What You See


devon2_icon.gif graeme2_icon.gif remi_icon.gif

Scene Title What You See
Synopsis As powers expand and grow, Remi finds she's seeing more than she intends, or would even want.
Date June 13, 2011

Skinny Brickfront

The common area is quiet, with most everyone else having tasks to see to. It's the perfect setting for Devon, tired of staying closed in Graeme's room and having no reason to venture out. Nor was he feeling much like interrupting whoever's tending watch on the roof or practicing his firearms skills. Instead, he's seeing to matters of a more unknown variety. Sitting crosslegged on the floor, back to the wall beneath a window, his attention is fixed on a pen resting in his outstretched palm.

The boy watches the pen, resting in his opened palm. His tongue dabs at the split on his lower lip, fingers of his free hand curling into the denim of his jeans absently. The pen goes through its own exercises, lifting just a couple of inches upward then dropping back into his palm. Seconds, half a minute, passes before the action is repeated.

Quietly, the dark-haired woman makes her way down the stairs. She's got a lot of stuff in er head these days, like the memories of Liz's torture at the hands of Humanis First. While she knows she wasn't there, those memories certainly feel like hers. It's made her quiet, sneaking around the house in hopes of not being seen. She doesn't want to talk much, lately.

Today, she's wearing a pair of comfortable PJ bottoms and a loose shirt. Her destination: the kitchen, for a bit of food to much on. Then, perhaps, she'll go up on the roof and give whoever is on watch the silent treatment while she smokes a cigarette. She pauses at the bottom of the stairs, peering over at Devon and his pen floating trick with raised brows.

At the moment, while the pen rises, there's no room in Devon's attention to consider the woman at the stairs. He notices her in the periphery, but offers no greeting or acknowledgement until the pen has dropped back into his waiting palm. "Hey," he says quietly, fingers curling around the pen. His eyes slant toward the telepath, then back to the writing tool, expression turning slightly guarded. Everyone in the house has their secrets and ghosts.

The telepath watches Devon quietly, her head tilted to the side. Fascinating thing he's doing there. After a moment, she seems to come out of her daze, rubbing at her forehead. "'Ello." She greets Devon quietly, turning a glance toward th kitchen, then back toward Devon. Concerned. "You okay?" She notices the guarded look, the way his hand clenches around the pencil. She won't press him for answers, simply throwing the concerned question out there.

"Not really." The answer is, at least honest, though Devon's tone implies that the answer itself is neither here nor there. His eyes flick toward the woman again. His teeth catch on his half-healed lip, threatening to pull it open again before he releases it with a sigh. "You did something the night we met." The teen's eyes redirect his attention to the pen in his hand. "You told me things, touched my mind. And since then… What'd you do?" It's not quite accusatory, he's earnestly curious, but unsure about whatever had been done.

Remi blinks a few times, watching Devon with raised brows. That question came out of nowhere. She turns, leaning against the wall next to the kitchen door, simply…thinking for a moment. How to word this? How to word that she wanted him to trust her, so she tried to tell him to? She tips her head in Devon's general direction. "'Onestly?"

She pauses, all but staring. "I don't know what I did." Because she doesn't, really. "I just wanted you to trust me…wanted to be your friend?" She watches Devon. "Still do."

Fingers uncurl from around the pen, and in the course of a heartbeat it rises off Devon's hand again. His eyes follow, tracking it's movement. "It'd be nice," he admits watching the pen suspended in the air. Though doubt lingers in his tone. "You know it's not real trust or friendship right now. Whatever you did. I have doubts about you, but I feel compelled to…" Trailing off, the link between himself and the pen is severed, the tool dropping into his waiting hand as he slants a look to Remi. "…It's… It's like…" With a faint frown, he lifts one shoulder, unsure how to explain himself.

The dark-haired woman tips her head toward Devon. Then, tentatively, she moves closer, reaching out one hand and holding it, palm up, toward Devon. "I…I can try to undo it?" Remi looks concerned. "I don't know 'ow to, but…I can try. I…I would 'ave to go in your 'ead for a little, but…I'll try not to look at anything if I can 'elp it." Sad thing is, she usually can't help it. Her ability doesn't often let her pick and choose.

