No Strings Attached


abby_icon.gif ben_icon.gif hagan_icon.gif

Scene Title No Strings Attached
Synopsis Ben inquires about the ferryman and Hagan attempts to turn over a new leaf, and seek out Abby to help with it.
Date December 19, 2008

Old Lucy's

Ben can do the creepy stalker thing. Except not really creepy, unless you're feeling kind of mean. He's hanging out outside Old Lucy's, and if there's any doubt as to his real identity, he's got the stuff from the lunch meeting in a plastic bag at his side, freshly washed.

Errands to run, presents to drop off, a pit stop at the diner to leave a present for Natasha and make her rounds with her homeless people. he doesn't have to go to work, but she's going to try and put in a few hours to justify getting paid, instead of getting paid to learn how to bartend. Then she has a date with an iron and some shirts. For now though, she' devoid of presents and making her way down the street from the starbucks, a vente caffinated ultra dark something in her hands keeping them warm even through the gloves. She's oblivious to her picnic remenant bearing stalker.

Ben pushes off the wall and walks toward Abby, tossing his free hand up to wave. "Hey, Abby. I brought your junk —- got time for a quick question?"

She looks up at the call of her name, smile splitting her face in two at the sight of Ben. "Yes, i'm a natural blonde, and yes, I do make house calls. Whats up?" She alters her path to intersect his and catch up with Ben.

Ben draws up in front of her and offers her the bag with one of his one-eyed squints. "Actually not the questions I meant to ask. I, uh… well, you seem to know stuff like this, so I thought I'd ask you —- there's another group out there that could use a medic, right? Can you put me in touch with them maybe?"

Abby's gloved hand closes around the bags as her mind turns over the question Ben. 'Might be" She's careful with the answer, unsure of whether she's even a person to give the information away to. "How involved… are you wanting to get Ben?" She gestures off to the side, a quit eplace where they can see anyone coming.

Ben walks with her, jamming his hands into his pockets. "Involved. I came here to help people who might need some medical attention who might not be able to go to the hospital. It's what I did in Boston and I meant to continue it here, but it didn't pan out so much with the flock of birds."

'There's a group that calls me in, when they have people who are hurt, who would need hospital care. They have safehouses, a bunch of them. I never been to them all. Ferryman. I can give your name and number to someone, and they'll get ahold of you Ben. I don't know if i'm allowed to give them your number. They could use you"

"I don't think it'd be practical for you to give me their number, no," Ben says with a quick, grateful smile. "But tell them I'm interested and give my number to them, would you? Do you have it?"

"Yeah, but you might as well give it to me again. They can use people to help, I'd join them but.. I like not being tied down and under the tules of who i'd group with. My .. principles and actions are my own" She takes out her cellphone, starting to punch in a name for Brian and asking for his number.

Ben rattles off his phone number again with a small shrug. "People don't really come to me for help; I figured I'd put my name a little farther out there."

"They don't call me for little things like stitches and such. So i'm sure they can use you. They just call me like the other day, and the trucker who would have needed many an operation" It's inputted, saved. "I'll make sure someone gets ahold of you either way Ben. Anything else? Coming in for a drink?"

Ben checks his watch quickly; he nods. "Yeah, maybe one. Thanks again, Abs."

"Anytime Ben. Thanks, for the things you do too. Don't worry, i'll pester you for help with homework. I don't htink it's going to be easy to become an EMT, I don't even know if they'll take me, but, if I do. i'm gonna need help" Her words drawl here and there in accordance with her upbringing.

Ben flashes a quick grin and nods. "Anytime," he echoes. He tips his chin toward Old Lucy's and starts heading that way. "It won't be too bad, you'll see."

"So you say. We'll see. you don't live with the italian stallion and G.I. Al" It's said with much affection though towards the two named. 'Come on, i'll buy your drink, i'm only pulling a few hours to justify my wage while learning and then i'm heading out to a friends. But you can tell me how your schooling is going and whether you found someone or not to hire you"

Old Lucy's

Old Lucy's has a vibrant and lively feel to it, from the dark wooden floors to the shady crimson walls lit up by neon lights and many times, the flashing of cameras from the oft-crowded floor. The mirror behind the bar reflects prices of various drinks, bottles lined up, as well as the entire saloon as seen from the bartenders; bolted-down stools line the other side, and there are loose tables and chairs placed all around, though many times they find themselves pushed back for more space within the center of the saloon. A few speakers are placed at strategic places and around a raised stage to the far corner from the bar. Above the counter, an obviously well-used bar is hung; it is this that the girls working will use should there be dancing, which is one reason many patrons choose to come aside from the drinks. Across the bar and near the back, there is a door that leads to the owner's office and just inside a stairwell that leads a apartment on the floor above the bar.

