Paintful Partings


kendall_icon.gif robyn6_icon.gif

Scene Title Paintful Partings
Synopsis Before she leaves, Robyn visits Kendall to ask him to watch her house while she's gone.
Date May 28, 2021

The Lanthorn

The Lanthorn (an old word used for the lantern room of a lighthouse) is a Romanesque-style building constructed in 1899. Obviously it has been renovated many times over the ensuing decades, but apparently everyone who ever bought the building loved the fire pole because it still remains.

The upper level was subdivided into four small apartments at some point, perhaps in the 1980s based on the appliances within. The lower level has a massive set of windows where the old fire truck bay door once stood, the bottom half bricked over to create a wall instead of windows that touched the ground.

The front door of the building opens into a large common area that resembles a lobby, and the back half of the lower level was partitioned off into several more small apartments.

It's been a couple months, and Kendall has more or less settled into his new life. New home, new job, and new friends make for a good bit of permanence, although there has, sadly, been very little jumping out of helicopters so far with his time at SESA.

His first week back he had been invited to stay at the Lanthorn, not having many other options beyond the overcrowded trailer park or illegally squatting in an abandoned building. Despite this, the room he took over in the old refurbished firehouse doesn't show much proof of living beyond clothes stashed away in a dresser, his old beat up bag dropped in a corner, and his laptop on a small desk.

What is apparent, however, is that his new space seems to have been partially converted into an art studio. His preferred medium was mostly sketching, but this time around he seems to have decided on painting. There's an easel with a large canvas on it, and a nearby chair is covered in supplies, with a large dropcloth under all of it. The painting itself is a work in progress, mostly blocks of color so far.

Kendall himself is standing in front of it, paintbrush in hand, adding details to a swath of green on the right edge of it. A matching swatch adorns his nose where he seemed to have rubbed it earlier.

"You know, I never figured you for a painter."

The interruption of the voice comes with pretense or approach, Robyn Roux leaning in the doorframe into Kendall's makeshift studio. Arms crossed, she quirks an eyebrow, head tilting slightly. "I'm amazed you can find the peace of mind and space here for it. You have your own room, right, you're not sleeping in your studio?"

As if she has room to talk.

She's dressed in a simple beige hoodie and acid washed blue jeans, a far cry from the professional or almost model like outfits Kendall is likely used to from her these days. It harkens back to years ago when they first met, if nothing else.

"Bonjour," she offers in a delayed greeting and wave. "Please keep the paint over there."

At the sound of a voice at the door, Kendall's free hand jerks over to the second dropcloth situated behind the canvas, prepared to flip it over the painting. As it registers who the voice belongs to though, he blinks and looks over to the door. "Eh? Robyn? What brings you here?" He sets his paintbrush down on the sheet of paper he's using for a palette, checking his hands for paint before he heads her way. "Uh, well, once in a while I feel like it. I wouldn't say I paint often, but sometimes I just get an idea. And, well, in this place, it's best I keep my stuff where I can keep an eye on it. So this is my room, only part time art studio." There is a frequent Squeaks in and out, after all. If Robyn had ever had a chance to see Kendall's room back in the day, it looks completely different, no nerd stuff or mess anywhere. As for the man himself, Kendall's clothes are old and worn with paint from previous projects already staining them, to the point where it's difficult to tell if there's anything wet on them.

"I did help make the mural on Grand Central Terminal, after all." Pause. "Before it got blown to bits, I mean." He heaves a sigh at that, shaking his head. "Then come to find out someone redid it, like what I helped add to it was worth something, or something. But anyway, enough about that, what brings you here?" Oh wait, he asked that already didn't he. Well, worth asking again, anyway. He shrugs at his own redundancy as he comes to a stop a couple feet away, since she did warn him against bringing the pain…t.

"Lots of people have Ferrymen nostalgia or worship. I'm not surprised someone wanted to do redo the mural." Robyn's never seen it. She avoids almost all of the Ferry memorials if she can help it, particularly the one at The Brick House. "I'd forgotten you were involved in that, though." A sad smile crosses her face as she pushes off the door frame, slipping both hands into her hoodie. "Sorry."

Crossing further into the room, she looks around curiously. "I stop in from time to time. Mostly to make sure Lance hasn't gotten himself in trouble. They let me in because I'm still Aunt Quinn to some of those kids." Her shoulders rise and fall in a shrug. "I wasn't expecting to find you here, though."

"Heh. You know how hard I tried to not be considered one of them before the war? They were little kids." Kendall stares Robyn down at that, daring her to say what he knows she's going to. "I got recruited into Ferry right and proper and given actual responsibilities, thank you very much!" Aww, it's almost cute how defiant he is about it.

"Then of course the war happened and I realized pretty fast how ready I actually was." Kendall grimaces, shaking his head, then peers over at Robyn. "But enough about me, is everything ok with you? You seem a little subdued." Robyn looks sad, and he gets the feeling it doesn't have much to do with talking about The Good Old Days. And for his part, Kendall was reluctant to go to those memorials himself, all things considered. Before the war, he was in about half a dozen of the safehouses himself, all told, and the one that mattered most to him is a dilapidated wreck, abandoned years ago.

"They're still kids," Robyn offers in a feigned aside - though she know she can get away with that because of who she is. "But don't tell them that, they're still in a spot of denial." Most of the time. When he stops short of her, she does the same. She's taking the threat of paint very seriously.

"What?" she responds with a bit of a laugh, a grin that scrunches the scar that ruins up her face tugging at the corners of her lips. "Even I'm not on all the time, Kendall. Washed up rich ladies get to rest too, you know." Thankfully, today's rest hasn't included alcohol so far. "Plus, you know. I've been busy with preparations as of late. I'm going, uh…" A hand reaches up, scratching at the back of her head. "Out of town. For a while."

"Psh, when you see a washed up rich lady, let me know. If it weren't for extenuating circumstances, I'd still be willing to ask you out on a date." Kendall winks at her mischievously. "And I'm even legal this time." At least Kendall can laugh about it now, that was mortifying at the time.

"Uh, wanna sit down? Afraid I got only the one chair, gimme a sec." With extra care for the still wet paint, Kendall lifts the sheet of paper up off the chair and sets it on the desk next to his laptop, then grabs up the paint tubes, brushes, and the cup of liquid, following suit. The surface of the chair is eyed, but it looks paint free, so he looks over at her expectantly. Of course, if she doesn't want to sit down, that's ok too.

