Face The World


devon2_icon.gif graeme2_icon.gif

Scene Title Face the World
Synopsis Morning comes, and eventually it'll be time for both intern and teacher to face the world.
Date May 19, 2011

Dorchester Towers: Remi and Graeme's Apartment

The afternoon and evening passed uneventful after Graeme left to take Odin for a walk. The apartment remained relatively quiet with its sole occupant and guest. Devon had investigated briefly, really just familiarizing himself with the layout of the residence before picking out a space on the floor in front of the couch.

In the time that Graeme had been gone, Devon had tried phoning Melissa again, hanging up when there wasn't an answer. He'd gone through the few belongings he had with him, cycling a round into the chamber of his firearm before tucking it into the waist of his pants, sets his laptop up to charge. And mainly, he just sat on the floor, in front of the couch. Such is how the teenager had been found when the official resident of the apartment returned sometime late in the night.

Devon had humored the teachers attempts to engage, playing a game of scrabble and giving the older man a run for his money despite his lack of attention to the game. Graeme still won in the end, but only just. As the night wore on, the younger man finally retreated to a corner near the couch, though sleep was hard to come by, leaving the teacher to finish out the evening as he would.

Come morning, the young guest is found sitting on the floor as he'd been found just a few short hours ago. His laptop is perched on his lap, fingers scrolling through pages with an idleness. To give the impression, he may or may not be reading anything on the display. The only way to truly tell is by the subtle jerking of his eyes, showing tired in the screen's glow but moving at a rhythm akin to reading.

Upon his return, Graeme was quiet. What happened while he was out isn't something that the teacher feels comfortable sharing with the teenager, isn't something that the teacher feels is necessary to share. It's not a secret, and if he were to be confronted about it, he'd tell, but in the mean time, Graeme simply had too many of his own feelings to mull over and figure out, hidden behind his usual behaviour for the evening.

Eventually, after dinner, Graeme even gave up on trying to persuade Devon that there was the fold-out bed from the couch, or the guest room, and simply provided some blankets, and a pillow. And after the game of Scrabble, Graeme had retreated to grading papers and worksheets at the table, then getting the teenager to review a lesson plan for whether or not it'd be interesting to the preteens he teaches, finally and eventually retreating to his room. But the teacher didn't sleep either, at least not much.

Mostly, after that, it's the vague sound of the punching bag that filters through the apartment, until what becomes a reasonable hour of the morning when one doesn't sleep for long arrives, and, still faintly damp from the shower but dressed in dark grey khakis and a grey teeshirt in what seems to be the beginning of work clothes, Graeme emerges, pausing at one edge of the living room to pick up the remote control and point it at the stereo for a little, after which the vague sounds of classic rock, in this case The Eagles' Desperado, start to drift through the apartment.


"Morning," Devon replies, eyes lifting away from the screen to mark Graeme's entrance. With deliberate slowness, he pushes the lid to the laptop closed with a gentle click. With equal care, it's set aside before he draws himself up from the floor. He drags a hand through his hair, doing little set it to rights. His own t-shirt and jeans are the same he'd had on yesterday, rumbled from the long hours already spent in them.

There's a sense of awkwardness, Devon's gaze flicking away from Graeme to some point on a wall. His hands go into his pockets and shoulders shrug slightly. "Thanks again," he offers. "For… letting me stay and all. I… I could probably just… Doctor Brennan might be able to put me up for a night or two, so you don't…" A hand comes from his pocket to rub the back of his neck.

There's that stubborn set to his jaw again. "Don't worry about it," Graeme says. "There's a guest bed, you know, you don't have to stay on the floor." Though the statement is mostly teasing, since they've been over this. "Shower's yours when you want it, there are clean towels out, and I mean it when I say don't worry about it. You're not a burden, and I like having company and such. It gets boring as hell by myself here," he admits. "And you can stay here another few nights, though I'll probably go back to Aric's this evening. But I'll be back tonight, if you want."

