Are You Up?


jim_icon.gif kaylee3_icon.gif

Scene Title Are You Up?
Synopsis Still haunted by his angelic vision, Jim calls someone who could help him plan his next step.
Date February 20, 2020

The trip to Roosevelt Island cut a bit short by Jim’s slightly inconvenient vision-having — well, honestly, when are they ever not inconvenient? Never, that’s when — he’d gotten back home and slept for a few hours. It’s amazing how much a 5 minute visit can take out of a person, really.

However, as with many afternoon naps, he wakes up in the early evening positively wired. A shower and a light dinner later, he finds himself a little antsy with nothing much to do at 7:30 or so. There’s some attempt to read, but he finds himself unable to concentrate on the page, his mind drifting back instead to the child’s voice that had been in his head a few hours earlier.

“Love, in my sleep I dreamed of waking,
White and awful the moonlight reached…

He shuts the book with a snap that’s louder than it strictly needs to be, and reaches for his phone. He scrolls through the numbers there, stopping at the one he wants, but he doesn’t tap it quite yet. He looks at it for half a minute or so, his mouth pulling to the side as he coincides. A glance at the clock, just in case — good, it’s still within the realm of politeness. Finally, he commits, tapping decisively on the number and bringing the phone up to his ear.

“Come on, Willy, I don’t like medicine time either.”

A growled hiss answers her from the depths of Boogie Man Land - aka under Kaylee’s bed - the flash of mirrors eyes giving her the only hit where Willy had wedged himself. To see him, Kaylee is on hands and knees, tipped over with her face pressed against the carpeted floor and a leg lifted and outstretched for balance.

“Times like this, you make me wish I was a feline telepath,” Kaylee grumbles in retreat, as her cell phone starts to jingle. Turning to plop her backside on the floor, she squints at the number as she leans back against her bed. Brows lift a little at the name, a small smile tugging at the corner of her lips. Tucking long locks behind her ear to hear better, she answers.

“Hey,” Kaylee greets politely. “Long time no speak.”

“Hi, Kaylee.” Jim’s expression shifts a little wryly at what she says — though of course, she cant’ see that. And really it’s not too bad, because he lets out a laugh a moment later, and it’s amused even though it’s directed inward. “Yeah, no kidding. Sorry, I’ve been…” He trails off then, a brief moment’s pause as he considers. What has he been doing, really? Well, it isn’t anything that’s too important, because he drops whatever it was he was going to finish that sentence with, and instead continues, “It’s good to talk to you. I hope this isn’t a bad time?”

He leans back in his chair, shifting to stretch his legs out in front of him and tuck the phone in between his shoulder and his ear. “How are you?” he continues. Whatever the impetus for the call, there’s sincerity in that question, an interest beyond just a pleasantry to get out of the way before what someone might consider the meat of the conversation.

Kaylee glances down as if expecting to see a mangy old tom cat crawling out from under the bed, but her true focus is on the phone and the voice on the other end. “Naw, not a bad time. Just settling in from work.”

Her own legs stretch out in front of her with toes tapping together, Kaylee answers his questions. How was she doing? Where could she start? There was too much, so she keeps it simple. “I'm… staying busy, though I can’t say I’m staying out of trouble,” is offered with amusement. “Especially since I joined the NYPD. So life keeps me on my toes.” He can’t see the shrug on her end. “How about you?”

“Oh, wow.” This news is clearly surprising, and Jim adds, “I really have been out of the loop, huh?” It’s said jokingly, though, as he takes a sip of water from the glass in front of him. All of which she can’t see, of course, still. But it definitely happened. “I bet that does keep you busy.”

As for him? “You know,” he continues, “about the same. I picked up some extra shifts at the hospital for a couple of months because it was getting pretty crazy in there, but I’ve backed off a little bit now so I can take a breather.” Though as it turns out, ‘taking a breather’ for a precog doesn’t always mean what it does for some other people, as he admits a moment later, “I had a vision today. It’s been a little while since my last one.”

