All Different Kinds Of Family


elisabeth_icon2.gif vf_kaylee_icon2.gif

Scene Title All Different Kinds of Family
Synopsis Dimensionally displaced people build families where and how they can.
Date February 19, 2012

Pastry Shop and Walking

It's easy to lie to one another via text, tell each other that everything's fine. Elisabeth texts Kaylee every other day or so, even if it's just to offer a stupid tidbit on the weather or to ask if she slept or check on whether Kaylee has talked to any of the others who came through — she doesn't have personal ties to Ling or Kain and she's reluctant to reach out to Elspeth for a variety of reasons, not the least of which being that she's pretty sure there is nothing she can say or do to help. This world, even several weeks following their arrival, is easier for Liz to settle into — the Virus refugees have got to be on complete overload most of the time.

She pokes Kaylee via text on this day to get her to come out for coffee. It's cold, the snow is falling, but you know what? Makes it a perfect time to meet at a pastry shop. And the audiokinetic has an excuse for pastries, right??

One thing that was never known in the other world is that Kaylee was a bit of a foodie, so an excuse to enjoy food is an easy one to use on her. In this family-friendly shop, the telepath looks a little out of place in her jeans, t-shirt, and leather jacket. Blonde hair now a rich brown keeps her from looking too much like a grungy biker, as it falls about her shoulders in a cascade of earthy tones.

It’s the ragged scar, now healed, dark with scarring that often catches peoples eyes. As many times she’d been asked, Kaylee has never seeked out the healer Liz told her about. Today was one of those day, the telepath was trying to eat her weight…. Stressed. If it wasn’t for the fact, Liz knows better, you’d think Kaylee was pregnant too. “Asshole got handsy… so I punched him. Sent him off his merry way… so I’m looking for a new place to work.”

Liz had been admiring the color of the telepath's new hair when she picked up on the stress, so as they picked at sugary goodness she kept the chatter light. But now, with Kaylee finally opening up a little about it, she quirks a brow. "Good for you," is the opinion. She is staunchly in Kaylee's corner. "There's always jobs. Worst case, I'm reasonably sure you could come wait tables with me or something until you find something better."

Nibbling on her apple tart, Elisabeth tilts her head and studies the other woman. "I'm doing it between small piano-playing gigs, and it's not like it's a tough job. I'm thinking about taking in private students after the kid's born, though. You don't really need a lot of stuff for that and it's flexible hours, you know?" Her blue eyes skip over Kaylee's expression, and she asks mildly, "Is that all that has you wound tight as a spring? Cuz… generally, you don't seem like laying a guy out for being a dick would get to you enough for stress-munchies."

Blue-eyes move around the area, looking at this person and that while she picks apart a croissant, eating each bit that is pulled off slowly. “Just… still trying to adjust to this place. Hard to feel like it’s home,” Kaylee admits ruefully glancing at Elisabeth out of the corner of her eye. “Trying though.” She offers a small smile as if to say it’s no big deal.

“And damn… how’s it that pregnant women always look so damn amazin’? You and Elaine both.” A bad attempt at shifting the subject. “How far are ya now?”

Elisabeth notes the awkward topic change silently with a faint smile. She's not going to push too hard. "About 4 months, give or take," she replies, "Still working on putting back on some weight." Rolling her eyes, she adds, "as if that's not going to happen all by itself."

She leans on her elbows, trying to decide how far to nudge and perhaps how much to share. "It doesn't feel like home to me, either." The words are soft. "It's… close. A lot of similarities, some significant differences. The hardest part for me is… knowing that I can't turn to the people I think of as friends or family here. Because even though they're here, they don't really know me. This is her world." Liz toys with her cup of hot chocolate — she's trying to behave about caffeine — and admits in a rather shamefaced way, "I sit at a park across the street from my father's favorite bodega once a week since we got here. Just to watch him go inside and come out again."

Daddy issues are all the rage.

The mention of her father, has Kaylee thinking about her own; and suddenly her appetite turns to ash. The pastry is set down slowly. “I — I looked. I can’t find him.” Her own father. Since Mateo had confessed, she had looked for him. “Course, that might be how he wants it.” A sad smile touches her lips. “He’d leave me signs.”

Edward Ray was funny that way.

Blinking rapidly, Kaylee checks her phone and sits forward a bit, “Crap, I promised Kain I’d meet him.” Hard to know if that was true or she was running away.

