Of Trust


devon2_icon.gif graeme2_icon.gif trask2_icon.gif

Scene Title Of Trust
Synopsis We all need to learn sometimes, and no matter the form it comes in, it's never easy to grasp.
Date May 19, 2011

Dorchester Towers : Graeme and Remi's Apartment

Graeme got the pleasure of having a relatively uneventful day at work, the class having heard about the visitor that the Wednesday classes got to have, and being petulant and jealous that they didn't get to as well. Afterward, Graeme picked up lunch, ate, then picked up the Devon to return to the Dorchester apartment for a while. Even if the teenager probably has people to go and meet with later, the early afternoon plans included pretty much unobtrusively checking that the teenager was dealing better than he had been in the morning.

But Graeme had forgotten that Trask was going to show up, until the negator called, and Graeme insisted that no, he should come over anyway. The small mess Graeme's made on the dining room table is cleaned, and he's changed from work clothing to a pair of workout pants and an a-shirt, and there's a pensive frown on his face. This is not his favourite part of the day, if anything, and then he turns to Devon. "Don't worry about getting in the way or anything," he repeats. "It's just me getting to work on dealing with being negated. You don't need to go anywhere, or anything." Actually, there's a small part of Graeme that's glad that Devon is there. It's a little easier to deal with if there's a second person he trusts around. Not that he doesn't trust Trask, because if Ygraine and Elisabeth trust the negator, Graeme will, but still.

For Devon the day had worn on much as it usually does. The delivery he needed to set up was made. Finding the right gifts were no easy task and surprisingly took up most of the free time he'd had. In the end, the teenager came out successful, or so he hoped. Then, calls were sent out though whatever the result is locked away rather than shared. Likewise, whatever had transpired that morning was equally tucked away rather than dealt with or left to be picked at. Some things are simply better left up on the high shelf where they won't be bothered.

But back home, Graeme's home that is, Devon simply nods off the older man's insistence that he won't be in the way. His belongings had been tucked away, in so far as being moved to rest near the door beside his shoes. The firearm, however and likely to Graeme's chagrin, is still tucked in the waist of his pants and under a layer of t-shirts. Not forgotten but simply so acclimated to the weight that it feels unusual to be without it. "That really bothers you," the teen observes. "Having your power cut off."

A knock is heard at the apartment door. And on the other side is a cheerful whistling. Before even a response could come there is a second knock, in a shave and a hair cut pattern, followed by a third in rapid succession like a drum roll.

Graeme grimaces, a little bit. "Yes, it bothers me," he says. "I don't like being vulnerable, and my ability compensates for … stuff." ADHD, nearly manic depression, impulsive tendencies that were Graeme's constant companions as a young teen, things that he doesn't actually miss now that he's settled down into adulthood, but things that, when he's negated, begin to surface, if less than before. The grimace, however, seems to be one of preparation, because when he's about ten feet from the door, there's a marked change in his expression as he comes into the field of the negator on the other side of the door, letting Trask in and then closing and bolting the door behind him.

Turning toward the door as the knock echoes on the inside of the apartment, Devon nods to Graeme's explanation. A brow raises over his reaction, eyes flitting from the teacher to Trask and back again. The teenager, himself being unmanifested, only shakes his head slightly, feeling nothing of the effect. Arms are raised to fold over his chest and a few steps further into the room are claimed.

Trask comes in like a whirlwind storm, he is obviously in a good mood and offers Graeme a milkshake as he enters. He has another one in his other hand, "Banana pudding milk shakes, who would have thunk it." He seems very different then the quiet reserved person Graeme has grown use to. "So what is the plan today? Sky diving? Surfing? Find ourselves a hot blonde to jump on us and hope she isn't a serial suicide bomber?"

Graeme takes the milkshake and takes a sip from it. To his surprise, it's actually good, and there's a raised eyebrow offered to the negator. "Someone's in a good mood," he says. "I was hoping, more, for sit around and such, play Scrabble or cards o-or such." There's definite progress since they'd started with the frequent work on Graeme's dealing with negation, but the recent stress and such is leaving Graeme at least a little more prone to the rollercoaster of emotions and such that comes from it, and then there's a wince, as he goes to stretch as he walks towards the table. There's a glance at Devon. "Devon, this is Karl Agathon," he says, with a grin. He does know the man's real name, by now, but it's not used, at least, not outside of the safehouse. "Karl, this is Devon Clendaniel, he's a friend of mine."

