It’s been less than a month since Usagi Hiretsukann (still, unfortunately, listed on many documents and public records as Usagi Tsukino) had caught back up with her capsuleer corporation, Stimulus, at their new base of operations in the Reblier system.
She’d not quite gotten the lay of this new station; it didn’t seem to be as fancy nor as well maintained as their old home in TXW, but Usagi figured that was the difference between a Caldari corporation’s station and a Gallente one.
She had little love for the Federation, but they did know extravagance.
Regardless, her unfamiliarity with what all the station had to offer usually left her drinking at home, alone, in her two bedroom apartment on the pod-pilot level of the station.
As a general rule, Usagi preferred to live and hang out on the baseliner levels. She liked to tell people it was something to remind her of where she came from. That, of course, was a lie. She hated where she came from, and anything that reminded her of that (especially prevalent on a Caldari station) pissed her off.
The truth was, she just liked being around people who realized she was important. Well, someone more important than they were.
She was somebody.
Her unfamiliarity wasn’t the only thing keeping her sealed away. Given her ‘recent’ history with the process, she was a little paranoid whether or not her soft-clone would activate properly.
The baseliners on this level were mere security guards and employees whose sole job revolved around serving the transhuman demi-gods known as capsuleers. For now, she was content with that.
She was bored, however. Stimulus (and Rote Kapelle) wasn’t what it was three years ago, and while there was activity for her – fleetwise – on occasion, she spent most of her time, alone, watching holoreels.
However this afternoon, she was suffering from a bit of cabin fever, as well as a hangover.
Usagi, dressed in a white and grey camo tank top, black cargo pants, and a pair of black boots, ambled her way from her apartment to the first bar/restaurant she stumbled across. The place looked filthy; dark, but filthy; the only redeeming quality of the dive was a sign advertising two-for-one shots of tequila.
‘Probably cheap, nasty Caldari made junk,’ she thought to herself. Usagi didn’t really care, though… Her brain was mad at her for allowing her to go the 15 minute walk without alcohol, so as far as she was concerned, this place was good enough.
She walked into the bar as the sliding glass doors slid open to allow her access. She looked around for a bit, seeing a couple of people here and there – no one she knew – before moving up to the bar and sitting down next to some kind of gambling machine.
“Four tequilas,” she informed the bartender before he even had a chance to ask. The bartender, perhaps expecting someone to be with her, considering her order, moved to make the drinks as Usagi activated the machine.
In the time it took the bartender to pour the drinks Usagi found herself 1,000,000 ISK poorer. She groaned, double fisted the shots, and drank all four without taking a breath. The bartender, without a word, moved off to make her another quad, his pours more generous than the first four shots.
Usagi’s head pounded. She was having a difficult time figuring out if it was the result of her hangover, whatever the hell it was she shot up last night, or the horrid, twangy, Caldari song playing; one that tried to make undying loyalty to the State sound palatable – ironically in one of the most unpalatable ways possible.
The sliding doors to the bar slid open with a swish. Usagi’s eyes glanced that direction before causing her to cock her head slightly. Usagi, now one shot into her newest pair, turned to the bartender.
“Is that who I think it is?” she asked him.
The bartender rolled his eyes and shrugged, moving off. He had no idea who the hell Usagi was, much less the tall Seibestor.
Usagi watched the sebbie run his hands through his mohawk before stepping in and making his way towards a semi-circular booth in the back. The way he waved to the staff, and the staff waved back sent the realization through Usagi’s mind that he’d been here plenty of times before.
She’d passed this place a dozen times on her way to her ship; it annoyed her that NOW was the first time she’d bothered to come in. Then again, this was going to be rough, so maybe it was better that she’d ignored the bar.
No, Maybe it’d be better if she ignored him and left.
‘No. You are not afraid,’ her mind slurred. Usagi nods and slides off the stool. The world tipped over as she realized, rather dramatically, standing would be a challenge. She got back up quickly, brushing down her clothes, unashamedly glaring off any amused looks directed her way.
The short redhead adjusted herself slightly; tugging at her tank top, checking to make sure the cuffs on the bottom of her pants were even, tied shoelaces, and messed with her hair for a moment. Composed, she then moved over to where Logan was seated.
