The Test Lied


graeme_icon.gif keira_icon.gif

Scene Title The Test Lied
Synopsis After seven years apart, brother and sister finally reunite, and things have changed a lot since they last met.
Date February 26, 2018

Park Slope

He's still always on time. Right now, Graeme's sitting on what's been cleared of an overgrown bench and throwing a ball for a blue Great Dane, all paws and head and still with the gangly awkwardness of late puppyhood. And he hasn't changed much, either, though there's some flecks of white in his hair, a few lines around his eyes. As the dog runs after the ball, Graeme undoes the top two buttons of the light pink pinstripe dress shirt he's wearing, undoes the buttons on the shirt sleeves to cuff them. His face is impassively calm, but from the way he's watching the edges of the clearing, maybe not as calm as he outwardly seems.

Punctuality was never much of an issue for Keira. It must run on the Ryans side of the family; the Fionn side, at least after Grandpop Fionn died, didn't really give much of a shit about being on time. Or anything other than their next buzz, really. The tiny gangster has changed a lot — but not really. She got rid of her gauged ears (and apparently got them fixed to look like normal ears), and her hair is kept in a platinum blonde pixie cut. She certainly doesn't show skin like she used to — a black turtleneck and black skinny jeans, a long black trench coat, gloves, and boots cover her, along with a pair of sunglasses that conceal her blue eyes. She's almost unrecognizable.

A cigarette hanging out of the corner of her mouth, Keira walks along, a rusty tan Molosser dog at her side that, while shorter than Thor, surely weighs as much if not more than the Great Dane just by sheer muscle tone. She spots Graeme and his dog first, and leans down, patting the dog once on the head while issuing a quiet command. She's just as nervous as her brother likely is, but she's just as outwardly calm as him as well. "Graeme," she calls, raising one hand toward her brother in greeting. As if this isn't the first time she's seen him in nearly seven years…

As Keira appears in the clearing, there's a brief whistle with an uptick and the puppy, ball acquired, bounds back over to Graeme, who clips the leash back to the dog's collar before the well behaved dog can get any ideas about being less well behaved. "Hey," he offers, pushing to his feet as he wraps the leash around his hand a few times, murmurs 'heel', and although there's a few fidgety steps forward from the puppy, Thor doesn't approach either Keira or her dog. Keira gets a look, up and down, and then there's a slight exhale. "It's good to see you. I'm — I'm glad you're okay."

The dog at Keira’s side is quite well trained. With a single motion from Keira, the dog obediently sits, calmly watching his master — he is rather obviously trained as a guard dog, but Kaang is so casual about it that he can pass for just being a friendly and well behaved dog. Graeme knows better — Odin was trained to protect, and he took his job seriously until the end. The leash, which is really only there for the comfort of others, is let down to its full length.

Then, the tiny blonde steps forward. First, she greets Thor, crouching down and offering her hand out to him, a smile on her face. “Good t’see Odin left a lasting impression on you.” Assuming the puppy is open to it, she gently ruffles the large creature’s head. She always did have a soft spot for enormous dogs.

Finally, she stands, bringing her gaze to her brother's face. So much to say, things that she definitely didn't cover on her sparse phone calls to him over the years. She lifts a hand, pushing her sunglasses up to the top of her head, and smiles sheepishly up at her brother. “Same goes t’you. Glad you made it through all of the shit this country’s been through in one piece.” She was in Mexico doing other things, so.

There's a bit of a grin, and Graeme murmurs 'friend' under his breath as Keira approaches the dog, which is the permission that Thor needs to try and see how much he can climb Keira, lick her face, all of the above. "Thor, this is my sister Keira," he tells the dog. "This guy's Thor. Got him when I moved back here." Puppies and attention, but it's clear that there's a good amount of training and work that he's put in there as well. Graeme just grins and nods. "He was a good dog," he says, teeth catching his lower lip for a moment. "And I don't know if I'd have gotten through the war… through everything, without him."

