Hospitality And Trust


graeme2_icon.gif ygraine2_icon.gif

Scene Title Hospitality and Trust
Synopsis In asking for something, it ventures into discussions which aren't the most comfortable, for either of them.
Date March 25, 2011

Le Rivage: Ygraine's Apartment

It's been a long second half of the afternoon, for Graeme, into evening, and when he'd called to ask if he could come over for dinner, with caveat that he'd figure out something for them to order so neither would have to cook if that was necessary, he was a bit vague about it. His expression as he was let in was equally vague, indicative of a long day, messenger bag held in his good arm rather than over his shoulder.

"Hey." If tone of voice is any indication, his day hasn't been great, at least since he talked to her last and acquiesced to going back to the doctor. Since before that, he'd seemed to have been in a damnably good mood, really.

As usual, the layers of security are restored on the door before Ygraine moves back into the living room. She looks rather tired, but is clad in her waistcoat and fop's shirt (though without boots or outer coat), with her hair braided and a hint of make-up.

"So… there's a place I used to visit while doing deliveries in Chinatown. I'm happy to put some custom their way, and food I can eat one-handed rather appeals right now. If you're offering to buy, I'll gladly put in an order to them. But what, other than spending your money, can I do for you?"

There's a hint of a smile offered to the Briton, as Graeme pauses by the door, slipping off his shoes. It's a habit, one he's never quite lost, not wearing shoes inside. "Yes, I'm offering to buy," he responds. "For one, because eating dinner by myself isn't something I'm overfond of doing, and that's all I would be doing." There's a faintly resigned tone to his voice when he speaks again. "Secondly, offering to buy food is the least I can do if I planned to ask to impose on your hospitality for a few days."

The lack of shoes thing, Ygraine quietly approves of - though the sheer hassle involved in removing her own footwear these days means that it's rather firmly gone by the wayside, at least as far as the living room is concerned. Graeme's last words, however, do bring her to a halt, blinking at him in surprise.

"Hah. Ummmm. May I ask why?", she enquires cautiously.

"You might recall telling me at some point last weekend, that you had a feeling I don't respond in the usual way to the warning signs of injury, pain, fatigue, yes?" Graeme sounds slightly weary. "Apparently, I pulled more than one of the stitches." He frowns. "The doctor more firmly suggested a week of negation drugs this time. I don't like it, but I have to admit he's right."

A slow, cautious blink, then the Briton peers at her visitor. "And… I'm your best bet for someone to keep an eye on you while you're drugged and coping with being wounded? Christ, you must be desperate. Heh. Ummmm. One week, right? I…."

She closes her eyes, then takes a deep breath, before lifting her lids and refocusing upon him. "Sorry. Take a seat. If you need help, I can give it. It's just… harder for me than many. Offering hospitality. But I do have a spare bed for a reason."

Graeme looks at Ygraine, blue eyes meeting hers for a moment. "I trust you, Ygraine. I know a few people here, but I trust you, especially since with that negated, I'm vulnerable, and possibly irritable, and god knows what," he says. "One week, minus a day or two in between depending on how well I can acclimate to it." Because if he can't, he's even less likely to want to be around anyone else. He sighs quietly, walking over towards the couch and sitting down.

Ah, that magic word. But this time, it's something stated to be placed in her. Biting her lower lip, she inhales slowly through her nose, then offers a rather stiff nod. Moving to perch on the broad, padded arm of a chair, she frowns worriedly at her visitor.

"All right. First up, some ground rules. Unless it is literally an emergency, you let no one through that door without my say-so, other than Jaiden, Liz, or Robyn. My room is out of bounds. My possessions, you take care of. And if you break the spine of any of my books, I'll have your hide. Food, you can help yourself to. Just… don't build up mess for me to deal with. I'm one-armed, too, for at least a few more days. If you're feeling sorry for yourself, don't raid my alcohol cabinet. You are not to mix drugs and alcohol while you're here. And don't take any of my own painkillers. Don't mix drugs and drugs, or I will be furious with you. You can use my 'net connection, but ask before doing anything with my computer or my phones. Well, the land-line's safe. But don't delete my messages or anything…."

Graeme nods, and there's a hint of a smile on his face as she mentions books. "Of course," he says. Her place, her rules, and from the expression on his face, they seem damn sensible to him. Nor is he in precisely a position to argue or a mood to be argumentative. "And yeah. I …" he leans back a little. "I haven't touched alcohol since early college, I'm not terribly keen to try, even if the idea of not having my ability screw with how I process it is a little tempting. Usually, my metabolism screws it up, and it's not fun." He looks up at the Briton.

"Thank you," Graeme murmurs, quietly.

