A Dirty Window Pane


des2_icon.gif kaylee2_icon.gif richard_icon.gif

Scene Title A Dirty Window Pane
Synopsis Richard calls a meeting with Kaylee and Des to discuss the next move in this game of chess.
Date March 4, 2018

Raytech Industries: CEO's Office

The office of Richard Ray looks pretty much as it always looks - all grey and black and potted plants, all natural light from the large windows overlooking the solar roof - but there's a difference today. There's a small television set and an extremely bulky and old-fashioned tap deck of some sort on the side of his desk, with long cables between the two.

He's looking pensive as he leans back in his chair, one hand idly toying with the folders and papers on the desk itself, awaiting the two that he'd asked to come to his office for a meeting.

There is a soft rap of knuckles on the door, before Kaylee lets herself in. It is clear, that she has no appointments today, no real work… she is laying low and catching up on a few things. Cause she is dressed down a little. She is still wearing a nice top and suit jacket, but she is wearing a pair of deep blue jeans. She does at least make sure she has on a pair of nice pumps… not heels. Very few people get heels. The woman hates them.

"Richard." The telepath offers pleasantly, "You needed to see me?" The tape deck is spotted immediately and that gets him an amused look. Her shoes tap softly as she makes her way to the desk. "Oh my god… I haven't seen one these since my Granny's house." Brows furrow with a touch of confusion, even though she continues to look amused. "Where did you get this?" More importantly, "Why do you even need it?"

Receiving a summons from the boss isn't the most uncommon thing, but Des has been conditioned from her previous employments to expect the worst. She's apprehensive as she rides the elevator up from her research laboratory, and the apprehension only grows when she steps out and down the hall to the CEO's office.

Seeing Kaylee is there as well either means everything's going to be fine, or she's about to be fired. Not that she has any idea what grounds they might have to dismiss her, except for we changed our minds or you came on to the boss and that's not okay. She pushes open the glass door, the question written in her face. "You wanted to see me?" she nearly echoes Kaylee unintentionally. A warm smile is offered to the blonde. "Hi."

"I'll cover that in just a minute…" A smile crooks just-up at the corner of Richard's lips as he looks up to the doors as the pair enters, fingers sliding to gather the papers he had spread out and tucking them all in a manila folder. He pushes the chair forward, hands folding atop the folder, "Come in, both of you. Have a seat. I have— two things to discuss. One of them's business-related, the other's more— personal but I think you both are qualified to give your thoughts on it."

It doesn't seem like Des is going to be fired, and there's too serious a look in his eyes to be showing some sort of humorous movie on the old equipment.

The smile, Kaylee directs Des' way should give her some comfort. It is bright and friendly as ever. "Hey," is returned coyly.

Her brother, however, gets an arches brow, eyes narrowing a little, though the smile remains. No, she isn't looking… though the hum is there. Leaving the equipment with one last, curious glance, Kaylee shifts to sit. There is no slouching for her into the chair, just her back straight and hands folding in her lap. "What's up?"

So, not a rewatching of Duck Soup, then. Des takes the indicated seat next to Kaylee. "I'll help however I can, of course." Her smile fades, replaced with one of those wide-eyed looks of uncertainty.

The video equipment is eyed for a moment. "Is that a U-matic? I haven't seen one of those since—" Des shakes her head and turns her attention back to Richard. "Sorry. Go on."

"Mm." Richard considers the deck for a moment, "It is, yes."

He doesn't say what it's for just yet, instead offering, "You were here for this first part, Des; since we've been having food shortages and such even before the thefts, Barney wants to suggest setting up a hydroponics farm for the Safe Zone. Not for free of course, but I feel that in time it can be both profitable for us, lower costs for the Safe Zone as a whole - no more importing food - and generally be a boon to the entire area. A step towards self-sufficiency."

A lift of two fingers, "I ran into Jaiden Mortlock in the market the other day, and he offered to lend his ability to help with getting it set up, although I wouldn't want it to be dependent on ability usage. People leave or die, but I'm not going to object to a jumpstart. I'm not sure if he's commercially licensed, you might need to help him with that, Kay."

Brows lift at the suggestion. "I like that idea." Kaylee turns a little thoughtful already. "A lot. Though, I think we probably are going to have to rush against Yamagato on this one. I can't imagine they are not thinking the same thing." Brows furrowing a little, before glancing at them both, "I do think, that while we can't really do free, there should be something in place for those who are struggling." She will always suggest something like that. "It would go a long way for our reputation."

