what made its journey to create this mess.

Logan is empty handed, the sidearm he'd used moments ago placed back into the drawer of his desk. Dressed as he was in plain slacks, a tucked in button down and a jacket worn only to prior conceal the weapon, he waits patiently and sightlessly, mind mulling over the variables and possibilities that could stem from what happened here today.

The nature of Logan's call was such that Jack has come prepared. Very prepared. He's wearing a white t-shirt, a web holster with a matching pair of pistols, close-fitting jeans, and a black peacoat over the top. When he nudges through the door, he's hauling an old-fashioned toolbox with him and has a gym bag dangling from his other hand.

Normally he'd call out to give away his presence, but the dark, forboding mood in the mansion is enough to keep him quiet. This effect is only magnified when he starts bumping into all the blood. He let out a low, soundless whistle, steps into the den, and fixes his eyes on his old friend.

"Tell me this story doesn't have the word 'hooker' in it."

Logan's gaze switches from empty air just to his left to look across the large office area as Jack steps inside. A faint smile makes his mouth curl, but he forces it to fade, his arms unfolding and pushing his weight off the desk, from where he was perched.

"It has a few words in it," he says, hands pushing into the pockets of his slacks. "But mostly what you need to know is that a bullet passed through someone's throat and jaw and made a mess. We should probably be thankful there's only the blood to worry about." He hasn't seen the teeth yet.

Jack is already nodding and kneeling to set his toolbox on a patch of unsullied floor. One by one, he pulls out his essentials and lines them up on the carpet. An assortment of pliers. Three small spray bottles. An array of tweezers and what appears to be an antiquated set of dentist's picks. When everything is arranged just so, he tips his head to the side curiously and glances up at Logan.

"No body?" It's a simple question, but a very important one.

It's a good question, and it could have a better answer, all things considered. Logan's mouth twists a little in something like a smile, but never really makes it. "No body," he confirms. In the dim light, he studies Jack, and then continues to walk, steering clear of the blood spatters, watching his steps carefully as he goes to switch on the light proper, flooding the room with clarity and pushing the shadows back. "Peter disappeared so I don't think we have anything to worry about. He'll be walking around soon enough."

This revelation causes Jack to rear his head back and fix his eyes on Logan momentarily. Then he shrugs and goes back to tugging on a pair of latex gloves. "I never liked him, y'know. He always wants to talk about his feelings."

A similar pair is passed over to his cohort, along with a pair of pliers and a shallow tin dish. Similarly armed, he shrugs and tips his head to the side briefly. "Lets go find some jawbone."

He had an excuse lined up. That Peter had gone psychopathic. That he was a murderer. That he had to defend himself from his own kid brother. But all this, Logan sets to one side for now as Jack accepts the revelation gracefully and offers him the gloves, Logan catching them with a blink, before stripping himself of his jacket, rolling up his shirt sleeves and putting them on. "Any idea how to dig a bullet out of a wall?"

"It's a lot like when I sleep with your wife. Stick it in, root around a bit, and hope you're finished before it's time for Letterman." With a grunt, Jack steps up to one of the small holes in the wall formed by pistol slug, bone, and shrapnel. Using the aforementioned method, he extracts a piece of Peter's skull and tosses it onto his tin plate with a clattering noise.

"Thanks for skipping the technical jargon," Logan says, wryly, picking up the pliers offered and following Jack towards the mess imbedded into the wall. His knee touches the ground, delicately picking up the little shining pieces of gore while avoiding the still slick blood making decorations on the various surfaces. A shining sliver of tooth is observed, landing almost soundlessly in the metal pan. It's going to be a long night. Now, he sees it fit to explain a little clearer. "Peter's gone off the deep end. He killed a man, a friend of our families, not so long ago. It's messed him up, I think."

Jack wasn't going to ask. He really, really wasn't going to ask. A good friend wouldn't be nosy, right?

Then Logan satisfies his curiosity. He looks up sharply and arches a shaggy brow. "Seriously? I didn't think he had it in him," he muses as he plucks out another splinter of Peter. "What was it over?"

"I don't really know," Logan says, focused on his task of cleaning up this mess, with a degree of morbid interest in the little bits of bone scattered and imbedded in plaster. "Kaito Nakamura. He was interrogating him about something, and then I guess things must have gone out of hand. I tried to convince him to turn himself into the Company again, and he tried to strangle me." A larger piece of jaw is extracted carefully from the wall. "Came back tonight to finish the job."

When Jack has finished clearing the bone and tooth bits from one section, he hoses the bloodstains down with hydrogen peroxide from one of the spray bottles and leaves it to soak and bubble. In the process, he picks up a long, red smear on the arm of his shirt. "Fuckin' gross," he mutters, shaking off droplets. An unhappy sigh and shrug follows. "I'd ask you what you wanted to do about it, but you've made that pretty clear. I can't say I like it, but I can't say I disagree with you."

The pieces imbedded into the wall are picked clean, and with a clatter, Logan drops the pliers into the pan as well, inspecting his latex clad hands. Inevitably, they're streaked with blood. "I'm not going to war with my brother," Logan says. "He might not be the brightest star in the sky but he's dangerous. More so now that I've shot him in the head. If I had it my way, he'd be buried in a very small cement box very far beneath the ground. Unfortunately, the Company can't seem to do their jobs right."

"You'll get no arguement from me there. It's always made me nervous that he can… Oi, there you are— lil' fucker…" Like a Civil War surgeon pulling out a musket ball, Jack wiggles and worries at the imbedded slug until it finally comes free. When it lands in the tin, it rattles the rest of the contents like dice.

