Recruitment Over Coffee


claire_icon.gif hagan_icon.gif julian_icon.gif

Scene Title Recruitment Over Coffee
Synopsis Claire and Julian pay Hagan a visit and invite him to join the new world order. Again.
Date December 30, 2008

Dorchester Towers: Hagan's Apartment

Hagan's place is a decent sized bachelor apartment, but still a bachelor. One wall is entirely windows that look out over the partially ruined city. There's a large covered balcony with patio furniture and a barbecue.

It doesn't smell all that smoky in the apartment, suggesting he takes his chain smoking into the balcony-area at least. There's an LCD TV that hangs on the wall, a small brown leather sofa, a galley kitchen and a door open onto a rather large bathroom with modern fixtures. One corner of the room is taken up by a large desk with an expensive looking computer set up with dual widescreen monitors and a drawing tablet. There's piles of colour swatches and glossy ad proofs.

The room is l-shaped and around the corner on a partially raised section is an unmade queen bed with a ruffled white duvet. The furniture doesn't exactly all work together, but it's all good quality. There's a few dishes in the sink and a few dusty surfaces, but other than that it's not in horrid shape, especially for a bachelor. Especially for him.

It's a quiet evening, the night before New Years Eve wherein it will be very unquiet as New York celebrates the coming of 2009. But for tonight, it's peaceful. Relatively peaceful. For the two doormen standing at the entrance of Dorchester Towers, it's not particularly pleasant. For one thing, there is snow. For the other thing, a rather aggressive Irishman and his brunette companion aren't leaving.

"I got a friend in 'ere, right?" Julian is saying, pointing up at the building as if this would help. "Number 402, 's what the thing said it was. So no I'm not going to move on." And he shuffles towards the intercom, rather huffily pressing buttons at random as he brings his other hand up to take a lungful of cigarette smoke. There's a beep and Julian makes a wild guess that Hagan picked up. His voice, tinny through the intercom, comes rattling through Hagan's apartment. "Hagan! It's uh. Me." A glance towards the doormen. "You know who it is. Also your apartment people at the door are wankers, wouldja let us in please?"

The voice that barks back on the other end sounds startled, and equally as tinny. "What! What, oh bloody. Wankers one and two. Let them up, for fuck's sake. Or no brick of fruitcake for you." Jeez. They could be brothers.

Claire rolls her eyes as she stamps out her menthol cigarette on the pavement outside of the illustrious Dorchester Towers. When the doormen actually let them inside, she has the graciousness to smile and murmur a thanks before she heads into the building. But once they're past the dogs, the smile's gone. She doesn't even offer Julian her hand. Once they're up to 402, she's the first to knock on the door, glancing down the hall on either side cautiously.

Substantially warmer inside, it doesn't do much for Julian's patience all the same, but at least he can feel his fingertips. He's still rubbing his palms together by the time they reach the appropriate room. A woolen scarf almost hides half his face but this he now unwraps to hang loose down the front of his well-worn coat, a hand coming up to shield a small fit of coughs. Tis the season for colds, especially when your immune system is shot to hell. "Better put the tea on, right?" he says through the door when he hears someone approach on the other side.

When the door tugs open, it reveals Hagan, looking like he just ate a lamp. Or rather, the air is very dry and charged with static electricity, so his hair looks like he just touched one of those electro-balls. Or he's Einstein. If Einstein was Irish and crotchety. He also looks dazed, but neither drunk nor hungover. Julian might note almost immediately that his fellow Irishman seems -far- healthier than he was the last time they met. "They really gave you shit? It's because I never get visitors. Come in, come in. I'll turn the fire on." He walks over and flicks a switch on the electric fireplace.

"Nice," Claire muses as she steps into the apartment. "Don't suppose you've got any coffee, do you? It's damn cold out there." She rubs her hands together gingerly, returning the feeling to her fingertips before undoing the buttons on her coat.

