Vaughn Kaye is a staff member of the Church of Gibborim. He worked directly under Leslie Dean and, under her orders, aided Chase Stein and Molly Hernandez in rescuing Karolina Dean. Kaye remained in the Church of Gibborim after Leslie relinquished its leadership to Frank Dean, but found himself torn in his allegiances when Leslie and Frank came into conflict. Deciding to save Leslie, who had been sent to the Crater, Kaye alerted the Runaways and assisted them in their rescue mission, providing them valuable supplies even though he could not take part to the main confrontation.
- "Back at Vassar, my nickname was kind of Vaughn the Brawn. 'Cause I was muscular."
- ―Vaughn Kaye
Vaughn Kaye went to college at Vassar College, where he claims to have gained the nicknames of Vaughn the Brawn and the Brawnster because of his physical appearance. He had a troubled youth and experienced some difficulties to get his life on the right tracks, finding little support around him until he learned about the Church of Gibborim.
Kaye joined the Church of Gibborim and found comfort and support in the organization. Strongly loyal to Leslie Dean, he was promoted as one of her assistants in the Church and did his best to follow her rules. As such, when he saw Frank Dean trying to enter Leslie's meditation room, Kaye told him that he was not allowed to, even though he was Leslie's husband. Kaye then made sure that Frank left the Church of Gibborim Executive Office.
Later, Kaye encountered Karolina Dean in the corridors of the Church's office. When asked about Destiny Gonzalez, Kaye told Karolina that he had seen Gonzalez getting in a car, presumably to the airport for a travel to England. Kaye and Karolina then discussed about their Church of Gibborim Bracelets and admired a painting representing a Being of Light painted by Karolina's grandfather David Ellerh. As Karolina remained silent while watching the painting, Kaye felt awkward and left. Kaye later went to find Leslie to confirm what he believed about Gonzalez, but Leslie did not respond as she received a call from Tina Minoru, who just happened to inform her of the discovery of Gonzalez's body on the beach.
As Frank progressed in the Church's hierarchy, Kaye was appointed as his personal assistant. Kaye accompanied Frank in a storage room of the Church where Frank looked for some furniture he could use for his new position. They found the desk on which Ellerh had written the Book of Gibborim and Kaye was asked to take the desk for Frank's office. Then, Kaye noticed that Frank suddenly went silent, having found a picture depicting a young Leslie with Jonah in the desk's drawers.
Helping the Runaways
As Kaye planned to enjoy his traditional coffee in the Timely Coffee, he encountered the Runaways, who told him that they suspected Karolina Dean to be held prisoner in the Church of Gibborim Executive Office. The Runaways explained that the regular disappearances of parishioners every year were not happening without reason and that they feared something could happen to Karolina, especially since Jonah had taken control of the Church of Gibborim. However, Kaye refused to listen to the teenagers and left the café.
Nevertheless, Kaye still had doubts about what the Runaways had told him. He reported the encounter to Leslie Dean, who confirmed that it would be better if Karolina left the Church and instructed Kaye to assist the Runaways. Therefore, when Chase Stein and Molly Hernandez attempted to infiltrate into the Church's office, Kaye decided to take them to Karolina. They briefly encountered Frances and Aura, who asked whether there was a problem as Kaye rarely came to see the newcomers, but Kaye convinced them that everything was all right.
Kaye took Stein and Hernandez to Leslie's meditation room, stating that Karolina was probably in it but that he did not have the code. He then watched in complete awe as Hernandez smashed the door with her superhuman strength. Now fully panicking, Kaye considered his job done and left the Runaways to help Karolina. Kaye later returned to Leslie and informed him that Karolina had successfully escaped with her friends, prompting Leslie to thank him for his loyalty to her. Remembering what the Runaways had told him, Kaye asked Leslie whether it was true that Jonah led the Church, and Leslie reassured Kaye and told him that she was still in charge, much to Kaye's relief.
Torn between the Deans
Kaye was heavily worried by the rumors which began to spread about Karolina Dean, mentioning that she could be a criminal running away from justice. Therefore, he was considerably relieved when encountering her in the Church of Gibborim's building. Kaye was asked by Karolina to take her to Jonah's office without being seen by the rest of the parishioners as to avoid questions, since she wanted to reclaim something from it. On their way, Kaye informed Dean that Jonah had gone on a trip to Europe, unaware that his absence was actually due to his forced change of host during the Battle at the PRIDE Construction Site. Kaye remained outside of the office to watch out while Karolina searched through Jonah's belongings, although he offered to help her.