In spite of himself, Devon does show a shadow of amusement at Graeme's reaction to the negation. Not enough to comment on it, but it's noted by a slight twitch to his cheek. To Trask he nods, a hand lifting to give a small wave. "Hey, Mister Agathon," he says, hand tucking back into arm again. "Nice to meet you."

Trask waves to Devon, "Sorry…didn't know he had company, or I would have brought another shake." He shakes his head at Graeme, "Playing Scrabble, what are we old men? What happened to going for a job, picking a fight, maybe finding a psychopath electrokinetic and trying out some of the worst pickup lines in history?"

Graeme manages a little bit of a grin at Trask's teasing, then sits down at the table. "Well, there's some video games we could play as well. I just don't want to, to go any- anywhere." There goes that thing with words again, as Graeme picks up the milkshake. Still in the negation field, this makes nearly eight minutes and the differences in Graeme's movements and speech are definitely noticeable for Devon. "But I mean, I'm game for doing things, I just don't, can't think of what."

"It's fine," Devon answers with a shrug. "Kind of… last minute, me being here. My sister had an emergency and Graeme's a friend." Of course, he's old enough he could very well take care of himself, though a shrug and an eye roll suffice to imply that his sister is one of those overprotective sorts. He glances toward Graeme, that flicker of amusement evident and then gone again. "Graeme cheats at basketball."

Trask raises an eyebrow, "How exactly does he cheat? Traveling? Pogo shoes? Magnetic basketball with an iron rim on the net?"

"I do not cheat at basketball," Graeme says. There's another grimace, and then just as suddenly as the knock on the door had come, Graeme's making his way over to the couch in the living room, which places him firmly out of Trask's influence. It's rather hurried, and perhaps frantic, as the teacher decides that he's managed as much as he's going to for the first time through.

"Lame." This comes from the teenager as he watches Graeme retreat. Yes, he's needling the older man, retribution for earlier needling he'd suffered himself. "He cheats," Devon continues as he looks at Trask. "Uses his skills so he doesn't get tired."

Trask ahhs softly, "Really I don't think it is using his skills, he can't exactly turn them off. There for while it might be unfair that doesn't mean he is actively cheating. Like a tall man who cheats because he uses his height for an advantage?" He looks over at Graeme. "So come on…we need to do something, today is a great day to be alive!"

There's a moment where Graeme's ignoring both Trask and Devon, head in his hands on his lap as he takes deep, steady breaths. Steadying himself, and entirely ignoring the nagging from the two. "Yeah, I can't exact-exactly turn it off other— you know," he says. "I mean, I can't even turn it off enough to sleep through a night with my boyfriend, and if I could do that, I would." If they're going to needle at him, he's just going to take it rather good-naturedly. "Alright, so, I can, I can get out the Scrabble board or, or something, or …"

There's a pause, as Graeme grumbles and walks back over to the table. Another visible grimace when he's in the negation field. "Or we could go over to my room and Devon could help me work on basic hand to hand while dealing with this?" He figures that might be more appealing than Scrabble, if Trask is complaining. "And I don't know, it may be a great day to be alive, but. Did I mention god damn negators yet?" But he's having to deal with the pretty much self imposed practise of dealing with negation, and they're not. So he can allow them their cheerfulness, as long as he's not expected to be equally cheerful. He can learn to deal with it, but it's never going to be pleasant.

Devon shrugs, one shoulder rising and falling again. He hadn't intended for a debate to come about. Rather than trying to interject himself further into the negation experience, he moves over to the now abandoned couch and seats himself.

Trask says, "Oh you want Devon to help you with hand to hand…you know I use to be a pretty decent at some kung fu type crap myself. We could head up to the roof and do some sparring on the ledge or something, could be interesting."

At this, Graeme outright glares at Trask, though it's playful. "No no. My room has actual mats, pads and things, a whole area set up for sparring without it being something like the ledge," he says. "One and a half walls are padded, and the mats are on the floor for the whole area, and so. Safety, you know? I'm damnably decent at hand to hand when I'm not dealing with you."