Elisabeth shakes her head and puts her hand out onto Kaylee's arm. "Stay?" There's a long moment where it's clear she's not sure she's going to say it, but the telepath has been in this world long enough to see that it's just a world — good and bad. "He can't. Not here," she tells Kaylee softly. "The Edward Ray who lives here is actually the first Edward I think I ever met. Do you want the information on where he is? You're not going to like my answers, but I'm… "

Liz releases her arm, unwilling to hold her if she doesn't want to stay. "I'm sitting on a rather lot of information about this world. I'm just not entirely sure whether to speak up on any given occasion, Kaylee. I've already destroyed so much."

The telepath is already half out of her seat, when hand lands on her arm and that small bomb. Brows furrow a little and Kaylee slowly settles herself back in her chair. “What do you mean he can’t?” Her words are cautious, the idea had crossed her mind that he might be dead here, too.

“How do you know so much about this place?” She shakes her head, brown curls sliding over her shoulder. “Not important.” Kaylee waves off the question, even though her curiosity over it burns bright. Her father is the important thing. “Where’s my father, Liz?” she asks with a voice filled with anticipation.

Elisabeth's hand waggles back and forth, her nose wrinkling in an uncertain kind of expression. "Well, maybe a little important, but we can come back to it," she promises quietly. "He's in prison, Kaylee." Her tone is gentle but steady. "Basically he got dark-holed into Evo Gitmo."

The words are stark and she stops there to let Kaylee absorb.

It might not be the reaction Liz expects, but Kaylee looks relieved. “So he’s at least alive.” Alive meant there was a chance.

Then it really sinks in. “Dark-holed?” Kaylee had heard of terms like that. Her shoulders fall a little. It makes sense with his ability and what he can do with it, they had seen in her own world. Her gaze falls to the half eaten croissant and after a moment asks, “What’s the place called?”

Pursing her lips, Elisabeth warns softly, "I will tell you all of it, but… Kaylee, the story isn't as straightforward as getting to go visit your father in prison." She sighs heavily. "Would you rather sit here or would you rather walk while I tell you what I know?"

“Dark-holed rarely means visiting hours,” Kaylee gets it. “Normally, means you pissed someone off, are considered a danger,” which is probably her father’s issue, “or you know something they don’t want to get out.”

A subtle glance around, eyes unfocusing briefly. “Let’s walk. It’ll do you good anyhow.” Kaylee has never really had to worry about the calories she consumed, rarely gaining much weight at all.

Elisabeth breathes a little easier; Kaylee at least understands she's not going to be able to get in there. At least… not easily. She moves to stand up, grabbing her jacket from the back of her chair, and gestures for Kaylee to go ahead of her. When they're both bundled up against the February cold and outside on the sidewalk, for the first time in months the audiokinetic snaps a sound barrier around herself and her companion so that they can move and converse without being accidentally overheard. It's not a noticeable shift, unless you know — the sounds coming in are still just fine.

As they walk, Liz shoves her hands into her jacket pockets. "In your father's case, I think it's actually a little of all three," she observes. "This is kind of a long story. In my world, one of the things that made our stepping sideways possible was a machine that someone tried to build. Or rather, rebuild. The original was built in 1982. Magnes and I were trying to stop the person attempting to rebuild it when everything went out of control. Apparently… something similar happened here. Your father was part of the original experiments around those machines both in my world and in this one. In this world, however, people who want to make sure he can't tell anyone else what he knows and want to make sure he can't stop them from rebuilding the machine have put him in prison. The same people are the ones that Tamara and her school bus were trying to keep off our asses when they picked us up on the building."

It's a hell of a lot to take in, and Liz gives her whatever time she needs to think on it.

Quiet as the story unfolds, brows furrowing a little deeper with each passing moment. There is something familiar with what she is talking about, but it’s the date that has Kaylee’s breath catching and she stops. “1982,” Kaylee breaths out, brows lifting. “Last time I saw…” Her voice catches and she shakes her head. It wasn’t the time, even though the wound was still raw. He had told her to keep it secret, but that didn’t seem so important given that Elisabeth knows about it. “Last time I saw dad, he told me about 1982.”

Turning towards Elisabeth, the telepath has a look of wonder. “He said that, he was my age when it happened. He was helping a friend with an experiment that was suppose to looking either into the past or future, but something went wrong.” Reaching up she grips Liz’s arm. “He said instead they ripped a hole between worlds and he saw another version himself standing on the other side.”

Her hand slides away from the other woman’s arm, with an apologetic look, “He, uh, he said he had photograph proof that he stashed away, but figured by now it was gone.” Kaylee falls silent then, turning to walk again, because after that he has made her a promise that they would have a life as a family in the new world.

