ArchivedLogs:Alexander Hamilton

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Alexander Hamilton
Dramatis Personae

Matt, Lucien, Savannah


"If I lose a hundred times today it still cannot erase your long history of ignominious defeat at my hands."


<NYC> Tompkins Square Park - East Village

Small but popular, this tree-lined park is a perfect centerpiece to the eclectic neighborhood it resides in. Home to a number of playgrounds and courts from handball to basketball, it also houses a dog park and chess tables, providing excellent space for people watching -- especially during its frequent and often eccentric festivals, from Wigstock to its yearly Allen Ginsberg tribute Howl festival.

Springtime in the City. White clouds dot the pale blue sky, flowers are blooming on branches yet bare of leaves, and hoards of New Yorkers are out in the park taking their leisure with almost aggressive enthusiasm. The warmth, the sunlight, and the birdsong in the air seems to have soften the edges of people's tempers, and most passers-by smile more easily and greet each other where they might have hurried on by only a week or two before. Matt is sitting at his usual table and straightening the pieces on the chessboard in front of him. He wears a seafoam green t-shirt upon which a gigantic white sperm whale is curled beneath an eight-pointed star, faded blue jeans torn at the cuffs where they perpetually drag on the ground, and ancient brown hiking boots. His last opponent has just wandered off, and he's casting about for a new one, vivid green eyes scanning the busy walkways nearby. Or...maybe he's just people-watching.

Lucien is nearby, to be sure, leaning back against the back of a park bench by the path, but he only responds with a lift of brows when Matt's gaze passes over him. Lifts a gunmetal-grey thermos to his lips to take a slow sip, green eyes travelling up from Matt's recently-emptied board to roam the path as well. He is dressed more neatly -- light linen trousers, a pale grey vest over green button-down, all neatly tailored to his fit. "{You should start taking wagers.}" His Quebecois French is soft, idly musing. Idly /amused/ -- if perhaps a little dryly so: "{If I do not find work soon we could /use/ the extra income.}"

Aggressive enthusiasm is certainly an apt description, and Savannah is no exception. Dressed in standard workout attire (faded purple tank top, black compression shorts, and beat up running shoes that look like they've been through Goodwill. Twice.), Savannah strolls about. Face flushed. Eyes bright. Gym bag slung over one shoulder. She has a sewage green-brown concoction in hand - the type of drink that screams organic, and probably, awful tasting. Seeing a fellow leave one of the chessboards, she saunters over, only pausing momentarily at catching a handful of the foreign words in the air. She looks between the two men, eyebrow raised, "Am I too late to catch the next game?"

"{Mm, won't help us /much/ unless I venture into high-stakes chess. Or unless you start playing bookie and plying the spectators with your irresistible wiles.}" Matt quirks a small, rueful smile at Lucien, his accent identical though his tone less dry. His eyes snap to Savannah as she draws near, and his smile spreads wider. "Why, certainly not!" Brightly, in English now. "Please do have a seat. You do not mind playing white?" The question sounds almost rhetorical; he is sitting on the black side of the board already. "I don't believe we've met. I'm Matt." "{Lure /in/ your marks? Goodness, that sounds like /work/. And here I was trying to foist off the actual labor onto you.}" Lucien glances over to Savannah as she approaches, tipping his head in greeting. His own smile is small, though no less warm. "Thank goodness. I was worried I'd be conscripted into playing him if nobody else turned up soon."

Though thrown by the other language, any concerns are soon chased off by the introduction of English, which sparks a ready, practiced smile on her face in turn. "Nice to meet you, Matt. White is fine. I rather prefer it." She shifts slightly to make eye contact with the non-chess playing fellow, "And now /you/ can rest assured. /Savannah/ is here to save the day." She sets her gym bag down on the ground, and slips into the chair on the opposing side, adjusting some of the pieces on the board unnecessarily with an OCD-like precision. "Timed or open play?"

"My brother, Lucien," Matt explains, tilting his head at the other man. "Don't let his lack of enthusiasm fool you--I have it on good authority I am a very entertaining opponent." For all that, his smile is distinctly fond. "I usually play timed, out here anyway. It makes me feel /slightly/ less guilty about hogging a table for hours on end." Then, leaning forward with a conspiratorial glint in his eye, "Would you care to wager?"

"I am /quite/ enthusiastic," Lucien replies (mildly.) "I just wear it more quietly. I wouldn't want to be a distraction from the rousing game of chess, you see. Things can get quite intense out here." He tips his thermos out towards the table in indication. "Enchanté, Savannah. I do appreciate the save." His posture eases, one hand bracing against the back of the bench as he settles in to watch the game. "Though I'll appreciate it all the more if you beat him soundly. He never lets /me/ hear the end of it."

