Bastard Squared


grant_icon.gif hagan_icon.gif

Scene Title Bastard Squared
Synopsis Two charming fellows have a cordial conversation in a bar. Except not really.
Date January 26, 2009

Biddy Flannigan's Irish Pub

It's session night. Well, every night is session night, really. People expect live music at an Irish pub. But tonight is more relaxed than usual. People are hauling in instruments of different varieties. There's several guitars, two or three bodhrans, a case of Irish whistles and even an accordian or two. Two guys fiddle with microphones and equipment. Clearly it's amateur night, because there's the screech of feedback more often than you'd expect at a professional gig.

Hagan's here because Lucy's feels too much like work. That, and he doesn't really want to face Abby again and have her tell him to get out of town. So he's back to his original local, one where people are enamoured with his accent and the pints cost a buck more. Also, no one dances on the bar unless they're really fucking plastered, and then they get kicked out.

He's claimed a stool at the far end of the bar. He's nursing a pint and looking a bit bleary-eyed. A cigarette dangles from his left hand and is occasionally lifted to his lips for a drag.

Deciding to take a break from his own recent haunt, Grant's stepping into a place that's supposed to have good music. However, supposed to and HAS are completely different things. He glances about, seeing the instruments. If they can play them well, he'll be happy. Though he can't play one, he at least knows what's what in the selection. Without saying anything, he moves up to the bar, himself. His jacket is placed on a nearby stool.

He glances about, seeing what the selection actually is. As he looks at the various taps and bottles, he lights his own cigarette with a bit of a sigh. That last waitress freaked him out a little. Telling him he needs to take a vacation.

Hagan glances to Grant as he exhales. The guy looks vaguely familiar, but he doesn't pay enough attention to other people to properly place him. "Let me guess. You're used to Coors or Bud being your choice?" says the man with the thick Irish brogue. "What do you like then? Ale? Lager?" a beat, "…bubbles? Dark?" Simpler language for those not fluent in beer.

Glancing up at Hagan, Grant takes a moment to make sure he phrases properly. "It's not so much of what I'm used to as what I'm in the mood for at the moment. While a nice stout is good at times, a lambic is better at others. It just depends on the moment. I'm thinking less hoppy and more… hmm. Maybe something smokey."

"Oh fuck. Listen. There's beer with bloody bubbles in it that pissers drink that tastes like…well, piss. And then there's a proper pint. That's it. Two bloody categories. You want it smokey? Have a fucking smoke while you drink it." Hagan squints at Grant, then exhales smoke through his nostrils like a dragon.

That causes a short bark of laughter from Grant. His normal rudeness coming from someone else is always a shot of happiness in his life. "Most of it tastes like crap anyway. It's just cheaper to drink than the harder stuff." He shakes his head lightly. He laughs again, "Just a Murphy's stout today, I think." Now Hagan actually gets to see something the other patrons of the OTHER bar don't. A smile.

"Murphy's? Fuck." a beat, "…all right. I suppose that's allowed." Because you know, Grant couldn't have beer without Hagan giving it his Irish assent. He doesn't get a smile in return, but that's really nothing personal. A smile is a rare creature on his lips. But you know, he isn't storming off and he isn't purposefully saying something so rude as to make Grant storm off, so that's something. He raises a pint of something black to his lips and takes a swallow. "Aw bloody. I hate amateur night. Half these…" he waggles a finger to indicate the musicians. "…are fine, but there's one or two of 'em that are shite. And they seem to get the stage for the longest."

"I wondered what the hell was going on. I saw the bodhrans, the whistles, and the accordions, and I knew there was live music. But I heard it was GOOD music." Grant says with a nod as he places his order to the bartender with a nod. The smile he gave Hagan has already faded from his face. "Eh, it still beats karaoke night anywhere." He says with a roll of his eyes as he rubs a hand on the back of his neck.

"Mostly they just sit in a circle and bang out old standards. Nothing too bad, and if you get a couple of pints in you before they start, all the better. Makes you miss the off-keys." Hagan shrugs. "You want real good ones, come on the week-end." Yes, he pronounces that as two words. "But you know. It's laid back. It's decent craic." He waves a hand vaguely.

Grant nods lightly. "I'll have to come back then, then." he says with a nod as his beer arrives and he takes a tentative taste before a larger drink. "Eh, my own tastes run the gamut anyway. From traditional to modern in so many styles it's not funny. But… one thing I've noticed. Lots of local players around here. And only one or two groups in ten has any talent at all. The rest are just background noise at best… and absolute garbage at worst."

