Sounds From Another World


kaylee_icon.gif lynette3_icon.gif mateo_icon.gif

Scene Title Sounds From Another World
Synopsis Kaylee brings the Ruizes evidence of the lost otter.
Date May 11, 2018

Benchmark: Ruiz Family Suite

The Ruiz Family apartment is a welcoming one. The morning sun hits the corner windows of the main room, giving the apartment a warm glow even through the curtains. A couch and coffee table sit opposite an entertainment system that was a bit of a splurge. But with the collection of movies, music, and games that sit there, it was a good choice for them. Nearby, there is a pair of guitar stands, one of them quite small, where Mateo's guitar and his charango live when they're not in use.

The walls hold a gallery-style grouping of framed pictures. At the center is a panoramic of a beach in Mexico that is, quite frankly, gorgeous. But it also includes a photo from Lynette and Mateo's wedding day, Silvia covered in paint and laughing, the three of them squished together and laughing. And such things to showcase a happy family.

Silvia's artwork is sprinkled around the room as well, enough to show that her parents are proud of her talent and hard work, but not quite enough to be totally embarrassing. It's a delicate balance.

Off the living room, a hallway leads to the family's bedrooms while the other direction opens into a small kitchen.

If Lynette was a hermit before, she's been exceptionally so lately. Mostly to look after Mateo and to ease their daughter's worries. She isn't even in her office as much as she normally would be.

Mostly because when she turns her back on him, he becomes allergic to rest.

But cabin fever has been getting to them both, which is why Lynette is busying herself with cleaning the apartment. She's up on a stepstool currently, dusting the tops of picture frames. It has gotten that bad. They don't even need dusting, which probably means it's been that bad for a while now.

It's true too. Every single time Lynette leaves him alone for a minute she comes back to find him up and about trying to do something that he's probably not quite ready for yet. Shaving, sorting the books on the shelf, cleaning up in the kitchen. Once she even found him out of the suite and down talking to some people in the benchmark. Of all things!

Mateo has never been one for staying in one place. Except when a telepath made him think he was actually doing things like travelling and schooling and leaving the house. Maybe that is one of the reasons he felt the need to do things.

And he kept checking on the security system, too. In case any birds decided to stop by.

Currently, though, he's resting on the couch with a book, wanting to get up and help her, but— knowing she'd give him the look if he did.

The knock on their door is almost too soft to hear, as if there may be some reluctance on the part of the person doing the knocking. On the other side of the couple's apartment door stands Kaylee Ray-Sumter. What she is bringing to them today, she's been reluctantly sitting on for a while. He got shot, she got kidnapped. The world got crazy and for a few days there she forgot, until she put on a coat she wore, and the thumb drive fell out of her pocket.


Now she was standing outside their door with a laptop bag looped over her shoulder. She looks nothing like a COO in her jeans and long-sleeved shirt. She brushes hair back from her face and knocks again, only a little louder this time.

The second knock is what gets her attention. Lynette turns to look that way, then climbs down to head for the door. That's right, she isn't even letting Mateo go answer doors. But she does lean over to sneak a kiss onto his cheek as she passes, as if that might make up for it.

After checking who it is, Lynette pulls open the door, a smile ready. "Kaylee," she greets warmly, even if she is surprised to see her, "how are you? Oh— come in, make yourself comfortable." She steps back from the door, ushering her inside. "If you came to find a quiet place to work, I'm not entirely sure you came to the right place," she adds, but with an amused tone and a crooked smile.

And he'd just started putting the book down and looking as if he might try to get up. Mateo let's out a sigh as she approaches and kisses him, accepting his fate as a couch potato. "When I get fat, you'll regret this," he teases. Actually, he's lost weight since this whole thing started, but that's neither here nor there. For a full two weeks it had been hard for him to eat big meals. He's finally starting to get back to his normal appetite, but even then, he's lost weight. And some muscle mass, too.

Shifting to look to the door, he relaxes at the sight of Kaylee. That sound in his head feels different, she would notice almost immediately. Like a buzz of electricity in a transformer, or the cars running over cold pavement. It feels less nature and more… city. "It's good to see you, Kaylee." His bandaged area is covered by a button up shirt and undershirt both, so he doesn't look as much like someone who's been shot not even a month ago.

Until he winces slightly for shifting too much. Just slightly. He hopes Lynette doesn't notice.

