In which Harvey's hobbies are awkwardly interrupted and Callahan feels weird for having to act like a mildly competent doctor.
Initial Setting: Harvey's and Callahan's shared room.
O`hannigan is finally getting settled into his work since he punched out from patrol duty, sun setting earlier so he has to rely on the small desk lamp. An old folder he never really got to, from well over a year ago; blueprints for various old traincar models. The radio babbles away beside him to ward off the quiet, the last baseball match wasn't of interest to him as much as having people in the background.
Working diligently to measure out each line, he works on slowly breaking the design into sections he can turn into a model. Hopefully after the... chat him and his roommate had last time, he can keep this enough out of the way not to be a bother. Heck, the little table he's using folds right up when not in use. The door's left ajar, like he prefers, he can hear anyone who walks by in the hall outside.
A kind of slow tap-tap echoes down the hall en route for the door ajar. The walk of someone who does know how to tread softly, but obviously doesn't care to. They want to be heard before the fact.
O`hannigan perks up a bit at the sound. He wasn't one to read into any kind of intent in someone's step, their presence was the interesting (or important) part. He listens, sharpening his draft pencil and leaving bits of shavings on his paperwork. Some people he knew just by sound. This one isss... "Hmm." not familiar. He waits, and as they step closer to his room it's pretty clear he's got a visitor.... "Someone there?"
The tap tap of boots on floor is replaced by a clear tap tap of bony knuckles on the wood of the doorframe.
"Jus' me, boy," Callahan says from the door.
O`hannigan leans over and quickly turns the knob on the radio down so it's not as intrusive in volume. "....hey - Callahan." the hitch in his voice most certainly a closely-avoided 'sir'. He didn't really know what to make of the guy yet, you could see it in his shoulders, a kind of alert wariness.
Callahan nods in reply. Knocking might seem like a weird gesture. But he's intruding. Or planning to, at least.
Callahan looks over O'hannigan's little mess of hobbies on the table. "I hope ye ain't busy."
O`hannigan leans back - then leans to the side a little so Callahan can see what he's doing. "Oh, ah. ...no. Not really. It's not going anywhere looking like it does now. - I can clean this up if it's a problem...?" he's curious what the guy would even want to talk about.
Callahan has an uncomfortable flashback to his internship days, walking down the hallways in the children's ward and watching the young patients calmly playing with their toys for a few hours of respite. "It's no' a problem. I have very little use fer space, an' very little need t'start tellin' ye wh' t'do wi' yer part o' th' room."
"Well - okay." He takes it as if it's all fair enough to him. "If..." he trails off, recalling how sparse his teammate's desk drawer is. The guy was not about to suddenly need the room. Regardless of what he's just been told, his hands work to make the items neat so he can push the table aside before he looks up. "Right. But what did you want to talk to me about?"
Callahan slowly shuffles into the room, a bit like a prowling cat that still doesn't quite understand it's technically welcome. He pulls out the other chair and sits down next to the footend of Harvey's bed.
"I'm here t'talk to ye as a doctor, boy."
O`hannigan wonders if Callahan's acting like that because he's reluctant to talk to him? Or just people in general maybe. He's had more than a few coworkers who just don't care for chat much.
"...ohh." That would explain it. His movement has taken a backseat, both hands grasping either edge of his tiny worktable. Zach had said Callahan might want to talk; that it wasn't going to be anything bad... "Alright." He knows when he needs to act seriously and pay attention. This was important. There's the wariness again.
"I want ye t'know that I read yer medical files. An' that I got addition'l files in me drawer there," he nods at said drawer. "Ye've got a troublesome medical history that's hard t'explain an' harder to premeditate possible complications for. Since I'll be forc'd t'deal wi' it up close fer obvious reasons, I'm goin' to have t'invest a bit o' interest in ye."
O`hannigan 's body language telegraphs a lot, hunched over his desk a bit defensively, searching Callahan's expression. He clearly has no idea where to go with this.
