The Gang Says Goodbye


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Scene Title The Gang Says Goodbye
Synopsis Kaylee breaks the news to the Gang. It doesn't exactly go how she pictured it in her head.
Date October 10, 2018

Resistance Camp

The day was fast approaching where everything would be thrown into chaos. And so Kaylee’s window of opportunity to talk with people and break the news that she wasn't going to be moving on. There have been a lot of tears, especially from Kaylee. This had been harder then she thought it would be. Still she didn't falter, she knew what she wanted and leaving behind Luther was not an option.

Two people she had been through so much with and probably the hardest for her to tell… Kain and Ling. Next to Elisabeth and Aurora… next to Shaw… They were the ones she dreaded telling the most.

To be honest she had made the choice long ago, and it was no secret that she and Luther were a ‘thing’; but she wasn't looking forward to this and a part of her didn't want to let go of the hope that Luther would change his mind.

He didn't.

Kaylee had been able to drag her feet longer as she waited to the camps main supplier to bring her a bottle of whiskey. It might have been a strange request, but it was… a tradition.

Head resting against Luther’s chest for a moment, Kaylee takes a deep breath. She doesn't cling to him, her hands are too full with the whiskey and salvaged glasses, just rests her forehead against his chest while she gathers her wits and courage.

“I can do this,” the telepath says as she breathes out and finally steps away from the man. Luther gets a wavering smile. “Thank you for being here while I do this. I feel kinda like the kid bringing the boyfriend to meet the parents.” She swallows heavily and looks in the direction they are heading. She knows they are there. The hum of their voices distinct. “Okay let's do this.” With that, Kaylee turns and marches towards where the pair are holed up. “Kain! You in there?”

Luther nods slowly to Kaylee, her shaky smile met with a slight lift of his angled brows. “Pretty sure I’m older ‘n both of ‘em,” rumbles the man in reply, finding a spot to linger at a fair (safe) distance when the telepath turns to step up to the proverbial plate. His own hands empty, still at his sides, he watches the woman moving up and then the flap of the tent expectantly.

Wind whips across the barren stretch of New Jersey serving as the staging grounds for the Resistance’s forward operations base for the impending assault on the Outer District. Canvas tents flap and snap in the bitterly cold wind, bringing with it a cloud of dust kicked up from the ruined buildings scattered around the entrenched position. There’s so many people here right now, members of the Resistance from all across the country have started flooding in as word spread that operatives inside are working to bring the dome down.

“I needed that AA gun in place here an hour ago!” In spite of himself, Avi Epstein is in the middle of this chaos. His shouts over a secure radio channel are equally as loud as Kaylee’s call into the tents, and also unfortunately the only response she gets. “No, I don’t care what numbfuck excuse you have! Get that truck rolling, I don’t care if you’re driving on the fucking rims! If we don’t have goddamn air support when they start sending Harvesters at us we’re as good as dead!”

In the distance, the chop of a nearby helicopter’s low-flying approach under radar means more ground relief for the Resistance and more minds in the static of Kaylee’s thoughts. It isn’t Kaylee’s call that has Kain bursting out of his tent but rather a frantic cry of, “Has anyone seen the bag of god damn diapers!?” Kain Zarek, once and former crime lord at the side of Daniel Linderman, now carries a canvas backpack in one hand and a tiny sneaker fit for a child in the other. He has, somehow, become the nanny of the Resistance.

They aren’t even for Aurora. It’s just for a baby — somebody’s baby — probably not even here in the camp, and he’s packing supplies like it’s his own. Things have changed since they lived in a walled up subway station below a power plant.

Kain recognizes that when his stare meets Kaylee’s, and he shoots a look to the tiny sneaker in one hand, then back to Kaylee. He searches for a way to look cool, finds nothing, and instead asks, “Have you seen the diapers?”

Smoke curls around Kain's ankles, drifting and wafting around but never moving far from - almost as if her were Pigpen at times. Ling has been spending more and more time in her smoke form since they arrived in this wasteland, and today is no exception.

Plus, it gives her a good way to roam around with Kain without having to actually help out with the kids.

At the light of Kaylee and Luther, though, tendrils slip from the smoke closer to the other two, rising upwards. "You should be watching this, Kaylee," is a whispery voice on the air - unmistakably Ling's despite her smoke form. "I believe they have domesticated him."

