Six Shooter Kisses


kaydence_icon.gif matt_icon.gif

Scene Title Six Shooter Kisses
Synopsis Chaos and worry may reign supreme, but even in times of trouble, there is still love.
Date January 21, 2009

Dorchester Towers - Matt Parkman's Apartment

Of all of the spacious apartments of Dorchester Towers which more than likely still cost an arm and a leg each month in rent, apartment number 404 is likely to be the least furnished of them all. The high-ceilinged space still sports the drab white paint it had when its current resident first moved in. Whereas the Towers are home to various members of New York's high-end white collar bread-winners, this one appears to be lived in by college student.

The kitchen table is cluttered with newspapers and the occasional pizza box or empty beer bottle, and the same decor theme is repeated on the coffee table that separates a second-hand couch from a television that is somewhere between top of the line and rabbit-ears worthy. The same style is echoed throughout the sparsely furnished rooms, including a bedroom which holds only a cardboard box nightstand, a lamp, and a mattress on the floor.

"Hello, sweetie," began Kaydence Lee's voicemail to Matt, "It's been a long day. I'm going to pick up your favourite pizza and swing on by after my shift. And I have a surprise, so… Stay out of my mind? Just for one night, honey. Then we can go back to business as usual." There's a quiet chuckle. "I'll see you tonight." Shortly after six, the buzzer sounds, signaling Kay's arrival. And sure enough, it's with a large pizza. "Happy Wednesday, dear."

In the background, Costello is passionately arguing with his partner about the names of the 'fellas' on the St. Louis baseball team. Matt's been enjoying himself as best he can while he's passed the time, waiting for Kaydence to show up. He's not particularly dressed down, having only loosened his tie, shed his jacket, and untucked his shirt, but he looks relaxed enough, considering his name is still Matt Parkman.

After answering the door, Matt smiles, leaning in to place a chaste and appreciate kiss on the woman's cheek. "Is it a special Wednesday, or are you making up for the lack of hub-bub yesterday?" After all, Matt's work was much less exciting (relatively) without an inauguration to guard.

Kay's still dressed for work, only having unbuttoned the top button of her dark blue dress shirt. "It's special for me. Just because I said so." She returns the kiss with one of her own, sweeping into the kitchen to set down the pizza on the table. "Don't touch it yet," she tells him. "How was your day?"

"Still waiting on Missing Persons to track down Ruskin," Matt says in a much more dour tone as he closes the door and follows Kay, taking a detour when he nears the couch in order to switch off the old comedy routine. "I think it's the calm before the storm, though. You know, when your investigation stalls before everything blows up in your face? So I spent the day…shopping for a private school."

"I know exactly what you mean," Kay smiles sympathetically and pulls off her suit coat, draping it over the back of the couch. She then moves to place a hand over the pizza box. "Private school, hm? Does this mean Molly's going to come home to live with you full time?" Her smile brightens into something happier. Maternal instincts suit her well.

"One step at time, there, Susy Homemaker." Matt smirks, looking at Kaydence out of the corner of his eye. "It's a big enough risk letting her do this. I had to promise to let her have sleepovers at people's houses." But, of course, those houses will be fully though surreptitiously guarded and all those inside will have full background checks done. Of course. "She said no to the wig, though."

"Make sure she also says no to Vice Blonde," the detective suggests in a sage manner. "That's really great, Matt." She steps over and places a hand on either side of his face to bring him in for a slow kiss. She slides her hands down to rest her arms against his shoulders, clasping her hands loosely behind his neck. "I love you," Kay says, almost experimentally.

Matt's true tiredness is revealed at the woman's touch, his eyes, already mostly lidded, sliding shut with the relish of a man kept in an underwater prison being allowed air. That in part is one of the reasons why her words stun him to the degree that they do. His own hands have slipped to her waist, holding her with casual intimacy. Rather than snap his eyes open, Matt is slow if not hesitant to look at Kaydence, and even moreso to speak.

"…because now she gets to be sort of normal?"

Kay's eyes search Matt's face apprehensively. "It's a good thing. It's very good for her. I'm happy for you guys." It doesn't take a telepath to see that she's on the verge of heartbreak. Men never say the right thing, do they?

What they find there is strange. It's like fear, but more of a confused version of it. It's gone in a moment, washed from Matt's expression and replaced with desperation. His arms suddenly move to encircle Kaydence, hands at her back rather than at her sides.

It's a hard thing to recover from, certainly. Answering with the expected phrase now would possibly make things worse, so Matt simply sits dumbly for a moment. He swallows much more than normal humans find necessary before he finally does speak. "I…I haven't done anything to deserve that. Or pizza. Especially pizza."

"You don't love me?" Kay's face loses its colour and she swallows uneasily. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have presumed…" She tries to pull back but finds herself held there. "I do love you, Matt. You don't have to do anything to deserve it, but I think you do." She smiles shakily, "The pizza's just an added bonus."

