I Would Have Been Fine


graeme_icon.gif remi_icon.gif

Scene Title I Would Have Been Fine
Synopsis Graeme and Remi have a talk that has been nearly two weeks in the making.
Date November 19, 2011


It's the morning after they arrived at Kabetogama, early enough that few people are up yet, late enough that Graeme has already started a pot of coffee, and he leans against the counter of the kitchen as he waits for it to brew. But aside from that, the kitchen and the house are quiet. Odin is still asleep by the fireplace, and the teacher paces while he waits for the coffee to be finished.

While Remi has called dibs on one of the one-bedroom cabins here, she has yet to move in; instead, she crashed with Jaiden last night, curling up and sleeping next to him in blissful ease, completely content now that she’s at least got him.

That does, however, have the unfortunate side effect of letting her being woken up by the first wakeful thought in the house. The telepath has shrugged on a warm robe that looks to be three sizes too large on her, and has stolen Jaiden’s slippers, and has snuck down the stairs in the comically-too-large ensemble in order to get some of the coffee — and to have a firm talking to with the one who has made it.

The telepath pauses in the doorway, watching Graeme quietly with a thoughtful look on her face. Then, she’s moving into the kitchen, crossing her arms — both in order to appear more stern than she is, and to also keep the fluffy bathrobe covering up the fact that she is only wearing one of Jaiden’s t-shirts underneath.

There's a moment, and Graeme looks from Remi, to the cabinets, moves over to get down two coffee cups and sets them on the counter while the coffee finishes brewing. "Morning," he says, half-mumbles. "Did you get some sleep?"

Apparently, that's all the conversation that such an early hour requires, at least to start with. Drip. Drip. Drip. The coffee pot is almost full, almost finished.

Blue eyes linger on the coffee pot and the rippling effect of the last of the coffee dripping down into it. “Oui,” she replies, rubbing the sleeve of the robe against the side of her face for a moment as a yawn struggles its way out of her mouth.

Then, she turns her azure gaze back to Graeme, frowning a bit. She’s been bothered by it for a while, but she’s not really had the chance to address the issue with him. But then, she should probably wait for such conversations until after coffee, right?

“Can I ask you a question?” She’s not going to wait until after coffee. Maybe during. She’s kind of irritated, really.

"Alright," Graeme responds.

There's no objection, the soft southwestern drawl colouring his voice, and he pours coffee for each of them. Remembers how she likes her coffee, even, adding just a bit of sugar after the cream and sliding it towards her along the counter before he picks up his own, which he has left black. "I think there's some cereal around here, or I might try to make oatmeal." Which is about the extent of his cooking ability, to be honest.

Ugh, why does he have to be so nice to her? She reaches out, taking the coffee and sipping at it. And he gets her coffee right, too. He doesn’t make it easy to be mad at him, that’s for sure. She watches him for a long moment, leaning her hip against the kitchen counter.

“Back at the reactor,” she murmurs, pausing to take another long sip of coffee. “Why did you stop and help me? I would have been fine…”

This… wasn't the question that Graeme was expecting, that much is for certain, and he looks at Remi, and that stare trails off. It's a minute or two before Graeme finally comes up with an answer, and whatever thinking he's doing on it is buried right alongside soccer drills and mundane thoughts about coffee and the firewood that will need to get chopped later today. It's thinking that the former teacher is keeping to himself, until he finally responds aloud.

"Because," he says, still quiet, "you are my friend." He lets out a breath. "Because, Remi, you deserve that much from me at least." The breath turns to a sigh. "Because I will never be able to be what you want of me. Not wholly."

"But I will always be what you need." And at that moment, he needed her to get through it faster than she might have on her own.

He looks at the telepath.

"If… you need space." He says, pausing. "That's okay, too." It's a calm and easygoing acceptance of whatever might happen, whatever Remi might say one way or another before she's even said it, because despite the distance and the walls and everything that has happened, despite that it's incredibly difficult to admit, the telepath just means that much to him. And in the wake of their losses, that much is even more.

Ugh. Dammit. She was going to yell at him for dropping that whole saving the world bit to help her out, but then he had to go and say that. She’ll probably still figure out a way to bitch at him for it, but that will require rethinking her approach.

Remi briefly purses her lips, then casts her eyes down to the coffee, gently swirling it around in her cup. “Thank you.” She sips the warm beverage, closing her eyes for a time. Then, she’s back to peering at Graeme.

“Next time, though, focus on saving the world first. I’m not more important than that.” She pouts her lips out briefly. “I am getting better at…all of this.” She makes a broad gesture with her free hand. “I am getting used to it. And I want to stop being a weak little damsel like I have been all of my life, and I want to start being…” She catches on the word, staring down at her coffee.

“I want to be stronger. I can perform complicated dances on the tips of my toes…but I want to be able to help you, and all of the people here that I love.” Blue eyes flit back up to Graeme’s face, watching him quietly.

There is a nod, and Graeme looks at Remi. "There's a lot of words I can think of to describe you, mon cher," he says it aloud this time, gently. "Annoying telepath, idealistic, sure," he continues. "Nosy matchmaking, although that's only half an adjective." He's teasing, a little bit.

"But weak was never one of them."

He nods, then, and there's a flicker of a grin in his eyes in between sips of coffee. "Remember," he asks, "not long after we met, you once wanted to try to teach me to dance, and I thought the idea was ridiculous? You do that, and I'll use that to teach you… what I can, so that you will never have to feel helpless again." There's a soft sigh, and Graeme finishes by saying, "And we'll get through this together."

God dammit.

She was planning on smacking him upside the head for doing something stupid.

Now she just wants to hug him.

The telepath sighs softly, sipping her coffee with hooded eyes. “Mon dieu, Graeme. Must you be so wonderful all the time? I walked in here wanting to slap you, but you…” She shakes her head, taking another sip of coffee.

Then, she nods, closing her eyes. “If you’re asking me to teach you to dance…” She can’t help but smile a little. “The answer is always yes.”

"Well," he says, in that soft drawl, "if," pause, "slapping me will make you feel any better about the whole thing…" The offer comes with a half a quirk of a smile, and it's entirely difficult to tell if Graeme is being serious about it or not. He lifts one of his hands and his cup of coffee in a gesture of a shrug, grins, and then steps to refill his coffee cup. "I can't promise I won't feel ridiculous at some point during it," he says. "But it's a fair trade — and starting from physical things that you know will make the rest of hand to hand and self-defense easier, and then from there, the rest."

The grin fades to a gentle smile, and Graeme looks at Remi directly for a moment. "You're my friend," he repeats, simply. "Always."

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