Keyed In


bf_kaylee_icon.gif bf_luther2_icon.gif

Scene Title Keyed In
Synopsis Kaylee offers Luther something he hasn't felt he had in a very long time…
Date March 17, 2014

Kaylee's Apartment - Somewhere in New York

St. Patrick’s Day in New York City heralds an explosion of green. Moreso than usual. Shops, restaurants, pubs, bars, community spaces, advertisements. Even Pinehearst’s public outreach is out displaying the company logo in full view within Unity Park’s schedule of activities, and the green-tinted windows of Pinehearst Tower in the background add to the effect.

And if you lean just right, you can see it out of Kaylee Thatcher’s bedroom window, between the brick walls of the alley. Even though the window is open, she isn’t paying attention to it right now.

The pan on the stove is still smoking a little, the contents covered over by the lid of a pan. Probably from a grease fire. The room sadly smells of burnt food, thanks to a faint smokey haze. The telepath herself is standing at the sink, with sleeves of her light sweater pushed up to her elbows and running water over one hand, giving a soft hiss of sound between her teeth. Pulling it from the water, she sees a little blistering, but nothing bad enough to warrant a trip to the ER. A tearful glance is sent to the smoking ruins of the food she was trying to cook.

Kaylee sighs heavily and turns off the water. This evening was not going to go how she wanted. It made her miss her mother and granny something fierce at that moment. But, unless she could suddenly bring back the dead, she was going to have to do something quick, Luther was going to be there any minute.

So, she does the only thing, she can think of in that moment.

She orders pizza.

Any minute comes about fifteen minutes later. Enough that she could have done something about the attempted home-cooked meal, enough that she could redo hair and makeup if she needed, changed out of smokey clothes. Not enough that she could have raced out to get something, nor have something fancier delivered and Mrs. Doubtfire’d. The knock at the door comes high on it; Luther is a tall guy, and perhaps unaware of that little characteristic that gives him away to Kaylee, even if she wasn’t already a telepath who could sense other, openly readable minds.

He’s arrived at such a time that the faint smell of dissipated smoke has creeped through the cracks of her front door, although it’s the sort of weak scent to the air that one could not assume its origin. Like burnt popcorn in a college dorm.

The crazy thing about New York City though, there’s pizza on just about every goddamn corner. And so by the time Luther’s standing in front of the door and knocking, so is the pizza guy coming with a fresh couple of pies in a hot bag, headed straight to the familiar door as if this were any other day.

The pizza guy pauses at the sight of Luther’s sharp black overcoat and dark suit lines, a crisp white shirt beneath, gleaming watch band and face. And a profane amount of flowers wrapped in plastic held in one hand. If he forgot it was St. Patrick’s Day and to wear something green, nobody has told him otherwise. Or nobody has challenged him on it yet. An angled brow lifts at the pizza guy, and wary eyes blink back at Luther.

He reaches his free hand into his coat, pulling out a wallet and slipping out a couple of large bills to pass to the delivery guy wordlessly. Luther, after he replaces his wallet, receives the pizza boxes into his free hand.

That pizza guy’s going to want to come back again.

Then, Luther’s waiting alone again for Kaylee to answer the door. Flowers and pizzas in hand.

“A moment,” is called through the door, Kaylee sounding a touch flustered. “Jojo, get out of my way,” that last said right at the door, while unlocking the door. Even though she knows it is him, it is out of habit that she peeks first. The door opens wider, her smile bright to see him and the flowers (those manage to cause a blush); then, understandably surprised that he has the pizzas in hand. A step-out, leaning, she manages to see the retreating back of the delivery guy.


She did manage a change of clothing, though her hair will probably still smell like burnt food. A salmon colored, sleeveless, chiffon top and a long, cream-colored skirt, with floral accents. When she moves it seems so light and airy; showing off the shape of her legs. To say the least, since she started dating Luther, her wardrobe has expanded in more ways than she could have ever imagined for herself.

Another thing she was able to accomplish in that time, was to wrap her burned hand, evident as she reaches for the pizza boxes. These are held to the side so that she can give him a proper kiss in greeting, having to go up on her tiptoes to do so. “Hello, handsome. I hope you weren’t too intimidating to the pizza guy.” she teases in lightly purred words, before turning to lead him into the apartment; which is now recognizable at the source of the burnt food smell. Though it isn’t nearly as bad as it was fifteen minutes ago.

