Waking from Daydreams


aman2_icon.gif chris_icon.gif faulkner_icon.gif kaylee3_icon.gif odessa2_icon.gif tibby4_icon.gif

Scene Title Waking from Daydreams
Synopsis Ignorance may be bliss.
Date February 16, 2020

Park Slope, Faulkner's Lair

O: wth? Are you okay?

O: Okay, now you're starting to worry me.

O: Are you HIGH? If you're high, you'd better hook me up.

O: What kind of kinky sex are you HAVING?


O: For real: Are you okay? I'm getting worried. Text me back.

It turned out all Isaac had needed to do to unlock Aman's phone was hold it in front of his face, entirely bypassing the need to figure out the lock code he also had in place on it. There were a flurry of notifications from his still-buzzing phone to consider while they maneuvered in the direction of Isaac's Park Slope residence, thanks to the blocky lightRadio in Aman's jacket pocket. While Chris takes point on herding cats, Isaac is free to dig through the phone and figure out what's what. It turns out the very insistent 'O' is not the telepath, but a quick phone call later, she at least points Isaac the name of the phone contact who is— one Kaylee.

Contact is made, directions are given by the time they come up on the building, daylight guiding their steps. Now it's just a matter of waiting.

Isaac does not particularly like playing the waiting game… but for better or worse, he's good at it. It's mostly a matter of keeping your mind busy internally while you wait for something else to come along to apply it to… and Isaac definitely has enough to think on for quite awhile.

For example, who is 'O'? Ex-girlfriend? And how had she known that Aman's mind had stepped away from the wheel to frolic in halcyon fields or whatever it is Aman's brain is currently doing? And just what kind of business is Aman into, anyway? Though maybe it's better not to have an answer to that one.

Then there's the matter of the mysterious Kaylee. Who is she? What is she like? And how had he never known that Tibby was a fan of 'Married with Children'?

That one's been bugging him for awhile. Actually, to put a finer point, seeing Tibby being not sullen and depressed is kinda bugging the hell out of him, mostly because if this works she's going to go back to being that way, which… kinda sucks.

Well. Nothing for it, he supposes. He pours himself a shot of Isa's latest chemistry experiment and leans back against a wall, resigning himself to wait. He keeps his eyes open in case one of their 'cats' tries to shamble off again… or in case Kaylee shows up.

This is not what Kaylee had expected to do with her day, it was her weekend with Carl. Being the weekend after Valentines, she had planned to spoil the kid all weekend. Lucky for them, it was Sunday and she needed to get him home; unfortunately, it also meant taking him home early. So there was a thread of irritation twisted through all the concern for the man she’d been seeing.

It was that irritation and concern that found her banging on the door with the side of a fist, instead of a pleasant rap of a knuckle. The cop knock.

Even though she was dressed casual with her fashionably torn jeans and a Raytech tee hidden under a worn leather jacket, the mirrored sunglasses were a bit out of place. So whoever is lucky enough to answer the door gets to see themselves reflected back in stereo. At least, until she pulls a hand out of her pocket and pushes the sun glasses up to rest on the top of her head.

“Hey,” The blonde greets to her friends’ rescuers. “I'm Kaylee. You the one that called?” The woman asks. She tilts her head to try and see into the house. “Where are they?” She asks bluntly with an anxious smile.

Spoiler Alert: Kaylee already knows where they are, it only takes a brush of her ability against the minds within; but she’s trying to be polite.

It's Chris’ face that Kaylee meets first, soon as the door swings open. His focus transitions from his reflection frowning back at him, to the wearer of the sunglasses. Up until she gives her name, he has no clue who she is or why she's banging on doors, though he'd been aware of Isaac’s hunting for someone who can help. A tilt of his head directs attention to Faulkner, along with a, “He did.”

The door stays open as Chris steps out of the way. “I doubt what Badtouch Junior was saying about them getting better on their own.” His opinion has been stated a few times already. Doesn't hurt to say so again now that there's a new face in the mix. “Granny being off her rocker. They should both be locked up.”

Aman's in the apartment, too, standing in the kitchen. He's trying— and failing— to open the tall window to the fire escape. Living shadow frustrates his effort, not that he seems to notice. "Isaac…" he protests calmly, ripples in his emotional state. Each time he fails to escape out the apartment, his internal bliss becomes slightly less blissful. "You gotta get this window looked at, man. It's … it's stuck. Don't worry— when I go back, I'll grab something to take care of it."

He's oblivious to other voices, other presences— including Kaylee's voice.

"I'll go back and get something to take care of it." Aman repeats, not for the first time… and maybe not for the last.

Maybe he’ll recognize the face staring through the window at him. Where he tries and fails to lift the sash more than an inch, Odessa Price is able to pry her fingers underneath and wedge it open with small starts and stops until she can get enough leverage to push the thing up all the way.

“Hey,” the redhead greets breathlessly, giving a shaky smile. When she doesn’t get much response from Aman, she reaches forward and snaps her fingers in front of his face. “Hey,” she repeats more firmly. Then, with a frown, she grabs hold of the window ledge for stability and climbs through into the apartment.

The front door is for losers — no, wait, shit. Kaylee took the front door— people who are not wanted by the federal government for having escaped prison, thank you.

Once inside, Odessa presses her hand to Aman’s face and calls his name sternly. “Amanvir.” Her eyes half-lid for a moment as she indulges in the rush of his emotional state. “Oh, you are on something good,” she breathes out, letting that hand drift from his face and down to his shoulder, where she slips her arm around him and steps a little closer, mischief twinkling in her eye.