Equally hesitant, Devon extends his free hand out to take Remi's. His eyes remain on the woman in front of him, flashes of fear and nervousness easily seen as they move over his expression. It's hard to be calm when your mind is more or less being offered to a telepath, likewise it's difficult for the boy to go ignore the offer. Compelled to trust, after all, though if it can be removed there has to be some measure of realism to his faith. His other hand tightens around the pen until his knuckles turn white, the only unsubtle sign of his uneasiness with the exercise.

As Devon takes her hand, it's automatic. That obnoxious new aspect of her ability that makes touching people an ordeal. Especially if they are thinking of Bad Things. Which Devon, sadly, is. Her complexion pales, her face going slack as her eyes unfocus, staring at those memories that flash through her mind, almost as if they are her own.

It's all she can do to put one suggestion into his mind. Come to trust me on your own terms, not mine.

Then, she yanks her hand away as quickly as she can, pulling back away from Devon and lifting said hand to rub at her forehead, reeling from the memories. Not a word is said; in fact, she turns away from him, closing her eyes for a moment, with that hand left over her forehead.

Is she crying?

A little slower, more cautious, Devon withdraws his hand. His eyes tick toward the halls that lead from the common area, then back to the telepath with a mix of uncertainty and concern. Hands press into the floor and he edges himself not even a pace away from Remi, more going for the symbol of giving her space and privacy. He remains quiet, and after another moment turns his attention to the pen in his hands, turning the tube over between his fingers.

It takes Remi a moment to get ahold of herself; to her credit, only a single whispered sob escapes her throat, before she turns the waterworks back off once more and composes herself. Her head hurts now, and now, along with Liz's memories, she has Devon's memories. And they aren't happy ones. The only one who really has any happy memories is Jaiden.

Finally, tear-stained blue eyes turn up to Devon. Despite the fact that she was the one who was just crying, her expression shines with concern, sympathy, and sadness. It takes her a moment longer to even speak. "D — did it work?"

The teen's eyes slant toward Remi when she whimpers. He continues to hold his silence, erring on the side of experience. He usually prefers to be the first to speak when something is wrong, as those who deal with him most often would know. He draws his knees up a little, arms hooking around them, the pen still grasped between his hands. "You okay," he asks, rather than answer her question, quietly spoken as always.

The woman watches Devon quietly, frowning. What a sad past the poor boy has had. She almost wants to hug him, but she also knows he doesn't like to be touched. So, she keeps her distance, watching the boy in silence. Then, she nods slowly. "Oui. Just…got a 'eadache from zat." She's lying, but she doesn't want him to know that she saw so much. Trying to avoid the elephant that is now in the room, as per Liz's advice.

Not far from concern comes an awkward silence. Devon watches Remi, still measuring a guarded expression. "If… you want to talk…" The rest goes unsaid, even if she were trying to listen to his thoughts she wouldn't glean anything more, so tightly lidded as his habit has become. His eyes fall back to the pen, pinched between the thumb and forefinger of one hand and stretching out in front of him. As his focus settles on the pen, his mind takes over, synchronizing and in ways he can't explain, keeps the pen from falling once he withdraws his hand. Like a kid viewing a newly released movie, the teen's chin rests on his knees, eyes intent on the writing tool.

The woman avoids eye contact; her own expression is guarded. He probably wouldn't like that she's seen such intimately painful moments in his life, even though she wasn't even trying to do so. He doesn't like her being in his mind, and for good reason, she can see. "I…I'll be okay." She nods quietly, trying just as hard to convince herself as she is to convince him. And lying. "I hope it worked…"

While trying to maintain his concentration and direct the pen toward Remi, Devon slowly turns more toward her. The pen falls, tapping against the floor as it settles, and he sighs. Both at Remi's deflection and at his own failings. It'll take practice, he knows. Dragging his mind back to the present situation, the teen regards Remi in silence, unaware of what she might have seen but convinced something happened. "Tell me," he says simply enough, still quiet though it's less a request to be informed. "Headaches don't make you wary and sad, and I'm pretty sure I didn't just kick your dog."

There seems to be a penchant around the Endgame safehouse developing for bad timing to walk into a conversation, and this time, it's definitely Graeme's turn. Not the best day for the teacher, he's making his way through wandering the halls of the safehouse, earbuds in ear, having woken up, muffled and silenced screams and blocked out the distress from an unsuccessful attempt at sleep in the cool of his room while it was unoccupied. Long before he gets there, Remi'll hear the mental singing along, the same familiar song that he plays when he's having a bad day. ~And after the storm, I run and run as the rains come, and I look up, I look up, on my knees, and out of luck, I look up.~

It's one of those days where he's singing along to block out the more persistent thoughts in his own head. The downside to the ability of superhuman endurance is that a lot of the time, any particular train of thought will stick around longer than it would, otherwise. No such thing as a fleeting nightmare, for Graeme. When he reaches the doorway, there's a moment as though he's just going to turn around, go out and head down to the basement, but he doesn't. Instead, hands come up, earbuds come out, he ducks a nod of greeting. "Hey Devon. Hey Remi."

