Not Coming Home For The Holiday



Scene Title Not Coming Home For The Holiday
Synopsis A little reluctantly, Kaylee makes a much needed call home.
Date December 12, 2010

A Payphone Somewhere.

It's windy and bitterly cold.

The glass walls of the payphone do little to shield the woman within from the biting cold, air blasting through the space at the floor. It also makes her very glad she's wearing pants instead of the Victorian skirts she once wore.

Teeth threaten to chatter as she pulls the dark blue scarf down from her face, her breath misting in front of her. The handset is lifted from it's cradle with a soft click. "If your around, Valerie… I'd like some privacy. I'm calling home." Kaylee Thatcher doesn't completely understand how her sister's ability works, but she's not taking chances. It's not the sort of conversation her little sister needs to listen in on anyhow. "I'll be back after this and we can go shopping."

She doesn't dial right away, Kaylee stands there for a long moment staring at the payphone, the buzz of the line in her ear. There is no way to keep pushing off the inevitable, not with the heavy weight of guilt that comes with it. So she finally dials and even after five years she finds herself whispering, "Don't be mom. Don't be mom."

The phone picks up making her breath catch in her throat, and a cheery voice says in a sing song voice, "Thatcher residence. Vivian speaking"

Oh thank you God.

Relief is fleeting, quickly being replaced by guilt as Kaylee says timidly, "Hey Granny."

"Kaylee?" Shock in her granny's voice cuts over the phone loudly, making her pull the phone away from her head a bit. "Sake's alive child. Where have you been? We ain't heard hide nor hair from you since before my birthday…. which I remind you… there was a promise made to me to be there." Disappointment fills the older woman's voice, hiding a bit of a quiver of her own relief.

Wincing, the telepath has to blink several times at tears prickle at the back of her eyes. "I know, Granny," she croaks out softly, giving a bit of a sniff. "I don't got any excuse for it, either."

A moment of silence holds between them, her grandmother bewildered by the show of emotions. "What in heaven's happened to you? You sounded like you were turning around your life over there." Vivian had been hoping that her grandbaby was finally becoming an adult. The lack of responsibility the young woman was showing was a true disappointment.

"I am… I just…" Kaylee says in a heavy sigh, forehead thunking against icy cold glass, watching the world beyond get foggy from her breath. "Things happened and… I got waylaid."

There is a soft "Hmm" on the other end of the line, Kaylee can totally picture her Granny's hands resting on her hips. She doesn't completely believe what's being said, but she lets it go for the moment. Vivian does move on to say, "Well, I can honestly say we've been worried out of our minds. November 8th was on every major new station. You — you weren't involved with any of that were you?" she asks the question to try and gently prod an answer from Kayee.

She wasn't the cause, but Kaylee's life got turned upside down during it, but they don't need to know that, so… she lies. "No Granny." There is a quality to her voice, it's strained. She didn't realize how much she missed the sound of her Granny's voice. There was something about hearing the older woman's voice, that brings home the fact that she is back.

And her granny knows, you don't help raise a child and not know the little inflections they get in their voice. " You okay? You… sound down." They always seem to know. No use in hiding it either.

"No. No. I'm fine." The way Kaylee's voice cracks tells her Granny it's a complete lie. The young woman rubs a hand against an eye, feeling the wool of her glove soak up the sudden tears, but a few still manage to trail down her cheek. "I called cause, I wanted to apologize for missing your birthday. I really wanted to be there. An d… I wanted to let you know I won't be coming home for Christmas this year." The last tumbles from her lips quickly and in a rush. It's news she dreaded giving.

Her grandmother's reaction is exactly what she expected too. "What?! Why? You always try to make it here. Well, I mean except last year, but that's cause you were doing that charity thing, but you told us —"

"I know." Kaylee interrupts a little louder then she means to, her Granny going silent. "But…" how does she explain this? Well, might as well tell the truth. So reluctantly she says, "I found Ray's kids."

That silence continues on for several more moments. "Really?" The word is spoken softly, whispered with a hand over the receiver. Kaylee's mom must not be too far away then. "I wouldn't be telling you momma."

"Don't plan too." Kaylee answers with a bland tone.

"She wouldn't take it all that well." Her Granny sounds sad when she admits that and Kaylee catches it.

Suspicious, Kaylee shifts in the booth, turning to lean her back against the side. Brows furrow as she stares — but doesn't really sees — a spider webbed cracks where it looks like a bb went through the glass. "Granny? Um — Did — did you know that Mom and Ray were married? I found my birth certificate and found that they were married."

It's not a question Vivian ever wanted to answer and it's apparent when she gives a soft sigh. What Kaylee doesn't see is her look towards the door to the living room. She moves away from the door and whispers a, "Yes." Another glance goes to the doorway as she continues. " And they seemed to really love each other. Your grandaddy liked him, thought he'd do right by your momma. But then next thing we knew they gone and got broke up. Or at least, he walked away. Your momma has never been clear on the details of it all. She hears none of it and doesn't want to talk about it. "

"Yeah I know." Karen Thatcher never likes to talk about her and Ray, it's like the worse thing you could ever do to invoke his name in the house. Kaylee watches a car roll by with a tree attached to the roof, a twist of home sickness making her stomach churn.

"But… that isn't the only reason I'm staying." A small smile touches Kaylee's lips and her expression turns shy even if the woman on the other end can't see it. The blush that threatens to color her cheeks, comes through her voice. "I'm seeing someone and — well — I'd like to actually spend Christmas with him and my siblings."

"Oh my stars," declares the older woman. The old woman covers the phone with a hand, but Kaylee can still hear her Granny's muffled shout, "Karen! Your girls gone and got herself a boyfriend." Then she's back to the phone, eager to hear what her granddaughter as to say. " Please tell me the details my darlin' granddaughter. When are we going to meet him?"