Of course, Jojo does his utmost best to try and trip up, this human that has been frequenting his home; weaving around tall legs.

She’ll miss the brief smirk of amusement Luther has when he overhears Jojo being the usual trip hazard. The smirk instead softens to a smile upon her opening the door, greeting her at her first appearance. He’s always looking down at her given the height difference, granted, but there’s also always a tick of a brow, a flicker in his grey eyes, that wants to follow a line down the curves of her hair, the shape of her face, body, legs.

He naturally tilts to meet her lips in that quick kiss at the door. A rumble of “Hey Beautiful” is his response to her purr, followed by a short chuckle for the comment about scaring the pizza guy. “Don’t worry, he was well compensated for his trouble,” assures Luther, the man stepping inside after her. Jojo’s attempt is thwarted by the fact that this tall human has long legs, and a gait that takes the furry feline in stride.

She may have been able to hide her bandaged hand, but the burnt food smell less so. Still, he makes his way after her, waiting until they’re in the kitchen and she’s set the pizza boxes aside before stepping in closer to her. “You went with Plan B,” he remarks even as he’s trying to sneak in a reassuring brush of a kiss on her cheek. The flowers get a little bit in the way. But they smell good. Lavender’s in there, along with shades of blue cornflowers and ivory vanilla, sprinklings of white baby’s breath. Scents that are mirrors of her.

“I’m good with this plan.”

Free of the pizza, Kaylee is able to relieve him of the flowers, finally. She allows the kiss on her cheek, giving him a gentle smile. “These are beautiful,” she compliments and moves to find a vase for them. Busy work, to help with the fidgeting feeling she suddenly has.

“I’m glad you are okay with Plan B,” Kaylee sounds a little downtrodden over her failure, flowers are set down so that she can crouch near the sink and dig out a vase. As she straightens she continues, “‘cause, I am definitely not a cook. Learned the hard way.” The burnt hand held up briefly. She isn’t looking at him while she speaks, cheeks slightly flush from embarrassment. It’s obvious she feels badly over the fact there would not be that special dinner she talked about.

Jojo jumps onto the counter and nearly jumps off again at the sight of the flowers. While the sound of running water fills the small apartment, the cat sniffs at those strange things. “I’m glad we were able to finally nail down sometime for this,” she chuckles softly. “How many months later?” Their actual anniversary interrupted by phone calls and sudden breaks in cases that needed to be jumped on right away.

“Hopefully, this new case….” Kaylee sighs out heavily, as she starts clipping the ends of stems and placing them in the vase. Busy work. “The wife insists that we look closer, but it is clearly suicide. Shouldn’t get a call, but… ” she glances over her shoulder at him, “you never know.” She doesn’t sound like it will happen to be honest.

"Not as much as you," Luther says near her ear, which is all he gets in before she's moved off to clip the flower stem tips. When she holds up her wrapped hand, his brows lift in concern. "It wasn't too bad was it?" comes the immediate concerned question. His eyes cast their gaze to a side. She was trying to do this for him, and injured herself. A twinge of guilt twists in him for it.

He's about to say something to it when Jojo jumps onto the counter between him and Kaylee, and she's distracted with other thoughts. The man reaches over, brushing a warmed hand over the cat which elicits a turn and furry head bumping against Luther's knuckles. The man distractedly scratches Jojo's head while he watches Kaylee try to cover her own distractions with busy work. "I think a couple months," he says evenly, "but who's counting?" He hasn't, exactly. The way their lives have been, to staunchly rely on set dates and appointments would be folly.

The confessed summary of the case weighing on her causes his eyes to narrow under brow. Dark topics haven't been verboten between them, but they have been sparse. Not just because of confidentiality, but more towards the effort made to try and leave work behind when they're together for those short times they are. He leaves Jojo behind and wanting, instead reaching a hand to take her wrapped one into it. To stop her busy distraction. When she looks over at him over her shoulder, he doesn't shift his gaze from her face.

Luther doesn't shy away from the process, though. He means to be a helpful sounding board when she has these moments. "Do you think it was suicide? Because if the insurance company deems it as much, maybe their life insurance policy has a clause that lets them out of paying. What do you think about her claim?"

