aman_icon.gif kaylee3_icon.gif

Scene Title Overthinking
Synopsis Kaylee's good at it.
Date February 12, 2020

Catskill Park

Bob was going to be furious with her, but Kaylee Thatcher didn't care. A little mental manipulation allowed her to be there in this moment without his disapproving dad-like demeanor.

Hiking boots crunch on a bit of gravel, as she looks back at her companion with a sort of excitement. Tugging the scarf down from around her face lets him see that brilliant smile. The telepath doesn't wait for Aman’s opinion, taking the last few steps to the edge of a rock outcropping that overlooks the lake. Her attention goes to the water below them.

It was still early enough in the day, that the lake mirrored back the sunlight. Diamonds glittering across its surface, while the sun worked to push back the chill of the night before.

There was still some snow at these heights, but it stuck mainly to the shadowed area, too stubborn to know that spring was coming and its time was done.

“God, I love this place,” Kaylee breaths out a dreamy sigh, the morning breeze tucking at strands of hair that had escaped the red beanie she wore. At least her breath didn't fog up. It meant they were having a bit of a warm spell.

The lake itself was a popular tourist place in the summer months, the beaches near the mountain town would be filled with people. Its location not far from the Safe Zone ensured it. However, it was still towards the end of winter.

Once they had arrived, Kaylee had lured him along one of the popular hiking paths. The further they got away from the populated area, the lighter and freer she seemed, insisting just a little further. It wasn't too far, even though they tread through ice crusted sections of snow, they still had cell service.

Turning back to Aman, Kaylee tips up a questioning brow. “Well? Was I right?” The telepath feels confident she is right, even if she tries to ignore the tones of his mental dialogue, just beyond her own mental walls.

"This view," Aman croons appreciatively as he looks down over it all. A hand adjusts the strap of the pack slung to his pack, breath feeling like it should cloud even though it just barely doesn't anymore, thanks to the rising temperatures of the day. His eyes trace the splendor of nature as they can view it, gaze eventually settling on the distant beach. He's never been up here before, his only trips limited to the sights below.

It's a whole different world up here.

"All right, Aladdin, you were right." he admits as he steps back from the ledge. Aman turns back to Kaylee with a hint of a grin as he reaches across his torso to pull his water bottle from the mesh holder on the side of his pack. Top popped, he considers the view once more. "Never knew it could look like this. The world without any people in it… it's…"

He shakes his head once as too many adjectives come to mind. Peaceful reigns among them. "It's something else," he says instead.

There is a smug lift of her chin when he says she’s right, Kaylee can’t help it. “I almost always am. People should have more faith in me.” Taking a deep breath of a crisp air, Kaylee seems content and relaxed, you’d be tense too, if you had mental voices trying to break down the door all hours of the day.

“Best part is the only mind battering against mine is yours,” Kaylee offers with a grin, shrugging her own pack off and on the ground, straightening with her own bottle in hand. “Found this place a few years back. I come here now and then when I need to just… think.” When her life was just starting to fray at the seams. She doesn’t continue until she takes a drink from the bottle.

“Don’t get me wrong, I love my ability, but…. Sometimes you just want the sound of silence.” Though clearly, she doesn’t mean in the physical world as birds chatter around them. “Thanks for trusting me, I know we’ve known each other… what? For a hot second?” She glances at him sheepishly, before focusing on that view. “Most people’s minds are so dark and…” She sighs and looks at the bottle in her hands, clearly she had her own darkness she’s dealing with. “You’re a nice change, right now.”

The easy smile returns to the telepath, turning her attention to the man fully, “Besides… you mentioned adventure.” To which she motions to the view with a sweeping gesture.

He gets it. He can appreciate that this out here is the closest thing to a healthy silence as one can get. The fact that Kaylee was willing to let him be the only fly hanging around her in this place otherwise void of humans was as strong a sign of her approval of him as he could possibly get, Aman thinks.

"We did specify getting into adventures as a thing to do together," he remarks with a chuckle. "And you've not got a serial killer vibe about you so I thought to myself, 'what the heck, it's still a bit cold, but I've been wanting to get out a bit more' and so…"

Here they were, at this place that for all intents and purposes felt like the edge of the world.

After taking another drink, he caps the bottle shut again with the flat of his hand. "And hey, I appreciate the compliment. Been a weird time for me lately, so it's nice someone still thinks highly of me." Seeing her shed her pack inspires him to do the same, letting it sling to one shoulder and then slide to the ground, water bottle shoved at an angle back where it belongs.

