Reasonable Adults


devon2_icon.gif graeme2_icon.gif

Scene Title Reasonable Adults
Synopsis In the face of the awkward, uncomfortable topics, it's best to approach things like adults. Reasonably.
Date May 23, 2011

Dorchester Towers : Remi and Graeme's Apartment

Devon didn't return to the apartment last night. He hadn't called, nor left any notes that he was going to be out. He did, however, return in the morning some time after Graeme had left for work. He'd showered, changed, then left again. There were still errands to attend, work to see to. He had to try to catch up with his sister again, though that ended up falling through. In all, it was nearly a typical day in which he was gone during the working hours, even though it wasn't entirely studio work he'd seen to.

The smell of Chinese food, the greasy goodness that's known for clogging arteries and leaving a film on the lining of your stomach, fills the air and follows Devon as he enters the apartment. The subtle ginger and chicken wrapped in rice flour rolls mingles with the sweeter, sticky smell of honey and sesame chicken. A medley of vegetables soaked in a stir fry sauce nest in pan fried noodles, and all is rounded out with a serving of simple steamed rice. The teenager had thought to pick up dinner on his way to a temporary home, because he's insistent that it is only for a few days, and appears bearing a brown box laden with smaller white take-out boxes.

Using his hip to nudge the door closed while his other hand deposits the spare key into his pocket, Devon glances into the rest of the dwelling. "Anyone home," he calls out, quietly and non-urgent, as though the response didn't really matter to him. His feet carry him into the kitchen with the box of food, and the following rattle of cupboards announces a hunt for dining ware.

And the teenager even brought food. The fact that Odin's there, in a corner of the living room but trotting over towards the teenager, would suggest that the teacher is home. Some of the afternoon had been spent at the bookstore, per the usual, and unlike Devon, Graeme had left a note on the fridge with his approximate schedule before going to work in the morning. A moment later, Graeme emerges from his room, dark khaki cargo shorts and a white shirt, a thin sheen of sweat covering his shoulders from whatever he'd been doing. Probably paying attention to the punching bag, more likely than not. After having taken a nice hot shower.

"Hey." He walks towards the kitchen, lazily. Both knees are scraped, scabbed over, his elbows much the same, like something he did within the past two days was not in the nicest of conditions, but he doesn't seem to notice. Then again, he barely noticed much more substantial injury. Instead, he kind of looks like the cat that ate the canary. Happy, self-satisfied, though perhaps still some lingering confusion. But mainly, happy. And perhaps a little towards glowing, though he's at least trying not to be obvious about it. "You brought dinner." So instead, he states the obvious, flatly but more by way of a little surprised. "Thanks."

"Hey," Devon echoes. His eyes tick toward the dog, his brows drawing together briefly in a moment of uncertain regard. In his few days staying at the apartment, he still hasn't quite acquired an understanding or even relationship with the animal. "Yeah, I brought dinner. Hope Chinese is okay. If not, just more for me." Plates, once they're discovered, are pulled from the cabinet and placed on the counter.

With a glance toward Graeme, Devon turns his sleuthing skills onto finding some spoons for serving. "What's up," he asks, reaching into one drawer that seems promising, a longer look going to the teacher. "Oh, sorry I didn't leave a note. Something came up and I went to Doc… tor… You alright, Graeme?" A brow arches with the question, a smallish spoon being laid upon the counter.

Odin, in the typical canine fashion, follows Devon briefly, angling for attention. There is a look of confusion from the teacher, though, as to why he possibly wouldn't be alright. As far as Graeme's concerned, he's more than alright. It's been a nice feeling, sorting through emotions about both Elisabeth and knowing that his partner is alright with it. "Yeah. I'm good, sorry," he says, a bit distracted. "Forgot to take it easy, a bit, but it's nothing. Chinese is good. I'll probably finish whatever you don't eat." It's met with the usual enthusiasm for food, actually.

Graeme glances at the Great Dane. "He wants you to pet him. But he's not supposed to be in the kitchen anyway, so." There's another pause, and then he addresses the dog, who after a moment slinks out of the kitchen, with that look of knowing he wasn't supposed to be doing what he was doing. "Odin, out of the kitchen." There's encouragement from Graeme for the dog to go over to him, though.

"Yeah," Devon draws the word out, brows lifting, expression implying he's really buying that answer. "You look off. Like…" He chuffs and shakes his head. Turning back to the food, he begins prying open the tops to facilitate food-serving. He glances again toward the dog, giving it a faint little frown. Not an unkind expression, something nearer to his own awkwardness about having the beast around.

"Anyway," the teenager begins again, scraping out a serving of steamed rice onto a plate, "something came up. I went to Doctor Brennan's place, stayed there because I wouldn't've been back before curfew." The second plate and the container of rice with its spoon are slide to the side, for Graeme to serve himself. "You sure you're alright," he asks again, slanting another look toward the teacher.

