Controversial Donations


buck_icon.gif len_icon.gif meredith_icon.gif tamsine_icon.gif

Scene Title Controversial Donations
Synopsis Tamsine decides to take donations for both the victims of the Bomb as well as the Suresh Center. It leads to serious discussions and awkward silences.
Date November 8, 2009

Biddy Flannigan's Irish Pub

Ambient lighting blankets the establishment in a soft luminescence, glowing in tones of appealing orange from the front face of the bar and low hanging light fixtures overhead. Old style brick walls given the pub an appealing depth, reflecting the tone of lights in a more amber hue down upon the lengths of the polished, wooden floors. The bar counter of lacquered dark wood stretches along the northern wall, the forefront for shelves of numerous liquors and the substantially sized LCD televisions spaced liberally behind it. The screens flicker with the latest games and news as the labeled spirit bottles wink from lighted shelves with a beckon of their own. Barstools and high tables welcome tipsy patrons to their support, scattered with throughout the barroom with a few wedge into the darker, quieter, and more secretive recesses. Over the bar are a few banners of sports teams, most notably one of English football club Manchester United.

The thick wooden door to the west is fitted with a single neon sign sponsored by one of the brews on tap, glowing in the door's center window to shed its light onto the sidewalk outside and summoning in new customers when the bar is open for business.

Remember, Remember, the 8th of November… So that is not how the nursery rhyme goes, but it's certainly true that the 8th of November wll not soon be forgotten in Manhattan, or the rest of the country, or even the rest of the world. It's a somber day for most New Yorkers. Most people living here today lost someone in the blast, or at least knew someone who was affected by it.

At Biddy Flannigan's, no one ever needs a reason to drink, but today there are plenty. Some drink to remember their loved ones, with toasts and stories; others drink to forget through alcohol-induced amnesia. The usually merry and friendly atmosphere is a bit more somber.

At the helm, behind the counter, a petite redhead dressed in somber black is pouring beer and chatting with the few patrons that sit in front of her. On the counter are two big donation jars: One with the sign, "Donations for Families of Victims" and the other, "Suresh Center Donations." Tamsine is trying to do her part to help, however small her part may be.

The 8th of November seems to drown the city in sadness. What is normally a bustling, noisy place has it's dampers on during the day. People walk slower, talk softer, the entire city is adorned in black. Not one to make herself stand out, Meredith has pulled on a black sweater in addition to her normal jeans and wool coat. It may not be completely black, but she can't be expected to go out and buy a whole new outfit for a single day.

Though Meredith was affected by the blast, it seems like she may be the one of the few in the city that's least affected by it. All her family members are still alive and while she's still technically on the run by being unregistered, that's nothing new for her. If anything, the Bomb has given the blonde more purpose in life than anything else had before. So, when she slips into Biddy Flannigan's for a drink, it's not to drink to forget, it's to simply calm her nerves some and perhaps remember where it was she came from that brought her here.

Sliding into a stool at the bar, the firestarter attempts to catch Tamsine's eye. "A whiskey sour," she orders. Eyes drift up and down the bar to take in the patrons, finally resting on the jars of for donations, where they remain.

Tamsine of course is risking the loss of some patrons, who might not support her request for donations to the Suresh Center, though no one could begrudge the other jar's intended beneficiaries. "Sure thing," Tamsine says with a smile, reaching for a glass and beginning to mix the drink. She's no flair bartender, but instead very methodical and careful in her measurements, clearly new to the job. She slides the drink in front of the other woman with a smile, a little nervous due to the blonde's gaze on the donation jars. She's already had one person call her a freak supporter, but that was Johnny the cab driver who isn't going to stop coming to a bar simply because he disagrees with the owner's politics.

If anyone would be one to support pro-Evolved feelings, it would be Meredith. However, today is a dangerous day to be calling any attention to such political leanings, what with tensions and bad memories running high and mostly unchecked. Shrugging off her coat, the blonde sets it to rest on the back of her chair and then turns her attention back to the bartender who just served her. "Think that thing's a good idea today?" With a nod of her head toward the Suresh jar, she pulls her drink closer to herself and swirls the liquor inside of it instead of taking a swig right away. "You're likely to get yourself into a situation where you'll need a donation jar for yourself or your bar. Maybe both." She pauses and then raises her glass, "Oh, and thanks."

Tamsine's chin lifts a bit but she smiles. "I'm not going to be a coward about supporting what I believe in any more. I was for too long, and I lost everything important to me because of it," she says, with a shrug of her shoulders as she picks up a cloth to polish down the bar where she spilled a bit of whiskey. "What's that they say about silence being consent, you know? Most of the guys who come in here are fairly regular. They know me. They like me. If they see that I have a belief that they disagree with — well, maybe it will make them think twice."

