1963-09-10 - Sitting In
Summary: A sit in at the Daily Bugle turns weird when Deadpool shows up.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
kitty laura maverick heather wade 

Saturday in New York continues to be a busy bustling day. On the plus side, fall means that it's not quite cold enough to have to be indoors, so those with the wherewithal are opting to enjoy the fall weather and all of its glories. Getting out of Westchester sometimes means taking an opportunity to go for a walk through the city.

Strolling through the city normally means easy access to places, which is what Kitty and company had opted for. Well, what Kitty had opted for. Her company isn't being the most cooperative.

"But we don't understand why we had to take the train," the five say in unison as they cling to each other's hands in a strange train of blondes wandering behind Kitty. The front one reaches out for Laura to make their girl train complete.

"Because getting off the grounds and seeing things is fun," the brunette with the ponytail leading the way explains offhandedly.

"The train smelled like feet," one counters.

Another states, "The seats were squishy."

"I stepped in something questionable," the third trails.

Kitty's eyes narrow. This is already a losing battle. The seven young women stop, however, as they round the corner towards the Daily Bugle to…

Well, in Kitty's case, to trip over a poor young man sitting on the ground in front of the Bugle. The man is hardly alone, however. The sit-in at the Bugle, objecting to the Bugle's call for legislature around people with metahuman abilities has led to what most would call peaceful protest.

The number of people sitting along the sidewalk at the Bugle has led their number to pour into the streets.

"Owof!!!" ever the eloquent Kitty Pryde.


Laura , as always, takes one of the sisters' hands without really thinking about it. And don't ask her how she knows it's offered. "I like being outside," she muses in a fashion that could almost be considered cheery.

She leads the girl train around the corner after Kitty like a small dark deisel engine hauling a bunch of identical shiny-sparkly passenger cars. And comes up short of following Kitty into tripping over people. Somehow, the whole chain manages to stop without running into each other. It is a mystery (unless you consider telepathic sisters).

Laura tilts her head at the sit-in, and, as usual, says what's on her mind— "You are in the way," she informs the man Kitty's tripped over, in the sort of tone one reserves for describing a very plain white wall.


For his part, David is completely oblivious to anything at all happening at the Bugle. He's just trying to outrun a bad idea.

Hands stuffed into the pockets of his suit, David paces down the sidewalk from the opposite direction, scowling pensively down at the pavement in front of his feet and smoking what's left of a cigarette as he goes. Allerdyce's business card feels like it weighs a ton in his pocket, which is absurd.

His steps falter a bit when he starts hitting some actual crowding as a result of the sit-in and he finally bothers to look up, brow furrowed.


Heather is walking briskly, not looking forward to running the gauntlet of protesters again. Being screamed at about mutant rights is exceptionally irritating, given her past job. Doubly so since she's been out interviewing mutant families as part of a human rights project she's researching for at the UN.

No one else likes doing it but Heather. She's had it out with her manager twice now. "How are we supposed to fight for their rights when no one else will even go into their homes?" Not crying is more of an effort than it used to be.

Chin up, Mac, her husband used to say. It's always up, Mac, she'd reply. Now there was only one Mac, one half of the old call and response. Just response.

Chin up. She steps out into the street without looking, crossing too quickly to avoid the protesters and her own thoughts.


"That is the object," the young man replies to Laura calmly. Almost-too-calmly. He looks up at her with a kind of distant awareness. "Come. We will, in unison sit and wait. If no one can easily get in or out, surely something will change."

Kitty awkwardly fumbles up from the man whose lap she's landed in, murmuring, "I'm so sorry — sorry — very sorry!" as she straightens and attempts to catch her balance. It takes all of ten seconds to regret not being part of the girl train. Her face scrunches as she looks up at the Bugle and then back at the protestors that are, quite literally, sitting in the street. "Uh…" She tugs on the bottom of her sweater and turns to look at her cohorts.

The blondes look unimpressed at this latest development. "We could beckon them to move — " they look towards Kitty hopefully.

"Nah, we can… walk around them," her eyebrows knit together. "Maybe." She peeks around the crowd, attempting to ascertain HOW MANY people are actually there. "Probably not."