"But now that we're out here… is there something on your mind that made you want to come all this way?" Head tilted sideways up at Kaylee, Aman looks her way, only glancing for a moment to fix the seat of the bottle before he stands again.

“What isn’t on my mind?” Kaylee grouses softly, toeing at the dirt at the edge of the rocks. “My brother is back and settling, I’ll be back to work at the department again. People all… “She lets out a frustrated sound, “dark, depressing, and stubborn.” She uses the capped bottle to itch at her temple with a grimace for whatever thoughts are in her head. “I need to..” Run away. Better not say that… “Give myself a moment.”

After toeing away more gravel, Kaylee moves to sit on the edge of the rocks, clearly without care. How often did she go up there? Reaching behind her she pulls her bag closer and starts unloading some food items. A thermos that is probably filled with soup, a Tupperware of fruits, and a baggie with slices of homemade bread. “At least I brought lunch before we head back down.” Kaylee always found it to be an ice breaker.

The thermos is held up to him, with an uncertain smile. It felt awkward, she knew why, but she didn’t dare focus on it. “It’s potato soup, homemade. Something I learned when I worked at an inn many…. many years ago. Margaret found potatoes to be the easiest to make stretch when the guests were few. Also easy to cultivate in lean years.” It felt like forever since she spoke the woman’s name, a woman who had taken in a complete stranger in the late 1880s… The years had finally lessened the twist of guilt for burning the place down.

Aman watches her sit on the edge, his own distance kept from it. His stomach flips as he peers closer to the edge, fight or flight engaged and telling him to stay the hell away from it. With a small shake of his head, he leans forward far enough to take the thermos, popping off a wide cup snapped to the bottom. He comes to a sit— far enough away from the ledge to stave off vertigo but still in arm's reach of Kaylee— and screws the top off to pour himself some.

"You know, I can do my best to take your mind off it for a bit, but that sounds like something that needs confronted before long." She didn't say run away, but coming up here definitely implied she wanted distance from it. "Otherwise you're going to get stuck in a loop, or worse. But you did say you were facing off against stubborn…" Maybe the advice is ill-placed. She knows her own problems better than he could.

Aman minds that he doesn't overflow the cup before passing the thermos back to Kaylee, smiling briefly as he hands it back. "Thanks for this, by the way. Hell of a lot better than the protein bar I've got shoved in my bag." Though he's curious… the thoughts prickling at the front of his mind before he can help himself. "What kind of country inn?" he asks casually. "Talking about lean years… an Amish place or something? Or were they set on home-growing everything?"

Not a trace of suspicion comes from him as he puts forth his questions, putting off the impression he's just trying to make conversation. He takes a sip of the soup.

The idea that she needed to confront what was bothering her…. It didn’t sit too well on her stomach. Her nosed wrinkles at the idea. “You make it sound so easy. Unfortunately, it’s a pretty deep and complicated rabbit hole.”

One that she didn’t seem ready to share, turning her attention to the thanks he offers.

“No problem,” Kaylee comments easily, twisting to watch him pour. “And I didn’t say country inn.” It was highly amusing that his mind went straight there. “And Amish? Really?” she teases, taking the thermos away to pour her own cup.

“No. The Smith Inn was in the middle of New York’s more industrial center. Was pretty popular place for merchants when I was there…” There is a hesitation there, turning to look out at the lake below. “In the 1880’s.” The telepath says it so casually, like it was no big deal. Of course, with her back turned she doesn’t see him taking a sip, else she might have waited a moment.

Aman’s unease about the edge seems to ease after a moment. Flight seems the less necessary course of action. The butterflies in his stomach seem to calm and flutter away. There’s nothing to fear here, there’s only a sense of serenity.

He arches an eyebrow at Kaylee's tease on his assumption, daring her with a look to set him straight.

And boy does she.

Aman almost chokes on the soup. He shakes his head as he muscles down a cough, scoots himself closer to the edge so he can sit next to Kaylee, legs dangling off the rock face as he mirrors her sitting position save for the cup in one hand. He slants a look at her out of the corner of his eye, then looks ahead out at the lake. He puts on a brave face for a man whose mind is rushing with half-formed thoughts.

