Life Advice


graeme_icon.gif huruma3_icon.gif jj_icon.gif savannah_icon.gif

Scene Title Life Advice
Synopsis Not something that Graeme or JJ were either particularly expecting to get from going to the bookstore.
Date February 25, 2011

A Bookstore

Modern bookstores have something for everyone in them, and then some. Row upon row of novels and self-help books and magazines and computer manuals, shelf after shelf of DVDs and CDs, create a labyrinth for the casual shopper who hasn't memorized the layout of this particular metropolis of media.

JJ Jones is one such casual shopper.

He looks a little bemused as he squints up at the signage, wondering just how he found his way into Maternity of all places, before he turns a corner and spies the little cafe in the middle of the store. His arms are full of a stack of DVDs and a few books: Stephen King's The Stand, several others. More literarily minded, a book of love poems. Movies include the Terminator and Indiana Jones sagas, ET, Jaws, and Across the Universe.

He heads toward the coffee stand, peering up with green eyes at the menu board, before ordering:

"Large non fat triple shot latte."

Graeme as well is one of those casual shoppers, right now seated at one of the tables in the coffeeshop area. There are no open tables left, which makes Graeme ever the more grateful that he's found the one he did, but his at least has enough open space for others to sit. And despite that Graeme is sitting, there's a messenger bag slung across his shoulders.

The man stares down into a cup of hot coffee, lid off, every so often glancing about, uncertain. Lines form in his face, that he's tired. And he is. The caffeine is an attempt to push away a slightly growing need to sleep, something Graeme's been ignoring for several days now.


The barista calls the name on the cup, and Savannah's up to her feet, moving forward to snatch up her very, very tall coffee-beverage that likely has more sugar than you could shake a stick at… whatever that means. Hand wrapping around the warm beverage, she moves towards the counter full of lids and straws and paraphernalia, opening the top of the beverage and reaching for the sugar container. She proceeds to hold it over the coffee (which looks more along the lines of a latte), dumping sugar in for a good few seconds before setting it down, stirring with a wooden stick, eyes glancing around as if daring someone to judge her for her sugar habit.

Huruma seems to lurk right out of the shelves with the soundless approach of a great black shark, coasting on up to the coffee line behind poor JJ, who is all but shadowed over by her presence there. She only knows he is there from the corner of her eye, and the mote of his mind in her reception. Her eyes, however, are downturned, reading the binding of one of the paperbacks in her hands. The one she glances over the back of is a slim copy of 'The Road'. The other ones are copies of 'Les Miserables' and Ovid's Metamorphoses, respectively. Various tastes, looks like.

When she looks up from the book again it is only to look down at the person in front of her with an almost owlish glance. Her tall boots don't really help the height thing, nor does the faintly military look of her clothing- all angled silhouette of shoulders and trim pants that cuff into her boots. Savannah's own looking about catches her attention, however, and Huruma manages to get a look at her hands. Not judging out loud, no.

Almost as if he can feel her looming behind him, JJ glances back and then up at Huruma with a bit of a blink, and then quick apologetic smile, ducking back to pay for his beverage and step aside to wait for it. He glances at Savannah, who earns a grin even as he moves to the accoutrements counter to start preparing his own additions.

One packet of each of the colors is taken — pink for cancer, blue for memory loss, white for diabetes and yellow for yet-to-be-determined. Stacking them together in a neat little packet, JJ carefully tears the top third of all of the packets together, then moves to throw the tops in the trash — unfortunately, the pink and the yellow flutter away to land on the groun and he instantly bends to pick them up —

— too late, remembering why he has this week off, and wincing sharply. He still picks the tiny slivers of paper off the tile and tosses them into the trash can. Give a hoot — don't pollute! And then leans against the counter, closing his eyes and breathing deeply.

Reapplying the lid to her beverage, Savannah tosses away the wooden stick and takes an experimental sip of the drink. Perfect. Her gaze settles momentarily on JJ, concern mixing into her expression. "You alright there?" She asks. Most people don't have such a hard time picking up paper.

Huruma peers somewhat suspiciously over at JJ, as if sensing there's something amiss, and being rewarded with his wincing and pained emotions that bubble around his head. She recalls that she was in line, at least, and takes a half step forward and looks down to the barista, who suddenly seems leery of her.

"Give me a small black of th'special." It's an otherwise simple task, and she fishes a pair of bills out of one coat pocket to slide across the counter. She doesn't wait for her change, though. A tip considered. "No, he's in pain." Huruma offers that much to Savannah(so helpful), before fishing up a few sugars for herself and unceremoniously breaking them open into the coffee. Unlike JJ, she has the attention span to stand there and do three, instead of all at once.

