Shooting Hoops


devon2_icon.gif graeme_icon.gif

Scene Title Shooting Hoops
Synopsis Shooting some hoops gives Devon and Graeme a chance to talk some more.
Date March 17, 2011

Dorchester Towers: Basketball court

Acting like a normal teenager may not include waking up during the morning hours. Devon probably couldn't tell anyone what a normal teenager does, though his sixteen years says he should, by all rights, know. But in effort to return to normal, or as close to normal as anything can be, he'd called up Graeme bright and early and inquired of the older man's willingness to play basketball.

After the invitation was accepted, the teenager had made himself ready. Sneakers more appropriate for running than shooting hoops, a plain gray t-shirt and sage green board shorts were donned. A ball had been located, some well loved thing that should've been retired, age showing through a worn exterior and faded pigment. Then Devon had made his way out to the courts.

Graeme had accepted the invitation willingly, grabbing a pair of worn black jeans, and a white teeshirt before making his way down to the courts. With a wave to Devon, he sets down his keys, wallet, and cell phone along with a small towel on one of the small tables at the edge of the court. There's a faint smile on his face. "Hey there." And he seems genuinely pleased by the invitation extended by the young man, overall. Basketball is a better thing to be doing on his birthday than thinking overmuch about things like his sister, anyway.

"Hey," Devon calls over to Graeme, giving a nod in place of a wave. The ball is bounced a couple of times against the floor, then held as he makes his way over to the older man. "Sorry it's… kind've out of the blue. And early." There's a sense that he's probably been up even longer and had waited until a better hour to call, or that the night hadn't been quite as restful as it might have been. But the teenager seems in good spirits regardless. "You play much? I know you said you were a teacher."

There's a bit of a shrug. "I know how to play, at least," Graeme responds, grinning. "I play soccer first and foremost, but my minor was in sports education, which means I had to know how to play just about everything in order to graduate from college. And I don't think I forgot." There's a cursory glance given over the court. "Though I think you've got a bit of a height advantage on me here." Graeme grins, stretching a bit as he stands there.

"Don't worry about the early. I don't know if I mentioned it, but I don't tend to keep anything that's remotely like a normal person's sleep schedule." He tilts his head to one side. "I've been up since … three this morning. If you think it's too early to call for fear of waking my roommate, you can always text me."

"Yeah, I'll remember that." Devon offers a small grin, tucking the ball under an arm. "I'd hate to disturb your roommate's sleep." His tone delivers those sentiments in deadpan, though there seems to be some truth to his words. "But if I'm up early again, I'll text instead of call." Safer that way too.

The ball is bounced against the floor again, then bounced to Graeme. "I played a bit in high school, not really for competition. Freshman year, I was on the school team, and played a bit in gym."

Graeme stops the ball with one hand, experimentally bouncing it on the floor several times as Graeme shifts on his feet, trying to remember the footwork for basketball. Then he bounces it experimentally to his left hand, back to his right, nodding to Devon. "I kinda hate to disturb her sleep, too. She gets grumpy." There's a bit of a grin and then Graeme tries a bit of trick dribbling of the ball, behind his back, under one leg, and then he misses the next bit, ending up running after it for a few feet, then passing it in a gentle bounce back to Devon.

"Well, I remember a bit of it," he says. "At the school I taught at in New Mexico, there was a yearly seniors versus teachers basketball game. Was always pretty interesting."

Catching the ball, Devon nods, bouncing the ball just a bit more before holding it again. "Sounds like that could've been pretty fun. By the time I was a senior I didn't have time to think about sports." By the time he was a senior, he didn't spare time for much outside of school or theater. "I was kind of the odd one on the team, though. Youngest and often smallest, only on it because my parents wanted me to be. But that was before the explosion."

The teenager moves out onto the court proper, rotating the arm that had, just a few days ago, been resting in a sling. It's stiff and still sore, protesting against being used. "Want to just play one-on-one? Or we could warm up with Horse and then decide."

"I was on the soccer team when I was in high school. Sports were kind of the only thing I ever thought about, then." He grins. "Jessa and Liam, my adoptive parents, I think they wished otherwise." Graeme follows onto the court, nods, steps that are surprisingly long for his height, stretching a bit more as he does so. "I think warming up sounds like a good idea," he admits. "Give us both a bit to get used to the ball and the court and all that."

