Damn Good Coffee


owain_icon.gif richard_icon.gif

Scene Title Damn Good Coffee
Synopsis Owain makes a Damn Good cup of coffee — and finally tells someone the truth, as well.
Date May 29, 2018

Raytech Industries

"…alright, how am I getting over there for this meeting," Richard's muttering to himself as he walks down one of the office hallways, a tablet computer in his hand that he's looking at with a frown, examining his meeting schedule. Which is longer than he likes. Apparently, things stack up when you're gone for a month!

He's at least back in his suit, black on black with a red tie.

Today really isn't the most ideal day for the first day of work. Owain has had a pretty insane weekend, finding out that his father was not the war hero that he believed him to be — that he was, in fact, a pretty horrible war criminal who also worked with Leon Heller, the asshole who murdered his 'mom'. Finding that out after his dad got cancer and offed himself was even more salt in the wound — he couldn't even let himself suffer the Karma that came his way.

Owain looks good enough for his first day as an intern. The tall young man is dressed in a suit, as well, a gray shirt with black slacks and jacket, with a dark red tie. He can't help the darkness of his mood showing on the edges of his expression, carrying a to-go tray of coffees in bandaged hands.

As the intern comes down the hallway, Richard's gaze flickers up from the tablet he's holding to see an unfamiliar face. Not that it's too unexpected, given that he's been gone for a month, but he ''does'' try and know all the employees at least by face.

"'Afternoon," he offers to the younger man with an easy smile, "Don't think I've seen you before."

Oh shit. That's the boss. Owain wasn't expecting to run into him today. That's why he nearly drops the cardboard coffee carrier, narrowly avoiding spilling all of that coffee all over Richard. Thankfully, he saves it, holding the container close to his chest with a soft breath of relief. He wishes his knuckles weren't all stitched up right now — they probably make him look like some rage-oholic or something.

To his credit, though, he puts on a good front. Shifting the coffee to his left hand, the young man offers a nervous smile and a hand, forgetting for a moment that his hands are messed up and a handshake might hurt. "H-hi there, sir. I'm Owain Mihangle, you guys just hired me on as an intern."

At the near-drop of the coffee, Richard brings an eyebrow up a little— and then he breathes out a chuckle, reaching out to take that offered hand. "Richard Ray, but you obviously know that," he notes, his grip firm since he hasn't noticed the stitches just yet, "Welcome to Raytech, Mister… wait. Mihangle?" His brows lift a little, "Any relation to Griffin Mihangle?"

To his credit, Owain doesn't scream when Richard grips his stitched up hand. He does flinch a bit but manages to mostly keep his head on straight. Note to self, do not offer handshakes when you have recently punched crumpled metal and split your knuckles open. The mention of his father is still a raw subject, and while Owain managed to avoid screaming in Richard's face with the handshake, his expression darkens when his relation to that man is brought up.

Still, this is his first day on the job, and he really should try to remain at least a little bit professional, if he hasn't ruined his rapport with the boss already. "Yeah," he replies, unable to hide the flat note of loathing underneath. "He was my father."

The wince is noticed and recognized; the darkness in the young man's eyes and the tone of his voice. Richard releases the hand as soon as he notices the stitching and the pain, a frown replacing the smile on his face. "I've got a feeling I brought up a sore point there," he observes, "Sorry if you two were— estranged, didn't mean to touch something sensitive."

Shit. Owain really needs to figure out how to properly pull off a poker face. He's no good at that. He shakes his hand off, a sheepish look on his face. "No, it's okay," he replies, waving his hand once he's shaken the residual pain off. "I just…recently found some stuff out is all." A pause. "He killed himself three years back, after he got lung cancer." It's obvious by the tone of his voice that he definitely does not support his father's choice of demise.

