Where The Bear Shits


ben_icon.gif brian_icon.gif hagan_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title Where The Bear Shits
Synopsis Pointless bar room violence as psychological therapy, because beer and pie weren't working.
Date November 29, 2008

Stinky Pete's

This is Stinky Pete's. There is a finely-crushed layer of peanuts on the floor and some sort of indeterminable American sport blaring on the television, which Teo fails entirely to recognize as a rerun, but the tiny people inside the smudged glass screens seem to be extremely excited about what's going on and his eyes intermittently shift to it as if expecting a riot.

There are a fair number of patrons here tonight despite that it's reasonably early yet, the winter sun having only recently crawled below the rim of the horizon this brisk Saturday evening. There's three cracks running up the mirror behind the bar and a lifetime of cup stains on every surface wide enough to carry something. A discolored flag protrudes from one wall, and the giant fish attached to the other looks, despite that it's molded plastic, as if it's undergoing some type of organic decay. It is the perfect place to make yourself feel better after you've died.

Maybe? "Drink more," Teo advises, patting the younger man on the shoulder. "It's either that or pray, eh?"

Ben is not a frequent patron of bars. It's been a while and that was before med school. 'Cept he's no longer in med school, so he's got more free time on his hands than he used to. Which means sometimes he has a bit too much time to think, and books just aren't cutting it for distraction tonight. The side of his face is still bruised but fading. He should be fine in a few days unless he does something stupid like get into a bar fight.

Tilting his head back, more alcohol floods down his system as he takes another gulp. "I've been doing both.. Nothing seems to work." Comes the nigh pathetic answer from the younger man sitting next to Teo. Placing his bottle down he slowly lowers his head into his hands. It looks like he might be on the verge of crying.. again. Though he keeps it in for now. Can't cry in a testostorone infested bar. That's suicide. At least ego suicide.

"I can answer your question now.." Brian says plainly looking up to Teo. "It really, really sucks."

Hagan has made it a sort of unofficial mission to make the rounds through as many bars as he can find. Well, call it an unconscious mission, really. The Irishman's fallen into a pretty dramatic funk lately. And funks mean benders. Though he hasn't yet embarked on one, the desire and potential is there. He pushes open the door a bit too hard and it bounces back to hit him on the ass and force him inwards. It also has the added effect of drawing attention his way.

He's wearing a heavy woolen coat that dispels any idea that he might be a vagabond. His wild bed hair is slightly damp from melted snow and he's got a touch of scruff on his chin. He's smoking as he enters. He shuffles miserably towards the bar.

Teo remembers the question. Does it hurt when you die? The death that Brian had managed to die was, he thought, either not a very representative death of the average or extremely representative. Maybe not the exact circumstances of being elevated by a lunatic Evolved assface hundreds of feet as part of an ongoing personal experiment, but like, hitting something at terrific force and copping out due to splat. Car crashes, bad falls, getting punched in the brain enough times. They all function on the same principle. 'Splat.' An educational bulletin: don't do this on your own time.

Teo finishes a furtive glance around to reassure himself no one's making too big a thing out of Brian brimming in their peripheral vision. "Yeeeah," he sighs and takes his hand off his beer. "I'd say I can imagine, but I guess not really. I'm glad you're okay, eh?

"If it helps. I'm not sure what else will." His attention passes idle over the flippy-haired Irishman approaching from the doorway and circles back, a sympathetic frown on. It's more a deductive leap than an empathic one but he volunteers, at length, "You're not made of glass." He remembers what it's like: losing badly. Hospital rooms, the jarring reminder of one's own fragility.

Ben sees people he recognizes, and he's not an impolite guy. He sticks his hands in his jacket pockets and meanders over toward Teo and Brian. "Hey," he greets, reaching up to scratch the back of his head. For once, he's missing his cap. "People've been worried 'bout you, Brian. You doing okay?"

A sharp puff of breath at Teo. He slowly looks up, and even though Teo insists one way, Brian's eyes very much look like they ARE made of glass. "I.." The bottle is raised up as he drains yet another beer. Then slams it back on the counter looking away from Teo. He startles a bit as Ben's voice. Slowly turning around he stares at Ben for a long moment. "Hey Ben.. Ah.. I'm fine. Just personal problems. You know. Family shit." With that he turns his back to Ben. Hagan currently goes unnoticed or at least ignored.

