kaydence_icon.gif matt_icon.gif

Scene Title Pinch
Synopsis Kay finally returns home, only to discover she's still in turmoil - merely of a different sort now. And Matt's along for the ride.
Date October 20, 2008

Damaris House

It's been several days since the events surrounding Kaydence Lee Damaris' disappearance, and Matt has fallen into a somewhat steady rhythm with Cole. His status in Homeland Security, paired with his own recent trauma, has made dropping off and picking up the little girl, in addition to hounding the NYPD, all the more easy.

Tonight, even though Cole has school in the morning, she and her 'Uncle Matt' have fallen asleep on the couch while watching Diamonds are Forever. The little girl is using Matt's belly as a pillow, and the agent on his back looks like he's collapsed of exhaustion rather than slipped off into a quiet slumber. Towser lies on the floor between the couch and coffee table, having already eaten all of the pizza crumbs dropped by the equally messy man and child.

Outside the door of the apartment, there's a very soft cursing before there's a knock on the door. Kay's personal affects have yet to be recovered from the scene of her kidnapping, leaving her without her house keys for the time being. Towser's immediately on his feet and scrambling foor the door, letting out a single, deep bark before he gets to the vertical window that allows the occupants of the house see who's outside in lieu of a peep hole in the door. Recognizing the woman of the house, he falls silent and simply settles down to sit patiently, tail thumping on the floor. From the outside, Kaydence Lee sees only her reflection through the special glass, but she knows the dog is there watching her. She waits somewhat less patiently than her pet, but at least not agitatedly so.

Kay's seen better days. She has only minor physical injuries, mostly from trying to navigate the flooded basement of the derelict hospital to retrieve her partner, but she looks as though she needs a proper shower with more than just a bar of soap. And maybe about a year's worth of good sleep. The look in her eyes is a haunted one.

On the couch, Cole stirs slightly but goes back to cuddling into Matt's stomach, not quite roused by the knocking. The movie helps the child to drown it out.

As tired as he is, Matt is just as tense. The bark sends a jolt through him, and once he opens his eyes to see where the dog has gone, it is the same as if he had been injected with a shot of adrenaline. He's immediately awake. If Cole weren't on top of him, he'd jump up. As it is, Matt has to carefully relocate Cole before he can stand and move toward the door. He leans to look out the window, following the dog's example.

That door can't open fast enough. Matt wrenches the deadbolt before he throws open the door, only to stare at Kaydence. He doesn't look so hot either, but he looks much better than Kaydence. The dark circles under his eyes emphasize them even more when they widen. "Kay…" Matt blinks, then squints. Is it really her? It could be a dream. That almost seems more possible and probable.

Matt's greeted with a tired smile and that familiar, though scratchy voice. "C'm'ere, you." Kay grabs either side of Matt's face before kissing him full on the mouth for a solid five seconds. She releases him only to grab him in a tight hug. "Jesus Christ, I thought I was going to die. You have no idea how glad I am to see you." And somehow, there was nothing even close to romantic or passionate about that kiss. It was simply an emotional reaction. She doesn't ask to see her daughter, figuring the girl's in bed at this hour.

Kisses are like pinches. Matt's eyes fly open even further when he is kissed, but only for a moment. It has been a long time since he has been kissed by anyone under the age of thirteen. A deep sigh of relief escapes him as he wraps his arms around Kaydence in an effort to hang onto her. When she breaks away but continues to cling, Matt is left with a strange surprised yet pleased expression. "Where the hell were you?" he asks with a shake of his head and a rapid series of blinks.

Kay sighs gratefully against Matt's shoulder. She'll let him hang on to her as long as he pleases. She likes the feeling of being grounded to the spot right now anyway. "Somewhere terrible," she responds. Should he be reading her thoughts, he'll get glimmers of her reaction to the memories of the ward she was held in. "Thank you so much for looking after Colene."

It's not that Matt means to delve into Kaydence's mind, but some things are hard to hear. In this case, it is visual rather than audio input - flashes in Matt's mind that originated in Kaydence's. He shivers, shaking his head as he hugs Kaydence closer, pressing the side of his head against her own. "Don't mention it," he mutters. And he means it.

"I thought that nutjob was going to kill me. I honestly did." Kay leans back so she can meet eyes with the HomeSec agent. She looks scared. "Something terrible happened, Matt. I was unconscious at the time, but I could feel it. I felt like something was killing me slowly, piece by piece. I don't know how to explain it. It was…" She shakes her head and tightens the embrace once more, resuming the cheek-to-cheek contact they previously held, seeking the assurance it represents.

"Then don't explain it," Matt says, opting to move one hand from holding Kaydence's body to holding the other side of her head. "And get in here. It's cold."

