Just For Tonight


bf_kaylee_icon.gif bf_luther2_icon.gif

Scene Title Just For Tonight
Synopsis Confessions and promise made. Tomorrow isn't promised, but just for tonight it will be about them.
Date January 01, 2017

Roof of Kaylee's Apartment Building

While many folks her age were out at parties or over in Times Square, Detective Kaylee Thatcher had decided that this year she didn’t have the energy to be around other people. She felt bad turning down even Colette and Tamara, but… this was a night she needed to be alone.

Tonight was a night to reflect on the past year. It was a night of endings and new beginnings. Of resolutions to be spoken for a new year.

Sitting huddled in her thick winter jacket, Kaylee lounges on one of the deck chairs; while a heater barely effects the temperature at all. The little oasis, that the residents of the apartment building built, is empty of people, other than the telepath. Snow piled thick around the little deck is probably the reason she is alone up there. Cafe lights string this way and that on poles, casting a dim glow over everything. During the warmer months it was a pretty happening place.

“5… 4… 3…” Kaylee says softly in time with the voices on the radio, the air plumes white before her, as the music is interrupted for the tick over to midnight. Her eyes are on the skies around her, because with New Years, there is often a light show. “2… 1…” She can faintly hear the cheering voices, but also the sky starts to light up with fireworks.

The telepath is silent as she watches, eyes a little blurry with tears. Kaylee had hoped Luther would take the hint. That they would be here together instead of alone.

“Happy New Year,” Kaylee murmur softly to herself. “Here is to… “ she sighs heavily, scrubbing at the tears in her eyes. .

“Who am I kidding?” is added at barely a whisper.

A chilly breeze kicks up as all around the city along various rooftops, fireworks and champagne bottle corks and Auld Lang Syne fill the air. For a telepath, the sense of a joyous hum of hundreds of minds coming together in celebration of new hopes and well wishes. She would almost miss the slide of one mind beneath the crowd, a familiar, quiet presence that belongs to one man. She’d almost miss it, except for it feels much more present than a mere memory of him quite suddenly, and that the door to the rooftop access opens with a creak of metal hinges, a rush of warm interior air escaping into the night from the stairwell.

Luther emerges from the warmth of the yellow glow, dressed warmly himself in a thick black winter coat covering cool and neutral colored layers. Thick charcoal grey sweater, heavy denim jeans, snow-trek worthy boots. He’s come from someplace quite cold too, no doubt. The brightest thing about his clothing, an earthy brown scarf wrapped around his neck. His arms are occupied, one hand carrying a thick looking blanket throw and the other hand holding a bottle of sparkling non-alcoholic drink and two glasses. The man looks around to the snowy covered rooftop terrace, spotting the telepath in one of the deck chairs. A smile pulls at his mouth corners. “Is this the Thatcher party?” he asks aloud, making like he’s a lost partygoer who’s just missed the ball drop. Because he kind of did. But that’s not what he’s here for.

While she does start to notice his mind, Kaylee isn't sure if it was her own playing tricks; but, then his rumbling voice pierces the night, and it leaves her breathless.

Her heart skips a beat and starts to pick up in speed. Kaylee had hoped he’d get her hints. Luther had.. or she hopes that is why he was here.

However, the telepath treads cautiously. Sitting up straight, Kaylee turns to look over her shoulder with a bright smile. Turning in the lounging chair, she is able to get up, and… stand there. She wants to race to him, to throw arms around him, but she exerts restraint.

While he wears neutrals, Kaylee wears colors. Her down filled jacket is a rich blue, covering the crimson top and cream colored turtleneck. Blonde curls peek out from under a knit cap of a deep red and the furline snow boots of the same color.

Arms cross in front of her, in a failing attempt to keep the little warmth she is managing. “It is,” Kaylee replies with a chuckle, glancing at the deck around her, “a private party.” Her mouth opens to say more, but she stops herself. “Glad you could join me, handsome.”

Approaching with a smile that gives way to a more serious and straight expression, Luther is the one to close that distance. A subconscious acknowledgment given of the restraint she shows, he notes her crossed arm body posture, the lack of her coming to him. That’s okay, but it’s somewhat cooling of air between them. “Missed the drop,” he says as he comes to within arm’s reach, holding out the blanket to her instead of reaching for her. “But I’m not here for that. I’m here for you.” Storm grey eyes stay on her, taking in the rich, vibrant colors of her clothes, the wisps of her hair that have escaped from the cap that reflect the cafe lights.

“And to give you an answer to your questions from the coffee shop,” he adds quietly, shifting slightly in his stance as if preparing for the moment. He’d worked up his courage earlier, but perhaps the climb up the stairs had bled some of that bravery away. Or he spent a part of it when he knocked on a few doors, inquiring if anybody had seen the woman he sought.

At the man’s approach, Kaylee is still smiling though something seems almost guarded about her. She doesn't back away, but continues to hold her ground. Wary blue-eyes study him, considering what he says.

