Just Dinner


felix4_icon.gif graeme_icon.gif

Scene Title Just Dinner
Synopsis In the end, it's just dinner, but it's a pleasant, nice dinner. Despite the not so pleasant topics at first.
Date February 24, 2011

The Nite Owl

The Nite Owl is a survivor from ages past - one of those ancient diners with huge plate glass windows, checkerboard linoleum floor, and a neon owl over the entrance that blinks at those entering. Inside, there's an L-shaped main counter, complete with vintage soda fountain and worn steel stools. All of the cooking is done on the ranges ranked against the rear wall. The outer wall is lined with booths upholstered in cracked scarlet vinyl, tables trimmed with polished chrome. Despite its age, it's been lovingly maintained. The air is redolent with the scent of fresh coffee, vanilla, and frying food.

He's in his very favorite corner booth, is Felix. Clad in a long-sleeved t-shirt and jeans, a heavy overcoat hung at the edge of the booth, along with one of those Russian fur hats. Waiting for Graeme, gazing out the plate glass windows rather dreamily. In repose, the lines of his face are melancholy.

Graeme slips in the door. For the man with fairly vast reserves of energy, he looks tired, but there's a weary smile on his face when he sees Felix. Then a bit of a wry grin creeps onto his face. As he approaches the booth, from behind his back comes a small box. Chocolates. Graeme brought chocolates, apparently. He sets the box on the table, and then pulls off his peacoat, shoving it to the inside of the booth. "Heya."

Chocolates indeed. Fel's rather somber expression turns into one of those crooked smiles, as he rises to greet Graeme. "What're those for?" he wonders, bemused but not displeased. "And hello there. You okay?"

"They're chocolates," Graeme says, a bit of a smile on his face. "They're um, for you." His voice is tired, weary almost. He's not answering the second question, as if he's uncertain of the answer. A moment, and his shoulders fall, another betrayal that he's tired. "I don't know. I will be, I guess."

"Thank you," Fel says, and there's that funny, tremulous softness in his voice. He sets them on the bench seat beside him. "What happened?" he wonders, lifting his brows, blue eyes wide. Watching Graeme, as if he were uncertain about something.

Graeme sits down, leans on the table. "You're welcome." His eyes meet Felix's. "Yeah, I uh … punched a hole in Richard Cardinal's office wall, yesterday morning." Now Graeme looks downright sheepish, really.

"And why did you do that?" persists Felix, still eying Graeme with evident worry. "You don't seem like the temperamental type."

"That's where it gets complicated," Graeme says. His lip quivers a bit, and he bites down on it. "My sister, half-sister, something … I've been in New York, one of the reasons I stayed to begin with was maybe … finding her. She's Humanis First." There. Graeme's said it, and there's abject disgust in his voice.

This is when Felix's expression gets……weird. Really weird, honestly. He swallows once, hard, the muscles of his throat working like a snake's, and then his lips part. It's a little before he can come up with anything coherent to actually say. "How did you find that out?" he asks, in an airless whisper. He has, despite the relative coolness of the room, begun to sweat; it gleams at temple and brow. And his hands are laid on the table, fingers splayed.

"From Cardinal." Graeme's voice is soft, quiet, and overall, hurt. "Who kidnapped her, or something, and not that I can blame him, but. And I … oh hell but it fits." His head rests on his hands, now. "God, I'm sorry to put this all on you, Felix." He sighs.

"Did Cardinal or Elisabeth tell you about what Humanis First did to me?" Fel's expression is still immensely strained, and he's slipped his hands from the tabletop to his lap. There to knot whiteknuckled, no doubt. "What….what is it you expect me to do?" What he'll do, he doesn't know, it's clear.

Graeme reaches across the table, a little, not actually touching Felix, worry knitting his brow slightly. "No. God, I'm sorry … I … nothing. I just … I can't do this by myself," he says. It's an admission of weakness, as far as Graeme's concerned, to say it. "I don't know. Have dinner with me, and distract me a bit?" There's a bit of a hopeful note in his voice.

"Listen. You need to know, before you tell me more….Humanis First took me, about a year and a half ago. I was in their hands for a month. They tortured me, and mutilated my legs so I couldn't run. And then, they hung me by the neck in front of the church of a pastor they considered pro-Evolved, whom they had also taken and hurt, and left me to die. I didn't, but by the time I was rescued, I was in a coma, and one foot was ruined so badly it had to be amputated. I'm here now talking to you, and whole enough to work again, just because of healers," Fel's face is white. "I'll happily have dinner with you. Even spend time with you. I can't be your lover right now, though. I have someone else I don't want to hurt, and I'm afraid of fucking things up on both fronts. Is that going to be okay?" He sounds…humble.