Ygraine offers a tense, one-sided shrug. "The last person to whom I gave keys to this place was the young woman who used my time in the Dome as an opportunity, and who pushed me into… an episode a few days after I came out. The other two people to have been given keys received them as signs of romantic love and implicit trust. For me, this is… a rather pathetically big deal. So I apologise now for how screwed-up I am, and for whatever tensions arise."

There's a gentle smile offered to the woman. Graeme nods, quietly. It's not pathetic, as far as he sees, but there's no way he can figure out how to say that aloud, and he rests his messenger bag on his lap. "'Salright," he murmurs, quietly, digging through his messenger bag to come out with the bottle of negation pills, little blue and green capsules, and Graeme looks at his phone, before taking one out, carefully, closing the bottle and putting it back. He'd been procrastinating starting to take them until he wasn't by himself, and he frowns. "Now or never, I suppose?" There's a pause. "I don't know. Or if I should take one of the pills for pain as well, at the same time…"

Ygraine shakes her head. "The first night's quite possibly going to be the worst. Unpack. Eat. Get comfortable. Then do it when your body's as contented and relaxed as you can hope for. But…."

A sigh, and she rubs at her eyes with her hand. "I'm trying to say that I'll try to have it be all right, but…." Rising to her feet, she turns and heads for the main bedroom.

Graeme nods. The small capsule is slipped into his pocket, and he watches the Briton, not yet getting up. He'll put his bag in the spare room in a little bit. There's something taken from her attempt at reassurance, because Graeme seems to relax just a fraction more, and it's present in his voice, as well. "Thanks, Ygraine."

There are faint sounds of rummaging and movement, Ygraine out of sight for perhaps half a minute. Then she returns, bearing a sheet of paper, stalking across to thrust it at Graeme, her expression distinctly tense.

It's a simple photocopy of an original item, but the text is clearly formal. Signed and countersigned. By people with letters (in each case including 'MD') after their names. Much of the wording is impenetrable, but it relates to 'Section 3 of the Mental Health Act 1983', the purpose of it being to declare that a previous order under that Section is now lifted. And that Ygraine Catriona Olwen FitzRoy is henceforth free to depart from secure care under own cognizance.

It is, quite literally, a certificate of sanity.

Graeme studies the paper for a minute, before handing it back over. There's a wistful, sad smile on his face as he looks up, nodding once, after blinking a few times. "Like I said. You don't have to apologise for how screwed-up you are," he murmurs. The tone of his voice perhaps more than anything else confirms his earlier statement, that he trusts his friend.

"It's…." Ygraine says frustratedly, but does accept the return of the sheet of paper before closing her eyes once more. "Paranoia and depression. You know you're a total mess, but you don't trust anyone to help. And since paranoia is by definition a reasoned belief rather than an irrational phobia, there's no… screaming upon sight of someone or the like. Your world has become one in which you have sound, logical, coherent, arguable reasons for…."

Shaking her head, she sighs. "It's a bit like the trite pop-culture lines about alcoholism", she murmurs. "I'm not at all sure I'll ever be cured. I just have periods of remission. And I try not to let it get too bad. Because I am terrified that the darkness will take me again. But… the Dome was not, exactly, good for me. And then, when I came out, she took away the one person on the continent I felt I could depend upon. And even Robyn, I'd been protecting from quite how bad it was…."

Peeping up, she forces a grimacing attempt at a smile, though it rapidly twists. "So. I'm fighting as best I can. But dealing with people takes effort. And this is my sanctuary. My haven. That's part of the reason she did such a number on me. She came to the place I'd made as safe as I possibly could, and it was here that she pushed me until the darkness came out and hurt us both. So while I'm not certifiable, I'm pretty sure I'm verging on the clinical right now. I'm probably going to be a really shitty landlady, but I'll try. 'Cause I'm here to try to face my demons, rather'n hide from them. I could do that safely at home thousands of miles away."

Graeme reaches out, resting his free hand on Ygraine's for a moment, and nods. "I am, at least, have been for the past fifteen years of my life, relatively stable," he says, quietly. "That's when I manifested, at the end of high school. Before that, I was …" Graeme pauses, looking past Ygraine for a moment. Even talking about it, there's a cold knot in his stomach, "I was pretty much one of the poster children for ADHD, for spurts of aggression, for depressive episodes. Especially when I was young, but even into my later teens. It's why now, I'm always so surprised, that I ever got the chance at life I did. My ability helped me settle, a great deal. Most of that ADHD and such gets funneled productively, correctly, these days, but …." He pauses, looking down at his lap. "And beyond simply being cut off from my ability, it's why I'm scared to hell of the little thing in my pocket." He looks down at his lap. "Why I came here rather than went back to the apartment for very long." He chews on his lower lip a little, and looks over at her again.

