You Shouldn't Be Here, Again



Scene Title You Shouldn't Be Here, Again
Synopsis It's been ten years
Date June 1, 2019

She was going to do this.


It was a flash of purpose and moment of courage after a hectic and busy month of May.

Long blonde hair is twisted up on the back of her head and a pencil pushed through to keep it sloppily in place. Already lose strands brush her cheek, it would stay long. Still in her clothes from the day, a button up shirt and jeans, it was a testimate at how much of a last minute decision it was.

A barefoot taps on the floor as Kaylee stares at the stacked boxes in front of her, head bopping to the music… She was stalling. It was only three, but it felt like far more.

Taking a deep breath, lips flatten into a line of determination. Let’s do this.

Kaylee’s Apartment

Raytech Residential Apartments

June 1st, 2019


Tape separates from cardboard, the tearing sound managing to be heard over the music playing a bit loudly from a nearby bluetooth speaker, to drown out the humming of the minds in the apartments around her.

As Kaylee pulls back the flaps of the moving box, all bopping slowly comes to a stop as pictures of her family come into view. They occupy the top half of the box, looking up at her with happy smiles and moments of joy. The telepath swallows back a sudden of surge of emotions. Painful and raw.

Fighting the urges to close the box up again and walk away, Kaylee pulls out a photo of her kids, all three of them. Encased in a homemade frame, ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ sloppily written around three of the edges with a child's brush, muddled a bit by what had to be undried paint at the time. Turning her back to the boxes, Kaylee quietly moves to the entertainment center, eyes on the three faces. The picture is gently set down with care and positioned just right. Taking a few steps back, Kaylee drops to sit on the coffee table and just… look at that picture.

“This doesn’t suit you.”

The sound of that voice sends a chill down Kaylee’s spine. The sound of someone in her apartment who wasn’t there a moment ago. The reflexive swivel of her head to the noise finds a lean silhouette seated at the island in her kitchen, seated on one of the high bar stools around it. He’s extended one long leg down to the floor, the other up on the stool’s footrest. Black on black clothing, a button-down shirt unbuttoned to his sternum, pale blonde hair, high cheekbones.


Adam Monroe hasn’t aged a day.

“Hello, Kaylee.” Adam says with a flash of a hesitant smile. “It’s been a long time.”

Isis had asked Kaylee what she’d do if she saw him again. The telepath hadn’t known at the time, but as soon as that chill slid down her spine the blonde woman had her answer. Her first instinct upon his arrival?

It was fear.

Breath caught in her throat, Kaylee is on her feet. Her eyes wide with surprise as she confirms what she already knew. He was there. But, it isn’t fear for her own safety that spikes through her…

“Dammit, Adam. You… you shouldn’t be here.

… it was fear for his own.

The words are hissed at him, with a nervous glance going to the door. In his own smug way, Adam had just popped into the middle of the lions den. Lucky for him, the fiercest one had quit not long ago. “If they find out you’re here…” Kaylee starts, but trails off when it really hits her then… really hits her that he was there. He was there and she wasn’t doubled over in pain or throwing up. Thoughts. Emotions. Memories. There was so much she didn’t allow herself to think about. Now, free of Susan’s trigger, they hit her, like he had just slapped her, tears springing to her eyes. They shine in the light of the apartment as she looks up at him.


Why was he there? Why was he taking the risk? Why… why… why… There are so many questions asked in that simple one.

Adam shakes his head, a hesitant smile spread across his face. “Who says I am?” He says with a motion around himself. It’s only then that Kaylee realizes something intrinsically different about Adam: She can’t sense his mind.

“I’m a sentimental old git,” Adam says as he leans off of the bar stool and comes to stand up straight, “but I’m not an idiot. A friend of mine is projecting me here, or— a nice rendition of me. I’m somewhere else,” and he doesn’t elude as to where, “having a very one-sided looking conversation with a fine door.”

Pale blue eyes track from Kaylee to her apartment and back again. “And you know why,” he finally answers. “Because I’m me, and there’s no taking that back.”

There is visible relief, even as she feels silly at the same time for not sensing the void where his mind should be. Kaylee turns away, intent on turning down the music; but in truth it allows her to take a moment to pull herself together.

“You’re right. It’s been too long. I really should have known better.”

Kaylee turns back with her own hesitant smile after the music is lowered a bit more. “I’m guessing you’ve heard then, because, you’ve avoided me all this time.” Something for the telepath to be thankful for, even if there is a touch of bitterness there. Hands motion to the projection not far from her. “Yet, now here you are.”

It might be a projection, but Kaylee still moves a little closer, maybe emboldened by that fact. It allows her to search those blue eyes better. “You say this doesn’t suit me.” Her head tilts ever so slightly, a brow arching just a bit. “You’re part of the reason I ended up here,” she points out helpfully and then adds a bit softer, “I hated running, but… I had also hoped you would have eventually found me and fixed it so we could be together again.” Family… again.