All the indications in everything she said, all the things that said something was off in the language she was using, though, point to her telling the truth. She didn't just drop this out of thin air. She used words like industrial center and merchants and lean years. His breath doesn't leave him in a rush only because he carefully holds it.

"You wanna…" Aman asks casually. "Run that by me again?"

“I… worked at an inn in the late 1880s,” Kaylee repeats slowly, scooting a bit to give him space. A rock loosens under her heel and tics softly down the rocks below, in the silence that follows that announcement so that she can take a sip of soup. Tongue tip touches her lower lip, before she offers a bit of clarity. “I…. lived in the 1880s for five years until I was rescued.” Finally, she turns her head enough to look at him out the corner of her eye.

“The history books say the destruction of the Smith Inn was a mystery. The owner told a story about the devil’s own demon’s rise up from hell and destroyed it. Stole away her daughter.” Kaylee grimaces and turns her attention back to the lake. “Of course, they would not find records of a daughter, I was that daughter. Margaret wanted me to take over… but, bad guys found me and so did my friends. Inn burned down in the fighting.”

Kaylee takes another sip of soup, lowering it to cradle in both hands, absorbing the warmth. “On a whim, I looked through records for sanitariums. They ended up committing her to a sanitarium for hysterics.” It was a completely different time, but it didn’t help the guilt.

After a moment, Kaylee gives a huff of amusement, “I know you’re probably wondering why I’m telling you these things…” She looks at him with an apologetic smile. “This is the kind of things that happen in my life. Time travel, immortals set on genocide, vision inducing auroras that show you how fucked up your own life is, conspiracies of all sorts, the Nightmare man… That is only the tip of a huge mother-fucking iceberg that has been my life and my family’s…. It has not been boring to say the least.” Teeth show behind an easy smile, that doesn’t quite reach her eyes.

Lifting the cup in a sort of salute, Kaylee states cynically, “I figured I’d just rip that band aid off before we spend too much time around each other.”

Holy hell, Aman breathes out as Kaylee goes on, looking to her at his side. But it's— muted. The calm sent his way lingers, though his own feelings edge closer to the surface. Because wow.

It's not just the time travel. It's that in this time travel, there's bad people too. When she directs that apology his way, all he can do is meet her look, brow slowly furrowing with each additional example offered. By the time she gets done with it all, all he does is breathe in and look forward again, holding it in.

A tone escapes him as he finally breathes out. It almost sounds like "Wow."

"Okay," he supposes in a light tone. "After all that, I'm not sure there's any adventure left to go on after that."

A stutter of a laugh follows, and Aman keeps looking toward the horizon. He closes his eyes with a short shake of his head. "But, uh…." he starts, a little uncertain. "We've at least got one commonality." His brow pops up a little, trying to return some levity. He leans his shoulder slightly toward hers. "The whole 'vision inducing auroras' thing. So there's that."

He looks down at the rest of the soup in his cup, drinking from it quickly despite the heat of it. Even with the emotional salve Odessa applied on him telling him to calm down, his feet being over the ledge and having nothing they can rest against don't do anything to help him with the feeling that the world and his understanding of it is suddenly rapidly falling away from him. He exhales out, "Bit more than a band-aid…"

Here's the moment where he's supposed to have something to say in return. Worse: he does have something that's been relegated until now to the back of his mind. He knows better than to say it, to put Kaylee in that position, but he can't stop himself from thinking it now, and trying to find out ways to get it out without it sounding awful. It's stammers and variations with a common piece of information in each iteration:

So while we're in the middle of throwing out jawdroppers, I know your friend Odessa, and we met— we met because—

It's hard to shut down the thoughts, to keep Redd's face out of his mind's eye, pounding on the glass and swearing he'll kill them. Then there's a flash of the oni, sternly giving him his parting instructions.

… because of an armed prison break?

It wasn't all bad, though. Not all tension and awful. There was Odessa. Odessa, and her short red curls and that little smirk of hers.

Dude, shut the fuck up.

Aman's expression twists with a momentary grimace he tries to play off, even though at this point, he's just waiting for the follow-up question. She'd already said it — there's no other minds around to distract herself with, just his, loud and obnoxious in ways he probably can't even understand, having only had her ability for the space of minutes.

"Jesus, Kaylee," Aman murmurs to himself, looking down into his cup again. The soup was good sounds like a great follow-up, a great segue, but he bites his tongue even from that, too hesitant to make a next step without knowing for sure whether she heard or not. He can't bring himself to assume one way or the other.

