Coming Home To A Nightmare


bf_kaylee_icon.gif bf_luther2_icon.gif

Scene Title Coming Home To A Nightmare
Synopsis Their world comes crashing down.
Date November 29, 2014

Kaylee's Apartment

Kaylee’s return from her road trip with the girls finds Jojo having been placed in the care of a catsitter. Luther’s note was more like a long letter. He was worried about her, but assumed she was having a good time, enjoying a much needed vacation away from the hustle and bustle of the city. There were apologies that he had to leave for work, but the catsitter, paid well, was going to make sure Jojo was taken care of - such were the conveniences of city living - but that he was still sorry that they would miss each other. And there was a promise to keep in touch by a more digital connection.

He had tried calling her before he was to leave. But at that point, her communications had cut off. The man found himself at a loss. He’d left voicemails. Texted. It was all he could do to stop shy of calling the police department and asking if their detective had contacted them with an update. Upset, but doing his best not to think of reasons why she’d not answered, he put that energy to good use.

By sprucing up the apartment as much as he could. He really was a janitor. The cleaning process was more a cleansing of his own mind, a purging of negative energies and worries put into elbow grease and cleaning products. By the end of the process, Kaylee would return home to find a practically spotless apartment, with Jojo’s efforts to reclaim some spots with loose fur locked in battle with Luther’s ability to spot it and clean up. And, on top of all the things, a new fridge with ice maker and other kitchen appliances replaced for good measure.

She might not even recognize her apartment when she returns to it, except to find her familiar Jojo eagerly greeting her at the door, for the past couple of days when she had returned to find the apartment in its made over state. But those couple of days, the man had also been unreachable. Thanksgiving came and went without any contact. The following Black Friday was laden with activity for the department, and Kaylee had been duly pulled in every direction following her return, up to her eyeballs in work. When she returns late into the night, the clock having already ticked over to the next day, she comes back to her apartment to find Luther dozing away on the couch with limbs akimbo. An addition of a mostly drunken bottle of vodka sits on the coffee table, an empty glass tumbler, the TV remote, and his phone, all set beside the vodka bottle in easy reach of the man’s fingers at some point when he was conscious.

It had been a long few days, long hours behind a desk and out in the field, even taking her meals where she could. By time her keys were pushed into the lock, Kaylee had just wanted to get in and crash on her bed. Wearing clothing for the weather, a long sleeved tee and jeans nothing fancy, her worn leather jacket pulled over it to cover her shoulder rig. It had gotten a few disapproving frowns, but she hadn’t cared.

As soon as the door swings open she’s assaulted by the press of a furry body against her legs moving one way and then the other, while Jojo makes his typical chirping meows. “Hold on.. Hold on,” Kaylee says softly, knowing almost as soon as she reached the door that Luther was in there; all by the sluggish hum of his sleeping mind. Carefully, she shuts the door softly, only then is the cat scooped up and loved on. “Hey, baby boy. You miss me?” she whispers, stifling a chuckle when she is head butted with enthusiasm.

There is a satisfied sigh as she realizes she is finally home. Another long and torturous black friday under her belt. She was not getting up tomorrow for anything. Turning to move into the apartment, only to still be taken by surprise by the changes.

The cat is deposited on the kitchen counter as she looks at each new item with amusement. Clearly, Luther had been busy when she had been gone. The thought even now was amusing. She also might have had fun with the ice maker when she first saw it and the coffee maker the next morning. Leaning over a little to see past the cabinets to the couch, Kaylee’s breath catches at the intensity of how much she missed the sleeping man. Giving the purring cat another scritch behind the ears, she quietly moves to where she can see him lying there. Arms rest folded on the back of the couch as she looks down at Luther. A glance to the coffee table, brings a slightly concerned look. It doesn’t stop her from, leaning forward enough so that she can brush fingers of one hand through his shorter hair.

“Hey, handsome. I’m home.”

There are emotions that make the words feel thick, sticking in her throat. Kaylee really did miss him.