When her eyes touch on his, Kaylee is quiet for a long moment. Her only thought is how much she has missed him; those brief moments they get are barely enough. But slowly, she forces herself to concentrate on his questions. It always caught her as odd those questions, but she brushes them off. “I’m not sure,” she finally says softly. “I think she believes she saw her husband tal— ” A trip up in her words as she realizes how easy it is to talk to him. There is an upward lift of one shoulder. “Doesn’t matter. I’m just going to take her seriously and take another look at the evidence. Won’t kill anything to do that, at least.” She always keeps her answers vague.

“Now,” Kaylee slowly extracts her hand from his, with a coy smile. “I need to get these flowers in the vase before they wilt. They are too lovely to waste like that.”

Her pace has at least picked up a little, though she still makes sure that they are evenly distributed. Kaylee is thoughtful and quiet as she works on finishing those last few flowers. Taking a moment to lean forward and breath in the scent of them. On a whim, she snips a bit of baby’s breath and tucks it into her hair with the stem behind her ear. Turning she asks softly, “Why do you keep sticking it out with me?” It’s an innocent question. Sometimes, it feels like they are more apart then together; yet, here they were. Reaching out, she runs fingers along his lapel. “Probably, thousands of women out there and, yet, you bide your time.” Or she hopes so at least.

Though she likely hadn’t meant the pun, her comment about looking at the evidence again not killing anything draws a snorted chuckle from Luther that he stifles only partly successfully. He looks to her with a lift of an eyebrow like he’d have more questions based off her shrugged dismissal of the case from conversation, but accepts her vague answers nonetheless.

“Flowers. Vase. Right,” Luther reminds himself, eyeing her hand first then her smile. A distractingly coy one. But he turns to make himself productive too as she cuts the flowers, moving to a cupboard to pull plates for the pizza, a pair of tall glasses for their chosen drinks. While the outside celebrated the day with stout pints and whiskeys, they would celebrate with something sparkling, if non-alcoholic.

Grey eyes find her facing him when he turns back, drawn to the delicate white flowers pocked on green and blonde first. But then her question ticks his gaze back to her, and angled brows slip towards each other. It makes him appear fiercer in expression, that potential pizza boy intimidating look, but she knows its the expression he makes when he’s processing something in mind that will take more than a knee-jerk reaction. She would need patience with him, as it turned out, and in the couple of years since they met, they’d had their moments where things may have gotten worrisome for his at times lack of an immediate response.

Her fingers find his lapel, and he looks down to her hand. He sets the plates and glasses aside, freed hands lifting to take hers into his. The man’s hands, as she knows, are warm to the touch from the way his ability works, as a side effect. He still doesn’t speak, still doesn’t answer, when he leans in closely. Not so closely as to try to kiss her then, but gets close enough that his breathing can be felt on the top of her upper lip. “There’re thousands of women, true,” he finally says, the deep tone rolling through his breath upon her.

“But none worth the time.”

And for a man like Luther Bellamy, time was - is - a subject that holds deep meaning to him.

“Mmm,” Kaylee murmurs softly, “Good answer.” Close as they are, all she can do is stare up into those gray eyes. Her heart seems to beat a little harder in her chest and she even looks like she’s going to kiss him; leaning towards him…

When her cell phone starts ringing.

The moment shattered by the ringtone designated to his girlfriend’s best friend, Colette. “Her timing,” Kaylee huffs out in amused irritation. Slipping past Luther to grab the phone, hold up a finger and a flirtatious smile. “Colette! Hi. What’s up?” She moves to the end of the counter as she talks softly. “I can’t. Um… cause I have Luther here.” There is a bit of a laugh, head shaking. “Yes. No! Colette, I am not telling you that!” Her expression seems to be asking no one in general why her friend would ask that. “You know I love you, but I’m hanging up now. Give Tam, my love as well. Yeah.”

Once off the phone, Kaylee glares at it, is half tempted to power it down, but then just drops it on the counter again. “Now where were we?” She knows very well where they were. There is the briefest moment she thinks about teasing, but… she’s missed him too much. So hands reach up to capture his face and force him to lean down, so that she can show him just how much she missed him with a kiss.

