New Ways to Deal


graeme_icon.gif savannah_icon.gif

Scene Title New Ways to Deal
Synopsis Savannah drops by to see Graeme and see how he's doing.
Date March 7, 2011

Dorchester Towers: Remi and Graeme's Apartment

For the past forty-five minutes, Graeme has been very, very glad that Remi wasn't home, and then, secondarily to that, a bit confused. Eventually, he'd sat back down on the couch, where he is now, with a small bottle of orange juice and a bag of chips on the coffee table next to him. The television had been turned on to a rebroadcast of a soccer game, but it has since been muted, ignored, finally turned off rather than simply having it going in the background.

Instead, the stereo plays faintly in the background. ~On my knees and out of luck, I look up.~

Remi would not likely knock at the door. So when there is a knock at the door, it isn't likely to be Graeme's roommate. Outside, Savannah Burton has roamed up the stairs to the apartment, tapping lightly at the door. Really, she'd been meaning to do so earlier, but she'd been busy discussing details of her book's release with Kam, which of course made her excited and rather occupied for some time.

"Minute!" Graeme calls out, loudly enough that it can be heard on the other side of the door. Unlike when he last answered the door earlier, he's giving himself a little more time to throw on a proper t-shirt, light gray a shade or two lighter than the pyjama pants that he wears, before making his way to undo the deadbolt, and the handle lock, opening it slightly to see who it is. A faint smile plays on his face, and then he opens the door wider with a gesture to invite Savannah inside.

"Hey," he says. There's a pause. "Nice to see you."

There's a smile as the door opens and Savannah is gestured in. She takes a step into the apartment, moving out of the way of the door's path so it can shut again, and she looks over to Graeme. "Don't mind me, you just popped into my head and I live downstairs so I decided I should immediately come up and check on you, see how you were doing. Your proximity is very convenient, so I hope you don't mind! You're just lucky I have standards and don't show up at three in the morning on a whim."

"And I had the decency to put clothing on before answering the door." Though he's aware that there's a lot to be appreciated about when he's not wearing it … he hardly knows her, and she's well, female. There's a sheepish grin.

Graeme chuckles, with a gesture towards the living room, which has a couch and an armchair with an ottoman, both black, both very plus. "While really, I tend to often be up at three in the morning, I am sure that my roommate appreciates said standards." There's a smile, and Graeme pauses. "Can I get you some tea, water, coffee, I think we have some ginger ale and some club soda?" The offer trails off, his head tilted to one side as he rests easily on the balls of his feet, posture relaxed. "I'm doing okay, I think."

"Oh, yes, that usually is helpful if you're receiving guests. Clothes, I mean," Savannah's gaze sweeps around the room. "Tea? Tea would be fantastic, if you don't mind. Of course, that also assumes that you don't mind me dropping in for a few minutes." She makes her way towards the couch, sliding into a seat. "I promise I won't be heartbroken if you want to shoo me off. Considering you were already comfortable and had to dress to receive guests, I take it you're already settling in for a while." She blinks in Graeme's direction. "Are you sure you're okay? Last time I saw you, you very much seemed otherwise."

There's another chuckle. "No no, I promise, it's good, and I like company." There's a grin. "This way, when my roommate does get home later, I haven't lost track of time or anything." He opens a drawer, looking at the assortment of teas. "We have… green tea, lemon green, chamomile, herbal peppermint, English breakfast, and orange blossom. Any preference?"

There's a slight sigh. "I'm doing better," he says, filling a kettle and setting it on the stove, before getting out two cups. "I guess calling it okay yet isn't … not quite there. I will be. I've had some more sleep since then, though, and some of the shock's worn off."

"English breakfast, please. It's my favorite," Savannah says, settling in more comfortably on the couch as she glances towards Graeme in the kitchen. "You do seem more rested, yes, which is a relief." She presses her lips into a thin line. "Have you talked to anyone? I'm a big proponent of talking."

Graeme looks across towards the living room, leaning on the counter slightly until the kettle starts to whistle, at which point he takes it off the stove, simply in his bare hand with no actual protection against the heat of the handle, pouring water into both cups, then setting the kettle down. "Sleep's not the easiest thing for me. Unless I'm physically exhausted, which is … truly difficult to accomplish, I don't get much of it." He grins. "The last time I got actually eight hours in a night, I'd been awake for four days beforehand."

