Stick Together


graeme2_icon.gif monica_icon.gif

Scene Title Stick Together
Synopsis It's how they get through things. Then, and now. Graeme and Monica talk about the future, in the wake of a dream.
Date August 11, 2011

Skinny Brickfront, Endgame Safehouse

This building is only 14 feet deep, and it is set up as two townhome-style apartment set side-to-side with one door on a corner of the building and one at the center of the building. A metal fire escape runs across the back of the building offering egress in case of an emergency. The bottom floor looks like every other abandoned set of ruins in Long Island City — throughout the apartments there are empty boxes and tattered mattresses that have been used by squatters in the past, various kinds of debris litter the rooms, and there's a general feel of abandonment. Windows are broken or bricked over, and the wall that separated the two townhouses has a massive hole knocked through it for passage. But the floor is not covered with a layer of dust nor is there very much dirt.

The second floor is obviously inhabited by squatters, though. The floors are kept clear and a living room/kitchen arrangement has been set up in here with three couches cadged from places like Goodwill, a couple of camp stoves rest on countertops. Once again a walk-through hole has been broken through to the townhome on the other side, and over on that side of the wall the rooms have been used as bedrooms with sleeping bags and in a couple of cases camping cots set up. Most of the windows on this floor are in decent shape, though panes are cracked or missing in some places.

The third floor also shows some signs of habitation, but the floor plan here is different. The building was intended as a family home, so the third floor is one long hallway between the two stairwells with rooms off it. It is possible to walk the entire length of the building on the hallway side and see out the few unbricked windows. Two rooftop access points are at the top of the stairwells.

Monica's been among the lucky ones. A good portion of her weird future-telling dreams have actually been… good. Uplifting, even. Having dosed off sitting against a wall of the roof upstairs, she wakes up suddenly, cold and oddly satisfied. The lingering excitement of getting busted out, of seeing her friends come to help again… of getting her son out, well, it has her in a pretty good mood as she makes her way into the kitchen for some coffee. She has to make it, of course, as no one else is up and functioning this early. Late. Whatever. But she doesn't mind the wait, really. She may even be humming to herself a little.

For Graeme, who doesn't even take the time to sleep, sometimes, until Liz practically orders him to, dreams of any sort are strange. But the last one has him up, having crept out of the room he shares with Devon to the basement where he can think about it while thinking with the punching bag, it's the sound of footsteps in the room above that gives him pause, and soon thereafter, he makes his way back up into the kitchen.

But finding Monica in the kitchen, and coffee, well, he ducks a bit of a nod and smile. Half confused, half glad to see her, one hand raising to push at his forehead for a moment in an attempt to look more awake and shake off the lingering terror of negation that no longer affects him. "Hey," he says, quiet. "You too?" A pause. "I mean, it was one of those dreams?" There's a questioning, unsure note in his voice.

"Hey," Monica says with a return of that smile. "Yeah, me too." She's taking it a lot better, but hey, it's not the weirdest thing she's been through. But there's a blink before she seems to pick up on his mood. "You okay?" She even comes over to put a hand on his arm. "It'll pass, promise. Might take a bit… why don't you sit down? I'm making some coffee, it'll help." Comfort food. And drink. Coffee itself, she knows, doesn't help, but it's warm and it's real and that helps.

Graeme nods, a bit, grateful, before eventually going to find one of the spool tables in the kitchen to sit on. "Coffee'd be nice," he admits. "It's just weird, I mean, I just … it hadn't happened to me, and. And for a dream, that was pretty real." There's another repressed shudder, before he runs his hand through his hair. "And I felt useless," he adds, after a long moment of silence.

"Yeah, they aren't like… normal dreams. I mean, this stuff happened. Not to us, not yet, but somewhere." Some time. "It's totally weird, and normal to feel things sorta… bleeding over. But it does pass." Monica does get him, and herself, a cup of coffee before she comes over to join him. "But that stuff, it isn't going to happen now. So, I know it isn't much of a comfort, but you'll only know that moment in your dreams. And hey. You weren't useless. I could hold it together because you were there. Nothing how scared I was inside? That's a pretty big deal."

