graeme_icon.gif tamara_icon.gif

Scene Title Fishing
Synopsis Fishing for conversation, fishing for common ground, fishing for cards…
Date November 21, 2011

Jaiden's Lakeside Resort, Kabetogama, MN

Afternoon comes and nearly goes again, before Graeme (followed by Odin, who also doesn't seem to mind the cold) seeks out Tamara, having heard that she was awake. The former teacher has one hand in a pocket, the other hand with a thumb hooked through a belt loop, and he's still not dressed appropriately for the weather, although by the dampness on the edges of his sweatshirt he's been out in it.

A nod is given when he comes into sight, and then he says, a soft southwestern drawl colouring the words, "Glad you're up… Folks were worried about you." A glance to the dog. "Odin was worried about you," but what goes unsaid is that Graeme was worried, too. "I'm Graeme," he adds, realising an introduction might in fact be in order. "You're Tamara, right? That's about what Ygraine told me."

Seated in the corner of the couch, legs folded beside her and stocking feet just barely tucked under the cushion at her back, Tamara casts a smile at Graeme as he enters. She might have been dozing there, although she doesn't give any impression of being perturbed by his disruption, and seems plenty alert and aware. Dressed in a burgundy knit sweater and tan pants, she holds a small, squishy red ball meant for playing with a dog somewhat smaller than Odin; one thumb taps idly against its curve.

"Yes," Tamara says amiably, acknowledgment of everything Graeme has said all at once. "Did you sit?" she asks of him, while stretching out a hand and flexing fingers in more straightforward invitation to the dog.

That invitation is all that Odin needs, and Tamara finds herself sharing the couch with the Great Dane. The dog knows attention when he sees it, and quickly abandons Graeme to press his nose into Tamara's hand, tail wagging.

Graeme catches his teeth on his lower lip for a moment. "Just got finished chopping firewood," he says, though he does move to sit on the chair across from the couch. "We should be set for at least a few weeks, with what I've done." Because that's where Graeme's worry goes, into activity, into physical doing until it takes over and the gnawing in the pit of his stomach temporarily quiets. "I'm still… getting used to things up here."

Tamara obligingly scratches the dog, one-handed but fairly diligent about it. Her gaze remains focused on Graeme, thoughtful, contemplative. "You were," the seer affirms absently. Shifting her feet a bit so as to accommodate the dog, she leans out to set the ball on the table, positioning it just so — the better for it to not roll away. Then she drapes one arm over the arm of the couch, and resumes idly petting Odin.

"What were you getting used to?" Tamara asks, honestly curious. Those blanks, she can't very well fill in on her own.

"It's different, being up here," Graeme says, eventually, although Tamara's question gets a moment of silent contemplation before he answers. Time in which Odin settles onto the couch, entirely content with the attention, one big paw against her leg just in case she thought she was doing anything other than provide him with the required amount of attention. "And now, it's more different. And I can't fix any of it." He shrugs.

"I think more than anything I miss the routine I had when I had jobs. It gave me something to do other than endlessly chopping firewood. I taught middle school and high school until all of this happened." He shakes his head after a moment. "I'm sorry. I didn't… mean to suddenly start on with my problems, that… for the most part compared to the problems of the world are relatively unimportant."

Dogs, at least, are nicely uncomplicated: you either avoid them, or you pet them; and when you pet them, they are happy. People… Tamara turns her gaze down to the dog while Graeme considers, ceding him that time. All the time he needs; they have more than enough.

"World problems were big," she observes, once he's finished. She doesn't look up from the dog, not then. "Full of thorns and always shouting from the rooftops." Now the young woman's face lifts, one hand waving vaguely at the room around them, the barely-inhabited lands beyond its walls. "You have a big dog," Tamara continues, whatever that has to do with anything, "but this is a small place. Quiet. It was good for people-sized problems."

"I think they still are big, probably," Graeme admits, brow furrowing sharply for a moment, and then he shakes it off. The mention of the dog at least gets a smile from the former teacher. A smile that doesn't last very long and soon turns wistful and distant. "He was my sister's. She left him with me before she left, earlier this year." Teeth catch on his lower lip. "He's a good dog."

There's a half a quiet chuckle. "It's too quiet, that's what," he says. "I'd finally gotten used to the noise and hustle of the city."