It doesn't take much effort to bring Kaydence inside, though Matt is reluctant to let go in order to shut the door. Cole is still fast asleep in the couch, but Towser has joined her. The dog, however, is wide awake and looking at Kaydence with that goofy smile all dogs are capable of, his tail thumping against the cushions.

Stepping inside takes Kaydence's breath away. "Oh," she manages after a moment. "There's my baby." She pulls away from Matt slowly and squeezes his arm gently. "Go get me a beer pop some pizza rolls in the microwave for me, would you? I'm going to go tuck my little girl into her bed so we can talk without disturbing her, okay?" She slips away to take a seat on the edge of one of the couch cushions where she smooths her daughter's hair from her face.

"Uncle Matt?" Colene Marcella asks quietly before she blinks her eyes twice and her mother's image comes into focus. She springs up into a sitting position and wraps her arms tightly around the woman. "Mommy!"

"Hi, baby." Kay's voice squeaks just a touch as she gathers up the child. "Just wanted to let you know I'm home, sweetie. I'm going to go tuck you in and I'll see you in the morning before school, okay?" She smothers the girl's face with kisses, but receives no protest as she carries her toward her room.

There were pizza rolls? Then why did Matt order a pizza? Herein lies the problem with not searching the freezer thoroughly enough. He doesn't say a word that would interrupt the reunion of mother and daughter, but goes into the kitchen once Kaydence has left his arms and gone to embrace her little girl. Beer is easily found, and after a few minutes of searching, Matt locates the pizza rolls. An entire box is dumped onto a plate before Matt shoves the whole thing into the microwave before taking a seat on one of the stools near the counter.

It's a few minutes before Kay re-emerges from her little girl's bedroom, closing child and dog securely therein. "Hey," she greet quietly, leaning in the entryway to the kitchen. "I think I'm going to go slip into a nightgown quick while we wait for those to cool. …Will you spend the night?" It's obviously a difficult thing for the detective to ask, but if she can't be honest about her fear with Matt, then who else can she trust with that knowledge?

Matt smirks as he pries the caps off of two bottles of beer. It's very late to be drinking, but it's not like Matt has to be in an office tomorrow. "You couldn't kick me out if you tried." While the image of Kaydence in a nightgown would at any other time wash over Matt's mind like acid over a rock, this time it clings like oil on a duck. Kisses, like pinches, are powerful things. "Go get comfy," Matt mutters before he swallows, then takes a deep drink from his bottle. In immediate retrospect, he sets the bottle down and stares at it suspiciously.

Kay's only gone about a minute before she's slinking back into the kitchen in a floor-length nightgown made of pink silk and ivory lace. It's got a matching robe which has been left uncinched, but keeps her arms from feeling the slight chill in the air. "Sorry you had to find out you're Cole's emergency contact like this." The woman plucks up her beer and takes a long drink. "But I figure if anything happened to me - like this just happened - I wanted you to be the one here, rather than worrying my parents. God, I don't relish having to tell them about this."

"Do they need to know?" Matt asks as he scratches at the damp label on the cold beverage. He makes a point of looking at Kaydence's face, and it really isn't as hard as he had thought it would be. "And don't worry about it. I…" but Matt doesn't want to ask Kaydence to avoid bringing it up if she needs to talk about it. "I just hope it doesn't happen again. You look like hell."

"I'm sure I've got a million missed calls on my cell, knowing my parents. I think I probably owe them some sort of explanation. And I've never been very good at lying to my folks. I'll think of something, I'm sure." Kay finally grabs a seat and actually chuckles at Matt's assessment of her appearance. "Feel like you're looking into a mirror, sweetheart? Because I've got news for you. You should talk."

Matt frowns, but it is a weak expression of his feelings at best. "It's your fault. I've been up the NYPD's ass like an army proctologist for the last week." Matt sighs, and then the microwave beeps. He's thankful for the chance to get up, even if it is only to move a few steps to retrieve the pizza rolls and let them sit on the counter between himself and Kay before resuming his seat.

"I'd expect nothing less from you. They really didn't tell you anything? They haven't told me what sort of demands were made in exchange for my safe return. I'm assuming demands were made, since I wasn't raped or murdered." There's a long swig of beer to give Kay a chance to sort out her thoughts again. "Personally, I'm not sure I care. I know Lau didn't make any attempts to negotiate, but I'd expect no less from that banshee." Her hair swings loosely about her face, dull and flat, as she shakes her head.

"Hey," Matt says in a somewhat sterner tone, reaching out to grab Kaydence's hand in his own. "Don't worry about any of that. It doesn't matter. You're alive. You're safe. And most importantly, you're home. Whoever…whoever took you will get what's coming to him. You know Lau. You know the NYPD. If they do anything, they take care of their own."

