Who Understands


kaylee_icon.gif squeaks_icon.gif

Scene Title Who Understands
Synopsis Kaylee and Squeaks find common ground and a little bit of comfort in each other.
Date January 13, 2019

Secure Facility, Kansas City, MO

Secure Facility
Kansas City, MO

Around two corners and down a long hall from where all the doctors are it's actually quiet. There's no shoes tapping on tile, no voices murmuring or humming of machinery. Even the buzz from the lights seems muted. It's not a hard place to find if you're prone to exploring, which easily explains the presence of a young red-headed teenager.

Even though it's barely been a full day since arriving at the secure facility, she's somehow escaped some of the scheduled testing and made time to get to know the place they're all being kept. Squeaks found the hallway by accident. And since there's no signs saying she couldn't go down that way, she did. A little more than halfway is where she's stopped and sitting on the cool floor. Her legs stretch out in front instead of her normal criss-cross style, and her back rests against the wall.

Seems that today, Squeaks isn’t the only one trying to escape the poking and prodding of the well meaning medical staff. After Kaylee’s collapse in New Mexico, they wanted to make sure that the woman was alright. That meant checking her over, especially her brain.

Kaylee was a little sick of it already.

She wasn’t a fan of having people fussing over her, so when they were not paying attention, the telepath slips away and seeks out a moment of quiet. So not too long after Squeaks found her quiet spot, the blond woman comes around the corner. The girl isn’t spotted right away, the telepath is looking over her shoulder… possibly making sure no one was following.

Turning to the hallway, finally, Kaylee blinks at the sight of Squeaks. “Oh… sorry.” While she heard the hum in the hallway, she didn’t expect it to be the little girl.

Kaylee was a bit distracted.

Hearing the footsteps coming has Squeaks already looking up. “Hi,” she offers for a greeting, while she drags her feet in close so she’s not really a tripping hazard. She watches the telepath for a very long second, eyebrows coming together a little bit with worry. And maybe a little bit of uncertainty.

“Are you okay?” She didn’t ask before when things got settled down, or on the plane, but she wondered and worried some when she noticed Kaylee had fallen. She wanted to check before, but couldn’t with all and everything else.

When it doesn’t seem like the little girl is going to push her away, Kaylee walks closer watching the girl warily waiting to see if she was going to want to be left alone. “I’m… “ How does she answer that? “Okay? Not great, but okay.” How could she be? “A lot of good people died getting all those people here. My friend is in a coma. Another dead. Other’s lost in between times and a thing loose in the world.”

The telepath looks at the floor next to the little girl. “And here we are getting poked and prodded on top of it.” She motions to the floor next to her. “Mind if I hide here with you? I swear if they throw me through the MRI one more time…” Kaylee huffs out with a glance over her shoulder to the entrance of the hall.

“Lots of things happened,” Squeaks agrees, unsure of what else to say about it. There were parts she missed, the aftermath seen while being transported or overheard but not completely understood. She lets her feet slide out again, and looks at the tops of her shoes.

Her toes tap together lightly, feet rocking toward the outside then closing together. “You can. No one’s been this way.” She’s probably done with all of the exams and tests and things too, or she wouldn’t have found some empty hallway to sit in. The teen’s toes tap for a few seconds longer before she makes them stop, and she looks up at Kaylee.

“I’m sorry I pushed you when you were helping. I shouldn’t have.”

A soft sigh escapes the woman as she settles down on the cool floor, letting her own longer legs stick out in front of her. Almost instantly, Kaylee isn’t sure how long she could sit like that. Getting older sucks, but for now, she’ll take the aches for a chance at peace.

The apology is totally and completely unexpected. Kaylee blinks at the little girl. It had been so long since the incident and so much happened, the woman hadn’t even thought about it. Looking down and away, Kaylee saddens a little at the painful memory. “It’s okay, Squeaks,” she says after a moment, looking back at the girl. “It happens all the time. Being a telepath isn’t easy. People think the worst of you… well, the ones that don’t get it.”

