Soundly Directed Anger


hagan_icon.gif julian_icon.gif

Scene Title Soundly Directed Anger
Synopsis Two Irishmen walk into a bar.
Date December 4, 2008

Upper East Side: Biddy Flannagan's Irish Pub

Biddy Flannigan's. Despite how the touristed-up Irishness grates on Hagan like, well…a grate, he comes here anyway. It's convenient, it's clean and it serves a decent selections of pints. It just takes some effort to ignore the constant fiddle music that gets piped through the speakers and the waiters and waitresses in kilts.

Hagan's seated at a table with a good view of the TV. It's an Irish rugby match and he's shouting as a player in white and burgundy fumbles. "Get your head in the game you twiddly fecker."

And not so far away is another countryman tolerating the atmosphere for the sake of a pint. Julian shoves his hand into the pocket of his jacket, which comes back up with a few crumpled bank notes and these he attempts to at least flatten somewhat before sliding them over. "Cheers," he says, other hand wrapping about the tall glass and taking a good sip so as not to slosh the liquid everywhere upon attempting to move.

Considering the area in which this "pub" is situated, he looks decidedly lower class than at least most of the patrons, in clothes broken in through age and use, as well as what looks to be a small if nasty cut at the corner of his mouth. Along with his sickly pallor, he doesn't seem to kind of customer that would be overly valued.

Finished, for now, at the bar, Julian winds his way around the thin crowd, as if careful to avoid contact, and finds himself drifting towards the TV, looking up at it to see what's going on. Standing not so far from Hagan, he asks, "Who's winning?"

"Feckin' Ulster," mutters Hagan as he glares at the TV screen. Ulster vs Leinster. The game goes to commerical, then he looks towards Julian. "You actually know the game?" He sounds surprised. The other hasn't spoken enough for him to figure out just where he might be from.

Julian smirks at the news, a hand coming out to rest against the back of an unoccupied chair at Hagan's table, simply leaning for now and looking towards the other man once the commercials start to play. "Rugby? Yeah I know rugby," he says, in an accent becoming clear to be some sort of concoction of Northern Irish and typical New York. "More've a soccer fan t'be honest but anythin's better than fucking baseball, am I right."

Hagan's demeanor shifts visibly the more Julian speaks. His shoulders hunch and his whole body bends away ever so slightly. He takes a drag from his cigarette to try to calm himself. That might prevent him from jumping to any conclusions. "You called it fucking soccer. How long've you been away then?" He's as Dublin as you can get.

"Somethin' like fourteen years," Julian says, his own tone and stance completely casual in contrast to Hagan's tension. Whether that's just put on or not is up for debate, and he takes a long pull of beer. "Don't keep track. Been living in New York for too long, I'll give you that one. You, though, you sound like you only just got off the boat. Vacationing or somethin'?"

Hagan is hesitant to go into his life story to this guy. Especially with -that- accent. "Three years," he says plainly, then looks back to his pint, into the deep murky waters of the stout. "Long enough for all my shit to get blown up anyway." He looks back at the game as the commercial ends, but Ulster's so far ahead, it's not even worth watching. "Bloody…"

"Ah, lookit that," Julian says, nodding towards the television, now with a wide smile that tugs uncomfortably at the cut at his mouth, though he doesn't notice it that much. He raises up his beer. "Cheers to imminent victory, right? Somethin's gotta go right for me today."

The side of Hagan's face tics. He suddenly wishes this was a dive so he wouldn't be making a scene if he decided to punch this guy in the kidneys. "I'm not lifting my pint for fucking Ulster," he mutters, then averts his gaze from the screen. Not going to watch them win. Nope.

"Lift it to drink it down then, my friend," Julian says, a little snidely. There's a scrape as chair legs make friction against the ground, and he invites himself to sit down. "On this side of the pond, it can't matter all that much, now can it. I mean, how many of those men up there Evolved?" He points a finger towards the TV as Ulster scores a try, as if to add insult to injury. "Nice." Back to the conversation. "I can count on two hands the players that've all mysteriously retired from the game in the past two years."

Hah. Like the Evolved emerging is going to do anything about generations of hostility. "Retirement. Sounds a lot bloody safer than the crowd knowing what you are and chucking things at you. But you do have to wonder how many of 'em do keep it secret." Hagan's pointedly not drinking his pint. Just long enough to make his point.

"They wouldn't be chuckin' things if they weren't treated like freaks," Julian sneers, and then shrugs wiry shoulders. "Y'right, though. I know I'd keep it a secret if in their shoes. Maybe it ain't so bad over there as it here, though." He glances at Hagan. "It ain't like Ireland don't got enough problems."

Hagan exhales slowly. "It's gotten better," he says, oddly quiet. He scratches the side of his head. His hair sticks up where he touched it. "Disarming and all that." He doesn't -really- want to talk about it. That's how they get through it. No talk about The Troubles. "I might regret askin', but what side are you on?" He tilts his head and looks at Julian for the first time in a few minutes.

"We've brought up a few lines already," Julian says, setting his beer down on the table and searching his pockets for something. "Which set o' sides are we talkin' about now, friend?"

Hagan gives Julian a pointed look. He takes a drag from his cigarette. The smoke curls around him as he exhales. One brow raises. "Which do you think?"