Gloved fingers curl around the blanket, but she doesn't fully take it into her possession. It connects them for a long moment. Held between them like a lifeline, one false step on his part and she might let go.

Give her the answer.

It takes a lot not to show the flutter of excitement, though her breath does catch in her throat. Does she dare believe? Fingers tighten around the blanket and finally draws it to her, wrapping her arms around it. “You’re going to tell me about the real you?” Kaylee whisper softly, hopeful, watching him. “No more stories? No more half truths?”

Relinquishing the blanket to her easily, Luther uses that motion to take another short step closer, narrowing the distance between them until he’s looking down to her. He would wrap his arms around her, but senses the guarded demeanor still. It’s his expression that softens further, his free hand that finally lifts, reaching to cup her cheek. “I’m sorry you had to wait so damn long. I was an idiot. And I… I can’t bear this any longer.” He bows his head down, not quite enough to touch on hers, but with the return of an exhausted feeling.

“I’m just not sure,” he says after the pause, “Where to even begin.” He lifts his head only slightly, eyes searching hers then for a sense of direction, the way he had regarded her as that north star. “Even now. How do I…” The man’s throat tightens as he speaks, a brief overwhelmed feeling washing over as he looks at her, battered by a tumultuous sea of emotions as he sucks in a ragged breath. “I’m sorry, Kaylee. I’m sorry I couldn’t tell you before.”

There is a plume of white steam that escapes the telepath in a heavy sigh of relief. She hadn’t even been aware she was holding it. Kaylee’s jaw tightens as she fights her emotions, she can't give in, yet. As much as she wants to kiss him in that moment. However, she allows herself to lean into the hand at her cheek. Eyes shut at the sensation of that touch, even if it’s hidden behind a glove. It is very obvious that the woman missed him. The shininess of her lashes, says she might feel the same.

“You’re here,” Kaylee say softly, as if that is all that mattered in that moment. When eyes flutter open, a tear escapes to slide down her cheek, only to be absorbed by the glove against her cheek. When she looks up at him again, she reluctantly pulls away from the hand. “I was so worried you wouldn’t….” Trailing off, leaving the rest unspoken, she swallows against the thickening lump in her throat, she whispers, “Thank you.”

One hand releases the blanket and reaches up to first touch his cheek in return, but then moves to gently cup behind his neck; using it then to draw him close - not for that kiss they probably both want so desperately - but so that their foreheads bump gently and then rest it there. “Let me help you.” Kaylee offers quietly, eyes closed rather than try to focus on his. He can feel the tentative brush of her mind, against his. Not unlike the way silk sheets might feel over skin. “You don't have to say a word. You can just show me.” Taking another step in closer into his personal space, the blanket a buffer, the telepath takes a deep breath and adds, her voice soft and gentle, “Take me to that memory you escape to when things get bad. We’ll go from there.”

Her words of acknowledging his presence see another bob of his throat, a twitch of his brow and jaw. Luther nods, a small movement, where his own voice fails him. Gradually, Luther's gloved hand retracts back to his side as she pulls away from it and then it's her hand that draws him down closer. He bends compliantly, easily led by her guiding hand.

Foreheads touch rather than lips, and he swallows back the desire for the latter, expelling a soft breath that curls white in the air between them. "I'm supposed to…" he starts to mildly protest as she offers to help him, the man's stubborn pride for self-sufficiency rising a level. But, the feel of her mind soothes, her soft voice pushing down invisible hackles.

Luther's eyes narrow, his stare upon her closed eyes, her face, unfocusing as he slips with her into the depths of his memories.


The sound of ocean waves rolls through the air, punctuated by soft cries of seagulls that soar freely in a cloudless, sapphire blue sky. Though the breeze is cool, lightly scented with the salt of the sea, the feeling of warmth from a sun unseen can be felt throughout the air. It's bright here. Light glitters off the surface of the water, mixed with floating foam and shimmering wavecrests as the ocean laps upon the sandy beach below. She stands upon a wide wooden deck, the railing freshly painted a clean white. Behind her, a familiar retreat of a beach house bedroom. The one from Ogunquit, Maine, if a touch more idealized in the presentation of it, the furniture a little more modern than what fits in for the seaside house's actual decor.

Luther's standing at the threshold of the sliding glass door, still dressed in the winter clothes despite the warmth of the mindscape atmosphere. Staring at her, his expression bearing something of uncertainty. Embarrassment, even. The man clearly hasn't ever had anybody but himself come to find his mental retreat. But he doesn't look disturbed to find her here. He tells her in a quiet rumble, "Those couple of days… were the best thing that happened to me that I could remember in a long time."

Like him, Kaylee is still dressed for the snowy weather. There is a touch of surprise at where they are, turning away from him to look out over the ocean and waves. Gloved hands rest on the railing as she steps to the edge, as she listens to what he says around the place. He can’t see the trembling of her chin as his words bring about a surge of emotions. Mainly, joy. To know he felt the same about that weekend, it was overwhelming.

He can see her head dip down as the telepath fights to control those emotions, may even notice her shoulders lift and then fall as she takes a deep calming breath.