The tone of his voice betrays that he really is just poking fun and such, matching the playful tone that Trask takes. "But considering it all feels different, I'm going to say I want to start with really, rally basic stuff first." There's a look at Devon from where he is on the couch, and then at Trask, and then Graeme points at the door to his room, open, the hints of Southwestern earth tones and decor from inside.

There's opportunity to snark in there, but Devon doesn't bite. His eyes flick toward the two older men again, watching their exchange in silence. Giving a slight roll to his shoulders, he looks away again, studying some point on the wall that he's decided doesn't quiet match up with the rest.

Trask smiles softly, "I am a negator. Do you know how everyone in the world has these prophesies about them? How everyone knows their future? Well I have only ever had on prophecy written about me. One future, during a brief time I was negated myself. Do you know what it said?"

"So far," Graeme says, "I've avoided prophesy. I don't like the idea of knowing the future, not really. It either doesn't help or it makes it worse. Inertia, time has inertia, brought on by knowing the future sometimes." Then he shrugs, a bit. "Come on, you can tell me over there. Both of you." There's a glance to Devon and a glance to Trask, and Graeme makes his way towards his room, the large padded area specifically for sparring and other such things, a punching bag hanging in one corner, but Graeme just leans against the wall, a faint grimace bracing for whenever Trask comes in and comes close enough to affect him once more.

Maintaining his silence, Devon looks at Trask as he stands. The look lingers for a moment, detached from any excitement or even the earlier amusement, breaking when he turns away to follow Graeme. Hands fall into his pockets as he moves down the hall and into the padded room. Within, the gun is pulled, magazine dropped and chamber cleared, then put up onto a shelf for safety's sake.

Trask follows along grinning and sipping on his banana pudding shake. "it said that I would die on the front lawn of Columbia University on May 18th, two thousand and eleven."

Alright, so that does explain why Trask is in such a good mood, overall, and Graeme nods. It's not even the first time in the past two days that he's heard mention of Columbia and those who, in one timeline, might have died. This time, there's more of an immediate wince when the negator gets back into the room. "Alright, alright!" He holds up his hands in mock defeat, and looks over at Devon. "Just promise not to call me lame if my ability to throw punches sucks right now?"

Devon shakes his head. "Prophesy isn't set in stone," he says quietly. His hands return to his pockets as he glances toward Trask again. "Fine, not lame, just old." The agreement is made flatly, though no move to go toward the center of the room is made.

Trask says, “So we have proven." He smiles and stretches a little himself as he puts his drink down on a side table. "So you think your a little rusty do you? or just that your a little girl who can't handle a little pain?"”

Graeme sheds his shoes at the edge of the mat, and there's a good-natured but long-suffering sort of sigh. "It's neither of those," he explains. "Devon can vouch that I'm not rusty, and I can deal with things hurting a little." A little, not like when he was negated after being stabbed through the shoulder.

"Just, you know. I'm getting better at this, but your ability's still really discon— disconcerting," and Graeme pauses, running his hands through his hair in frustration, "and I only kinda know how I'm supposed to feel, and my body feels very different, weird, like it isn't mine to begin with, except all the way there instead of de— de— detached." And then there's the inability to manage words when he's negated, the fact that his thoughts feel out of control, but explaining that is even more of a tall order than explaining the psychological stumbling block that negation is in the first place.

Trask bends down, and pulls off his boots, stacking them near the edge of the Matt he also shucks his jacket and his bag, taking another sip of his drink before placing it back on the table he returns and takes a stance that any true trained martial artist might recognize as standard new york police self defense training.

Graeme's hand to hand combat experience, however, didn't take place in New York City. He learned in brawls and bar fights in New Mexico when he was in college, but his stance is rather solid, defensive to the core here, as he watches Trask. "Remember, going easy. Just very basic." His arms are brought up in defense and anticipation.

Stepping further back from the mats, Devon lifts his gaze to watch Graeme and Trask. It isn't the idle observance either, but studious and watchful. Graeme might notice a subtle shift in the teen's posture, an engagement he's been otherwise shunning since he'd first contacted the teacher yesterday morning. Trask may notice as well, if the negator's stance is anything to say about his studies.

