You Got This, Right?


kaylee2_icon.gif luther2_icon.gif

Scene Title You Got This, Right?
Synopsis Luther questions the decision to step into the fractured mind of Varlane.
Date October 19, 2018

The Benchmark Center

It took time to explain who she found and what was happening. Kaylee Sumter doesn’t go to deep into details, but does tell her husband the jist of why she way there and not at the office. Why she needs him to get the kids from school day and why she’ll be staying at the facility.

Lucky that he understands, she still feels guilty for not being there for the kids when they get home. More and more was taking her way and keeping her busy, especially looking for a little girl, who held what was left of someone who saved the Ferrymen.

Rarely was any of it for work; but, Kaylee will make it up to them. She always does.

Still the guilt is there, etched into the furrow of her brow and the pull of her lips. When would she be content to let others handle the mysteries and protect those that need it? Never whispers the dark voice that curls in a coil of ebony scales in the edge of her mind. This was who she was. It knew it, why wouldn’t she simply accept it?

Stepping out of the building on her way to pick up clothing for the night, Kaylee wasn’t surprised to find Luther standing there waiting for her. What her and Lynette where planning was potentially dangerous. She is expecting protests as she asks him. “Can I help you, Mr. Bellamy?”

Luther leans against the wall on the outside of the entrance to the Benchmark, out of sight from within the building but easily detectable for a telepath. The explanation to Joseph must have taken longer than she thought, or he's a fast driver. Probably the former. When Kaylee emerges, he straightens from the casual lean, gray eyes steady on her when she poses that question, in that tone, using that formality of his name. The man can't help the slight frown of concern, the curve of his mouth corners a touch deeper than his usual neutral line. "You're going all in, huh? Coming right off the bat," he states, though the topic isn't directly mentioned.

“I am.” The telepath finds no reason to lie about it to him, especially.

Kaylee studies him, noting the concern. Maybe it is that concern that has her relaxing a little. A small sigh escaping her. “It feels like we are working against time,” she states simply, “There is something going on in his head and the only way to know is to get in there and take a look.”

Feeling maybe that isn’t enough, the woman continues, moving to where she can lean against the wall herself as well, arms crossing and eyes thoughtful. “He shouldn’t be functioning. His mind is like so much broken glass. Should be catatonic. Yet, somehow he seems connected to Magnes. I almost bet, our version.” There is a touch of doubt, but she adds, “I think when he is his most lucid, maybe.”

Yet. There’s always that little word that causes the trouble Luther anticipates. Tension straightens his posture, chin lifting as he evaluates. “Broken glass doesn’t get put back together again,” he notes with a straight look at Kaylee. “It gets swept out. Maybe if you’re lucky, recycled and put together as something else.” His eyes don’t leave her, and his concern deepens along with his tone, “And walking on broken glass without protection…” His rumble trails, fades into a the true misgivings underneath. “I’m not trained for that.” Their sessions have been sparse, slow going for the security head whose experience with powers of telepathic nature is rare and still very raw.

“I find your lack of faith disturbing,” Kaylee comments blandly and yes, it was a blatant quote. There is a briefest upward tick as proof, before she turns serious again. “You act like this is my first rodeo.” She flicks dismissive fingers at him. In some ways it might be. But he doesn’t need to really know that.

Though, this might not be how she normally acts.

There is a flicker of something in Kaylee’s eyes as she leans over and whispers with a slightly wicked twist to her lips, “But wouldn’t be fascinating to find out what he saw when he recognized you?” Almost instantly, there is a bit of a blink as she realizes what she said and how she said it. Her gaze flicks away, watching the coming and goings of others. Her demeanor changing, pulling away some.

“I’m not doing this in an official capacity, Luther, so you don’t have to worry about me as your boss. It’s why I didn’t call you down here.” Reaching over Kaylee’s finger taps lightly at his chest, as she says, “You came here on your own.”