This…. Well, this was not something that the telepath expected, it brings her up short. What?!?? Kaylee can’t help but glance back at Luther before she openly stare at the once macho Kain Zarek. Luckily, Ling’s voice breaks the spell, the smoky woman gets a worried look. Leaning over a little, she can’t help but ask… “Is that even possible?”

That glance allows Kaylee to find what Kain was looking for, just outside of the fabric flap of the tent. Oh dear. Moving forward, despite her hands being full with bottle and glasses, she gently hooks an arm through his; it’s like he’s escorting her at some ball. With a gentle tug, the telepath turns him to face back towards the tent and motions to pack of diapers setting there in plain view.

“You okay?” Kaylee asks completely concerned Kain’s mental state. “I wanted to talk, but you look like you have your hands a little too full.”

An ear tilted to the howling commands of Avi Epstein, Luther isn't looking directly at Kaylee, although he faces her direction along with Kain's tent. The man turns back as Kain busts through the flap in a disheveled state of things, and for a moment, stares right at the other man like he'd grown a second head. Or obtained someone's child.

Kaylee's not the only one watching.

Luther's brow creases down, a sudden glowering look tugging them from habit when something bothers the man. In this case, the notion that there is a child here at the camp site under the care of a man who isn't the parent of it. "Who the fuck left you on diaper duty?" he growls in impatient question. Granted, someone has to do the babysitting. Being part of a lady-lead Resistance group dictates this need. But, Luther nevertheless seems as surprised as Kaylee to see Kain in this position.

Kain levels a scrunched face to Kaylee’s direction, brows down at a muppet-like angle of near-caricature. He doesn’t so much as flinch when Ling manifests from the smoke around his legs, stepping over and around her like she were an overly affectionate housecat. “Ah’m on depot,” is how Kain defends himself to Luther, brandishing one finger in his direction. “But depot just so happens t’include all the kid-bits, an’ you’d think people’d stop bangin’ out babies in th’ post-apocalypse, but no!

Wind whipping through his hair, Kain tosses his hands out to his side and looks around at everyone. “Anybody else wanna’ take a shot at ol’ Kain while he’s gettin’ nappies for the kids? Or do Ah’ gotta roll ya’ll up in a rug an’ throw y’offa whatever’s left for bridges ‘round here?”

"I think you might be out of luck," With the bridges, at least. Smoke swirls upwards into something more distinctly resembling the figure of a woman, though Ling doesn't yet become fully solid. If they weren't so used to it, it might be unnerving to have smoke visibly turn to look in your direction, but well…

"You do it admirably at least," is half disinterested, half sarcastic, half honest. "Why they leave us with these tasks is beyond me," her voice taking an annoyed turn. "A waste of talent and horribly inefficient."

Smoke drifts upwards as she begins to solidify from fingers back, crossing her legs as she sits on a nearby box. She stares at Kaylee through a pair of rose tinted sunglasses she scavenged off some poor sap, a slight chip in the outer rim on one lens. "It's all killing time anyway," she adds nonchalantly.

“Luther,” Kaylee growls out his name, while giving him a look. Her hand comes up, still occupied with the bottle in a plea for him to cool it. “Not the time.”

Turning back to Kain, the telepath gives him a look as well. There is a moment when she might look amused at his yelling, but the look manages to remain flat. “And ain’t nobody going to throw anyone off any bridges. Alright?”

Taking a deep breath, Kaylee continues, “There is nothin’ wrong with what they have you doin’. It is just as important as the rest of it and you are amazing with Aurora, so no wonder they got you doin’ this. It’s a huge sign of trust.” There might be some bullshit behind that, but she is trying to sooth an ego here. Pressing the glasses against his chest to hold, she prepares to fill them. “Now you’re gonna sit down,” She points to an empty box next to Ling, “have a drink, and we’re gonna have ourselves a talk like we used too back at the Hub.”

Looking down at bottle as she twists the cap, “I got somethin’ important to talk to you about.” Turning a bit, Kaylee include Ling in that statement. “And I’m sure neither one of you is gonna like it.”