When Buck pushes in from outside, he's only got a denim jacket on, but thankfully it's a relatively warm, sunny afternoon. So he seems in good spirits as he pushes up the brim of his Stetson and moseys on over to the bar. He eyes the donation jars thoughtfully, but doesn't make any contributions at the moment. He grins as he steps up, putting his hand down on the bar. "Jack an' Coke?" he requests.

"Not sayin' you were a coward." The Texan's accent finally comes through strongly enough and Meredith shifts in her chair so that she can lean one of her arms on the polished bar. "But there's brave and then there's brassy. Ya know what I'm sayin', sweetheart?" And as far as Meredith's concerned, letting everyone know that you'd side with people who could blow up much of Manhattan isn't smart or brave. Even if she's one of those people. "I know the sayin'. Somethin' about if ya keep silent, you're just as bad as those who do the bad somethin's." Finally, she takes a sip of her drink and then sets it back down onto the bar. "I'd say it's not a good time to be turnin' friends into enemies." As Buck enters, the blonde looks him up and down without any sort of greeting toward him either way and decides not to continue on her current train of thought.

The redheaded bartender smiles at Buck. "Afternoon, Cowboy," she says with a smile as she heads to the fountain to pour out the Coke, then grabs the proper bottle to carefully add the Jack Daniels. She slides the glass in front of him, and gives a nod to Meredith. "You didn't say I was a coward. I said I was," she says softly. "My kid was one of the 36 suicides. And I'm not going to be ashamed to say that in a place where I work. It might be stupid, but it's my bar, and if people don't like me for it, they can leave." She doesn't look old enough to have a kid that age, but looks can be deceiving. She may be being foolish, but she's finally found her voice. She isn't going to be silenced because someone might throw a molotov cocktail into the window.

Buck smiles at the bartender, picking up the glass and sipping at it. "Damn, y'all sound like you're talkin' bout some serious stuff." Probably he's not in favor of that. Even though he's still smiling.

Meredith shifts in her seat, not uncomfortably, but just because she has to shift now and then. "I'm real sorry to hear that," the blonde tells the bartender, sincerely. The donation jars - both for the victims of the families and the Suresh Center - are forgotten for the moment. Looking down into her glass, she takes a longer drink and when she carefully sets it back down right where it was before, she adds softly, "I lost a daughter, too." It's a strange thing to say, as she knows her daughter is now alive, but for years and years she didn't think that was the case. "Nothin' like suicide, but it still didn't make it any easier." Tilting her head to take in Buck again, she doesn't hesitate to add, "It's kinda the day for that, dontcha think?"

Tamsine frowns when Meredith mentions the loss of a daughter. "I'm sorry, too," she says softly. "And thank you for… you know. Caring. Warning me. I know it's risky, but at the same time, whatever people are doing isn't working. I'm not terrorizing anyone — I'm asking for donations for people to be educated and helped. And it may be foolish, but … well, blame my parents. They were hippies and did all sorts of foolish things in the name of protest. It's in my blood." She winks at that, and then turns to the cowboy. "It's a serious day and a serious topic, but feel free to watch the football game and enjoy your drink without being serious," she says with a smile to Buck.

Buck loses his smile and give Meredith a bewildered look. "Fer suicide?" he asks. "I dunno. Never done it m'self…" He shrugs at Tamsine. "Every day's a serious day f'r somebody, I reckon," he mentions, having a drink.

Len has wanted to come see Tamsine in action for quite some time, but just hasn't really had the time to do so that could be spent with her alone. Today, however, he's intended plan is to head over to the memorial service, and Tamsine suggested picking her up at the bar, so he's finally able to make an appearance. The cowboy, however, has had a bit of an overhaul in his wardrobe, that still tends to drift away from particular stereotypes as he wears a baseball cap, right side forward and all, as well as a tan Pearl Jam T-shirt that is not tucked into his faded blue jeans. He did keep his cowboy boots after all as they clop once they hit the floor on the inside of the bar. The nearly seven foot tall man ducks out of habit as he walks through the entrance and takes a moment to scan the bar looking for his particular redhead.

Meredith shrugs at Tamsine's apology as well as thanks. "It was awhile ago." Though that normally doesn't help, knowing that your daughter could basically survive anything also helps. "You may not be terrorizing anyone, but some people don't need much in the way of encouragement. Just didn't expect to see somethin' like that on a day like today. And I could blame my daddy for a lotta things, but bein' a hippy ain't one of them." As for Buck's bewildered look, she returns it for one of her own, not making much of a secret that she's confused by his comment. "You don't get out much, do ya, honey?" Len's entrance is not noticed as of now, or at least it's not commented upon. This bar sees a lot of Southerners, it would seem. Strange for an Irish bar.

