A Daughter To Cry Over Him


joseph_icon.gif kaylee2_icon.gif

Scene Title A Daughter To Cry Over Him
Synopsis While searching for Neil Milburn's kid, Kaylee finally tells Joseph about the dream.
Date February 06, 2011

Tunnels near Grand Central Terminal

Deep in the tunnels surrounding the terminal the world is void of light, inky darkness that seems to swallow the world, leaving you sightless. Only thing holding back the black is the sweep of a f pair of flashlights. The light seem harsh in the cold underground, splashing over the surface and revealing small sections of the tunnel.

The occasional crackle of static seems almost too loud, echoing off walls as other teams radio in. It's hard to understand it at times. Voice garbled by the stone, steel and concrete around them.

Kaylee Thatcher feels uneasy, nerves twisting her stomach. A sense of urgency driving her further and deeper into the tunnels. The only thing keeping her from being panicked, is the presence of Joseph Sumter there with her. Even though she seems for the most part calm, he can still feel a slight tremble in her hand, whether from the chill of wearing a little too thin of a jacket in her hurry to look for Neil Milburns's son, or a linger fear.

Probably, a little of both.

Thanks to Samuel Sullivan, the telepath is a little claustrophobic, with dense darkness giving the illusion of the area being smaller then it really is. Making it feel like all that stone and steel is pressing down around her. Not to mention the looming threat of metallic beast hunting above. It's not hard to imagine those lit eyes peering at you from the depths of the darkness, or the whirl and click of gears and servos, with evolved on the menu.

She tries not to think about that, with the circle of her flashlight is trained on the wall, a faint line of white chalk. It's not an unfamiliar tactic. It gives a rise to hope that they might be on to something.

This was how she found Joseph once, when he had been missing.

"I don't know what possessed him…" Kaylee starts to state, suddenly biting off the comment full of irritation and concern for the boy. Her words a strained, but not all of her stress is due to the missing child.

"Probably not the devil," is a bit of an off-colour joke for a pastor to make, but delivered so dryly that maybe Joseph isn't joking. His own flashlight is dutifully set ahead of them while Kaylee keeps track of the chalk traces, on the look out for uprooted train tracks and other such things to trip up their feet. Or Clues, even. A missing shoe, a piece of paper. He glances sidelong at her, and mostly shrugs that away rather than offer explanation.

His flashlight beam absently bounces off the arcing, dripping ceiling above them, back down again. "Curiousity, or. Bravery, even. No doubt he'll be feelin' the back of Milburn's hand by the time we all get back." This is optimism, actually. One with child abuse in it, sure, but it'd be better than coming across a small, cooling body of a child.

It's not a nice thought. Broken tracks would be better to trip over.

"Maybe he got in a fight that Neil didn't think to mention. I know I ran away all kinds of places rather'n face my own dad when he was in good form." Conversation masks the note of worry that can't go entirely undetected in Joseph's voice.

"Yeah… mom and I got into plenty of screaming matches," Kaylee offers blandly, maybe with a touch or regret. She was never an easy child, especially after her ability changed her life. "Didn't run away, but I threatened to often enough and even packed bags a few times."

The flashlight in her hands shifts to follow the line further up, before pulling back against to the section of wall right next to them. "For all my threats, I never could step out that door. Seemed wrong to leave my momma like that." Especially, with the way her father had left her. "Probably looking for attention, " she concludes softly.

Kaylee falls silent for a time, thoughtful as her eyes study how the chalk draws over the rough surface breaking up here and there. Her mind, however, turns over various things.

"Joseph? You ever think about the future?"

The question comes out of no where and totally off topic. By the glance Kaylee sends him, she is surprised she asked it as well. Eyes gray in the dark, widening slightly. It's a good thing it's dark, cause cheeks flush, heating her skin. Eyes quickly snap back to the line. "I mean… I know your ability gave visions of the future to others… I just…" The words stop and starts with her struggle to say what she means.

"You ever wonder where we'll be years down the road?"

It's a question that gets a glance, the dark colour of his irises lending themselves to the shadows that rush to fill his eye sockets, quicker than water ever would. But she can see the perplexed— mildly concerned— tilt of his eyebrows. Still, Joseph's free hand wanders out to snag her's — they're deep enough underground that the radio seems a futile effort anyway — and tries to keep his ears pricked for sounds up ahead even as he speaks. "I try not to think about it much," he admits.

A little grimly. "I think any hope of a decent future'll be beyond our time, somedays. Like when people fighting for blacks or— women's rights were in the trenches and couldn't hope to see the fruits of their labour, but maybe their children could." He doesn't mention the gays. "But I'll tell ya, I hope I'm out've New York way on later down the road. You can come with."

