Who: Kyrie and Levi What: Reunion and realizations When: August 9th, 2019; late morning to early evening [backdated] Where: Outside the Facility, Levi’s apartment, Kyrie and Fitz’s house Rating: Mild Status: Complete
Levi was accustomed to being moved around - he was an army brat or so he was told - but he had liked the last several years in Seattle. He had settled quite well and was enjoying photography. But with this radiation exposure induced ability had not been the easiest to control. And now he was brought here for treatment. He had no idea at the moment that he had created a hurricane and it hit this island.
Newly processed into the mutant database, cataloged, and wearing an ID badge that denoted his name and abilities, Levi stepped out in the sun once more with his army rucksack over one shoulder. Dressed in t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers, he watched where he stepped as he made sure to walk on concrete or asphalt. The medical personnel in the Facility had inspected and performed maintenance on his prosthetic leg. It was good there were people here that could so such.
Blinking slowly, he carefully looked around to survey the area. This was a habit he couldn’t seem to break when in new surroundings. Levi blamed it on his military training and what the doctors in Tacoma told him of his service in Afghanistan.
The song was sang softly, where nearly anyone else would only be able to hear it if they came close to her. ”Quand il me prend dans ses bras, Il me parle tout bas, Je vois la vie en rose..”. It was a song she shared with another whose bond never truly left her heart though his death had come many years ago. Often she found herself humming to it. Only Fitz knew what the tune meant and why it stuck with her after all of those years.
She tried not to go anywhere near the facility due to the event that had happened only days ago - the images still haunted her. What if that happened to a resident? What would happen to the man who had been detained? Kyrie had so many questions she would never ask and knew she would never get answers to.
Dressed casually for the day, Kyrie made her way toward a tall, well built man. At first she didn’t seem to notice him as she approached, preoccupied in her thoughts. Her song ended, the little bit she had uttered danced away on the breeze, and then her eyes did lift to behold the man coming toward her.
Levi had hummed, whistled, and even sang the same song when he worked on photoshoots. He didn’t know why he was singing it other than it was comforting and familiar. He caught the end of the young woman’s singing and bowed his head a little to listen and look down at her.
“Il me l'a dit, l'a jure pour la vie. Et des que je l'apercois.” Levi softly sang back, amused by someone here who sang in French. His accent and inflection was of a native Parisian, not contrived or imitating. “Hello,” Levi spoke in English. He had this strange feeling he knew the dark-haired woman, but he couldn’t recall anything. But the song seemed to conjure a blurry memory in a dim-lit room adorned with sashes and crowns.
That tune nearly stopped Kyrie dead in her tracks. Her eyes widened, skin on her face paled nearly as if she was looking at a ghost. It couldn’t be - the voice uttered, that smooth French accent masked by English words was too familiar to shake away and forget. It couldn’t be Ezra, but in her heart she knew that it was.
Jaw falling somewhat agape she stared up at the tall man in utter shock. Those eyes, she knew them. The line of his face, the hue of his hair.
She had to be dreaming, experiencing a nightmare. Anyone looking at her might find her appearing more odd than usual - frame tense and tight, feet unwilling to move from the place where she’d frozen.
He stilled, silent as the woman stopped still and looked up at him with wide eyes. Did he say something to offend her? He had no idea other than that dim memory that felt both familiar and foreign.
His grip tightened on his rucksack as he steeled his stance though there was a faint tremble to his posture. The puffy cumulus clouds in the sky were expanding, casting brief periods of shade as they slowly moved directly above them.
Her lips moved in silence though no word tumbled from her mouth - Ezra. There was no mistake. Even though many years separated them she knew him. It had to be him, and now he was here. Somehow he was here and she didn’t know what to do.
What frightened her was the fact that he didn’t recognize her. No semblance of recollection even touched his face, as if they’d never met before in their lives.
Kyrie didn’t realize that her eyes had filled with moisture and that it was streaming down her cheeks. Lips would turn into a frown, a pout, which trembled. Her hands found each other and twisted together over and over - desperately she wished Fitz was there. He always knew what to do.
His mind was slowly being filled with memories of waking up groggy and in pain after the I.E.D., a dark-haired young girl’s voice on the phone, the scent of perfume and hairspray, a needle going into his left bicep. Were these memories all real? How could they be?
Levi paled a little, unsure of what he was feeling as he loosened his left hand from holding the rucksack strap to fetch a cotton handkerchief from his back pocket. It had been a photographers habit to keep one for his camera lense or to tidy up his subject’s face. He stepped closer and offer the handkerchief to the young woman as he felt a headache beginning to bloom. The clouds above them were becoming grey.
