Awkward Silences


graeme_icon.gif keira_icon.gif

Scene Title Awkward Silences
Synopsis For Graeme and Keira, being siblings doesn't mean that they automatically know what to say. Or how to say it.
Date February 21, 2011

The Nite Owl

Before the time he'd agreed on with his newfound half-sister, Graeme has already eaten two plates of food. Breakfast's the most important meal of the day, after all, and the Nite Owl serves good food, and he can more than easily afford to feed even his usual appetite. So now, with a third helping of breakfast on the way, he glances down at his cell phone, set on the table, and waits, a glass of orange juice in hand.

Keira is running a bit late. Mostly because she was sitting at her apartment with her dog, debating whether or not to come. And then, because she was sitting in her car, debating whether or not to even get out. And then, because she stood outside for a few minutes, smoking a cigarette and debating whether or not to actually go in to face this unexpected change to her life.

Finally, though, Keira Fionn makes her way into the Nite Owl. She pauses at the door, blue eyes skimming the faces of those within; then, spotting Graeme, she slowly makes her way toward him. She's wearing a business suit, complete with a fedora, and is looking particularly mafia-gangster, today, her black wool trenchcoat wrapped around her to keep the residual chill of withdrawing winter from her skin.

After one last moment of hesitation on whether or not she should just run, Keira finally settles into the seat across from Graeme. "Hey."

"Hey," Graeme says. There's a tentative, quiet smile. The man's dressed pretty casually, jeans, a short sleeve teeshirt. There's a thick, cabled sweater off to the side of the booth, and he puts down the glass of orange juice in order to slide the menu over to her. "I'm glad you could make it." And well, it seems like he's going to make good on his promise of buying her breakfast.

Aside from that, though, he doesn't seem to have anything particular to say to his sister. The man looks tired— uncharacteristically for anyone who knows his ability, but normal enough for many people, given the recent events— having pushed himself the evening before and worked well into the night at the edge of where the Dome had been, and having slept only a few hours. "How're you?"

Quietly, Keira takes the menu, opening it up. For a moment, she doesn't quite look at it, peering thoughtfully across the table at Graeme. Her Evo half-brother. She doesn't point out that being able to make it wasn't so much the problem with her being late, as her inner debate with whether or not to even come have breakfast with him was the problem. She's still pretty freaked.

And just a bit scared for him, given her recent associations with a particularly hated group.

"I'm doin' okay. Just been…runnin' my biz, takin' care of myself." And helping out a known ringleader of Humanis First with a particular project that might, hopefully, end with her and him relaxing on a beach somewhere far away from here. But then, there's a bit of a wrench in that plan, and he's sitting right in front of poor Keira. "You?"

Graeme considers the returned question, par for the course after all, since he'd asked it first. "Pretty good, I suppose," he says. "Lot of work to be done, the last few days. Been helping, where I could." Not that Graeme is particularly bleeding-heart humanitarian, and that is evident in his voice, but as much he doesn't mind what most consider hard work. He picks up his orange juice again, watching Keira with veiled interest. Observing.

Yeah, with the dome dropped, there is a lot of work to be done, isn't there? Keira's been doing her part by pouncing on all of the people who have been three weeks without any drugs and capitalizing on their experience. You want some ganj? Coke? LSD? Refrain? Keira's a good supplier, and she's been making good money. Probably the reason for the nicer-looking clothes.

She peels her coat off, now that she's warmed up a bit, revealing a white blouse covered by a gray vest that matches her pants. Her arms and chest are much more visible in this outfit, revealing the intensely dark ink that she loves so much. She has a lot of tattoos. Who knows how many more she has. Then, blue eyes turn toward the menu.

"Yeah…that dome shit was crazy." Awkward, much?

"Life can be, at times, yeah." Graeme manages a bit of a smile, at which point his own (third) breakfast comes, and the waitress turns to Keira, with a wordless inquiry as to whether or not she's ready to order. For his part, Graeme doesn't seem to particularly notice the tattoos, at least not for longer than is polite. The expression on his face is a mask of careful interest, overall.

He puts down the nearly empty orange juice glass, paying attention now to his food most, eggs and hash browns and some bacon, in what seems to be a slightly larger portion than the diner usually serves— another reason that Graeme comes here when he can. The man doesn't quite seem to know what to say to interrupt the silence, though, so instead, he just doesn't say anything. He does seem to know better than to ask what sort of business Keira's running; if she's not going to bring it up, he's not going to ask.