"That's because anyone with real fucking talent buggered off after the city got a crater blown in it. But you know, it's like that anyway. Some people want live music even if it's shite." That's Hagan's shining observation for the day. The ember at the end of his cigarette glows red as he inhales sharply to finish it off. It's crushed out in the ash tray and the last of the smoke is exhaled slowly.

"That was NOT a pleasant time of life." Grant says with a sigh. "Guess that means I've got no talent, but then, I knew that. Except with numbers." He shrugs slightly as he takes another deep drag from his own cigarette. "Gotta love how things go crazy right when someone moves to a new place." He shrugs. "Such is life. Grant." He offers, extending a hand.

"Either that or you've got no brains. Why anyone'd ever choose to be in this place…I have no fucking idea." Hagan's brows go up. He eyes the offered hand for a moment, then, with eyes half-squinted, he reaches out and shakes. He withdraws fairly quickly. "Hagan. And why do people do that, anyway? Touch each other? Seems unsanitary." And this is followed by a rattly smoker's cough. Talk about sanitary.

"Not as unsanitary as getting a lemon in water or tea or something at a restaurant. Or blowing out birthday candles. At least your hands can be washed." Grant says with a nod, pulling a small bottle of squeezey hand sanitizer out of his pocket. "They do it to affirm they're alive or something. If people don't feel it, they don't believe it. At least, that's my idea."

"I heard it was some thing about checking to see if the other guy was armed. Fat lot of good that does, uh? People don't keep pistols up their sleeves." Hagan rolls his eyes skyward and swallows another healthy sip of beer. "And you know. If they were Evolved, they could steal your life force or some damn thing with a handshake."

An eyebrow raises at the mention of Evolved. "There are lots of interesting things out there. Some people though, still believe it's all just an urban legend." Grant says with a shrug as he takes the final drag from his own cigarette, crushing it under it's own butt. "Though, I always have my own beliefs for things. Especially old habits like hand shakes."

Hagan makes a sound that's almost like laughter, but not really. "Urban legend. Right. Anyone who believes that has their head up their arse. Yes. They're making people register their nonexistant superpowers." He makes another vague hand motion.

In the background, the players start to play, but fortunately it's kept at a bearable volume and it starts off with a reel. Fiddle, bodhran, a guitar. It's actually fairly nice.

"Let's just make people register their race or their sexuality." Grant says with an eyeroll. "No, I don't doubt they exist. I just think it's stupid. What if someone wants to spend their life quietly and not have themselves known?" He asks with a shrug. "Hypothetically. If I were one of them, I'd be pissed off about the whole thing. But… that's neither here nor there." He turns towards the music and nods slightly. "Not too bad at least."

"It's stupid is what it is. Registration. Jaysus." But Hagan makes sure to keep his voice down. It's not really a popular viewpoint. Among those who aren't the ones having to give up personal details of their lives, that is. He finishes off what's left in his pint, then catches the bartender's eye for the next. "So what, did you say you came here after the explosion?"

"Just before. Came here for college. Had to stop for a while after. But then when school started back, I went back to it." Grant says with a nod. "Registering anything that's natural to a person is stupid." Of course, he agrees, but that's the way of things, probably.

"Ah, right. Then I won't call you a fucking idiot." Charming. Hagan pulls the fresh pint towards him and pays for it. "Can I get, uh…nachos, please? I don't know. Nachos! Not the giant bloody ones, all right?" The bartender moves away, unruffled. He's apparently used to the caustic Irishman. He rubs the side of his cheek and leans an elbow on the bar. The band is given an eye, but mostly they're just warming up with several jigs and reels. "It's dangerous to give the American government too much information, I think. They already know enough about me."

"It's dangers to give ANYONE too much information." Grant agrees. "You never know what people will do with it. What they'll sign you up for. What they'll sign up for in your name. What they'll link to you. What they'll broadcast for anyone and their mothers." He takes another deep drink of his own beer before running a hand through his hair. "Nachos. Bar food." He shivers slightly.

"Jesus. And I thought I was squirrely. Be glad you're not a foreigner here on a green card if you're paranoid. They know where I live and I have to tell them if I move." Hagan wrinkles his nose as someone starts playing an accordian poorly. "Yes, bar food. What else do you eat in a bar?"

"Paranoia, paranoia, everybody's comin' to get me. Just say ya never met me." Grant sings softly with a chuckle. "Eh, That's standard paranoia. Not over the top. Over the top is thinking they're actually watching you all the time. I'm not that bad." He shakes his head. "Well, I don't usually eat at a bar. Not to mention, if I haven't been to a bar before, I don't know yet if I'll like their foods."