Ben holds the door open for Abby like a gentleman or something. "Oh, I'm hired. It's sort of provisional since a lot of my coursework in medical school carries over. Mostly it's logging field hours and labwork. I'll be starting up soon."

'That's good" Abby slips in, not needing to produce ID< though ben might get asked for his. Depsite having been there before. It is the evening, and things are in swing here at Lucy's. Abby wends her way to the bar. "Back in a moment, dropping stuff off" before she disappears into the back.
Ben looks over twenty-one. One would hope, anyway. He settles in at the bar, smiling pleasantly at others grouped there before breaking eye contact. He's not really a great bar person.

Out of the back abby comes, pinning her hair back inot a messy bun with a black elsatic. Tank top, jeans, her usual bar gear. SHe makes her way to Ben's side after clocking in, albiet on the opposite side of the counter. A small basket of lemons, lines and oranges are pulled from a small fridge beneath and she starts into cutting up stuff for drinks.

"How's this job working out, anyway?" Ben asks Abby once she's out again. "Know how to make most of the drinks yet?"

"I've learned to make quite a few, still need my little cheat book for a goof chunk of the recipies. Though, really, not many mixed drinks here. most want just coke and whatever or seven up and whatever. I think they were all having fun and trying to make me do hard ones to see if I messed up. But it's going good. So what are you wanting?"

"Just a Coke would be great," Ben tells her with a smile. "Glad to hear it's working out. You getting hit on?"

"allll the time. But no ones dared touch me and some other guys usually smack the ones who think about it. It's pretty good. isabelle doesn't make me get up and dance on the bar if I don't want to, or make me show my chest, like the others like to. Like a nun compared to the other ladies" She grabs a glass, ice and pops some coke into it before passing over, dropping a cherry on the top for the fun of it and a wedge of lemon on the side.

Ben laughs a little at his extra-garnished Coke, has a sip. "They dance on the bar here? I had no idea. That's… uh. Wasn't there a movie about that once?"

"So i'm told, and this place is just like it, so i'm told. It'll pick up later, right now it's quiet" She goes back to slicing lemons with a look up. 'How mucha m I looking at, for school Ben?"

Ben grimaces faintly and names a price. "…That'd be my guess, anyway. I was only in school because of a scholarship. Couldn't've afforded it otherwise. When I lost the scholarship, I was screwed."

"Abby frowns. Deeply. 'yeah but.. that was medical school, right?"

"Yeah," Ben says, sipping his drink. "Medical school cost a lot more than the price I just named."

'So, much less. But that's still expensive. Think there's .. scholarships for young ladies with special talents from god?"

Hagan has arrived.

Ben sits at the bar, drinking a rum and Coke with a cherry and a lemon slice. For whatever reason. "There might be. Special cases and all that. You might have to get carded for that, though."

"I might" And there's that. Registering. "I think i'll see if I can't do it first, without that. Would feel wrong though, to get someones help just because I could do that. IT's like.. tkaing money for it. It's not right. Not when there's likely someone who's better educated than me who could use scholarships" She slices up more lemons, arranging them into the metal bin and popping them back in the cooler. She sets into the limes now.

Ben scratches his face for a moment. "If you're a special case, you're a special case," he says slowly. "And it'd be a whole different category from the usual guys who get scholarships." Like him.

For once, Hagan O'Sullivan doesn't enter the room in a profoundly noticeable way. He just kind of slinks in, wearing his usual dark clothes and wool coat covered in pellets of frozen rain. There's no fanfare, no yelling, nothing of the sort. He just slinks to the end of the bar, head bent, hair covering one side of his face. He waits patiently to be served.

"It might, if I talk about it. Wouldn't feel right still" Slinking to the end of the bar means your in Abby territory. She notices the irishman, smiles at him and goes to pour him his usual. "Ben, meet Hagan, Hagan, meet Ben. Ben's helping me figure out how to become an EMT. Hagan here is a grumpy irishman who likes to drink, is very good with graphics and one of my favourite customers" not to mention, a rescuer from central park. The drink is placed in front of him on a coaster. "I heard you had a wild night"

Ben eyes Hagan warily. "We've met," he tells Abby. And his eyebrow goes up. "Wild night, huh?"

Hagan glances up. There's not the usual manic energy in his eyes. "We've met," he murmurs to Abby of Ben. Then, "Sort of. Got mugged. Lost some important shit." He coughs. When the pint comes, he takes a surprisingly small sip. He's also not smoking.