An arm swing makes that jokey, facetious, romanticy.

“Promise?” Kaylee comments much more blandly then she wanted to. “Don't you dare leave me alone in the crazy city,” she adds with no follow up as to what she'll do if he does bail on her. That's not so important then, the real reason for her question. But the worry is there.

A soft sigh escapes her, as if the telepath has been debating what to say about the matter. “I had Abby and that new guy Griffin, seek me out. Talked to Quinn and Delilah as well. They all had a dream about the future, with you, me… “ And here Kaylee hesitates, before adding. “and your – I think think – your daughter.”

Kaylee doesn't continue, giving him time to digest that, especially that last bit.

This isn't entirely the path of conversation that Joseph was expecting. This time he puzzles ahead of him rather than strike her with more glances, watching the trail of the flashlight as they look for someone else's son. He dips the flashlight beam over a metal door set into the wall, veering over rusted hinges, spying heavy chain keeping it closed, dismissing it with a flick of his wrist. "Griffin," he repeats, a little baffled over why a relative stranger would dream of him in any context.

The last part, though, has tension setting in, making Joseph's steps oddly stiff and the hang of his arms from his shoulders awkward feeling. "My daughter?" he repeats, in a sort of possessively defensive tone of voice that he likely, if you ask his ex-wife, he doesn't have a right to. Though she'd probably approve of the sentiment: goddamn mutant creepy dreams can get away from my kid. "Hannah?"

There is a slow and hesitant nod of Kaylee's head. "Yeah," she almost seems disturbed by the whole thing. Brows tilted up with the worry gnawing at her stomach. "The age was about right. Delilah and Walter were in it. He’s only what? A year younger than Hannah?" Even if he's a baby right now, there is no mistaking the red hair and freckles.

Finally, Kaylee comes to a halt, her hand in his still, forcing him to stop as well. "All of them showed me, Joseph." Her tongue touches her lips, nervous about what she needs to tell him. A little scared as well. "It wasn't so much a dream, as a memory. It was clear and sharp, not fuzzy and hazy. It was your… funeral on Pollepel." Her voice catches without meaning too.

"It was a ways in the future, several years. Hannah was a teenager." Kaylee won't forget that grief and anguish as the girl screamed at the heads of Special Activities. "All four of them dreamed that moment the same night. All the details the same." By the look on her face, Joseph can tell she watched each one to be certain.

Meaning, it wasn't a joke like she had hoped it had been.

She looks down and away, her voice as soft whisper. "They wanted me to ask you about it, since… your ability. You might have some insight."

"No one has memories of the future," is the first thing Joseph chooses to say. After some long moments of standing silent and thoughtful, flashlight neglected to beam angled against the damp floor, he chooses to wax philosophical as opposed to address the concept of a funeral, and a girl grown into teenagehood attending it. He gives said insight. "Reason I think that people only got symbols, when I gave visions, was because there's no one future. Or no future that can't be changed and influenced. God given free will."

He lets a breath out, steam white in the chilly underground. "But memories are too stagnant. Possibilities ain't that detailed. It don't have the right amount of texture. Maybe it's a message, or a threat. Or a warning," he adds, as a more optimistic option to inevitable doom.

Eyes have to strain to see his face in the darkness, the flashlights only giving their faces minimal definition. He can see Kaylee's head bob a little. "There wasn't a symbol in it… unless you count the fighter jets flying over head." The words trail off thoughtfully, before she explains, "It was just so real for all of them, like they were private witnesses to moment in time that hasn't happened yet." She trails off, brows tilting down thoughtfully. "That they were there not dreaming. Like… like the visions of the eight." As much as she hates invoking it, it's the truth.

Finally, Kaylee moves to start moving again. For the first time she hasn't offered to show him this futuristic dream. "Maybe it's nothing, but I have to admit it's always going to be back in the back of my head." And that bothers her the most. It's a large span of time, but as you get older those years move faster.

She pauses and and glances at him, worry tipping down blonde brows, "Has… has Hannah been tested, yet?" She may never meet his daughter, but the need to ask that is still there. "I can't get over her maybe being there and us still being on the island."

Joseph hesitates before following — not long enough to draw attention, just idle distraction before his feet do the thinking, and he falls into step with her. Like the visions of the eight. Those were without symbolism too. Shared moments and experiences, and the reminder tastes like metal at the back of his mouth, expression grim and thoughtful and barely hearing this last part until it registers, and he glances to her. "Oh, uh. Claira's not real into the whole testing thing yet. I dunno if she just doesn't want to know or what, but last I checked in, she'd been dodging it.