It seems like Luther's out like a light when she comes in, not even the sounds of Jojo's enthusiastic noises or her footsteps over the cleaned wood floors managing to stir the man from a deep slumber. Her examination of new luxury appliances for the admittedly little cooking they might do, with the coffee machine taking up a bit more counter space than the original, but making up for it with more buttons for varied settings and capabilities.

When she comes over to the couch to spy on the man, she sees him dressed in a t-shirt and jeans like he's been lounging in wait for her and finally gotten comfortable… And drunk. It's not until she's gotten closer, her hand running along his hair, that he stirs. Her words register in a sleep-sluggish manner in his mind, and for a few seconds he assumes it's in a dream that he's seeing her, the blonde locks of hair framing her face. He responds like a reflex, voice pitched deep in the barely-woken quality and burdened with the remnants of the alcohol. "Mmm. Hey Beautiful, you're back…"

When his eyes open more fully, the slowness of sleep fading, he's hit with that realization. The sight of her, the feel of her fingers, the sound of her voice, all a tangible reality. Luther blinks and a smile pulls at his mouth. "Wait, hey, you— you're here. You're back." The man pushes himself up to a sit, a hand reaching for her face, lips eagerly searching for hers.

Maybe she was already hearing what he was planning to do, or she got impatient herself; but, Kaylee meets the man halfway in an enthusiastic manner. Which requires a bit of a balancing act over the back of the couch; one foot lifting off the ground to keep her from completely spilling over the other side.

He’ll find Kaylee just as eager for that kiss as he is, a sigh escaping her when she has a chance to do so. She might have been daydreaming about that moment for sometime.

Unfortunately, they will find themselves pushed apart by a rather jealous Jojo who clearly feels there hasn’t been enough attention given to him. His head bumping up under their chins while he purrs loudly. Kaylee can’t help but laugh at the cat’s antics, her eyes are only for the man on the couch. “I’ve missed you so much,” she manages softly, even though the effect is being ruined by the cat bumping and rubbing his head under her chin.

Jojo’s headbutting doesn’t immediately yield the results the cat would like, as Luther starts to slide a hand around the back of Kaylee’s neck to try and keep her close. But eventually, as with many moments between them have been interrupted by an equally attention wanting cat, he relinquishes control and moves his hand from her neck to Jojo’s. While the cat gets a light, appeasing scratch from Luther, the man stares deeply into her blue eyes. His chest rises and falls in a sigh of breath he doesn’t realize he was holding in. Relief etches into his softened gaze. She can sense that it’s even deeper than ever before, that her being there is an anchor thrown into a stormy sea of thoughts, calming them.

“I missed you too,” he admits in a near whisper, sitting up more so that she doesn’t have to bend so much over the couch. He doesn’t want to turn away from her even if it means sitting awkwardly sprawled over the cushions. The man bends a leg instead, folding it for stability. His hand leaves off scratching Jojo, letting the cat off to do what he pleases, and another beat passes before he realizes there’s hardly any light in the room, only the light in the kitchen illuminating their faces. “What time is it?” he wonders aloud, blinking at Kaylee and taking in the rest of her once again in a relieved rundown of her being. She’s there, present, no mere illusion brought on by a dream.

Her attention is drag reluctantly to the window, her head nodding to it with a small smile. “Late enough that it is already the next morning.” Kaylee straightens to shrug off her jacket, leaving her with that shoulder rig exposed. She had clearly been working. This quickly joins the jacket… and shortly her boots thumps on the ground. “Though I must say…” Turning she hops up on the back of the couch; and in one graceful move turns and slides down to kneel, facing him on the couch. “I can’t think of a better thing to come home to than you.”

Reaching out, she moves to bracket his face gently with cooler hands, still cold from the night air. “It’s only been a few weeks, but it feels like a lifetime since we were together in the same room together.” Traumatic trips into secret black hole prisons and a lack of communication will do that. When all you can think about is getting home, it makes the time draw out.

So it should be no surprise that the next thing she does is draw him into a heated kiss. Even exhausted as she is, Kaylee couldn’t think beyond that caress of lips and what she is asking of him with it.

