Surprise Family


delia_icon.gif graeme2_icon.gif

Scene Title Surprise Family
Synopsis That's what this is for both Delia and Graeme. Or perhaps what it could be.
Date May 13, 2011

The Old Apothecary

Graeme Cormac came in, got a cup of coffee. And since then, he's been browsing around the store, looking at some of the books, but almost always looking back over at where Delia is working. His cousin? His maybe-cousin. But the teacher busies himself looking at the various items, a small pair of silver earrings held up in the dim light and then put back down, as he considers whether or not that's something he should maybe get for Elle, and then he shakes his head quietly to himself, picking up the cup of coffee to his lips.

Really, Graeme hasn't the foggiest amount of clue as to why he came here, besides that the girl is possibly his cousin. There's nothing he precisely has to say to her, but in any case, he walks over. "Delia?" This time actually addressing her, rather than the several times that he assured her that he didn't actually need help.

Lower jaw slack and left hanging open, Delia Ryans looks up from her book to address the customer. He looks 'pleasant' enough; clean, washed, no sweater vest (that's a bonus). He was also looking at jewelry, which means he's probably either a creepy stalker looking to ply her with it and lure her somewhere dark to behead and cannibalize her… or he's got a girlfriend.

Where the young woman lives and with whom has gotten her a little more suspicious in the stranger department. As she keeps staring at him, her eyes narrow and her eyebrows draw down. A stubborn set to her jaw and lips pressed together completes the ugly countenance that's taken over. "How did you know my name? I'm not wearing a nametag…" and she doesn't really ever use her real one here. Slowly, her hand reaches under the counter in search of some kind of weapon. The thumbring cuff of her thermal tee hides most of the hand that's left on the aged walnut surface in front of her.

There's a hint of a smile, before Graeme sets his coffee down on the counter and holds his hands up, a gesture of helpless defeat, and perhaps to attempt to stop her from searching for a weapon. He doesn't have one, though he rarely needs one. Still, they're not things he likes to encounter, and he's not looking to start a trend of startling potentially dangerous young women, either. He did enough of that earlier in the week to last for quite a while.

"I asked a friend of mine," he says, soft voice a drawl that speaks vaguely of South or Southwest with a hint of the clipping of New York City in it as well. "Jaiden. Really, chill a second, would you?" Then there's a pause, and he leans on the counter, watching the ceiling, hands still in plain sight.

"If he sent you here about Beth you can tell him the answer is still no. I'm not even considering it anymore so it's even more no than the no I gave him before… so no." The redhead's eyebrows furrow even further into a deep vee as her lips downturn unpleasantly. That hand is still under the counter, the movement of her arm not subtle enough to hide the fact that she's still feeling for something. A sudden tensing of her bicep lets him know that she's gripped onto something as does the relaxing of her lips.

From above, the skeletal monkey hides in its cage, guarding the velvet curtain behind her. It's an escape route if Delia needs it. "So… you can go now… just tell him no."

Graeme looks thoroughly confused by whatever it is Delia is saying. "I'm not even sure what you're talking about," he says. "He let me know I could find you here because apparently, you're my cousin. Or something." There's a shrug. "I guess I shouldn't have bothered or tried or anything." His tone is hard around the edges, but as if that's his method of self-defense rather than anything else, and he hasn't moved from where he's leaning against the counter. A glance to the hand hidden under the counter. "Whatever it is, do me a favour and put it down? You're unlikely to be able to do enough damage to bother me, and I really … I came here for myself. Not because Jaiden — or anyone else — asked me to."

The hand comes above the counter and the spray can of Raid that she's been holding at the ready clacks against the hard laquered surface of the wood. Cornflower blue eyes rove over the older man's face and body and her eyebrows shoot high up on her forehead, softening the angry scowl into something a little more surprised. "My cousin…" It's said in the same tone as if Graeme had just announced he's Kris Kringle or the Tooth Fairy. "So Jaiden told you who I was and where I worked and everything because.. you're my cousin."