"You're right," Kay concedes, squeezing Matt's hand before simply lacing her fingers with his. "I'm just… It happened. And Judah and Felix both had to break rank to—" Kay's eyes close. I don't want to talk about it anymore.

"Don't then," Matt reassures with a crease of his brow and a squeeze of Kaydence's hand. "You just…you say what you need to say, alright? I'm here. But you should definitely go see the station shrink when you're ready." To leave the house, that is. Matt's got a feeling that Kaydence would like to stay home as long as she can, and it's easily understandable. "Now eat your damned pocket pizza things."

Kay leaves her hand linked with Matt’s, plucking up the first pizza roll with the free one, blowing on it gingerly before taking a small bite. Who the heck takes more than one bite to eat a pizza roll? Someone who’s probably used to making sure their small child doesn’t pull a monkey-see-monkey-do and choke. “I don’t want to see the stupid shrink. I’ve had enough with the shrinks.” It’s no secret that Kaydence has been recommended for and turned down therapy sessions to deal with her husband’s murder. “I find my own way through things. You know that.”

"This is a pretty big thing, Kay," Matt says with a sigh.  As much as he cares for his old partner's wife and daughter, he can't take being a psuedo shrink again, especially over something like this. He leaves the pizza rolls to Kaydence - he already ate.  "They're giving you leave, aren't they?" They must be.

“Yeah,” Kay confirms, “I’ve got leave.” She tilts her head to one side, actually managing to look a strange mixture of disinterested and forlorn, even as she eats her late night snack. “I’m supposed to be stronger than this. I’ve lived through a lot of crap. I wanted to go right back to work, but you know how the department is. But I’m afraid if I just stop moving, the disuse will get the better of me and I’ll fall apart.”

"Tell me about it," Matt grumbles. He and Kaydence are cut from similar cloth. "But if I had been back with H.S. right after…" his voice trails off, and he leaves the event unspecified, "…I wouldn't have been able to take care of Cole as easily. Things work out."

“It isn’t your turn to go missing, so don’t even think about it.” Kay falls silent, giving up the pretenses of being polite and rapidly gulping down three more rolls. “You know, while I was tied up, all I could think about was how bad I wanted pizza and beer. How sick is that?” She may be talking with her mouth full, but she does have her free hand up to hide the sight of it, even if the words are a little muffled.

"You were gone for days," Matt says with a squint, ignoring the cold comment.  He can't imaging not eating for that long, but it explains Kaydence's hunger now. You didn't think about Cole? he asks mentally rather than verbally, but who knows if it's just a though that he's accidently put too much weight behind. It's been known to happen, after all.

“Of course I thought about my daughter,” Kay snaps, obviously offended. Her fists pounds on the table, just once, for emphasis. “How could you even think that? I meant as far as—I thought about you, too, you dick.” Is she… pouting?

Matt sulks at the shouting, leaving the two enforcement officers sullen for a moment before he attempts to break the tension. Picking up a pizza roll, Matt flicks it at the woman's face.

Kay’s hand finally disengages from Matt’s reflexively as she jerks back when the flicked roll smacks her square on the bridge of her nose and bounces back to the table. The woman gasps in surprise and then just gapes at her counterpart for a solid five seconds before a grin breaks out across her face. She scoops up the snack and chucks it back, aiming for Matt’s chest, lest she somehow cause him to lose an eye in a tragic Totino’s accident.

First an arm, then an eye? But Kaydence's aim is true.  Matt jerks back as he's hit, pretending as though he had been shot. He carefully, and dramatically, falls from his stool and onto the floor. With a gasp and a shake, Matt croaks out his 'final' words: "Kaydence. You bitch." Matt then sticks his tongue out and lies still.

Kaydence squeals with laughter and it’s suddenly quite clear where her daughter derives her giggles from. “Hah! I win!” Kay jumps off her chair, fresh pizza roll in hand. She crouches down on the floor next to Matt and drops the snack on his tongue. “Consolation roll.”

But Matt remains still.

Maybe it's having been around Cole this last week combined with the relief that her mother is safe, but after a moment, he spits the roll out and lunges at Kaydence, hands going for her sides in a full-on tickle assault.

The spat pizza roll surprises Kaydence enough that she doesn’t see the lunge coming until it’s too late. She overcorrects and goes tumbling backward on the floor, shrieking as Matt’s fingers find her sides. “No! No! Stop!” Her legs kick in a futile attempt to squirm her way free. It’s a wonder that Cole doesn’t wake up.

But Matt only howls with laughter as he continues his assault. It doesn't last much longer, though, and soon he's just leaning over the prone Kaydence, laughing and gasping for air. "I think I win," he says with a wide grin.

Kay’s chest heaves as she gasps for air herself, staring up wide-eyed at her friend. “I concede your victory.” For a long moment, she just lays there, catching her breath. “Thanks,” she murmurs softly, finally. “I needed that.”

