The Rest of Us


devon2_icon.gif graeme2_icon.gif

Scene Title The Rest of Us
Synopsis A skateboarding lesson turns into unfortunately more than some people earning a bad name for themselves.
Date September 13, 2011

A skatepark

It's a sunny day, and unseasonably warm for the middle of September. A fine afternoon setting for a trip to the park.

Mostly vacant, as far as can be seen at a glance, a teenager and older male are the only two actively around. The swings and jungle gym stand empty, these days children don't go to the parks alone, especially not ones that are more run down and likely needing a tetanus shot just by looking at it. But the skateboarding ramps are being used by those two figures.

Devon, in board shorts and a long-sleeved t-shirt is on his board for the moment. The wheels cut over the pavement toward a sloping structure. With knees slightly bent, a foot drops to push himself forward and gain a little momentum. Concentration is plain on his features, when the skateboard starts up the incline, he rides it out half way before losing a measure of control. The board slides out from under his feet and it's on a knee and a hip that he slides back to level ground.

Graeme chuckles, and from where he had been, pushes himself over to offer the teenager a hand up. "You need to lean forward more, when you're going up," Graeme says. "Otherwise, you'll just keep falling backwards every time there's a slope, and then how would you get anywhere that isn't absolutely flat?" Eyebrows raise, and once the teenager is on his feet again, Graeme is pushing away in a slow, lazy circle to give Devon space to try again. "Try again, or I'll start showing off, or something."

The hand up is accepted, Devon climbing to his feet. He brushes a hand over his hip and knee before turning to find his skateboard. "I was leaning forward," he retorts, taking a few steps from the ramp and toward where his board rests at the foot of another incline. "Besides, it isn't like you need an excuse to show off, you'd do it anyway." He puts his foot on the board and gives a kick against the ground, making a slow arc to approach the incline again. Another scuff of rubber against pavement draws him closer, a lean in the other direction centering him more on the rise.

Abandoned though the skatepark may be, it's not silent. The sounds of the city surround it, and so it's easy enough to miss the sounds of others who may choose to claim the skatepark and the rest of the surroundings as their own, although less easy to miss the sounds of yelling and jeering, even if it's distant.

But Graeme misses it, at least for the moment, and there's no one in sight during the time that he skates over to a rail, jumping both up to it, and then off of it in a 360° nosegrab before landing cleanly on the ground to continue to skate down in a lazy circle. As if Devon's words only further prompted him to show off, though the trick was relatively simple. "Better," Graeme says, watching Devon the whole time, before once again going over to join the teenager, and then pausing, on edge somehow, one finger held up as if for Devon to be quiet.

While Graeme performs tricks, Devon's task is to make it to the top of the rise. Which he does in part. Three quarters of the way up his board slips, and it's only with fast hands that he grabs it and faster feet that keep him from eating pavement. He's just about to return the board to the ground and start over again when the teacher comes over. By his expression, caught between a grin and long-suffering annoyance, he's expecting another teasing remark. That falters, turning into a faint frown by the older man's expression.

Graeme shakes his head a moment, and the finger remains up, silencing the boy, but Graeme himself remains silent, board kicked up into his hand after a moment. And the sounds of jeering and yelling are closer now, unmistakeable, and a grimace forms on the teacher's face. "I think it's time we found a new skatepark," he says, in a low whisper, right before a group of three women, heavily tattooed, rounds the corner into the park, followed by a couple of men skunking along almost like lapdogs.

"What's that, girls?" comes the question, from the one in the middle, the smallest of them, with black hair that's cut in a bob next to her chin. "We just got here and they want to leave?" How she heard the comment that Graeme made is anyone's guess, but the part that matters is that somehow, she heard it, and she doesn't seem to be taking kindly. Neither do her companions, with the taller of the two brunettes eyeing Devon. "Dunno 'bout the bigger one, he looks young. But the smaller one's kinda pretty, we could keep 'em."

Fingers tighten around the edge of the board, grip adjusting until it's carried by the trucks. Devon continues watching Graeme until the man suggests leaving, then, still silent, takes a quick look first one way and then the other. He misses the group to begin with, having chosen the direction they weren't to scan first, but his second pass takes his gaze right to them. "The circus in town," he asides in a low tone inflecting a question, nodding his agreement to finding a new park. "Yeah, let's go. There's a place closer to home anyway, and Mom'll want me back soon anyway."

"Yeah, we know how your mom gets on days I've got visitation," Graeme responds, effortlessly, turning to start walking towards the exit from the park that the small gang didn't come in from, or at least towards the fence. Which they can jump if necessary. "I promised I'd have you home by curfew, she'll kill me if I don't, right?" A frown furrows on his brow further, though, and half of his glance is kept on the women, and their lapdogs.

It seems that Devon's whispered comment is repeated by the black-haired woman for the benefit of her friends who can't hear him, because in return, there's simply more jeering, with the two who flank the leader starting to discuss that they'll show the kid what type of freak show they really are, once they're done with the real man. And they're left behind, squabbling, as the leader then walks up, sidling next to Graeme and Devon. "You sure you want to leave?" she says, eyebrows raised catlike, her voice almost humming. "After all, it's gonna be fun. We'll have a party, then you gents can go home, or whatever you want. After all, dontchya think the circus knows how to throw a party?"