"Now why don't we introduce ourselves before we get all personal," Julian says, rather wryly, and then offers his hand, once he's set down a crumpled packet of cigarettes on the table. "I'm Julian. Or any other variety of cutesy Irish name dependin'."

Hagan eyes Julian's hand. "I think I want to know the answer to my question before I go shaking your hand." He sounds serious. Not…sucker-punch serious, but it's clearly not a joke. "Hagan."

Julian's fingers wiggle once when the handshake is declined before he reaches against for his cigarette pack, the show of amicability souring just a little, although he inclines his head to Hagan when he at least responds with his name. "Nice t'meet you. I'm from Belfast orig'nally."

"I gathered that." says Hagan. He's feeling guilty for being a prick -now- that he's in the middle of the conversation. The problem is, it's hard to backtrack that kind of attitude. He drinks his beer and waits, for the real answer to his question.

That would have been too easy. A cigarette, despite the no-smoking signs about the place, is pulled out and clenched between teeth as he next goes for a lighter. "And it's been about two years and a bit since I discovered where I stood on that line," Julian says, words a little obscured thanks to the cigarette. "Evolved, card-carryin'." Figuratively.

That…surprises Hagan. He was expecting an answer on an entirely different subject. "Bloody registered? Why the fuck would you do a thing like that?" An Irish pub can't possibly think it can enforce no smoking. "It's like tattooing your arse with a bullseye and streaking a target range."

"You're right," Julian says, with a mild smirk. A flame from his lighter flickers to life, and he efficiently draws in a lungful of smoke that billows thickly up towards the ceiling. "Out of the stupidest things I've done in my life I'll rank that'un the highest. 's what you get for tryin' t'be a law-abiding citizen."

"So what happened when you filled out your paperwork? Did they take your mugshots and fit you for leg shackles?" Hagan's saying this as a joke. Little does he know. "Because it always sounded like a good way to get a ticket to bloody Guantanamo Bay."

Little does he know indeed, and Julian doesn't even crack a smile at Hagan's retort. "Did it just?" he asks, before taking another long sip of beer. "What about you, now," he says, once finished, wiping the back of one partially gloved hand across his mouth. "You sayin' that because you're sympathetic or is it just wishful thinkin'?"

"My original question was whether or not you're a bloody Protestant. But if you feel like confessing deeper secrets," Hagan shrugs and lifts his pint. "Me? Well now. If you had to hazard a guess, what would be your answer?"

That smile returns. "Religion," Julian says, almost musingly. "Yeah, I guess you're right - that's always been about sides too, hasn't it. Shame. I'm Catholic." There's a slight ironic flicker in his voice, and it's hard to say if he's bullshitting Hagan, at first, then he gives a quick nod as if to show he's being honest. "I'd guess you're like me."

"Ha. What gave me away? The utter bitterness or the boiling rage that bubbles up through my mouth in the form of pointy words?" Hagan shoves away his now-empty pint glass and lights another cigarette. The previous one has only been out for a matter of minutes. "Or would it be the fact that I sound like I got shat out of the Liffey?" He pinches the cigarette in his lips.

"The rage ain't such a bad thing," Julian says. "Long as you got somethin' to do with it than bitch and moan to a northerner in a New York pub." He doesn't make the hand gestures, but you can almost hear the quote marks thanks to the sneer he attributes to the word. Who can blame him? There's shamrock imagery hanging above the bar.

"I always thought they should fucking pay me to drink in this place. I feel like a bloody tourist attraction. If this city got tourists anymore." Hagan looks around at the faux decoration, but the look on his face is worn down rather than outraged. He puts a hand to his forehead and fingers up through his moppy hair. "And I was railing -at- you, not to you. That kind of ememy makes more sense in a world where the real enemies are fuckers with access to my life story who can revoke my green card with a phone call."

"Happy to oblige," Julian says, with just enough snark to sound resentful, taking a drag from his cigarette. No one seems to be motivated enough to stop either man despite the laws surrounding their bad habits, although to his credit, Julian places a hand against the table to push himself up to stand and take his outside. "But maybe it'd do you some good to direct it where it counts. God knows this country needs a bit've soundly directed anger."

"Like a strategically placed stick of plastic explosive. Preferrably up someones' arse," mutters Hagan. "But unfortunately I haven't anyone to provide me with such satisfyingly destructive materials." Hard to say how serious he is. He crushes out what's left of his cigarette into the ashtray. He seems to be preparing to leave entirely rather than just a smoke break.

Julian lets out a small, gruff snicker. "In this town? What, d'you live under a rock or d'you just not read the papers that much?" Throughout the conversation, it seems like the Irish in his accent is winning the war against his New York, although every now and then it slips back in. "Tell you what. You come here a lot? Maybe I'll catch you another time." He pauses, and rattles off a date. "If you're curious enough you'll be here 'round sundown. If not, I get to buy a beer in a warm place for my troubles."

"I read the papers. But it's rather hard to flag down those types without being slapped into cuffs or beaten by opening your mouth to the wrong fucking person. Maybe like someone who's carrying a bloody registration card." Hagan gives Julian a look, then glances around the bar. "I might come. And I might be smart. We'll see how I'm feeling when I wake up that morning." And with that, he pulls open the door and heads out on to the chilly streets.

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