The Ambush


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Scene Title The Ambush
Synopsis Two worlds suffer as Kaylee and Luther are found by the enemy in the wasteland. And an alarming twist of fate leaves one world in the dark.
Date December 10, 2018

Outside RayTech

“Come on, Boss, you are goin’ to let a few little picture shows in your head keep you from work?” Bob gives Kaylee a look as he tries to reason with her; challenge her even, like she was one of his own daughters being just plain silly.

The telepath sighs through her nose and looks at the looming Raytech building, and the knowledge of who was in there. Luther will be in there and it has Kaylee thinking about getting back into the car, yet again. Fingers tighten on the frame of the door, anger flitting through her at his tone. He was calling her a dramatic teenager without even having to say it. “You’re not seeing what I am seeing,” her gaze shifts to Bob, lips tight, “Or feeling it either.” That was the thing about the visions, it was like she was living that moment.

And her and Luther were experiencing just about every aspect of their alternate selves, including sex.

Sleeping with a man, without actually doing it… it made things beyond awkward. Thankfully, Joseph was sympathetic to her plight after she had broke down crying over it and lingering feelings. She knows he’s concerned though. Who wouldn’t be.

There is an exaggerated shrug from the man, his hands spreading. “So, what? You are married to the chief in one world,” Word gets around quick in a small campus like Raytech, but they didn’t know all of it. Bob pins her with a flat look of his own, as if she isn't being reasonable. “You two were fuckin’ thick as thieves before all this, why let one… one little world ruin a friendship, eh?”

When he put it that way…

Again Kaylee sighed heavily and looked at herself in the curve of the car window, Bob just over her shoulder with brows raised expectantly. It was amazing how close she had gotten to the security team, especially Bob and Lou. However, he didn't know… the fact that there were two worlds like that. The telepath feels the need to correct him, maybe he’ll understand then. “Look. It’s not just—”

Exhaustion still weighed her down, mentally and physically, when she suddenly becomes aware of the world around her again. These days, since the others jumped and the nuke, she’s been on the move and constantly fighting. Would it ever end? At least the ache in her head had eased. There is a sigh that escapes her and she nestles down closer to the inhumanly warm body next to her.


The dream had been so real, Kaylee can still see her reflection in the car window. Something to tell Luther about when they are making their way back to camp. Groggily, she cracks one an eye, seeing the sleeping face of Luther, looking peaceful in a rare moment. Her ear pressed against his chest, it allows her to hear the steady rhythm of his heartbeat.

However, as she sits there a new awareness creeps in. It sends a sharp shot of cold through her and brings her fully awake…They are no longer alone. Multiple mental hums move slowly and cautiously around them. One glimpse and she knows they are not part of the Resistance.

They were hunting. And they were heading towards the sleeping pair.

Head jerking up, Kaylee takes count of the threat and then reaches out mentally to Luther; urging him awake, with a silent warning that they were not alone and to keep quiet.

Meanwhile, inside RayTech…

Lou's fingers tap away at the early morning report, her pace unhurried but efficient. "You really got to stop avoiding her, Chief," her words come in without a look up from her monitor at the side of the security room. She doesn't even have to turn around to know Luther stares at the bank of camera monitors watching the telepath and her security detail debating on point and time of entry to the main RayTech building.

"Don't start," Luther grumbles back, eyes narrowing, a warning look. He can feel the uncomfortable reminder threatening to rise, only serving to heighten the restless tugging of his power with the recent appearance of the aurora and those visions still raw, fresh in mind no matter how much he tries to suppress them with distractions and drink. He forcibly turns from the monitors as Lou goes back to typing, stalks to the coffee machine and pours himself a mug. At first, he starts to take it black. But no, Luther digs around the small box beside it to find some powdered cream packets. The company's not exactly sitting on luxury half-and-half.

The security chief swipes up a spoon to stir, using the moment to turn away other thoughts less appropriate for the workplace.


The mental poke stirs at Luther’s sleep, and though he can’t exactly keep the initial grunt quiet, he slits open his eyes to squint at the emergence of daylight around them. The man snaps awake with the warning, tensing beneath the telepath. His hand reaches not for a gun, but for her as they listen to the shuffle of boots nearby, the rustle of clothing.

The group is fairly large, seven in total once she’s gotten a bead on each. Two farther out, covering the back exit, two at a side fire door, and three including the leader issuing silent commands with hand gestures. It becomes quite obvious how the pair are already surrounded.