It's believable that Matt needed it too. He moves so that he is no longer hanging over Kaydence, but rather than sit back, he lies down beside her, his hands on his belly. He had been fast asleep when she came home, after all. "Anytime," he says with a sigh. "But I'll beat you every time."

“Oh, no. I don’t think so.” Kay rolls up and over Matt, one knee on either side of his legs as she returns fire, hoping her victim is at least a fraction as ticklish as her daughter is, because that just makes it more fun. “I’ll show you who’s boss around here!”

It's Matt's own fault that he let his guard down, and his reflexes to defend himself. As it is, he only jerks before he starts to twist in an attempt to avoid those fingers as he stifles a laugh that reddens his face. It's not long before he's seeking to instead grab Kaydence's wrists. But Matt has the unfair advantage of knowing when and where Kaydence will strike, and in an effort to stop her, he's not above employing. He squints, trying to hear whatever plans or impulses cross her mind.

Matt's just a little too fast, and Kay knows it. "Hey," she cries, "you're cheating!" She flails but ultimately has her wrists ensnared by the telepathic man. "That's so unfair."

The victorious grin that eases its way onto Matt's face is a lazy one. He simply holds Kaydence's wrists as he lies still, as relaxed as he can be on the kitchen floor with Kaydence on top of him. "I'm glad your back," he says after a moment, his voice somewhat distant.

"Me too…" A sudden blush creeps in to Kay's cheeks and she shuts her eyes tightly as though it might achieve the desired effect. "Get out of my head," she gasps. Before you hear these stray thoughts of mine that are far too loud. Please, please, please. Kaydence's eyes open again, wider this time. "Matt, I…"

But once he had Kay's wrists, Matt hadn't been actively trying to read the woman's thoughts. Now curiosity threatens to rear its head. What does she want to hide? "Kaydence?" he asks in a softer voice, adjusting to prop himself up on his elbows, dropping her wrists in the process.

Kay finds herself frozen, only able to stare dumbly at the man. With her hands free, and him rising up to meet her, she almost reaches out. I think that I might— Shut up, Kay. Shut up, shut up, shut up.

Those are indeed scary thoughts, so much so that they cause Matt's eyes to widen in fear and irrational anticipation. He reaches up to grip Kaydence firmly by the shoulders before he settles his dark eyes on hers. "You're tired. You've been through a lot." That's the reasonable explanation, right? "You should go to bed." We would be a bad word to use right now.

I knew you could never feel the same. I'm not good enough. Kay looks away, unaware her thoughts are still being overheard. She nods her head and slumps against the arms holding her up just a bit.

It's not something Matt wanted, nor planned to hear. "Hey," he says before giving Kaydence a light shake. "Hey. Quit that. You're…you're…you're being stupid." If anything, Kaydence is too good - like any other officer of the law, she falls into the canine category, but rather than just be a straight up bitch, Kaydence is protective and nurturing. …Not that much unlike Matt, really.

"It's not a transference thing," Kay says quietly. "Doctor Kenneth warned me about that. But… I don't know, Matt. I couldn't see anybody else in my life after Spence, but it just seemed right to have you be the first person I see when that door opens. Maybe it's because we've always been so close. I'm not even sure what I'm feeling." Tears well up in Kay's eyes and she sniffles once. "Maybe I've lost my fucking mind. I do love you, Matt. I love you a lot. I just don't know if I'm in love. I didn't think I'd ever be. I may never be." There's a deep breath and a quiet, almost wheezing sigh. "Shit. Shit." The tears spill down pale cheeks as her lips tremble.

With widening eyes, Matt readjusts himself once more in an effort to wrap his arms around Kaydence. The gesture is more comforting than any attempt at romance. "Shh," he whispers, rubbing the woman's back as if she were twenty years younger than she is. In Matt's defense, the most emotional beings he's dealt with as of late have been twenty years younger than Kaydence. "I love you too, Kaydence." In…in that same way. "This is stupid to even think about right now. But I can't get up with you on me, and you need to sleep. We both need to sleep."

"Matt," Kay squeaks out, clinging to him like a drowning victim to a lifeguard. "If anything happens to me, promise me you'll look after Cole. She needs a parent, not just grandparents. I can think of no one better than you."

"Yeah," Matt says, his own voice getting a little choked. "Yeah, of course." But only if you look after Molly if… but Matt can't even bear to think the end of that sentence.

When Kay's lips find Matt's for the second time tonight, it's definitely more than the knee-jerk reaction that she had when he opened the door for her. The kiss is tender, if a little needy, but it's over quickly enough. Kay's breath comes to her in a short gasp, leaving her forehead touching his. I promise.

October 20th: Bang, Not A Whimper
October 20th: The Edge of Reason
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