Trask smiles softly. and nods to Graeme, "Start Slow, that's what the say. Always good to go that way." Trask steps forward and does exactly what he promises, a few slow punches and blocks, more katas then anything else. His style is rather unique, basic NYPD self defense merged with army close combat techniques, refined by several years on the streets of new york city as a terrorist, and then polished off with south American dancing moves learned in the last few years in the amazon. He purposefully telegraphs his moves, at least at first, but even so it appears to be a bit more of a dance then a fight.

Graeme's blocks are enough to throw the blows from landing, definitely lacking Trask's grace in the matter, but still quite like Graeme's style of fighting when not negated. But unlike the near instinct that it is usually, right now Graeme's face is a tight-lipped line of concentration, and he doesn't manage to add attacks in beyond the few that the former police officer leaves him space for. And then, another block thrown up, Graeme holds his hand up, breathing unevenly and shallow. "Lame or not, pause time," he says, though he stops without stepping out of Trask's influence. "Damnit."

"Why're you doing this to yourself," Devon asks, voice pitched to reach Graeme. He shoots a look of askance to Trask, tipping his head toward Graeme as though to ask if the Negator has any ideas on the matter.

Trask looks over at Devon, "You need to plan for every eventuality, I remember at Moab, when I got negated it really threw a monkey wrench in to the mix, negating a negator tends to really mess with his head, you assume you are immune and suddenly your wide open from a direction your not expecting anything from.

"Because I don't know any better," comes the snark answer from Graeme at first. "Because negation makes me, makes me feel useless, messes with my head." The second answer is a little longer in coming. "The only way I can get past it is by doing. I'm so used to my ability being how I deal. And that doesn't work for this. What happens if something happens, and they use negation gas, or something? I don't want to become dead weight if I'm with Liz, or anything like that." Graeme falls silent, focusing on breathing in the meditative patterns that Aric has taught him.

"You were in Moab," Devon asks, both brows lifting again. "What got you sent there?" He hasn't missed the actual answer to question, but Moab is far more intriguing. An absent nod goes to Graeme's explanation, and Trask's after a fashion.

Trask smiles softly, "I wasn't an inmate." He watches as Graeme does his breathing exercises. He waits patiently, still in his stance. "Moab wasn't exactly a fun time for anyone though."

"Weren't an inmate," Devon echoes. His eyes dart toward Graeme and then back again to Trask. "I heard it wasn't much of a place anyone wanted to be. What were you there for, if not an inmate?"

Trask smiles, "What do you think?" He shakes his head. Then moves through some katas again, keeping himself loose and warm. Police training, wasn't an inmate at Moab, it's pretty obvious where that thought would lead most people.

Graeme's managed to center himself, this time without having to go out of the negation field, better than he was managing the first time, and there's a movement through a basic pattern before he faces Trask again. This time, beginning with throwing a basic, flat-palmed strike that betrays his general fighting style, at least, though perhaps at what is half of what full speed would be, if at all, then continuing. Still grim-faced concentration, though there's interest in the conversation between negator and teenager as well.

"So what'd you do to the Evo's you locked up there?" The man's answer was proof enough, though Devon hopes he's drawing the wrong conclusion.

Trask says, "Well I kept one of the evo's on a leash for a few months, she was a psychopath and a electrokinetic. They kept me close to her to keep her from using her powers on others. She was a bit of work…she is kinda reformed now. She's also an ex girlfriend now." Trask responds to Graeme's throws almost lazily but with skill and focus.

Graeme grimaces, and steps back, the words of the conversation sinking in. He's going to speak before Devon has a chance to overreact. "Devon, Norton. Shut up, both of you. We're on the same damn side here, before we get to overreacting, and before we get to playing games about not knowing what I'm talking about. Elisabeth trusts both of you." Then it sinks in that he's used the real name, not the alias, and there's more of a grimace, as Graeme steps over and out of the negation field, leaning against the wall, and then he looks over at Trask once more. "You kept Elle on a leash?" It's a bit of a jump to conclusions, but he doesn't know too many electrokinetics that fit the bill.