He opens a cabinet, taking out two saucers for the mugs to rest on, though both of the saucers seem to be the sturdy plastic dishes Graeme uses when his roommate isn't home, rather than anything more delicate. Then he carefully picks up both, bringing them to set them on the coffee table, one more towards Savannah and one next to his own bottle of orange juice, also moving his tablet before folding himself into a seated position on the couch. "A little. There's a … there's a hell of a lot that I have going on." A weary smile graces his face.

"Ever tried sleep-aids?" Savannah questions, eagerly looking towards the tea cups, letting it cool down a little as she looks towards Graeme. "Sounds like everyone I know. Have you stopped and taken a deep breath in a while or are you running around like a chicken with its head cut off right now? I know I tend to do that when I have a lot going on. Usually takes someone wise to ground me again."

Graeme tilts his head to one side. "Hm. I suppose I should see, find a doctor who's familiar with at least dealing with people with abilities. To be honest, I'm not sure what would happen, or if the endurance would also translate into drug tolerance or something," he says, picking up the bottle of orange juice, taking a sip, before he watches Savannah for a moment. And then he forces himself to answer her question honestly. "Mostly, I'm running around like a chicken with my head cut off, or something. Less so yesterday and today, but there's … still a bit of it. It's how I always learned to deal with things. Shove the feelings about things to the back and bury them in physical activity."

"Have you ever seen Dr. Harve Brennan? He's the only doctor I know of who has specific dealings with Evolved. He may be able to help you, I believe." Savannah notes with a look to Graeme. She reaches for her cup, quietly sipping her tea. "You shouldn't do that, though. Take it from someone who locks it all away. I usually look so composed… I have a good public front, one that's taken years to master, but there's so much chaos that goes on in my head that no one gets to see. But I know how unhealthy it is. There always needs to be more of an outlet, and you may be pushing yourself far too far physically if you are using that as your only outlet. Perhaps it is time to learn a new way to deal."

It takes a bit, and Graeme's eyes flick back and forth, not quite focused, in thought. He's putting the pieces together as he puts the bottle of orange juice down and picks his tea back up. "He's a negator, right? I nearly punched him in the face at a coffeeshop on Saturday," Graeme admits. His face contorts into a … rather odd expression. Not quite strained, as he leans back a bit, legs coming to tuck underneath him.

"Yes, he usually helps with people just learning to control their abilities," Savannah explains, but she winches just slightly. "You nearly punched him in the face?" She stares into her teacup before blue eyes level on Graeme. "I sincerely hope he deserved it for some reason. You don't seem the type to punch someone randomly."

Graeme sips his tea, slightly absently. "He did, at least, sorta. And I couldn't have punched him very effectively had I tried," Graeme says. "My ability is very physical, always on, always active, and it doesn't play well with being negated. It makes me feel detached and strange. And it takes away most of my coping mechanism to boot, and things hurt; I wasn't thinking quite clearly."

"Oh!" Savannah says with a start, a slight frown on her features. "Yes… I can imagine that would be difficult. I can't say I'd know the feeling, fully, other than perhaps having my medication taken from me." She shrugs slightly.

"I'd heard his name," says Graeme, "but I didn't know he's a doctor." He takes another sip. "I'll look into it, thank you. Maybe having something resembling a sleep schedule might be good for me. I mean, I tend to be productive in the time I'm awake, but especially with martial law enforced here …" He leans back and shrugs, observant blue eyes watching Savannah.

"He's a doctor. We had a conversation back when I was working on my latest book. He's a doctor and worked with the Suresh Center," Savannah nods, looking back to Graeme. "Scheduling is good. If you get on something regular, it usually helps. I honestly wish I had more of a schedule."

Another nod from Graeme, and he pulls one knee up to his chest, arm hooking around it. The posture loses the last bit of defensiveness that there'd been, and there's a bit of fragility, though he's trying … to not show it. Better … better does not equate to alright, or to okay.

Savannah looks over at Graeme for a long while. She takes another sip of her tea before putting the cup down. "Do you ever cry, Graeme?" She asks, suddenly, the question breaking the silence that fell upon the two of them moments before.