Graeme's coffee gets set down on the table, the messenger bag slipped to the back of the chair, and it's only a few steps to stand up and move over to near where JJ and Savannah both are. He echoes the woman's sentiment, with a frown. "You should sit down," he tells JJ, gesturing to one of the empty seats at the table he has thus far been occupying. But he's not about to do something grievously stupid like offer help unless it's desired; instead, he simply stands where if need be, he can help.

"I'm fine," JJ says, though his forehead is beaded a little with sweat, his cheeks a little flushed. "Just… forgot not to move so fast." He smiles at each of the concerned citizens, before his name is called.

"Jay," the barista shouts — wanna-be-Starbucks baristas run less on charm than the real thing — and he moves to take the 20-ounce coffee. The lid is removed and he pours his sweeteners in, reaching with another wince for a stirrer. "Thanks, though." He gives a nod to Graeme. "That's kind of you. I'm gonna get some caffeine going and head out, though, I think."

Savannah's concerned expression turns to one with a bit of surprise at Huruma's comment. There's a slight frown, a not-so-happy expression leveled in the woman's direction, but she offers a final look in JJ's direction. "Just take it easy, okay?" She offers, moving to find an empty table, coffee cup clenched in hand.

Huruma gives the woman a rather trite little smirk, laughing at a joke that only she seems to realize. Her coffee order being black, it got to her almost immediately; she's clipping on a lid about the same time as Savannah is shifting away and JJ is denying any help being offered.

"If you are in enough pain t'make stooping difficult, you should not b'drinking that -thing." For lack of a better word, and she even nods at the drink that he now has.

Graeme is particularly tired himself at the moment, and doesn't seem to be taking no for an answer. The tone he speaks in is one with just a hint of command behind it, one usually reserved for students. "No, you go sit. At least while you drink your coffee." He nods to Huruma, glancing upward at the woman. His own emotions aren't anywhere near as calm as his voice, though. The man is still a mass of hurt, betrayal, confusion.

Green eyes narrow as they squint from Savannah's to Huruma's face, confused by the contradicting expressions on each. "Thing? Coffee and milk, what's wrong with that? I don't think it'll do any damage to my injury — are you a doctor?" There's no sarcasm in his voice, just curiosity as he peers up at the tall woman even as he's directed to sit down by Graeme.

"Fine. For a moment," he says, casually, trying to mask the pain and dizziness he feels, moving to the table to sit — rather gingerly, not pressing his back against the back of the seat. "Shit."

Savannah's lips stay curled in a slight frown now. Settling in her chair, she sips at her coffee, eyes scanning the injured one as well as Huruma, Graeme taken in just slightly as she moves to pull a notebook out of her bag. Her gaze shifts to the notebook, staying fixed there.

"Triple shot whatever in th'world, is what I mean." Huruma narrows her eyes on him when he switches some train of thought onto asking if she's a professional, and then he's off again about sitting down. He has the attention span of a gnat. If she got out something shiny, would he look this way? And true to form, Huruma tests this by shrugging back the sleeve of her jacket and looking to the watch on her dark wrist, contrasting a bright gold and quartz against her color.

"From th'way you move, I think you need more than a sit down."

After seeing that the other man got seated, Graeme himself sits back down, to pick up his own coffee. The man's a brooding, morose bundle of joy at the moment. But he does look across the table at JJ. Wordless concern. He's too tired to express more care for random strangers than he already has.

Huruma's glance at her watch does draw JJ's gaze, his head following the sweep of her arm into that bend, and then he's reaching into the pocket of his jeans to pull out his iPhone, glancing at the time as well.

"Nah, I need to be all right. I got a date tonight," he says with a furrowed brow, and he glances down at the book of love poems.

He sighs and looks at his un-sipped coffee, back at Huruma, and then casts a glance at the unhappy Savanna, before pushing his coffee in front of Graeme. "You look like you could use the joe. She's probably right and I shouldn't," he says unhappily, before glancing back at Huruma with a slight scowl.

He stands again, picking up his books and DVDs. "Thanks," he adds, to no one in particular and all of them at once.

Her gaze flickering back towards JJ, Huruma, and Graeme, Savannah takes another long sip at her coffee. Her gaze shifts back to Huruma with another frown. For a moment, she looks like she wants to say something, but she doesn't, instead looking back at her notebook and grabbing a pen from her bag, clicking it quietly.

Huruma allows her mouth to split into a smile at both JJ and his reaction. Not only did he look, but he checked his own watch too. Huruma isn't about to quit her dayjob and turn into a body language manipulator anytime soon, however. She does, however, seem fine with realizing that she just pulled a really mom-like card out of whatever deck she's playing with. The tall woman slowly finds a seat, at last, partially facing the blonde woman and young man that so seem discontented by her being- well- her.

