The Pen Is Blue


kaylee_icon.gif luther_icon.gif



Scene Title The Pen Is Blue
Synopsis What is a little telepathic resistance training between friends?
Date September 1, 2018

A Park in Elmhurst

It might have been weird when she told him to meet her at the park. Especially, on a Saturday. However, it was away from prying eyes of Luther's own team and those of other Raytech employees. Kaylee knew this first session needed to be away from the office. So while the park is full of people, it was unlikely that anyone they knew was going to be there.

The concrete picnic table sits by itself under the canopy of a massive oak, but still had a good view of the playground equipment a distance off. It gives her kids the ability to be a little independent, but also allows her to keep an eye on them.

The skies above them are filled with thick clouds that are slowly turning grayer, still Kaylee brought her kids with her to the park. While the girls were quick to go find their friends, Carl was kneeling on the bench across from Luther staring at him; while leaning with crossed arms on a book he brought with him. “He kicked you and broke your arm?” The kid seems disbelieving in the story of how he broke it. “How is that even possible? You look, like… super strong. I bet fast, too. Why didn't you just dodge? Dad says you to have to be to protect mom, cause she’s trouble.”


Eyes roll over to stare guiltily at his mother. “That’s enough.” Kaylee chides him gently, while she pulls out a red solo cup and a pen - a red one from a bag that might contain snacks. “Mr. Bellamy doesn’t need you to ask a thousand questions about his arm. Go see what your sisters are up to.”

This get a heavy sigh from the telepath’s son, who ducks his head and grumbles, “But you’re gonna do cool stuff.” Kaylee barely ever does much with her ability around the kids, so the idea of his mom training someone… it has the kid curious. Something he gets from his mother. Carl wrinkles his nose a bit and looks past Luther to the playground. “All Emily does is talk about how dumb boys are with her friends and Hannah has friends that don't like me.” He brackets his face with his hands and rests elbows on the table, with a sad hound dog look pointed at both adults. “Can't I watch? Pleeese? I promise I’ll be quiet.”

Kaylee looks like she is having problems with standing up to that look. He had his dad soulful eyes. It leaves her on the edge of caving, so she looks at the man sitting across from her. It really wasn't her decision or choice if Luther has an audience.

When Luther arrived at the park, it wasn't entirely clear upon first seeing Kaylee with the kids what exactly he had invited him to come over to do. Though he came dressed for a casual meeting rather than one of business, he's had to pick some looser fitting shirt to get into, to slip his cast-wrapped arm into the open sleeve. Cuff undone and the long arm folded in a roll up to his elbow, Luther looks faintly amused by Carl's reaction to the man's appearance and the story behind it.

"She," Luther corrects gently, "was the one who was super strong. And I got tangled up a little bit is all. We were in some tomato vines, because she was trying to steal food and I was trying to stop her and her accomplices." His good shoulder lifts in a shrug, which shakes a little bit because Luther chuckles at the young boy's curiosity. As Kaylee chides her son and brings out the red cup and pen, grey eyes shifting to the telepath and a brow arching in silent question. Carl's complaints about his sisters and then the pleading look further the man's amusement. This time though, he schools his expression so when he faces the young boy, he's more serious about it.

"Alright, you can stay. But. Your mom's going to need some peace and quiet to concentrate, ok? Maybe after, we'll go grab something to eat." Tacit agreements are made. Luther turns back to the telepath, giving a nod to confirm. And, the man doesn't admit to the boy that he might be the one in need of peace and quiet to focus on what training plan is in store. "So," Luther considers of the objects placed on the park table, "what's with the cup and pen?"

“You go beat by a girl?” Scoffs the youngest Sumter in typical boy fashion. “Sounds like you need to work out more.” Cause a boy shouldn’t get beat by a girl. Kaylee gives Luther an apologetic look.

The telepath is dressed as casual as he is. A purple t-shirt with words in bold black that declares that Mom=Mind Reader. The irony of the shirt was too much not to buy it. “We’re making fried chicken tonight. Told Joseph that I’d be invitin’ you over,” Kaylee offers with a small lop-sided smile.

