No Eggs, Please


graeme_icon.gif remi_icon.gif

Scene Title No Eggs, Please
Synopsis Remi and Graeme have a discussion
Date April 5, 2013


It's unpredictable when Graeme will come home. Sometimes he's home the next week after he leaves. Sometimes it's not for months. This time, it's the latter. He returned in the wee hours of the morning, a frightened mother and her small child in tow, and it's only after they're safely across the border that Graeme has found himself a cup of coffee and a seat on the floor against the wall by the fire where Odin already snoozes. These days, the dog stays there and the teacher turned soldier ventures out into the world. Into the war that is going on.

His fingers wrap around the cup, but he doesn't drink from it. It's a frequent way he spends the hours where normal people are asleep, and he's awake. Sitting there, letting his ability block out the horrors of the war, the nightmares, the things he'd rather forget.

Remi has learned to live with Graeme’s frequent absences over the time that she’s known him. She never minded them too much — at least, not until this time. She had hoped, upon finding out her news, that she would see him sooner than later. She didn’t, and that was difficult, but she dealt with it. Now, she isn’t truly showing yet, but her waist is just a little thicker than it used to be. Not that one will notice, unless they’re paying attention.

She sensed Graeme’s arrival the moment he set foot on the property. Him finishing up his business has worked in her favor, giving her a chance to prepare herself for the upcoming conversation that has to happen while he is here.

The smell of hot cocoa wafts in from the kitchen, announcing Remi’s presence before she actually shows her face; she would be drinking coffee instead, but she’s been trying to avoid anything other than decaf. Hot chocolate, while uncharacteristic of the French woman, is much better anyhow. Slipping into the living room, she makes her way over to Graeme, settling to the floor next to him and leaning gently against Odin as she sips at her beverage. She and Odin have grown close in Graeme’s absence, especially these past few months.

Words aren’t needed just yet; Graeme already knows how glad she is that he’s home. That much can go unspoken, at least.

An arm wraps around her shoulder as Graeme scoots a bit closer, and there's a smile spared for Remi as she appears — but it's telling that this time, Graeme's careful and avoids any skin contact. His mind is quiet, but not that quiet this time around. The fighting and the violence takes a toll, and however much they have learned to trust each other, he values his privacy as well.

But it's good to be home, this quiet haven from the craziness of the war that is going on out there. For a moment, the most prominent thought in his mind is clear. Can we just stay like this? The safety and the comfort of home. He has his friend, one of his best friends in the world regardless of whatever has happened between them. He has his dog, his sister's dog that he's missed so much while he was away. They have a warm fire at their backs and a roof over their head. There is a passing thought that this is all he really needs… and it's a passing thought that is just as soon dismissed.

They both know that in the cover of darkness come evening, he'll be leaving again.

Closing her eyes, Remi accepts the hug. She does notice the lack of skin contact — not that she really wants it right now. She’s been avoiding the horrors of war as much as possible, lately. Last thing she wants is the little life inside of her seeing something it shouldn’t be witness to — just another one of her worries these days.

Her arm wraps around his waist after a moment, and she nuzzles her face against his chest, closing her eyes and enjoying his presence. She would love to have him home, staying like this, especially now — a fact that he already knows very well. But he would never go through with it.

After a moment, she pulls back sipping at her hot cocoa and staring up at the man with conflicted blue eyes. She could just let it be, let him go back out there not knowing what is at stake at home. Perhaps that could be a kindness, to keep him from having more of a guilty burden on his shoulders. But that would also be cruel to deny him the knowledge of a life that he helped to create.

She sighs softly, then, closing those doubtful eyes of hers and taking a long drink of her cocoa. “I wish it could be like this all the time…” She reaches out, gently scratching Odin’s head.

Graeme takes a long sip from his coffee and sighs. "Everything been okay up here while I was gone?" he asks. It's the same question as always, too. He doesn't even try to hide the worry that comes up for a moment, and then he just lifts one shoulder in a shrug.

A long, comfortable silence follows that, and a flit of memory that Remi probably doesn't see — or doesn't see all of — Graeme's still being careful about skin contact, but that doesn't stop this particular memory from coming to his mind. And careful isn't always perfect, his thumb brushes skin for just the briefest of moments. A warm New York evening on a rooftop, looking out over the view from the Skinny Brickfront. Elisabeth, quiet conversation. Grief that still washes over him as if it were yesterday.

"We'll rest when we're through," he murmurs aloud, echoing the words that Liz says in his memory. But they're reassurance, or offered with that intent at least, and Odin nudges his head further into Remi's lap. "And this," this war that's going on in the outside world, "can't last forever."

The telepath doesn’t often react to seeing memories these days. She’s pushed that tendency down into nothing over the years, something prompted by the subject of the memory she glimpses now in the first place. Liz was an inspiration to Remi, more than the audiokinetic could have ever known. Liz is the entire reason why Remi fought in the war in the first place — the entire reason why the telepath didn’t jump ship when the fighting broke out in a country that is not hers.