Her best smile greets Lynette when the door opens. "Hey," Kaylee offers looking a little apologetic. "I wish it was as simple as that, I actually need to talk to you both." There is a seriousness to her tone. She looks ready to ask more, when she hears Mateo.

Giving Lynette a quick hug, the telepath moves further into the apartment. "Hey, you," Kaylee offers pleasantly, stopping to take stock of the man who almost died on business ground. "You are looking well," her smile softens some. "I'm glad." So glad.

When he winces, Kaylee's smile falls a little and she seems a little uncertain. "I can comeback, if you're not well enough." Pulling the laptop case around in front of her and letting the strap fall off her shoulder. The smile falls away completely as she continues. "Like I was telling, Lynette. I wish this was a social visit, but I have something that I think you both really need to see."

"I will not, I think you'll be adorable when you get fat." Lynette echoes Mateo's tone, but her tease is an honest one. It would take a hell of a lot for him to think him anything but perfect, really.

Lynette returns Kaylee's hug, even if the woman's words cause a flicker of worry. She moves to close the door behind her— and lock it— missing the wince before she turns back to them again. "As long as you're not asking him to do push ups, it should be okay." This is also meant to be a tease, but it doesn't quite hit the mark. She moves to sit on the couch next to Mateo, reaching over to take his hand.

"How bad is it?" Lately, everything seems to be bad news and she's bracing for more.

"No pushups, no lifting, no guitar. Though I can finally play piano again, I think," Mateo responds quietly as his eyebrow slower watching Kaylee. He too is worried about what this could be, but she's one of the few people who have heard the name Hati and hadn't immediately turned on him, so he trusts that it's not about that. Not something that would end up taking him away from Lynette and Silvia, which is about the only thing he fears anymore.

"Have a seat. The couch is comfortable as long as you're not stuck in it for days." He had commented about how his ass was leaving an imprint in the sofa more than once to his wife, but that didn't change the fact that he still was stuck sitting on it under her stern eyes.

"Not so much… bad," Kaylee looks like she is trying to figure out how to explain it, while she pulls a thin laptop out of the case, "as it is… Weird?" That is about the best way she can to explain it.

"The kid from the Ferry?" This is directed to Lynette. "The ones that hang out with your daughter." Her gaze moves between the pair, as she lifts the lid on the laptop and starts it booting up. "They found a camcorder in the sewers and it still had the tape in it."

Since it tapes time for a laptop to boot up, Kaylee focuses on Mateo, extracting the thumb drive from the pocket of the laptop case. "I have a copy of the video. Before I play it, I wanted to ask you; Do you or have you ever known a Magnes Varlane?" There is genuine curiosity at the question. "or Elisabeth Harrison?"

"Well, weird is an improvement around here," Lynette comments, her hold on Mateo loosening, but not leaving. As Kaylee goes on, she nods. "Lance, Joe," she confirms. Her eyebrow lifts at the mention of the tape, though. "And they knew what it was?"

That's a joke.

She looks from Kaylee to Mateo when the question is voiced. She's curious, too, although given that her attention turns back to Kaylee, it's more for what the telepath is getting at, rather than for Mateo's answer.

"Unless you count the Magnes and Elisabeth in River Styx, no," Mateo responds after a long moment. He knew that parts of the River Styx was based off of the actual actions of the Ferry, but with major creative liscence. "I watched the episode where they got stranded in the elevator three times."

He watched most the episodes three times. There'd been little to do when he was stuck in bed or on the couch and had already read at least parts of most the books on their shelves.

And the first week he couldn't turn pages easily, either.

Brows lift slowly at Mateo and then furrow again. Clearing her throat, Kaylee comments lightly, "Okay that is a no." An amused look goes to Lynette. "You let him watch that? He is going to lose IQ points watching that."

Bending down, she plugs in the thumb drive and brings up the file. Immediately, there is the image of Mateo and Magnes. "Like I said, it's going to be weird… I'll… tell you what I think once it's done."

Looking between them both, Kaylee click play and makes sure they can see the screen clearly. She can't see the screen, but she can see them. Going quiet she watches them and listens to the chaos on the screen.

"Kaylee. I love that show. I never miss an episode." Lynette is absolutely serious about it, too. "You should come over when it's on, we have a good time. Huruma comes. She loves it, too." It's harder to tell if that part is serious or not, as Lynette has an impish look about her.

