Asking the Right Questions


elisabeth_icon.gif graeme2_icon.gif

Scene Title Asking the Right Questions
Synopsis Graeme approaches Elisabeth, vents, and it's a bit more than venting. He learns that he's at least asking the right questions.
Date March 21, 2011

Hallway, hospital

As she steps out of Remi's room, Elisabeth is looking thoughtful. There's a faint frown between her brows. She nods to the guard and starts down the hallway looking purposeful, but is sidetracked by the sound of her name. Glancing around she spots Graeme and offers a weary smile. "Hey there, you."

"Liz, hey," Graeme says, stepping over towards her. His right arm is immobilised in a sling, strapped to his body to keep his shoulder from motion, but he raises his free hand in greeting. He looks tired, himself, distracted. The first of which is at least unusual for him, but mayhaps less so these days than before.

"How's your arm doing?" Elisabeth asks.

The man visibly winces. "Arm's fine, shoulder's starting to be a pain in the arse," Graeme says, drawl pulling on his words perhaps even a little more than usual. "Had the doctor they sent me to lecture me on taking it easy, not that I'm terribly sure how to do that." Most obviously, Graeme is grumpy. But that might be to be expected, really.

There's a bit of a nod. "You should take it easy," Elisabeth replies quietly. "And you should tell the Homeland agents everything you saw that night. And then forget you ever saw it, okay? It'll be safer that way."

"Not sure how easy I can take it," Graeme says. "I don't have the usual response to things that most people take as warnings, like pain and all, which is, apparently, not the greatest thing in this circumstance." He chuckles, quietly. "And usually, I like my ability." There's a pause. "I'm not too good at forgetting I saw things, Liz. I can keep it out of the forefront of my mind, but it's another thing that I can't just forget. My mind's way too overactive for that. And you should know, I like knowing things perhaps a hell of a lot more than is good for me."

"Yeah," Elisabeth admits. "I understand that." She smiles just a hint. "It's pretty much how I got into this gig in the first place," she admits. "Just…. be careful."

Graeme nods. "Careful I can do," he says, quietly. "More easily if I didn't feel like I'm looking at a book with only every third word visible and pages ripped out, though." He sighs, and looks at Liz, tilting his head towards one side, which looks like it almost should be a shrug.

The director of FRONTLINE crosses her arms and quirks a brow. "And…. what? You think being pissed at me about it's going to fix things?" Elisabeth asks mildly. "What is it that you think you don't know? What is it that you want to know?" Her blue eyes are piercing. "You already told me that you couldn't work for Liberty because you were afraid of making them a target… so just what is it that has you so frustrated?"

Graeme raises his free hand to rub his forehead. "No, I'm sorry, I'm not pissed at you, you just caught me when I'm liable to snap at anyone," he murmurs. "I'm irritable right now, obviously." His voice is slightly wry. "I hate inactivity, and I've just been told that I can't lift more than a plate of food with the hand I have left, when one of my primary habits has been keeping up my skills in hand to hand."

"God and hell if I knew what it is, I'm just…" Graeme lets the words fade, tilts his head to one side again. "There's a hell of a lot I don't know that I should, Alice Shaw made that clear but she didn't tell me what to find out; only that there were common threads I should be seeing and I think I might be but I don't know." He glances around, and looks at Liz, with the querying look of having a conversation in an open hallway.

Elisabeth smiles faintly. "No one who's not literally sucking up to you can hear a thing we're saying," she answers the unspoken query. "I'm not clear on what Alice Shaw wanted you to see… but she sent you at Liberty and you're the one who turned your back on that avenue. Aside from that… I don't really know what it is that you want. I know what it is to feel frustrated, Graeme. I've been in your shoes. And when they blew up a school around me and killed more than 60 of my students, I decided the time had come to damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead. I have been what the government classically likes to call a home-grown terrorist. Though personally I don't think the appellation applies, being as my goals had nothing to do with terror." She shrugs. "But I don't know what it is that you want out of this or if you're just venting your spleen."

Graeme shifts on the balls of his feet a bit, with a wince as the movement jars his shoulder, and then shakes his head. "I don't know," he says, quietly. "There are links and ties and I should be able to see it," he mutters, not quite to Liz. "Alice Shaw sent me to Ygraine, to Liberty, with a goal of past that, something. She mentioned pro-active, in a tone of voice that had me highly doubting that Liberty was what she meant. I can read people, damn it Liz, I was close to my Master's degree, and pretty much in reading people and knowing what's going on. I studied sociology, group interactions, and I am just not picking up on what thread it is here that I'm trying to follow, but I see it." He's speaking softly, frustrated, venting at Liz, but there's that slight edge behind his voice again. He's more than just venting. "Except that I don't, not quite, because whatever it is, everyone's good at the separation of… and it's driving me nuts."

"Well, my dear…. you're asking the right questions, at least." Elisabeth smiles faintly. "We're not going to have the rest of this conversation here. Or now," she tells him. "But… when you're done with Homeland Security. When you're ready to commit to the possibility of your actions bringing the full brunt of the US government — or Humanis First — down on your head? Then we'll talk more." She moves to go on past him, patting him on the shoulder. "It's not a fun ride, though. I'm warning you."

"Well, at least I'm asking the right questions," Graeme says, before letting Liz past. "Also, mainly … On my head? On my head I can deal with." For a moment, there's a hint of something very much more than the generally mild-mannered teacher, in his voice, in his posture. It's been shown more, recently, than usual. He looks over his shoulder as she goes. "We'll talk more, later?" It's not really a question.

She casts him a look over her shoulder from those bright blue eyes and offers him a slow smile. Elisabeth is apparently amused by the shift, but she leaves that not-question hanging. He'll find her when he's ready to actually step up, she's quite sure.

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