As the handkerchief was extended she nearly missed it being nearly struck dumb. Finally able to rouse herself out of the stupor Kyrie shook her head as if to break through the fog and then reached out to accept the little bit of cloth. She would lift it to her face, catching the scent of it.
“Ezra,” finally fell from her lips. She inhaled air sharply, sniffled, and then let the handkerchief lower. Fingers would fold it over and over against her palm.
”Don’t you remember me?” would be uttered in a choked bit of their native language.
He had heard that name in his dreams, his nightmares but didn’t understand if that was him or someone else who he cared for deeply. There was that recalled pain that even the heavy sedatives given to him by the army doctors couldn’t blot out.
Levi blinked at her question in French. He understood it, but didn’t. ”I…” He began, looking into Kyrie’s eyes. He saw a little girl and also a woman. The woman was coaxing the little girl in front of a mirror. There was makeup, dresses, headshots, and boustious music.
Blinking and beginning to frown through the building migraine, Levi shook his head. “I need to go,” he spoke in English as he shook his head slowly. His mind was a cacophony. Something felt right talking to the young woman, but also so wrong in the amount of confusion he was feeling.
The handkerchief was still clutched tightly in her fingers as she waited for a response - anything to confirm that she was solidly still in reality and not floating through the ether of a nightmare. It felt as if ages passed when he finally seemed to begin to offer something.
Her heart shattered though, at his response. Broken, Kyrie stepped backward once, twice. It was she who pivoted on the balls of her feet and tore off down the sidewalk in the direction that she’d come.
Whatever she’d been headed toward was now a forgotten memory. She left the past, her past, in a small cloud of dust as the journey ahead was muted and distorted with tears.
A hand came up as Kyrie ran off. Levi covered his mouth as he watched her leave. Tears stung at his eyes as a soft mist fell from the clouds above him. Blinking he couldn’t easily run after the young woman. He could barely think through the confusion and migraine. Levi turned shakily and moved as quickly as he could in the direction of his assigned housing.
Once getting inside his apartment, he dropped his rucksack and hurried to the bathroom. Levi knelt down on his left knee, shoved the lid and seat up, and vomited into the toilet. He grabbed some toilet paper and wiped his mouth.
The migraine would pass in a few hours, but the jumble of memories and the look on the young dark-haired woman’s face would stay with him.
A few hours would pass.
Being home alone gave her too much time to think. She could keep herself cooped up in the house she shared with Fitz for days, weeks. Few things could draw her out at times - Jake being one of those, and her duty to want to work and help the community.
But she did finally stray from the apartment. Walking slowly down the sidewalk with her head down, attention distracted, Kyrie kicked a few rocks along the way with the toe of her shoe gently.
What did this mean? This new development. Her brother was alive? After all of this time? It didn’t make any sense.
Levi had gotten up from the bathroom floor and moved to his kitchen to find a bottle of water in the fridge. Then he sat down in an armchair and drank the water. He fell asleep. The mental images that had bloomed in his mind while he had stood in front of the dark-haired woman danced across his dreams and nightmares. They felt like memories. But they were not among those the doctors had told him after he woke up and settled in Tacoma. But something felt true about them. The song, her eyes.
He soon woke up and felt a pang of hunger and also determination to find out what was going on. Who was Ezra?
Levi went to his rucksack and grabbed a thick notebook he had written in during the first few months of his rehabilitation. With that in hand, he left his apartment and went out to search for the young woman again. He soon saw her walking down the sidewalk. It was weird how he found her so fast. Was this island that small?
Everything she thought she had known about the island was suddenly turned upside down. Once again she felt small, like the girl she had been all of her life and not like the woman she’d grown into. Somehow her brother had survived - they’d mourned him, prayed for him - all for naught.
Slowly Kyrie wandered.
Lifting her head she noticed the man again, approaching her. It caused her to stop abruptly in her tracks and begin backing away slowly, step by step. What did he want? He was coming up quickly as if he weren’t simply going to just pass her by.
Levi’s mind was loud with what he knew, what the government had told him, and flashes of images that could be memories. He was confused, angry, curious, worried. And he needed answers. Perhaps this woman had those answers. He had a scar on his arm that he had no idea about.
“No, I’m...not going to hurt you,” Levi spoke and raised his empty hand. It was a gesture that seemed to be a habit from his photo shoot sessions and somehow something he had done in Afghanistan when encountering children or vulnerable populations. But he didn’t remember the latter.
He slowed his pace and gently lowered his hand before holding out his notebook with the other. “I need...I want to talk to you.”
Those words were tempting. Did she believe him? Slowly Kyrie came to a halt, muscles tense and the expression on her face one of mistrust. She was still attempting to process what she was seeing, to figure out how it was even still possible that he was alive and standing there with only a bit of distance between them.
