1964-12-25 - A partridge in a pear tree
Summary: Hope and Matt share Christmas together.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
hope matt-murdock 

What the hell kind of guy drinks alone on Christmas?

Only the lonely, one would suppose. Matt Murdock is seated alone, at the bar, and close enough to the door of the establishment to need his overcoat. Out in front of him is a shot of Irish Whiskey and a beer. Ned is down at the end of the bar, which is empty.

"You doin' alright Matty? Get you another shot?"


Well, there are also the people who don't really do a lot of celebrating. Hope, for example, has never had a Christmas. The whole thing is both slightly bizarre and a little bit uncomfortable for someone who's been told she's another sort of Messiah. But it makes the city a more interesting place for her, somehow both more quiet and filled with an oddly festive energy.

She left the mansion to wander the city, and stepping into the bar was more of a whim than anything else.

"Heya miss," Ned the bartender says with a wave as Hope enters. "Be with ya in just a second." The man behind the rail wears an old ratty t-shirt and he desperately needs a haircut and a shave. He seems nice enough however.

The man seated in front of Hope turns to "look" at Hope and, quietly, turns back to his drinks.

"Sure thing," Hope smiles politely back at the bartender, hopping up onto a stool and setting her elbows on the bar. She barely looks old enough to be in a bar, but she also doesn't look all that worried about being caught in here either. "Hey," she greets Matt with another of those small smiles. No merry Christmas from her.

"Hey," Matt says as he leans toward her and nods. His voice is rather gravelly and he looks like he could use a shave. "Not sure I've seen you in here before," he says, perhaps making a joke, or perhaps not. It's not really clear and he seems to be holding things close to his chest. He takes the shot of whiskey before he adds, "Merry Christmas."

"Sure, Merry Christmas," Hope replies, not particularly sounding like she feels any particular connection to the meaning. She means well, though. "I mean. The city's interesting on Christmas, right? Different energy. But for as busy as everything has been the last couple weeks, it's like suddenly it's super quiet on the streets."

"I kind of like quiet, to be honest. Coming to this place on Christmas has been a bit of a tradition for me and Ned over the past few years."

"What can I get you miss?" Ned asks as he approaches. "Other than a new conversation partner than Matty here. He's probably a bit of a downer on Christmas." The bartender takes the rag from behind his neck and gives his friend a little thwap with it.

"It's okay, I don't really celebrate," Hope shrugs, good-natured. "But a coke would be good please, thanks. I think it's neat, though," she continues, looking around. "I mean, they way people are different even when there's something that's the same for a lot of people."

"Coke?" Ned says with a surprised raise of the eyebrows. "All out of apple pie and hot dogs, I'm afraid, but I could try and scrounge up some candy canes." He moves off in order to see if he can find a coke for the girl leaving her alone with the dour Matt Murdock. "I'm afraid I don't know what you mean," he replies to her comments about Christmas.

"Well, I mean…" Hope trails off, shrugging again and watching Ned grumble off with a glimmer of amusement. "The city's a big place. And there are a lot of people who celebrate Christmas, but not all of them do. And even the ones who do celebrate it in different ways. The city's got a rhythm, like a way it breathes, but today the beats are all different. More of some people on the streets, fewer of others."

"Makes it feel different. Makes it feel almost like a movie," Matt says quietly as he cashes his beer and sets it up on the bar, "Two more, Ned." He nods to Hope, "I'll buy her coke, too," he adds as he reaches for his wallet.

"Oh, thanks." Hope sets her chin on one hand, feet swinging beneath the bar. "I thought I'd take a walk, just sort of enjoy the city, you know? But it's pretty chilly out, and I'm not in any hurry to get home, so…I figured I'd stop in and get something to drink. So this is what you do every year?"

"Every year," Ned says as he returns with a coke and sets it in front of the girl. "For the past 6 years. It started when Matty was in law school." He begins to pour whiskey for Matt and then reaches for another beer. "Three years ago the owner told me to take the day off, but I couldn't handle the idea of the poor kid sitting outside the door like a lost puppy."

