Lies and Fries


kinney_icon.gif sacha_icon.gif

Scene Title Lies and Fries
Synopsis Sonny Bianco as Connor Kinney continues to work on his alter ego. He runs into Sacha and the two talk about french fries, lies and cultural differences.
Date February 22, 2009

Biddy Flannigan's Irish Pub

Normally Sonny Bianco would never find himself in a place like this. Not that the place isn't nice - it is. Not that it's in a bad part of the city - it isn't. But when you're the Mayor's son and stupidly rich, you are for the most part, forced into places that charge ten dollars plus for a drink and have a strict dress code.

But right now, he doesn't look like Sonny Bianco. He looks like a slightly older man, less Hollywood than his usual self. He's seated at the bar, nursing a pint and nibbling at a plate of dressed up French fries.

And normally speaking, Sacha would be on the more southerly half of town, but occasionally he finds himself up around this way, and he isn't all that picky about where he drinks. It's as nice a place as any, from the outside, and the inside doesn't provide any cause for disappointment, so upon arrival, he stays. As an added bonus, there's nobody here who he knows, which lately has been a source of occasional headaches.

He takes a seat at the bar somewhat close to Sonny/Connor and, when a bartender arrives, orders a rum and coke, and a plate of fries for himself as well. When his drink arrives, he looks over at the other man and lifts it in casual salute. "Evening," he offers, in heavy accent.

There's nobody anywhere who knows Connor Kinney, except the Ferrymen who made up his fake ID and planted his fake background information in the proper place. He's never really spent much time in alternate faces. Usually it's just to get from point A to point B in one piece. This? This is different. Especially conversation.

"Evening," he says in return to Sacha. He lifts up a beer in a salute and glances towards the TV. A hockey game. It doesn't hold his interest for long. Instead, he returns his attention to the dressed up fries. He wrinkles. his nose and pushes aside a rather large jalapeno slice coated in cheese. "I hope you ordered the normal fries. These nacho topped fries are…less than impressive."

Sacha responds with a chuckle, and nods. "I often like mine with cheese and gravy, but as that is easy to do poorly, usually I order them plain." He sips from his drink, sitting back in his chair a bit and nods. He glances at the TV himself, but the hockey game holds his interest for even less time, and he looks away rather quickly. American sports. He probably won't come to this bar again, really.

His fries arrive momentarily - probably there were some already cooked up in the kitchen - and he finds a bottle of ketchup, pouring that on one side of the plate for dipping. "I have not been to this bar before," he adds, dipping a fry and chewing on it contemplatively. "For what it is worth, the fries are not bad by themselves."

"Yeeah, I found that out by hunting out the ones that didn't get half a taco spilled all over them. It's an Irish pub. Why are there jalapenos? Because they're green?" Connor flicks one aside, then wipes off his fingers. He pulls out one fry with just cheese and dips it in some ketchup. Then he glances sidelong to Sacha. "Are you Canadian? The accent, I mean."

Sacha raises an eyebrow. "French," with unspoken (but probably audible nonetheless) 'thank you very MUCH'. "The jalapenos probably are to make it more spicy, non? I do not eat much of such food myself," not really sure if it qualifies as Mexican or Spanish, "but from what I understand it is meant to be quite hot." There is a bit of a pause there, while he eats a few more fries and recovers from unintended insult. "However, Mexican? … Mexican food does seem strange for an Irish pub, but it is probably popular."

"Ah yeah. Sorry. I hear it now." Connor smiles a bit sheepishly. It's an apologetic sort of look. He swallows a mouthful of beer. "Strange, yes. But you know, I suppose pub grub is pub grub no matter its country of origin." He pushes the plate of over-topped fries away and wipes his hand on a napkin. He looks thoughtful for a moment as he stares forward and catches a sliver of his own reflection. Right. Supposed to be acting like a different person. But how different can one really act while talking about fries and beer?

One of these days, Sacha will stop getting into conversations that are doomed to ending quickly and awkwardly. But that day is not today. "Oui, I suppose so." Took him a minute to figure out the word 'grub', but context eventually won out. "Ainsi, as I said, I have not come here before. On the Lower East Side there are some better places, but none I have found so far to be quite good enough for exclusivity." Here he turns in his chair a bit to face Connor more fully as he speaks. "There is a bit of a problem with Americans poorly trying to make things look European."

