Taking Turns


elisabeth3_icon.gif kaylee5_icon.gif

Scene Title Taking Turns
Synopsis Liz and Kaylee get together for lunch and bonding time.
Date July 20, 2019

A Café Near The Watchtower

“I’m never living that down, am I?”

Kaylee eyes the woman on the other side of the small table blandly. “See if I share my misfortunes with you again. Though that Agent Diaz was worth it. Good guy.” Among other things that she skirts around. It was lunch, time was limited, and she could get called at any moment, so she takes a moment to take a big bite of sandwich.

“I thought you’d at least get a kick out of hearing about Richard’s doppelganger.” There is the faintest touch of humor in her tone, when she talks around that bite, a hand hovering in front of her mouth politely. “Curious to see if he continues doing it after I threatened his ass.”

The small table was situated just outside of a newly opened cafe, it was one of the closest to the precinct, which might have been the owners idea. It was a great place for coffee too. Kaylee’s daily morning stop.

“I don’t remember dating being this… hard. Not that I had planned to do it, yet.” Kaylee shakes her head. “It was easier when I was younger.” She doesn’t go into why it was.

Elisabeth literally laughed her ass off at the tale of the speed dating disaster. "Hell no, you're not living that down," she snorts. "That one is gonna live on for always." She grins at Kaylee.

She nibbles on a chip from her own plate while they talk. "It's an awful thing to admit but the last date I went on? I sat across from the guy looking at him — really nice man — and got up halfway through dinner and left." Elisabeth's expression is rueful and she wrinkles her nose. "I think Aura was … I dunno, two?" So it was in Bright and there are a lot of reasons why that wouldn't have worked out.

"So I'm really the last person to give you any kinda dating advice. But I definitely agree that dating anyone pretending to be Richard is a Bad Plan capital-B capital-P, T. M." Shaking her head she can't believe the gall on some people. She eyes Kaylee thoughtfully. "I know you said you were only being a good wingman, but… you sure you're even ready for this dating thing?" Liz knows an awful lot about Kaylee's jumbled emotions, after all.

“Don’t worry… I’m not asking anyone for advice,” Kaylee reassures with a chuckle, taking a sip from a water bottle. She couldn’t think of anyone who she thought could give any… wait… Lynette and Mateo maybe. (Tuck that one away for later.)

“I’m not ready… or… I don’t think I am.. not really,” the telepath looks torn about that idea. “Hell, I’m technically still married and kinda… hung up.” Kaylee seems a bit guilty about that. Her head tilts a little to one side her gaze dropping. “But… since Luther’s been gone, I’ve been approached a few times.” That looming buffer wasn’t there to shield her from interested parties anymore. Her head wobbles a bit, with continued uncertainty. “Nothing serious, but I have been asked to dinner.” There is a worried look to Elisabeth as she admits, “I’m kinda seriously thinking about it.”

Elisabeth has a ridiculous amount of sympathy for her, it shows in her expression as much as her thoughts if Kaylee were listening. "Why shouldn't you?" she asks simply. "It sucks to feel alone. If having dinner with someone helps, there's nothing wrong with that." There's a pause. "Maybe don't get too involved until you actually sort out the other stuff though." As she nibbles on another bite, she comments, "Take it from me — you think it's hard now? You get involved with someone before you're actually sorted, it's like a hundred times worse."

Nose scrunching up at the idea, Kaylee grimaces. “Getting involved with anyone sounds messy right now…” It was a complication she isn’t sure she’s even ready for yet. “I don’t know, maybe it the right guy comes along… but, Carl isn’t helping either.” There is a soft huff of amusement. “He’s realized that there are other guys out there and he’s acting out.”

The sandwich is set down gently, as Kaylee adds sheepishly, “He doesn’t even want Luther around me. Which is where that all began.”