"I was askin' because the parents ought to have left supplies with you if they did. Don't be so fuckin' sensitive," Luther snipes back at Kain, meeting eyes with the man in brief challenge. Try it. But the growl out of Kaylee serves as a reminder of his true purpose for coming, and he snorts, looking away to the activities of weaponry loading for a moment.

The sound of the twisted bottle cap catches his ear, but Luther makes no move to join the three just yet. Instead, he folds his arms over his chest and remains back at a polite distance.

A glance of grey eyes flicks to the diaper bag, then to the flap of the tent, back to the bag. Another moment passes, and he grunts with a move forward, bending to snatch the bag up. Nothing is said, only a look to the three. He'll take care of it. They can do their talk.

Kain watches Luther depart with hands on his hips and brows furrowed, a frown creased across his face. “Prince Adam here’s a real charmer,” Kain grumbles in Kaylee’s direction as he looks back to the blonde. There's a moment where he considers Ling, whether she's a Disney fan or whether that literary reference went too far. The moment of doubt passes and Kain takes a seat beside Ling on a lower crate.

“Tell me you an’ muscles ain't gettin’ hitched.” Kain’s brows raise, and he's got a strongly judgmental expression spread from ear to ear. “Or— please don't tell me that yahoo’s comin’ with us when we get out of here!” That maybe was a bit loud.

Ling looks over at Kain with a quirked eyebrow and an amused grin - she got that reference, it seems. Even she was a child once, after all. "Now now, Kain," she replies lightly, pulling the last of her cigarettes out of her pocket, "I've never known you to turn down someone willing to do your work for you." Which seems to be the important thing here - the two of them are off the hook.

She holds up the pack, offering one to Kain, and then questioningly to Kaylee. It's a small gesture, but meaningful - this is the last of a pack she's been rationing for some time now, with no more in sight. Even if they don't take them, though, she always offers some to her partners.

"Please," Ling remarks with a roll of her eyes behind her glasses as she pulls out a lighter. "Muscles would get lost on the way." It seems there's a nickname already. With that, she looks up to Kaylee expectantly.

Her gaze turning to watch Luther briefly amusement flickering across her features, at least until Kain opens his mouth. Head snapping around, blue eyes filled briefly with a flicker of anger, but then covered over with a bright smile. “Pot. Kettle, handsome.” She even lets go of the bottle long enough with one hand to pat his cheek. Each word is emphasised, bitten off sharply, her gaze not flinching from his. Almost challenging.

“In fact, you look close enough, you might even see a bit of your surly ass peakin’ back.” Being around Kain always seems to bring out home in her speech. “Maybe that’s why I like him so much,” she admits. She takes a moment to pour whiskey in one glass, before quickly taking the glass, and replacing it with the bottle. It might be roughly shoved at him a little bit.

In other words…. Kain. You gonna be that way? Pour your own damn drink.

Maybe there is an undercurrent of irritation for the comments about her boyfriend. Or she might be a bit protective of him. A bit.

The glass she takes is offered to Ling, even if her expression is a bit flat at the nickname. Her friend’s comment get a lopsided grin, Though her tone seems oddly bright, “Well then… Ling. I guess it’s a good thing I’m stayin….” She looks over at Kain now rather pointedly, as she just gets straight to the point.

Despite the irritation, Kaylee has to struggle to say the next part through clenched teeth, “That’s right. I'm staying here in his world, with him. Wouldn’t want him to get lost after all….,” leaning down toward Ling, focus shifting back to her, it is like she is offering up a big secret, Kaylee add, with a smirk, “I’ve grown rather attached to him and his muscle..s.” Despite their attitudes, she was gonna miss them something terrible.

Whatever Luther might be hearing, the commentary doesn’t reveal until he emerges from the tent with a bundle of hazardous waste in his hand courtesy of the babe inside. The sour expression is for the package, mostly. There’s a moment where he just stands there eyeing the trio from one face to the next. Still silent, he walks over. And neatly, as a cat might bring a kill, drops the dirty diaper at Kain’s feet where he sits. Luther bends over slightly, uttering a singular, “Yahoo.”

Then he straightens and backs off and away, presumably to find somewhere to wash his hands.