"Actually, come to think about it, I got something for you, so good thing you came. And yeah, you mentioned having to go on some sort of top secret mission." He goes over to the backpack tossed in the corner, extracting his sketchbook. He pages through it, then carefully rips out a page, showing it to her proudly. It's a good likeness of her in what's known as 'kit-kat' portrait, and shows her dressed up like a Yakuza, holding her katana and even has a dragon tattoo, because Kendall watched way too much anime growing up. The pose can be described as 'I'm about to fuck shit up.'

Robyn blinks, looking around the room with a critical eye, shaking her head. "Merde, Kendall, we gotta get you a place with space for a whole two chairs. C'est inacceptable1, there's barely space for you to live in here." She turns to face him with a rather grim expression, clearly ready to judge his living situation further when he offers her the drawing.

Blinking, she takes it in hand and looks it over, tilting her head. "Well. This is highly inappropriate," it's really not that bad, she would never dress like this, much less get a tattoo that big. "But it's really good. The last person who tried to portray me as a bad ass was… Magnes, I think?" Looking up from the drawing at Kendall, she offers him a soft smile. "Or you. It's been a long time. Thank you, Kendall. Sadly, the only tattoo I have is far less exciting than this dragon nonsense."

"Well I don't know what you expected, showing me your sword and telling me about how you fought off a vampire. That sounds pretty badass to me." Kendall shrugs, but she at least does like the drawing. "Well with this in here it's a little cramped, sure." He gestures towards the easel, regarding the covered painting pensively. "But I mean, there's a perfectly good bed for me to sit on too so it's not like I need two chairs." and to put actions to words, he goes to sit on his bed, clasping his hands together in front of him.

"I've had to sleep in a lot of different places over the years. I haven't really had a permanent home since my parents kicked me out, especially since the safehouses kept getting raided. I've definitely had a lot worse than this, so I'll take what I can get. I mean, I've literally slept under a rock at one point." Maybe that's why it looks like he's ready to pack up and leave at a moment's notice?

"He wasn't-" Robyn stops her protest mid sentence. No, she had used the word vampire to describe Sadler herself. She couldn't argue this time. Still, an uneasy expression forms on her face as she stares at the drawing again. With a sudden anxious energy, she rolls it up and slides it into her bag.

Even still, she lingers with her hand in her bag for a moment, looking deep in thought as she considers something. After a moment, she resumes rooting around within and around the drawing, before withdrawing a keyring. Quickly, she slides one key off of it and turns to Kendall, tossing it on to the bed next to him.

"Kendall, I own half a city block. I can spare space for you if you want something bigger. And more permanent."

When Robyn pulls out a key and tosses it on his bed, he tilts his head at her, astonished. She's being serious? "Uh…" he looks conflicted now, staring down at his hands. "I was offered a place to stay here." he starts slowly. "I mean, I don't want to reject offers of hospitality from either them or you. But honestly I probably would be better off on my own." He reaches over to pick up the key, though gives her a troubled look. "For rent, right?" it'd be something completely different if it was offered outright, though.

"Guess you weren't kidding about the rich part though, half a city block, huh… And to think, an apartment went for what, 3k a month before the war?" Kendall doesn't really know, since he wasn't old enough to rent one anyway at the time, but it sounds about right.

"You don't have to," Robyn notes, slipping her hands back into her hoodie. "Tell you what. I need someone to take care of my place while I'm gone. And…" She takes in a deep breath, looking off to the side. "Matthew's away, for the time being. Someone'll need to be there to greet him when he gets back. I'll be gone by then."

Lips quirk side to side before she makes her way over to the bed and sits down, sighing. "See how it feels. I can get a bedroom and a living room setup by the weekend. You don't have to stay long term, but I'd feel more comfortable with someone there while I'm gone anyway." The matter of compensation is swiftly ignored, "Just be aware that it can be pretty lonely."

Wrinkling her nose, she turns and looks at him with a blink. "Which I guess is more reason to stay here. I'm being so rude to the kids, they were nice enough to let you stay here. Sorry."

"I mean. They assured me it was no problem but…" Kendall shifts in place, looking uncomfortable. "Matthew… oh, right, your kid." Some days, Kendall does not have the brains and attention span of a goldfish. "Well, yeah, I can look over your place easily enough. You live near where this goes, or is this to your place?" He lifts up the key questioningly. If Robyn wants him to house sit, well, that's an entirely different manner. The comment about Kendall being lonely is equally ignored.

"How long would this be for, anyway? Until he's back, and you're back?" As she joins him on the bed, he shifts over a bit for her. "Also, you'll have to show me where to go. Pity he's away though, I was curious to meet this kid." A smirk is sent Robyn's way. "Curious to see the kid that made you wanna be a mom." He teases her.

"But… would it be ok, though?" Kendall frowns suddenly, shaking his head. "I mean, some strange guy at your place, with you not home. Pretty suspicious to a kid, if you ask me. Unless you mentioned me to him before he left."

Kendall's question has Robyn chewing at her lip, looking again off to the side. "I don't know," she admits quietly. "I can't really talk about it. It's-" Her shoulders rise and fall in the shallowest of shrugs. "It's classified." Yes, it's a government thing she's going off on, if that's any indication.

She's quiet for a moment after that before she huffs out a breath. "The key's to Kaleidoscope Studios, the music studio I own. I make my home with Matthew on the upper floors, but it only takes a portion of the available space I have. Like I said, I can put something together all for you." Fidgeting for a moment, she takes a deep breath. "That key's a back up, almost everything else is electronic security, keycodes and biometrics, so I'll have to get you added to that."

"It's on… 218 41st St, but we can head out there this weekend maybe." Quirking an eyebrow, she looks back at Kendall and raises an eyebrow. "If you want. Like I said, don't feel like you have to. As for Matthew… I'm sure he'll understand. He might be suspicious at first, but once he knows that I asked you to be there, I'm sure he'll come around. If you even have to worry about that." The last bit comes with a dip of her voice into something plainly sadder, lips thinning as she frowns.

"Heh, yeah. You already mentioned, super secret government stuff. That's fine, I wasn't asking what it is, only when it'll be over with. But if it's a long thing, then yeah, good to know. And this weekend sounds good, only thing I got to do us finish this thing." Kendall gestures to the painting again, staring at it pensively. "It's a special project I'm working on, you could even call it performance art." He grins over at Robyn to see if such a thing would pique her curiosity.

"Biometrics, huh? Guess I shouldn't lose a finger or an eyeball to any nefarious plots then, that's some high tech shit you got on a music studio." Which just sounds really cool, in his opinion. "You know, nothing you've said so far has convinced me that you are not, in fact, a badass." His gaze flickers to her bag where she tucked his sketch. "You've got this James Bond vibe now. Do you have a lighter that turns into a taser, or a pen that can shoot people?"