"It will take but a moment Katherine," one of the blondes states. "Laura can hold your hand while we — "

"Do nothing. You will do nothing. Because these people can sit here and protest whatever they want — " Kitty states, all too aware that this is not going to end well. As usual, Kitty already has regrets about this outing.


Laura watches the exchange between Kitty and the girls quietly before she gives a light squeeze to the hand she's holding. To get their attention. "It is not important. It is not a productive use of their time but it is their time to waste being unproductive."

Her eyes slide to the young man. "No. My friends and I would like to pass by. You are welcome to sit if you think it will change something." Her tone clearly indicates she does not agree that it will, but she is a girl of action, not… sitting.


Oh. A sit-in. That explains the crowding on the sidewalk, David supposes. He's tall enough that he can see over most of the crowd, glancing over them out of curiosity more than anything else. Five blonde heads in a row do not go unnoticed, especially not with a brunette and a buzzcut also amongst them.

But then the redhead catches his eye and David stops dead in his tracks. He blinks twice and actually rises onto his toes to peer after her with less obstructing his view, not thinking before he raises a hand. "Heather? Is that -"

Wait. If that is her, David knows her through work. This might be bad.


Heather is trying very hard not to think about things like the past. The present is something separate. Something new. Something she has to navigate along. When someone calls her name, a familiar voice, the past and the present snap together like the teeth of a trap and she pauses in the middle of the street.

Surely she's hearing things. But, no. That's…

The moment is interrupted by the blare of a cab's horn that sends her skittering up onto the sidewalk and into the protesters, to her dismay. She agilely, heels and skirt and all, hops and skips over outstretched limbs, flicks her hips out of reach of a groping hand, and finds a tiny island of safety between a fire hydrant and a postbox.

"David? David North?" If it is him, he looks haggard, simply dreadful. Her own worries scatter to the wind and she seizes on the problem before her with relief.


So. This is it. Your first scene on Marvel 1693. 1963. You sure? Positive. Huh. Well, I saw Lockheed so I thought— Game of Thrones has not been invented yet. Sigh. Ode to Emilia Clarke.

Anyway! I'm going to stop that stream of consciousness so we don't have to make this scene you're invading get a BAD RATING. Even though, yeah, she's pretty hot. Where was I? Oh! Right. Deadpool.

The Merc In A Mask With A Mouth is on the roof across from the Daily Bugle. He's wandering back and forth in front of what appears to be a TOTALLY AWESOME SNIPER RIFLE FROM THIS DECADE OKAY. It's all perched up and ready to fire but the Crimson Comedian is having second thoughts. "Hark! Who goeth there?! Might I, Macpool, findeth thou answereth to thine query o' thello? Mighty thespians, do heed my call! I sayeth unto thee: TO KILL OR NOT TO KILL?!" Poolio looks at the skull in his hand and throws it over his shoulder. "Eh. Shoot for it." Let's go then. Deadpool plays Rock-Paper-Scissors with himself and somehow manages to lose. It's just his way. "DAMMIT!" Ha ha! "Welp. All's fair in the war on newspapers!"

Deadpool shrugs and drops back down behind the sniper rifle that's pointed down at the Age of Protestaclypse down below. He takes a deep breath and puts his mask right to the scope of Today's Weapon of Choice. Cinematic storytelling dictates that we zoom in on his finger as he pulls back on the trigger and…

Wait for it…


Wade appears down below, y'know where everybody else in the scene is, just in time to be in the middle of this Sit In. Except, he's standing. And looks like a red and black ninja. With lots of weapons. He blinks his masked eyes that nobody can see and he looks around at the people around him. Y'know, the people he was supposed to be shooting.

"Great Scott!"

Deadpool faints. Overdramatically. No, seriously, I'm talking full on hand on forehead swoon flavored fainting action.


"It will create much change," the young man replies to Laura in that still-calm-nearly-disconnected voice. "So. Much. Change." He lifts a hand and offers it to Laura. "Come. Sit with us. See the change happen."

Having managed to step away from the protest and edged back from whence she came with the sisters, Kitty catches her balance apart from the others, she merely shakes her head. "We should go — " she begins to point back towards the train only to see a ninja fainting in the middle of the sit in. "Spider-man!?" Being in a unique position not to run into people and ensure that the ninja does NOT fall on top of anyone, she phases and runs through those sitting.