“Woah, woah, wait. What?” It isn’t Kain that complains so vocally. In fact, Kain doesn’t hear the other voice. Only Kaylee does, and sitting in a lawn chair with an overfull margarita in his hand, Tyler Case looks around and carefully balances his drink in one equally non-existent hand. “Edward wanted you to stay in the next stop. The nice one with the beaches!”

Unable to perceive Tyler’s protest, Kain talks right over him. Dark brows furrowed, he looks side-long to Ling, and then back to Kaylee with not anger or frustration but… sympathy. “Guess we all found somethin’ worth stayin’ for then” he admits with a reluctant sigh. Blue eyes level on Ling, and there’s apology in them. “Ah’ guess it’s time enough t’tell, yeah.”

Kain looks back to Kaylee, running a hand through his short hair. “Ah’m stayin’ too.”

As Kaylee shares her "secret", Ling's eyes narrow; as she continues, it becomes clear that she has some sort of acerbic comment waiting on the tip of her tongue - part sarcastic joke, but scathing truth from her perspective. "What a short sighted decision," she remarks nonchalantly, before she too leans forward, more to come.

It doesn't.

Kain shares his own news too, and she freezes in place. Though she appears calm on the outside, still staring at Kaylee, it's easy to tell she's not. Even if they didn't know Ling as well as they do, the way smoke begins to drift off her form like steam rolling off of a boiling pot of water in a below freezing kitchen gives it away.

Calmly, she reaches up and pulls the ruby sunglasses off her face, setting them aside. She wants them both to see the glare in her eyes, theatrical and overwrought as it may be. "Have you both lost your fucking minds?" A look to Kaylee, and then over to Kain. "We left one dead- world, I don't know what else to call it anymore. You want to stay here?"

There is a wicked smile at the comment. Luckily, Luther is -hopefully- out of hearing range. “Oh, trust me it ai-” The snippy comment she wa firing back to Ling is cut short rather suddenly, as the two men speak up at once.

It isn’t Kain and his announcement that gets her attention first. By now, everyone is used to it, Kaylee turns to look at the empty air next to her or at least to them. “Daddy don’t always get what he wants,” says Edward Rays rebellious daughter. “We’re stayin’.”

Which means she might not have heard Kain clearly, “I know we’ve been through a lot,” Kaylee forages on, defending her decision to stay behind with Luther. “And…” Then it finally clicks what Kain said, right about the time Ling starts letting them know what she thinks of their choice. The telepath is too busy looking confused and trying to remember when he saw him doing something other than complaining about wanting to get out of there.

“Wait? You’re stayin’ too?” Kain gets a blank look, but then it shifts into sharp focused curiosity. “I mean, I’m staying here for him,” thumb motions in Luther’s general direction, “But what you got to stay for?” Head tilting a bit, she leans towards him. “You find her here or something?” Yeah, she knows.

“Ah’m stayin’ with Kay,” Kain says quietly, looking to Ling in a way that is neither snippy at her indignance, nor too sentimental as to make her uncomfortable, but just enough to make her squirm a little. “We’ve been runnin’ supplies for the Resistance together fer months. It’s— ” He shrugs, and looks over to Kaylee. “It looks like you’n Ah’ve both found somethin’ worth fightin’ th’ harder fight for.”

Sliding off of the crate he was sitting on, Kain looks over at Ling with a hesitant smile, then back to Kaylee. “You could do better,” he says with a teasing grin, “but y’all know that big galoot ain’t half bad. Just about two-tenths.” Slinging a look over at Ling with one brow raised, Kain seems to have something else for her too.

“Y’all need me t’fix you up with somebody, or…” Kain’s smile only grows. “You cool with bein’ a smokey cat lady?”

"Fuck you," is said with a distinctly venomous tone behind it. From behind her glasses, Ling stares at Kain. "I'm not staying," she says flatly and definitively. "If I were going to stay here, I might as well have stayed home!" She rises up from where she sits, a hand shaking as she looks between the others. Smoke rises more thickly from her form as she spreads her hands out in front of her.

"I don't trust either of the people leading us on this… charade. I don't trust these people here, watching them fumble about. And yet, you would stay?" It seems to an honest question, at least. "I have something to fight for. It would be foolish to lose it here." She knows she should be happy for them, deep down, but- well.

It's been a long few years.

