Back To Normal


graeme2_icon.gif jaiden_icon.gif

Scene Title Back To Normal
Synopsis Well, one thing at least. Even if everything else in Graeme's life at the moment is most decidedly not.
Date March 30, 2011

Out and about

Graeme was more than happy to let Ygraine have the requested space, and it's meant that he's gotten to do errands far quicker than they'd have been done if he were relying on taxis and public transit for the day. This time, he walks back over to Jaiden's car in the parking lot from the lobby of the bank. "Well, that was interesting and fun," he says as he sits down. "I forgot about the part where they were likely to call New Mexico to verify my pulling funds from some of my not primary accounts, since I hadn't done that since before I left." That would be why it took longer than he'd stated as an expectation, and there's an apologetic smile offered to Jaiden. "Sorry about that." Graeme's messenger bag is set on his lap, and then his seatbelt buckled.

Jaiden is sitting on the front fender of his mustang, waiting for Graeme while watching the passing crowds and occasionally feeding the parking meter to keep the parking faeries at bay. When Graeme gets out of the bank he slips off the fender and into the driver's seat, waiting Graeme to join him, and when he does, he waits to fire the car up until he's buckled up. "It's okay. Right now we have nothing but time, as far as things go. So. Where to now?"

"Good question," Graeme says. "Target, or some other store I can pick up some phones at, maybe, and then somewhere for food?" He chuckles quietly. "The last dose I took of negation drugs should be wearing off soon, and I'm betting I'm going to need to make up caloric intake again when that happens."

This being new york, a big-box store would require driving for a few hours. Instead, he drives to the electronic part of New York, where stores hawking all sorts of electronic stuff blink and beckon. "If we can find a phone here, it should be pretty easy…" He pulls into a parking space. "then food.

"Right," Graeme says. He's not from New York, as far as that goes, which means he'll defer to Jaiden's where to go here with no argument. Some quarters are brought out, for the meter. He gets up, carefully. "I'll be back in a little, again." The hood of his sweatshirt is pulled up, and then Graeme undoes the strap of the sling, leaving it on the seat and carefully tucking his hand into his pocket. A small amount of cash is tucked into his other pocket, and the messenger bag is left with the sling. As he moves, there's a wince. "Ow, damn it, want my ability back."

"Give it a few days, buddy." Jaiden says from the driver's seat, leaning down to look out at Graeme, sunglasses hiding his eyes. "You know it'll take a day or so for your body to purge the negation drugs. You'll be back to normal before you know it."

"I know, but a sling's recognisable and if I'm buying with cash I'm going to be careful enough," Graeme responds. "Anyway." He turns, wading carefully into the people shopping, and perhaps ten minutes, nearly fifteen minutes later, is seen walking back towards the parking spot, this time on the outer edge of the crowds. There's a plastic bag in his good hand. Several, actually, and he grins at Jaiden when he gets to the car.

"So what're the spoils of war?" Jaiden asks, popping the passenger door so Graeme can get in without straining his other arm too badly. "I hope you got a couple - I'll pay you for one, obviously."

"So far, enough for about a thousand minutes allowance for each of us," Graeme says. "And three phones apiece. Though I'll go buy some more, from various corner stores." There's half a tilt to his head as he picks up the sling, putting it back on with a wince at the tightening of straps. "And I still need to get a few more phones, too. You can get some to Liz? She'll need them, and if I can do this, it's the least I can do." He adjusts the sling one more bit as he sits down.

"She'll have a few - she's pretty resourceful. I should be seeing her soon, if all goes well, so yeah, I can get her some phones. But three each…that's about right. I don't think you'll need anything else for now." Jaiden signals and pulls out into the street when a bus zooms by, his tires screeching on the pavement. "So, what're you hungry for?"'

There's a nod. "I want to about double the minute allowances for each of us," Graeme says, quietly. "I don't know how long it'll be before I'll end up with a chance to do things like pass more, so the goal is that there's enough to last. The company I chose doesn't let the minute credits expire, either." He nods once more. "Dunno, I'm not actually overly hungry, food, I guess. But I should eat some soon, and then again shortly after, because otherwise my meta— metabolism kicking up will be fun."

Food. Hrm. There's a lot of choices there, but with Graeme and his potential giant appetite there, doing something that won't break the bank. He thinks for a while and pulls out into traffic, looking down at the phones in the bag, thousand minutes each. "I've got some cash, and luckily a lot of these can be bought at grocery stores and corner stores…stuff like that. If we run out, we should be able to find more pretty easily, and with cash, there isn't any records."

Graeme chuckles. "Yeah. That's true," he responds, falling quiet for a long moment. "And then after food, I've got the address of that bike shop that Ygraine recommended for jackets, but… we should stop by your place, first. Drop the majority of the phones, the bags, prolly."