When she finally turns back to him, he’ll realize that she isn’t wearing her winter clothes anymore, but that little sundress she wore on their dinner date that last night. The fabric seems almost weightless as it shifts around her, even her hair drifts across her face as if a stiff seabreeze was pushing it. «Me, too,» Kaylee admits in a quavering mental voice, smiling at him as fingers tuck strands of gold hair behind her ear. «I realized that weekend, I only thought I knew love. And that I found something new in you.»

Moving towards him, a delicate hand is held out to him. «I’m sorry to invade this private space, but I figured it would be easier if we started somewhere you considered safe.» Her other hand presses along his stubbled jaw, gentle and supportive. «You say you don’t know where to start,» Kaylee guides quietly, the pad of her thumb brushing along his cheek, «But you do, I can hear it there at the corner of your thoughts.» Going up on her tiptoes, she presses a kiss to his forehead. Still denying them both, what they want. «Start there.»

Watching her turn to look at the ocean, Luther faintly smiles at the inclusion of her within the sanctuary. A content sigh escapes him for the feeling of completion to the picture. He can't see her trembling from where he stands. To him, she looks perfect even in the winter clothing contrasted against the beach and sun. The man remembers to breathe too, but in that next moment when he suddenly sees her in the light summer dress, that breath is stolen away. He'd always said for him she was like a dream. Now, she's in this dream, perfectly captured by the glow of the light around her. It’s a feeling he couldn’t himself imagine on his own.

With her hand held out to him, he finally moves closer, reaching out his own. In that moment, he doesn't realize he too has shifted to match with her more seasonally appropriate clothing. It's his bare hand, not a gloved one, that grasps her fingers in his. Still in neutrals and cool colors, it's like her presence shifts him, stripping away the layers. His head bows again, receiving the kiss pressed against it, and his breath hitches sharp. His desire obvious as he looks to her, he shakes his head slightly to remember why they're there.

And that this is a different reality.

The normally cloudless sky darkens. A storm rumbles in the distance, first over the ocean horizon, then suddenly rolling forth with speed. Luther clings to her, exhaling roughly as he tries to cover her. But this storm brings no rain, no fierce lightning and roaring thunder when it comes. Instead, the sunny, bright weather falls into unnerving darkness. The cloud cover even disappears, and all around is utter black. She's felt this pitch dark before, sometimes in his nightmares, sometimes in flashes of his waking thoughts, always threatening to crawl up and take over. He rails against them most of the time. This time, he lets it come. He remembers what she’d said in the coffee shop that day. She wanted to know his real self.

The good… and the bad.

The air grows cold. Deep below ground, there's no warmth. All around, a feeling of claustrophobia-triggering walls that can't be seen. His grip on her hand is icy with fear, with the faintest feeling of breath close to her skin being the only tangible feeling within the stagnant air. The concrete walls, unseen but felt nonetheless, imprison them both. Even moreso for the man, who for as tall as he is, feels diminished in the darkness. A desperate listlessness pervades the atmosphere. A maddening hopelessness. A feeling of death without death. His heart beats quickly in a way that she can hear it between his ears, within his mind, furiously trying to continue pumping life through weak veins. His body and mind hunger, not merely for food, but for feeling, for stimulus. For energy.

She might be startled by his voice as it cuts the darkness with a tight growl of discomfort, one that echoes all around her as it bounces off the nearby walls.

This was Moab. The deepest level. This was Level 5, Red Level.

The sound of the oncoming storm, pulls Kaylee’s attention. Twisting to look over her shoulder, eyes widen slightly. It is upon them faster then she can react, his emotions breaking over her like a wash of cold waves on the rocks below. One downside that comes with sharing in the experiences, it the emotions that come with it. So as all those emotions start bearing down on her, a soft whimper of fear escapes her before she can stop it.

As the pitch darkness envelopes them, he finds no resistance when he pulls her close to protect her. In fact, the telepath can’t help huddling into the man, fingers gripping at the fabric of his shirt. A lifeline against the sudden terror.He can feel her face pressing into his chest, hear the terror quickened breath.

Kaylee knows that she asked for this, but a part of her wants to scream at him to stop. She edges close to doing so, until he growls into the darkness, startling and bringing her back to her senses. Breathing still rough and ragged, she works to untangle his emotions from her own. To separate herself from the experience. Eventually….

Luther can feel her shift against him, sense her trying to gently pull away, and see the compassion and affection in her eyes when she looks up at him. It’s then he might realize he can see in the darkness in the room from a glow that pulses between them. The cell lights up with a soft gentle glow as she takes another step back and hold up an orb of light. After all, she is the mistress of this domain and has the ability to take control if need be. In fact, she takes hold of this memory. One hand holds the light higher, cradled in the palm of her hand, as she turns and taking in the small space, letting fingers trail along cold walls. «This is where it all began?» Kaylee turns to look at him, bathed in the golden light. «How long did those bastards keep you here? Like this?» The heat rises in her voice as she speaks; but, it is clear that the anger isn’t directed at him, but his captors.