"Well… " A chuckle threatens as she speaks. Kaylee doesn't answer right away, draws it out a little, cause she knows the next will be a shock. "Remember that guy I was talking about last time? The one that helped me out of a bad pla —"

"Your dating the Pastor?!?" Again the handset is yanked away from Kaylee's ear as her Granny's shocked shouts makes her ear ring. Vivian can't believe what she just heard, of course, Kaylee is just amazed the old woman caught on so fast.

"Yes," Kaylee says with an unintentional laugh.

Serious and worried, her granny can't help but ask, "Who are you and where is my granddaughter, because that doesn't sound like the girl who avoided church like it was the plague and told me she ain't ever gonna go."

"There is a lot that's been changing about me Granny." It was as true of a statement as any. So much had changed over the last year, in fact, since they last talked. Of course, for Kaylee it had been so much longer. There is more then the fact she's seeing Joseph that would probably give her Granny a heart attack.

"Obviously," comes the exasperated response from the old woman, who is probably holding a hand to her chest with that major shock. There is a silent beat before, "And I ask again when do we get to meet this man? I must meet this gentlemen, especially if he got you to even step foot in a church. A special man indeed."

Kaylee grimaces, letting her eyes shut."I — I honestly don't know. Things are kinda crazy here, but I promise, when I can prod him to we'll come visit." Would they ever find the time to make that sort of trip? It seemed like such a petty thing compared to the bigger picture. Showing off her boyfriend to her family was very low on the list of things to do.

"Good." Granny at least seemed placated for the moment. Then she adds, "Preferably before I kick the bucket. In fact, I still hold hope I'll see great grandbabies before then." Blue eyes widen on Kaylee's end, mouth falling open just a little.

"Granny!" That is not the sort of talk Kaylee wants to here right now, thank you very much!

There is a smugness in Vivian's tone, pleased with her granddaughter's reaction. Sometimes, old ladies need to hear that people care if they live. "Well, I ain't no young lady here. I'm getting old."

"You're so morbid," teases Kaylee with an amused smirk playing across her lips.

"No, I'm being realistic." Granny points out matter of factly. With a wave of her hand, she brushes it away, there are more important things to talk about. Shifting the phone to her other ear, she asks softly into the phone. "So tell me about these siblings of yours?"

"Well, half siblings. All of us have different mothers." Kaylee explains softly. "Or at least from what I can tell, since none of us knew each other before now." Who knows what the truth is anymore, but she really doubts any of them share a mother. If any of them were her full sibling, her mom would have said something…

Wouldn't she?

"Really?" The word is spoken flatly, the other woman holding back her opinion, but it's there.

"Yeah… let's just say Ray was a very complicated man." Kaylee couldn't exactly tell her grandmother how her dad had an ability that predicted the future. Even what she does know seems beyond surreal to even the telepath herself. To do that, she'd have to end up talking about her own ability and she doesn't want her family uncomfortable with her. She's just not ready for that yet, and the possible looks that would go with it.

"Sounds like a busy man if you ask me," Vivian says with a blandness of disapproval, but Kaylee knows what's she getting at.


The attempt to stop the commentary doesn't work to stall her grandmother from speaking her mind and at the moment it's like last think a child wants to hear. "Well, obviously the man needs to learn something about keepin' it in his pa— "


The old woman sighs heavily, again Kaylee can see those hands on her hips. "Kaylee Ann, I'm just simply stating the facts." With a huff she demands, "Continue."

On Kaylee's end of the phone, she's rolling eyes and shaking her head slowly. "Okay, fine. I have an older brother, Richard." At least they think. Until proven otherwise, the young blonde will think of him as such, better then Warren who makes her nervous "He's — " She has to remind herself of how old she is suppose to be in this time. Her mouth moves, but she doesn't speak the numbers as she counts. "— like four years older then me?"

"So before him and your momma got hitched?"

"Right." Kaylee agrees with a small nod of her head, unseen by the other woman. "Then there is Valerie." Vivian can hear the fondness in her voice. "She's younger then me. " She doesn't go into numbers, being very aware of how close her and her little sister are in age. "She's got health issue, being born prematurely. Still, she's so smart and a really sweet girl, you'd really like her… if she wasn't…" Kaylee trails off reluctant to say the obvious, but she doesn't have to.

"A reminder of your daddy leavin'?" her granny asks gently with understanding.

"Yeah," Is sighed out heavily, sounding sad about that fact. "But I like her. Looking forward to getting to know her and — maybe through her learn little more about my dad." The only one of the Ray kids to have him a large presence in her life, Kaylee hasn't been as lucky as the other two. What hurts more is knowing she probably never will. "It also feels like we need each other right now."

There is nothing but silence between them for a long moment, Kaylee unwilling to provide more details and her granny needing that time to absorb what was just said. After a moment her grandmother says, "Sounds like you got a lot going there, huh?"

"Oh yes." It's so true. Even sitting there on Pollepel Island, life seems overwhelming to Kaylee. "I've been keeping very busy and for the most part out of trouble."

A soft knock on the side of the payphone, makes her jump and turn to find someone waiting to use the phone. "Um… anyhow, I — I need to go. Valerie and I are going to do some Christmas shopping… or attempt it. I just wanted you to know I was okay and alive." She holds up a hand to the person to signal she's almost done.

"And trust me, we are very happy to have you among the living still." The warmth in her grandmother's voice makes the tears threaten Kaylee again. It forced the telepath to turn her back on the person waiting for the phone to spare herself embarrassment. Her grandmother's gentle words continue, "You take care, alright? New York seems to be a dangerous place now days."

Kaylee nods slowly, giving a sniff, her voice is rough with emotions, "Don't I know it and I will try."

Or as best as she can.

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