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Scene Title Deadweight
Synopsis Luther hits a low point as some realizations surface about his role and doubts sink in.
Date July 3, 2019

Drawn blackout curtains and the sluggish hums of minds asleep are supposed to aid in the regulation of good sleeping patterns for working telepathic law officers.

The opposite of that? A barrage of texts that sound off the chime alert of Detective Kaylee Thatcher’s phone situated on her nightstand, thus disturbing any within its vicinity and hearing range.

Jackson Heights, New York Safe Zone

Wednesday July 3, 4:32 AM Eastern Standard Time

A look upon the screen reveals the offending early texter as none other than Luther, whose apparent calculation of the 13 hour time difference has not deterred him from sending messages to the woman halfway around the world in the middle of the night.


u awaek?

ben missingh u babe

mssing yoiu lots

but gotr n aD bews


ilk call u

Outside the Tokyo Restricted Zone

Thursday July 4, 5:39 PM Japan Standard Time

Luther hunches over, elbows pinning on his knees as he stares at the bright screen of his phone. Brows pinched close together in an attempted concentration, his thumbs search out one letter after another in a rolling out of thoughts largely unfiltered. A long breath sucks in, holds, and lets out slowly as he squints, vision swimming with an all too familiar haze.

He’s drunk.

That he manages to send off that many texts at all is something of a feat, even if he hasn’t realized that the texts sent off are aimed to an unintended recipient. There’s one button he doesn’t miss though, the green “CALL” icon that eventually sends off the invisible signals bouncing off towers and satellites. In the outskirts of the Tokyo Restricted Zone, he doesn’t have to worry so much about lost signals as it is in the New York Safe Zone.

Phone held up to his ear, Luther leans his cheek heavily on the screen, listening to the ringing on the other end.

“What in…?” The blearily murmured words escape as Kaylee blindly reaches for the phone. When she squints at the screen, Kaylee wakes up a bit more at the texts on her screen. Texts clearly not for her. Just what she needed… she had just managed to finally sleep after a rough day, so instead of answering… the phone is slapped back down on the table. Ignoring the dings, she turns away from the sound and pulls the pillow next to her close, wrapping arms around it. “He’ll realize….”

The phone rings.

Kaylee sighs.

Turning back far enough, the telepath snags the phone again. There is a touch of irritation as she swipes a thumb across the screen. “I miss you too, babe,” exhausted puts a touch of sarcasm in her tone when she says that word, “but you have the wrong number, cause I highly doubt those messages are for me.” There is a huffed sigh out of her following that, as the irritation bleeds out of her, just as quickly as it developed. “Which is probably a good thing.” There is a pause while Kaylee rubs at an eye with the palm of her hand and yawns. But finally….

“Luther, how much have you had to drink?”

Even the noise of Tokyo city traffic vastly contrasts with that of what passes for noise now in the New York Safe Zone. There's far less construction noise, and more of the sort of foot traffic and vehicular traffic one comes to expect of an urban metropolis. While it means he's clearly outside, it also means he’s somewhere distant, alone in the world.

Light sarcasm is lost on Luther in his state. He catches only the first impressions of the reply, a smile pushing its way up along the corners of his mouth and edging his rumbled tone. "You're just bein' cross 'cause I woke you," he says playfully at first, not holding in the small snort of a laugh. He perhaps still hasn't realized yet who he's speaking to.

But her questioning his level of drunkenness becomes something a little more sobering. Luther gives a little grunt, a readjustment of his mood. The pause is quite telling. The words that come next, more so.

"I can't go home," Luther says, his manner more subdued.

There is a stifled sound of amusement, smothered against that pillow she’s holding onto. Yeah, he was pretty drunk, Kaylee could hear it in his tone. There is a moment that she ponders whether she should correct him again, but then he’s speaking again.

Now that gets her attention.

Releasing the pillow, Kaylee rolls over on her back. Staring up at the ceiling with a slight frown; a part of her mind can almost picture him standing there. “What do you mean you can’t go home? You can always go home.” She points out.

The resignation teeters at a precarious balance, much like his current inebriated state, wobbling between being fine and disaster. “No,” he insists, “I can’t.” A heavy sigh escapes, audible through the earpiece. “Can’t let the girls see me like this,” mumbles the man. Who ‘the girls’ are remains unclear, undertone of residual affection and worry balled into the undertone. Maybe he’s embarrassed to let the others he’s traveling with see him this way. Maybe he means the ladies at the Hands of Mary organization he’d been working closely with prior to the trip.

“The trip’s not over,” he continues, “Not yet. There’s still so much. We still don’t know…” Luther trails off, scrubbing a hand over his face and pinching a throb above the bridge of his nose. “I gotta stay. Not sure how much longer. Until… ‘Til there’s answers.”