The questions earn a genuine laugh from Robyn and a shake of her head. "No, nothing so glamourous. No cool gadgets or attractive, single ladies on this particular adventure." Well, unless you count Looking Glass, but Robyn doesn't share that particular detail. "Trust me, Kendall. What I'm doing? It's not something to aspire to. There's no guarantee of coming home. It's not badass. It's just necessary." Still, she cracks into a reluctant smile. "No matter how many swords are involved."

"It's high tech because it has to be," she notes. "I take security very seriously these days." And who could blame her? Even if a better security system couldn't have stopped Sadler and didn't seem to bother Gates, she felt it necessary regardless. "It's not just a music studio - with thousands of dollars in new and restored equipment that I put a lot of time into - it's also my home."

Hoping up off the bed, she turns to look towards Kendall's painting. "Performance art? You're not getting into trouble with your illusions are you?" A pause as she moves a hand to her chin and looks back to him. "Do you need any pointers? Performance used to be my thing after all."

"Trouble? Me? Never." Kendall's expression absolutely gives lie to that declaration, up to and including the hand placed across his chest in affront. He laughs afterwards, then tilts his head. "Well it's kind of… not performance, per se. Uh, well here, I might be able to demonstrate." He taps his chin thoughtfully, looking at the walls of his room.

Then, starting with a black patch on one wall, the scenery slowly changes, transforming to reveal the Tartarus, Melissa's bar and club from a bygone era. It's likely not exact, and the details are a little fuzzy, but all the bits that Kendall and Robyn both should remember are all there. However, it's strangely empty, stripped of all signs of life beyond the two of them.

"Ever wanted to relive the good old days?"

As the room starts to change around her, Robyn's eyes widen, turning to look around as quickly the room turns into the old, almost forgotten bar she worked at 11 years ago. The details are as close to correct as she can remember, save for the lack of people like Melissa or Nadira chatting at the bar. One hand clenches into a fist at her side, swallowing audibly.

"That's… incredible," she breathes out as her hand trembles a bit. "But it's not- it's not for me." Slowly she turns to look back at Kendall, offering him an apologetic look. "Lots of nostalgic people out there, though. Just be careful about opening up people's old wounds with stuff like this." Like maybe a bit of what's happening with her right now.

Still, she turns to look towards the phantom facsimile of the stage she used to stand on and DJ, or MC Tartarus' large events. The date auctions in particular dredge up in her mind, and she can't help but chuckle. "I think you were right there when you bought me for a date," she teases, pointing to a spot on the floor. "And I was over there when I bought Elaine. And over there's where I told Melissa I was quitting to work at Studio K. Oh, she was so mad."

Maybe the nostalgia is finally taking hold for her.

"Oh. Sorry. I was trying to think of one that didn't do that." The room flickers, like a static interference on a television, and Kendall sighs. "Not many places I remembered had good memories, I was hoping that one at least had a few." Kendall wasn't deliberately trying to upset her, but it's pretty clear he did screw up. "But, yeah. That's what I meant by 'performance art'." He adds after a moment, looking down at his hands and absently rubbing at some paint on one of his fingers.

When she does bring up good memories, though he looks up, since it was that more than anything Kendall did that kept it from blinking out entirely. "Haha, yeah. Those date auctions, I had absolutely no business taking part in those, I could've gotten people in trouble." Kendall smirks at Robyn, who fortunately had no intention for their particular date to end up that way regardless. "Remember the Labyrinth ball? When we made those dragons show up in midair?" Kendall smiles proudly. "I never said anything, but I was the one who did the fire dragon. Sorry for interfering with your show. Good improv, though."

Her brow knitting together, Robyn gives Kendall a flat look. "I should've known that was you," her voice marked with faux annoyance.Turning and looking around again, she breaths out a shallow breath. "Is this what that VR stuff Matthew keeps talking about is like?" Her gaze lowers on to the ephemerally formed bar. "Lord. I used to think it was so cute to sit at the bar when I wasn't performing, give Nadira the widest smile, and ask for redheaded sluts." A beat. "The drink. Though I guess I was fulfilling that role."

There's a bit of disgust in her voice, perhaps surprisingly.

"God, I was such a try hard," she grumbles out to herself, shaking her head at herself. "And it didn't even take that much effort." Her shoulders slouch, hands sliding back into her hoodie. "I'm surprised nothing bad went down there, knowing what we were all involved in."

"Oh absolutely, I'm basically a walking VR headset. No equipment needed, and unlike VR, I can add smells and touch." Kendall strides over to the bar and pats it. His hand slightly goes through the surface, but he looks at his hand afterwards with a nod. "Well better than asking for Sex on the Beach, huh? Or both." That's another drink Kendall remembered. "I always tried sneaking in with a fake face and ID, but beer was pretty nasty. Still is actually."

The room fades away now back to his room, and Kendall shrugs at Robyn. "But anyway, that's my idea. That one's not done yet, I'd like making a show of it with a picture for people to see." He nods at the easel again. "And nothing did happen, so let's take our victories where we can. Although I draw the line of adding people, sorry." An uneasy look, and he shakes his head. "Probably for the best."

"I think that's a good line to have," Robyn agrees with a slow, shallow nod. "It's one thing to recreate a place. Recreating people… that's dangerous. In a lot of different ways." Walking over to Kendall, Robyn pats a hand on his shoulder. "Just don't lose yourself in memories, or let other people. I wouldn't expect you to, but… it can be hard not to."

Patting on his shoulder, she steps away and looks around the room. "Is this a service you're going to be charging for?" she asks after a moment, raising a finger. "Make sure you get registered and apply for the proper endorsements first. Particularly now that you're working at SESA." A small chuckle echoes for a moment. "Be a good influence for once." That said with a cheshire grin.

Robyn's support over his decision prompts a nod, and he looks grateful. "I had a sort of vision of the future one day years ago, apparently a lot of people did? And it involved me creating….. someone… that had died, and having them there constantly, and it was giving me brain damage, so I had to get negated, and apparently, uh… killed myself." Kendall stumbles over bringing up Valerie's name, since it's clear she's alive and well." Then he belatedly realizes that was not a good thing to bring up in conversation, so he coughs. "But apparently in that vision that happened at Christmas last year and here I am, alive and well. So clearly that future didn't happen." Time for a subject change, ahem.

"Charge people?" The surprise in Kendall's reaction shows that the idea clearly never occurred to him. "I wasn't planning on it, I was thinking of just for people I knew. But I mean it could be an interesting thing I could do." A bashful grin. "Add a little extra cash. I'll have to look into that. Though hopefully no one has the lapse in judgement to consider me a role model."