Luther steadies his breathing, lightly tugging at Kaylee for her to sit up. She doesn’t need to hear him, only a touch, a look asks silently. Where are they? And he immediately starts to reach for his own power.

This long working together she knows what he is asking. By the touch of fear in her blue eyes, he knows it isn’t good. Sitting up to free his arms, Kaylee taps her temple and starts pointing out where the humming minds are, holding up fingers to indicate how many there are in each spot.

When Kaylee gets to the third, her face settles into one of concentration. She isn’t close enough to mess with them, yet, but she can provide a clearer picture for Luther where they are so he can do his thing. It’s something they’ve done countless times. The familiar snapshot is there suddenly; he’s aware where the third group is. Her mind stays curled around his waiting to update the information she’s given him, should their quarry move suddenly; but, it was also their means of coordinating. This was one of the reasons they were so effective together in a fight.

In front of him, Kaylee’s lips curl into a smirk, despite the fear that twists in her stomach, there is a glimmer of anticipation;. If they were going to go down, they wouldn’t go down without a fight.


Colonel,” Tyler Case says as he settles down beside Kaylee, wearing an old World War II helmet with mesh netting, a Hawaiian shirt, cargo shorts, and flip-flops. He has a rifle which — like the rest of his attire and himself — is immaterial and non-existant outside of Kaylee’s mind. “Is it Ze Germans?” Tyler offers a side-long look to Kaylee, one brow raised slowly. Seriously. It’s been like this for a while.

In the time Kaylee's pointed out the targets, Luther shifts up to his feet, grabbed his gun, and checked its safety. It feels like longer, but it's really mere seconds that pass. With as quiet a step as he can manage, the man shifts himself around a nearby desk. Then, without any further warning, he looses a devastating, blinding blast of fire and light that explodes to life in the middle of the trio of soldiers.

Cries and shouts of pain and alarm sound out. One soldier, closer than the others to the fireball, screams as his whole body is engulfed, dropping his gun and then dropping to the floor, covering his eyes and writhing. Luther pops out from behind the desk and with a spray of bullets, strikes the leader by chance.

The gunfire draws the soldiers covering the exits, their signal received to storm the floor.

"Chief? Hey! Hey!" Lou's up and by Luther's side, holding the man up awkwardly as he leans against the cabinets, looking dazed. The coffee mug is on its side, contents spilled and dripping off the edge of the counter. Lou grimaces as she's pushed him up and uses the wet counter as a support. "Jesus Christ, you're heavy," she complains, but she luckily has leverage.

Luther blinks several times as the vision fades for the moment. "Shit," he swears as he straightens up to a more aware stand, backing off of Lou and briefly staring around the room. It's not a war-torn building that surrounds him, nor are there any soldiers engaged in a battle. Luther wipes at his brow, pinching the bridge of his nose between his fingers.

Then he remembers what he'd been doing. Who he'd been watching. "Kaylee," he breathes out, and immediately abandons the puzzled, alarmed Lou to whirl to the monitors watching the main lot. There, Bob is also trying to reorient the telepath, shaking her shoulders and calling to her.

"Call Medical and get someone to the lot," Luther tells Lou and then he rushes for the security room door, ignoring the protests from behind him.

As Luther steps away to start his attack, Kaylee is busy staring at Tyler. “This isn’t the time,” she hisses at the ghost in her head, even though deep down she’s glad for him there. Grabbing for her own rifle, Kaylee manages to get it close before the explosion goes off, sending her to a crouch. “God, I love when he does that,” she comments with a wicked grin to Tyler, her way of covering up the feeling of terror inside her.

Taking advantage of his spray of bullets, Kaylee rushes to where Luther has set himself up, sliding for cover. Making it just in time for those coming in behind her to send a spray of wood splinters. Back pressed against the desk, Kaylee reports, as she flips off the safety, “Incoming b—

-oss! Boss!

One moment, she is readying for an attack and next there is a hand gripping her shoulder. With fear is still fresh, Kaylee reacts to the hand by jerking away from it. There is a metallic thump as her back connects hard with the vehicle, blue eyes wide and wild. The sudden movement throws Bob off balance, forcing him to take a few steps forward. He stares at her like she grew an extra head, while the telepath gives a shakes her head, coming to her senses. This wasn’t a derelict building.