She offers him a heartfelt smile, “You could easily walk away and wipe your hands of this all. I wouldn’t expect you to follow me into whatever that is going to be. Lynette and Mateo want to know about the children they have in another timeline. I don’t blame them, so I’ll take them.”

“I never said it was,” defends Luther of his statements, brow furrowing at those dismissive fingers, eyeing the telepath for it. The expression deepens as she whispers that temptation aloud. It’s not that he hadn’t given it some thought, perhaps on the drive to and from Jim’s place of residence. Why he even came back here after dropping the nurse off is something he’ll have to ponder as well. But, later. When they’re embarking on a bad decision, maybe.

The poke to his chest brings him back to focus, not musing for too long on Kaylee’s shift, but he’s noticed as much. And his concern is at the forefront. “I understand,” says the man slowly, picking his words carefully, gaugingly, “but you’re going to — I want you to be safe about it.” Which, her earlier eagerness didn’t exactly establish that in his mind.

Luther scrubs a hand along his jaw, a low, disatisfied rumble sounding deeply. “If something goes wrong, or he freaks out or something…” The security chief ponders possible options. Worst case scenarios. Like what if Varlane really is a clone. And what if he really is connected to some interdimensional timelines. “Maybe… maybe a time limit?” he proposes, looking at her. “Is that even a thing?”

There is a moment of silence that stretches out between them, a twitch of her brows downward says that she is lost in thought. After a moment, she takes a breath and then says, “I don’t think it works that way. When Richard and I were in Od-” Kaylee quickly trails off, stopping herself from bringing up a woman who is a sore subject for the two of them. “Perception is skewed in a person’s mindscape. I’ve had it feel like days passing, but it was only maybe not even an hour.” There is a touch of apology to the glance she sends his way.

Stepping away from the way, Kaylee turns to look at Luther, “There will always be risk to what I do. Even for those with me.” A glance up, head tipping a bit, she says quietly, “Who knows what we could find out, but we won’t know anything without the risk.”

Blue eyes drop to meet his, the telepath’s head tilting a little when her chin dips back down, “If you’re so concerned, you are more than welcome to come with me…. with us,” she corrects herself. “Might be good to have someone who won’t be so compromised. Someone grounded, even.”

Nodding slowly, Luther puts his belief in her observations and past experiences. “Like that vision in Ducky’s - Eve’s - mind,” he considers. “And what do you want to find out?” His arms cross over his chest and he looks down towards the ground in thought at that. “If the Institute is behind all this, what happens then? I take it that we won’t let this sort of shit stand.” Gray eyes flick up to hers, brows arching up. Even as that statement leaves him verbally, the sentiment of gearing up for a fight rises. Until he heads it off, capping it with a short shake of his head. “Or, we should tell the proper authorities…”

His question has her jaw tightening some, but then Kaylee sighs. “To be honest, I’m not completely sure. I- I guess trying to see how connect… or if he is even connect to Magnes. If he is, Varlane might be our way of keeping track of Liz for my brother.”

Of course, everything else gets a flash of something: irritation? anger? “If I could stomp out every last bit of the Institute I would in a heartbeat,” Kaylee hisses out before she can stop herself. “I was in that… that place. Saw… horrors of what they were doing. Saw my father hooked up to a- a- machine to continue using him; his ability.” When she feels the prickling of tears behind her eyes, the telepath closes her eyes and wills her emotions to calm. It leaves a moment of silence between them.

“If we can figure out…” Kaylee states again eventually, “Where they kept this guy, I plan to tell the authorities. You have connections.” She knows. “But… I want to try and stay involved. I need to do this.” Taking a shaky breath, Kaylee nods slowly, “I need to for myself. For my family to snuff out this black stain in our legacy.”

Luther shakes his head slowly again, the talk of Magnes and Liz being still one of the strangest points of recent reality for the man. Different timelines, different realities, different (but not) versions of themselves running around, in this timeline. And that her brother, one of his bosses, is from somewhere - or somewhen - else. Possibly.