Luther rubs the back of his knuckles on the underside of his chin as she reveals the time, still waking up from the dredges of sleepiness and hangover from the lingering vodka. But his attention quickly returns to the woman as she sheds her jacket and shoulder rig, brows perking up as she slips over the back of the couch. A smile spreads across his lips and up to his eyes, as her hands take his face into them. "And I'll be waiting when you do," he replies, a slow blink all that separates the one moment to the next.

The chill of her fingers meets the warmth of his bearded jawline. He hadn't gotten a chance to shave before her return, but as long as it doesn't bother her, his mind travels elsewhere to other attentions. Like the heated kiss that she presses upon him, leading his thoughts to another room, and his hands to her waist.

Those hands soon wrap around tightly and he leans forward to shift himself, mouth still pressed against hers, to lift her along as he stands from the couch. The man's legs bump the coffee table a little, but the vodka bottle remains upright. She can feel him pulling her in so as not to drop her, but to carry her with singular intent of where they're headed. If they even make it that far.

As soon as she feels herself lifted off the couch, Kaylee’s legs are wrapped around his waist, heel hooked over foot behind him; while arms cling to him and head bent to keep within reach of his lips. Lengths of blonde hair fall around them, catching at the rough hairs of his unshaven jaw. Fingers reflexively curl into the fabric of his shirt as if making an attempt to pull it off, but mainly to hold him close.

Even if he wanted to Luther will find that it won't be easy to drop this telepath. Kaylee also completely trusts the man to get them where they need to go. Each touch, each kiss, and each sound made to encourage him forward.

There is nothing else right now, but the radiant warmth of his touch and the hum of his mind. Kaylee wished she could get lost in this moment forever and keep the horrors of the past couple weeks at bay.


“Don’t do this! Please! Please— nngh!" A young man with blood seeping down his nearly unrecognizable, beaten face pleads for his life. But Luther strikes him hard enough with bloodied knuckles to push him back into a lightless, metal container. The man crumples to the floor, stunned, weakened. Luther closes the container doors and welds the lock shut with a wave his hand and the sizzle of metal. It's a distant, cold feeling that comes over him. He's tired.

The screams of the man inside grow distant too, as a shipping arm clamps over the container box on top and lifts away. The container joins an infinite wall of others just like it, stacked into an anonymous maze.

Luther turns to walk away into the dark of the night… and finds himself suddenly surrounded by black. Breath comes in short, shallow gasps for air. Claustrophobic fear lances through him like fire and ice all at once. Everywhere he turns, it's pitch black. He tries to move, but doesn't get far, no more than a few feet, before he runs into a thick metal door. He bangs on the door, cries for someone, anyone.

No one hears him. Only the darkness…

It's cold. Dark. Freezing. But with each wet sound of flesh hitting concrete, a blossom of hot light flickers to life. Pain hitches on to impotent anger like a caboose on a rolling train on set tracks. He's forgotten what daylight feels like. But he'll never forget the pain that sends fire up through his knuckles and into his being.

The pain reminds him that he's alive. The outrage keeps him breathing. Each punch brings a burst of light, but the faces that he sees are cast in shadows, gone before he can turn to see who, always at the edges of his vision, taunting him in memory. The harder he hits, the more he hurts. But the more he hurts, the brighter it gets. More… more… until finally a punch lands that explodes.

A thunderous boom shakes the walls.

A metal door opens and blinding light spills in. In the distance, a rolling wave of energy catches up and slams into him, sending panic searing into being, driving him to run. The world around him is on fire, skyscrapers crumbling and chunks of concrete crashing around on the streets. He's on fire. Fear blinds him to any logical direction.

A cacophony of roaring flames and muffled voices scream in deafening command. Run. He can hear nothing else.

He searches for an escape, legs pumping, jumping over broken concrete, glass and feeling invisible bullets whizzing past him until up ahead he sees it. A terrifying vortex of pitch black darkness, torn into the very fabric of reality. His mind rebels at the sight of it, but his body pitches forward.

Luther leaps. Insanity welcomes him with the blackest kiss.