The urge to run to him, to throw her arms around him had to be combatted inwardly. And when the notebook was extended toward her in offering Kyrie looked down at it. She studied the cover for a moment before reaching out with shaking hands to accept the bound pages, eyes lifting to find his.
Pulling the notebook back toward herself, Kyrie touched over the cover and looked down at it once more. What was inside?
Levi smiled softly as Kyrie stopped, listened, and took the notebook. He felt her shaking for that brief moment. His hand fell back to be as harmless as possible. He needed to know what to think. It was such a mess.
“About what I’ve dreamed or thought is real. I wrote a lot after I was stabilized and not loopy from the meds and painkillers. There are thoughts, recollections of dreams, nightmares in there. Please. Earlier, I had a memory of sashes and crowns when I saw you.” Levi spoke. Also in the notebook was an outline of what he was told about his ‘life’. What stuck out from when he was released to begin his life after the war was - he had no family members calling him or picking him up from the train station. No loved ones.
Kyrie stepped forward slowly, closing the distance between them. In one hand she held the notebook, the other would be lifted once she paused, lithe fingers plucking up the ID card this man wearing her brothers skin wore. She looked at it, studying the name. Levi Murdock. That wasn’t her brother’s name, but she knew the face.
Lifting her head, Kyrie looked up at him again, brow furrowed. She was so confused.
Shadows and crowns. Biting at her lower lip she lowered her gaze, shaking again. The notebook would be lifted, opened, and she looked at the script inked across pages.
Gentle and harmless, Levi relaxed as Kyrie drew closer and picked up his ID card to examine it. She seemed to know him especially with how she acted earlier. But he had no idea - just those flashes of what could be memory and dreams.
Blinking slowly, he looked down at her. The confusion was mutual but no identical.
In the notebook, there were recountings of dreams of a dark-haired little girl in a pageant dress who held onto him after many a trying day with their mother, the voice of that same little girl on the phone asking questions, Levi himself performing in a play with the worry his mother would find out, being short on money, a brunette-haired young man who he cared about and felt so close to but was not his brother. He was much more than. There was an account of Paris and being upset about leaving and one of being in Colorado and a bit amazed and bewildered by the culture change. Levi didn’t understand many of these things. But those with the little girl seemed brighter the more he looked into Kyrie’s eyes.
Her eyes scanned the pages, those accounts that only someone like Ezra could know or understand. She had even young when he was presumed deceased but they’d had a bond, a strong connection. These accounts proved her suspicions.
Closing the book gently, Kyrie looked up at Levi again. “These are only things my brother would remember. You couldn’t possibly know any of this if you weren’t him.” Her words were soft, nearly admitted in the breath of a sparrow. “We were told he was dead. Killed in action.”
Chewing at her bottom lip she ignored the moisture welling up in her eyes again. They couldn’t safely continue this conversation here but she couldn’t think of any place that was safe to go. Maybe her house but what it Fitz walked in?
His hands came together, rubbing together slowly in a way Ezra had done when nervous or unsure. Some mannerisms had risen to the surface almost immediately. Did she recognize anything he wrote?
“Why,” he spoke and stopped for a moment as a pang of upset welled up in his chest. “Why would they lie to me? The doctors, officers lie?” Levi shook his head and unclasped his hands to clasp one over his right shoulder. He shifted his weight from his prosthetic leg to his left leg. His blue eyes shined with the tiniest hints of moisture.
“There aren’t safe places here to talk,” she cautioned him. “Would you feel comfortable coming with me to where I live? It’ll be more comfortable and as private as we can get here.” She didn’t know if he would take her up on the offer but maybe with the promise of putting a few pieces in place she could coax him there.
Shaking her head at his question, Kyrie looked a bit helpless to answer. “I don’t know. But you aren’t the only one they lied to.”
Taking in a deep breath, Levi listened to Kyrie and nodded. He hadn’t noticed, but the clouds had gathered above them again and looked threatening. She had answers. He thought and he felt he could trust her. “Yes, please.” Levi whispered.
“I want to know who I was...am,” he breathed. His brow furrowed with anger. He hated lies.
She didn’t know what she could give but she would offer what she could. Nodding, Kyrie offered the notebook back and then turned on her heel, motioning for Levi to follow. In a trance, it seemed, she lead the familiar stranger back to the apartment she shared with Fitz.
Once inside she closed the door after Levi was in. “Make yourself at home,” she murmured. “Could I get you something? Tea? Water?” She doubted he had time to adjust yet to the lack of anything useful or tasty.
Gently, Levi took back the notebook and at Kyrie’s motioning he followed her. He kept an eye on her as they walked but also took note of their surroundings. The clouds above them were still grey and heavy, but not as angry. Making a mental map in his head, Levi was determined to learn his way around.