Tamara gives Graeme a sidewise look at his first remark, one he knows well from dealing with kids: well, duh. She also pauses in petting the dog for that moment, to his disapproval, but resumes in short order. Her attention turns back to Odin, or appears to; it isn't, really. There isn't much attention needed for petting a dog.

Graeme's remarks are taken in, parsed, considered. Afterwards, Tamara draws in a breath, breathes out a quiet sigh. Looks over at him again with a rueful, lopsided smile. "Enjoy it while it's here," she tells him, which is always good advice.

The look that he gets gets a bit of a chuckle and a grin out of the teacher. At the very least, it seems to break the melancholy that lays over most of the house, and he shakes his head, although it's not particularly at what the teenager says. "One day at a time, or something like that," he agrees. After that, he changes the topic, asks, "So how do you know Ygraine, anyway?"

With agreement reached, to some degree, Tamara leans back into the corner of the couch. She scrubs her hands over her face, heedless of the dog fluff inevitably clinging to them, fluff that in turn gets blown off into the air or lingers on skin and shirt. She pauses briefly with hands aligned over her lower face, fingertips meeting across the bridge of her nose, blue gaze regarding Graeme around their lines.

Finally, Tamara lets them drop into her lap. "She knew the mirror," the seer replies with a mild grimace, fully aware that it isn't really a good answer, even by her definition. "But probably it was better to ask her." She reaches over to pat the dog before he can become more than just a little mournful about the interrupted attention. "How will you?"

"I, um…" Graeme starts to answer almost automatically and then double-takes, and falls silent. In the silence, his teeth catch on his lower lip, in dents from biting it too many times in the past, and for a brief moment his breath catches in renewed grief and loss, and he looks beyond Tamara and out the window, and lets the breath out, slowly.

"I don't know, yet," he says. It's an answer to something perhaps other than the question that the teenaged seeress asked. And then he glances back, and asks in return, "How will I what?"

Tamara had hoped for a different response, but… well, that potential hadn't been high. Draping one arm over the arm of the couch and leaning her chin against the furnishing, she fuffs out a breath that momentarily lifts a few strands of hair from her face. She regards Graeme steadily for several beats, then shakes her head. "I'm not fishing," the seer declares, what seems a pronounced non-sequitur. "That was a different day."

Prying herself out from under the dog's oversized sprawl, Tamara pads over to the window Graeme had been gazing past, scooping up the little red ball as she goes. Her fingers tap erratically on the sides of the orb while she examines the view outside. "Small things were hard," she remarks, perhaps to herself, perhaps to him. "All drift." Turning around, she steps up behind Graeme's chair, leaning a hand lightly on it. "Pick a game," Tamara suggests instead, an invitation offered, a change in context.

Graeme looks at Tamara, brow furrowing a little for a moment. "It's okay," he offers her, reassurance for which of them the words are intended as remaining uncertain. Then he scoots off the chair so that he can look under the coffee table, coming out with a deck of cards, and then, it would seem, the former teacher has an idea. One which lights his face into an amused but happy smile.

"Alright," he agrees, undoing the rubber band and shuffling the cards idly in one hand. "Let's play 'Go Fish'." A pause, "Though you'll probably win. I have a terrible lack of a poker face." A terrible poker face but decent at card tricks, by the ease with which he continues to shuffle. Another pause, "But it'll be fun."

The deck of cards is… not Tamara's first choice of game media, but she did leave it up to him knowing full well they were likely to come out. She gives a twitch as he shuffles — each and every time he shuffles — but also offers a decisive nod and an amiable smile. "Okay!" the seer agrees, moving back around the table to the couch and persuading Odin to make room for her. That isn't very difficult, given as company also implicitly means attention for the dog.

Patting the dog agreeably, Tamara looks across at Graeme. "You dealt, then." She says nothing about whether or not she'll win — she could. But this isn't about winning or losing, just about playing the game… and finding somewhat better common ground between them.

Rather than sit back on his chair, Graeme just settles down on the floor in front of the table, and deals out a pile of cards for each of them, alternating, sets the remainder of the deck in the middle. His own cards are picked up, looked at, and he glances over to Tamara. "Do you have any aces," he says to begin the game. Half a question, not quite enough of one, but close enough.

Given cards, Tamara collects them into a hand and grins across the table. "Not this time. Go fish."

Shuffled and dealt, the cards may be immutable, but the choices of the players aren't — and the conversation those choices create comes much more easily to them both.

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