Scared Children


colette_icon.gif kaylee3_icon.gif

Scene Title Scared Children
Synopsis Kaylee tells Colette about her impending divorce.
Date April 19, 2019

When Kaylee had accepted Donovan’s offer, she had no idea what she had gotten herself into. Especially when she found out she was going to have to do some serious catch up to the current class of recruits. She was flattered that he had that much faith in her, but he had clearly forgotten she had a family and this accelerated course was going to be a strain. This meant leaning on friends and family for help and support; they had rallied around her in a way she didn’t expect.

Unfortunately, at the moment, Kaylee was a little further behind then she wanted to be, but that had been her fault. She had drug her feet stepping down as COO and then there was the other thing….

Shit! Shit! Shit!

Kaylee’s Apartment - Raytech Industries

5:45 PM

April 19th

Kaylee hisses angrily shaking her fingers before sticking one in her mouth, she tastes copper immediately and can feel the odd sensation where the skin had parted under the knife. She had been cutting up some sandwiches into squares — to help the pair through a study session that was going to be brutal — when the knife had slipped. Her mind had drifted to the fact there was an elephant in the room.

For one, they were not sitting at the kitchen table at the Sumter house, being continually distracted by kids who wanted to know what they were doing and ask Kaylee about dinner for the umpteenth time. Joseph worked hard to keep them distracted, but there trio of kidlets were sneaky things. Especially, Carl. And especially, when he was hungry.

Colette had to know something was up when Kaylee had pushed back the session a few days, then had changed the site to Raytech of all places. One cannot forget the boxes piled by the front door, left untouched and for the moment forgotten.

Something had changed in the telepath…

It was shame making Kaylee restless and unable to concentrate. Fingers had fidgeted with pages, her eyes unfocusing… missing questions when gets lost in her through. Looking one of her closest friends in the eye was suddenly very difficult. Finally, she declared that they needed something to eat.

Now she was just standing lamely in the kitchen, finger in her mouth, looking out at Colette sitting at the table, its surface scared with books and papers.

“Don't tell me you’re pregnant again,” is Colette’s immediate comment from the table, accompanying the scuff of chair legs against the floor as she rises to her feet and pushes the chair back with her legs. “Because you haven't been here all damn day, an’ the only thing I'd figure that'd get you that distracted is having a litter of puppies waitin’ in the wings.”

Walking over to Kaylee, Colette comes to stand beside her at the sink, arms crossed over her chest and hip against the counter. “If it's a girl I have some thoughts on names,” she says with a raise of her brows and a lopsided smile, “just saying— Colette Junior is still available.” God knows Nicole didn't take that bait.


The question throws Kaylee for a complete loop, which ends with her staring at Colette, thumb in her mouth. There is a slow blink before she shakes that head. “No.” No she is not pregnant.

Looking at the cut on her finger, Kaylee debate how to explain it. Finally, she sighs. “I mean… I wanted another, but… right now, that isn't the best idea.” The telepath’s tone is meek and completely out of character for her.

Blue eyes flit away from Colette to the food she is preparing. “I… uh… I… well, I left Joseph.” The words are soft and Colette may have a hard time hearing that confession.

“Left him where?” is exactly the kind of knee-jerk response Colette would give. It’s not even a joke, especially given that this isn’t a joking matter. The real meaning eludes her for a few moments, simply because of the impossibility of it all. Then comes Colette’s spluttering snort of confusion, followed by a stride away from Kaylee and back again, head angled to the side and jaw set as crooked as her brows.

“That’s… bullshit,” Colette can’t quite make an eloquent response. “No, that’s— that doesn’t even make any sense. You two’re perfect for each other, it— everything you went through back— ” Colette’s physical movements mirror her verbal ones, with a half dozen false starts and retraced steps. “Bullshit,” Colette whispers, “bullshit, you didn’t. Because— Carl and Hannah— ” she shakes her head, “because you love him?”

Blue eyes follow her friend as she works it out, not speaking up to help her along, just letting her come to that conclusion. In the meantime, Kaylee pulls bandages from one of the kitchen cabinets… what does that say about her? Shoulders are tense while she tends to the wounded finger, but the telepath seems mostly calm against Colette’s protests.