Leaning over, Kaylee bumps the girls arm with her elbow. “I knew you didn’t really mean it. When we feel emotional pain like that, people tend to react before thinking. Finding old memories will almost always do that. At least the first time you do it.”

Lots had happened since that night when they looked at memories, and Squeaks never found the right time before to apologize. “I didn’t think the worst. It just happened. But I’m sorry I did it.” She tips her head slightly and looks at her shoes, but a hand raises to press a finger against Kaylee’s arm in her normal version of a hug.

“I just didn’t know.” She couldn’t have, and she probably knows that. “All those things. And the Maury guy… I looked like a puppet.” She lets that thought hang for a minute then shakes her head. It’s all in the past now.

“Minds are a funny thing like that, but then curiosity is a part of our human nature,” Kaylee comments lightly. “So while our minds do their best to protect us from the pain, we are wired to search for answers.” Or at least in her opinion. Who knows if it is even true.

“I have repressed memories… pretty sure some blocked ones,” the telepath confides in the girl, watching her out of the corner of her eye. “The problem is I’m a telepath and so those memories will probably remain a mystery. In all my life, I’ve only ever had one repressed memory show itself and that is my only memory of my father when I was five or six. Know what it was?” She asks Squeaks knowing full well she didn’t know.

Drawing her legs up, Kaylee’s smile fades a little. “It was my father showing up telling my mom she had to leave and take me with her. That I was going to do something terrible if we stayed. I still remember how he didn’t even look at me… how he talked about me and my mom screaming at him and crying about how he didn’t want me.” It’s a sad memory, but it doesn’t seem to affect her much. “My one childhood memory of my father.”

Kaylee lets out a long slow sigh, “It’ll never feel great, but the emotions will dull.”

Tilting her head slightly, Squeaks lifts her gaze to watch Kaylee while the telepath speaks. There’s no way she could have known any of that, nothing about the repressed memories or even the bad ones that resurfaced. But she understands being not wanted. The memory they had seen was just a little piece of what she’d experienced before running away. Neither of those people had wanted her.

“I don’t think about …before, usually. I don’t like to.” And she talks about it even less. The teen points her toes toward the opposite wall, then pulls her legs up, feet skidding against the floor, so she can lean against them. Her head rests on her knees, but is turned so she can look up at Kaylee.

“I’m curious,” Squeaks admits quietly. “I don’t know about what we saw, but I want to. I wonder about the Maury guy, and the tests they did. And how come you can’t unrepress your repressed memories?”

The question gets an amused look. It’s a fair one. “How do I explain this…” Kaylee murmurs staring at a point on the wall across from them. “I can’t use my ability on myself. I can’t go into my own mind and my my ability does not play well with other telepaths.” Arms rest atop bent knees as she explains what it is like…. “You even hear the sound speaker make when you bring a microphone close to it? That screeching squeal? That… is what happens when two telepathic minds meet.”

A hand lifts just enough to draw a circle in the air as she explains a bit further, “Connecting minds causes a feedback loop. It’s very uncomfortable to say the least.” The hand drops again and she gives a little resigned sigh. “I’m in no hurry to learn anything about my past, though.” Which might not be the complete truth.

“It’s really loud and not good.” Squeaks is familiar with that sound. She presses a finger to Kaylee’s arm again in understanding. She can only imagine the noise that a telepath might experience, if it’s like a feedback loop, but inside the head instead of the ears. “It’s like how …that machine was.” She remembers that pain, the piercing-stabbing feeling from the noise, and makes a face about it. “If I had to hear that, I wouldn’t hurry to learn either.”

Glancing down at the finger touching her arm, Kaylee can’t help but smile a little. Every little kid had their quirks. There is a little shift to lean against that finger just a little to acknowledge it. “You understand then,” she sounds rather impressed.