But that fades, because she pays attention when Kaylee plays the file. She knows that's not her Ruiz. And as the video plays on, Lynette ends up on her feet. Alarmed, maybe. Upset, perhaps. Even when the video ends, she doesn't seem to be able to sit. Or move. Another Ruiz doesn't seem to throw her, but another her, that's not something she was prepared for. Even though she really should have been.

"I like Liz's haircut," she says, eventually. It's the first thing that falls out of her mouth, although Kaylee can tell that her thoughts are on a bottle of vodka tucked away in a hiding place. Unopened. New. Waiting. Her mind is all but screaming about it, even as she sits down again, letting out a gentle sigh. Her outside does not reflect her inside very much at all.

"She also watches the Bachelor with me. The newest one is SLC-E and has the ability to fly. Makes for very interesting dates." Which they had to film with drones, but it also got a lot of people riled up. But that's neither here nor there as he focuses on the file in front of them and all his amusement at his shows slides off his face. Mateo can tell from just the voice that it's him. But not. Something about the mannerisms were completely off, but it still sounded like him. Said things he might have said.

But he doesn't know anyone else in the video until the second one starts and Lynette. Him and Lynette. His eyes flit to the time stamp. This hadn't been too long after the other him had died— and he had been in Mexico at the time. In hiding. Avoiding people, avoiding life. The same as he'd been pretty much every day since he'd left Vanguard.

Leaning back he rubs his hand on the back of his neck, a tightness in his chest. And that sound in his head is roaring, in echo of the one they'd heard on the screen until Liz had dialed back the sounds.

Of course what happened to the kids did not seem to be happening here, thankfully, but just what they see is bad enough.

Another Otter. With another Lynette. "I— he— " he trails off. Other selves make pronouns hard.

Kaylee is very still and very quiet for a long time after the video ends, letting the couple process what they are seeing. Finally, she leans forward and rests her elbows on her knees. "I believe we were seeing a world where the Vanguard succeeded in releasing the virus that killed most of the world." Her head slowly nods towards the laptop, "We believe those are our worlds Liz and Magnes."

Which means what? "Which means they may have survived what happened in Alaska."

Both get studied before she asks, "The radio. Did you hear static? Or voices?" Kaylee seems particularly interested in what they have to say to that.

Lynette runs a hand through her hair, then drops the other onto Mateo's arm. Steadying. "Just static," she says, distantly. Her attention focuses, though, looking up at Kaylee more purposefully. "Right. The virus. That would explain why we look all… post-apocalyptic." The hair alone, by god.

"Why do you think those are ours? Our Liz, our Magnes. Oh god, Kaylee. What did you tell Richard?" Because if that is them and they did survive… well. That might be of interest to him.

The virus. Oddly enough, despite being Vanguard for a good 4 years of his life, Mateo hadn't even heard about the virus until he watched the tribunals and read the books. He'd known a few things, but not that one. And apparently the woman he thought might be his sister had been involved in said virus, too. Thanks to a certain article.

"Just static," he responds quietly, shaking his head. "But my— portal sounded mostly the same." Until the sound started disappearing. It had looked different, too. "It doesn't turn purple like that— the only time I've seen it change colors was when…" When Des tried to stop it. And it didn't. "I think that was because of— the guy in the video." Their abilities interacting. He's seen that happen before, just like he knew exactly what the other Lynette had been doing. Pulling the lightning out of the vortex.

"Luckily, Richard isn't back yet from his business trip, yet." Brows furrow a little with worry, since it was taking longer than expected. "I'm a little worried about telling him, since I don't know how he will react. He loved her and I know how I would react if I found out Joseph was alive if I thought he was dead." Kaylee sighs softly, looking at the laptop as if it held all the answers. "To be honest, I can't be totally certain it is her, but Magnes mentioned saving Mala and Denisa. Lynette, they died here from a version of the virus."

When it comes to the voices, what they say, it was what she expected, Kaylee nodding in understanding. "I also only static. But the kids told me the room started to shake and voices came out of the TV. A pair of golden eyes stared out from it. I checked them out," which tends to mean one thing, "That did happened."

"Here is where it gets even weirder." Looking at the pairs she says softly, "I've heard those voices in Odessa's head, when I went in and tried to unblock her memories. I even saw into this timeline," Kaylee rests her hand on the edge of the laptop lid, though she doesn't close it. "Not this, but… I saw part of it."

