Footcare Is Important


vf_kaylee_icon3.gif wf_luther_icon.gif vf_shaw_icon3.gif

Scene Title Footcare is Important
Synopsis Kaylee learns a lesson on the importance of taking better care of her feet.
Date January 12, 2018

Resistance Camp

Ever since the first trip out for supplies, Luther has pulled Kaylee along for supply runs. Picking a grueling pace, testing her often… leaving her extremely exhausted every time. Still the telepath has endured, hasn’t complained even as her feet and muscles scream at her. Fearing he’ll see her as weak… a personal fear really with no proof to back it. One that stems from her time in the Hub and her inability to convince anyone to let her in on the scavenging teams. The comments and the whispers behind her back. Daddy’s little girl getting out of work.

It left her feeling like she had a lot to prove and a lot to make up for.

Now her relentless pursuit to fit into this group was catching up to her and it is her feet that wake her in the early hours of morning and not the biting chill. The bone deep throb that ends with the sharp pick like pain when she moves. They feel like they are in a vice, which is the first clue that she forgot to take off her boots after their last trip out. When she had gotten to her bunk, she had told herself she’d only laying down ‘for a moment.’ It clearly turned into all night.

Kaylee can’t help but wonder if Luther was the type to yell about not taking better care of herself. He growls at her about a lot of things.

Turning to sit on the edge of her cot, Kaylee gives a soft hiss of pain when her heels connect with the floor; tears instant in her eyes. Even being careful, they scream at her. Maybe it was time to admit she was that weak. Fingers tremble slightly as she reaches down to pluck at her laces. Loosening the boots from her feet, grimacing at the burn as she pulls them off one at a time. Tears come unbidden, not matter how she grits against the sensation. Setting the second boot aside, she looks down… doubting that the pink tinged splotches to her socks was a good thing.

She needed to see how bad it was so with a sound much like a whimper, she painfully pulls the sock from one of her feet. A tearful gasp of relief can’t be stopped as the fabric is pulled off her foot leaving a reddened and blistered foot exposed to the elements. The cold air stings where a big blister has ruptured, leaving it an angry red. The whole thing aches from the abuse she’s done to it.

The look on Kaylee’s face is one of betrayal. Like her own body was against her; all downcast and defeated. No doubt, she’ll be sidelined… reduced to remedial tasks like feeding chickens.

Unless…. Maybe, if Luther doesn’t know…. Leaning down she pulls her personal bag out from under her cot. A fresh pair of sock is what she digs for, to cover over the damage she was doing to her feet.

Much of the cornerstones of camp philosophy is to remain mobile. With their vulnerability to detection via large groups of gathered Evolved, there are loose settlements of tents and bunks for the resistance members, each one of them to be easily pulled up and rolled out at a moment's notice. Which is to say, having problems with one's feet is a detriment that would cause problems. That was one thing quite clear about Luther Bellamy's style of laying down tasks to the supply runners - being a liability would, at least temporarily, put her in the camp's stay-in workforce. She's done a good job of hiding it from him. He's not noticed, or has chosen to overlook the fault for the time being. And that's so far let her avoid feeding chickens.

While she's digging for a fresh pair of socks, though, a clearing of a throat interrupts her search. It's not Luther, however, but Shaw's quiet voiced tone that calls softly from outside the tent. "Are you awake, hamim?" He waits a tick or few, debating inwardly on whether he should be there and rudely interrupting possible sleep time. Shaw finally decides it's okay, because, "I brought some eggs…" But, there’s also the sound of a metal bucket being set down on the ground just outside the flap.


The sound of Shaw’s voice interrupts her search, Kaylee’s head comes up quickly, turning towards the entrance of the tent. Blue eyes are wide, as she debates as to whether she should answer or not, holding her breath for a long moment. “Uh…” A look at her feet, one looking like a mess and the other still covered in a blood tinted sock, gives her a flash of panic. Sitting up, she tugs the thin ratty blanket across her lap, letting it drape over the side of the cot and cover her feet. “I’m up, Shaw… I’m up.” In other words, come on in.

There is an attempt to look casual as she works on re-braiding her stringy hair. God, she hopped they could find a river or stream sometime. Kaylee always hated the way it felt when she went too long with washing her hair. “This mean you’re bringin’ me breakfast in bed? Think Izzy will burn me for such treatment?” It’s a light joke to cover over her nervousness at the potential of being found out.

