Need a Ride


devon2_icon.gif graeme2_icon.gif

Scene Title Need a Ride
Synopsis Graeme gives Devon a ride. There may be a slight amount of paranoia involved.
Date May 29, 2011

In a car (mostly)

Only minutes had passed since Devon called for a ride, no details offered to Graeme during that first call, it was ended shortly after informing the older man that he'd need a ride. It wasn't until he was well away from Belvedere Castle and Central Park itself that he called the teacher again, certain he wasn't being followed and some fifteen minutes later, and gave the address of a dry cleaners where the intern had usually brought in or picked up Russo's suits. It's a familiar place, and using the address wouldn't be out of the ordinary.

Of course, when Graeme does arrive, Devon isn't waiting at the dry cleaners' shop. He's in a store that's catty corner, playing convenience shopper. A couple bottles of water, several energy drinks, and a package of cookies are bought. The teenager's eyes glance often enough toward the street to make the shop keeper nervous, but his pack never left his shoulders and he's paying in cash.

It takes Graeme a moment to spot Devon from where he stands for a moment outside the dry cleaners, with his cell phone pulled out to answer a text message. But then the skateboard is dropped back down to the ground, and after a momentary circle, there's a jerk of his head in one direction, and Graeme begins to go lazily down the block, plenty of time for the teenager to catch up, and perhaps because he's being lazy about it, Graeme does a few simple tricks, sliding the skateboard down an approximately waist height handrail for as long as it lasts before pushing back up to the beginning of the rail to do it again as he waits for Devon. This isn't the 'quiet' coloured skateboard that Graeme takes when he's going towards the safehouse, either, but the bigger longboard, with nearly neon/fluorescent decals on the underside, visible in the airtime. The text message arrives at Devon's phone.

Parked a few blocks away. Come walk with me.

He sees the teacher and his skateboard and watches only long enough to complete his transaction. Devon's phone doesn't appear again until he's outside the store, purchases in hand. He gives it only a cursory look, without pause for response, before tucking the phone away. The snack items are pushed into his pack, crammed in somewhere between a clean t-shirt and his laptop and a handful of other necessities he's kept with him since his foray into the world of terrorism. After pulling the pack back onto his shoulders, he takes off in the direction Graeme had headed off.

It doesn't take long before the younger man has caught up, purpose to his step drawing him along faster without making him seem in a rush. It's New York City, there's idlers and there's busybodies to classify pedestrians, and Devon falls somewhere in between. "Hey," he calls when he's close enough that yelling isn't necessary.

When the teenager appears, the tricks end, and Graeme pushes lazily along the sidewalk, leading the way and after a small bit, drawing alongside Devon. "Parked a block or two further," he explains. And considering that it's New York, the fact that the teacher had to find parking is not the most surprising thing, even if being inconspicuous was not a concern here. He leads the teen down another block and then a side street, before coming to a halt, picking up the skateboard, and only then unlocking the car.

"So. Where am I giving you a ride to?" The skateboard is put in the back seat, with perhaps more care than would be expected, but this is Remi's car after all. A more studying and less cursory glance is given to the teenager. "And what's up?"

There's little surprise in fact, that Graeme had to park someplace down the road. Not only is it New York, but it's also one of the busier areas of commerce. With all the high rising businesses and little quick stop shopping springing up to facilitate their eating habits and the obligatory dry cleaning that the suits prefer for their garments. Devon nods his understanding and follows alongside the older man in relative and companionable silence.

Pack coming off his shoulders on reaching the car, Devon pulls open the passenger side door and slides into the seat, his pack coming to rest between his feet. "Somewhere safe," he replies after shutting the door. The teenager pulls his seatbelt on, then rests his elbow on the armrest of the door, fingers resting against his lips and a contemplative gaze directed through the window. "Odessa Price called me this morning, met with her just a little bit ago. Liz might kill me, but I didn't think there'd be time to wait for her to show up and meet with Price."

Somewhere safe, right. Graeme nods, pulling out into traffic after adjusting the revolver so that it's comfortable underneath the jeans underneath the seatbelt. As he drives, in silence for a moment, a white noise generator, something the teenager may have seen Ygraine use, is placed on center of the car next to the shift column, and the radio is turned on, classic rock soft enough they can talk over it, but Graeme doesn't talk until he's pulling onto a highway. "Sorry. Was making sure we weren't being followed."

There's a pause. "Montauk sound good? It's safe, and it's out of the way, and there's a stockpile of food." And the tone of voice implies that Graeme definitely doesn't want to go to any of the other safe places after Devon having met with Odessa. "Liz'll thwack you. And possibly ask me why I didn't thwack you, but she'll have to deal. Meeting her was the right thing, though. Next time at least text us god damnit."

