1964-08-06 - Life 101: Making Mistakes
Summary: Jay and Kaleb talk late night following Kaleb's rescue from those who kidnapped him.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
kaleb jay 

Kaleb slept the entire ride home in the car. He was sluggishly carried back up into the apartment and passed out when he got back into his own bed after some mild shock of actually just being home. Still around 4:30 in the morning he was awake and sitting up in bed covering his right ear. It hurt. He hated admitting there was a problem ever like he had an anaphylactic reaction to admitting weakness.

Jay toted Kaleb up to his room after the Great Escape, though he's far from relaxed. They're still missing Lorna, and Jay isn't convinced that they didn't just show all the people who took Kaleb where they can find a whole group of mutants to have fun with. So, he's paranoid that first night, sitting up on Kaleb's balcony, keeping an eye on the streets below. The second thing he did after depositing Kaleb in bed is putting a record on. Something that /feels/ more like home to him, even while he's sleeping. He didn't think about any pain or annoyance from the sound, so it'll only remain as long as Kaleb doesn't complain about it.

4:30 in the morning rolls around and Jay turns his head when he sees movement from the bed. Standing up slowly from his chair, the winged mutant walked toward the door, bracing one hand on the entrance, features consumed with concern. "You need somethin', Kale?" Jay whispers.

Echo flinched faintly and if it wasn't to finish losing his lunchin the trashcan it was something else. There was certainly a withdrawal effect happening from something. He shook his head as if 'no' but stopped himself and whispered, "Cotton ball?" Something to help muffle anything and everything maybe. His jaw set and he looked to the quiet recordplayer and added quietly, "I love Dusty. Once told Kellanjunior year I was going to take her to teh Snowball Dance." He shook his head and looked up to Jay. "didn't." To say the least. It was a distration but a needed one. "Can't sleep… you?"

Jay glances toward the record player, a flicker of a polite smile touching his lips, though it cannot stay there for long while Kaleb revisits old memories. "Her early stuff was good, too. With her siblings." Jay seems to agree gently, then shakes his head. "Ah haven't been able to sleep for a spell." Pressing himself forward through the room on bare feet. "Let me get something for ya. Yer ear bothering you? Ah can turn the music off if you'd like."

Kaleb nodded faintly but didn't answer. He blinked but he didn't talk for a long time. Fianlly he looked up to Jay and nodded, "Yeah I'm trying to…figure out what happened. Everything's getting… louder. Like the sound of my own heartbeat woke me up and I threw up earlier. Everything's… off."

That's concerning. Downright alarming. Jay gives Kaleb a look over and slowly shakes his head, brows twitching together in concern. If Kaleb can't control sound…no, nothing's right. Jay steps around to the player first and turns it off, carefully lifting the record by the edges and slipping it back into its sleeve. "Let me get you something for that ear," whispering now, Jay leaves the room, returning moments later with a bag of cotton and cloth bandages. "Here. Don't shove it all the way in your ear or it might get stuck, but we can do some kinda..earmuff." Jay offers, sitting on the edge of Kaleb's bed, his head bowed softly while he offers to play nursemaid. "We should try to get you down to Mutant Town or the school to get checked out…"

Kaleb sat with his back to his headboard with his chin on his knees while he held his ear. Only the one though. He sighedd as teh world sat off. Quietly he shook his head, "Yeah. Great. They can blame me for that too. Sounds awesome. While apparently they're tracking my movements let's bring em right back to the school so they can hurt them too." Jay wasn't wrong though but the occasion called for a reality check with a paranoia chaser. The sonic stuffedthe cotton in his ears, both anyways. His fingers pushed his long hair outof his eyes. It hasn't been done in 8 days, but it was less terrible than say, being hacked into and having appendages removed. There was that.

"Nobody is blaming you for anything, Kaleb," Jay remarks softly, though he figured the words would be futile ones as well. He winces as kaleb shoves his ears full of cotton, lifting a hand. "Not too far in there, man. Ah once got a piece of cotton stuck in my ear and the doctor took a half hour with tweezers rooting around in there…" Cringing at the memory from his own youth, tit for tat with Kaleb. Jay sighs, his hands settling idly and useless in his lap, his expression patient and worried as he stares at his friend. "Ah'll…call Josh or somethin'. He can make a house call. He does it all the time." Though Jay doesn't seem super excited about that idea with a soft flick of his wings, he's still adamant about getting Kaleb checked out. "Can…you still hear me, or is this all kinda futile?" A crooked smile touches Jay's lips.

