Under The Covers


carter_icon.gif kaydence_icon.gif

Scene Title Under the Covers
Synopsis Both in their respective guises, Agent Parkman runs into Detective Parkman-to-be.
Date March 13, 2009

Staten Island

Rumors are a dime a dozen in a place like Staten Island, but finding good, reliable information without forking over a considerable amount of cash is like trying to find the one decent apple in a rotten barrel.

But hey. Sometimes you don't know how good the apple is until you bite into it.

Before the bomb, Staten Island was a suburban dream. Now, even the nicest areas of town have turned into shadows of their previous splendor. Criminal activity so bad that it makes some of the toughest outlaws cringe has eaten away at this once-paradise like an unstoppable cancer - a blight that all those in power have turned their backs on.

Not too far from the Rookery's sprawl and tucked into the fringes of the gnarled forest the Greenbelt has become is what might have been a school at some point. Maybe it was a small apartment complex. Inside, little remains to identify the building as much more than a structure that retains sturdy walls and spotty electricity. Still, rumor has it that these ramshackle rooms are a holding facility for those who will later be traded for goods or cash to the highest bidder, whomever he may be.

That's why Jesse Carter is here. Working out what he'll say if he runs into anyone as he moves through the silent hallways in search of some sign of life, the telepath's hand rests on his hip. Each step makes him more wary, more cautious. There's no one here. Not a soul. Letting a half-open doorway obscure him, Carter pulls his pistol and holds it at his side as he enters the room, stepping into the dying sunlight that spills through the windows. Furniture suggests some sort of activity, but if the mess is any indication, it's been awhile since any of that took place.

Carter isn't the only fly in the room.

A few hover around the facial features of the three young men who lie in various positions. Men who died where they fell, their bodies bleeding out and trading the business of existing for the less-exciting venture of becoming a maggot buffet.

Carter swallows, lifts his piece, and carefully steps into the room.

One of Kaydence Lee's little girls is gone, and someone knows why.

Though it churns her stomach to think of it, Detective Damaris can't discount the possibility that the special girl was taken to be sold off for her ability. She's never hoped so badly that a lead is completely and utterly wrong. Nobody should be subjected to this.

Least of all Molly Walker.

Dressed to blend in at the Happy Dagger, Kay pulls her off-duty weapon from the holster at her thigh, not bothering to smooth the short skirt back into place around it. Her brown leather bomber jacket creaks quietly from the movement. This building shows little sign of current use. For a moment, she almost abandons the search of it entirely, but then there's a breeze from the crumbling walls or the broken windows. For a moment, Kay is certain she smells death, and decay.

Probable cause, here I come.

Pistol drawn and ready, Carter moves as quietly as he can through the war-torn room, glancing only momentarily at the corpses when he passes them. They've been dead awhile, and he can only hope that whatever they were guarding has gotten away safely, and not just into the hands of some competing trafficker. Abby Beauchamp may be safe now, but who knows how many others are still nabbed every day?

Even though the dead have no thoughts, Carter listens intently. There's a possibility, after all, that someone is still alive in here. Still, the stillness is almost as distracting and muddling as static. Carter only hears the name.

Molly Walker.

A cutting breath is pulled sharply through his nostrils, filling his already tight chest and contracting the muscles in his face to something a hair's breadth away from an enraged grimace. His steps are faster then, boots crunching on garbage, broken glass, and other debris as he strains to hear more across the unknown distance.

The sound of footsteps are not lost on Kay. Stark still for a moment, she even holds her breath, hearing only the pounding of her heart and the movement of someone further in the building.

High heels - a necessary evil when one is trying to blend in with whores - scrape only quietly on the unswept floors. Sliding up against the wall, Kay sidles her way to the open doorway where the stench of corpses coats the back of her throat. An unwelcome, but unfortunately not unfamiliar sensation. She doesn't even gag anymore. With a wedge grip, she raises her gun, holding her breath and waiting. Listening. Even Kay can't nail down what thoughts are running through her head except for stay alert, stay alive.