She runs back through the crowd only to attempt to catch Deadpool as he faints, causing him to cause incorporeal with the touch. Yes, welcome to the world of intangibility. Don't get too used to it.

The blondes blink owlishly at Kitty's antics. "We could move this crowd." They look to Laura for approval. "Katherine's strategy lacks elegance."


"No," Laura decides, eyeing the hand offered in her direction, and she backs the girl-train up a step. "There is something else here. He is acting too much like X-23." Can't POSSIBLY be normal. Nope. She's not wild to let him touch her. Or anything else he clearly wants to do while talking like that.

Her eyes flick up, and she raises her voice. "Kitty! Something is wrong. Stay phased."


Any doubts David has about the good idea/bad idea status of Heather's presence are set aside when she has to, you know, dodge a car because he distracted her. Isn't that just typical. With a worried frown, he starts picking his way through the crowd towards her, and gets about halfway through an "Are you alright?" before… well. Before Deadpool happens.

The expression on David's slightly-too-gaunt, bearded face is very difficult to read as he peers towards where Deadpool has fallen. Well. Where Kitty has gone in for the catch.

This might as well happen. David's life is already so damned weird.


"Oh, dear," is all Heather says, quite mildly. Masked man passing out cold in the middle of things, phasing teenaged girl, five identical blondes, an odd little summer-camp-for-wayward-girls refugee…David…just another day at the office. Honestly, she's missed the chaos of the old team. All she needs is for someone to yell at her about what a terrible job she's doing and things will be almost back to normal for her. She catches up to David, who may be the most surprising thing out of all this mess.

"I'm fine, David. I do think we should make sure nothing untoward breaks out here," she says thoughtfully, as ripples pass through the protesters. "Well. More untoward. The last thing these young people need is to give the police an excuse to come through here. Let's see what we can do." She dodges a paranoia-eyed protester who's broken rank with Wade's arrival and is bolting for safer, Wade-free, territory. Then she heads purposefully toward where Kitty has her hands full.


Deadpool. Deadpool, wake up. There's a couple of things going on that you /really/ need to be paying attention to. "Huh?" First of all, there's a good chance that you're dead. Some cute chick touched you and turned you into a ghost. "What the shit?! AWESOME!" Except that you can't die soooooo… "Oh. Right. Yeah." Deadpool tries to move around as much as possible while in this perpetual state of Precursor to MC Hammer Reference Goes Here. "Anything else?" Yes. She also called you Spider-Man. "Spider-Man?!?!" Yes. "Oh hell no! I'm waking up right now-wait, who's Spider-Man again?" … Sigh.


"OH! That guy! I hate that guy!" Not yet, you don't. "Oh. Well, I'M GONNA' HATE THAT GUY!" Better. "So what's the third thing?" Yeah, uh, everybody can hear you. You never really fainted. "… Well. Shit."

Deadpool finally turns to look at Kitty and reaches out to poke his finger through her. "Uhhhhh. If you're takin' me to Hell? Kinda' already been there. A few times. And I've got no problem going back buuuuuut… we gotta' swing past a Piggly Wiggly or something. If I don't bring back milk…" Chocolate Milk. "If I don't bring back chocolate milk…"

All the while, Wade is passing his hand through people's heads and objects. Full on Ghost Wade style. "OOooOoOoOOOOoOooooooooOOOOOOOooOooOooOOOOooooooOOoo~"


The blond girls are easy enough to pull back from the sit-in. They blink owlishly at Laura. "We could disrupt the people sitting here."

"X-twen — Laura," one of the blondes looks up at her. "I can assess the situation." Again, the blondes seek permission. Probably because they haven't often operated without it.

The young man conversing with Laura stares openly at the scene unfolding at the middle of the sit-in, but it doesn't register as anything being off. In fact, his reaction teeters on unimpressed with the exception of a single word, "Woaah." He turns to the young woman siting next to him, "I could use a cheeseburger."

Kitty stares, outright stares at Deadpool. Her gaze rolls over all of the people they're not touching before she drags him to the opposite side of the sit-in — where the girl train are congregated. "Watch out — I think he hit his head! This …" that pyjama uniform isn't red and black. Something isn't right. "…guy," that seems accurate enough judging by the voice, "is talking nonsense — about chocolate milk and…"

Kitty's lips part wordlessly as her gaze turns to David. Her nose wrinkles, but she remains incorporeal with Deadpool in tow, having taken Laura's words to heart. Stay incorporeal!