Hooooooboy. "Yeah, that's … It's friggin' amazing what they pick up on, isn't it?" Leaning forward onto the table, Elisabeth asks, "Has he said anything to you?" She picks up her water and takes a swallow from the bottle before adding quietly, "I think you're doing a great job reassuring all of them, for what it's worth. Probably the fact that he's acting out a little is a good thing." At least it means he's getting his emotions out there, right? "I kind of wish Aurora were doing a bit of that kind of acting out. She's… too well-adjusted sometimes, I think." A grimace. "Until the nights of screaming. Or the days Richard texts to tell me he's picked her up from school early because she used her emergency code and refused to come out from her hidey hole until he got there. Then I'm reasonably sure I've fucked her up for life."

Parenting is hard!!

“Yeah no joke,” Kaylee sighs out. “He doesn’t seem to understand that Luther and I are just friends.” Plucking a chip from the plate and popped it into her mouth. “I can see where the confusion is; he and I spend a lot of time together, especially when I was in the academy.”

When Liz goes into Aurora’s own issues, Kaylee can’t help to have sympathy over her plight. “You all went through so much, it’s understandable. I can’t imagine my kids going through all that or the sacrifices you had to give to get her here safe. It’s not even been a year, she’ll get there… The worse I had to do was crossing the war torn country to Kansas with two little girls and a baby.” There were things she had to do, but nothing like Liz.

There is a glance out at the tiny slice of their world and amends, “As long as the world doesn’t slip back into what it was, she should start settling in.” It was always a looming possibility.

Glancing at Kaylee, Elisabeth is sympathetic too. "You're friends and you've done nothing to be ashamed of with Luther… but I'm pretty sure the word just does not apply there, lady," she replies gently. "Carl's pretty damn intuitive. He's just not old enough to understand the nuances of what he's sensing from you both."

She reaches out and just squeezes Kaylee's arm. "He'll get there. It'll just be awkward as hell while he does." There's a small smile. "Meanwhile, we'll just keep meeting for lunch and facepalming for one another, yeah?"

Kaylee’s nose scrunches up, but she doesn’t disagree with the assessment on the word ‘just’. Too much has happened to the pair for her to really use the word. “I know. The kid notices so much, I don’t remember the girls being this clued in.” Leaning back in her cafe chair, she pushes around a bit of lettuce that fell on her plate. “He clearly got that from his grandpa.” From what she understood about her dad he was pretty damn intuitive himself.

“But you’re right,” Kaylee allows herself a smile, shifting focus back to Liz. “And honestly, I needed this. Luther gone, I’ve been pretty stir crazy.” Which, by the telepath’s expression, is an odd statement. The smile fades. “I miss having someone in my life… the apartment feels just so empty sometimes.”

A quick laugh is stifled. "I swear to God, the kids see every-damn-thing. Aurora announced to Huruma when she came to visit that she can see when Mummy and Daddy are kissing versus talking." Elisabeth rolls her eyes, sharing that awkward moment. "I was kind of mortified. They're way too friggin' smart and observant for our own good."

The last, though, brings her smile down to the sympathetic one again. It's not so strange. "Luther's been your shadow for a long while now," Elisabeth shrugs a little. "I think it'd be a little weird if you weren't feeling a little lonely," she admits. "You're making a lot of changes, and it's scary as hell." Kaylee is many things to her — sister, sister-in-law, friend, confidante. "If a girls' lunch helps with it? Lady, I'm game. You can dish about cute SESA agents all you want and I won't think badly of you." The wink is easy, meant to cajole Kaylee from being quite so alone.

The idea that Aurora can hear her parents extracurricular activities, Kaylee can’t help but laugh. A real, honest to goodness, laugh. In fact, it takes her a moment to recover. Though a bit of a checkle escapes when Kaylee comments, “I don't envy you that.” There is zero apology in that statement.

When it comes to Luther… “Shadow? I don’t know about that, but he has been around enough that I’ve been noticing the absence. Hell, I even miss having Bob’s grumpy ass following me around, bitching about what I get him into.” Kaylee looks amused at her own pathetic loneliness.