Hagan looks around, then happens to spot Ben. There's a moment of squinting and head-tilting, before he places him. "Fuck," he mutters under his breath. It's the bike kid who nearly got them both fried. He raises his cigarette to his lips, takes a drag, then yanks out a barstool and drops onto it. "I want a pint. A fucking pint. Please. Now. Thank you." He barks this to the bartender and taps out the ashes from his cigarette into the tray. He radiates foul mood.

Ben pauses; okay! He shrugs a little. "Teo," he says, and then he's moving away off to the side.

Teo's brow arches and he studies Ben's face from underneath it, offering a lifted hand in salutation. Wow. The collective everybody's had a fucked up few lately, haven't they? "Buona sera, Ben. Catch up with you soon," even as the medic begins to stomp peanuts on his way to a booth. It's odd, how the mottled marks on flesh bespeak so much less fragility and damage than the metaphorical darkness haunting the space behind Brian's eyes. Teo imagines that his own recent miseries places him somewhere between. Hopefully, closer to Ben's end of the spectrum.

The next moment, his attention swings through the room, checking who's drunk enough, who's close to it, whether or not anyone brought a woman he could start trouble over, his blue eyes bright with the acuity of a thousand personal experiences. There aren't many women — loose ones are surprisngly hard to start fights over, this early in the day — but, he gathers, enough foul tempers to make up for that margin. Case in point: flippy-haired Irishman. He slides his own discarded bottle over to Brian. "Finish," he says. "And I'll fucking prove it. I'll prove you're not made of glass."

An irritated glance is given to Hagan and his loud mouthing. A slow breath is given, as Brian taps the bar for another beer. Leaning forward on his stool, the man places his elbows on the bar. Then Teo gives him his beer and Brian quickly downs that as well. It doesn't take him long and that bottle too, is slammed back on the bar and the young man once again taps on the bar once again for his next drink. Eyeing Teo, he blinks once though doesn't put much stock in Teo's words.

Hagan waits for his beer and drums his fingers loudly on the table. He smokes his cigarette down to a butt and shoves it out violently int he ashtray. He certainly didn't bring a woman with him. They tend to give him a wide berth. He's not aware of anyone except the bartender, and only because he's taking an age to pour.

Stock ought to be put in Teo's words. He occasionally dispenses ones of wisdom. It's the action part that may well be of stupid. Brian's latest bottle slamming the table is a starting signal. The stool under the Sicilian pushes backward, wooden legs scraping wooden floor already thick with welts and scars from equally inconsiderate past patrons. He stands up halfway, one foot up on the rung and the other braced on the floor, giving Hagan his back and Brian his undivided attention, blue stare fixed like the grip of winter.

"All right, amico," he says, grandly. 'Grandly' is a shade of 'tipsy,' where he comes from. "The time is now. Hit me." Preferably, before the bartender is done with that beer, or talking to DD-cups over there, or whatever it is he's doing instead of pouring Hagan's beer. By way of encouragement, he flattens a callused hand on Brian's shoulder and gives a shove. It is not a baby shove. It is a grown-up shove. Once Brian has processed this, he gives another one.

Glaring sideways at Teo, Brian shakes his head. Waiting for his next bottle rather than playing games with Teo. But then Teo gets up and demands he be hit. The young man shakes his head, then he is shoved. "What the fuck are you doing Teo? Get off." Another shove, and Brian turns his shoulder to Teo looking irritated. "Stop fucking around." He snarls.

Hagan swivels on the stool and tilts his head at Teo and Brian. His beer finally arrives and he takes a long drink. "Fer fuck's…if you two little boys feel like wrestling, take it to the bedroom. I'm trying to have a nice, pleasant, pint. So hop it." Not that he believes that won't provoke. Hell, he wouldn't mind it.

"I'm trying to remind you of something important," Teo answers, bluntly. He lands elbow-first on the top of the bar and shoves his face up to the other Phoenix operative's, the harsh angles of his face exaggerated by proximity and the poorly-diffused light above the bar. Hagan's interruption warrants a single finger flipped over his shoulder. "Sit on it, signor." You know, as long as he's trying on this whole 'maturity' thing. "Violence happens.

