Summary: I’m trying something different with this story so I’m leaving out the actual summary. It is based on the Classic Steve/Kayla.
Notes: In the thread on the SKork board, someone suggested a rewrite to this scene. For some reason this scenario immediately popped in my head. This really is an odd FF and I understand if people actually hate it. LOL; a big thanks to Kris who read it and honestly wants me to continue writing. As of right now, this is the going to be the only chapter.
Beta by: SLynn & Kris
Disclaimer: I do not own any of this stuff. But man, if I did….
As he stood watching the monitors of events happening in the world below, the man shook his head at what was about to transpire. Over the many years he had operated as an Observer, he had witnessed an infinite number of people who made their way to each other. People who were designated soul mates. Soul mates who were drawn to one another and overcame numerous odds to be together. Sometimes the path was harder for some and could keep some soul mates apart for years.
As an Observer, he was supposed to remain detached in this monitoring of couples down below. His job was to monitor the Futurecast and then compare to the log files to verify that events transpired according to plan. Anything that did not match up meant it needed to be flagged and given to the guardian agent department. So, it was not his place to interfere. This was especially true of interfering with the Futurecast itself. No matter how frustrating or cruel fate could be, interfering was strictly forbidden. This Observer had upheld the rules with a special passion proving him to be perfect at his job. He felt it was an honor to watch over these humans and any direct contact by him or someone else from his station was a direct insult to the system itself. Until now that is. A new couple, a couple the Observer had been monitoring had become especially interesting. At first, the Observer had felt his extra attention to this couple was merely out of sympathy for the hard life of the man, while the woman’s passion for life and eagerness to help others was refreshing. After nearly a year this couple had proven themselves to be more than just soul mates, and reading the events the Futurecast showed for them that evening nearly made the Observer tear up. His growing affection for this couple wouldn’t allow them to be treated so cruelly, even by fate herself.
Glancing around, the Observer stood up and walked towards the portal room. Set up for emergencies when the events transpired differently than the Futurecast projected, the room was designed to allow agents to head down in disguise to counter and protect their assigned humans. He knew he had no place here, this was not his department. He was also very wrong to interfere; eventually this couple would wind up together. Logic wasn’t welcome right now in the Observer’s heart, so he set up the portal to allow him to enter. This very act caused him to grin, allowing logic to take a backseat to gut feeling was something obviously influenced by one Steven Earl Johnson.
Walking through the terminals of the Salem airport, the Observer noted the time and watched as a recent flight had arrived and passengers were disembarking. Noting one in particular, the Observer fell in behind the young man’s pace. As the Observer watched his subject, he could clearly see the thrill that was in this human soul. Following him a few steps, the Observer saw the man only carried a small overnight bag, and that was when the Observer got an idea of what he could do.
Heading down to the baggage distribution area, the Observer had no problems changing “skins” to appear as if he was an airport employee. Walking around, the Observer found the cart that carried the entire luggage from the flight. Glancing over the suitcases, the Observer found the suitcase he was searching for, as his prey had made sure his belongings had been personally labeled. Removing it from the cart the Observer believed he had been undetected.
“What are you doing with that?” said someone, stopping the Observer.
Glancing at the man, a supervisor of some sort, the Observer smiled and replied, “I have to get this to… this needs…”
The man glared angrily at the Observer who realized he had not planned on being stopped. Lying was something he had never had to do before. In his daily monitoring the Observer had watched many humans lie, and well, he never thought it was really something that required much thought. It was a bad time to realize how wrong he was.
“What is your name?” the supervisor asked suspiciously.
Thinking quickly, the Observer decided he did have one advantage, the advantage of knowing this man’s soul mate. Taking a deep breath, he questioned, “What are you waiting for?”
Mistaking his question for the situation at hand, the supervisor answered, “Obviously waiting on you to give me a reason why you are taking this suitcase…”
“No, why are you waiting to ask her to marry you?”
This stopped the man’s questions. He stood before the Observer with his mouth open.
“How, how do you know…” he stammered.
The Observer explained, “She loves you and you know that. She thinks the reason you aren’t asking her is because you are ashamed of her.”
“I’m not ashamed of her,” the supervisor said defensively.
“Then prove it. Ask to be let off early and head to the strip club where she works, and ask her to marry you!”
“I can’t…I…” the supervisor felt a new wave of energy surge through him. This guy was right; he’s been wasting his time. He didn’t know why he was waiting to ask Coco to marry him, who cared if she was a stripper?