It's all he can do for those moments, holding on to her like she were his lifeline as much as he is hers. As much as he tries to keep himself reminded that this is just a memory, it's still part of his darkest fear. In those times, he came to know it well, being locked away with nothing but his own thoughts until even those began to feel like they weren't real. That he wasn't real. Luther hunches his shoulders, head ducking, eyes shut tightly. His growl isn't of anger, but fear and desperation, something to give himself any bit of reality to cling to. And then she pulls away and the fear sharpens. A new terrifying thought. That he's losing her.

Stay with me.

The thought flashes hot through the dark, but still there's no light, only the heat of desire and the fear of losing that small spark.

And then, her light grows. He squints, lifting a hand to shield against it at first, cringing as a monster who had grown used to the blackness within his cave. The cell is exposed in the light, a lone latrine, a concrete slab formed in the wall as a bed. In the glow, his eyes gleam with a sheen of wet that he's quick to knuckle away when it threatens to spill over. His gaze follows her around the prison cell. "They told me later… I was here for three years," he answers hoarsely, his eyes moving to the thick metal door.

It slowly opens, sudden brightness spilling through the cracked opening. Incoherent voices accompany the light, filling the quiet of the cell, becoming clearer as the door continues to swing wide. Silhouetted figures cast tall, lanky shadows in the distance. Words made out in the rush find their way through the fog.

ClemencyWrongful imprisonmentWe've made for some Allowances, Mister Bellamy, now it's your turnquid pro quo

"Pinehearst were the ones who got me out. Offered me a job, brought me to New York. They… they were the only people I knew." Luther turns to her, his tone husky with rough restraint. "Until I met you." The brightness grows around them until the cell walls fade into the light, and they're surrounded by the bustling, hectic sea of people that make up a typical day in New York City now. The sky is blue again, but blocked by several buildings scraping it. They stand in front of the coffee shop they'd met at, that one fateful day in January.

Standing now in the same outfit that he saw her in, on the day they met, surrounded by a sea of humanity, Kaylee is quiet as she studies him. Looking as if she is seeing him in a new light. There is relief that they are no longer in that cell, lifting her face to the sun and relishing in the warmth. «I can’t even imagine three years in that. No wonder you told them yes.» Turning her attention back to him, her hands brush at his cheeks and then rest there. Luther can see understanding there in her eyes.

What would she have done to be free of that nightmare? Possibly the same.

«They put you in there, broke you, and then manipulated you in to working for them. They lied to you,» It is a matter of fact statement. «Fed you a story and… made you create lies for them, under the fear of being put back.» Kaylee’s breath catches, stopping her from speaking further; eyes widen with sudden realization that she might have said too much. Gone too far. Guilt flickers over her features and hands fall away to rest on his shoulders, eventually to slide down his arms, and away. Wrapping her arms around herself, she turns to the coffee shop and moves to peer through the window. Beyond it the familiar scene played. The two of them fading into view. That first meeting. Her forehead touches the window and she watches with a soft smile.

It seemed so much different, seeing where he had just come from. The telepath found herself viewing it in a different light.

The images inside blur, but only for her as eyes fill with tears. «It suddenly makes sense.» Kaylee says softly. «You acted like a man had been given a second chance. Like you wanted to experience everything before you lost it again.» Her hand lifts to press against the window and a soft chuckle echoes in his head. «It struck me as so strange, but it drew me to you. You were so alive and adventurous. In a moment, you brought a little more color to my world.» Looking over her shoulder, he sees the tears in her eyes. «Little did I know…» how much more that moment meant to him.

Swallowing hard and giving a sniffle, her head shakes. This was about him and not her, she had to remind herself. «I’m sorry… please, continue,» she says as she wipes at tears with the palm of her hand. «I know more than ever that I need to hear this. The whole truth.» There was so much about him she didn't know or understand.

The worst of the lingering memories of Moab are warded off, replaced by fresher guilt even as Luther leans his face against the touch of her hands. He wants to close his eyes, savoring the sensation, wants to lean forward into her, to further the action into something more intimate. But her mental voice reminding him of the actions he’d taken after he’d been released from the prison, of who he was that day they had met, make him pull up to a straighter stand. He watches her turn to the window of the coffee shop, feeling a mix of happiness tempered with the knowledge of how he had been holding back. How he hadn’t told her that truth she sought.

“I don’t know why you agreed to come to dinner with me,” Luther notes after a pause, a smile faintly turning up the corner of his mouth with the memory playing out wordlessly through the glass. “But everything after that was like…” Heaven? It’s not inaccurate. But he knew the whole time who he was. What he was. That serves as a reminder of where they need to go next, and he reaches out a hand, taking up one of hers.