"I'm not encouraging it," she notes with a quirk of her eyebrow, choosing to move on past the topic of one's ability ultimately killing them. "Charging people, that is. I just want you to have everything sorted in case you do decide to."

A hint of a smile plays at her lips. "You'd made it sound like you were launching a business enterprise of some sort, which I just know couldn't be true." Looking up and off to the side, she places her hand over half her gaping mouth like she's shocked. "Kendall Cunningham, responsible? How dare I, perish the thought." It's a familiar tease, at the very least.

After a moment, though, her hands slide back into her hoodie. "But hey, be careful. People buy expensive drugs for the same kinda thing you're offering. Nostalgia is powerful, and you're basically painting a target on your back doing this. I'm not saying don't do it, but…"

A frown tugs at the corners of her lips as she looks down. "Be safe and be smart about it."

“Drugs?” Kendall sounds genuinely surprised at that, tilting his head. “Drugs can even do that?” oh, to be young and innocent. “I, uh, wasn’t aware.” he looks concerned, rubbing his chin with a furrowed brow. So, basically, Robyn is warning him that he’d be direct competition for an illegal drug ring? “Hmm. What if I did that on purpose?” is asked after a moment, and he darts a glance her way. “Set it up to make them come after me? I’m very hard to find, after all. I could make it so they think they got me, but people can swoop in and nab them!” what could possibly go wrong!

“I mean, those kinds of people shouldn’t be allowed to run loose right?” the idea of volunteering himself as bait to set up a sting doesn’t seem to phase him at all. “I would probably be the best one for the job, actually. Low risk. It’s pretty easy for me to hide in plain sight, after all.” and just like how Robyn did in her office, suddenly there’s a second Kendall, standing several feet away. “After all, if people expect me to be standing in one spot, but I’m actually elsewhere…” the double speaks, holding his hands palm up. “And who’s to say I’m in either spot?” this time a disembodied voice over from his bed pipes up, though Robyn might be relieved to see only two Kendalls for now, which is probably one too many in itself.

"Refrain, Kendall. Oh, please tell me you're not that naive." There's a teasing edge to those words, but clearly Robyn is being serious. "There was something else going around a year or two back that people were trying to break up that was similar too, if I remember right." Her lips thin. Shaking her head, she crosses the room back to him and places a hand on his shoulder.

"I mean this in the nicest way, Kendall, but. Don't overestimate yourself. Nothing like that is low risk. SESA has lost good people, I've lost friends to less. Before you even consider anything like that, talk to Voss at the very least. Rope Nicole into it too, if she's available."

At Robyn's words, Kendall shakes his head. "Nah, I know better than to do so.ethong all by myself. Doesn't work very well being bait for something if no one is waiting in the wings to swoop down and catch them." And the explanation of Refrain has him looking thoughtful. "I know of it, but I didn't know what it did, just that it was addictive."

He is pretty naive, but he at least knows that much. "You've seen what happens when I just had alcohol, I'm afraid to see what would happen if I tried anything worse." The duplicates fade away, including the one whose shoulder she put her hand on, and he blinks into existence sitting on his bed.

"Yeah, don't be me," Robyn replies in a low voice. "Stay away from that stuff. Lord, I'm glad you never-" Closing her eyes, her shoulders tense for the briefest of moments. "Just… don't. Please." Her expression sours a bit, eyes half lidded as she glances down at the floor for a moment.

Blinking, she turns her attention back to the bed with a stitched brow. "That's still impressive. Sometimes I wish I could do more with my… replicant. Still have some cool tricks, though. I can see her eyes if I try hard enough, that's pretty cool." She musters a small smile, hands moving to her hips.

"Be good while I'm gone," is a sudden remark, a bit sullen sounding as she looks back while I'm gone. "Because if anyone I know is going to get into trouble, it's you."

"Well not to brag, but I think I can do some pretty impressive things with my ability." Kendall pops out his collar, even though he didn't have one before, and winks at Robyn.

"But in all seriousness, I know that there's nothing I can do in a real fight with it beyond a distraction, so I know my limits." He looks down at his hands, then notices he has paint on them, meh. Idly rubbing at the half dried paint, he looks up. "Still not sure about the learning how to shoot a gun, but I do acknowledge that it's probably a thing that needs to happen. I'll definitely let people know if I plan on doing anything." He won't comment on whether or not Robyn did drugs.

When she accuses him of being a troublemaker though, he gasps and sets a hand on his chest. "Who, me? I'll be a perfect angel. See?" And of course that means he has to give himself a halo, though he doesn't bust out the white feathery wings, thank goodness.

Reaching up, Robyn attempts to swat the halo away. "Absolutely. Total perfect angel. Perfect and boring in every way." What's that, a little bit of goading despite everything Robyn's had to say?

"You're going to need to get over that," is a bit of a cool reply, Robyn's expression and tone tinged with disappointment. "Take solace in knowing you hopefully won't ever need to use it, or sparingly at best. But if you don't know how, you're a liability and all you'll end up doing is desk work." A small shrug. "Unless that's what you want."

She stares at him for a long moment, before moving back towards the door to the room and lazily leaning against the door frame. "When I started with the Ferry, I didn't know anything that wasn't music or girls. By two months in, I was stitching people up, doing ridealongs with Avi Epstein, and helping kidnap people from hospitals."

She stares at him head on, and smile. "You don't have to use it on the regular, but in this world you gotta know."

The halo gets 'smacked away' and Kendall smirks at her. Yeah, that's about what he expected to happen. As things go to more serious matters, though, he sighs. "All right, nothing wrong with knowing how. I had to do a lot of things I wasn't proud of out west, too, but it's… pretty bad there. I learned how to hotwire a car, for instance." Which implies he knows how to drive too, right? …right?

Robyn's revelations, however, cause an eyebrow to raise. "Kidnapping people out of hospitals, huh. All I learned to do when I joined was how to ride a horse." At 17 years old, patrol duty was probably the safest job Kendall could've been given despite his insistence on being treated like an adult. "Well, I did get to do some undercover missions." he adds, because that sounds cooler.

"Kendall, you were like… what. 18?" Robyn snorts a bit at that, crossing her arms. "I think they tried to keep most of the kids to more… benign and mundane tasks." Her shoulders rise in a shallow shrug. "But you're right. There's nothing wrong with knowing. It's always better to know how to handle yourself in a dangerous situation. Unless you'd rather do desk work with Dirk. I find it boring, but…"

Still, she smiles a bit. "I better not come back to find out that you hotwired my bike and took it out. I'll leave the keys to my Civis, though." It's not like she'll be able to use them at all where she's going. "You're on your own for gas money, though." He gets a paycheck, right? It'll be fine.