"It makes me nervous that he can do pretty much everything," he finally admits. "If he's really gone bad, we could be in a world of trouble."

The latex gloves are peeled off and similarly thrown into the pan, the slight dust that comes from them studied and then wiped from his palms in a slow and patient movement. "Consider 2006," he says, not exactly a topic Nathan generally brings up, but one Logan would readily talk about. "I've sacrificed enough to protect the world from what he can do. What more can cutting out my heart a little more for his sake do, in the end." Logan pauses, tilting his head a little as he rather abruptly asks, "How's Trina?"

Jack purses his lips, but doesn't comment on the sudden shift in topic. He digs a fistful of rags out of his gear and starts sponging off some of the peroxide-soaked blood. Now that it's loosening, it's a far less arduous task.

"She's okay," he replies as he adds in a bit more elbow grease. "Patient. Doesn't like spending so much time home alone, though. I'm just glad she doesn't ask questions when I leave at 2 am with a toolbox full of cleaning supplies."

Logan doesn't join in on this particular brand of dirty work, hands coming to rest on his knees before he pushes himself up to stand. "I was gonna say," he says, which, no, he wasn't. He didn't even think that far when he made the call. "Fortunately for me, the boys are staying with a friend of the family and Heidi's in hospital. Would you like a drink?"

Jack nods agreeably. "Sure. I'm just about done here. A coat of ammonia, then you need to let this sit overnight." True to his word, he gives the spatters one last spritzing and then gathers up all of the bloodied equipment. His own latex gloves are the last thing to get sealed up in the case he brought, which is left where it'll be easy to pick up on the way out.

"So," he says as he climbs back to his feet. "This is the second person you've shot since you got back." The rhetorical statement serves more as an invitation than an inquiry.

What alcohol is in his den— which, to be fair, is a decent array for an office space— is moved towards, a glass of whiskey served neat without the luxury of a chilled glass, but perhaps the quality of liquor makes up for it. "The world of politics is uglier than the news would have us believe," Logan says, as he pours a very generous serving of the booze into the heavy crystal glass. "Not even remotely pristine. Peter, to be fair, is a variable that only my family can come up with." He offers out the drink.

Jack accepts the glass impassively, waiting to take a sip until he's dug a trio of white pills from one pants pocket. Once they've been crammed into his mouth and swallowed, he rolls the glass between his fingers and glances over at Logan. "There's something you're not telling me," he states flatly. "Which is fine. I don't need to know your secrets, but don't pretend you don't have them. Anyway, I like the new, confident you. Vote Petrelli."

"I have secrets," Logan admits, readily. "But they wouldn't be such if I went and told you them, now would I." Less coyly, he adds, "There was plenty about your own dealings you didn't and don't tell me about, Derex. We can trust each other without sharing every dirty secret, can't we?" He eyes glance towards where Jack retrieved his pills, a flicker of a smile, and then, "I have something for you, actually." He heads towards his desk.

"I wouldn't be sponging your brother's blood off the wall if I didn't agree," Jack comments. "Ignorance is bliss. You point, I punch. Remember?" A ghost of his old crooked grin lights up his weathered face as he shrugs out of his bloodied coat and makes himself comfortable. "This is what Peter gets for sticking his dick in my niece."

Logan snorts in vague amusement, although doesn't seem disturbed this time by the reference of Peter and sex for once, round his desk to sit down in the heavy duty office chair. There's a whole manner of sins within this desk - a handgun that had passed a bullet through Peter's head that evening, files about likely quite illegal experimentation on Evolved, and the third thing is his gift of appreciation. A drawer is pulled open, and a plastic case is pulled out, flattish and about five inches wide, eight inches long. The case is nondescript, black and rather harmless looking, and Logan makes quick work of opening it, setting it down on the polished wood of his desk, and turning it about so that Jack can inspect the contents.

Strapped into the felt-lined vessel, three sizeable glass vials reflect the light of both the lamp and the room lights. Each with bands of paper around them, the tiny words of Japanese and English don't need to be read for the contents to be recognised, a deep purple liquid. "Merry Christmas."

Gulp. Jack kills his whiskey in a single swallow and sets the glass down very, very slowly. His hands are shaking when he reaches out to take his present from Logan. At first he's incredulous. Disbelieving. It has to be a trick. Then he inspects the vial more closely…

"Oh my God," he marvels quietly, stroking the case like a long lost lover. When he looks up at Logan's face, his eyes are shining with gratitude. He's skipped directly over shame and landed squarely on relief. Such is the behavior of an addict.

"I love you," Jack murmurs distractedly. "A lot. And I don't want to know where you got this. Do you have a spike?"

"I don't particularly want to tell you where I got it," Logan chuckles, eyes half-lidded in satisfaction, watching. "Mm? Yes." He reaches over to lift out the vials to reveal the needle supplies kept beneath it. As this were specifically designed for people like Jack, or perhaps Jack only. "Feel free," Logan says, before it can be asked (or not asked), leaning back into his chair. "You've earned it."

Jack doesn't need to be told twice. He doesn't even need to be told once. With practiced, professional ease, he draws the needle full of clinging, viscous liquid. Once he's properly tied off, lets out a long, shuddering breath in an attempt to corral his anticipation. "Bottoms up," he whispers.

Then he does what he swore to Trina he'd never do again. He shoots up. With gusto.

The instant the drugs hit his bloodstream, the Irishman's body clenches up around every muscle, joint, and sinew. The veins in his neck and temples bulge and his eyes pinch painfully shut. Small, strangled noises crawl up out of his throat and past his tightly gritted teeth.

He breathes.

"Ahhhh… Baby, it's good to be back."

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