“Okay,” Shaw responds and moments later his hand pushes the tent flap open to peek in. There is a large metal bucket, the type people used to toss ice and six-packs into to cool on a hot summer’s day, on the ground which he pull-nudges into the tent. It’s half full of clear water, which might look like a godsend right now for the telepath. But where are the eggs?

Shaw smiles at her joke, apparently taking it for face value as he reassures her with a shake of his head, “No, Isabelle is… she’s somewhere. She ate already.” He doesn’t presume to be her keeper, certainly, and the trust between the pair is apparent in the way he shrugs. The pyrokinetic could certainly take care of herself. Though there is some worry about her too, ticking at the back of the man’s mind. But for now, he finds a spot to sit beside the bucket and across from Kaylee, looking at her overall.

Then he remembers the eggs, and tucks a hand into his hoodie pocket to withdraw a couple of pale brown chicken eggs, holding them out to her. A second hand slips into a pocket and pulls out a white oval with a dove logo stamped on it. Soap. Slightly used, but dry for the moment. Both items he holds out for her, apparently intending for her to partake. “Sorry I— I don’t have a towel.” He looks properly regretful for the lack of bath linens, and hopeful that she’ll be understanding. Perhaps the eggs are a trade-off.

The fondness and affection she hold for her friend is apparent when she takes the offered eggs. “Thoughtful as always Shaw,” Kaylee comments holding them like he’s offered her something precious… at least until he pulls out the soap.

“Oh my god…”

The eggs are set in her lap carefully, cradled by the blanket, before she takes the soap. “Where did you get this?” Kaylee whispers in awe of his ability to get things. She looks around at her meager belongings and frowns a bit. “You’d share this? I don’t even have anything to trade you…” yet, anyhow. “Is there anything you want me to look for when I go out next?” It’s not the best thing for hair, but hell… who is she to argue. Clean is clean.

“Thank you…” Kaylee finally remembers to say in the middle of her daydreaming about cleaning her hair, especially.

Remedial tasks aren’t beyond Shaw, it appears, so feeding chickens and collecting eggs doesn’t bother him. The added bonus, getting first dibs on the food. Be the chef and you won’t starve, so they say. The man smiles, warm and expectant and is thus rewarded with her reaction upon seeing the soap. Her whisper gets a conspiratorial waggle of Shaw’s brows and he glances to the tent flap exaggeratedly before leaning in and whispering back, “I brought it from the other world.” There was a huge hiker’s pack on his back, it’s true. As well as Isabelle’s, though hers were more filled with weapons and other essentials.

Her frown and question about trade gets a short shake of his head, Shaw content to have seen her reaction and the dreaming expression. Though a thought strikes him and he scratches a finger along his cheek. “Do you think they’ll let us go out together? Then we can go look for things…” Shaw trails when it’s his turn to daydream about things that they could hunt for. More soap. Some books. The prospect of some fresh food outside of chicken eggs or milk or… “Coffee and chocolate would be good.” He dares to dream.

Of course, he’d think to bring soap with him. Kaylee smiles brightly inhaling a whiff of the soap. “Even after all these years, you continue to amaze me, my dearest friend.” Half listening to what he’s saying until he mentions the magic word…


“Coffee would be amazing,” Kaylee agrees with a slow nod of her head, setting th soap gingerly on the bed next to her. The eggs are retrieved and considered. “I miss mochas… I miss us going and getting mochas.” She looks up and offers him a smile when she admits that. “Sitting in that little cafe and talking about stuff that seems so silly and trivial here.”

Turning thoughtful, “So I wouldn’t mind you having my back out there. Though I think you and I are both useless against those damn robots. With some of them, maybe.” Brows furrow a bit, “It’s crazy out there. Just like the stories everyone would bring back to the Hub.” Kaylee had never dealt with any of that directly, tucked away in daddy’s dungeon. “Except with robots. So far, we’ve been lucky.”

Pitching her voice lower into a whisper, Kaylee leans forward a bit, since tents have thin walls. “That one tall guy, in the trench coat? Luther? He’s been dragging me out with his group. I’ve seen some of what he can do. It’s ah-mazing. Pretty sure he’d mess up any robots that would come around.” A glance goes to the tent door as she adds, “He’s not half as scary as people think.” Intimidating… maybe. Grumpy… sure. “Seems like a good guy, though.” That last added as she leans to drag the bucket closer, the act inadvertently shifting a blanket aside some. “And bonus points that he doesn’t seem to care what I am or what I do with it against the opposition.”