"Every year," adds Matt quietly.

"See?" Hope smiles swiftly. "You've got a tradition too." Apparently it doesn't matter to her that it's a sad tradition. It's a tradition all the same. "Why'd you come the first year?"

"Study break," Matt says as he takes the shot with little to no response. "I was preparing for the bar that February and needed to relax a bit. To be honest, I was studying so much I hadn't even realized it was Christmas until Ned told me."

"Since then, it just fit every year," Ned replies.

"What's the bar?" Hope looks around them, then back to Ned and Matt. "Like, this bar? Do you have to study for this sort of thing?" That would explain some of the weird looks she's gotten before.

Matt shakes his head, "The Bar exam is something lawyers need to take before they can practice law."

"Though Matty would have a degree in this sort of thing too, of course."

"You're one to talk," Matt shoots back.

"How come they call it the bar?" Hope takes her coke, taking a sip as she looks between the pair. There's always something and and interesting to learn about this time.

Matt shakes his head, "I'm not really sure. I believe it has to do with the bannister that separates the court. Though that could just be what people assume rather than have any concrete proof about it." Matt turns to face Hope more fully, seeming to take her in, despite very clearly being blind. "How old are you, young lady?" It seems like he assumes she's much younger than her identification might mention.

"That is an excellent question." It is, really. How do you calculate how old someone is when they won't actually be born for another forty years and spent several years hibernating in space? Hope takes another drink, squinting back at Matt. "How old do you think I am?"

Matt inhales deeply as he considers. "Your voice sounds, to me anyways, that you're 20—maybe as old as 25. Your questions and your order of drink, though, makes me think you're a lot younger." He shrugs his shoulders, "Honestly, I don't know."

"Nineteen," Hope answers, though her feet still swing beneath the bar like someone much younger. "I'm just not all that much of a drinker, honestly. Don't like fogging things up. As for questions?" Her smile quirks. "You know, I feel like a lot of people think them but don't have the guts to say them."

"You're probably right," Matt says about the questions. "I can think of a number of times when I should have asked something but didn't. For various reasons." He pauses and takes a sip from his new beer, "Not fogging things up is probably smart.

"Me, I think you can't learn new things if you aren't willing to admit you don't know them yet," Hope says lightly. "So I ask. If someone thinks I'm stupid for not knowing, then it's their loss. It doesn't hurt me any, and I learn something out of it almost every time."

"Seems like you're far wiser than most 19 year olds I know," Matt replies. "What other sorts of things do you ask?"

"My dad taught me a lot of important lessons." That, at least, has a tinge of sadness to it as Hope glances away for a moment, taking another sip. "I like to ask why people think certain things. I think you usually get an interesting answer from it. And it makes them stop to think about what they're doing and why, too."

"Mine too," Matt says simply. "What sorts of things do you mean? Give me an example." Ned seems to have left the two to talk, though it's unclear why. Maybe he's bored by the conversation. Maybe he just wants to get the hell out of here tonight.

"Like…" Hope tilts her head, looking toward the door. "Like, what do you think about women being lawyers?" she decides after a moment, turning back.

"Well, that really depends. Most of the time I'm all for it," Matt says, letting the potential misogyny sit for just a second. "But there's a gal up at the city who kicked my ass a while back. I'd be fine if she got disbarred, but that has more to do with her being a great lawyer, than anything to do with her gender."

Hope's smile quirks at the answer. "Okay, then. So why are you okay with women being lawyers?" One line of questioning works as well as another to prove her point in this case.

"Well, the law requires that lawyers be good and try their best. It doesn't say anything about gender. And, if a woman or a man is a good lawyer, then they're doing their job. They're getting their client the best representation, or doing the best job on behalf of the state."