Julian turns once in a circle to locate where he can hang up his coat, which he proceeds to. Shrugs a little. "Maybe I don't look the type t'have friends in such swanky places. You can afford all this?" he says, moving further into the place and looking less impressed by the place, more envious. "Who says artists are starvin'."

"Hah! Do I have coffee. Do I have coffee! I have…" Hagan goes to his coffee maker and pulls out an empty pot. "…well no, I don't. But I can put some on though." He sounds cheerful. Sleepily, but still. He goes about the motions of setting up a pot. "That's because I'm not an artist. I design ads. That's different. Did you say you want tea then? And this place isn't half as big as the place that got incinerated by the bomb. Two bedrooms. Big bath. Ensuite. The whole deal. This is all I can afford now. A bloody L. D'ya want a biscuit?"

"I don't even have a place," the brunette intones. "So, I'd say you're doin' all right. I have to crash on Julian's couch, I'm so well-off." She gives said man a glance that clearly says she's thankful that he lets her. "Just the coffee's fine by me. Thanks."

"Coffee's good," Julian agrees, content to wander and finding himself drawn to the work desk, eyeing the twin-monitors with some dubiousness - who needs two screens really - and picking up one of the printed out ad samples, making himself at home when it comes to touching and inspecting things. "So as far as everyone'll be concerned," he says, not looking back at the other man as he speaks, "PARIAH'S done and dusted."

It doesn't take long for the coffee pot to start bubbling and the smell of fresh brew to percolate through the apartment. Hagan pulls down mugs and glances towards Julian. "By all means, make yourself at home." That's sarcastic, but then he motions Claire towards the comfortable couch by the fire. Then he looks to Julian again. "Does that mean you lot are retiring then?"

"Hardly," Claire chuckles as she hangs up her coat and proceeds to lounge on the gestured to couch. It's cool to take up two cushions, right? "We're just going to try flying under the radar for a while. I'm too young to retire."

"We got a new game goin'," Julian agrees, brushing his fingertips along the drawing tablet as if he'd never seen one before. Which he has, maybe, but never used. He picks up a folder next, flicking it open to peruse. "And a new benefactor, I guess y'could say. A leader. Guns and glory didn't work the last several times so we're trying somethin' else." A hand raise, fingers wiggle in an almost sarcastic gesture as he adds, "Being subtle about it."

Hagan's desk is full of proofs, colour swatches and glossy ad proofs for big name brands. There's even a CD cover in the works for a well-known rock band of the Nickelback variety. He does the switcherooo with the mug under the drip while he fills up a pair of mugs and sets them on the galley counter along with cream and sugar. "Oh yeah? Cloak and dagger shite?"

"Something like that. How does it strike you?" Claire lifts her brows at Hagan before sending a glance Julian's way. In any other circumstance, she might tell him to stop snooping. But the way she sees it, he has every right to check Hagan out.

It's not as though incriminating evidence is lying out in the open, either, save for the man's career. It gets boring fast, and Julian sets the folder aside in favour of meandering towards the coffee set out for them. He says nothing, just looks at Hagan curiously for an answer.

Hagan runs his hand through his hair. It only serves to make it even -more- disheveled (as if that were possible.) "Well. Certainly sounds safer than running around bloiwng shite up. And it's something I can do. If I stop tripping over my own feet."

Claire holds one hand out languidly toward Julian with the obvious hint. Gimme my coffee. "You look like you've been sticking your finger into electrical sockets."

"T'tell you the truth it's more my thing too, friend," Julian says as he spoons sugar into his coffee, and at a glance to Claire, he fixes hers the way he guesses she likes it too. Once a cheerleader, now a terrorist, but Claire will always be a princess. This, Julian would point out to her if they weren't occupied with company, so he only picks up both his and hers, and moves on over, handing her the drink. "I'm no warrior, but I want t'make the difference. Sound about right? Right now we just need people, so we're regroupin' under a different name. From there, I guess we get a plan or two."