Shaw sighs softly, the nostalgia of friends and coffee being thing he’s also missed. Everybody in New York seemed to drink it, and then he tried some (with the cream and sugar) and he too was hooked. His expression falls a little at the mention of the robots, fearful and wary like the mere mention of them would bring the mechanical terror down upon them again. The man still has nightmares about the Harvester. About losing those very friends, family, loved ones.

At least he is distractable. Shaw blinks and leans in with a tilted head as she too leans forward to whisper. “Grumpy, but good,” observes Shaw, echoing the adjective for the mentioned Resistance fighter she’s been joining on trips. “He tells me to feed the chickens.” But that’s where his neutral observation ends and Shaw looks down at the blanket moving, thus spotting a glance of the sore, blistered feet of the telepath. Shaw’s eyes widen and he gasps softly, already reaching for the blanket’s edge to pull it back.

He looks back up to Kaylee’s face, shock written over his worried mien. Then, a much rarer emotion tints Shaw’s features as he grimaces with what should amount to anger, but comes off as irritation. At the very least, his cheeks darken with color. “Why do they do this to you?” Shaw blurts out as he stares at his friend then shoots a look to the tent flap. There’s a presence of mind he has, a want to push up to his own feet and stomp out to the campgrounds in search of the man he thinks is to blame.

That rare emotion has Kaylee paling a bit, as her affliction is discovered. There was no reason to hide it now. Thought she still subconsciously tries to tuck them away under the cot, the movement getting another wince of pain.

It is short lived as she gets a flash of Shaw’s intention, Kaylee glances at the tent, mind searching to make sure no one heard him. Even as she does that, a hand grabs for the man to keep him there and the other clamps over his mouth is a hissed, “Shhh… “ Guilt seeps into her features as she slowly takes her hand off his mouth. “He doesn’t know. Nobody does. Well, except Tyler,” she amends without thinking, “but, he can’t tell anyone.” And now her friend knows.

“I’m finally feeling like I’m fitting in somewhere,” Unlike any of the other worlds. “I don’t want to lose that.” She can only hope he understands. Still, Kaylee feels like she needs to explain herself. “He is a lot Kain was when we were at the Hub. Except here, I’m not being held down by my father. Here I can be useful.”

Her head turns a bit at the sound of someone passing the tent, her voice lowering further. “I don’t want this guy thinking I’m weak. He’ll make me wash laundry or… or feed chickens.” Looking down at her feet, brows furrow a little, she lifts the exposed one a little. “But, maybe I am. No one else seems to have this problem.” That she knows of., she’s rather naive to things like this. “Did this ever happen to you when you were scavenging for Kain and the Hub?”

Even as Kaylee tries to hide her feet from view, it's too late given her easily distractable but sharp eyed friend has spotted their condition. And he is not happy about that. He even leans to start to stand, up until he's grabbed and muffled into silence. Shaw is surprised, going still and tense under her hold.

He doesn't speak again, not until she's let go of him and starts to explain. But even so, Shaw looks puzzled at her words and can't help the glance down towards her feet too. "N-no, you're smart, which is better. Brains over brawn. W-wits over weapons." Lips purse tightly together. He dare not look up at her face yet. When she notes that it's not been a problem for anybody else and asks if it's happened to him, that's when Shaw looks back up at her.

"One time, I wrapped towels around my feet for a week," he confesses softly. "Then I finally remembered I needed to wash my socks. Then, I remembered I needed the right soap to wash them with. Then, I remembered owed Kain some things and traded him for new socks. I guess I could have washed the old ones. But… I was lazy."

Shaw takes a breath, about to go on, but then instead he reaches a hand out, fingers exploring forward to cradle that exposed foot to study its blistered state. And with his other hand, he cups a handful of the warm water to rinse the sore and blistered skin.

There is some comfort in knowing that she wasn’t alone, that he understands. Kaylee relaxes some when she realizes he isn’t going to go marching to Luther over it. Though the idea of Shaw facing off with that grouch of a man, is a bit amusing. “I’ve been rinsing my socks, but I guess that wasn’t good enough.”

Kaylee leans down again to dig in her pack again and pulls out the new pair she had been looking for.

