elisabeth_icon.gif graeme2_icon.gif

Scene Title Hindsight
Synopsis It's one of the topics that comes up over early morning coffee. The rest of them manage to be a little more cheerful.
Date June 9, 2011

Endgame Safehouse

With Graeme keeping watch, Elisabeth can't walk the halls quite as much as she might otherwise. But when she gets up, it's still barely light. And as she stands in the kitchen waiting for coffee her mind drifts a bit. She's so lost in thought that she's still standing there when the pot's actually done, her weary focus on the images and snippets of things in her mind more than on reality around her. Luckily at least here it's not a deadly mistake.

Watch has been spent, aside from the period of time where Devon got up to join him, in relative quiet, but by now Graeme's folded up the blanket, repacked things in his pack, and changed from the casual jeans and a teeshirt that he'd shown up in, into slacks, a button-down, even a tie loosely and untied around his neck. Ready to go off to work for the day at some point, and he wanders over to the kitchen, now-empty mug in hand. "Morning, you," he murmurs, barely inside the kitchen and most of his attention still on the common room. "Please say I don't look as ridiculous as I feel?"

It's rare that people get the drop on Elisabeth. And it's either a testament to how comfortable and safe she feels here or a sign of exactly how exhausted and overwrought the blonde is that Graeme manages. She jumps as if he just screamed in her ear, gasping out an "OH!" as she whirls to face him. "Don't fucking do that!" she shrills a bit, the expression on her face one that the people nearest her probably recognize quite well as momentary pure terror and panic before it's shielded behind a carefully neutral expression. Blue eyes trail over him and she smiles a little. "You look fine," she says, her hand over her heart in a classic 'holy shit, make it stop pounding so fast!' gesture.

He was trying not to surprise her, really, and Graeme walks over, momentary concern showing on his face as he gets over there, though he's not going to outright say anything. But the concern is there nonetheless. Instead, he just looks a little sheepish. "Ties always make me feel ridiculous," he says, a long pause afterwards, unspoken that it feels even more ridiculous when he's at the safehouse. "I'm sorry, didn't mean to startle you or anything." Then, the teacher takes initiative, pouring coffee first for Liz and then for himself, worry still showing a little in the furrow of his brow.

"It's okay, I was woolgathering," Elisabeth admits. She lets him pour the coffee and she doctors hers with unholy amounts of sugar and non-dairy creamer. She doesn't waste milk doing it anymore. "You look fine in a tie," she tells him, glancing at him with a grin. "Debonair. Aric must drool."

Graeme grins, blushing faintly. Not that it's all that hard to get him to blush. His own coffee is left black, entirely undoctored, and then he nods towards some of the seats in the kitchen. "Alright, I get to sit down a little while longer before I have to spend the day explaining why commas are good," he says, a faint grin on his face. "By the way … Remi's jealous. Of Aric." Graeme pauses, pulling a chair over and then sitting on it. "Of you, prolly, as well."

"I know," Elisabeth says mildly. "She and I talked a couple nights ago." She brings her coffee back toward the spool that's serving as a table, sinking into the chair wearily. "She'll get over it. She's never not been the center of attention, and she's never……" She pauses and then says bluntly, "She cares about you and she thought if anyone caught your eye on the other end of the spectrum it would be her. She's beautiful." She shrugs. "It didn't occur to her that it wasn't the physical that would draw you." Not that Liz set out to draw him. Her hands toy with the coffee cup in her hands, her eyes on the light liquid. "She'll learn. And she'll get over it. Just… give her a little time. I'll try to channel her energies into constructive things."

"Yeah, I know she will," Graeme says, quietly. "She's young enough … she could have been one of my students when I first started teaching. I mean, I took the first job when I was 22, almost 23, before I'd graduated." It's clear that the very concept unnerves him, bothers him in the way that very few things do, more than anything else, and eventually, he manages a faint smile. Or that it bothers him that he didn't see this before, when he was her roommate. Or both. "Channel it into something where she doesn't try to kiss me again, pretty please," he adds on, before taking a long sip from the coffee.

Elisabeth smirks faintly. "I sincerely doubt she'll be kissing anyone anytime soon," she comments mildly. "Unless maybe Ygraine." She shrugs slightly. "She kisses any more men, she's going to know far more about my life than she really wants to. But then again, she might decide that her admiration of me is misplaced." She sounds like she's joking. Her expression indicates it. But there's just a hint of a darker emotion to the self-deprecating smile as well.