Laura just nods slowly to the sisters at the offer to assess the situation. "Yes, that would be good. I would like to know what is going on." To be fair… her experience with recreational drugs— in fact, ANY drugs— all took place in Weapon X, where drugs were NEVER a good thing. Ever. In fact, one could go so far as to say never-ever.


"I… yes ma'am. Of course." With a very cloudy expression, David just falls right into step behind Heather, finally thinking to take the cigarette from his lips and crush it underfoot on his way.

As David walks, his eyes are fixed on Deadpool, his expression growing gradually more confused as the masked man talks. This is probably not an unusual reaction for Deadpool to bring out in people.

But then David's eyes flick towards the quintet of blondes, and his voice is oddly tight. "…are you doing this?" he asks them slowly, a hand drifting towards his forehead. "Is — is that — I know that voice."


Of all the things that are going on that would worry Heather, it's that note in David's voice that gets her. She makes a mental note not to let him out of her sight. Now, the man in the mask, that voice is a little familiar, yes. She knows so many people who wear masks, in them and out of them, that it's hard to keep track sometimes. Still, first things first. She stops a decent distance from Kitty and her…well…prize isn't the correct term. It's not wise to close on a young mutant too quickly, especially when anxiety is involved. Accidents happen.

"Can I help you?" Heather asks Kitty. "With the gentleman here? I might be able to tell if he's hurt or just intoxicated."


Deadpool may have forgotten all about everything else that was happening. Also, his gun. It was a pretty awesome sniper rifle. "Hey! If you're getting those tacos, bring me back a few!" is yelled at the wall that doesn't exist when he's around. "Extra co! Hold that ta!" Deadpool's insanity kicks into high gear as he's Ghost-Yanked off after Kitty.

"Psst. Hey. Ghost Babe. Listen, I'm kinda' diggin' this and all but if we're gonna' be staying incorporated like that one pose up there said to? Then you gotta' give me somethin' to do. My mercenarial talents are being wasted over here!" Deadpool pulls out a katana and swipes it through random people that don't get to feel it. "See?! No blood! No guts! No glory! This is not how I want to spend my Easter vacation. Wait, do they even have Easter in this time period?" I think so. I'll Google. "Thanks."

Then: Heather.

"… Me-ow. Nevermind. I'll take the two of you and call my lawyer in the morning." Maskbrow Waggle. "Oh and that guy too! Might as well make it a hexagonsome!" He points his incorporeal katana in David's direction. Hominahominahomina…


The blondes nod at Laura, and two of them focus their attention on the young man who is sitting along the street. They hone their attention, watching his mind, and eventually tilt their heads. "We can see he smoked something and now wants snacks and calm." They collectively shrug at Laura. While the duo could coax more info from the man, they have been told that they shouldn't do this at all. So, they don't go backwards far, which is why they assert, "We believe he is undergoing a biological attack of a reagent that was in his cigarette."

The other three, meanwhile, shrug at David. "We do nothing to damage you, Mister North." They seem to feign innocence in everything. "That voice is not in your head. Katherine stole someone from the centre of the crowd."

Kitty gapes at Deadpool as the pair remain intangible. "What." She blinks hard and tilts her head at him. "I.. NO. You may not shed any blood! Guts! And there will be no — whaaaaat." She stares at him openly as she finally studies his ever-present weapons. Of course, then Heather offers to help. Kitty lifts her hands, stepping back from Deadpool and letting him have his tangibility back. "Please," her eyebrows draw together as she peeks up at Heather. "I don't know… what's wrong with him," because it's something, clearly. And then for good measure towards Deadpool she states, "I have a boyfriend! And… " just in case Wade needs more ammunition, "…he's huge! So no funny ideas… BUCKO!"


Laura blinks at the sisters, then back at the stoned-out guy, then back to them. "Humans are crazy," she declares flatly. "Sorry. I thought it was something else." At least she doesn't embarrass so much. "Kitty, it is fine, I was mistaken. But perhaps do not touch them anyway. The smell is horrible. It will stick to your clothes."