There is a moment of silence as Kaylee processes what he just said. It has been awhile. “Really?” she finally asks. Sitting up and drawing her knees up to wrap her arm around, she stares off into nothing. She knew that unlike Eve he doesn’t go looking for the visions. Truth be told, she didn’t blame him.

“Tell me about it?” Kaylee finally asks, tone curious.

“Yeah.” The thought of it has the slight smile fading from Jim’s face as he thinks back to the vision of earlier. He’s quiet for a few seconds, gathering his thoughts about it, before he begins to relate it to her.

“It was night,” he begins, setting his glass down and leaning forward as he reaches up to rub his forehead, his eyes closing. “I could see into the apartments, see people sleeping. I heard a kid’s voice from somewhere reciting something. A poem, I guess? I didn’t recognize it, but it must be something like that.”

He pauses, turning over the memory of the vision in his mind. Examining it from all angles. A couple of seconds later, though, he continues, “Then I started to see a mist creeping into people’s rooms. A white mist. It was going into the people sleeping, through their noses and mouths. Through their ears. When it got into a person who was sleeping they started getting kind of restless, you know? Like they were suddenly in a dream. Then I looked up, and I saw an angel above the buildings. She wasn’t really flying, though, she was just kind of…hanging there, with her eyes closed.”

Kaylee’s brows lift listening to the description, he can’t see it but he can hear the wonder in the tone of her voice. “That sounds like some vision, kinda concerning. Sounds like… maybe a….” She trails off with a frown. “Hey, out of curiosity…. Were you able to see what the angel looked like? Like her hair color?” She could just ask him to show her, but… might as well ask.

A gravely meow precedes a bump of Willy’s head against her elbow, seems he’s seen fit to come out of hiding. Jim gets to hear that and the following purr that sounded a lot like gravel tumbling down a hill. “The reason I’m asking, is there is a chance that the angel could have been a dream walker. I only know of two…. Ish.” One of which she knew was capable of unpleasant dreaming.

Jim nods when she asks — but at least he realizes that she can’t actually see him nodding, since it’s followed by, “Yeah, I saw what she looked like. She had white hair. Or, really light blonde, at least. It was hard to tell because it was dark, but definitely very light.” Another pause; then: “Peyton asked me the same thing. I guess she was thinking about whoever you’re thinking about.”

He starts to say more, but the sound from the cat distracts him and he lets out a laugh. “You have a friend over there, huh?” He shifts the phone to the other ear, standing up and starting to walk around. Absently, without any real destination in mind. Just pacing. “Maybe he has an idea. Do you speak cat? I always meant to learn but I never got around to it.”

“Mmm, pretty sure he’s more focused on his stomach. I’m no feline telepath, but I think he’s telling me to feed him,” Kaylee jokes back. Giving the cats jaw an affectionate scratch of fingers. “He’s the start of my crazy cat lady collection. Isn’t that right, Willy?” She says directly to the cat, who bumps against her phone holding hand.

“Anyhow,” Kaylee shifts her attention back to the conversation, “Peyton and I have run in similar circles, so she was probably thinking of the same person, yeah.” She breathes out a soft sigh into the phone and scratches at the cat’s chin. “I’ll have to come by or meet you somewhere to snag it. At least it doesn’t seem… too horrib—.” Kaylee stumbles over the words and furrows her brows as soon as she says that.

“Forget I said that,” Kaylee amended with a nervous laugh. “If you are seeing it's important,” is said in an apologetic tone. “Whoever this is…. I hope they are not like the Nightmare Man. That was… not an easy fight. They would kill people through their dreams.” She felt bad darkening their conversation, but he had the right to know.

“It… it was bad,” Kaylee says softly, sounding almost haunted by it.

“I suppose that’s fair,” Jim concedes with some amusement, regarding the cat. “It’s about that time. But I can’t quite imagine you as a crazy cat lady even if you had a lot of cats.” He looks around as he paces, his eyes moving but not focusing on anything in particular, as one does when one’s attention is mostly on something else.

“Either one,” he replies, “I’m easy.” At the slight false start, though, he laughs again, his own much less nervous than hers. “Don’t worry about it,” he says. “It’s definitely not the worst I’ve ever seen.” However, any residual amusement fades when she goes on. “Wow,” he murmurs, coming to a stop in his pacing as his eyes settle on the window. “Yeah, let’s hope it’s not that.”