"As for Jaiden, absolutely." Kaylee's head bobs an affirmative. "I'll get with Mr. Harrison and make sure we do this right." There is a soft sigh, "The tricky part will be proof of formal training, but I think we can wing it." A up tick of the corner of her mouth says she might already have a plan forming.

Des gives a little shrug. This isn't her realm of expertise, and she plans to stay out of it. While she supports the project, getting too near it is a threat to her own safety. "Sure. Seems like a smart move to me. If there's anything I can do to help…"

"Yeah. We're going to need to navigate around Yamagato carefully, since they technically administer the Safe Zone… I have some thoughts, though," admits Richard, "Good. The other thing that I'd like you to do, Kaylee — Park Slope's clearly inhabited by an agrokinetic, there's got to be someone that's causing the massive plant growth there. If we could locate and recruit them, well, that'd really give us a boost on this." Wry, "As I'm sure you can imagine."

To Des, he nods, "I will. Mostly I asked you here for this second part."

There is no disputing that fact about Park Slope, though it was a rather big area. Kaylee wish she had through to bring her tablet with her, unlike Richard, there was more trust in the telepath's ability to use technology… So, she gets the stuff that needs… experience. "I'll… See what I can dig up and let you know what I find. You want me to contact you when I locate them? Bring you with?" In other words, does he want to go when she does?

"I know, it's a long shot…" Richard shakes his head, "Chances of actually finding them is low, but, you miss all the shots you make, right?" Wry, "Barney wanted to request to come along, he's so honest and open that people can't help but trust him, too. Gives me the heebie-jeebies sometimes." That last part's mostly a joke, but after dealing with criminals and shady people for so long…

"Aside from that, though…" His gaze falls on the U-Matic, "I recieved a tape in the mail. No name on it. Return address was San Antonio, something Cardinal Street from the Redbird Ranch neighborhood."

"Seriously?" It's blurted out suddenly. Kaylee knew that things like this could start happening again, but it had been awhile. There is a mix of emotions at the mention of the tape and address. Realization dawns and she looks at the machine again. "And that's why…"

"Is it from him?" The telepath's tone and face are openly curious. "Is this something from, dad?" Eyes narrow a little, it does take her ability for her to know, "You watched it." So many questions swirl in her head, but she holds back.

"What the fuck?" Des shoots a look at the tape deck, then back to Richard. "That's a real thing? A real place?" Kaylee is glanced at from the corner of her eye. "What the fuck?" Some things just need repeating. And never mind that isn't very professional language for an office setting. They knew what they were getting when they hired her.

"So what's on the tape?" Des leans forward. Her interest is keen, but not like the unnerving fascination she's shown in the past. This is open curiosity with an undercurrent of excitement.

"It is, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't actually sent from there… that was a message so that I'd take it seriously," Richard says with a slight grimace, one hand rubbing at the side of his face, "And it worked. I don't think it's from Edward, Kay, it's— it's not his handwriting, either, it's— it's like some kid drew it, or someone working with their left hand when they're right handed. It's not the sort of writing I expect from him."

Then he reaches over and switches on the television, static hissing in the air. "See for yourself," he says, depressing the thick switch that reads PLAY before leaning back and letting the tape's fuzzy images replace the static.

And PLAY it does…

There is a touch of disappointment at the fact, that it isn't from Edward Ray, but… that doesn't stop Kaylee from being curious, especially, once he pushes play.

By time it is done playing, Kaylee is also leaning forward in the seat, even having scooted forward some so that she can squint at the video. A hand covers her mouth as the portal opens. When it falls away, she looks at him with a questioning look. "What the heck?" Not as colorful as Des, but… it's unconscious when she swears like that, being a mom, that tends to happen. She can't help it.

"So… wow… Any idea?" The telepath asks her brother.

Des leans back in her seat after the tape has stopped. "They made a window," she says softly, like she somehow understands what the hell they just watched. She's just as stunned as Kaylee, blue eyes shifting from television, to Kaylee, to Richard, back to the blank television screen. "They made a window to see into time."

A heavy exhale and Des is shaking her head. "They think they're looking at the past, but they… don't recognize what they're seeing. It's their lab, isn't it? If they don't know what they're seeing…" Her eyes close heavily and she feels like there's a fist in her chest, clutched around her sternum. Something stirs in her bones, manifests as indistinct whispers on the edges of Kaylee's psychic awareness.