A cold sweat covers his normally warm body. Luther comes awake with a startled gasp of breath, body tensed in panic as he realizes he can't move. Sleep paralysis grips him for a few seconds, fear, the rest. When he finally can, the man swallows down the dry knot in his throat and makes himself roll up to a seated position on the edge of the bed. Grey eyes stare out of the window, at the morning light streaming through and the city beyond. In the distance, the green Pinehearst Tower looms. Remembering that an unseen chunk of it is blackened and destroyed sends a renewed lance of guilt piercing in like a needle. He frowns, gripping the edge of the bed tightly.

It has been awhile since his nightmares have invaded the quiet of her sleeping mind. Though in the past they have never been this bad. The intensity of the images flickering through her mind, bringing her out of her own slumber with a fluttering twist of anxiety; blue-eyes fly open and then close against the bright light of the morning. A hand presses over her eyes, brows lowering at the images that woke her. Pulling her hand away from her face and turning her head, she finds Luther’s back silhouetted against the light of the window.

Concerned about these new nightmares and the return of the old, the telepath moves to sit up. Old habits have her , pressing an arm across her chest to keep the tan sheet against her modestly. Shifting closer across the bed they share, a gentle hand moves to touch his back. “You okay, handsome?” she asks softly.

Leaning forward, Kaylee presses a kiss to the back of his shoulder. “Something’s wrong. I can tell.” The nightmares are enough to make that conclusion. “Talk to me?” she adds, lips brush along his skin as she talks.

The nightmare fades slowly but surely as they always do, but the effects linger like a bitter taste. Luther remains distracted by the remnants of the dream even as he can hear her shifting the sheets and sitting up behind him, her form inching closer in approach. The touch of her hand causes tension rather than calm, startling him from his dark reverie. It's a split second of panic that causes him to freeze up.

He doesn't answer right away. Something definitely is wrong, disturbing the normal peace of the morning and his mind when he's with her. As she kisses his shoulder and back, he turns more fully to her and a hand reaches to cup her face, his thumb caressing the line of her jaw. Then he leans over, pulling her to him to kiss her more fully on the mouth, the move still heated, but edged a little harder than it's meant to be.

It's not an answer. She can tell he wants to answer, but can't. Wants to act like that was nothing, that everything is fine. Like waking up like that was normal. Except that it's so very not. He denies the fear any support, though, dismissing the anxiety and instead embracing the rawness of the feeling, shifting it to a more physical energy of the moment.

Still. It's not an answer.

The roughness of the kiss, it takes her breath away and immediately everything in her responds to it; melts into the embrace with a soft sound of pleasure. Hands abandon the need for modesty, leaving sheets to pool around her waist as she reaches for him in return. Luther has this effect on her; mind, body and soul.

And it almost works, too.

Even as her body responds to his touch, something bothers her, something nags at the back of her pleasure addled brain. Maybe, the past few weeks have made her more paranoid… made her rethink her reality; but, it catches fire, the notion that he was trying to distract her. But why? What didn’t he want her to know or — hear.

Images crawl through her mind again. Those thoughts are enough to send a zap of cold reality through her, hands that were clinging to his warm skin, suddenly begin to push him away. With a sudden jerk of her head, lips part with a twist of regret and a gasp of air. As she gets her thoughts aligned, she lets out a strangled, “Wait!”

As she's caught up in him, so is Luther encouraged by her response, wanting nothing but her in that moment in time and nothing of the disturbing moments just before. His hands start their journey from her jaw to her neck, her shoulder line, and to tug at the sheets dropped away from her body. There’s an aggressiveness to his actions accompanying the awareness of her and the eagerness of him when he turns towards her, his gaze hooded and staring only at her and nothing else.

Her push away and abrupt voiced disruption of the moment snaps him out of it too. Luther blinks a few times at her, confusion riddling his expression, frustration filling in the cracks of his furrowed brow. His bare chest rising and falling in quick, deep breaths, he peers at Kaylee in silent question. Why was she wanting to wait? Why did she push him away? Why?

A frustrated huff blows out of him and he turns away from her, looking over the edge of the bed to where he can grab the pair of jeans previously dropped haphazardly on the floor.

