Easy On You


devon2_icon.gif graeme2_icon.gif melissa_icon.gif

Scene Title Easy On You
Synopsis Devon introduces Graeme to Melissa, and things work out although not in the sort of help that had been originally expected.
Date April 11, 2011

Tartarus: Melissa's Office

It's still too early in the afternoon for the average Joe's fresh from work out for beers and brews, but it's late enough that some patronage wouldn't be noticed as odd at the Tartarus. And it's the club that Devon had suggested to Melissa for meeting a friend, and where Graeme was instructed to meet them. Public enough that safety isn't compromised but private enough that the sensitive subject matter won't be overheard.

Devon waits outside near the doors, leaning against the wall while he waits for the teacher to arrive. Arms are folded across his chest, eyes astute as always and watching the parking lot.

It's not the first time Melissa's used the club for a meet, and it likely won't be the last. She even offers her office, if Devon wants to meet Graeme and bring him back there, for a little additional privacy. No one really questions the boss talking to people in her office, after all. So that's where she waits, giving the pair a chance to talk on the way back, just in case.

He's slightly late, having taken a bus and then walked the rest of the way. Graeme walks, entering the parking lot from the sidewalk and then moving towards the door Tartarus, a nod on his face when he spies Devon and a reflexive adjusting of the top several buttons of the plain grey cotton dress shirt that he wears. There's no sweater, nothing against the chill spring day, just a quiet, purposeful pace that the teacher maintains as he walks. No sling today, either, but his right hand is in his pocket nonetheless, some protection against the shoulder being unnecessarily jostled. "Hey there," he says, pausing outside the door. "Traffic." It's offered as a reason, without much else.

First sight of Graeme draws a nod, though Devon remains silent in watching him approach. "Hey," he offers pushing open the door and nodding Graeme into the club. "It's fine, just glad you found the place alright." Once inside, he pushes the door closed then hurries ahead to lead the way into the club. "I know the manager here, she's pretty cool." Not to mention it's the friend-turned-sister he'd spoken of the night before. "It's this way." This way is motioned toward the office area once in the club proper.

Graeme nods, slipping in through the door and then looking back for Devon, only continuing when the direction is indicated. "Ah, right." For the moment, the teacher simply walks along, seeming to be at less of a tendency for words. As he walks, he raises his free hand, pushing it through his hair, and the slight growth of beard. Both of which are longer than he's particularly used to.

Office life has trained the intern well, in that he knocks once reaching the door then opens it to let Graeme inside first. "Melissa," he explains as he steps inside, "this is Graeme. The friend I told you about. —Graeme, Melissa, friend and sister. Also manager here." Hands go into his pockets and eyes move between the two as he leans against the door.

Melissa calls for them to come in quickly enough, and is closing her laptop when they walk in. She smiles politely at Graeme, and the rest of Devon's introduction has her giving him a warm smile before she gives her attention back to the stranger. "It's nice to meet you, Graeme. Please, have a seat."

"Pleased to meet you, Melissa," Graeme says. It's an easy enough sort of greeting, though Graeme's eyes sweep over the small office much as they swept over the spaces of the club that were walked through to get there— assessment, of the space, the last instincts of having worked in security and as a bouncer. A seat is chosen, sat down in, and his hands fold in his lap, though there's a distinct amount of stiffness to the movements of his right arm as he does so.

"So… I told Melissa a bit about what I know," Devon says to the room. His eyes continue to shift between Mel and Graeme, watching one first then switching to the other. "About your …connections to what happened last week." He hadn't mentioned the mess of alphabet soup that followed, figuring the older man can fill that in now, or have it come up later.

As Graeme looks around, Melissa's cocking her head and studying him, with both her eyes and her ability. After a moment, the ache fades, while she continues to smile. "Whatever you tell me remains within these walls," she assures him.

His left hand lifts up to rub, tentatively, at his right shoulder, Graeme giving Melissa a nearly inquisitive look at the application of her ability, followed by a bit of a smile. The stab wound, while not something that's particularly bothered him, is still more noticeable when it's not hurting, the pain having been something that registered and was pushed aside by his ability. But for the moment, he's taking his time in picking out what to say. "I appreciate it. It's been an interesting bit of a storm to weather, but … I manage." Perhaps unsurprising, given Graeme's ability, that some things get so played down.

"My ability is pain manipulation. I can sense it as well as eliminate it. I try to do the latter whenever I notice it," Melissa explains, still smiling. She's not pressing for him to speak, just being patient and friendly.

There's a nod from Graeme, as that does in fact provide at least some explanation. "I… my ability is endurance," he offers, easily. "There are a lot of things that I often tend to simply brush aside, because of it. Stab wounds. Sleep. Or days in DHS holding cells. It takes more to really even bother me, but I do appreciate it."

The exchange hadn't gone unnoticed by Devon, he's well aware of what Melissa's ability does and thankfully he's so far been on the receiving end of the nullification side. His eyes narrow slightly but he makes no comment. It's not being used on him, after all.

A sympathetic look is given to Graeme by Melissa. "DHS holding cells aren't fun, no. Did they test the limits of your ability while they had you?"

"Not unless that's what they were doing by not providing a suitable place to actually sleep," Graeme says, half a chuckle in his voice and a wry smile following it. "So I stayed awake."