He stopped and stood once inside, never seeming to be one to barge around and be nosy. “Thank you. Tea,” Levi nodded as he walked over to the sofa and sat down. His stomach was empty but for the water he drank after his migraine-induced visit to the toilet. He sat the notebook beside him and leaned forward a little.
A nod would come. Thankful for something easy to do with her hands Kyrie made her way into the kitchen to put the kettle on. The preparation was easy - she filled the kettle with water from the tap and heated the stove.
Letting it sit to warm, she made her way back to the living room and sat down across from Levi on the edge of the coffee table. Her eyes would lift and find his.
“They told us you’d died in action,” she began, trying to collect her thoughts. “Papa was devastated. Heartbroken. Mama couldn’t care less that you were gone.” It hurt even now trying to talk about it.
“We had a funeral for you at the church. Fitz and I mourned separately.” They had been all of these years.
Once Kyrie sat down across from him, Levi clasped his hands together and rested them on his left knee. He listened as he looked over at her. What he knew of after the explosion was very little but filled with pain and a confused blur. Immediately before the explosion there was nothing.
“This is a lot.” Levi spoke softly and frowned. “They told me I had no family. What was I like? Why was our mother so...callous?” Then he looked down at his hands before looking back at Kyrie. “Who is Fitz?”
Her mouth formed a tight line similar to the way their mother used to, though this expression was void of Genevive’s disdain and disapproval. She didn’t realize she was crying again, either, until she felt the moisture falling onto the skin of her arm and wrist.
Fingers would lift to wipe at her streaming eyes. A sniffle.
“You didn’t want to be her puppet,” Kyrie confessed, frowning. “You fought her wishes.” When asked about Fitz she felt her heart break again. “An old friend,” she explained, leaving out the part of their history that was more sensitive. That was up to Fitz to tell Levi when the time was right. “He came with me here and has watched over me ever since.”
He felt the way Kyrie formed her mouth was familiar. Then he frowned at her crying.
“I’m sorry,” Levi apologized for making his sister cry again. “She was wrong to make you be her princess.” Those words came out of his mouth so easily. It felt so strange. He stilled as she explained who Fitz was. Was he the guy he saw in dreams, heard in those same dreams? Levi breathed quietly. “That’s good...that he’s watched over you.” He nodded as emotion began to well up in his throat. He wanted to remember everything, wanted it all to feel right.
“I’ve always felt something wasn’t quite right. Something, someone...people were missing.” He added and then whispered, “Mon Dieu.”
In spite of her better judgement Kyrie leaned forward, reached out and took one of Levi’s hands. She twisted it into both of hers, unable to help herself. He was real, warm, but real, alive.
Then she was smiling at him, almost laughing. “I’ve missed you. So much.” A breath, a heavy exhale of emotion, and she struggled to reign her emotions in. “I’ll tell you what I can.” Maybe that would help him remember. Would he be Ezra again or just Levi with new purpose?
Physical contact. That was another thing he lacked in the life he had built in Seattle. Things never seemed to be right where he could just be comfortable that way. Some people were cool when they found out his right leg was gone from the knee down. But other times, Levi was the one that felt uncomfortable with it.
He curled his fingers around Kyrie’s hand, remembering a smaller hand in his once.
Levi looked over at her and breathed. “I’m sorry I couldn’t remember when I woke up.” He apologized, knowing it wasn’t his fault. But with how his heart was beginning to ache, how could one forget their sister, parents. “Thank you...Kyrie,” he spoke, a smile deepening the dimples in his face as he recalled her name.
Her eyebrows lifted as he said her name. She hadn’t given it, nor their parents names, and she was glad he had recalled it without much effort or strain. ”You’re welcome, my brother” the uttered in French.
“You don’t have to apologize,” she assured him, shaking her head, “You didn’t do anything wrong. You couldn’t remember.” Whatever name he chose to go by now was up to him. She wouldn’t make him be anyone he didn’t want to be.
A flicker of memory from a church and then singing Kyrie to sleep had sparked his memory of her name. It was easier those memories. Strange how they seemed to be recollected.
“But I wanted to remember who I was...am. I want to remember everything,” he spoke as his eyebrows templed. He felt so much was missing. There was an emptiness that hadn’t been completed. He wanted to know.
“I’m here to give you what I can remember,” she explained. “I was so little when you died.” Young. So young. But that wouldn’t stop her from divulging what she could. Fitz could fill in the rest when he was home. This was going to be a shock. She knew he was close to Ben now.
“I’ll answer any questions you have.”
With his free hand, Levi reached over and gently stroked Kyrie’s cheek. “I sang to you when you were sad and to help you sleep,” he smiled. It was easy to remember those things - songs, rhymes. There was more he wanted to know. That small scar on his left bicep. What was it? The doctors had said it was a scar from the explosion, but that didn’t seem right.