Bob realizes quickly what was wrong. “It happened again.” It’s not a question, only a fact. “We should get you inside.”

Kaylee doesn’t trust her own voice, so she can only nod. Looking towards the building, she won't admit it, but she has a strong urge to run towards Luther this time. Was he experiencing the same thing? The last time she had seen this pair, it had been something quiet and tender. This one filled her with dread and worry for their alternate selves. Swallowing hard, she looks back to Bob and then starts to hurry quickly towards the entrance. She couldn’t explain it, she needed to see Luther with her own eyes.

As they move towards the building, Kaylee finally starts to explain, “There are two worlds where Luther and I—” Bob’s brows shift upward a little at the implication of two worlds with them in it together, but he doesn’t say anything. Only hurries to catch up, a hand moving to hold her elbow just in case it happens again. It’s never a one time event. His boss continues to talk, her gaze cast to the ground searching her memory, feeling helpless, but also scared she’ll get pulled back there at the worst moment. “They were surrounded and it felt like they were preparing for a final stand.” Were they going to witness the death of one pair alternate selves?

Kaylee isn’t sure she wants to find out.

Inside RayTech

Luther's hurried stride takes him down the hall at purposeful clip, and he's sliding arms into his jacket when he takes a moment to reconcile with himself and what he'd just seen. Felt. That he had most likely just murdered a man and not even batted an eye at it. The feeling of kill or be killed is familiar, but he thought he left that behind.

Recent events have changed that drastically, from the emergence of the realities of multiple universes to a serial killer within the building grounds. But, mostly, the visions pushing his own sense of self to a brink. He glances down to his hands, fingers flexing and curling, still feeling the weight of the rifle. It follows with a sigh and a squint up to the lights overhead, and a squashing of the urge for tears.

Bullets whizz past, ricochet and bury themselves into upturned furniture and the drywall behind Luther and Kaylee. Popping up just over the edge, Luther takes aim and returns fire. "You okay?" His question to Kaylee comes with a duck of his head as the wooden plank serving as a shield bursts into splinters. But it's also addressed to Tyler, recognizing something for the head-ghost's presence on the field.

A soldier's bullet shot wide passes right through the spot where Tyler occupies, harmlessly.

In a momentary lapse of gunfire, likely for reloading, Luther gestures with an angling of his head. Take right, punch through the side. I'll cover. The pair of soldiers guarding the side door have entered, posting a position to cut off an escape attempt there. But, there's only the pair of them there. Easy peasy, the man's fierce grin at the telepath seems to note reassuringly.

Once commands are given, he pushes up to his feet and leaps over the cover, advancing on the remaining soldiers with a burst of lightning that crackles in the air and zaps out to the exposed enemies. It's a trick he'd learned from this world's version of Lynette, although not quite as finessed as the electrokinetic's fearsome strikes. Storming forth, Luther starts to level another blast, but the scenery shifts into a stark, straight hallway of an office building. Lights overhead suddenly make him pause, a hand thrown up to shade his eyes.

"Chief? You okay?" Lou's voice cuts through the reverie, and Luther turns to glance back to his security teammate. He swallows dryly, voice lost momentarily. "Med team's on their way," reports Lou after eyeing her boss, watching just in case he looks like he's going to lose consciousness, "And Bob says Kaylee's also seeing something."

Luther frowns. This time he doesn't bother to hide the swear, and growls a "Let's go" before resuming his quick pace for the parking lot.

“I’m hit!” Tyler screams for the fifth time, clutching a non-existent wound as he stumbles and staggers. “Oh the humanity!” There’s a level of detachment with Tyler, as of late. His inability to exist in anything other than a distraction in Kaylee’s periphery has left him further and further untethered from his sense of reality, of consequences, and of — in this instance — timing.

Tyler offers a look over to Luther, toothy as he stumble-vaults over the cover. “Nah, I’m fine Capital-L.” That nickname doesn’t roll off the tongue. Or anything. It doesn’t roll at all. “Hey uh, oh— hey! Uh— there’s a guy over there!” Tyler points, a mind sensed on the edge of Kaylee’s telepathic periphery. “Behind there!” But in some ways, two minds can be better than one when parsing a tremendous amount of information.

So focused on where she is going, it takes a moment for Kaylee realized that Bob has stopped and is talking to Lou… what draws her attention is him half shouting in alarm, “Aw shit. Shit…Again?!?” His leather shoes tap on the asphalt as he starts to run to catch up. “Boss! Kaylee! Stop!”

