Conditional Role Models


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Scene Title Conditional Role Models
Synopsis Matt tracks down Kaylee with the intent of making her update her registration, but finds an opportunity instead.
Date October 02, 2010

Roosevelt Island

It's been years since Matt Parkman has done a proper stakeout.

But here is all the same, sitting in one of a handful of sleek black vehicles with tinted windows that ride the line between luxury and efficiency. He sips at a cup of coffee, his eyes narrowed as he watches the door to Ichihara Bookstore. The only difference between this stakeout and any other one is that Parkman's backup isn't sitting in the car with him. It's in a delivery van behind the building, presumably waiting to either pick up or drop off something from one of the establishments near the booksellers.

It wasn't difficult to get intel on Kaylee Thatcher. Molly was eager and forthcoming with the information, which only makes Parkman want to run this errand even more. He is still nursing a lingering headache leftover from yesterday, but cest la vie. There's work to be done.

Closing time is when he finally gets his chance. A young blonde woman in her early twenties pushes through the door of Ichihara's. A backpack rests on her shoulder, making her cant a little to one side under the weight of what's in it. There is a bright smile on her lips as she turns back to look into the store.

"Bye Lydia." Kaylee Thatcher calls back rather brightly, even as she lets herself out of the store, only waiting for a response before shutting the door behind her. Standing on curb for a moment, the telepath glances skyward with a small little smile, hand extracting a cellphone from the pocket of her jeans. While scrolling through numbers, looking for Joseph's so that she can tell him she's on her way home, Kaylee starts walking down the sidewalk.

It's when the phone is pulled out that Parkman exits the vehicle, pushing the manual lock before he shuts the door and starts across the street at a diagonal to intercept Kaylee. He lifts a hand to rub at his jaw, murmuring something into a device on his wrist. Backup only works if they know what you're doing. With his other hand, he pulls his suit jacket closed and deftly buttons it.

He knows enough not to try and reach out to her mentally. He knows enough to assume Kaylee, if she sees him, will recognize him. He also knows that trying to trick her with an illusionary mask isn't exactly fair.

"Kaylee Thatcher?" he calls out when he's still got about five feet of asphalt to cross before he hits the sidewalk. "Got a minute?"

Oh there is recognition there, but also confusion like — 'where do I know this guy from?' "Yes?" The word drawn out as suspicion kicks in, blonde brows furrowig a little as she studies the guy. Then it dawns on her, those brows shooting up. "Matt Parkman, Molly's dad." That at least has Kaylee canceling whatever call she was placing, the suspicion lingers tho'. A look is cast around them, before she states, "I'm going to guess that Molly isn't here with you?" She's pretty much stating the obvious, since normally the teenager would already have arms through around her.

A smiles creeps onto her face though, her head tilting just a little as Kaylee regards him. "For what do I owe the honor of meeting you face to face?" The cellphone is tucked away again and she hikes the backpack a little more secure on that one shoulder. "And how is she? Last time I saw Molly, was when I was finally well enough to move out of Mrs. Petrelli's place after the big freeze."

"She's fine," Parkman deadpans as he studies the young woman. It's not that Molly shouldn't have friends, but those friends should be other teenagers. People who she goes to school with. Not college kids. Especially not college kids who don't keep their registration up to date. "Take a walk with me?" It's a question, but even without Parkman's brand of persuasion, it's less a request and more of a command. Maybe it's just what happens when you're in his sort of position.

"You headed home?" he asks as he gets beside her and tucks his hands into his pockets, looking ahead rather than to the side. "Or do you mind a detour?"

"Depends on the detour?" Kaylee sounds more amused then anything, she knows what he is, just as much as he knows hers, so there is no attempts at even listening in, the humming of his mind behind her mental barrier is enough. Around her, through the walls of the shops mental hums move around going around their daily business… it's gotten worse as time has gone on and with every injections of that Amp.