"They're hurting him. Do you think they know?" Ruiz knows, whether or not he's told Magnes or Lynette about it. This Lynette shakes her head, like she didn't really mean to ask that question. "Sadly, that's not the weirdest thing. Dess is… connected. To her other selves. Eve has seen her— Eve—"

Lynette squeezes her eyes closed for a moment, fingers rubbing at her forehead. But she shakes it off. "Eve said one of him is lost. One of the Mateos. She had a series of paintings, in each one, someone was trying to escape their… world. But they were all trapped. Except him. He was going into a portal. I thought maybe he was…" She pauses there, because what she thought he was doing was giving himself over to the void that so often calls for him. "But maybe that was him finding a way out, the way the others couldn't."

She looks over at Mateo, a frown coming to her face. Her finger taps rapidly against the couch. But she turns back to Kaylee again. "We've speculated on this a lot. Eve thinks we might be able to help him from this side. The one that's lost. If he has our Magnes and our Liz with him…" Well, she hasn't been the most on board with this idea that they should be running into danger, but she seems to be accepting the idea that they're going to get tied up in it anyway.

The lost otter.

So often he’d wondered about him, wondered about who he could have been in a different world. This one, one that succumed to the virus, would have been very different. And again, he had met Lynette. That’s the third world, at least, where that had happened. They always find each other. Two times long before he met her in this one. How long had they had together? Was she with him this time? Had he left her behind or lost her like the other had? Mateo rubs his hands through thick hair. “The tape had been in another world. And now it’s in this one.”

That alone told them that— perhaps— what went into his vortex came out somewhere else. Where there entire worlds covered in blood because of what he’d done with his ability? Or was there a circumstance that made this situation special. “And it still worked after it came through?” That seems to be a curious question. “Anything I take through my portals that’s electronic usually… breaks. I broke my phone the night I got shot.” Cause he used his portals to escape. “Couldn’t even read the sim card.” Thankfully he had never been one to take a lot of pictures with it, so he hadn’t lost anything that could not be added back into the phone. Just calander stuff, phone numbers.

“But from the first recording, it didn’t sound like he even knew it could be used as a portal.” Which made some sense. He knows when he learned that particular skill. Maybe it hadn’t happened in his world.

Kaylee is nodding slowly to both of them. “We think the same. That she is connected to others. In this instance we saw her death,” her eyes drop away as she confesses. “At the hands of my father, Edward Ray. Which might explain why she wasn’t in the video, too. He use to keep maps of events. String maps. We were able to read some of the stuff on those strings and determined what we were seeing.”

“And yeah,” Her gazes turns back to Mateo, “It worked. Or it did until one of the kids kicked it in a panic.” A small smile tugs at the corner of her mouth. “Now it is in piece.”

Slowly, Kaylee closes the lid of the laptop, “I still need to show this to Richard, but… I have no desire to make you do this, but know, he may come to you. Please, don’t judge him too harshly?” She looks between them both. “He is a good man, despite what other versions of him have done.” It’s obvious how much the telepath loves her brother and is worried over him. “Imagine losing the one person you loved most in the world and then be handed a sliver of hope.”

"Magnes manipulates gravity. Maybe his power protected it long enough for it to land here and get kicked by an excitable child." Lynette looks back to the laptop, considering it for a long moment before she looks back to Kaylee. "Can we have a copy of this?" Poems from one, video of another, relics from the other otters.

When Kaylee comments about Richard, Lynette straightens up, her chin lifts, an eyebrow arches. "I would never judge him over that. I know what I would do in his place. But, that being said, he'll need to understand that what is happening in that video? That's hurting Mateo. It took me a couple times to notice, but when another ability manipulates his, there's backlash. Onto him. So if that's what is required, I won't be agreeing to try it." Someone recently told him that they always lose each other, and Lynette isn't keen on taking any chances.

A moment later, though, she turns to Mateo. Disclaimer given, she's quick to move onto problem solving. "From what Eve said, if I can give you enough power and if she can see where they're trying to come through, we might be able to open the other side of his portal here. With the right timing, we could catch them."

With the right timing. But how would they manage to do that? And how would be avoid the possibility of it hurting him, because he knew that Lynette would put a stop to anything that might hurt him. Mateo loved how protective she was sometimes. But would she be able to protect him from himself and others all at the same time? Biting his lip, he leans back into the couch, looking at the closed laptop as if it in itself was a strange gateway to another place.

