Missing Her


vf_kain2_icon.gif kaylee_icon.gif

Scene Title Missing Her
Synopsis Kain is reunited with a Kaylee of a different world.
Date January 18, 2019

In the days since the the events of New Mexico, everyone was settling in for the month long quarantine. In the beginning a lot of reiterating the story of what lead up to the events. Medical exams had been in order for the Travelers… and especially for Kaylee who had passed out during the final moments; and had been out for a good hour before waking up. If she had to take another MRI or CAT Scan she was going to go crazy. In the end, she was finally given a clean bill of health.

The world was so much quieter, then she remembered, now that the darkness curled up in the back of her mind was gone. Well, as quiet as the world can get for a telepath. Still the minds around her hummed, some especially loud about. Certain things would stand out and as talk of the events started to circulate, there was one small detail that Kaylee had caught. One that involved the actions of a certain Cajun.

A man who was very familiar to her, but it wasn't her memories that made him that way.

“Kain, right?” There is a touch of nervous hesitation in her voice. A pause and eyes narrow a little as Kaylee asks with some uncertainty, “Also known as Kmart?”

How does she know that?

Kaylee had tracked him down, curious about this man who meant so much to another version of herself. She had heard Richard talk about him, but that was a dead man. So it felt a little surreal. Fingers tuck into jean pockets as she watches for a reaction. The white button up she’s wearing was some hand-me-down that fit a bit large on her frame.

Just one look told him this wasn't the woman that visited him often, bringing him whiskey for the simple pleasure of having a friend in that lonely world of the Hub. One that didn't judge her on who her father was. With her hair pulled back loosely in a scrunchie, it was pretty obvious that there was no scar disrupted the lines of her face, but it was still her. The same mischievous twist to the smile she offers him, but there was something older about those blue eyes.

Kaylee was and wasn't her at the same time.

Secure Relocation Site

Kansas City, MO

January 18th

8:18 am

Slamming the heel of his palm against the glass of a vending machine, Kain Zarek makes a frustrated noise in the back of his throat. She’s caught him in the halls, caught him in the middle of a moment of anger. As he looks up at her, there’s a haunted look in his tired, blue eyes. Behind him, a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos hang nearly off their spiral ring, dangling by a corner, a snack unvended.

Kain is speechless for a moment, glancing back at the vending machine then over to a doctor walking past them reading a tablet. “Yeah,” Kain says without really parsing what it is she said. “That’s…” he looks back up to Kaylee, jaw set and frown cutting across his gray-stubbled beard. “Ah’m him. You uh, need some blood samples, maybe a lock of mah’ hair for another test?” He grimaces, motioning to the vending machine. “Or maybe ya’ll got the number for maintenance?”

Hands come out of pockets and held up as if warding off that verbal attack, smile falling off into more of a concern. “Trust me… I’ve been poked and prodded more than I ever care to again. And if they MRI me one more time, I might just mentally slap someone to prove I’m fine.”

No she won’t.

“This…” Kaylee motions to everything and the doctor passing them, “is so not our idea.” Our being her people. “This is all government.” That last said with the barest wrinkle of her nose. “Only way we could get y’all here and not get everyone arrested was to work with them.”

After a moment of silent debate, Kaylee steps closer, though she turns her attention to the machine itself and not him. She tucks a bill into the machine, the dinged up wedding band on her finger dull in the harsh light, and watches it go in. A glance and she punches the number in for the chips. Watching as both bags tumble down, she doesn’t move to get them, only says,. “You meant a lot to her…” Probably, not something he wants to hear.

“If she was even a little like me, friends were not an easy thing,” Kaylee finally turns her head enough to look at him out of the corner of her eye, “Comes with being a telepath and letting people in. It means they were worth it.”

A single blonde brow tips up at him, as if considering whether he was really worth it?

Kain looks uncomfortable, thrown off of his game by everything Kaylee is saying. Taking a knee, he pulls both bags of chips out of the vending machine and regards her with a suspicious look as he comes to stand up straight again. “Ya’ll are talkin’ like you watched me on th’ evenin’ news or somethin’…”

Kain offers one bag of chips out to Kaylee. “Exactly how d’you think you know me?” He doesn’t ask the more frightening question, about the she Kaylee claims to know.

“It is kinda complicated.”

Kaylee takes the offered bag and focuses on it, instead of the man next to her. Brows lower a bit, thoughtful. “A few months back, somehow, whatever was happening with the solar flares… it thinned the walls between world?” She looks up at him, hoping he can understand it. Lord, knows it was all still weird to her. “When that happened, some of us mentally connected to other versions of themselves. I was one of those… and it happened… a lot.” The bag crinkles in her hand as she fidgets with it. “Memories mostly… dreamed a lot of it.”

