Nothing Legal


hagan_icon.gif laura_icon.gif

Scene Title Nothing Legal
Synopsis Hagan and Laura reconnect after some time apart.
Date February 16, 2009

Hagan's Apartment

It's been a weird few weeks. Despite their best efforts to get together, Hagan and Laura have been like ships in the night. First the explosion and the subsequant riots made a nice dinner impractical, then scheduling conflicts and backed-up files for Hagan once he finally could start back to work again. That's the problem with having a lot of clients outside New York - they still want their ads even if the city is exploding around the graphic designer. They've managed to exchange a few quick phone calls, but in this day and age with technopaths running about, nothing too private could be discussed. Certainly, they couldn't have a pow-wow about Shedda Dinu.

So when the Irishman opens the door for Laura wearing a sheepish look, it's been about two weeks since they've seen each other face to face. "Em, hello. Come…come right in then," He steps back and motions inwards. There's take-out containers on the counter from a local Japanese place, though they're still sealed closed. He went so far as to set the table though, with nice square plates, a series of Asian condiments and ebony chopsticks. There's also a bottle of sake with the little cups.

Compounding Hagan's difficulties are the facts that crises like the January 28th fracas are 1) perfect circumstances for thieves to conduct their larceny, and 2) also circumstances which make the wealthy consider their security systems very critically. Or at least to the point of 'I need more'. Which means? Laura has also been busy, curfew or no.

So it's a slightly fatigued young woman who looks through the door at Hagan, though the cheerful grin she gives him is as effervescent as ever. "Hi yourself. Thanks!" She's wearing that powder-blue coat, which is shed to reveal black jeans and a dark green blouse; not exactly dressy, not purely casual. Pale blue eyes flick over the room as she enters, the survey automatic and reflexive; LCD television, computer, drawing tablet. No stray wires on the ceiling. Windows, balcony. Big balcony, for an apartment. "Nice. I like it," she declares, particularly towards that last.

It may seem counter-intuitive that Hagan is actually a fairly neat person who seems to have some taste in decor. Apparently that doesn't extend to scissors in his hair or the clothes that are perpetually a size or two too big - like he's hiding himself in baggy clothing. "It's…frustratingly wee, but I'm happy to have a safe place to live at least. My old place was in Midtown. Em, care for a drink then?"

Like a good host, he reaches to take her jacket from her. Given their relationship is not particularly far along and it was subject to a stall, the welcome kiss is on the cheek. "I hope you like sushi?"

The stall was not such that Laura lets Hagan slip away without returning the kiss in kind. She smiles as he takes the coat and moves further into the room. "Oh, sure. Mind you, I've had some pretty… uh. Unusual sushi, but that was back in 'Frisco." The young woman's face dimples in a cheerily reassuring grin. "Never seen the like anywhere else, so I'm sure it's fine!" A beat. "Midtown, huh? I'm sorry to hear that." Then it's over to the table, not dwelling on the bomb. "Oh, hey. Nice touch." This spoken with regards to the chopsticks, of which the imp promptly picks up a pair to study more closely, and the little porcelain cups.

The stuff is very design-y. Fusion, might be the best way to explain it. Modern materials, modern colours, classic designs. "This is just the regular kind, as far as I know. Unless Sakiko surprised me. She's done that before." He peeks into the containers, then carries them over to the table. Inside are several artful pieces of sushi. "So. Em. Business has been good lately, has it? I'd imagine the security business is booming." For the moment he's ignoring that elephant. You know, that one over there with 'TERRORIST' tattooed on its arse? Yes, that one. Instead he pours sake.

"Oh, you could say that," Laura agrees. She slides down into what has apparently been claimed as her seat and appropriates a box. Two pieces of sushi are transferred by chopstick to her plate, and then the box is exchanged for another of its ilk. "It's been… profoundly busy. Although I think your Rupe made me the strangest job offer I've gotten lately," the blonde points out with a broad grin cast across the table. Why pass up the opening that presents itself plainly?