"Lot of, um. The people with her sentiments ain't exactly happy about being Registered like people like us. So I dunno, if she is. Maybe I did it." This, abrupt, worried. "Not like I can give folks dreams, but it sounds like it, don't it? Like the eighth. Maybe— somehow, it's somethin' I did."

"I… don't think it was you." Kaylee sounds rather defensive about it, even if it is him saying it. "Maybe someone similar? I don't know. But you were Amp'd up and getting even more power from Gillian." There is a jerky shake of her head. "Not you." There is a finality to it.

A heavy sigh escapes her, "It's so far off, maybe just us knowing…" She trails off and grimaces, cause she knew and her vision pretty much still came true.

"I can't stop worrying." Kaylee murmurs very softly.

Her face turns away and back to the faint chalk line again. "It feels like I've been shown the end of our story. And maybe like I said in the eulogy, I'm being selfish." He can't see the flicker of sadness or the worry, or maybe just the edge of it. "Whether… we end up like that in the future. You… gone and me a widow." She doesn't finish that thought right away, but when she does the words are so soft…

"I want that time… but I want more then fourteen years." Looking at him, her eyes seem a little brighter, maybe a little watery. "I want to grow old with you. I don't care if it's selfish." There is frustration in her voice as she continues on, barely keeping her feet from stomping, but she doesn't hold back muttering, "Damn freaking precogging, evolved dreamerwalker," while focusing hard on that line.

She isn't able to snuff out the notion — not for Joseph, anyway. Maybe his ability changed. Transformed. Maybe it got set to omega mode and never went back, and who knows what set it off last time? But he keeps these musings to himself, huffing out a sigh as he doggedly follows, straining his eyes against the darkness. His hand captures her's again, a small tug that's meant to tease her.

"Wantin' me not dead in fourteen years ain't that selfish," he says. "I say we give this city a good thirteen years and skip town. Early retirement. Ish."

A beat, then, "Would you put money on her bein' Hannah? Really?"

The tug gets her attention, fingers lace with his as if latching on to him. Kaylee can't help, but faintly smile at his words. He irritation dissipating a little. "Make it a place in the country, where dogs can run, a big porch and all, and you got me for life." Lips tug up at the corner a little more, before it slips away.

"And yeah… I'd bet on it." Kaylee's hand unlaces from his to reach up and playful tug a lock of his hair. "Dark hair and eyes, like her daddy." There is a touch of wistfulness as she speaks. Her tone sobering up, turning sad as her hand dropping to take his again, "She pretty broken up, crying… Looking for someone to blame. Can't think of anyone else it could be."

Kaylee gives it a tick, before she adds, "If it's real, I think… I think she might test positive." Though she can't fathom Claira pushing her own daughter away.

"Well maybe— maybe I could give Claira a call. Or my mom, she'd probably be a better way t'go. Short of reporting her to the DoEA, but there's no chance I'd even consid— "

Joseph doesn't so much get cut off as much as he cuts himself off, halting as he listens to something quiet enough that it echoes quiet, beneath their conversation. A steady clank, metal against metal, around when the glimmer of a mind penetrates Kaylee's telepathic awareness. This latter thing being insight that the pastor doesn't have as he queries her, quietly, "D'you hear that?"

Even as he speaks, Kaylee's head is turning towards the sound, curls sliding along her back catching on the hastily donned scarf she's wearing. "Yes," her voice dropping into something just above a whisper, head tilting as she listens. A shiver of fear runs through her at the metallic sound, but there is something else that draws her forward, her hand not giving up his, pulling him along. "Someone is down there. I hear them."

Lips part as the compulsion to shout the missing kid's name about takes over, but Kaylee catches herself. Lips press tightly into a thin line, as she switches to her ability instead hurrying in that direction of that glimmer. Terry?!

Joseph has the impulse to rush forward rather than stop and call for backup. Maybe that's what gets him killed, in the end. There are only so many times it can enhance his survival. "Terry!" he calls in unknown echo of projected thought, and though the little boy's voice lifts thin and hard to hear in the air, Kaylee can hear scattered thoughts press against her mind. By the time they're there, where the ground caves in and Terry's small, dirty face turns up, rebar in hand where he'd been driven to signalling his presence without tearing his throat apart, Joseph has more or less forgotten to follow that feeling where—

He's gladder at the thought that he'd have a daughter to cry over him, than he is afraid of the approach of death.

But he'll consider it later.

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