There is a laugh at his reaction, it relaxes her a bit. “I’m sure there is a little adventure out there, but even if there isn’t,” Her head tips towards him, her feet swinging a bit to counter balance. “Sometimes, you just need someone new to share it with,” she says softly, like she is some sort of mystery.

When it comes to the auroras, she just huh’s softly turning back to her own soup. A thumb removes a gnat from the rim of the cup. As she flicks it out into the voice, she asks, “You get any vis—” Wait.

Did she just hear?.

Whatever line of thought she had going, completely trips up. If thought was physical, it would be tumbling into the void before them, hitting every outcropping on the way down. Kaylee could almost picture it, but all Aman gets a clue that she heard it…

Kaylee’s breath catches.

Silence reigns for a long time, as a surge of emotions tumble across the telepath’s thoughts and speed up her heart beat. Finally, that held breath expels suddenly. It is hard to know what she is thinking when she looks at him. Even with brows furrowed, there is confusion and maybe even a touch of hurt in those blue eyes.

“Run that by me again,” Kaylee demands breathlessly. There is no question in there, she wants to know and he will tell her.

Aman hears the moment when it hits her, when his own noise gets too much for her to not hear and it cuts her off mid-sentence. He takes in a breath and exhales it out, nearing a tone. "Yeah. Those visions. A year or so back, the ones a ton of people got." It sounds light, but hollow. Kaylee's just staring at him, and he's filling the space, not wanting it to be silent.

Run that by me again, she says.

He knows it's not about the visions.

"A few weeks back," he explains even-keeled, looking out to the lake below. "I got caught up in a nightmare scenario. I normally check out wanted ads for negators-for-hire online, do a little anonymous digging before I actually hop in to anything. But in the ability-for-hire game, I know there's a demand for teleporters. So when a teleporter came to me, I…"

There's not a shroud of shame that hangs over him for the mistake he made, just an acknowledgement of it that comes from a slackening of his posture.

"I picked up a job. It was just supposed to be an escort thing. Two-three hours, then I was done. I met with the woman beforehand as a … kind of a test to prove I could do what I said I could. Never got a real name, she just called herself oni." He runs his tongue over his teeth. "Then… the day of the job came, and it sort of ended up that short, but…"

Aman looks off to the side as he remembers walking into the bubble of air and under the ocean to emerge onto the island. He remembers recoiling away at drawn guns and flinching when they were fired.

He remembers not noping the fuck out of there right then.

"It was a long two hours." he admits quietly. Looking back to Kaylee finally, he draws his mouth into a line. In explaining things out, it stills the vibration of his thoughts. "And it turned out I wasn't needed as an exit plan for the oni. Apparently never had been. It was for…" His brow knits and he looks away, pushing a thought down before it can take form. "It was for Odessa."

Turning away from Aman, the telepath isn’t really looking at anything. Good job, Aman, she might be in shock. Eyes blink a few times with brows slowly furrowing, trying to wrap her head around it all. Kaylee even looks like she’s going to say something, even taking a breath before each attempt, but… nothing.

Then suddenly like a switch being flipped, Kaylee turns towards him with anger.

“What the fuck, Aman!?”

Realizing there is still a cup of soup in her hand, it’s quickly set down before she spills it. More than that she has to get up. With only a minor foot slip, Kaylee surges to her feet and paces away a feet back from the edge of the cliff. Fingers push through her hair, as she turns back to look at him with disbelieving looks.

“What were you thinking?” Kaylee admonishes him. “It’s tough enough with people you trust, but shit like that gets you killed, especially with people you don’t know.”


Hands scrub over her face, fall to slaps against her thighs with slumped shoulders. “Well? Is Odessa okay?” Kaylee asks exasperated, motioning at him to give her the scoop. “I’m kinda insulted she hasn’t tried to contact me, I mean… everything said she was possibly dead, but….” Kaylee clearly doesn’t believe it.

Aman should really be concerned right now. Probably properly freaking out. Instead, he’s calm. This is … none of it's insurmountable. He can handle this. He has the strength.

"Well," Aman starts, half-scoff and half-excuse. Only after Kaylee's safely away from the side of the cliff does he scoot back and come to a stand firmly away from the ledge himself— lack of fear be damned. "I was thinking wow, that's a lot of money, and after that, wow, I don't want to die, so I just…"

His hands come up from his sides as he looks away into the trees, at a loss for anything else to say.