Another shrug, just the one shoulder rising and falling this time. "I know," Devon answers. "It's just that…" But whatever it is goes unsaid. He sighs and turns to gather his pack rather than dig through the clothes and personal items inside. It's pulled onto his shoulder as he pads down the hall and into the bathroom. The door is closed very softly behind him and after a couple of minutes the sounds of water running can be heard. It's hard to explain, the different sort of anxiety after the show he'd put on, coupled with the unsureness that comes with staying at someone's house. Far easier to hide it in a shower.

While Devon's in the shower, Graeme moves to the kitchen, taking out the eggs and tortillas and beans and shredded chicken that he'd picked up at the market yesterday. Chilaquiles are probably going to be breakfast, and there'll be enough for Devon as well, though not finished when the teenager gets out of the shoer.

And as he cooks, the teacher sings along, softly and slightly off key. Singing has never been his talent, or anything. The singing, however, is interrupted for reenforcement of the fact that chilaquiles are not dog food. "No, Odin, you don't get any. Your chicken is over there, in the bowl next to the rest of your food." There's a bit of a smile on Graeme's face, though it's incredulous as he realises that most of the time, he talks to Odin in full sentences like the dog was a person. On the other hand, Graeme's also certain that the dog is a lot smarter than he gives him credit for, and then Graeme goes back to singing along. "~Don't your feet get cold in the winter time? The sky won't snow and the sun won't shine, it's hard to tell the night time from the day…~"

Minutes pass with the only sound interrupting the cooking and music being the shower running. Five, ten minutes, and when the radio passes into the next song, the water cuts off. It's still several moments longer before Devon reappears, clean and in fresher clothes than he'd disappeared in. His bag is returned to the floorspace the teen had used for sleeping, blankets folded and pillow set on top. And so Graeme is given some time to himself and his culinary skills before the younger man finally hedges toward the kitchen.

"I need to go out later," he says, in that quiet way. "I… to find something for Yana. To… so she can continue her act." Devon pushes his hands into his pockets, looking from the stove to Odin, regarding the dog with unsureness. "Not a date but… Something to display my interests. Maybe… Friday I'll invite her out again."

At the discouragement, Odin eventually moves away from the stove, back to the corner of the living room where there's a sizable dog bed, and a bone, and the bone becomes the center of the Great Dane's attention rather than the people. It's arguably more interesting. "I can take you wherever you want to start on my way to work, and then you can make your way back here whenever. I don't mind, just be back by curfew and all," Graeme says. "Chocolates would still be a good idea, I think. Chocolates, with one nice red rose. It's classy, and that's good, without being too forward. If you keep this up, at some point, I'll go with you and we'll buy earrings you can give to her." The unspoken part of that is that it'll come out of Graeme's spending money rather than Devon's, as Graeme stirs the food on the stove again, pursing his lips at it.

"You have the spare key, and I let the front desk downstairs know that you're staying, so if you forget the key or something, you can get the management to let you into the apartment by showing your ID and all. Even I've had to do that a few times. Put your laundry in a bag or something, I'll send it with the laundry service and it'll be clean tomorrow."

"They still know me from before," Devon says. He leans against the frame that separates kitchen from living space. "When I lived with Brad. I'd… I left my key for his place under the door, since… Doesn't matter. Chocolates and a rose were my plan too, something …that you wouldn't find in a regular market. Maybe a poem, nothing cheesy but nothing too forward either." For future gifts, he says nothing, simply filing the idea of earrings away.

Turning so that his back is to the frame, Devon tips his head back a little. "Am I doing the right thing," he asks, though it's been asked before. "Doing what she's asked by playing this role? I need to call her still and tell her I'm agreeing to bringing her into Studio K with the vaccine. —Maybe I can get her to tip her hand and finish it earlier."

Graeme nods. "A red rose, though, or one of the red and yellow ones. Not one of the other colours. In college, we were taught that red is classy, that red is the most appropriate at least at the 'courtship' sort of thing, and even if it's a role, that's probably what you should aim for," Graeme says. "And yes, Devon. You are doing the right thing, for now. It's the option we have, getting the vaccine made this way. It buys time, time for Brennan and I, for Liz and I, to figure out what we need to do. Tell her that you're agreeing, but don't give her a timeframe, yet."