"Montauk is fine," Devon answers, still staring out the window. "Just somewhere, to make sure I don't have a tail." He seems less concerned with being thwacked, a crease forming just above the bridge of his nose. "I got the entire conversation," he goes on to explain. "I know Liz wanted to ask some of her own questions, but… I can work that out later. Something was different today."

Without elaborating, Devon pulls his phone from his pocket then drags his laptop free of his pack. Some hunting through the pockets produces the cords necessary to connect the two devices. The phone is plugged into the laptop after the latter is powered on. Devon's eyes pour over the screen while he captures the sound recording, setting it to transfer onto the computer. "Next time I'll text," he says apologetically.

Graeme nods once more, and then he's moved over several lanes, merging with faster traffic. "There's an adapter for power from the cigarette lighter in the glove box," he adds, not much to actually say as he focuses on traffic. "Remi has a place out in Montauk. It's … supplied, quiet, and pretty remote, and safe enough for you and me." Which would explain why Graeme doesn't actually go out there often, why it isn't his first choice when he wants quiet. Nor is it safe for those who no longer technically exist, for those who have gone to ground, but it is safe for the two men in the car. "And there's no one following, but we can wait until lunch, have lunch there, and then head back and I can take you to Melissa's or something."

Giving a nod, Devon rubs his hands over his face. "Sounds good." Hands lowering again, he watches the transfer for a moment longer. "The club would be a good place to go later, Melissa's likely to be there. I have a meeting, too. I need to figure out how handle it. If… who should be going with me." Edging around his laptop, he reaches into his pack again to find a writeable mini cd. It's placed into the slot for discs and pushed into the drive in preparation of copying the file once the transfer is complete.

Another nod. "Alright." Exits pass by on the freeway, and Graeme is taking definite advantage of the fact that the x6 is a nice car, one capable of good freeway handling and slightly higher speeds than are legal. "I'm working tonight anyway. And I'll go by Liz's tomorrow, or something, when I get a chance." There's a glance in the rearview mirror, the side mirrors, another check for being followed, and Graeme leans back a bit, slowing down and pulling off the freeway. They're nowhere near Montauk, but they are nearing the checkpoints, and there's a frown on Graeme's face. "Gun," he says, when they've pulled into park, holding out his hand for Devon to turn over his weapon.

One hand works to pull up a document page, a look at it shows to be a research page or possibly an essay of sorts. Closer inspection reveals it to be a rather in depth study of a Neil Simon play, Brighton Beach Memoirs, completed but the perfect cover for the work being done on his laptop. Meanwhile, the other hand pulls out the handgun, familiar matte black metal coming out from its place at the small of his back. Once satisfied things are sufficiently running computer-wise, he drops the magazine and clears the chamber, keeping the slide locked back before passing it all over to Graeme.

Graeme's gotten up, somewhat, without getting out of the car, pulling a locking gun box from underneath the driver's seat. Devon's gun, and its magazine, are placed, and then the revolver and the ammunition for the revolver follows. Before the gun box is locked and replaced in the hidey-hole, Graeme also takes his burn phone, and the teenager's cell, and the white noise generator, putting them in there as well after turning them off, removing the SIM cards and the batteries. Paranoid? Maybe.

A second gun box is pulled from the back seat. "This one, on the other hand," and Graeme removes the M9 from his belt, "I am legally allowed to carry. It's a hell of a lot more paperwork here than it was in New Mexico." The magazine is removed from the M9 as well, though, before it's placed the box, the box closed and placed on the centre between the two seats. In plain sight. "Red envelope from the glove compartment, it's the papers I need, and put the CD away in your backpack."

While he pops open the glove compartment and fishes out the red envelope, Devon checks on the burn progress. His eyes tick up as his fingers find the envelope, passing it off to Graeme, then lower again to the screen. As soon as the transfer hits completion, the disc is ejected and cased, stowed away in his pack again and work, "work", is resumed on his paper. He even pulls up a PDF version of the script to tab back to as reference. "Assignment left over from my first semester at Columbia," he explains.

Another nod, this one of thanks, and Graeme pulls two papers from the red envelope, setting them in his lap so that he can hand over their itinerary if asked, the rest tucked under the gun box with the M9. "Also, get out your registration card," he says. "It makes everything smoother if you have everything they want to see." When the teenager's done that, Graeme starts the car again, pulling back onto the highway and into the slog of traffic approaching the checkpoint.

Balancing his laptop with one hand, Devon drags his pack up and over the back of the seat, placing it onto the back seat. Any look inside would reveal a bag that speaks of a teenager or college freshman, especially with the work the teenager actually appears to be doing. His registration card is pulled out of his wallet and handed over to the teacher. And when the car begins to move, he goes back to his paper.