Until she disengages their link and remembers herself. “Fuck.” It’s only now that she bothers to take a look around the space, taking stock of who else is here. How much danger did she just put herself in coming here? Another look at Aman tells her it’s worth it.

Tibby has not been acting as erratically as Aman. She's sitting on the couch with a pleasant but distant expression. Kaylee can hear the tune of Married with Children playing in her head and she sways with her hands placed delicately in her lap. The coat she wears is larger than her small frame and she's nestled comfortably in it.

Love and marriage…. love and marriage….

The others — Annaliese, Freddie, Gio, Marta, and Jeeves — stand toward the back of the apartment together. It’s not a huddle, and they don’t seem to be communicating with one another. Instead they murmur quietly now and then to themselves, the words hard to pick up, small phrases that don’t seem to make any sense.

“…dill pickles.”

“A whole carful of them…”

“…and bleach.”

On the bright side, the further from the Park Slope brownstone they’ve gotten, the longer they go without trying to get back. At first, it was every few seconds, keeping Chris and Faulkner busy herding them like so many wayward sheep. Then only after a minute or so. Now, it’s only every few minutes that one or another of them makes a break for the door.

This time it’s Gio. The little street rat suddenly meanders that way, making a beeline for the front door. Luckily, he’s one of the slow-moving Romero zombies, though a little more graceful. And less smelly.

Oh thank god.

Isaac steps forward as Chris indicates him, attempting a pleasant smile but not quite able to keep the strain off his face. "Ah, so you're Kaylee! Pleased to meet you; Aman's spoken a lot about you. Thank you for coming. I'm Isaac," he says, nodding to her. He opens his mouth to say more, but hearing Aman talking about the window— and, perhaps more importantly, the sudden silence from Aman after that— prompts him to take a moment, to reach out and check the shadow between the window and the sill—

— and it's not there anymore, which means —


Isaac had thought he'd managed to get that bloody window jammed well enough that Aman wouldn't be able to pry it open, but apparently even with only 25 percent brain function, Aman is persistent. Under other circumstances, that would be a positive point… but the odds of Aman successfully navigating that rusted out mess of a fire escape in his condition without suffering a serious injury are near zero.

Okay. It's fine. He reaches out to the shadows between the window and the frame and exerts a bit of pressure… then a bit more… then a bit more… and finally the window gives way, screeching as it slides back downward in its ill-fitting frame, snapping shut again. Crisis averted—

—except goddammit again, Gio's picked now to wander off towards the door.


Isaac points two fingers at Gio and gives a stern expression… and Gio's shadow, a slightly darker patch against the dimly lit backdrop of Isaac's apartment, melts and shifts beneath his feet. Suddenly, though his feet are still moving, he's not going anywhere… then, as the treadmill beneath his feet speeds up a hair, he actually starts moving ever so gently backwards. Isaac is not normally so overt with his ability usage, but he's willing to trust a friend of Aman's.

Plus he's maybe getting more than a little frustrated at this point.

"Aman got hit with… something," Isaac explains. "As did Gio there, and a few others. There's an old lady who… I dunno, she has dementia or something, and some kind of ability that, as best as I can tell, lets her share it. She thinks it's the early 2000s and she's got a nice little cottage in Stepford, and now Aman and Tibby and everyone else she's laid hands on thinks so too," Isaac says; he's tempted to toss back another shot of Isa's brew, but… no. Not now. Maybe later.

"I was hoping you could help."

Chris gets a confused look as he goes on about things that go right over her head, but then there is Issac explaining the chaos she is detecting inside, especially that song which will now be stuck in her head forever. Thanks Tibby.

Then there is Odessa of all people with Aman over there… what are they… But then something in her periphery thankfully pulls the telepath’s attention.

Gio’s meandering towards the door has her whole focus, she starts to take a step towards them, until the shadows start moving. What? It isn’t hard to figure out who it is, giving Isaac a glance with lifted brows. It was weird to see someone other than her brother messing with shadows… though he was actually using it in an interesting way.

“Let me get a look.” Kaylee says, moving towards the zombie-like individual. Reaching up, finger tips touch briefly against Gio’s temple and eyes unfocus. “Mmm… Pretty much the same thing going over and over.” Slowly her ability curls around it, exploring the illusion and then very gently pulls at the threads of it, unraveling the deep set illusion. “Wakey Wakey,” Kaylee murmurs under her breath as she free’s Gio from the illusion placed in their brain.

Chris plants himself by the door. That's likely where he was when Kaylee knocked, and why he was the one to answer. Someone’s got to block one of the few ways in and out of the place. Not that he'd left Isaac to chase the strays on his own, but when he wasn't doing that he was back by the door.

Mrs. DeSantos,” he fills in for whom the Badtouch family is. “If that's even her real name. She's cuckoo for more than just Cocoa Puffs. She… something I dunno. Put her someplace before she seriously hurts someone.”

The window opening elicits a start from Aman, sliding a step back. When Odessa touches his face his eyes work to focus on her unexpected presence, but it's a little hard. That she'd be here at all should cause him a good amount of distress, and his brain is cheerfully not having any of that right now.

The comforting false reality fed to him is one he's taken a swan-dive into. It takes him a minute for that blank space to be worked over, and then he smiles at her, distant and bright.

"Odessa." Aman sings at her, his hands lifting to her shoulders while he squares a look at her. "E-ver-y-thing is fine."

It most definitely is not.

Odessa smiles sadly to Aman. “Oh, dear. No.” Her fingers curl against the fabric of his coat, holding him fast to her, if subtly. “This isn’t you,” she tells him with some regret. Because this amount of happiness should be allowed to linger… But it isn’t healthy.