“So definitely, we can do this anytime our schedules allow,” Kaylee comments with a nod. “It’ll help and you know damn well, I’ll dish on the cute guys. Speaking of SESA, if anything thing came out of that whole mess, I have a contact when I need to call them in.” A silver lining.

Elisabeth grins. "Guess we just have to learn not to talk between kisses. Or I keep a friggin' field around the bedroom." Hey — there's a learning curve when you move in!

"I'd rather you had a new friend, but I guess a new contact is good too," she grins. Leaning back in her chair, she asks in amusement, "you think we're making your brother nuts being out in the wild with no bodyguards?"

“Me?” Kaylee looks amused, “I doubt it, I’m not his whole world. You are. And you… you have a tail I noticed,” she offers up nonchalantly, recognizing a familiar face from the security team. “Three tables behind you, he at least waited till we were sitting. He’s trying to pretend the sandwich is his whole focus.. But it’s not.” She chuckles, ducking her head to chuckle, covering her mouth, “He looks the part… sunglasses and all. Mike have the day off?”

Kaylee watched the man’s nose scrunch while chewing a bite. “He also forgot to say no mustard,” she observes with amusement, before popping a chip in her mouth.

There is a subtle flush of color as Elisabeth demurs, "I'm not his whole world." Aurora and the twins, that she'd believe more easily. At the query about Mike, though, she turns to glance over her shoulder. She shoots the man a cheeky grin and returns her attention to Kaylee.

"Alessandro." Wrinkling her nose, Elisabeth admits, "Mike's tag-teaming with him some days. I'm impressed… I didn't tell him I was leaving the building." There's a sigh. "I suppose I should stop doing that to him — Mike's managed to keep up with me and doesn't get in my way. Alessandro sorta rubbed my fur the wrong way his first day." She flicks a glance at Kaylee. "After the weird shit in Midtown, Mike added him on my detail without telling me. He's not as unobtrusive as Mike … and I damn near burst his eardrums for him. Now I make him work for it."

“Better you than me, honestly.” Kaylee comments lightly, her head tilts to the side to get an even better look at the guy. “As much as I miss Bob, I also like my freedom.” Her eyes flick over to Liz. “You want me to…” She wiggles her fingers to make it look like they are walking away, then lifts her brows in silent question.

Richard would probably flay his sister, but it would be worth it.

There's a slow shrug. "Nah," Elisabeth finally says. "He doesn't deserve that." She grins at Kaylee. "I'm just being bitchy cuz I kept myself and Aura and a slew of others alive for a hell of a long time without a damn bodyguard." She pauses. "To be fair, 5 of those years, we weren't necessarily actively being chased, although I was still hellaciously careful. And the other two years, I had Kain hot on my heels making sure we had everyone." She shrugs. "I guess this isn't really so different. Just… feels a little bit insulting, I guess."

Which is really stupid, because she didn't keep her people alive alone, they were a team. She just… really hates coming home and basically still feeling like she's living under siege.

Kaylee gives a shrug and straightens in her seat, “Okay. Your loss of a few moments of privacy.” A grin follows that statement and that old familiar glint of mischief, but she doesn’t act on it, just takes a bite of her sandwich.

“Back to the subject at hand,” Kaylee shifts gears, talking around that bite of food. “If you all ever need me to watch the kids,” This is probably a bad idea on her part, “I’m willing to host Aunt Kaylee nights so y’all can…” she gives the rest of that sentence a dismissive wave of her hand.

“Take advantage of my lonely, single, non-dating status,” Kaylee jokes lightly. “IF Luther ever gets back from Japan, I’ll loop him in to help.”

Now she does laugh quietly. "I might take you up on that. Although Harmony is ridiculously cool about trading evenings here and there." Elisabeth's smile is easy. "But it's nice to have such a wide group of people to trust," she admits quietly. "It's strange sometimes, because the people I've been with for the past years are scattered about. I worry about them. Silas… is worried about his local analog. And Kain… he replies to texts, but he's never exactly chatty." There were a number of people who came with them that Elisabeth doesn't know, but she is trying to keep track of the ones who made the world-jumps with her and Magnes.