It’s too late though, the sound of a gun battle is already ringing in her ears again.

“I can't st-” There is a blink as Kaylee is fully engulfed by the battle again. “Wha-?” she stops, ducking down further as bullets chip at their cover. “I don’t know.” She answers Luther question of her readiness, even if it is drowned out in the loud sounds of the gunfight. The telepath was disoriented. One moment she was hurrying toward a building with a strange man…

Another spray of bullets shatters her thoughts and sharpens her awareness to the present.

In fact, there is barely enough time to register what Luther is telling her, before he is on the attack, “Luther! Wait!” Kaylee isn’t ready for him to start, but it’s too late. “God dammit!” She half shouts, hopping up and pulling the rifle to her shoulder. The telepath comes up in time to see Luther stumble to a stop, hand raise. “What’s he doing?!, she says in a panic to Tyler.

While Luther had managed to take down one attacker, the other was still standing. It is a miracle that her lover wasn’t already dead. The man looks a touch dumbfounded that the attack stopped and Luther was just standing there like a deer in the headlights.

The shock doesn’t last long, and the attackers rifle swings up. He doesn’t even get a chance to pull the trigger, Kaylee attacks. «STOP!» Her ability slams into his mind, causing the man stumble and come to a complete halt. This gives the woman a chance to riddle him with bullets, just as Luther had drilled into her head.

She doesn’t even watch him fall to the floor, she knows he’s dead as his mind is just suddenly gone. Instead Kaylee launches herself over the counter reaching for Luther, hoping to pull him down before the man, pointed out by Tyler, takes advantage of his state.

As she reaches Luther, there is a loud crack of gun fire.

Kaylee feels something hit her… and the world blossoms into pain.

Only to then find herself stumbling in a parking lot.

Luckily, Bob is there to catch her when Kaylee doubles over in pain, losing her footing. Kaylee knows she’s not actually shot or in pain, but still the sensation is there even if it is fading quickly.

Luther's not able to stop and explain to Lou what the hell he's seeing or feeling, but he doesn't have to. Lou's more than capable as a key member of his security team, and seeing that look on her chief's face is more than enough to tell her that something's gotten his hackles up and blood hot.

The security chief and teammate take the parking lot by storm. Luther's ears are ringing with the throb of the resonance of his ability in use, the crackling lightning and gunfire of a battle not in this world. He beelines for Kaylee and Bob's position. While Kaylee's doubled over in pain and not really hearing Bob's loud swearing as he reacts to her stumble, Luther breaks out into a run, long legs bringing him quickly to help Bob with the pained telepath.

He doesn't hear the gunfire. Luther's heart pounds in his chest, and he whirls around suddenly as office lights and parking lots disappear from his vision. His immediate reaction is to catch Kaylee as she pulls him down in a body tackle. He shouts, but it all feels like a slow-motion blur, his own voice sounding like waves in a swimmer's ear.

He had heard Tyler screaming that he'd been hit before. But now it's actually real, with the sight and feel of wet blood on his hands. Her blood. "No…" The growl out of the man carries an undertone of pain. Not physical but emotional. He's lost so many over the years. Not again. The pain churns, curdles, then… combusts.

Luther's head snaps up, and a look to the advancing soldier who had shot Kaylee ends with the soldier suddenly lighting up in flames. A screech of pain and anguish screams out of the man as he drops his rifle and falls to the ground, rolling and writhing to no avail as Luther pours on the heat. The soldier's screams die off to a faint gurgle in seconds, shock taking over as his body is consumed, cooked to death.

The remaining soldiers, having come in from guarding the back exit, lose their nerve and turn to make a hasty retreat. But the noise of their boots draws Luther's attention, and he grabs for his rifle to mow them down without a second thought. By the time he's reached their bodies, he's nearly out of bullets.

He empties the rest of the magazine into their bodies.

"Chief! Boss!" Bob slips his arms around one of Kaylee's arms, holding her from contact with the ground. Lou stands at the ready to catch the larger security chief. But the woman levels a hard, open palmed slap across Luther's face.

The contact seems to work. Luther comes to with a hard blink and dangerously unsteady sway, but manages to keep himself upright. His hand goes up to his smarting cheek, but it does make him realize he's back to himself, and reorient regarding the situation.