Carl is reaching for the pen as he adds in, “She did. I heard it.” A look of sudden horror flickers across his mother’s features. “She said you need more time with friends and less time drink—”

“Telepath resistance training!” Kaylee starts in a rush and a bit loud, before Carl can continues. Kaylee’s cheeks flush pink and the pen it plucked from her sons fingers. “I keep thinking about that day, About how I almost killed you. You need to learn to fight against someone like me. I’m not half a strong as a telepath can be.” Carl sits back on his butt again with a bit of a pout. “So… you’re training me and I’ll train you.”

The apologetic look meets with questioning, arched brow from Luther. But he doesn’t say anything to the mother, instead turning to the young boy with a smirk for his cheekiness. “A super strong girl. And don’t count them out. Your sisters are strong, your mother’s strong… you’ll be sad if they’re all gone and leave you all alone, because you didn’t respect them, right? Your mom works really hard to make sure you’re safe and have a good home.”

So when Kaylee remarks that they’re making a chicken dinner, and that he’s invited, Luther blinks in surprise. He watches as Carl reaches for the pen, head tilting as the boy goes on. Oh, he heard what Carl was about to say. The notion that he’s being talked about stings his pride, but it only causes Luther to sit up straighter, chin tilting with an air to it.

“You didn’t,” claims the man about that day they’d been training, although he may have felt like he was dying for a good few seconds. “And… maybe you give yourself too little credit. Still.” His eyes flick a look to Carl, then the objects, then back up to the telepath. “So what do you have in mind?” Luther pauses, then makes a wry expression for the unintended pun. And clears his throat.

Trying to get back her composure a little, Kaylee focuses on the task in hand. There is a flat look leveled Luther’s way for the pun, though there is obvious amusement behind that look. Giving a small longsuffering shake of her head, she holds up the red pen horizontal between thumb and forefinger, her eyes on it. “I thought we’d start simple.”

Carl watches with quiet curiosity, something he inherited from his mother. His own eyes firmly on the pen, like it might do something.

Kaylee’s gaze flicks from pen to the man across from her, “However, I have to ask, before we begin… will you allow me and trust me to alter your mind?” She looks at the little boy next to her, before adding to Luther, “I promise you, I won’t do more than needed for the training.” A brow arches up in a questioning and hopeful manner at the man.

The pun was truly unintended, by the way Luther appears appropriately apologetic for it underneath the flat look he receives. And it might be comical the way Carl and Luther share virtually the same curious, quizzical, expectant look. Luther shifts his grey gaze off the pen to the telepath as she asks for his permission. That question strikes deeply, somewhere he hadn’t expected it to. Silently, he deliberates inwardly, but ultimately when he glances over to Carl and recalls that bit of sting about being taken on and losing…

“I will allow it.” He seems skeptical but as she knows already, Luther doesn’t know exactly what he’s in for. The man rolls his shoulders, the injured one a little slower than the other, and physically prepares himself despite it being a mental challenge. A new glance sent to the telepath, he readies a long stare that seems to invite her to do her worst.

There is visible relief when he agrees to allow Kaylee to do what she needs to do for this. “Thank you,” she sighs out, looking tired for the moment. “People are often quick to judge a telepath rather than trust them.” There is a touch of sadness in the smile she offers Luther. Carl leans over against his mom’s arm. He’s probably seen it happen… it’s not like his mom can hide what she is in obscurity.

Wrapping an arm around her son, Kaylee kisses the top of his head. “You gonna help me?” His head nods as he sits straight again. “Alright.You watch the pen too, okay?” Again a nod.

“Okay then,” Kaylee says much brighter now, turning back to Luther, as if nothing had just happened to her. Her eyes meet his, holding for a moment. There is a small look of defiance return, but then she starts with the training.