There’s a woman passing by below with a child in tow, and he’s suddenly a bit distracted as he watches them move from one side of his window to the other on the street. “The weird thing was,” he eventually says, the pause just this side of too long, “there was this guy there. He’s a painter, and sometimes he paints visions, you know? He told me he painted one once, that same one I saw. A long time ago.” The mother and child disappear from view, but his gaze lingers where they were, focused somewhere now in the middle distance.

Again Jim is greeted by silence, though Willy’s purr is still a good background music. “I wonder if he still has it,” Kaylee finally breaths out. “It wouldn’t be the first time two seers had simular visions, but often there could be clues in one vision to help with the understanding of the others.” Pushing to her feet, Kaylee pads silently down the hallway, with Willy weaving through her legs.

“It’s worth a look, to be honest.” Kaylee moves to pull open the fridge door, retrieving a pitcher of iced tea. “You know, see if anything sticks out to you.” Setting the pitcher on the counter, Kaylee’s gaze goes distant. “That the both of you had visions of this angel, that worries me.”

Though almost as soon as she says that, Kaylee turns and leans against the counter. “Also if you are up for it. I think there is someone at SESA you should talk to as well. His name is Corbin Ayers. He and I go back a ways, good guy.” There is a fondness when she mentions the agent, it puts a smile in her voice. “He’s kinda an expert on dreamwalkers.”

“Yeah.” Jim pulls his eyes away from the window and starts to pace again. Gearing up to wear a path down on the floor, clearly. Luckily it probably won’t actually come to that. “He’s going to see if he can find it. He said he never sold it because it was kind of creepy, which I can definitely understand.” There’s another sound of assent at the worry. “Me, too. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone like me have a vision that I had. It feels more…I don’t know.” Worrisome, probably.

He latches onto the last thing, though, because that’s better than dwelling on something with a better than fifty percent chance of turning into something terrible — at least for the moment. “Oh, sure,” he says, “that sounds great. I’d be happy to meet him. If he can shed any light on this I’d be grateful. The hardest part about any of this is that I never seem to figure anything useful out until it’s too late.” There’s a tiny thread of frustration that makes its way into his voice then, but he takes a breath, letting it out slowly to dispel it. “Thank you.”

“No problem,” Kaylee answers back, just as quietly.

“And I’d be lying if I said it won’t always be like that,” The telepath offers sympathetically, hearing that frustration. Fingers tucking hair behind her ear again, as she casts a look down at a point between her feet. “The hard part is not letting it get to you, because the last thing you want to do is blame yourself for a vision that came true.”

Pushing away from the counter, Kaylee turns back to pouring herself a glass of tea; searching cabinets for a glass. “My family is all about visions and the past. I have friends that are and my ex was a precog, even. What I’ve learned is you’ll never know if action or inaction will bring it about. We can only plan for the worse and hope for the best.” A tall glass joins the pitcher.

Jim is silent as he listens, swapping the absent pacing for grabbing a paperweight on his desk to fiddle with absently instead. He turns it around and around in his hand as a little laugh escapes him. It’s not really amused — but it is, mostly, accepting of the advice. “Yeah,” he says again, “that’s true. It’s easier now. During the war…”

He stops that sentence before it goes on too far, shaking his head a time or two before he continues on a different track. “Anyway. Yes. But maybe there’s at least something we can do with this, between us all. At the very least, doing something feels better than just sitting on it. So I’m good with any help I can get.” She can’t see the smile there, but she might be able to hear it in his voice, especially in comparison. “It’s a good thing you’re used to all this already.”

Now it’s Kaylee’s turn to give a small laugh, a bit self depreciating, but still mildly humored. “Not sure if ‘used to it’ is the right way to look at it, more like experienced.” He can hear when she shifts the phone to her other ear and props it there with her shoulder so she can fill the glass.