"So what happens now? Do you need the name of three reliable references?" Hagan quirks the very faintest of grins as he pours himself a cup of coffee. Belatedly, he looks to Claire. "What? Oh. It does that. And today's a good day." The other problem is that he just washed it. And slept on it. Someone should shave him bald.

Claire wouldn't consider herself a princess. She's perfectly capable of getting up and fixing her own coffee. But he was just so conveniently there. "Not your typical job application," she responds to Hagan with a similar grin to the first bit, and then she feels the need to comment on the hair. "I sympathise. I used to have this massive mop of frizz when I was younger. You have no clue how much product this takes." She pauses. "That reminds me, Julian, we need to stop on the way home and get some pomade." Which, she has repeatedly explained before, is not hair gel.

"Would you girls like to chitchat 'bout haircare at a later date?" Julian says sharply, coming to stand near the electric fireplace as he nurses his coffee. A deep sip is taken, letting the warmth of the beverage shake away the last of the chill. "For now, I jus' want t'know if you're on board. Seems like y'are, so I'll drop y'name to the bossman and see what happens from there. Can't be cloak an' dagger without a bit of shadow, aye?"

"Jaysus. Shoot me the day I put 'product' in my hair." Hagan's lip curls up and he takes a drink of his coffee. He walks out of the galley kitchen and into the main room where the other two are. One hand drops into his pocket. "More than a bit of shadow. I could probably black out this whole floor if I tried hard enough. Just need to learn to be lighter on my feet."

"Well excuse me, princess," Claire mutters in response to Julian's snark. "If growing up Bennet taught me anything, it's that you can learn to do just about anything from the right people. And I'll bet the bossman knows the right people."

There's a flicker of a hidden smirk from Julian as Claire snarks back, and he doesn't bother getting into a verbal sparring match. It can go for a long time, once it starts. "Can't say that wouldn't be handy," he tells Hagan. "It'd cut me a break from electrocuting m'self every time I try to cut the power in whatever circumstance. We're all learnin', as long as we can keep class time out of the real missions." He squints across at the man, then lifts his chin a bit. "Y'did somethin', didn't you. Y'feel different." An abrupt change of topic, but it's been bugging him and only now does Hagan get a sort of sweeping psychic diagnosis from Julian. "My my, what's this. You're clean." A bit of a strange way to talk about someone's health, but it's how Julian senses it. Dirtiness, cleanliness, weakness, strength.

Hagan has now become self-conscious about his hair and has started to fuss with it. Which of course, only makes it worse. "I've been pushing myself lately. Trying to see how much I can do." When Julian changes the topic, Hagan looks down at his shirt and pulls the front out. As if Julian's talking about his clothes. "Well, I did just have a…" a beat. He looks to the other Irishman. "Right, you can read the…thing." He makes a vague motion. "I…got a Christmas present from a healer."

Even Claire has to quirk a brow at that one. "A healer?" She leans forward with a very interested look. "Where did you manage to find yourself one of those?"

Julian glances to Claire when she asks the question on his mind, before turning his sharp focus back to Hagan. Concentrating. Only a diagnosis, nothing more, and he snorts lightly, bringing his coffee back up to sip. "There ain't a trace of it left so whoever it is did a good job," he says. "I'll do y'the service of not bringin' it back." This statement is accompanied by a wolfish grin.

"Please don't. It was an utterly uncomfortable situation and I'd hate to have to go back to her." Hagan leans on the counter and takes a pull from his coffee. He looks between them both. Well. If he's going to be in with these people… "She works at that bar of Isabelle's. Murmurs prayers when she heals. My lungs've been bad lately. Been feeling like I'm fucking eighteen again. Unbelievable. Didn't ask for anything either."

"Isabelle." Claire grins at Julian. The look says it all: She's been holding out on us. "That's definitely good to know."