Clearing her throat, she sips her water again and asks, "I need a favor, though, if you're volunteering your time."

There are people in her party, that Kaylee doesn’t really know, but the mention of Kain pulls her interest. A part of her wants to ask after him, but here… here she wasn’t that Kaylee. The report is listened to, while devouring some of that sandwich. It was a good one. A nice roast beef and swiss, on a fresh roll.

The asking of a favor has Kaylee pause very briefly in the process of chewing. “Depends on the favor,” she says going a little more serious. There was a time she would just say sure, but that was then.

Elisabeth's tone is a little plaintive as she admits, "I really need some advice on something absolutely … out of my league. I need to get my head out of my ass and plan a wedding. And I don't want a big one but… my father will literally disown me, I think, if I run off to the Virgin Islands and elope. Help?"

Sitting back heavily, Kaylee looks surprised at what she is being asked. Immediately hands go up, gesturing for Liz to slow her roll a little.

“Sis, I am the last person you want wedding advice from,” Kaylee says in a strangled voice. “When I got married, we saw a shitty little church on the side of the road and decided then and there not to have Carl out of wedlock.” Looking back, maybe that was their mistake, but love was love. “We said our vows with Flint as one of our witnesses and the preacher’s wife as the other.”

Kaylee’s head shakes and a wave of her arm towards the world. “I say elope. Bring the family and close friends, have a party for the rest. The Ray Family has the money,” and the jets, “lets go to the Virgin Islands.”

Kaylee is completely serious about that.

“The how of getting married isn’t important, it's the vows and that single moment between you and my brother.” Kaylee leans forward and gives Elisabeth a matter of fact look, “This is your wedding and your happiness. Nobody else's. Screw the rest of them. I guarantee your dad won’t disown you, he just got you back form the dead.”

"Is it silly that I feel relieved? Not like I need anyone's permission, but …" Elisabeth pauses, fighting to articulate to her sister the things in her heart. "I was gone so long and everyone thought I was dead. It feels… selfish to just do what I want to do. There are so damn many people that I didn't realize cared so much, I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings by excluding them. But I don't care about a fucking wedding. I …"

She hesitates. "I never thought that I would want to stand in front of whatever God is out there and say that I would love someone for as long as I lived. I didn't even believe that kind of love really existed. Now? Now, I just want to acknowledge that it does and have those words between us, that one moment just for us… before the universe changes its mind and rips us apart again." (Because that's not a whole lot of baggage to carry around or anything, right?)

A bland laugh leaves Kaylee, her head giving a sharp shake, though her eyes are firmly on the table in front of her, “Do not beat yourself up that way.” Finally blue eyes flick up to the woman across from her. “I would argue that you went through fucking hell to get back. All the while, saving people, leading people, protecting people, and making sure they make it here with you, All the while trying to raise a daughter.”

Reaching across the table, Kaylee moves to grip Elisabeth’s arm, “You deserve a break from doing what others think they need and want from you.” Fingers tightened in a comforting gesture, support. She has your back. “Liz, you have earned the right to be selfish.”

Chin tipped up in challenge, the telepath adds, “I will fight anyone who says or thinks otherwise.”

Putting her hand over the one on her arm, Elisabeth chuckles softly. "You make it sound so friggin' heroic," she replies as she meets Kaylee's eyes. It definitely, in Liz's mind, was not heroic. It was just a matter of following Churchill's advice — if you're going through hell, keep going. Some might argue that she had been selfish as hell in coming home.

She pauses and then smiles. "You are the best sister I could have ever asked for, you know." It may have been another Kaylee who began the bond that now exists between the women, but the woman who sits here now is the one who chose to continue and expand that link between them. "You have no idea how glad I am that we're working together."

Kaylee’s head ducks at the mention of being the best sister, not feeling like she is. However, when it comes to them working together, she feels more confident there.

“You and me both, sister, you and me both.”

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