A Personal Favor


kaylee2_icon.gif lynette4_icon.gif

Scene Title A Personal Favor
Synopsis Lynette comes to Kaylee for answers that only a telepath can provide. They only give the pair more questions.
Date November 25, 2011

Pollepel Island

After dinner on the island, when people are starting to settle in before it gets truly cold here on the water, Lynette finds her way to Kaylee’s door. The councilwoman has been sort of reclusive lately, but that’s not too abnormal for those of them who were on the missions a few weeks ago. But tonight she knocks on the door and while she seems to be tired, she’s sober otherwise. The circles under her eyes and the haunted look about her speak to how much she’d like to be otherwise. She remembers, though, that the telepath isn’t as free as the rest of them to partake in that type of escapism. It hardly seems fair to show up and rub it in.

Once she knocks, she leans against the wall outside the room, glancing down the hall as if trying to keep track of who all might see her out and about. And here. But that’s her own paranoia at work. No one would think anything of her visiting Kaylee and Joseph, aside from perhaps thinking it’s a bit late. But those sort of social rules fell by the wayside a while back, with them all living in such close quarters.

There is only a moment, before the door cracks open to show half of the telepath’s face. There is a blink, “Hold on…” and the door shuts. Lynette will hear words exchanged softly, before Kaylee is opening the door again, slipping out with a pair of sneakers hooked on the fingers of one hand. Her clothing suggested she was probably settling in for the evening with a comfortable pair of sweats and a t-shirt large enough to slip over one shoulder. “Hey…” Clearly, the woman figured out who the councilwoman was looking for.

The fun of being around someone who can hear your thoughts.

Door shut behind her gently, Kaylee offers the other a small smile. “How can I help you this evening?” The telepath looks about as worn and sleepless at the councilwoman, not doing much sleeping since her return to the island. Hard to sleep when all you see is death in your dreams.

Lynette gives her a nod before she slips away, taking those few moments to pace a couple steps away from the door, as if that might somehow restore the privacy there. When the door opens again, she turns and before addressing Kaylee, runs her hands through her hair. “Sorry to disturb, Kaylee,” she says, perhaps now that she’s seen how she’s dressed.

Several thoughts cross her mind, like asking the other woman how she is, if she’s been sleeping… but they’re all discarded. Lynette knows the answers. So instead, she lets out a sigh and jumps into the deep end.

“I have a question that only you can answer. About telepathy. Memories. If you… want to answer, that is. It isn’t a Ferry matter.” It’s a personal one. “It’s just for my own curiosity, really.” Although, obviously, it’s important to her, or she wouldn’t be here.

“Your fine, we were just relaxing.” Which is the truth, punctuated with a brightening of the smile on her lips, though it is hard pressed to reach her eyes. Bracing a hand on the wall, Kaylee begins working her shoes on her feet, but her attention is on the woman in front of her. Her head bobs up and down to show that she is hearing what the other is saying.

“Absolutely,” Kaylee is just happy that the other woman is comfortable enough to come to her. Fingers slide around the mouth of the shoes until they slide into place. She glances back her room and then motions the other woman to walk with her. “So… Memories?” There is a bit of hesitation, but not for the reason Lynette would know. “What do you want to know?”

While Kaylee gets her shoes on, Lynette tilts her head a bit, considering how best to word her request. But when the motion comes, she falls into step next to her easily. “In the Arcology,” she starts, getting that particular bit out of the way early, “one of the captives there, he — he knew me. Not in passing, either. But I don’t remember him at all.” It troubles her, clearly. And it is rare, that she would come to anyone about it. Perhaps she tried not to over the past few weeks.

“I was thinking… that perhaps I knew him when I was in Institute custody.” Also something she doesn’t like to talk about, generally. “That entire stretch of time is a little patchy, honestly, which has always been something I’m grateful for. But now I wonder…”

Her lips press together and she looks over at Kaylee. “A telepath with enough skill, enough finesse, could they… unravel someone out of your mind thoroughly enough that seeing them again wouldn’t trigger those memories to come back? Would those memories be gone forever or would they be locked up somewhere?” It might be wishful thinking, that he might still be in there somewhere, but she still needs to know.

Lips press into a thoughtful line as Kaylee listens to Lynette, brows furrowing as she considers the issue. Arms wrap around her against the chill of the castle in the evening as their pace carries them slowly away from the room she shares with Joseph.

