Three Minutes In Hell


cesar_icon.gif kaylee3_icon.gif

Scene Title Three Minutes In Hell
Synopsis Sometimes, you need an adult.
Date July 15, 2019

(Newly Renovated!) Sunset Park Community Center

Bay Ridge

God…. this was such a bad idea.

“You know, I’ve always kinda dug blondes. I mean it’s true… you know… what they say? They are more fun, I know from experience.”

Oh god. I need this one. Grab that hair and just..



“Hey there. My god, you are so sexy. Normally, it’s only women have like 15 cats or something. Total waste of time. But not you… you I’d like to bend—”

“Just so you know I have three kids.”

“Uh.. Heh… Oh… uh…”

Of course, she does… total boner annihilation. Next.


“I mean… you are that Kaylee?” He looks over at the table next to him and points at her, “Do you know she’s a real honest to god Ferryman… uh woman… Ferrywoman. Sorry.” The middle-aged balding man looks at her, like someone would a Hollywood celebrity. “Wow. I mean, I’ve read all the books and am a huge fan of River Styx. You are so much more beautiful in person.”

Oh my god! Don’t babble you fool! She’ll never want to date you if she thinks you are an obsessed fan boy! She isn’t nearly as hot as Lynette Rowan. She was an actual councilwoman. God I want to meet her… maybe she can introduce us!

You fucking kidding me right now?


Monthly “Three Minutes in Heaven” Singles Meet-Up Event

8:37 PM EST

At the moment, Kaylee really wanted this evening to be over.

What was she thinking agreeing to this?

“Wait… did you just say you are a telepath? Whoa. I heard that sex with telepaths is like the best ever. Once you go Teep…” Thank god he doesn’t finish that sentence. “Bonus points you are freakin’ hot.”

There were a lot of things said to her tonight, but this one… Kaylee can only sit there and stare at the guy in total disgust. Somehow, buy some miracle of willpower, she manages to keep it off her face. Really… she should say something to the guy, but she can’t even with him. Ugh! She was so done with this place.

Saying that she was a telepath had been working as a last resort before him, but clearly — glance down at name tag — Kenny had a kink when it came to telepaths. He was communicating that loud in clear with the thoughts going through his head. It took everything in her not to physically cringe.


Why did she ever let Jennifer talk her into this? And what possessed Kaylee to say yes?

Oh…. That’s right, Jennifer said she needed some support while she tried it out. She didn’t want to go to this thing alone. So Kaylee, trying to make new friends at her new place of employment, said she’d go. This was not something she would ever… EVER do herself.

Still, Kaylee showed up at the appointed time, signed up and was placed in her seat.

Best part?

Jennifer never showed up and Kaylee was committed to seeing the night through. Just great. It had been a long thirty minutes so far. Thirty minutes, 10 men. Each worse than the other. Desperate people looking for love… or a bootycall… in a nearly dead world.

Maybe Kaylee will say she was the one that ditched and spare herself from having to talk about this nightmare to anyone. Let this night die and fall into the void of obscurity.

If she could block her own memory.

She would.

The men move through the line of chairs while the women remain seated, all enduring the risk of speed dating. Even with the slots spaced far enough apart, some conversations are hard to miss. Especially when one is a telepath.

In the seat to Kaylee's current date's (a loose term) left, the darker skinned man in a solid grey button down shirt and jeans settles and leans back. He gives the brunette woman sitting across from him a mildly interested smile as she's the first to talk. He's being nice to Sharon, humoring her with the placid sounds of polite engagement. By now, Kaylee has heard the woman's spiel several times over as well as a few leaks of her thoughts on the men before she had to deal with them. It would probably be a bonding experience for them too.

Right now, Sharon's a touch flustered at the physical appearance of the man across from her. Intimidated. And thus, nervously chattering away about her life's details.

But also at present, the man seated in front of Kaylee has a name tag of Ray and he's droning on about his tech company. Stuff used back in the war, like radio and armory. He's charismatic enough, attractive enough, just shy of everything that could make him seem like a Mr. Right for some reason… But Kaylee is a telepath and she knows why. His carefully manufactured role of being a CEO of a tech company is an obvious rip-off of her company.

It would be comical if it weren't simply ill-timed tragedy.