"Ah." Richard seems— surprised to hear that, one hand lifting to scratch at the curve of his jaw. Normally he'd be offering condolences but it doesn't seem like the teenager wants to hear that. "I'm… sorry about all of that, then," he says with a slight shake of his head, "I knew him a bit, back in the day. Well. Regardless, welcome to Raytech."

Oh hey, people from his dad's past. Owain can't help but wrinkle his nose at the mention that Richard knew him. "He wasn't a good person," he blurts out, unable to help that resentment that has been festering since the Bird Woman told him about all of this. After a moment, he clears his throat, smoothing the lapel of his jacket as if to calm himself down. "Sorry," he adds, shaking his head. "Thank you," he murmurs, nodding toward Richard.

He should probably save face at least a little bit, right? "I'm sorry, sir. I'm not normally this…angry?" He gestures to himself. "Just…weird story, a flock of birds with the voice of a woman showed up and kinda turned my entire world upside down." A pause. "Not that that's any of your concern, sir. I promise I'll get my head on straight."

"I'll be the judge of what's my concern, Mister Mihangle," Richard replies, gently but firmly, the young man's words clearly drawing some interest from the sharp glint in hazel eyes, "You say that a… flock of birds showed up and spoke to you? What, exactly, did they have to say?"

One of the coffees is plucked from the tray while Owain's distracted, and he motions with his free hand in the direction of a small conference room nearby, stepping in that direction without waiting for assent. Rank hath its privileges.

It's Really Good Coffee — apparently, the intern wanted to impress on his first day.

The teenager blinks a few times as suddenly, his offhand remarks are a subject of interest for The Boss. For a moment, he looks a bit like a deer in the headlights, catching the coffee tray as the weight distribution changes. To his credit, though, he recovers quickly enough, falling in line behind the boss.

"Yeah. They…" He glances up and down the hall…and promptly waits until they are in the conference room. He makes it a point to close the door. "There was a lot," he murmurs. "Not a lot, but…a lot to handle, you know?" He fidgets a bit, turning his gaze down to the ground.

His boss can't fire him for being the son of a murderer, can he?

It's into one of the chairs that Richard casually settles down, leaning back a bit and taking a sip of the coffee, regarding Owain over the brim.

"This is very good coffee," he muses, "And… revelations about one's parents are often a lot to handle." Wryly, he adds, "Trust me. I'd know. So what was it that she had to say?"

He's not going to get out of this one, is he? After a moment, he seems to just…relax, settling into one of the chairs across from Richard. He sets the tray of coffees down, and takes one for himself — might as well enjoy it while it's hot, right? "Thanks. I had some good stuff at home." He takes a sip, before setting the coffee cup down and closing his eyes for a moment.

It's obviously some pretty difficult stuff that the Bird Woman told him because he seems to need to steel himself to even talk about. "It was about Pollepel," he murmurs, a sad fondness in his tone as he says the name of the fallen island. He raises his left hand, the less damaged one, and pinches the bridge of his nose for a moment.

"Bird Lady showed me…something that happened the night that it fell." He pauses, turning a hard glare down to the tabletop. He doesn't want to say it, because saying it makes it that much more real. He takes a breath and finally lets the truth out. "My father made a deal with Colonel Leon Heller, probably to ensure the safety of me and my sister and stepmom," he mutters, and suddenly his fists are clenched — red blooms over the bandage covering the knuckles his right hand as one of the many cuts opens back up. "He's the one who took down the shield," he says through gritted teeth.

He lowers his head, reaching up with his left hand to tug slightly at his hair. "He betrayed the Ferry," he says in an angry voice edged with the threat of more unsolicited tears, "He killed all of those people."

At least Owain's telling this truth to someone who might have enough power to help him atone for his father's sins.

The coffee's idly sipped as the story's explained, as the revelation from the Bird Lady is detailed, Richard's gaze not wavering from the young man's face. The sins of Griffin Mihangle revealed to him at last, there's a darkness that stirs behind hazel eyes.

