An Inch From Falling Over


vf_kaylee_icon2.gif vf_ruiz_icon2.gif

Scene Title An Inch From Falling Over
Synopsis Pretty much how Ruiz has been since the day in Incinerator room. And now he decides to confess, before the telepath finds out on her own.
Date January 24, 2012

Speakeasy Hotel and Casino

Red Hook

Clouds of vapor filled the tiny hotel bathroom, fogging up the mirror and swirling through the air. In the shower, Kaylee leans forward and just lets the hot water pour over her, turning her skin pink. It felt so good to know she wouldn’t have to ration a good hot shower. Who knows how long she had even been standing there like that.

At her feet, swirls of brown hair dye drift through the draining water, dark against the worn white porcelain of the shower.

Reluctantly, the water is finally turned off and she stepped out; bumps lift over her skin in the cool air outside the confines of the shower. It prompts her to quickly wrap a towel around herself. Grabbing another, she starts rubbing at her hair, then uses it to wipe condensation from the mirror, she eyes dark ropes of hair. Darker than it has ever been. Kaylee picks up a box of hair color and reads over the instructions again; discarding the box into the trash can next to the counter. “New world… a new me,” she murmurs softly to herself.

Leaning against the counter to look at herself in the mirror it felt like she was looking at a stranger. Turning her head a little, she gets a good look at the nasty gash that travelled the length of her face. It was stinging from the hot water. Fingers lift to gingerly touch the stitched wound left by some rather wicked rebar while they fled for their lives. They told her it would scar and looking at it, she believed it, since some parts already showed it.

Liz has told her about a woman who could heal it, but…

Thoughts are interrupted by a knock at her door, a quick mental glance tells her Mateo is standing outside her door. “Just a minute,” Kaylee calls hurrying to pull on clothes; jeans and a tank top. He hears the thud of her feet as she rushes around, but then the door suddenly opens. “Mateo. Hey,” she greets brightly opening the door wider for him.

That she is happy to see him when the door opens tells him a lot right there. Ruiz’ mind is mysteriously quiet, though she may not have been around him much non-negated so she probably only vaguely recalled the soft roar that would have been in his head constantly— if he hadn’t opted to get put on Negoxan when they released him from the hospital. Except for a small scratch on his cheek, he looks as if he’s recovered nicely.

Though he hasn’t shaved since before they arrived, leaving a thick dark shadow on his cheeks and chin and jaw line. Trimmed it, but not shaved. It won’t take long at all for that to grow out enough to be called a proper beard.

In his mind, she’ll hear a whispered thought about how Kain must not have told her. But he doesn’t think too hard on it as he watches her, biting on his lower lip for a moment. “Mind if I come in?”

“Of course, I don’t mind.” Kaylee steps aside, opening the door wider for him to join her and then closes it behind him once he is inside. His thoughts are not missed, though the only real hint that she heard anything in a quick dip of brows. “I had been wondering if they were ever going to let you out. I’m glad I didn’t need to organize a rescue mission.”

The last, of course, being a joke.

The young woman’s smile softens a little, “It’s good to see you are okay though. You had me pretty worried.” She motions to the little table with its chairs. “Have a seat, stay awhile. I don’t have many friends left in this world… or… I mean, from our world.”

“Me neither,” Ruiz responds with a hint of a smile. It doesn’t wrinkle his eyes, but it’s there, for a touch. “They wanted to keep me a few more days, for observation, but I signed out against doctor’s orders. They said I was stable, anyway, they mostly wanted to know what had caused it.” But they all knew what had caused it, the heart attack. It wasn’t artery blockage or smoking or disease— it had been his ability.

And using his ability the way he had. He could have explained that to the doctors, but instead, he just opted to let them believe he had no idea the actual cause and sign himself out against doctor’s orders.

“At least the negation here is in pill form, so no more shots.” The scar tissue in his neck had made given the doctor’s pause, but after blood tests, they had determined what he’d been using was just a negation medicine. An old brand. He’d still had it in his system from the previous day. He tilts his head and looks at her face and then her hair. “Changed your hair. It looks good.”

