A Place A Lot Like Home


vf_kaylee_icon3.gif wf_luther_icon.gif

Scene Title A Place A Lot Like Home
Synopsis Kaylee never expected to want to stay in a world like her own, but that is exactly what she is going to do in the name of something more.
Date March 18, 2018

Kaylee’s Spot

When she had gone to take the canned goods to the mobile mess hall, Kaylee Thatcher had told the team she’d be right back. What she hadn’t expected was to have Elizabeth Harrison ask to talk to her.

The one thing that the conversation with Liz did it was get Kaylee started thinking about the future. The telepath had been so tied up in the now, she had forgotten to think about what the future held in the choices she was making. Her stomach was twisted in knots over it. She had a choice to make: Stay with Luther or follow her family. Was there even a chance at both?

There was so much time let to decide, but at the same time, if felt like there wasn’t enough.

When she had spoken to the woman who was like a sister to her, Kaylee felt certain she knew the answer, but as she rushed away from her friend, there was growing doubt. The relationship with Luther was so new, how could she be certain he would want to be with her. If she stayed, she took a risk that one day… he’d walk away. Then she’d be all alone again.

It was a tough decision. However, Kaylee hadn’t lied, Luther Bellamy felt like home.

Instead of returning to unpacking the cans or even just back to her team, the telepath found herself wandering toward her spot. A place she found where she could thinking. For a time, it had been so she and Tyler could talk without eyes on her, but now, Kaylee found comfort there. Perched on the single desk that overlooked a huge hole torn out of the side of a building. She could see the water from there, she watches the sunlight glisten off it, or at least appeared too.

It would be dark soon.

“No, Tyler,” Kaylee hisses out softly, brushing at gathering tears as she struggled with herself. “I don’t want to talk to you about it right now,” the words are almost growled out, a hand moving to loosen the scarf around her neck - it was starting to get warmer out. “and I know your opinion on the matter.” Booted heels tap softly against the front of the desk. “Just go okay?” her words almost pleading.

Not like the team is constantly under surveillance, but they do have a loose schedule to keep. With the date of the Dome infiltration looming, the group going in would be leaving, and those remaining outside the area would have their own plans to enact. All in the effort to help the travelers get home. Wherever… whenever that would be.

Thoughts of the far future are hardly part of the worries for the teams at present. Most of the strategy has been survival. Resistance. If there were plans, only the top leaders would know, if Eve shared. The rest of the time, though, would be spent doing what needed to be done. Part of that was the night patrol.

With the night’s approach and no sign of Kaylee, it’s sent Luther out in search of the telepath. The trek has taken time, and by the time he’s figures out the final spot to look, he’s told the remaining search party to head back and taken the last leg alone. She’ll feel his mind’s approach first, as her ability has been able to detect such things. But he also makes no secret of his presence, as he calls up halfway in on the stairs, “Kaylee? You up there?” He shoulders the light pack a little further up, securing the rifle in his hands and leading with the barrel first.

When someone passes into to her mental field, Kaylee sits a little straighter and hisses out a “Shhh,” to her head ghost and waves a hand at him to quiet down. She needed to listen. It take a few moments, but she realizes quickly who it is and she pales. “What time is it?” Whatever answer Tyler gives gets a flat look. “You’re no help, you know that?” she whispers fiercely.

So buried in her own thoughts, Kaylee is only just realizing how late it is. A glance goes to the opening in the wall where the light is starting to fade. “Shit.” A hand presses to her forehead briefly and then she is frantically wipes the dampness from her face with her scarf. “I’m here,” she finally calls out, jumping to her feet and turning to the door, her voice dripping with guilt. “I-I’m sorry… I-” trailing off she realizes she has no real good excuse for ducking out on her duties or leaving her team hanging.

Any reason she had was selfish really.

Shoulder slumped, Kaylee waits till she can see him. Looking like a schoolgirl who had been caught ditching class, her gaze drops from his, and she offers a genuine, “I’m really sorry, Luther.”