"I guess it's my own little rebellion," the novice bartender says with a small smile. She raises her brows at Buck. "In case you didn't know, it's the anniversary of the bomb today," she tells him gently, so that he doesn't offend someone accidentally. Never mind that her donation jars might offend someone — she's not worried about offending those people. When the door opens, she looks up, and her small smile grows into a bigger one for the tall baseball-capped man.

"'Scuse me?" Buck returns to Meredith in surprise. He looks somewhat suspicious of her now. He looks over at the bartender. "It is?" he asks. "Well, hell, what day /is/ it?" He pulls out a cell phone and checks the date. "Yeah, it is, isn't it." He nods to Tamsine. "Well, I understand feelin' bad about it, but there ain't much /I/ c'n do 'bout it. Least…not 'til somebody hires me to."

Thumbs get tucked into his front jeans pockets as he strides up to the bar and takes a seat on a stool, arms moving to rest atop the bar after he makes himself at home. "What's it take to get a beer in a place like this?" The question is asked with a playful grin as Len as he gives both Buck and Meredith a polite nod. He notices the jar and reaches into his pocket and pulls out a few bills and drops them inside, unaware of any previous converation that may have been going on surrounding the container. "I don't suppose you serve lunch?" he gives the woman tending bar a wink.

Kicking back the rest of her drink, the blonde sets the empty glass back down on the table and pushes it away from her. "Nothing wrong with a little rebellion in the afternoon. Speakin' of, mind if I get a refill?" Though it's not normally Meredith's usual order to drink hard in the afternoon, it seems like this is the day for it. The suspicious look that Buck gives her is matched with a raised eyebrow of her own. Who does the cowboy think he is, exactly? Finally, she tells him in a rather flat tone, "You could watch what you say. Don't need nobody to hire you to do that." Though she doesn't mean to be confrontational, Buck could take her as such. But, she's not dwelling on it. Noticing Len donate money to the jars with a surprised look, she just gives a soft laugh. It's not a mean one, instead, she's amused. "Now I see what kinda patrons you've got here."

Tamsine nods to Meredith, and then smiles at Len. She pulls a menu out from underneath the bar. "It's typical pub grub… no shrimp gumbo here, I'm afraid," she tells him with a wink. She quickly pours him a beer of something on tap — she knows him well enough to know he won't be picky, and slides that glass in front of him, before taking Meredith's glass and going about her careful concocting of the whiskey sour. She does a quick survey of the rest of the patrons to assess their alcoholic needs, refilling one glass and taking a generous tip from an elderly gentleman she kisses on the cheek before sending him on his way.

"Whatever grub you can rustle up will be just find, darling." Len is all winks and not-so-subtle comments towards Tamsine. "I was told this place had the best looking bartender this side of the Statue of Liberty, and I must say, they weren't exaggerating." He turns towards Meredith at her comment. The look he gives her is inquisitive, as if curious as the the reason for that particular comment, and of course, Bucks defunked mood causes him to grin. "Hey there, cowboy. Not sure it's legal to frown while drinking a beer. I think there's a law."

Tamsine pushes a button on the intercom to speak to the kitchen: "A number 5, Joe." She smiles at Len and then nods toward Buck. "It's our fault. We brought him down with serious and somber talk, I'm afraid. Besides, he's a Coke and Jack man," she adds. "I'm not sure if there's a law against that or not." She leans against the counter to give Len a quick kiss. There are perks to being the boss lady, after all.

"Just don't think you should be so flippant about the day, s'all." Meredith doesn't accept or brush off the apology by Buck. Instead she just takes her refill from Tamsine and shifts enough so that she can watch try and figure him out. "Just a talk about donations and the kinda people who make them." Or don't make them. Or would burn down a bar for putting those sentiments to light. But, since they've moved past all that serious talk, it would seem like, she doesn't mention those.

Buck smiles quickly at Len. "That's why I got a Jack an' Coke," he answers. He offers a smile to Tamsine, as well. But Meredith doesn't get one. She gets a solemn expression instead. "I ain't flippant, ma'am, I just said there's nothin' I c'n do. T' stop somethin' like that?" Buck continues, trying to maintain serious eye contact, "I would lay down my life. Many times over."

The kiss is accepted, of course. "I hope all your patrons don't get this same treatment. I may have to spend more time around here, chasing off your customers." Len winks at Tamsine. He turns to Buck and Meredith. "There's a reason every day to remember something. Some days have far more reasons than others. I can promise you that at least someone on any single given day has something to remember the day for." Len nods towards the football game going on. "But I also think that those who have gone, while they would want to be remembered, would also expect that we go on with our lives. To drink beer, and play and watch football. I don't think anyone takes it lightly. We're just doing what we have to do."