"They have no idea what they did." Dark brows come closer together, her breathing grows shallow as though she were in distress. "It's almost as though I can understand it, but it's just beyond my grasp." Or maybe it's just wishful thinking.

After the tape hits the portion where it's been demagnetized, Richard watches the expressions - the reactions - of the pair before he leans over and clicks STOP on the deck. He leans slowly back in his chair, motioning slightly with his hand towards the pair. "Back in the eighties, the Company was researching quantum entanglement. This expanded into a project that was later picked up by the Institute — the San Francisco branch — called Looking Glass."

He notes in quiet, serious tones, "This was meant to allow them to predict events before they happened. Looking at this tape… I'm wondering if this was from that original research, back in the eighties. The predecessor to Looking Glass."

"I…" Hazel eyes flicker to Des, "I don't know if they were seeing the future or if this window they opened was viewing one of the other strings. It might be worth noting that the cassette was entitled Carefully Weighed Choices."

It never ceases to amaze her how informed Richard always is. "The Company… the group Adam was always talking about?" Her knowledge was always limited by what others told her or what she gleaned from memories. Her life was always in a place, where she didn't have time to dig. "I know they did a lot of things, but I didn't think it spread into applications like that."

Her mouth opens, then closes. Kaylee seems a bit hesitant, but finally she states the obvious. "There are a lot of those still out there from the San Francisco branch. Do… I mean… I know this sounds stupid, but why did you get that tape." Her head tilts a little, "A warning that it's out there still?" It's said with a flicker of worry, fingers play with the wedding band on her hand. "Who has it now, I wonder?"

Des opens her eyes again and rubs one hand absently over her breastbone, as if to alleviate some pain. "Could it be a… Some precursor to a Mallett Device?" She doesn't know much about it other than what she's read, but what she's read… "They needed a lot of juice to power it." Which follows with her understanding, and somewhat in Kaylee's line of questioning.

"It's possible. I know that Edward worked with Mallett a long time ago… I don't recognize any of the other voices on the tape. One of them sounds like it might be Edward, but…" Richard's hands lift helplessly, "I have no idea who would've sent this to me, or why, and it's frankly worrying." He looks between the two, lips pursed in a frown, "I'm not sure how to proceed here, but I'm pretty sure that just sitting and doing nothing would be a mistake."

"I agree with you there," is murmurs softly. Kaylee's eyes unfocused thoughtfully, looking at the blank screen. "There was a reason it was sent and I don't like what I saw… We all know what any type of manipulation of time or space can do."

A hand lifts to shake a finger at Des, as a thought occurs to her, even if she doesn't look the other woman's way. "We need to see if records survive of power surges. It looks like the same place…" She trails off, before breaking into a smile. "If it does draw a lot of electricity, it stands to reason there may be reports of power surges or outages on those dates… Right?" She finally looks between them both.

After a beat she adds, "Start with Boston… Cambridge. I can't shake the feeling that Edward ray is involved somehow." She always felt that the ripples he created were going to plague them forever.

"If it's the Company…" The scientist's voice grows quiet, her chin dips down a little. "Check Odessa, Texas. There was all sorts of stuff happening in that facility I wasn't allowed anywhere near. But maybe Hartsdale?" Des frowns. "Do we have a list of known locations? Those would be the most likely places to start…"

After a moment of deliberation, Des speaks again. "That video made me uneasy. Something about it just… Something about what happened made— I don't know how to explain it." A frustrated sigh slips past her lips. "Something is wrong."

"It's a needle in a haystack," says Richard with a shake of his head, "Like you said, it could be any number of places… I'm going to check out San Antonio - or its ruins, anyway - if I can, or get a team down there to do it, just in case anything more was left there. After that…" He chews on his lower lip, leaning back in his chair with a soft creak of its hinges.

"I could contact some of the remnants of the Company, the surviving old-school members," he exhales heavily, "They have their own agendas, though, and I don't know what those are anymore."

Des is studied as she speaks, Kaylee's head nodding slowly. "Not a bad idea checking around there. I know it seems like a needle, Richard. However, how often where there be something on those exact days on those exact time… At the same time?" Either way, she waves it off.

"Well, you know you have me, if you need me to do anything." Anything. Kaylee offers him a small smile. It's been awhile since she's used her talents for anything interesting, a part of her feels she is due. She often tries to ignore that part of her. "Just… don't keep me out of the loop, at least?"