Luther catches his own anticipation, jolted from the moment with the ringing phone. The first few notes of the song and he knows who it is now. And can’t help but laugh, the noise more of an interrupted snort or cough, because of course. The timing.

Kaylee moves towards the counter, and he glances to the pizza boxes sitting on it. Right, there was pizza. Luther slips off a couple of steps away, the ‘privacy’ of the conversation honored, and flips open the first pizza to reveal it with a wafting steam and scent of fine New York traditional pizza. Pepperoni, mushrooms, sausage, meatball, and of course extra cheese. The twist of fresh basil leaves adds that extra fragrance. He smiles at the laughter coming from the end of the counter, opening the second to reveal a little bit more adventurous toppings. With pizza, the opportunity to layer a tasteful surprise over a solid foundation of perfectly chewy crust had served their want of exploring something new.

He’s in the middle of laying the plates out when her call ends, and he times his turn back to her. What words he meant to say, something about what Colette wanted her to tell, are pushed away as he’s pulled into her embrace. Luther slides his own hand around her back, the feeling of his fingers pressing from behind her chiffon top. But he’s restrained, controlled at the moment even as they stay together until breath must be drawn. Only then does he pull back a touch. The seemingly ever present stubble remains close enough to tickle at her cheek as he leans around to press a quick kiss at the back of her cheek, at the soft spot beneath her ear along the line of her jaw. “Missed you too,” he says quietly, a humored tease in the depth of his tone.

“So you want to confess what you were trying to go for? What was the original plan?” Luther reaches one hand to gently take her bandaged one, straightening again and peering at her. Less teasing, more actual curiosity and a hint of concern within his gaze.

He can feel a little tremble with the kiss at the base of her ear and she lets out a huffed breath, amazing how a little thing like that can be overwhelming to the senses. It leaves her a little light-headed and nearly rendered unable to comprehend his question.


“It’s silly,” Kaylee suddenly sounds embarrassed, but she doesn’t pull her hand away. Letting it rest in his hand, she can feel the burn and ache of the burn. “I tried to make fried chicken. My granny’s recipe. Was trying to… make a meal close to that first one we had,” she admits sheepishly, curling her fingers in against the pain. Eyes a little shiney, cause she had wanted it to be a perfect night…“Needless to say, it didn’t go well. I’m thinking, I better leave the cooking to the professionals.” And now they were stuck with pizza.

Fingers slowly stretch open again, “Pretty sure, no permanent damage was done, except to my pride.” Kaylee looks up at him again with an apologetic smile. “I really wanted this to be perfect.”

Luther’s gentle with the injured appendage, though he keeps it in his. Looking from it to her as she explains the original idea behind the ‘perfect’ time, eventually he winds up curling a small smile back. Nothing in his expression shows disappointment at the pizza being present, at her inability to provide a homecooked meal. But he does lift his hand, hers in it, to lightly brush a kiss against the unwrapped portion of her fingers. “You wanted it to be perfect, but it doesn’t have to be.” Even though every moment he’s spent with her has felt like as much.

“Maybe next time we can try out the recipe, together,” suggests Luther as he lets go of her hand, but only to slowly run his own up her sleeveless arm, to her shoulder, across the collar and up her neck until he’s reached her jaw. His thumb runs along her cheek, the other fingers splaying under her chin to support and angle her jaw just so. He leans down once more to kiss her, this time in deliberate exploration of the moment. It’s perfect as it is, and time fleeting past seems to make it even more valuable.

The pizza might get cold, but she has a literal human-shaped oven at her disposal, microwave or conventional.

Whatever her response would have been, it’s lost completely when his hand glides over her skin. Kaylee doesn’t have to read his mind to know where his thoughts might be. Hers is there too by time his fingers touch her neck, her pulse is beating heavily. Just the way he does that, her breath catches and a tremor is sent through her and she finds herself stepping in closer; drawn to him.

When lips meet, Kaylee sighs as her brain suddenly remembers to breathe; fingers curling into the lapel of his coat, ignoring the sting of the rough fabric on the exposed bits of scalded flesh. There is so much restraint in that kiss, the telepath seems to tremble with the effort. It would be so easy to give into what they were both wanting. Time apart always making it… desperation.

