Usual Enthusiasm


graeme2_icon.gif ygraine2_icon.gif

Scene Title Usual Enthusiasm
Synopsis Ygraine has more experience with Graeme's lack of connection to what is going on than most.
Date July 22, 2011

Skinny Brickfront: Endgame Safehouse

Not long after various people have filed in and out of the kitchen at around the time for lunch, Graeme's climbed the stairs to the main room of the safehouse, arriving as usual muttering something about peace and quiet and escaping the crowd of people at the bookstore, one hand going up to his head to rub at it and pausing to sit on a spool table. But even though he looks towards the kitchen, there doesn't seem to be any actually sign of the teacher going into the kitchen, his usual beeline for some sort of food abandoned or forgotten. Instead, he finds one of the camp chairs, semi-obliviously, picks it up to move towards an out of the way corner of the room to read, messenger bag simply unceremoniously dropped on the floor next to him as soon as he's pulled out a book. Usual, except that for anyone paying enough attention to see the lack of him going for the kitchen, not.

When the temperature of the air exceeds that of the body, Ygraine feels that even the maddest of dogs and Englishmen should avoid the noonday sun… and if at all possible, avoid its light and as much of its heat as can be managed. As a result, when she returns from her musical lunch with Devon and Jaiden, her first thought is to head upstairs to grab a few supplies and lose a layer of clothing, then hide in the comparative cool of the basement.

On her way back down, however, she spots the distracted-looking man, slowing and then coming to a halt as she peers quizzically at him.

Graeme looks up, book folding down on his lap so that attention can be paid to greeting Ygraine. "Hey," he says. There's no water bottle, either, something else that Graeme does tend to have any time he's in the safehouse, or for that matter, anywhere, but it seems to have been just about as forgotten as lunch or food. "How're you?" There's genuine warmth in the drawl for greeting the Briton, distracted though he may be. "Somehow, no matter how much I'm here, I always seem to miss running into you."

"I'm a paranoid recluse and insomniac, who spends a great portion of her time underground setting up fall-back positions and scouting escape and surveillance routes", the Briton responds, tone dry. "Are you all right? You seem… pensive."

"Wha?" The question comes without real pause. "Yeah, fine." For whatever value of fine may be, the teacher's been known to say fine when he is, and been known to say fine when he's been stabbed through the shoulder by Sylar. Without very much differentiation between the two, no less. "Just a headache or something. I dunno." Graeme shrugs, stretching his arms over his head for a moment. "There were a lot of people in the bookstore, I thought I'd head over here for a while, see how everyone's doing."

Frowning a touch, Ygraine nods slowly. "Are you 'fine' in the same way that saw you wind up getting negated so that you'd stop crippling yourself with how 'fine' you were? Or are you actually healthy this time, rather than just ignoring symptoms until they come close to killing you?"

Bookmark is slid into place and the book fully closed in his lap, before Graeme looks up at Ygraine, mouth in a faint line as he tries to figure out the answer. Eventually, though, he shrugs. "I have a headache," he admits, slowly. "I don't get headaches, but it isn't bad, I don't think." Another shrug, before he squints his eyes shut and rubs his forehead. "Not that I can tell."

"Ever been hung-over?", Ygraine asks. "That sort of stretched, tense feeling inside your skull? Is it like that? Quite possibly accompanied by your tongue tasting a bit odd and some aches in your muscles?"

"You're going to laugh, and possibly call me straight-edged," Graeme responds, "but I've never been hung over at all. Aside from two beers in college once or twice, I haven't even drank since before I manifested, even. I don't have an alcohol tolerance to match the rest." But he nods. "But yes, kind of like that."

A low sigh, and Ygraine closes her eyes for a few moments. "And when did you last have something to drink? Pure water, by preference."

There's that contortion of expression and then he shrugs. "If I say earlier this morning, am I getting lectured?" Though it seems as if Graeme's already starting to realise that that might be the cause of the headache.

"Unless I'm very much mistaken, what you're feeling are the meninges", Ygraine informs him. "As most people with a shred of education or film lore now know, the brain itself cannot directly feel pain. However, a variety of things attached to it most certainly can. The membranes that hold your brain in place within the skull, and provide it with a kind of suspension system, can be induced to dry out. That's what excessive alcohol does - and what happens when you sweat fluid out of your body and don't replace it."

"You also get some other interesting effects. Deprive yourself of water long enough and your liver enters an emergency mode. Alters demands upon your body's systems to buy you more time before you die of thirst. One of the recommended methods for dealing with a water-scarce situation is to drink nothing for the first day, to push yourself into that altered state."