There's a soft frown on his face, as he finally turns off the flame of the stove, removes the pan from the burner that had been active, and brings down two plates. "I made breakfast. I don't care if you don't have much, but you're going to have some, alright?"

An exhale, long and not at all as relaxing as it could be is pressed through his nose. Devon's eyes fall closed briefly then open again in an elongated blink. "How many people are going to die before we bring it to light," he asks aloud. "We don't exactly have time to formulate for every possible situation. I've got to talk to Liz. …And Pe- Melissa. We have to start planning."

The teenager looks past Graeme to the cooking on the stove. He still isn't hungry, but he'll humor the teacher. "Yeah, I'll eat something."

"All we need is a few more days," Graeme says. "I talked to Liz last night, I need to talk to Brennan after he finds out what he can, and Liz said that she may want to talk to the good doctor herself." There's a pause before Graeme continues. "There may not be an alternative to bringing it to light like this, but I at least want to make sure that we have a damn good way of holding her to her end of the bargain."

"I also want to find out if Brennan has some way of getting the supply of vaccine made … one woman making vaccine is not going to make an awful lot of it." Graeme's lips form into a grim line as he serves himself food, before a nod of his head to Devon indicating that the teenager should come deal with how much he wants. "I'll try and get a hold of Mel. I left a message, and I'm working tonight and tomorrow night, so …" There's a shrug.

"She what?" Devon's hands come up and press against his eyes. "Fuck. Fuck she's going to fucking… If people come around asking her about this vaccine…" Dropping his hands, he turns from the kitchen to stuff his laptop into his pack. All he'd wanted was help knowing where to move next, especially when tallies came to light. He knows the news media likes to sensationalize things, but he saw Studio K's producer in the throes of sickness.

Dragging the zipper around to close off his pack, Devon pulls it onto his shoulders and hunts for his shoes. "How do I stop this," he asks out loud. "People are going to die and now it's wait a few days. We can't just sit around like this and wait for answers to come. We need to… I don't know. Figure out what the hell we're doing while we're doing it."

Graeme puts his plate of food down, having taken a few bites, and walks over, prying the pack off of Devon's shoulders again, one hand stilling the teenager from hunting for his shoes. "Devon," he says, quiet. "I need you to calm down. Liz is not going to talk to Ms. Blite, Elisabeth is going to talk to Brennan. What we do now is after we've eaten breakfast, I go take you where you need to go to buy the chocolates and rose, and you write a note and have those delivered and you go out with her tomorrow night, and we see what happens after that." He still doesn't release the teenager.

He may not be much match for Graeme in stamina or training, but that doesn't stop Devon from pulling away from him. There's more struggle ensuing with regards to his backpack, a wild flail of arm meant to keep it in place on his shoulders though it's lost in the end. He pushes once against the teacher's staying hand before letting out a frustrated, "Fuck."

As he turns to move away from Graeme, Devon's hands come up and grab his head. "This isn't my game. This… manipulation and… I can be subtle and I can act but… We need to have that vaccine yesterday. And without more people finding out about …everything!"

"And rushing into things is not going to get us anywhere any faster, Devon," Graeme says. "Take a deep breath." The bag is carefully put down to one side, out of easy reach, and then Graeme sets both hands on the teenager's shoulders, gentle but firm enough that should there be another struggle, the teenager isn't going to be able to get out. "The best way that we can do this is the way that we already have. When you go out with her tomorrow night, you'll agree to what she wants, and you'll find out if she has the vaccine. After that, Brennan's going to see if he can get her to the studio and get your boss better, before it's too late on that. We need the vaccine yesterday but we cannot be rash about this. I know it's hard. I know."

There's a very gentle shake, before Graeme draws the teenager into a brief hug. Man-hug him to death, or at least into calm and cooperation as far as that goes. "Right now, you're going to sit down at the table and eat breakfast, okay? There's food, and we have orange juice, or I could make coffee or tea, or there's water, and there's soda too if you want it." Graeme lets go of Devon, for the most part, but does begin to steer the teen towards the table in the area of the apartment that is the dining room, although it's not truly a distinct room from the living room, and only separated from the kitchen by one of the half-walls.