"He told me," Hagan eyes her, as if checking for her reaction. His gaze is partly hidden beneath that shaggy dog mane of his. He sits and starts to choose his own sushi pieces. It's like having a box of chocolates for dinner. "Did…" he takes a deep breath and pauses, one chopstick in each hand. Like he's going to start drumming. "…what did he tell you about what we do?" Obviously it isn't stamp collecting.

"Nah," Laura replies. "Told him I didn't need to know," she replies, with a dismissive flick of the chopsticks in her hand. Completely impervious to any aspect of the idea of proper table manners, the woman props her elbows on the table and rests her chin on folded hands. "Security's really my side-job. You get down to it, I'm a thief, and I've been around the block a few times. I know when I don't need the details." One revelation for another.

"You may not need to know, but do you want to?" That's perhaps the most earnest few words Hagan O'Sullivan has ever said. "I don't want to keep secrets from you, Laura." He makes a bit of a face. "I'm shite at keeping secrets anyway. My way of being secretive is to refuse to answer."

The young woman smiles at Hagan. "Don't keep secrets, then! It doesn't matter if you talk about it — I'm not going to carry tales — but I won't ask questions, either. If I don't know then no one else can ask me." And since she isn't actually in the group, that's safe. The current box is returned to the table at large, and Laura eyes the pieces of sushi on her plate, contemplating which one to eat first. "So I don't need the details."

Hagan works his jaw to the side thoughtfully. He considers what exactly he does want to tell her. "Well. It's nothing legal. We're fighting registration, is the short of it. Fighting against people like SCOUT. All the people who'd lock me away rather than let me live in peace." Well, maybe not him specifically, as shadows are not all that dangerous. But people like him. He hasn't touched his food yet,

She could point out that registration has its benefits, in the eyes of a thief. She doesn't. Laura is not tactless. She picks up a piece of sushi, but doesn't lift it more than a couple of inches from the plate. "I spend at least half my life doing 'nothing legal'," is what the blond states instead, shrugging her shoulders lightly. "I should probably point out I don't do causes, you know? Fighting's not my thing. But if you need to get past security —" She looks sidelong at Hagan; grins crookedly. "Well. Maybe I won't charge you too much."

Hagan rolls a chopstick between two sets of fingers. He bites the edge of his lip and looks from his plate up to her. "I don't want you to be in danger because you associate with me. I know you can take care of yourself, but I think you need to be…aware, at least." So she can decide if he's worth the risk, is the unspoken rider. "We don't plan on charging forward and claiming actions like PARIAH though. So if we do our job right, we'll never be targets. But we might not do our job right."

Tilting her head, Laura looks across the table at Hagan. "You're no more dangerous than the associates I've already got," she points out. "And they're… some measure of insulation. Which I can't go into," she adds, a shade apologetic. "But between that and the fact that I'm not really with you, I should be fine. I'm in more trouble from what I do than what you do!" Laura concludes. Maybe rightly, maybe wrongly.

Rightly, for the moment. Wrongly, in the future perhaps. Hagan as of yet has done nothing illegal except evade curfew. And…not register. Minor crimes compared to what Rupe has planned. "Still. I think I owe you that. In case anyone ever does come after me." Now he actually does eat a piece of sushi, after topping it with candied ginger and dipping it in soy sauce. He chews thoughtfully for a moment. "If they ever caught me for anything, I'd probably be deported."

Laura finally eats a piece of sushi as well, looking over at Hagan. She doesn't speak until she's swallowed. "Oh, if they do, I'll know why," the woman assures him confidently. Canting her head, she considers Hagan. "Well, that's probably better than being jailed, yeah?"

"It's true. But they can prove some misdemeanor and have grounds for deportation. All I have to do is get caught doing something that would get a citizen a slap on the wrist and I'm out on my arse." Hagan takes a small bite and chews thoughtfully. "S'why I hesitated for so long to start doing anything, y'know? Good I didn't, else I probably would be locked away somewhere by now. Or dead." He dodged a bullet not joining PARIAH.