"It happens to us more than it happens to most people. You're allowed to feel bad, but you're not allowed to fucking forget: you can take a hit, and you can just as fucking well throw one when some asshole needs to be reminded where the bear shits. Think of someone you hate." It's the first advice he was ever given, going into a scrap. Hilariously, he'd never hated anybody then. Not really. Somehow, still, it was good advice.

There's a fist underneath Brian's chin, then, a rictus bared at him, halfway between a companionable grin and a sneer of wolfish confrontation. "Where's the bear shit?"

"Listen, Teo." Brian says angrily, spinning around on his stool staring straight into Teo's face. Teo's finger to Hagan is accompanied by Brian's. "Grow up, shit head." The young man hisses at the Irishman. Brows narrowing tightly, Brian still isn't planning on hitting Teo. But then Teo is talking about people he hates. A few images flash in his head, his dad, some others, but then finally.. ultimately. Peter Petrelli.

The stool is tripped over and Brian goes down hard with a yelp from Teo's attack. But even with his alcoholic consumption, Brian is radically fast on his feet. Coming back, his face contorted into a funny looking dramatically angry expression. Brian's fist is not too long in the coming. It's overhanded, more designed for pure power than speed. His haymaker flies at Teo's own face, though as he is acting on anger he is likely to overcommit and follow through with the thing.

Somewhere in a booth off to one side, a large mug of beer in hand, Ben looks over. "Uh oh." Maybe he can just ignore this!

Hagan barks out a rather amused bit of laughter. "Me grow up? You're a pair of tiny children ready to smash each others' faces in out of boredom. Brilliant. I bet.. —" and then Brian's smack to Teo sends him against Hagan. "Fucking…" His instinct is to reach out to put Teo in a headlock. He's a veteran of this sort of thing.

It worked. Teo's a genius. Hopefully, he can afford to lose a few braincells, then, because that pop upside the head kind of makes the bar spin around once or twice. Thrice, and still going, and by the time he's back in the real world somebody's arm is around his neck, and it's more because he had taken a brief instant to put himself into stay conscious mode than any kind of martial maneuvering that he isn't falling onto Hagan's feet instead of his lap. And now his head is stuck.

Brava. Partly because this is an uncomfortable position for his spine, and partly because he has the suspicion that Brian will keep trying to hit his head especially now that it's being held in place for him, he sticks his fingers into the gap between his neck and Hagan and, rather like a bull hurls himself at a matador, shoulders the Irishman at the Mormon. His vision isn't too clear, so he can't imagine his aim is good, but they aren't exactly at a loss for viable targets.

Anger has an unstable targetting system. Teo is more or less labeled as friend. Annoying Irish man is more easily classified as annoying Irishman who deserves his teeth kicked in. Teo is locked into Hagan's grasp, which makes Brian's brows knit. Hey! That's MY punching bag! Brian pulls back once again. Mind you he's not a world class martial artist. Far from it. But he is tough, and he is rather strong. And right now he is very angry. So when Hagan comes forward, Brian unleashes another haymaker at the now oncoming annoying man.

Hagan lets out a very funny-sounding half-grunt, half-whine as he's hurtled forward. He spots Brian coming at him, and in a flailing motion, drops his weight to the ground and tries to use the arm half-around Teo's neck to send -him- at Brian now, to hopefully absorb the punch or throw it off-guard. Either way he's on the floor, hands in stale beer and peanut bits. He's vulnerable as he tries to get to his feet.

And off to the side, in the background, Ben raises his hand. "Check, please!"

Ergo, more punching at Teo. The same punch at Teo! Abigail wasn't wrong: he tends to try not to make the same mistake twice, which generally works out well unless said mistake results in his ill-timed demise. Anyway, he sees what's going on here, somehow managing to extrapolate the physics of flailing bodies from the multiple images and blur going on, and the distracting realization that his nose is fountaining red. So he gets out of the way of the punch.

Unfortunately, with the trajectory Hagan is dragging him on and the fact that the Irishman is ducking floor-ward, the only way for the Sicilian to travel is up. Onto the bar, then, in a messy scramble of limbs that sends him sliding several feet parallel to the tap, to crawl to a halt only after having knocked over some other guy's whisky. The other guy leaps up and exclaims, understandably, and understandably also starts hitting Teo, who retaliates mostly by covering his head. "Ow, ow," and trying not to laugh, "stop hitting me."