Jesus, what? Elisabeth is drawn to a stop on the sidewalk and stares. "I… oh God, Kaylee." She's thought the telepath wouldn't believe at least some of this, but she gives Liz that piece. So now we know that it happened in Virus too. Christ. "Uhm… did he by chance tell you where?" She asks sounds rather flabbergasted.

As they resume their walking, Liz shakes her head a little. Pulling in a long, slow sigh, she murmurs, "That… makes me worry that Edward here might have done the same thing and that Arthur Petrelli either has it or has been trying to get it all this time." It's more or less rhetorical, an absent thinking aloud.

Kaylee gives an slow, apologetic shake of her head, “No and I didn’t think to ask.” It didn’t seem important at the time, is what goes unsaid. “I — I wonder if it was wherever he did this experiment? I’ve only ever known Kentucky and NewYork… Seemed like he was always coverin’ somethin’. ‘Cause clearly he wasn’t a lawyer and they were married… I wasn’t a part of any affair. He told me as much.” She sighs softly, “He was going to tell me the rest when we got over here.”

There is a huff of a laugh, filled with bitterness. “Bet he knew he wasn’t going to make it.” Realizing what she is saying, Kaylee gives a shake of her head and a glance to Elizabeth. “So the question becomes, Liz. Do you know where he is at?” She isn’t letting that go, for sure.

Sighing heavily, Liz admits, "I can't tell you much about that part… I know Warr— Mortimer. I've met Valerie. And obviously I know Richard, who was supposedly your foster brother. Edward's exact history hasn't exactly been something I ever knew. And occasionally I'm not sure that what I do know is even true." Her wry tone is accompanied by a shake of the head.

But she nods slowly. "He's incarcerated under ultra-high security in Moab Federal Penitentiary," Elisabeth tells her softly. "It's… generally speaking, it's just a jail. But I think it may also be a government black site — officially there are no records that the prisoners even exist. Or if there are, they're buried really deep." Is it better than being dead? That's something only Kaylee can really decide. "I never heard exactly what kind of situation they were keeping him in — whether he was negated or sedated or who knows what."

A hand lifts to touch the medallion at her neck, “I knew about Richard and I knew I had two other siblings.” Seems Edward was rather selective in what he told Kaylee about her own family. “Just didn’t know their names…” There is a moment, brows furrowing. “Wait. Mortimer?” There is confusing, “Not Mortimer Jack? That crazy guy that was always on the news?”

Talk of the prison has the younger woman falling silent to listen, eyes narrowing at the world beyond them as if the wheels are already turning. Kaylee sounds thoughtful as she talks.

“If I were them, I would be using his ability. With the right information you can have the upper hand. Though it would be walking on the edge of a sword, since he’d be gathering information of his own for his own purpose.”

Elisabeth grins slightly. "Yes, that one. In my world, he goes by the name Warren. He actually helps create the armor that I arrived in. He's still… unusual, but the Mortimer Jack part of him," the psychotic serial killer, "was cured."

But she gets more serious and nods slightly. "Yeah… I fear that's exactly what Arthur Petrelli is doing, Kaylee," she confesses. "And if Edward here knows about the rifts like your father did? He may already have already had to tell far more than is safe for us." She grimaces, pushing her hands deeper in her pockets. "And now that I've told you all of this, of course, I'm going to worry my ass off that you're gonna get a wild hair and try to do something crazy to get to him," she admits.

She won’t deny it, Kaylee is already thinking about how to get him out of that place. A thoughtful smile pulls to one side with her amusement. There was no rush to do it, unlike in her world, where it had literally been life or death.

While this might not be her father; but, Edward, no matter the timeline, was her family. It made Kaylee determined to get him out there. Maybe he could have a relationship with the version of her here. Speaking of family, “I wonder where Richard is in this world.” she offers a sidelong look to woman carrying the baby of her adopted brother… from yet another world. “I wouldn’t mind finding him.”

Elisabeth has made a point of trying not to think about it yet. "I'll see what I can do," she tells Kaylee softly. "I… have a few ideas of where to look. If he's done some of the same things here he did back home. I, uhm…" She pauses and looks at the woman who, in her own world, would have been for all intents and purposes her sister-in-law in all but legalities, really. "I need a little time to deal with watching him die again before seeing another version of him," she admits softly.

That catches her by surprise and brows tick up a little. “Again?” The curiosity is there, just like the woman in Liz’s world. However, she waves it off. “Don’t answer that. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t pry.” Which is something odd for her to say.

