Don't Dig Too Deep


graeme_icon.gif ryans3_icon.gif

Scene Title Don't Dig Too Deep
Synopsis Graeme informs Ryans what's happened with Keira and that they might be related. Ben in turn gives him advice, whether the kid takes it or not.
Date May 23, 2011

Central Park

Graeme arrived early. Pre-agreed upon spot, wearing the grey waffle-fabric thermal shirt that he said he'd be, faded denim jeans, blue cable-knit sweater to at least appear to ward off the chill that doesn't actually bother the teacher. And he's waiting, folder of things to grade in his lap while he sits on the grass.

Being occupied hides the fact that he's nervous about this. All of it. Meeting someone, someone who's his family, someone he has to talk about uncomfortable topics with. Another paper marked, turned over as he glances about, and faint smile on Graeme's face.

He might be a touch late. Ryans has spent some time standing back and watching the figure on the bench solemnly, silently. Some distance back. It's only when he's convinced that the man on the bench isn't just some sort of plant.

With his life, Benjamin Ryans needs to be cautious.

The hoodie wards off any chill in the air and helps conceal the weapon on his person. It along with his jeans look worn and tired, even a hint of dirt stains on the knees. Ryans looks nothing like he would have some time ago, well over a half a year ago. The scruffiness of his appearance doesn't help either.

The tall man steps up from that spot somewhere behind Graeme, sharp blue eyes studying him for a moment as he asks the pointed question, "Graeme Cormac?" His voice rumbles softly, yet the words clear enough to be heard.

There isn't even a hint of surprise in Graeme's posture. He's been doing this enough, even meeting with Liz or Jaiden, that he's used to it, overall, and the folder closes, pen tucked in before it's in the messenger bag. "Yes sir," he responds. There's a half a drawl to his voice. "You'd be the person my sister wanted me to let know she'd skipped town, I take."

Then there's another pause, before Graeme turns around to observe the (older) man. There's a long, studying look given, and then a single nod. The teacher has the weapon he's taken to carrying, as well, but it's well hidden by the bulk of the sweater he chose. "Thank you for agreeing to meet me. I guess it must've been odd for Liz to give you my contact information, overall."

"Better then having someone banging on my door and cussing me out for something I didn't even do." It's delivered flatly without any real emotions. Ben steps around the bench and moves to settle himself on the other end. Settling back, he sighs softly, unreadable as he peers out into the park. Ever watchful.

"But yes," a hand is offered over to shake, "I'm Ben Ryans. Everything with Keira alright?" There is a touch of concern there. He might not have known her well, but she was still family.

There's a faint shrug after the handshake is returned and Graeme's folded his hands in his lap. "Suppose that makes you my uncle, then," he says. For the most part, Graeme's face is unreadable, his faint detachment letting his ability push the turmoil of emotion to the side. Less bothersome there.

Then there's a deep breath drawn in. It's all good to say he's going to do it, but when it comes down to it, saying he'll do so and doing it are two very different things entirely. The breath is let out, and with a grimace, Graeme speaks. "Sort of. Enough. She wanted me to let you know she skipped town so you didn't worry or anything." A pause, and then he continues. "She'd gotten in some trouble, and left town. To keep me safe. Which is funny considering the company I keep, seems I made my choice as to which side I was on before I met her or knew she was clear on the other." Graeme sighs and falls silent. It's a lot to say, all things given.

A single brow hitches up at the news. Small world. Especially with family coming out of the wood works… His brother's kids at that. Ben's gazes wanders over the other man, judging clearly. Maybe it's the fact he's met Keira that has him a bit skeptical about that. Not that he thinks it's impossible…

"She never mentioned you," Ryans feels the need to point out. He does so calmly, like it's a matter of fact, rather then denying Graeme's words.

That's not as important as, "What sort of trouble did she get into. Or did she tell you?" Seems the younger Ryans generation is good at getting into trouble.

"She hadn't met me," Graeme says, in response. "I only came back to New York a few months back. I'm," and there's a pause as Graeme thinks, "five years older. I grew up in foster care, group homes, lots of them. Wasn't wanted so she left me at the hospital I was born at." The implication that he wasn't necessarily wanted now as a brother is not missed. "Didn't have the mercy to do that for Keira, from what I heard." And there is a familial resemblance between him and his younger sister, somewhat.

"I was born Graeme Aiden Fionn, not Graeme Aiden Cormac." As with when he'd been searching out Keira, he's got his birth certificate with him, in the bag, to prove it. No father listed, and he hasn't gone and done the DNA test to prove things, but there's the stronger likelihood. The resemblance. "Was adopted eventually, and my adoptive parents were good to me, but … they're gone now. Liam in the bomb, and Jessa over a year ago from a stroke. I went to search out my birth mom. Didn't have much to say, but told me where to find Keira. Mentioned Ryans, too. And family, be it adopted or by blood, it's important. To me."

"Yes," Graeme admits. "She got herself in … Over her head, shall we say. With Humanis First." There is evident disgust in his voice, masking bitterness and anger and steel. "And then met me, and her heart wasn't in it, and well. I've got an ability. It was too much for her. She ran rather than risk them finding out, and possibly endangering me, or something." He chews on his lower lip, trying to push back the rage and anger that comes up occasionally on mention of the group largely responsible for driving him out of New Mexico, away from his life.