“But I think I can make it better.” The ginger woman turns her head and fixes her gaze on Kaylee for a moment. This was not how she wanted to see her again. They’ll have to… maybe talk after this. Maybe grab coffee as though this were a normal run-in. Or maybe Odessa will slip back out the window whence she came, slipping back into the night and providing some thin gauze of plausible deniability to her good friend.

All after she figures out this mess with Aman.

“Come here,” she bids. Odessa draws in the man who can absorb abilities. She has to negotiate a bit with him physically to get him down to her level, but once she does, she presses her lips to his forehead and wills a sense of calm to come over him. All sans bliss and euphoria. Just enough to dilute the rose color that’s tinting the lenses through which he views the world. Hopefully it will help him start to unwind the fiction from the reality.

Tibby, the poor woman just sways in her seat and begins to hum the song a bit louder. A nice smile on her face. Emerald green eyes filled with happiness even though her stare is far off. "Oh… how lovely." The humming stops for her to utter the words before she goes right back to humming.

Now everyone can have it stuck in their heads.

Gio’s mind is clouded like a thick fog, but unlike fog, it’s easy enough for Kaylee to pull on the edge of it, unwinding what isn’t from what is.

The moment he’s clear of the illusion is easy enough to see — suddenly his dark brown eyes have spark to them and his brows knit slightly as he whips around to look at those around him, then down at the shadows beneath his feet, pulling him backwards.

“What the fuck!” he shouts, voice squeaking a bit as the early teenager yelps, jumping about three feet wide of the shadow treadmill Faulkner has constructed for him. He keeps an hand on Kaylee’s arm for balance though, or maybe comfort. “Oh, shit, Anna was there too, and Freddie and Howie…”

Howie must be Jeeves.

“I feel like I been underwater for weeks. She drug us like some crackpot Handsome and Gretchen witch?” His eyes fall on Tibby and Aman, pointing a skinny finger at them. “They were there, too. It was a crazy good party, though, not even gonna lie.”

Faulkner can't help but exhale a sigh of relief at seeing Gio actually awake again. Even if, as it suddenly occurs to him, he is going to have to keep a very careful eye on his wallet now. And his furnishings, such as they are… although to be brutally honest, there's not a lot worth stealing around here — mostly candlesticks and some cheap battery powered lights for when he has company. And booze.

Handsome and Gretchen is like nails on a chalkboard though, arrrrgh. "Something like that, yes," Faulkner confirms drily, letting the 'treadmill' splotch lapse into a simple shadow again. He idly wonders if Gio's going to use proximity to try and lift Kaylee's wallet. He puts odds on 'yes', but he'll refrain from giving any admonishments just yet, given the kid just got his brain put back together again.

"Looks like you were the right person to call," Isaac says to Kaylee, sounding relieved. He hesitates for a moment; he wants to ask questions, but at the moment he doesn't even know which questions to ask.

The account by Gio helps fill in the blanks from the others. Finally, Kaylee gives a short nod of her head. “Well, lucky for you I work for the NYPD, I’ll see about having SESA come down and check into it, maybe get them the help they need. If you want to go down and press charges that will help things along.” Something tells her that probably won’t happen. “Now if you’ll excuse me I’ll get the others.”

Kaylee may have mentioned her job to prevent any attempts to lift her wallet.

Either way, her job wants done and Kaylee turns to Aman with concern, intent on fixing him next. It was obvious he was stuck in a similar situation, unlike Odessa who was… kissing… his… forehead?

The heck?

However, before she can think too much about it, the telepath spots the ones mentioned by Gio. It was shocking to see them sort of standing there like zombies. A glance at Aman, Kaylee makes her choice. The others needed her a bit more and he had Odessa to keep him from crawling out the window. So she lets herself be pulled off her course.

Marta’s condition gets a small concerned sound, before hands bracket her face. Kaylee knows what to do now so it’s easier to pull back the veil and bring her back. The same is done for Howie, waking him up from the daydream and leaving her with mild discomfort.

“That wasn't any kind of party,” Chris points out. “Parties have streamers and balloons and fucking funny little hats. There wasn't any of that or cake or any of that shit.” He shakes his head. “That was attempted kidnapping. And SESA?”

The young man’s expression deadpans. “I can't believe none of them have… done… anything. Land that time forgot turned plants versus zombies.” He leans on the wall beside the door, quiet for all of a second before he half laughs a breath. “Kind of want to go beat on Corbin’s door and ask what's up.”

Aman's world's already a bundle of conflicting stimuli at the moment, and the overwhelming press of serenity blooms across his person, creating ripples in the idealistic worldview. It takes his rose-colored lenses and shifts the angle slightly to the side.

"It's good to see you," he murmurs without energy, his eyes right on hers. He ends up taking both of Odessa's hands in his, or— he tries to. His dexterity is a little poor, the guiding of them awkward. One hand ends up with nothing at all, just held before him. "We should…"

Whatever comes after is unspoken, mostly. He makes a vague gesture behind him, to the other room. There's nothing at all to indicate he's even aware of Kaylee's new presence in the other room, or anyone else who's in there. In his mind, whatever he's trying to indicate is just around the corner, though. He tries to speak again and fails to come up with a proper explanation.

The tension of the unspoken words is released with a sigh. "It's just so nice." he murmurs with a spot of regret, like he knows he's not been very convincing. Then his expression slacks, hands slowly dipping to come back to his side. His pliability increases in kind, the calm forcing him to relax and his mind taking him some place that causes his gaze to fog over again.