He wasn’t alone in his frustration. Kaylee would like nothing more than to continue, but something was wrong. Something was different. Something had changed in him and it wasn’t just the fact that he was noticeably working out more. The telepath had told him once that experiences change the way a person thinks and how they sound to her. In the heat of last night, she hadn’t noticed, but now…

“Luther, you don’t have to—” a pause as words fail her. “I just want you to talk to me. To…” Kaylee sighs in her own frustration at not being able to articulate like she wants too. Falling back on the bed, hands covering her face briefly as she tries to get her brain to think straight. This felt like an important moment, like this was a final hurdle, before they could truly be together. When her hands fall away again, her words are softer. “The whole way home, all I could think about was coming back to you. To be with you and never being alone again.” She knew for sure she wanted to spend the rest of her life with him. “I realize on this trip, you were the one.”

Pushing herself up to sit again, knees draw up so that arms can wrap around her knees; Kaylee watches his back. “But, you’re still holding something back.” There isn’t so much an accusation to the words, but a statement of fact. “I’ve waited for you to finally trust me enough to let me all the way in.” She’s noticed that he hasn’t, for a long time.

Brows furrow as she tries not to look into his mind, he needed to open up on his own, and her not force her way in. “However, lately, I started holding back, too.” That admission brings a heavy amount of guilt. The gaze on his back falls away with a realization in that moment, that secrets need to stop. “I … have a confession to make. My trip with the girls, wasn’t a vacation. It was work.” Sounds innocent enough, but that wasn’t all, “I was investigating your employer.”

Pulling on his jeans, Luther remains quiet as she falls back. It’s more confusion than annoyance that catches against the barbs of surliness. His back remains to her still, but she doesn’t need to see his face to sense the turmoil. She’s not the only one to have gone through some world-changing events, and that she can read his mind shift seems to concern him. What changed, he wonders silently about himself. There was so much he was holding back already, that infinite wall of containers holding all manner of secrets and disturbing confessions.

Especially recently, as she points out, when he’s left for work and come back exhausted, or sometimes not at all. Even before the bombing of the tower, but now after it, after the events that have unfolded. He turns partway around when she says that she’s been waiting for him to trust her. And that she’s also been holding back. His head tilts, brows furrowing as he can see the guilt in her expression when she confesses to not having been on vacation. When she brings up investigating his employer, though, the man tenses. She’s seen that reaction before, felt the clamming up, an unwillingness to address work around her. That much he can’t hide from the telepath.

But there’s also a need to know. Luther pushes up to stand and turns around fully to face her, staring hard into her face. “Why?” comes the singular question, this time audible, but it feels like it’s being lobbed over an invisible wall. He’d built that wall, hidden himself in it. “What’s that about? Some labor disputes?” he offers dismissively, but it’s a weak distraction at best. Besides, she’s a primarily homicide detective.

“I wish it was that simple,” Kaylee offers softly. Something in the way he is looking at her… she suddenly feels exposed. So, she pulls the sheet up again and scoots to the edge of the bed, leaning over to retrieve her bra from where it had landed on the lamp in their rush. With her back to him this time, she starts putting it on. While she does, she continues, “I got a tip from an anonymous source that Pinehearst had been running a blacksite prison where they had been holding evolved against their will and even experimenting on them.”

Bra on, she manages to find her underwear half under the bed. “Someplace called Moab.” There is a way she says that name… Once her underwear is on, she turns toward him with a haunted expression, “I found it.” Her head shakes a bit, the words start tumbling out and she can’t seem to stop herself, “I— was too late. Someone came through and killed almost all the prisoners. Even someone I had arrested for simple obstruction. I—” Kaylee trails off, her expression distant. Even though she was a detective and had seen plenty of death, this… what she had seen there was surreal. He has probably seen that look in others. It was haunting her.

Blinking a little as her world comes back into focus, Kaylee looks back at him, worried and fear suddenly etched on her features. “I don’t think you should work for them anymore. What if they do the same thing to you?”

Luther's still watching her as she turns away to pull on some clothing, a part of him touched with a primal urge that is promptly closed upon and pushed down by more pressing matters. He's listening intently to every word, thoughts racing with concerns about what she knows.

Then those words come out of her. Blacksite prison where they have been holding Evolved against their will. Experimenting on them.