"But none of that is meant to be done by people in a normal situation, let alone an active one. You've been wandering around in temperatures of thirty eight degrees in the shade, and you've not been drinking. Your body just tolerates stress, it doesn't negate it, does it? You've pushed yourself to the stage where your brain is quite literally being stretched and your internal systems are starting to go into energy-saving mode to try to keep you alive a bit longer."

"I didn't mean to?" Graeme offers, starting to push himself up out of the chair to go towards the kitchen. Where water is, amongst other things. "Yeah." There's no actual reduction in pace, though, and soon enough Graeme returns with a few water bottles, cracking the first one open to take a slow sip, but not sitting down yet. "I didn't. I just don't notice things as much, or necessarily notice," there's a pause, and the teacher gives the Briton a grin, "any of that. I can tolerate more stress than most people, too, in some cases, but."

"I bet that you went out without a hat, as well", Ygraine disapprovingly informs the man. "It used to be believed that the primary function of the brain was to cool the blood, because heat entered and left the head so readily. I'd guess that you not only deprived your body of water, but heated it up as well."

In fact, Graeme looks down at his feet a moment, and nods. "Yeah. Pretty much," he admits. "I wanted to get out before there was more of a crowd at the store, so I grabbed my skateboard and some stuff, and went." Which means, of course, that he made his way to the safehouse entirely by skateboard and bus, rather than driving, as well, and there's no hat that belongs to the teacher in sight, at the very least. The first empty water bottle is set down and Graeme opens a second one, now finding that he's thirsty overall, and there's a half-sheepish glance cast towards Ygraine. "Thanks."

"Don't drink too much too fast. You might find it rebounding. Or just going straight through you", Ygraine cautions. "And if you used your ability, you could probably drink enough to put yourself into hydrostatic shock. But…." She shakes her head. "If you're going to be at risk of doing this sort of thing, it might be worthwhile investing in some of the products used by professional endurance athletes to rehydrate while in the middle of an event."

Another nod, and Graeme only takes a few sips from the second bottle before perching on the edge of the spool table. "Most of the time I don't forget," he says, quiet. "I mean, I know that I have relatively few signals for most things comparatively to most people. There was an interesting bet in college on whether I'd notice injury in the middle of a game, once, or just keep playing. It's been this way half my life, usually I'm just … more mindful. Sometimes I find myself wishing it were something I could turn on or off." There's a grin, at that, and another shrug. "Half my life and I still don't know most of how it works."

"How things work, most people are bloody clueless about", Ygraine responds immediately. "My own ability makes most sense if I manipulate things that aren't even proven to exist. Which makes the whole question of how I manipulate their interaction with physical objects - or more specifically how I alter objects in a manner that changes the behaviour of the theorised particles - rather moot. And my ability has more of a sound theoretical basis than many I've encountered."

Graeme nods. "Yeah, but sometimes I'd think that after half my life I'd manage to not do things like this," he grumbles, quietly. "I just feel kind of dumb afterwards. Or like I should have realised that I can push it even further on anything, but it will be at the expense of something else, like my ability to mentally cope with anything." There's another faint shrug, before Graeme picks up the water bottle. "I should eat, too, or something, even if I'm not really hungry, I suppose."

"By the time that anyone realises they're thirsty, they're already starting to be dehydrated", Ygraine assures Graeme. "And something like a bowl of soup might well do you good, if you can bear hot food."

The look Graeme gives the Briton is at least part of the way to 'are you insane'. "Hot soup?" Really. "I suppose, maybe. I'll heat a few cans and go hide in the basement, or something, I guess."

"You'd body's response should be to take heat out of the core of your body and cool your blood at the surface. The theory is that you wind up cooler after a hot drink, overall." Ygraine shrugs. "Not something I've really tried myself, I admit."

Graeme nods. "I guess that makes sense. It's not like we have a shortage of soup, either," he says. "Considering I didn't feel interested enough in the second round of breakfast and that was the last time I ate too." At least now, though, the teacher seems to have gotten at least a bit of appetite and desire for water back, and he pushes himself to his feet, moving to give Ygraine a gentle half-hug. "Don't be a stranger, 'kay?" comes the drawled words accompanying it.

In this heat, hugs are not exactly top of Ygraine's list of desires. But she accepts the gesture, and even musters a gentle smile after it. "I shouldn't be too hard to find. For now, however, I want to find the coolest spot I possibly can."

Graeme grins. "Yeah. That's probably wise. I should probably get food, but," a shrug, and there does seem to be at least some improvement in the level of attention Graeme's affording to things, "I'll see you around." The empty water bottles are picked up to go back to the pile in the kitchen to be cleaned and refilled, and Graeme disappears towards the kitchen with most of the usual vigour reserved for the beeline he makes for food.

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