I'm Going With You


joseph_icon.gif kaylee2_icon.gif

Scene Title I'm Going With You
Synopsis When faced with the news that Kaylee is going back in time again, Joseph makes a rather important decision.
Date September 10, 2010

Gun Hill – Joseph's Apartment

It is way later then Kaylee Thatcher planned when she's finally found her way to Gun Hill. In fact, she was even coming in late for curfew. The need to dodge the cops, brought back memories for doing that before she even got involved with the Ferrymen. Some amusement accompanied those memories as well. It felt like a whole other life to her.

When she reaches her floor, the absence of Missy is already noticeable the moment the telepath takes those last few steps to the door. Dogs always have that way of knowing who is approaching the door, so normally Missy would be hopping at the door, claws leaving little marks on the finish and yapping happily.

This time there was none of that. Huh.

Opening the door just enough to peek her head in, she doesn't even find anything shredded, but she does spot something on the coffee table. Ransom note maybe? Curious, Kaylee doesn't even bother to shut the door behind her as she moves to snatch it up off the table.

"Ah…" The sound is soft and understanding, a small smile touching her lips. "That's gotta be asking for trouble," she murmurs, dropping the note on the table. Eyes lifting towards the ceiling, Kaylee heads for the door, closing it behind her as she leaves again.

It doesn't take her long to make her way up to the next floor and find the door in question. Stopping in front of the door, Kaylee quickly reaches back to pull the scrunchie out of her hair where it was holding the braid in place. Fingers comb it out quickly, before those digits are curled and used to tap lightly on the door, even as she listens for the telltale signs of life within.


Being a perpetual morning person— and not, like, roll out of bed at a good nine o'clock kind of morning, but morning morning, the kind where dawn is still dragging its fingers across the sky and there's a kind of societal feeling between the morning radio hosts and their listeners— means that Joseph generally goes to bed early too. But there's an awake mind in there, if muzzily so, basically shining back a wordless query of ??. There is also a lack of puppy feet (or by now, dog feet) padding up to the door to greet her, but they might have gone to sleep themselves.

Eventually, the solid thud of masculine footfalls and weight carrying the owner of the apartment to do the door. Hesitation. Then walking away. Then returning. This time with pants.

Locks come undone— one, a chain catch, the other the more conventional twist and turn of sliding metal— before the door is cracked open, then opened wider. Joseph is in jeans that the hem of his t-shirt got snagged in, his hair hastily and unsuccessfully finger-combed, his throat bare of crucifix pendants and silver chain. "Hey," he greets, in surprised optimism, stepping back. "I didn't think I'd be seeing you for a while."

"You and me both." There is an amused look on Kaylee's face when the door opens. When he steps back, the young woman takes it as an invitation, slipping past him, eyes shyly downcast. "But… it wasn't my time, it seems" A few steps in, she gives the place a cursory look, before turning so she can look back at him. "There were a few people there, Eileen and Colette among them." Her smile falls away just little as she adds, "He said soon tho."

Her attention drifts down to his state of dress and she suddenly looks guilty. "I didn't think about the fact I'd be waking you, sorry." An apologetic smile goes along with her words. "I shoulda come by tomorrow, but I promise to remember next time." Tucking stray hair behind her ear, Kaylee turns back to his apartment as she asks, "Missy behave for you? Lord knows she love to chew on the furniture if you turn your back… or leave her. I worry about her teaching bad habits to that brother of hers."

"I was just reading," Joseph denies, shutting the door behind her with a splay of palm and fingers to door. A smile doesn't accompany it as usual, however — could be that this isn't really his prime hour, hands coming to rest on his hips as he glances past her towards where he last saw the dogs, which would be in the direction of the kitchen, cooling themselves on cold tile. "She's been okay— brought her in just half an hour ago for the night, but she'll go with ya no problem."

Drifting a few steps further inwards, he scrubs a hand up the side of his face. "Look, Kaylee, forget about the dogs for a sec— "

It's not disappointment in his voice, but tired worry — like maybe he was more fretful over finding that note than would be immediately clear upon finding him having taken care of everything, secured the door, greeted her with hey. "I mean you're— certainly old enough to go and take care of these things for yourself and if it wasn't a question of you gettin' lost in time, then there's no problem there, but— what if you go back and then somethin' happens to this time traveler guy?

"Or— I mean, the future is there to be changed, but I dunno about the history stuff, I'm pretty sure that's a little, you know, fundamentally unchanging, and are you sure you know what you're doing?"