Just as he seems about to accept his fate, he sloppily follows, “I miss you.”

What he can’t see on the other end of the line is the sharp stab of pain in the telepath’s chest. So much she wants to say, so much that she wants to ask — What girls? What answers? Wasn’t it just a vacation trip? — but it is all caught in her throat, because… those words are not for her. Why couldn’t…. ? The thought is brushed away before it could form.

“Luther.” Kaylee finally says through a sigh. “Please…Look at your phone. You called the wrong number.” The words feel so small to her ears, much like she felt. “I— I don’t know what’s going on, but I’m not the person you want.” Those last words were hard to say, A hand falling across her eyes.

“I’m still here to listen tho, if you need me…” Kaylee leans her head against the phone and murmurs. “Always.”

Another pause follows as Luther might actually look at his phone. Somehow, it’s obvious that he doesn’t. Almost a minute ticks by, enough time that she might think he’d been disconnected if not for the ambient background noise of the traffic in his area crackling in fits and spurts over the earpiece on the other side of the world. When his voice next sounds, it’s quiet in its strain.

“I’m sorry,” he finally manages after a long suck in of breath between gritted teeth. “I’m so fuckin’ sorry.”

Another splotch of emotion coughs through in a pitiable sob followed by a rustling noise, a swipe of cloth as he rubs a palm over his eyes and the fabric of his sleeve brushes the mic. But it sounds strange over the phone line.

There is something in that sound that pulls at the threads of her own emotions and tangles them up into a knot in her stomach. “Hey… hey hey,” Kaylee’s voice is soft over the phone, a tone that she’s used on her own kids when they were distraught over something; Gentle, loving, and understanding. “It’s okay. There is nothing to be sorry for, Luther.”

Pushing herself up to sit, the rustle of sheets evident over the phone, Kaylee takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly in an attempt to ease the emotional knots in her stomach. Never had she wanted to be there so badly and yet felt so insignificant.. He couldn’t even tell her the truth. “I’m.. just sorry you are going through whatever this is alone. No one should have to be alone and in pain.” Because, no matter how she felt, he was clearly in a deep emotional pain

Fingers catch at the end of a curl and twists it around her fingers, listening to the man on the other end. “T…” Kaylee’s voice catches slightly, nerves taking her ability to speak for a moment. Swallowing she tries again, “Tell me what you need from me, Luther? I’m not Jane, but you know I’ve always got your back and will always be here for you.”

After a pause, there is a soft self-deprecating chuckle, followed by words still just as motherly sounding, “I’ll even steal my brothers jet and fly over there if I need too.” He can almost hear the defiance in Kaylee’s voice. “And don’t think I won’t, Luther Bellamy.”

"Kaylee. No," defends Luther, his response still quiet, now evident he's aware it's her. The next "I'm sorry" that comes out of Luther follows a hitch of his breath as he struggles to compose himself. There's a pause, then the soft rustling of a paper bag in a tightened grip and a dull thud of a glass bottle in a trash can, too weakly tossed to crack it.

"I thought I was protecting her. I tried to help. But what am I doing here?" His questions almost rhetorical, he sighs out, muffled through fingers no longer occupied with holding hidden whisky. Not that anybody passing by with a nose would need to guess. "It's this whole Adam business. It's Chess. It's…"

Everything. He tells her about the trip so far, the reasons behind the trip to Japan. The sights they'd seen, even the poorly pronounced or even totally wrong names of things. The send off of Raquelle's mother, Azami, back to Detroit even though the large part of it was handled by Lou back at RayTech.

Nearing the end of the long confessional, he adds, "Eve and Alix and Kimberly 're here too. Miles got 'em over. No customs." That's a definite admission to illegal activities. International crime territory. And he's now admitted it to a young, green detective.

He rambles on, though, undeterred by the confession made arguably under duress, "I came along to help get answers. This wasn't just a vacation… it was just…" Continuing with an audible shaking, "I just, don't know what I can do. What any of us can do. And Chess, she's… she's practically a daughter to me. I'd do anything for her. And this whole time it feels like I've done nothing."

There is a long moment of silence.

To be fair, it is a lot to process.

“That is… something,” Kaylee says through an exhaled breath. What could she says to that? It left so many questions. Personal… selfish questions.

But this call wasn't about her. Fingers comb through tangled hair and rest against the back of her neck.

“Look…You asked what you’re there for…” Kaylee starts steadily. “You’re there to protect your family, like the amazing and wonderful person you are.” He did just say Chess was like a daughter and in a way her sisters. “Just cause you think you’re not doing anything, doesn't mean she doesn't need you. If it was Carl, I'd be there in a heartbeat.”

