On Hold


elisabeth2_icon.gif graeme2_icon.gif

Scene Title On Hold
Synopsis Graeme tells Liz of his meeting with Phillip. Including the slight wounds to his ego.
Date June 22, 2011

Skinny Brickfront, Endgame Safehouse

It's soon after curfew is lifted in the morning that Graeme arrives at the safehouse. Yesterday, work in the evening and much of the night, there was the nagging worry of how exactly he's going to bring all of this up to Liz. The envelope is safely at the bottom of his backpack, and sweatshirt comes off, backpack comes off, both set on top of the skateboard in the main room before he immediately sets off for coffee. It's early, but for all appearances, Graeme's doing a lot better than he was. There's almost no tiredness in his face, in his movements, in his posture, as he fumbles around the kitchen for a coffeecup.

It might be difficult to reconcile the woman coming through the door with the one who came blasting through the safehouse that day. Elisabeth pads into the room on bare feet, and for the first time in ages, she's singing … and if the music she plays and sings reflects her moods, she's actually in a good one. The iPod in her ears hides the music from him, but there's a bit of booty shaking going on as she prances in. "~~We're flirtin' with disaster ya'll damn sure know what I mean…. You know the way we run our lives it makes no sense to me… I don't know about yourself or what you plan to be, yeah… When we gamble with our time we choose our destiny…~~" The head waggle happens and she practically //squeals when she sees him. "Oh shit!" She rips the earbuds out and blushes vividly.

There's a wide, wide grin on the teacher's face, as he retrieves a second cup for the coffee that's brewing. "Coffee?" Apparently, he's amused, and a smile finds it's way onto his expression, along with an impulsive hug, and yes, yes the teacher is in fact sneaking in copping a feel in there, along with a brief, impish kiss on her cheek. "You're blushing, you know." She points it out when he is, he may as well point it out in return. "And I brought danishes and such for breakfast if you haven't had already."

Elisabeth hugs him, laughing, and then squeaks at the hands on her ass! "Hey! I realize you're only mostly gay, but dude! If you're going to cop a feel, the least you could do is bring the coffee and the kiss first!" She's clearly teasing, swatting him right back as he lets her go. Shoving the iPod in her pocket, she rubs an absent hand over her cheek and smiles a bit. "Just…. I don't know. Enjoying the morning, I guess. How's things on your end?" she asks easily, digging in the bag of pastries looking for a cinnamon roll. She knows he brought one. He's figured out her weaknesses.

Graeme grins more. There are in fact, three cinnamon rolls, along with the half dozen cheese danishes that will constitute his own breakfast, and what he's brought for everyone else. So there're some for later as well. "The coffee, you know, isn't ready yet, or it'd be in your hands already." There's an easy, contented tone to the drawl. "Pretty good. Benefit to being this early means I can ride the whole way without as many cars in my way."

It also means he probably left the Upper West Side a fair bit before curfew lifted, but he's been known to skirt it on either side in the past, and he just as much skirts anyone who so much as proposes to scold him for it. "Better rested now, I think," he adds, picking up one of the cheese danishes and very intentionally not watching the coffee as if that will make it finish brewing faster.

"Good," Elisabeth says mildly, retreating to one of the spools to hoist her behind onto it and eat the sweet treat. "I'm glad." Aric texted her at some point to let her know Graeme was actually sleeping, which was good news to the blonde. "Just be careful out there," she says gently. "If you get picked up and sent to Eltingville, we're all screwed."

Like the kid that's caught in the cookie jar, Graeme nods. "Yes ma'am." It's not even facetious, rare for the teacher, but he understands her concern. "I am careful, I've watched routes for days before even going near them, you know that, I don't take the same one twice, and I don't have to cross Midtown to get here anyway." There's a faint sigh. The nice morning can't last forever. "So a call that I'd made for a business meeting before our funding fell through was … returned, for a meeting yesterday," he says, tentatively and faintly.

Elisabeth simply nods to his travel information, but when he brings up the phone call the blonde goes still. There's… a faint frown. "Shit," she murmurs. "What happened?" More in the resigned tone of being sure that something did, though she's not entirely sure she wants to know. She doesn't seem…. upset. Yet.

Graeme pours two cups of coffee as he begins to speak, handing one over to Liz before he gets to anything, really. "He's considering the project paused, and he's overconfident as all hell." The two aren't necessarily related information, but it's that sort of tone of voice that suggests that Graeme's male pride might have been just a little bit wounded by the meeting. "And apparently I'm a messenger, but please, coffee first."