Wordlessly, Graeme moves to the other side from where he was sitting, to sit on the edge of the seat, next to Felix. His hand rests on the other man's shoulder, gently. The swallow is reflexive. "Yes." There's a pause. "Yes. Oh god, I'm sorry, I .. wouldn't have put it so bluntly, if I'd known." Graeme pulls his hand away, resting it on his knee, but still sitting next to Felix.

"It's okay. You didn't know," Fel says, looking to him, some of the lines of strain easing a bit. He doesn't mind the touch, but pats Graeme's hand awkwardly.

Graeme sighs, a bit. "They … I left New Mexico because of Humanis First activity, because it was turning into a place I couldn't be, and I came and I find out I'm fucking related to one." He doesn't get up to go back to the other side of the table, not yet, just swallows, and sits there.

Felix admits, unhappily, "They're everywhere. But this is one of the epicenters." He's trembling, a little, and his eyes have gone distant. He turns his head enough, fixes his gaze on the other man. As if Graeme's mere presence were a lifeline of sorts.

Graeme nods, and there's a weary smile on his face. He leans on the table, a bit, turns head so that he's looking up slightly at Felix. For the moment, he lets silence be there. There's a hint of sadness in his eyes, but he does smile, leaning on his hand. "Thank you," he says, quietly. "For coming. For listening. For… for telling me."

He tries a smile, after a moment. It's tentative, shaky. "You're welcome. I'm sorry to be such a …such a drama queen about it. It was just fucking awful, and they still haven't caught the ones who did it to me."

"It sounds awful," Graeme says, quietly. He's settled as he's seated, for the moment, next to Felix, one hand idly reaching for a menu as he talks. "No being sorry. That's a fantastic way to start a friendship, don'tcha think?" The words are soft, uncertain. "Cardinal said … he said Keira, my… my sister, he said she gave him names. Important names. I still haven't been able to reach her, though."

"I'd ask to talk to her. But…..I shouldn't. It'd be very easy to let my wish for vengeance eat me up, to be perfectly honest. I'd lose it. You or Cardinal should talk to the FBI, if you think you can. I still know people there. What names, did he say?" Fel's contradicting himself blithely.

Graeme shakes his head. "I was a little too busy putting a new hole in his wall, and then losing it, a bit. I … I had a career, and a life, and a lot, in New Mexico. Even if it was a homophobic small town at times." There's a bit of a laugh, self-deprecating, quiet. "I don't think the damage was too bad." He pushes the first menu towards Felix, and takes the second one, to look at it, eventually.

Felix doesn't press it. He wanted a pleasant dinner out, by God, he's going to get one. All of that crap can wait, at least for now. There will be weeping home alone later, when the memories overwhelm him, but for now he's in warmth and comfort and there's the prospect of food.

A quiet, repressed shudder passes Graeme's shoulders, the sound not quite escaping to be voiced. This is all too new, too hard for him to deal with, so for the moment … for the moment, he's not going to deal with it. Instead, he opens the menu. "Now, which section of the menu to order…" he's joking, mainly. "I sort of didn't sleep, last night, worked out in clearing rubble by the Dome through the night and … well, most of today." His coping habits aren't terribly great, that much is clear. "So I know that I'm hungry, at least."

"The sandwiches are really great. Best turkey club you'll ever eat." Fel's voice is utterly prosaic, now. Hey, it's true. The food here….definitely comfort food.

"Mmm," Graeme says. "A hot sandwich, I think. And fries. And soup. And maybe…" he grins, and when the waitress comes, he orders, and leans back, for Felix to order. Graeme smiles, quiet, thoughtful, and after the waitress has gone, he wraps an arm around Felix's shoulder in a brief hug. "Thank you," he says. "For being a friend."

"You're welcome," Fel says, gently. He leans into the hug, just a fraction.

Graeme smiles, a bit. "Oh also. Dinner's on me," he says, with a bit of a move towards a lighter topic, and the smile turns into something a little closer to a sheepish grin. "I was out, two days ago. Some game show in a taxi thing," and he sounds minorly confused about it still. "Trivia. Unfortunately for them I won."

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