"But what if a woman's best isn't the same as a man's best? What if one lawyer's best isn't the same as another's?" Hope doesn't seem to mind play devil's advocate if she has to. "I mean, you wouldn't say that a super smart lawyer who got the best education has the same 'best' as a lawyer who's not very bright and barely passed night school, would you? Even if they're trying their hardest?"

"Well, that's fair, but it's not like that spectrum is the same and separate based on gender. It all depends on the individual, and when it comes to the marketplace in law…well, I'd like to believe it's a meritocracy. Are juries willing to agree with me? Well, they were ready to agree with Walters a few years back."

"Yours was. What about judges, though? Judges are usually old, right? And men. How many of them do you think share your views on woman lawyers?" Hope takes another drink, watching him curiously.

"I don't know, honestly. But judges die and society progresses. I imagine that in a handful of years it won't be as big of a deal as it is now." Matt chuckles at her, "I guess despite it all, I'm a bit of an optimist. What's your name, kid?"

"And here you were playing the part of the depressed man at the bar on Christmas." Hope grins, winking over at Ned as she drinks. "I'm Hope," she introduces herself, offering over a hand. "Nice to meet you, Mr. Optimist."

"I guess we have that in common," Matt says as he reaches over to shake her hand. Odd, given that he's blind, perhaps. "And who says I'm depressed."

"Matt, you're depressed," Ned says, leaping in.

"I'm not depressed," Matt defends. "At least I don't think so."

"You looked pretty not-optimistic there when I came in," Hope chimes in with Ned, smile crooked. "It's okay. I mean, no one's happy about everything all the time. Long as you get back to center when you need to, it's all good."

"In fairness, I'm blind. I can't exactly see what might be an optimistic piece of body language and what wouldn't be," Matt says, still defending himself. He chuckles, apparently about to lose this argument behind the combined efforts of Ned and Hope.

"Really? You're blind?" Hope tilts her head, looking to Ned for confirmation. "Huh. You don't move like a blind guy." An odd observation coming from a teenage girl, but she sounds like she means it and she knows what she's talking about. "No wonder you're an optimist."

"I'm just well rehearsed," Matt replies as he reaches into his wallet to put some money upon the bar. "He's too polite to tell you but this is pretty much Ned's quitting time on holidays. You need a walk home or a walk somewhere else?"

"Oh! Sorry," Hope smiles swiftly to Ned, hopping off her stool. "No, I'm okay. I'll probably do a little more exploring before I head back home. Do you need someone to walk you home?"

"I don't need, no, but if you've got nothing better to do and want the company, then by all means…" Matt stands and puts his wallet into his pocket while also getting his cane out from the inside of his jacket. It's when he stands that he realizes he's gotten quite the buzz from the hours he's been here. "Ned. Merry Christmas."

"Merry Christmas, Matty."

"Merry Christmas," Hope calls back to Ned, stepping over to Matt's side to set a hand lightly on his elbow. Not a mutant, which is a bit of a relief. That could get awkward. "All right, you tell me which way to go and we'll get you home safe."

"Left out the door. Bout five blocks from there," Matt says with a chuckle as he lets the girl lead him. "What's a 19 year old girl doing in Hell's Kitchen on Christmas? There are definitely more glamorous places to visit."

"Maybe more glamorous places, but they're not really my sort of spots," Hope admits, starting down the street. "Also, people there tend to give me weird looks for being out of place. These parts of town, as long as I don't look like an easy target, most people leave me alone."

"Out of place how?" Matt wonders as he follows her down the street slowly. He attempts to walk straight. Alcohol has a more intense effect than on normal people. That's one of the bad part about having heightened senses.

"You know how I said you don't move like a blind guy? Well." Hope shrugs, her hand tightening a bit on his elbow to keep him moving more or less straight. "People can tell that sort of thing. I don't dress like most girls, and I don't move like them. I don't follow along with the social conventions the same way. So the nicer parts of town can be…awkward."

"You're going to have to be a bit more specific for me. I'm having some difficulty picturing it," Matt adds with a chuckle. "Are you from New York originally?"

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