"Yyeahh, it's... a lot's happened. My memory's not so good for... earlier stuff, but. uh--what am I trying to sayh," he asks himself hastily, and stops talking. He collects his thoughts for a moment before looking back. "Okay; but, I'm... what do you need me to do?"
"Fer now, y'don' need to do anythin'. I jus' needed t'tell ye this fer th' sake o' keepin' the air clean. I don' wan' ye thinkin' I'm goin' to be nosin' aroun', watchin' yer ev'ry move. I ain't. I'm no' here ta try an' find out wha happen'd. I'm jus' goin' t'try an'..." he pauses. "Offer a second opinion. An' be available. When ye need it, an' Tailor ain't."
O`hannigan relaxes visibly, most of what gets him so unnerved is 'what happened'. Stuff about his health now wasn't... as bad.
"I don't really like bothering him either if I can avoid it so... as long as it's no trouble to you s--." Not sir.
Trouble. Ha fucking ha. "It's me job," he says succinctly.
O`hannigan shrugs. "The way I see it, you already have to share a room with me; nobody... I get stressed and people who try to help me get stressed, that's ...all." Wow it sounds really awful like that. He didn't really intend it that way.
Callahan sniffs in disdain. "Yeah, that sounds about right. Yer ain't an easy case. Most don' like things not bein' easy, an' ye better stay away from people who don' like 'em easy anyway. They's freaks." He folds and intertwines his fingers thoughtfully. "Way I see it lad, and let me be particularly honest--I'm jus' tryin' t'keep a job I been offer'd as a last resort. I don' want t' go back to bathin' in... park fountains an' homeless shelters. Yer me roommate, an' by that stretch, yer automatically my problem moreso than most o' these assholes on base. I can maybe ignore them as much as duty allows me, bu' I can't readily ignore you."
It's not pretty, or especially idealistic, but it's a certain honesty, and it's all he's got to give, and the lad might as well get it as it is.
O`hannigan looks at the floor, not from insult, but uncertainty in how to respond to that. That was pretty honest.
"...it's pretty hard to get fired around here."
If they keep people with memory loss, and missing legs, and coins in their heads, and maybe probably convicts. He's certainly not saying that aloud though.
Callahan thinks of Creedon's violent smirks, of Tailor's evident bumbling, and of Hall's overall kicked-puppy-attitude. It's not hard getting hired here. Figures it's not hard keeping the job either. The people applying are desperate, but so are the employers.
"...I get tha' feelin', yeah. Prob'ly I'll get off yer twiggy li'l back wi' time, then. Bu' fer now... 'm gonna at least try t'act like a.. half-decent doctor," he mumbles sardonically.
O`hannigan can't say he feels comfortable around Callahan, but... Callahan doesn't appear comfortable around Callahan. It makes the whole doctor-authority thing a lot less intimidating, and Harvey feels a little bad that that's what it takes.
"Well... thank you." He refrains very visibly from asking any questions about the doctor.
Callahan's reply is blank and dismissive. "There's nothin' t'say thanks fer." He gets up and flexes his shoulders. They crack loudly in strained response. "If ye do wan tae give thanks.... be a good patient an' bother Tailor or I more. Anythin' ye kin tell will help yerself in th' end."
O`hannigan is most certainly the sort who only goes to a doctor when something gets broken. "Uhm... I-I'll try, but..." he looks at his legs, tucked under the chair as if keeping them out of the way. His heelsprings are leaning against the other end of the bed beside him. "I'll try."
Callahan goes a little weird in the face. A little... soft. The same way you might say a rotten piece of wood goes soft.
"It's all I kin ask."
Doctors who don't force answers from him or scare him with constant questions about his personal history? He sits there a little precariously. He's still not really sure what to tell the man, but he feels a lot less awful about the idea of being stuck in a room with an unknown medic. He seems less bothered about having to ask him things too, or... oh man maybe he shouldn't, but.
"Can I ask you something?"
O`hannigan finally gets his hands off the table, only to pick at the red gloves that are part of his work uniform. "Were you uhm... actually homeless?" He really doesn't want to upset the guy after this talk, but he can't help but ask
"Aye. Fer a couple months. Gets ye t'appreciate warm runnin' water. An'... roofs," Callahan says in a bored tone of voice.