Looking up finally, the telepath studies Kain. “I saw through the eyes of two other versions of myself. One… one was her. I don’t know a lot, but I saw some of it and felt some of it.” There is a return of her smile, as she adds, “As creepy as it was to look in on another person’s life.” There is a bit of a shrug and the admission of, “I didn’t exactly get a choice in the matter…”

Kain is quiet for a time, his gaze wandering down to the floor. To fill the void, he crinkles and noisily opens his bag of chips, but can’t quite bring himself to eat now that his stomach is turning. When he finally does speak, it’s more like a confession. “S’at what those were?” Kain swallows down a lump in his throat, then looks back up to Kaylee. “Never had one m’self…” he murmurs, holding one dusty chip between calloused fingers.

Starting to pace, Kain looks back up to Kaylee. “Ya’ll got t’see what… what the you— ” he starts to stumble over the particulars, “the Kaylee,” he grimaces, “th’ one who stayed behind,” he finally settles on. “Is… is she happy? Did Ah’ make a mistake leavin’ her there? Did…” He can’t finish his sentence.

There is an obvious hesitation to answer that question, a glance at Kain out of the corner of her eye. In fact, it is Kaylee’s turn to open the bag in her hand, concentrating on it while she formulates the best response.

Kaylee could tell the truth. However, with everything that the man had gone through, the telepath decides to go with kindness and give him a half truth.

“You have nothing to worry about, Kain,” Kaylee reassures him with a knowing grin, skirting around the brush with death that the other woman experienced. “She is alive and with Luther. They survived what went down and have each other’s back.” She fishes a chip out of the bag and studies the seasoning coating it. The chip is popped into Kaylee’s mouth. A small satisfied nod at the flavor.

Again, there is a hesitation, but after a moment, Kaylee admits, “But, she does miss you.” She didn’t need to be in the other woman’s head to know that. “You musta made a hell of an impression on her.”

The look in Kain’s eyes is, for a moment, without a hint of humor. There's a serious image of loss and longing for connection in his eyes, a weariness in his face made all the clearer by his graying stubble. But when he looks up to Kaylee it's with a painted smile. “Yeah well, Ah’ve got that affect on people.”

Kain isn't fooling her with his quips, and she doesn't need telepathy to know that. She lived moments of that other Kaylee’s life, lived her interactions with Kain. She knows, deep down, what kind of person he is.

The tragedy is that Kain doesn't.

“So, why’re you here, talkin’ t’me?” Kain asks, trying to divert the conversation to topics more present in the here and now. “If y’all wanted a snack Ah’m pretty sure they got these machines on every floor.”

Blue-eyed gaze fall away to stare at the bag in her hands, while her tongue plays long her back teeth. It was obvious this wasn’t his Kaylee. She seemed a bit more timid and unsure of herself. Gentler. After an uncomfortable moment, she says, “Honestly, I don’t know.” Why was she there? Taking a deep breath, Kaylee shakes her head. “Shit… I don’t know… Maybe this was a bad idea.”

For a moment, Kaylee looks like she might walk away, even starting to turn away… but something stops her. Maybe it’s that part of her that holds memories of another woman, younger and had seen far more than the one standing in front of him. The telepath did know why she was there.

There is a heavy sigh and Kaylee turns back to him. “I’m not her. I can’t ever be her, you and I know that. I’ve had different experiences and.. made different choices. At our core though… we are the same. And I know, she’d never forgive me if I wasn’t there for you. I wouldn’t forgive her if it was me.” There is a quick little hint a nervous smile. Her stomach in knots putting herself out there like that.

“You were her family,” she says quietly. “So, this is me… Offering to be an ear when you are ready to talk. A shoulder, cause that was a hell of a lot of shit you all went through a lot of loss.” Looking down at the chips, she considers them for a moment. “I’ll make sure you have a way to contact me. If… if there is anything you need… anyone you want me to find in this world, let me know.” He knows what she means.

To this, Kain has no snappy rejoinder, no witty retort, no ham-fisted nickname. His eyes betray the way in which her words unintentionally cut him. Kaylee — his Kaylee — was family, and he'd left her behind without so much as a goodbye because of his own inability to face reality. He breathes in deeply, holds the breath as if that will make the moment linger in time, so that he won't have to respond to her. It doesn’t, and he exhales.

“Yeah.” Kain’s monosyllabic response is so tepid as to be tapwater, but Kaylee knows too well that his mask of apathy is as much of a ruse as his apparent heartlessness. And yet, chips in hand, that is his farewell to her. Just feet shuffling down the hall, his parting words reiterated at half volume to himself once he thinks he's out of earshot.


He’ll never stop missing her.

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