The traitor nearly killed his sister, after all. And now he knows his name.

"I see," he says quietly, drawing in a slow breath, "People will… do a great deal for their families. My— godfather did the same as well, at a scale you can't possibly imagine. It isn't your burden, though. You aren't at fault for it."

"That doesn't make what he did any better. Doesn't make it any better that he decided that my life was more important than all of those people." Owain glares down at the table. "He took my family off to North Dakota before the war started," he explains.

"He even let me think he was a war hero. I worshipped him…" Owain shakes his head, closing his eyes and placing his right hand over them, still tugging at his hair in distress with his left. "And he worked with Colonel Leon Heller. He worked with the man who shot the only real mother I had in the head while I was hiding in my room." He grits his teeth. "I was ten." He lowers his hands, sitting back in his seat and turning his glare to the ceiling, one hand resting on his coffee cup.

"I understand," Richard says, leaning forward, resting both hands on the table folded together as he regards the young man sympathetically, "More than you could guess, honestly, I understand. My godfather went to— extreme lengths to protect me, and his biological children, in ways that led to a lot of other people dying. The ends, he thought, justified the means."

Edward Ray was a complicated father figure to have crop up in one's adult years.

"I'm not going to say what your father did was right— I'll be honest with you, if he was still alive I'd be dispatching someone to see to that immediately after this," he says candidly, and perhaps surprisingly, "But I understand his reasoning. So should you. You were ten. He didn't want one of Heller's thugs to murder you."

"I…I can't say I don't understand it a little bit. I…" He pauses. "I'd do just about anything for my little sister," he adds, quietly. "And she was barely a month old when we left." Owain's brown eyes sweep back down to the table. The mention of his own personal desire to take care of his father doesn't seem to surprise Owain that much — honestly, he probably would've confronted his father himself if the man was still alive.

"He didn't even suffer through his Karmic reward," Owain adds with no small amount of vitriol in his tone. "He offed himself when the cancer got a little too bad. Shot himself right in the head while I was shopping for a tux for the school dance." The teen shakes his head slowly.

After a moment of composing himself, Owain takes a long sip of his coffee, before finally turning his gaze to his boss. "I…I don't want to keep this a secret." He swallows. "I don't want anyone to think that he died a good man." A pause, then, "I want everyone to know that he died a wretched coward." The son of the telekinetic who caused so many deaths shakes his head slowly.

"I can tell the people who were… most affected," says Richard with a slow shake of his head, "The surviving Ferrymen. I still have close contacts with many of them, even if I wasn't technically one myself."

He draws in a slow breath, "The word of a 'Bird Lady' isn't going to suffice for anything more, though. Without solid evidence— video, a taped confession, a diary— it'll be impossible to have it officially noted. Word can be quietly circulated, though."

Slowly, brown eyes travel up to Richard's face. Well, if nothing else, he feels a little better working here — at least his boss knows what he's going through, and it's pretty clear that he's not going to be fired for being the son of a war criminal. The teen nods quietly, taking another sip of his coffee, the bandage stained with red — thankfully, it didn't split too badly, but it's still a bit of an eyesore.

"I wish I had proof. Bird Lady showed me with…I guess her power…and it made so much sense. He killed her, too. She was…trying to protect people. And he stabbed her in the heart and shoved her out of a window." He shakes his head, a look of disgust crossing his features.

After a moment, he takes another sip of his coffee, trying to compose himself. "I wish I had proof…" He also needs to probably go break it to the other Lighthouse Kids that his dad is why they had to leave the safety of Pollepel, so word doesn't get out before he can tell them.

"Sometimes," says Richard with a slow shake of his head, "You can never get proof. Sometimes justice is quieter, and you'll have to come to peace with what you can get… I can promise you that I'll make sure those who were hurt by his actions find out about it."

A motion of his fingers to his hands, "Also, you should probably get down to medical for those hands."