“It’s good to see you too.” Where Aman is clumsy, Odessa is adroit. She releases her hold on his shoulders so she can take his hands in return, squeezing back. “Focus now. Focus on me and the way we both feel right now.” Her eyes close as she focuses, imagining the calm radiating from her and into him. She wishes she could figure out how to do that for everyone here.

Even across the room, Kaylee can feel Odessa’s presence more keenly than the others, somehow. Her thoughts push at the edges of Kaylee’s awareness. C’mon, Aman. Pull yourself together. While her ability is projecting calm, it’s worry that Kaylee senses.

"Love.. and marriage…" Tibby sings and pats her knees in time softly to the unheard tune that's roaring in her head. Over the course of their journey and now sitting here in the apartment Tibby's grip on reality has slowly been returning but not enough to actually change much of what she's doing outwardly until now that is.

"Love… and…" She stops and blinks a few times, head shaking slowly. "Die fok…" Brow furrows as her fingernails dig into the surface of the sofa she sits on. "Pa..? No…"

Things are still cloudy for Tibby but she's waking up and Faulkner and Kaylee know what this woman is like usually.

“Nah, man, in my mind. It was lit. You don’t even know,” Gio says, swiftly back to his exuberant self, broad grin wide and crooked. “Also, no one has hats and streamers at the good parties, not after you’re ten.” He shakes his head at Chris, looking over at Faulkner with wide eyes. “This guy, am I right?”

To Kaylee, he raises his brows, looking impressed. “Uh, they always wanna put me in a home or something when they talk to me, so maybe these adults can do that part. I can, what’s it called. corro-ro-bate if they really need me to…” He looks a little doubtful at that, tugging on one ear.

The fog in Marta’s mind is thicker, more opaque, and it takes time to unwind it from the corridors of real memories. Slowly her eyes seem to come into focus — the others can see the instant she’s lucid. It’s like a bright light has suddenly been shined in her eyes. She murmurs a soft “Thank you,” to Kaylee, reaching to touch the telepath’s face lightly, patting her cheek.

The reality settles in, and she covers her hands, starting to cry. “Ah, fuck, Marta! Don’t cry, lady!” Gio protests, going to her to wrap his arms around her protectively.

Howie’s mind fog is denser than Gio’s by far, but less than Marta’s, and he too stares at Kaylee for a moment, before looking around the apartment, blue eyes landing on each of the people. “What year is it?” he asks, looking at his watch — it might tell him if it was a smartwatch, but it looks like an old Timex.

It occurs to Isaac, as more of the smiling zombies are brought back to conventional reality, that he had not actually considered just how… chaotic… it was going to be when all of Granny Goodness's special friends woke up from their Stepford comas in his rundown lair of an apartment. Normally he wouldn't be thrilled to have the NYPD in his apartment on general principle, but he's glad of it in this case. "I… don't know whether charges would be the right way to go," he says softly to Kaylee, looking troubled. "She needs some kind of intervention, but… I don't think she realizes what she's doing." He pauses, then smirks. "Of course, you'd be better qualified to determine that than I would," he chuckles, as he remembers just who he's talking to.

Chris's comment draws a sardonic grin. "Land that time forgot… you're not off-base there," he says, smirking… then, at Howie's question, Faulkner's gaze shifts to him. "2020. February, to be specific," he says. It occurs to him, right about then, that refreshments might be good to have ready before Tibby gets all the way awake. "Who wants refreshments?" he calls, turning to move towards the kitchen…

…and as he steps in the doorway, he sees Odessa standing there with Aman.

He goes still for a moment, tilting his head as he considers this… new turn of events. The window. He'd been wondering how Aman managed to get it open. Maybe he hadn't. Probably he hadn't. Isaac now has a number of very important questions about just who this is and what she is doing in his apartment… but the fact that she seems like she's trying to help Aman gives him pause.

"Am… I interrupting?" he finally ventures, raising an eyebrow.

As Kaylee finishes with Marta there is a smile for the woman. This is part of what she loves about her job. Helping people. “You’re welcome,” she comments, turning to the last of the zombies standing in the corner. Fingers pressing to a temple, but Odessa’s loud thoughts pull Kaylee’s attention. Brows furrow, but she offers back some reassurance.

It was going to be fine.

Chris’ mention of Corbin doesn’t go unnoticed, but then Issac’s comment disrupts her pulling Kaylee’s focus. The shadow manipulator gets an amused look. “Charges can be dropped, but the best way to shine a light on something is to report it.” Her attention goes back to Freddie, her telepathy curling around his mind. “Either way, I’ll be sending a report to SESA so they can direct her to the help she needs. Ah….” Fingers pull away from Freddie’s face. “There…Welcome back.”

Anna is next. Much like Freddie, the illusion is unwound with a bit more ease, though by time the last bit of the fog drifts away, Kaylee can feel the first real ache of an oncoming headache.

Following Isaac, Kaylee touches a hand to his arm to get him to stand aside so she can give Aman her attention. For Odessa, there is a lot of tension and confusion coming off her, mingling in with the need to fix him and even maybe a thread of sadness. The telepath doesn’t push Odessa aside. “Take care of him.” She says to the other woman, before a hand - not finger tips like the others - presses gently against Aman's face. It’s all that’s needed to brush away an illusion that was already falling apart.

Done, Kaylee touches Odessa’s shoulder in appreciation before moving towards Tibby, leaving the waking man to her care. Unlike Aman, Tibby didn’t have anyone else here that she knew of.