Around then Kaylee feels his fingers capture her foot gently and it pulls her attention back to her friend, confusion creasing her brows. There is no time to object as the small handful of water flows over her foot. It about brings her off the cot with a gasp. The socks in her hand is forgotten and allowed to dropped so that she can curl fingers around the edge of her cot. The telepath barely manages to bite off the swear words, but she can’t stop the hissed groan of pain.

Tears trace fresh trails down Kaylee’s cheeks, while she gasps around the stinging pain, “Damn that hurts.”

Gently but steadily, Shaw holds her foot in place to carefully rinse around the irritated appendage. “Pass me the soap,” he requests, pausing in the rinsing to hold out a hand for the valuable bit of cleansing bar. She unfortunately will know that it means it’ll hurt like the dickens, because of the lye. But, the man insists on helping to wash her feet.

“You should have told him,” Shaw notes quietly. “If you told him then you would have been able to… do other things.” Instead of travel out there on injured feet. Shaw frowns mildly, trying not to think too much on it. Then, seeing her tears on her cheeks, he gets a little lightbulb of an idea.

“Do… do you want me to… I could help, um,” he stammers out, not entirely sure if she’d want to go for it, but, “I could make it not hurt. Not feel like anything.” His dark eyes peer up at her, brows lifting with the offering. She’s known his ability works with the senses. But Shaw has largely avoided using it directly on others without their consent. As she knows, he’s always insisted, Consent Is Important.

The soap is clutched tightly, as Kaylee hesitates. She knows it’s going to hurt like a son of a bitch and… this is not something she really wants to feel.

Cheeks blush lightly at being lectured by Shaw, her head dipping down a bit. “Don’t you get it?” Kaylee counters quietly, “I don’t want to do other things, I want to be out there. I don’t know how to even explain what it feels like.” The soap is reluctantly placed into her friends hand. “I can learn a lot from him about protecting myself without my ability and he actually seems willing to teach me.” Even if it is with a lot of growling and grousing.

“Everyone in the Hub was too busy trying not to piss off dad and in the other other place, we didn’t need to worry about survival.” There is a small shrug, Kaylee offers a lopsided smile. “Plus, Luther is interesting. He works so hard to push people away, but… I dunno. I like him. I’d trust him to have my back.” She says it like she’s talking about a new friend she’s found on the playground.

Taking a deep breath she grips the edge of the cot again to brace herself and gives him a nod. “Do it. You have my permission.” Kaylee treats him with a smile. “ and thank you for asking first.” She can’t say she does the same, though she’s trying to be better about it.

She’ll know the moment Shaw’s ability starts to work. There’s no flash or bang or even an indication that he’s done something, but for his movements of washing her feet to suddenly feel like… nothing. There’s no sensation at all. She can hear the water, watch him dipping the sore and blistered parts into what should be cooling water, rubbing the soap gently over… but it’s all numb. Shaw has to place his focus on the power, but it doesn’t detract from the bit of attention he pays to the telepath as she speaks.

It gives Shaw the chance to think as well, hearing about the new friend and her new found purpose. “But not so interesting that you should hurt yourself so he’d notice you,” pouts the man in mild protest to her interest. Because obviously, if Luther weren’t so obtuse, Shaw reasons internally, the man would have seen how Kaylee was in such painful shape. Then again, Shaw didn’t see it either, until she inadvertently revealed it by a stray movement. Hm.

Once he’s done with washing her feet, Shaw sets the soap bar on the edge of the cot and again frowns as he remembers he didn’t bring a towel. So Shaw pushes to a stand, and gradually releases the field of sense negating power. Unfortunately, it means the sensation of painful tingling blossoms back into her reality. And Shaw looks a little apologetic for it.

There is a sign of relief as his ability starts to work. This allows her to shift and carefully peel the other sock off, exposing the other that isn’t as bad, but still blistered. “Should have had you help with Tyler’s pain.” Eyes close as Kaylee relaxes, letting him work on cleaning her feet. “I never knew it could do that. Would be good for those migraines I get after overtaxing my ability, too. “

Her train of thought is totally derailed when Shaw makes his protest, anger flashing through her. “Notice…” Kaylee starts to blurt out, but lips press tight to stop whatever she was going to say. After a heavy sigh out of her nose, she says quietly, glancing to one side as if addressing more than just Shaw, “It’s not like that.” The flush of her cheeks might betray her there or she simply might not notice what her actions were. In truth.. Chances are the man trapped in her head said something.