Ygraine started in surprise at the contact, remaining tense under it. But she manages a low laugh - albeit a rather fractured one - when he finishes speaking. "So. You're about as terrified as I am, eh? There're… other hang-ups she managed to trigger. Which helped make it go quite so badly as it did. I was just about holding onto things until then… but you probably don't need to hear about those. But… I'm sorry, in advance, for anything I do to piss you off or fuck you up. Or if I… wig out and lose hold of reality for a bit. Just… try not to hold it against me, all right?"

"Yeah. I can do that." The man pauses again, and the rolling drawl smooths over the hesitation and nervousness in his voice. "It's unlikely, supposedly, that it's going to bring the issues back, particularly not with it only being a week, but," Graeme offers Ygraine a tense, quiet smile. "Somehow, I mean. It's all a lot more there and overwhelming and the world feels, compared to my usual, double, triple as much and as urgent and such, even when it's just someone's ability. Let alone a pill that lasts for twelve hours, when I start freaking out at the ability in under a minute." He chews his lower lip more. "I'm scared to hell. And I hate being scared."

"Any change is unsettling. Even being excited or enthusiastic about something entails being unsettled", Ygraine points out gently. "And you're confronting not just change, but the loss of something that defines you, that frees you from some of the limitations of your former life - and you're then throwing in the addition of pain and debility for good measure. Being scared's perfectly rational."

Graeme nods, looking up at Ygraine. "Yeah. But I still hate being scared." There's that tone of his voice, where he knows he's being rather irrational, and then he manages a weak half-smile. "So, dinner?" It's said almost in the deadpan tone of suggesting a last meal, but for Graeme, it's an attempt at humour on his part. "And I haven't really had to confront things in a long time, I guess."

"Should do you some good, then", Ygraine informs him - quite possibly truthfully, though not exactly kindly. "Staying in touch with one's own humanity is a good thing. Remain aware of frailty, and you might be spared from assuming other forms of infallibility."

As she talks, she peers into the lower deck of the coffee table, then comes up with a transparent plastic folder of menus to offer to Graeme. "I recommend the Peking Palace, myself. Horrendously addictive seaweed, and they seem to use a range of chefs. The same dish on different days can be quite remarkably different."

"I'd been hoping to possibly work on it slowly," Graeme intones, "not like this, but such is life, I suppose." Slowly, with time to say that he'd had enough, recover, try again, not like this, but even Graeme can admit the necessity here. The folder of menus is balanced on his lap, looking at several other menus before going back to the first. "It looks good. I for one want lo mein with some sort of protein, and some sort of chicken, and usually I'd just order most of the menu, but I guess that I probably shouldn't do that tonight." There's another weak half-smile.

"You could order a side-dish of vegetables, if you wanted", Ygraine suggests. "But I'm volunteering you to place the call. You're going to be using your card to pay for it anyway", she points out with a smile. "If you do that now, then you can unpack while we wait for it to arrive."

Graeme grins a bit, opening up the messenger bag again to pull out his phone, and his wallet, and stares at the open wallet as he looks at a few of the cards, eventually choosing one. "Yeah. Anything in particular that you prefer? I like vegetables to an extent, but I'm not really sure I'd know too much of what's what." He grins. The numbers to the Peking Palace are tapped into the dial screen. "I didn't bring too much, overall, but yeah." And he's made the messenger bag hold a hell of a lot, with some careful packing.

"Mmmm. Order a full-size helping of the seaweed, and we can split that as a side-dish. Ahhhh. Chicken noodle soup and… I love at least two of their chefs' versions of chicken with cashew nuts, so I'll indulge myself again there", Ygraine instructs her guest.

Glancing down at the paper she holds, she purses her lips, then rises to her feet once more. "I'll put this away, then sort myself a drink while you sort out dinner…."

Graeme grins a bit. "Alright then," he says. The dial button is pressed, the phone lifted to his ear, and he chuckles a bit as the words drawl out. "Hi, yes, I'd like to place an order for delivery?" There's a moment later, before he nods to himself and slowly recites the order, another pause before he manages to remember the address. "Yes, thank you." Graeme leans back as he lets the phone rest in his lap, a long minute of quiet passing after he's finished ordering their food, card tucked into his pocket along with ID for when it arrives, and he turns, looking over the back of the couch, towards Ygraine. "So, the food should be here 'n just over half an hour."

The householder nods acknowledgement. "So… do you want anything to drink? And is there anything else you want to talk about? Or do we try to have a quiet evening?"

"Just a quiet evening, I think," Graeme says. "I'll get up, get myself water in a bit? And no, I just … wanted to say thanks. Again." He pauses, and there's still some strain in the smile, but it is less than there was before. "Thank you."

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