Long legs claim the stairs quicker once Luther hears an answer. Once he’s reached the floor and found his way into the blown out office, the man pauses at the doorway when he sees her. Despite the stern expression his face naturally seems to carry, there is relief behind it. Even if he had heard her, actually seeing her truly solidified the notion that she was safe. Her apologies at first don’t garner much reaction outside of a long stare. Some have withered under it. But the truth is that Luther’s taking in the moment, feeling out the surroundings. Feeling out her. In the low light, he hardly sees the wetness of her features or the red in her eyes. But he notes the slumped shoulders, the ducked head and lowered eyes.

He knows guilt when he sees it.

“You weren’t at the mess,” he remarks after a beat, pausing to look out of the open hole, peering into the growing twilight. Shifting his rifle behind him, he finally steps forward, coming to loom over her, although not overbearingly. Hands twitch at his sides with the urge to reach over, but they stay and still.

“Are you okay?” The question comes out quiet, above a whisper but below normal conversation as if to respect the private space even if he’s invaded it with his body’s presence.

“I know,” Kaylee quietly responds to the fact she wasn’t at the mess. “Liz stopped by and… wanted to talk.” By her tone, it might be why she is here. “After, my head was spinning and I kind of wandered here to think. I know it’s not a good excuse for shirking my duties or worrying you.”

It isn’t until he is there, looming over her that red rimmed eyes lifts to his gaze. His question, gets a “I’m fine-” But she stops herself and sighs with a shake of her head. “Who am I kidding? That’s a lie,” she admits, taking a few steps back and sitting heavily on the desk. “Liz noticed us getting close and was worried I wouldn’t- Well, that I wouldn’t make sure my niece, Aurora, got out of this world, if something happened to Liz.”

Brows furrow and her gaze drops to her hands which fidget with nervous energy; folding and unfolding. “I was so focused on us, I forgot that this was technically a short stop and there was a choice ahead of us… ahead of me.” Kaylee looks up again and offers a small sad smile. “To stay here or jump.”

It wasn’t more than a day ago they came upon their desires… their feelings about staying around more than the usual routine. As she goes on about what had been said, Luther’s brow furrows under a feeling of tension, watching her fidget. “Oh.” The singular word comes out more like a grunt, and he turns his gaze towards the horizon again. Behind it, held back, almost like a coldfront moving in between, the man pulls away for a moment.

She had retreated to think about the decision, and here he came barging in. He almost starts to turn back for the door, to head back to the stairs, but doesn’t get more than half through the turn before he looks back at her over his shoulder. “Didn’t know you two were related,” remarks the man after a beat. It’s almost like small talk, except that it comes with an awareness of the situation, that feeling like he had intruded. The man’s gaze drops away as he reconciles inwardly the possibilities of her decisions.

There is a twist in her chest as he seems to start to leave, hands twitch and she thinks about going to him… but then he stops and looks back at her. The question makes her realize how little they have talked about themselves.There is fresh guilt that goes with that. “We are,” Kaylee says softly, “My brother’s Aurora’s biological father. Adopted brother, but what’s blood really?” She doesn’t go into the whole timelines thing. “Shaw is just as much a brother, too, but I picked him.” There is a a little huff of amusement. Her best friend and brother of the heart. All of them had wiggled their way into the telepath’s heart, even though she tried to keep them at a distance. “We’ve all been through so much together.”

A sound escapes her, one of frustration; hand cover her face as she tries not to scream out her feelings. “Why did she have to…” Kaylee doesn’t finish that, she knows why Elisabeth came to her, for her daughter’s sake. She would have done the same if it had been her own. “Both choices are scary,” she admits, shoulders slumped. “Both choices hurt to think about.” Hands move to help her sit fully on the desk and then turn to where she can look out into the falling darkness again.