With a drawn-out sigh, Owain nods slowly. "Thank you, sir." He murmurs softly, taking a few breaths to compose himself a bit better. "I really do appreciate you letting me talk to you about this." And not firing him on the spot. "I'm going to do better than him. I'm already doing better than he did," Owain murmurs, nodding quietly to himself as if he's reassuring himself that he's not awful like his dad was.

The mention of his hands draws the brown eyes down to the bandages, and the boy looks a bit sheepish. "They're already stitched up, I just…" He forgets about the pain sometimes. Or maybe he just takes solace in it. "Not really a good idea to crush metal playground equipment and then punch it." Because normal people crumple up metal playground equipment when they're mad.

Now that brings Richard's eyebrows both upwards. "Probably… not," he asks, his tone bemused, "Are you that strong, then, or…?"

Obviously heightened resilience isn't part of the young man's powers. He makes a note to check the company file on him.

Strong? Ha! Owain does smile a little bit at the mention of strength. "Oh no," he replies, shaking his head. "Sorry. I'm a metal manipulator." Richard might be a bit off-put by the mirror-like shine that suddenly clouds over his eyes — it's a lot like the visible aspect of his brother's ability. Then, from Owain's jacket pocket, two copper ball bearings float into the air, swirling around each other in a dance of sorts, before returning to their owner's pocket.

"Mostly copper, but in heavier amounts, I can control most metal." He figures it's a good idea to tell his employer about the ability he has a commercial license for. "I can also sense pretty much anything on the periodic table that's considered a metal, though I'm still working on being able to distinguish each element. It's kind of why I'm a chem major at Brooklyn College." It's nice to talk about something other than how much he hates his dad now.

"Fascinating," Richard muses as the ball bearings float up into the air, his head canting a touch to one side, "An old friend of mine was a magnetokinetic, he could do some similar tricks— it's a very useful ability. It could be invaluable in industrial work— and as you've already figured out, chemical work also." A wry smile, "Keep up your education and you could have a very bright future."

The teen pats the pocket that the ball bearings are in, his eyes fading back to their normal brown. "I don't think my ability is magnetic like that," he replies. "It's more like an affinity to the elements themselves. Though ferrous metals tend to be much easier to manipulate." He nods, then, offering a slightly proud smile — he's personally proud of his own trajectory, especially now. "I just got a commercial license, so I can use it for any jobs you might have that are within my ability."

"I'll keep that in mind. Of course, we still have to obey all the pertinent laws and regulations around interns, but— " A grin just-curves to Richard's lips, "— honestly I don't know what those are, so I'll let the legal department hash all that out. I'm sure that we'd be able to put that ability to use in our current projects especially."

"I just welcome any excuse to practice my ability," the teen smiles, reaching up to rub the back of his neck. "I mean, I've got a good grasp of it." His asshole father made damned sure of that — there were daily practice sessions before he got sick. "But…" He moves his hands a bit as if trying to figure out how to put something into words. "I know that I don't have as good of a grasp on it as I could. There's a lot more there that I can't do because I haven't really figured it out yet." He sips the Very Good Coffee again. "It's like…if you had a really big hand that's hard to use because it's so much bigger than you. Doing tiny stuff is impossible."

"Good to know." Richard takes a sip of the coffee, then, closing his eyes briefly, "Mm. Damn good coffee."

He opens his eyes again, then moves to rise to his feet, "But— I have things to do, and I'm sure you do as well, Mister Mihangle. Just keep in mind that your father's sins are not your own."

The intern makes a mental note that Richard likes the coffee — from here on out, Richard will find a cup of the Damn Good Coffee waiting for him on his desk every morning. Fetching coffee might be the bottom of the rung in the corporate world, but Owain is going to make damned sure that they will not regret choosing him as an intern over someone else.

He stands as Richard does the same, gathering up the remaining coffees. Thank goodness for styrofoam — he'll have to make a few more, but that's kind of part of his job.

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