O`hannigan makes a little 'oh' trailing a big heap of regretting asking. He didn't think the guy was serious. "I uh. I don't really... That's... I mean, you're a doctor. ...I'm sorry that happened the way it did." Knowing they'd both seen bad times made him feel less like the odd one out, here.
Callahan sneers a little. "Doctor's ain't some special highbrow race. We go to university well longer'n most, but it don' tell ye how be any mo' successful at life." Just how to theoretically prolong it. For better or for worse.
O`hannigan leans back sliiightly, no offense ever intended. "Well I know that. It just seems like a lot of effort to invest and then... not have work out. Lotta folks here don't even bother with that much education."
Callahan really doesn't want to talk about the feeling of investment and payoff. Having... expectations and then having someone blow them off because they've got those bloody ridiculous ideas about... helping people and--bleh.
"Happens more often than not. Sometimes education don' make you any smarter. Jus' changes yer vocabulary e'er sae slightly."
...and sometimes you wanna work for NASA and that doesn't go so well either. O'hannigan scrunches his eyes shut. "I'm sorry, I won't bring that up again."
"No skin off me nose, lad. 's jus' th' way things are."
O`hannigan kicks a leg idly, or at least kind of swings it. "Still.... yeahhh, I guess so." He knows he lacks any sort of cleverness to approaching topics, so he's inwardly relieved Callahan didn't snap at him about it. "Hey uh, did you talk to Zach much? He'd said as much to me but he didn't go into detail..."
Callahan shrugs. "Got th' feelin' I talk'd to him more than he wou'd e'er have liked. Bu' really, I jus' ask'd him fer details and inconsistencies any doctor perusin' yer journal could've bothered to ask."
O`hannigan sighs. "Yeah he uh. Gets kinda weird worrying over me. He means well." He wonders if Zach realizes how much Harv has been worrying about him lately. Guy's been holed up in that office more often since early summer. For which Harv feels partially responsible. He figures Callahan doesn't care either way but it's how Harvey feels about it.
There's a bit of a pause.
"I get th' feelin' he's better at bein' yer friend than yer doctor."
O`hannigan considers that. "... mmnh. He does--he. … kind of, yeah."
Callahan shakes his head silently.
O`hannigan is a little torn between standing up for his friend and maybe questioning what the hell he was thinking agreeing to Harv's terms.
Callahan just feels kind of... there. Not tired, really. He's always tired, and the bone-deep fatigue, well, his body has just become used to feeling heavier than his thin limbs should rightfully ever feel, and the buzz of a continuously over-worked nervous system simply falls into the background noise together with what's left of his conscience and sense of social decorum.
The Irishman gazes at the window. Wishes he had a book in his possession he hasn't already read a few hundred times already.
O`hannigan looks at his little draft ideas for a train model, then back to Callahan. Deciding it would be best not to interrupt whatever thought is going on in the medic's head, he stays quiet. He gets the idea like he ought to feel bad for the man, but apart from a job that must've fallen apart, he's not sure what's prompting the thought now.
Callahan sighs a bit heavily. "That's all fer now, I s'pose." He shuffles back to the door, feeling like an unwelcome-and-barely-tolerated guest leaving. It's not an unfamiliar feeling.
O`hannigan nods, even the motion of agreeing sort of politely restrained. This is different, for sure. Partly he is confused at the presence of a medic he was more concerned with not bothering because they seemed to need the space; he certainly wasn't intimidating.
O`hannigan wonders if that's good or not.
Callahan picks up the scarf and gloves with bits of holes in them and slings it all on. He looks a little like a hatstand somebody all willy-nilly threw a ruffled coat on and is now walking around by pure magic of will.
O`hannigan wouldn't dare make fun, but that man is definitely not spending any of that medical concern on himself, he thinks. Wow. … He's... He waits for Callahan to leave before dutifully going through the motions of reattaching his heelsprings, still a little self-conscious about it even after this long. Maybe a little less after learning more of who his roommate is.