Moving to the closer of the two foul lines, Devon nods. Warming up sounds ideal, and he's not in peak condition himself. Placing the ball on the floor, he rolls his shoulders, taking care to move slow over the injured side. "My parents put me into everything when I was younger. Arts, sports, and school above everything. My aunt didn't push so much… when I went to live with her. She made sure I kept my grades up and graduated on time, and that I was happy."

Graeme nods again, bending over to touch his toes momentarily, with a bit of surprise evident on his face that he can still do so when he stands up. "Yeah. My adoptive parents never pushed too hard, but they did push." He shrugs a bit, leaning backwards to stretch that out too. "I dunno. Maybe it was for the better, for me." He takes slightly jogging steps over to the line. "I'm never quite sure. I mean, I graduated, and all. But."

"I think I might've liked it better if I hadn't been pushed so much." Devon picks up the ball and passes it to Graeme. "Not that I'd change anything, like graduating last year or… whatever y'know. Just that I wonder what it would have been like." He takes a couple of steps back, to allow room for the older man to set up his first shot.

There's another tentative bounce, and then Graeme squints one eye shut, judging the distance to the hoop. Another two bounces, before he takes the ball in both hands, and tosses it. It rolls on the edge of the hoop once, and then goes in, and Graeme raises an eyebrow at it, going to take the ball back and pass it to Devon. "Yeah. Done is done and past is past. And who can say that we'd be the same people, if we could go back and change things?" He grins.

Devon catches the ball, though his expression is thoughtful. Would he go back and change anything? "Yeah, I don't regret any choices." He steps to where Graeme threw from, bouncing the ball several times while he eyes the hoop. Taking the ball in two hands, he sets up to shoot, knees bending slightly then pushing up as his arms push the ball toward the target. Ah, but his isn't a clean shot. The ball hits the back of the rim and bounds aside without going into the basket, leaving the teenager to shrug his healing shoulder and jog after the ball.

"Might go back and make sure that shot went in instead," the boy calls after catching the ball. It's tossed back to Graeme ahead of his return to the foul line. "H for me."

Graeme chuckles, catching the ball and bouncing it between his hands as he walks to position himself straight in front of the basket. This time, though, his own shot doesn't go in either. It hits one side, and bounces right off. "H for me too, it seems," he calls out, having caught up to the ball and passed it back in a gentle bouncing pass to Devon.

Catching the ball, Devon moves to an angle for the basket. It should be an easy lay up. Should be. But the young man's shot hits the rim and comes right back to him. He half laughs, half groans at the twinge in his shoulder as hands wrap around the ball. "O, and damn." Straightening, he reaches over his shoulder to rub lightly at the old injury. "I'm so out of shape."

When the ball returns to him, Graeme shrugs a bit, tilting his head at Devon. "Shoulder?" he queries, more of an 'are you alright' than stating the obvious. His own angle for the shot, taken from one step to the left of his previous, rolls on the rim of the hoop before falling off, on the outside, rather than going in. "Aaaaand O. I'm starting to think that first shot of mine was just luck," he says, holding the ball in his hands for a little to give Devon some time before passing it back.

"You'll get back into it. Doing what you can, not letting yourself fall into inactivity or anything, and then eventually you'll find you can do more." He pauses. "Freshman year of highschool, way before I manifested, I nearly broke my ankle. I didn't actually get to play soccer again on the field when we were competing until the middle of sophomore year."

Rolling that sore shoulder, going slow to allow for the stretch to actually stretch, Devon nods. "I'm fine. It's just…" He glances around to see that they're still the only ones on the courts, then shrugs. "I got shot. I got lucky that nothing seriously worse happened. It's been what.. four weeks, though." As though that should explain things.

The boy takes the ball and sets up to take another shot. He bounces the ball off the floor a couple of times then sets and shoots. Up and off the backboard, the ball drops through the hoop as it was meant to.

There is a wince of sympathy at Devon's statement of what happened. "I think you're doing pretty good, for it being four weeks ago, then." There's a bit of a grin as Devon's shot goes in, and Graeme attempts the trick dribbling a bit while contemplating the shot he's about to take, which simply this time bounces back to him. "R." He grins a bit more, passes the ball back to the teenager.

