Looking At The Options


joseph_icon.gif kaylee2_icon.gif

Scene Title Looking At The Options
Synopsis The pair take advantage of their free time and do some sight seeing. They discuss their now unwritten future and that of little Hannah.
Date June 17, 2011

Budapest, Hungary

Neither the first nor the last to photograph St Stephen's Basilica, Joseph is inevitably among those to raise a camera lens to it as if in toast and snap a picture. There are other images on the little memory stick — some properties they've been investigating for the last day or so before it's time to go home again, but room enough to spare to immortalised structures that have been immortalised a million times over by American, Australian, British tourists as long as there's been cameras and tourism generally. It's actually, as far as sight seeing goes, a little bit cheap — the largest church in Budapest, built in the mid 1800s, it doesn't have the legacy of some of the other medieval structures in town, but hey. It feels somehow wrong, to miss out on the things in the brochures.

Lowering the camera and awkwardly beeping through the gallery to see if he did it right, he glances towards where Kaylee is likely being inevitably patient, and holding the adventurous street vendor food they'd gotten on the way, a deep fried bread, sprinkled in something oily and garlicky, liquid sheep milk cheese folded in and strings of boiled cabbage. langos bread only with more European punctuation that Joseph's eyes tend to skate over.

"There's meant t'be some kind've midnight tour," he mentions, angling the camera again, squinting an eye shut as if that may. Help. "Of the medieval buildings and stuff. I dunno how you're meant to see anythin' at that hour but could be worth it. Though I reckon Eileen'll have my head if that's the only intel I come back with."

Kaylee stands patiently, with that small amused smile a woman will get when she's putting up with something. Maybe she's not surprised about his choice of subject or maybe she just likes to see him out being a tourist like any other person, not a fugitive. The mention of the tour just makes her smile widen a bit more.

"Midnight tours are for those that believe in the paranormal." Kaylee tries to make that word sound all eerie. "Hoping to catch a glimpse of spirits. I do hear the lights at night can be pretty. Along the river and all." His own street fare is offered over when he looks ready for it.

She looks to the church and squints a little as she lets her head tilt back to look up at it. "You can really tell someone was trying to buy their way into heaven." Even with the comment, there is an appreciation. "While I try to imagine the man that designed it was trying to make something of beauty to show God his appreciation." The words trail off as she glances at Joseph again with a little bit of a smirk.

One more picture taken, this one marginally more satisfying than the last, and has Joseph fussing with putting it away and detangling straps and Velcro fastenings. Hands free, he takes the street food and sets off at the liesured pace they'd started in before he'd found a good enough ~angle~ of the basilica, tearing off a bite of bread, cheese and vegetable. "Call it an economy of scale," Joseph says, once done, glancing towards the shadow the church casts to Kaylee instead. "Think of it that they're less buyin' their way into heaven and more about buyin' their way into people's hearts. You build the building you want people to be in, you spread the word—

"We do the same thing, back at home, just. American. The sound systems, the screens, the arenas, like a Sunday sermon is a sports event. The more people come, the more they donate and you put back into the community. But then again," and his smile grows a little wry and crooked, the way it does when he will say something not exactly kind, "this here is the Catholic church."

That gets a chuckle out of the blonde woman, glancing up at the church a last time as they move along their way, "There is that. They got style, gotta admit that."

Kaylee falls silent for just a moment as she plucks a bit of the food and gives it a tentative bite. She seems rather uncertain of it, but still takes another bite of it. Her eyes stay glued to the food as she says, "It's gonna be kinda sad goin' back. I mean I miss people, but I mean… this." She ways a hand at the general area. "Walking around, checking out the sites. Not feeling like we gonna have to look over our shoulders every five seconds."

Now she looks at him with a small smile, "Might be a short trip and a business trip, but it's been a nice change. Worth it just for this."

Joseph is less uncertain about the vendor food, mostly on account of being hungry, and the savoury flavours infused in bread and additions — it could use some bacon, but. "I still feel a little like that," he adds, after swallowing, dabbing at his fingers with the flimsy, not completely porous piece of napkin before taking the last bite. "Like I should be lookin' over my shoulder, on account of all the times I got hard done by whenever I don't. But you're right. We can, you know. Catch cabs. Go to bars. It's sort of like how stuff was before 2007, isn't it? New York's just— a monument, now. In comparison."

It's a dreary kind of thought, causing him to lapse into silence as he glances up at the patchily overcast sky. "Might not turn out t'be a short trip or a business trip anyhow."

"You mean with how things have been going down hill?" Kaylee's tone is just as bland, taking her bites just a little slower. Maybe she's savoring or possibly making sure each bite is sound. Fingers move a bit of cheese to where the is none. Don't ask.