"So what is it you do?" asks Ray, who leans forward and looks straight into Kaylee's eyes. Solid sales tactic. A bit pushy.

There are a series of thoughts that thumble through Kaylee’s mind at this moment. It started the moment that his mouth opened, when she connected the dots to the name on the tag.

Is he serious? No… really is he? Wait. Oh god… he is serious.

The bark of laughter that escapes from the woman is louder than she expected. In fact, she had fought not to let that expression of sarcasm out. Too late now. It causes a momentary quieting of everyone around her table. “No no… I want to hear more about you, Ray.” Kaylee leans forward, chin moving to rest on a loosely curled fist, looking like she’s truly interested in this man.

“But, first tell me something,” She coyly whispers as she leans forward even further, beckoning him forward with the crook of a well-manicured nail. They are so dangerously close, that Kaylee was risking a reveal of what’s under that pink blouse she wore to the event. “Do you know what New York penal code 190.25 is?” It is an odd question, especially when breathed out like a lover asking for something truly naughty. A single brow lifts curious for whatever answer he might give.

The question is jarring. Ray jerks back, looking at her like she’s crazy. What the fuck? “No. Why the hell would I know that? I’m not some cop.”

There is a wicked curl of Kaylee’s lip at one corner and she knows she has him. Her blue eyes firmly focused on his. Two can play that game. “It’s criminal Impersonation in the second degree.” Something changes in that moment, she can even watch the dawning realization, when she shifts from a sex kitten to being ready to tear off his head.

Hands press on the table, as the telepath is suddenly looming over the imposter, growling out, “Which you will be charged with if you don’t stop impersonating my brother and using my company to get into women’s pants. My brother might have a harem of women, but he has a shit ton more class then you.” There is a fire in the look that her date is being pinned down with. “So I suggest you drop the act, Kyle


“Oh… look at that,” Kaylee quips a bit too brightly, “date over,” And just like that, her demeanor has shifted. He gets a tight lipped smile and a farewell wiggle of her fingers. “Buh-bye now.”

Once the offender is gone, retreating hastily under her glare to the next woman’s table, Kaylee finally drops down into her seat and buries her face in her hands. “Jesus Freakin… “ Kaylee doesn’t finish that, letting the muffled words trails off with a sigh. It was taking everything in her not to scream out her frustration.

She was so done.

So when she feels the table under her elbows shift and her next date settle in, something snaps. A hand moves to stop whoever it is from speaking, her eyes still hidden by the other hand. “Before you even open your mouth. Let me get a few things out there. Save us both a lot of time and effort. First, I have kids. Two,” Fingers tick off each point, “I am a law enforcement officer and most importantly, three, I am a telepath. If you have any prob — ” Words fail when Kaylee lets the other hand drop so that she can look up at the man across from her. Weariness and frustration quickly turns into confusion.

“Have we met before?”

The laughter derails the anxious babbling from Sharon who looks over at Kaylee briefly with a blink of surprise. She's not the only one, as the stoppage of words interrupts the one-sided conversation between Cesar and Sharon, so too does the man glance across to the telepath. It isn't judging, the brief look, but like a quick breeze of chill wind that wakes him up from the stupor he had been sliding into. The glance is brief. Cesar turns back to Sharon, focusing again on the brunette and her story.

The bell to switch seats dings. Time to switch.

Kaylee's confused question gets a chuckle out of the man newly seated across from her. Where she'd normally look for the name on the man's left shoulder there's nothing but a black Sharpie drawn happy face where the name should be. The same smile reflects on Cesar's face as he looks right at her. It's not pushy or swaggering although she can see his confidence. Trained, cultured confidence that comes from both nature and nurture.

"I was just thinking the same thing," Cesar replies. It's true, too, as he leans against his chair backing to take in her wholly. Or rather, the upper half he can see over the table. Something about Kaylee strikes familiar, but he doesn't pin the feeling down yet. "Also. Criminal impersonation wouldn't be prosecuted in that guy's case. Lying about his job doesn't make him a criminal, just makes him an asshole."

He finally looks to her name tag and then back up to her face. Then he looks over to the large digital clock timer counting down the three minutes. Back to Kaylee. "You want to get out of here and grab a drink?"