Keira quietly orders her own breakfast, a french toast deal. She also orders coffee, a milk, and orange juice. She's all about getting proper vitamins and minerals, after all. Despite the fact that she's a drug dealing occasional stoner, she's all about being healthy whenever she can. That's part of the reason she stole got a dog, for the exercise portion of things.

Silence reigns for a moment longer while the waitress fills Keira's coffee cup and sets down the cream, the woman watching quietly. Waiting until the waitress is gone to take care of the rest of her order, the woman tending to preparing her coffee for consumption.

Finally, blue eyes glance up to Graeme, the woman tilting her head to the side. "So…why'd you call me out here?" She watches him for a moment, before turning her eyes away, sipping at her coffee. "I…I don't know what to say. I mean…it's a lot, you know? A lot to take in. I've never had family before." Well, she's got her uncle, but he's not exactly easy to find.

Those blue eyes are perhaps the most startling of the family resemblance between the two, and Graeme only manages to meet Keira's gaze briefly. "Dunno. It's just …" he shrugs. "I never really had family, either." There's a pause. "Not family. So I … I figured breakfast was low-key, and such. And well." He's going to try, this having a family thing. She's all he's got left, and that's something.

"Plus," Graeme adds, almost an afterthought. "I wanted … I wanted to make sure I didn't freak you out too much, the other day. See if you were okay and all." Though for all his mention of concern, the man has his own emotions on such a tight leash that they don't play through to his voice.

Keira avoids eye contact with her brother for the time being, staring down at her coffee. "I'm okay. You…you didn't freak me out or anythin'. I just…needed time to think about shit. I've never been good at mushy greetings." She turns her gaze up to Graeme's face. "Sorry 'bout that whole business with the gun. I thought you were someone comin' to collect debts that my…our mom owes. It's happened b'fore. She owes someone money, she sends 'em t'me to pay it. I've paid them b'fore…but I got sick of it. So I started scarin' them off."

She shrugs quietly, stirring at her coffee, her spoon clinking against the sides of the coffee mug. "So…you're Evolved." Blue eyes flick up to his. It's hard for her not to use the more derogatory 'Evo' slang. This is the scariest topic of all, for Keira, an initiated Humanis First member. What would they do if they found out that her brother's an Evo? Would they kill him? Or make her kill him? She really doesn't know, not too well versed in the organization she's affiliated with.

"What kinda ability do you have?" Keira swallows another swig of coffee, her tone kept steady and even.

There's a terse nod from Graeme. "That's fair. Not the first time I've had a gun pointed at me or anything," he says. The edge of bitterness in his voice is pushed back, pushed away, and there's a couple mutters of fairly explosive curse words, likely in reference to their mother.

"And yeah, I am." Graeme takes a couple of bites of his food, with far less enthusiasm than he usually manages for such a task. "It's …" he pauses, looks around, and his voice is pitched quietly when he speaks. "Endurance. Ridiculous god damn endurance." There's an edge to his words, again, but finally, he meets Keira's eyes, and shrugs. "Nothing I could do about it if I wanted to."

A slow nod bobs Keira's head up and down, the woman watching Graeme. As her food arrives, she looks rather grateful. It's something to do with her hands other than poke at her coffee. Instead, she can poke at her food with a fork. And eat, to fill the silent moments. "Well…m'sorry all th'same. I get edgy sometimes." She turns her eyes down toward her plate.

"That must be pretty useful." Nothing he could do about it if he wanted to. That's…a pretty damn true statement. Sometimes Keira forgets, in the dislike she holds toward the Evolved, that they didn't exactly choose to be that way. Something tells her that the gun part is slightly related to the Evo part. "I'm not. Evolved, that is." She pokes at her food with her fork.

Being around him makes her feel bad for choices that she's made.

"It's okay. I do too." Graeme nods, internally reflecting on something, on reasons why his half-sister gets edgy, but it doesn't show on his face. Somehow, he'd expected that she wasn't Evolved, at least, he's telling himself now that he'd expected it. "I dunno. It is what it is. Don't know much else, really."

He grins a bit as his orange juice is refilled, lifts it to his lips. "I'm sorry, I … I don't know much what to say. I just … this maybe having family thing? It's important to me. I guess. I think." He lets himself ramble a little. "More than I thought it would be."