There's a shrug as Graeme considers her question, followed by another long silent moment. "Sometimes." Because it isn't manly to cry, and it takes a lot piling up at once before Graeme relinquishes the emotional control that he does have, because it takes a lot to overwhelm him. He's cried in front of Liz, and he's cried in front of Ygraine, and sometimes, sometimes Graeme has cried when he's by himself and the door to his room is closed. But mainly, not so much. "It takes a lot. But there's sorta been a hell of a lot on my plate. Family stuff, kinda. And then I was out to lunch and my roommate's lover was over at a different part of the table and she got shot, and …" There's a heavy sigh. "It's been a lot, and a lot all at once."

"I know how that is. Sometimes things come at you a mile a minute. But I feel like you have to let that go. I always feel better after crying, it's just hard to get it out. I usually feel tired after crying too. I think it's my body's way of forcing me to get to sleep when something bad has happened," Savannah notes. "After all, why the heck would we be able to cry if there wasn't a purpose for it." She smiles warmly, then sips at her tea. Don't want to let it get cold.

He nods. It's quite possible that Graeme's acknowledging that Savannah has a point, even if it might not be a manly thing to do. "It can be, yeah. A lot of me, right now, says there'll be time for crying later. Right now, there's still things that need to be done, and resolution of the issues with … with my half-sister, and decisions that need to be made with a level head." There's a hint of bitterness, pain, and more, a determined edge behind his voice when he mentions his sister. It's a harsh quality that hasn't been in their otherwise soft conversation, nearly but not necessarily exactly anger.

The tea is sipped again, then finished, and Savannah looks back at Graeme seriously. "I feel like you need to take a breather. Everything on your plate doesn't need to be on your plate at once. Take things in servings, and try and just remember to take one thing on at a time. As long as there's no reason to rush every decision and thing you have to deal with… then don't."

Slowly, Graeme manages a nod, and a bit of a smile in acknowledgement. "Some of it … some of it's immediate as hell," he says, "though when that immediate is is anyone's guess, but. That's not under my power to control. It just doesn't make it any less stressful."

He sits from his tea again, absently, not taking much of a sip at all. "And another part of it, a student who I'm trying to help as I can, that's … that's pretty immediate too. But you're right, yeah. There's a lot else that," and he pauses, taking a breath and looking a little bit past the woman who currently sits on his couch, "that what you said could be applied to."

There's another nod. "Then what you need to do is shove everything you can aside, and tackle things one at a time, after thinking them through. If you need to, have someone just listen while you sort through it. Not say a word, not offer suggestions, but just listen. Sometimes blurting it out helps solidify how you feel and what you need to do. I do that, but usually it's just to a journal. I feel it helps. Then I can always go back and look and see what I wrote," Savannah explains. "But it's a journal mostly because I just don't have a lot of people to talk to. Still, being able to review it helps."

"Thank you," Graeme murmurs, quietly. "The offer means a lot." A moment later, and quietly, he's leaned off the couch, balance maintained, stacking the empty mugs and plates. So, thank you." He leans back once more, and offers Savannah a smile. It seems that even admitting that he's not necessarily at okay has also done a good bit for him, a bit towards more 'okay'.

Savannah gives a small nod. "No need to thank me. I'm just saying things I wish someone had said to me once upon a time. I think it's my god-given task to simply pass this stuff on to someone else who might need it. I'm not far, Graeme. I'm just right downstairs." She reminds him of this point, glancing down at the floor as if she could see her apartment straight through it. "You can come down and visit any time. Even at 3am. I keep weird hours."

There's a small smile offered. "Yeah. It's the sort of thing I wish I could turn things back ten years and tell myself. Even if I'm not so good at it now, now I am making an attempt. And well. It's the sort of thing you wish you could tell your younger self …" He stretches somewhat. "Thank you for coming by. I appreciate the company."

There's no rush, quiet silence for a little, and a half a hug offered before the woman leaves, and he shuts the door, his forehead goes to rest above the peep hole. Enough times hearing this advice, and he'll manage to take it to heart. In the mean time, Graeme pads back over to the couch, and for once, is tired enough — emotionally, if not physically — to fall asleep.

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