In the Meantime


elisabeth_icon.gif graeme2_icon.gif

Scene Title In the Meantime
Synopsis There's absolutely no such thing as six degrees of separation, here.
Date May 9, 2011

Central Park

One of the edges of Central Park, one of the more populous coffee carts, one with tables set up around it and everything, is where Graeme now waits in the early afternoon, after lunch but while it is still busy. He's claimed a small table in the crowd, papers to grade set out in front of him with a green pen in his hands, glancing up every once in a while. The grading is something he actually has to do regardless, though when substitute teaching involved grading was a change that Graeme wasn't really expecting. There's a small chuckle, stifled laughter.

A short sleeved shirt and a pair of slacks passes for work clothes, jacket also draped over the chair. Spring weather that's dropped down back into the lower 70s and upper 60s, but it doesn't seem to bother the teacher much. He's well and beyond early for when he agreed to meet Elisabeth, but he expects her to be early as well.

She's going to have to be careful or she's going to start getting noticed here. Frequenting anyplace is a bad plan when you're a wanted terrorist. Elisabeth buys herself a cup of coffee from the vendor and makes her way toward his table. She was early. She scoped the place out for nearly 20 minutes before she approached. As she slides into the table, the blonde smiles at Graeme. "Hey stranger," she murmurs.

A smile forms on Graeme's face, and he finishes crossing out several words on the paper he's grading before looking up. "Hey there, you." The pen is capped, the papers left alone and the pen put down. "What's up?" For all the concern in his voice, it's mostly concern and being glad to see her, even if he had to bring work with him to do so. "I swear, I never expected to be assigning and grading papers just for a substitute gig. A teacher up and left, sixth grade English, one class, but no lesson plan or anything left, so I'm winging it. Until they can find a teacher for the class, or something."

"Heh," Elisabeth comments with a rueful smile. "I remember those days. I signed on as a sub at Washington Irving. I had been just about to get my own classroom, teaching music, when the Vanguard attacked. Initially I floated like you'd expect to, but the school year that the Vanguard hit, we lost a bunch of teachers and I wound up teaching one of the English classes permanently. I was working on lateral entry certifications when shit hit the fan," she remembers quietly. "After that…. I just couldn't turtle anymore."

Graeme nods. "Yeah. That's how it goes, these days," he admits, equally quiet. "Anyway, though. How are you doing, and all?" The question is asked with veiled concern, the same as he usually has for her. "Everything alright? Or, well." As alright as it can be, current circumstances in consideration, and all. If it was truly alright, well. A smile edges on Graeme's face as he picks up his cup of coffee.

"Well…." Elisabeth considers. "All in all, actually, things are looking…. stable?" She's not sure that's the right word. "In spite of the lot of us holing up — and don't forget that we're having a bit of an informal meeting Friday," she reminds, "there've been bright spots. For one… and this will be something I talk about Friday… we downloaded all our physical evidence to a media outlet and out of the clear blue sky an old friend who happens to have some serious media contacts has dropped into the fray. He's a producer out in Hollywood." She grins a little. "You had said that your specialty was spin, pretty much, right?"

"Knowing how they spin it, what they do, yes. Knowing how to do it myself is a little more hit and miss — I'm an analyst, not a marketing person — but I can tell you if someone else is doing it right, or what they're doing wrong, and how people are likely to react to any one bit or another," Graeme says, slow drawl betraying amusement more than anything else. "I spent about as much time focusing on the media as I did on focusing on the true mechanics of group interaction and dynamic and on the things that people feel and do when they belong." There's a wry smile. Look who's talking, since he's found himself so very much in that group of belonging, now, more than he perhaps ever expected he would. "And right, Friday."

Elisabeth nods slightly. "Then I think you should be in the meeting with Brad Russo and the producer. I want you to understand — neither of them knows much of anything about Endgame, and you must keep it that way for now, Graeme." She pauses and looks at him. "I know that Aric's told you most of what's going on, and you two are the only people in the group right now not on the run. I need you in place. And I need someone I can trust implicitly in place on this project to be sure that it's… what it needs to be. Think you can do it?"

After a moment of consideration, Graeme nods. "Yes… right, of course. And I might be able to pick up if they're actually being straight with us," and there's a bit of a laugh as Graeme realises just quite how his wording worked out, "when I meet them. Should be able to. Bradley Russo, well then. The Advocate. At the very least I can keep an eye on them and make sure they behave like we want them to." He grins.

"Speaking of, or not speaking of. Different topic entirely, actually. Aric had mentioned … someone named Elle. When his ability came back." The smile has faded into a faintly quizzical expression, thoughtful. "And then I won a date with someone named Elle, at the date auction at work. And we live in far too small a world for coincidences. Anything I ought to know what I'm getting myself into?"

"Elle Bishop?" Elisabeth asks, alarmed. "What the fuck is she doing parading about when Zeke is out to grab her ass to power his fucking machine??" she demands, frustrated. "But yes… don't fucking shoot her ass, she electrocutes everything in sight when she gets shot.

"It was a costume night," Graeme murmurs. "She wasn't recognisable as far as I know, only used a first name, but I had heard the name before, and like I said. Small damn world. It's not exactly a common name, really. And good to know, though I had absolutely no intention of shooting her. I'd gotten used to getting slightly zapped, actually, with Aric, but right. I take it that means no waterslides with her, either." Graeme frowns. He's going to have to figure out some sort of date that doesn't involve horribly public places, or something.