“Telepaths come in all types and flavors. Mine is more than listening. I can manipulate a persons thoughts and memories.” Carl looks at Luther and then his mom again, he’s heard all of this before, “And when you think about it, thoughts are pretty much real time memories being created.” The telepath gives a bit of a dismissive shrug. “I get accused of having persuasion… But what I actually do,” There is a prideful smirk as Kaylee continues, “…is more complicated than that. I alter their thoughts and memories. Adding and subtracting.. Strengthening memories. I’m completely altering their perception of the world.”

Kaylee holds up a finger as she explains it, “And, that part the government doesn’t know about.” She starts to say more, but then stops when Carl shifts next to her. There were somethings about her ability, he doesn’t need to know. “They know that I can listen, but also strengthen and block memories for a short time.”

Holding out the red pen to the man across from her, “So with that in mind, I have here a pen… This task is a very simple one.” There is a wicks twist to her smile as she asks simply…

“Tell me, Mr. Bellamy, what color is this pen?”

"People are often quick to judge anybody that's different," Luther intones when she sends that sad smile. "Sometimes, they're just scared." With a glance to Carl, he leaves off the whole 'and we fought a whole war about it' part. For some, the war quietly continues.

Luther sits up straighter as Kaylee begins, listening and nodding slowly like he understands. Whether or not he actually does, conceptually it seems to make sense. "Okay, I'll agree with that logic," he remarks on it, and blinks once in the mention about the government knowing or not knowing the extent of the nature of her power. Once she's holding out the red pen, he takes it and holds it up.

Unaware that the telepath has already begun, Luther rumbles out plainly, "The pen is blue." It is most certainly not.

As soon as he says it, Luther will know something is wrong by the giggle that escapes the young boy at the table. Carl realizing what he’s done, huddles down chin on his arms, trying to look innocent. There is a familiarity to the mischievous smile. In fact, it might remind him of the woman sitting across from him.

Unable to help himself, Carl leans forward on his elbows, Carl tries to hide what he is saying from his mom with a cupped hand. “It’s red, Mr. Bellamy.” he loudly whispers. See, he’s got the older man’s back.

However, there will also be a touch of concern on the telepath’s features. “Are you certain about that?” When Luther looks back down on the pen, it’s suddenly red again. “We have a lot of work ahead of us.” Leaning forward, she moves to take the pen back, “You don’t even have a natural defense against me.” Kaylee turns thoughtful, looking at the solo cup. “Lets try something else.” The cup is placed between them and considers it for a moment. “Let’s have you fight against a suggestion.”

She looks up at Luther and gestures to the cup, “I want you to leave the cup there, while I try to make you take it.” The cup is picked up as demonstration and carefully set down. “Let me give you as visual to help you with what is going to happen. You ever… and I apologize for the analogy, but it’s the best one I can think of.” Kaylee doesn’t look at him, only at the cup that she turns between her palms. “You ever try to stop drinking, but there is that nagging voice at the back of your head that whispers to you and encourages you to do take just one sip, just one, cause it knows… just knows that once you do, you won’t be able to stop?”

It almost sounds like she knows, but she doesn’t and can’t drink or take drugs… even the wrong medicines can potentially kill her. Still she clearly sounds like she understands addiction and is haunted by it. “Temptation is a horrible thing,” Kaylee says softly, looking up at Luther again. “Willpower is how we beat it… I will be that voice in your head, encouraging you to take the cup. I want you to fight that idea that you want to take it.”

There is sometime much more subdued about her smile, as she asks. “That sound doable to you?”

Luther's brow furrows with the giggle from the child beside him, then one angled brow lifts as if to ask 'What?' The boy's mischief earns an indulgent-tinted look, and at being told the pen is red, along with Kaylee's query, Luther looks down to the pen in his hands. A red pen. The man makes a vague, displeased noise at himself, blinking several times on purpose as if questioning his eyes rather than his mind.

At being told he lacks a natural defense, Luther glances back up to Kaylee. "You're telepathic, how 'm I suppose to have a defense…" His protests die down into a hunch of his shoulders and a grumble of dissatisfaction. The pen is set aside, for now.