A saltier scent returns to the air around them, and the buildings shift and warp until they’ve become stacks of containers, the long metal types used for shipping. She sees stacks and stacks of them as if they were standing at the port authority, but in the man’s mind it’s simply an endless wall of containers, each seemingly marked with a random set of numbers and letters. She’s seen this wall before in his dreams. His way of representing the tasks he was set to do. In the next blink, one of the containers is in front of them, and Luther looks a little nervous again. “The evidence folder I sent you, that Christmas,” he says as he looks from the closed container back to her. “I saw you actually looked into it.” A part of him appreciates that cursory glance that she had deigned to look with. The list that had saved lives. And maybe ruined a few others, for the would-be domestic terrorists that had sympathized or been recruited into Humanis First. “I wanted to tell you, but…”

As Luther trails off, the container in front of them cracks open with a metallic squeal of the hinges. Inside, the container isn’t holding cargo, but a look into charred out remains of the Pinehearst laboratory. Where the Looking Glass had stood, only there she can see the triangular metal shape now bent and twisted into a nearly unrecognizable mess of a mass. Wires spark, smoke rises, and black char marks emanate out from the ground zero of the suicide bomber position. She had not gotten to see this crime scene the way he did. But she now gets that unique opportunity to do so. He lets go of her hand, not moving to stop her if she steps forward.

When he takes her hand, she looks down, watching how her long delicate fingers curl around his. Kaylee’s hand has always looks so small in his. She takes a breath intent on saying something, when the scenery changes again. Eyes widen slightly as she looks up at the wall of containers. «All of this…» she starts in an awed whisper, her head following the line one way and then the other.

Again, the look of her changes. Kaylee looks like the detective she is, right down to the blazer and the badge hanging around her neck. When the doors of the container opens into that scene, she looks surprised. Not moving right away, she can’t believe he was actually going to show her this. This was the evidence… the truth. It was right there.

When his hand lets go, the detective starts to move forward, stopping at the edge of the container. All she needed to do was step through and she’d know.

However, the detective feels rooted, feet unable to move. She stares at those charred remains for a long moment, but then she does something strange…. The telepath turns her back on it. «You did change the story…» Taking a deep breath, she grabs the container doors and pushes them shut. There is a heavy sigh when the doors clang shut, her forehead resting against those doors. Month of chasing him and he was ready to hand it all over. «Magnes said it was the Guardians… He saw the bomber and knew him, before he died. My evidence said it was too, but nothing solid.» Pushing away from the door, she turns to look back at him, finally removing her hands from the door. «They told me several times to drop it. After I saw you out there in Great Kills… I did.» The admission is soft, with a sense of failure.

Turning back to the containers, Kaylee slowly backs up taking them all in. «All of this… while we were dating and after?» Her head slowly shakes in awe. Reaching up, the detective rips off her badge and looks at it. The fact that so much slipped under her nose… The woman tosses aside the badge as if it was nothing more than a plastic toy. Worth nothing. «So you were Petrelli’s fixer. I was dating a man, who’s profession was the bane of the departments existence.» She isn’t looking at him, the detective was still studying the containers. «Around the time I went to Moab, your files went from Janitor to Security General.» The is a long drawn out moment of silence. «Why?»

While the wall of containers seem to span on forever against the immediate horizon, the one Luther has opened and awaiting inspection seems the most significant. The smoking remains of the lab experiment displayed within the large container, dead center and of the greatest importance, calls to the curiosity. Even though, looking closer to the Looking Glass may only bring even more questions.

As she approaches, Luther tenses, bracing for the lowering boom of judgment he's sure will come, the worry feeling as loud as a gavel banging on a bench. When she turns back to him, he drops his gaze to the sand beneath their feet. Eyes close, fully expecting the sentence… and then jerking his eyes back up when she shuts the container doors. The clang echoes over the landscape. Luther looks up, confused, peering at the detective for her strange action.

It was like that afternoon out in the closed off park. She'd had him at her mercy. And she chose to grant it.

"Magnes?" Luther repeats the name, rounding on it mentally. It's an unfamiliar one. Then it becomes obvious that even he was kept in the dark about further details behind the bombing. The fixer was tasked only with the scene cleanup, with shifting blame to something more publicly acceptable, preserving the sterling image of Pinehearst company. He hadn't known who attacked the laboratory, only who it should have been blamed on. Layers on a rotten onion continue to peel away for the detective, and for the man who came behind to clean up the messes.

So when she turns back to regard the seeming endless wall of memory-containers, til she rips off her badge and tosses it to the ground, Luther sucks in a surprised breath. He approaches, but warily, as a man who knows he has done wrong. Worst of all, he knows he had indirectly done wrong to the woman he loves. "It wasn't just me," he says softly. "But yes. They pointed me, and I went." He gets close enough to reach for, but doesn't do so himself. He's not even sure she'll want to do the same.

When she points out the change of his title and position in the company, Luther blinks. Of all the things he'd shown her so far, he hadn't even touched upon this one that she directs the topic to. A sense of dread slithers through, unnerving and chill. "They… The company… found out about something way bigger than anything we'd imagined before." He exhales a slow breath, stepping around her and with a hand, reopens the container she'd closed.

When it opens again, it reveals an idealized, climate controlled biodome far vaster than the mere laboratory she'd seen moments ago. The revelation is of just one of the Geopoint facility's closed ecosystems, a world contained under glass. It looks perfect. But there's still a sense of fear to Luther's tone as he explains.