But there was something she wanted to do first, so with reluctance the kiss is broken rather suddenly, while Kaylee can still think. Breathless, her temple presses lightly to his stubbled cheek, her words soft as she says, “I need to give you something.” To take some sting out of the disruption, lips skim along the line of his jaw, before she pulls away.

Warm hands cup her face at first, but move down in slow progression up through her hair, careful to work around the stem of flowers. Then, behind her shoulders as she draws closer. Luther’s gaze half-lids, not closing all the way, not entirely focused on anything else but her. The heat of the embrace is not only passionate but literal, especially as the tips of his fingers move further to hook under the hem of her shirt, to tug at the waistband of her cream-colored skirt.

Then she breaks off. He can’t help the soft grunt of protest in being left wanting. “Mm? Something?” Luther utters distractedly, turning into the touch of her mouth at his jaw in return. He lets her go though, exhaling a breath that returns his senses to something more aware. Once she’s pulled away, he finally goes to shrug out of his long coat and jacket. There’s layers, especially for the spring weather. Plus, he’s warmed up under the collar.

“You didn’t have to,” he front loads with a curious, trailing look in her direction. “Besides, I thought we’d agreed on not getting gifts?” With their schedules, what would have been practical in the present giving and material goods gifts for most couples simply doesn’t work. Because of their work. But they have had the time to figure that out by now. His gaze strays briefly, now that she’s taken a moment that puts other thoughts in mind, down to the open pizza boxes and the waiting meal.

Oh right, there was a dinner.

“Yes. Something.” Kaylee is suddenly feeling nervous, yet again. This hasn't been an easy thing for her to decide on and she spent a lot of time thinking about it.

Stepping around him and deeper into the little kitchen, Kaylee approaches what can only be described as the junk drawer. “I didn't — “ pause “ — I guess it could be seen that way.” Gently pulling the drawer open, Luther might hear the sound of metal against metal as she moves a few things. When she finds what she hid in there it is quickly encased in fingers.

Present or not, clearly it is a surprise.

“Some of my best days are the ones with you in it.” The hand is tucked behind her back as she turns towards her lover, again. “Doesn't matter if work or life has dealt me a crappy day.” Her free hand reaches for one of his and gently turns it over so the palm is turned upward. “Even better are those rare mornings when I wake up and there you are.” Love and affection colors her tone. Her eyes, however, sparkle with a touch of mischief and maybe linger heat from the moments before. “Those are my favorite.”

“Maybe I’m selfish, but I’d kinda like the opportunity to try for more of those,” Whatever is in her hand, is now pressed into his and his fingers curled over it. Immediately, from the feel he’d know what it is. “I'm not telling you to give anything up. I just wanted you to know — “ she lets go of his hand then, so that he can look at the set of apartment keys she placed into his hands. The keychain a promotional thing from the coffee shop where they met and still frequent. “ — you have a home here now, too.”

Her nervous response makes Luther’s brow angle up as he turns away from paying attention to the pizza to curiously watching her. The man doesn’t speak, but he listens intently as she approaches. A glimmer, a squeeze of his eyes in humor for mentions of the mornings when they wake up together. Those are clearly his favorites too.

Then his hand is taken, items palmed into it. He feels the press of the metal teeth and plastic keychain. He looks down.

She just wanted him to know.

Luther glances up again to her face.

You have a home here now, too.

The words almost sound like an echo, and yet not a distant sound. It is a moment captured quickly, but processed in a slow realization, an understanding of what she means to say with the set of keys to her apartment. With the statement that he is welcome. That this is home. Kaylee can see the stunned silence on his face. She’s clearly surprised him with an overwhelming concept. One that he hasn’t considered, let alone felt in years. She’s put a word to it, a simple word, to a deep feeling of being adrift and in search of direction. It should be any direction. He was treading water, only, and the dark currents threatened often to take him down. To take him back. But now, with but a small metal object in his hand, she’s given him the direction to go.

He steps towards her, closing that short gap to take her into his arms. Head bowing past her face, cheek resting atop her soft, scented hair. It’s almost a buzzing warmth that he grips her with, a renewal of energy pulled out from the depths of reserve. When he finally manages to compose himself enough to speak, he pulls back a touch so he can look upon her. Grey eyes shine, a little bit of wet, a little bit of energy flickering behind her.

“You just made this night perfect. Thank you.”

Everything else is going to be extra.

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