He lifts his shoulders. "More or less," he says. "Some days are better than others. Glad you didn't get blown up or anything."

"So, you're back for good, or just for a while, or…?" The question trails off, and Graeme moves to hug his little sister, carefully, half awkwardly. After all, the first time they met she pulled a gun on him. After all, a lot has happened in the interim. "Welcome to New York… or what's left of it."

The small woman can’t help but laugh as Thor lets down his guard and licks her face — she wraps her arms around the giant dog’s neck and offers him a hug, a large smile on her face. “Man, when everything is shit, these guys are always there for you, y’know?” She plants a kiss on Thor’s cheek, then stands. “This handsome guy back here,” she gestures toward her dog, “is Kaang. South African Boerboel. My best friend gave ‘im to me when he was a puppy.”

She responds to the next question while staring lovingly at Kaang, who is being a Very Good Boy. “Pretty sure I’m sticking around for a while. Cabo was great, but I missed m’home, you know?”

She turns to look at Graeme just as he’s moving in to hug her. Oh shit. Oh shit. She wanted to actually tell him about certain things that have surfaced since she last saw him, but that plan is apparently out the window. “Wait, don’t —” She begins to protest too late, as Graeme’s cheek brushes against hers.

Do that ” This comes through in Graeme’s own voice as, just for a split second, Graeme is suddenly hugging himself, dressed in Keira’s too-tight clothing. Then, just as suddenly, he’s back to hugging his sister. “ yet.” She frowns. Well. While she’s in there, she returns Graeme’s hug, before stepping back rather abruptly. “Yeah…about that…”

Blink. Blink. Double-take, and Graeme looks at his sister and gestures to the section of wall that he'd been sitting on. "C'mon," he offers to her, before sitting down. Thor gets the ball set down at Graeme's feet and the puppy settles down, and Graeme nods.

He waits for her to have sat down before he continues. "You alright?" That's the first question. "What was that?" That's the second question, although there's no harshness to it.

With a motion, Kaang joins Keira as she sits herself on the wall, pulling out another cigarette to replace the one she put out just before reuniting with her brother. She lights this up, taking a draw, before turning to frown over at Graeme.

“Yeah, m’fine.” She watches her brother thoughtfully for a long moment, turning over thoughts and explanations and responses and everything of the sort in her head. “So th’test I took back when I registered the first time lied,” she murmurs, a sheepish smile turning the corners of her lips upward. “And, ironically enough, I’m an Evo, too, as y’can tell. Found out on my 30th birthday, no less.”

She glances down to her gloved hands. “I change into other people, is the easiest way to explain it.” She turns her gaze back up again, looking at her brother. “I touch someone, and I turn into them for a while, depending on how long I touch ‘em. Longest I’ve gone is, like, twenty hours?” She shrugs. “Only works if someone doesn’t have a power, though. When I touch other Evos, I just kinda flicker, then change back, like you jus’ saw. No clue why it works that way.”

She spreads her hands, then, grinning sheepishly at Graeme. “Surprise?”

There's a nod as she explains, and there's a similar small smile on his face when she finishes. "I don't know whether to say congratulations," Graeme says, "or I'm sorry?"

"Or both," he says. There's a moment of pause and he continues, "It's actually kind of a cool trick, when you think about it." He lifts his shoulders in a shrug. "I'm glad that you're back in town," he admits. "I missed you. Worried about you." Not that he's ever admitted it on the phone, at least not outright.

“I was always kinda jealous of Evos, so I guess congratulations are the way to go? Makes dating difficult,” She smirks. “I've had a good five years to learn how to cope with it, in any case.” The tiny shapeshifter grins faintly over at her brother.

“S’useful. I used it to…well, to grow my business down in Cabo.” She grins. “Easy to get lost in a crowd, too. I’m like the best spy in the world, or I could be if I wanted.” She pauses. “Being a dude is interestin’, too. Took me a while to figure out how to walk without hurting myself."