"There's terrorists in our midst, Kaylee. And they've come from another dimension."

There is pressure building between her eyes, a sign that she was starting to tax her ability. Pressing fingers to the bridge of her nose, she closes her eyes against the discomfort. At least until, he starts to speak again and moves to open the container.

This was new.

Enough so that when Luther opens the door, curiosity gets the best of the woman and she moves to step through into the ecosystem beyond. As she passes him, she can’t help but reach out and touch his arm; just a brush really. Once in, she slowly turns around, looking in awe and confused all at once; that slow rotation ends with her looking at him..

«What is this place?» There is awe in the tone of her mental voice.

Though it falls into confusion when he mentions terrorists from another dimension. «I know dimensional travellers. In fact, they are friends of mine. I wouldn’t call them terrorists. They have families, even.» Looking around her, Kaylee can’t help but ask, hands spreading a little, «What does this place have to do with that…. With you?»

He doesn’t exactly follow her in so much as subconsciously place himself within the environment. “It’s Colorado,” he confesses with a faint undertone of awe in and of itself. “The company calls it Geopoint. A research facility… for a number of things. But more importantly…” He pauses in explanation, and in the next blink they’re standing in the training room, a mock up of the Looking Glass machine present, the triangular shape of it unmistakeable from the charred remains she’d seen moments ago.

Luther lifts a hand, suddenly clad in one of the orange-eyed Frontline styled suits, his helmet visor not covering his face but clamped over his head, readied. He cuts an imposing figure in the armor, posture forcibly improved by the nature of its plated protection. Gloved fingers flex in and out of a fist. Then he looks back to Kaylee, blinking at her. “Wait, you… you know them?” A second beat. “You’re friends with them?”

As long as they’re sharing secrets, right? But the man stares at the detective in confusion. Suspicion rises, tempered with doubt. “What did they tell you? Did they say anything about how did they manage to get here?”

To have her perception of him shift from ‘just a janitor’ to ‘just a criminal’ to this… It is understandable she might be a little overwhelmed. Kaylee can’t help but reach out and touch the armor, brows furrowing a little as she wraps her head around this idea. Fingers trail over the hard edges of the suit with a flicker of amusement at the idea that he is a powersuit jockey. When asked about the travellers it takes a moment for it to register, distracted as she is by the way he looks in that suit. While not a fan of Frontline, she can’t help but think he actually looks pretty sexy in that suit. «What?» With a blink she looks up at him, finally.

«Yeah, I’m friends with them or a couple of them. Remember Liz? My murdered ex-partner? I met another version of her. I also saved a version of a co-worker Magnes Varlane from Moab.» She mentioned Varlane before as someone she trusted. «In fact, Magnes worked on Looking Glass before the Guardians blew it and him up.» The mention of the machine, she steps around Luther to look at the mock up version. «He said Arthur Petrelli brought him back to life and stuck him in Moab.» Looking back at Luther, she shrugs a bit, «Neither of them seem like terrorists to me. They both have families, children. All they want to do is go home.»

There is a bit of a smirk as she looks back at the fake machine, «There is a version of me here, too. From a version of our world where a virus killed almost everyone. Liz brought her with them.»

There is a bit of a tilt to her head as she considers things, «Wait.» Kaylee turns to look at him. Her attention bounces between him and the machine, before she gives him a suspicious look. «What are they planning to do?» There is a touch of alarm to her question. «Are they going to send you through that?» Kaylee asks, pointing at the machine. Answering her own question when she looks at him in that armor, eyes-widening and paling slightly.


The complexities of the moment aren't lost upon Luther, especially as Kaylee reaches over to run her hand along the powersuit. Seeing her amusement at him in the suit followed by that slight shift of her expression to something more distracted in her thoughts, he nevertheless frowns with an attempt to focus. To remember the reasons why they've gotten to this point.

When she reveals just how many she knows, Luther arches his brow up at her. How is she able to handle this info so well? How long had she known? The murder of Elisabeth Harrizon was one of them, her friend in the police force another. There's even another version of her walking around in the world Luther once thought he knew and understood.

Then, she asks the concluding question that causes the man to frown deeper, thus confirming her suspicion. "These terr— these people," he replies without looking at her, "came from another world, or dimension, or time. And they represent an unknown that threatens to destroy the very fabric of what is known." He then looks up at her, steeling his expression some, a face she's come to know when he has convinced himself of the reasonings he needs to process.

“The night before the bombing. Top brass came to me, told me about what was happening. They put together a team to assess and report. And, if needed…" He shifts his gaze to the machine mockup, where suddenly it's no longer a mere model but starts up with a crackling humming, electricity snapping along the frame. A pitch dark, light-eating darkness surrounded by violet energies manifests in the middle, swirling at the edges, a terrifying gateway to an unknown fate. She can sense the trepidation in the man as he looks towards that darkness. And fears it in the core of him. The inevitability that he must return to that dark.