One brow quirks upward at the news that Phillip Solomon apparently considers the project paused as opposed to over. "As a teen he was a bit of an arrogant prick," Elisabeth muses as she takes the coffee cup. Looking down into it, she murmurs, "As an adult… confident, but with good reason. I wouldn't necessarily call in overconfident." The admission is tainted with a hint of sadness. She looks up at him and smirks faintly. "Give you a comeuppance did he?"

Graeme shakes his head ever so slightly. Comeuppance is definitely not what he'd call it, at least. "He's decidedly overconfident, or is secretly invulnerable," Graeme says, with a shrug. He's not about to admit that really, the entire meeting was all posturing, all about who could feel the bigger man and that for whatever reason, he may not have lost but he didn't come away having won when having faced the older man, either.

Elisabeth's chin comes up and her eyes narrow on Graeme. She doesn't like the sound of that, though she keeps her own knowledge of Phillip's ability firmly behind her teeth. "In any case… you said there was a message?" she asks, sipping her coffee to fortify herself.

Graeme nods, frowns, and disappears into the other room for a minute. The message had been left in his pack when he began getting coffee, unlike the pastries. On purpose, even. When the teacher returns, it's with the envelope that Phillip had pressed on him, and a worried look on his face, and even after Liz takes it, he doesn't back off too far. "Yeah. Message for you, and he was even superficially polite about asking." They were both superficially polite through the entire brief meeting, though, and the furrow of worry does not disappear from his brow.

She drinks her coffee calmly until he comes back, betraying no real hint of her thoughts when he hands her the letter. Setting her cup down Elisabeth hesitates, unsure she wants to know what is within. There's a flash of something, quickly hidden, in her face. Glancing up to him, she takes in a quick breath and opens the envelope. The missive within is short and Elisabeth reads it quickly. The pang in her face now is regret… some amount of hurt. But mostly just regret. And acceptance. She folds it back up and purses her lips silently.

Graeme slips an arm around her shoulder, this time his turn to be the steady presence, worry still written into his brow and face as he gently rubs Liz's shoulder. There's no question asked aloud though, not yet, though there are plenty he wants to.

She looks up at him and asks, "Did he say anything, or just hand this to you for me?" Elisabeth's expression is pensive but she still doesn't seem terribly upset. More… thoughtful, perhaps.

"We talked. It was rather meaningless, overly polite nonsense." Related to whether or not Graeme would want to beat the crap out of Phillip, but he won't say that. "He said you were lucky to have friends like me, at some point. And we agreed on what was and wasn't any of my business." Graeme falls quiet, though, using his free hand to pick up his coffee cup and take another few long sips.

A faint smile quirks her lips. Elisabeth glances up at him and says mildly, "I don't need a knight in shining armor, Graeme. I am lucky to have friends like you, but I am quite capable of taking care of my personal life." Her head rests on his shoulder and she considers. "So…. what? You showed up, threatened to kick his ass or something, and he handed you the envelope? And somewhere in there he told you he considered the project on hold but not finished?"

Graeme smiles, a bit. "I never actually threatened to kick his ass. Told him that if I knew more of what happened I might be sorely tempted, in far fewer words, but." He shrugs, without disturbing her, though. "But no, before it had fallen through, I'd called to arrange a meeting for progress. Called again after, once." More than, actually, but. He pauses, resting his cheek against her hair, pensive in his own way. "Talk of the project came first. Various comeuppance came after."

"Mmmm," Elisabeth murmurs. "So…. what's your read on this?" she asks him quietly. "Does he want to help us? Or do I need to go talk to him in person?"

Graeme is silent for a long while before answering. "I think he wants to help, I do. But half the time he seemed much more intent on the ego contest, I could be miscompensating about that." He flushes a little, having not previously really admitted to the fact that most of it was, more or less, an ego contest. But sitting there with Liz is relaxing, and his breathing, though steady before, has further steadied and slowed, and suddenly the slight wound to his male pride from the encounter with Phillip doesn't really matter as much. Her words carry much more weight for the teacher. "I think he still wants to help you." Because that is, in the end, what it comes down to.

Elisabeth rests against him and remains quiet as she thinks about the matter. "All right," she says softly. "I'll…. see what I can do." She can't afford to allow her pride to keep her from taking help that we may well need. Glancing at the time, she says, "I have to meet Devon — we're going to go speak with Russo's assistant." She leans up and kisses his cheek, sliding off the spool. "Thank you," she murmurs with a smile. For sticking up for her. For just being himself. And she takes the cup of coffee with her.

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