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Author Topic:  walk tall, act fine [quinn]  (Read 241 times)

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Sam Lynch [ Artist ]
42 Posts  •  26  •  straight  •  played by nan
walk tall, act fine [quinn]
« on: June 27, 2019, 09:40:00 AM »
They knew how to win a game, and they knew how to throw a party.

Sam had been newly graduated and stressed to fuck when they’d won the World Series, 1994, back before the band was big, when he’d still lived at home without a “real” job, and so he’d had little opportunity to enjoy their victory (though he’d had a bet going, at the time, and Liam still had the tattoo and, presumably, still had to tell his dates that he wasn’t actually Irish. Well, maybe not tonight.)

Now, of course, eight years later and a war and all sorts of crap later, he had the time and the means to party properly about it, which was what he was doing. He’d brought @Liam Thompson and @Charlie Baker, on grounds that this was a party and they ought to be here, and because this was the sort of party they’d never get in without his Irish Quidditch family connections, which was giving him a very good excuse to just drink with the boys and stay out of the fray. He wasn’t sulking— far from it— four and a half beers in, at the moment, he was crowing again about the match, to whoever would listen, or, failing that, to Charlie.

And the Seeker— she was youngish, probably close to Sam’s sister’s age, but what a catch that’d been— earlyish in the game, it’d only been 30-30, but unreal. @Quinn Regan herself was here, somewhere, he told Charlie (again.) Sometime he’d go and like, congratulate her, and shit. He wasn’t sure. He was tipsy. And he was happier, for the moment, babbling at Charlie— Liam was off talking to girls— and not making a fool out of himself.

“Unreal,” he said, for probably the fiftieth time, glancing back over at her, where she was schmoozing— or, more probably, being schmoozed to— and glancing back at Charlie, swigging his beer. “Like, I didn’t even see the Snitch, just— zoom zoom, and then game over.” He illustrated the zoom zoom with his index fingers, then glanced back at her, still surrounded by partygoers. “Reckon she’s busy. I should go and like, congratulate her, though, don’t you reckon? You know, she took my cousin’s job.”

Charlie craned his neck, following Sam’s gaze— “Reckon she’s thirsty?” he said, helpfully. “Oughta help her out, mate.”

Sam, drunk, did not get it for a long second; when he did (ohhhh) he nodded a concession and finished his beer— “Cheers.” and wove through the party to grab two more beers, to pull up at the edge of the circle around the seeker.

She was indeed being schmoozed to— Sam waited patiently for long enough for conversation to lull before he got to introducing himself; he was holding a bottle in each hand, so he just held one out— “Fancy a drink?” and added, a moment later, “Fantastic game. You know, my, ah, cousin had that job, back in— whatever— and I’m not even mad anymore, that was a bloody fantastic game. Top notch. Great catch.”

Was that overkill? It was honest, it had been a great catch.

[[ooc: permission from laura to mention charlie as above]]
« Last Edit: June 27, 2019, 09:41:13 AM by Nan »

the ability to remain sober and gracious is, indeed, a form of mild insanity

Quinn Regan [ Quidditch Player ]
2235 Posts  •  25  •  played by cstine
Re: walk tall, act fine [quinn]
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2019, 06:06:16 AM »
She had been practicing not looking smug; she didn’t think she was very good at it, but she also didn’t really care. If she deserved one part of one day to be proud of herself (honestly she wasn’t limiting herself now or ever) then it should be this moment, this party, after this win. It didn’t make up for the World Cup Fiasco -- not making it past the group stage -- or the League Fiasco -- coming in third -- or her Life Fiasco -- no, Quinn wasn’t going to go there, not today. It was enough that Scotland had come last in the tourney, anyway.

Thankfully, the post-match party was a happy one and her rehearsed line (“It wasn’t just a win for the squad, it was a win for all of Ireland~”) was a little more palatable than the line for the other party (“At least we’re still Irish, right?”) but after she said it first at the press conference and then a million times more to everyone who congratulated her-- she was done sharing the credit with Ireland. It was her win.

(Yes she had been properly applauded and credited and admired but it was never enough.)

“I did it for Ireland,” she heard herself saying, the corners of her mouth starting to ache from smiling so much; whoever she had been talking to had now moved on to telling her about his grandson and his remarkable skills and how he wasn’t technically Irish would she mind terribly putting in a good word for him and—

Fancy a drink? “Please.” Quinn agreed to it without a second thought, before getting any sort of proper look; her sister had said she would bring her a drink ‘when she got around to it’ but apparently that equated to ‘never’ in CarlaLand. She brought her gaze back around after her very brief search for her sister, her smile softening just a bit as she tipped her bottle to his with an unheard clink.