Shaking her head, Elisabeth says, "The damn woman is like a walking billboard screaming 'hey, lookit, here I am!'" She shoves a hand through her long hair, her exasperation visible. "No fucking wonder Richard always looked strained. It's like herding a bunch of cats in a room full of fucking rocking chairs," she mumbles. "I hope wherever he is right now, he's getting to sleep."

Graeme nods. "In which case she's just damn lucky that I decided to outbid the couple of other people bidding," Graeme continues, with a bit of a chuckle. "Bidding had been happening and then I jumped the last person's bid by a thousand dollars, and then no one else actually bid." There's a bit of a grin on his face.

The blonde blinks. "Christ, you're throwing around a thousand dollars?" Elisabeth shakes her head, her smile rueful. Must be nice. "Just…. be good to her. Do something fun, okay?" she says. "She deserves it. She's kind of hard to get to know sometimes, but she's becoming… a friend." Of sorts. Almost. As much as she can anyway, to Liz's mind.

"Hey," Graeme protests, drawl throwing the words again. "I work for a living so that when I want to do something that draws on the return from investments or from the house back in New Mexico, I can." He grins.

"I was paying that much each week for a hotel room when I came out here, at first. If I really didn't want to work for a living, I wouldn't. Plus, the proceeds from the auction went to charity. And working for a living lets me use my unearned income for other things, rather than having to use it to support myself." Like partially supporting the Endgame safehouse. A small envelope is pushed from underneath some of papers he's been grading towards Liz. "And I will. She seemed nice, when I was talking with her after the auction."

Elisabeth perhaps didn't realize the extent of his inheritance. Whatever money she had was tied up in her apartment, which is now in her father's name so the gubmint can't have it. The envelope slid across to her she almost doesn't take. And then she takes a quick, deep breath, swallows her pride, and takes it. "Thank you." Because the money is helping the group not be anywhere close to starving. The little band of refugees isn't rich, for certain, but they aren't hungry and they aren't suffering awful much. And it's thanks to the generosity of friends. "In the meantime…. if you want to take Aric with you to the meeting, that'd … not necessarily be a bad idea. If you do, tell him to give no indication that he's a telepath, will you?" She seems uneasy with this idea, but … the boys want in.

For the most part, Graeme tends to attempt to ignore the extent of his inheritance. Middle-class sensibility, having worked his own way through college for the most part, and having not been raised truly to it see to that; but, it doesn't negate the fact that his adoptive parents were well-to-do, and that with both of them gone, he is. "Don't worry about it," Graeme says, quietly. Because just as much, Graeme isn't going to let the people who are amongst the few friends he truly has starve, or suffer. Whether it comes by way of bringing Jaiden bags of supplies, or simply shuffling some cash over.

The mention of his boyfriend has Graeme nodding, slowly. "Right. I'll see about it, talk to him when I get a chance. If it works out a time that he wants to leave the store and such, yeah … might be good." There's a faint smile. "I think I got the no indication part over to him after what happened with Melissa."

"Good," Elisabeth says succinctly. She tucks the envelope away and then looks up at him with a bit of a smile. "So…. now that I know you've been somewhat indoctrinated, is there anything you want to ask me before we meet up on Friday? Any background I need to give you? It's going to be pretty informal."

The smile is returned, and then Graeme tilts his head back, staring past Elisabeth as he considers. "Not that I can think of off-hand, unless there's anything that you think I need to know beforehand?" Graeme grins, picking up his coffee again, then putting it down without having taken a sip. "I heard you met the kid that I play basketball with, in the park last week."

Last week? "Clendaniel?" Elisabeth hazards a guess. That's the only person she can think of at this moment. "I did. And he said some things that I'd love to follow up on…. especially if he has any physical proof at all. Do you by any chance know anyone in the Dome besides Jaiden taking pictures? There were rumors of executions going on in there. Your friend claims he knew who did it, and that HF conned the guy into creating the Dome. If there's proof of it, I'd love to have it."

She adds, "He said the name was Valentin, but it's not ringing bells for me."

"Yeah. He's a good kid overall," Graeme says. "We were playing ball and he told me I'd never said my friend was the pretty blonde." There's a chuckle, and then his expression hardens, slightly. "I don't know. The only people who I know that were in the Dome are Jaiden, Ygraine, and Devon, really. I'll see, though." Because proof would be a nice thing to have, he knows.

Elisabeth nods slightly. "Jaiden's pictures are impressive — they're public domain. But it'd be damn good if we could show what was going on with an execution squad in there." She grimaces. "Wish I could get proof of some of what FRONTLINE OS has pulled too. But I can't." She sighs. "Okay… listen, I'm taking off out of the city limits for the night. Got something I need to check on out in the Hamptons. Jaiden and Ygraine know too, but I wanted you and Aric to know. If you don't hear from me by noon tomorrow, let them know, okay?"

A slight frown works onto Graeme's face, and he reaches across the table, resting his hand on Liz's, for a moment. "Be careful, alright?" The concern is furrowed clearly enough on his brow that there's no need to state it even more explicitly. "And come back safe."

There's a faint smile. "Well, this time I'm just chasing…. the past, a little. Need to make sure Solomon can be trusted." Elisabeth pauses and says softly, "But I'll be careful." She puts her hand on top of his and squeezes. "I'll see you soon, okay?"

"Alright, then. You'd better, Liz … you owe me a poker game, and I damn well expect to get it." Graeme grins, and then offers her a faint smile, that same winning smile that'd gotten her to flirt with him when he was obliviously standing in the lobby, but perhaps more genuine. "And I'll see you Friday."

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