“Unless Eve paints us another picture that happens to have a time stamp on it this time, I’m not sure how we’ll predict when or where to open it.” But he imagined they would figure out something if they were determined enough. He just had to make sure it didn’t hurt him— or that if it did, he was able to hide it from his wife long enough to do something.

“The voice you mentioned worries me, too.” The one they didn’t hear, that the video had been unable to record, but he imagined that worried Kaylee too.

“Let’s not jump to anything, yet.” Kaylee says holding up her hands. “I have and idea for finding them, but… I need to talk to your sister first. If she is connected to all versions of herself,” she trails off and then sighs, “Maybe I can use that.” She spreads her hands some. “But before we can do anything we have to know if they are even still alive. This was possibly the worst place she could have ended up.”

“As for the voices.” Kaylee nods a little in agreement. “One of the two told me that Richard’s father was alive. And… he was.” She lets that one sink in for a moment. “So there is something to them.”

"He is. Ruiz." As if Ruiz isn't sitting right next to her. But the one in question isn't. "I'm not sure about the others, but he is. He would have tried to help them, if he could, so there's a chance. How we find that out, though…" Lynette trails off there. Eve, after all, is blinded and traumatized by her last visions. And somewhat cryptic in her predictions. The other option would be to find a window. She looks over at Kaylee, her head tilting some. She doesn't need to read her thoughts to see the question lurking there.

The Looking Glass would be very dangerous.

"You heard voices and you listened to them?" Lynette teases the telepath there, her head shaking a little as if to say tsktsk. "The golden eyes, that means something. Eve has seen them, too, in her visions. It's really been… making her less stable than usual. She thinks they can see her."

Ruiz is alive. And he’d stepped into that portal in the painting Eve had drawn them. Mateo too had thought it might mean he would give up, he’d once considered it, when he wondered if his ability would affect him if he allowed it to. Usually it did not. But he still wondered. If one day he could just allow it—

Not that he ever would now. No, never now.

“I also suggest talking to your secretary. Sera?” He hesitates as he glances toward Lynette. “She might know something about… this. It could be interesting to show her the video too, but at least asking her about the Looking Glass would be a good idea.” He hadn’t mentioned it before, except to Lynette that night. “I think she has a connection.”

To other worlds, other selves, Looking Glass. He doesn’t know for sure. He just knows he saw himself and Lynette when they danced. A brief glimpse into another world, and he didn’t think anyone else had seen it.

The thumb drive is offered over, since it is a copy of a copy. “This one is yours to do with as you’d like.” Kaylee offers a small smile. She knows they won’t go all over showing it off. “I — don’t know what the kids will do with theirs, so be careful for awhile.”

Moving to pack up the laptop Kaylee continues, “If you need it, I can see if we have the people to spare for security purposes. Last thing I want is someone exploiting any of this.” There is no need to hide her worry for her friends. “And, as always, Raytech will be there if you need a place to hideout. Our new security chief has been making some interesting changes.”

Lynette takes the drive, although gingerly like she thinks it might bite. "Thank you. Hopefully those kids have the sense to not show it around too much. But I could understand if they want to save Magnes and Liz. If those are… ours. If they're still alive." If, if, if. A lot of ifs in their lives recently.

"We've been working on the security here. I wouldn't mind extra hands, if you have them to spare. People you trust." When Kaylee mentions the new security chief, Lynette smirks a little. "Bellamy. I imagine he is making changes. If he asks you all to memorize any call and response security phrases, just tell him no."

Once they have the copy, Mateo frowns at it quietly, but doesn’t weight in on the potential that they would need to hide out. Or even the security status of their building. They’d been working on it, and he understands that Lynette is trying to protect him from those who might try to use him. And with this information…

They might have even more reason to use him than they did originally. Maybe now they finally knew how the other him had been here in the first place. Maybe he could travel between worlds.

“You said that the kids who hang out with the Ferry found this?” The ones that knew their daughter, specifically? He shakes his head and then looked toward Lynette, “We’ll have to tell Silvia. I’d rather she learn about this from us.”

The girl didn’t even know about the other him. But it was time to tell her everything they could. And show her the tape as well.

“And some of them are pretty stubborn and persistent,” Kaylee comments blandly as she tucks the laptop away into its bag. “Especially, Joe.” She offers them an apologetic look. “I wanted to get this to you sooner and I was worried that, they would get to you first.”