With her back to him, her voice is a little harder to hear, as she poses a question to herself. “Do I take a chance and go with what my heart is telling me and risk being alone in a strange place…” One hands lifts as if that choice was in one hand… and the other lifts as she continues, “or do I go with them and… just… be miserable again, but have my family and help keep them safe. Family first as my father once told me.” He won’t see the tears start again, but he might hear them in her voice. He’ll know for certain when both hands move to swipe at the tears.

Unspoken general acceptance fills in Luther's response, and he nods slowly to the explanation of Aurora's parents. Though, the mention of Shaw as her brother gets a faint echo of the amusement. "Chicken Tender," he rumbles out of the other man's not so flattering but accurate nickname, eyes gradually returning to watch the telepath. But at her comment about having gone through a lot with the group of travelers, the amusement fades out of his expression.

Luther continues to follow her with his gaze as she works through the frustration and worry. Hearing the wavering in her voice finally spurs him to move. The man walks over, shedding his pack and gun to the floor beside the desk and coming around to fill the woman's view. He stands there quietly, blinking at her, formulating thoughts to words.

"There's no certainty about the future," he starts. "Could be here one moment, gone the next. If living on this piece of dirt's taught me anything, you got to take it as it comes." There's a but. "But I know this piece of dirt, only, and you've… you've seen more. Maybe there's a bigger picture. I don't know. Probably only Eve gets that sort of thing."

His mouth presses into a thin line, eyes dipping do her lap and brow pinching together. "I can't tell you what you should do," Luther says as he comes to the thoughts he's digging for. "But I do know what I want." He steps forward, coming closer, hand drifting up to cup her face.

When he moves into her periphery, Kaylee looks up at him with watery blue eyes. It’s apparent there is a real struggle there. Giving a sniffle, she moves to rub her sleeve across tear-filled eyes. Only after does she nods a bit. “I know you can’t” she says softly. This was her choice. Her much smaller and slimmer hands both move to hold that larger feverishly warm hand against her cheek, leaning into it. Eyes close against the touch and she sighs, seeming to relax a little.

“Being around you…” Kaylee swallows and shakes her head. “I told Liz you felt like home.” It feels weird to admit it to him. “I know what I want.” There is a pause, brow furrowing and hands release his against her cheek. “I think.” There was that doubt inserting itself in her thoughts.

“You could come with us,” The words escape, before Kaylee can stop them. It was too late now, her eyes hold a touch of hope there as she presses onward. “There could be a world like the last one, with no robots. No running and hiding. No hatred of our kind.” Of course, it could be worse, too.

For that moment, her hands and cheek feel cold against his hand as she leans upon it, and Luther holds back the urge to shift himself forward and pressure. The feeling restrained, he arches his brows at her confession. The phrase pins itself deeply. That he felt like home. But then comes the clouding doubt, and he withdraws his hand back to his side.

Grey eyes stare, blink, then look away when she suggests going with them, only to turn back to the telepath and narrow, the skepticism obvious. “That’s impossible,” he comments of the last part, his hand sweeping the air in dismissive gesture as he moves to lean back on the desk beside her, weight on his palms. “From what I’ve heard, yeah, the last place you all were in was the best shot at that. Then, you all wound up here.” As they know now, it’s perhaps the worst possible outcome, a complete 180.

Luther shakes his head slowly, the man unable to truly comprehend the time travel business. What he does know, though, is the fight. Turning back to Kaylee, he doesn’t look unhappy, though the gruff demeanor prickles with an underlying concern. “What if you wind up worse off?” The worst case scenario is just that, and Luther grows discomfited at the notion.

“I’d still have you and them,” is the only counter Kaylee has to his argument on the matter. “Selfish, but true. I want it all.” The smile she throws at him is apologetic. “Think on it at least, there is time.”

“Sometimes, I wish dad was here, he’d know the best course. That’s his ability, probability manipulation…” Kaylee trails off a looking going to the space on the other side of her, “but then Tyler reminds me…. he’d just see you as a threat and try to kill you.” It is said so casually and calmly, like she was stating a simple fact. She has no qualms of how much her safety meant to Edward.