He hadn't been expecting her to be even vaguely understanding of his confession of being party to terrorism here, so his self-exasperation is showing more than usual. "I got shanghai'd, and I'm sure as fuck not going to make that mistake twice in my life. Nope."

Then Kaylee makes that impatient gesture in his direction and his brow lifts.

Is Odessa okay?

Probably, given that he’s not mentally or physically flailing at the moment. He lets out a spot of wry laughter at that realization. "You know," he says, not sure he'll be able to properly explain it even if he tries. "I'm pretty sure she's doing just fine. And as far as not trying to contact you goes…"

Aman looks back to Kaylee, his brow knitting again. "Given the whole 'people thinks she's dead and that that's a really good look for her' situation, not popping up on anybody's radar is probably smart." he feels compelled to point out. He's not nearly anxious enough to pose, but the weight of conflicting emotions will start to tire him out if his involuntary dose of Xanax doesn't wear itself out in the process. He runs a hand back through his hair before gesturing to Kaylee with that same hand. "So I wouldn't go thinking that it's because she wants to keep you in the dark. I really don't think that's the case."

He gestures toward the woods like it's a gesture back at civilization, back at Odessa herself. Animatedly, he continues, "I'm pretty sure she got it through her head to not go out after I blew up at her for leaving my apartment the first time."

“You let her go out? A recently escaped terrorist? Geez-us.” Kaylee looks heavenward with anxious worry, before giving him a frustrated look. Her words are tinged with a mild southern twang, which Aman will hopefully learn means she’s a bit angry. “We managed to keep her hidden for 4 years, until she went out and….” Kaylee runs a hand down her face. “I love her to death, but she doesn’t always make smart choices.” Not that Kaylee does either. “Last thing you need is for someone to see her - especially - you with her.” Then he would truly be sunk.

“And if you think she ain’t go out again? Joke's on you…. “

Kaylee huffs out a bitter laugh. “I have had so much anxiety since I met you. Liked you instantly, thought you were….” a hand motions to all of him, words failing until she settles for, “You are nothing like the guys I usually end up around.”

Finally, she forces herself to take a few steps away from him to take a deep breath, only for her to spin back around and come right back to him. Those blue eyes are filled with worry and anxiety. “I really thought I needed to start y’all off in the kiddie pool over my family shit, but here I find out you are already getting over your head in the deep end.” Kaylee’s hand has lifted, while she talks, to hang above her head, showing him just how deep he was into it now.

Spoiler Alert… it is extended up as far as it can go, Kaylee is even on her tiptoes.

“My family lives there, at the deepest end of it.” There is a significance to those words. Kaylee watches him, gaze flicking between his eyes. “We’re not terrorists anymore, but we still get into some crazy shit.”

Here Kaylee’s focus shifts down and she swallows hard, her voice quiets as all irritability bleeds away, “And if you hang around me, Aman. I can't guarantee you won't get swept up, too.”

In all the forced clarity and calm imposed on Amanvir in this moment, he develops an appreciation that if they had to have this out at any point, at least they're having it out here. Not so much the part where they're a stone's throw from a literal cliff edge, but more the part where there's no one to overhear them as they work through these realizations, no one to hold them — or more precisely, her— to the roles society expects of them..

And as much as he's given her something difficult to work through, she's done it just as much in return. The deep end was where he said he would be staying away from, and he'd (perhaps foolishly) not realized until she spelled it out for him. His eyes meet hers with a twist of regret in his stomach, lips halfway parted to speak.

"I…" He looks at her as she settles back down after stretching to her tiptoes, some of the tension in his shoulders slacking. Eyes closing, he shakes his head once before his attention resharpens on the moment, eyes opening to fix on her. "Kaylee, what about you getting caught up in my shit? I've been hoping hard ever since the beginning of the month that the fact I'm a complete unknown with no criminal record will make it impossible for me to be tracked down, but what if they do? Huh?" It's his turn for his eyes to flick back and forth between hers, hoping to find an answer in them. "I like you and all, but I don't want to do that to you. I don't want to get you swept up in that."

It's clear at a look he'd not like to disengage, but that he doesn't want to hurt her. The feelings… they're complicated. Aman looks off for a moment, taking a second to mellow out before he looks back at her. His frustration isn't with her, after all— it's with himself, and the situation. He takes a step closer to her, far more solemn than he thought he'd be today.