"A miracle worker in Old Lucy's, how nice," Julian says, sharing that smirk with Claire. He gestures to Hagan with his coffee mug. "Glad y'like it there, seein' as anyone who used to be PARIAH drinks for free an' I reckon you could scrape by if desperate." Hard to tell if he's joking, on that one. "Izzy's one of ours, if y'didn't already know." More to Claire, he adds, "And apparently employing my bloody polar opposite." And to Hagan, "Didja catch healer girl's name?"

Hagan bites the inside of his cheek. It's almost like he's afraid something's going to strike him down from above. But they'll find out whether he tells them or not. "Abby. She's a gentle sort. Don't think she'd refuse to heal anyone. And yes. Isabelle…set some guys on fire who tried to rob me. Seemed to enjoy it a great deal. She's…something else."

"I thought I was your bloody polar opposite." Claire continues to grin. "I think we'll need to go pay her a visit sometime soon." She shrugs at Hagan's assessment of Isabelle. "She's one of ours, she is."

"No, you're my soul mate, princess," Julian taunts back. "That much is obvious." He drains the last of his coffee, and steps forward to set the mug down. "Izzy's the quickest way to orchestrate a fiery death, it's true. I got a bit of a slower touch as it were. Good t'see you're meetin' the family, Hagan."

"I don't think she realizes how dangerous offering me free drinks is. New liver or no." Hagan pats his stomach, roughly in the liver area, though he's no expert in biology. "I drink there all the time." He pointedly ignores the sparring that he takes for flirting. Because ignoring shows of affection is fairly effective.

Claire chokes on her coffee at Julian's quip. She sets the mug aside to thump on her chest twice until she gasps in a lungful of air. "Asshole. Don't say stupid shit like that." She shoots him a dirty look before turning her attention to the safer topic. "Well, now you won't have to pay for it. Everyone wins."

His usual pouch of loose nicotine leaf is extracted, as well as a cigarette. Of course, this building is likely no smoking, so he only fidgets with the cigarette between his fingers and stuffing the pouch back into his pocket. Julian opens his mouth to snark back, can think of no comeback, so he only rolls his eyes. He holds up the hand with the cigarette pinched between fingers, addressing Hagan. "I'm out t'smoke this. I reckon y'know everythin' worth knowin' at this point, aye?" A step is made for where his coat is hung up.

"Just need to know what you need me to do next," says Hagan with surprising seriousness to his tone. Maybe Abby sucked all the frantic out when she healed his lungs and liver. "I'm a regular at Lucy's. And you sure do know where to find me now, don't you?" He does something he rarely does. Smile. A smile! His face will shatter any minute now. "Listen. If you need anything. I'm not completely flush with cash, but if you need some help?"

"Appreciate it, Hagan." Claire gets to her feet to follow Julian. "If you need to get in touch with us first, talk to Isabelle. She'll know how to find us. Give it some serious thought, yeah?" She takes Julian's arm. "C'mon, soul mate."

Pulling his coat on, Julian nods in appreciation to the offer Hagan makes, but doesn't accept it. Just files it away for later reference. You don't call in favours when you don't immediately need them, after all. "What she said - keep an eye out for us otherwise. Be seeing you," he says, and at a glance to Claire, he pulls his arm away to mock shove her in the shoulder. From flirting to brotherly behaviour in point 0 seconds. "Yeah yeah, fuck you too," he says, with far less venom than is usual, and with a haphazard wave to Hagan, he pulls open the door to journey through well-to-do-ville and out further into bitter cold.

"There's nothing more to think about, Claire. I decided to do this before things all went to shite. So the method's changed. Doesn't matter much to me. If you'll have me, I'm in." Hagan lifts a shoulder. "And don't worry, I'm going to give those fucking doormen shit. What the hell do I pay them for anyway? Fuck." His surly sure didn't go far.

Claire grins, "See you around the clubhouse then." With a punch to Julian's arm, she's on her way out the door.

December 30th: Get Smart
December 30th: Reminisces Over Cocoa
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