She doesn't look at Joseph, her attention suddenly on the floor. Whatever her answer, there is a grimace, before she gives a hesitant. "No… not really." Kaylee turns, allowing herself to meet his gaze. "It's… well… it's scary as hell, to be honest.

"But… what could be worse is… what happens if I don't go? It's already happened, yet I haven't done it yet." Kaylee spreads her hands in a helpless gesture. "If I don't… how much changes? How much does everyone stand to lose?"

Reaching into her back pocket, the telepath removes something tiny. Before she starts unfolding, Joseph might see it's battered crane shape. She's quiet as she unfolds the paper, offering up the familiar face of the woman that owns the building. "What does she lose if I don't do this?"

Taking the page, Joseph tugs out the remaining creases from where it had been folded into crane shape, irritation in his movement and then surprise filtering into his expression, eyebrows going from furrowed to raised as he recognises the face there, if not very well. He remains looking at it for a while, scanning an address that means nothing to him, and the refrain she will need you, she has needed you. A hand goes up to scratch absently at the back of his neck, fingers disappearing into dark hairline before the other hand offers back the crumpled sheet of paper.

Mouth pinched into a line, it's obvious that he's not so interested in informing her decision over something with those kinds of ramifications. "They shouldn't just— get t'pick whoever— " Stop, start, and that statement peters out, in favour of a new one;

"I'll go with you." Tada, solution. His hands go out, showing palms, fingers together. "No reason you need to go alone, right? I mean— I know how easy it is to change stuff, and I know I don't got my power— right now— " or ever again, but he doesn't vocalise that, physically can't— "but I got some sense of— you know. Ethics and decisions. Important stuff. And a couple of guns Flint lent me."

"No!" There is so much fear in her voice as she snaps out that word, hands coming up to stop him, her hands finding his and slowly forcing them down, paper crinkling some as it's gripped. Mentally she's wincing, at her own reaction. Closing her eyes, Kaylee takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly, in an attempt to calm the sudden twist of nerves clawing at her stomach "No." The second time it's said much softer, calmer, eyes opening again to settle on the pastor.

"There is.. this kid… teenager." Kaylee starts, her focus dropping to a point at his chest, as she scrambles to give the shortest explanation. "He's a post-cognative." She doesn't need to explain what that means, to a man who does the opposite. "You were not mentioned in the discussion. If… you were meant to go with me." She holds up the abused sheet of paper as she adds, "Then you would have gotten one of these.

"I need you here, to watch over Missy." There is a twinge of something in her chest, doubt fluttering at the back of her mind. "I need you safe," Kaylee says, before she thinks about the words.

"Alright, here's— this is where I get worried." Those hands turn palms to her, fingers splay, as if to physically block her argument in some way, that crease of frustration showing in his brow. "These people can't just make decisions like that, alright? 'specially not some teenager. I know I ain't really one at the moment, but take it from a precognitive of some kind that we ain't godlike, wise creatures who get to mastermind everything. There's a reason why I never asked what people saw — if they wanted to tell me direct-like, that was their choice, but it weren't for me to dictate nothin'."

A hand drifts up as if to touch crucifixes, but they're not there to touch. "Hearin' what they got to say and actin' on it is one thing, but you can't trust them like— like prophets. It ain't really the same thing. And I can be a lot more helpful to you than looking after the darn dog, Kaylee."

"And what is these ripples are caused by other people?" Kaylee asks softly, looking somewhat defeated. Taking a step back, she looks at the crumpled paper in her hands. Smoothing it as she continues, not looking at him. "Me.. Eileen, Colette. We're going back to various points in time, individually to stop these people, because this kid saw us doing that."

The paper is folded, this time she doesn't take the time to remake what had been created. It's then unceremoniously shoved into her pocket again. "I know you could be more helpful, but… If you go with me…" Brows furrow as she tries to think of how to put it delicately. "…it could upset whatever delicate balancing act is going on. It could… effect now."

She looks around her spreading her hands, "It could effect what there is in our lives. It could change it. I'm scared of the changes, Joseph." Kaylee's voice takes on a desperate edge, fingers of one hand, rubbing against her temple as if trying to ease some pressure there. "As it is, I'm completely freaked out of coming back and everything good in my life being gone. Of people not even knowing me… or I just… stop existing."

