Family Stuff


devon2_icon.gif graeme2_icon.gif melissa_icon.gif

Scene Title Family Stuff
Synopsis Family isn't for secrets. Not real family. But family is a touchy topic, too. (In other words: family stuff is complicated.)
Date April 27, 2011


"Abandon hope all ye who enter here."

That is the sign that rests just above the double doors that lead from the small foyer into the club proper. Once through the doors the music is all-encompassing, the heavy bass beat filling the room and senses of the club-goers. The decor is all dark, the walls painted black, the bar a sleek dark wood. The lights all have a reddish tinge to them, with the bar and DJ booth being the only places in the club proper that have more normal white light.

There are high tables with equally tall chairs circling a large dance floor, and booths set along two of the walls. But while socializing is a big part of the club, the dancing is the priority. People, some Goths, some punks, and some just people who like to dance are all packed on the dance floor. Weaving through the sea of people are servers, men and women both, dressed in black pants or skirts, and tee-shirts that have "Tartarus" written across the chest in red lettering. Likewise there are security people at the door and mixed through the club, in similar outfits, only their shirts have "SECURITY" on the back.

Ahh. Wednesday. The day that announces that the week is half over, and the weekend is looming. Not that it matters much to Melissa since she works on the weekend, but still, she's at Tartarus, right around dinnertime. She sits at her usual spot at the bar, with a plate of food and a drink, idly eating while she watches the club, keeping an eye out for any potential problems.

Graeme emerges from the supply closet run he'd been asked to do, depositing the bottles and other miscellany at the inside edge of the counter, before glancing over to Melissa. There's a wry smile on his face, but even Graeme's supply of patience runs slightly thin at times, and he reaches up, rubbing at his shoulder idly. It's sore. Carrying bottles and other such things back and forth is a decidedly different use of the unused muscles, and he's got half a mind to wonder if she'd specifically made sure he got those tasks. But still, there's a grin, a moment later, and he walks over towards her. "You have a moment?" comes the question, pitched to carry enough over the music and everything else, but not that much louder.

While on the topic of potential problems, one is coming through the door. Far too young to be admitted into the club, but in good with security, Devon appears in the doorway. He's properly stopped by security and questioned, but instead of fear or nervousness about being caught in a forbidden place, he simply pulls out his ID and offers it to the guy. An easy grin follows whatever quiet joke comes from the security guard, likely a quip over his age if one's to judge by the attempted head ruffling.

A laugh and retort follows from Devon as he takes his ID back. And a turn follows the man's nod toward Melissa. He fistbumps with the guard before moving away from the entrance and to the counter, sliding onto an open stool beside the pain manipulator. A nod goes to Graeme before the teen, as though he owned the place, waves to the barkeep.

The question has Melissa glancing up, and she nods as she drags a fry through a pool of ketchup. "Sure. Have a seat, tell me what's on your mind," she says before nibbling on the fry. Then she grins at Devon. "Hey you. Looks like you're in a good mood today."

Seat, right. Graeme pulls the barstool next to where he's been standing out, and sits down, a nod offered to Devon. "Couple of things," he says. "Am I clear to maaaybe start doing security work a night or two a week?" There's almost a boyish, hopeful look on Graeme's face as he asks the question.

"It's a common misconception," Devon replies in mock seriousness, a brow-raised glance going to Melissa. "I can be grumpy if you'd prefer it." He grins, toothy and still feigned in its falsity, probably something he'd entertain Junie with. He glances toward Graeme, but witticisms are lost when the barkeep appears. "Rootbeer," the teen orders, without hesitation and a grin returning to his countenance.

"Hell no. I like you in this mood," Melissa says, grinning and nudging her plate so it's halfway between her and Devon, silently offering to share. She looks back to Graeme and nods. "If you think your shoulder's good for it, then yeah, go for it. Wanna start Friday, at the auction?"

Graeme is doing his best to pretty much stifle the laughter at the exchange between Devon and Melissa. "It is." Whatever comment about whether or not carrying things around helps is bitten back, because regardless, Graeme keeps the snarking comments for when he's not around his boss. "Sounds good, then," he says, pulling out his cell phone. "And whenever you've got a few, Liz asked me to pass on a few messages to you."

Brows lift at that and Melissa nods. "Go ahead. I don't keep secrets from Devon," she tells Graeme, eating another fry, but looking curious now. "Family isn't for secrets. Not real family. And he's my brother, so…no secrets."

There's a twinge across Graeme's face, some unidentifiable emotion of guilt or grief or possibly both, when Melissa says the word family, but it's shoved aside, ignored. "Sure." Then he grins, flipping through the cell phone, which is of the cheap flip phone variety and not the nicer smart phone that he often has.