Over commit. With his momentum, Brian stumbles forward a bit. And Hagan is on the ground. Very close. Brian laughs as Teo shields himself up on the bar. And now, Brian is already committed to this insanity and there's no point to quitting now. So two hands fling down at the scrambling Hagan. Planting his feet firmly, the young man goes to assist the Irish asshole in standing some by lifting. But once he is at an appropriate heighth, Brian uses all he has to toss the man at a nearby table. Brian turns back and goes to grab at his most recent beer. "We should probably go. Cops." The young man insists to his bleeding friend.

Hagan is hauled bodily to his feet. He struggles and kicks out rather violently at Brian's shins. Though he's not a dirty fighter. "Nnnyyegh…" And then as he's tossed through the air, he grabs out at Brian's collar in an attempt to either throw the other man off-balance. All he gets is a torn piece of shirt in his hand, and a -very- sore back. Sturdy pub tables. Also broken glass against the back of his jacket. He lies there, legs dangling, arms flailing. And starts to laugh. Every moment or two there's a spike of pain or a cough.

Ben glances from one side to the other. Is this calming down? His cheque isn't coming, so he sighs, squints, and tries to make out through slight beer-related lightheadedness whether anyone needs medical attention. Everyone's arms appear to still be attached, so that's good. Ben takes another gulp of beer to celebrate. Small victories. Small victories.

Cops! Teo hates cops. Not really, but that sounds relevant. Perhaps more relevant is the bartender beginning to look aggressive— or at least, 'beginning to look aggressive' had occurred somewhere between the first punch and Hagan on the floor, but now that Hagan is on the table and there's some fellow in a denim jacket slapping Teo, the aggression is approaching middle.

"You little pricks!" the man is yelling.

He disappears momentarily below the level of the bar, much to Teo's surprise, confusion, then instantaneous alarm coinciding with the cessation of all laughter. By the time the bartender rises again, with a baseball bat in hand, Teo has popped upright, returned to the floor, and is grabbing Brian's jacket sleeve with the hand that he isn't using to hold his nose. "You brog by dose! 'At was awsub, you hid lig a habber." All this and more, he can say while they scoot across the floor. Hagan warrants a wave.

"Fuck." The young man growls as Hagan kicks him in the shins. Then grasps at his collar when his shirt is ripped. Dipping the bottle, more alcohol pours down his throat as Brian is dragged away from the bar. The bartender is suddenly enemy, and so Brian unleashes once again in his retreating antics. The bottle is thrown at the bar. It is not intended to hit the bartender, it just shatters on the counter near the man, sending alcohol and glass all over the place. Hagan also gets a leaving treat. As Teo drags Brian by his bed/table, Brian swings out a quick jab at Hagan's gut. Not malicious or overly powerful just to nail home the fact that Brian is bringing the bear shit. Then as they go towards the door, two middle fingers are flung out at the rest of the bar. "Get some motherfuckers!" A very lame, yet loud leaving statement that he feels compelled to shout before his exit.

There's a break in Hagan's laughter when the yelling starts and the baseball bat comes out. "Oh fuck!" but there's mirth in his words. He rolls himself off the table and knocks over pint glasses and tumblers on the way. He's distracted enough that Brian's punch lands and he wheezes in pain for a second. Then he stands, slips in spilt beer and then bolts towards the door. He comes up behind Brian and -shoves- him out the door.

When Brian is shoved, Brian winds up shoving Teo, a veritable domino effect of — physically — challenged men spilling out onto the split-slathered strip of pavement beyond Stinky Pete's threshold. At least there is nobody facedown in the gutter to trip over. While the Mormon walks backward and shares his one-liner with the rest of the class, Teo is trying to laugh and bleed and stop himself bleeding at the same time. The final effect is somewhere between disgusting and more funny.

That was a good one! 'Get some motherfuckers.'