“Yeah, well, he doesn’t need to know that, Chuckles.” Kaylee comments blandly after a glance at his name tag, even if there is amusement trickling into her smile. “Got to admit, I can’t wait to tell my brother. He’ll act offended, but it will totally feed that ego.” She’s joking of course. Though it’s hard to tell with her tone.

Even as he considers her, Kaylee is looking him over in return. Just like her, he seems wildly out of place here.

Kaylee is still puzzling out why he seems so familiar, when the question about getting out there is tossed her way. Both brows lift with surprise, not what she expected. There is a mildly guilty look each side of them, before leaning over and asking in a hopeful whisper, “Can we do that?” Honestly, she just wants out of there, but she was trying not to be rude. However, if she wasn’t the only one… maybe she doesn’t have to feel so guilty? Right?

“If so, yes. PLEASE. Help get me out of this nightmare.”

Cesar shakes his head at the nickname assigned him bringing a knowing and understanding impression. And while Kaylee looks over to the other date-candidates to check them, he keeps his gaze straight ahead on her. The telepath can tell, he’s already formulating plans based on what he can take in. When she leans in, he reciprocates. It makes it look a certain way. The others around them certainly have taken notice.

He stands first, and leads the way.

Jackson’s Bar & Grill

Red Hook

They’ve been chatting for a little while since sitting down in a booth at Jackson’s. Introductions made. ‘Chuckles’ had given his name, and the smiley-face name tag has since been peeled off. He’s a field agent for SESA but worked on the force for years. “Be careful with the men, they’re fragile and the only understanding of the penal code they have is that it’s peen-al. Ya got that, Rookie?”

Cesar leans back against the booth, propping an arm up on the back as he takes a quick scan of the floor and returns his attention to Kaylee. “You also don’t know unless you text her,” concludes Cesar with a wave of his hand languidly. It comes to rest around the pint of beer, only his first and a couple of sips in while they’re waiting for food. “Maybe Jennifer did find someone just before, maybe she chickened out, or you’ll feel really bad later if she was sick and in bed. Christ. I sound like my mother on that last one. Nevermind that last one.”

Her name tag had long been discarded. Peeled off even as they walked out the community center. He own full name given and that she was a newly graduated NYPD Scout. Something she is clearly proud of.

So, Kaylee takes the ‘Rookie’ in stride, because she is one.

But that last — sounding like his mother? — gets a chuckle out of the woman, fingers turning the semi-transparent cubes of ice around in her glass of tea with her straw. Kaylee looks up at the dark skinned man across from her, trying to figure him out without really looking to see what his game is. There was a game in it for her as well.

“We all sound like our parents at one point or another. It’s only when our kids act like us that we are truly doomed.” The telepath gives him a matter of fact look and sips her drink. She sounds like she might know.

However, here she shifts gears. How she confronts Jennifer is for her to figure out, she lets that bit go.

“So…you know why I ended up there.” Kaylee rests elbows on the table, fingers settling around the glass, eyes narrowing at him. Heeled boots cross at the ankle so she can lean forward a little, even as he leans back. “Why were you there? You don’t seem like the type that needs any help in that area.” A finger swirls in his direction indicated all of him.

It takes a moment, but then she realizes that this might not be something she should ask. Unlike him, Kaylee gave up that information freely in a moment of frustration.Dark pink lips pull up at the corners with a touch of mischief, cause she knows she could find that out herself, but chooses not too. Muich like she did with Ray, her chin moves to rest on her hand. Curiosity evident. “Or is it some big secret?”

"My parents were doomed a long time ago then," Cesar assumes with another one of those chuckles and a sip on his beer. Her question and narrowed eyes at him tip an upward arch of his own, a flash of his teeth in a smile. "Aw, why thank you Kaylee," he replies as he sets his beer back down on the coaster.

"No secret, I'm not tied up." He wiggles the fingers on his left hand in indication of their unadorned state. Not even a ring tan. "It's pretty hard for us to settle down sometimes." Cesar's animated when he speaks, face expressive and hands motioning actively as he indicates the telepath as well as himself. "Law enforcers get dropped into a few boxes, you know what I mean? And still, I go every so often just to check out the scene."

The hands drop back onto the table, sliding over to the pint. "Hit or miss, though, you really just got to have fun with it. Try not to think about it too much, and work on setting standards for yourself. What you like, what you don't like. You'll find out things about yourself you didn't

know." And she'll find his eyes haven't shifted away from her yet.