“That wouldn’t have suited you either,” Adam admits as he makes a slow advance toward Kaylee. “You and I both know that. But I did hear, from a little bird, that what Susan Amann did to your mind is finally undone. It sounds like we’ve both seen a head doctor.” The smile that Adam offers at that isn’t entirely genuine. If anything, it’s bittersweet.

“I don’t want your sentimentality,” Adam suddenly says, as if to dismiss all of the good will he’s somehow maintained in her heart. “I’m not the man you met those few years ago. I’m not sure that man ever existed… save for the negative space where the man I am was hiding.” His blue eyes narrow, as if incensed by his own cryptic bullshit. “I came here to…” It’s almost as if he isn’t sure. “See you? I’m honestly not sure. I came here to… see what would happen, I suppose.”

So, here he is. Adam tucks his hands into his slacks, looking at Kaylee like she was a stranger. Or at least, someone new. Not the young woman he’d taken under his wing.

The words cut deep and he is close enough to see it. Kaylee’s jaw clenches tight and she swallows hard, pushing back the pain he’s caused with those words. Much as he looks at her like a stranger, so too is she reduced to that. This wasn’t the Adam she remembered.

It takes her a moment, but finally she whispers rather flatly, “Ouch. Curious to know what you think suits me… a ditch maybe?” That is where Doyle told her she’d end up if she stayed with him.

Kaylee huffs out a humorless chuckle and looks away, there is a dismissive flick of fingers at the fact he doesn’t want her to be sentimental. He’s going to get it. “You know, you probably don’t even remember the last time I saw you. For you it would have been the first time we met. We had a fascinating discussion about mangos on the streets of New York Late 1880’s, early 90’s. Made me love you all the more… made me miss you, too. Made me sick for days.”

She leans on towards him, just a bit more, “You were not the same man then either, Adam. There is no doubt, we are shaped by the people and experiences in our lives, but at our core we are the same. I can’t believe…” Kaylee’s voice catches and she can’t finish that sentence. She doesn’t want to believe that she meant nothing to him; but maybe everyone was right.

Now she was just looking at a near stranger. Kaylee’s expression saddens, and she can’t help but let her gaze drop to the ground in front of her. “I have a question for you…”

Adam, silent and reflective like a mirror, adopts a relaxed posture in spite of the tone of their reunion. His head cants to the side, one brow raised in challenge to both the assertion Kaylee made of his recollection and her more humble question. For the first time in what seems like any time she’s spent with him, Adam doesn’t have a glib response. Instead, he just waits patiently for her to come around to what it is she’s wanted to say since he made his presence known.

Words are considered for the question, it takes a moment, but finally Kaylee looks up at Adam. “I guess it is less of a question and more of a request.” There is no looking away or fliching, blue eyes watch him carefully. She might not have her ability, but she’s still just as observant. “Tell me about the dragon. I know it was here twice. The last time, it gave my father his ability. The Company defeated it and destroyed everything about it.”

A step is taken closer, her voice lowering. “It’s back in this world and when it came through it took a piece of itself from my head.” She points to her skull, “My head, Adam.” It bothers here, that much is clear. “I can't believe they didn't take all of your memories. You were there the first time too.”

Finally, her gaze drops to a point on that rather nice chest. “Look, I know our past no longer holds weight for you… Fine. But I still want to help. To understand you, that entity… why a part of the damn thing was even in my head.”

Kaylee’s expression is pained. “I want to keep what I care about safe from it,” which that feeling may or may not contain him, “and I know it is going to control you again, unless it already does?” That last turning into a question at the end. Kaylee braves lifting her gaze to meet his again, knowing she has probably overstepped.

“Everyone deserves free will, even you,” Kaylee says softly.

“They do,” is Adam’s cautious response. “They do…”

But everything about his posture is tense, everything about him is tightly wound and ready to snap. “You make a lot of assumptions about me, Kaylee. Everyone does. I shouldn’t be so surprised about that, after all…” he spreads his hands and shrugs helplessly. “But when I said I’m not the man you knew, I meant that I’m not the man I knew either.”

That insinuation has Adam slowly approaching Kaylee again. “The past, our past, everyone’s past… it all holds a tremendous weight to me. Now, probably more so than ever. We need each other, all of us, but no one wants to hear that from me, and no one is going to be willing to do what has to be done in order to prevent the fucking end of the world this time, except me.” Brows furrowed, Adam stares intently at Kaylee. “So, I can play the villain… one last time.”

Exhaling a deep sigh, Adam fixes Kaylee with a more mild look. “But you are right, they did take my memories. Arthur and the others, they took everything from me and it was only when I was sweeping the broken pieces of the Institute into my pocket that I learned the truth. Then I found Caspar Abraham and made him give it all back.” There’s a tightness in Adam’s voice when he says that, bitter and hollow. The hate he feels has only grown stronger over time.