“Tell me anything. Was I a good person?” He feared the answer, especially when it came to being a soldier. He did was he was told since he woke up. And he was told he was a good soldier. But what if he did horrible things for them and didn’t remember?
“That song you sang earlier,” she confirmed, nodding. “That was ours.” The French had haunted her until then. Now she was glad to share it again.
Kyrie smiled. A genuine gesture. “Yes. You were the best person. You loved sports, the theatre. Your devotion to the country we moved to was strong.”
That was her brother. Whatever he had done she would look past.
“Le vie en rose,” Levi nodded. “I remember one about the sea as well.” It was good to have confirmation of what he had been experiencing was real.
“...I remember being so upset over leaving France. Mmm,” he began and stopped. His memory was fuzzy with tiny areas coming into focus. “Papa? Mama?” Levi asked, his French accent deepening a little with emotion. He’d been gone too long it felt even as it also seemed like a blink of an eye.
”Oui, she confirmed to all of it. Their song. Her parents, the move. “I remember some, but not all. I was very young when you died. Or, well, when we heard you’d died.”
“That was the song you sang to me when I was little.”
Nodding, Levi sighed. “There’s so much I don’t remember. I know I wouldn’t have ignored you.” He had noticed that he was trembling a little. There were the bad times that were embers in his mind. Also those parts about the brunette-haired man. Was that Fitz?
“I’ll do what I can,” she expressed. Her fingers squeezed his. She sighed softly, wishing she could replace all of the blanks in his memory.
“If you want to go by Levi there fine with me,” she sighed, looking up at him, “but your name was Ezra.”
“Thank you,” he whispered and squeezed her fingers in return. He still wasn’t complete physically. That was another section of emotional baggage.
“Ezra…” he repeated, listening to himself say it. “...I remember you saying…my name when you were little.” Ezra sniffed and looked away.
She smiled. She couldn’t say Ezra when she was little - ”Eza” was what she’d called him. “Eza,” she breathed. She couldn’t help the sense of pride she felt. Her hand lifted to his face, fingers dancing across the line of his jaw with concern.
“Are you Alright?”
Ezra could hear Kyrie’s little voice trying to say his name. He remembered how small she was with the little ebony curls about her face. He reached up and wiped away a tear that began to slide down his cheek. A painful memory blazed across his mind. Then he felt his sister’s fingers touch his jaw.
Slowly he looked back over at her as she spoke. “Yeah, just remembering how Mama treated you when you were so little. ’Ma petite poupée. Tu vas être si jolie’...’My little doll. You are going to be so pretty.’” Ezra frowned and then pulled Kyrie into an embrace. “I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you.”
Her arms wound around him. Her eyes squeezed shut, tears falling from her eyes. She clung to him, fingers curled into the fabric of his shirt. “Don’t blame yourself.” She was doing her best not to squeeze too tight because of her ability.
“You’re here now,” she murmured in French. He was there now and they could make up for lost time.
Ezra curled his other arm around her shoulders, holding her close. He turned his head to brush his nose against her hair. Not wanting to let go, he breathed through a silent sob. He would have fought, hopped on his leg to get home to her if he had only remembered when he woke up.
“Oui. I love you, Kyrie,” Ezra whispered as he closed his eyes.
Clinging to him she held back another wave of tears. That pressure upon her hair was like heaven. Ezra warmed her. She was so glad to feel him in her arms.
Finally she pulled back and she smiled. “I love you too, Ezra.” Realizing her faux pas she corrected herself, cheeks red. “Levi.”
The little girl he had left behind was a strong young woman. Ezra was proud, but upset that he couldn’t remember the last time he had talked to her before the explosion and also that he hadn’t been here for her since then up until now.
As she pulled back, Ezra smiled at her. Then he bit a little of his lower lip. “You can call me whatever you like. I am not sure what suits me best. But I think I’ve missed being your brother.” It was still a mess of confusion for him.
“When you decide you let me know and I will call you that,” she assured him. If he wanted to go by his old name she would call him that. If not she would use the new name.
“I’ve missed you too.” She clung to him again and then let go. “You always have a home here with me.” She would need to talk to Fitz first because of the conflict there. She would never put the other man out but as far as the Government was concerned she lived on her own.
“Okay,” Ezra breathed. It was all so mindblowing the revelations that had been brought to light today.
He securely wrapped his arms around her again and let go as she did. “Is it safe for me to be here?” It was a fear if the government here knew him by the story and name they gave him. Would he be putting Kyrie in danger by living in this house with her?
“It’s safe,” she assured him. Fitz made sure she stayed safe and secure. She’d feel safer with Ezra staying there with her. “The cameras and recorders don’t work here.”