"I know this is going to sound rich coming from me," Des begins with a rueful upward tug of her lips, "but I wouldn't trust anyone who was ever that deep into what The Company was in. Agents aren't likely going to be much help. You'll want directors."

Des looks away from the both of them, expression becoming a little stormy. "I make a good bargaining chip when it comes to getting the attention of Company upper ranks. If you need the bait, use it." Use me.

"I want you in the loop, that's why I asked you here, and— " Richard looks at Des for a long moment, brows lifting slightly, "I'm not handing you over, Des, don't even think about it. I do… as it happens, though…"

He grimaces, looking between the pair, "What I'm about to say doesn't leave this room, alright?"

"Absolutely not," follows sharply after Richards refusal to give her over. Kaylee seems to bristle a little at the thought. "You are crazy if you think we would give you up so easily to forward our own agenda. We are not, Adam… or the Institute." Having that man's name pass her own lips, makes her stomach twist painfully… so she isn't saying it lightly. Her chin tips up a bit defiantly.

Her mind spoken, she turns to Richard and waves him to continue. "You know I won't say a word. Not even to him." Her husband that is.

"I'm not saying hand me over," is offered defensively. "I'm just saying I'm like peanut butter in a mouse trap to a lot of those people." At least, the Odessa Girl used to be. Maybe that's changed over the years. That wouldn't be the worst development. She reaches out to grasp Kaylee's hand and offer an apologetic smile to her. "I'm sorry. I know you aren't like that. And thank you."

With that matter settled, Richard is moving on, and so are the women. "Oh my God, you have secrets?" Desdemona's voice is completely deadpan and she quirks a brow at Richard.

"Anything that I have available to throw at you is hard and plastic, Des, and Alia will yell at me if I break it," Richard deadpans right back, a smirk twitching to his lips.

"The Deveaux Group is still out there… whatever their agenda is, I've never been entirely sure. They seem benevolent, but…" he spreads both hands, "So did the Institute, from the outside. You'd probably recognize the names of their leaders, Des, although I haven't been in touch since before the war. They were old as fuck then so any of them might have keeled over."

He hesitates, then names, "Sabra Dalton, Alice Shaw, and Claudia Zimmerman."

The banter between the two gets a chuckle, "I think having secrets is a family requirement. Go figure." Her tone just as flat, though she does have a smile of her own.

"You know… to some people." She looks around them and holds out her hands. "We could fit in that box, too." Kaylee believes in what they are doing, but she can also look at it from the outside, too. "So don't judge too harsh, yet. I would rather like to believe there are groups out there more like us, then… the Institute." Though knowing the track record…. odds were good they were up to no good.

There's a slow nod of that dark head. "Yeah," Des responds. The apprehension is working its way back to the surface again. "If you have any trouble getting them to play ball…" Des runs her tongue over her teeth. "Madame Dalton might be willing to speak with me."

"I've had… dealings with them before," admits Richard with a slight shake of his head, holding up a hand, "And I know, Kaylee, I know. They seemed awfully insistent that I get out of the game after Nazahat, though." His lips twist in a brief grimace, "I don't like not knowing who the players are at the table. I don't even like the idea that I have to play this game anymore, but…" A sigh, "Do you think Sabra'd be willing to play ball, Des? I've only met her… once or twice, you have a lot more experience with the woman."

"You do have a point," Kaylee concedes, falling quiet. Listening to what the other two have to say. This was getting into new territory for her, so she is still rather intent on what they have to say.

"You tell her you've got Odessa Knutson, and she just might." There's no guarantees on that front, but Sabra Dalton saw worth in her before. Des is willing to gamble that this past connection might serve them now.

"If you don't want to play the game, don't play." Des says firmly. "Nobody is forcing you, right?" Though she gives a glance to the darkened television screen again. In a way, she supposes someone is. "It's that simple though, right?" As though this tiger has ever managed to change her stripes.

Richard gives Des a rather long and dubious look at that. Then he reaches over, picking up a scratched-up onyx chess piece from the desk's surface, turning it over in his hand. A king. "I have to at least find out what game's being played," he says quietly, "If we're trying to build a better future, and someone's messing with that… I need to know."

"I don't feel comfortable showing our hand, especially, with Valerie's future at stake." Meaning the research that Des is doing. She gives an apologetic look at both. "We've worked too hard to keep things in the dark. Let's exhausted everything else."

Her eyes rest on the chess piece, lips pressing together lightly for a moment. "Always something isn't it?" Kaylee whispers softly.