Fingers lightly run along that ugly scar, brows furrowing a bit as she considers what Shaw said. Kaylee doesn’t realize how buried she was in her own thoughts again, until Shaw stands. The telepath startles a bit when he straightens.

Blue eyes blink at him, until she feels that first sting. Fingers grip the cot edge again and wait to see how bad it is going to be. When it seems at its worst, she seems to relax a little. Looking down at her feet, toes curl and uncurl slowly, she looks a touch worried at the state of them. “Thank you.” She finally offers, voice tight with her discomfort.

Shaw attempts to let it down easy, but his control of his ability has yet to be practiced on real people aside from the occasional need. The pain returns quickly, or rather that initial wave of intensity shows how badly off her feet had been. Nevertheless, he looks guilty like he’s the reason for the hurt. Head ducking and shaking slightly at her thanks, he turns with the announcement that, “A-Anytime… I’m going to go get a towel.”

Shaw about bursts out of the tent in a scurry, but doesn’t notice the large, black coated man whose approach is much stealthier than his size would imply. Luther abruptly steps back and turns, pivoting around so that the bucket in his hand doesn’t get bumped into, but the water in it sloshes somewhat dangerously up the sides. Good thing it wasn’t filled more than halfway.

The two men exchange looks at each other, the newest arrival looming over the former. But it’s Shaw who speaks up first, uttering a vague “um, bye” and not at all confronting the man like he had been fired up to do so earlier. Luther, on the other hand, doesn’t say anything back and simply watches the retreating figure for scant moments… before turning back to Kaylee’s tent and rumbling out loud enough for her to hear him. As if she hadn’t already sensed him there or seen his shadowed figure outside the flaps.

“You decent in there?” He assumes certain things, but out of some level of decorum, pauses to ask. Perhaps on account of the nature of their group’s gender makeup.

Kaylee is in the process of rolling up her pant legs up a little higher when Luther’s mind slides into her periphery. “Shhh.” She says softly to no one. “Luther is coming.” There is a moment of hope that he will keep going, but Shaw’s mental alarm and then the tall man’s gruff voice seals her fate.

There is a brief moment that she looks down at her red and blistered feet, tempted to make him go away, but…

“And what if I'm not,” Kaylee asks voice louder so he can hear her with a touch of humor to the tone of her voice. “Would that stop you?” She teases lightly, before admitting. “Yeah, I'm dressed. Come on in,” rather than risking him leaving. Though a glare is thrown to the space next to her and she makes a shooing motion, before Luther can see her.

Her damp, cold, and aching feet are left exposed even though there is a temptation to cover them up again. It was time to admit to her failure as a chosen member of his scavenging team and await his judgment. Her expression sobers at that thought, eyes falling away to look anywhere, but the tent flap and the man beyond.

The answer to whether or not Luther would have been stopped by her sense of decency comes when he enters the tent leading with the bucket of water in his hand rather than his person. One could assume he’s had a few objects thrown at him in his life experience, recent or past, the way he steps through with caution. Perhaps if he’d had a rifle in his hands, the muzzle of it would have gone first.

Since she’s looking away from him, she doesn’t see the first reaction of his when Luther looks down to her exposed feet and is taken aback by the redness and blistered irritation. What humor might have come in his reply to her tease before he entered, dissipates in favor of stepping closer in to the small space and having a better look. The wordless growl deep in his throat is brief, sounding annoyed but not entirely at the telepath. It’s a distant thought that crosses his mind, the sound of Eve’s voice singsong and yet serious from the seer and Resistance leader. ~Rub her toes before your nose goes.~

“Take this,” he rumbles bluntly, holding the bucket out for her to take so he can shift the first bucket off to the side and hopefully not spill the water out. No need to be dumping wastewater inside her tent. A small bag of Epsom salts with a calming, light, lavender fragrance to it gets set down on the cot beside her. The next few beats pass as Luther eyes the telepath averted gaze, then her feet, then her face again. His next growl is more of a rough sigh, a prolonged snort.

“Why didn’t you say something?” The come on, man tone injects into the question. Then, he shifts position to find a less awkward spot to hunch in. “You told the chicken boy?”

Of course, he would be finding Kaylee still fully clothed, even still bundled in her winter jacket, so no negative reaction, at least. There is a blink as the bucket is thrust at her, amusement bleeding into her embarrassment, at the idea that he brought her water, too. The epsom salt gets a curious look, she starts to ask about it, but then… he calls Shaw ‘Chicken Boy.’