What in the ever loving shit do you know. Chris scowls at Gio, but lets the disagreement go without further words. He sighs and passes a look over to Isaac and Kaylee, tracking their progress. Not that he knows what is being done or how it's different or not from what Mommy Dearest did. Except that it's obviously fixing people. That's the whole point.

Focus, Odessa says, and Aman just smiles. He's fine. Everything's fine.

Then there's that brush to his brow, and he doesn't seem to realize anything's changed at first… then he blinks. He's been focused on the calm til now.

But when he sees Odessa standing here, his mind cleared of filters, he's anything but calm. "Des, what the fuck are you doing here?" he asks in alarm. "We've got to get out of—" And then he realizes they're not where he thought they were, his eyes widening again. Oh no. He turns back and sees Isaac watching, horror growing, and then he sees Kaylee among the crowd of people in the apartment.

His head whips back around, soul screaming as he keeps his hands on Odessa's shoulder. "What the fuck is going on?" he whispers fervently, hoping she'll have a better clue than he does.

There's a sudden pang of regret and longing as his conscious mind mourns the snap to reality, missing the salve of serenity and bliss of where he'd just been until he woke up. Honestly, he could stand going back.

“I’m the one you called initially,” Odessa offers to Isaac without looking away from Aman’s face. C’mon. “I’m trying to pull him back to Earth.” There are so many different feelings in this small space, but she just needs to focus on the one that matters. Aman’s emotional state shines brighter than any other, and she’s struggling to keep from simply injecting him with her own worry in an effort to bring him down from whatever this was.

But there’s Kaylee. Odessa’s thoughts, clearly unintentionally broadcast, come in loud and clear. I’m trying my best. I just want to help him. Oh, please don’t hate me. I’m so sorry. I’ve missed you. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.

The sudden shift in Aman’s emotions influences Odessa’s internal monologue. Less concerned now with how her friend might take her presence here, now she’s simply relieved. Her hand covers his at her shoulder, giving a gentle squeeze. “It’s okay. You’re okay now. Your friend over there told me you were in trouble.” Her head inclines toward Faulkner just so. “So I found you.”

Which everyone involved in this situation probably ought to be at least slightly concerned about. Herself included.

“Hey,” Odessa whispers urgently, reaching up to place a hand on Aman’s face as if to keep him from turning away and focusing his attention elsewhere. “Hey. Reality is better,” she tells him. “Real is important.” It shouldn’t come as a surprise to see a look of empathy from an empath, but those who know the reputation of Odessa Price might still be a little surprised by it. “Stay with us. Kaylee is here.”

It’s her turn to look away, and he can feel her own regret keenly. “She’s going to make everything okay again.” Regret gives way to sorrow even as Odessa turns back and offers a smile. “That’s what she does.”

"Wat Die kak?" Tibby blinks a few times as Kaylee works on freeing her and the small woman looks shocked as she stops humming and scans the room. It's almost like she couldn't see her HUD blinking in her eyesight but now it was back in focus and she squints her hand going for a knife in her jacket pocket before she realizes whose in front of her and she almost physically balks at seeing Kaylee in the flesh so soon from their last meeting. Instead her eyes widen but then even more so when she notices where exactly she is. What apartment she's in. She had never been actually inside Faulkner's place but she had looked inside from across a rooftop once or four times.

The already light almost pale woman seems to turn red and her head bows, "What the fuck," She remembers going with the boys… a lady..

"What…. did we do?" Glaring over at Aman and then towards Faulkner, yep Tibby was back to depressed and slightly surly. It was nice while it lasted. Odessa and Chris also get a quick glance though Odessa is the true new face in the room. She stretches her limbs out and tries not to look to hard at Kaylee. Still a little embarrassed at how they met but still grateful for the blonde woman's help. Two times now. "You took them?" Thank God someone saved those people.

Unexpected. Her thoughts open for Kaylee.

Marta sniffs once or twice then regains her composure. She watches Howie as Kaylee helps him come out of his fugue and murmurs quietly the Hail Mary in Spanish. She holds Gio’s hand tightly and nods to him, clearly bolstered by his care.

Once she sees Howie back among the consciously living, she sighs in relief, and turns to Kaylee. “Please,” she says softly. “I cannot go back there, not while she can do that. She means no harm, but she’s not right. She doesn’t know she’s even doing it. Jorge managed to stay away from her touch or he’s immune, maybe, I don’t know. There’s pills people take, yes? That can keep her from accidentally doing it? I don’t want her to be in a home…”

Howie’s eyes widen and he whistles a low note.

“You’re just as deranged as your mother. I’m out of here,” he says, striding for the door.

Gio steps in front of him, the ballsy teenager staring up at the older man. “The lady cop might need to take your, whatsitcalled, depilation or something. You were in there for weeks. You can wait a minute or two, man.”

"Ah. The enigmatic 'O'," Faulkner says dryly. He considers for a moment. "Honestly, I'm impressed," he adds, more of an aside than anything else. Impressed that she found her way here… and impressed that yet another of Aman's friends has shown up to save him. Aman is a lucky man, he thinks… but the sheer depth of the bitterness that comes along with that thought is enough to catch even Faulkner off guard.

Maybe, if he'd been the one in a situation like this, his friends would have come for him. He'd like to think so, anyway. Except…

…except he'd been in a situation like that. And they hadn't.

Well. No point wallowing in it.

"Well. Be welcome in my humble lair," he says, giving the enigmatic O — and what does that even stand for, anyway? — one of those coolly amused smirk that's served him so well over the years. "There's drinks in the icebox, if you'd care for a—" he starts to say, only to cut off immediately at the deranged as your mother comment from the other room. Why did he bring these people back to his apartment again?