At least he's not another brother. It gives the young woman confidence that Benjamin hasn't dipped his ladle into too many buckets.

"Okay so… did you like… come from the future or something?" It might be a strange question to ask, if anyone in the conversation doesn't know the context. "Because you're kind of old— " the explanation comes a little quickly, "Then again, Dad's pretty old."

Graeme raises one hand from where they'd been to push at his forehead. "No. I did not come from the future," he says, in the tone that one might sometimes use with a child. But not particularly as if he's surprised by the mention of the future as such. He's had enough exposure to the idea of that there are time travelers, and that there are time travelers in the present, that it doesn't surprise him. At least, not enough to be visible.

"And no, I'm not old." A grin sneaks onto his face and he shakes his head. "What am I, gray already or something? Last time I checked the mirror, there weren't gray hairs yet. I'm thirty-two, not old. Like I said, cousin. From … what I know, your dad's my uncle, or something."

"Sure it is, you're almost as old as my dad looks," the young woman quips back. One side of her lips has gained a friendlier disposition by curving upward, though she tries to hide it. "Okay, so you're a friend of Jaiden's. You're not from the future, and you weren't sent by him to bother me at work and try in vain to convince me to have his future dead baby girl… You're my cousin, just cousin, nothing wild and spectacular… Okay, I can deal with that right now."

Delia finally releases the can of Raid that she might have, at one time, used to spray in Graeme's eyes as she made her getaway. Long lost family seems simple enough to deal with. "So— hi?" She seems at a loss for words beyond that.

"No no, there is no way I have gray hairs," Graeme says. Perhaps he's just a little bit vain about that. "And no, nothing wild and spectacular, there's enough of that anyway without me adding to it, I mean, really. I could do with less wild and spectacular most of the time, actually." There's an easy, cautious smile on his face. "And yeah. Hi. I'm Graeme."

"I didn't say you have gray hairs, just that you're old. Don't worry, I'm sure a chemical peel or something will bring back the youthful shine and elasticity to your skin." Delia takes a step toward the register and flips through a few of the business cards laying alongside it. Plucking one up, she reaches across to hand it to him. "Here, I got this business card for that spa in Brooklyn. The guy there is really nice but don't let them send you to his room unless you know for sure he's dressed for the day… Unless you like seeing guys in sparkly thongs."

Graeme laughs. "I'm not old, but well, I guess you'll find out that thirty-two isn't old, some day. You know, when you get to be my age." There's a slight flamboyance to the speech. "And nah, I already have a guy I get to see in sparkly thongs. Don't need another one." A wistful, distant expression is on Graeme's face, and a tinge of colour on his cheeks, thinking of the man that he likes and isn't dating. And then, another moment passes, and he's looking up at the ceiling, trying to figure out if what he said was possibly too much information, or worse. It's not often that he's particularly obvious about his sexuality, but today seems to be falling into that not often.

"Comparatively, you are.. but it's no big deal, my brother's probably the same age as you." Delia's shoulder rises and falls in a nonchalant gesture that could be construed as she's cool with how old he is. "Anyway, I didn't mean to ruffle your feathers or anything, I was just saying." Then she leans in a little more, one eyebrow spiking sharply on her forehead while the other dips in confusion. "You seriously look at guys in thongs? Wait… when you say Jaiden is a friend do you mean he's your special friend? Because we were going to get married and stuff, I seriously don't want to be the one that turned him off women."

Graeme laughs more. "God no. I could dream. He's as straight as they come. And he never really, never told me about that or anything." Even if Graeme does have a minor amount of a crush on Jaiden. "Jaiden's just a friend. The one who got me to man up and see it was okay to ask the guy I do like out, actually." Then Graeme's brow furrows. "You have a brother?"

"Yeah well, it's— complicated. I'm too young to be that serious or get pregnant," Maybe in another couple of years but for now, the clerk waves off the notion and leaves the card with the man on the other side. "He's good like that, Jaiden, that is… sort of good at convincing people, I guess."

