The Importance Of


devon2_icon.gif graeme2_icon.gif

Scene Title The Importance Of
Synopsis What begins as a conversation ends with several important points being brought up, between teacher and teen.
Date June 16, 2011

Skinny Brickfront : Endgame Safehouse

Graeme comes and goes from the safehouse, and after the last time with Remi having seen his nightmare, after the cheesecake and some hanging out, he'd fled. Not quite so fast as that, but it's taken quite a few days for him to come back to again. Mostly quieter now, having spent the days in between distracting himself with work, with his boyfriend and the bookstore and all of those things, and the occasional feeling strange about how normal his life can still be at times.

Late evening, now, though, and Graeme's just arrived back at the safehouse for the night, backpack set at the corner of the common room, leaning against the wall pensively.

It's been a rough few days for everyone it seems. Hell, it's been a rough few weeks, months, even the last couple of years have been a trial. But less nebulously, the last couple of days have been really hard.

Devon had finally given in to Liz's promptings about sleeping and had quite literally crashed. He'd even obeyed her wishes, sleeping not on the roof nor in the basement since he'd decided he still needed space and time, and taken the offer of using the audiokinetic's sleeping bag instead. Which is why a sleepy, tousle headed boy exits the room shared by Elisabeth and Ygraine. With a yawn and a hand dragged over his head in some half-hearted attempt to put order into the mess, the teen crosses the hall and heads into the common room.

"Hey there sleepyhead," Graeme says, as far as greeting. It's teasing, a little, and he pauses from his daydreaming to bend down and dig through the backpack, pulling out a book, a larger work of fiction by the looks of it, offering it over to Devon. "It's the Mists of Avalon," he says. Larger is perhaps not really even the right word, the tome that Graeme is offering is easily twelve hundred pages long, likely with smaller print, hardbound with an ivory cover. "It's one of my favourites to read, Arthurian fiction, I figured I would bring it over here and all."

"I haven't gotten much chance to sit down and read, picked up more hours at Tartarus, looking at maybe a second job if I can find something that lets me work two or three overnight shifts a week somewhere." Stated more with the tone of someone who doesn't want to be bored than anything else, and perhaps hoping to avoid chastisement from the teenager over the second job thing.

"Shut up," Devon responds after a moment needed to register the voice. Despite the derisive words, it's fairly good natured. He ventures a couple of steps closer to the older man, eyes dropping to the cover of the proffered book. "I haven't read that in forever," he says, taking the novel. It's turned over in his hands, fingers brushing over the spine and front cover before he opens it to the first page of the story. "Why would you need a second job?" It's not chastisement, certainly not from this particular young man, but an honest question.

There's a bit of a pause, and Graeme leans against the wall again, bouncing on his heels. "The school year's over," he says quietly, the volume of his voice seeming to accentuate the usual drawl. "Out for the summer, and I didn't get a summer school position because I have no seniority whatsoever." Graeme declines to mention that it's the income from the two jobs that's by and large supporting the safehouse along with Jaiden's scavenging, and whatever Lene and JJ contribute.

There's a longer moment of silence, and then he continues. "I only sleep two hours a day, every other or every few days sometimes, always feels like there's not much to do for me. Ability and all. Even with here, and the time I spend skateboarding, and the time I spend with Aric when Aric's not working, I've got a lot of free time." Graeme shrugs. "I mean, I just want something else to do with my time, and I don't like touching any of my savings accounts. They're kinda sacrosanct."

"You sound like my dad," Devon points out, looking at Graeme again, indulging in a rare moment when he reflects on his parents. "They were big on saving and working." He regards the teacher for a moment longer, then closes the book and offers it back. "There's always dock work. Stuff there's usually all hours of the day and night. Or… I don't know. Warehouse maybe? Unless you wanted to risk getting into the government."