The man will find himself studied in the near dark, features almost gray from it. “I don't regret the last jump, not since you walked into my life… well, rolled in on that buggy, really. ” She looks outside and nods to the world out there. “I can live with all that out there, cause you make me feel safe. When we are out there working as a team…” she leans over and gives him a toothy and wicked smile, “blowing shit up,” Kaylee straightens, smile fading into something more thoughtful, and continues, “it feels right. Like I belong here.”

There is a soft sigh after a few moments of silence. “No matter how bad it is where we are, I know we’re stronger together.” And to be honest, they had already been in some bad situations. “I’m going to stay wherever you are.” There is a but in there, “But I can't help still being scared of giving up what I had for something still so new,” Kaylee admits, the words whispered in the darkness between them. This wasn't a small decision she was making, he had to know. It was decision that would affect the rest of her life.

“Is it always like this when there is a choice to make where the heart is concerned?” Kaylee gives a soft amused sigh, huffed out in a faint plume of white. “I have to tell, Kain.” A task she dreaded.

Luther casts a sidelong glance to the telepath and a corner of his mouth twists up as she admits to wanting it all. He nods once - he'll think on it. The oh so casual mention of her father seeing him as a threat to eliminate, though, immediately twists the smile down to a frown accompanied by pinched brow and a fiercer, sharp glare of narrowed grey eyes. But still, no comment. At least not audibly. His expression says it all for a man who would meet fire with… literal fire.

In the growing dark, once Luther takes notice of it he becomes warier of their surroundings. Though he pays attention to her words, and looks to her when she leans in, a part of his awareness extends out. Her commitments and promises refocus him to her.

"Or don't," he eventually says after a longer pause. "I can tell him, if you want. If you're choosing to stay on account of me. He's like, what, an older brother to you? Father figure?" The man's tone implies he's already thinking of how to handle things, should they go south. Like he expects them to. Worst case scenarios.

The offer to inform Kain of her decision, it brings more tears to her eyes, but still she is smiling. Quietly, Kaylee slips an arm through his and rests her head against his shoulder. “Yeah,” Kaylee admits, “Something like that. When I was at my loneliest and my dad was ‘too busy’ he put up with me being around. I think he felt sorry for the fact I was restricted so much. When I needed advice, he was there… often bad advice,” she comments with a soft chuckle, leaning against Luther. “But he was there for me, where my dad really wasn’t and he’s been watching my back all this time.” Something, that Luther has taken over a lot of, she is suddenly realizing.

“I appreciate the offer, but I need to be the one to break it to him,” Kaylee says softly after a moment of thought. “From anyone but me would be insulting to.. our bond? I could use the support though. He can be a little gruff and grumpy… kinda loud when he’s upset.” There is more amusement than anything in the way she describes Kain. “But that’s only cause he cares.”

When her arm slides around his, Luther shifts his seat and tucks his arm tighter around hers, going still again and relaxing in a comfortable hunch. There’s still a touch of wariness, but a confidence covers him as he listens. He relinquishes some of that awareness to her and her ability to sense outward as well.

So far, the spot hasn’t been discovered by anybody else.

He’s relaxing, but her description of Kain piques a part of the man as he recognizes some similarities. And the word, bond, makes a brow arch. Luther looks down at the top of her head leaned against him, rumbling out, “Did you sleep with him, too?” Inquiring minds need to know. And that little piece affects his methodology when approaching the situation with the other man.

The question gets a bark of laughter, it escapes before she can stop it, to her it sounds like a completely ridiculous notion. Almost as soon as the sound passes her lips, her free hand clamps over her mouth. Her heads lifts as she gives an apology, regret colors her words, “Sorry. That was rude. It was a legitimate question.”