He can see Kaylee bristle from that, as her back straightens and the bucket is set down gently on the ground so she doesn’t end up throwing it at him. “He has a name. It's Shaw.” He can call her things and make fun of her, but not someone she cares about. Finger grip the edge of her cot right as she leans forward with a flash of anger in her eyes; ignoring the protest from her feet as she puts a little weight on them. “And Shaw is one of the closest things I have to family now.” There is a sort of ‘have some respect’ tone in her words.

“Besides, he found out, I didn't tell him.” Kaylee finally and reluctantly looks away and down with guilt for the secrecy. “I just figured it would have fixed itself, over time.” Her lack of experience showing pretty heavily in the moment. She had told him she had been locked away in her world. “I just… I've never done this much walking before. But no one else is having problems.” Shoulders lift slowly and drop again in a single shrug, “So I thought is it was normal.” Leaning back again so that she can ease the pressure off her damaged feet some, toes are wiggled. “I thought it was getting better, but then we went on that long haul… and I woke up this morning —” The rest is history so to speak.

After an uncomfortable moment, Shaw’s words still ringing in her ears, Kaylee murmurs, “I’m sorry. I should have said something.”

Busying his hands by picking up the spare bucket Shaw left behind, Luther detects the faint soap scent and sniffs. It tells him what he needs to know of the past few minutes. Kaylee's reaction to his nickname for Shaw also tells him a lot, or rather, shows him. The unique relationships between the travelers is something he's been keeping an eye on, and an ear out. But he challenges Kaylee's defensive anger with his own aggressive retort, "He feeds the chickens. That's his job. Hence, he's the chicken boy." And proves that Luther is a man who doesn't make it a habit of using names very often outside of references or at the very least, only situationally.

He turns to set the first bucket near the tent flap, and then Luther moves in the meager space to inspect Kaylee's feet. Her explanation of what happened doesn't get much reaction outwardly. Luther looks over the redness, assessing their condition. Finally, he straightens with a grunt. Disappointment is there at the forefront of his thoughts, but on the surface the man is sternly staring at a problem that needs to be fixed. At least the epsom salts and cool fresh water will help. Go figure, Eve foresaw this. But, he's not about to be rubbing any toes here. It looks like it would hurt her to touch anyway, so he maintains the buffer.

"What do you need?" Luther asks after the long silence. "We have some kits from the haul, and if you need anything I could always send the chicken b—…" He catches himself, but the verbal stumble's already made. Luther exhales roughly and looks back over his shoulder for a moment. "We'll need to find some proper shoes for you. Maybe the ones you're wearing now aren't fit right." Grey eyes turn back on to her, then shift to her belongings and footwear.

If Kaylee was a bird herself, there is no doubt her feathers would be ruffled. However, she couldn’t fault his logic, except… “Then call him chicken man or chicken guy. The chicken tender.” It was lame, she knew it but.. Ooooo… he got under her skin sometimes. “You remind me of this guy.” uh oh. “He wouldn’t use anyone’s names, didn’t want to know anyone’s names, cause it meant getting attached. And in our world, you don’t want to get attached to someone, cause eventually…. “ the telepath trails off and shrugs. “We all die.”

Her head tilts a bit as she considers the tall looming man. Suddenly, at least to her, it made sense.

When it came to what she needed… Kaylee gives him a blank look and then down at her feet. “I need to not be so weak,” she grouses softly, bringing one up so she can get a better look at it. “I’d hate to take supplies from the others, you think I’ll be okay with just changing socks for awhile?” Letting go of the foot and settling it tenderly on the ground again, she asks, “More importantly, how long you think I’ll be out coach?” The title more of a silly reference.

A flash of worry, blue eyes come up quickly. That anxiety plain for him to see. “You won’t kick me off your team for good will you?” Not just any group, his. “Only down temporarily?” There is wistful hope in that question. “I like going out there with you and I like feeling useful.” She searches his always grumpy countenance for some hint of his thoughts on the matter.

She might think it lame, but Luther's eye corners twitch along with a vague upturn of his mouth corners. Chicken tender gets a soft, humored snort as he angles a knowing look at Kaylee - see, the nickname thing works. At least, until she tells him that he reminds her of another guy. The good humor evaporates and Luther returns to a more dour expression and he turns away for a long beat. She'd hit the nail on the head on that one.