Kaleb said, "Naw. Can't hear a damn thing, Jay." Though a faint smirk curled at the edge of his mouth. He took a deep breath and set his chin back on his knees. Glassy blue eyes watched Jay for a moment and quietly he offered, "That was a slick exit." He was trying to keep tcalm. Getting worked up made his heartrate increase which made the noise in his head worse. It was a whole careful world of 'nope' right now. "I dunno where Lorna is Jay… but I know where theyr'e moving her to. It's a couple days off. This… shouldn't have happened to begin with. And yes, there are people at school who think Warren is my fault. Who the hell knows. After this week it might be." That? That he seemed to believe. His jaw set and the expression was disturbed. So much he wanted to say but even by his own admission he was terrible with words. He swallowed and his voice shook faintly, "I told you… I know terrible people, man."

Jay quirks a wry expression back to Kaleb, lidding his eyes at his injured and discombobulated friend. "Hah, hah." The young man inhales a breath deeply enough that his chest expands, shoulders drawing backward. "Yeah. Ah haven't gotten to carry anyone out a window in a bit. Kinda fun. Ah was impressed ya didn't throw up all over me with how out of it you looked." Jay smiles at Kaleb, though the expression doesn't reach his eyes. for good reason. All those reasons coming to light when Kaleb addresses the elephant in the room. Taking the the weight and gravity of the subject, Jay nods slowly, his gaze holding on to Kaleb, unflinching. "Warren ain't yer fault an' neither was this. Don't take blame for the guilt of the responsible. That isn't yers to take. An' we're gonna find her."

Kaleb shrugged a shoulder and flinched as someone beeped their car down on the street. A hand went up but the car beeped again, and Jay could still hear it. Echo scowled at the window with that furious and angry look of his; this time the look wa not because they were out of coffee. His jaw tightened but he spoke quietly, "I took… Lorna to that dinner. They wouldn't be tracking her right now if I didn't introduce them. I thought the problem was running into Maximus? Nah. It was the guy in the corner behind him watching us. I muted him out Jay. I could have picked up on them talking then or… or at dinner when we went to the waterfront. I did it to be nice to Lorna and all I did was make us blind to everything happening around us. I didn't make this asshole drug us and put us in a van, but I sure as shithanded them the advantage." At least this time he could vocalize what he was upset about.

His hands tightened into fist and the scowl tightened and his glassy eyes became damp. This was a different hurt all together. He stared at Jay, his fury in check while damp eyes became damp cheeks. "She trusted me, Jay. I have to fix this."


Jay turns his head as Kaleb reaches out to the annoying car alarm and…it keeps going. Curiouser and curiouser. And not in the fun purple cats talking to you sort of way. An uncertain look flashed in his friend's direction, Jay stood again and closed the door to the patio quietly, trying to muffle /some/ of the sound coming from outside. It's a kind gesture, if not /entirely/ helpful. Jay thinks about it on the way back toward the bed to perch down beside Kaleb again, his lips pressed together while he ponders the added information over.

"So. Knowin' what you knew about what was goin' on, yeah. It probably wasn't the smartest thing in the world to bring Lorna to the dinner. She passes pretty well, Ah mean, Ah see girls with weird colored hair down at the park sometimes." He shrugs a shoulder and rolls his eyes mildly. "But it was a little classically 'to heck with them, I'm Kaleb Miller'." Jay has to agree gently. he isn't the kind of guy to blow smoke up his friend's ass. "And…yeah, bein' in a hostile environment an' blocking out yer awareness is…also not the smartest thing you could do." Hesitantly, Jay tries to soften his words. "It is pretty well shootin' yerself in the foot like that if you were worried about people," Jay admits, rubbing the back of his neck with one hand, eyes darting away. "Ah mean, back home, we always had our ears up b'cause you never knew if one of the families lookin' fer us would be around. It's yer first line of defense. Ah guess Ah figured you couldn't deal with hearin' too many people so you did it for sanity's sake."

Still, he sighs and the gentle-hearted red head turns back to Kaleb, his brows drawn together. "You made mistakes, an' we're gonna fix those mistakes. Yer only human, Kaleb. An' regardless of any mistakes that you made in this whole rat's nest of things, the point still stands that /they/ are the ones to blame, not you. All of yer mistakes were errors in defense, only made any kind of necessary by evil goddamn people."