"One, Richard Cardinal's gone underground. Entirely." There's a soft sigh, and Graeme shakes his head. "But," and he hunts in the pockets of his pants once more, coming up with a pencil and a scrap of paper that are probably in there for this very purpose, "this is a number that reaches Liz. She asked me to give it to you… she's putting some things in motion. So, you have it." The number is copied from the phone to the piece of paper, offered over to Melissa.

A fry is snatched from the plate as Devon turns to look out over the rest of the club. His apparent focus remains outward, a polite front that may or may not give Graeme the privacy to speak. Of course, Melissa should recognize the subtle changes of his expression, and he is listening, filing the information away. The stolen fry is bitten in half as his eyes follow a patron back to her table, then flick to pick out movement amongst another small group.

"Can't say I find myself feeling much about Cardinal going underground," Melissa admits as she wipes her fingers off on a napkin, then draws out her phone to plug in the name and number. "Guessing she wants me to call her so me and mine can be included in these things?" she asks, glancing to Devon, arching a brow.

"I never particularly found myself liking the man overmuch," Graeme admits. But he does care for Liz, and the hurt that it's causing Liz is enough to make him dislike that Cardinal's gone. Graeme glances at Devon, and the particulars of why Graeme dislikes Cardinal are pushed aside, to wait for a day when the teenager isn't around. "And yes, more or less. I don't know precisely what it is, but." He shrugs. Don't shoot the messenger, and all of that.

Pale eyes slant toward Melissa, the teen's gaze meeting hers. He shrugs slightly and turns back to the bar to lay claim over another fry. "Couldn't hurt to hear her out," he says simply enough. "At least get an idea of what she wants." The second fry is popped into his mouth as the bar tender appears with a glass of rootbeer, his freed hand going into his pocket to pull out a couple of dollars in exchange. "Could be a good business opportunity, or bite us in the ass either way," Devon continues once the drink man has moved on.

Melissa falls quiet for a minute, then she nods, first to Devon, then to Graeme. "I'll give her a call. Hearing her out won't hurt, as Devon said. Worst that happens is I don't like it and say no," she says, shrugging.

There's a quiet chuckle from Graeme. "Yeah, well, that's always a possibility." And then, he falls silent, apparently satisfied that he passed the message. Brows furrow in thought for a moment, something else on his mind, but it's not brought up. "But, good."

"Penny for your thoughts," Devon says with a glance toward Graeme. He picks up his glass and takes a drink, that early bout of teenaged normalcy, or near normalcy, put off for a moment and the more serious side of the kid back in full force. As his glass lowers again, his eyes go to Melissa for a moment, then back to Graeme.

Melissa doesn't say anything, but then, Devon did the talking for her in this instance. She just scoops up another fry, munching on it as she watches Graeme.

Graeme nods. "Alright, go ahead." His gaze darts between Melissa and Devon once, settling on the teenager. "I suppose there are some penny-thoughts floating about here somewhere. But anyway."

Devon sits upright and levels a look at Graeme. For a long moment he says nothing, expression cooling into a dispassionate demeanor. Wordlessly, he stands and walks away from the bar, chin lifted and hands going into his pockets. There's no determined destination in mind, though he seems to be headed toward the offices.

For a moment Melissa watches Devon walk off, but doesn't do anything to stop him. Instead she looks back to Graeme. "There's something on your mind, we both noticed, and he's more of an adult than a lot of adults I've met. You could've talked about it with him here."

Graeme looks at Devon walking off, then back to Melissa. "If it were anything else on my mind, I would have, but not this. It's … nothing, really, but." Graeme pauses, looking up at the ceiling. "I'm sorry. I'm slightly lost in my own thoughts and it's nothing coherent enough to bother anyone else talking about it anyway. Just family stuff." He shrugs.

Once out of sight, Devon lets himself into the manager's office. He even takes up her chair, once closed within the room, with hands lacing behind his head as he leans back to stare at the ceiling.

Melissa's head tilts. "Well, if you change your mind, I'm here. Cheesy as it sounds, I like to think I'm friends with my employees, not just their boss. You included." She smiles and grabs the last fry, eating it before she rises to her feet. "Anyway. Security on Friday. If it ends up being too much for your shoulder, let me know. For now, I need to get some paperwork done."

There's a faint smile offered to Melissa. "Of course. Like I said, it's just family stuff, my sister and a lot of that, and it's complicated. I don't even know where to start, even if it is bothering me." His tone of voice, however, betrays that perhaps, it's bothering him more than he lets on, though he's not going to truly admit that he might even want to talk about it some, brought back to the front of his thoughts by mention of Cardinal and then subsequent mention of family.

"Well, whatever it is, I'll listen, and I'll keep it between us." Melissa rests a hand lightly on Graeme's shoulder for a moment. "I'll be in the back until close," she says, before heading back towards the office as well.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License