Zipping the bag, Kaylee adds, “They will more then likely come to you. They were excited at the idea of saving Mala and Denisa.” While she gets it, she doesn’t agree with it. “So heads up on that. Their good kids, just… ” A bit of a smirk, tugs at the corner of her mouth, a little sad, “They have had an interesting upbringing.”

"They watched the adults around them literally save the world. More than once. I suppose that would skew one's perspective on what is possible and what isn't." Lynette tucks the drive into a pocket, turning her attention back over to Mateo.

"It's a lot to bring her in on," she notes, although there's a resigned tone to it, rather than an argumentative one. She might wish she could protect Silvia from all this, from anything that might steal any more of her childhood from her, but this she needs to know before it crashes down on all of them. "I can't tell her about the Arcology."

A simple statement, her voice casual. But both of them know it runs deeper than she lets it sounds. She looks over at Kaylee, memories of that place darkening her gaze. Of that day. She hasn't given her family many of the details of what happened down there, and she seems to need a moment with one of the few people who was there with her before she can fix her expression to something easier.

"And lord knows she doesn't need to read any of the poetry, it might give her an aneurysm." Lynette stands up there, no destination in mind, just pushed by the need to move.

Definitely not the poetry. Mateo has to grin for a moment as she mentions that, knowing what she means. Poor girl doesn’t even want to see them kissing, much less doing— well— some of the things that poetry implies. Some of it had been spicy and downright hot. But it wasn’t necessary to tell the story. The arcology, the other him, that could also be danced around a little.

Though it left out the thing that made them so sure that what they saw on the other side of that video might actually be another her and another him. They could manage it, though. “We’ll figure something out.” Some way to tell her without revealing things that they don’t want to.

“Thanks for bringing this, Kaylee,” and he meant it, too.

There is a look of understanding when Lynette says that. Kaylee rarely talks about the Arcology. Only with her husband and very few others, but her kids won’t ever know… at least until they are old enough to stumble across that information themselves.

Rising to her feet, Kaylee takes a moment, to lean down and touch Mateo’s arm, “Anytime. If I hear anything more, I’ll be in touch.”

“Lynette…” Kaylee prompts her to follow, with a subtle wave of her hand. Away from Mateo, her voice drops to a whisper, though that doesn’t mean he can’t hear it. “Can I ask you a favor? There… let’s just say that your husband isn’t the only one with someone trying to kill them.” She gives her friend a sheepish smile. “Someone believes I’m dangerous and wants me dead. They are watching everything. Including Joseph.” Taking a deep breath, she continues, “If you see anything unusual around Benchmark, around Joseph. Let me or Luther know?”

At the prompt, Lynette gets up to follow Kaylee, apparently trusting that Mateo won't try to eavesdrop. "Of course you can," she says, as far as favors go. They can trade them back and forth. Her arms fold at the news, brow furrowing. It's certainly not good news. "Well," she says, with a bit of wry humor, "I'm starting to feel left out."

Although, it is probably better of only one of them is wounded at a time, if they can manage it.

But she reaches over to put a hand on Kaylee's arm. "I absolutely will. And while he's here, I'll make sure he's safe. Hell, I'll escort him home, if you want. And you know you can call me if you need help." Help that might include zapping people, perhaps, but any kind of help really.

Mateo definitely doesn’t try to eavesdrop, remaining seated on the couch and looking at the place where the video had been playing instead, pondering how best to tell their daughter about this situation. His mind is a soft rumbling of a air conditioner unit.

“You shouldn’t need to escort him home,” Kaylee says with a soft chuckle. “We will have that part covered.” She takes a deep breath and looks towards Mateo. “Good luck,” she murmurs as an aside to his wife. “Men are notoriously bad at staying down, when they are healing; even if they are babies when sick.”

Lynette gets a wink, as she says, “I’ll call you,” before she moves for the door and to give the couple their day back.

"I'll make sure my security team and yours coordinate, then." She and Mateo had spent the last month or so upgrading Benchmark security, for a different reason, but Lynette is glad for their timing now.

She looks back to Mateo when Kaylee does, her expression indulgent. "Thank you. I think I'll need it," she says, dryly. Keeping Mateo resting is certainly a challenge, even though she can't blame him much. She also is a terrible patient, historically. But she smiles back to Kaylee and nods to her farewell. "Until next time," she says, as she comes along to the door to see her friend out. But once she closes the door behind her, Lynette leans back against it to let out a sigh.

"I need a drink."

An increasingly common sentiment.

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