“Logan?” she quietly asked.
Logan Fyreite looked up; his eyes ringed with the darkness only a heavy, late night drinking session would give them. His face adorned a small smile, almost as if he was expecting her.
“I…” he replied. His eyes moving up to her, refocusing; silence hanging in the balance. Silence that spooked Usagi. A silence that burned at her.
‘Is he happy? It’s been months, maybe he’s mad? I know I’d be mad. I’d probably kill me. Is HE going to kill me??’ Usagi’s mind raced through dozens of thoughts at once, piling up in the back of her head like a crate full of discarded pants.
“Usagi?” Logan rubbed his eyes quickly, trying to make sure what he saw wasn’t his brain telling him to go back to sleep. “Usagi?” he repeated. “Really? What did I drink last night?”
“Apparently the same thing as me,” Usagi mused before allowing her eyes to drift towards the other end of the booth where Logan sat. “May I?”
Logan looked to where Usagi was looking and nods almost absently. “Sure. Please. Be my guest.”
Usagi slides into the booth. She could feel the nervousness threaten to swallow her, created by apprehension and her shaky feet. She calmed herself by moving slowly into the booth across from him.
“How’s it going?” Usagi asked once she was seated; committed to the conversation.
Her mind dislodged itself from the jumble of earlier thoughts to remind the woman of another, far more urgent, matter.
Usagi nodded to her brain before pulling a coin from her pocket and flinging it in the direction of a waitress who seemed to be conversing with some other layabout.
“I, uh, good I suppose,” Logan responded. “Haven’t seen you in a while, not since you came back from prison… I think it was, at least?”
Usagi nodded slowly, her mind digging around for some sort of ‘Yeah, your face’ response to Logan’s grasp on the obvious.
‘Bah…’ was all she could come up with; the lack of alcohol in front of her the higher priority at this point. She turned her head, slowly, glaring daggers at the waitress.
‘Yuk it up, bitch…’ she thought, growing tired of staring at the slack off server laughing inanely at whatever idiotic joke the man at the table a couple of booths away made. Usagi’s head slowly turned back to Logan, “Yeah… I apparently haven’t learned my lesson. Have been helping Dad with some routes.” Usagi leaned back a bit before continuing. “Pays a bit more than being blown up rather consistently.”
The waitress finally makes her way over to the pair’s booth. “Two tequila shots,” Usagi instructs her, never moving her head, trying her best not to allow her frustrated tone be too obvious. “What would you like? On me, of course,” she asked Logan.
Usagi blushed, the double entendre causing blood to rush to her face.
“Err, I’m buying.”
Logan’s wolfish grin pushed more blood into the freckled woman’s cheeks. Thoughts of where such a casual sentence might lead started blood flowing to other parts of Usagi’s body as well; making her adjust slightly in her seat.
“I’ll just take my usual,” Logan smiled towards the rather attractive waitress; the smile causing the waitress to blush before she scampered off.
Usagi subconsciously allowed a scornful look to cross her face. If she hated that waitress before, now she despised her. “You come here often?” Usagi asked, determined to force Logan to admit what she KNEW to be true.
‘He’s fucking her…’ Her inner voice told her. Usagi clenched her teeth slightly. She KNEW that. She didn’t need to be told. Of course, her mind seem to find it a rather amusing game to play on her insecurities.
“Every time I drink like I did last night, so… yeah,” Logan smiled. “Pretty often. You?”
‘AH HA!!!’ Usagi screamed in her head. ‘I KNEW IT!!!’
At this point, Usagi was unsure of whose head she wanted to rip off more: Logan’s or hers. Not that the act would accomplish anything. Usagi knew ripping her own head off would solve nothing. Even if she COULD do it, it would just send her to the clone bay. Same with Logan, but knowing her luck, that whore’s twin sister would end up being a cloning tech.
‘Boy, that’d be convenient for him…’’ Usagi batted away the thoughts as they were both infuriating her and turning her on. Slightly.
“First time here,” Usagi replied before looking off in the direction of the bar, watching (and silently cursing) the waitress as she sashayed her way back towards the table. “For some reason today I just had an urge to try this place out.”