When he shows his own unadorned hand, instinct has Kaylee’s thumb brush at the empty spot her own ring once set. At least, the lines have smoothed out after a few months. “Actually, I don’t know… yet anyhow.” About the boxes. “Though, I imagine it’s as bad as the boxes that telepaths get dropped into. I guess that means I've doomed myself that much more. I hear they sell crazy cat lady kits.” Yeah, lame joke.

“Actually, I’m surprised you are willingly sitting across from me…” Kaylee comments with a considering tilt of her head. “The company is appreciated and at least I can say the night isn’t a total loss.”

While he seems all cool and collected, Kaylee feels a little uncomfortable and out of sorts. It shows with how she fidgets and breaks eye contact to focus on her glass of tea.

“Sorry, this is kinda awkward for me.” At least Kaylee’s willing to admit it, “I mean that whole experience alone was a trip and a half. And an eclectic mix of personalities for sure and… all loud… very loud,” She doesn’t mean voices either, “A little jarring to say the least and it’s been over seven years since I’ve even considered the idea of dating and a lot has happened in the last year… ” Looking up and finding him still looking at her like that, there is a blink and a small uncertain smile.

Suddenly, she huffs out a small laugh and rubs fingers across her forehead. God, she must sound so ridiculous. “I used to be better at this sort of thing. Small talk.”

A wry smile creeps into Cesar’s, and he finally looks away when Kaylee admits to the situation being awkward. His surprise at her admissions spur him on, verbally waving off what uncertainty she might be feeling. “Hey, we’re just hanging out and having a good time. No strings. At least, that’s what the goal is.”

He looks over to the server who brings over their food, thanking her with a smile. Once the food’s set down, Cesar looks over their respective entrees. “Glad you're not gonna be shy about food neither. And that’s what you gotta do with people. Approach with assurance, you like what you like and you deal with what you don’t. You got to be more confident in yourself if you’re going to be reading people their rights, Rookie.” He picks up a french fry, waggles it at her.

“One thing I am never shy about is food,” Kaylee comments with a rare non-apologetic confidence. Looking at her own food, a burger with BBQ in the name. It even has a few onion rings perched on top the bbq sauce covered patty. She motions to her food with a circle of her finger above it. “If a guy can’t handle seeing me eat this? He doesn’t deserve me.”

Definitely, not shy about food.

Kaylee seems to relax a little with the food to concentrate on, “My granny was southern to the core and she had a big hand in raising me, so….” There you have it. The sandwich is smooshed down a little and cut in half for easy handling. There won’t be another word until a decent bite is taken.

“I’m also feeling confident about the career choice. Pretty sure in another life, I was a cop.” Yeah, like literally, “It feels right.” Retrieving a fry and smothering it with ketchup. “So tell me.. Chuckles” he did call her Rookie… only fair, “Why’d you go law enforcement? Were you it before the war too?”

Nodding his approval, Cesar likewise digs into his burger with gusto. His isn’t piled as high, though he gives off the impression of indulging just as much. There might be some spicy sauce involved. Bites chewed, he savors the food as if he were judging its flavor profile, studying the ingredients.

Chuckles glances up from his studies at her question about his reasons. And at that, he slowly sets his burger back down and hooks his beer in for a long drink. Clearly she touched on a subject that is a bit sensitive, although he plays it off mostly. “My brother was NYPD,” he says after he sets the glass back down. “William Donell Diaz. He was a beat cop before I joined. Was one of the first responders back in Midtown, 2006.” Cesar turns the glass, studying the condensation on the outside of it, then looks back up with a half-smile. “They used to call him WD40, because he could smooth over just about every situation.” The key being that Cesar speaks in the past tense. “I was chilling in my parents’ restaurant. You’re looking at the former head cook,” he adds, head lifting proudly there. “I’ll make you some ropa vieja, and it’ll change your life.”

“Doesn’t quite answer your question though, does it?” he realizes after a beat. “I came down here after my brother. And then stuck around, and like you said. It ‘felt right’ to stay and join up with the boys. And ladies.” Cesar nods in her direction, acknowledging. “The war was… well it made it tough for a while.” In that way, he shows a touch of guilt. “Even the stations got split, some falling one way, some falling the other.”