Throwing off the sheets, Kaylee slides off the bed to her feet. “Sometimes, just you being there is enough.” She looks down at her feet and smiles a bit sheepishly. “I should know. So trust me when I say, You are doing what she needs.”


Here he can hear a shift in her tone,”Not when you’re falling down drunk. What the hell? You were fine when you left.” Cause he was. He can hear the woman who once tossed him into a shower. “Drink less…Stop the pity party and be her dad.” Kaylee orders. Note she doesn't tell him not to drink. “Or you won't be able to see straight when it is time to punch Adam in the face.” Yeah… she knows about those thoughts.

“Was I?” Was he fine? The darkness of his laugh cuts through the haze of his alcohol-clouded mind. A soft snort of self-deprecating humor and disbelief comes out in unchecked reaction to her complimentary pep talk. But then. Then it’s Luther’s turn for a long silence. The tone shift hits him hard, and she knows it even from the lack of audible response. She’ll need patience in waiting for the man’s reply. “I know… ” he starts up again, the tone familiar to when he’s protesting a fact, or her chiding when he’s being obstinate and reluctant to work out. At least it’s something more normal to what he’s usually like. “… I just… what if they don’t need me.” The worry is still there as he gives voice to the weight of his doubts.

“It’s just that, when I was workin’ with the sisters,” Luther pivots, swallows tightly, finding himself coming back to a niggling thought, “I felt good. Like I was doing something. At the Hands of Mary, I was helping out. This… I don’t know. I’m deadweight.” He sighs heavily, scrubbing at his thickened beard and rubbing tired eyes.

“Were you? Really?” He can hear the bristling in her voice. It’s Kaylee’s turn to scoff, pausing in mid-coffee machine prep… she was going to need it. “One day I was scared for you and the next you were smiling and happy. Acting like….” Kaylee trails off not wanting to say it outloud, her voice thickening with her own suppressed emotions.

If she doesn’t talk about ‘it’ she’ll be okay.

“Look…” Kaylee says after she takes a deep breath and rubs a hand over her tired features. “No matter what.. A daughter will always need her father.” She should know. “You’re not deadweight. You will never be deadweight and as long as I’ve known you, you haven’t been.”

There is a clank of glass and plastic as the telepath gets back to getting coffee going. “The sooner you realize it, the sooner you stop this pity party. What you need a good smack or a hug.. Or both, but lucky you. You’re across the sea and out of reach.” There is a sadness in those words.

Lucky him. Luther grunts skeptically, head bowing as he leans forward with the phone pressed against his cheek. She might claim he's not deadweight, but at present that doesn't dispel the inner doubts swirling through him like gasoline over water, as volatile as the alcohol clouding his logic. “Why were you scared… you don’t gotta worry about me.” Again with the contrary words to his contrary, stubborn nature.

"I should get back." It's the words intoning a certain conclusion, one that at least implies he's not in danger of doing something stupid. Well, more stupid. He's sobering up, if slowly. "But if… When I get back… We'll go out for somethin' good. I owe you, Kaylee." Even through the slurred speech, he tries to convey the gratitude, the affection, not as often emphasized when he’s clearer headed. “Maybe we’ll all go out. You, me, the girls… hell, bring Carl. You’re all… one family.”

There is a sound of breath blown across the phone, the sounds mildly amused. He can’t see the smile, but he can hear it. “Silly, Luther. I’ll always worry.” Kaylee was just that type of person, when it came to the ones she cared about. “And you don’t owe me anything, it's what friends… family does for each other.” He used the word and she uses it in agreement.

The kitchen tap turns on and Kaylee’s quiet for the briefest of moments, quelling the flicker of disappointment as the call works towards an end. Kaylee finally says, “Still, I like that idea, but for now you go sleep it off. Come home when you get the job done, ‘cause I sure been missin’ you. There is a you sized hole in my day to day and so far no one can quite fill it like you.”

Turning off the water, Kaylee leaves the pot there for a moment, turning to rest against the counter. “You got this,” she reassures, before moving to cut the call with a quiet and affectionate. “Bye, Luther.”

Luther makes a few mild sounds of half-protest, half-agreement with her friendly chiding as she claims he doesn’t owe her. It’s in the last part that she can hear him clear his throat roughly, pushing back against the urge to push back. His voice quiets to a faint volume, a touch mumbled. “Thanks, Kaylee. For picking up. …For being there.”

Once the call ends, Luther slips his phone back into his pocket and stands from the bench, gaze lingering for a long moment on the trash can where he’d tossed a brown paper bag containing a mostly empty glass bottle. Mostly. With a shake of his head, he turns away and staggers off down the sidewalk.

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