"Please don't sing." A beat, "Paranoia is by the definition of the term, irrational and unfounded. You know, if someone's really out to get you there's a…another term. I can't recall. But there is a word, and it's not paranoia." Another vague handwave from Hagan. "Well of course if you haven't been to a bar you don't know if you like the food. Unless you walked into the kitchen and stole the food out of Frank the Chef's hand. What a ridiculous fucking statement." His mood seems to be souring. Another cigarette is pulled out.

The broadcaster rolls his eyes. "Greasy shit doesn't agree with me. Most bars have greasy food. Even… bad nachos can be greasy." He shakes his head going back to the beer he was nursing. Nodding to the bartender, he motions for another, pulling cash out of his pocket. "Wow. I thought I was an ass."

"Yes well…" Hagan looks faintly sheepish, but he follows it up with a loud proclamation of, "I strive to improve. Even in assishness." He slurs his 's'es a little on that, which is the first sign that he might be a little intoxicated.

"My kinda man." Grant laughs, shaking his head again. As the next drink arrives, he pushes his previous glass away. He glances at his watch briefly before sighing. Another little bit and he'll be leaving. "Gotta have goals, man. Gotta have goals. My goal is to just keep away from idiots. Living in New York… I fail already."

"No shit," says Hagan, helpfully. If he's looking for reassurance that the world is not fucked, he's talking to the wrong guy. Especially after Abby's cryptic warning. Wednesday is soon. The nachos arrive, and they are in fact not as greasy looking as one would imagine. This is a fairly high end Irish place, so the chips come in (ha ha) orange, white and green. Very clever. The colour scheme is continued in the toppings and the cheese looks less conjealy and more actually tasty. He yanks off a few and dips them into the sour cream. "If you don't think you'd die of grease poisoning, you can have a few." Funny how he manages a statement both snide and generous in the same breath.

"I think I'll pass for now. Trying to watch my diet." Grant says as he swigs at his glass. "I gotta get up early in the morning. Classes and all." He says with a light nod. "Thanks anyway." He pulls his pack out and lights another. "Hmm. Ya know? I think I saw you at that other bar. Old Lucy's?" He asks. "I usually go there, but I just needed a change of pace."

"Yeah," a beat. "It's closer to my work, this place is closer to home. Usually I need a pint after work. But today I got off too early to start drinking." So to Hagan that probably means 11 AM. He's not really surprised that Grant placed him. Loud guy, Irish. Insane hair. Pretty distinctive. "The owner, Isabelle's a friend." He shoves a laden chip into his mouth.

"Ain't met her yet." Grant says with a nod. "Really only met Roselyn and Nicolas. And that one chick bartender who says I should go on a vacation and visit my family." He shrugs. "Don't have that kinda time. Gotta get through school." He's beginning to drawl and to speak in incomplete sentences. On him, it's a sign of sleepiness. On others, who knows?

"Oh, you can't miss her. She walks around like she owns the place." Har. That was cleverer before Hagan opened his mouth and actually said it. So to fix that faux-pas, he fills his mouth with chips and stringy cheese and spicy jalapenos. The music's getting more boisterous now. Someone's singing 'Fields of Athenry.'

Grant actually snorts a laugh at that one. "Well, if she owns the place, I think she has the right." He shakes his head softly, listening to the song and sighing. "It's so much better from pros. But… I'm an elitist fucker." He shrugs, looking at his beer and cigarette. He nods slightly, standing and drinking the rest down in a chug. Sure, it kills some of the flavor, but the point is the same.

"Bah. Sure it sounds best from the pros, but buy a bloody CD and play it through the stereo if you want that. Irish music's supposed to be a bit messy and sung by bastards who're half drunk off their arses. It's supposed to be sung-shouted along to. That's the nature of it. This fucking country's put a polish on it and slapped a price tag too, then shipped it out for mass consumption." Says the guy who works in advertising. Hagan stuffs so me more chips into his mouth.

"Who said I wanted the CD versions. I meant the live." Grant says, rolling his eyes. "The pros are still better when they're loud and raucous. But like I said. I'm an elitist. I don't deny it." He shrugs, clapping his glass back on the counter as he picks up his jacket. "I'll probably see ya around." He says with a shrug, putting the still lit cigarette back in his mouth.

"You don't have the right to be an elitist about someone else's cultural music." Though that phrase is empty of the fire that Hagan uses to order a simple pint, so it's pretty obvious he doesn't really mean that. "Yeh. I'm sure of it, kid."

"Just because I'm an American doesn't mean my family isn't from elsewhere." Grant says with a half-grin as he turns and heads for the door. He tosses a wave over his shoulder, just a single hand up. He doesn't bother to look back.

January 26th: You Show Me Yours...
January 26th: Haggle
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