Looking around at the various paint and the easl, she slowly nods. "How good are you at painting anyway?" She asks after a moment, voice lower. "Have you ever thought about… doing restorations? Particularly in this city that might make a pretty penny."

"Not good enough for that." Kendall’s reply is immediate, followed by a shake of his head. "I'm better at sketches, like what I gave you." He looks over at the easel and shrugs. "Good enough at landscapes I guess, though I'm no Bob Ross. No happy little trees for me. I don't want to just bank on the fact that I was part of Ferry, either. Kinda weird that we're famous now. Museums and everything." He looks a little troubled by the fact; he used to live in a few of those.

When she mentions letting him borrow her car though, he coughs. "I said I knew how to hotwire a car. I never said I knew how to drive. That's… that's on my list. It's kind of a… GTA thing with me." Eyeshift.

"Christ, Kendall." Okay, maybe Robyn sounds a little judgemental this time. "Look, even I got my driver's license after the war." Granted, she had had her scooter before, and she would occasionally borrow Royce's van, license or not. "What even is a GTA?"


"That's fair. I just- would you like some practice?" Her eyebrow quirks up questioningly. "I have some paintings that are a bit… aged and damaged. I'd love to get them touched up if you're ever up for it." Her eyes flick down for a moment, before she shakes her head. "They were by my mum, back before… the war."

"Grand Theft Auto. It's a video game where you rack up points by stealing cars and committing crimes." Well if that doesn't instill Robyn with confidence in Kendall's driving skills… but anyway.

At the more serious discussion, Kendall frowns, looking to the side. 'I'm not sure… that sounds like something I'd be afraid of messing up, I wouldn't want to ruin something like that." There's a slight hesitation, and he side-eyes Robyn. "I don't think I've heard you talk about your mom." His tone is carefully neutral, since the subject of parents is a pretty sensitive topic.

"Oh, a video game. Yeah, that sounds about right." It also explains why Robyn doesn't seem to know what Kendall is talking about. Robyn's tone already carries an uncurrent of sadness, and when the topic of conversation switches focus to her mother, Kendall can see her shoulders tense just enough to be noticeable.

"Yeah. Yeah, mum is… a complicated topic these days. She passed during the war." Which might explain why she wants some paintings restored. "But maybe I'll get to see her again so-" She stops, eyes closing as she realises what she's saying. Before Kendall can speak up, she holds a finger. "Don't- ask. Forget you heard that."

Kendall crosses his arms and looks off to the side. "I don't know what happened to my parents during the war, and frankly, I don't care." Robyn can probably remember why Kendall feels that way. As she drops that little tidbit though, he turns to regard her curiously. "Alright, fine." It's probably time travel. Kendall did a bit of that himself!

"That being said, I'm sorry but it's probably best if I didn't, the most I could offer would be to show you what they looked like. I definitely wouldn't want to mess up something of sentimental value for you."

"It's fine. I just thought I'd see." Robyn takes a deep breath, a quiet moment passing before she opens up her eyes again. "Sorry. I'd tell you more, but… I think I'd rather keep this particular government NDA this time. There's more at stake than I'm comfortable getting into otherwise." Her lip thin and she shakes her head.

"Anyway, she was an artist, mum. Or well… that's what she became. She didn't used to be. She used to be Company, but she had those years stolen from her, I think. Used to be like us, you know. Expressive." Again, her shoulders rise and fall in a shallow shrug. "Maybe when I get back I'll be able to tell you more."

"I'll hold you to it. Maybe I'll be able to drag you in to a game that you might like, it's multi-player and your kid would probably like it too. It's called Super Smash Brothers and it's a fighting game. I'm gonna try and get my hands on one if I can by the time you get back." Kendall raises his eyebrows over at Robyn, staring her down. "Unless you think you'd get your ass kicked by a 12 year old." Then again, that's probably likely, 12 year olds are all little shits in the gaming community.

The subject of a NDA is bypassed a bit, Kendall can see it's making her uncomfortable talking about not talking about it. "Tell you what, let me practice on things that don't hold sentimental value for anyone and I'll think about it."

"Sure. I have some of Eve's paintings from during the war, you can touch those up." There's a hollow chuckle from Robyn at that thought. What was she going to do with all the prophetic paintings she had collected over the years? "There's already been copies and scans of them made, and I don't really care what happens to them. Seems like as good a place to start as any."

With that decided on, she offers a small shake of her head. "Games aren't really my thing, kiddo." Clearly, if thinking of games gets her to bring out that kind of remark. "I play some of Matthew's occasionally, mostly the puzzle one with the little coloured blobs. That's about it for me since they aren't making Rock Band anymore."

Surely Kendall hasn't forgotten how much of a fixture that was back in the day.

"But you ever want to learn to play guitar or piano? That I can definitely do for and with you."

"Hmmph. Says someone who has never played." Kendall points at Robyn threateningly, narrowing his eyes, a look completely ruined by the green paint streaking his nose. "I'll break you down one of these days!" He chuckles at that, but is intrigued by the other two things she offers. "Well if you have art you don't mind if I mess up." He doesn't know who this Eve person is, but somehow he gets the feeling Robyn doesn't like her very much. "And guitar, huh. Never tried anything except Rock Band, but same thing right?" Definitely a joke.

"Only if you want me to kill you," is maybe a joke? Robyn's flat expression makes it hard to be certain. "Magnes tried to get me into games too. An older friend of mine too, never really took." She gives a sarcastic smile and a shrug before crossing over to him and patting a hand on his shoulder. "I think you're going to have to take the loss on this one, friend."

At least she doesn't call him kiddo again.

"But yeah. I'll pull some pieces out of storage. A few are faded, some have water damage. You can practice up on those."

"Oh, Magnes is still around?" Kendall sounds surprised at that. "He's not still running around as a superhero, is he?" Pause. "Or arrested?" Either seems pretty probable, especially since literally anyone who knew him guessed immediately who the 'masked vigilante, White Knight' was.

"Gotta catch up with a few people, not sure who's even around anymore. Kind of afraid to ask."

"He, ah. He's around. He was out of this… world for a bit." Robyn taps the side of her nose, a motion that combines with her tone to again convey: don't ask. "There's a lot of people from the old days gone now." She reaches up, scratching the back of her head. "I haven't talked to anyone from Tartarus since the war, and everyone from Studio K is either gone, dead, or working at SESA."