Buck's statement gets a smile from Tamsine. He seems sincere in his statement, and it's something many might say, but not many would follow up on. She nods to Len as well. "I still think it's good to remember them today — go on with our lives, but take a moment so they aren't forgotten." She's been in New York her whole life — she knows quite a few souls who were lost that day. Her job as a social worker involved helping many of the children orphaned that day as well. She picks up her bottle of water from beneath the bar and lifts it. "To those we've lost," she says softly in an impromptu toast. "And to bravery." She smiles at Buck and then Len — one who would be brave, and one she is sure is.

It's strange for Meredith to find herself in this position, being called on for taking things too seriously. She wasn't even in the city when the Bomb went off, so how did she end up on this side of the argument? The trip to the bar was just to calm her nerves and get through the day, not argue about how to properly remember the day. However, Meredith isn't really one to back down from an argument, so she just shrugs her shoulders to both Len and Buck's argument about football and remembering. They've got fine points, sure, but she doesn't like to be lectured. Instead, she just raises her glass to the cheer that Tamsine proposes and takes a long drink.
"That's what I said," Buck tells Len quietly, shrugging as well. To be fair, he seems to have no vested interest in this particular football game. Since Meredith doesn't reply to him, he looks to Tamsine. He thinks it over for a moment and then lifts his glass in her direction. He says nothing more.

Well, since no one is talking. Len lifts his beer at Tamsine's proposed statement and takes a healthy swallow. Of course, he's not going to drink too much, as he has to drive them to the memorial service today, so is going to nurse the rest of the beer slowly. "Do you need to go back to your place before the ceremony, or can we just go from here?" The question is directed to Tamsine as everyone else has seemingly shut their mouths.

"I can leave from here," Tamsine tells Len. "Alex comes in for the evening shift in about thirty minutes." A kitchen worker comes in with a plate of food — fish and chips — for Len. The redhead pulls out ketchup and malt vinegar to put in front of the cowboy. She smiles at the others. "I feel like I'm not in New York anymore, with you three here. Where are you two from?" she nods toward Buck and Meredith, to try to chase away some of the tension at the bar.

After drinking almost half of her drink in that toast, Meredith sets the glass down on the bar with the intent of not drinking it too fast again. It'd be a bad idea to leave this bar today with a light head. It's her own fault for doing it to herself, anyway. "For an Irish bar, there sure are a lotta Southerners. Though, I guess every place's got a South." The tension is ignored and instead, instead she answers Tamsine. The woman's been nice to her so far and is quick on the draw with a good whiskey sour. "Travel a lot. Mostly Texas, though."
"Texas," Buck says, echoing Meredith. He doesn't add a lot more than that, either. Seems like he's learned to watch what he says after all. And so quickly! He sucks down more of that drink.

Len turns to Meredith with a grin. "Well, I haven't been here before. It's a little far from where I live, actually. But, my girlfriend works here, so I thought I'd drop in since I"m picking her up for the memorial." He glances at his watch. "We should probably head out here shortly if we want to find parking though, Tamsine."

"Once Alex gets here, I'm ready to go, but the boys in the back don't know how to make drinks," Tamsine says with a grin. "Three Texans in a row. What are the odds of that?" she says with a shake of her red hair. "I'm born and bred Greenwich Village myself," she adds, just to make conversation. With remarkable timing, however, a man with a friendly, open face and curly blonde hair walks in with a wave. "And that'd be Alex," she says to Len with a smile. "It was nice having you both here. Please come again," Tamsine tells the two other Texans as she takes off the green apron she wears and tosses it beneath the counter.

"That's near where I live now," Meredith tells Tamsine. The smile is met with a small one of her own. Seeing how everyone is about to take off and Meredith really shouldn't get herself another drink, she starts to pack up her things as well. "That's very thoughtful of you," she tells him. "That's the thing about these Southern men. They're most of 'em gentlemen." At least the awkwardness has seemed to pass for now. Slipping her wallet out of her purse, she pays for the drinks and gives Tamsine a generous tip. There's a pause, as if she were debating something, before pulling out two dollars and places one in each of the jars in the table. Not looking at anyone around after that, she puts her wallet back into her purse. "Thanks, darlin'. You've got a nice place here."

Going to soon, Len leaves his beer half drank and he stands and meets with Tamsine as she comes out from behind the bar. "Nice meeting you both," he says as he reaches for Tamsine's hand and leads her from the bar as the pair head for the Suresh Center.

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