"Both of us," Devon corrects, turning in time with Graeme. "You remember last time I was late?" He doesn't elaborate, the tale left up to the imagination, which can only guess how bad it was by the wince the teenager expresses. He keeps an eye turned toward Graeme, trusting the older man to warn him if something comes their way. No need for both to be eyeing the tattooed group. The teen looks up when the leader makes her way in, a brow raising slightly. "Yes s— er… Ma'am. I bet they can, but…" He exaggerates a shrug. "Mom wants me home."

Graeme's wince almost equals Devon's, if most likely for different reasons, and then, he's dropped his pace just a little bit. "I think you want to leave us alone," he says in response, hand coming out of his pocket. "And I think the other way around, too. You want me to leave you alone, rather than any number of ways that this could turn into a lot of trouble for you, for harassing my son." The words come, confident, steady, before Graeme simply drops the skateboard, pinning it to the ground with one foot, and turns around to grab the woman by the collar, when she's on his side once again. "Because unlike some people I have no problems hitting girls."

"My, my," is the black-haired woman's response, despite the situation. Yet none of her lapdogs or cohorts seem to be eager to come to her aid, at least, not anymore. The man who had been approaching slinks backwards, almost to the point of running out of the park. "He's got teeth, it'd seem." She shakes her head, beginning to struggle before Graeme throws her backwards several feet. "I'd hoped it wouldn't come to this. Playing the 'hitting a girl' card." The untrained audiokinetic smiles, feral almost, pulling a gun out from her waistband. It's pointed, for the moment, at Devon, with no uncertainty in the grasp. "I don't mind shooting boys, either."

With a sigh, Devon stops when Graeme does, gaze swiveling between the teacher and the woman. The wince isn't feigned when Graeme grabs the woman's collar, and he seems almost to the point of protest. He has a problem with hitting girls. "It's not worth it," he says, turning toward the older man after tattoo lady has been pushed, brows pinching together in a plead to be understood. "Dad. Let's just go, okay?" He claps a hand on the teacher's shoulder to turn him back toward the exit, a glance going over his shoulder to the woman with an apology poised. It dies unspoken, eyes dropping to the gun. "Maybe it is worth it sometimes."

The gun swings to point at Graeme, after a long moment, and the teacher grimaces, still, rather than running, or presenting a moving target. "I really did say you don't want to bother us," he says, in the direction of the woman, one hand creeping towards a pocket. After all, the teacher has a gun too, but he's neither quick to draw it, nor quick to use it, and in the face of a gun pointed at him, it seems safer, perhaps, not to turn this into a two-way standoff. One foot rolls the skateboard back and forth, and he stands there, inching forward and away from Devon.

"Methinks he didn't understand, girls," comes the jeering cry, before a loud crack signifies that the gun has been fired. No, not at Devon, but at Graeme, and there is a moment where Graeme stands there, before his hand moves from his pocket, up to the outer edge his shoulder, up to where there is a welling of red through the teeshirt and searing pain where the bullet struck. His head tilts to Devon, gesturing for the teen to get out, and now, though no words are uttered as the teacher tentatively rolls his shoulders, straightens again. "Maybe they'll understand now. They wandered into our party, they's gonna stay." Satisfied that her point has been made, though, she no longer is pointing the gun at anyone, simply smiling and watching.

Being shot at has left a number of side effects on Devon, not the least of which is getting out of the way. He jerks at the report, as though it were him that were shot, he may have been expecting it to be him that was hit, however the movement draws him away from the line of fire and makes him a smaller target. Taking in a shaking breath, he glances in Graeme's direction, his expression going cold when it's the older man that's been hit. "Graeme," the boy yells, dropping the pretense of a father-son outing and turning on the woman with the gun. Two strides carries him to the woman and he throws himself at her, hands reaching to take control of the weapon.

"I'm fine, Dev," Graeme calls back, still knowing better than to take his hand from where the wound is for the moment, skateboard abandoned to follow Devon.The taunts and jeers are over, and the lapdogs have all but abandoned the gang as the gun gets fired. It's easily enough taken and scattered to all directions of the field, but the woman fights back, with a stance that's almost unshakeable and fury behind most of the blows that land on the teenager.

Graeme makes it another couple of steps, aiming to pull the teen off of the woman, or vice versa, a grimace bitten back from actually showing on his face. "C'mon, kid, let's get out of here," he says. "Before…" anything else happens, but the words are cut off when he's flanked by one of the two brunettes, distracted from his words in his need to defend himself. The shorter woman is not nearly the fighter that their leader is, though, backing off soon after she realises that while Graeme may be injured, he is by no means either down, or out.