Oh, look. Devon, you made her cry again. Remi's eyes tear up as she peers over at the teen for a moment, before she's furiously rubbing the tears away from her eyes. "I saw. I tried not to, but I saw. It was all I could do to even try and turn what I did back…" She sniffs softly. "I'm sorry, I know you don't want me in your head, but it just happened…please don't—"

It's about that moment that she is cut off by the sound of Graeme's thoughts, announcing his presence. She tenses a bit. Someone's still pretty unhappy at the man with superhuman endurance, and it's really not helping her push away those stupid tears that stream down her face. "…Graeme." This is all he gets from the telepath, along with an attempt to avoid eye contact.

"Wait." Confusion writes across Devon's face. So many of his memories and thoughts just sit and linger that a look or a gesture brings something closer to the surface. But he can't even begin to wonder at what Remi saw. And now she's crying. Again. Thankfully, Graeme appears, though instead of a greeting the boy only shoots him a look of askance. What is he supposed to do with a crying girl? Brows knitting together, part worry for what the telepath might have seen, and part concern that he broke the woman, he looks back to her. "…What did you see?"

"Death, pain, and depression." She doesn't want to go further than that. She doesn't want to delve back into the memories that shouldn't be floating around in her head right now. "…Important events in your life." She adds this, running a hand through her hair. "I'm sorry…I 'ave no business. I wish…I wish I could stop myself from doing zat…

Graeme looks between Remi and Devon for a while. Slips his hand into his pocket to turn off his iPod, and he's trying to quiet his thoughts. He's not angry at Remi anymore, though. They're not anything that's particularly helpful for Remi at the moment, nightmares of Humanis First in New Mexico and the reasons that he's in New York to begin with.

When he does speak, his voice holds no anger. It's gentle, instead, concerned. "It's okay, Remi." There's a handkerchief pulled from his pocket, black with black embroidery on it, handed over to her carefully, such as to not touch her, but there's still a brush of skin contact. Unintentional, and the lingering memory of Graeme's nightmare, first person point of view running towards his student, the defense player with the similar ability. The one who committed suicide when denied a scholarship. The sounds of gunshots, and then Graeme's stepping back, a look of utter horror on his face. "Oh god, I'm sorry, I'm sorry…"

She's not expecting the skin-to-skin contact when it happens. Remi quietly reaches out, taking the handkerchief…and then, her eyes go blank, seeing that nightmare, her face slackening slightly as it does when she is seeing things. Memories, nightmares, daydreams…though usually, it seems like nightmares are pushed to the front, especially around here.

The telepath jerks her hand back, eyes wide as she stares up at Graeme with an astonished, haunted look on her face. Staring is all that is done for a moment…then, Remi shakes her head, suddenly turning toward the stairs with the handkerchief clutched in her hands. "I need to go." Too much for her to handle, right now…

Eyes sliding from Remi to Graeme and back to Remi, Devon can only sit and wonder through his confusion. He sighs, head shaking and hand dropping to pick his pen up from the floor. The cap of the pen is pressed against the middle of his forehead while his eyes slant in Remi's direction again, watching her retreat. "What was that all about," he asks, though his tone is rhetorical, as though he's not really expecting an answer. She wouldn't tell him, the boy isn't really expecting Graeme to explain either.

"I'm sorry," Graeme says, again, before Remi leaves. It's genuine, too, as genuine as any statement the teacher makes ever gets, and he sighs, going over to the area of the room where some of his stuff still is, having never made it up to his room, and pulls out a worn sweatshirt that could possibly be from high school.

It's shrugged on, and then Graeme walks over to the edge of the room farthest from where Remi's room is, slides down along the wall and sits down, knees pulled and hugged to chest. It's perhaps one of the worse days that Devon's seen, overall. "Accidentally made skin contact when I handed her the handkerchief, I think," he says. "Her ability's more than it used to be. She sees things on skin contact. And I had a nightmare, earlier. Couldn't sleep, when I'd gone and tried to."

