Underaged Drinking


lance_icon.gif owain_icon.gif

Scene Title Underaged Drinking
Synopsis Owain has bad news. Lance doesn't react well. Fortunately there's whiskey. Bad decisions are made.
Date June 28, 2018

Lance's Apartment

Owain has taken up a post in the living room of the apartment that Lance has rented out, and is currently strumming away on a worn out looking guitar — while he hates his father, the guitar that was passed to Owain when Griffin died is a treasure, if only because it’s the guitar he learned to play on.

His knuckles are pretty much healed, for the most part, stitches out, leaving him with scarred knuckles that make him look way more badass than he actually is. He doesn’t seem to be playing any particular song, instead strumming chords as they come to him. Occasionally, he pauses, grumbling to himself, before restarting once again.

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, though hopefully Owain fell far enough from his father’s tree to avoid living to see himself become a villain.

There’s a click as the lock turns over and Lance comes in, carrying a gallon jug of water in his hand. The area’s water comes from pumps, so now and then more needs to be acquired and brought in.

“Oh, hey Owain,” he calls easily, the door closed behind him as he heads for the kitchen, making his way past the other teenager on the way to the fridge.

The click of the lock causes the strumming to stop, Owain’s head lifting up to see who is entering. When Lance announces himself, Owain lifts his left hand in a casual wave. “Hey, Lance.” He then plays a few more chords, finishing up whatever he’s writing in his head, before setting the guitar down and leaning back on the couch.

Finally done with finals, and free for the summer,” he announces, letting out a sigh of relief. He isn’t too worried about his studies — that’s one thing he’s never had an issue with.

“Oh. Congrats,” Lance says, in the awkward sort of tone when you really mean congratulations even though you’re infinitely envious of the thing you’re congratulating someone for. The water’s put away in the fridge, door pushed closed with a soft thump, “I think I’ve got another part-time job for now, should help out with making sure we keep this place stocked with supplies…”

Nobody ever accused Owain of being socially adept — he’s about as awkward and, at times, tone deaf as they come. But at least he doesn’t rub it in. “Awesome. I’ll help out, too.” He has a dorm room of his own, but he does his best to help out the other kids. His paid internship at Raytech is helping out quite a bit with finances — he has the safety net of the money that his father left behind, but he’s certainly not fond of the idea of using the blood money. It’s nice to have money that he earned himself, without betraying and killing hundreds for it.

After a moment, the tall, lanky metallokinetic stands, pausing to ensure that his guitar is safe, before moving toward the kitchen. He’s got that aura of an amazingly awkward person who wants to talk about something very important, but is unsure how to proceed. “Still looking into SESA?” He asks, distracting himself from the topic looming over him like some kind of terrifying monster from a Cloverfield movie.

“Yeah,” admits Lance, turning back from the fridge, “I’ve gotta talk to Robyn and Agent Lin about it, see how that’d all- work out? I’m not sure. We’ll figure things out though. I think it’d be a good idea.”

Brows lift a little, “So what’re your plans for the summer, man?”

He had thoughts, but they vacated his head about a month ago when who he think was Eileen appeared to him. Which is why, when Lance asks Owain’s plans for the summer, a brief deer in the headlights look crosses the metallokinetic’s face.

“I…didn’t really put a lot of thought into it,” he replies, reaching up to rub his hand over the back of his neck. “Nadira and Jori moved to Kansas City, so I’m on my own out here,” he murmurs, leaning against the counter. “Mostly I was just thinking of…wandering around. Exploring.”

His eyes cast to the ground. “Was thinking of taking a trip up to see Pollepel again.”

The thought has Lance looking over more than a bit worriedly. “Pollepel’s not really safe, these days,” he says quietly, “I hear the birds are still crazy from whatever Eileen did, they’ll murder you if you land there. I mean, unless you want to fight a bunch of birds with metal plates or something, probably not— a great plan.”

“I mean, we go exploring sometimes, if you really want somewhere dangerous to go…”

“I…” Owain cuts himself off, frowning. “I don’t think Eileen’s there any more.” What does he mean by that? “Something happened about a month back.” That’s about when he started acting stranger than normal.

He doesn’t waste time. “I was walking home from school and a flock of crows landed all around me. And they spoke to me, in my head, with a woman’s voice. Pretty sure it was Eileen’s voice.” He frowns. “She told me…showed me…what happened when Pollepel fell.”