This memory, and the grief that comes with it, however, prompts the Frenchwoman to squint her eyes ever so slightly, the tiniest tell that the memory hurts her, too. Elisabeth was supposed to be the one to break the news that she’s about to share with Graeme, to her.

“No, It won’t. It can’t. One way or another, it’ll end.” She closes her eyes, setting the cocoa on the ground and leaning back, resting her weight on one hand as she stares at the fire in silence, gathering her thoughts. She’s thought of many different ways to tell him about this, but she finds that the best course of action is to avoid the use of words entirely.

After a moment of deliberation, Remi reaches out, taking Graeme’s hand. She quietly inspects it for a moment, looking over each wrinkle in his knuckle. Skin to skin isn’t as much of an issue these days, and Graeme can feel the wall that she has between the two, something that normally is only reserved for intimate moments where minds need to stay separate.

Then, slowly and deliberately, with her eyes focused on the man’s face, she guides his hand down to her stomach, placing it there. There’s a firmness that he can feel that wasn’t there the last time he touched her. And then, that wall crumbles down in only one spot — Graeme can feel a gentle hum in the back of his mind, a soft glowing thrum that speaks of future potential. There aren’t even wants and needs, just… experiences.

She doesn’t utter a single word — speaking would only tarnish this moment. Instead, she watches Graeme in silence, head tilted toward her shoulder as she waits to see his reaction to this silent news.

Graeme's breath catches in his throat for a moment, and he glances down, and then up at Remi, and he lets it out slowly. The world they live in isn't one he wants to bring a child into — he already spends most of his time trying to help children and their families get somewhere else, somewhere safer, somewhere better. But there's little doubt about what she's showing him. And his breath catches in his throat again.

Silence remains, and Graeme pulls one knee towards his chest, and — his coffee entirely forgotten where it has been set aside — then puts his other hand on top of Remi's, clasping her hand and bringing it up to his chin. His hands are rough from work, no longer the soft hands of someone who worked indoors all day, but he is still every bit as careful.

And for a moment the silence isn't comfortable. For a moment, the silence is because in the midst of all of this, Graeme flat out doesn't know what to say.

A moment later, he settles for a barely choked out whisper. "I'm sorry," he says, although there's a hint of a smile creeping onto his face unbidden. "I…" It's the same conversation, almost. "I…" Words are still failing him. "I will do anything you need me to, for you and our child," he whispers. "Family comes in many forms." A pause.

"I promise."

Remi watches Graeme silently, and from the look in her eyes, he knows that she adores him in this moment. Every bit of him, even his flaws. A smile gently graces her features, and she squeezes Graeme’s hand.

“I know that you won’t stay, and I will never ask that of you,” she murmurs softly, leaning close and resting her head on his shoulder. “Our child may ask that of you one day, but I will not.” She already knows where his mind is wandering off to, and she was already prepared for this the moment she realized that her unborn child came from him. She has Jaiden, in any case, and he knows, and he has been wonderful and helpful and loving to her, despite everything.

“This isn’t the best time for this, but…at least for a little bit,” she murmurs, wrapping her arm around Graeme’s waist, “let’s please be optimistic that one day our child will have a happy life.” Even if she has to move them all to France.

Graeme catches his breath, and plants a gentle, careful kiss on the top of Remi's head, and wraps her arms around her shoulders, leans back. For the time being, it's enough to sit there, together. To be able to hold her. "If we waited for the best time," he murmurs, "this would never have happened." His own smile is visible in his eyes, audible in his voice, even if half of him is still trying to process the news. "And I don't regret it."

"I know. And," Graeme pauses, letting out a long breath and pushing back tears, tears that can happen at another time or never, but that are not for now, "I'm glad that… we will have at least this." A pause. "Do you know if… we're going to have a son or a daughter?" The expectation is that for whatever reason, of course the telepath will know. "And do you have any… ideas, for names?"

There's another smile, and for a time he's content to just sit there, in silence. But eventually he rises to his feet, offers Remi a hand up, "C'mon," he says, "I'm sure there's breakfast around here, somewhere."

With a soft exhale, Remi leans against Graeme, closing her eyes and just enjoying him for a long moment. His smell makes her quite happy, and his arms around her certainly feel wonderful. One hand instinctively comes to rest on the small swell in her belly as she rests in his arms for a long moment, savoring it. She’s good with where her relationship with Graeme is, these days — it’s enough to have him here when he does come home.

“Mmm, minds have no real gender, and unfortunately, we don’t have access to an ultrasound machine.” She smiles. “We might just have to be surprised, oui?” She turns her eyes down to her belly, running her fingers over the tiny little bump that barely even shows. “I was thinking, if we have a girl, we could name her Victoria, after my mother.” She apparently hasn’t thought about a boy just yet.

She accepts the hand up graciously, standing and running a hand through her hair. “Just so long as it’s not eggs. Just the smell of them makes my stomach turn…”

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