Kaleb murmured rubbing his ear, "I AM Kaleb Miller…" He had to mumble agreement there. It was… it was stupid. He knew about Warren. He knew about a lot of things and in hindsight he knew it was a terrible call in judgement. His jaw clenched and he said, "I THOUGHT-" he flinched and tried again at sub-normal speaking tone, "I thought… she didn't need to hear that. People… talk a lot. I know you know this. They don't talk about me. Not… like that. I thought …Lorna just would like to go to someplace nice and not have to listen to how shitty people can be. She was nervous already, and she just… deserved…" His eye squint shut and his jaw tightened and he held his breath reserving his anger. His fist unclenched and he relented to Jay, "better."

Jay doesn't go as far as rolling his eyes at Kaleb when he affirms that he is who he is, but there is an arched eyebrow at the young man in the bed. With an empathetic wince as Kaleb adjusts his voice, Jay's wings shiver, then press tight against his back when he realizes that they're making noise as well, trying to control his emotional tattle tales. The young man gets it. How could he not? It's not like his mutation can be passed off as hair dye, or fixed with a charm from a magic sibling. It's his life, 25/8. Eyes drift toward the carpet, expression set somewhere between thoughtful and troubled. Voice lifts to a whisper, "Lots of people don't get what they deserve, Kale. Good an' bad. Doesn't make it right. All we can do it keep tryin'. What you tried t'do was a good thing. Ah'm sorry that it turned so bad…" He knows that Kaleb doesn't /do/ touching, but Jay reaches over and touches his friend's knee lightly.

There was something said for good company when one was feeling terrible. He was still sick, his ability was erratic and at the same time completely errant. He was not as they say, having a good time of it. Not in any classical sense.He tried not to flinch but there were a thousand edges on every feather that seemed to scrape together all at once. He didn't want to imagine accidentally breaking all the windows on 5th Ave. again in this condition. He didn't flinch from the touch and just sat still trying to stay calm, trying not to raise his blood pressure any more than it was to make the world sound like thunder.

He looked to Jay and his eyes were furious and wet. Hell he was seriously upset on this. The words were quiet and terse, "I just wanted to make the world less shitty, Jay. When I do it keeps getting worse. All she wanted to do was make things better and they can't even fucking let her have that. why can't we just have one. nice. fucking. thing? Chris'sakes, Jay she was even nice to me and I'm a goddamned asshole. It's never going to stop for our people no matter how hard we try, no matter how neatly we pass. It's not. Going. To stop…" His jaw set he was so angry he was just shaking, and tears came down his cheeks; eyes frozen open in anger watching his friend. He had more to say, but then again he always did on that subject. "I don't even know if she's okay. What if she's not okay?"

Jay recognizes that frustration. Listening as Kaleb finds some of the words that he's been searching for, scraping at the hard slate in the infertile, very shallow field where Kaleb tries to keep his emotional ability to deal with Shit, Jay watches his friend flail and bleed and beat himself up over everything that happened. Over the way the world works. Jay knows that feeling, intimately, and it's crushing to watch someone that he cares about pound against the same wall he's left plenty of his own blood and skin on. Worst of it is that he often feels the same dreadful hopelessness he sees welling up and spilling over in his friend's eyes. He wants to say a hundred little things, but it's not the right time. Fingers tighten slightly on Kaleb's knee, Jay's gaze steadfast and present for Kaleb.

"Things get worse before they get better, Kaleb. They gotta. The trick is not breakin' before then. If she's not okay, they are going to be very, very sort," Jay's voice turns more serious, foreboding, even. "They made a mistake. It would've been somethin' else if they would've picked someone without a powerful family, but they really picked the wrong girl."

Kaleb sat still and unable to do anything which he had a positive allergy to. The field which he grew his feelings in was stone, salt, and sulfur. He didn't do feelings which seemed to leave him rather ill equipped when something bust through his personal wall like the Kool-Aid Man(tm). At least Jay could take comfort that while his friend was positively numb to the suffering of the general populace there were things he cared deeply about. Not being chemically violated in his DNA was one, and that they have gone as far as to strip their people of someone he cared about specifically as far to the point of declaring Lorna 'not dreadful' was really more than his brain was ready to process on a Monday.

Quietly he looked to Jay, promising, his face still wet, and still angry, "Her family needs to know. I don't even care if she never talks to me again after this so long as she's home safe to hate me from there. Shouldn't matter that she's from pedigree, Jay. Being… one of us is enough. This," Kaleb unfolded his arm where the bruises from the IV were still where Jay yanked the needles and tubes out of his arm, "is not a thing that should be happening to people trying to have dinner. This is not okay."

There was never a moment where Jay didn't think that Kaleb had things that he felt very passionately about. Come on, he's said so before. That was never a question that he had to approach with Kaleb 'Fuck You' Miller. And crossing a man with few lines he gave a shit about resulted in, well…not great things. Mostly for the man. Jay's a good comfort object, though.