Connor glances around the pub, then looks back to Sacha with a grin. "It does all seem pretty glossy, doesn't it? I…" he starts to speak about all of his globetrotting, but then he realizes one Dr. Kinney probably hasn't. "…have been to London. And Dublin. And I see what they're trying to replicate here. But it is pretty fake, isn't it? Our version of old ends up translating into a dive for some reason. Instead of worn brass and faded, ancient wood beams." He taps at the chair rail beneath the bar. It makes a faintly plastic sound. "It's hard to find a good local."

Sacha nods. "I have not been to Ireland myself, but I spent much of my life in London. The problem of course is in trying to make a building that is only a few years old appear to be several decades old." Pause. "And English." There, he smirks a bit, and eats a fry. Washes it down with a swig of drink. "It does amuse me, the American obsession with making things appear European, given America's history of secession from the British Empire."

Connor chuckles and tugs up a cold fry. He chews on it halfheartedly. "I suppose you're right. But you know, I guess it's sort of like wanting to emulate a parent, but hating them at the same time? Maybe? Maybe not. Maybe it's just an asthetic thing." He lifts a shoulder. "But you know, I guess you could call this Americanized faux old world a style in and of itself?" Well, maybe not. "I'm Connor, by the way." The name feels funny in his mouth. But that's what this is all about. Getting used to it. He offers a hand.

Sacha takes the offered hand; the French are wussy handshakers. "Sacha," he replies, the name a bit easier in his mouth, having been there for some twenty-five years, give or take a few without developed speech ability. "I suppose that argument may be made, although I tend to look at it as more of a way for people to make money off of the tendency of typical Americans to be attracted to what is different." Another pause. "I have no problem with businesses making money, of course." And yet another pause. "This probably sounds terribly judgmental of me."

Connor's handshake is rather firm. Politician's son. They judge him on that sort of thing. He laughs. "Well, yes, yes a little. But I'm not offended. I wouldn't really call the average American attracted to what is different. Otherwise we probably wouldn't have half the problems we do. With the Evolved. With race." Apparently he's decided that this new identity smiles more and isn't easily offended. This different identity thing is harder than you'd think.

'Evolved'. Sacha stiffens a bit at the word, but presses on beyond it, nodding curtly. "A point well taken," he finally says, rather simply. "Perhaps your parental emulation idea was closer to the mark, non? After all, I do forget quite easily how many there are who love to hate the French for reasons I do not know or understand." He grins, then, shaking his head. "However, there are those who… shall we say that some Americans are easily persuaded by an accent. I am a salesman, and such things make me very good at my job."

"Eh, everyone needs someone to make fun of. The French just happen to be a fair target. One that's not racially or politically charged." Connor swallows the last of his beer, then flags down the bartender for another. One half of his mouth quirks in a grin at the second part of that. "It's true. We are easily charmed by the old world. I remember…I went through a little spate where I tried to get good at a British accent to see if it got me any more action. Just my luck, I used it to hit on an actual Brit," he laughs.

Shaking his head, Sacha sips his drink and responds, "Still, I see no reason for us to be a target. It seems.. well, as I said, very popular. I will admit, we do behave the same towards Americans at times, but only out of resentment of their own treatment of us. Without France, America would still be a Commonwealth!" He's getting a bit ranty; but, he realizes this, and stops himself abruptly with somewhat of a blush. Forcing a quiet chuckle, he offers by way of apology, "Ah, it can be a bit frustrating at times, I'm afraid. The hitting on, I take it it did not work out well?"

"Yes yes. We all owe each other something in one conflict or another. But you know, that doesn't really matter. When it comes down to it, they're just really making fun of the way you speak English. And doesn't really matter because you'd probably prefer not to speak English anyway, right? So don't let it bother you, man. Just say something rude to someone in French and they'll be so charmed by the sound of it that they'll forget to be pissed at you." Connor grins widely, then swallows a few good mouthfuls of pint. "Hm? No, no. I think 'e was charmed at first. Thought it was funny. But it still didn't get me a date." How's that for a made-up anecdote?