"Brothers, hm? That must explain it," she leaves off ambiguously, but her eyes light up at the mention of a wager. Her hand rummages into the gym bag and returns with an ugly, crinkly, ten dollar bill that has seen better days. She takes a beat to unroll the bill, pulls it taut with a crisp, cracking noise and waves it in the air proudly as if it were much higher currency. "I do believe Mr. Hamilton is willing to throw down. Though, if you're looking for a higher bet, I'm going to need a patron." She looks pointedly at Lucien.

Matt stretches out a hand for Lucien's thermos when it veers slightly nearer, but it remains beyond the reach of his grasping fingers. "If I lose a hundred times today it still cannot erase your long history of ignominious defeat at my hands. Though I suppose it would give you ammunition for firing /back./" He does not sound in the least upset by this prospect, though. Reaching into a pocket, he produces a threadbare nylon wallet from which he tugs a (slightly less beaten-up) ten-dollar bill. "How right you are!" He grins, tucking the note under the timer. "He's just like his country..."

"-- he's young, scrappy and hungry," Lucien picks up easily. "Mr. Hamilton is always far too willing to throw down. For all the good it does him in the end." Despite his thermos already being out of Matt's reach, he plucks it back closer to his chest with a rather exaggerated swiftness. "Alas, I have little to offer this match save commentary, and /that/ you can have for a song. A cup of tea, perhaps, for the winner." /Probably/ not the tea he's drinking from. One hopes.

Savannah also tucks her Hamilton under the timer. "Yes, well he's not throwing away his shot, but who can really blame him?" She proceeds with a classic opener to e4, adjusting the pawn carefully once she sets it down to ensure that it falls squarely (no shape puns intended) in the middle of the tile in question. "And tea would be lovely, thank you," she replies, presumptuous, but with a smile all the same.

"Do be fair. I quite happily taunt you whether or not you are out of tea. Besides, this is just more incentive to give the game your all, non?" See? Lucien is looking more enthusiastic already. Brighter lilt to his tone, a cheerier cant to his smile. "Sadly the /best/ tea shop around here was closed down on account of, ah, zombies, but there is one nearly as lovely not far off the park. Not as many good oolongs but a decent selection of green. -- Why do so few places carry a nice variety of /black/ teas." His fingers drum against the back of the bench, eyes flicking between the pieces. "Central Park has nicer views but the competition --" His hand seesaws in the air. "And in Washington Square they charge you just to play. In Inwood Hill," he adds, slightly dryer, "the police have been known to /arrest/ chess players. "I don't think my brother is as hardcore as all that, though. Likely very little risk of that down here."

Savannah slides another pawn to f3 with the same fastidiousness of her prior move. "I play once in awhile, though, seemingly not as much as you two. First time in this park, was trying a new gym before this." Her eyes scan the board. "Arresting chess players, hm? I hope to be /that/ entertaining." Thankfully not devoid of a drink, she takes a sip from her swampy organic concoction. "Where are you two from?"

"See?" Matt raises his eyebrows, tipping his head smartly in Lucien's direction. "Utterly wicked. But honestly, the best teahouse in the area now is probably /our/ house." He moves another of his pawns to d5, a threat and an offer to the one Savannah had moved from the very first. Tempt, tempt. "I play...a lot. Haven't been arrested yet, but I'm a fast-talking white boy with a winning smile, so..." He shrugs. "Montreal, originally. Greenwich at the moment. Yourself?"

"A gym around here? Which? Was it any good?" There is a mild sort of hopefulness in Lucien's tone. "I spectate far more than play. My brother is the addict. And I think you'll have to put on more of a show than that to attract the police officers in this park. They're rather inured to spectacle."

“Fast talking white boys with winning smiles can certainly get into trouble too.” It /is/ rather tempting, and Savannah’s hand hovers over her original pawn for a good ten seconds, but changes course last minute to move a knight to c3. “The gym was kind of cramped. A basement really, but it got the job done – Tony’s off 7th and First Ave, next to the ice cream shop.” Leaning back in her chair, she surveys the pieces while tapping her fingernails on the edge on the board within closest reach. “And I’m from /Georgia/,” she says with a pronounced, uncharacteristic southern drawl. “Temporarily in Chinatown now, looking for a new place soon, though. So if you know of anything cheap, please speak now or forever hold me in an awful housing situation.”

"Oh, I get into plenty of trouble," Matt assures her with a bright, boyish smile. "Just...not with garden-variety law enforcement. Lately. Ooh." The sound seems to come out of him unbidden, though it might be hard to tell whether it's a response to her move or to something she's said. "As it so happens, I /do/ know of somewhere cheap--by Manhattan standards, at any rate--and decided not-awful. And /that/ was not how I'd expect you to turn down that gambit!" He slides the pawn he just moved forward again to d4. Then, as if he'd never gone off topic, "Check out Harbor Commons in the Lower East Side. It's a co-housing project; some of my best friends live there." He chews on his bottom lip, looking anxious for a brief moment. "Good people," he concludes, smiling again. "I wish you the best of luck, either way. Bad housing situations are a special kind of hell," his eyes dart aside to Lucien, "but the right people can make living just about anywhere bearable."