And now the baseball bat is the only part of the bartender visible above the top of the counter, lashing back and forth like the tail of an enraged cat. Or a frightened one, having shrunk away from the projectile bottle with an almost girlish shriek of astonishment. Teo sees this over his shoulder in one quick frame capture, manages to stop before running into the street and getting hit by an oncoming Saturn with a bobblehead doll on the dash, and turns course to move down the sidewalk with whelp in tow. "Oh il mio Dio maledetto. Cio e la terapia per lei, ehhhh?" he guffaws at some random pedestrian, who quickly gets away.

Ben watches them go; he rubs the back of his head, sighs again, and lays some cash down to pay for his drink. Shortly thereafter, he's out on the street again himself to check on them.

Throwing out his hands, the EX-Mormon engages in a sort of a bear crawl after Hagan's shove. Scrambling to his feet, Brian is very grabby with Teo in trying to keep himself from falling. Climbing up Teo, Brian takes a deep breath before looking over his shoulder at Hagan. "Touch me again motherfucker! It'll be the last fucking thing you do!" A bird is flipped to the Irish Asshole, as Brian somewhat leans on Teo.
"Stop speaking in Italian! No one understands you." Brian says with a touch of amusement in his voice.

"Oh, come off it. For fuck's sake. If that was anything other than blowing off a little steam, then you two are shite fighters." Hagan makes sure to back away from the door of the pub. He's betting that the bartender isn't going to chase them too far, else he leave the taps unguarded and the bar open for more fights inside. He reaches out to lean against the side of the wall. He holds his side. "Fuck." No blood. But he's sure bruised up.

Despite whatever underqualified opinions the Irishman has to offer on the subject, Teo can take a hit. Or four. Or however many that was, he wasn't really paying attention; anyway, he provides a post for Brian to stay upright against, slinging an arm around the younger man's neck in good, old-fashioned football comraderie, sanguine in both the sense that he is cheerful and that he can taste copper. Simultaneously, of course, he is scrunching and un-scrunching his face from around the grip he has on his own nose, testing to see if it's managed to convince itself it isn't a faucet yet. Nnnope.

Not yet. "I'b breserving by gulture," he argues without really arguing. Given he actually did switch back to English, it isn't readily obvious whether he's referring to the duel of moments ago or the Italian language. "You're from Ireland, eh?" he asks Hagan, even as he leans his head over the other way to spit somewhere that doesn't have people in it. He notices Ben when he rights his neck out the next moment, waving with enthusiasm.

Ben raises a hand to wave, walking closer. "Everything okay? Less punching. Good sign. What was that about, anyway?" His manner is pretty mild; he's detached. He doesn't know any of them well, he has no stake in it.

"Talk to me again you little shit, I will tear your fucking head off! Just run, muh'fucker. Run or you'll wish you had!" Brian shouts. Teo talks nice to Hagan, though Brian definitely is not feeling nice to the other man. He gives a glare to Teo as if saying 'get on the same boat'. He then looks to Ben. "We should get out of here. Teo hates cops."

"Erin go Bragh," murmurs Hagan in a way that's not quite the emphatic expression of pride. It's just in lieu of a plain 'yes.' He just looks at Brian. "You want to calm yer boy down there, uh? Doesn't he know the difference between a brawl and a fight?" This is said to Teo. He's not running and seems fairly unconcerned. He looks up at Ben. "Fine. Fine. Move along. Nothin' to see."

For Ben's benefit: "That…" Teo's arm thwops about behind Brian's head in order to point back at Stinky whatsit's still-bright window, further in the distance, now, and he answers at a conversational volume that is almost drowned out by the self-duplicator's far more strident response. "…was therapy. Sure he does," he adds, indignant response to Hagan, though arguably more in the interest of clannishness than any real sense of whether or not Brian honestly can recognize the distinction. He's let go of his face now, which is probably why he's more comprehensible.

Wipes gummy red away on the back of his hand. "You guys just haven't fought together yet. You know how it is. Different guys, different thresholds. I hate cops," he admits, belatedly. He wipes his palm on his own shirt before offering it to Hagan to shake. "Teo. We are going to fuck off shortly."

Ben shrugs, hands returning to his pockets. "Oh, great. You're bonding. That's wonderful. None of you are fucking off by car, are you?" He sounds tired.