"Not all of them, of course. You hang on to a couple, give Ygraine a couple. No sense in having all of our eggs in one basket, of course." Traffic is nice and congested, and it takes a bit of time for Jaiden and Graeme to get to where he's going. And when he does, Graeme can see Jaiden was thinking of the other man's appetite - All you can eat Chinese Buffet, anyone?

"Right," Graeme says. "But you take yours, and the ones for Liz, and such." There's an absentminded look. "Because even if I'm safe in all of this and you might be, we don't want to contact either Ygraine or Liz from things in our names." There's an outright grin at the sight of the buffet, along with a small but enthusiastic thumbs-up gesture.

Parking takes a little time but he does get a spot eventually, locking the car and walking toward the restaurant after locking the bag with the phones in the car, Graeme in tow. "Best to not talk about that in public, you know. Never know who may be listening." He pulls open the door for Graeme and waits for the man to enter before following him in, the bells jingling softly. "I've gotta put my mustang into storage somewhere - last thing I want to have happen is for it to be sold at auction to someone who will turn it into a hot rod."

"Yeah, well," Graeme keeps pace with the Aussie relatively easily as they move towards the restaurant, and there's a definite grin on his face. Even if his ability's not quite back yet, the thought of food seems to cheer him. "That would be a shame, but I'm sure there are places that have … relatively recent rates, if you're willing to go a bit farther from the city proper." Once inside, Graeme reaches into his pocket, leading the way to the counter to pay for both of their food, though it is with several small bills rather than the larger ones that he often carries.

"The best thing for me to find…" Jaiden says as the diminutive Korean woman leads them to their table, "would be a climate-controlled storage locker. I know a guy who owes me a favor or two with some space, so hopefully he'll be able to slip the mustang in somewhere. If all goes well, we should be in the clear, but just in case we're not…." He shrugs slightly and goes to load up a plate.

Graeme nods, waiting at the table for Jaiden to return before going for his own food, which is, in comparison to the usual, a modest portioning of pretty much everything that was available. "Better not to take chances," he says softly as he sits back down.

Jaiden's plate, full of vegetables, shrimp, and a little spicy chicken of some sort, is dug into along with a small bowl of rice using chopsticks. "I didn't live for as long as I have, doing the things I did, by being careless."

Graeme is using a fork, at least, mainly because chopsticks are not something he has used frequently and therefore not something he can manage with his left hand, and for the moment, he's focused on eating rather than conversation. "Of course," comes the response, carefully enunciated.

The meal is mainly silent, with comments on how something tastes, or Jaiden, at one point, reaching over to snag a bit of something that Graeme said was good but Jaiden hadn't tried personally before and didn't feel like getting a full serving just in case he didn't like it. "So…" he finally says. "Aric and you are a couple, I've heard."

There's a raised eyebrow at the comment as Graeme comes back to the table with a second plate of food, things that he hadn't managed to fit on the first plate, and Graeme turns a slightly faint shade of pink. "Yeah," he acknowledges, softly, although the blush is likely confirmation enough. "Sort of getting there."

"Bit of advice then, mate." Jaiden takes another few bites, clearing his plate, getting up to get the second. "Treat him right. Treat him like you want to be treated. Seems like simple advice, but you'd be surprised at how many people in relationships forget that."

Graeme smiles faintly, and nods. There's a clear bit of work that it takes for Graeme to remember that he's not somewhere that he has to stay in the closet with regards to his relationships. "I hope I manage that," he says. "Damn well I'll try." There's a grin. "Apparently Liz has told the both of us we're to do right by each other, though." The concept clearly amuses Graeme, overall.

"I haven't met the other bloke - only know the name as far as things go, but from what I hear he's pretty nice as far as a bloke goes for the relationship sort of thing. And since I know you pretty well - or as well as I can considering I've only been hanging out with you for a month or so - I think you have a good head on your shoulders. Just…" Jaiden grins. "Make sure you don't wear him out with that ability of yours, yeah?"

At that, Graeme turns a slightly brighter shade of red, and nods mutely, picking up several pieces of chicken with his fork in order to give himself time to speak without sputtering. But mainly, Graeme is faintly amused by it, and he nods, and then grins a bit. "Yeah, well," he says, "That's, um, one thing." There's a slightly bigger grin, but it's also accompanied by a slightly quizzical look, and a murmured apology. "S'ry," Graeme says, around a bite of food. "Not … terribly used to um, discuss— discussing relationship stuff." Let alone about a relationship, with a guy, with another guy. "Thank you, though. I just hope I can be as good to Aric as he is to me."

One thing that Jaiden has prided himself on in his time is being open minded to just about any other point of view in the world. Sure, there are some he doesn't agree with, doesn't practice, or just doesn't have an interest in, but that doesn't mean that things need to be taboo conversation. He'd have the same conversation with Elizabeth regarding Cardinal's butt if she wanted to (his assessment? Rather nice, as far as asses go - needs more stairmaster, though) so as far as things go, this is just a conversation between two people. The tact of the conversation seems to be causing a little embarrassment, so Jaiden lets it drop. "Have you told him you may be away for a little while?"