"Doesn't seem all that bad a place." Blue eyes cast a glance around her, checking out this person or that. Maybe hearing something that he wouldn't. "No country home, but don't me I can't get use to it." Brows furrow a little at a thought.

Teeth scrap at the inside of her bottom lip, debating. "I only got one thing that I can't get out of my head. When I think of getting up and leaving the country." A small maybe nervous smile is offered, before she adds, "Feels like it ain't my place to worry yet, but I can't help it.

"Hannah." Kaylee offers after a moments hesitation. "And I don't mean the grown one, but it's probably her that has me thinking like that." Being that she's come back from the future and all.

He nods. Unsurprised by her mention. It isn't something that roams too far from his mind either. "When she started talking to me, I wondered if— whether or not it was better for her to come with me or if she should stay with her mom. If I go away, disappear completely, then I don't think Claira's gonna do anything like give her up to someone who ain't family, and she'll wind up staying in Tennessee, and won't have to be so…" But Joseph isn't sure where he is going with that. What Hannah is so.

Crumpled up paper is tossed into a metal and wood trash fixture, hands and mouth clean before he slides the former into his pockets, twists the latter into a thoughtful grimace.

Kaylee starts to open her mouth to say something and stops herself, hesitates. She finishes the last of her food so that she can get rid of her own wrapper, stopping long enough to wipe off her hands and discard the napkin as well.

Once caught up to the pastor, Kaylee chips in her thoughts. "Still it's leaving her in a country that will hate her for her genetics." Her mother hasn't shown a love for it. There is a soft sigh. "Ain't my place," she repeats a touch softer, maybe reminding herself. "Just… sure would be nice to see her grow up with her father. You are a good influence and you…. and I know what it's like to be what we are." Okay, so she couldn't keep the thought to herself.

"Either way, I could get use to here. Maybe one of the places will be out of the city some. Some open space for the dogs to run with kids." There's a little wistfulness to Kaylee's words. "I did a lot of exploring as a kid, not much for those kids where they are now."


These two syllables sound in tone more pessimistic than picture taking and enthusiastic handling of foreign money for street food would have suggested, now that Joseph has cast his mind back to New York like a fly fishing line, niggling worries only serving to extend the metaphor. "We give up on New York City, we give up on keeping the fight on home turf, we've as good as lost. So we siphon people outta the country, and we'll be criminals wherever we choose t'do that. We can't look at this like retirement and we can't trust that this," an arm sweeps to gesture the cobbled stone and the locals and the quaint, somewhat cheap store fronts made to attract foreign spending, "will stay the same 'cross the world.

"Maybe it's better for her to be a mutant freak in America than a mutant freak's criminal daughter someplace else where they can just boot her back anyhow, and to what? Blackholing and— " Both hands go up and splay, waves away the details, and subconsciously, Joseph is moving a little faster, placing himself a step or so ahead of Kaylee in pacey agitation.

"I know."

Comes a frustrated response from behind him, Kaylee doesn't speed up to catch up. "Once we run, we'll always be on the run. We're on the run now, just… diggin' our heels in like stubborn mules." Eyes are on his back as she follows and yet lets him have that distance. "We've seen where the fighting is taking us. They've shown us that," she doesn't go into details or point out certain events, he's seen the book. He's read things like what her foster brother saw.

"I don't like the idea of leaving, but I like the idea of you dying even less. Or watching Hannah loose her daddy… or any kids that might be down the line." The future has changed. Her gaze drops from his back, to the ground in front of her. "It's down right selfish, I know. I can't help but think about the fact, we don't know what to do to fix this, or if it's even fixable anymore. Just seems like things got worse… or sped up in some cases."

Arms go out a little even if he can't see it, but her hands slap against her legs softly when they fall. "I'm torn."

Slowing after a moment, just enough for Kaylee to discreetly pick up step, Joseph glances her way, letting the conversation lapse on this indication of a crossroads while he thinks on it, the scenery more a backdrop to his thoughts as opposed to something that inspires some. "Well, at this point," he says, after a moment, tone subdued enough to signal that he isn't about to come out with any particular insight or decision just yet, "we're just— looking at the options open to us. We go back to New York first, either way." He hooks her in with a loose arm about the waist, a little distracted but there, as can be said for his presence in general right now.

"If Ferry does move out, I don't think the frontline'll be my place. And if we need t'go, then— I guess I need t'give some thought about Hannah. Maybe Claira'd be— amenable. To seems to be so later down the road anyhow."