"She's not at my place anymore," he shares, because it seems pertinent. "I don't know where she is. Someone came and got her and that's the last I've seen of her. That was… two days before you and I got together for coffee." He sighs away the end of the sentence as he looks down at her. "So that's the end of my brush with terrorists, as far as I know. But going forward…"

He openly wears a thoughtful look before fixing his gaze on her more intently. "You seem like the kind of person who gets caught up in something because it's the right thing to do, Kaylee. I don't know." He lifts one arm away from him in a small shrug. "I'm not saying I'm looking to dive in headfirst, but if I even get to be near you while you're in the middle of doing something amazing, is that really so awful? It won't scare me off, that's for sure."

At least, he doesn't think.

"As long as you don't come at this with the expectation that your shit becomes my shit, I think we can navigate the rest like adults." Aman proposes. And people who don't out the other to the feds, apparently.

He arches an eyebrow. "How's that sound to you?"

“You….” Kaylee sighs, looking away at the cliff edge, the meals she prepared for them sitting there. Moving past him to crouch and clean up their mess, the woman looks… sad. “You make it sound so easy.” She wasn’t sure it was. “I’m not worried about getting caught up in your shit and I’m not going to turn you in.” Yeah she heard that thought. “I never turned in Odessa. To be honest, if things go south I’d hope you’d come to me, so I can try and help.”

Kaylee twists to look back at him as she slowly closes the lid on the soup, a knee touching the ground to steady her. “And I am not saying that my shit is your problem. I would never purposely get anyone caught into my shit…. I’m just….” Standing the telepath offers an uncertain smile that fades too quickly, arms wrapping around herself and the thermos. “I’m just trying to tell you I don’t think I can stop it from happening. My family seems to attract it like flies to honey.”

Lips press together briefly, before Kaylee takes a deep breath trying to keep her own emotions in check, the telepath doesn’t have someone to keep her head level. “I’m sorry, Aman, for dragging you all the way out here and dumping this all at your feet. Wasn’t my intention. I really just… wanted to have a quiet moment with you away from all the crazy.” She looks down at the thermos held against her, brows furrowing as she tries to find the right words.

“I just realized in the ride up here, talking to you with no interruptions or Bob glaring at us…. I can’t keep hiding me anymore. I’m tired of doing it.” Kaylee turns and tucks the thermos into her bag. “Been doing that since the day I manifested my ability.” The telepath doesn’t reach for the other containers, she just crouches there for a long moment watching birds circling on a distant updraft.

“I have to admit, part of me is screaming to push you away, just like the others, but… the rest of me,” Kaylee gives a short laugh, cheeks flushing slightly, “wants to grab hold and just kiss you.”

At that, a quiet laugh escapes Aman. It's part surprise, part commiseration, part… something else, maybe. He rubs the side of his neck, sighing as he thinks for a moment, the thoughts within it little more than half-formed intent. "God," he sighs out, looking off. "This is gonna sound so inadequate, but I don't even know what to say to that."

A beat later, he decides to just go with his gut. "Kaylee, I don't want you to feel like you gotta hide who you are," Aman stresses, crouching next to her to grab one of the other containers and pass it to her. "Each time I see you, I get nervous beforehand that I'm not going to be interesting enough to hold your attention, but when we actually get together and talk, it's just… nice, you know? I don't even know how to put it."

"You're gorgeous, and you're kind, and you're powerful, and I think if you've got a flaw, it might be that you overthink on things you shouldn't. But hey, we all need a little something to make us human." He smiles for just a moment, but the light from it remains even after. "Listen," he swears. "if it gets too much, you'll know. Even if I don't want you to, you'll know. But I promise I'll tap the brakes. I'll let you know if there's more than I can handle, but I promise I can handle a quiet moment with you, whenever you want it."

"And in the meantime, if you change your mind about that kiss, I'll be here." Aman adds with a shrug that only pretends to be disaffected.

By the smile that graces her lips, Aman’s words have put the woman at ease. The tension seems to bleed out of her, visible by the slump of her shoulders. “Thank you,” Kaylee says appreciatively, reaching for the container held out to her. Except, she doesn't take it, her hand goes right past it and catches the scarf around his neck.

He can feel it tighten against the back of his neck, just moments before Kaylee boldly pulls Aman towards her into a kiss atop that cliff.