“You’re right. I do love him, but… we’re not perfect… no marriage is. I love him and my children enough to know when to walk away,” Kaylee finally looks at Colette as she smooths the bandaid over the cut. Knowing Colette enough, she holds up a hand. “Let me say my peace before you start yelling at me more…”

Hands settle on the counter, nails hooking against the worn edges of tiles. How often had she explained herself for her actions against a gentle soul like Joseph?

“The night Carl was born, Joseph said he couldn’t do what we do anymore, I agreed. I tried so hard not to get involved, but then we came back here…” Her attention shifts to the darkening world outside, nodding towards it with a slow incline of her head. “And I realized I couldn’t stop, there is something that calls to me and it drives me to get out there and… you know.” save the world so to speak.

“So much has happened… so much has changed in me, especially,” Kaylee says in measured words. “I tried to go back to my life after New Mexico. I tried…” her voice is thick with her failure. “That wasn’t me anymore. I love Joseph… I miss my kids… I feel lost without Carl, but they need what I can’t really give them anymore. Normal or what passes for normal anymore,” Kaylee huffs out that last with a humorless chuckle.

There is a sigh and her expression softens a little. “He said he’d support whatever I do as long as it didn’t come home. Didn’t endanger the family, but Cole…” Kaylee looks at her friend, he expression pleading with her to understand. “Everything we do gets more and more dangerous. It spills over. A l w a y s. And it will, because, I can’t stop…” She makes it sounds almost like an addiction.

“There is no way to keep it away from them, but I also can’t stop being me.” Kaylee huffs out with a frustrated sigh.

“And what if this isn’t you?” Colette is quick to ask, her features sharper now and brows knit so much that the creases between them are so much more pronounced than they were before. “Do you know what that sounds like? That you couldn’t pull yourself away, that in spite of knowing that you love Joseph and your kids but you can’t stop?” Colette taps two fingers at the center of her own chest, jutting forward as she says, “Addiction.

Sucking in a sharp breath through her nose, Colette takes a few long steps away from Kaylee and runs one hand through her hair. She looks down to the floor, momentarily lost, then sharply looks back to her friend. “The war fucked me up, Kaylee. Being a Ferrymen at the age of sixteen fucked me up and you weren’t all that much older when you started. We only knew trauma. We only knew the bullshit because that’s what made our most formative years.”

Exasperatedly, Colette circles back around toward where Kaylee is. “Avi got arrested last year, for fucking murder, and my response was to drop off the grid and kill my way through Liberty Island before springing him and hijacking the Tlanuwa. We managed to walk away from that because I burned every single bit of good will anyone in the government had for me, because Epstein and the Major are good at words. But I was fucking broken and all I knew how to do was jump in head first because that was our whole life.

“But that— the fight— it’s not who we are. It’s not who you are. But I was addicted to it, to the adrenaline, to the excitement, to feeling important and it nearly got me killed a half dozen times over. If I didn’t leave Wolfhound at my therapist’s recommendation I’d probably not even be recognizable to you anymore. Even being in the NYPD— it’s— it’s a compromise because I can’t kick this habit I have.” Colette’s voice cracks as she shakes her head, biting down gently on her bottom lip to stop it from trembling. “You have a fucking family. This? If I’d known… if I’d known how you felt I never would’ve— ”


The word is snapped out harder then she planned it and a hand slaps down on the tile in the kitchen. The sound of flesh against the hard surface loud in the room. The act leaves her hand tingling, she’ll feel that later. There is a visible grimace of regret, but not over her hand, but that she can’t take her outburst back. Taking a deep breath, Kaylee lets out a calmer, “Don’t. Just don’t.”

Swallowing, Kaylee has to look away from Colette. “You see the NYPD as a compromise, I see it as fucking freedom to be me again. To protect the people I love, in a way I couldn’t during the war. When I hid away, my friends went through fucking hell and I should have been there by your side.” Her voice raises, but she quickly stops herself.

“I let myself believe that hiding in that bunker, sitting at fucking radio, playing music was doing good… All the while my friends had their hands covered in blood.” There is so much shame and guilt buried in those words… Still, Kaylee trails off and shakes her head.

“Look…” The words thick with emotion as she tried desperately to defend a decision even she has doubts about. “I don’t expect you or anyone else to understand why I left. I just know, I can’t be the woman Joseph needs and I don’t want to be her.” Her own lips quivers and Kaylee has to turn away herself and take a few steps to collect herself.