There must be a grain of truth to idea that absence makes the heart grow fonder. Matt sighs, his face as soft and vulnerable as hers. Does he love her? Will any amount of staring at her answer the question right here and now? "I don't deserve you," he says after a moment, a light chuckle curling around his words even as a smile teases his lips. "But I can promise to try to." Why? Matt is silent for another moment, lifting a hand to tuck a stray lock of Kaydence's hair behind her ear. "I do love you," he adds as an afterthought, studying her skin rather than her eyes.

Kay makes it easier for him by closing her eyes and leaning in for another kiss. "You let me be the judge of whether you deserve me. I probably don't deserve you, either. But we fell together, right?" She opens her eyes again and bites her lip. "Are you ready for your surprise?"

One kiss? How about six, in rapid succession? Matt's been forgiven, after all, and what better way to celebrate than by being the cowboy of kisses, in a way, even at the cost of speech? He relents, though, in order to answer Kay with a smile and a squint. "You mean it wasn't pizza and three little words?"

"Better that that," Kay laughs. He can be her Marshal Dillon and he can and she'll be his Miss Kitty Russell. She gestures for him to have a seat. "At least, I hope it'll be better." She laughs again, bubbly and nervous. "Sit, sit."

If Matt has to sit, Kay's coming with him. He looks at the couch, then to the woman in his arms. The decision is a quick one, but even quicker is the glint of mischief in his eyes. He scoops Kaydence up with a slight grunt, fireman carrying her over to the couch where he only lets her slide off his shoulder once he's seated himself. Matt's just lucky that Kaydence isn't any bigger than she is and that work has helped him trim a few pounds by skipping meals. It's a tough thing to do, but it gets done, leaving Matt slightly breathless. "Right. Sitting."

Kaydence Lee squeals as she's swept off her feet and over Matt's shoulders. "Heeeeeey! But we have to- Your surprise is-" She sinks down into his lap with a soft sigh. "Dork." She plants another quick kiss on his mouth and pats his cheek. "Stay. I need to go get your surprise. I'll be right back." She rises again with another kiss and scurries to the kitchen, returning with the pizza box balanced carefully in her hands. She settles it on the coffee table before sitting down next to the HomeSec agent and resting a hand on his knee. "Open it."

Surprises can be scary - case in point. Matt eyes the pizza box that obviously doesn't contain pizza, wishing that he could have continued to just watch the woman go get it. Control of time could be an enjoyable yet dangerous power, he realizes. Perhaps over-dramatically, Matt leans to lift the lid with both hands, cringing away as if it were rigged with an explosive.

There is a pizza inside the box. But there's also one of those little white four-legged "tables" made of plastic in the middle of the pie, presumably to ensure the top of the box doesn't cave in on the pizza. But on top of the little white thing is a ring - a simple gold band. Kay's holding her breath and watching his face.

Matt's face is…blank. Of course, he sees what he can only assume he is supposed to see. But…if Kaydence had done something she needed to apologize for, why jewelry? Matt's a man. Women don't think that way, anyway. Swallowing as he forces synapses to fire and figure out what's going on in the nanoseconds he knows he has, Matt breeches the unwritten code of Having a Successful Relationship With a Telepath and attempts to look into Kaydence's mind. Thought travels faster than speech, which is something Matt's banking on.

Oh God, oh God, oh God. I fucked up. Shit. Shit. Shit. Kay's thoughts race on at a million miles an hour, but as far as she knows, he isn't reading her thoughts, and so she forces herself to find words. "I… We've known each other for a long time, Matt. You've been here for me since Spence died. You've been here for Cole since Spence died. And… I think we're both better people for having each other in our lives. My baby needs a father figure. Maybe Molly would like a mother figure. I just… can't picture myself happier with anybody other than you." She lifts the ring up out of the box and holds it up. "Let's get married?"

"I…" Matt struggles to find words as he watches Kaydence and the ring, but he lifts a finger to point at her, unsure. "You…? Kay, I… this…" Matt frowns, then purses his lips. "… this is backward. I'm not changing my name for you."

"I wouldn't ask you to," Kay laughs softly. "Parkman suits me just fine." She waves the ring once, held between thumb and forefinger. "If I had to wait for you to ask me, you'd go on wondering forever if I was ready. So… this is the easiest way to tell you that I'm ready."

A gentle smile washes over Matt's face. He reaches, not for the ring, but Kaydence's left hand. Bringing it up, Matt brushes his lips against the backs of Kaydence's fingers, subtly snatching the ring with his other hand. There are just some old fashioned things that will never be turned around. Matt slips the band around Kaydence's left thumb, though there's still a chance that it may be too big for her.

The symbolism is not lost on Kay as he slides the ring over her thumb. It's just as well - she still wears the wedding ring from her late husband. She reaches up with her now-free hand and cups Matt's cheek. "Yes," she whispers. "I will marry you." As though he had been the one to ask all along.