Huffing out a breath, a small crestfallen look crosses her face. "And the old Ferry is gone. Some people still hang around in SESA, Wolfhound, or at Raytech, but… I think most people got out while they could." A rueful, curt burst of a chuckle filters out as one hand clenches into a fist at her side. "Makes me kinda jealous sometimes, to be honest."

"Yeah… no one really knows what happened to Melissa either. I wish I could have at least apologized to her for disappearing. She probably thought I was dead. Again." Kendall heaves a sigh at that, looking down. They gave each other a lot of shit but it's obvious they cared a lot for each other.

"Yeah… I did briefly see Abby and Kaylee, and…. Dee." Bashful grin. "And everyone has kids." Kendall shakes his head. "It's weird. Even you have a kid."

"Well, I think Dee's going to be busy for a while." Again, that sadness creeps into Robyn's voice. "I do miss Melissa, though. Nadira too. I still go to Nadira's club occasionally, but I wonder if she sold it or something, I never see her there anymore." Her shoulders sink, and she moves back to the bed like she's going to sit down on it again.

"I mean, it's been 10 years. Dee, I mean, she had her kid before the war. Same with Richard, but can you blame people for finally settling into to domestic life like that?" Her lips quirk up on one side in a half smirk. "At least some of us didn't actually have kids though. I adopted. Some of us got stuck with- Christ. Kids from other timelines. It's complicated."

"Well I mean yeah. I remember Dee had her kid. That was part of the reason why she and Melissa went back in time to get me. It was a little complicated." Of course, Kendall did compare it to Chrono Trigger at the time.

"Timelines, huh. Yeah, like the one that didn't happen. Didn't Dee's kid come back from that timeline as an adult to make sure it didn't?" Kendall was only vaguely aware of it at the time. "Think I remember that being talked about." It's a weird world where talking about time travel is normal. "Who's Richard?"

"That's not how that works," Robyn is quick to correct, raising an eyebrow at Kendall. "Whatever happened, happened. What is it Richard likes to say…" She pauses looking thoughtful for a moment. "Oh. Richard Ray. Well, you might know his as better as Richard Cardinal. He's the CEO and owner of Raytech, and a good friend of mine." He'd have to be for her to put up with what she does. "We both have a penchant for taking an… interest in temporal phenomenon." For some reason.

"Anyway, there's a saying. 'Time is not a line'. It goes nicely with my believe that fate is absolute bollocks. But that doesn't mean that what we know happen didn't still happen." She points at Kendall, then down at the floor. "Just not here. In our timeline." Yes, there's many. "Be glad we've managed to navigate our way to this one. It could've been a lot worse, Kendall." It almost sounds like a warning.

Kendall frowns and tilts his head to one side, thinking it over. That's a lot to take in. "I'll take your word for it." he replies after a moment. "I guess, all things considered, we didn't come out too badly. But don't try to say that to all the people who died or worse out in the PDZ. It's still pretty awful out there."

Abruptly the room changes again, showing a desert view at dusk of what is clearly identifiable as Las Vegas from afar… except it's a shattered ruin, fires still burning and most of the iconic buildings showing heavy damage from the fires and riots. The sunset is obscured by a heavy cover of smoke, casting a dingy pall over all of it. Kendall stares off towards it, jaw clenched.

"I went there once, before the war." he comments after a moment. "During that killer winter with the weather going subzero, Melissa took me there to escape for a bit, think Abby was with us. Of course as you can expect, I tried sneaking in. Would've been fine, except they caught me counting cards and then noticed I looked a little too young on the security cameras." Kendall smirks. "They had to bail me out before I could get arrested. Melissa was…. not happy." He pauses, looking over to Robyn and then back at the scenery, dropping the illusion and returning the room to normal. "Now I'll never get my chance to go."

As the room changes around her, Robyn looks around slowly. She's taken a bit of an impassive expression, trying her best not to betray her feelings as she looks over the sunset before looking back at Kendall with a blank expression. "I wouldn't say it to most people's face. If you know, you know. If you don't… well, that doesn't change how true it is." Her eyes flick down, and she sighs. "I do rather miss Melissa sometimes, though. Despite how much of a bitch she could be sometimes. I wish I'd left Tartarus on better terms." At least they'd still be friends after.

Not to mention that thinking of Melissa brings memories of Junko to mind, and that… well, Kendall can see her expression harden.

"Alright, Kendall." There's almost a callousness to those words, Robyn's eyes narrowing a bit before tilting her head towards Kendall's. "Sit down," almost sounds more like a command, or at least an instruction. "Let me tell you some stories of the multiverse. Ones you can't repeat to anyone else, because it could cost me my job and a lot of forward momentum in life."

If she can't tell him where she's going, then at least she can educate him on some secrets of the universe.

"Yeah." Talking about Melissa gets Kendall down again, and he stares at his feet. Sigh. "She did threaten to kick my ass all the time and we did have a few arguments, but… I don't regret taking a bullet for her when I did." Pause. "Or didn't." Still complicated. When Robyn tells him to sit down, though, he blinks over a her. "Multiverse? Like in comic books?" She did mention timelines, but…

Well, anyway. Kendall goes to sit down on his bed, looking at her. "I know how to keep a secret. I'm guessing this is related to the NDA and all huh." Kendall is at least smart enough to put 2 and 2 together, after all.

"Yes and no," Robyn admits as Kendall sits down on the bed. "More… personal experience," she admits in a low voice, "and a separate NDA. The only reason I'm talking to you about it is because you're no stranger to time travel." Her shoulders rise and fall as she takes a deep breath. "Give me a chalkboard and some chalk. Is that a thing you can do? Or are your illusions as insubstantial as my duplicate?" She's been told the answer to this, but she always seems to forget.

She doesn't wait too long for an answer before continuing. "Anyway, sure. Like in comics. Consider what I said earlier." Looking around the room, she looks for something to draw with. "If you can't give me a chalkboard, do you have an unused sketchbook I can scribble in?" In case this gets complicated.

"Anyway, yes. Consider what I said earlier. 'Whatever happened, happened', just… not here. That time isn't a line. Now, I'm not going to make some big- string map or something, but. The implication of multiple timelines inherently implies the existence of a multiverse."

"Hmm." can Kendall give her a chalkboard and chalk? Technically, yes, he could provide something she can use to show what she thinks she's wanting to show him. But it might show what he's expecting instead. "Not sure if it'll work, but we can try." A whiteboard appears on the wall, then Kendall smirks and holds out a magic marker to her. Cute. "Not chalk, but this should suffice, right?" Innocent smile. "Time to deface property!"

Robyn's stiff demeanour breaks for a moment as she's handed the magic marker. "As long as I can erase it," she remarks through a smile that she tries very much to hide. "Or you can paint over it." Because, I mean, shouldn't that also be a viable option, given the state of the room at the moment?