The telepath is content for a time to sit in silence, watching people walk past the entrance of the hallway. Finally, though she can’t help back ask the young girl, “So how grounded are you? Your mom is pretty upset I imagine.” There is amusement in her tone, knowing that there was possibly some sort of punishment. “If I thought I could get it to stick, I’d probably ground Richard too. Not y’alls smartest move, even if it ended up saving a lot of people.” Though she isn’t lecturing, just accepting that it happened.

“Probably really grounded.” She doesn’t know for sure yet, and likely won’t for a couple of days still. Squeaks folds her arms on her knees and rests her cheek on them. “She’s coming here though. She’ll maybe be here in a couple of days.” And then how much trouble she’s in might be known.

“I don’t even know what happened mostly.” The teen shifts her head so she can look up at Kaylee. “I saw all the after stuff, all the people that weren’t there before, and… That thing that exploded.” She’s not sure what that was all about, she just did what the sound-lady said to do. “That explosion was crazy.”

There is a slow nod at the fact that her punishment was still incoming. Kaylee felt bad for the young girl, but honestly, the telepath was Squeaks age once… she knows. “Well, word to the wise. Nod like you are listening, don’t argue or complain about what she says, and just take the punishment like a champ. You’ll get out of it sooner that way.” By the sound of it, she’s been there before.

When the girls starts speaking on the event, Kaylee sobers a little and goes quiet for a long moment. “It all happened pretty fast,” she finally comments.thoughtfully. “Pretty surreal.” She leans over ever so slightly. “You know what I saw?” she questions in a soft whisper. Though she asks, she offers up the information willingly. “I saw a place where all time happened at the same place. It was… what’s that word you kids like to use?”

Nodding is something the teen is good at, and she does so at Kaylee’s suggestion. She’s not even pretending to listen, but really paying attention to the telepath’s advice. “I don’t argue with grown-ups anyway, that leads to more trouble.”

“All time in the same place?” Squeaks sounds a little skeptical about that, like she’s trying to decide if it’s a twist of words that means something different than what’s said. “Primal,” she does offer, letting the question be a distraction. She never understands those idiom things anyway. “It was primal, doing that stuff, even if we’re stuck here forever.”

“Primal,” Kaylee murmurs the word, as if testing it, and nods. “That’s the one. It was primal.” The word felt and sounds awkward on the woman’s tongue. Probably for the best if she never utters that word again. It did describe the moment best.

It isn’t hard to detect the disbelief in the girls that such a place exists. Kaylee doesn’t even need her ability for it, though it helps. “Don’t worry. I would have a hard time believing it, too. I still do and I actually saw it with my two eyes.”

As for being there forever, well… “I wouldn’t say forever. I mean. It is going to be a long time, but it will be over before you know it.” At least as long as the two of them are given a clean bill of health. It was the best reassurance Kaylee could give her.

“Maybe.” A month is a very long time though. “At least there’s a lot of food here. There’s fruits and muffins and all kinds of things. I haven’t gotten to see a whole lot though. Not yet.” Which means she probably hasn’t been exploring like she’s known to do. The various tests have probably kept her pretty occupied.

Picking her head up, she leans back against the wall. “Aunt Kaylee, can I ask you something?”

“That there is.” Kaylee had noticed the food offerings right away as well. Stress often drove the telepath to eat a little heavier, focusing on comfort foods. There was a lot of stress lately.

Good thing the telepath doesn’t really gain weight.

The question, pulls her attention back to the girl next to her. Brows lift a little, curious at what this little girl would want to know. There is only the briefest of hesitation before Kaylee offers a lopsided smile, “Sure… I can only hope I have an answer. No guarantees though.”

Strangely, the question is slow in being asked. Squeaks’ face stays turned toward her shoes, but her side-eye for Kaylee is on point. She watches for a long minute, maybe asking herself if it would be better to not ask at all.

“I wondered,” she begins carefully, and her eyes shift away to look at the wall opposite where they're sitting. “I wondered if we could look again. When we're not here anymore. At home, I mean, and things are normal.” Her head tips forward a teeny bit, but also turns slightly in Kaylee’s direction. “I promise I'll try not to push you again.”