He knows, of course, but god what an absolute dick thing to say; it takes him a moment to get the sudden anger under control. He raises a hand to his head. "Excuse me, Miss O," he says, stepping back out of the kitchen to see to his other guests. He isn't going to rip Howie a new one, as much as he wants to; for the moment this is Kaylee's show. He'll give her a chance to say something first.

Instead, he opts to tackle Tibby's question. "We solved the mystery," he says simply. "And yes. We brought everyone back to my place," he says, nodding thanks to Chris, who'd helped shepherd them.

Then, as an afterthought, he offers one of those smirks to Tibby. "Welcome," he says dryly.

Then he glances to Marta. "Pretty sure your brother is immune; he led your mother out by the hand. I'm also pretty sure there are pills, though, for what that's worth." Now he glances to Kaylee as well, looking for confirmation on that.

Tibby gets a reassuring hand on her shoulder to say It’s okay, before Kaylee straightens and to address the others. It amuses her when Gio steps in to keep people from leaving. “It’s fine,” the telepath says to Gio, motioning him away. “Either way, she’ll get help. I’m going to let SESA know and they will look into it further, but I am confident that they will get her on some negation medication.” Kaylee felt confident of that and that she’ll get called in to help with more victims by then.

Faulkner and Chris get their own smile, “You two. Thank you for watching after these people and calling me. I’ll make sure that is in the report, which…” Her attention shifts to Chris, “My friend, Corbin, will get.” Yeah, she definitely heard that.

There is a reluctant look towards the room that was occupied by Aman and Odessa, though she can’t really look at him. The telepath does note the way Odessa looks at him, it was a familiar look. It felt a little like a gut punch, but she pushes that feeling away.

Not now she tells herself.

Taking a deep breath, Kaylee turns to Tibby. “You need a ride home? I can drop you by, if you want.” It’s offered like Tibby never tranquilized the telepath. Just a friend offering a friend a ride.

Whatever opinion Chris has about the witch in the woods, he's keeping it to himself. Most everyone who needs to — whether or not they knew they needed to — has already heard his thoughts on the matter. Likely including Kaylee, unfortunately, once the Married with Children theme had been silenced. But as far as he knows, his thoughts are only in his own head.

“Maybe I won't spoil the surprise then,” he quips. Corbin is his uncle, after all and bringing work related problems might come better from friends. He shrugs, still inwardly annoyed that something, anything, like Granny Gonnagetcha is going on. “Anyway. More hands make less work, and I was looking for Freddie. His family’s missing him.”

Still reeling from the layers of realization, Aman only comes back to the situation fully when Odessa turns him by his cheek back to her. A disgruntled note leaves him, still lost somewhere between his emotions and hers and the high he's released from. "Yeah," he agrees without particular belief. "Real's great. Real's whatever. But what the hell are you— how did you even…"

His gaze searches hers, trying to understand just how it is he was found. But a moment later something else catches up with him and he lifts his hands away from her shoulders, firmly letting them find his sides again. People were here, watching, Isaac among them, and he wouldn't want anyone to get the wrong impression out of an already complicated situation. With a twist of conflicting emotions, he looks back to see Kaylee helping Tibby come back to herself. He flashes her a small grin when she looks as grumpy as he feels about having to face reality again.

"Looks like the old woman had an ability triggered by touch. We were the unlucky ones."

Aman doesn't even remember going under, falling victim to it… his eyes slowly sweep to find Annaliese, as seeing her is the last memory he has. "Glad we found you," he tells her earnestly across the room, another spike of guilt passing from his gut to Odessa's in the process. "Plenty…. plenty of folks were worried." He was worried, but he feels awkward saying as much.

Now what? he wonders to himself to get his mind away from those tangled topics. He'd like to talk to Kaylee, but she seems occupied with Tibby, so he turns back to Odessa. "Is it even safe for you to be here?" he asks, keeping his voice low.

The moment Aman withdraws from her physically, Odessa’s gaze goes a little distant. She only offers a nod of acknowledgement to Faulkner’s greeting, half-glimpsed over her shoulder. Instead, she looks out the window she came in through, at the kitchen cupboards, the floor. The questions she’s been asked don’t seem like ones Aman really wants the answers to. Not here anyway.

The last one, however, gets her attention. Odessa lifts her head and smiles, shaking her head. “Of course it isn’t,” she whispers back, the words the exact opposite of the response implied by her facial expression. “But… You know.” She was worried. Her voice lifts again, “Well, you seem to be doing just fine now,” isn’t exactly accurate, but he’s well enough and he’s clearly in the only metaphorical hands that may be better than hers.

“I’m going to just…” Odessa rolls back a step, gesturing toward the front door with pointing fingers on both hands. She pivots and starts to head in that direction as casually but quickly as she can manage.

Tibby blinks at Faulkner and doesn't look embarrassed at not leading with a 'Thank you,' but she does feel rude. There's too much going on for her though and she slowly stands and nods at her coworker/crush, "Thanks." It's flat but he knows her heart at this rate at least in regards to how she views him as a friend.

The short woman nods at Kaylee, "Thank-" Again to thank but the movement of Odessa to the door away from Aman has emerald eyes tracking to her face and then squinting before eyes widen more. Fixing Aman with a hard stare before she moves. What the fuck Aman. She knew every name associated with that prison break and Mazdak and a dye job can't hide who this woman is. "Hey rooi," Tibby's voice is a bark at that moment and she moves around Kaylee and the others and stops not too far from the door, eyes on Odessa's back.

