Your version of the telekinesis power could come from the localized ability to manipulate gravity.
The power has two parts:
- generating a "bubble" around the target
- the manipulation of the gravity exerted on the bubble in 3D
A negative vector compared with earth gravity would cause the bubble to elevate and if vector is exactly equal to nature gravity, then the bubble would float weightlessly. Apply a sideways vector and it starts to fly.
(NOTE: the bubbles are invisible and do not have a physical form. A person is able to move in and out of bubbles without having any physical side-effects other than possible queasiness that comes from weightlessness. In other words, forming a bubble around a rock to lift it off the ground does not tear up the hard-packed ground because its only gravity that is affected. If the rock is partly submerged, moving the bubble does not break the rock free.)
One of the limitations is that the caster must be outside a gravity bubble. Something about being inside a gravity bubble (theirs or someone else) causes enough distortion or static that they becoming disconnected from the ability to manipulate any gravity from outside.
In a battle between two telekinesists, you are able to break the connection simply by forming a larger bubble around the target. Encasing a bubble with another bubble will immediately revert the gravity back to its natural state, but you still have to deal with the existing velocity. In other words, in order to "catch" a boulder thrown at you, you need to encase it in a bubble and match the bubble's speed and position to the rock before you can start manipulating the bubble's gravity. Misaligned and your target will fall out of your bubble and revert to natural gravity.
Compare this with the ability to fly:
The person who can fly functionally has the same second ability but the behavior of the bubble ability is different. It is firmly, permanently and subconsciously attached to SELF and cannot be changed. Something about how the bubble is saturated within themselves allows them to still manipulate the bubble.
(NOTE: there may be other abilities that grant flight such as wind control)
So can a telekinesist catch and hold someone who can fly?
Actually because of the way bubbles work, the person who can fly only needs to escape the bubble. It would require a serious amount of skill and concentration beyond the abilities of most telekinesists – given that both opponents have the same strength of abilities, the flyer will win.
So since a flyer can also manipulate bubbles, does that mean that they can affect other already formed bubbles?
Perhaps. Each bubble has a distinctive signature and it may be possible to learn how to manipulate the gravity of other people's bubbles. The effects would be significantly weaker (maybe at 20% strength of their ability to manipulate their own bubbles). Again it depends on the strength of each individual.
In fact some telekinesists may be able to make dozens and even hundreds of bubbles, but the strength of manipulating them is far weaker. Paired with a strong mover or even a flyer with that ability, they could make quite a combo team.
Inspired by Brandon Sanderson, the Lasher ability in the Way of Kings