The smile fades s that thought lingers, a moment passing before she turns to the new "whiteboard" and uncaps the marker. She draws the word "You are Here" with a circle around it. "This is us, now. This timeline." Drawing a line back, she makes marks on it, three close together and one much further back than the others.

"The one you're talking about?" She goes to the point closest to "You are here" and draws a line up at an angle and then out straight again. "That's this one, colloquially called 'wasteland'. It's the one Kincaid, Jolene, Adel, and all their friends came back from. I don't… have to tell you how that went."

She goes back one and this time does a line downwards and straight forward. "You remember Peter Petrelli, right? Well, his dad was kind of a…" Robyn stops, the word she wants to use struggling to make it past her lips for some reason she can figure out. "Here, no one stopped him. He used a formula that granted evolved abilities to non-evolved to put the country in his vice grip. It was a utopia, with the Evolved freely accepted. You know, until you looked under the surface, supposedly."

"Oh don't worry, that's not a real marker either." Kendall reassures her cheerfully. "It just feels like it is, and it'll disappear like magic afterwards, no muss, no fuss!" What, is he promoting a product on TV or something?

When Robyn continues on though, he sobers. "Yeah, I knew him, he didn't let me join Messiah." Which, in hindsight, was absolutely the right decision. Kendall looks over at the wall, grimacing faintly at the one Robyn called Wasteland. Yes, he's aware. "Most Evolved had to be negated, yadda yadda." Well actually that's about all Kendall knew of it, but he didn't care to know more. When Robyn continues, he squints at the new line.

"Hm. Something tells me that utopia was more of a dystopia? They usually are, a perfect world doesn't exist. Sounds nice though. Wish we could get rid of anti-Evolved."

"I'm sorry, what?" Robyn stops, a judgemental tone as she turns looks at Kendall with the kind of glare reserved for a mother to give to her child when they've said something horribly offensive. "Jesus, okay. I have another thing to thank Peter for." A beat. "If he were still here." A heavy sigh escapes her lips - performative, though Kendall hopefully doesn't know that.

Shaking her head, she returns to the whiteboard. "Yes, more of a dystopia. I can tell you that from personal… experience, I guess it is now." Tapping the back end of the marker against the whiteboard, she glances back over at Kendall. "This timeline still exists, alongside these two," she remarks, motioning to each of the three lines. "We call it 'Bright', because I guess people think it's ironic. It didn't just go away when we averted it."

There's a moment's pause as she takes a deep breath, eyes distant as she stares into nothing. "I guess I promised stories." And not just a lesson in quantum physics. "Here, in bright, I worked for Arthur Petrelli," she related in a low, emotionless voice. "I was a pop star, a marketing shark, and a PR expert."

Eyes close, one hand curling into a fist. Silence lingers for a long moment before a wide, almost sinister smirk creeps across her face. "I was also a serial killer trained and employed by Petrelli to silence his detractors."

Kendall pretends to cower away from Robyn's glare. "Yeah, yeah, I know, stupid thing to want to do, but Melissa kept coming home hurt and I felt like I could somehow stop it from happening if I was there. And it turned out I was right, she would've died if I wasn't there that day, so there." Not that Kendall ended up part of Messiah regardless, but anyway.

As she continues, he squints thoughtfully. "So even though you prevented them from happening, they still exist? That doesn't really make sense." He mulls it over, then shrugs. "Unless it was never actually part of our timeline to begin with and existed as an entirely different entity that just happened to be the exact same up to a certain point, in which case it's not actually a timeline but a different universe entirely. To prevent paradoxes, everything still has to happen." He huffs out a breath. "So I guess time travel only exists within our own timeline, but trying to change these other universes is impossible."

His train of thought is derailed when she mentions what she did in 'Bright', and he raises an eyebrow at her, consideringly. "You know what? I can absolutely see that. Robyn Roux, assassin for hire."

"There's… a difference between assassin and serial killer," Robyn retorts quickly, impassive in her quick response. "An assassin kills for money and purpose. A serial killer? They murder for whatever abstract reason appeals to them, and worries not about compensation. I was paid to write and perform amazing music, and be in charge of public relations at Pinehurst. I got to distance myself from my own murders."

She swallows audibly, looking back at the whiteboard. "Robyn Quinn murdered because it was fun. A good ol' time, really. And all because someone who convinced me not to release music in 2009 didn't manage to do so in that timeline." Tilting her neck, Kendall can hear it pop as points to the three lines.

"It does make sense. Time is like a river. It branches, it diverges, but nothing undoes the river the stream splits off from." A chuckle follows that, turning back to look at Kendall. "At least I don't know of any quantum beavers. As for staying in our own timeline…"

She shakes her head again. "That entirely depends on who you are. Some people can break those barriers. And if you go back and change things, you may not be able to get back to where you came from, because now the timeline has branched and you're no longer on the same track."

“Yeah I guess. Wouldn’t really know, I never murdered anyone.” Kendall looks away at that, crossing his arms. “Just… set things up in a way that led to them getting killed. But if I hadn’t, I probably would’ve been the one not walking away.” he avoids looking her way at that, not because he thinks she’s going to denounce him or anything, but because he doesn’t want to see if she approved of it. “Still my fault, but… wars are like that, huh.”

It’s a couple minutes before he shakes his head and returns to the conversation. At least he was listening. “Yeah, well if there wasn’t a way to get from one to the other, no one would know about them.” he points out. “So assuming they can, I guess the question I need to ask now is, why bother? Let them go the way they go, and just, I don’t know, add a universe defense corps that prevents people from those timelines coming over and dicking with ours. Unless we can stop the civil war from happening.” he glances over at Robyn again. “Is that what your mission is? Or was that done already and that’s another timeline offshoot? Are you guys trying to get to that one?”

"No, I'll give you that one for free." Though, if they could find that one, Robyn would very much like to see it. Maybe even live there. How would things be different compared to here? The distant look in her eyes says she's very much considering what that world would be like. "Besides, even if we stopped the way, it still happens here. It doesn't just go away. We just end up on a different tributary on the stream."

Clearing her throat, she turns back to the whiteboard. "If something like a UDC existed, no one would know. You can't risk panicking the general populace with that information. And if they're doing their job, well, no one needs to know." That's not exactly right, and she knows that better than most. But, well, here they are. "You don't need an ability to look across the veil," she says in a low voice. "There's… ways. Do you remember the overlays people were having a few years back? A lot of people are aware of the multiverse now, even if they don't know it."