She can't help it if she's bound to be a giant bitch. Sometimes. One of those days.

Graeme watches as JJ gets up, leaves. His eyes end up falling not on Huruma, not on Savannah, but on the cup of coffee the other man left him. "Guess I could use the coffee," he says, talking to himself more than anything else. His own cup of coffee is picked up, finished, and he moves to holding the one that was left for him. Only then does he look to the other two.

There's a nod of greeting. Two nods, actually, one to each of the women whom he briefly interacted with. He looks towards Huruma. "You're rather observant," he says. It's not terribly loud, and could easily be ignored as a statement. But Graeme isn't particularly trying to engage at this point. He's too busy isolating in the coffee in front of him, and in his own misery.

Savannah doesn't pipe up, her eyes staying down on the page, scribbling who-knows-what down there. She takes another sip of her coffee. Regardless of what she's writing and staring at, she's still aware, idly listening to the two.

Huruma slips a hand into her pocket to find a credit card stowed there, tucking it in with the topmost book she has with her so that she can leave without incident once she wants to. She can feel Savannah's concentration, to a certain degree, but Graeme's moment of weakness when he folds and looks over gets more of her attention.

"I make it a point to be…" Huruma's eyes find him, ivory irises shifting just slightly, the drops of pupil rather stark in the artificial light. "And you, it seems, are very good at being a sad-sack. I could feel your wallowing from across th'store." Not trying to engage? Bit late for that. Huruma isn't putting any meanness into her smooth voice, but its hard to miss that biting boldness.

Graeme considers Huruma, carefully. There's a slight instinct to snap at her, tell her it's none of her business, but Graeme doesn't. "It's been a hell of a week," he says, quietly, before taking a sip of the coffee drink that he has both hands curled around. "At least I'm good at it. I'd hate to be doing a bad job of being a … sad-sack, or anything." The woman's phrasing has amused Graeme, just a slight bit. Enough to make the corner of his lips twitch into a slight smile.

Glancing over just slightly, Savannah notes the conversation before looking back down to her notebook. Scribblescribble.

"I think everyone has had a 'hell of a week'." Huruma fumbles a little with the parroting, as even in such a casual setting, she can't find herself naturally cussing. It just sounds a little- off. "Yes, at least you are good at it. But in admitting it, you are less of one." You know, with the confidence thing. Huruma cants her head and gives him the smallest of playful squints.

"Even if I couldn't read you, I'd tell you." She can sense that amusement too, and though she can't be sure of where it is being directed, the mention seems to have made him slightly more receptive.

Graeme nods, slowly. "I … I'll get over it," he says. Other things came to mind, but aren't said. There's another hint of a desire to snap at her when she mentions her ability, but it's pushed back. The slight contentment that Graeme musters is more of a memory, not current, but something to focus on nonetheless. "But it might take a while." He doesn't believe his own statement, and he shrugs to Huruma.

Huruma doesn't get enough credit, when it comes to observing; he may be trying to shovel his emotions around, but the empath can feel every pinprick of snappishness, every bit of tucked affront. Her look reveals very little in return, gaze flicking off to Savannah for a moment before returning to Graeme. "Indeed. Such things often do."

His words catch in his throat the first time, and were perhaps not what he actually wanted to say anyway, and so he says little, merely nodding and taking a sip of his coffee. "Though I suppose sleep would help." There's a bit of a laugh. "Maybe I'll go home after I finish the coffee." Which would imply he hasn't been home in a while. "Done longer without sleep in the past. But three days is starting to push it, I think." He shrugs, again.

"Sleep is good," Savannah offers, looking up mid-sentence from her writing. "Really, you should go rest… they say once you hit five days without sleep you start going crazy. Well, that and I'm sure it's pretty unhealthy." She sips her coffee, studying the two. "Might make you feel better, at least."

"Ten days is th'general rule of thumb b'fore your body begins t'degrade. She's right, about five for your head." Huruma confers with Savannah, as if the two of them might be offering poor Graeme some life advice. Maybe they are. "I suggest Nyquil, honestly, if insomnia is th'issue. It will knock you out. Unless you feel more like drinking yourself t'blackout, mm?" She even chuckles at this.

What Huruma is saying hits a little too close to home for Graeme. He picks up his coffee, his messenger bag, and then with nothing more than a nod, he's walking towards the check out line of the bookstore. But he will be going to sleep, soon. There's a half a glance back, and then Graeme is out the door.

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