She interrupted him with a quick, “Thanks,” before taking a sip of her beer and letting him finish his compliments. This was more like it, really. “Wait, wait—“ she lowered her beer, as if that would help her follow along a bit better. “You’re not mad about which part?” Not her top notch great catch fantastic game. “I won the game for you, mind.” She did, not the team— she let herself have this one. “For Ireland, y’know,” she added after another sip of her drink. It was just straight praise, exactly what she wanted.

Sam Lynch [ Artist ]
42 Posts  •  26  •  straight  •  played by nan
Re: walk tall, act fine [quinn]
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2019, 06:01:10 AM »
“Welcome,” he said, first, when she thanked him. Automatic, like. He couldn’t say his brain was working with any reasonable capacity. Of course, he was five beers in.

She was shorter in person, that was the first thing Sam was noticing. Quinn— should he call her Regan? There was no way they’d met in years, he doubted they were on any names’ basis — clinked her bottle at his, grinned through his drunken ramblings before her brain evidently caught up— he hastened to reiterate. “My cousin had that job, ‘fore you did. Aiden Lynch. But—” she’d caught that he wasn’t mad, obviously, had seemed offended at the thought that there was anything to be mad about— “i’m not even mad, that was too good.”

It did not bear saying that Ireland could use the win (Kenmare was doing shittily and they’d been wiped out of the World Cup horrifically early) so he changed tack a bit, grinned and sipped at beer six. “Win for all of Ireland, I’m catching onto that,” he said, only a little bit ironically, “But I’m trying to believe it’s especially a win for me, I get to rub it in my mates’ faces for the next month. They’re English,” he added— he thought, vaguely, that she must have been at school for at least part of the time that he and the boys had, she wasn’t that much younger than him, but he’d be surprised if she’d paid attention to them.

(Entirely fair. Sam definitely hadn’t paid attention to her. He could not, even if he thought very hard, remember at all if he’d ever spoken to her, or even seen her ‘round at Hogwarts. Which, of course, he was not going to say to her.)

He was drunk, ish, which usually gave his already goofy smile a dopey edge— he tried valiantly to seem at least coherent. “Sam,” he said, and held out the non-beer-holding hand to shake, before realising it was his left and switching beer-holding hands. “Guess I coulda started with that.”

On second thought, that had been dumb— he already knew her name and they both knew it. Shit. At least he’d get an answer, though, about the any names’ basis. Just to say something (anything) else, he added, “I’m total crap at Quidditch, meself— impresses me that much more when I go see a game. This one wasn’t even that long, even.”
« Last Edit: July 03, 2019, 06:01:32 AM by Nan »

the ability to remain sober and gracious is, indeed, a form of mild insanity

Quinn Regan [ Quidditch Player ]
2235 Posts  •  25  •  played by cstine
Re: walk tall, act fine [quinn]
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2019, 12:29:57 AM »
“Aiden Lynch,” she repeated. “Oops.” She hid her grin with her drink; of course she had deserved her job — Lynch had needed to retire for ages — but she hadn’t made it a habit of conversing with him or his family about how she had more or less stolen his job. She was on the brink of asking ‘how is he?’ but she didn’t think that she would come off as genuine caring about the answer; it didn’t seem like he wanted to press the topic again, anyway. Her catch had been ‘too good’, that was what mattered.

All of Ireland save for Ballycastle, she agreed internally as she sipped her beer again. She doubted she could stop being bitter about being knocked out — and forced to lose — that match. Technically it had been ruled a forfeit, but no one paid any mind to technicalities.

She was getting distracted by her losses instead of distracted by her wins. Or her company. “Only a month? Doubt I’d let them off that easy.” Not that she was close to anyone English, really. Emma was the only one who came to mind— she would be admired plenty without Quinn having to do anything but show up. She captained an English team, sure, but that seemed like bad form.

She probably should have asked after his friends, but she didn’t want to change the subject — away from her — just yet.

The beer wasn’t her favorite and she tried not to drink too much during the season but in her defense, the season usually started in January (and she was still making up for the drinking deficit she had suffered when pregnant), never mind that snitch she had just caught. The few swallows were going to her head. Or maybe it was all the attention. No, it was the beer; she was used to winning and being lauded for it.