The realization that she hit a sensitive subject comes pretty quick. He has her full attention now, instead of sharing it with the hamburger in her hands. As she listens, the food is slowly lowered to the plate. “Man, I’m sorry Cesar. I-I didn’t mean to bring up such a… “ How does Kaylee say it… “a sad memory. I have no doubt, you’ve done him proud since.” There is a bit of a lop-sided smile there.

“Pretty sure my family would look at me weird, if they knew what I was doing… My dad is probably turning in his grave,” Eyes roll with a smirk, showing how much she doesn’t care about Edward’s opinion. “He’d rather I stay safe, which to be honest, I get; I have kids, but… Being COO of the family business was boring and not me.” With a fry in hand, she motions at the world outside the bar, “Making a difference out there is. Always has been. It’s why I stayed with the Ferrymen, even when I had a chance to go back to a normal life.”

Realizing she babbling on a little, Kaylee looks down at her food with an amused huff. “Sorry. I can get chatty…. “

There is a stretch of silence as Kaylee moves to resume eating, however… “So… I need to know something, Mr Diaz.” The telepath pics up her hamburger again, “What is ropa vieja exactly? I admit my ignorance, my cooking repertoire is more southern comfort food based. In fact, my granny’s recipe for fried chicken is the best I’ve found yet.” She has a box of them, written on 3x5 cards.

Cesar shakes his head to forgive and dismiss the apology. How could she have known? "It's alright. He died a hero, doing what he meant to do," he replies, solid in the conviction and belief of his brother's memory.

"Donell would have given me such a hard time if he thought I wasn't being true to myself," he adds with Kaylee's bit of insight into her own life. "Said the same thing when I was workin' back home. …Connecticut." Not exactly the place one might expect of the man, but such is the melting pot of America. "I'm pretty sure," Cesar says as he picks up his own burger, "he rolled over in his spirit energy bed and kicked my ass all the way down to this state before I got a good night's rest."

He takes a big bite of the burger mostly to match her pace. When she asks what ropa vieja is, he nearly chokes on the swallow down. It takes another gulp of beer and a quick wipe of his lips. "You seriously don't know?" His eyes blink and he sighs loudly in disbelief. "Well then you'll have to come out to El Barrio Nuevo and bring some of that fried chicken. You know, as trade.” He doesn’t answer the question of what is ropa vieja. Perhaps as a tease, perhaps as a test.

“You answer me before, though,” he persists before taking another bite, “How’s the new team treating you? Believe it or not, I was at that ceremony. Mayor Short and Commissioner Donovan talk up a big game.”

The slow shake of Kaylee’s head - while chewing on a healthy bite of burger - says that she doesn’t know what it is. That is why she asked after all. Though the curious look melts away and that mischievous twist to her lips returns at the offer of a trade. Clearly, it's a deal.

Before she answers his other question, BBQ sauce is sucked off the end of her fingers. Nothing seductive about the action, just too good to waste on a napkin. Besides, a moment was needed to consider her answer.

A fry finds its way into those same slightly sticky fingers. Her head wobbles a bit, it was so-so at the moment. “It’s a good group. A bit surreal to be there, we’re still finding our footing, getting to know each other. Finding our groove.” There is a huffed chuckle. “A little slow yet,” Kaylee says with a grin, “but that is to be expected. Even I know being a police officer is nothing like movies.”

Ay, mira, look at you putting that burger away like a champ,” Cesar notes appreciatively with Kaylee taking a big bite. He’s unbothered by her healthy appetite. Programmed, one might muse given that he was a cook, to expect people to enjoy food and want to eat. “Well like I said, you come out to the barrio with some of that fried chicken and we’ll make sure you get a good trade of some old clothes.” And that is about as much of a hint on Cuban cuisine as she’ll get for now.

Her observation of the slowly gelling team gets another nod. “Well, Rookie, I wouldn’t worry about it too much,” agrees Cesar as he lifts his burger in hand, toasting it to the telepath and smiling crookedly just before the burger reaches his mouth.

“Remember not to let it all get to your head.”

“Oh, I won't and I will totally educate you on what good fried chicken is,” Kaylee says with complete confidence.

Leaning forward on the table, hovering just over her plate, blue eyes narrow at Cesar. “Just answer me one thing…” She leans forward just a hair more and lowers her voice.

“El Barrio Nuevo?”

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