“I get it. We have time here, at least,” Kaylee offers with one of her bright smiles. Time even if she feels a little impatient.

Quiet for a moment, Kaylee studies the other woman for a moment. “Thank you, Liz,” she says like she is realizing something. “For sharing all that with me, about my father. I think I understand a little how you feel, now that I’m also a stranger in a strange-yet-familiar land.” There is a bit of a rueful smile as she continues, “I can understand why you would want to go back.” Not something Kaylee could of or wanted to do.

Liz smiles faintly. "I wouldn't have wished this knowledge on anyone," she admits in a pensive tone. "I was so fucking mad at Magnes when we landed in your world. I hated him so much for a little while." The admission is hard. "It wasn't even really his fault, but… I was scared and for a while there, it was all I could do not to panic into oblivion. Despite how bad things were in your own world, it was still your world. There's a … comfort, a safety, in staying put even in the most dangerous circumstances, where taking this huge leap of faith — especially when not everyone you love makes it — leaves you feeling terrified and unmoored. Like nothing in your world is stable."

Maybe she understands Elspeth a little more than even she realized. In answer to the other question, Liz smiles a little. "It's not prying… it's just the life I've lived. In my world, your brother… has been a soldier at times. A damn good one. He threw himself on a explosion one time, dragging the explosives into the shadows to save a lot of people. We all thought he'd been killed, but… he got lucky. And there was a healer who helped him. Watching him do it again was…" Impossible. Reliving one of the worst moments of her life. She shrugs. "I just need a little time," she finishes. She still doesn't have her nightmares under control again.

"And you're welcome," she tells the telepath. "Look… I might not understand your father's actions and I might think he's a huge asshole… but he's still your father and you love him." She grins slightly. "The man has literally traveled time and dimensions to try to keep you and your siblings safe … asshole or not, I really can't fault him that."

“Your not wrong,” Kaylee chuckles, shaking her head, “My dad was an asshole.” He did after all keep her confined to the hub for years. “But yeah…” Hands are tucked into the pockets of her jacket with a soft sigh, “Everything he did was to protect me and I love him for it, despite it all. Whatever they have him doing here, he will be doing his damnedest to make sure it don’t come back on us kids.”

Taking a deep breath, Kaylee exhales it in a faint plume of steam, “Cause, family always comes first.”

Kaylee's words make Elisabeth's smile widen slightly. And she looks at the telepath, nodding. "It does." Liz just doesn't have the intention of burning the whole world down using that excuse. She shoulderbumps Kaylee lightly as they walk. "You're kinda family now too, you know," she murmurs with a grin.

The telepath could make a joke, but the timing would be poor still. Instead, Kaylee chuckles and shrugs. “I guess so, considering.” A hand motions at her stomach region. “Though, honestly, I’d say everyone that survived the Hub is family now, too.” Family wasn’t always blood.

There's an emphatic nod. "Family isn't blood… it's the people who stick by you," Elisabeth agrees. "I'm… keeping my distance from a lot of people who came from the Hub. They all have every right to hate us, Kaylee. But… if anyone ever needs me, I'm there. Will you… please make sure that the people who keep close to you know it? I just… want to give them all as much space as they need." Some are thrilled with where they landed, but Liz knows that for some this has been nothing but bewildering and heart-wrenching. "But I will be here if they ever want."

“And I’m sure they know it.” Kaylee points out, giving her a smile, if a bit sad. “Everyone is just raw right now.” Mateo’s confession was still a sore spot for her. “Eventually, they will realize y’all never meant anything bad. Even dad knew you were our last hope.” Which might be part of why the telepath isn’t pushing away or blaming them.

Her elbow nudges at the other woman, with a bright grin. “Come on… Let’s get you home before you catch your dea— “ An age old saying, but in her world, it wasn’t something that should be spoken so casually. Instead, Kaylee rephrases to, “Let’s get you out of the cold, then I gotta start lookin’ for a new job.”

“Thanks for dragging me out,” Kaylee probably didn’t know how much she needed it. “Being around Kain and Ling all the time, it can be kinda intense.” Even if she liked them a lot.

"I'm glad you came. Let's try to make it a more regular thing, huh?" Elisabeth smiles slightly. "When your niece or nephew arrives, they're gonna need all the family they can get." Taking care of Richard's sister is something she'd do in any world, but especially in this one. "You make sure Kain doesn't lose his shit over the model I keep seeing on billboards, willya?" she asks on a laugh.

One thing Kaylee can't do is make any promises when it comes to Kain, so she doesn't.

“Yeah, let’s do this again.”

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