Graeme nods. "Yeah, I left a message for him to call me… it's something that he deserves to find out in person." There's more attention paid to his food, and to the cup of tea that he has. "Hopefully, I'll be able to lay low at his place, for a few days, after the show." Graeme is quiet, for the moment.

"You do that, but keep your head down until you're sure things are going right. Last thing you want to do is to get him into any kind of trouble." Jaiden sips at his tea, his plate clear, considering getting another go at the buffet.

"Pretty much, but I'll be good," Graeme says. "I've been keeping my head down ever since I got to this city." There's a faint frown that soon vanishes. "I should be able to manage to do so a while longer." The cup of tea is held in Graeme's hand, carefully. "I'm not sure when I'll be returning to work, though. I'll have to be careful, with that, but not going back would draw more attention."

"What do you do, usually?" When you're not running from the law, that is. Jaiden sounds curious.

"I'm a teacher," Graeme responds. "Since I moved out here, I've been substituting a few days a week with the district." Which, essentially, means working in a job that's easily known by the government. "I have a multi-subject credential, and in New Mexico, I coached soccer, and taught English, high school. Working with middle school at the moment, but I've withdrawn my name from the current pool of substitutes, because of the shoulder. So, taking some time off."

"Probably for the best, all things considered." If teachers knew that an evolved man was teaching their students, there might be a riot when some of the anti-Evo parents came out of the woodwork. Jaiden sighs and slips out of the booth, returning after a bit with a dish of ice cream, a banana, and some shrimp - an odd combination, but hey, he's an odd guy.

"Probably," Graeme agrees, an eyebrow raised at the combination of food that Jaiden returns with. "It may be a better environment than New Mexico, but that ain't saying much." There's a slight shrug, one-sided pretty much. "It isn't like I need to work, much, but I do it because it's something, and it's important." More important that there are evo teachers, even.

"It's a noble calling, that's for certain. You're not doing it to get rich but to touch children…wait, that doesn't sound right." Jaiden smirks. "To have an effect on their lives. That sounds better." He peels a shrimp and eats it, then another, and another.

Graeme grins. "You're right, the second way sounds much better. And sometimes I even succeed at it." He gets up, returning with a small bowl of ice cream and chocolate syrup.

"What, touching kids?" Jaiden says with a smirk, taking a bite of his ice cream. "Sorry, sorry, I shouldn't kid about such things." And then, silence. Jaiden finishes his ice cream and sits there in the relative quiet of the restaurant. "Might have to color your hair…make you harder to spot."

"My hair is brown to begin with. Doesn't get more common than this." Graeme chuckles, quietly. "I'm really hoping to claim plausible deniability if I possi— possibly can. And for as long as I can." There's another few bites taken of ice cream, another one-sided shrug. "I'd hate to have to grow it out any, though." Because it's less guys that tend to have the nearly military short that Graeme maintains.

"For your sake, I hope we're just being paranoid and nothing comes of any of this." Jaiden sighs and pushes his bowl aside, the waitress swooping in to collect it, leaving a pair of fortune cookies on the table. "I'm almost afraid to look at those.

"That makes two of us," Graeme says. Then, he's picking up the fortune cookie, breaking open, and slowly, aloud, reads the message on the inside. "All rough times are behind you." He snorts. "Riiight."

Jaiden opens his cookie with a rustle of cellophane and a crack of cookie, reading the fortune inside. This is a time for caution, but not for fear. Jaiden smirks and slides it across the table for Graeme to see "I like this one."

"Better than mine," Graeme says, almost amused by it. "Yours at least is accurate overall." Nonetheless, his own fortune is pocketed, quietly.

"Accurate, yes, but vague enough to apply to just about anyone." Jaiden chuckles and tucks it into the pocket of his shirt, patting his chest. "C'mon, we've got to go. The showing's coming up, and if you want to get clothing, we'll need to do it now."

"Yeah, we should go do that. Though whatever I get, will be put away, not worn until after Saturday," Graeme says. "Speaking of which, we should go by your place, like I said. So that I know where you've left the bags, should worse come to worst, and all that." There's a nod, and Graeme adjusts the strap of his sling once again so that he can get up.

Jaiden leaves a couple of bucks on the table for tip - after all, the waitress did just bring drinks and clear plates - and scoots out of the booth, standing and bouncing on his toes. "You'll see them pretty easily - right near the door when you walk in, near the bar. If you miss them, you're blind, because they're right in the way if you go to the back."

Graeme nods. "Right. It's more of the after that part that I meant," he says, waiting for Jaiden to lead back out to the street where they're parked. As they walk out the door and a few steps from the restaurant, a bit of a grin appears on Graeme's face. "I think it might be starting to wear off…"

"Hey, that's good. Finally getting back to normal." Somewhat. "C'mon, let's head out."

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