Funny how choice of words can change a person's demeanor entirely. "C'est la vie, non?" Sacha replies to the anecdote, perhaps abruptly rather a bit less irritated than he was a moment ago. "It is too bad, although.. I do find it is best with others to not pretend to be someone you are not; eventually things will catch up with you, oui?" Naturally, he has no idea just how appropriate that advice is. "I was telling this to a friend just recently, how I do not bother to lie for that reason. And it is entirely probable that the person you are with will be just as charmed by your real self as by who you pretend to be, making the pretending not necessary. Do you not think so?"

It would be even more appropriate if Sonny was masquerading as Connor for purposes of seduction rather than protection. And you know, it's entirely possible he's more himself now than usual. Normally he has to put on such a face in public. He thinks about Sacha's words and swallows a mouthful of beer. "Ah, but you know, sometimes it's not so easy to tell the truth. Lies are a pretty comfortable armor to wear." He stares forward at that sliver of a reflection and the unfamiliar face that stares back.

Sacha nods thoughtfully for a moment. "It is mostly just that I have had my own problems in the past with lies." He thinks this over for a moment, then shrugs and decides to practice what he's preaching. "I grew bored with university and convinced my father of an increase in tuition, then used the money he sent in order to travel Europe before coming to New York. It was a terrible thing for me to do, and he will now not speak with me. Although, to be fair, I have not yet apologized, but it is because of my own lying that I no longer know how to speak with him. I think he is disappointed more than angry, but… well, as I have said. Lying does these things."

"Well, we all do stupid things. I mean, I've done some bad shit. Not…on the same line as extorting money from family, but…" Connor lifts a shoulder. Then he pauses for a moment and grins over at Sacha. "I…think I've lost the thread of our conversation. Lying is bad? Because I lied about an accent?" He seems to find this a bit amusing.

Sacha blinks, then manages a light chuckle. "I suppose I did go a bit to the extreme, did I not?" Another light laugh. "I believe that my original point was that one should be oneself. I went off track, but yes. Be yourself, and do not lie about your identity!" He takes a sip from his drink, finishing it off; fries have gone all but forgotten. "If you let slip that you have not been truthful, then the person you are lying to will suspect you more, I think."

In retrospect, he shouldn't have chosen an anecdote about lying about ones' identity. Now it's making Sonny nervous, like he slipped up somewhere alone the way. He has to remind himself that Sacha's just responding to the accent thing. "I suppose you're right," he says quietly.

Of course, Sacha is still thinking about the accent thing. "I mean, you wake up one morning and you are out of sorts and you forget to use the accent, then where are you?" He pauses, though, noting Connor's sudden quiet tone, and tilts his head. "I am not saying you should be needlessly open. And there is nothing wrong with saying you do not wish to speak on a subject, just.. I do not think it is right to be dishonest about the things one does say. … Am I getting to be too serious?"

Connor looks over at Sacha and grins, though this one is a little more strained than earlier. "No, no. And you know, the accent thing. It was more curiosity than wanting to lie long-term. I just wanted to see if I'd have better luck if I faked it. You know, 'stead of sounding like I'm from Brooklyn." He punches up his own accent on the last bit of that.

Sacha shakes his head. "I apologize; it is a topic I am too passionate about, given my own history." He smiles sheepishly. "In any case, I probably exaggerate how people would react to a false accent. I only hope you didn't choose Cockney." Another slight smile there. "It makes you sound uneducated," he clarifies, with his own attempt at the accent - which, with his French one underlying, comes out sounding beyond ridiculous. Not that he seems to be aware of this.

Connor nearly spits out a mouthful of beer. "I tried for something Hugh Grantish. You know, whatever that quasi-standard British accent is called. But no, no I didn't sound like the chimney sweep in Mary Poppins." He laughs, both at his own comment and the reminder of Sacha's French-Cockney from a moment before.

Clearing his throat against his fist, Sacha shakes his head, blushing just slightly. "Yes, ah, well. Accents are odd, really. Different ones say different things about a person, depending on who is listening. Stereotypes." Pause. "But I'm sure you know this. So.. how about I buy you a drink? We can discuss something more superficial, perhaps."

Connor lifts a shoulder. "If you like. Shall we go back to talking about why they put jalapenos on my fries? My theory is because they're green, and the cheese is orange and white. All flag-like." He pokes at his plate of now-cold fries with a grin.