Aside from those three unlucky souls - more boys than men - there is no one in the room. There is, however, a shadow of a figure peering around a second doorway, his back to the carnage and Kaydence. He is still for a moment, but as if drawn by some force other than his own pursuer, he moves through to the next room.

In the profile framed by the doorway, Carter's face is determined and set. The dying sunlight is enough to make him more visible this way, and his dark, suit with violet, open-collard shirt is just as out of place as Kay's vice-wear. If those boys weren't already starting to stink, it may be a fair bet that his bullets ended them.

Just because the bodies are already rotting doesn't mean that this man didn't end their lives. Sometimes people return to clean up their messes. With a deep breath that she almost immediately regrets, Kay slips into the room and casts only the briefest of glances to the bodies on the floor. There's a brief moment of pity, but no revulsion. For a moment, Kay wonders what working homicide has done to her sensitivities and sensibilities.

Shadowed eyes narrow. Working homicide hasn't cheapened human life for Kaydence Lee. It's only made it more valuable. More precious. Protecting it and finding justice for the dead, whether they were innocent or scumbags, will always be important. This surge of clarity spurs Kay on to move to the secondary exit to the room, following the man she just saw framed in the doorway. He knows something.

A pistol is pressed now to the side of Jesse Carter's skull, putting pressure against his temple.

"Drop the gun and start talking," the woman demands gruffly. "You'd better give me more than name, rank, and serial number, or I'll start putting holes in you."

That hard-lined look on Carter's face slackens as he lowers his gaze from the hallway he'd stepped into to look at Kaydence's shoes, his own pistol still pointing away. Her's is an immediately recognizable voice, but the trouble becomes why she's here, and why Molly is on her mind coupled with keeping his cover.

"You'd really regret it if you did," Carter says in a voice lower than what Kaydence is used to. Carter's left hand, held at his side, twitches as he rubs the golden band around his littlest finger. Slowly, he uncocks his own pistol and brings it back to his holster, making sure that Kaydence sees each movement, inch by inch. "I don't have a badge on me, and if I told you who I was, you wouldn't believe me."

"That's not a very good answer," Kay warns, reaching with a free hand to take the gun out of Carter's holster. You don't get to keep this, buddy. "How about you start giving me answers and you leave it up to me to decide if I believe you or not? And put your hands on your head, too." She lifts her gun from his skull and circles around cautiously, wary of any sudden movements to disarm her.

Carter obliges, and again keeps his movements slow and steady. "You've got every right," he says carefully, keeping his eyes on the woman despite his perpendicular position. "Doin' a fine job, Detective." He takes a deep breath, letting his eyes closed before he starts giving Kaydence the answers she wants. "Agent…Agent Parkman, Department of Homeland Security."

As soon as the words are spoken, Carter closes his eyes and rolls his bottom lip into his top one. It's a classic Parkman expression, but on this strange face…

"Liar!" Kay roars, pushing her gun in the man's face. "How do you know who I am?!" Her face hardens, positively furious that this person would dare to claim that he's the man she loves. She shouldn't lose her cool, but the sanctity of her family has already been violated, and this is only salt in that wound.

The man's eyes tighten at the further invasion of the gun, wincing slightly at the pressure. Calming Kaydence down is step number one, and getting into her head may only freak her out more. "You're always the last person to get coffee at the precinct, because you like it strong and dark - more like tar than coffee. I always pick off the anchovies and put them on your plate when we have pizza, and your middle name is November. Cole, your daughter, is the light of your life."

Carter risks opening his eyes to look past the gun barrel to the passionate woman who holds it. "You're my Moneypenny," he adds in a voice not much louder than a whisper. "And it would be a very, very bad thing if you shot me in the face."

The colour and the fury drains from Kay's face and she stares in utter bewilderment at the man in front of her who doesn't have her love's face. "…Matt?" The gun is lowered slowly as her eyes widen further. It's a rare thing, but Kaydence Lee November Damaris is rendered speechless.