Tapping the marker against the whiteboard, she draws another line up from the third line back. "This is the time the Vanguard almost unleashed a horrific virus on the world that would've wiped out most of the population." A pause, and she looks back at Kendall with a raised eyebrow. "Here, I was one of them. The Vanguard, not the casualties." I mean, eventually, but that's not the point. "We know people who have been there. It still exists," is the point she's still trying to stress.

From there, she turns back to the "wasteland" line. "Here's where it gets interesting," she remarks, drawing another line out from near where that line starts.

"Well yeah but if we can find a way to jump over there instead of here, maybe life wouldn't be so messed up. I bet they have stable internet." Because clearly, Kendall had priorities.

Flippant peanut gallery aside, he watches Robyn go back to the whiteboard, shaking his head. "Yikes. I'm guessing in that one, it happened and everyone died? Or most everyone?" Yikes indeed. "You seem to have a couple evil twins, I guess you've always been fated to be an evil overlord. Good thing you aren't in this world." Pause. "Or are you plotting something nefarious here too?" He pretends to seriously consider it, staring her down as he rubs his chin.

He pauses again as another thought occurs to him. "Do you think I have an evil twin somewhere too? My Wasteland, er, counterpart didn't do much. And I wasn't aware of any, uh… overlays?" Kendall thinks it over, and shakes his head. "I had a lot of nightmares over the years, I couldn't say if I did either way… but back to the evil twin bit. Aside from overlays or whatever, how would you know?"

And then she's drawing another line, and he headtilts. more interesting?

"I don't believe in fate," Robyn notes, letting her arms fall back to her side. "I mean, here's your proof," she remarks with one hand motioning to the whiteboard. "And you know what? I'll get back to you." That seems rather ominous. "And even if we could cross over… there's already two of us over there… presumably. How would you propose to handle that?"

It's not a rhetorical question, she seems to be genuinely curious as to Kendall's answer to that.

"How are you not aware of the overlays?" There's genuine bewilderment to that question, Robyn staring at Kendall for a moment. "It was a global event. The aurora in the sky, and all that?" She seems to have been distracted from the whiteboard for a moment.

"I would have the best person to play video games with then. And we could take turns going to work and stuff like that, while the other got to do fun stuff. Maybe I could actually get stuff done. And with being the same person, well, who'd know to say anything?" Kendall's response is immediate, and he grins at her. "Not sure how well anyone else could handle two of me though, but hey, it's not like we can't look like whoever we want." Apparently, yes he did consider it.

When Robyn looks at him like he's grown a third eyeball, though, he shrugs defensively. "I remember those, but I'm not sure about the other thing. Granted, I did have a little going on at the time. What were they like? Maybe I just forgot." Kendall's brow furrows as he tries thinking about shit that went down a few years ago. "Then again I'd be surprised if I could remember what I had for breakfast yesterday."

The stare Robyn angles at Kendall is withering, her mouth slightly agape, as if she wants to say something but all she can instead muster is low simmering disdain. There's no muttered curse, no chiding remark of "Christ, Kendall" or anything similar. Instead, she simply shakes her head before turning to look at her whiteboard. The same disdain shows on her face as she looks back it with a sudden and unflinching hatred, Kendall able to see the slightest glow in her face as she clenches her jaw.

"This is ridiculous," she mutters, putting a nonexistent cap back on to a nonexistent marker. "Look, just- don't worry about it. Don't lean too heavy on what you think you know from video games, and don't bring any of this up with anyone - particularly not with SESA. Just know there's some wild shit going on."

And that's without getting into the Entity.

The marker is tossed back at Kendall. "Come by this weekend, if you want. Don't feel like you have to."

The marker disappears in midair when she tosses it, and Kendall makes no attempt to catch it anyway. "Hey, I promised. This doesn't really seem like the kind of stuff SESA is responsible for anyway." The look he gives her, however, is uncertain, even disregarding the freaky glowing bit. Why does she know then if it's like that?

"I know video games are an inaccurate representation of real life, no matter what weird stuff has happened since people started getting superpowers." He spreads his hands out in a shrug, then drops them into his lap. "Yeah, sure, I'll come by. Might as well."

"You're right, it's not. But you'd also be surprised," Robyn replies a tone that drips with annoyance. "And when they don't? Well, there's still people who do." And it's not them. Not anymore, except when it still is. Her shoulders tense, the glow beneath her skin getting just the slightest bit stronger before she takes a deep breath and it fades.

"Just… like, I said, there's some wild stuff going on. Don't go wandering into it, if you can help it." Maybe it's best that Nicole wouldn't let him take the Raytech liaison position. "Though… I guess it tends to be attracted to me. Consider this last chance to bail, I guess.'

A small and helpless shrug follows, before she looks towards the door. Her expression is hard to read, as is the cause of her sudden swerve in attitude. Whatever it is, Kendall can almost feel the cynicism coming from her.

Kendall snorts at that, rolling his eyes. "Oh please, you act like nothing weird has ever happened with me. In this regard, you're not special. Sure, you may have had a bit more experience with such things, but I'm pretty confident everyone's had a go."

Kendall thinks that over. "Uh, just to be clear, you're definitely still a special kind of person." So how many feet have become intimately acquainted with his mouth so far?

"Er, well, I'll do my best not to wander into anything on purpose unless I think I can handle it, but can't help stumbling in on things if I don't know about them."

"You can't," handle it, she means, though it's not said with the barely concealed annoyance come anger of her last few statements. Rather, it's matter of fact, tinged with a touch of sadness. "I can't." She spreads her hads in a mirror of Kendall's gesture. "But as usual, here we are."

The matter of her being special or not is one she doesn't engage, so at least for the minute Kendall has squarely avoided putting his foot back in his mouth.

"If something happens to you, I will be glowing with anger." Maybe an intentional choice of words given a few moments ago. "There's enough people in trouble that don't need to be right now. That's why I want you to be wary about your little - memory den endeavour. About - all of this." She motions over to where the white board was, a building fury petering out to a sigh.

"I wish I could tell you more. Maybe eventually."

Kendall regards the board thoughtfully, then shifts his attention back to his visitor. "Well, beyond a memory transference or whatever, it's not like the fact that they exist has any effect on our world. Proof is the fact that very few people even know about it."

He stares at the board again for a moment, at all the circles, then looks back at Robyn. "I promise, if I plan on doing anything of the sort, I'll make sure to bring backup. Nothing is going to happen to me. I've gotten very good at avoiding nasty situations." He smiles reassuringly at her as he walks her to the door. "It'll be fine. Don't forget to tell me all about it when you get back." Kendall is going to keep saying that until it comes true!

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