More Than Just Shooting Hoops


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Scene Title More Than Just Shooting Hoops
Synopsis There's also talk about shooting guns, and other good natured conversation during a game of HORSE.
Date April 13, 2011

A School Yard

The school with the basketball courts wasn't particularly difficult to find, and Graeme got there a good deal earlier than he asked Devon to meet him. Odin's leash secured to a portion of fence with a long range, the dog has also been keeping an eye on Graeme's messenger bag while the teacher warms up. The warmth of the spring day means that he's dressed in a pair of dark grey board shorts, a plain white teeshirt that's loose on his frame a little, and the worn basketball bounced in his hands as he waits for the teenager to show up.

A lazy shot bounces off the rim, back towards him, with a few lightly murmured obscenities. Graeme is still getting used to using his arm, again, even if very lightly and carefully at the moment. The basketball is dropped, stilled by one foot, and there's the beginning of careful stretches and deliberate movement of his right arm, eyes occasionally alert to catch Devon's imminent arrival.

Someone is running behind today. Devon appears jogging around the corner of the school building, today in his own pair of blue and khaki plaid board shorts and a long sleeve t-shirt in muted red tones, and a backpack hanging from a shoulder. "Hey," he calls, slowing as his feet reach the court. "Sorry, work was… work." It's no excuse, but it's honestly offered. He steps near to Odin, giving the dog an appraising look as the pack is pulled from his shoulder and placed on the ground.

Working his shoulders, arms swinging in and out akin to a butterfly, the teenager turns away from the fence and faces Graeme. "You sure you're up for this," he asks, in all seriousness. He pulls at one arm, stretching the shoulder with real intention. That shoulder is still stiff and sore, though the kid'll never admit it. "We can skip out, grab coffee or something."

There's a wave given with his left hand when Graeme spots Devon. "Yeah," he responds, a grin. "I'm up for it. Have to start using it some time." There's another stretch started, pushing how far behind his back he can reach, range of motion that's been ignored for the greater part of a month now. After a moment, the ball is gently kicked over to Devon, rolling in a easy straight line to the teenager. The kick is obviously much easier and more muscle memory than anything one actually does with a basketball, though. "You just might have to go easy on me a bit."

Bending down, Devon scoops up the ball. "Fair enough," he replies with a grin. He'd planned to go easy on the old man anyway, give him a fighting chance now that he himself is mending well. Sleeves are pushed up to his elbows and then the ball is dribbled. Nothing fancy, he's already claimed to not be a basketball player. But simple warm ups that will get him limbered and give Graeme a few more minutes to stretch.

"You going to take Melissa up on that job offer," the teenager asks as he takes a few steps across the court. He sets up for his first shot, bouncing the ball of the pavement again then lifting his gaze to the hoop. Up and into the basket it goes, with Devon following at a jog to catch the ball and return it to Graeme.

Another stretch, further pushing of the range of motion, but not pushing himself beyond what he can do right now. "That's the plan," Graeme says, as he catches the ball, caught with the left hand and bounced over to his right, back and forth a few times. "I have to admit that the idea of an evo-friendly work environment is incredibly appealing." The ball is thrown up and into the air, caught, then thrown towards the hoop. It bounces off the backboard, dropping straight through.

Graeme grins, as if almost surprised by the shot. "And it isn't like I get that many days teaching. I'm low on the food chain, within the pool, no seniority or tenure or anything from having never worked full-time for the district before."

Devon, still standing near the hoop, hustles forward to catch the ball after a single bounce. "Yeah. It's a really great environment. The guards that work the door like to hassle me a bit." There's a grin on his face with the explanation, hassle in this sense being nothing bad. "They're alright though. And Melissa's serious about keeping things Evo-friendly."

Two steps out from under the hoop, Devon tosses the ball up with a single arm. It lobs high and bounces twice off the rim before sinking. He grabs it again, then sends it to Graeme with a bounce. "It's a really good place to work, though. Hell I'd work there if I didn't have this internship."

This time, Graeme goes back and sets himself up a step back from the free throw line, off to the left side a bit. "And well, steady work is starting to sound like a nice thing. Something I'd like to have, you know?" There's a faint smile. "Steady work helps to keep other areas of life more on the steady side."