“It is possible.” Kaylee admits readily enough. The fact that Lynette has never recognized her or Joseph from when she was a child proved it was very much possible. “There are highly skilled memory manipulators out there, no doubt the Institute…” The name of that place makes her stomach roil with memories. “… had them.” Her brother was a smart man, so this future version wouldn’t be much different.

“A telepath, could do the same thing.” Kaylee motions to herself as an example, “But is depends on the skill level. I…” she takes a deep breath and she confesses something very few know, “I can block memories. Bury them behind a wall of memories… But…” she shrugs a little, “My blocks only last so long… A month at most before the memory starts to bubble to the surface.” Amped though… This she doesn’t reveal, since Lynette had those blocks in her mind.
“But… yes, it is possible.”

Hands move to her hips and Lynette lets out an unsteady breath. “I was afraid you might say that,” she says, trying to sound light about it. But failing. “I don’t know why that bothers me any more than anything else they did. It’s not like any sort of violation was above them.” She has the scars to prove it. Literal scars in many cases. Other kinds, too.

She looks over at Kaylee and reaches a hand over to rest on her arm. “You do good work, Kaylee. We’re lucky to have you, I hope you know that.” The confession, the looks she sometimes gets around the island, Lynette seems to pick up on it. But doesn’t share the trepidation that others give the telepath. And, as if to prove it, that she trusts the woman next to her, a moment later she voices another thought.

“Would it be too much to ask to see if you could go in and… find him?” Lynette knows — or suspects — that her mind isn’t a fun place. She lives with it everyday after all. “He was brave and beautiful and didn’t deserve to die in that place. Forgotten.”

The compliments get a slight blush from Kaylee, she isn’t really use to something like that. “Lucky… I don’t know about that, but I’m happy to serve the cause.” The amount of telepathic work she has done for the Ferrymen has gone a long way to getting the woman to see that she could do good with it, as much as the bad that she has done in the past. Hearing it from Joseph isn’t the same, Kaylee always teases him about being biased.

Pausing, Kaylee gives the woman a strained smile, the lights around them casting shadows in such a way as to make her exhaustion noticeable. “I have undone the Institute’s handy work before.” She motions towards the direction of her room and the man within it. “So, I believe I can do the same for you. Only person I cannot do it for, is myself.” Another confession of sorts, since Kaylee had been a guest of the Institute as well.

“I – I cannot guarantee what I will find in there.” Kaylee looks only a touch worried as she offers the warning. “I could open up a Pandora’s box of memories.”

“Well, I know about it,” Lynette says with a crooked smile at Kaylee’s blush. But she doesn’t press too much on the compliment, knowing pretty well how strange it can be to receive praise you don’t feel you measure up to. Instead, she steps right to the heart of the matter.

“They certainly were thorough, weren’t they,” she says, the words only lightly reflecting the anger she feels over the things the Institute did her her and the people around her. It isn’t hard to guess that it goes deeper than the flippant words chosen. It’s a cover. A less and less convincing one.

The warning gets a pause and Lynette considers her request, her head tilted. “I’m not worried about me,” she notes, fairly quickly. “I don’t want my experience to hurt you, though.” Her eyes flick to the floor, to her feet wrapped in boots that don’t quite fit. She couldn’t keep wearing the ones she wore to the Arcology. “He thought I was someone better than I am,” she says quietly. “It made me wish he was right. I can’t shake the way he looked at me, like I was someone good. Like I was worth dying for.” She doesn’t think so, herself, clearly. “So I live and he doesn’t. It doesn’t seem fair.”

“None of what has happened lately has seemed fair,” Kaylee comments blandly, but not unkindly. “But… I get it and I’m happy to help you.” She reaches to snag Lynette’s wrist and draw her out of traffic into a corner, out of the traffic. With barely any privacy anywhere, it was as good of a place as any. Though, lucky for them, at this time of night, there were fewer people. Her hand brush against the soft fabric of her sweats, warming them with friction before lifting them, though the hesitate on each side of the woman’s head. “I need touch to make this work.” This is her way to ask permission.

“Then I need you to think about him.” Her blue eyes study the other woman, watching for any signs of hesitation. “Once I know who I am looking for, I can guide you in the next step.”

“That’s… true.” Very little has been fair for them for a long time. The reminder sobers Lynette, even as Kaylee drags her to a tucked away space. She’s grateful for it, being out of the main thoroughfare, even if it isn’t exactly private. Can’t get more private than mind-to-mind, in any case. “Of course,” she says, nodding to give her permission.