Humanis First? Lips press into a fine line. A look of disapproval, with brows furrowed slightly. Yet a part of him wasn't surprised. Only a small part. The anger that young girl held… "I'm sorry to hear she had to run like that." Ryans can understands how roots can be important. "Hopefully, you both will run into each other again." It's the best advice he can think to give really.

"She mentioned Ryans to Kiera…" Shifting gears, he focuses on the fact he might be related. "Of course, she told her that I was her father." There is a pause to consider, before he asks. "Have you had DNA done yet?" Ben can't help but be curious about the results.

There is a small nod, from Graeme, at the first part. Not the second. "She asked me to tell you she'd skipped town, not why, but … you deserve to know." Somehow hearing the apology from his uncle makes all of it a little easier. "No. I keep meaning, but …" The words trail off for a long moment, before an explanation is provided. "Then Liz made her choices, and I've been dealing with the aftermath of that in the mean time. And then I've been waiting long enough from when I needed to not potentially drawn any attention to myself."

Graeme switches gears just as easily. Far better not to talk about Humanis First, really. "She wasn't really good for much by th' way of information. Drunker than the bottle she poured from." There's bitterness there, too, but less of it. "She tried to deny I was her child to begin with, at first. I wouldn't put the greatest of faith in what she did or didn' tell."

There is a slow nod of his head, while bright blue eyes study the younger man. "Well, at least you seemed to have turned out alright. Though I recommend trying to stay away from all this business if you have any hope of a normal life." Ben leans props an elbow on the back of the seat and shifts to face Graeme a little more. "I have been living on the run nearly a year now for the choices I made." They were choices he'd make all over again, but he doesn't say that out loud.

"The only thing I have waiting for me at the end is a bullet to the head." He sounds rather serious about it too. Ryans hold no delusions of where his life is headed. "That or to die in a holes somewhere. My life is done, I've dug my hole. Don't get yourself too deep."

The words give Graeme pause, and reason to pause, consideration at whether he even has a hope — or a desire, even — for a normal life. Equally blue eyes glance up, an unblinking meeting of the older man's gaze, ducking a half nod at the fact that he seems to have turned out alright. "Yes sir. Though … don't know if I had harboured any hope of a normal life. Not really," Graeme eventually says, after a long moment's silence. There's faint bitterness in the younger man's voice, and a definite edge. "I left New Mexico and came here because Humanis First had made sure there was nothing left for me there. Nothing at all. I could turn my head, try and start over here, but I'd rather do the right thing than know what the right thing is to be done and just stand by. When I have the chance to do otherwise." Graeme chews on his lower lip a moment, falling silent.

"I figure you deserved the chance, my girls didn't get much of one cause they were my daughters," Ryans states rather blandly, head nodding as he concedes to the younger man. It is his life after all. "Either way, Liz is a good woman. Smart. Had to be to get as far as she did before getting caught.

"I only lasted a few months playing both sides, she did it for years. So keep that in mind as you deal with her." There is a great deal of respect for the former FRONTLINER.

"It's never a quiet life… and there is a sort of mystique to the life of a terrorist and rebel." He straightens on the bench and shifts forward to sit at the edge. "But… there are times I think I'd like to be able to go see a game again. To live in the house I shared with my dead wife for 30 plus years again… Be ready to give it all up for the cause."

Graeme nods, listening, with quiet respect for his maybe-uncle's words. To Graeme's benefit, there's only a faint flush of colour to his cheeks at the mention of Elisabeth. Something about the time and the place lets him maintain a good deal of composure. "Liz was one of the first friends that I made, when I moved out here. Helped me get settled, helped me with the ins and outs of getting a job teaching. Stopped me from punching everything in sight to pieces when I found out about Keira, too," Graeme says. There's no hint of that temper in Graeme's manner now, though, as he sits on the bench, one leg crossed over the other. "I haven't had a quiet life since the bomb, though. Don't know if I'd know what to do with it."

A small smile tugs up at the corner of Ryans' mouth. Amusement perhaps. "You sounds like a Ryans." He comments before moving to stand, but he doesn't face away. He reaches into his back pocket and pulls out his wallet, a worn thing that's seen many years. Out of it he fishes a folded piece of paper and offers it over, while the wallet is tucked away again.

"This is my number." It doesn't have his name there so that if he loses it Ben's private number won't get into the wrong hands. "One below it is for my parents. Should you find out that you are Brick's kid. They would be your grand parents and may like to meet you."

The piece of paper is accepted, looked at, and then very carefully tucked into Graeme's pocket. "Thank you, sir," Graeme says, quiet, still watching Ryans carefully. "I'll … probably be trying to get that done within a month, or so. And thank you for coming out here, and all." There's perhaps a tinge of awkwardness at the repeated thanks, but the need to say it takes precedence over the awkward. His own things are tucked back into the messenger bag. "Be careful out there, yeah?"

A hand is offered for a farewell shake as Ben informs him, "I don't make promises I don't plan to… and can not keep." Meaning the being careful. "Either way, once you know. Leave me a message to let me know the results either way."

Boots scrape on concrete as he takes a step back. "Take care of yourself and keep you head down if you can." Solemnly, he adds. "Not sure when we'll meet up again, but either way… It was a pleasure to meet you Graeme."

Graeme nods as he gets to his feet. "It was nice to meet you, sir," Graeme responds, adjusting the messenger bag over his shoulder. "And well. I'll try." Regarding keeping his head down. It's the general plan of things, but things don't always go according to plan, and Graeme knows that. One more nod, this time of farewell, as Graeme makes his way down the path, in a different direction than the way he'd came to start with.

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