The seasoned fighter Devon isn't, but he's found himself in rougher spots. Or he'd like to think. The woman seems to actually have him more on guard than Graeme has even when the anti has been upped between the two in practice. He takes two solid strikes to the body amidst others that more graze and stumble his stance, the force of those two knocking him back and into the woman confronting the teacher. "C'mon," he snaps at the tattooed lady. "So sick of you freaks coming around and thinking you can just claim whatever you want." A blind elbow strikes at the woman as the teenager pushes himself back toward the leader woman. "You're giving the rest of us a bad name!"

Attention shifts from keeping Graeme from interfering to Devon. The brunette his elbow struck grabs for his arm, pulling him backwards roughly, then restraining him while the leader stands up, taking a few steps forward before a full-force blow lands squarely on Devon's jaw, and another on his shoulder, barely missing the teenager's collarbone. "Mouthy little bastard," the woman snaps, going to reach for a gun that is no longer there. "The rest of us? There is no us in this fucking hellhole," she continues. "Just every woman for herself in this fucking patriarchy."

Then Devon's freed once more, but Graeme isn't giving the teenager time to keep at it. "Sometimes," the teacher says, reaching with his hand on the injured arm to Devon's shoulder despite the wince the motion provokes, "it's not worth it. I think we can get out of here now." When Graeme backs up, the gun he now holds in said hand is in clear view, pointed at the woman who shot him, and he continues backing up, towards where the skateboards are still laying, abandoned. "Let's get home," Graeme finishes.

Pulling his head back to center after the strike knocks it to the side, Devon flinches with the second lands. Fingers tingle briefly from the force of the strike. He pulls his shoulder from Graeme's grasp, still focused on the woman. "No wonder you gotta fight for what you want. Ugly and a cesspool of a mouth," he calls back. He turns briefly enough to shove the second woman a step away from him. "Keep it up and I'll kick you in your ovaries," he bites out, his gaze snapping back to the first woman.

Graeme just frowns, but he's not going to keep trying to interfere. Instead, he makes his way to be able to grab the skateboards. Both his and Devon's. The teacher is moving only marginally slower than he usually does, but he is moving carefully, one hand keeping pressure on the wound.

The woman just snorts at Devon, and with a look from her leader, the teenager is knocked down from behind, eating pavement once again and without the help of a skateboard this time. "Don't say things you can't do, little boy," she responds, stepping over, and then on to Devon. Something snaps in his arm and wrist, underneath her boot, before the brunette kicks him in the ribs. "Empty threats are pathetic." A nod of agreement from the leader. "You just don't know a real woman when you see one," she says. "Too spoiled by that pretty face of yours." She shakes her head, walking over to pull her underling away. "Get out, why don't you. This is my park."

Hands bounce against the pavement, palms skidding as momentum doesn’t allow for Devon to keep from sprawling completely. He grunts as pain racks anew through his already bruised jaw as it strikes against the pavement. "You have no idea what I can do," he counters, just beginning to pick himself up when the boot crushes down on his wrist and arm. Pain blossoms with such force he's unable to speak or cry out, the sound of cracking bone loud in his ears. The cry comes when he's kicked in the ribs, a short bark of a sound that muffles the creak and movement of bone. With shoulders and face still on the pavement, one knee gets under the boy enough to pull his undamaged arm inward protectively over his ribs, the other left out for fear of moving it. "You'd be pretty too, if not for those tattoos," he whimpers, keeping his eyes squeezed closed.

It's not long before Graeme returns to where Devon is, kicking both skateboards alternately in front of him. The gun that he has pointed at the women has them backing off, backing away, and most of all silent, not wanting to bet their lives on whether or not he can still shoot with that hand. "Devon," the teacher says. "C'mon, get up. Get up, they're gone and we've got to get home or somewhere before curfew happens." He bites his lower lip. "I'd help you up, but. You have to get up."

The boy listens to the sounds of movement, foot steps moving away and those coming near. The wheels of the skateboards approaching. When Graeme speaks, he opens his eyes again, the hand that had been holding his ribs moving down to push himself upward. It's slow going, painful, his breath hitching at every slight shift of his damaged arm and wrist. He gets to his knees, then unsteadily upright on his feet from there, a glance shifting toward the teacher. He nods slightly, lips pressing together, cradling the broken arm within the unbroken against his chest.

Graeme's own skateboard is pinned stationary beneath his feet, and there's a grimace, as the boy gets up. "Pick up your board, and c'mon," he says. "And I hope to hell you have an idea of where we can get cleaned up, because …" the teacher shrugs. He doesn't know, really. "Liz's going to break glass, or something." He shakes his head. "But really. C'mon. Let's get out of here." The teacher begins a slow pace, out of the skatepark, with frequent pauses and rests, keeping to the side streets, wary.

Devon casts a look down at his board, almost considering leaving it there. Almost. Biting down on his lower lip, he stoops to pick the board up, fingers curling around the truck as before. "I don't know," he manages quietly, another look sliding toward Graeme. He swallows back a rising lump as he falls in a little behind Graeme. "She's…" He doesn't finish the thought, trailing off with a tight exhale. He lapses into a silence, save for shoes scuffing the pavement.

It’ll be a long walk in silence to wherever they end up for the evening.

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