He goes quiet, now, letting Lance process that first part.

Blink. Blink. Lance just stares at the other teenager for a moment, and then he leans back against the counter. “Whoa. That’s primal. Like… she lived on inside the birds? Man, maybe those rats really are what was left of a rat telepath…” A shake of his head, looking back to Owain, “I mean, why did she show you that, though? That whole thing sucked eggs from what I’m told.”

“Yeah, I think that’s what happened.” He frowns. “She showed me because she wanted to show me what happened to her,” he replies, turning his eyes toward the ground. “My dad…I grew up the past eight years thinking he was a war hero. He came back from Pollepel with a collapsed lung. I always thought that he got a collapsed lung fighting off the military and helping people escape Pollepel.”

There’s a long pause. “Eileen’s birds showed me that it was all a lie.” He frowns, turning brown eyes up to study Lance’s expression, his reaction to the words that follow. “She showed me that it was my dad that destroyed the force field…that he killed Eileen…and all of those people who didn’t make it off of the island, their blood is on his hands.” He hangs his head in shame.

“He…” His voice cracks a little, but he’s a bit better at fighting off the tears around Lance than he is around Brynn. “He cut a deal with Leon Heller, the man who killed my mom while I was hiding in the next room, and betrayed everyone.

“What?” Lance just stares somewhat blankly at first as the words sink in, staring at Owain, “Wait, he— he what?”

He pushes off from the edge of the counter-top where he was leaning, closer to the other teenager, “It was— your father was the traitor? The one who— everyone on the island, and— those kids at the ark— Eric?”

It’s hard to read the emotion in the teenager’s eyes as he stares back at the other, “Is— is he dead?” He can’t remember right now. The tone of it seems to suggest that if Griffin Mihangle wasn’t dead, he would be shortly.

“I don’t know if the kids at the ark, but…” He grimaces. “I’m assuming yeah, it was probably him.” With the initial news over, the vitriol practically drips from his mouth with each word he speaks about his father.

“He is,” is the disappointed response that comes from Owain, the teen narrowing his eyes. “He got cancer. Couldn’t even let his fucking karma get him back, though,” he hisses, hands balling into fists at his sides.

That would explain why Owain came home with split knuckles a month ago.

“Fucking asshole offed himself before the cancer could eat him from the inside out.” He shakes his head. “Killed himself when I was in Grand Forks, renting a tux for my school dance.” A dark expression crosses Owain’s face, before he lets his posture droop a bit.

“I’m sorry,” he croaks out, lifting a hand to cover his eyes briefly.

If he’s expecting to hear something after that, he’s disappointed, because after Owain’s eyes close there’s no sound whatsoever. Certainly no sound when Lance’s fist slams into the door of the fridge, sending sketches of Brynn’s and Squeaks’ to the floor with magnets knocked loose, and no sound as the teenager stalks from the kitchen swearing both fervently and completely quietly.

Owain removes his hand in time to watch Lance’s silent reaction, frowning. He doesn’t follow the other teen; instead, he lets Lance have whatever time he needs to process this. He kneels, picking up the sketches and magnets, and quietly sets about putting them back in place. Hopefully Lance didn’t do the damage to his fists that Owain did.

Now probably isn’t a good time to mention that he’s taking Brynn out on a date.

There’s no blood on the fridge, so it seems that Lance hasn’t smashed open his knuckles.

He stalks back and forth through the apartment, and it’s probably for the best that there’s no sound emanating from the young man because he appears to be swearing extremely loudly, and extensively, and Gillian would probably be making him wash his mouth out with soap despite the fact that he’s eighteen.

He’s learned a lot of bad words over the years.

Finally he stalks back out and heads right back into the kitchen with a very purposeful expression on his face.

Owain doesn’t push Lance, instead making sure to clean up after his friend. He understands at least a little bit of what is going through Lance’s head right now, at least some of it went through his head a month ago.

Arguably, Lance is handling it much better than Owain. Lance isn’t walking into a dangerous part of town outside of the Safe Zone and destroying things before falling asleep in a church pew.

As Lance strides back in with that look on his face, Owain turns, frowning at him. What can he really say right now? He’s the offspring of a traitor to his own kind — a traitor who sold out hundreds of men, women and children just to give him a comfortable life.

Owain hates himself for profiting off of so much horror.