She leaned into his touch again. Whatever she could do to make sure he was comfortable here she would. He was blood. Her best friend. Her brother.
Nodding, he replied, “That is good.”
Ezra wanted Kyrie to know that he was here now. Whatever happened next they’d face it together. He wasn’t sure about this island or the government that brought him here. “I need to get my bag from my apartment on Liberty Street.”
A nod would come.
“You’re always welcome here.” She couldn’t turn him away. That was her brother no matter what he’d been through. She was so glad to have him there and any time apart was wasted.
“I don’t want to intrude on any of your life,” Ezra spoke. She had mourned him and years had past. But he wouldn’t leave again. He promised himself. “But I am glad to be here.”
“You aren’t,” she assured him. Kyrie shook her head, “You’re as much a part of my life as you should’ve always been.” She hoped he wouldn’t go far. There was so much to catch up on.
“I will go get my bag and be back,” Ezra nodded. “We can talk more when I get back.” He planned to keep the apartment just in case. Leaning in, he pressed a kiss to Kyrie’s forehead.
Kyrie made herself smile. She nodded and let Ezra’s hands go, reluctantly. There wasn’t any doubt in his words. Even though they’d been apart for so long she already trusted him more than she probably should. But she missed him, and he was back.
“Okay,” she breathed. “I’ll be here waiting.”
He gave Kyrie’s hand a gentle squeeze. With the tiny clearing of memories in his mind, Ezra planned to focus on who he was before and those he missed. But he would not cast his short existence as Levi aside. Living in Seattle and photography were good things.
“Okay.” He nodded and stood. Then Ezra took his notebook and exited the house. Taking more mental notes of landmarks, street signs, and sidewalks, he found his way back to his apartment and gathered up his rucksack and anything that may have fallen out.
Then he made his way back to Kyrie’s house. There was so much to catch up on and people to remember.
As soon as Ezra had gone Kyrie was up preparing for him to stay. She would sleep on the couch, she preferred it that way - Fitz room would remain his and Ezra would take her room for the time being. According to the Government the extra bedroom was unoccupied but soon Ezra would know that things were more than what they seemed.
The kettle had began to shout and she got it, pouring them both a mug of tea.
When Ezra knocked she let him in and offered to take his things. “You can stay as long as you want,” she began, though there wasn’t obligation. She motioned to the room she had first claimed. “You can put your things in there.”
He smiled softly as Kyrie let him, but declined the idea of her taking his bag. “Okay,” Ezra spoke and walked over to the offered room. It felt surreal and also natural to come back to Kyrie’s house. They were family and they were together again. Everything should be heading towards good things. He stepped into the room, thinking this may be hers. But he would not refuse this hospitality. He sat his bag down at the foot of the bed and slipped back out - returning to her.
“Thank you, Kyrie.”
She was desperate to keep her hands from shaking as Ezra wandered off to set his things down. What would Fitz say? What would he do? Would he be as upset as she was? So many questions sat heavy behind her lips that would never be asked.
The click of the door was heard and his footfalls, sounds she would need to get familiar with. A mug of tea would be offered to her brother and Kyrie took one for herself, leaning against the lip of the counter in the kitchen. A sip would be taken from the lip of the mug as she waited to see if he would ask any questions or simply just bask in the silence.
Nodding, Ezra took the mug and wrapped his free hand around it, loving the warmth. There had been so many changes in the last 48 hours. Not just in distance but in mind. He’d break down a bit more soon. But relishing in the now with good memories felt right.
He moved to stand across from her, steadying himself. “I can take the couch. You don’t have to give me your room.”
She shook her head at him. “No, I want you to take it.” It didn’t feel right to ask him when the last time was he had a good bed to sleep in. While this wasn’t the fanciest place at least it was comfortable. She rarely slept in the bed - most of the time she was on the couch or curled up with Fitz in his bed (or when Ben was there the three of them tended to pile up) and she knew that once Fitz entered into the mix both of them would need somewhere to retreat that was private.
It was doubtful that whatever had gone on those years ago between her brothers would have the same spark - a door between them if things got heated or complicated seemed best. For now, that would serve as Ezra’s sanctuary if he needed time to be alone.
Kyrie also knew he could just vanish whenever he wanted to - she didn’t want that but it was the truth.
Another sip was taken and she set her mug aside, eyes falling to the floor at their feet. She studied the ground unsure as to what to say or do. She wanted to throw her arms around him, to tell him everything that had happened in the time he’d been away but her mouth couldn’t find the way to start. Where was the end? The beginning?
Ezra had slept, better in the loft like bed he had in his apartment in Seattle. The beds in the hospital and the rehab facility were horrible, but kept him from rolling off onto the floor. He had times where he couldn’t sleep at all - PTSD racking with his mind and body. He had been alone when he woke up with only medical personnel hovering around him like he was a puzzle or experiment.