Keira pokes at her meal for a moment, before starting to actually eat it, watching Graeme in thoughtful silence. Having a family is important to him? Even when he doesn't even know her? Yet at the same time, she can see where he's coming from. She can understand what he means by wanting to have family. She had her mother, yes, but that wasn't exactly a good thing.

"It…it is important. And…I don't know what to say, either. I'm…really, I'm still trying to get my head wrapped around this." She might have to talk to Daddy Walsh about this. He's safe…as safe as anyone from Humanis First can be. Is it her fault, really, that the man who stepped in and gave her what she needed the most, happens to be a member of Humanis First?

Graeme nods, watching Keira. Now, he's allowed himself to look a little more at the tattoos his sister has. "Yeah." he pauses. "What part of it? All of it, I'd guess. I'm sorry, that was a stupid, insensitive question, really, so. Yeah." His words are quiet, gentle. "I know." He picks up his fork, finishing off the food on his plate. He eats a bit quickly, though there's no actual hurry in his mannerism at the moment.

Keira tilts her head to the side. "Yeah…all of it." She goes quiet for a long moment, before turning her eyes back down toward her plate. For a very long while, she lapses back into silence, cutting up her eggs and dipping her bacon in the runny yolk. A strange behavior, perhaps, but one that she's always had. It tastes good, what can she do?

When she speaks next, her voice is softer. "I never had it easy, y'know? Life was never kind to me. My…our piece of shit mother beat me when she was unhappy at anything in the world. In school, it was either be bullied, or be the bully. I chose the latter." She takes a bite of her french toast, quietly chewing on it for a long while. "Then, when I was fifteen, I got involved with gangs, up in Buffalo. The Bloods." She points toward the red tie around her neck.

"I'm a gangster." She's even quieter when she says this. "I sell drugs, and I run weapons." Finally, blue eyes turn up toward Graeme's face, the woman frowning. "I feel like y'should know that, since you're my brother."

At this, Graeme is silent for a long moment. He takes a sip of the orange juice from the glass that he's picked up, set down several times, watches her eat. "I … thank you." The words are sincere, soft, but saddened. He's all too aware of how gangs work. All too aware that people fall through the cracks of the system too often.

"I don't know what to say, particularly. It happens. Life's shit." Graeme looks at Keira for a moment, then continues. "I was … lucky. I got a chance. And then I got a few more of them when I ignored the first one, which I did. I … I got to go to college, I got to have a life. I got a chance that doesn't usually happen." He's apologetic, quiet, as he picks up his fork to poke at the remaining potatoes rather than keep talking.

Keira's silent, watching Graeme quietly, studiously, taking in his reaction. At least he's not running away from her. Or calling the cops on her. He seems like such a nice guy. How'd he wind up being her brother? She leans back in her seat, taking a bite of her bacon and chewing it in silence. How do you really keep up a conversation like this one? It's difficult.

"I got my GED…could probably went t'college, but…I fit better in a gang. My first boyfriend…we called him Boba. He took good care of me." Not really. "He got shot right in front of me." She closes her eyes for a moment, then looks down to her meal with a frown. "And I just kinda…never left."

"I guess," Graeme says, finishing up the last bit of food on his plate. He's not doing so well at keeping up the conversation himself. "It happens. There're … worse things," he adds. He's bothered by it, but not enough that he says something, or really, anything else. Instead, he pulls his wallet from his pocket, pulling out a few bills that cover both his breakfast, Keira's, and a tip, and sits back in his seat, watching her. "Thanks for … thanks for showing up," he finally manages. "I'm glad you did." That's all. It's that simple.

She's almost relieved when her brother goes to pay for the meal. That signifies that the meal and conversation is coming to a close. She watches Graeme for a long moment, before setting her fork down and wiping her mouth with the napkin, which is then set atop her plate. Her coffee is next, drained in a few gulps. "Thanks for breakfast…and for talking to me."

She turns her eyes downward, then back up to Graeme. "I'll call you later, okay?" With that, she's scooting toward the edge of the booth, pulling her coat back on.

"Yeah, alright." Graeme's getting up, a minute and some behind Keira, carefully pulling his sweater on over his shirt. A skateboard comes out from under the table, and he bends to pick it up, pausing for a word with the waitress. He's not quite following Keira out, but it's close. The man is curious, after all.

The woman buttons her coat. "Thanks again, Graeme. I'll - I'll see you around." With one last glance toward her brother, she turns, making her way out and toward her vehicle, keys in hand. She still doesn't know what to think about all of this.

Who knows what lurks in the shadows.

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