Laura peers at Hagan. "Well, you didn't and you aren't. So." That's that. She picks up another piece of sushi and pops it in her mouth, then points at him with the ebony chopsticks while she chews. Swallows. Speaks again. "Politics! Bad date conversation subject." The words and the accompanying grin are both teasing. "You can do better. Mm…" Think. "Who's Sakiko?" Asked with genuine curiosity.

Hagan can't help but curl a little grin at what appears to be Laura's limitless capacity for optimism. He sure needs that, being the grumpy man he is. "Oh? Em. See, I don't cook. So I'm on a first name basis with at least one person at every restaurant in a four block area." He gestures with a chopstick. "The Greek place and the pubs know me particularly well." No surprise on the second there.

"Really?" Surely she can't be surprised; they've had something approaching this conversation before. "Hm." Laura puts a chopstick through another piece of sushi, lifting it carefully from the plate. "Then maybe next time we should go out for Greek," she decides with a bright smile and a bob of her head. Because there will be a next time and Laura is going to meet everyone he knows. These are certain facts.

"I'm not sure you want to meet Nikos and his family. They've already invited me to two weddings. That's what I get for being addicted to their souvlaki." Odd how Hagan's a guy who has trouble making friends, yet the food service people adore him. "I…em…so." He swallows a bit of sake to help get out whatever it is he wants to say. "…I have another exhibition coming up in the spring. A few of my pieces in a show."

Laura giggles, somehow manages to grin broadly nonetheless. "You mean you're not sure you want them to know you're seeing someone." Tact only applies to things she can't tease Hagan with. But she accepts the subject change; if Laura's ears could move, they'd be perked forward. "An exhibition? Really? That's cool! When is this?"

Hagan simply clears his throat and moves on to a still awkward, but less uncomfortable subject. "Uh, April. I forget the exact date. I have a dealer…lady who sometimes forgets to tell me these things. I'm surprised anyone still wants to go to galleries with the way things're going. Let alone to see some fancy overdone advertisements."

Awkward, as usual, somehow slides right off Laura. "Well. I guess people will always go to see neat things." Anything Hagan has on display is, by definition, neat. "Or maybe it's a reminder that it wasn't always bad and can be better." An aimless wave of chopsticks. "You know, something philosophical like that." A beat. "April? You'll have to let me know when. Then I can keep people from trying to ask me for anything the day it opens."

"Yes, but it's not art. It's commercialism. it's adverts." Hagan's bitterness over his job isn't something that surfaces very often. "It's good money and good for my career which is why I do the gallery shows. But I have to bite my tongue the whole evening. People who come to see shit that's good because it manipulates the hell out of you."

Laura shrugs slightly. "Art does the same thing. I mean, good art, good movies — they're good because they drag you in. And you know they're both just as commercialized. Well, maybe especially the movies." Books, posters, games, action figures, t-shirts… "Doesn't mean people can't appreciate it anyway." She rests her chin on her hands and peers over at him. "But if you don't like it, why do it? I mean, do you really need to?"

"I like the work. I mean." Hagan runs a hand through his hair and motions back to his desk with the impressive setup. "I enjoy it. I don't think it should have as much money wrapped up into it as it does. And I don't think people should fawn over it in a gallery. And…" he shrugs. "…don't really know what else I'd do. It's what I've spent my whole life doing, pretty much. It pays well."

"I like the work. I mean." Hagan runs a hand through his hair and motions back to his desk with the impressive setup. "I enjoy it. I don't think it should have as much money wrapped up into it as it does. And I don't think people should fawn over it in a gallery. And…" he shrugs. "…don't really know what else I'd do. It's what I've spent my whole life doing, pretty much. It pays well."

Laura chews on those statements for a bit, as she collects boxes of sushi and sets about picking out those pieces which will replace the others on her plate. "Well… what about just, like, making art? Without the advertising?" That's the obvious next question, continuing the line of conversation around sushi and sake. Laura can generally manage to chitchat for however long she has someone to talk at.

February 16th: Seeker
February 16th: Speak Your Mind. Please.
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