There are tears sliding unbidden down her cheeks when Kaylee turns back around, hands curled into fists, nails biting into her palms as she works not to yell out her frustration at Colette. ”This wasn’t an easy decision. I tore myself apart for months, making this decision. I miss my children, but I don’t need a judge, Colette,” the telepath accuses softly. “I’m doing that enough to myself…” What she needs?

“I need a friend.”

That last almost a plea, but for what?. A plea for understanding? A plea for Colette to leave it alone? Who knows for sure, maybe all of the above.

Friends can be judges,” Colette throws back, still as animate as she was a moment ago. “You weren’t hiding in a bunker you were protecting your family! You had a newborn son, what were y’gonna do, dump him off in Richard’s lap and maybe die in Utah with me?” She throws her arms to the side, a wide gesture in the universal pantomime of come the fuck on.

“This isn’t about you being you, this is about you feeling guilty!” Colette wildly gestures with her hands, ping-ponging back and forth across the kitchen floor with clomping footfalls. “I shouldn’t have been out there, Kaylee. I should’ve been with Tamara and Tasha. But I left them in fucking Canada and joined up with Hana because I thought I had something to prove. Because I wanted fucking revenge for Judah— and that— stupid— fucking attitude is what got him killed in the first place!”

Colette’s chest rises and falls in heaving breaths, her face is red and her hands shaking, eyes glassy and pink around the edges where otherwise they are white. “You want to be a cop, be one because you want to make a difference now. But don’t use this shit as a justification for leaving Joseph! Don’t use your guilt t’pad the fact that you’re unhappy or— or whatever. Don’t pretend like Carl would’ve been safe if you were off fighting in the fucking war.”

Jaw trembling, Colette adds, “We were fighting so you didn’t have to.”

I know!” Kaylee yells back at Colette, the word sobbed out. “I know.” She repeats softer with just as much anger, but for a long moment there is nothing after that as she puts distance between herself and Colette. Fingers are curled tightly into fists; knuckles white like she is restraining herself.

She doesn’t know how to explain. Didn’t even know how to…

“Until, you have been where I am, you will never understand,” Kaylee half hisses the growled words out. “Just like I can’t ever know what it was like for you… For Luther or all the others out there.” In truth she could, but she didn’t want to see, that much was obvious.

Lips pressed tightly together to try to stop the trembling of her chin, Kaylee turns back to look at Colette. Seeing the look in the other woman’s mind and “I don’t know the first thing about what I'm doing, but I’m doing it… and this time it is MY choice. Mine! Not my fathers, not that fucking thing that was in my head,” Kaylee said standing her ground on her decisions.

“I can’t expect you to understand, when I don’t understand it myself… so… so…” The words fail Kaylee for a moment, she’s left grasping for what she wants to say.

Back the fuck off, Colette!

The words are out of Kaylee’s mouth before she can stop them, her frustration and emotions finally coming to a head.

Colette circles away from Kaylee at that bark, one hand raking her bangs back from her brow as she paces in a much wider arc than before. Jaw set and teeth clenched, Colette fires a very performative look back over her shoulder at Kaylee, brows furrowed and lips twisted tight. With a loud snort, she storms back over to the telepath and gets in close, jabbing a finger up at Kaylee.

“Just because it’s your choice doesn’t make it a fucking good one!” Colette’s voice cracks in the middle. “And— I'm not— I'm not saying it's fucking bad either I just—” She clamps down on her words, balls her hands into fists and then throws her hands into the air. “You two were perfect for each other! He cares about you so much!

There is another flash of anger as Colette gets in close but by some miracle, Kaylee bites back her retort.

“We were,” Kaylee finally says, not taking her eyes of Colette. The last clearly emphasised. Looking back at her friend with a mixture of sadness and tears. “But if we have learned anything over the years, perfect never lasts.” A part of the telepath wants to reach out and grab the other woman and give her a little shake. Instead, hands curl into fists at her side.

I changed, Colette.” Her attention shifts to the side, where a framed photo sits by itself, one of the few things she unpacked. Her three kids in a laughing pile, crowded into the frame. Happy. “Like I said… I love, Joseph. I always will. He gave me a family with three great kids. But… it doesn’t feel the same anymore.” There is a small smile, sad and resigned.