Graeme looks thoughtful. "Somehow, I don't think the government will let me any closer to a government job," he says, shaking his head. "And it would get me watched far too closely, really. If I did get the job, I wouldn't be able to do what I'm doing now, and this is too important to me. You're important, kiddo." There's a faint, content smile on his face, the unsaid part that Liz, Jaiden, Ygraine, even Remi and even Trask are important to him. The unsaid statement that he's not going to let anything get in the way of helping his friends at the safehouse.

"I still haven't heard anything about my vague inquiries into what it'd get to teach over in the schools over on Staten Island in their little ghetto there so I guess they're probably hand picking teachers, or something." Graeme stretches, arms above his head before they fold across his chest and he continues talking. "Warehouse and dock work, though, they like hiring part time people, where they don't have to give benefits, and something two to four nights a week would be good. I'm pretty sure it won't be hard to find, though. Just something I need to do."

"On the other hand," Devon muses, "they might hire you just to keep an eye on you. Which would in turn give us an edge and inside look." At a cost, goes unsaid. It'd be too dangerous for the teacher to make his visits to the safehouse. He moves on from his musings and gives a small shake of his head, brows drawing downward slightly. "I'm no one important, Graeme. Just a kid with a gun and hoping it'll somehow change the world."

Lifting the book again, so Graeme can take it, the teen's head cants just a little to one side. "You want to go into Eltingville? I think we should just tear down the fencing and let everyone out instead. Snipe the guards and infiltrate the command — administration — buildings. Place is probably run by Humanis First, we'd flush them out like rats and maybe have a clear shot at taking down some leadership." Devon, after laying out the idea, gives a shake of his head. "Just a kid with a gun. And a little fatalistic, too. Bet it's an idea they haven't considered yet."

"I'm sure it's run by Humanis First, the whole damn government is," Graeme responds, "but they need good teachers in there too. In fact, they need good teachers in there, even more then they do in the rest of the city, because of that. And no, we can get an inside look another way. We still have contacts, anyway. A few, at least, I'm not sure specifics." There's absolutely no uncertainty in his statement, and when he takes the book, it just gets put down on the nearest of the spool tables. Someone will read it, maybe even the teenager eventually. "You're my friend, Devon." He looks over at the teenager, trying to ascertain something, though what it is is uncertain. "And my friends are important, if only to me."

It's possible, Devon may make it around to reading the book, though he'd already read it once. Some books are worth reading a second or third time. But at the moment, a story isn't likely to hold his interest. Fatalistic is a good definition for how he's feeling. "I hate sitting and waiting. Especially since an attack like that could take them by surprise. Divide our efforts so we have one team cutting fences and escorting the campers out while the rest of us create a distraction." The boy can almost see it playing out in his mind; almost, because he knows nothing ever goes quite as planned.

A sigh follows, in turn chased by a pause. Devon's hands rub the last of the sleep from his face and his eyes tick toward the hall and the door to the room he shares with Graeme. "Melissa's been brought into the house, she's using my bed. I promised I'd keep her safe, keep her hidden from Heller and whoever else might be interested."

Graeme nods, subconsciously squaring his shoulders, bouncing on his heels a little as well. "Try not to let her go out to any more meetings with HF, or anything," he says. "Though I know, it wasn't your choice in the first place. I'm glad she's safe, I've been worried about her, especially the past week." He leans against the wall some more, arms uncrossed, hands shoved into pockets. It would seem that Graeme's on the more fidgety side tonight than usual, excess energy that at the end of their conversation will likely be burned off against the punching bag in the basement. "They haven't relented on looking for her. Every time I go into Tartarus there're people there enquiring into her whereabouts, I get to spend a few minutes answering questions and being worried and all of that."

”You’re not the only one who was worried,” Devon states quietly. “She just up and disappeared without any word to anyone. Not even me, for all she’d decided I’m her brother or whatever. Instead she takes off and is brought back by Kincaid.” The teen shakes his head slowly, only just keeping the discountenance from his expression. “I’m not planning on involving her in anything right now. I’m…”

The words trail off and the boy’s expression closes. His hands go into his pockets and he turns to enter the kitchen. Little sound follows, some scraping, the normal noises that relate to things being moved and eventually coffee being made. Whatever Devon had been about to say is buried in the task of readying the bitter black drink.