That brings a smile to his face. "You held it together well. I couldn't even really manage to stand up or walk part of the time," he says, hands wrapping around the mug of coffee but nothing else yet. "Negation screws with me way too much," he admits. "Less than it used to and apparently I got used to it in that timeline, but still." For the most part, Graeme is otherwise still, quiet, taking a sip of the coffee. "Thanks for the coffee." Fingers drum on the edge of the coffee cup and then the edge of the table, and then the coffee cup once again.

"Well… I guess when you live with it like in those camps, you do get used to it. Sorry to hear it hits you so bad. I guess I never… thought about it." Monica doesn't share the fear of negation gas that most Evolved do. After all, she doesn't forget her skills, she just… can't learn new ones. And can't rely on her instincts as much. "No problem. Coffee's not hard or anything."

"I'm working on it, these days," Graeme says, managing a bit of a smile. "And yeah, I suppose one would. I …" he pauses to rub his head once again, one train of thought completely disappearing into another. "I should check my mailbox, or something," he ends up with, after another minute of silence and paying attention to the coffee. "Though maybe that's just it getting in my head too, but."

"Check your mailbox?" Monica gets a quirky smile there, like what he said just came out of left field. Which is did, for her. "Expecting a package?" She nudges him a little, playfully there. "Have you talked to the kids much? If you… I don't know, if you have questions, they might be able to help." The kids who are no where near kid-aged, but whatever.

Graeme shakes his head. No to both counts. "No, but … yes? I don't know," he says. "Ryans. Ben Ryans," he clarifies. "He's my uncle, I think. Except, I was certain in the dream, that's all." There's a shrug. "A letter. There's probably something. I should check." His tentative relationship to the older man isn't something that comes up much, but despite that he's only met his uncle once, only known of his sister for a little over half a year, there's a tie, there. "I haven't, much, no, but I haven't gotten too much of a chance, either," he admits. "It's not questions, so much as well, yeah. Questions, I guess," Graeme finishes, grinning some.

"Oh. I gotcha. Yeah, you might want to check on that." Monica doesn't know the Ryans clan personally, not in this version of things, anyway, but she knows enough to know who Ben Ryans is. "You know, I didn't have too many questions, either. Just sort of… well, I wanted to be sure JJ got a good life, but other than that, nothing sprang to mind. It's weird, being the person the time travelers are coming to save instead of being the one… running out and saving other people," she says with a grin. This hers relationship to JJ might be a little on the hard-to-explain side, but she's proud of him nonetheless, that much is clear. "But. Maybe you could just ask them… if they know about your story. If the dreams don't spell it out for ya as they go along." Which she seems to think is a distinct possibility.

A nod from Graeme, and he gets up to pour another cup of coffee for himself. "Yeah. He's definitely a good kid," Graeme says. There's a grin on his face, even. "I'll see if I can get a hold of one of them. Or run into one of them. I seem to run into JJ in seemingly random places. Coffeeshops and bookstores and such."

There's a pause, and a chuckle. "I'm sure that I'll probably have more dreams, he admits. "That doesn't mean I'm necessarily sure I want them." Eventually, there's a shrug. "Still, it's not all bad. After all," he adds, with a bit of a grin, "we stick together." The words she'd said, so far in the future and not so long ago in the dream, echo again, and there's a slightly less faint smile on Graeme's face.

"They're scary sometimes," Monica says, reaction more to his expression than his words, "But sometimes they're… nice almost." The idea that she doesn't count the one they just had among the scary probably says something. About the dreams or about her. "I'm not sure why the dreams are happening, but think of it like… someone's showing up something, something we have to change. Prison camps? Executions? Things got out of hand. Every time we have a dream from then, I think about what I can do now to change things up. Make things better."

There's a pause there before she smiles again, at something he said. "We did stick together. And that's how we get through all this stuff."

"Always has been how we get through it, anyhow," Graeme says, another hint of a grin. "And yeah. I … it's almsot certainly coincidence. But. The lady at the Deveaux Society wanted to know what I thought of relocation camps, back at the beginning of the Dome," he muses. "I think I might have more of an answer for her, now." There's another quiet smile, with more surety than anything else that's been expressed, and Graeme gives Monica a brief, tight hug, before slipping out of the room, possibly to head back to the room he shares with Devon until the time comes as such where he can return to Dorchester without breaking curfew. "Thanks," he says, pausing at the doorway again to look back at Monica. "I mean it."

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