"I have nightmares all the time," Devon says mildly. For all that his nightmares tend to wake him and drive him toward insomnia and it's a thing he rarely brings up. This time, though, the mention of nightmares brings heat to his ears and down his neck. "Don't think anyone in this house doesn't have bad dreams of some kind. —And.. she sees things on contact?"

Graeme nods. "I don't have them so often. Mostly because I don't sleep so often, but … it's something I'm always going to carry with me and deal with," he says. Arms are still wrapped tightly around his knees. Vulnerability? Any pretense of it? It isn't something that the teacher likes, by any stretch of the word. "I was trying to keep my mind clear. Guess I didn't succeed. Yes. Sees. Visible. Images, full experience of whatever thought or memory. Why she was so pissed off at me when I remembered kissing Liz. And why she was so horrified just now." The teacher bites down on his lip, hard. There's a faint trickle of red, though he doesn't really seem to notice, and he just falls silent.

The teen makes a sound, something that could be agreement of some kind. His eyes slant toward Graeme for a moment, then flick back toward Remi's exit. Finally, with an exhale, he hangs his head between his shoulders, setting his focus on the floor rather than on anyone. It's another of those awkward times. Devon rarely deals well with his own demons, preferring privacy when facing them, that he doesn't know how help others with their own. Better to err on the side of caution and say nothing at all. Better yet to numb himself to his own haunting memories for the time being.

For the moment, Graeme just remains silent, pulling his knees a bit more to his chest. Trying to make it all go away. "It's not something I'd wish on anyone to see," the teacher comments, quietly. "Even more when that comes with all the feelings associated with the memory." He shakes his head and stares up at the ceiling, silent for a long moment longer.

The longer that he can ignore the nightmare and just focus on the quiet of Devon's company, the easier that it becomes, the more that Graeme's ability eases the horror and the pain of the memory for him, pushing it to the side. "I'll be okay, eventually. The bigger question is … will she?" There's a pause. "I was having another one of the nightmares where I couldn't save him from himself, in the town square."

"There's a reason why I don't want her in my head," Devon says quietly, eyes slanting toward Graeme. He makes no judgement of the older man's trials, well understanding the nightmares that life's trials can bring. "I think… her rose tinted world is …beginning to find shades of gray, though. It's… not easy to live in this world, what we're doing now, without experiencing or having experienced something." The teen offers a small shrug, returning his gaze to the pen.

Graeme nods agreement. "Same reason I got good at keeping her out of my head rather quickly, yeah. Even … before all of this." He does like the telepath, but all of this has been stressful, overall. Though whether there is a before all of this, for Graeme, is arguable. But it's not an argument that Graeme's going to have with himself, at the moment. Another longer pause follows, and eventually, the teacher's shoulders straighten. Subtle, but the clearest indication that for at least the immediate point in time, his ability's working.

"She'll be fine," Devon says, as much for Graeme's benefit as for his own. If he can have survived the events and coped with the memories for this long, it shouldn't be near as bad for Remi, who's seeing it second hand. He flexes the pen just a little, not enough to completely damage the barrel, but enough to cause some stress to the structure. "Wouldn't worry about it. Try and get her to talk, you're good at that."

"I've been getting the vibe that she really doesn't want to talk to me, recently," Graeme says. There's a hint of snark to the words, but they're also self-deprecating. almost, a rare quality for the teacher. "I dunno. Girls are strange. Women are strange. Sometimes now I think I understand what Liam meant when he said they were a different species," he says. "With Liz, things are simple. If Remi's involved, things are anything but."

Devon shrugs slightly, uncertain how to respond. "Women are strange? I don't know, I'm… not really… I…" He shakes his head, unsure. He's never had a relationship to speak of. His own thoughts of Liz have shifted since he'd first met her, and that connection is different from whatever strife is between the teacher and telepath. "You should probably talk to Jaiden about that stuff. I'm smart, but that's beyond what I know.”

There's a nod, a faint chuckle. "I'll figure it out, I guess," Graeme says, voice still quiet, and if the telepath were to be listening, there's none of the conversation reflected in his thoughts to make it harder to eavesdrop on. There's another longer silence, Graeme's breathing in measured, even patterns as he clears his mind and pushes away the nightmare. "Come on, let's go see if there's any of that cheesecake left down in the basement. I think I could use some."

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