Logan laughed as the waitress returned carrying their food, including, more importantly, Usagi’s two shots of Tequila.. “You sure it wasn’t the sign advertising two shots of tequila for the price of one?” He quipped, smirking down at the plate of hash browns, grease and meat in front of him.
Usagi shrugged as she fiddled with one of the shots. “That’s certainly a more logical conclusion than some sort of divine inspiration.”
Logan slowly takes a sip of his coffee, his eyes studying Usagi over the brim of the cup.
“You look a little different, Usagi.”
Usagi finally quit playing with the shot and slammed it, coughing slightly. The strong, pungent taste of the drink creating an odd, scrunchy look on her face. Once the effects had worn off, she moved her blue eyes back in Logan’s direction.
“Oh?” Usagi asked, pausing a moment then running her hand through her hair. “I guess I have had my hair lightened.”
Logan fiddled with his cup, twisting the mug this way and that before continuing. “Can’t put my finger on it, though. Just better than you looked in my memory, I suppose.”
Usagi blinked before grinning slowly. “Ohhhhhhh.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Logan laughed.
Usagi stretched, pushing her chest out showing off her expanded chest, her tank top rising as well, exposing part of her tanned midriff. “Best cosmetic surgeon in Venal,” she noted, as she leaned to the right slightly. “I had some work done on my butt as well, but you can’t really tell with these baggy pants on.”
Her mind took this opportunity to mock her wardrobe choice. ‘I told you not to wear pants…’ Usagi, while dismissing the suggestion she should have wandered around bottomless, agreed with the general sentiment. She had much tighter pants she could have worn. Of course the goal coming here was to get shit-faced, not to get laid.
‘Can’t it be both?’
She smirked slightly as she leaned forward, over the table, her arms pressing her augmented bosom between them, stressing the tank top. She hoped that between the low-cut neckline of the shirt and the near arctic temperature in the bar, she’d stir something up in Logan.
Her smirk grew as Logan attempted to avert his gaze from Usagi’s chest with moderate success. Her inner-voice doing little more than clapping at Usagi’s performance.
“Not exactly what I was referring to, though they are very nice. Better in a bikini I bet,” he noted, winking.
“Then what?” Usagi sourly asked as Logan wolfed down some of the food on his plate. Usagi found herself a little befuddled that not only was she jealous of the terrible waitress, but seemed to find herself jealous of the food on Logan’s plate. Was it so good that it was worth ignoring her over? Did that waitress put some kind of love potion in it? Could she get Logan to do what he was doing to those hash browns to her?
She blinked at the latter thought as Logan hungrily scarfed down the pile he’d picked up with his fork. Fuck, she wanted to be a hash brown right now.
“I said I couldn’t define it,” Logan replied, his focus remaining on his breakfast. Usagi’s hand seemed to move on it’s own accord, sneaking across the table to steal a few of Logan’s hash browns. Logan’s smirk was the only indication that he noticed her theft.
The redhead quickly jammed them in her mouth before suggestively licking all the grease off her fingers. Her hands fell back to the table, toying with her last shot. Logan cut off some of his unidentifiable meat, sliding his plate to the middle of the table.
‘Sigh… I guess I did want some of your meat…’
“Why did you have work done on your ass?” Logan queried, apparently shocked. “It was a masterpiece.”
Usagi shrugged as she slyly – despite the obvious offer from Logan – grabbed a piece of the meat off the plate and gobbled it up as if she was a small woodland creature. “I guess having an obsession with Gallente pop idols will put weird ideas into your head…” Usagi reached down and slammed the remaining shot before continuing, “…about how one is supposed to look.”
“Well I hope he didn’t fuck it up or the universe has lost something impressive,” Logan countered.
Usagi looked around for that scumbag waitress as she spoke. “I’ve heard no complaints.”
“Been soliciting them?” Logan asked.
‘Punch him. Punch him right in the cock,’ Usagi’s mind instructed. While disregarding the idiot order, Usagi was a bit put off by Logan’s comment. Was he accusing her of being a slut? An exhibitionist?
That wasn’t really the point, Usagi glowered. Regardless of the truth, it seemed – inappropriate – to bring up such things. Besides, at least she wasn’t banging the waitress. A terrible one at that.
Usagi paused, then looked to Logan somewhat embarrassed. “Not that I’ve been parading it around…”.