Her eyes close and she focuses on Ruiz and their moment in the Ark. The first thought is his face after he was shot and dying, telling her to run, but she pushes that off to the side to rewind the memory some, to when he wasn’t hurt and there was hope they might both get out. Or, at least, that’s how she remembers it. In the memory, he does seem happy to see her.

The tip of Kaylee’s fingers touches the other woman’s temples, connection points that in their mysterious way, eased the strain of her ability. She feels it almost immediately and the flood of images coming at her. Whoa. Gently, Kaylee takes control of the memories as they settle on the face of this Ruiz.

«Wow… You were not lying.»

The mental sound of Kaylee’s voice is hollow and echoes softly. It’s obvious that she agrees with Lynette’s idea of the man’s looks. The telepath isn’t so dead that she can’t comment on a looker when she sees one. She gently sharpens the happier parts of the memory and softens the edges of the bad parts, but doesn’t block them. Lynette deserved that little bit, at least. She’ll remember the lighter conversation much more readily, then his dying form. Once that is done, Kaylee’s mental hands comes together as she pushed back to look at a broader look of the woman’s mind. She doesn’t reach for anything yet, though she notices her own handy work almost immediately.

«Okay…» Kaylee’s mental voice seems to take on a sort of silky quality as she continues, «Take me back.» The persuasion in her voice, helping to guide the other blonde. She follows Lynette’s thoughts her fingers reach for those memories from her stay in the Institute, looking for any blocks as they move along.

“I never lie about a gorgeous man,” Lynette says, although her voice seems to come from nowhere in particular. Of course, it’s possible that she remembers him as more handsome than he was in reality, but this is how he’ll always be for her. If she notices the change in the memory, she doesn’t say anything about it.

When Kaylee asks her to take her back, the memory in front of her fractures, branch-like cracks spreading over glass as the focus moves away from Ruiz specifically and back to her first introduction to the Institute. As they move by, the broken glass between memories shows a variety of Lynette, reflected like hundreds of mirrors. In some, she’s happy and young, in others she’s angry and violent. There’s more than one showing her in a Refrain-induced trance, some seeming more wistful, some more graphic and frightening. Her opinion on the drug is mixed.

But those seem to be where she starts to focus, memories in the glass show her abduction outside Gun Hill, then — noticing she’s gone too far — skips forward to the first trials, her time under Bella’s care, which she seems to remember well, despite the fact that she was drugged more often than not. Refrain or negation drugs, and neither her choice.

Once she has confirmation that they are there, Kaylee concentrates her ability on that part of Lynette’s memory. Snagging the shard of glass, the telepath snags each end of it and pulls her hands apart. The glass lengthens until it resembles a length of film. The strip slides deftly through telepathic fingers as she searches. The longer the strip of Lynette’s memories slides through her hands, brows furrow and the first tendrils of curiosity tickle at the back of her mind.

Suddenly, Lynette feels a gentle pressure as Kaylee stops the flow of memories rather suddenly.

«Nothing…» Kaylee seems to be doubting herself a little. «Nothing?!?»

Taking control again, Kaylee gives a swipe of her hand, like a thumb across the screen of a smartphone. In a whirl of memories, they find themselves looking at Ruiz again. This time, Kaylee pull Lynette into her own mind so that they are both standing there looking at this… gorgeous specimen of a man. Yeah… she thought it. Like this she can’t hide it.

«I think, dear councilwoman, you have a true mystery on your hands.» Kaylee’s thoughts still surround the other woman, which seems rather odd since her mouth doesn’t move. Despite the thrum of pain behind her eyes, exhausting her ability like this, blue-eyes shift to look at Lynette, brows lifting. It is clear, the telepath’s curiosity is piqued. She moves closer to the figure of Ruiz. «I wonder who he is.»

Lynette seems to handle Kaylee taking over the flow of her memories well enough, apparently trusting that the telepath knows what she’s doing. And when Lynette appears, she herself looks like a cracked glass, shards of thousands of different parts of her forming a patchwork whole that seems nearly intangible. But present enough to sigh at the memory of Ruiz. He smiles, the way you smile at a trusted friend, at someone you never thought to see again. There is no argument that the man is something to look at. Rather, Lynette would have been more surprised if Kaylee didn’t think so.

“I was afraid you would say that, too,” she says, her voice having a source this time, even if it echoes with layers of many voices. She steps closer, too, holding out a hand like she might try to touch him, but at the last moment backs away again. “He said he would tell me when we got out. But he didn’t get out. I’m not entirely sure how to find out.” She looks over at Kaylee, her gaze troubled, “He died to save me, Kaylee. Why would he do that?”