It's a slow line, but the checkpoints all are, even if this isn't the most major of them. Every few songs, Graeme sings along, minorly off key, and when they get to the checkpoint, names are given, papers passed out of the car. Both the teenager and teacher are made to get up, stand outside the car while they search it, and the gun box with the M9 is given extra scrutiny, as is the skateboard. The whole while, though, Graeme remains patient, answering the questions in an even tone and even being so cooperative as to explain that they're going to his landlady's vacation home, until they are once more on the road and moving, nearly forty-five minutes later.

"I hate checkpoints," he says, though it's in the same even tone of voice, without any hint that there's anything wrong with the world. "Hate them."

Devon stands through the scrutiny in silence, watching as though bored. His laptop was left in the vehicle, lid opened in invitation to look at his work. It's mild enough, few people attend theatre anymore and fewer still even read scripts, so there's nothing worth hiding if they glanced at the screen. He easily lets Graeme take the lead, echoing in his own words answers to questions. But once back on the road and well out of sight of the check point, he groans and rubs his hands over his face. "We need to go through that again, going back in?"

Graeme nods. "Pretty much, yes. We do. It's usually easier going in, though," he says. Another white noise generator is pulled from the ashtray of the car, turned on, and Graeme navigates the interchange with a rather lack of care, driving more or less on autopilot than anything else. "On the bright side, I'm pretty sure anyone who was even thinking of following us probably doesn't want to go through that checkpoint," he adds, with a grin. "But we aren't being followed. And the Montauk property is gated with a code at the entrance, too." Which is another reason that Graeme generally considers it safe, even if it's somewhere that is being vaguely watched by DHS for the fact that Remi has been deported.

With a nod, Devon reaches behind to grab his pack. Pushing aside the snacks and drinks, he digs free another cd to burn the sound file onto. He settles into his seat as the next copy begins, head tilting back to rest on the headrest. "Didn't think I was being followed, just precaution. Didn't want to go straight to any normal holes either. I guess I could've taken the bus somewhere… Calling for a ride seemed more mobile, though." He's talking for the sake of talking, his mind circling around the meeting as something he won't actually mention in detail until he's back at the safehouse.

Graeme lets Devon talk, focusing on driving until they get there, as there are still portions of the road that are unfamiliar and otherwise less than easy, considering exactly how often Graeme spends driving a car. Finally, though, after the rest of the drive spent in idle conversation, Graeme pulls off of a side road, to a large gate. The M9 rests on the seat next to him, as he rolls down his window. The numbers for the gate code are pushed, not with his finger but with the end of a pen, and he only seems to finally relax as they continue on the drive towards the property, a very nice, quite sizable resort house looming into view.

Eventually Devon falls silent, though while he spoke the topic twisted and turned around inconsequential things. Like further thoughts regarding schooland possibilities for another job. Likewise, as he speaks, work on his laptop winds down to an end, the second disc finding a home in his pack and the laptop ending up stowed as well. So by the time the car moves beyond the gate, the teenager has lapsed into a contemplative quietness, his attention somewhere else, well beyond the window he stares out of.

Still, though, the teacher hasn't quite fully relaxed, and when he pulls to a halt along the well-manicured round driveway and gets out, his gun is still held ready, but there's apparently nothing amiss as they walk into the house, and at that point, Graeme does seem to truly relax. "Alright. So, don't touch the furniture that looks breakable, pretty much, and don't touch the walls." Though he locked the door behind him, he pauses, poking numbers into the security console again with the end of a pen. When he's satisfied that there's no one actually waiting there, Graeme even puts the gun away. "But the two rooms adjoining the kitchen are pretty much safe for use."

Silence on the younger man's end is maintained through the walk around, though once Graeme's satisfied with the state of things, Devon nods. "We should go to the club when we get back to the city," he says, keeping his tone conversational. "I can say hi to my uncle, maybe bum some bus fare before heading to the house to finish that homework." It's all a lie, except maybe the bus fare part, but the teacher's demeanor regarding the house has him erring on the side of caution again. "What kind of sandwich do you want again?" It's asked, even though nothing was ever stated and it'll be peanut butter and jelly regardless of whatever the teacher's answer is.

Lunch was a simple affair, PB&J and the bottled water Devon had purchased earlier. The teenager ate without the need for prodding, though his manner implied a disinterest in the meal, movements automatic in response. And though simple, there was no rush to eating, no need to run off so soon. But once the sandwiches were finished, everything was cleaned, from countertops to fridge and cabinets to sink. Anything touched was wiped, washed, and dried before the two took their leave to return to New York.

The drive back passed uneventful, even the checkpoint seeming to go faster for the way in than it was out. Still, round trip had them arriving at the Tartarus just in time for Graeme's shift. Devon thanked Graeme as they entered the club, then parted ways, leaving the teacher to report in for his shift and the teenager to take up space in the manager's office and wait for Melissa to appear.

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