There’s a chance that the man doesn’t believe it still.

But, the present reality shows its own horrors, such as the one that their world collectively experienced about the Institute all those years ago. The Institute, a source of several dangerous rumors and truths about what humanity was, is, capable of inflicting on its own. That fear was realized into undeniable truth. Kaylee saw it first hand. Luther only saw the aftermath on television and wished it was only a show. In that moment of silence, Luther stands still and observant of the telepath’s processing. His arms uncross, hands drifting back down to sides. In the beats, his breath is long, slow, steadying.

“Sorry about your father,” Luther offers after, a tremble underneath the deep timbre of his tone. “I understand where he was coming from. Protecting your family, protecting your own.” He’d been a father, although one who was unable to protect his loved ones. Then, it’s his turn to pause with a moment of silence at the memories that bubble up, pop into existence in a bleak reminder, and then fade back into the black of buried traumas. Luther looks away, down, willing the tightening of his throat to open up after he clears it.

Once he’s steadied himself, he turns back to her. “We’ll figure it out.” Conviction, assurance, determination firms the phrase. Luther looks past her, back to the Benchmark and seemingly to what waits beyond the doors.

“It took having Carl for me to really understand, too.” Kaylee admits in return quietly, then sighs, “But… I have to remind myself of the extremes he took it.”

She lets that quiet hang between them, needing it herself. Though after a few moments, she looks over and offers a soft, “I’m sorry about your family.” Because no matter how she tries, sometimes she hears those thoughts and memories. “And we will,” figure it out.

Kaylee offers him a bit more of a smile, though the sadness from moments before lingers there and dulls it from it’s typical brightness. “Does this mean you’ll come with us… or at least think on it?” Something in her tone is hopeful and possibly a touch awkward.

The reminder of Carl shifts Luther’s attention away from wallowing, and he nods slowly. “He’s a good kid,” comments the man with softened amusement. The children of the Sumter home are a welcome distraction and nice reminder of things bigger than themselves. Her smile turning back to him gets reflected as he looks back to her. “Is that the official invitation to the psycho-slumber party?” questions the man, faintly teasing her. What’s a little riposte amongst friends? He answers with short nod, head canting as he adds the condition, “If Lynette and Mateo are comfortable with it, too. Then, sure.” A brief, wry chuckle escapes him. “And if there’s room enough in Varlane’s headspace for this bull in a china shop. You got this, right?” He rubs a hand on the back of his neck, recognizing his own weaknesses when it comes to matters of mental abilities and mindscapes.

Kaylee considers if the invitation is official. “Yeah, I guess it is, but not an order. Only of your own free will,” Her smile tugging a little more to one side, slightly amused.

However, when it comes to his next question, the smile falls away altogether. As much as she could lie and act like she totally has this, Kaylee finds she can’t lie to Luther; so she gives a slow shrug. “I want to say yes, but I can’t. Each mind is different, and well,” she looks back towards the entrance of Benchmark, “Varlane’s is… far different than anything I have seen.”

A hand reaches out to lightly touch his arm, “But, I promise to do my utmost to try and keep you— all safe, that’s all I can offer. So give it some thought, I’m going to head home for a change of clothes.” Kaylee looks down at herself, “I will take any excuse not to have to wear this getup.” Much like Richard, she’s not a fan of dressing the part; but, she does it.

“Then I accept,” Luther replies to the first bit, mirroring her smile with one of his own. Her worried look back at the Benchmark and touch to his arm make him pause, then he lifts his own hand to lightly cover hers in a reassuring gesture. He lets go shortly after as she makes her promise, nodding. The plan thusly outlined, he can’t help the light chuckle about her commenting of her work clothes as a “getup”. The man’s also in a more formal business suit befitting the appearance of a security head, but he doesn’t look uncomfortable in it.

With a eased smile he nods towards the car parked not too far away, noting, “Come on then. I’ll take you. And maybe we’ll get back in time for spaghetti.” The man chuckles, turns and leads the way.

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