Lou shakes out her hand. "Are you alright?" she asks both Luther and Kaylee, half-expecting them to be plunged into another vision of another time. "This isn't the same one, is it?"

Suddenly Tyler is there, beside Luther. Gone are the floral prints and the Bermuda shorts, gone is the jovial attitude replaced by something more ashen. “No,” Tyler stammers, “oh— no, no, no!” Wide-eyed, he looks up to Luther with a pleading expression. “Luther!” The phantom of Tyler is in a full panic. “Luther!” His hands are trembling, breathing hastened. “Luther she’s hurt bad! Luther, y-you’ve— she needs a doctor it— I feel weird.” Tyler looks at himself, then back at Luther. “Hey… hey— please. Please, don’t let her d— ”

Then, Tyler is simply gone.

There is a jerking shake of Kaylee’s head in answer to Lou’s question as she finally straightens. A hand pressed to her side, she can almost feel the radiating pain, but more like a faded memory. Taking a shaky breath, she says to Lou, “This was worse. Worse than our world. She got shot,” is offered in a quavering voice, edged with her own emotionally driven pain.

Kaylee had seen what Luther had done when she got hurt… when the other her got hurt. The worlds were still muddled and mixed. When she closes her eyes to gather her thoughts, she can still see that man burning and melting before her eyes, even remembers the smell. The emotional anguish from Luther. Tyler’s plea to help her, and feel the worry for him when world went black. In what might have been her last moments, Kaylee’s thoughts were worry for her Luther.

It’s then in a sudden move Kaylee turns and throws her arms around Luther’s neck, face buried against the hollow of it. “I can't—” her voice catches in her throat, her breath hitches. “I can't do this anymore, Luther,” he can hear her whisper in a strained voice edged with anguish. Her whole body trembles from the intensity of the emotions that overwhelm her senses and threaten to drown her. “I don't want to see it anymore. I don't want to feel it anymore.” There is a shuddering breath against his neck, as the telepath tips toward the edge of tears; fingers curl against the fabric of his jacket as she fights that urge to break.

“I-I can't escape it, can't block it. I remember everything all the time… I can't stop thinking about it.” He can feel the tears and hear her pain.

Just beyond her, Bob gives Lou a worried look. It’s not for what was happening, but for his boss’ mental state. “It's been bad,” he admits with quiet concern.

“Well, shit.” It isn't Bob or Lou. Standing beside Kaylee, looking bewildered and disoriented…

…is Tyler Case.

“Uh,” he pivots, looking at Kaylee with wide eyes. “What?

What answer Luther was about to provide to Lou, catches in his throat. He stares at his teammates' worried faces, but the flash of the soldiers' faces overtakes his view. He can see the fear in their eyes. The screams of the dying and deafening gunfire echo in his mind, not just from the visions, but from his own memories of war.

Standing in the following unnerving silence, Luther stares down at the bullet riddled bodies of the soldiers at his feet, eyes wide to the whites. Then, he realizes just how quiet it is. Too quiet without Tyler's commentary, without even a visual of the ridiculously gaudy, Hawaiian shirted man. Too quiet, because…

The clattering of his emptied rifle hitting the ground doesn't even register as Luther rushes back to where he'd laid her. He falls to his knees roughly, bending over and hoisting the telepath's head onto his lap. "Kaylee! Hey!" Hands lightly slap at the woman's cheeks, trying to wake her. His eyes scan over the slick, dark red blossomed on her jacket, her clothing, and the ground beneath.

"No. No. No." The word utters over and over, each time more emphatic and rapid than the next. Luther's trembling hands curl into the blonde strands of her hair and grasp her chin. "Kaylee, come on. Please." The tightened growl turns in on itself. A faint whine escapes at a keening pitch. He can't stop the sting in his eyes, the blurred vision with invading tears. When his efforts to wake her bring no reaction, Luther stares blankly down at her face. For a moment, she looks so peaceful.

Head thrown back, Luther roars out in a grief-stricken rage. As he runs out of breath, the cry dies off into a plea whispered in the sunlight streaming through dusty, broken glass windows.

"Don't leave me."

Lou shoots a grim look to Bob when Kaylee explains some of what they're seeing. But it doesn't explain the feelings. "But you're not shot. Nobody is," Bob states, trying to reassure the telepath, trying to ground the situation in their reality.