He sipped his tea, feeling like a boat drifting towards the shore only to be bounced out to sea with the tide only to repeat the process over and over. There was a pull in his chest for the brunette haired man. Ezra needed a waypoint, to remember who the man was.
“It feels like it has been a long day already,” Ezra spoke gently.
At his words Kyrie nodded. She felt as if she’d lived another life in that single day and there were hours ahead of them yet seized and waiting. Fitz would be home soon. “I’m glad you’re here,” she breathed.
Tilting her head, she looked up at Ezra. “Fitz will be here soon. I hope you don’t mind.”
Ezra’s mind was still swimming, trying to either settle in the sand at the shore of blissfully bob on the ocean. But he wasn’t as ease and was tired. “I am too.” He nodded.
Then he stilled at his sister’s words. “Fitz…” Ezra wanted to remember, wanted to confirm who he thought was Fitz in his slowly mending memories was the man in his dreams, in his fragments of memories.
Kyrie nodded. She hoped that Ezra would be glad that Fitz had been watching over her for the years since his death and their arrival to the island. He’d been like a brother to her, always would be. “He’s taken care of me,” she explained. She needed him more than she knew.
Nor did she want to give him too much all at once. But sooner or later that familiar sound of paws at the window would come and it was better to forewarn than surprise.
Ezra would be glad. But he needed to remember his best friend. The brief flashes and dreams were not enough. He felt that Fitz had to be the remaining part of that missing portion of himself. “That’s good,” he smiled at Kyrie.
He sipped his tea and sighed. Focusing on someone or something helped him not feel overwhelmed. There a nervousness building inside him at the idea of Fitz arriving soon.
“I don’t know how much about him you can remember,” she explained, guessing that somewhere along the way Ezra had forgotten his memories. That had to be why he didn’t recognize her at first, why he didn’t seem to recognize Fitz immediately.
When she looked at what recognition was there it seemed to her like a distant, dim light instead of an eager flame.
“He was your best friend for a long time.” There was something about a tattoo that she recalled, but she didn’t bring it up just then.
Ezra sniffed, angry and sad that he couldn’t remember everything yet. “I remember a man with brown hair, nice smile. We were always together. Sports, classes.” He frowned and sat his mug on the counter, going back into the room Kyrie offered him and returning with the notebook.
“I wrote down things I saw in dreams.” He spoke again as he leafed through his notebook. He went silent for a few moments and then stopped on a page, folding the turned pages back so he held the notebook in his left hand. “Here…‘ I was a soldier in a desert and my friend was in a different unit. But now our units are together and we see each other again in person. Not just phone calls, emails. I missed him so much.’” Ezra unconsciously reached up with his right hand to slip his index and middle finger under his sleeve. Gently he touched the faint scar where the small “F”, “E”, “Z” tattoo used to be.
Her expression softened. A hand would extend and touch at Ezra’s forearm, fingers curling around the limb to offer strength and support. That anger and sadness could be frustrating, she couldn’t begin to claim to know what he was going through and so she didn’t try to empathize.
When he turned to go she let him, watching with interest to see if he would return.
As the man came back with the notebook in tow she listened, nodding. “You both were very close.”
Ezra was thankful for Kyrie’s touch, her offer of support. The explosion had stolen his memories and the government had denied him any help of recollection. They gave him a story. He was happy during his life up until realizing today he wasn’t who he had lived as the last few years.
“I want to remember,” he spoke as he looked up from the page and continued to touch the scar.
As he touched at his arm her attention was drawn there. She couldn’t recall if either of them had ever told her about the thing which had been there before, but her fingers gently moved to ease his away so she could see what he was pawing at.
“You will,” she assured him. It would take time, probably be painful. But he would begin to remember slowly.
The tips of her fingers glided over the remainder of the letters, only guessing what might have been there beforehand. Initials. Names perhaps.
He let her ease his fingers away, moving his hand to gently rest upon hers. Ezra had no idea what had been there, but it seemed important. But he couldn’t remember why just yet.
The dark-haired man nodded, tired and hungry. It was easier to be sad than angry sometimes and other times the other way round.
Ezra bowed his head, watching Kyrie’s fingers glide over what remained there on his arm.
She traced each letter with her fingers - “Fitz” she murmured, “Ezra” - her eyes lifted up to look at him, searching for recognition. “He loved you.” Maybe that would shake something loose. Maybe it would start something awful. She didn’t want to hurt Ben or Fitz, but Ezra deserved to know the truth. They had started to love each other when Ezra had fallen.
Moving her hand down his arm, she took his hand and held it. “I still love you.”