«They are just people like us. They—» Though Kaylee is ready to argue for the sake of the travellers she knows, that first snap and crackle of electricity makes she jerks around to stare at the machine. Fear of her own lances through the telepath cold and sharp as that pool of darkness spreads across the frame.

It looked hungry… The thought of him passing through it…

«No… No…» Kaylee spits out with a growl of anger, turning towards him. «You can’t go through there.» Anger quick shifts into worry as she moves to grab his armored arms. «You can’t. Liz and Magnes are lost from the people they love, what if you become lost, too?» Word edged with the worry and anxiety that the portal and his revelation brings. She just got him back, what if he disappears…

Suddenly, in a meer blink of an eye, they are back in the real world, the cold biting and the sounds of the city loud. Luther finds Kaylee’s gloved hands are already curled into his jacket, blanket in a heap at thier feet, her eyes wild with worry as she looks up at him. “You can’t go through there. Promise me you won’t.” He can see the panic in her eyes. “Just- just leave them, we’ll figure out how to clear your name. If not,” her gaze drops as she frantically goes over the options in her head, looking for a solutions. “I-I-I’ll quit the PD and we’ll go from there.”

Her breath hitches, at the thought of losing him. Kaylee’s heart is in her throat, as she pleads with him… Tries to reason with him, “Luther… please. I can’t lose you again.”

Luther isn’t ready for the shift out of the mindscape back into their frozen rooftop reality. What answer he had to her protest, dissipates with the shock of cold and lingering icy grip of his fear, his doubts. How many times had he trained to jump into the pitch dark vortex that Canfield had ripped open in the training room, and come out of it without injury and still alive? But he knows, every time he’s made the jump it’s been that much closer to the day when his team would have to actually make good on the promise.

That shifts to Kaylee, asking - pleading - with him to make her a promise. His grey eyes peer down at her panicked blue, and he reaches up to take the tense grip of her hands into his own. For a long moment he’s not sure what to say, staring helplessly down at her. “They might kill me if I don’t,” he manages, the slow blink accompanying the man’s thoughts. It might kill me if I do, crosses his mind. As it has several times. Each time.

But then he shakes his head to clear it. To focus on her. Her words, that she can’t lose him again, ring loudly even with them being softly spoken. “But the thought of losing you,” he continues as he squeezes her hands in his own, “is too much for me to bear. That’s why I had to come tonight… why I wanted to tell you, to show you, everything.” A small smile tugs back a corner of his mouth. He lets go of one of her hands to reach into his coat and pulls out a small ring box. She’ll know what it means, immediately, even as he pulls it open to reveal a glittery ring inside of it, polished and gleaming brightly even in the dark of the night around them.

“You are my world, Kaylee. And I wouldn’t dream of leaving you.” No kneeling this time, but he bows his head close to hers, sharing the space with the ring and with hope. “After all of that waiting and everything you know of me, would you marry me?”

The mention of his employer possibly killing him, he can see determination flicker over her features. Kaylee wouldn’t allow it or she’d go down with him trying. Without him… Shoulders lower a little in defeat, thinking he might leave to go back, and what that could mean.

But then he is going on and he can see the shift in her features with each word spoken, from defeat to hope. When his squeezes her hand, her own tighten in return, clinging to him and the hope that he shown on her. “I’m glad you did. I had hop—”

The box comes out and Kaylee can only stare with genuine surprise. Gloved fingers lightly brush the box, but then he opens it, her hand covers her mouth and the gasp that slips out like a typical woman…It was as if seeing the ring made it real.

How far they had come since that day he almost did propose to her. It was only a few years ago, but in her head it felt like decades. Kaylee had wanted him to it then, but it wasn’t the right time. The turmoil that followed, was proof of that… but it had also helped show her how much he had become a part of her existence. The more she pushed him away, the deeper he buried himself in her heart.

As much as she wants to be cliche and shout yes, Kaylee pulls her eyes off the ring. Even though she looks ridiculously happy and he’ll know by the look she will say yes… she has to say something first… Even as she speaks softly, tears are falling, her voice thickening with the emotions she’s feeling. “No more secrets, no more lies.” Letting go of his other hand, she slowly works off the glove, ignoring the sharp bite of cold air on her fingers. “For good or for bad we are in this together. Whatever life throws at us we face it together. All of it.”

Finally, she slowly lifts the hand, it is visibly shaking, so that he can place the ring on it, though her eyes are strictly on his… the next words are whispered in the air between them, familiar words she hadn’t said since their break up, “I’m yours and you’re mine…” She gives a short laugh, but it is choked with unshed tears. “Of course, I’ll marry you, handsome.” Only then does she break into a bright and loving smile, despite the tears etching cold tracks down her face.

Luther stands there with ring box open and held up, listening to her speak, and feeling the wash of emotions on her part, linking with his. His chest rises and falls, a deep breath rolling out in happy relief at the joy in her glistening eyes. He can feel his own gaze warming, glistening wet even in the dim light of the rooftop retreat.