"You've both met? Well. It's a small wo.. Are you okay?" Abby's visually checking Hagan over, looking for bruises and the like.

Ben's eyebrows both go up this time. "Huh. Yeah, you okay?" He pulls a thin, battered wallet from his jacket and slides a bill across the bar at Abby. "I owe him some drinks," he explains.

"I'm fine." Hagan pushes his hair back up out of his face. He has a rather noticeable shiner. The pint is eyed again, and he gently pushes it away. "Can I have some coffee please, Abigail?" Stop the presses.

That's a big surprise. Coffee. Big enough that she looks to Ben, hsoving his money back towards him. "I owe him more and sure… " Utter confusion on her face. Surely a really bad bender shouldn't have done that… But there's coffee kept for the staff and to sober folks up and she's soon bringing over a white mug with the black stuff in it. "I can take care of that Hagan" It's spoken quietly for only ben and her to hear.

That's just unsettling. Hagan ordering coffee. Ben barely knows him, and it still seems weird. "Where'd it happen?" he asks, of the mugging. He rests his elbows on the bar and leans.

It's not really the bender, it's the reason for the bender. Hagan murmurs a thank you as the mug is set in front of him. He looks up at Abby and looks her in the eye. He looks…tired. "It's fine. It doesn't hurt." A glance is made to Ben. "Where did I get mugged or where did I get punched? Because they were actually two separate incidents."

She can not like it, even if it doesn't hurt. The blue eyes matching Hagans. "you only have to ask O'Sullivan. I'd help, like you did me" but she drops it, back to limes after pouring out the pint. the beautiufl pint down the drain. "Both?"

"Both," Ben agrees, sipping his rum and Coke and regarding Hagan with what might be a hint of concern.

Hagan can't help the little pang as the black stuff circles the drain. He takes a drink of the -hot- black stuff, but it's not quite the same. However, he keeps drinking it. "I was…" He hesitates, "…diagnosed. Well, not really. I was told that my organs are in rough shape. I want to cut back a little. Didn't realize how fucking bad it had gotten." He sounds rather depressed, actually. A hand goes to his face and he rubs his forehead and the bridge of his nose. "Got mugged outside. Got punched by the cabbie on the way home when I couldn't pay for the ride because I got mugged." A beat, "I'm a fucking twat."

'Your just a man, hard up, having a bad weeK" Abby absently murmurs, though her eyes drift again in the irishmans direction. 'My offer still stands O'Sullivan. no strings" He knows what she's speaking about.

Ben considers this for a moment. He kind of thinks Hagan's a twat, but that's not really helpful in this case. That and there's an urge to say 'I told you so' with regards to the guy's health. "Clean up now and you'll be good for grumping at people for decades to come?" he ventures.
Hagan stares forward, blankly. He grips the handle of his coffee mug, but doesn't sip it right away. Then he eyes Abby with some suspicion. "Just like that?" All Ben gets is a half-hearted smirk and none of his usual quips.

"Just like that. I have nothing to do, isabelle wasn't expecting me in, i'm studying to get my bartender course and she's paying me. Ben can get home, i'm sure of it. You deserve it. Even if you might not think so. I think so" Abby watches him, sicnereity ringing in her voice. 'Second chance"

"I can get home," Ben replies, shrugging slightly. "No strings attached. She means it."

"I meant, Ben can get me home" Abby blushes at her mix up of words.

"And what if I fuck it up just as bad as I did the first time?" Hagan breaks off eye contact and stares into the blackness of his coffee.
"Oh. Right. Ben can get you home," Ben tells Abby with a flicker of a smile. And he squints an eye at Hagan. "Then you fuck it up. Which would be especially stupid given what happened this time." He smiles faintly. "But you're smarter than that."

'Then you screw up Hagan. But at least, you have a second chance, and it's freely given" SHe slide sher hand, palm down on the counter, but not touching hagan. "We all mess up, and we will all mess up again. I come here night after night, even though I know, that it's probably known by the not so nice people that I work here. I'm asking for someone to come at me again and take me, but it's my choice. Same as it's my choice to offer it. No strings"

Hagan barks a bit of laughter at Ben's comment. "Smarter? Smarts don't have anything to do with addictions, boyo." He sips the coffee. Not nearly as satisfying. He looks at Abby's hand, then up at her. "If you do this…." he lifts a chin. "We're even. You don't owe me anything."

"Smart people go into AA," Ben says with but a blink. "Which has multiple chapters in every city and at least one meeting every night."