The compliment gets a bit of a shy smile, no matter who they are, women tend to enjoy a compliment now and then. Kaylee runs fingers through the slowly drying locks, the color difference a little jarring, since it has been so golden before. “I felt like I needed the change. Especially, since there is another of my out there somewhere. I ain’t her and I don’t want to be mistaken as her.” Her nose wrinkles a little at the thought.

“So, what are you gonna do now? Gonna go work where those people put ya?” Kaylee asks moving to the table and scooping up the silver medallion that Cardinal once wore. A glance goes in Mateo’s direction as she works on hooking it in place around her neck.

Much like she wears a necklace in a memorial, so does Ruiz. His, though, holds his wife’s wedding ring. The one she’d only worn for a few days before he had to take her body from the Hub and find a place to bury it. Very few bodies got buried in the Hub, but he had made sure that hers had been one of them. “I don’t know. I don’t know if I’ll even stay in the city. There’s…” he trailed off. She’s here. That much is clear from his thoughts. And he’d already found her once, watched her from afar. “We were married here, too. But here, I’m the one who died.”

On the exact same day that she died in my arms, I was dying in hers.

With a sad shake of his head, he moved deeper into the hotel room and practically fell onto the bed, sinking into the mattress and comforter with an exhausted sigh. An emotional one. There’s so much going on in his mind. The pain of losing Lynette, the guilt over wanting to meet this one, of following her, of wanting to take her into his arms and hold her and wipe her tears away, of wanting to just break down in her arms instead.

And another guilt. That the only person he feels like he can talk to is someone he’s wronged so horribly.

There is amusement as he falls on the bed, a bit of pity softens the smile that it creates. Moving along side the bed, Kaylee tucks a foot under her and sits sideways on the edge. While, the turmoil in his mind is distracting and a little concerning, she focuses on one fact.

“Have you really been stalking this world’s version of Lynette?” Kaylee’s head tilts just a little in consideration. “Romantic,” there might be a touch of sarcasm to it. “Don’t get caught, yeah?”

She brushes the thought away with a shake of her head and glances towards the window in thought, “So you found each other in both places. And then each lost the other and now you are both in the same world.” Brows furrow a little and she gives a little huff of laughter. “Sounds like fate to me, Mateo, my friend.”

“Fate where we end up losing each other,” Ruiz responds quietly, his voice whispered as if he doesn’t really want to say that. But he does. And echoes it as he says it too. “I just had to see her. I… I don’t know. If you could see your dad from afar without bothering anything, would you?” He could have chosen Peter as a possibility, for someone who she could see again, but her father— he had been someone she might have been able to see right here, with her.

If he hadn’t…

She knew he was stalking Lynette, which meant… “I need to tell you something,” he said, as he pushed himself back upright to look at her. Before she finds out for herself. Before she learns from Kain or anyone else. “And I don’t expect you to forgive me.”

There is a bit of a lopsided smile, but Kaylee just shakes her head, “Maybe I’ve seen too many corny hollywood movies, but you two are true soulmates, clearly. Rest of us just have to see what the stones cast for us and hope for something just as amazing.” A little jealous, maybe.

There is a thoughtful look suddenly on her features when her father is mentioned. “You know…. I thought about trying to find him for the sake of Liz… He helped her… before…” brows furrow a little and her blue eyes turn to his darker ones, there is a cautious look and she starts to slide off the bed to her feet.

“Wait… tell me what?” Kaylee doesn’t sound like she is all too certain that she wants to know.

“He wasn’t helping Liz, he was helping you,” Ruiz responds quietly, looking off into the distance rather than at her. “Everything he did was to ensure you made it here, and even then he thought there was only a small chance for it. That’s why he made me promise to get you out of there.” Out of that world. It had been an easy promise to keep because she had been one of the few he’d wanted to take from that place. Her. Steve. The kids. He had assumed Shaw was dead, having not returned from the raid on Kazimir’s people, or he would have included him on that short list as well.

Everyone else could have stayed and died. Same as her father did. Same as everyone assumed her father did. But he could still see the man’s eyes as he looked through the slit of the incinerator door. Before he slammed it shut on him one last time.