Graeme grins a slight bit. "Someone could have warned me she was picking up more on physical contact than before," he says, with a faint shrug in between sips of coffee. "I'm used to telepathy, enough, I can keep things quiet, just."

Elisabeth nods slightly. "I knew…. she asked me to show her what was going on. So … I showed her most of the last two years." All the things Elisabeth has seen, the agonies of death and burying her lovers. She spared Remi nothing. "I didn't realize no one else knew. I also gave her a lecture on using her social savvy to pretend to know NOTHING even when she does know shit. I don't need her in my head." Especially not right now.

"I didn't know," Graeme says. "Otherwise, well. I know enough to hide things from from my thoughts. Aric gets pissed at me often enough for quieting my thoughts, hell.. She certainly didn't really need to find out who I was sleeping with quite the way she did. I wouldn't want to." Then, for a moment, Graeme falls quiet. "Thanks. Probably better you to tell her that than me right now. And no, I don't either, really."

There's a shrug. "It's my job," Elisabeth retorts lightly with a faint smile. "It's why you guys pay me the big bucks. To make the tough calls." She sets her coffee cup down and murmurs softly, "I wish…. that we could back up a couple of days. I wish I'd known Melissa'd been threatened by Heller personally before she went with Devon." She would have tried to talk the woman out of going.

Graeme rests his hand on hers, quiet. "I'm sorry I'd been out of touch and such before you guys did it," he says. Because he did know, and the fire is far too big to be a coincidence, and had he been around for the planning, he too would have tried to talk Melissa out of going. "But she's just as stubborn as any of us, you know."

"I do know," Elisabeth admits. "But I doubt any of us could have really foreseen what a motherfucker that man is. I mean… we all know it. But…. even I would have expected him to come down on Melissa. Not to kill the baby." There is a terrible sadness to that. An ache in her belly. She has to hold it together for Devon, but it hurts her too. She squeezes Graeme's hand tightly.

"Mel'd thought that she was safer, with her grandparents," Graeme adds, fingers twining in with Liz's and pain in his voice. "That it would mean they'd leave her alone." He falls quiet, for a longer time this time, both of his hands wrapping around Liz's.

Elisabeth grimaces. "Yeah…. well, as I told Devon…. hindsight is a horrible thing. And the loss of a child more so. I … didn't know the child, and I don't know Melissa well, but … I understand why Devon feels responsible. I feel the same way — like I should have seen it coming." She shakes her head. "I can … lock it away because they're not one of mine, but… God help me, Graeme, if it were one of Harmony's kids? I'd walk right into that fucking base and let them kill me if it meant taking Heller out of the equation."

Graeme holds onto Liz's hand just a little bit tighter. "Possibly part of why Mel thought to go," he offers, to break the silence. "If you see her … make sure she knows that they're looking for her, and that I doubt it's good." Gently, he disentangles his fingers, reaching for his coffee once again.

There's a nod. "As soon as you called, I put the word out," Elisabeth says immediately. She sighs heavily, running a hand through her tangled hair. The morning sucks. "School lets out soon, doesn't it?" she asks.

He nods. "End of this week, and there's no summer school. Not at the school I'm teaching at." Graeme frowns. "Not at half the schools, because they don't want to pay teachers to teach it." And school lets out, and he's out of one of his two jobs, and some of his extra and therefore more disposable income, for the next two months or more, but Graeme doesn't focus on that.

Elisabeth simply nods. She retrieves her coffee and sips from the cup without really seeming to have much else to say. His company is welcome enough, it's a companionable silence.

It's a nice silence, and Graeme sits there for a while, finishing his coffee, before eventually getting up. "I probably should go," he admits, though he doesn't actually go anywhere yet. Instead, in practised, quiet movements, the tie is tied, although not tightened, clipped to the shirt with a silver filigree pin. "But damn it, I feel ridiculous." He moves over next to Liz, drawing her into a half-hug. "But there's a meeting, and so what else'm I supposed to do?" Other than wear a tie, that is.

The blonde laughs softly and she reaches her arm up around him to hug him tightly, turning her nose into his clean shirt. The scent of clean clothes and clean guy are comforting. She holds him for a long moment and then says, "You should try pinning this mop into an invisible French braid every morning." She releases him and looks up. "Have a good one. Tell Aric I said hello."

Graeme laughs. "I get, it, I get it." Hands are held up in mock defeat, before he goes, rinsing out his coffee cup, and then disappearing into the other room, and then down and out to the street, and the day ahead.

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