Sensing he was very close, the Observer stated as he began walking away, “I was taking this to suitcase to baggage claim personally. There was a report that this suitcase belonged to an important man, some senator’s son who was late getting on board the correct flight. I was asked to arrange to have the bag sent straight over to the man’s hotel.” The Observer handed a note to the Supervisor that showed the owner’s hotel information.
The supervisor blinked twice. He could have sworn that note was not on the suitcase before. It seemed to just magically appear before his eyes. Shaking his head, he laughed clearly experiencing a new found high now that he knew what to do with Coco. He left the Observer and ran to ask to go early.
In the baggage claim area the Observer witnessed the young man demanding to know what had happened to his luggage.
“I really am in a hurry, how much longer?” the human asked. While waiting, he continuously checked his watch hoping they would find his suitcase so he could finally leave. The whole point of him arriving to Salem had been to find her. Now, checking his watch, the man realized it was probably too late to make an unannounced visit. Looking at the airport employee, he asked where the closest hotel was.
The Observer smiled. He had hoped the man would give up eventually. With his mission complete, he knew it was time to return from where he came. However, he couldn’t help but peek at the consequences of his interference. He had no doubt he would be in serious trouble when he got back, but he wanted to see that his insubordinate actions were worth it.
Heading over to the loft, the Observer got there just in time for Kayla to answer the door. She was still upset with Steve so she wasn’t quite ready to deal with him.
“What are you doing here, Steve?” she asked wearily. The Observer could see she had time to have taken a shower before her soul mate had arrived. Steve, soaking wet from the rain, shyly asked, “May I come in?”
Kayla hesitated. The Observer held his breath. If she refused, Steve would undoubtedly retreat to his old ways. Luckily, Steve made another plea.
“Kayla, please, let me talk to you.”
She nodded her head and Steve walked in. The Observer knew he should just leave then. The moments he witnessed of theirs were usually from hours earlier. Watching them live felt intruding on their privacy yet he couldn’t leave. Not without knowing what he did tonight made a difference and they could be together.
Inside, Steve had a hard time starting. He would try to begin but the moment his eyes landed on Kayla he would get choked up. She had been hurt horribly that night, and the fact she had let Steve in at all was probably a miracle.
The Observer didn’t realize he was holding his breath until he finally heard Steve speak.
“Sweetness, I don’t hardly know where to begin.”
“Why don’t you start where you ended things?”
Steve’s expression showed surprise at that but he continued undaunted, “I was cruel before. I did that to hurt you. I said those things because….”
Kayla turned away from him. The Observer had never seen her look so tired. She asked, “You were afraid?”
“No! Well, yes, but not why you think!” Steve walked around to make sure Kayla was facing him. She tried to turn from him but he grabbed her hand and forced her to look toward him.
“Kayla, after listening to Jo talk about what Duke was like, I couldn’t… I didn’t want to risk you ending up…”
“Ending up how?”
Sighing, Steve said, “Before this year I knew that my father was a monster. I remember him hitting my mom over and over. I remember him threatening me too. I used to scream at him, Kayla, begging him to stop hitting her. That only made him hit her harder.”
Steve was in tears now. The memories were just too clear. The Observer noted Kayla looked like she wanted to take him into her arms but was holding back. Steve, pausing to catch his breath, kept going.
“I also remember him saying that Jo deserved it and when I grew up I would realize… that I would understand why. That I would be like him.”
“Steve, you aren’t anything like Duke…”
“I know that!” Steve then laughed. The reaction even surprised the Observer as well as Kayla. Steve put his hands to cradle Kayla’s face, saying, “I know that because of you! All my life I feel like I’ve lived a chosen path for me. Life always seemed to push me down that road. The road of Duke Johnson.”
Steve led Kayla over to the couch where they sat down. She tried to ask him questions but he was on a roll now and couldn’t stop.
“You remember telling me that you were the best thing that ever happened to me? Well, I knew that was true but… tonight I realized thanks to you I know for sure I’m not like Duke. I could never… Oh God. I could never hurt you, hurt Adrienne, Moma….”
He choked up on the affectionate name for Jo, the first time he had really said it out loud since being reunited with her. Kayla was in tears by now too. She had put her hand on his cheek and they touched foreheads. This still didn’t stop Steve though. The Observer had never felt so relieved.