“No more secrets, no more lies,” he echoes her. In a way they sound like vows of their own. He nods, confirming and affirming. As she lifts her shaking hand to accept the ring, he pulls off his gloves and takes her fingers into his. He’s always been warm to the touch, tonight keeping to that feel. The ring is cool but not icy cold, as he slides it on. It’s a little bit larger, considering he had to guess her size.

When it’s finally on is when Luther grasps her hand more fully in one, and lifts a hand to her cheek with the other, and leans in to seal the bond with a long kiss. Only when they actually need to breathe does he pulls back slightly, flushed, and utters softly just over the tune on the radio, “I love you, Kaylee Thatcher.”

The weight of the ring is noticeable as it settles on her finger. Having shifted her gaze to watch him place it there, Kaylee doesn’t take her eyes off of the ring until she feels the hand on her cheek. Looking up, it’s just in time for that kiss, which is returned with an enthusiasm well deserving of the moment. When lips part, it is reluctantly, but with a soft content sigh.

“I love you, too, Luther Bellamy,” she whispers back just as softly, before pressing her forehead to his, savoring the moment. For her the moment, couldn’t be more perfect.

Or could it? She remembers something. Letting go of him, she reaches into her jean pocket and pulled out a keyring. It looks like the one she gave him once. Leaning back, she moves to take his hand and press the key into his hand, again… just like last time. “I’ve had these for a while, hoping you’d come to your senses,” Kaylee gives him a coy little smile. There is a chance Tamara told her to hold on to them, too. Either way, she clearly carried them for sometime, the little plastic coffee mug seems to be showing some wear at the edges. Curling his fingers around the key, the hand with the ring rests gently on top of it.

“Welcome home, love.”

Forehead pressed to hers, Luther has his eyes closed and starts to lean in again for another kiss when she pulls back to pull the key from her pocket. At the press of the metal against his hand, the feeling of the teeth pricking his skin, he looks down to the little plastic coffee mug peeking from between her fingers. Then the ring on her finger. He draws in a breath tightly, blinking a few times to try and prevent the tears welling in his own eyes from spilling over. But one escapes, sliding down a cheek that twitches up as he quirks a faint, embarrassed but happy smile. It’s a relieved exhale that escapes next as he leans in to kiss her again, shorter this time as he interrupts it to breathe, to say close her lips, “I don’t ever want to leave.”

The song on the radio changes to a slower tune than celebratory party music, and Luther tilts his head an angle, his ear catching on the melody. His hand drifts down behind her back, drawing her a little closer around him as he can’t help a soft chuckle. The man sways a little in place with her, seeking out the beat beneath. “Do you think,” he muses, “the girls at the coffee shop would be surprised?” About all this, after all the years they’d been apart, finally coming together again at the cusp of the new year. “Or is it too cheesy? Should we tell them a different date?” Already with the fibs? No, merely a tease from the man.

But, he does furrow his brow a bit as he recalls how many people he’s deceived along the path to this moment. A pang of guilt mixes into the happy feeling, and he pulls back a short step. Grey eyes search hers, worry and uncertainties starting to crease his brow further once he fully realizes the impact of what he’s done.

When she senses him pulling her close, there is no resistance. In fact, when he starts moving to the music, Kaylee shifts in his arms so that she can rest her head on his shoulder. Eyes close as the feeling of them swaying in time to the music, the sound of their boots crunching softly in the snow.. Her breath brushes at his neck when she huffs out a stifled laugh when he mentions the girls. “They knew I was waiting. Asked everyday if—”

Forced to lift her head when he steps back, Kaylee doesn’t finish what she was saying, only giving him a confused look. The look doesn’t last long, as his thoughts whisper against her mental defenses. Her expression falls into a gentle one, reaching up to capture his face between her hands — one is still trapped within it’s leather glove. “Luther,” the woman whispers, with a touch of firmness, eyes study his stormy ones. “Don’t. Don’t think about any of that tonight.” Thumbs brush at his cheeks, as always rough with stubble. “Just for tonight. Let tonight be for us. Tomorrow, we’ll tackle the world. Together.

Lifting up to balls of her feet, Kaylee gives him a gentle and caste kiss. “Now, dance with me, handsome,” she murmurs warmly against his lips, adding with a mischievous smile. “Then take me home.

Against her bare palm, Luther’s cheek warms. He can’t help but look into her blue eyes, though there is a flick of his gaze downward, unable to hold her stare for the flash of further guilty expression. The feeling is harder to shake off than it seems, but then she rises up to kiss him, the effect immediate. He blinks, refocusing upon her and her request.

The faintly crooked smile characteristic to the man returns. Sliding his hand over hers with the ring, fingers interlacing, he draws his other around her waist in a more traditional dance position. “Alright,” he rumbles in acquiescence, at last letting go of the darker thoughts and guilt of actions past. On the right beat, he leads her in a slow dance around the rooftop retreat, the radio’s offerings their only deejay, and Luther using what he remembers from lessons long ago.

As the night rolls on, the pair bring in their new year with promise, hope, and a renewal of love shared between them.

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