Argument rises up again, but halts for the time it takes to sigh out the next exhale, hands again settling on denim clad hips. Worry dictates that he measures his words, but there is exasperation as well, clear in the impatience angles of his expression. "Well, if you don't want the help," Joseph says, after a few moments of silence, filled in with the sounds of the building and the marked quiet of depleted post-curfew traffic that seems so unlike the New York City of just a few years ago. "And if they told you explicit-like that you were definitely going alone so much that you can't ask— "

Yes a little annoyed, despite that her sentiments come from somewhere kind, and genuine fear. But it's also clear that annoyance is possibly directed at attitudes towards these so-called people, flinging people into the space-time continuum to sink or to swim.

"You'd be sayin' the same thing," he feels the need to remind her, pointing, as he moves past her for the kitchen.

Hands go to cover her face, scrubbing at the weariness there, but when the slide away, Kaylee sighs softly. "Your right… I would and I wouldn't give up til you relented." At least she's honest about that. "It would kill me if something happened to you and I wasn't there to try and stop it."

As he passes her, Kaylee reaches out to attempt to stop him with a hand on his arm. "I never said I didn't want the help." She watches him, cautiously and worried. "I don't understand the rules of all this, plus… I don't know what kind of danger is involved… You saw what I looked like last time."

Her hands tightens on his arm, giving it a tug to get him to look at her. "You know what happened, I — I don't want that to happen to you. You are too important to so many people. They need you, Joseph." Kaylee isn't sure what else to say, her hand sliding away. "I'm just…" She trails off, not even finishing the sentence, letting her hand slide away.

Only for him to inevitably catch it on its way down, Joseph shaking his head. "Don't talk that way. You don't get to— no one gets to decide whose worth riskin' and for what reasons. And I think we'd both have a sight more of a chance of gettin' out of trouble if there was two of us doing a thing instead o' just one. I do know what happened — that's exactly why I wanna go. Besides, what kind of so-called important person would I be if I didn't do anythin' admirable?

"And I won't be doing anythin' admirable if it means riskin' people I care about. So this is me not givin' up," and at least he can manage a quirk of a smirk, here, a glimmer of mirth, "until you relent."

He can practically see the resolve crumbling away, little by little, Kaylee can only hold up so long. Shoulders slump in her defeat, that smirk is mirrored by the woman and then the sigh. "Fine. I — I give." She makes it sound like someone so put upon, though the words catches at the end, the threat of tears making her eyes watery.

"I'm scared, Joseph." The words are spoken softly, barely a whisper as she fights the urge to be all girlie and cry. She's usually the one that keeps up the tough streak, so it takes a lot for her to admit that. "I don't want you to get hurt and… I don't want to mess this up." Her hand tightens in his, she seems like she is going to say more, but then Kaylee just swallows and shakes her head.

"I won't, you won't. 'sides, I figure— if I'm not meant to go, if it would mess things up too much, I can't rightly make 'em send me back," Joseph admits, other hand coming back to smooth stray blonde curls back from her forehead, allowing his palm to rest warmly against her temple. "But as long as you wouldn't mind me gettin' a go at lookin' out for you for once, then that's all I need f'now. And if it goes the other way, I won't be happy, but— "

But as stated: he has little choice in the matters. There are a lot of matters in which Joseph has little choice, like who Deckard chooses to be friends with, or whatever chemical occasionally wakes him up at night from some siren call, or the various bad things that befall the Ferry no matter what he might vote for. But Christians aren't meant to be fatalistic.

"And you said Colette was there. The heck is gonna happen to space and time if they throw her into the past?" is said to lighten the mood.

There is a soft huffed chuckle from Kaylee, she can't help it. He's right. Colette and time… It's a disaster waiting to happen. "Yeah" Brows tick upward in her own amusement, her head giving a little shake. "It can't end well." The linger affection from the friendship the girls shared still colors the telepath's words.

Long delicate fingers reach up to brush against the back of his hand, then resting on it, pressing her head gently against the warmth of his palm, trapping it there for a long moment. Kaylee sighs softly, tension bleeding out of her shoulders and for a moment she almost seems content. Something seems to pass behind those blue eyes, however, as she hazards a look at the pastor and before she even thinks — blame her stressed and weary mind — Kaylee leans forward to place a soft, shy kiss on Joseph's lips.

"I don't deserve someone like you in my life." Kaylee sounds a little sad at her own whispered words, when she pulls away from him again.

Of course, it's a moment later, that it occurs to her what she just did. Her cheeks flush pink and her head ducks down, gaze looking anywhere else then him. "Sorry,” she apologizes. “I… ah…" She stumbles over words, flustered by what she sees as a blunder. The young woman has been so careful. Dammit, Kaylee.