It's like she's taken a knife and stabbed him with it. Luther staggers back a pace from the bed's edge, his face draining of color, the cold chill of fear gripping at his spine. The memory of his nightmare slams back into the present. He barely hears the rest of it. But he does hear the worried question she posits to him. What if they do the same thing to him?

Shaking his head abruptly, he utters a quiet, "No. I've done everything they've asked. Everything…" He's cleaned up the messes. They're not traceable. Yet here was a woman who had found out a terrible secret, and then pierced a hole in the foundation that's been manicured to appear solid.

Stricken with that realization, Luther turns and makes for the bedroom door like he can't be standing there a moment longer. He can't go back. Won't. He needs to fix this and the next thought that hits him while his hand is on the knob is that she knows about Moab. He turns his gaze to her, his voice rough. "You need to forget about Moab."

His reaction catches her by surprise and all she can do is stare at him confused, while his wild and erratic wash over her like a flood. She can block thoughts, but when they are loud, it’s hard to ignore. With a suddenly blink, she realizes, this wasn’t something she expected.

It’s slow, but realization dawns on her, of what those thoughts meant; what they were. Kaylee pales, and hand covers her mouth in shock. “Oh my god,” she whispers softly through her fingers. She doesn’t put two and two together… that he wasn’t really what he seemed, her mind latches on to one thing.

“You were—” a prisoner of Moab. Kaylee can’t finish that, because he is heading for the door and telling her to forget about it. What?!


That is her answer as defiant and determined, as the hand that comes down on his; an attempt to stall his escape. Her shoulder thumps against the door, as she moves to where she can see his face and keep the door shut. Searching his face, Kaylee speaks up again with fire in her words. “You were a prisoner there,” it is an angry statement of fact. Though the anger isn’t leveled at him. Her eyes watch his, even if he won’t look at her. “They put you in that place… I absolutely, will not forget about it.” The words growl out.

He might have wanted her to forget, but instead he only strengthens her resolve.

Luther's hand tightens on the knob, tension released there to stave off the tumult of aggressive, fearful violence threatening to tear off the door and allow his escape. Why he can't comes when she has realized what he's been keeping at least in part. His gaze casts downward to the floor, unable or unwilling to confront the anger in her blue eyes that makes it into her tone. He doesn't confirm her conclusion, not in any verbal confession. Not until she accuses the company.

His defensive reaction accompanies the lift of his storm grey eyes. Emotion pitching his words hoarsely, he responds with a rebuttal growled out, "No, Pinehearst didn't put me there, they're the ones that got me out. They took me away from it." And pitched him into a different sort of darkness, upon pain of being put back. But he doesn't pause to consider that part.

The extortion comes part and parcel with his freedom. But if he can keep her from it all, as he'd been doing as much as possible, he still will. "You need to drop this before it gets out of control and paints a target on your back." Before they point me at you, his eyes seem to threaten. "The company's been trying to keep everybody safe. They… they have their reasons."


Comes out just as defiant as the one before. Even if she is taken aback by his statement, but then she remembers the vacant eyes of Cyrus looking up at her. “Are you not hearing me? They own it, Luther,” she hisses out, fingers moving to grip his arm, wanting him to hear her. “I saw the videos. Experimentations, torture, burning victims alive. Ditches filled with bodies.”

She gives him a light push, to try and turn him. “Cyrus Karr was arrested by me and still he ended up there, dead on the floor with a bullet in his head.” Her voice starts to pitch louder, the anger for what happened to the man surging to the surface; but, she doesn’t cry. She doesn’t deserve to shed a tear for that man. “ I did. Me. Not them. How do you know Pinehearst didn’t snatch you up — just like him — and shove you in that hell hole. Only to bring you up again when they needed to use—” The words trail off as realization hits her, through her own words the truth of him finds her.

He can see the moment she’s hit, like a knife to the heart, by the pain of that moment. The way her chest rises sharply with a gasp. The telepath’s hands comes off of him like he burned her and a step is taken backwards. Breath catches in her throat when she tries to speak; but the next words are breathless with their heart break.

“You’re not a janitor. Wh-what are you to them?”

Kaylee is almost afraid to find out, but she needs to know.