God, they're really too close to the ledge to be doing things like that.

It's a thought he'll only have later, because right now, he's living the moment instead of overthinking it. In the moment, a wave of calm washes over him, blanketing over what Odessa had sent him with something warmer instead. He rests his hand on the ground to save his balance as he leans into the kiss, letting it last as long as the moment will let it.

His thoughts quiet, only the sounds of the forest surrounding them heard.

"Same here," Aman breathes out, a little wonder to it.

Teeth catch at her bottom lip, while Kaylee lets fingers slide along the fabric of the scarf letting it go and finally takes the Tupperware from him to tuck away into her backpack.

Oh god, I can't believe I just did that.
What was I thinking?!

It hasn't occurred to Kaylee that… she might not have her ability anymore. He was the only hum around and… that was some kiss judging by the thoughts battering against Aman’s mind. It has left Kaylee flustered and distracted, causing a frantic churning the constant internal dialogue. The way her mind jumps around irrationally, proof he wasn't wrong. Kaylee is an over thinker.

So good though.
How can it feel so hot in the middle of the winter?
God he is so good looking, funny, charming… so different than….
You can’t keep pining….

These only a few thoughts flash by while Kaylee is trying to complete the task she started. Yet, she ends up staring at a container in her hand, before she looks up at the view, watching the birds again. When she speaks up, she still sounds breathless over an intimate moment between them. “You in a rush to get back?”

Please say no. Please say no.

Tomorrow and beyond seems to bring some fear and uncertainty with it, but he could tell she was working to stay in the moment.

Kaylee squints up at the sun like she can judge the time by it. “We have a good portion of day ahead of us and I know this cosy diner back down in that little town where we left the car. Not fancy, but the food is good.” Breakfast was yummy, but you don't need to know that..

Looking over at her companion, brows lift and she forces a carefree smile to cover all that anxiety. “My treat for listening and causing all this,” The container waved about as she figures out the word she wants, “stress.”

Don't mess this up, Kaylee.

To Aman's credit, he keeps his calm through the assail of thoughts, the likes of which he hadn't been expecting to hear after that exchange of theirs. He's at once relieved and curious, accompanied by a tiny pang of guilt for picking up what wasn't meant to be his, even if he didn't feel guilty at all for overhearing what he has. He watches Kaylee get her thoughts together with a small smile, settling on his haunches before he sweeps to his feet, backpack slung over one shoulder again.

"I grew up around places like that," he reassures her. "It don't need to look like a five-star diner if it serves a five-star meal." A faint laugh escapes him at that, and then he offers his hand down to help her back to her feet.

She's thinking to herself not to mess this up, and for a moment, he's glad she can't hear how he's thinking the same. He's wary of all the unknowns, but presumes they can be overcome. He tries to tell himself whatever it is that comes their way, it won't be overwhelming.

Or at least, he hopes not.

When her palm sinks into his, there's just a hint of static that rushes past her temples and by her ear, a soft ocean wave of something returning where it rightly belongs.

… give you this whole day if it takes your mind off things for a while. he's thinking to himself as it happens.

"I could use the break from reality, too," Aman admits. "Would be happy to stop in with you." He looks over the cliff back down at the town with an exaggeration of thought. "If it's not one of those places that charges $200 for a slice of pie," which is a supposedly real thing he heard about on the post-war grapevine a few years back! "it's my treat."

Even with their discussion of his criminal status, it is clear that Kaylee isn’t phased. Maybe it’s the fact that she has her own. And in a few days time, she’d become a corrupt cop. Something she’s doing willingly for something she feels is right. Her children deserved a better world.

When her ability returns, there is a look of surprise in those blue eyes. Kaylee almost blurts out the obvious, but her mouth simply hangs open for a moment. Maybe it was the shock that held her tongue. How had she not noticed?

Cheeks flush. Oh god, what did he hear?

Kaylee’s fingers are cool in his hand when she uses it to stand. Once on her feet, her fingers lace with his; he isn’t getting that hand back right away. Her own pack is snapped up and settling on her shoulder with her free hand. “Well, if the pie is $200…. I’m not worried. It would be worth it.” Probably, one of the few perks of her social standing.

Kaylee was going to do her damndest to try and live in the moment with Aman.

With a brilliant smile that mildly hints at future mischief, her hand tugs at his to pull him along on a mission for a home cooked meal and - with - hope, pie.

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