"I want all the information you have. On the company, on these people. Everything." Her gaze, drifts up to meet Richard's. "Time I finally get myself caught up with the rest of the class." Something she has been dragging on in favor of focusing on anything, but those things in the shadows.

"I don't feel comfortable showing our hand, especially, with Valerie's future at stake." Meaning the research that Des is doing. She gives an apologetic look at both. "We've worked too hard to keep things in the dark. Let's exhausted everything else."

Her eyes rest on the chess piece, lips pressing together lightly for a moment. "Always something isn't it?" Kaylee whispers softly.

"I want all the information you have. On the company, on these people. Everything." Her gaze, drifts up to meet Richards. "Time, I finally, get myself caught up with the rest of the class." Something she has been dragging on in favor of focusing on anything, but those things in the shadows.

"I'm sure your files are about as complete as they're going to be." Des shrugs her shoulders, "But I'll supplement whatever I can. Keep an eye out for anything relating to Colin or Rianna Price, yeah?" All she knows about them is they were under surveillance, so there might be more than what she received in her own heavily redacted file. "I'd appreciate anything you have to share."

Again, Des reaches over to grasp Kaylee's hand again. "Hey, I'm not going anywhere. I'm not going to put a halt to my research. Helping Val is important to me too." She trails off and withdraws her hand, looking uncertain again. "But I need to ask you a favor, Kay…"

"I'll start getting together a general briefing on… things," Richard breathes out a low, rueful chuckle, "There's a lot of information, and half of it's on paper, half of it's in my head. You two— " He looks between the pair, "I'm going to need to rely on you two a lot through this. Kaylee, you… well, you know. And Des, hell, you've been neck-deep in all of this bullshit since the beginning, so you might see something I don't. Especially if it has to do with time."

He leans back, "I'll keep an eye out for that information, yes. And…" He pauses for a long moment, gaze dropping to the chess piece in his hand before continuing, "Don't set aside your own research, but if you could… look into the feasability of producing the Sureceptigene Optimadenoplasmid drugs… I'd appreciate it."

The fact that Richard could pronounce that without skipping a beat probably suggests he's been thinking about it a lot recently.

"No guarantee that you won't, either, if we go telling people we are protecting you…" Kaylee offers back to Des, her hands gripping her friends and covering it with her own before letting it go and the subject. "Absolutely, I'll do what I can, Des. You know that."

Eyes narrow a little at the mention of a drug, not recognizing the name at all. "What is that?" The telepath doesn't even try to pronounce that. Still the question is nothing more than simple curiosity.

Des eyes Richard warily when he brings up the SOD regimen. She understands his desire better than just about anybody. "I'll look into it, but… Be careful what you wish for, Richard." The return of her own ability certainly hasn't done her many favors. "I'll talk to you about it later." It's a conversation best kept between them.

Kaylee's assurances bring the smile back to Des' face, even if it is a little shaky. "You… You know what I'm like. Know who I've been with." She shoots a glance over to Richard, "I want you here for this, too." Back to the telepath again, she swallows her fear. "I want you to look into my head and… I want to know if my memories have been altered."

Des looks away from both of them, down to her hands clenched in her lap. "I've had training to resist telepathic intrusions. And I don't know what will happen. I've never willingly let someone in my head before."

"It's nothing illegal or shady, it's… a drug regime to restore damaged or lost abilities," says Richard with a slight shake of his head, "Warren went through it, years ago, and… and I know, Des. We'll talk about it later." If he wasn't so unsure about it, he probably would've brought it up years ago. There might be a reason why.

Then his brows are both leaping upwards. "Are you… are you sure, Des?" Uncertain, "I mean, I know we've talked about this, but…"

Oh… Kaylee blinks. OH! Eyes widen a little. She takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly. "Are… you sure?" A long-fingered hand moves to rest on the other woman's arm, a glance going to Richard. "I can't unsee what I see, but, I think we have known each other long enough that you know I don't go spilling secrets." In fact, she has a reputation built on that.

A reassuring smile is given to Des, "I'm willing to risk it if you are, though I think… we need to prepare for something like that." Kaylee hates suggesting it, but she's come across a lot of things. "I recommend restraining." She is dead serious when she says that, looking at both. "I wouldn't suggest it normally, but… " the telepath spreads her hand helplessly. "I've come across some crazy triggers, I know what they look like. You remember Rupert?" She directs that especially to Richard. "But… I'd rather not risk you having a trigger go off, with me just looking, and hurt someone or yourself."