Carter - Matt - visibly relaxes when the gun is lowered, but he doesn't do much more than that. "Kay," he breathes, letting his eyes close again. "They don't mess around when they send you undercover these days." After a moment, as if making sure she doesn't change her mind, Carter lowers his hands and adopts a nervous sort of smile. "Can I have my gun back? Then you can tell me why the hell you're here."

Relief and fear in equal measure comes crashing down on Kay as she hands the gun back numbly. How can she explain why she's here? She'll have to tell him the truth. There's never any use in lying to a telepath. "Oh, Matt." Kay lifts the side of her skirt enough to holster her own gun, shaking her head. "It's all my fault."

Armed once more, Carter holsters his weapon as well, but then reaches out to pull Kaydence into the hall with him, if only so that he doesn't have to look beyond her to the rotting corpses anymore. "What happened?" he asks, his brow knitting once more. "Are you here on assignment? Did you get into some sort of trouble w-…what's wrong?"

"I… I asked the nanny to pick Molly up from school because I wanted to go out for a beer after my shift before driving her out to my parents' place to stay with Cole for the weekend." Kay hangs her head, horribly ashamed of herself. She can't even look at her husband-to-be. "Somebody… Somebody who looked like you killed the poor woman and" Since the disappearance of Molly Walker, Kay hasn't allowed herself to cry. Now, admitting that she fucked up and allowed her his little girl to be kidnapped, it's too much. She can't even begin to vocalise what's happened for the sobs that shake her body so violently.

Even in his worst nightmares, Carter never imagined Molly's abduction being a result of someone wearing his own face. And now he's wearing the face of someone else. With stiff arms, Carter pulls Kaydence close. The gesture and embrace are far from warm, even as he rubs at her back and presses his cheek against her hair.

Burning hatred swells within him, and things become clear enough with some footnotes from Kaydence's thoughts, as buried under guilt and shame as they may be. Kaydence was here following the same sort of lead he was, but on the tail of a different girl. At least Abby was safe now. If Molly ended up in the clutches of John Logan or men like him…

Carter's mind becomes a wash of horridly violent, vengeful images that threaten to snap across the tenuous barriers that exist between his brain and Kaydence's. "I'll turn in my last report tonight. I'll get my own face back, and find out if mine was given away." Carter's voice, deeper than Matt's, seems cold and businesslike, but beneath it is the softest whisper of a bloodthirsty growl.

"We'll find her, Kay."

"God, Matt. I'm so sorry. It's all my fault. If I had just picked her up myself— I thought you were just overprotective." The woman's voice hitches, halts and stutters as she tries to get out the words. "I knew there was danger, but I never imagined it would be this bad. I thought she was safe. I should have been there. Oh, God." And even beneath all the guilt, there's rage swelling within her, directed both at herself and at whoever took the girl she's come to consider her own. "I- I don't have any confirmation that she was ever here. But with her ability and trafficking experiencing a spike in this area, I— I couldn't discount the possibility."

Kay pulls away from Matt's stiff, but reassuring embrace and wipes at her eyes with her thumb. "I've got the security tapes running through facial recognition software. I'm supposed to get a call from my buddies in the department when they get a hit. Whoever it was, was using an illusion. The doorman saw you, but the cameras saw someone else." She reaches to the small of her back, retrieving a folded piece of paper tucked into the waistband of her skirt. She unfolds it and passes it to Matt. "This was the best shot of his face we could get. Anybody you know?"

Carter listens intently, knowing that the more information they have, the better. But as Kaydence unveils her investigation so far, thoughts of digging into Sonny Bianco's brain fizzle out. Nobody stole his face from Sonny. Somebody just borrowed it. Someone who can do what he can do.

With narrowed eyes, Carter takes the printout, looking to Kaydence for a moment more. "Good work," he mutters before dropping his gaze. The face on the page hits Carter like a sledgehammer to the chest. He exhales, his nostrils widening, and he even staggers back a step. His eyes widen, but his forehead is as wrinkled with worry and disbelief as ever.

"Kaydence," Carter chokes out after a moment, his grip on the paper tight, his hand close to shaking, his eyes glued to the captured face. "Kaydence, this is my father."

March 13th: Domino
March 13th: A Real Sweetheart
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License