"Sounds like a fair trade to me O'Sullivan, saving me from being a popsicle, in trade for giving you a fresher" She holds her hand out to shake on it.
"Don't take this personal, Skippy. But fuck off. I don't want a bloody lecture from Mister runs-towards-danger." That's a hint of the usual Hagan, but it's dilluted and tired. He eyes Abby's hand again and looks up at her. "Do we have to do it out here?"

"I don't run toward danger," Ben tells Hagan with a snort. "And fuck you. Dicks get lectures, and you're a dick."

"Ben, right now, he doesn't deserve that okay" Abby's voice a little harsh. "He picked me up from the park, after Jessica turned me loose. Woulda had bad frostbite if he hadn't. No, doesn't have to be here. I'm just giving you my hand so we can shake on it. It can be done somewhere else" She looks to Ben though. 'What trouble did you both get into together…."

"Don't fucking start with me, princess. I'm really not in the mood. I might hurt you." There's something darker in Hagan's eyes as he looks towards Ben. Anger below the goofy exterior. He tears his gaze away and instead returns his attention to Abby. His face softens and he hesitantly reaches forward to shake her hand.

"He's still a dick. He's just a dick that should shake on it already so he can go around being a dick some more," Ben says with a hint of a crooked smile.

Abby's hand closes around Hagan, save that there's no tingling or warmth. There. deals done. "Tracy! Stuffs all cut, i'm gonna go, tell Isbaelle i'm halfway done. Another week and i'll go take my test! See you tomorrow" She looks to the two men. "Keep it in your pants till i come back, getting my stuff then we can go wherever"

Hagan stands suddenly and moves towards Ben. He's going for the boy's collar to shove him against the bar. Strange violence for a man who seems so hapless. He doesn't -say- anything, just glares at Ben, an inch from his face.

Ben is easy enough to grab; WHAM, against the bar he goes. He looks at Hagan and tilts his head to the right, shoulders going tense. "Am I wrong? If it means anything, I'm glad she's going to do it for you. She does what I want to be able to do. And you did her a good turn." He offers a smirking half-smile at the Irishman, however. "But don't tell me you're not a dick, man. It's part of your charm. Let me go."

"Whoah! Whoah!" The bouncers start to make their way over, and Abby aborts trying to go into the back. "hey, come on guys. No, don't be like this. Ben, go home. Hagan will see about getting me home okay. I'll call you when I get home to make sure that you knwo i'm okay, okay ben?" She leans across the bar, twisting so that one hand in on Hagan's chest and the other on ben's.

When the bouncers move in and Abby approaches, Hagan rocks back and releases Ben. "At least you're growing a bloody spine," he mutters. Then, "I need a smoke." So much for cutting back!

Ben straightens up again with a wince, because ow. Getting shoved into a bar is never really pleasant. "We're fine, it's good," he tells Abby and the bouncers and maybe Hagan, too. "I'm fine with helping you home or not. I don't have to be right there when you do your thing."

"Don't think I want you near me at the moment when I do my party trick" Abby doens't actually say what she can do since no one else save her boss knows. "Go wait outside Hagan, have your smoke. Ben, i'll call you later okay"

Ben nods, glancing from Abby to Hagan and back. "Sure. Gimme a call later."

"Why do I feel like I'm going to need to do this in a sleazy motel room?" Hagan gives Ben one last distasteful look, nods to Abby, then storms outside to have his smoke. Despite the fact that he can smoke outside. He'll give the kids a minute.

"I'll call you" now she's once again in a bad mood. Holidays it seems are rollercoaster for her, or well, at the moment at least. The bouncers move away, satisfied that everyone's calming down, and Abby disappears into the back room, much to the looks from others who had strayed near and heard an entirely different conversation that was going on.

Ben turns back to the bar, shaking his head and taking a long gulp of his drink. Yeesh!

Hagan lingers near the doorway, under the awning. Because there's bloody freezing rain turning New York into an ice sheet! But he doesn't want to go back inside. That might mean punching Ben and the kid doesn't -really- deserve to be the outlet for his foul mood.

Abby's out a few moments later, her two reusable shopping bags in hand, her purse, dressed for the weather outside. She stops at the bar to look at Ben, a stare that jsut turns into eye rolling and a smile. "Lordy, every single one of your guys seems ot know each other and spoiling for a fight. i'll call"

A phone call interrupted the pair as they headed to Hagan's apartment and she parted ways with the irishman to attend the events that follow.

December 19th: Free Information
December 19th: Prelude to Disaster
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