Many of their arguments have come from the stubborn refusal to accept or hear the other side. They’d work it out eventually. But none of those fights have been about this. Luther looks down to where she grabs him, doesn’t fight back when she pushes, but he doesn’t budge in his sense of reasons why he’d defend the company. Doesn’t want to acknowledge the possibility, even though there’s truth to her argument.

The mention of Cyrus Karr doesn’t get much grief or outrage from Luther, furthering the mounting evidence that the man is no mere janitor. When she finally realizes, in her anger, that conclusion and pulls away from him, he finally manages to take a steadying breath. Grey eyes look to her face, spotting the heart break and the pain. He’s never wanted to see that in her, but the course is set now and he attempts to navigate.

With a sense of dissociated calm, he starts, “I’m not a janitor. But, they call me when they need a mess cleaned up. When there’s been mistakes made that need to be erased. Whenever they need something fixed.” He rolls his shoulders back, releasing some of the tension in them. It’s almost a relief that he finally tells her, but it comes with other problems on the horizon. “How do you think we’ve managed to keep the peace? Between the police, the public, and the company. It’s not just about crime and punishment. People don’t know about the complications and that’s a part of what I help do.”

He lifts a hand to rub at the back of his neck, finally glancing away from her for a second or two, debating inwardly. When he looks back, Luther tightens the line at his lips and eyes her again. “They’re working on a much bigger problem though,” he continues after a long beat. “Call it, anti-terrorism. The bombing at the tower? It’s all connected.” The hand at his neck drops back down. He wishes that was enough explanation. He knows it isn’t. And braces.

“No…” Kaylee has to turn away as he explains who he is, hands come up as if she is going to cover her ears, but she doesn’t.. Instead they come around to cover her mouth. The detective is very aware of fixers and what they do, they are the bane of any good detective. To know she had been dating one, her mind casts back to conversations. How he had patiently listened when she was stressing over a case.

Cold fingers draw a line down her spine, making her stand a little taller. The sense of betrayal had a hand pressing to her chest. She can’t breathe, panic starts to set in…. until….

He mentions the bombing. Shoulders tense and Kaylee whips around on him. Fortis et Liber. It had been bothering her ever since the case closed as swiftly as it had. She hadn’t been satisfied with the finding. He had been on site that night.

Fingers curl into fists, which each breath she takes is quick and shallow. She is fighting the urge to break down, latching on to the anger and letting it be driven on by the betrayal.

How many?” Her voice is the cold whisper of someone so angry, it has gone beyond shouting. “How many of my cases, have you fixed?” Kaylee doesn’t wait for an answer, she knows without him saying, there had to be many. “Do you know what you have done? You know what this could to do me and my career? All of my cases?” There is a step taken towards him, he has never seen this much of her temper before. “They’ll be thrown out, murderers released. If even one of my cases was fixed by you.” That last bit takes all the wind out of her sails, defeat hits her. She turns away from him.

“Get out,” she whispers roughly.

Luther knows he’s gone too far, watching her reaction to his reveal. It’s not even the whole truth, but enough of that Pandora’s box is cracked open and the darkness spilling out to cover the distance between them. He stays silent as her she starts to panic, subconsciously his body starts to lean, to shift his weight, wanting to go to her. He takes a step towards her.

And stops when her whisper crawls out, cold and fierce. When she steps towards him instead, he goes still. How many cases has she investigated that had his hand on them? He doesn’t answer. Can’t, perhaps, knowing how many times he’s been called in by the company. When she turns her back to him, he swallows down. “Kaylee, I…” His voice struggles out, too much to say and too little he can say at once.

Her next whisper seals whatever he had to say back into the box. The man backs away, turning back to the bedroom door. His hand turns the knob, opening the door with a slight creak of the hinges. The cat, normally waiting at the door in the mornings, has fled and is hiding somewhere from the tense argument.

Luther pauses a moment, staring down the empty hall. Her words echo in his mind. Get out.

They’ll haunt him all the way to the front door. In the moments that follow, she can hear the apartment door shut behind him, and the sense of his mind soon fading away from range.

Then he’s gone.

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