"I got lucky," Devon repeats as he takes the ball. Implying, of course, the events around him getting shot, not the game that they're playing now. "Some woman that was there tried to talk her way into food for other refugees and got shot in the arm." There's slight detachment of the summarization. He'd warned that negotiations wouldn't always work, though he feels bad that people had gotten shot rather than cooperating together. It was a case of organization attempts coming too late in the game. Shuffling to another spot, back a step from the foul mark and lined up almost dead on to the hoop, the teenager takes the next shot. It goes in with a swish, but leaves him wincing and working his shoulder.

Graeme nods. "Yeah. She's a friend of mine, actually," he says, quietly, with a smile as Devon gets the ball through the hoop, and Graeme goes to get the ball before Devon has a chance to, before walking back to the line, ball bouncing slowly. There's half a step back, and this time, Graeme actually jumps a bit as he releases the ball. It bounces against the rim and the backboard, then going swiftly through the hoop.

"Oh." The young man's tone isn't particularly enthused, but it's not cold either. He retrieves the ball, jogging back to the line as he dribbles. There's an awkward moment, filled as Devon sets up to take his next shot. Like he's not sure what more to say on the subject. He springs up slightly, the ball flowing after and rolling off his finger tips. It doesn't go through the hoop but it does graze the net.

Once more, Graeme's attempt at getting the ball through the hoop succeeds, rolling around the hoop and then going through with a soft swish. And the teenager isn't the only one unsure of what to say on the subject, so Graeme simply changes the subject instead. "You know, we should do this more often," he says. "Maybe again next week?" He's missed getting to be active. There's something about the company, that makes it better than working out in the weight room and punching the bag by himself.

"Doctor's orders are to get a hobby," Devon says as he fetches the ball, relieved over the change in subject. "So I wouldn't mind meeting up again to shoot hoops." It'd be good for him as well, being active, doing something besides work. "Whenever you want." He moves to Graeme's place and throws, the ball rolling once around the rim before falling through.

"That sounds good, then," Graeme responds, smiling a bit. The ball is bounced idly between his hands, and he walks over to be directly in front of the hoop once more, takes an additional step back, and throws the ball up. It bounces on the front edge of the rim, dropping through the net after a moment of hesitation, during which Graeme's gaze fixed on it, as if to will it through, with a bit of a chuckle. "I've only been working two days a week, because the district is being pretty politic about things. But it leaves me more time to do stuff." And he tries to keep busy, really.

Catching the ball, Devon again moves into Graeme's place. "I work pretty much… whenever." Which seems to consist of hours spent at the studio, odd days off, and the occasional overtime. "But Brad… er… Mister Russo is a pretty good boss and mentor. We can work out the details." He hesitates a moment, then tosses the ball up. It juggles twice between backboard and rim before falling through the hoop.

Graeme nods as Devon speaks. "That's always good." The basketball is tossed between Graeme's hands, up and down, as he tilts his head to one side and squints a bit again to consider the basket once more. "I think that makes S," he says, laughing as this time he manages to miss entirely. It bounces on the side of the backboard, doesn't touch the hoop at all, and drops down to the ground. Graeme jogs after it, a bit, dribbling for several bounces before bouncing it over to Devon.

"I tend to try and keep busy, overall. But it's not really too structured or anything. Just when I'm not working, I read a lot, work out, go find new places to ride my skateboard. So yeah." Any pretense of 'formal adult' that Graeme sometimes has is pretty much gone. Right now, he's just relaxed, playing basketball with someone that he's starting to consider a friend.

"I usually read too," Devon says, catching the ball. "Play video games when I can't sleep, or watch the city outside." Likewise, he's a very unusual teenager, lacking in friends near his own age and having little in the way of hobbies. He picks a spot nearly under the backboard to shoot at, and his expression shows he has little faith that the ball will actually go in. "Mister Russo… Um… Brad's pretty easy going about everything, I think. With living here with him and work."

Looking up at the basket, Devon pushes the ball upward. It arcs, unbelievably, then falls cleanly into the basket. If anything, the kid looks quite surprised that he managed at all. The ball is caught on its second bounce and shuffled to Graeme.

Graeme grins at Devon. "Nice," he says, as he catches the ball. He waits for Devon to back away from the hoop some, then takes a few steps to one side, and does another attempt at throwing it through with a bit of a lift to his jump as he releases the ball, trying to make up for the disadvantage of being slightly shorter. And Graeme's eyes go a little wide as the basketball does one of those slow spirals down the rim, and then through the net. "Sounds like your mentor's a pretty good guy."