She smiled and had another swallow before mirroring him and switching hands to free up her right one. “Quinn,” she said automatically, but he knew that already. “You started with the most important bit, I figure.” She smiled again; he had started with ‘great catch’, which it was; she wasn’t tired of hearing about it, either. “S’alright, I’m rubbish at—“ she didn’t have an example ready to go, though, so she shrugged and drank her drink instead “—whatever. Wasn’t even my best catch.” She had a list somewhere (and who was she kidding? She had it memorized).

“You see a lot of matches, then?” Hopefully her better ones, anyway.

Sam Lynch [ Artist ]
42 Posts  •  26  •  straight  •  played by nan
Re: walk tall, act fine [quinn]
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2019, 08:54:54 AM »
Oops was not really the reaction he’d expected to her stealing his cousin’s job, but Sam would take it. He didn’t know whether he’d preferred actual remorse, anyway, he suspected he’d only feel bad about it.

“Oh, you know,” he said, “It’s Christmas, I’m in the mood to go easy, you know?.” Not that he thought they would have minded— @Charlie Baker didn’t like Quidditch much and @Liam Thompson seemed to enjoy it primarily when Sam’s team lost. “I’m a Wigtown fan, anyway, mostly ‘cause, you know, the mascot’s a knife.” In addition, Sam’s entire extended family covered the full map in Quidditch loyalty, but he was fairly sure that the only Wigtown fans were himself and Grandpa John, which only added to the appeal.

He’d started with the most important part, apparently— “What, my cousin?” he said jokingly, before he decided that it was time to stop steering conversation to his more attractive family members. “Your catch,” he said. “Good one.”

Fortunately Quinn seemed just as reluctant to change the subject from the catch as he was— though he suspected for a different reason, he was just truly too swamped with party-noise and alcohol to really think of anything else. She seemed to have the same problem— as she shrugged, he suggested, “Juggling.”

(Of course she could be secretly great at juggling, he supposed.)

“Grew up seeing ‘em,” he said. “My cousin—” cringe— “obviously, but my dad was a referee, too. Don’t get out so much lately, I was travelling last year.” She hadn’t said anything that suggested she recognised him, and for once he was going to pretend that he wasn’t famous, so he didn’t say what he’d been travelling for. “Two thousand, I went all the time, though, I think I had season tickets for the Wanderers. And, ‘course, I went for Ireland.”

He had another sip of beer and glanced wryly around at the party before he continued— “It’s been a while since I’ve been to one of these things, though. My brothers never want to come, I had to drag my mates out. The English ones.” This was probably too much about him— he added, “Guess you’re here with your team, right?”
« Last Edit: July 14, 2019, 08:55:03 AM by Nan »

the ability to remain sober and gracious is, indeed, a form of mild insanity

Quinn Regan [ Quidditch Player ]
2235 Posts  •  25  •  played by cstine
Re: walk tall, act fine [quinn]
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2019, 06:52:01 PM »
“So we should move Four Nations to a less festive time of year? Wouldn’t mind not having obligations to be all cheery.” She smiled, though that didn’t last long; he mentioned his quidditch team and she raised a brow. “The mascot’s a knife,” she repeated, amused. Personally, she preferred to throw her support to squads she thought earned it — she couldn’t deny that it if she wasn’t Captain of the Falcons she wouldn’t support them — rather than the likability (?) of a mascot. Wigtown had interesting (and unnerving) pregame shows, anyway.

Never mind that Sam was readily admitting he didn’t support her non-National Team endeavors; she’d allow herself to be properly offended later, she decided.

Quinn laughed; her beer was half gone. “I’m great at juggling,” she lied, thankful she had one hand full — good enough excuse — in case he called her bluff. Her joke? It was a blurry line between the two. She thought she was funny, at least. His enjoyment was (a close) second only to hers.

“My dad works at the Ministry.” Quinn made a face, like everyone -- sorry Alex -- worked at the Ministry, it was the least interesting thing about her. Never mind that she couldn’t exactly picture her dad as a quidditch referee -- not a professional one, anway, nothing more than corralling (most of) his children when they needed it. But traveling? That was much more her speed than talking about (boring) professions that weren’t even hers to begin with. She realized a little late that Sam worked at the Ministry, what with the traveling and all, but she had already kind of apologized for taking his cousin’s job (and successfully didn’t insult him in the same breath) so that would have to be good enough.

“Be nice to travel more. I bought a boat, think I used it twice.” It was still moored in Falmouth, she thought. She hoped. Maybe she ought to check on it. “Busy, y’know.” She traveled plenty for quidditch, but she was always doing quidditch things; there was also the small detail of her small child to consider.