“Me?” She makes a sound as if blowing off that statement. Kaylee doesn’t believe it, a glance going back towards where Luther slipped off to. “Ain’t nobody who could hold a candle to you, Kain, so I think I made out alright.” Stated as a half compliment, half joke, the telepath offers him a bright smile. “Huge… huge improvement from Peter. You got to admit.” Really… it is,

Of course, as Ling ramps up in response to the news, Kaylee attention shifts to her.

“Everywhere we’ve been there has been something to fight for.” she growls back at the woman. “Our lives, our freedom. From what I’ve seen, it don’t matter where we go, it’s gonna be shit somehow. I lost my dad and brother and y’all picked me up. Took me under your wings, but I have still been fumbling around trying to find myself and I finally have.”

A hand motions in the absent Luther’s direction, her voice pitching a bit louder, “Luther and I, we’ve found we make a pretty fuckin’ good team. It— feels right. Has since day one.” A guilty look is sent Lings way, before she glances at Kain. “This place feels more like home than that last place and I have more goddamn trust in Eve then I ever did my old man. And she sure as hell ain’t lockin’ me away.”

The telepath is a much different person then she was when they landed there.

“If you really think I didn’t think this through that I did spend nights away, worrying at just telling the two of you and the others…” Kaylee catches herself, before she utters something she’ll regret and turns away from Ling, pacing away a few steps before looking back. “I ain’t no goddamned fool, both you made sure of that.” Her expression softens some and there is a plea that inches in there, “Just be happy for me, Ling. It ain’t the best place, but at least I found what I didn’t even know I was lookin’ for.”

The dark-clad looming shadow that makes up Luther approaches again from the direction of the bustling portion of the camp. Upon seeing an angered, smoking Ling at his distance, Luther lengthens his stride, eating up the space between quicker.

"The fuck happened? Thought you all would be at least halfway through that bottle by now," he states as he comes up. Without thinking of it, he reaches over to lay a hand on Kaylee's shoulder. A brow arches up in silent question, particularly in Ling's physical state.

“We've been discussin’ our feelings, Lenny. Ya’ll should give it a try sometime,” Kain says with a crooked look, one that pivots slowly over to Ling. Kain draws in a deep breath and runs both of his hands through his hair, shoulders rising and then falling slowly.

“Kid,” Kain rarely calls Ling, “Ah’ ain't gonna tell y’who t’fight for or what. You wanna roll on, then roll on. Ain't nobody gonna’ tell you that ain't right. You'll sure as shit have a longer life expectancy out there in the Strange than here. An’…” he breathes in deeply, walking over to her. “An’there ain't gonna be a day that goes by where Ah’ ain't missin' yer smoky ass. But you ain't never needed me. Or her,” Kain motions to Kaylee. Then, with an openness usually only reserved for people he thinks he's never seeing again Kain admits, “Ah’m th’ one that needed you.”

One hand closes, shaking as it tightens into a fist. Ling's eyes dart to Luther when he speaks back up, the smoke wafting from her form thickening slightly. She sucks in a breath, ready to sling an acerbic retort back at Luther - an exclamation of You, that is what spoken with an acidic vitriol she might reserve for someone from the Vanguard back home sits on the tip of her tongue.

Kain has always been good about keeping what emotion she lets seep out in check, for better or worse, always forcing her to stay poised when she's on the edge of true anger, or even rage. And again, he has that effect. His words quiet Ling, her shoulders slumping slightly - the glare, the narrowed eye behind her glasses remains, though.

And then, it softens. The closest she's ever come to showing actual sadness, perhaps, as smoke begins to swirl around her. "I had hoped," she starts in a lower voice, "once, that all of us would see this through. Us. Richard. Peyton." She shakes her head. "A single woman, never as much as her crew." The glare fades entirely, and she raises her chin up in that distinct, almost haughty way she has sometimes. The words don't match the look. "And that will be something I miss."

Her form turns ethereal as she slips into her smoke form, the red of her glasses seeming to linger. "Goodbye, then" she offers in a solemn whisper as the smoke that composes her rises. "I will hold no grudges. I think this is a mistake, but…" The thought trails off as Ling's smoke thins, and she begins to vanish from that room, off to do whatever it is she may do when she doesn't want to actually show her emotions. "Do what feels right."