The worry about asking might be justified when blonde brows tip upward, as surprise answers Squeak’s unexpected question. There is a blink and then another, followed by the woman looking away from the girl next to her. Kaylee would admit that she thought the question would be focused on the situation, not that.

Lips press tight as she mulls over the request, reluctant to travel down that path again. Legs slide out to stretch in front of her, a long sigh escaping her at the same time. If she was in Squeak’s place, Kaylee would be making the same request.


The word is a touch uncertain, even if there is a smile to go with it. “You know what you’re getting into now, so it shouldn’t be as shocking.” Sounds like there is a but in there. “But the emotions will be just as intense as with any memory we recover. So I won’t hold you to any promises.”

Letting out a breath, Squeaks lets her eyes return to her toes. She should be relieved, both for the asking and the answer. There’s probably some undecided part that hoped to be talked out of the idea, to look at other things first. But all the books in the world don’t hold secrets like what’s locked up inside her brains.

“Okay,” she answers quietly, but with some mustered determination. It shouldn’t be as bad this time, now that she knows what to expect. And she’ll do her best to not do anymore shoving.

Another minute is given to thinking it over. Squeaks really does want to know, even though she’d like to find the answers without seeing it all again — or for the first time. She looks up at Kaylee, head turning so she can look directly at the telepath. “How come sound had to be used to make the portal?” It’s probably a burning question, and definitely it’s a good time to change the subject.

That was a heck of a question to have thrown her way. Kaylee’s mouth opens like she is going to say something, but it snaps shut again and hmms softly in thought. It was a good question. “Well, sound is vibration right? And everything vibrates at a certain rate even down to the smallest of particles.” She holds her fingers together like she was holding such a particle. “I imagine that to get portals to work they have to vibrate the same?”

The telepath’s shoulder shrug after then and she looks uncertain, “To be honest, Richard would probably be the best person to talk to about that.” He was far more science oriented than her. ”I can only guess really.”

For a long moment, Squeaks watches Kaylee while thinking over the explanation. It makes sense, a little bit. Or she thinks it does anyway.

“Do you think what we did was good?” She settles back, head resting lightly against the wall, while she picks through the questions that seem most important right now. “I mean opening the portal, not the rescuing people.”

Arms tighten around her legs at the question. The telepath goes a little on the defensive, but not cause of Squeaks. Too many faces swim through her mind at it, the clearest and most painful of those losses being Eve. The memory of her being consumed by that thing… it was almost too much. Swallowing the sudden emotion that wells up and threatens to choke her,Kaylee isn't sure if there is a right or wrong answer to that.

Was if worth it?

“Yes and no,” is finally the best answer she has for the girl. Glancing over at Squeaks with a pained look. “Yes, because if we didn't open it all those people would have died.” Looking away, hugging her knees tight, Kaylee adds softly, “And no because of all the people that died, the people direly hurt, and the fact we let something loose in the world.”

“Yes and no,” Squeaks replies quietly, and probably settling her own feelings about what happened in New Mexico with Kaylee’s answer. The whole event was confusing at best, with people getting hurt and dying or disappearing. But also there’s those who would have died if the portal didn’t work. At least for now she can feel okay with her opinion.

She scoots closer to Kaylee, and pulls her knees up to match the telepath. Her arms go around them, and she leans just enough for her arm to press against Kaylee’s arm. It’s an offer of comfort, both for the woman and herself.

At the lean, one side of Kaylee’s lips tugs up a little higher at the young girl, allowing herself to lean a bit, too. Her own offer for that momentary comfort of just being near someone that’s been through the same thing. Who understands. To be honest, what had happened was too much for a normal kid, but Squeaks has never been a normal kid.

“Your momma’s lucky to have you,” Kaylee offers the compliment affectionately, before allowing them to be enclosed in silence. Head moving to rest back against the wall, eyes closing. Might as well enjoy whatever moment they can get before one of the facility folks find them.

If Kaylee’s ability is right, it’ll be any minute.

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