"Does anyone sleep in those cells," Devon wonders aloud. A shrug follows his own question as he looks at Melissa, brows lifting. "I told Graeme we could possibly help with some things. And I think he'd do the same if roles were reversed." The teacher had said as much, when the teenager had asked personally.

"I did," Melissa says to Devon. "But then, they made me spend two days straight using my ability, so I had a migraine and was exhausted." She pauses then, glancing back to Graeme. "Tell me the situation, and I'll see what I can do to help."

There's a brief grimace at the statement, before Graeme nods. "At the moment, it's simple enough, more than it might have been before. I'd worried, some, that I'd find myself in the same situation of needing to disappear. But they seem to have decided I don't know anything," and he chuckles, "which means that I seem to be clear, of this. Though now I have the interesting dilemma of having been told I'm not to leave town." He shakes his head. "Which is unfortunate. There's a nice little place my landlady has up in Montauk… Guess that's right out, too."

Pale eyes flick toward Graeme as he begins to speak, and the intern frowns faintly. He looks as though he might say something, then instead presses his lips together into a thin line. Devon's eyes return to Melissa, offering a small shrug. "He knows the Harrison woman who tried to help the Ferry. And that's why DHS had questioned him. Something about …'terrorist organizations'."

Melissa nods slowly to Graeme, then Devon, then looks back to Graeme. "Letting you go is good, especially if you weren't put on probation or something like that. It's very good that they think you don't have any useful information. But I'm not sure what about that means you need help, if you don't feel the need to disappear and you're in the clear."

"There was more of a worry that there'd be a need, before," Graeme says. "I'd been hoping, so much, not to have to lie nearly as much as I did, such that they let me go." He sighs, and shrugs.

Melissa frowns, looking questioningly at Devon for a moment. "Well, tell me what I can do to help," she says finally, smiling again.

Graeme shakes his head, after a long moment. The thoughts are milling about in his head at one of those paces that's faster than they can form into sentences, for a moment. "I don't know." Then there's a faint grin.

"Unless you're hiring bouncers, at some point in the future? Teaching with the district isn't exactly a steady and stable job these days, less so yet as a substitute." And his need for actual help isn't as big as it had been, not nearly. "And although I have no actual need to work, I get rather restless." There's another pause. "And yes, Elisabeth Harrison is a friend of mine. One of the people in this city that I trust." The faint worry creeps into his voice, unasked for.

Devon meets Melissa's gaze, shoulder raising just a little. He moves away from the door to stand at Mel's shoulder, turning to face Graeme. His hands come out from his pockets, one crossing his chest and tucking under the other while that hand lifts to cradle his chin. "Is she doing alright," he asks with tones of sincere concern. Frontline or no, that was a gutsy thing she did, and he's still a little impressed.

"If you need a job, you have a job. I always need security," Melissa says, smiling and nodding. "Just let me know when you want to start, and we'll get the paperwork dealt with. And you'll find that this is a very evo-friendly environment. I hire a lot of evolved people, and I tolerate no discrimination."

There's a nod from Graeme. "I worked as a bouncer through college, in New Mexico," he says. "And after, until the Bomb and I lost that due to being Evo, and well…" The tone of his voice reflects well enough that the idea of an evo-friendly environ is a welcome one. "I'm supposedly on light activity because of having been stabbed in the shoulder, for another few weeks. But after that, well, I appreciate it."

"It doesn't feel as though the injury is that bad anymore," Melissa murmurs thoughtfully. "But yes, it's better to let it heal than strain it and cause permanent damage." She grabs a business card, offering it to him. "Just give me a call whenever you're ready."

Graeme takes the card, tucking it into his shirt pocket, and chuckles. "It's been a few weeks, since it happened. And that's more likely than not my ability there, kicking into play, as much as anything else. Even when it happened, it didn't bother me too much, and so I've been taking it pretty easy." There's a turn to Devon, answering the question. "Liz is doing alright, mainly. I haven't talked to her since before DHS and all of that."

"Good," Devon says with a small nod. His eyes follow the exchange of card, then glance back to Melissa briefly. "We on for ball later this week," he asks, glancing back to Graeme and making an intentional change in conversation. "There's a park a few blocks away with some hoops. —Or maybe it's a school. But it's got a couple of half courts chalked out."

Melissa nods. "Yeah, it feels about that. And I sympathize. I've gotten injured plenty. And the shoulder is always tricky. It's easy to lose full use of the arm."

There's a nod in response to what Melissa says. Or maybe it's in response to Devon's question about basketball. Ambiguity sets in rather easily, at the moment. "Yeah." The words, though, are definitely addressed to Devon, showing an easiness of conversation that's been at least a little bit lacking in other parts. "Maybe I'll even let you win a bit." Which carries the tone of voice of a challenge. There's a smile to Melissa, and to Devon. "I should be getting back to my apartment, I'm sure Odin prolly misses me. But I'll see you soon."

"Whatever," Devon replies with a smirk. "Old man. I went easy on you last time." He follows with a nod to Graeme, arms folding over his chest. "Later, Graeme."

Melissa smiles. "It was nice to meet you, Graeme. Don't get stabbed again, hmm?" she says, with a light, teasing smile.

Graeme rises to his feet, easily, hands both tucked back into the pockets of his jeans. "Yeah," he says. "I'll try not to. It was nice to meet you, and I can see why Devon spoke well of you." There's a smile in return, and a half-quirked eyebrow as he turns to Devon before leaving. "Kid, I went easy on you."

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