"Wait. What?" Devon's expression goes from curious to something a little more cold. Less friendly. "You did wh—" The rest, whatever further questions or comments might have come out are put on pause when Graeme interjects. "Norton." The teen's voice falls flat, dispassionate as his gaze. "Ms. Harrison trusts all of us but you feel the need to lie about his name, but you freely give him mine?"

Trask sighs softly, and shakes his head. "I was in Moab only for a very brief time, during a jail break. We broke in there to get some people who were being held there out. Then the whole place blew up and I was stuck about 10 years or so in the future with a half dozen prisoners and one guard from the prison. A little lady named Elle Bishop. So yes I was assigned to keep her on a leash for a little while, because it was the safest thing anyone could do till we all got back here.

Graeme grimaces. "Devon, that's my own fault for not thinking. I am used to calling him Karl Agathon. I knew that as his name before I knew his actual name." It's not much of an explanation offered, and there is the perhaps expectable guilt in his voice. "She does. And I should have, when he got here, introduced you and included that detail. I'm sorry."

It doesn't exactly cool Devon's temper any, but rather than exploding again (because twice in one day would just be insanity), he bottles it up further. He doesn't press it further, rather than risk further detail about why he's staying at Graeme's to begin with, apparently more than just his sister having an emergency. His arms raise to fold over his chest, the teenager lapsing into silence again, though his eyes do resume watching Trask and Graeme's physical exchanges.

Trask nods, "Don't feel out of place, most of the people I worked with didn't know my name for much of my life. It is a defense mechanism, one you have to keep active if you want to survive." He steps in to Graeme again, throwing strikes a lot more often then before. "Some of my best friends didn't know my name till the ran into me on the street in a police uniform." He isn't really taking it so easy any more, still not striking to hurt though. "In fact even Liz didn't know who I was completely when we first met, we didn't know if we could trust her. Hell outside of Cameron, who is long gone, Elle is the only person who I've never really lied to. God that's scary isn't it?"

It takes Graeme a moment this time to respond. A moment too long and one of the blows lands lightly on his bad shoulder, but he only winces and keeps going, throwing flat palmed attempts at strikes in return, blocking most of Trask's and landing one or two. "A bit scary," he says. A few rounds pass, and then Graeme backs out again, leaning against the wall and breathing heavily once more. "I think … done today? Again next week, but." This is still better than he's done recently with Trask, so it's progress, even if it's frustrating and perhaps a masochistic venture in the first place.

There's a glance over to Devon, and then a shrug. "I'm probably going to sleep for an hour or so when he goes," Graeme admits, "so you'll have the place to yourself or whatever it is you want to do. Just don't erase my progress on the Sonic games."

A tensing at Devon's jaw shows just how near to response he might be. Not feeling out of place isn't the problem. Instead he turns from the two and recovers his firearm. There's no attempt to hide it, the teenager very openly seats the magazine and cycles a round back into the chamber. The handgun is returned to its place in his waist band, shirt pulled over to conceal it. He doesn't bother to look at the two again before leaving the room.

By the time Trask and Graeme have left the area designated for working out, Devon's set himself up on floor in the living room. He's returned to the world inside his laptop, pointedly pretending nothing else exists beyond the screen.

Trask raises an eyebrow as he sees the kid leave, he looks at Graeme apologetically and shrugs, "Sometimes the things we have to do are hard to swallow. I still remember holding a gun to Abby's head because she couldn't remember the password and Sylar was doing the body hopping thing at the time. Look he'll get over it, or he won't. He will learn the hard lessons, or he won't all we can do is be there for him, and hope he learns before he ends up on the wrong end of that handgun. Fortis Libres Graeme…." He turns to head out.

There's a nod, and when Trask does leave, Graeme bolts and chains the door after the man. There's a frown on his face, but it's nothing that he's going to say aloud, nothing to say. Like other tensions between the teacher and the teenager, it'll be left silent for a while, as Graeme returns to his room, door still open, and flops down on the bed for an afternoon nap, falling asleep rather quickly. For the man whose ability lets him not get tired, negation is still a bit of a rollercoaster, and the best way to recover from it is sleep, albeit sleep interrupted by worry about the teenager in his living room.

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