Breathing out a whoosh of air, Delia stares down at the counter rather than the man in front of her. A quick flit of her eyes to the door keeps her attention long enough to nod to the man. "Yeah, I have a brother and a sister. He's a half brother, sort of famous. Well— now sort of he is famous."

Graeme nods. "Yeah. And good at listening and such. And at talking sense into people. Namely me." There's a pause, and another nod. "Yeah. I have a sister, Keira. Not that I knew her when I was growing up, I kind of grew up in the system because neither of my parents stuck around." Graeme skips the part about being adopted at some point. It was still the system, as he's concerned, and he misses his adoptive parents far too dearly to mention them in casual conversation. "I only met her back in February, and then before she left town, she told me. About my uncle, and all. Enough that I found out I had family." He shrugs. "Famous? That must be nice, though."

The name elicits a hiss of air sucked through clenched teeth as the tall redhead instantly stiffens. Delia sets her jaw firmly again and narrows her eyes suspiciously at the man in front of her. The hand returns to the can of Raid, finger at the ready to squeeze.

"Keira… maybe you should go."

Her voice is level but cool and impersonal, almost dismissive. Angling her head to that she doesn't have to look at Graeme except out of the corner of her eye, she starts to scowl again. Apparently Graeme's sister has left a bad impression on the redhead.

At the return of the defensive posture, Graeme's brows furrows, though he makes no move to go. "Look, I'll go if you want me to. But I'm not my sister, and I don't know what the fuck she did that's got you all defensive like a wet bristled cat. I only met her a few times, ferchristssakes." He sighs, glances down at the can of Raid in her hand. "And you can put that down. For one, if you ask me to, I'll leave."

"She causes problems," is how Delia begins the explanation of her reaction to subject. "We were in hiding and her and that boyfriend of hers almost outed us. She's rude, loud, obnoxious, and I'm pretty sure she's on the dope or something."

Wrinkling her nose, she takes a long breath inward and shakes her head. "Sorry, I just don't like her. I've met surprise family, heck they're coming out of the woodwork now more than ever. She's the only one that I've never liked." There's a long pause as the redhead relaxes her grip on the spray can, not letting it go but idly thumbing the painted aluminum. "And I actually tried to be nice. She's just not a very nice person."

Graeme's lips form into a grim, tight line. "Problems is probably a kind way to put it." Keira's caused him far more than could be explained by the word problems in the short time he knew her. "I'm pretty sure I don't like her, either. But I didn't even know I had a family. So it's surprise family for me too, you know." Eventually, the expression relaxes a little, though it was the only visible sign of tension on the teacher's posture. "And like I said. She only told me about everything right before she up and left town."

"She tried to say that my dad was hers…" The source of Delia's problem with her. "Dad made her get a DNA test, because yeah…" Her face softens and she swallows hard, shrugging one shoulder to the man again. "Sorry about your luck, family is sort of like Russian Roulette, you know? You can't pick them… sometimes you win, sometimes you lose." Hopefully they don't kill you when you lose.

"So uhm— What's your name anyway? I'm not going to call you Cousin instead of a name, like some carnie freak or something. You probably don't want me thinking up a name for you either, I'm not very good at it."

"Graeme. Graeme Aiden Cormac, if you want to get all technical about it, but seriously, don't." That said, Graeme grins a bit. "Yeah well, I've met my biological mother, and I wouldn't entirely blame Keira for the way she turned out. Anyway." He's changing the topic, and quickly. "And yeah, I guess it was kinda a disadvantage, here. I knew your name and you didn't know mine.

Another pause, and Graeme speaks again. "I'm going to take the luck that I have a family, some of whom seem like they might even be decent people, and run with it. No sense looking a gift horse in the mouth." Then it's his turn to stare at the counter, picking up his cup of coffee again.