With those images running around in his head, the incinerator switch, the closed door, his eyes on the other side as he begged him to promise, then he looks back at Kaylee and continues, “Your father didn’t make it because I killed him.”



Some of what Mateo was saying she knew. She had been her father's reason for doing everything. He had called it a Hail Mary. His last chance to save what he cares about most in this world.

Kaylee starts to tell him this…

But, then those Images start cross her friend's mind and he can see the confusion. That can't be right is what that look in her eyes says when she focuses on him, brows furrowing. Then the words sink in and he can the dawning of realization; her view of him goes blurry with unshed tears and she steps away from him.


She doesn't want to believe it. “Not you.” Of anyone she never expected it of him. Even with his past, he had been… he had always seemed a good person.

Hands fly up to stifle the sound that escapes her, one hand clamped over the other tight against her mouth, even as the first tears make tracks down her cheeks. Kaylee’s head shakes slowly, as if denying it. Unlike others, however, she can't hide behind the facade of never seeming. Images of her father, flicker through his mind and she can't shut it out.

Hands finally fall away slowly, “Why?” How could someone pack so much despair and emotions in a single word.

“Does it matter?” is the immediate response that Ruiz says out loud. Because he doesn’t think it would change what he did, even if he had a reason. He had been upset, he had been hurt. He’s lost Lynette to this plan that Edward had stood up before them and told them had a good chance of working. Part of him even believed that he had known who had a good chance of dying if they went, that he had known that Lynette wouldn’t come back.

But that hadn’t been why. Lynette not coming back had broken something in him a little, though. It had made him feel empty and upset to the point where all it took was a few little words to make him consider locking an old man in an incinerator. Either way Edward was dead the moment he’d heard those words.

He killed Odessa.

He doesn’t even try to give voice to it, he almost doesn’t want her to know. He’d rather her just hate him. But he’d made the decision to leave him behind the moment he’d heard that. And even if he’d not done what he did— he still would have made sure he didn’t go through. Which meant he was dead the moment he’d made that decision.

Because no one was surviving the world they’d left behind. Except that monster in a new, immortal body made of murderous shadows.

“Get out.” The words are spoken barely above a whisper, hollow with shock. Kaylee doesn’t look at him, she can’t. Her emotions are in turmoil and she feels like she is going to be sick. It was the renewed feeling of loss, but now she had lost even more in her mind.

Backing away from him, Kaylee’s back hits the wall and with a choked sob, she slides down the wall to sit heavily. Defeated.

Arms wrap around herself and knees draw up, “I thought you were a better person than that.” Teary blue-eyes lift to finally focus on him again, there is so much pain in them. “Get out,” she repeats, the words stronger now and thick with emotions.

For a few breaths, Ruiz doesn’t move from where he was seated. He watches her back away, stays silent and motionless as she tells him to leave a second time. With a quiet exhale, he closes his eyes, nodding to himself. No, this is what he deserved. And no, he had never been better than that. But he didn’t know how to tell her that. But then again he didn’t have to. Taking in another breath, he stood, and without a word made his way toward the door, the one she’d invited him in thru.

It was better this way. The more he had to lose, the harder it would be to leave. He doesn’t open his mouth, becasue he’s sure his voice would betray him, as he’s also sure his thoughts already have. He deserved that look in her eyes.

Not even Lynette would have forgiven him this, he’s sure. He makes his way through the door, closing it shut behind him, and doesn’t stop moving until he’s sure he’s far enough away that she won’t hear him anymore.

When the door softly clicks, it has a finality to it… she was alone.

Eyes close tight against the pain that is invoked by that sound, but she doesn’t give voice to that pain until the hum of his mind fades and flickers away. Only then does she bury her face against her knees and breaks down into the most heart-wrenching sobs.

She’d never be able to shake those images, a curse that comes with her ability.

Blue eyes on the other side of that opening.

The sound of his voice as he begged Ruiz to promise.

That finger pressing the button.

The fabric of her blue jeans do almost nothing to stifle the sound that escapes from the broken-hearted daughter of Edward Ray.

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