Jay gives Kaleb a quiet look of 'you know that isn't true' when he says that it shouldn't matter that she's from pedigree. If Jay knows anything, it's that he knows it matters. "We've got more in common with non-powered humans than differences, and one of them is a social structure. Ah'll never lie to you, and please don't blow any smoke up my ass. It matters who her family is." He shrugs mildly. "In this case, it works in our favor. That's a good thing. Besides, you ain't really in any state to go stormin' any castles raght now." The red head frowns, gently, his attention flickering over Kaleb's damp face. "It's not okay. None of it. An' we're gonna make it raght."

Kaleb let his glassy eyes fall shut and, sure, Jay wasn't wrong. Not really. All hives had a hierarchy. His head fell forwad and his fingers ran through the long hair hanging in his face. "Well it didn't fucking matter to me, Jay. Doesn't. It… it doesn't." Tense, Kaleb. It's not over. He quietly chided himself which was good. Anger was his fuel; quiet seeting anger at a hostile world that was barely adaquate on a good day. This was not a good day. There was a solace he took in his friend's words. There's 3 things a sane person feared. He didn't quite remember what they were but he know it ended in him not being pissed alone and that was right good enough.

The sonic's head shookand he finally admitted, "I don't feel so hot. Everything's … off. Whatever's in me feels like it's shoving my head under water. I tried. I couldn't even push my attendant to leave a door unlocked. I never wanted to be normal, Jay. I wanted us to be the norm it's… it's different. I can feel everything but I can't get a grab on any of it. I don't want… to hurt anyone again without meaning to." His brow forrowed and his head rolled to Jay and gave him 'that look' and simply stated, "2 out of 5 stars. The accommodations and food were fantaastic. Negative three stars for altering my DNA and selling off my goddamned girlfriend." He sighed and closed his eyes, "Three more days…"

Jay doesn't know if he honestly believes that claim, but he's not going to dispute anything about Kaleb's feelings while he's this raw. Instead, the young man simply inhales a steeling breath very slowly and holds it for a second, compressing his wings tight against his back to keep from trembling. There's enough going on right now to dive into that arugment, and it's irrelevant right now.

Instead, Jay squeezes a hand on Kaleb's knee briefly. "You've been through a lot. Ah told you, Ah want to get Josh to look at you," even though it makes him grit his teeth together. "He can tell what's been done to you—Ah…Ah don't know if he can reverse it, but he can read your body and what's wrong with it." Anxiety pangs in the pit of his stomach while Kaleb explains what's wrong with him, a metalic flavor in his mouth, because it sounds a lot like they're trying to…'fix' him. "Three more days, what?"

Kaleb hung his head and was almost looking for a fight to pick. He knew how to do that, but really he was in no condition to and it wasn't even 24 hours with things in his system being cleared yet. He was still shaking. Every sound felt invasive. He took a deep breath and sighed tiredly slouching back town. His eyes looked back up to Jay which went from glassy to bloodshot. His throat felt dry and his tongue again like gum in sand, but still he nodded that sure, he'd meet with Josh. "Three more days until they move Lorna to the address I traded Pendergast for. Pendergast's 'man' doesn't have her. They facilitated and painted me into a corner. SO we cut a deal." He was so utterly not happy about his hand being pushed, but apparently he did what he had to do which was not exactly saying what 'it' was.. Dunno where she's being held. We do know where she's going though. That'll be our opportunity." Kaleb took a deep breath and closed his eyes tapping at Jay's nee with the back of his hand. "Jay…don't stop being you please. Need ya, pal." Everything was so incredibly loud. Too loud, too exhausting, too everything. He passed back out with his hand dropping onto Jay's shin. Too much everything for the human stereo.

Kaleb falls back asleep after filling Jay in on details he didn't previously have. Three days. Three days to tell her family, to make a plan, to …/fix/ Kaleb. Three days hardly seemed like enough time. Then again, once they told her family, what are the chances that their little ragtag group would be needed? Still mulling over those thoughts when Jay looks back up to Kaleb to the tap on the back of his knee. The corners of the young man's mouth twitch upward swiftly, falling the next second when he realizes that Kaleb finally found sleep again. Lowering his eyes to the limp hand on his shin, quiet and contemplative, the thoughtful musician gathers Kaleb's hand up and rests it back over his friend's torso peacefully. He doesn't dare say a word or, hell, even think loudly on the offchance his friend might somehow hear it, Jay treads back to the livingroom where his bed sits, to stay up and watch the sun rise and people start moving before he gives up his 'watch'.

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