A Meaningful Job


andrew_icon.gif peyton_icon.gif

Scene Title A Meaningful Job
Synopsis Peyton stops in for some pub grub and gets an unintended guilt trip and advice from the bartender Andrew.
Date September 5, 2009

Biddy Flannigan's Irish Pub

Saturday evening at the pub. There are a few of seats still available, most of them still at the bar, and Andrew is stood behind it serving drinks. It's about an hour before curfew, but people are still drinking fairly heavily. Andrew sighs slightly, and serves one of the less drunk patrons.

Peyton makes her way into the fairly crowded bar. She's not ready to go home to her apartment, yet doesn't want to go to any of her usual haunts. Her normally-dark brown eyes have green contacts in them, her hair a few fake auburn highlights via extensions here and there, all under a Yankees ballcap. She is dressed rather plainly — t-shirt, jeans, flip flops. She slides onto a bar stool, picking up on of the "pub grub" menus, since she hasn't eaten for a few hours.

Andrew serves another customer a drink, then says apologetically to a third, "I'm sorry mate, but I can't serve you. You look like you've had too much to drink already, and I can't be sure you won't get into trouble. Trust me, your liver will thank me. Go sleep it off." The customer is particularly argumentative, but he seems to get the hint when Andrew goes to a different patron.

Well, this isn't her kind of bar — the kind that doesn't allow you to get plastered? But then, she's actually not here to get drunk. She's just avoiding going home quite yet. She closes the menu, setting it back in the stand and waiting for Andrew. Her eyes go to the drunk as he clumsily gets off the barstool and heads for the door.

The drunk in question has a fair amount of difficulty walking to the door. Andrew continues to serve drinks, even to those who are drunk, but making sure that no one gets so drunk they can't get home afterward. At least in his opinion.

After a few minutes, Andrew gets to Peyton. "Evenin'. What can I get you," he asks in his Northern Irish brogue.

The girl looks surprised at the accent. "Do they pay you more for that accent?" she asks, then grins. "'Cause they should. Unless it's fake and they make all the bartenders pretend to be Irish." She glances down at the menu, then tilts her head to glances at the decorative handles on the tap. "Can I get the shepherd's pie, and a Bass?" She may be an experienced drinker, but Guinness is too heavy for her.

"Sure. I'm going to need some ID for the Bass though," Andrew replies as he writes down the food order for the Kitchen.. "Irish born and bred; grew up in Belfast," he adds regarding his accent.

She leans forward, so she can produce an ID card from the back pocket of her jeans. It's handed to him — the card makes her 22, though it uses her real name: Peyton Whitney. A pro job, though not perfect for anyone who could tell the difference between counterfeit and the genuine article. Or anyone who might remember from recent news articles that Peyton Whitney is only 20.

Andrew shrugs as he looks over the ID, then he hands it back. "Works for me," he says in a tone that sounds almost amused. "Bass and shepherd's pie coming up. Had a good evening?" he asks after he's handed over the food order to the kitchen.

"Quiet evening, which is close enough," Peyton says softly. It's strange to be in a bar and not trying to get drunk, not trying to get someone's attention, not trying to be the life of a party. "You?" He's at work — does she expect him to be having a good night? She pulls out a cell phone and texts something into it — fingers moving over the keys with a speed that only a digital native who's had a cell phone since the age of 12 could probably master.

Andrew shrugs. "Not so bad; it's busy enough that the time's passing fairly quick, but not so busy as I'm swamped," he answers. "I guess I have to get my money from somewhere, and this is more interesting than cleaning dishes. Been up to anything interestin?" he then asks?

"Trying not to be involved in anything interesting," Peyton murmurs. It's half lie, half the truth. She's had too much excitement in her life the past few weeks, yet it seems she's setting herself up for more. When he gets her drink, she sips from it, sliding her card back into her pocket. "Do you like being a bartender?" she asks, curiously, glancing down the fairly crowded bar at the men watching a game on the televisions.

"It's easy work, and it gives me a reason to wake up in the morning," Andrew replies with a shrug. "Not as interesting as my last job, but that's probably for the best. You work at all?"

She shakes her head to the last question, frowning a little into her drink. While she's happy with the freedom of not working, she's never happy with the looks she gets when she admits it. "What'd you do before?" she asks, deflecting the topic back to him.

"I used to kill people," Andrew replies with a shrug. After a moment, he adds with a smile. "Legally that is; I used to be a Royal Marine."

Her eyes widen a little, and the word marine makes her swallow before she nods. She can't help but think of "Davey," William Dean's right-hand man, and his stash of weapons. "I see." Well, there's a conversation killer.

Andrew shrugs. "Yeah, well, I retired from the military and decided to move here with my pension. I could probably live quite well without even bothering to work, but I need a reason to wake up in the morning. So if you're unemployed, what do you do with your time? You must do something; I'd be ridiculously bored if I didn't have a job of some kind."

Great. Now she gets a guilt trip for not working from the bartender? Peyton shakes her head. "Maybe I'm a student," she points out. She's the right age for college. "Or between jobs. Or any number of things." Her chin lifts, her eyes narrowing a little. It's a defensive stance. "Believe me, I could do with being bored. I've had a rather unboring time of it lately and it'd be a nice change of pace."

Andrew shrugs. "I'm not judging," he points out. "But even so, if one of those were the truth, you'd have said so. As for needing a little boredom, I can definitely understand that one. Why do you think that, after all my time I've spent living in a real life action movie, I've decided to work in a bar?"

"Right. Well, I'll have to keep searching for a reason to get up in the morning I guess," Peyton says, her voice just a touch icy. She's used to those who judge her for being a trust-fund baby. People like Aaron, for instance, before they somehow inexplicably became friends. "But I'm glad you found such fulfilling and meaningful work." She smiles in a faux-sweet way, taking another sip of the beer.

"Aye, so very fulfilling," Andrew replies drily. "Still, it's better than nothing. Of course, if you're going to be snarky, I could always ask to take a closer look at that ID of yours," he points out drily.

"Don't bother," Peyton snipes back, pulling out a twenty from her jeans pocket and tossing it onto the bar. The bill will cover her drink and the food that never came. "Enjoy your meaningful job." Peyton hops off the bar stool and heads toward the door.

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