Her question of how long she'd be out and whether or not she'd get kicked off get him to turn back to regard her, brow arching in momentary confusion. "What?" He hadn't considered it, that there was a team. In that sense he turns over the past couple of months in his mind quickly. Oddly enough, she's there in all of the recent runs. They'd avoided so much danger thanks to Kaylee's ability. Or in some cases, crashed right into it on purpose in their own ambushes.

She goes on. I like going out there… with you.

Grey eyes turn to catch the anxious blue eyes she levels at him, and he blinks before looking off to the bag of salts as a safe spot to direct his stare. "You're fine," he replies as he reviews all those missions. How accustomed he has grown to her being there, how dependent he's become in regards to her ability. And how he might be getting too… attached. "I'll have Esposito come by later with some med-kits," Luther continues quickly to cover the thought and focus on the present moment, the presented problem and solution. "Don't know how long that's going to take to heal but. Yeah." The stray sense of a sincere apology flickers under his tone. "You're benched, for now."

The woman visibly relaxes when he says she’s fine; and those words ‘for now’ bring out a smile. “I’ll take it, for now,” her tone says more of a thank goodness. “Though don’t go finding yourself another telepath, while I’m down and out,” she adds haughtily, finding some courage to make such a joke. “Might make a girl, jealous.” He gets a shy amused look, before she looks down at the bag of epsom salt. Turning her own attention elsewhere.

“So how exactly, does this work?” The bag is lifted and given a sniff. “Mmm… I love the smell of lavender,” she comments softly. “Hmm?” Kaylee looks beside her and gives a flat look, possibly at Tyler. “Dude, you don’t have a nose. Besides, didn’t I tell you to be scarce,” is added even softer.

Tyler gets the hand whatever he says, while Kaylee turns her attention back to Luther. “So will I be a chicken tender during my benching?” There is an upward tick of her mouth at that. “Or do you have something else in mind?”

“You say that like we got telepaths lined up waitin’ to be recruited,” Luther snorts as he glances from the bag of salts to the bucket to the telepath. The man motions to the bag, then to the bucket. “You pour it in, stick your feet in, let ‘em soak a bit and afterwards take ‘em out.” Simple, isn’t it? “Here. You open the bag.” He takes a knee by the bucket, laying a hand on the metal surface of the container. After some focus, the water begins to show the faintest signs of steam rising from the surface as it is heated.

There’s a pause of silence as he watches her talking to Tyler, but he himself remains silent. A faint concern lifts the man’s brow but he focuses on what is actually visible and present: Kaylee. As for what her job will be during her benching, he answers with a slight shrug. “You want to be something else? What do you got skills wise?”

Luther’s jaw works as he mentally chews on the possibilities available. “Know how to fix stuff? Motorpool could always use a hand.” He glances up and over to her, making a short motion with his chin so that she knows the water is cool down just enough for her to start the soak.

There is a slightly uncertain furrowing of brows as Kaylee considers the salt and then watching him heat up the water. That actually, grabs her curiosity, fascinated by what he’s doing. “I don’t think I’ll ever get over how cool that is,” she muses softly. Leaning forward to dump lavender scented salt to the water. Once that is done, she can’t help but dipping fingers into the water to test the warmth, she looks completely amused.

Though a single thought has that smile slipping away some. “That’s really going to sting.” Kaylee glances up at Luther at his question. “I did a lot of assisting at the Hub. Especially, Woods who was a jack of all trades around there.” There is a bit of a sigh, “So I imagine I’ll just have to assist Shaw.” She sounds strangely okay with that.

There is a soft hiss as Kaylee places one foot and then the other into the bucket. Grimacing once they are both submerged, fingers gripping the edge of the cot tightly. Finally, after a few moments, she lets out a tight breath and gives Luther an apologetic look, for having to see that.

In a desperate attempt to distract herself from the stinging, Kaylee picks up the eggs that her friend brought her, “I could think of worse things to get stuck with.” The telepath manages to give him a bright smile and offers one of the eggs to Luther. “Won’t be as satisfying as what we do, but I can deal with it for a time.”

Luther twists his mouth in a wry return of a smile when Kaylee looks down to the lavender scented soak. “You need me to hold your hand?” The question is a tease, meant to bolster her courage in the face of the pain. He doesn’t actually, though, instead standing there to watch as she settles her feet into the bucket. Once done, the man moves to pick up the first bucket, apparently intending on leaving now that the job is done.