She made a face at his year two thousand quidditch watching. The Falcons hadn’t had a great season until two thousand one and she hadn’t been a starter for Ireland yet. “Must not have been that good, if you can’t remember.” She smirked, had some more of her beer. Hopefully he didn’t memorize historical league standings like she did.

Quinn glanced around as he did, pretending to be interested in locating his mates. “My brothers are here--” somewhere-- “but they didn’t exactly get a choice.” She smirked again; Niall was at the point of not admitting he had missed his mam while at school, but he was sticking awfully close by to her, so wherever she went, he went; Alex technically had the choice, but he was too supportive to express his opinions, she guessed. “Team, yeah. We’re sharing credit for the win. Or whatever’s left after crediting Ireland.” She rolled her eyes that any credit should be given to anyone but her, hoping too late that her publicist hadn’t been paying close attention to her.

“You want another?” She motioned toward his beer, figuring she would need another by the time she found them refills anyway.

Sam Lynch [ Artist ]
42 Posts  •  26  •  straight  •  played by nan
Re: walk tall, act fine [quinn]
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2019, 09:12:11 PM »
“Yeah, a knife,” he said. He could sense a little judgment— or thought he could— and added, “Think I was eight, like, and I thought it was creepy.”

“Oh wow, me too,” said Sam, grinning, “Fancy that.” (He’d brought it up mostly so that he could tell her he could juggle; in about fifteen years of telling people he could juggle at parties he’d never met someone else who could. Of course, he also wasn’t entirely sure she meant that Quinn could actually juggle. And he was drunk, so he probably couldn’t juggle now.)

Her dad worked at the Ministry, was her response to his: he grinned. “Everyone’s dad works at the Ministry,” he said. “You’d be at Hogwarts, second day of school, and you’d ask your friends what their parents do, and you’d hear like the whole table go, ‘Well, my dad works at the Ministry.’” He was exaggerating (obviously.) Of his immediate friends, he didn’t think anybody’s dad was at the Ministry.

Quinn had a boat— Sam had always loved the theoretical idea of being on a boat, if not the reality. There was something so much more nauseating about being on the water than about being midair. The rolling motion or something. But he didn’t want to say he got a bit seasick, when he was trying to chat up this girl with a boat, so he just said “Neat, boats are neat. Big one?”

Hopefully his lack of boat knowledge wouldn’t put her off. At least he’d meant it— boats were neat. Big fan of boats, Sam Lynch. In theory.

“Might’ve been okay,” he said, of 2000 Quidditch. “Wasn’t my priority, I don’t think. I liked to party.” (He still did, as evidenced by right now, but he supposed she could probably piece together that his party life had gotten less party. He’d grown up a tad, maybe. Or just gotten boring.)

He’d asked about who she was with primarily for selfish reasons, and being here with her brothers and her team was giving him a slight inkling that she not here with a date. He shrugged anyway— “My mam bugs us into going whenever any of us have a big event. Supportin’ each other and all. Means I’ve been to some of the most boring galas you’d ever imagine. Lawyers.” Caitlin was probably Quinn’s age, he remembered. Better not bring it up, though, in case they hadn’t gotten on.

“Do I want another,” he repeated. No, reasonably he shouldn’t, since this was his sixth, but he grinned. “Yeah, course,” he said. He craned his neck— he had a good nine inches on her— to see if there were still six-packs on the table he’d gotten the first ones from. “Over there.”

As he followed her over, he added, “So you brought all your brothers? How many are there?” She didn’t strike him as an eldest child— not that talking to her for like five minutes was enough to tell— and his siblings were, other than the music career he wasn’t talking about, his most interesting attributes.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2019, 09:12:24 PM by Nan »

the ability to remain sober and gracious is, indeed, a form of mild insanity

Quinn Regan [ Quidditch Player ]
2235 Posts  •  25  •  played by cstine
Re: walk tall, act fine [quinn]
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2019, 04:46:47 AM »
Quinn had opted for a small boat -- as small as possible while still being a foot longer than her neighbor’s boat -- and had selected a catamaran for no particular reason, other than she heard they were called ‘cats’ sometimes. “It’s small. Still neat,” she said with a smile. It was a pretty nice one, apparently, but her two sailing lessons hadn’t taught her enough for her to pretend like she knew anything about them; it was best that she didn’t try now, not now that she wanted her conversation with Sam to not end badly for her.