Her head rests briefly against his shoulder as she pulled to his side, a comfort while arms wrap around herself. Food might not be agreeing with her mood. "You're right. I'm worry it'll sneak up on us." The words are softer, more resigned.

Kaylee leaning against him a little more, to grab his attention, as they walk. "Either way, where ever you decide to go… whatever decision you make. That's where I plan to be." She studies his profile a little with a little smirk. "Man needs the support of a woman. Especially, a man with so much weight on his shoulders." She nudges at his, with her own shoulder.

"I'm not gonna hold you back from what you need to do — cause it sounded like I tried once in that dream — I'd like to at least help you bear that weight," she glances away, almost a bit shyly and uncertain of herself, "if you're amendable to it."

A hand comes up in a brief and very minor, affectionate tug at where blonde hair falls loose, palm replacing against her arm as they move. "I'm pretty sure I would be," Joseph says, some of the prior built up tension loosening a fraction— enough— that they won't necessarily be committed to stomping moodily around Budapest. "If anything, god knows I'll need a telepath to fumble my way 'round Hungary. Or Norway, or whatever winds up workin' out. Not a barrier that the dogs'll have any trouble with, at least."

There is a grin at the hair tug, brows shifting upwards a little. "Telepath I may be, but I sure as heck don't know the language. It's kinda like trying to tune into a foreign channel, but better then nothing." A hand moves to rest against the the one he's placed on her arm, a now familiar comfort in the closeness. "This happens, I'll just have to attempt to learn the language."

The smile she has fades a little, "I keep thinking that maybe I should go visit home…" How many times has she said that? "Sometime. Soon maybe. If this thing happens, we might not have much time for anything. Much less saying goodbye, before poofing off to some foreign locale." Kaylee huffs out a small sigh and glances at Joseph out of the corner of her eye, letting some of that smile return. "Not that it's felt like there has been time to think of much else then Ferry needs."

She's said it a few times. Enough that Joseph tucks in his chin a little to disguise the half-smile at the sentiment, expressing sympathy in the rub up and down of his hand on her arm. "Well, if y'don't manage it, we got ways. Get ourselves settled here and risk a journey back to say goodbye proper. Take a detour to steal my daughter just to rack up the criminal charges." This is shyly suggested, and dry enough to be a joke, carefully placed, lacking desire to go back on his own reluctance of totally uprooting Hannah's wee life. The conversation is backtracked to, as smoothly as he steers them 'round the old fashioned road, up onto curb and dealing a smile towards a passerby who has a camera strung around their neck too.

"Before or after, I'll help you. I mean— I guess it might be about time I meet 'em, maybe, if you wanted. I can wait in the car too."

"Wait in the…" The thought gets him an odd look and then Kaylee is chuckling. " Oh no. No no. Only if I want to get smacked into the next life. No. You," she points a finger at him," are gonna have to face the firing squad." There is a smile there, bright at maybe the thought. "It's all Granny talks about. 'When am I gonna see this miracle man who done gone and set my baby girl right'." There is a small roll of her eyes. "That and great-grandbabies. If we steal Hannah, we'll let her coo over her maybe-one-day-step-great-grand baby.” Isn't that a mouthful. “Maybe that will help." Her tone amused, probably joking herself.

"God, listen to me. Honestly, Joseph… before or after… I'd like you to meet them just once. Show them the one thing I did right." The hand on his tightens, Kaylee giving him a look that is all emotions that probably don't need to be deciphered. "Future seemed to show it. I hope to keep it like that."

Joseph's fingers splay so as best to capture a few of her's and return the hand squeeze, smile thin but sincere as it gets when he's shy about whatever he happens to be smiling about. "Then that's what we'll do. And if we don't wind up stealing Hannah, you can come 'round and meet mine too. She'll wonder how the heck I did it but I can let you explain. C'mon.

"Let's swing by the motel and see if Quinn's back. We can catch dinner, talk business, then go be tourists again. You know there's an evangelical church in this town too?"

"Is there now?" May she did know, or maybe she didn't. For Joseph's sake, she didn't… even if she did. "I think we need to check that one out too… " Pulling away, Kaylee quickly moves to capture his hand. "After business, of course." There is a slight wrinkle of her nose at that, giving his hand a tug and leaning over to give a playful little kiss to his cheek.

No doubt there will be more pictures taken of holy structures just as elaborate as St Stephen's. Mixed in amidst the pictures of sites they were there for. Kaylee will make she he gets to see those, even manage to get someone to to take a picture of them together in front of some old and ancient wonder. "To frame," she'll say. Maybe even send a print home if she can.

Rare moments, full of smiles for them both, before they have to go back to hiding in dark tunnels and dodging killer robots.

She'll even make sure they take that midnight tour.

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