Luther's thousand yard stare is telling of the lingering vision. The man stands stock still, not having heard the exchange between the security team and Kaylee. Not until she's thrown her arms around his neck does he come out of the vision with a sudden catch of breath. This close, Kaylee could feel his heart pounding. This close, Luther doesn't realize until it's too late that he's drawn her in. His arms wrap around her and tighten, clinging with fearful desperation that if he lets go, she'll crumble away and disappear.

A shudder runs through the man even as tears escape tightly shut eyes. Even so, flashes of his memories blur past his mental eye, triggered through the vision. His wife, his family, his friends, his last love. Gone. He could protect none of them. "I'm sorry," is all he can manage. "I'm so, so sorry."

The strangely familiar voice of Tyler pulls Kaylee’s attention her own moment of shock and… well.. self pity. Her head lifts slowly from where it’s buried against Luther’s neck. Eyes and cheeks red, makeup smudged from crying; the telepath can only stare in confusion at Tyler. It wasn’t really registering who she was seeing. Blonde brows slowly lower in to a what the hell look. Tyler has visited Raytech before… or at least the area around it.

There isn’t much more time to really process Tyler’s presence, as suddenly she is being hit by an overload of information from Luther as his mind finally engages from where ever it was. Memories and thoughts batter against the thin walls of her mind. It’s loud, but one thing through all the noise in her head. becomes clear…

Luther was grieving.

So when his arms wrap around her and hold her in a crushing hug, clinging to her desperately, it doesn’t have the same effect it would of just a few moments ago. There is a sound in the back of her throat like a soft whimper, her heart was breaking for a man she cared about so deeply; and, despite everything they’ve gone through, her own arm tighten around him and she just holds him.

“Shhh..shh shh.” sound in the comforting tone she uses for her own kids, her head rest against his much warmer skin. The tears that trailed over skin are no longer for her own pain, but his. Her words pitched low only for her distraught friend. “It’s okay. I’m alright, you haven’t failed me.” Even if she might not be okay elsewhere, the ache of the bullet wound still lingers faintly; at least here and now she was. She has no say in all of the heart breaking losses he’s sustained, but she continues softly, “Oh, Luther,” Kaylee says in shaky breath, “You shouldn’t have had to witness that, you’ve gone through so much already. It’s unfair.”

There is a part of her that fights the urge to soften those memories, to bring him a measure of peace, but— that wasn’t who she was now… not with her friends at least. So all the telepath was reduced to was being there for him. However, she tries something else, turning her head to rest her forehead against his jaw, she asks quietly, “Remember that day in the park?” She reminds him of the good that is here in their world, because of his sacrifices, quietly strengthening the memory of her son, Carl, and his bright smile as he shows Luther various pens to name the colors of. Luther can almost hear the boys bright laughter when the man gets them wrong. It was one of her favorite memories. “I’m okay. We’re okay, because of you. You keep us safe every day, even if we- I -take it for granted sometimes,” that last said with a touch of humor, because she knows how much of a headache she is sometimes.

Pulling away a little so that she can look him in the eyes, Kaylee takes a breath to say something else; but in her periphery something catches her attention… Her head shifts in a bit of a surprised jerk, towards it.


He is standing there, staring at her. The telepath’s expression falls and just as quickly is replaced with fear.

“Lou?” Kaylee says with a shaky voice. “Bob? Please tell me there is someone standing behind Luther.” Her voice is breathless with her fear, her face pale…. Kaylee has a feeling she was looking at a ghost.

They both look back, then turn their focus to Kaylee with slow and helpless shakes of their head. Tyler, equally confused, stares wide-eyed at Kaylee and looks down at his hands. He flexes them open and closed, then exhales a shuddering… breath? The memory of breath?

“I feel sick,” is the last thing Kaylee heard Tyler say before he flickers and fades away like a candle in the wind. But in the static at the back of her mind, she feels something. A pressure. A presence.

For several seconds, Luther can only shudder as the grief and despair wracks his body. Fingers curl their grip tightly, likely causing more than a few wrinkles to Kaylee's clothing. There's barely any sound from the man outside of the staggered, soft gasps for breath followed by tight attempts to regain control on the exhale.

Her reminder of the day in the park with Carl and something good tugs his mind back. Though Luther can't reply immediately, she can feel his hands start to weaken their grip, his form stilling, and mental anguish calming from the dark spiral.

Bob and Lou stand there helplessly with uncertain glances, first to each other then to their bosses. Bob casts a short glance to where Kaylee's suddenly looking, but seeing nothing, the bodyguard shakes his head and shrugs. "Are you okay, Boss?" he questions, mostly to Kaylee but there is a concerned look at Luther as well.