The softer note prompts a smile on the gangster’s face. “It's good to be back. And I might've missed you too. And maybe worried about you. Don't tell anyone though.”

There's a snort at that last bit about being a dude, and Graeme shakes his head for a brief moment. "And ruin your hardcore reputation as a bad-ass… whatever it is you're doing these days?" Graeme asks Keira. "I mean, even the whole," he gestures at the black coat, "look. It works for it."

He then follows that question up, quickly, with, "Whatever that business is? Don't tell me, since I'm theoretically a law-abiding citizen of the Safe Zone more often than not."

Another pause. "I'm pretty well single these days," he notes, "but."

There's that but. "I've got a daughter, she's five now." He'd mentioned it, although when he'd mentioned it in the phone call there was more existential freak out and less parental instinct, and it's the latter that's obvious as he speaks. "With a friend of mine from before the war, but that's all it is. Friends, good ones, but. And everyone else…" he shakes his head, bites his lower lip, swallows back a moment of emotion welling up. "Little simpler this way," is the excuse he offers.

“Badass Business Woman. Of sorts.” Keira smirks over to her brother, the end of her cigarette lighting up as she draws the smoke in, before it comes out again in a slow-rolling cloud. “No plans on tellin’ you what kind of business, of course. You don’t worry your pretty face about that one.” She chuckles softly, turning her gaze down to the half-smoked cigarette.

“I’m single too. Hard to hold down a significant other when you turn into them every time you touch ‘em. Non-Evos are right out of the dating pool, too, unless they dig the notion of fuckin’ themselves.” Possibly a bit on the TMI side, but it’s true. “Don’t really like turnin’ into people if I’m not tryin’ to, so I don’t do the touch thing much these days.”

The mention of her niece prompts a smile from Keira, and she takes another long drag of the cigarette before tossing it to the ground, smothering it under her heel. “Bet she’s a kickass little kid.” She leans down, patting Kaang. “I would totally love to meet her, though I also would completely understand if you or her mom wouldn’t want her hanging out with the likes a’me. I’m not exactly the most kid-friendly person by nature, y’know?”

There's a brief smile. and Graeme says, quietly, "Heh, of course." Thor continues to chew on the ball, tail wagging. "I mean, everything is more shades of grey these days anyway. Even here. But still." He continues, "We'll see how it works out. I'm not going to say no. At least not outright."

A long moment of pause and Graeme looks at Keira. "You could always date someone whose ability is power negation," he suggests, cracking a bit of a grin. "Then you wouldn't have to worry about that. Though it's pretty uncommon, from what I understand." Brows furrow. "Which is good? Mostly? Running into negators is a pain for me."

“Eh, Evos are okay enough. I just flicker.” She grins. “It’s hilarious when I get someone really tall or really big. Like, if they’re more than a foot taller or more than a hundred pounds heavier than me, I jus’ don’t grow.” She messes with her short-cropped blonde hair idly, poking a toe gently against Kaang’s leg.

“I touched this guy who was like six five. I became a very short, etremely buff version of him. Touch someone who is overweight, and I just become a skinnier, sexier version of ‘em. Though if they’re too tall, I get scary skinny.” She pokes her belly. “Same the other way ‘round. Foot shorter or too much lighter ‘n me, and I just…change without getting that much smaller.”

She glances to Graeme, grinning. “I’m glad you’re doin’ good, man. You seem happy. I hope you’re happy.” The mention of a negator prompts a wistful smile. “Man, that’d be awesome. Touchin’ someone without turnin’ into them, I’d love that.” She grins. “Wishful thinking, though.”

"Most of the time, at least," Graeme agrees, and grins."I knew a negator, once… actually, I knew two of them because I just had that much bad luck. One was married, though." He shakes his head, and takes the other end of the toy to wrestle with Thor for a little bit. "I'm glad you're back in New York."

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