“I love you, Kayla, I need to say that. I love you so much and if it weren’t for you, I’d still think I would be like… him. Like him.”
Steve stopped by now because Kayla kissed him. The kiss was to show her matching love but it quickly became passionate. Parting to catch their breath, Kayla pulled Steve up off the couch.
“Please, let’s go upstairs,” she said softly. Steve answered her with a kiss. They worked their way to the spiral staircase and the Observer nodded his head because he knew everything was going to be alright.
“This is going to have to be undone, you know.”
The Observer turned to the sound of the voice and recognized his Boss. Instead of experiencing any guilt or shame, the Observer only felt rage and frustration.
“What? Why? It’s better this way!”
“That’s not for you to decide,” the Boss said, leaning on the brick wall.
The Observer noted they were now in the foyer outside Kayla’s loft. The elevator dinged and out walked a soaking Steve Johnson again. He knocked, but this time it wasn’t Kayla at the door. It was the young man that the Observer had delayed at the airport.
The young man stared at Steve and looking confused said, “Hi.”
Steve looked Jack Deveraux up and down and replied, “Well, hi.”
“Nooooo! It doesn’t have to be this way!” the Observer pleaded.
Viewing the events unfold before them, he watched in agony as Steve listens to Jack say that Kayla is in the shower and misunderstands the situation.
“Yes, it does. This is how they wanted it.”
Scoffing, the Observer yelled, “This isn’t the way they wanted it! Did you not see them the other way? They want to be with each other! This is a stupid, pointless misunderstanding that will push Steve further away.”
“Steve needs to learn how to work through misunderstandings. He needs to learn to trust Kayla.”
“You’re saying this had to happen so he would learn trust?” the Observer asked. “I think she can teach trust just fine my way.”
Trying not to smile, the Boss answered, “But this isn’t your life is it? It’s theirs. They must find their own way without our interference.”
“They deserve to be happy.”
“They will eventually. What you did tonight was inexcusable. You know the rules”
The Observer could feel his heart sinking; he had acted so spontaneously he hadn’t thought that the Boss would set things back to the original events. He really thought he had a chance to sneak in and get back without being caught.
As if reading his thoughts, the Boss said, “It seems you’ve been spending too much time monitoring Steve Johnson.”
“I can’t deny it,” the Observer stated. “What’s to become of me now?”
“Nothing, I’m leaving you where you are.”
At the Observer’s curious glance, the Boss said, “I don’t want you to not care for your subjects, but the point of your job is to verify that their world is going as planned. That they only have to battle their own personal demons and not real supernatural elements.”
“That probably wouldn’t faze them,” the Observer said dryly, “it’s their own insecurities that they can’t see to get over.”
The Observer watched as the Boss began arranging for them to return. He decided to play his hand again, “Still, sir. Maybe we could find a way to allow it to be their own decision and still give them a helping hand.”
“That’s against the rules…”
“Yes, the rules. I don’t mean coming in and doing what I did. I’ve learned my lesson.”
“What do you suggest?” the Boss asked tentatively.
“How about if we found a way to communicate with them directly?”
For once, the Boss’s face changed as if contemplating what he heard, and the Observer kept going; excited.
“I have thought of this at length, sir. There are exceptions to the rules to communicate with the humans when they are near death or as you say, during supernatural events.”
“Why can’t we communicate with them when they are… unconscious. In a very deep sleep. We could talk to them directly then.”
The Boss shook his head, “We can’t tell them what to choose.”
“No, no, not that. We just… we just talk to them. Or more importantly, get them to talk. Perhaps we could provide past memories in full detail.”
By now they were back. The Boss had other duties to attend to and didn’t have much more time. What the Observer proposed was a gray area, but he couldn’t deny it was very appealing.
“Why don’t you work this out some more. Submit it to me in writing so we can make it formal. I like the idea that we could help to make them happier, but in the end it must be their free will. We can’t tell them outright what to do.”
Excited, the Observer nodded, “Yes, sir. I will.”
Watching the Boss leave, the Observer got right to work. Red tape and bureaucracy was as bad up here as it was down in the human’s world, but if he hurried he might be able to get it into the test stages by next year.
Looking at Steve and Kayla’s Futurecast, he felt the timing might be perfect if he could get to it by the time of Steve’s kidney operation. That man was going to need guidance and maybe, with a guardian angel to direct him, Steve would make the right decision after all.