Why would her father destroy whole timelines to save his children? People were a mystery, but certain factors seemed to drive them all. Kaylee sighs considering the man before them both. «First, I think first you need to find out if he made it.» Seems the most logical step really.

She gives the councilwoman her full attention now, «Let me see if my brother, Richard, is back from all that craziness in Alaska. If…» She glances at Ruiz, brows furrowing in thoughtful consideration, «If anyone has the resources to find out, he just might.» She spreads her hands in a helpless gesture. «If he thinks he can help, I’ll get you in contact with him.»

It was the best the telepath can offer.

The offer gets Lynette’s attention, that’s for sure. Her initial instinct is to deny it outright. She knows the chances of him surviving his wounds and the collapse of the facility are slim to none. Leaning toward none. She glances away from Kaylee, over to the memory of the man. Her opinion swings the other way, wanting to grab hold of the idea that he could have. After all, it was holding Evolved of all stripes. If there was a place he could have randomly come across a healer or a teleporter, that would be the place. Hope shines — for a moment — through the cracks in her glass.

But it is just a moment.

“That isn’t a priority,” she says, not as Lynette, but as councilwoman, who is far more sensible, usually. “Your brother doesn’t need any more on his plate, especially something as… self indulgent as this. If he survived, I suspect he knows where to find me.” Or will, soon. With the news broadcasting as it has been. She looks back over to Kaylee, shaky hands coming to rest on her hips. “And we need to focus on our people. As much as I might like to, it can’t be a priority.”

The telepath gives a wave of her hand the images fall back in their cracked mirror forms; though Ruiz stands out more, giving Lynette a clearer memory of the man. «I won’t… and it won’t.» Kaylee has more pressing issues to think on then a mystery like this, though it will tickle at the back of her mind for sometime.

«However, I am hoping to see my brother, either way.» Kaylee’s features sadden and even seem worried. «The news that Mr. Ryans and his team brought back… it worries me.» She needs to see her family again, really. «However, if it comes up in conversation, I’ll mention it.»

The telepath turn around slowly, wincing at the way the movement, even imaginary, makes her head swim and the throbbing increase.. «Is that all you needed? While I am in here?»

“Of course,” Lynette says with a more severe expression, “I hope you see him soon, then.” Because the news from up north was not good. Not a bit of it. “You can let him know, we’ll do what we can to support him. And his team. If they need us.”

A bittersweet smile comes to her face, for all that it’s made of broken glass. “If it comes up.” She looks back to the memories in their own shards, gaze scanning until she lands on Ruiz again. “Maybe I’ll find him again. Make some new memories.” It’s a quiet, doomed hope, one she’ll only ever entertain here in her own mind. Maybe only this one time. But she turns back to Kaylee at those last words. “Yes, that’s all. Thank you for helping me, Kaylee. I appreciate it, truly.”

There is no answer from the telepath; instead, Lynette will feel the loosening of telepathic hold. First, she will hear the sounds of people passing by in the hall, then slowly, she’ll become more aware of the world around her. When she focuses on Kaylee, the telepath offers a pained smile in return; fingers moving to brush a little blood from her own nose.

“Your welcome,” Kaylee finally offers, there in the real world, voice a little strained. A little more blood is brushed from the telepath’s nose. “I hope you do find him.” She means it obviously. “If I can I’ll see what I can do… What Richard might.

A wicked little glint flickers there in Kaylee’s eyes and she gives a little sniff, “I’d say I would be jealous, but… I like really like one I have.” Joseph she means, glancing back down the hall.

As Lynette comes to, she leans back against the wall behind her, letting out a heavy sigh. Out here in the real world, she’s less expressive, less open. She looks over at Kaylee, frowning at the blood. “It would be better for me to just forget about him, more than likely,” she says, dryly. She won’t, as Kaylee is well aware, but if she can say it with enough conviction, perhaps it’ll come to pass. There is a smirk at the glint from the telepath. “Yours is very good. And real, so.” Not being jealous is probably a good idea.

“Please let me know if there’s ever a favor I can do for you,” she says, seeing herself as owing now, perhaps more so because Kaylee is in pain. “I’ll let you get back. Before we waste the whole night standing out here.” She reaches over to put a hand on Kaylee’s shoulder, and she gives her a more gentle smile before she turns to head back for her own quarters. Or wherever she might end up when sleep eludes her.

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