As the smoke swirls and dissipates from where she once stood, two objects come into view in the thinking cloud - a knife, point stuck into the ground, the very same one that Ling had taught Kaylee knife handling with, and a familiar necklace, the one that once belonged to Peyton Whitney and Ling had been wearing as a memento ever since the day they had landed in Arthur Petrelli's supposed paradise.

No follow up comment comes through the air - it would see that the smoke woman has, indeed, taken her leave.

There is a tension throughout her entire body, Luther can feel it in the stiffness of her shoulder under his hand. Kaylee can hear the turmoil as well as see it in Ling. Fingers curl and uncurl at her sides, but she does look up the man and he can see the pain. It is a struggle to hold back her own emotions in the face of Ling’s own.

Having always been in the periphery of the gang at home, always wanting that acceptance… Then once she had it, she was tearing it apart. Listening to Ling, Kaylee’s eyes drop to the ground, with a flicker of guilt, before the woman’s smokey-form. Brows furrowed as she tries to focus on breathing around the lump in her throat.

The goodbye from the other woman brings the prickle of tears to the telepath’s eyes, which snap up to watch her. “Ling…” Kaylee starts stepping forward as if to stop her, but then she spots the dagger on the ground and her stomach gives a twist. The kindness that Ling had shown her teaching her to use knives… to see it laying there, it finally breaks the young woman. Crouching down, Kaylee gently tugs the knife from the dirt with a hitched breath, unable to stop the tears now.

“I’m sorry,” Kaylee says to the woman who isn’t there, the dagger held close to her chest like one would a cherished stuffed toy. Straightening, Kaylee turns a teary look to Kain, one filled with guilt… but he can tell she’ll miss the woman. “She’ll be okay,” the telepath concludes even if her voice doesn’t show the same confidence; waving and shaky.

In fact, Kaylee turns away then and moves to bury her face against Luther’s chest… Fingers of her free hand curled around the lapel of his dark coat to hide the tears that she can’t stop now.

Luther's reaction to Ling's pointed stare at him, the anger roiling from her like the smoke of her form, is a returned challenge. He's been on the receiving end of that sort of rage before, and in those scant moments of staring down the barrel of the woman's focusing emotion. That doesn't come the way he anticipates.

His shoulders ease off the building tension as well, though nothing as completely as when the smoke eventually disappears to leave the knife and necklace. Luther says nothing in the moment, but the return of a furrowed brow and downward tips of his mouth line show something of empathy and understanding.

Kaylee's turn to him shifts his gaze down, and his arm curls up around her waist and back to hold her to him. Grey eyes narrow a touch, a glance sent to the other man, examining Kain as much as recalling his words to Ling. The thought strikes Luther, a realization that, "You're staying?" It would explain Ling's further upset, for sure.

A bittersweet smile crosses Kain’s face. “Looks like yer stuck with me, Coco.” Like the gorilla. Because he’s a very strong man, but also good with kittens… Kain’s still workshopping that nickname. “Somebody’s gotta make sure ya’ll treat Blondie right.”

But whatever smile Kain had fades when he looks to where Ling was a moment ago. Expression sagging down into a frown, he shakes his head and draws in a slow and steady breath. When he looks back, he settles his attention on Kaylee and shakes his head. “Ah’ll talk t’her. She’ll be alright. This is how she deals with things.” Then, over to Luther, that ghost of a smile comes back, if only for how much he knows he must mean to Kaylee.

Forehead pressed against Luther’s warm chest, Kaylee brushes at the dampness of her cheeks, as if trying to rid herself of an annoyance before she faces the men. They still have a sheen when she finally lifts her head and looks at Kain. Offering a wavering smile, she offers a soft, “I’m so glad you are.”

Pulling away from Luther, she looks like she might cry again, but this time with relief. Relief she wouldn’t be the only one of her dysfunctional world hopping family to stay there. There has been so much loss, so much pain that they have endured together, that the idea of watching them leave her behind had been tearing at her.

So whether he likes it or not, Kaylee takes the few steps between the two of them…. And Kain finds himself being hugged by a teary-eyed telepath. “Like a big brother. You’re always looking out for me.” There was a thank you hidden in that statement for him. Kain was a little lifeline in a sea of despair at losing everything she has ever known for something new.

And Kaylee could really use one of those right now.

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