Lou steps around Luther's back, confirming for real that there's no physically present being there. Seeing is not always believing for the woman. Plus, there are people with superpowers. Like invisibility. "Nobody there, Boss," says the security guard. Her path takes her back around to the other side of Luther. "Chief?" Normally wry, Lou's tone this time is more unsettled than anything. Seeing their security head lose his cool this way is something of a stark reminder.

When Luther opens his eyes again to stare down at the black asphalt, he's still slow to come back to the present moment. When it does finally strike him of where he is, when he is, and who he's clinging onto, his grip on Kaylee goes slack. He steps back a pace, staring at the telepath and his teammates with wet, reddened eyes. Cheeks flush with color and embarrassment, and he roughly wipes at the tears with the palm of his hand, head shaking and sniffing loudly. But there's no denying what he'd just seen, what he'd felt.

What he doesn't have is an explanation.

"I-" His voice stammers unsteadily and tone thick, "I'm sorry." If he can't fight the denial, then he'll retreat. Into a bottle, most likely. Even though the day has only barely started. He turns away from the group, shielding his face and abruptly starting away.

Only to feel fingers snag his jacket and an arm, an attempt to stop him from leaving.


So many emotions packed into the sound of his name, spoken softly at his back. His sudden movement had pulled Kaylee out of her shock at seeing the ghost form of Tyler, who had been a part of another her. Now he was leaving her and something reacted… something deep in her. Something sensibility couldn’t stop.

“Please,” Kaylee pleas softly to his back, eyes on the fabric in front of her, fingers tightening their grip a little. “Please don’t be sorry,” the words thicken as she speaks as she fights the tears. She hates to see him like that. Teeth clench against the surge of emotions that were urging her to hug him again. “Not to me. Not about this. Never about this.”

There is the soft clearing of a throat behind her, as Bob notices some other people have started to notice. It’s like a shock to her, reminding her where they are. There is a sharp breath of awareness, letting go of the fabric of Luther’s suit, and she looks over her shoulder at the security pair. Bob gives a subtle nod of his head and Kaylee looks out to see people pausing. It is enough to have her backing up and letting Luther get on his way. “Please watch after him?” she asks of the two, then promptly turns on her heels, and hurries back for her car. Seems Raytech would have to do without her yet another day.

Bob gives her a flat look, but still lingers, taking a few steps towards the chief before he can flee. “Just so you know, Chief, she’d talkin’ about moving back to Detroit.” He takes a step back, because no matter, his job was to protect her. “For you and for her. Pretty sure, she’s in— .” Before the bodyguard can say more, he receives a sound smack from Lou and a hissed suggestion to shut up. “Ow… hey, someone needs to say it.” But gets a warning look from her and he brings up his hands to stall another smack. “Okay… okay.. fine. Sheesh…”

After one last concerned look at the Chief, Bob hurries to catch up to Kaylee, who is furiously wiping at her own eyes.

Luther's arm tenses under her fingers, and he can't stop another shudder from a withheld sob being fought off. At first, his racing mind reacts with animal instinct caught between the urges of fight or flight. In his case, flight stalls at her whispered plea. But he doesn't dare look back at her, for fear of something terrible resuming, be it vision of alternate reality or memory of the past. All Luther can do is shake his head in the barest of movements, speechlessness buried under a heavy and overwhelming sense of guilt.

He stares at the ground, head bowed, looking defeated. The sound of Kaylee's heels registers slowly. By the time she's halfway to the car and Bob mentions the talk about Detroit, he's catching up. Luther finally looks up, staring at Bob, then Lou, then at Kaylee's retreating back. He starts to blindly follow after, a step taken in the direction of the telepath.

The smack from Lou is loud enough to snap Luther out of the blank daze. The security chief straightens as he starts realizing all the eyes on them, where he'd been headed. Fingers curl into fists at his sides. "Lou. I'm headin' out," Luther states after a short exhale, watching Bob stepping away back to Kaylee's side.

"Chief, I don't think that's a good idea." The protest Lou puts up insists.

The look she gets squashes the protest, and she steps aside to let Luther through. Once the security chief is several feet out of earshot, she sighs heavily and eyes the onlookers sharply. "What?" challenges Lou, sending the people scurrying off to clock in.

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