Sacha actually laughs at that. "Funny! But I do still think it is to make it more hot. Jalapenos and fries seem strange, but it is more normal to have nacho cheese with tortilla crisps in any case, I think. I believe the mystery developed into why an Irish pub would sell Mexican food." He turns back to the bar, flagging down a bartender. "Another rum and coke, please. And.." a gesture to Connor there. "…What he is having."

"Just a pint of IPA," says Connor with a lift of his half-full pint. He looks to Sacha. "So. What is it you do? Just enjoying the sights of a crumbling New York?" He looks up as the bartender finally removes the spiced up fries with congealed cheese.

A hand is waved, idly. "That is why I came here to begin with. I sell jewelry, now, at a small store in Brooklyn. Nothing terribly fancy; we are not Tiffany," and Sacha smirks there. "Though we also do not advertise with terrible commercials on telly. Somewhere in between." With his new drink delivered, he takes a sip, sets the glass down. "As I mentioned before, my accent makes it easier to sell things. My boss loves me, I think. Figuratively."

"Ah hah. Yes. Everything sounds more luxurious in a French accent. You could probably make a cubic zirconia sound like a diamond," another grin from Connor. He tugs out a small laminated menu and peers at the desserts. "Well. Apparently they Irish this up by adding booze to the desserts."

Sacha smiles. "Really, it's more in convincing the customer that they cannot go another day without that beautiful ring, and if you like I could have it sized properly and wrapped in only a few moments. Is there anything green?" He lifts his head to get a view of the menu. "To be fair, many French things are cooked with wine.. and I believe I recently saw an advertisement for chicken cooked with beer."

"Well, if you can still sell shiny baubles with the way things are going in this city, then you must be one hell of a salesman." Connor hands over the menu to Sacha. "See? They just added Bailey's to everything. And there's…uh, some kind of mint cake. I suppose that's got green food colouring in it. Hell. I wonder how this place'll get more Irish for St. Pats."

A nod, at that. "I am told we did much better before … everything happened. But as far as I know, we aren't doing poorly either. People have different priorities, different ways of dealing with issues.." Sacha shrugs. "St. Patrick's Day is coming up soon, I had forgotten. I imagine they will probably cover the interior with green. Paint buckets above the door so that no customer goes un-Irished."

"Because you know, Irish is entirely dependent on how much green you have on you. And a buckle cap. And dyed beer so that you vomit green." Connor shakes his head and grins. "I…during my residency, I worked in the ER one St. Pat's. Ever since, I spend that whole day sober. Trust me. You don't want to be working a stomach pump with a gut full of green beer."

Blink. Residency? "Are you a doctor?" Sacha tilts his head, all curious-like. "Paramedic? I never did ask. Either way, it would seem that a day devoted to alcohol would bring in quite a lot of people injured doing stupid things." He shakes his head. "But yes. I am only glad that there is no similar holiday here for France, I imagine I would spend the surrounding time very angry. At the very least, our flags have the same colors."

"Doctor. GP. Or, I was." Now Sonny puts his acting skills to work. "I…work mostly at free clinics or out in the trailer farm." He glances around the bar, at the session musicians that are starting to set up. He glances back to Sacha. His lips twitch a touch. "Isn't every day a day devoted to drinking in France? Just…not to excess?"

Sacha raises an eyebrow, shakes his head. "That is like saying that every day in America is devoted to coffee. Yes, we drink a lot of wine, but in moderation it is after all good for you. We do not worship it, as Americans seem to think we do. It is… well, it is like you Americans and your coffee. Or beer. Or…" He waves a hand, searching for the word. "…NASCAR."

Connor snorts a bit of laughter. "NASCAR? This isn't Atlanta, man. I've never watched a fucking NASCAR race in my life. Anyway. Aren't you guys all in to Formula One? Now you see…" He holds up his beer towards Sacha, then takes a swallow. "It's that attitude that makes people make fun of you. 'You Americans and your 'blank.' I was just teasing you, bud. Lighten up." He elbows the Frenchman.

Sacha hmphs haughtily, though it's rather exaggerated. "Well, you get sensitive to it! In any case, we have le Tour de France. Football." He pauses, filling the gap with some 'um's and waving his hand idly. "La Femme Nikita. Jean Reno films. Monet. Billiards." Frowning thoughtfully, he takes a sip from his drink. "Once I saw a Jerry Lewis movie."