He pauses, though, at the offer of one of the eggs from Kaylee. Luther shifts the bucket to one hand and takes the offering. “Don’t go to motorpool then,” he says after a pause to consider. “You’ll never get the engine oil and gun grease off of you.” Motorpool and the gun cleaners go hand in hand, at least to work in similar areas. It might not be the best set up but it works. “We’ll get you set up doing something.” He’s not sure what yet, but there’s probably some discussion to be had and team shuffling.

Turning to leave once more, Luther reaches for the tent flap. “Thanks for breakfast,” he adds on after a beat, almost absent-mindedly casual about the phrase as he turns to go. His hand with the bucket leads, and just starts to touch the canvas when the flap pushes into the bucket.

Shaw, towels in hand, nearly runs right into Luther but manages to jump back before truly colliding. The younger man, startled, blinks wide-eyed at the grumpy one. “S-sorry,” Shaw apologizes with a duck of his head and a side step. He grasps the flap, holding it for Luther to pass by.

When Luther’s back is turned to her, Kaylee sticks her tongue out at him. Meanie.

It doesn't pass her notice that Luther is in a sense nixing the idea of her assisting her friend with the chickens. There is disappointment at the thought, but also curious for his reasoning. She studies him, thoughtful while he messes with the other pail; but, manages to avoid the temptation to slip into his mind and look.

“You’re welcome,” Kaylee quips after and in the same breath, brightens a bit with a “Hey, Shaw. Welcome back.” By now the tent is smelling like salty lavender. “See what Luther brought?” She continues, looking down at the steaming water and wiggling her toes a bit. The ache was already easing out of her weary feet. “Sweet of him, really,” Kaylee murmurs softly. There is a bit of a crooked smile. To the trained eye, maybe a bit smitten. “You can put the towels anywhere.”

The exchange of glances between the two men is brief, nervous on one end and evaluating on the other. Luther walks away with a slip of the egg into a pocket in his coat, and Shaw quickly slips into the tent with his towels, concern for Kaylee spurring him into motion. It’s the scent of lavender that stops Shaw in his tracks, and the sight of the epsom salt soak having replaced his bucket of boiled water.

Since she tells him to put the towels anywhere, Shaw proceeds to step forward and neatly place the towels beside Kaylee, followed by him sitting at the edge of the cot. Perching. His dark-eyed gaze bounces between telepath to tent flap and back. “I thought he didn’t know,” says the man after a bit of thought, puzzling out the gesture, wondering at the telepath. But one thing’s certain for Shaw as he takes in Kaylee’s countenance. He smiles knowingly. “You like him.”

“I thought he didn’t either,” Kaylee comments with a shrug, watching Shaw seat himself next to her. Lifting one foot to look at it, she chuckles softly, “I guess I was wrong.”

The teasing accusation manages to make her cheeks color, even as she acts like he’s insulting her and she acts like he said something awful. “What?! Noooo. Not like that. He’s a friend.” Is she trying to convince him or herself of that? A glance goes to the flap and her cheeks redden even further. “He’s not like what people think, okay?” she admits. He leans over had gives Shaw’s shoulder a gentle bump. “You know how you understand Izzy in here?” She reaches over and pokes a light finger at his chest, “while others think she’s a crazy firebug?” Technically, she is… crazy.

She smiles a bit, with a lopsided smile. “I’m working on that. He needs a friend to understand him… “ Kaylee rolls her eyes a bit as she adds, “Not that he’d admit it.”

Oh yeah, Kaylee definitely likes the grouchy and grumble beast of a man.

“He sees and hears a lot too,” Shaw observes, looking down to where Kaylee had poked his chest. A hand comes up, palm pressed to it. The man considers a moment, remarking, “Isabelle is like her fire.” Dark eyes take on a humored glint as he turns to look at Kaylee, an actual mischievous curl on his mouth corners as he notes simply, “Hot.” The play on words begets a silent chuckle, one that only dances in his eyes before he turns the topic back to Kaylee.

“I understand,” the man continues with a short, slow couple of nods as he sees the way she’s reacting. He reaches his hand out from his chest, daring to lay his palm upon hers in innocent, if intimate, gesture of affection. “Friends are important, hamim. I am glad that we are. And I hope that he will be, too.” Shaw takes in a longer breath, one that sucks in the scent of the lavender and smiles again, brows arching up at her next. The man leans a little closer, the way he’s done every time he’s sensed a story or anecdote to listen to.

“So… Tell me what he said to you.”

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