Why was she here? Is this Ori's grace shining down on her? A moment of destiny?

"You know of Mazdak." Her tone is clear and though she isn't going to out Odessa's identity, she was desperate for answers. Desperate to find her father. "My father-" Tibby stops and glares down at the floor, "Need to know… what you do." When the bleached blonde woman looks back up towards Odessa there is desperation in her eyes and then she says something that none of the people in the room have probably ever known Tibby to say since knowing her.


Gio squeezes Marta around the middle where he’s wrapped his arm protectively; whatever illusions they’ve been lost in, the group has become something of a family unit, squabbles included. Howie waits, for instructions or ‘depilations’ (depositions) but after a few minutes of looking from Kaylee to Aman to Odessa and back to Kaylee, picking up on the awkwardness there, he shrugs and heads for the door.

Gio starts to protest, but Annaliese touches his shoulder. “It’s okay. I know where he lives. I’ll give the name to SESA if they need anything,” she says gently. Aman’s words to her draw her pale gaze that way and she nods. “Thanks for looking for us, Aman,” the woman says, pushing a strand of her wispy white-blond hair behind one ear.

Freddie too gives a nod to Chris. “Thanks, man. It’s been a trip but I’m ready to go back home.” He looks around at the others. “Shall we?”

The group of long-term daydreamers, newly awakened, move toward the exit. Annaliese, reaches out to touch Kaylee’s arm lightly. “I’m at the Red Hook Laundry. I’ll get everyone’s contact information so any of your agents can talk to us. Thank you,” and her blue eyes sweep across the room to include Tibby, Faulkner, Chris, Aman. “Thank you all for saving us.”

Gio offers his own fist-bump to Kaylee on his way out. “Thanks, lady. I promise I won’t pickpocket you when you’re in the Market,” he says, his teeth flashing in a wide grin, adding, “All right, someone with a working phone call an Uber,” as they exit the door.

Oh. Whoops. He'd meant welcome to my house, haha, not a passive-aggressive pre-emptive you're welcome. That… that wasn't what he'd intended at all…

"I…" he starts to say, but Tibby's got other concerns, seems like, and everyone else is heading out. "Y… yeah…" he says.

Well. This is no way to be feeling, is it? No. He grimaces and straightens, shoving embarrassment, guilt, whatever out the metaphorical window. The people walking out of his lair now have their lives back; as for whatever Tibby wants with Miss O, well… there's nothing he can do about that, is there? Whatever. Time to think about that later. Or better yet, time to not think about it later. That sounds wonderful. For now…

For now he smiles and nods to his departing guests. "You're welcome," he says quietly. He'd helped accomplish something today; whatever else may happen, he has that. As for whatever else…

His gaze flickers between Tibby, Miss O, Aman, and Kaylee. "I think… I'll go see about calling a ride," he says quietly, taking the opportunity to head for the door. He hesitates for a moment — the temptation is strong to say something snarky like please, do try not to destroy my place while I'm out, hm?, but… he's really not feeling it right now, so he just smiles and slips out. Exit, stage left.

Kaylee is amused by the fistbump, returning it with a lop-sided smile. “Thanks, kid.”

As she watches the group file out, Kaylee glances between them and the rest. The twist of emotion she feels, pushes her attention back to the door. There is a sudden and real worry about letting them find a way home, “Hey, hold up. I’ve got room from in my SUV. Let me get everyone home, the least I can do.” This way she wouldn’t have to wonder and worry; she’d know and be doing her due diligence as a police officer.

“Aman,” Kaylee calls out, turning to look back at the unfolding drama. “Please, make sure she gets home.” He knows who she means, a glance going to Odessa. The telepath doesn’t address Odessa, she doesn’t know what to say. There were so many tangled emotions and right now she couldn’t deal, especially with the headache forming behind her eyes. The mention of Mazdak… she’ll unpack that bit later. Speaking of….

“Tibby. Five minutes and then I’m leaving without you.” It wasn’t her being mean, Kaylee had too many people waiting and depending on her. Without another word, the telepath turns and quickly follows the rest in a hasty retreat.

“Don't mention it,” Chris says to Freddie. It's good to see the guy acting normal again, and no more worrying from the family. His job is done, if not well. And, with everyone being in their minds again, he moves out of the way so they can go wherever. Hopefully to their proper homes.

It gives the young man a chance to catch up to the soap opera taking shape. He's been ignoring it until recently, and now he's almost regretting the visual recap. Daytime television sucks unless it's The Price is Right. Chris shakes his head, turns to follow Faulkner and Kaylee out of the house. He needs to find his horse and head back anyway.

The way everyone files out feels like some other surreal representation of being unable to hold onto the daydream they've all awoken from. Aman looks like he hardly knows what to do with it, except when Faulkner looks back with that comment he doesn't actually get to saying, he meets the look with a nod. He'll make sure things stay sane around here.

The sound of Kaylee's voice draws his attention back her way, but the fact she doesn't look at him the entire while isn't encouraging. He thinks back to waking up with Odessa's hands in his, that starry glaze plastered on him, and shuts his eyes hard. Fuck. But off she goes, and apparently they'll have to deal with that later. In the meantime…

"Des," Aman murmurs, reaching for her hand to keep her from heading off on her own. It comes as a surprise when Tibby's voice cuts sharp behind them. He turns, eyebrow arching. He's not entirely sure she's not laying some new nickname on him.

When she says Mazdak, his train of thought crashes and he begins to pale. Then he looks back to Odessa in a jerk of motion before facing Tibby again. "Tibbs…" he says slowly. "Try that one again? What's going on?"