Kaye sensed that divisions were arising between Leslie and Frank Dean when he saw Leslie throwing away stuff in the dumpsters, who asked him not to tell anyone where she was, especially Frank. Unfortunately for Kaye, he did encounter Frank in the corridors of the Church's building and reluctantly told him where his wife was as he kept insisting. He later took Aura and Frances to Leslie's office, and overheard their loud argument about Leslie wanting to shut down the Church while the two devout adepts strongly opposed this decision. Kaye was then asked by Frank to bring Leslie to a room where her reconditioning was to be performed. Although he felt genuinely sorry for her, he was forced to let her in the hands of the other adepts and stepped away as she shouted to him for help.
Despite these worrying changes occurring in his life, Kaye carried on his normal activities at the Church. He was surprised when he met Xavin on the Church's compound, as she claimed to be looking for Karolina and asked him whether he had something Karolina had touched so she could find her. Kaye tried to call the guards on Xavin, but she mysteriously vanished as he was turning her back on her.
Eventually, Kaye felt so much guilty for his role in the decline of Leslie, who had been sent to the Crater, that he decided to take action to make amends for his mistakes. Thus, he contacted Karolina and warned her of the situation, claiming to be willing to assist her in a rescue mission to save Leslie from the Crater. Having secretly stolen a map of the Crater from Aura, Kaye joined Karolina, Nico Minoru and Molly Hernandez in their car, offering them snacks and giving them Church's clothes so they could blend in, although he insisted that Minoru had to remove her dark makeup. Kaye also claimed that he would help the girls should a physical confrontation erupt.
As Kaye and the Runaways arrived at the Crater, they decided that they should not all enter the facility, and Karolina asked Kaye to guide her to Frank's office. Kaye then waited outside with Minoru and Hernandez, ready to step in should Karolina be in danger. They then debated over their need to infiltrate the Crater as well to look for her or to wait a little longer, and Kaye grew more and more disoriented as Minoru and Hernandez kept mentioning Karolina sending a flare or Minoru using a magic staff. They then agreed to get closer to the entrance of the Crater, and eventually saw Karolina coming with Leslie and Susan Ellerh.
However, the three women were stopped by Frank, forcing Minoru and Hernandez to intervene. Overwhelmed by the reveal of the Staff of One Minoru wielded and Hernandez's yellow eyes, Kaye eventually fainted, missing the whole ensuing chain of events, including Karolina revealing her powers to a crowd of parishioners. Kaye only regained consciousness once everything was over, as he was told by Hernandez. He then left the Crater with Leslie and the Runaways.
- "Don't judge me! Caffeine is the only vice I have left."
- ―Vaughn Kaye to the Runaways
Kaye is a young man who felt immense gratitude towards the Church of Gibborim as the religious organization had helped him to put his life on tracks when he needed it. As such, he was fully devoted to the Church, being happy to work for Leslie Dean and her family and doing his best to follow the Church's teachings, claiming that his only "vice" was his taste for strong coffee.
However, it turned out that Kaye was eventually more loyal to the Dean family, which he called his own, than to the Church they led. As such, when the Runaways mentioned that Karolina Dean was in danger because of Jonah, an influential member of the Church, Kaye was worried and reported to Leslie. He then assisted the Runaways so that Karolina could escape as Leslie had instructed him to do so. He was also concerned about the fact that Jonah might take the Church's leadership from Leslie.
Kaye's loyalties were eventually extremely strained when Leslie and Frank Dean came into conflict over what should happen to the Church of Gibborim. Kaye reluctantly brought Leslie to a room for reconditioning because of his allegiance to the Church, which was led by Frank at that time, but he immensely regretted this decision. Kaye was eager to make amends for his actions and not only alerted the Runaways about Leslie being taken to the Crater, but he was also willing to assist them in any way he could to rescue her, although he ultimately fainted in the climax of the confrontation with the adepts due to being overwhelmed by the reveal of the Runaways' superpowers.
Kaye seemed to have a soft spot for Karolina. Before he was picked up by the Runaways to go and rescue Leslie, he rehearsed his way of saying hello to her, and then gave her candy he thought she was fond of. He also repeatedly insisted that he could protect her and her friends in case of a physical confrontation, bragging about his nicknames of "Vaughn the Brawn" and the "Brawnster".
- Church of Gibborim Bracelet: Like every member of the Church of Gibborim, Kaye had a bracelet signaling his membership to the religious organization.
- Church of Gibborim Executive Office: As a member of the Church of Gibborim, Kaye worked in the cult's main facility, claiming that he felt happiness every time he came to work. Kaye made sure that Leslie Dean's rules were respected, especially regarding the access to her private meditation room. Still, Kaye helped Chase Stein and Molly Hernandez to infiltrate the building when they came to rescue Karolina Dean.
- Church of Gibborim
In chronological order:
- Vaughn Kaye's name is an homage to Runaways creator, Brian K. Vaughan.