Logan chuckled at Usagi’s quick correction. “You sure about that?”
“Ehh.. yes?” Usagi stammered as the waitress finally returned to the table. Usagi scowled at her as she ordered. “Can you get me an iced tea and whatever that is?” she asked, pointing to Logan’s dish. The waitress nods once and walks off, Usagi snarling at her before she turned her attention back to Logan.
Logan’s eyes drifted over Usagi’s body, pulling a smile to his lips. Something that Usagi loved to see. “If you are trying to emulate your pop idols, I am surprised that you are not wearing even less. Keeping it decent around the alliance mates?”
“Surely it’s not been so long that you’d forgotten that I have no decency?” Usagi laughed.
Logan laughed as well. “No, just remembering the time you went shopping on the Crystal Boulevard… And the things you returned with.”
Usagi pondered this for a moment. She’d been down many shopping districts; the Crystal Boulevard didn’t stand out that much. Not that her lack of recollection surprised her any. If there was one side effect of being an alcoholic, that was it.
That said, her closet told an amazing story of both shopping trips and shoplifting trips. Considering what was in there, it’s certainly understandable that Logan would remember.
‘You do dress like quite the whore at times,’ her mind acknowledged. Usagi could find no slander in that statement, especially now that her body more — suited — such attire.
Usagi grinned, biting her lip slightly. “I’d say this is my ‘go away drunken executives’ outfit.” She began to ponder out loud, “Not as if there any on these levels, but still…”
Logan laughs mid-sip of his coffee, doing what he can to not choke. “You always did have the ability to draw attention from those management types,” he laugh-coughed. “I think they just like the ‘bad girl’ aura you have,” he hypothesized.
I can’t believe he just went there,’ her mind snarled. ‘I told you to punch him-’
“Mmm,” Usagi mumbled, cutting ‘herself’ off; her expression turning neutral as she nodded a thanks to the waitress that was dropping off her meal. Her now upset mood reflected in her letting the waitress leave without glaring at her, flipping her off, or tripping her.
Usagi despondently poked at her food before starting to eat. Logan, noticing the cooling of Usagi’s mood, tried to restart the conversation.
“How is your father doing?”
Usagi ate a bit more, focusing on the hash browns, before nodding to Logan. “Well, thanks. Sleeping on piles of ISK when I saw him last.” Usagi shifted her focus from the hash browns to the ‘meat’, before cutting off a piece and eating it.
The indistinct taste of the meat hit her fully, leaving a sodden, greasy taste during each bite. She suddenly stopped chewing and looked up to Logan. “What the fuck is this?”
“Supposed to be some kind of steak,” Logan snorted. “I just know it clears up my hangover every time,” he continued, lifting his fork with more meat and munching on it slowly.
Usagi nodded and resumed eating her own food. “I wasn’t complaining, mind you. Just couldn’t quite figure it out.”
Logan laughed softly, “Has a strange kind of after-texture. Haven’t been able to tell if it’s the steak or the cooking.”
“Guess it’s been awhile since I’ve had quality meat,” Usagi laughed.
Logan, straight-faced, asks, “How long, exactly?”
Usagi looked to Logan, and after a second, realized exactly what she said.
‘It’s been a couple of days, hasn’t it?’ her mind taunted. ‘Unless you count that ‘device-’
“A while,” Usagi quickly responded, laughing uncomfortably.
“Good answer,” Logan smiled, looking back down. “You sure you can still handle quality meat?” he asked her, grinning from ear to ear.
‘Maybe we should ask the waitress?’
Usagi starts to cough as part of the steak in her mouth seemed to find it’s way into her airway as both a result of Logan’s question and her mind reinforcing her beliefs about Logan and the charlatan with serving tray.
“*cough* I guess *cough* I’ll not know *cough* till I find *cough* some,” she eked out before drinking half of her iced tea in an attempt to free up her airway and regain her composure.
“So…” she trailed off.
Logan finished off his coffee with a gulp before eye Usagi intently. “You looking for some, or just looking to waste some time?”
Usagi sighed as she turned her head towards Logan, all the while refusing to make eye contact with him. “I don’t fucking know what I’m looking for, to be honest.” She pushes her plate away, at least half of the food uneaten, before slouching down in her seat; her 165cm frame looking nearly childlike in that position. “Every time I think I know what I want, I run off because I want something else.”