He blinked at her murmuring and then looked into her eyes. A smile melted into a frown as she told him that Fitz loved him. Not remembering that love would leave a hole in him. Someone that special was blurry in his mind but for the flashes of memory and dreams. He could see him in his mind, but the emotions were not completely in focus. His best friend, someone who loved him.
His fingers curled around Kyrie’s hand as it took his hand. “And I love you, sister.” Ezra whispered and pulled her close.
“He still loves you,” she confirmed, “but I don’t know what he’s going to say now that you’re alive. He has a person…” Ben was important to her and Fitz both. “A boyfriend. I have...sort...of one too….” her cheeks flushed. She didn’t know what Jake was and wouldn’t presume because he’d never asked.
Closing the distance between them her arms wound around him and she held him close. Clung to him.
Sadness bubbled up in his chest as he listened to his sister. But there was also a pang of bittersweet happiness. His best friend had moved on, not soured by lost love not to pursue it again. He curled his arms around Kyrie and held her securely.
“Is your boyfriend good to you?” Ezra asked against Kyrie’s hair.
Her arms wound around her brother and she clung to him with desperation. “He is. You’d like him.” They didn’t have a title but she wanted Ezra to meet him. She trusted her brother, his judgement.
She didn’t know what to feel now that she was there with him after all of these years. But she knew it was good, whatever it was.
Ezra gently squeezed Kyrie, rubbing her back. “I would like to meet him.” He hoped he’d like who Kyrie was seeing. She needed happiness in her life.
The portions of his life as a brother protecting his sister were coming quite easily now. It was strange how easy, but Ezra was not going to complain.
Then his stomach growled, having recovered from the complications of his migraine and signaling the need for food.
Nodding, she breathed with relief. “You will, I’m sure of it.” Though Jake hadn’t met Ben or Fitz as far as she knew, and he’d never been over to the house. Really, she had never been to his place either. Maybe she would invite him for dinner.
Speaking of dinner…
Biting at her lip, Kyrie pulled herself away from Ezra. “You’re hungry,” she stated, nodding, “I’ll make you something.” Her cooking skills were subpar, but she’d gotten a bit better over the years. Fitz did a lot of the cooking and preparation.
“Ok,” He replied. Hopefully he would see Fitz soon. That emptiness, that missing piece must be him. Or so Ezra hoped.
Letting go of his sister, Ezra eased back. “Just a little bit of something. I think I will go to bed right after,” he nodded. The dark-haired Frenchman could cook, more so before Afghanistan. But he was decent at what he could cook. “Let me help?”
“Oui,” she breathed, nodding her head. She would let him help mostly because that was for the best. Otherwise she risked burning down the kitchen. Kyrie waited to see what Ezra wanted. Rations here were limited - things like bacon and milk weren’t common commodities - and so she hoped he wouldn’t mind basic foods.
“Do you have any eggs? Scrambled eggs sound nice,” Ezra asked. It would be a simple meal and he liked them. If all she had were energy bars or bread, he would be okay with that.
Nodding, Kyrie went to the fridge. A container was brought out which held the eggs, when the top was lifted four plump eggs were there for the taking. “Here,” she breathed, offering them toward her brother. She smiled at him, waiting to see what he would do.
He smiled as he watched her retrieve the eggs. “I won’t eat all of them. Two are good.” Ezra nodded and gently took two of them. “Let’s cook. Butter, pan, bowl, whisk, spatula.” The Frenchman was self-sufficient to say the least.
Nodding she closed the carton of eggs once Ezra had taken what he wanted and she returned it to the fridge. After that was finished and her hands were free she gathered whatever else he needed, handing the things over.
After that, she leaned against the counter to watch him work.
“Thank you,” Ezra smiled and went to work - turning on the burner, placing the pan on the burner, tipping a small lump of butter into the pan. Then he cracked the eggs into the bowl and whisked in smooth before pouring into the pan. It wasn’t long before he has some bite-size pieces of egg that were dry and not runny. Ezra found a plate and dealt the scrambled eggs on it. He smiled at Kyrie in between each step of his cooking and offered a bite to his sister.
His hands worked lithe, like magic, and she was impressed. Her father always had a passion for cooking that their mother loathed. Never would either of them set foot into the actual kitchen as long as they had the funds to pay the cook - but once in a while, after Ezra died, she would find her father in the kitchen on the middle of the night making crepes. It was the only time she spent with her father that she felt was real and unburdened.
Accepting the bites offered Kyrie nodded, offering a small sound of approval and delight at the morsel. Those were good. Fitz made breakfast a lot and Ezra was almost as good as her friend.
Ezra was good at the small amount of things he did cook. And he had taken up hobbies during his physical rehab to help pass the time and feel out any job aspirations.
He smiled, happy that his sister approved. Ezra leaned against a counter and ate. This routine, casual time with his sister made him happy.