“It wasn’t my year,” she said, not sure if he was playing dumb to make her feel better or if he genuinely wasn’t aware of her quidditch history. The former, hopefully; she could afford to appear a little humble, she supposed. “But--” she paused to clink her bottle against his again, taking half a step toward him as she did-- “Me too.” Party, that was. Or, she did. Not too many opportunities for that now, considering her daughter. Today was a special occasion, though, for Ireland.

She laughed; Sam’s family was basically her family -- though not actually, she hoped (that always seemed a risk with Irish wizards) -- everyone supporting everyone else. “Built in fanbase,” she added, taking another swallow of her beer. “Most of mine are still in school.” She counted them out on her fingers as she ran through the names in her head. Three still in school, she thought. “Almost most.” She glanced around quickly for her mam -- she had Lula last -- mostly to make sure she wouldn’t get any looks for having a nice chat with a man, heaven forbid; Quinn didn’t see any disapproving faces looking her way, at least.

He agreed to a refill and before she took a step away she finished hers off, dropping it off on the nearest elevated flat surface. She spun to look the direction he pointed, seeing nothing but other people mingling (with drinks in hand); it took her all of half a second to decide to trust his directions.

“Two,” she answered over her shoulder, adding a clarification after another couple seconds. “Two brothers. Four sisters.” Izzy had said goodbye about an hour ago, leaving to take their two youngest sisters for some last minute Christmas shopping, which she only remembered because Quinn had to come up with her own ideas for gifts for herself.

She grabbed two beers and handed one over before reconsidering and picking up the rest of the six pack -- all two left -- and heading through the crowd again, to a less populated side of the room. She set the extra beers on another table and after a quick slainte had a drink of her own. “You?” She smirked, backtracked, and clarified: “How many siblings, I mean.” She figured he had to be a couple years older than her -- she was pretty sure she had exhausted every male option in her desperation for a date for the Yule Ball in sixth year -- and hopefully he hadn’t had to associate too closely with her sister; at least he seemed to have some boring family members, too.

Sam Lynch [ Artist ]
42 Posts  •  26  •  straight  •  played by nan
Re: walk tall, act fine [quinn]
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2019, 06:06:00 AM »
Sam wondered, idly, whether it was more seasick on a big boat or a small one. He’d only been on small ones so far, so he supposed it didn’t really matter— he already knew those did him in. It was still neat, though; how often did Quinn go out? Surely not too often— she had a career and shit. He supposed, even if being famous was a full-time job in and of itself, she probably had less time than he did, right now. Until they were writing music, he was twiddling his thumbs. At least she had time to party— they clinked glasses and he grinned as he sipped and wondered, idly, could you party on a boat?

He was doing a lot of idle wondering and not enough looking at Quinn, so he grinned back down at her (Christ, was she this tiny in school? Not that he’d remember) and said, “Oh, so they have to come to your events, then.” At least, if her mother was anything like his, they would— now his siblings were all adults they could make feasible excuses, but Danny’d gone to every concert this side of the English Channel in 1996, poor fucker.

It took him some time to make sense of the numbers she gave as he started toward the nearest untaken alcohol he could locate— two brothers and four sisters, so seven kids, which sort of put his family to shame. (His immediate family; his dad was one of nine.) “You the oldest, or what?” he said; she picked up the beers and took the lead. He had two drinks now, and couldn’t remember which one he’d been drinking from this entire time. He was drunk, so he tried first to drink from the still sealed bottle, then swigged the last of his first (sixth) beer and dunked it into a bin someone’d set up conveniently nearby.

Not particularly wise, using magic in this state, but he used his wand to pop off their caps anyway, raised his bottle to her toast and took a long drink. She wanted to know more about his family; Sam said “Two brothers and a sister! All younger. They’re all out of school, though, now. at least.” Christ, was he incoherent; he had another drink, in case it helped his case, before grimacing— what was he thinking? Of course it wouldn’t! — and having another, to recover.

“You got the most interesting job, I take it,” he said, and then regretted it; she’d want to know who had the best one in his family now, and he knew that, theoretically, it was him. (Rockstar.) He added, to change the subject, “Guess you’re still training all the time, though? Even if you won this one, Quidditch season isn’t over yet?” For as long as he’d been alive he’d never paid much attention to how often Quidditch players trained— his parents were retired, and he wasn’t especially close with the few cousins who’d made it.