"What if it's already too late?!" Devon pulls his shoulders from Graeme's initial grasp before turning to confront him. "I'm not rushing, I'm… I don't know! I …I gotta find…" He sighs and rubs a hand over his forehead. "I'm not hungry," the teenager continues. The hug, man hug or not, is met with the same reaction he'd shown Brennan, with a tensing that lends toward a tremble. "I'll have some orange juice or water but… I don't want any food right now."

"You can't think of it like that," Graeme says, patiently, rubbing the teen's shoulders when it lends towards the tremble. "For now, we're going to sit at the table, and you're going to eat something." Graeme steers the teenager to the table, firmly, and points to a chair. There's no arguing, really, it's the teacher-persona, capable of being very insistent with what he's decided is going to happen. When Devon is seated, Graeme serves a very small portion of the chilaquiles for him, and puts both plates in the microwave to heat them up some more, because breakfast has gotten cold while they've been talking.

Two glasses are pulled down, orange juice poured and brought to the table. "You've got all day today, but being 'I don't know' isn't going to help. We're going to stick to the plan of action we figured out yesterday, remember? Buy her chocolates, ask her out again tomorrow night. Try and enjoy dinner out with her, be interested in her ability, in what she has to say about abilities in general, find out her progress on the vaccine and if she has it, and tell her you're agreeing to getting her into Studio K to broadcast it."

"Talk to whoever it is that's in charge in the boss' stead about this, and we'll make it happen. But you need to calm down now, Devon. Trust me that we're doing the right thing and that we can't hurry through this, and that me, Liz, Brennan, we'll do everything we can to help you, okay?"

With reluctance, Devon lets himself be prodded to the table. He sinks into the chair assigned to him, eyes lifting from the table top to Graeme. He regards the teacher, silent, not exactly sullen, as he goes about finishing and fixing breakfast. Eyes fall to the plate as it's placed in front of him, and if he'd looked uninterested in food yesterday, he might well be sick today. Pushing the plate aside with one hand, the other lifts to cradle his forehead.

"Where do I take her," the teenager asks, eyes closing again. "I took her to a sushi place last time. —I need to get in contact with Melissa and Perry, they need to know what's going on. And Kincaid too. For Studio K access." He's still not sure he trusts Kincaid's insistence that his internship hasn't been terminated, but knows that Messiah's leaders need to be updated. It's still troublesome that he hasn't heard from either of them.

"Italian is usually a pretty nice bet," Graeme says. And he'll give the teen back the credit card, at some point, because expensive restaurants are in fact expensive. "Alternately, there are some very nice Persian restaurants, but the food is a bit of an acquired taste so that wouldn't be good. Or perhaps Salvadoran, there's one of those I know of, it's a very nice restaurant and isn't the usual, but it's definitely up there in the four star range that she would like," he says. "It would show thoughtfulness in choosing where to take her out to dinner to, as well." Graeme looks at the plate, and then gently pushes it back to Devon. "Eat. Take a few bites," he insists. It's bordering on an order. "I'd really rather avoid Melissa's anger if I don't feed you." The second is added, perhaps to get the teen to eat.

"And yes, that's prolly good. Like I said, I'll drive you anywhere you need to go, when I'm not at work, and I"ll pick up up if you're still out afterwards and all," Graeme adds, finishing his own plate of food and picking up his orange juice. There's a glance to Devon. "And remember, you can stay here as long as you need to. You talk to Kincaid, give him my phone number and have him call me too, would you?" Whatever it is, Graeme wants to make sure that Kincaid is on the same page for all of this, though he trusts the teenager immensely. There are some things he'd just rather do himself.

The plate isn't initially glanced at when it comes near again. Devon instead picks up his glass of orange juice and takes a tentative sip at that. That follows with the rest of the glass being drained.

It takes some time for the teenager to come around to eating, his plate isn't cleaned by he convinces himself to try a few bites of the food. He even helps with clearing and cleaning away breakfast. While Graeme disappears in his room to finish readying for work, Devon attends to making another couple of calls.

The outcome of that is known only to Devon, but he's ready to go by the time Graeme reappears. There's shopping to be done, and work to get to, and in no time teacher and intern are out the door to face the world.

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