"Graeme, Grrrraeme, Gray-ham" Delia repeats, over and over again, experimenting with different sounds and sometimes rolling her 'r's. He receives a sharp look for his defense of his sister and the redhead's upper lip curls into a tiny sneer. "I don't know, sometimes you have to take responsibility for your own actions. Maybe she's just too— I don't know— not smart enough to know right from wrong." A thought that makes the young woman pause and look up at him, then she shakes her head and looks away.

"Anyway, when she first came around, I thought she was looking for money or something… but we sort of fooled her there. We don't have anything. Well Dad doesn't, neither does Lucille, Brad does but I doubt he would share with her. I don't have enough to support myself, let alone someone else." By this time a few more potential customers have started milling into the store. Three real live people (including Graeme) makes it a good day for selling things. "So are you going to buy something? I made those keychains, they're five dollars each."

"You got it right the first time," Graeme responds, with a bit of a half-smile, half-shrug. "I was actually thinking about buying those earrings that I'd looked at. There's a girl I need to apologise to, pretty much, and I think she might like them." And then his brow is furrowing in thought for a moment, as he walks over to the area where the earrings were, picks them up, and walks back over to the counter, setting them down, a pair of silver filigree dangles, the filigree forming a small flower.

She said Brad, how many of those can there be that are famous, and two and two together would prompt Graeme to think that her brother — and therefore his cousin — is Brad Russo. More surprise family, but he keeps his mouth shut, picking up one of the keychains as well. Five dollars is not a huge expense to him, and it's the least he can do. "I don't know, do you think she'd like them, or would it be more of giving her the wrong impression? I mean, she's a friend, honest, but it's awkward."

"If you're not trying to give that impression, you should stay away from jewelry." The advice is sound, after all breach of contract lawsuits happen every day. "Unless…." Delia grabs the earrings and the keychain and puts the earrings into the shrunken zombie head, adorning it. "You do that. It'll be like, 'here's a shrunken zombie head keychain. oh look it has earrings you can wear too!'"

Without waiting for Graeme to agree, she begins ringing the sale into the register and boxing up the gift. "That'll be fifty two dollars and thirty seven cents."

The zombie head is given an interesting glance, but well, Graeme's not in the biggest of moods to argue, overall. If nothing else, he'll find a classroom at one of the schools that he's teaching at, and it'll make interesting decoration for the sixth-graders. Instead, he reaches into his pocket and pulls out his wallet.

"Right then," and the wallet flips open, three twenties extracted carefully such that the other contents of his wallet could be anything, and put on the counter. "'Fraid I don' have the change, but. And no, I'm not trying to give that impression, that's part of the problem in the first place." Except that when he's not outright talking about admiring men's asses in sparkly thongs, or other such similar topics, it's nearly impossible to tell that Graeme isn't straight. He's just too ambiguous for his own good.

"No worries, I have a whole cash register full of change," Delia announces as she makes her way there and gets out the right amount while placing the twenties into their slot. After placing it into his hand and presenting him with the bagged box of zombie head keychain complete with earrings, the woman steps back from the counter.

"I should get back to work though, if you leave your number, I'll see about calling sometime." There's no promise in that delivery, after all, the DNA test hasn't been performed yet.

Graeme nods, with a grin. A card is offered out, though it's a handwritten one rather than anything more fancy. "That'd be nice. I dunno, we could go to lunch or something, some time. My treat." Since he can. And then with that, the wallet is shoved back in his pocket, and the bag is picked up. "It was nice to meet you, Delia."

There's a slight pause given, but in the end, Graeme doesn't actually wait for her to respond before moving towards the door, and out into the street. It's a lot to think about. Surprise family, pretty much, and the fact that he's got a sneaking suspicion that one of those surprise family is the man that Elisabeth's going to have him working with when they start doing things. That could make it difficult. Difficult, but not impossible. A smile is spared for the young woman, and then Graeme's out the door and back onto the street.

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