Not that he was overly optimistic about how this was going (though, of course, being drunk, he was) but he couldn’t say he was thrilled at the idea that she might still have to train constantly. His timetable may have been extraordinarily flexible at the moment, but he had no intention to say so. She probably thought he had a real job and, for the moment, he couldn’t admit otherwise.

the ability to remain sober and gracious is, indeed, a form of mild insanity

Quinn Regan [ Quidditch Player ]
2235 Posts  •  25  •  played by cstine
Re: walk tall, act fine [quinn]
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2019, 03:29:27 AM »
She liked when he looked at her; even with a friends’ discount, Quinn had paid a lot of money for her dress, and the attention was helping her justify the decision. They were talking about her family, more or less, but it was mostly still about her, in a way, or about her enough that she had no problem carrying on. “I think they’ve made out a schedule so someone is always there,” she said with a laugh, only half believing herself. Realistically, she was just that loved that they showed up whether or not it was their turn. She might have threatened a sibling or two to show, a time or two.

“Second oldest.” Might as well be the first, though, considering how all her siblings looked up to her; she had discussed this before with Carla (or yelled it at her during more than one argument) but she wasn’t ready to admit that Quinn carried more familial weight than she did.

Sam was the oldest, though, which put him anywhere between twenty-two and thirty, she figured, and did nothing to help her narrow things down a bit without having to ask him flat out. Maybe he had been in Carla’s year; she didn’t know if she needed information about him so badly to make her want to ask her sister, though. He drank, so Quinn did, too. “My youngest is in his second year. Or third, maybe.” It was hard to keep track. She didn’t want to think about it too much, anyway; soon he’d be out of school, she’d be thirty, Lula would start at Hogwarts -- she took another drink.

Quinn shrugged, taking another stab at humility. She did have the most interesting job, though she wasn’t about to try and prove it, give him the chance to ask about her brother’s very interesting auror job. Considering how young the auror force was these days though (so she had heard; she didn’t particularly care to know this for certain), he might have an auror brother, too. She didn’t think he was an auror, at least; if he was, Alex would have some explaining to do why he hadn’t introduced her to his lovely, awed-by-Quinn coworker.

“Training a bit, yeah.” She paused for another swallow. “This lot,” she motioned toward the room, the Irish National team, “And the Falcons, too. Now that I have more say in our training schedule…” She shrugged, smiled. She worked her team hard, she thought, but they had a lot to show for it: top spot in the league, as it were. “It’s not all the time, mind.” She had been trained to mention this, now; the question about ‘how much time are you spending with your daughter’ was cropping up in the majority of interviews, on- and off-the-record. If it could be miscontrued as a mention that she still had some personal time, then so be it.

She knew this was the point in the conversation she should ask more about him, but she was so enjoying talking about herself. He had started the conversation off with compliments, after all. “Hope I’ll see you at more matches, now that I know to look for you.” She smiled again before taking another drink, giving him plenty of opportunity to continue where he had left off with all the nice things he had to say about her.

Sam Lynch [ Artist ]
42 Posts  •  26  •  straight  •  played by nan
Re: walk tall, act fine [quinn]
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2019, 04:54:15 AM »
Sam laughed— he wouldn’t have put it past his mother to have drawn up a schedule either. She was the second oldest, which somehow didn’t surprise him much. “My youngest brother is, uh, nineteen,” he said. Either nineteen or twenty. Probably the specifics weren’t too important. He doubted she’d care about Danny— she seemed uninterested in talking about her own siblings, which was fine by him, since he didn’t care especially hard either.

“Oh, the Falcons,” he said. (What could he say? He wasn’t a fan fan of her, why would he have known that? Did she expect him to have known that?) “You’re having a good season, ain’t you?” He didn’t follow the Falcons; he just liked to know who in the league the Wanderers had a chance of beating, and they were only lagging behind the Falcons by fifty points just now. (Fifty points was nothing, he thought optimistically.)

Actually, he was trying to hit on their Seeker, so he supposed he could live if the Falcons did better in the League.

“Nice to know,” he said cheerfully. “Gotta have time to live, too, yeah?” He said it as though he were an expert on having a life outside of being famous and working hard; he added, “Sailing and shit.” Sam— at least compared to the other boys— was a little too good at having a life outside of being famous and working hard.

“Yeah, I’ll have to start going back,” he said— was she flirting? That felt flirty, the promise to look for him— “Now I know which ones to go to, least. I reckon Wigtown can do without me for a game or two.” He grinned— “Course, you’ll probably play ‘em, soon, I could go to that with my conscience clean.”

While he was at it— why not?— he decided to shoot for center. “We can go for a pint after. Celebratory, obviously. For one of us.”

the ability to remain sober and gracious is, indeed, a form of mild insanity

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