It doesn't take long for Graeme to follow, coming up with two coffee cups and the various things that they've got for doctoring the coffee with, though true half and half and true milk are both too dear for use in coffee at the safehouse. "Yeah, I know. I'll find her at some point. I think she'll probably want her space, I think we have a few unused spaces that aren't really all the way excavated as of yet, there's more rubble than the rooms we're using," he says. A pause, and then Graeme's teasing the teenager. "You are brewing enough for me, right?" He grins. "So for tonight I'll see if Jaiden minds if I crash with him, or if I crash with Liz and Ygraine or something, and then tomorrow I'll start work on expanding, a bit."

"I don't know what she wants," Devon says flatly, ignoring the teasing. "I'm just giving her space. I'm not… I can't… Be there right now. I don't think she wants me there anyway." There is enough coffee for both men, likely enough for one or two others as well, and once it's set to brewing, the teen distances himself from the gadget and folds his arms over his chest. "I'm taking up another watch tonight, with whoever's on. I'll find somewhere to sleep after where I won't be in anyone's way."

"I'll take part of it with you," Graeme says, quiet. It's not like he'll sleep overly long anyway, unless he takes one of the sedatives that he's still got, which he keeps in case of emergency, in case of needing the rest or needing the dreamless sleep that they provide. "And I'll go see her at some point, I guess. I don't know either, probably to be numb for a while. Maybe I'll see if she wants to talk to Trask, or something, it might help. He can actually be pretty good at listening." The teacher hands over a coffee cup, the red one, keeping the black one for himself, perhaps subconsciously trying not to encourage the teenager's black mood.

"Might as well," the teenager responds, unfortunately unable to mask the sardonic tones, "I'm obviously not able to do more for her than bring her here and hope to keep her out of Heller's hands." He takes the cup, turning it over in his hands before turning a dispassionate look to the coffee maker. He blows out a breath after a moment, stamping away the bleak mood until it's replaced with a literal numbness of his own. "Coffee ready," Devon asks quietly, changing the topic.

Graeme pauses, and doesn't change the topic, not quite yet at least. Instead, there are a few more quiet words offered, not without their own fair share of concern. "She cares about you, Devon, and she doesn't want to hurt you — and when she's emotional, sometimes, her ability can get a bit out of control, like a lot of them can. Liz makes things hum, and sometimes breaks glass, Mel's affects people near her. I think that might be at least part of why she went and disappeared, so as to not hurt people, with that." But then, he turns the switch on the coffeemaker that will release the pot, pouring coffee for both of them.

"I'm well aware of what Melissa's ability is," Devon responds in the same, near emotionless tones. "And I've been around here long enough to know when Liz is upset things rattle. It's not caring or… whatever. She left, she ran away and…" His eyes drop to the mug of coffee, watching the red lacquer inside steadily darken as it's filled. "I don't blame her for leaving. I wouldn't want to be around me either after… being the cause of…" The mug in his hand gives a shake, though from tremble or threat of ability he can't tell. Instead, the boy carefully lowers the mug onto a makeshift table then steps away from it, shoving his hands into his pockets.

The teacher shakes his head. "It's not your fault, Devon." Words that will probably never be repeated enough times. Gaze flicks to the teenager, but perhaps kindly, doesn't linger. Instead, Graeme simply finds another of the spool tables, perching on it, and drinks his coffee. Black, no sugar, no substitute creamer.

Jaw clenching, Devon's head shakes slightly. He swallows hard, eyes blinking back against a welling of wetness. "I'm… going to get ready for watch," he says, far from arguing, and voice strained against the emotion. "I…" Shaking his head, he pulls a hand free from its pocket to rub the back of his neck. Without looking toward the teacher again, he moves for the doorway, and the rest of the living space beyond the kitchen.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License