“Fair enough,” Logan replied. “You just never said that before, and then completely disappeared on me. Had been kind of hoping there was more to us than nothing.”
Usagi nodded, shamefully. “I never thought we were nothing,” she softly said, still avoiding eye contact with Logan.
Logan’s unwavering gaze drove Usagi further and further into the booth. “Well that’s all you made me feel like, when you decided to leave me. Twice. 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.”
Usagi took a long blink, allowing her mind to picture what exactly such an act would look – and feel – like. Part of her wanted to throw herself onto the table, like a fish flopping onto a cutting block, ready to take whatever ‘punishment’ Logan felt necessary.
Logan pointed towards the waitress, “I know Jillian over there would enjoy the show, but…”
Usagi ran her tongue over her teeth. She found herself having to fight off a smug grin.
‘That would show that cunt. Show her how a REAL woman gets fucked…’
Usagi agreed, but understood…
“…I know that’s not really a solution.” Logan finished.
“It’s really all I deserve,” Usagi replied, barely above a whisper; the darker side of her wanting – wishing – praying for Logan to make an example out of her. It’d been so long since he’d touched her. So long since he’d made love to her. Part of her found itself not caring if it was alone with him, or right here in the middle of this dank, likely roach infested establishment.
Usagi’s dark side rarely got its way. Of all the puzzle pieces that were strewn about inside of Usagi, her sad, scared side, much to her own detriment, got its way.
“I’m not a good person, I’m not a good friend, I’m not a good lover…” Usagi’s eyes finally met Logan’s. “All I really deserve is to be handled for what I am.”
“I don’t think either of us would qualify as a good friend or a good person,” Logan laughed. “But don’t you ever say shit about you not being a good lover.” His tone quieted to a mutter, “Or I wouldn’t be comparing every woman to you.”
Usagi smirked a bit, happy to hear there was at least one thing she was good at. She inhaled deeply a couple of times, seemingly on the verge of speaking, but nothing came from her mouth.
Logan nodded shortly, and quietly ordered a couple of shots for himself. Usagi watched the ghastly woman walk off before mumbling something inaudible under her breath.
Logan looked up at her.
“What was that, Usagi?”
‘Don’t do this,’ her mind instructed. ‘Just fuck him and things will be back to normal.’
It wasn’t that easy, though, and Usagi knew it. Logan was more than just a fuck buddy. He deserved answers.
He deserved the truth.
Usagi turned her head back to Logan. “I’m scared,” she mumbled again, albeit more loudly, as she tried to covertly wipe some moisture from her eyes.
“I’m fucking terrified,” she continued, a bit more loudly and quite a bit more directly.
Logan shrugged, “Of what?”
“Of you.” Usagi inhaled once before she spoke again.
“I -,” Usagi doesn’t finish the word, but continues to speak. “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…”
“I remember,” Logan nodded. “I also remember I was not that person,” he continued, looking at Usagi with a piercing gaze.
“I know, I know,” she sighed, “but you’re the same as him. The same as me.”
“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?” Logan asked, laughing.
Usagi bit her lip, hard, before quietly speaking. “I’d rather you think of me as manipulative scum then realize I’m simply a coward.”
Logan nods quickly to the waitress as she drops off his two shots. He doesn’t wait a beat before downing both of them.
“I’m sorry,” Usagi said, rubbing her temples to try and deal with the many different types of pain coursing through her skull. “I — I shouldn’t be acting like this.”
Logan looks over to Usagi as he slides out of the booth. His gaze never wavers as he stands and looks down to her from the side of the table.
Usagi watched Logan move towards her. Her irises opening to their limit as he towered over her, blocking one of the few lights in the establishment. Thoughts bombarded her mind with the speed and intensity of a 200MM Autocannon; the pain she felt pulse through her as Logan inched his way closer, hitting hard in the back of her head.
‘Is he going to hit you?’
I deserve it, she acknowledged.
‘Is he going to yell at you?’
I deserve it.
‘Is… is he going to leave you?’
I deserve it.
((To be continued. Logan’s viewpoint can be found on his blog, EVE Opportunist.))