"But… I mean, I don't mind a walk." She jerks her head in the direction she's going, Kaylee gives him a genuine smile. "Molly is a really good kid, but… I remember what it was like at her age. Being different, needing people that understand what it's like and won't use what she is." One hand curls around the strap of the backpack and other tucks into her own pocket, as she starts to walk.

"First time I met her, she was being attacked by someone called the Nightmare man… Pulled her out of the street, before a car hit her." There is a small shrug of her shoulders, gaze falling to the ground in front of her. "And ended up helping care for her when we both had the Evo virus and we were pretty much each others only friend at that time, stuck at the mansion like that."

Parkman nods at the bit of story, and it alone answers some of his questions as to why Kaylee took it upon herself to befriend someone a little over half her age. But he doesn't thank her for it, even though it was during a time when he was in Washington with work. "You understand my concern," he says after a moment, his brow furrowing as he keeps pace with the girl. "I mean, any older friend Molly has, she's going to look up to." Especially if Kaylee was integral in saving her life. "That puts a lot of pressure on you."

When they reach the end of the block, Parkman lifts a hand to Kaylee's elbow, steering her around the corner rather than letting her cross the street. For now, it's just a walk. But there is a destination he has in mind.

There is a back and forth waggling of her head, before Kaylee offers an honest, "As much as I can, yeah. I have enough dealings with kids with the volunteering I do, but I'm not a parent… one day maybe." There is hope there, since she does hope to have a family on day. "But with what she can do, I worry… Especially, if people knew. A kid like that does not need that kind of pressure, it's why I'm glad she stays with Mrs. Petrelli. At least ther, no one dares to try and grab her… It's the president's mother." She trails off a bit.

"She is still living there isn't she?" Now there is a touch of worry, even as she steered around the corner, Kaylee's brows furrow a little, but… she goes along. It takes everything in her not to try and suss out the direction he's leading her, she knows what will happen if she does. "Or at least somewhere safe?" Worry increasing, cause the though of the Institute getting their hands on her…

"We're lucky to have friends like the Petrelli's," is Parkman's oh-so-political answer to that question. It's not a yes. It's not a no. It's just a simple, sweeping acknowledgement of all the family has done for Matt and Molly. The street he leads Kaylee down isn't too unlike the one where the bookstore is, but it soon lined not with businesses, but offices. Roosevelt Island, as cut off as it may be, is still home to lawyers, CPAs, and other sorts of professional white-collar desk jockeys.

"So you like being a role model," he muses, his eyes narrowing with the idea of it. All he knows about Kaylee Thatcher is what is in her file, and it's arguably not much about who she is as much as it is what she's done, and there's not too much. She's kept her nose relatively clean, so far as Parkman can dig up, which is a point in her favor. But the fact that she clearly isn't living with the president's brother anymore, despite what her registration card says, is one of the main reasons why Parkman is here today, walking with her toward a Roosevelt Island police station.

"A role model?" Kaylee sounds a little uncertain about the idea, but amused by it. "No more like trying to be a friend, that is trying to keep her out of trouble when I can… or could. I haven't exactly been around her lately, I've been up to my eyeballs in trying to work and go to college." She doesn't see herself as anyone's role model… Despite her record, up to a point, she's never been the best person. It still hasn't quite occurred to her where Matt is taking her, she's more focused on the man next to her.

However, finally, curiosity gets the better of Kaylee and she just flat out asks. "Why are you here today?" The smile is gone, the uncertainty and confusing is there again.

"Whether you've seen her recently or not," Parkman says, pausing to take a deep breath and tuck his chin, "she looks up to you. So, role model. It's not a bad thing, but if that's the way it's gonna be, you're gonna be the best role model you can." Molly could do worse, but someone skirting the law isn't the sort of person Parkman wants her eventually trying to emulate.