“When I came back from New Mexico, I found that I’d been feeling that way for awhile, but didn’t understand it. All because I still loved him and I thought that was all that mattered.” Kaylee admits. “Then, one night, I realized I didn’t fit into my family anymore… I tried, but then I found that, my staying put them in danger.” Because her life over the past year, got pretty complicated.

Colette runs one hand over her face, pacing away from Kaylee again as she makes a frustrated noise in the back of her throat. She only makes it halfway across the room before she wheels around and gestures wildly. “So, what’re you doing, running away from your kids!?” Her voice cracks as she shouts that. “Didn’t you— isn’t that the exact same shit your dad did to you when you were growing up? He just fucking left and— it fucked you up. You can’t tell me it didn’t fuck you up.”

As Colette takes a few quick steps back to Kaylee, the telepath can see her friend’s eyes reddened and glassy with tears. “Joseph’s here because this is where your family is. If— if you— if he— you can’t do this to Carl, to any of them. This isn’t— just about you anymore. God, Kaylee, if I knew— I would’ve never encouraged you t’become a cop if you were gonna use it as an excuse to— ”


It happens in a blink.

Blinded by rage, Kaylee’s hand strikes out and slaps Colette. The sound of the slap seems to reflect of the apartment walls back to the telepath, bringing with it that first sting of horror. What had she done. Something she’s never done to anyone, especially not someone she loved. But, it was done and there was no taking it back.

And even though a part of her deep down was horrified, the telepath was too angry to back down, her vision red. Teeth clench and her jaw tightens against the desire to scream at Colette.

“I’m. Not. My. Father,” Kaylee growls out from between clenched teeth, around the tears of hurt and shame. “He didn’t just leave, he abandoned me. My only memory of him? When he told my mother I’d hurt people - He should’ve just called me a monster. I know he was thinking about it.” She didn’t really know if he thought that… but a part of her still believed it.

Taking a shaky breath and hiccuping around the tears, there is a small whine behind her words… that hurt little girl was still in there. “He left and never came back. I never saw him, until he was dying..”

“But me?” That same hand that slapped one of her best friends smacks hard against her own chest. “ I am still here, Colette.”

The mask of anger starts to crack as she repeats, around fresh tears, “I am still here, I didn’t vanish.” With a choked noise, Kaylee turns away from Colette and puts distance between them, burying her face in her hands with a sob.

Tongue against the inside of her cheek and hand hovering over the reddening side of her face, Colette stares wide-eyed at Kaylee. She swallows back a croaking gasp, tears welled up in her eyes, and soon that red flush comes up from her neck and out from her cheeks along with a vein at her temple now visible. Most of what Kaylee said after the slap is a dull ringing in Colette’s ears and the younger of the pair takes a few steps back, her hand that isn’t cradling her cheek balled up into a fist.

But she doesn’t need to use her hands as weapons, or anything so primitive. Her last name may have changed, but she is still Nichols’ blood. They have other implements.

“Maybe your dad didn’t mean hurt people with your fucking power,” Colette barks out. She’ll regret it later, she’ll apologize later, she’ll feel horrible later. But right now she doesn’t have the faculties for that, doesn’t have the level head for that. They both have scared little girls inside of them, and Kaylee just woke up one from a decade of slumber.

Because that’s the last thing Colette says to Kaylee before she storms out of her apartment, the slam of the door at her back the period on the end of her sentence.

Colette might not have used her fists, but the words have enough sting that Kaylee almost wishes she had been punched instead. Swinging back around with more venom-filled words on the tip of her tongue, the telepath is greeted by the slam of the door. There is a grimace at the sound, but more so it rattles the mirror next to it drawing her attention.

In truth, she could still send the words rolling around in her head, throw them at Colette like a bolt to the brain.

Kaylee stared numbly into the tired eyes reflected back.

The thought came to her so easily, to cause pain and hurt others; but this time it wasn’t on the silvery tongue of a black snake. Kaylee hated herself for realizing it. That self-hatred burned brightly at her core, boiling up until with a barely contained scream of frustration, the telepath’s fist connects with polished surface.

Kaylee doesn't feel the sting of the cuts — she will later — only sees the spider web of fractures that cut across the reflected features staring back at her with such frustration and tear-filled disgust.

Finally, the mirror reflected back how she truly felt.


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