It's not playing dumb, not exactly. He can't figure out what exactly it is she's after.

Though he does shut the door after everyone else leaves, certain he doesn't want whatever it is that follows this to be heard by anyone still in the hall.

The touch of Aman’s hand on hers is unexpected. Odessa stills, willing to let everyone else file out around them. Her thoughts are broadcast loud and clear to Kaylee whether either of them intends them to be. Please don’t think this is what I think you think this is. No, please don’t go. Fuck. I don’t deserve a chance to explain. I don’t deserve her. I don’t—

Odessa’s thoughts are derailed again by a single word: Mazdak.

Panic rises inside of her. Aman can feel it radiating off of her while she schools her features back into something neutral before she turns to face the unfamiliar woman. “I think you’re mistaken,” she offers quietly in response. She can feel the sincerity in Tibby. Understands so deeply her need for answers. Even if she didn’t have this ability, the need to know is something Odessa appreciates more than most. “I don’t think I know who your father is.” She won’t say definitively, but she can speculate with the best of them.

Right now, she just wishes she could share her thoughts in the way Kaylee can. Wishes she could give Aman more than the spike of something is wrong. She’d like to be very plain with him without the need for words. Get out. Save yourself.

"I am not. Alister Black, love," Raising her eyebrows at the darker haired woman. To recall that time was to recall the pain of the felines, her lost friends. Many of whom spied on the man for her, Tibby shudders but her gaze holds new fire. The small woman taps her temple to indicate, memory.

"The Mazdak contact," Tibby doubles down, especially now that she can see the woman's face more clearly. "Who was it that broke you out." Tone growing more firm, this was what she needed most in the world. Information. "Lang? Tetsuyama?" Either would do to get to the next knot in this ever tangled mess with her father sitting in the middle, waiting. As if an afterthought but mostly because she's so damned focused on Baruti. "I mean you no harm. Secret's safe," There's another moment of connecting the dots as her emerald gaze flicks towards Aman.

Why in the fuck was he running around with a known fugitive? Did he not know? Tibby decides you'd have to be living under a rock to not know about Odessa Price. "And you two, are friends." Her lip curls though. How could Aman know anything?

Aman, who's sliding himself in between the two women, based on Odessa's fear. He looks back at her in particular with a slight lift of his hand to gesture it's all right before turning back to Tibby to address what she's said. Tibby, who he's known for months. Tibby, who…

for the first time ever, he's paused to think what her last fucking name is, in correlation with the topic of Mazdak.

Oh. Fuck.

No, Aman doesn't just sit around and think about shit like this.

"Odessa doesn't have anything to do with Mazdak, Tibby," he stresses, raising his other hand partly in her direction now, too. "It was all that oni chick. O-N-1. Okay? She…" Aman's expression falters, his hand turning over in a silent preparation to explain. Regret invisibly courses under his skin while his jaw works. "The whole thing was her deal. It was her and three others. This old woman Masika, this dude Redd, and… some pale dude who died, so, maybe that one doesn't matter." Fingers tick off, then count down. "Redd's still stuck at PISEC, so as far as I know, it's just Oni and Masika that survived. So…" Mouth drawing back, he glances aside and then back.

Voice dropping, Aman supposes, "Yeah, that's about it." But then he rounds back on Tibby, the dip in his energy sharply reversing. "Also, what the fuck?" With a sharp gesture of his hand, he goes on, "Your dad? Mazdak? Was there a time you were planning on mentioning literally any of this shit?"

“A- Aman…” Odessa first reaches to try and keep him from getting between her and her interrogator. Her hand finds his bicep, but doesn’t try to pull him away. Her fingers do start to squeeze more and more the longer he talks, however. Shut the fuck up, she wants to tell him. It’s too much information he’s giving. Information he shouldn’t know if he wants to keep his nose clean going forward. And that’s what she wants for him.

But slowly, she starts to slink behind him just a little more. This isn’t the old days. She has to think about her own safety, and Tibby is setting off Odessa’s alarm bells. Not the way she generally enjoys. “I don’t know anything. They didn’t want me,” she responds quietly, voice even. Now, she starts to step back, attempting to pull Aman with her toward the door. “I am nothing,” she insists, her fingers starting to trail down Aman’s arm and toward his hand now. The worry rolls off her and crashes into him just as much as his annoyance does in reversal.

The eyes of the small woman widen as Aman begins to speak and she subtly shakes her head, no. He was involved? More than she could have imagined it seems to be and Tibby reflexively takes a step back. "ON1," Of course, the wanted fugitive, quite a reputation. Closing her eyes she tips her head back and sighs quite loudly. Tonight was full of surprises. Aman is throwing her a question that makes her head jerk back down and glare openly at the tall man.

"My father is my concern," She all but shouts and throws her arm out to the side. "I will deal with him."

Backing away towards the window leading to the fire escape as Odessa speaks, the bleached blonde woman levels her with a stare as they make their way out the front door. Pushing her body against the window and shoving it upwards, the cold wind washes across her back and she also shakes her head at the faux redhead. "We are all, more than we appear."

Then she slips out of the apartment, no thank you. No goodbye.

It was going to be an awkward next few weeks at the Pigeon Courier Service.

The tension in the air and the tension between them stays even after Tibby has gone. Odessa swallows uneasily as she laces her trembling fingers with Aman’s. “So,” she breathes out shakily. “She’s intense.”

Aman only stares at the tiny woman with a blank expression as she climbs out the window, drawing his hand down his face when she's gone. At Odessa's comment, he turns a baleful eye her direction.

"Imagine working with her."

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