"This isn't a dick measuring contest, Sacha." Connor's laughing now. It's the kind of giggly, half drunk kind. "Listen, I am the least sensitive American you're ever going to meet. If I rile you up, then I think you're the one who's sensitive." He points an accusing finger.

Shaking his head, Sacha clarifies, "I mean that when you are the person who hears these things about your home, you get sensitive. I get sensitive. See? I am who I mean." He leans forward, then, his features taking on a slightly more devious expression. "We could hold such a contest, if you would like. I only meant that we do not have obsessions with terrible racing, but if you think things should be settled differently, well…"

"Ah, I gotcha, I gotcha." Connor bobs his head and then, well. That was surprising. He chokes down a mouthful of beer. He's used to being the one doing the propositioning. Kinney's a bit of an experiment. There's less danger admitting his preferences in this identity. "You're…fucking with me, right?" He narrows his eyes as if he could tell how serious the Frenchman is by looks alone.

Sacha glances down towards the floor, then looks back up at Connor, an eyebrow lifted. "Not at the moment, although it could be arranged for later, if you like." He is smiling, a bit, although it isn't a 'trying to keep from laughing' smile so much as a 'trying to look charming' smile. Even if he does have a slightly predatory gleam in his eye.

"Look, I'm…I'm flattered," a beat. "But. I'm…" Connor drops his voice so that no drunken homophobes overhear. "…I have a boyfriend." Well. Some part of him feels appeased. Apparently the Bianco charm isn't completely linked to a head full of black curls.

The magic word; Sacha backs off immediately, blushing a bit, and clears his throat awkwardly. "Ahh, my apologies." He shakes his head, coughing a few more times, and runs a hand through his hair. "Very sorry. I had.. I did not mean to presume." Looking at his drink glass, he picks it up, tossing back the remainder of it, and stands. "I should go."

"Hey…" Connor reaches out to catch Sacha's shoulder. "Look man, I didn't mean to lead you on. I'm sorry if I did. If I wasn't seeing someone…" and he seems to mean it. "Hey, if I'm looking for a nice gift, maybe I'll stop by your shop."

Sacha shakes his head, and doesn't reject the gesture. "No, no, you did not. I am not always good at telling." He gives a brief glance around, and clarifies, "It is difficult when wedding rings are not necessarily involved." Pulling out his wallet, he digs out enough money to cover his tab and tip, and smiles at the reassurance. "I do appreciate the sentiment. Either way, however, it is getting quite late anyway. Curfew may come at any time, and then a terrible Evolved person might turn my coat back into a sheep when it is too late for me to protect myself." Laying the sarcasm on thick, there.

"It's not…wedding ring serious. But we just kind of decided to commit. If it had been a week ago…" Connor doesn't really mean to rub salt in the wound. He realizes belatedly that he probably did just that. He pulls air through his teeth. Then he digs into the wallet and pulls out enough money to cover the cost of the drink Sacha bought him. He offers it out. "So we're square?"

The wallet is returned to his pocket, and Sacha's hand goes out to refuse the offer, palm forward. "It is no problem. I offered to pay, I do not go back on my word. Really, do not worry, it is nobody's fault, simply a misunderstanding." He pauses long enough to smile again, adjusting his coat, and once again shakes his head. "Do allow me to save some face and make good my escape, please?" The smile gets a bit more strained, teeth clenched for a moment, and he adds, by way of reassurance, "The shop is in Brooklyn, a smallish building called Randall's. Now you may track me down, non? No hard feelings."

Connor gives Sacha a long look, then nods. He sits back down on the stool. "Well, thank you. I'll drop by sometime. To say hello." A beat, "Stay safe. Have a good evening." Why does he feel so bad about doing the right thing? He's not sure.

Sacha nods, adjusting his coat some more in a fidgety sort of way, then finally lifts a hand in a small wave. "There, things are fine. I thank you for your company nonetheless," he finishes, with a nod. "Good night." Another small wave, there, and the Frenchman turns to head out of the bar.

Connor watches Sacha as he exits, but he doesn't say anything to stop the Frenchman. But he does mumble to himself, "A damn week earlier."

February 22nd: Win Some, Lose Some
February 22nd: Angel in the Infield
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