Taking a deep breath, Kaylee places her head on his shoulder again. “It’s… it’s just not like that. It would be like sleeping with my dad or brother.” Her nose wrinkles at the idea. “No. Though there was a time I thought about it, but he’s… stuck on someone. Someone he feels he failed and he just can’t… let go. Honestly, it was a good thing,” Her shoulders shrug, awkward with her lean. “He became more family instead, more so as we have been hopping into other worlds.”

In reaction to her short laugh and following restraint, Luther arches his brows as he looks down at her, head tilting at the apology. The man blinks, apparently not offended in the slightest. It's hardly the rudest thing he's had leveled at him. As she goes on to explain, the first portion also gets a wordless grunt, though he shifts beneath her leaned head.

Luther is silent a while longer, turning the telepath's words over in the quiet. "I know the feeling," he remarks on the latter part eventually. "Pretty sure everybody in camp knows that feeling." His arm changes position again, this time to slip around her waist in the dark, and she can hear, feel the long sigh escape the man.

"Does this mean I'm the better lookin' one?" The question rumbles out, totally serious. Or not. Mostly serious. "'Cause if you're going to be stuck with me, you ought to make sure you get something nice to look at." The teasing rumble accompanies a dip of his bearded chin down upon her head.

“Everyone from my world, too.” It’s said softly. ““There was a time I was the same way about Peter,” Kaylee admits a little reluctantly. “I'm hoping Kain finds someone to shake him out of it.” She did.

“And as long as you shower more than once a century, I don't care what you look like,” Kaylee teases right back. He can't see the smile on her face, but he doesn't need to, it colors her words. “It wasn't your looks I fell for, it was you. You’re the only reason I’d ever even think of staying in a place like this.”

Shifting into more of a lean, Kaylee turns her body enough to slip arms around his torso - under the coat, of course - to take advantage of the warmth he radiates naturally. Once settled, her own sigh mirrors his. “The looks are just a bonus really,” she adds, still teasing. “And the built in heater.” Arms tighten slightly in emphasis.

When his chin rests on top of her head, Kaylee's eyes drift shut for a long moment; just enjoying the feeling of being wrapped together like that. The contact alone goes a long way to relax her. “You make me feel so safe. Ain’t nobody got anything on you for that.”

"Once a century? What're you trying to say about my age," counters Luther with a mock-frown to his tone. But again, he’s not serious nor offended. He leans his weight close as she hooks around him, her settling against him has the man briefly pondering disturbing the peaceful moment. He stretches it out for as long as he can, until the next sigh exhales out with a reluctant interrupt. "We better get back," he says, his other hand reaching over to brush her hair. "Before they send a second search party." Although, his fingers lazily play with a lock of her hair as he considers. Maybe they should let the search party come. They could use the practice.

Even after he says they need to go, listening to how Luther’s voice rumbles, Kaylee sits there a little longer; thoughtful. Finally, though, she does pulls away, with a quick kiss to his scruffy jaw and a sigh. “You’re right,” she agrees looking towards the darkness outside of their little world. “I’ve already caused enough trouble to everyone, no need to make it worse.” She’ll have a lot of apologizing to do as it is.

Sliding off the desk, Kaylee retrieves her rifle - at least she didn't leave that behind - and offers a hand to him, with a smile. “Come on, Drill Sergeant, time to bring this wayward soldier back to camp.”

The quick kiss is over in less than a blink, though it leaves Luther wanting. The man's following reluctant rumble accompanies his push up to his feet as well, hoisting pack and gun back onto his shoulder. It's dark, but their eyes have adjusted to the evening light long ago. He watches as she picks up her rifle. Eyes dip to the hand held out, the back to her smile.

Luther reaches his hand out to take hers, and in that moment steps in further to draw her into a longer kiss. The drill sergeant part of his manner pushes aside in favor of a shared moment of intimate contact. After the break for a breath, he looks into her eyes for a lingering pause, and then turns to resume the lead back to camp.

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