Matt Parkman is a relatively simple man. He wants what many men his age want. A secure, rewarding job. A homelife that he can escape to with a loving spouse and beautiful children to provide for and be proud of. The missing pieces of this Game of Life turned jigsaw puzzle, or rather phantom versions of them, swim before his eyes for a moment. His smile turns more introspective as he looks from Kaydence's eyes to her nose, then leans in kiss her. It stings a little that what should have been his task to plan was…well, stolen away, but there are some things that just can't be helped.

Kay kisses Matt back, relieved that she hasn't totally screwed things up. She smiles and wraps her arms around him in a tight hug. "You've made me so happy. You've brought me back to life, Matt. I thought there was nothing left after Spencer. I couldn't go on. Not even for my daughter. But you've changed that. I don't want anybody else."

"You want her," Matt retorts, though his arms latch around her just as tightly and his head finds the crook of her neck to nuzzle and smell. "And Molly." And me. Maslow was right - being wanted is an inescapable need. "And a very small, very private wedding," Matt adds, that sprinkle of a joke in his words.

"Well, I meant you're the only man that I want. Of course I want our girls." She pauses and grins widely. "Our girls. That sounds good, doesn't it?" Kay tips her head to the side to nuzzle against Matt just as much as he does her. "Small? Private? Oh, fuck that. I want the whole world to know I'm in love with Matt Parkman," she teases. "Okay, a small and private wedding. But I want an announcement in the paper."

"You mean hometown papers, right?" Surely not the New York Times. Or the New York Daily News. Or any other paper that is sold by machine or street urchin (regardless of age) in the Big Apple. Matt sounds a little worried when he asks, but since when have Matt's precautions ever proved themselves unnecessary?

"Whatever you want, dear." If he wants to keep it quiet, there must be a reason. And she can ask him what it is later. Kay's engaged for the second time in her life and she's determined to enjoy it. "How should we tell the girls?"

The girls. Their girls. "Let's wait." There's a reason for wanting that too. "Or…maybe we could take a trip." In fact… "You three could head out somewhere. Like a late holiday vacation. I'll meet you in a week or so, after I wrap up some stuff, and we can do it then." The next step is finding a far-away enough place… "…Ever been to Colorado?"

Kay shakes her head slowly. "Never. Matt, what's going on? Why would you send us off without you?" She looks confused. "I can't leave." She has some idea of what's going on. She is a member of SCOUT after all. But he's Homeland Security. "I have a duty to be here. Protect this city."

Matt pulls away in order to look Kay in the eye, his own already moistening with fervor. "And I have a duty to protect you. And Molly and Cole. And the only way I can think to do that is to put you someplace safe. Someplace that isn't here. As soon as the threat is removed, I promise you I'll take that long-deserved vacation. We'll have fun - the four of us." His voice is firm yet unsteady, a dichotomy only possible when the subject is one of such importance.

"Let me help you." She already knows the answer, but they have similar jobs. He of all people should understand his position, just as she's always understood his. "I can't just disappear with the girls. The department will never allow it. But I can send them off with my parents. And you and I can face this together. The way we're meant to face challenges." It's a sappy sentiment, and Kaydence knows it, but she worries for his safety as much as he worries for hers.

There is a lack of logic to the sappy statement, but Matt is afraid to voice it. The what-if game is a dangerous one to play right now, even if the likelihood of one of it's perceived outcomes is…well, quite likely. Still. Volken's plan is to wipe out the Evolved. If Matt becomes a victim of it, the girls will still have Kaydence, and they'll be safe that far away from the initial breakout point. And Kay's smart enough to keep them that way even if they aren't successful in stopping the whole thing from happening in the first place.

"Okay," he finally relents, though it is obviously a hard thing to do. "We'll send them on a cruise or something fun. Hawaii, maybe." The farther the better.

"Everything's going to be just fine, Matt. They'll be safe and we'll save the world." Kay smiles with more confidence than she feels. Her mind is full of turmoil, worried about the unknown. She slips the ring off her thumb and slides it instead onto Matt's ring finger now. "We'll do this together. I'm tougher than you think."

Matt hasn't worn a ring since he got the divorce papers from Janice, and so he looks down when the metal finds the skin there now. It's odd, having it there after going without one for so long, but it feels better - like coming home. He can't help but smile again, but his eyes soon go to Kaydence's hand, where the rings that show the mark of another man still rest. It's something primal, perhaps, distilled and reformed into a much more civilized custom.

"No," he whispers, slipping it off again and back onto Kaydence's thumb. "I'll wear it soon enough, but for now, it's yours. At least until I can get you a real one."

Kay accepts the ring again with a small smile. "I don't know if I'm ready to stop wearing Spence's ring," she admits. "He was a big part of both of our lives. Do you think we can find some way to match it?"

"You'd have to take it off," Matt says hesitantly, "for me to find something to match it. And…" he hesitates, looking at it again and swallowing. "If you wore it on your right hand. I think that'd be okay."

"I think I can manage that," she decides after a moment. Kay plants a soft kiss on his cheek. "C'mon. Let's eat some pizza."

January 21st: What The Grapevine Spilled
January 21st: Undefined
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