“Either way, I’m more than happy to help you figure this out and use what resources me and my family have.” Kaylee says after a sip. “Just as a heads up, I’ll be leaving in a few days to help Eve and Luther. They want to check something out on the coast of Virginia. A few days by boat, there and back.”

Why was she telling him this?

“I can take you to meet Corbin when I get back or…” Kaylee draws out the ‘or’ “…you can pop over and see him.” A hip is leaned against the counter, the phone is moved back to her proper ear. “Just let him know I sent you and you can tell me everything when I get back. I’m good however you decide.”

“Well, used to it or experienced, it’s nice to feel seen.” Jim says it a little bit jokingly — but not completely so. There’s some seriousness there, too. “I’m lucky to have some people around who can understand.” He has a couple more, too, but Kaylee is definitely one.

When she talks about her upcoming trip, though, he takes a second to consider. “I think I can wait until you get back,” he eventually decides. “I’d like to go see Orwell’s painting first. Maybe if I do I might think of something I’m not seeing right now. And talking to Eve about it would be a good idea, but if she’s going with you on the trip I guess that one can wait, too.” This is said a little more wryly, but mostly just amused. “I hope you have a good trip. Can I ask what you’re looking for, or is that on a need to know basis?”

Jim’s question is a fair one. “What we’re looking for?” She asks, clearly trying to decide how much to share. Teeth worry at her bottom lip as she debates for a moment, but… Eve was the one that introduced them.

“I don’t know how much you know about a man named Adam,” Kaylee starts, deciding the former seer wouldn’t mind. Shifting the phone to wedge between shoulder and head again, she moved to put the pitcher back while she lays it out. “Either way, he’s what we are looking for. Eve told me she has intel that states he’ll be off the coast of Virginia. So we are going to check it out.”

Kaylee gives a bit of a shrug, even if Jim can’t see it. “I don’t know if we will find anything, if he’s there we are hoping to get him to help us.” Or kill him, she doesn’t say… cause she is really hoping they don’t have to go that far. “Shouldn’t be gone but a few days.” She hopes anyhow.

Apparently Jim doesn’t mind — well, he did ask. Not that Kaylee would know if he was making a face or anything like that, but for the record, he is not. “Not much,” he admits, regarding Adam. “I’ve heard the name.” He quiets then, though, letting her give the answer. He comes to a stop in his pacing, sitting down in the chair he’d been sitting in before and leaning forward as he listens.

By the time she’s through, he’s not smiling anymore. It can’t be seen, but it does give a different cadence to his voice. It’s mostly thoughtful — but there’s probably a little concern there, too. If he’s heard anything about Adam, it’s likely to make sense. “Well,” he says after a moment’s thought, “good luck. And be careful. Like I said, I don’t know a lot about him but what I’ve heard isn’t really all that comforting.” There’s a little huff then, more wry than amused. “I know you all have ways to take care of yourself, but you know what I mean.”

“I know what you mean and we will,” Kaylee assures him quietly, as she runs a thumb down the side of her glass. “I have Eve and Luther to watch my back, pretty sure I’ll be alright.” She tries to put confidence in her voice to cover her nerves. Adam was dangerous and she knew it well.

“I look forward to hearing about your visit to Orwell, when I get back.” Willy jumps up on the counter, padding down the length of it towards the one that feeds him. “In fact, you can tell me over some of my fried chicken, ask Luther about it.” She sounds confident that the big guy will talk it up. “And you can meet Willy.” The cat’s ears flick forward at his name and answers it with a gravely-purred meow.

“Good.” There’s a distinct note of relief there, even though the trip hasn’t actually happened yet — and may not go according to anyone’s plan. But Jim doesn’t think too much about that now, or at least if he’s thinking about it, he doesn’t mention it. The assurance is enough for the moment, it seems. “They’re definitely solid people to have in your corner,” he agrees instead. “Say hello to them both for me, too.”

The offer of fried chicken has him letting out another laugh — not wry, this time, but pleased. “That sounds great,” he says. “I’ll look forward to it. It’s been a while since I had really good fried chicken.” That smile is back now as he adds, “Thanks, Kaylee. Let me know when you’re back. It’ll be nice to see you.”

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