Lance plants a hand on the edge of the kitchen counter and pushes up onto it on one knee, straightening up onto it and reaching up to open one of the highest cabinets. Some jars of peanut butter are pushed aside, and he pushes aside a false board that was masquerading as the back of the cabinet.

When he hops back down, he’s holding a bottle of scotch whiskey in one hand. Wordlessly, he opens another cabinet, pulls out two glasses, and walks back into the living room. Both glasses are set down silently, and he unscrews the bottle’s cap before filling them and setting the bottle down to one side.

Wordless, he sits down, picks up one of the glasses and takes a long swallow of it.

The fit of coughing that follows that swallow is equally silent.

A bit dumbstruck, Owain quietly follows Lance into the living room, watching him pour the scotch into both glasses. He watches Lance’s silent consumption of the beverage with a slight frown etched into his features — a frown that has been far too common lately.

It’s pretty doubtful Lance poured two glasses entirely for himself — logic dictates that the other is probably for him. After a moment of indecision, he takes the glass and looks it over. His dad let him sneak beers every so often, but never the scotch.

A shrug rolls over his lanky shoulders, before he takes a breath, followed by a large gulp, and a slow release of the air. His entire face scrunches up in response to the burn, and an involuntary shudder rolls up his spine, before he lets out a few coughs.

How did his bastard of a father drink this stuff so often and not cringe?

The last few coughs are audible, finally, as Lance covers his mouth and doubles forward a bit. “…Christ it tastes like sandpaper feels how do people drink this…”

He stares in horror at the glass he’s holding, and then takes a deep breath before taking a second long gulp of the whiskey, face screwing up in a grimace as it burns down his throat again.


He falls back, hand rubbing over his face. “Gawd. That’s awful. It tastes like botswarf.”

At least Owain isn’t the only one who can’t stand this crap. He stares at the remainder of the scotch in the glass, a disgusted look on his face. “Some people think drinking this is a pleasurable experience,” he adds in disbelief.

He takes another deep breath, and downs the rest of his glass in one go, before setting it down and tumbling back onto the couch, coughing again. “Ugh, it tastes like I’d imagine jet fuel tastes like.” He shakes his head. “Smells about as bad, too.”

He rubs at his face as well, frowning down at the bottle.
There’s silence for a few minutes from Lance, his eyes closed, senses wavering as the liquor spreads out through his veins.

Finally, he speaks. “I always… always thought they’d find out,” he says hoarsely, voice still rough from the whiskey, “Hang him or something. I thought I’d get to watch. Or— or he’d escape justice and I’d go hunt him down. Whoever the traitor was.”

What angry teenager, robbed of their most beloved caregiver, wouldn’t have such fantasies?

“But he just— cancer. And he ate a bullet. Fuck. It’s not fair.”

“It was bad cancer, to be fair,” Owain offers, frowning down at the bottle — but relaxing rather visibly, as well, as he feels the alcohol’s effects. It’s fascinating, his limbs feel heavy. “Lung cancer, from all of the nasty cigarettes he smoked.” He shakes his head.

“Eileen got her blows in. He came back from Pollepel with a collapsed lung. Thought he got it being a hero — he got it being a traitor, instead.” He goes quiet, mouth setting into a line, and wringing his hands in his lap. “She got some revenge, at least. Doctors said he might’ve survived if not for the scar tissue making everything worse.”

He closes his eyes, then, leaning his head back against the back of the couch, enjoying the swimming sensation afforded by the strong liquor. “He was almost dead when he offed himself. I wish he had suffered until his lungs stopped working.”

His hands ball into fists. “He let me think he was a fucking hero. He lied to me my entire life. He…” The teen raises one hand, tugging at his hair distractedly. “He ruined everything. If it weren’t for him, my mom…both my birth mom and the mom who raised me…they wouldn’t be dead.”

There’s a long silence from Owain, before he adds, “I hate him.”

“Yeah, well, he’s dead,” says Lance bluntly, fingers rubbing over his eyes, “Not a lot left to hate there by now, probably. You can’t— you can’t spend too much time on the dead. You’ve got to focus on the living, because they’re the ones that matter.”

Hard lessons from living in the Lighthouse, from living through the ‘evo flu’, from living through the war.

“Still… hope he fucking suffered from that cancer,” he mutters, leaning forward to take another sip of the liquor, which he’s forgotten tastes like hell in liquid form, sputtering a moment before managing to swallow.