He reaches for her elbow again when they come to the wide steps of the police station. Parkman looks from the door with the station number carved in the stone above back to Kaylee. "So you're going to update your information, like you should have done when you moved." His eyebrows lift in a silent challenge. Will she defy him? Halfway down and on the other side of the street behind them, a black panel van comes to rest at the curb.

Her feet set then right there, stop moving, panic etches across Kaylee's features. "What?!" She turns that wide eyed look to Matt. "Do you know what will happen if I do?" The words are whispered fiercely as she pulls against his grip, not enough to make a show of it, but enough to be defiant. "Haven't you been watching the news?!? Columbia will kick me out. They will come up with some bogus reason and kick me out."

Kaylee glances at the doorway her head shaking, "I don't want to lose that, I've got three years in." The look the telepath turns his way is one pleading for understanding, "It's why I was told to downplay it, at least until I got my degree." Kaylee is scared now, Angela had told her it was best she did this… of course, neither could predict what would happen if Molly told her dad what she was.

"Just update your address," Parkman says with a shake of his head and a squint of his eyes. It's not that big a deal, is it? "You want to be friends with kids, you've got to lead by example." It's one of those rare moments when Parkman can't read a mind and wants to. Sure, he could project into Kaylee, and she could do the same back to him, but it's not the same as laying her thoughts to bare, and he isn't exactly up for trying a deeper excursion. "That's all I'm asking you to do. Go in there, show 'em a piece of mail and your IDs, and get it fixed."

"Oh… Oh!" It dawns on Kaylee now… Oops. That's right, she hadn't updated her address to Gun Hill yet. Her shoulders relax suddenly, and she looks relieved. Then there is a sheepish look. "Ah — yeah — about that. I'm kinda up in the air with that since my current address got condemned." It's the honest truth. "I've been living at Gun Hill. Their working on it, but that could be… months."

She wants to clutch her chest, with how relieved she is. "Seriously? That's all?" Kaylee looks amused again, but also a little worried still.

It's the worst question to ask Parkman, telepath or not.

He arches an eyebrow at her and squints. "I don't know," he says, slipping his hands into his pockets once more. "Is that all? Is there something I should know that you aren't telling me, Kaylee?" He looks from her to the police station, where inside, people have already started to look through the windows at the pair standing at the steps. "Your file says you can project thoughts into people's heads, but according to Molly, you're a lot like me.

"Is that true?"

Her stomach sinks a bit. She did tell. Kaylee's eyes slide shut and she hesitates for a moment, before nodding just a fraction, just enough for him to see it. "Yeah." She says softly, opening her eyes again. "Yeah I am."

Kaylee looks dead serious as she continues, "I was set on full disclosure when I said I was willing to register, cause I was dating Peter Petrelli — since it kinda put me out there. But I was told that if I wanted to get my education that it was better if I down play it, till after I graduated, cause if I didn't I wouldn't even be given a chance." Her attention flicks to some point to the side of him.

"You know how people react to what we can do" Her voice this whole time soft so as not to carry far, Kaylee's blue eyes settle on her fellow telepath again, there is a sadness and almost resigned way too it. "Even if we have a moral code… it doesn't matter. People won't trust you and think the worst of you. Many will run the other way and avoid you."

While Parkman hated being stripped of his power, he can't deny how it has altered his life. Without it, he might still be married to Janice, working as a beat cop and spending every free waking moment with his son. But he watches Kaylee closely as she owns up to her actual ability, relying on all the old tricks he has up his sleeve as an officer of the law to determine if she's telling the truth. Body Language. Eye contact. Pitch and speed of voice. Things that are the equivalent of using a stick to get ants out of a log.

"I do," he says with a slight nod and a one-sided frown that tugs at his features. "But there are distant ed programs. Other places to go to school, even. Lying about what you can do - about who you are, Kaylee…" But his speech trails off, and Parkman just shakes his head again, disapproval washing over his features.

There is a wrinkle of her nose at that. "Who would you hire as a social service worker… or a lawyer? Columbia University Graduate or University of Phoenix online graduate? Columbia law is one of the best schools out there." It's an honest question and a fair assessment.