Fighting, though, fighting he can do. At least, he thinks he can. Grey eyes look back up as she explains using that metaphor, Luther listening and not exactly nodding, but the slide of his gaze to the red solo cup is telling of his understanding. "All the fff— all the time," he course corrects, remembering there are little ears around. He turns back to the telepath and nods slowly, once, and this time he stares at her rather than the cup itself. Apparently, thinking if maybe he finds somewhere else to look, he won't be tempted to take the cup. What cup? There is no cup. There is no…

“Trust me,” Kaylee states flatly, “It is possible. I’ve come up against plenty. The stories I could tell.” But she won’t in front of Carl, since most of those times ended with her hurt. She sighs with a slow shake of her head, “It’s easier to defend when you are aware of the attack, but with practice it will become second nature. Like me with my own mental barriers…” slender fingers rest lightly at her own temple. “I don’t even think about the walls that keep all these minds around me from overwhelming me.”

Carl shifts his weight again and reached out to take a hold of the cup with one hand. “I’ll help you.” As if he can keep the man from grabbing it if he wants it. “You wouldn’t take something from a kid would you?” Like mother, like son it seems.

Kaylee ruffles her son’s head, with amusement, before leaning forward and meeting Luther’s eyes. “But you do want that cup. Don’t you?” He really does. He really really does. That little voice is there at the back of his mind telling him to just do it.

What would it hurt? He thinks.

"So you're saying you're going to surprise me, some day?" Luther asks, brow arched at the telepath at first given that he's looking at her. "That," he adds with a nod to her fingers touching her temple, "is that your way of focusing on your power?" His question comes with curiosity. In a way, Luther's experience with the abilities of others shows a lack of finesse and study. The war was no place for such academics, at least not in the same sense as what they're doing now with a more formal (if casually set) tutelage.

Carl's attempt to be helpful by picking up the cup instead draws Luther's attention to it. The man's distraction splits, and he simply starts to reach with a hand to take the cup from the child. Somewhere over halfway across the table, he stops his hand with an abrupt blink. What was he doing? Seeing Carl's sweet face behind the object of his random desire, Luther shakes his head, trying to clear it and straighten his thoughts out.

He shoots a look back at Kaylee, defiant, grey eyes narrowing slightly. His outstretched hand slides back, fingers curling around the edge of the bench he sits on. Luther's mouth twists a wry expression. "That was it, wasn't it?"

There is a mischievous and knowing smile that touches Kaylee’s lips, “Indeed it was.”

Carl breaks out into a bright smile. “It worked didn’t it? You see mommy? It helped!” He sounds so proud of himself. Letting go of the cup, the 7 year old claps for the man. “You did it, Mr. Bellamy!” He turns and hops off the bench while Kaylee addresses Luther.

There is a soft chuckle and a touch of pride for the man, “Good work, Luther.” She wasn’t trying too hard, but this was only the first lesson. “And yes, I might surprise you one day, if you are okay with it. Might be a good test for where your progress is,” cause you don’t get good in a day, is left unsaid. “And yes touch helps me focus, but not in the way you are thinking. This—” She touches her temple again, “does nothing for me.” Leaning forward, Kaylee touches his hand on the edge of the table, “This… makes a connection. But this…” He finds himself distracted again by the cup, which becomes an unbearable desire to pick it up when her fingers touch his temple.”.. this is like a direct line.”

The desire falls away when her hand pulls away from him. Carl in the meantime, has been digging in a bag. Coming out with something, he hurries back to his spot and leans across the table. A fruit-by-the-foot (It’s strawberry flavored) is dropped in front of Luther. “Look! You get a prize, cause you won!” He looks between them, rather hopeful. “Again?”

Kaylee can’t help but laugh. “That is up to him, but… we don’t want to overwhelm him too much on his first day.” Fingers comb through hair as shades darker then her own. “I think he deserves a break.” Carl looks over at Luther expectantly.

