2019-06-09 - Coming Home


Roy needs some space after the confrontation with Sarah. As it gets later, Kelly checks in on him.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sun Jun 9 21:16:59 2019
Location: 58 Water Street - Apt 501

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After the meeting that Roy stormed out of, Kelly gave him some assurances that she was there and then went quiet to give him some space. While it might have seemed she was fine with everything, the truth is that she spent the rest of the day worrying about him. It was distracting. She kept having to stop herself from just 'checking in' on him. It's a good thing she's such a good multitasker or her work would have suffered. Well. Suffered more.

Kelly had told him she'd see him after work. When she got done and he wasn't in the building, she headed home. Her first thought was he knows where she lives, so he can just come find her, right? A bit later, after pacing a bit, it finally occurs to her he might not just think to come over, even if she said she'd see him after work. She finally lets herself push that door between their minds a bit wider, and there's the mental equivalent of a knock inside Roy's noggin.

He didn't come home. Not immediately. Nor was he anywhere in the building. Phone off. He went silent. For hours, it's like that, just nothing that comes from Roy as the sun sets on New York and night overtakes the city. It'd probably be maddening to someone that didn't have a direct link to his mind as Kelly does, but the fact that he hasn't reached out to her probably speaks to the fact that he's trying to force it all down on himself.

The touch against his senses his noted, and for a moment, Roy's thoughts seem to scramble, as if about to try to shut her out and keep her from getting access. He's not sure she wants to see him like this, but she /does/ get a location.

He's at their building, on the rooftop.

In the apartment, Kelly's head tilts back, looking upwards, even though she can't see him. He can feel her mind, like she's standing on the threshold and not actually stepping into his. "« It's alright. I can go. I just wanted to see if you wanted me to wait up for you. »" There's a little pause in her 'words'. She doesn't want to put make him feel cornered, or like she has Expectations. But she wants to make sure he knows he's welcome. Wanted. Such a fine line in an unusual relationship.

The redheaded scientist moves to the windows of the living area, folding her arms around her as she looks out. It overlooks the green roof of the building it shares a wall with, making it almost look like a lawn just outside the door.

After a few minutes, Roy's mind finally opens. "It wasn't you." He's talking to himself on the roof. Mainly because he hasn't gotten down the 'thinkspeak' bit yet - it's still weird in his head. "And I have to realize that not everyone has read my dossier. But a little too close to home." comes the response as he is looking in the same direction as her. Just on the roof side of it all.

Reaching up, he rubs a finger over the ear cuff, as if thinking that Kelly can feel the physical contact with the small piece of her she left in him. "We've seen what this drug does. I don't even /know/ if it can be cured. That's why I was going to Jemma. Instead, I get the usual rar rar, we're SHEILD, we'll have this wrapped up faster than a commercial break in an Afterschool Special. Now who wants cookies."

Kelly Dehaven actually can feel it when Roy touches the metal. It's not as sharp or sensitive as touching her skin, but she can feel the warmth and pressure of that touch and it coaxes a small smile from her. She leans against the window frame, and her thoughts slide into his like stepping into a room. She's still not rifling through his memories but the sense of her presence is stronger and he can almost smell lavender and mint.

"« I didn't think it was me. No matter how much awesome I might be, it's not all about me. »" Kelly's humor is easily felt in the teasing statement. "« You're still dealing with a lot. I get that. »" Perhaps more than most, since she can peek inside him. At his bitterness over what he sees as the SHIELD approach there's the sense of arms wrapping around him. "« All they see are the numbers. Their track record, the fact no one was really hurt dealing with this so far… One thing they're bad at, is seeing the more human cost. »"

"Just wanted to make sure." Roy lets out a sigh of breath as he feels the wrap of Kelly's presence around him. Closing his eyes as he basks in the feel of her, he returns his conversation back to the present. "And they're totally not used to f-ups like me." he notes with a moment of a sour thought. "They're more used to the Captain Americas and the Buckys.. the ones that are doing good in the world, or were forced against their will to make mistakes."

"Noone ever held a gun against my head. Or reporgammed me. The mistakes I made? I own them. I made every last one of them." he says with a shake of his head. "And why that means you're atracted to me, I'm still trying to figure out, because at some time, I'm going to screw that up to. It won't be the first time I made the mistake."