“Sucks that I found out after he died,” Owain bemoans, opening his eyes to peer at the scotch bottle for a long moment. Then, he leans forward, reaching out and lifting the bottle. He takes a moment to read the label, before ultimately reaching out and splashing a finger’s worth of the strong liquor into his glass.

Lifting the glass, he leans back again, frowning down at it. “He did.” It was a difficult thing for him to go through at the time, and looking back on that time still brings up mixed emotions, despite his anger over what happened all those years ago. “Hurt him bad enough that he shot himself in a head with a fucking giant Desert Eagle. Didn’t even know he had that one.”

He shakes his head, before taking a swig of the scotch, face scrunching up — though he does manage to keep from coughing this time.

“That’s one hell of a big gun. Guess he wanted to make sure he got the job done,” Lance comments, head dropping back on the couch, the hand holding the glass of vile horror resting on his knee.

“Backstabbing fuck,” he mutters, “But yeah, don’t— don’t spend too much time and energy on him. He’s dead. There’re living people.”

A long silence.

“Hey, are there any pictures or anything of him in that— uh— the Brick House, uh— the museum?”

Owain wrinkles his nose. The mixed feelings surrounding his father’s death are rather difficult to navigate. On the one hand, it still inspires sadness — even if it was all a lie, his father raised him for five years, and he has had three years to fondly remember his father. But then, it was a lie, and the way that Griffin Mihangle perished seems less and less fair every time he thinks about it.

“I’m trying not to.” He swirls the scotch in his glass, wrinkling his nose at the stuff. “I’ve been focused on school, and doing my job at Raytech.” He stares long and hard at the liquor, then takes a deep breath. This is held, and he quickly gulps down the last of his second glass, shuddering involuntarily as he sets the empty glass down. That’ll be enough of that.

Lance’s question prompts Owain to raise his eyebrows, and for a second he looks irate — but only because he didn’t think of that himself. “I think there are,” the teen replies. “He was pretty deep into the Ferry stuff before…” He shakes his head.

“Right!” Lance’s hands brace to the couch, and he hops up to his feet in one smooth motion. Well, it normally would be a smooth motion, but instead he stumbles a bit once he’s on his feet.

“Okay. Let’s go to the Brick House,” he declares, “And we’ll stay there after it closes. And then we’ll spraypaint graffiti on everything that has his face on it. Or set it on fire. Yeah! We can set it on fire. I’ve got some lighter fluid— “

He heads in the direction of the kitchen, dropping down to a knee to rummage around under the sink.

In normal circumstances, Owain would be too much of a stick in the mud to think that Lance’s idea is worthwhile. He would politely decline, and possibly try to find a more constructive way to express their distaste for the fact that his father is still immortalized in a museum meant for actual heroes. Or at the very least, he would resolve to wait until they slept off the alcohol before making such a rash choice.

But Owain has drank a good four fingers of scotch, and prior to this, he would maybe sip down half of a beer on rare occasions. He is the very definition of a lightweight, and it doesn’t matter that he is 6’2” — he is drunk enough that his inhibitions aren’t what they normally would be.

He stands up. “Y-yeah. Or we can just…what kind of pictures do they have? We could cut his face out of every picture we find of him. And then burn those.” Well, he’s still a little bit practical, choosing a form of vandalism and arson that is least likely to get them arrested.

“Yes!” A bottle of lighter fluid’s found beneath this sink - best not to ask why it’s there - and Lance pushes himself back up to his feet, pointing the bottle in Owain’s direction, “I like it. Get the scissors! They’re in the— um— the stuff drawer, it has stuff, over there.”

He points at the stuff drawer and then he’s already heading for the door.

Owain wastes little time in opening said stuff drawer, quickly locating the scissors. After stooping to grab his ever-present copper-zippered backpack and slipping the scissors in, he shoulders the bag and moves in line behind Lance.

This is totally a good idea. Never mind that voice nagging in the back of his head that this is not a good idea.

“Spraypaint!” Lance briefly ducks into his bedroom, coming out with a duffle bag full of spraypaint, stuffing the lighter fluid into the bag as he walks. He pulls out his keys, and promptly drops them. Then he bends down, the bag unstabilizing him in a sway before he grabs up the keys and then pushes out of the door.

And they’re off!

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