Luther casts his gaze down to the park table top, trying to recall if there had been any notable shift when she had altered his mindset. The man, so rooted in the physical, searches for some equivalent in his mindset, what changes he might feel for, what does he do to resist. The answers aren't immediate, of course, so the man shifts a little uncomfortably even under the praise.

He knows that was the Super Easy mode, and it prickles faintly at his pride. The sensation of desiring the cup in his hand flaring again catches him totally unguarded. Luther this time snags the cup in his hand quickly, fingers clamping onto the red and white rim and drawing it close. When the sensation leaves, he's left blinking down at the object. The cup is set back down, away from him, just in time for Carl to return with the fruity snack.

He regards the little red roll, picking it up and turning it in his fingers. A different memory strikes him suddenly, a young boy similar to Carl's age and demeanor coming to mind. His son. The young, encouraging voice. Luther finds his throat tightening with a shift of emotion, eyes blinking rapidly and he turns away. It's over almost as soon as it began, a flash in the brain pan, as he fights off the sensation with forcible clearing of his throat. The glance he sends back to Carl comes with a tight pull of Luther's lips. "Sure," he replies, the pitch a little lower than his usual steady volume, a bit hoarse. "Let's go again."

Kaylee gets a different look, reserved between one adult to another. He'll be okay after a moment. Luther pulls in a deep breath, pushing clear his mind. "Should we try the pen trick again?"

As soon as she feels that turn, Kaylee shuts herself from Luther’s mind. What does manage to hit her before she can stop it, has the telepath blinking away a misting of tears.Though as far as Carl knows, his mother turns to look out where the girls are playing with their friends.

It was one of the things she disliked about her own ability, one of the hazards she called them. Memories like that were private things that she shouldn’t experience.

“You know what,” Kaylee says brightly, when she finally turns her attention back to the group. Glance at the bag next to her, Kaylee pulls out a box of crayons and hands them to Carl. “I think we need to step it up. Want to help me out?” As tempting as it is to send her son away, she also doesn’t want Luther that she knows.

Carl’s eyes light up as he takes the box in both hands. Kaylee motions to the table and child doesn’t have to be instructed… he dumps them out on the table with a giggle. Practically crawling on top of the picnic table to stop some from rolling off the far edge. “Mommy and Daddy never let me make a mess like this at home.” This is confided to Luther. If the man looks in Kaylee’s direction, she’ll gives a suffering roll of her eyes and a sigh.

“Don’t believe him,” Kaylee jokes lightly, plucks up a green crayon that stops against her arm. “He still does it.” This crayon is then offered to Luther across the table, with a smirk. “So,” she says a little more firmly, “tell me… what color is this crayon?”

What Luther doesn't know probably won't hurt him. Thank goodness for discretion. Palming the fruit roll away, the man tucks it somewhere to consume later and looks back to the group of crayons that's been spread out onto the table. A warmer, amused smile surfaces in the man's expression. "You can make the mess, as long as you help with cleaning up after," Luther bargains with the kid, "That's what good kids do. And I'm pretty sure you're a good kid, Carl."

Sitting up a little straighter, Luther focuses back on the green crayon as Kaylee holds it up. Although to him, what he sees with his eyes now, he's not sure to trust it. His gaze refocuses on the telepath, looking away from the crayon, and he doesn't answer right away. "Rrred," he guesses, lying on purpose as if to test her right back. So much for thinking himself clever.

When it's revealed that the color is in fact green, he'll kick himself for it. And stubbornly try again. And again. Aaand again, to as many times as Carl will find it amusing to do so. There's only so many colors in that crayon box anyway.

But, as with any exercise, there must be a break in the sets, and a rest for the telepath too. Children also get bored. The girls are called back to get ready to go back home. And, given as Luther was invited to dinner, he gladly accepts. As Kaylee knew he would. Who could resist a bit of fried chicken.

Carl, being the helpful helper he was, earns a crowning place on Luther's good shoulder all the way back.

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