Closing his eyes, there's a little area of his mind that he tries to direct Kelly towards. "My first mission with SHIELD was in Syria. I was there to help stop the terrorists attacks there. Didn't exactly go as planned. I've seen and done a lot Kelly. My hands aren't as clean. My blood isn't as true blue." Is he trying to push her away? No. But he's giving her the list of reasons that she should run.

Down in the apartment, Kelly smiles at Roy wanting to make sure she's alright. While she looks off into the distance, she's not really seeing anything. Her mind is quite literally up with Roy on the rooftop. "« They do lean towards the 'best of the best' and those that can be good little soldiers. »" Hence Kelly wanting to scoot before May turned too much attention on her. Kelly has a bit more freedom as a scientist type, but she doesn't want to press her luck.

Kelly's amusement bubbles up inside of Roy, light and effervescent. "« Well, I wouldn't say your *mistakes* are what attracted me to you, but there's a pretty good chance if you hadn't made them we wouldn't have met. »" She points out. "« And I figure you'll screw up. And *I'll* screw up. We're human. *Hopefully* we can mitigate what's an actual screwup and what just looks like one, and have some patience for the others. I have a pretty good idea of your heart, Roy. »" She reminds him. "« It makes a lot of stuff forgivable. »"

When he focuses on those memories, directing Kelly towards them, there is a moment of hesitation but it's more like a pause to give him a chance to decide if he really wants to do that, before she lets him draw her that way.

There's a momentary pause. "So if you're in my head, can you wear less clothing?" Roy asks her, a clearly teasing lit in his voice - after all, he's seen her completely bare already. And it allows them a chance to kind of calm down as he feels Kelly's encrouagement and warmth. That affection for her is like it's own drug, and he feels it fully and warmly for her, which also gives him a little fear - he's an addict. He falls for things /fast/. And there is that wariness that Kelly is nowhere near at the same stage he is.

She's pulled in gently. The streets of a small city in Syria. He's in the unfamiliar reds and blacks of his usual costume - one he doesn't wear out so much anymore. The mission was simple - leave things better than you found them, no matter the cost. On the surface, that's what Operation: Iron Rule was supposed to do - take out a dictator.

But something went wrong. He came back from a mission, and found the whole friendly village that had taken in him and his team had been wiped out. Then he realized that it was his own team that did it. They'd gone off the rails. Were they HYDRA? We're they just vindictive, he doesn't know. But he tried to destroy the team and the operation ended. That put him on the shelf - that's why he left SHIELD the first time. He wanted to do right. He wanted to make it right. Instead.. again, another mistake in a long like of them.

Welcome, Roy Harper, to your very first mental eye-roll. "« Stay on target. »" Come the wry reminder. "« You do *not* multitask as well as I do, so let's minimize the distractions. »" She's amused though, not annoyed at the teasing request.

Kelly picks up the edges of Roy's anxiety as it slides across his surface thoughts and emotions, but she doesn't try to calm them with her telepathy. They're not a danger to him at the moment and people need to be able to deal with their own feelings. She only did it when showing him her abilities so it wouldn't cripple his thinking. Inwardly she can acknowledge she doesn't fall quite so fast or so hard as Roy, but he might be surprised by her endurance.

The scientist hasn't actually spent a lot of time in other people's minds. The few that know about her ability haven't really welcomed her as a fixture in their mental landscape like Roy's done. So between her background and the few minds she's seen into, she hasn't been around death. She hasn't even really been around blood, and she can't hide the flinch as she looks upon the scene in Roy's memory.

Roy finds his eyes closing, shutting out the image of the world around him to find himself standing on the street in that village with Kelly. She's pressed in against his side, her arms wrapped around his as he directs and shapes the memory they walk through.

There's a moment of unsurety from Roy as Kelly brings herself into this memory. He feels the press of her to his side. Familiar. But so is the city street they're standing on. For a moment, it's a flash of it's former self. A bustling street market. Kids playing, people making purchases and bustling about. "I don't even remember the name of the town now." he admits quietly. "But we had liberated it. Things were starting to become normal. But the team? They didn't want SHIELD pay anymore."