Graeme nods once again. "Yeah. I just got a bit scraped up, was at the safehouse and there's a lot of pretty broken cement in some of the areas, I helped clear out some more space so that they've got some additional livable area, when I was there yesterday morning," he says. It's not even a lie, just not all that he was doing while he was at the safehouse. And it's definitely not what he was doing when he got all scraped up. In retrospect, the open roof was not the best place, and the explaining that he's had to do since then has been amusing, for the most part, but explaining to the teenager that he's all scraped because … too awkward. "There were a few surprises, that's all." Just far, far too awkward.

Instead, Graeme chooses to comment on the other topic. "Good. I'm glad that he let you stay, getting caught out after curfew isn't a terribly good idea, really." The fact that the teacher occasionally pushes it himself is beside the point at the moment. "And yes, I'm sure. I'm good, actually." It's that faint happy smile, again. Out of place only because the teacher is so very often reserved with his emotions and with happenings.

"Interesting abrasions from clearing off the roof." Devon's comment is an aside, posed as he shakes some of the sesame chicken out onto his plate. No, he hadn't missed those scrapes, and along with the unusual demeanor… "Usually scrapes like those come from falling off a bike or wiping out while skateboarding." The chicken is passed over as well, placed beside the rice and empty plate.

"Doctor Brennan asked me to record my conversations with Yana," the younger man continues. He eyes the noodles for a moment, then retrieves a fork from whence the spoon came. "Good idea, since things got chancy." While coming some noodles out of the box and onto his plate, Devon looks at Graeme again. "So was Aric helping you clear the roof," he dares to ask, a sly grin flickering through his expression.

After Graeme's finished adding rice to his plate and taken it to the table, sitting down, he looks back over at the teenager. "I haven't fallen off a skateboard in almost fifteen years," Graeme says, the sort of immediate and childish defensive reaction that he occasionally indulges when Devon makes a particularly absurd suggestion. And he hasn't, though he also hasn't been skateboarding quite as much lately as he did before the shoulder injury.

"No, Aric was busy with the store. Which is where I was this afternoon." He doesn't say who was up on the roof with him, yet, instead at least allowing the kid to think that the good mood could be from the time spent at the store in the afternoon. And indeed, a lot of it is, because there's just a quiet comfort in the way that things are working out, in the fact that he's lucky enough to have both Aric and what he's shared with Liz, both special and both very different in their own ways. Graeme snaps his attention back to the present and to the food in front of them, though, losing the slightly dreamy-eyed look that he'd gained. "Recording the conversations would be a good thing. Eliminate any ability for her to later go back on whatever she's said, amongst other things. I think there's a spy shop a few streets over, if you want to go by and see what you can get. Equipment would be a good thing to have on hand anyway, actually." It's something he hadn't quite considered, but it's definitely a good idea.

An eggroll is snatched from its container as well, before Devon joins Graeme at the table. "Never said you fell off a skateboard," he answers in those same casually aside tones. "Just observing." Because he still contends that those scrapes couldn't have come from clearing a roof. Not unless the man had been using his head to push rubble and debris around with. He draws a chair out for himself then sits and pokes at his food with a set of restaurant chopsticks, watching Graeme for a long moment, thinking.

Pushing the rice around, Devon nods absently. "Yeah, I can stop by there tomorrow. I have some ideas of things I'd like to get." There's still a potential meeting with Valentin to consider. He might have a small digital recorder to get audio, but the off chance of further proof might present itself as well. "So if it wasn't Aric, who was up there pushing you around? I mean… Hell, I went through high school, I've seen it before; you look a lot like those guys who redefined hooking up."

In between bites of food, Graeme flushes, bright red. "Is it that obvious?" comes the question. Not denial of it, by any means, just not saying who it was, either. There's this part of him that wonders why, precisely, he's discussing any of the details of his sex life with his teenaged houseguest. But mainly, he's just not sure that he was aware it was that obvious. "And really, it wasn't me being pushed 'round, or anything, there's just you know, concrete and all that up there and it's not precisely …" Graeme trails off, with this very deliberate closing of his mouth after he's put some food in it.

"It is now." Devon's response is delivered in deadpan. A brow ticks up at Graeme's continued explanation, his head tilting not unlike a canine trying to understand something unknown. With deliberate care, he gathers up a piece of chicken, slowly chewing while he watches the older man. That thoughtful look is still etched in his countenance, wondering, almost daring himself to ask the most obvious and direct question there is.

Another piece of chicken follows the first, and this is chased by a mouthful of noodles. "So," Devon resumes, words muddled around half chewed food. "Who was it, if Aric was at work?" Rice is added to the mix, and it would seem that several days of stress-killed appetite has finally given over to a drive to eat. "That Norton-Karl fellow who was over the other night? It's totally cool if you need me to be scarce, I should really go home anyway, and then you won't have to use the roof."

"No," comes the response, with this sort of puzzled look from Graeme. Honestly, the other man being a negator, the idea of attraction had never actually come into the picture, and it takes a moment before Graeme decides that really, no. But the kid did ask, so Graeme's going to answer. "Um, Elisabeth. We kind of didn't realise the roof wasn't the best place until after." There's a faint, sheepish smile, and it's that boyish look, too. THat this is clearly kind of new, for Graeme, overall.