"Let's get the fuck out of here. Teo.. I need to talk to you." Brian mutters as he shoots one final glare at Hagan, practically tugging on Teo's sleeve. "Come on, man, let's get!"

"This is bloody New York and a chunk of the city's a crater. Who owns a fecking car?" This to Ben. Hagan tries to straighten, but the good punch in his gut is making it difficult. He shakes Teo's hand. "Me too. Just as soon as I can fold myself up into a human shape. Your buddy's got a hell of a punch." He looks to Brian, then just smirks. "Calm down, boyo. I have nothing against you. You're the one all riled up. You should save that for the real enemies. It's not me." Then he slowly manages to straighten and then starts to limp away.

It's like being with a woman, Teo thinks. God. No wonder he tried to rape Alexander. Annoying. Ignoring the circularity of that thought, he at no one in particular and everyone at once, allows himself to be dragged in the opposite direction. "Al gave you his number," he tells Ben, quickly. "If you don't want to bus out with us, he might be working a cab shift right now. I'm getting, I'm getting, in fretta," he confirms lazily. Walk-jogs in tandem to Brian— only to pause, three yards down. Turn back and shout in the Irishman's direction, remembering: "Don't have a fuckin' name, or what?"

"I'm gonna fuckin' decimate your new girlfriend." Brian growls to Teo in reference to Hagan. Maybe it's the alcohol that makes him use the word 'decimate'. Maybe it's his alpha male complex. Whatever it is, the Phoenix operative looks none too happy about Hagan. He gives a dip of his chin to Ben, then looks back to Teo, waiting for him to leave.

"Don't you? Or would you prefer I make up some kind of unflattering and stereotypical nickname?" calls Hagan back to Teo. He looks at Brian, then just shakes his head. "I'm not going to play this game if you're all arsey about it. What? Can't get pissed at your buddy for hitting you, so you're going to take it out on me?" He can afford to be cocky when it's dark out and he could easily disappear into the shadows. He corners a look at Ben. "You really goin' back in there? The fucking bartender has a bat."

Teo… Teo just noticed the bruises, for real. "You have to tell me about your face," he imposes the man, belatedly, eyes opening and shutting bemusedly. He glances down at Brian, bending his mouth around a grisly grin, brief, before pointing out to Hagan: "I already told you mine, stronzo. I'm Teo." Gradually, he starts to walk backward down the sidewalk, in some vague hope that the movement will sate Brian's desire to retreat while the conversations are drawing to their conclusions.

Ben gives Teo a hesitant nod; fine. Maybe. And then, "I didn't do anything. I am a law-abiding and paying patron of his establishment. There's no reason for him to clock me." Ben tells Hagan, looking over his shoulder. He stops as recognition hits. "Hey. You're that guy from Lucy's." And then again. "Seriously, you guys need to move."

"Fuck you." Brian mumbles towards Hagan, still waiting for Teo. Dying can make one grumpy, especially after alcohol. And Teo telling him to imagine people he hates.. Well Peter Petrelli managed to light a fire under his ass. So Hagan is one big giant asshole in his mind. Patiently.. or not.. Brian's grey eyes rest on Teo.

"Fuck. Pardon me. I just got tossed onto a table. Hagan." He rubs his hand over his face and up through his hair. It sticks up almost at a ninety degree angle. Not particularly flattering. "Reason doesn't enter in to rage as this young man over here is demonstrating." He motions to Brian. "Right. Going. Get your buddy drunk there, Teo." In his accent, the Italian's name sounds rather…unique. He goes off at a trot towards a dark alleyway and soon disappears from sight - quite literally.

"I remember," Teo replies brightly. Hagan getting hurled onto a table, he means. "It was pretty fucking awesome." He is about to look toward Brian to verify that the man actually responsible agrees, but thinks the better of it. "Ciao. Both of you," a sloppy-crooked salute tossed off at Ben to specify the other. With that, he finally drops his arm off Brian's shoulders and swivels on one foot, moving into the safe harbor of darkness and anonymous crowds. Eventually, cold will drive his hands into his pockets and draw complaints from him. Until then, he's happy to listen to Brian's and look like an unholy mess in transit.

November 29th: Lesson To Vanguard

Previously in this storyline…

Next in this storyline…

November 29th: Live Together, Die Alone
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