A couple of quick steps forward has Devon meeting the ball. He dribbles, taking it out beyond the foul line though he looks back at Graeme while finding a place to take his next shot. "He is. Gave me a place to live after… after my aunt died. And the Dome." And something about the way he says it includes that one was the cause of the other. "I got a lot of respect for him, too."

Facing the basket, at an angle instead of head on, he jumps and throws the ball. It looks like it might go in, bouncing off the front of the rim once then twice. But the third time it misses and tumbles to the floor completely. "That's an S."

Graeme nods, and there's another wince of sympathy, that the teenager lost his aunt on top of everything else that happened recently. "Sorry about your aunt," he murmurs, the ball held in one hand for the moment as he speaks. His own grief for his adoptive mother edges into his voice, but is pushed back. "That's rough." Graeme steps back, adjusting the set-up. The ball sails through the air and goes down through the net, only touching the rim barely, and then bouncing back towards Graeme, who picks it up again, passing it to Devon.

"— Thanks," Devon replies with a small shrug. He's not the greatest at receiving sympathy, still preferring to set it aside and ignore it. He catches the ball, moving in a little bit. He bounces the ball off the floor a couple of times then jumps and throws for the hoop. It bounces off the back of the rim then over the backboard to the floor below. "It's been rough," the teenager admits with a smirk for the failed throw. He lost, oh well. "But it's getting easier."

Graeme nods again. "Jessa… my mom… she died just over a year ago, now," he admits, quietly. "Time does help, some. And remembering the good things. "Was a pretty good game," he continues, and there's a grin on the older man's face, though he's neither winded, nor even sweating from the exertion, which was less of exertion for him. "Beats the hell out of just punching the punching bag by myself."

Devon nods as well, a somewhat sad shadow of a grin playing. "Time helps," he agrees. A month gone hasn't eased the pain of loss, only made it easier. His parents who are four years gone is only a slightly less painful memory. He rolls his shoulders, stretching the injured one with a pained wince. "Good game though, thanks for agreeing to come down and play."

"Thank you," Graeme responds, the grin fading into a mild smile that matches his tone of voice. "Nice start to the day." He grins a bit, and then raises one palm to cover his face. "Oh god I'm thirty-two, today." His birthday. Until he'd said the word day, he'd pretty much forgotten about it. Then Graeme looks past Devon, as if admitting his age is some grievously horrible thing, overall. That only lasts a moment, though, before Graeme is simply looking down at the ground, shaking his head and chuckling under his breath.

"This is where another teenager might say you're twice as old as he is." Devon's grin grows a fraction, a brow raising. "Good thing I'm not one of those teenagers. Happy birthday, man." He follows the words with an extended hand to shake. "Time to go out drinking and party, right?"

For the better part of a minute, Graeme just chuckles quietly. "Knew I was getting old," he mutters. "Thanks." The teenager's grin is returned, as is the handshake. "I knew I was getting old when I managed to keep forgetting about the day until it's suddenly snuck up on me." The chuckle turns into a moment of laughter, as much a surprise to him as anything.

"Today? Today's for me. I'm going to go out, have some fun or something, lunch with a friend or two My roommate's got some ballet thing tonight, so there's that… and then she's subjecting me to something for my birthday next week." Subjecting. It's clear that Graeme really isn't the biggest fan of celebrations, in general. "You'd be welcome to come, if you wanted. It's just going to be small, or I'm going to have to throttle her."

"Yeah, sure." Devon nods, almost laughing. Almost. Subjecting would about how he might see it as well. "I'll come, s'long as she keeps out of my thoughts. I'm serious about that part. I'll share with whom I feel safe when I'm ready." There's still a moment of hesitation, despite the darkening of his expression. He'll make good his promise, too, if that roommate goes poking around again. "Anyway. I should clean up and get ready for work."

"I'll make sure she does," Graeme says. There's a tone of promise to that. Because that much he can promise. He walks over to where he's set down his keys, wallet, and cell phone, picking up his keys and slipping the wallet and cell phone into his pocket. He offers Devon a smile. "Have a good day, and all. Seeya around."

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