“If I could kill the Founders a second time, I would.” Adam admits with a razor sharp bitterness. “But this isn’t about them, it’s about the…” his upper lip curls into a resentful snarl, “it’s about the Dragon.” Though as much as he’d been resentful, there’s something else in Adam’s expression. It’s sadness, regret, and pain.

“And I don’t blame you for wanting to kill them.”

That is laid out there with no regret. “In your place, I would too. But, you are right. It isn’t about them… Adam, you don’t have to be the villain,” Kaylee points out, standing her ground as he approaches. “Talk to me, I don’t have to agree with your methods, but you have the experience and memories none of us have. We can work together to stop that thing.” We of course, includes her family, it is apparent as she adds, “I want to stop that thing,” She hisses back at him. “But I have to believe there is a better way then destroying everything.” There was guilt with her family’s part in releasing it into the world, just like with what her father did to the world.

“I spent years and years with that snake in my head whispering at me, pushing me one way or another, until it returned to its master.” It bothered her more than most knew. She hasn’t let anyone really see how much it did. ”I had my father influencing every goddamn thing I did with my life, because of the gift it gave him. I’m done with it and him controlling my fate.”

Unlike the girl he knew, the woman standing there had more certainty, unflinching. Kaylee had grown up over the years and she had no problem looking straight into the eyes of the immortal. “And what assumptions am I to make, when I have seen visions and prophecies that show you under its sway? You standing with that snake around your sword arm and an apple in the other.” Each arm is motioned to in turn. “Looking at me with golden eyes. I’ve only ever had things like that come true.” Whether he wants it or not: “I’m worried for you.”

Leaning in she has to ask, it was one of the things she saw that stuck with her. “I’ve seen you one other time with golden eyes. On the roof of the Deveaux building. You were trying to stop the Company from doing something.” Pulling back, Kaylee’s head cants to one side as she asks. “What were they doing?”

Some of what Kaylee says visibly affects Adam. It's clear from the moment dead silence hangs between them that there's something that unsettled his usually implacable demeanor. Adam takes a step back, in as much as he's even in the room right now. Then, with a had to his head he makes a frustrated face and spits out a bitter, “Of course. Of course. I can't have anything that isn't tainted…”

Swallowing those words down, Adam looks up to Kaylee and slowly shakes his head. “I wish it were as easy as telling you, but I can't. Not now. Maybe in another time, we could've stood side by side, and maybe in another time you would've accepted all the blood on your hands just as I am. But we’re past that point now. So far past.”

But there is something he seems willing to say, to that question Kaylee had asked. To the long and short of it, in all its forms. “The Company made the same mistake I did four centuries ago, that's all you saw. History…”

Adam’s entire body flickers like a candle flame.

“…repeating itself.”

And then he's gone.

When Adam disappears, whatever willpower she was using to hold herself up, it evaporates with him and her knees buckle. Kaylee doesn’t feel the pain as her knees hit the hardwood floor, her mind is numb after that exchange. Only thing keeping her from going down was the grip she has on the counter. Her head rests on that arm, eyes wide and her breath coming in short gasps.

Kaylee couldn’t let him see how much the exchange had shaken her or how his words has ripped a hole in her heart. She wouldn’t give him that.

Turning, Kaylee sits on the floor, her back against the cabinet and the counter looming over her head. Drawing her legs in, she felt like a little girl again, hiding from the angry words of her family. The back of her head thumps back against the cabinet, the first hiccuped sob escaping her.

“Idiot,” Kaylee hisses between clenched teeth, around the tears. Though it was hard to know if that was her him or for her. Maybe both. Her head thumbs back against the cabinet as she cries out a little louder, “You fucking idiot.”

With a few words, Adam had taken even that from her. How much more was going to be stripped from her previous life? By her hand or that of others?

What was her reality anymore?

Who was she anymore?

“You still have a goddamn choice.”

Miles Away

The Atlantic Ocean

Coming to as if from a dream, Adam Monroe sits up in his bed and looks around the dimly-lit cabin bedroom, listening to the sound of the sea waves crashing against the yacht hull. For a moment he doesn't remember where he is, until a voice pulls him back.

“How did it go?”


Joy leans forward in her seat at Adam’s bedside, threading an errant lock of hair behind one ear anxiously. Adam slowly shakes his head, wiping sweat off of his brow. “It's too late,” he says, voice hoarse and dry. “She's already been exposed.”

“I'm sorry,” Joy says softly, extending a hand out to him, resting on the comforter. Adam eyes the hand, his brows knit together with uncertainty as he looks from the offered hand to her dark eyes. Silence is their exchange.

Adam nods, reaching out to belatedly take Joy’s hand and squeeze it, before swinging his legs out of the bed. “Summon Val,” he says with a stubborn urgency.

“I have somewhere to be.”

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