Did this happen before? Joseph is almost certain this has happened before. If asked, he would not be able to say when or how, where or why, but there is a familiarity that relaxes him, initially, enough that dark eyes slide closed a split second before the contact, a longer second just after it's complete, and before she's— apologizing. That's enough to flush warmth from jaw to cheekbone, tucking in his chin a little like a defensive dog for all that his feet could well be rooted to the floor.

"Yeah— " he starts, without knowing where that was meant to end. It certainly isn't in reply to whether or not Kaylee deserves him. "Uh."

His hand retracts from her head, stringing along with it loose strands of blonde that get caught between fingers, before rough palm resettles more at the nape of her neck, beneath the fair curtain of curls. The kiss that follows is just as light, but certainly not accidental. Equally apologetic, but it's difficult to tell when you're this close.

Even being able to read other people's thoughts if she wanted to, the return kiss still manages to be a surprise for Kaylee. Or is it? She sighs out a breath, that she didn't even know she was holding, into that kiss, as her brain is pretty much on meltdown. It feels like she's been holding that breath for far too long.

There is no more apologizing from her, as what he mean to be light takes on a different purpose, when initially directed by the hand at the back of her neck, she leans into the kiss. Fingers reach out, seeking the fabric of his shirt to hold on too, as if needing the support from knees that want to weaken as a tremble crawls through her body. There is something like a release of pent up emotions expressed in that caress of lips, Kaylee not wanting to risk lose that first moment. Fearing it might suddenly disappear.

Soon though and reluctantly, lips will slide away so that the telepath can try to get a coherent thought in her own head.

Joseph's back straightens it posture by the time the kiss is over, blinking up over the top of Kaylee's head, but not really allowing distance to fall between them. A defensive strategy, kind of, he's not really sure what to say, and sorry isn't a thing he desires to echo but probably will if he's forced to look the 23-year-old in the eye. So this is avoided entirely as his arms bracket around her waist and her shoulders, drawing her close and give her himself to lean against while she.

Gets coherent thoughts. "I've been thinkin'," he eventually does say, some amount of warmth in his voice that might actually insinuate that maybe sometimes kisses in dystopia aren't their own tragedies, "about doin' that for a while. But I guess you really don't listen in that much."

One hand slides around to rest lightly against his spine, the other stays there against his chest, as Kaylee is drawn in close. There is no resistance, lips pressing against the soft fabric that covers his shoulder, with eyes closed. What he says, makes her smile, the movement of her lips felt there. "It's rude to listen in." The words muffled a little there against his shoulder.

"Plus —" It's confession time it seems, so her head comes off his shoulder, allowing her to lean back in his arms enough to look at him. "I was scared what I'd see there," saud as the smile slides away a little. "Especially, with who you are and who you work for." Kaylee's lips quirk up a little on one side at that last.

"And… who I was." Something she had thrown at his feet, before she ran away from him in a way. Then her expression becomes a little more a mix of being matter of fact and amused, as she says, "It was tempting at times, but I also was trying not to cheat the system for once… as silly as that sounds."

"I get it," Joseph supplies, his arms loosening around her without actually opening up the embrace — a breakable circle that remains fixed around her, a hand coming to clutch opposite wrist. "I dunno if, uh. Uninhibited mind reading is particularly healthy for a relationship." This is where he might make a joke about his own failed marriage, but— maybe when he doesn't have his arms around Kaylee's slender waist, which seems both a natural kind of position as much as it's surreal enough to make him smile.

Or believe reality is going to snap back into place, and he'll be back on track towards giving her back her dog and telling her he'll catch her in the morning. "And I'm not one, so— this is okay? Like if I did it again?"

There in his arms, Kaylee can't even begin to really explain how easy it is to relax into it. It just feels right, more so then even Peter. How many times had she questioned things between them. He's not the only one that failed at relationships, but she tries not to think of that.

It's one of those moments where, before the reasons for keeping her distance from Joseph made sense. Then the next, she finds herself boggling at that same reasoning. Why had she waited? Kaylee can't see the wisdom anymore. It's enough that she smiles gently.

Of course, his innocent question brightens the smile and it widens, Joseph seeming almost like an insecure guy in high school. It's endearing in it's own way. Enough so that hands are pressed to his cheeks gently, as she answer him. "More then okay." Her words warm and gentle with emotions that only moments ago were struggling to stay hidden.

"In fact, Joseph… I insist."

Kaylee doesn't even wait for him to close the distance, as she finishes murmuring those words, her hands are slide off his cheeks, so her arms can loop behind his neck and her lips can find his eagerly again.

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