"Do you really think I like this? I'm not exactly, proud of what I am or what I can do." The telepath say sounding rather unhappy about her gift. "I hated it being gone when I was sick, cause there was this — loneliness about it, but — I hate it cause if people knew the extent…" They would never trust her.

There is no flinching away as he levels that disapproval on her, she meets with her with own despairing look. "Did you get to have your education before the world found out what you are? There is a woman out there that doesn't get to go to medical school cause she's a telepath." Kaylee's eyes suddenly seem shiny, as tears threaten, forcing her to look away and down, so that she can collect her thoughts and not disgrace herself with tears. Eyes are closed, her expression pained as she pleads softly, "Please, don't make me update my ability, yet." She knows it's frivolous to beg it of him, considering who it is, but she tries.

For as much as they may be alike in ability, the difference in Kaylee and Parkman's ages has the man wondering. Just how far along is she? What has she been able to discover since she manifested? She's much younger than he was when he first discovered what he could do, which could mean she knows more, or it could mean she's still learning.

Regardless, there's an opportunity staring him in the face. True, it means sacrificing some professional ethics, but if it gets the girl through school and past the bar exam, he might just end up with someone on his side in the judicial department. That can't be a bad thing.

"One condition," he says, lowering his chin once again and looking to the doors ahead of them.

Kaylee's head comes up quickly, brows lifting in surprise, which shows on her face, before it closes down into something much more guarded. Her head turns a bit as she glances at the police station, eyes lifting to the second floor for a moment, before back to him again. "What — would that be?" There is suspicion there, she maybe forced to give up her dreams if she doesn't like what she hears.

Of course, in her own head she's wondering how much like his father he is, they look alike, but abilitiy-wise? There is a bit of awe in the young woman about Maury Parkman, someone she only came face to face with once. There has always been a part of Kaylee that wished she was that good.

Fortunately for Matt, as much as he may resemble his father, there's enough of his mother to soften his features. As far as his ability goes…

That's a subject better left untouched.

Parkman strokes his jaw with the palm of his hand as he studies the door to the precinct. "You go update your address," he says in a low voice, meant only for Kaylee's ears. "But you also meet with me on the roof of the Devereaux Building tomorrow. Six o'clock sharp. You come alone, you tell no one. You don't show up, and you can kiss Columbia goodbye. We have an understanding?"

"I…" Oh this could go bad… but not for the reason Matt thinks. Kaylee looks worried, cause — what if Hiro shows up and says it's time to go. The young telepath has been doing a lot of time jumping lately assisting the tiny samurai. Oh dear.

"Y- yeah." She finally agrees, how can she not. "I can do that — " or at least try "— be there at six… wait? Morning or evening? Evening is better cause I kinda have a commitment in the morning." Sunday mornings are kinda promised to a certain pastor. "Church." She clips that last out, with a little lift of he brows. It still feels weird to say that word.

"Evening," Parkman says with a jerk of a nod. It's only folks like Kaylee and her pastor-friend that are up before the crack of dawn on a Sunday. Even Parkman sleeps in a little, unless he's not been to sleep at all.

"Now get in there. I'd better see a brand new registration card when I see you tomorrow."

A hand lifts to give him a mock salute, a small smile tugging up the corner of her mouth. "Yes, sir." Kaylee looks relieved at least, she can see what the heck this guy wants. Just - yet - another thing on the young woman's plate. Things have been piling up on it lately, how much more can it take, before that plate breaks?

Guess, Kaylee will find out.

Starting to take a step, Kaylee pauses looking back to him again, a smile touches her lips. "Glad to finally meet you, despite it all this. Molly has nothing but the best things to say about you and some guy she calls her second dad, Mohinder?" That smile goes crooked though, since when Molly had first mentioned them, Kaylee thought they must be gay or something.

Probably a good thing Matt can't really read those thoughts.

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