The landscape changes. Gone is the colorful tarps, the children's cries of happiness. Instead it's in ruins. Burning. Though Roy tries to edit it out of his mind, there is the occassional body. "The town? They didn't want a regime change. They wanted to be free. I had left town to report in. This is what I came back to." he lets out a breath.

He finds the team in the town hall, celebrating. Drunk. Passed out. Roy walks away. But as he does, he picks up a communicator. What he does next? It may make Kelly's stomach churn. The Stealth Bomber came in from the coast, low and fast. It's doubtful that the people in the building felt the bombs when they hit the building and the explosions collapsed it on them.

It's a memory, so it's not a picture-perfect snapshot. It's been photoshopped by Roy's perspective and memories, which tends to make colors more vibrant and shadows deeper. It's like turning everything up several notches and things that Roy hadn't found important to notice get smoothed over into obscurity while those that caught his attention are eerily crisp against the rest of the backdrop.

Kelly doesn't interrupt. Doesn't try to give sage advice while he's in the middle of the story, if she even has any. It's obvious this is hard for him, and interrupting him would only make it harder. Seeing the town in ruins, blood and the occasional body, the world washed out to sepia tones, Kelly's hold on his arm tightens a bit. While Roy tries to edit out the bodies, there's sort of smears in the image where he's mentally edited them out. And there's way, way too many. Even though Kelly's not trying to project her feelings out for him to share, he can faintly 'taste' the salt of her sadness. The sharp licorice of horror. The smoky edge of anger as the image moves to the team in the aftermath of the celebration.

When Roy shows her what happens next, he 'feels' the cut of her fingernails into flesh as her grip tightens on his arm. Hear the way she sucks in a breath and the taste of licorice on his tongue grows stronger. She doesn't look away, though she wants to hide her face against his arm so badly. Because really, that wouldn't help. She's not really seeing this with eyes. "You executed them." Her words are soft murmur, shock making her words flat.


Roy responds, his own tone quiet, dispassionate as he turns to look back out to the town that once was. He looks at the burned market place, the playground that will never have kids running through it in play. The mosque that will never again hear the prayers or wedding celebrations of the exuberant. A town that was destroyed simply because they refused to turn everything over to a group of agents that had gone rogue.

He's cold, hard as steel beneath her grip. And if she looks up in his face, he's haunted by it - but he's younger, much younger than what she knows now. This isn't a recent memory. It's an older one. The red domino mask that sits over his eyes has long since been retired. He knows she wants to hide. He knows she wants to run. He can't blame her for that. He can taste the change in her demeanor. He can feel the changes in her. He closes his eyes. Bracing for the worst.

"I /avenged/ them."

Kelly Dehaven's attention has turned to Roy, watching his expression. Feeling the complex play of emotions. He's sharing the story of what happened, but also a lot more. Moments like this are complex. The emotions involved a tangle, often times at odds with themselves. That righteous anger and cold judgement mix with the sadness and sense of loss and bitterness of betrayal. And even then, being shown so much more than another person might be able to even conceive, it's not everything. It lacks the context to things that lead up to it. It lacks the fallout from after that also colors things. Even being a telepath, Kelly can only hope to understand a fraction of the complexity of a person and what they've done. And Roy is more complex than most.

Kelly's hold on Roy eases, and she pulls back a bit so she's not hugging his arm quite so tightly. But one slides along the inside of his forearm, until her hand slips into his. Her fingers interlace with his own. "I'm sorry." She says simply, her words soft. Sorry he had to experience it. Sorry for the lives lost around him. Sorry he had to be judge, jury and executioner. Just… Sorry.

When she starts to slip away, he feels it - he expects her to run away - even expects that piece of her that attachs them together to tether to fall off. Hell, maybe even his own arm will betray him and jump off his arm and run away on its fingers, like Thing from Addams Family.

Instead, she takes his hand. His fingers twine with hers, and he closes his eyes. "Kelly." It's a single word, but there's a lot of emotion in it. Perhaps more than he wants to admit to. Scared to admit to.

"I'm coming home." With that, he's turning to head towards the roof access that will take him back to her arms.

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