Like his relationships. Like balancing that most of his friends that he's grown close to over the past months since he's moved back to New York are now wanted, by the government. The ball is retrieved after it falls through the hoop, swish through the net in a throw that once again seems to surprise the teacher, and there's a small attempt at the one trick dribbling that Graeme knows how to do, though he halfway misses. Maybe because he managed to get it through the hoop.

Jogging up toward Graeme, Devon recovers the fumbled dribbling as though they were playing one-on-one instead of just HORSE. Continuing past him a few steps, the teenager turns and jumps, shooting the ball into the hoop with a swish. "See, told you I could out play you," he says in easy jest. He runs after the ball and begins dribbling once it's recovered.

"A steady job is a good thing," the teen agrees. He walks back toward Graeme, dribbling the ball first with the right and then with the left. "There's a silent auction thing going on there, in a couple weeks. You should go." Grasping the ball between both hands, he offers it to the older man.

There's a grin as Graeme takes the ball back, this time just dribbling it normally as he sets up the next shot, a little further back from the three point line. There's a squinting glance, but the throw doesn't go far enough, not enough power behind it as it glances off the edge of the hoop. "Today, you just might," he admits, though he does go and retrieve the ball before Devon has a chance, then passing it over.

But Graeme walks over, nearer to Devon so he can speak quietly as he passes the ball. "I saw my friend you'd asked about," he murmurs, almost a quiet whisper as he sets his hand on the teen's good shoulder momentarily. "She's doing good." Given the circumstances, but that doesn't need to be said aloud, and then Graeme walks away to let the teenager set up a shot. "H for me, your go."

"Good to hear," Devon replies just as quietly. As always of late, there's a hesitation and a look to Graeme, concerned and still willing to help if asked. He quickly turns it around to jog several steps away, far to the left of the hoop. "You do anything like rifelry," he asks as he looks up at the hoop. The ball rebounds off the ground three times before sending it up and off the backboard. The ball tips off the rim then falls through the hoop.

There's a hint of a smile on Graeme's face, as he recalls that it was recently enough that he was advised to brush up on his firearms skills that he'd once, long ago had. And that it comes up so soon after having mentioned Liz, there's a chuckle as he jogs over, grabbing the basketball and then continuing to dribble back to the free throw line once again. "I had an armed endorsement on my guard card," he says, "back when I was younger. Never kept it up, never really learned more than the absolute basics about larger guns and such. Maybe because guns were such a big thing in New Mexico, very conservative and all that." Graeme shrugs. "But I'd been meaning to start working on my shooting skills, once my shoulder got to where I could take the recoil."

His head tilts to one side, squinting at the hoop once again, and then there's an easy, if perhaps stiffer than usual motion as the ball is thrown up. It bounces on the backboard, on the rim another two times, then sits almost caught by the net by a moment before going through, to the ground, and there's a slight celebratory cheer. "Getting more used to it every time," he says. though for the moment, he works once more on stretching his shoulder and arm, letting the teenager go to get the ball.

The teenager is quick to grab the ball again, but not to shoot. "I never did rifelry either," he admits. He moves into a place, that should be easy lay up all over again. "But I like to go practice." He hasn't fired a gun since he was inside the Dome, and had never fired one before that except on stage. "We should go practice some time, instead of just playing basketball. I got a handgun, and I can get a rifle to practice with." Bending his knees slightly, Devon hops slightly and shoots. The ball hits the backboard then bounces off toward Graeme.

There's a slightly bigger grin on Graeme's face as he grabs for the ball, bouncing it a few times as he nods acknowledgement. "We should," he agrees. Long, not quite jogging strides, easy, move him back to the free-throw line, and once more he squints at the hoop, judging distance. But when the ball is thrown, it falls short of even making it to the basket, with a few more muttered expletives. "Damn, well, I was getting more used to it," he says, with a bit of a grin. The weakness from lack of use isn't something that Graeme will admit to, but it does effect things, and there's a half a shrug as Graeme retrieves the ball, passing it off to Devon. "Maybe we should go get coffee, or something."

Devon grins as he takes the ball, nodding is understanding. His own shoulder pain is far more easily ignored now than it was two weeks ago, but he understands the strain that comes from playing ball and even the most simple tasks. Carrying the ball under an arm, he moves over to the fence and where Odin has been dutifully standing guard. He claims his pack while waiting for Graeme to grab his own and the dog. Then, it will be off for coffee and discussions about happier things.

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