"And no, really. Really, I don't need you to be scarce. Sheesh. Even if she wasn't on the run, just. This is Remi's apartment." The idea of bringing a partner home to here just somehow isn't right, isn't something he'd actually do. Chopsticks pick up a mouthful of rice, as if shoving food into his mouth is going to save him from answering questions or something like that.

Graeme's allowed to eat in silence, without the prodding questions Devon had been posing. The younger man stares, the teasing and sly looks fading though his expression doesn't exactly cloud. For a reason he doesn't understand, disappointment and maybe even faint betrayal show briefly before those too are covered. He makes a sound of non-committal, a 'huh' that could mean nearly anything, eyes going to his plate and brows knitting together, all while he processes the older man's response. The chopsticks in his hand are used to push the food around on his plate, disinterested in a way he can't quite explain.

It dawns on Graeme rather quickly, actually, but aside from that, he doesn't say anything. It's been enough for him to take in and actually understand, let alone for anyone else to, and therefore let alone for the teenager. "Aric's okay with it," he adds softly, for clarification. That he's not cheating on his boyfriend, that things are still good between the two of them. Not that he thinks that that is the teenager's issue with it, but it's said.

"That's good," Devon answers, lacking any real attachment to the words and once again allowing Graeme to think what he will. Information of that sort shouldn't have bothered him any, and yet… His chopsticks tap against his eggroll, an idle and unobtrusive noise falling in time with each passing second. Only a count of eleven passes, though, before the chopsticks are lowered and the chair is slide away from the table. "I think I'm going to …take a walk. I… I'll be back." Though his tone hints at a maybe, he at least doesn't go to retrieve is pack after standing. Instead moving directly toward the door.

Graeme frowns across the table. "Sit," Graeme says, before Devon can really get too far away, though it's more of a request than anything else, quiet, somewhat concerned for the teenager. "It's bothering you that I slept with Liz, that's kinda clear." The statement is made, very frankly, very openly. The teacher walks over to the fridge, pulling out a soda for himself and cracking it open.

"You want to talk about it or something? Maybe when you get back from your walk?" He's allowing Devon what space the teen decides he needs to take, but also opening the opportunity for discussion. Even if it's a discussion that he really, really didn't think that he'd be having. Even if there's small discussion of his sex life, he's not exactly sure why this particular part is bothering the teenager this much. There's no move to actually stop Devon from leaving. If he's going to stay, it's going to be his decision to talk, rather than Graeme making him do so.

Half way to the door, Devon turns around, a frown deepening the creases across his forehead. He doesn't refute that it bothers him, though implications of why it does aren't exactly clear to him. "There isn't really anything to talk about," he answers after a moment, pushing aside a pang of unexplainable hurt. "It's fine. I mean… whatever floats your boat. It's like you said anyway, she's old enough to be my mom. It's just some childish feelings on my part that don't mean anything." He shrugs, just one shoulder making the rise and fall, but he doesn't actually go for the door again. He stands, unsure, halfway between leaving and staying.

Graeme still makes no move to stop the teenager from leaving. "It's been kinda a surprise to me, you know," he says. "I mean, I was oblivious until I wasn't, pretty suddenly. And while she may be old enough to be your mother, that doesn't mean it doesn't mean anything." Graeme's being a reasonable adult about this. "It just means that you're going to need to acknowledge that they're there. Having a crush on an older adult is … it's perfectly normal, Devon. Hell, I had a crush on one of the librarians at the library, when I was a little younger than you. But …" He trails off, not sure how to say it that Devon's going to need to be okay with things. How to explain that amongst other things, he's not the only man to share her bed, at the moment. Instead, he shrugs, lifting the can to his lips to take a few sips while he waits for the teenager's response. "Go take a walk. I'll be here when you get back, and we can talk or we don't need to, up to you."

"It doesn't mean anything," Devon states again with that same shrug, likewise playing the reasonable adult card. "So what, she's pretty and I like her. And you had a crush on a librarian when you were a kid. That doesn't make it mean anything or even correlate to me and who I am. It's fine, mission's still the same as it was before." If anything, it'll hopefully make it easier for him to focus on the work that needs to be done. "Glad you found another person to share things with."

Whether or not Graeme buys it, he falls silent, soda in hand, before going back to the table, having grabbed the newest folder of things to grade from where it was left on the kitchen counter. The topic is summarily dismissed by Graeme's silence, unwilling to engage the teenager any further on the matter when it's not actually doing any good that he can observe. Another few glances up, but otherwise the teacher has decided that it's time for work and such.

Another moment passes, Devon continuing to stare at Graeme silently, eyes only moving to follow the teacher's movements. Only after the older man is seated again, does the younger move. Feet cross the floor, bypassing the door though only to pick up his pack. Dragging a strap up onto his shoulder, his eyes tick toward Graeme again, feet once more crossing the room. He doesn't offer that he'll be be back later or if he'll make the return to his own home, but he does feel the need to go and decide for himself where he stands on the matter. A minute pause, almost in hesitation follows his motion on reaching the door, but whatever the cause is dismissed the very next beat, and sealed away with the quiet closing of the door behind him.

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