Des nods her head. "I understand. I don't want to endanger you in any way." A guilty look is slanted to Richard. "I have some… unexpected triggers, it's true. I'm completely fine with being restrained. In fact, I encourage it."

It's time to come clean with her friend, even though she suspects she already knows. "I have my ability again. But it's… It's doing something to me that I can't explain." Her eyes roll as she lets out a huff. "Well, it's killing me. That part I know. But there's something else… I'm connected to time in ways that I never was before. And it's like—" Again, her eyes track toward the ceiling, this time staying there as she sorts her thoughts. "I'm in pain all the time."

Dark blue eyes fix on Kaylee, concern and apology in that gaze. "I don't know what it's going to be like because of all that. But… I have to know. I'm questioning what's real."

"If you're absolutely sure about this," says Richard, hands folding on the desk, brow furrowing in concerned lines, "We'll have to be careful, though… shit. If it wasn't so sensitive I'd suggest bringing in some additional help, but— " He grimaces, "— we can't afford too many people knowing about you. It's not safe for you, or for us."

An uncertain look to Kaylee, "Are you willing to? I don't want to risk damaging you both."

There is genuine concern for Des, fingers tightening lightly on the woman's arm. Kaylee doesn't answer Richard right away, instead she listens to the familiar hum of Odessa's mind. "Let's do this." There is determination in her voice, head nodding a little. It might be a certain part of her brain encouraging this moment of bravery. "As long as I am not a bull in a china shop, I should be able to at least look at her defenses… See if I can even help."

Determined she might be, there is a little knot of worry in her stomach. "I agree that we need to keep this localized. Plus, I do not need another telepath stepping on my toes. Just be prepared to take me down if need be." Kaylee sends a look, out of the corner of her eye, to Ray, with a little smile. "Then be prepared to explain it to your brother-in-law." A tease… or a threat, however, you want to look at it.

The pace of Des' breath quickens, her chest rising and falling with the shallow breaths. "No matter what you see in there… I love you, Kaylee. You're my first friend. I know that is real. I just hope you still want to be my friend after…"

Without explanation, Des takes a handful of her skirt and pulls it up, up, up, exposing the length of her right leg and thigh, nearly indecent. Until she reaches a holster, and a knife. She slides the knife out and sets it on the desk, pushing it toward Richard. Holds one finger up, repeats the process on the other side then smooths her skirt back into place. They're ceramic, which explains why they don't set off the metal detectors downstairs.

"Okay. I promise, that's it."

As she drags that skirt up, Richard's brows both lift upwards at about the same rate the skirt does. When all that's revealed is a knife, he rolls his eyes and reaches over to take one, then the other and draw them over. "So that's where you got them," he mutters under his breath without explaining the comment for Kaylee's benefit. She doesn't need to know about that episode.

"We're not… I mean you're not talking right now, are you?" He looks between the two, "I mean, we should get somewhere comfortable, maybe with chair straps, uh…"

There is amusement as the knives are retrieved, Kaylee isn't a prude after all, so it doesn't offend her or make her shy away. Though Richard's comment gets an arched brow, even if she doesn't push for context. She doesn't think she wants to know, there is only so much she needs to know about her brother's personal life.

"I have to agree with him, Des." Kaylee's hand moves to grips Des' again, giving it a squeeze of support, once the knives are given over. "I think strapping you down would be for the best."

Was she watching Richard watch her lift her skirt? Maybe just a little. Her brows lift and Des shrugs. "I don't know. You pinned me just fine before, Richard." That was definitely meant to make him sputter in front of his sister.

"Consider it a show of my good faith, then. I just want to get this over with before I lose my nerve." And it is very likely that Des will change her mind, given too much time to think about what Kaylee might see. She clutches her friend's hand tightly. Her joking can't overcome her nerves entirely.

"I think… we should go into this well-rested, cleared heads, all that. Get a good night's rest— " Richard rolls his eyes at Des's comment, but he might have blushed a touch, "— and we'll do this tomorrow, if you want to do it this soon. We've all got a lot on our minds and a lot to deal with right now, and we should digest it all before we act."

One knife's waggled in Des's direction, "Also, you're terrible."

Des shrugs to Kaylee, then winks at Richard. "I know."

"I dunno…" Kaylee kind of tucks a hands under her chin looking at Des, "I think we need to hear more about this pinning down."

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