It probably says something that having a masked man propositioning him whilst pointing a katana at him is not the weirdest thing that has happened to David this month. He glances uncertainly between Deadpool and the blondes, momentarily distracted from poor Heather's presence. "He's real?"

The 'BUCKO' seems to startle something loose in David's head and he holds up his hands, taking a small step backwards as his beard twitches upwards into a smile. "I'll, ah. I'll pass. I'm clearly imagining things."


Heather is still unphased, even by the proposition. She gets worse in the elevator at work, to be honest. "Please put the katana away, Mr…?" She lets the rest of that trail off. Wade can fill that in for himself. "Someone's going to get hurt who doesn't deserve it." Heather gives Wade an apologetic little smile. "Why waste a good swing on someone who hasn't earned it, right?" Heather has her priorities straight. By some standards. Probably not most people's. However, she can think of a few people she'd like to point Wade at today.


"Pool. Dead." Deadpool introduces himself as he can feel his tangibility going back into his body. He's about to offer a hand to shake but it turns into a 'One Second' finger as he jiggles and wiggles with the retanging? Whatever it's called when he's not being a ghost anymore. "Awwwww. Ride's over." Deadpool shrugs and reaches back to put his sword back where it belongs. "Ah well." He then pulls out the latest in the LONG LINE OF COMIC BOOK HISTORICALLY ACCURATE PISTOLS and checks to make sure its loaded. "You're right. I should probably save the blades for the stragglers. Nothin' beats a good execution, right? Oh. Except sex." Deadpool raises his weapon to point off in the direction of the sit-in squad but he doesn't pull the trigger because he's distracted. "Whoa. This is going to be awesome. Are you ready for this?" Wade raises his hands up to the sky above. "Sexecution." Deadpool scratches his head with the barrel of his gun. "Yeah, totally starting a band now." Finally, the words catch up to his covered ears. Masked eyes are on Heather now. "Listen, sweet mama. I'd love to not kill all these fools but I've got a huge bag of dollar dollar bills y'all up on that roof. That moolah is the down payment on a Bassmaster 4000. And all I gotta' do is put all these people to bed. So unless you're gonna' buy me a Bassmaster 4000 /and/ the matching swim trunks… I can't help you."

Deadpool reaches up and points at Kitty, Garbo Taco in hand and all. So weird. "And you. Why haven't you telegrammed your boy george yet. I like huge boyfriends. Yum." And then he tries to eat the taco. With the mask on. Idiot. "By the way, awesome use of the word Bucko. All caps for the win, am I right?"


Kitty nods at Laura and allows herself to become corporeal again. She cringes. "Gotcha," she taps her nose. Evidently this means something in Kitty-land. "They're high." She looks at David, Laura, and Heather as Deadpool talks about offing all of the people. "No!!" finally she settles on. "You will not hurt any of those people — " she points back to the crowd. "Not a single one." Her arms cross over her chest. It's silent challenge.

Her expression changes, however, as he calls attention to her boyfriend. "My boyfriend isn't — we wouldn't — who are you?!" she looks like she's sucked on a lemon. "Look," she scowls, "BUB, you will not hurt any of them." Her chin lifts, "I won't let you." A glance is cast towards Laura, David, Heather, and the Cuckoos, silently seeking back up. "We(?)," that seems awfully presumptive Kitty Pryde, "won't let you."

The Cuckoos look at the sit in. "Well they are in the way," the say in unison. That doesn't seem promising for back-up.


Laura pats the hand of the sister she's holding, indicating understanding. "True. But I have always helped friends." Because bringing XIV back together was not exactly the most intelligent choice she could have made, either. She did it because they asked and it was important to them. So…

Laura crosses the space between herself and Deadpool with a startling degree of speed, and jabs him pointedly in the chest. Or… the abdomen. She's only five feet or so tall. And what great speech does this tiny waif have for Wade Wilson?

"Go away."


Damn it. David stops mid-retreat, the corner of his mouth twitching as his eyes move from Kitty, to Laura, and — finally — to Heather. Yeah, no. There's no walking away from this one, is there.

He squints in thought for a moment before he simply points a hand towards the roof across the way, raising his eyebrows at Deadpool. "That roof?" he asks before, without waiting for confirmation, he turns and starts briskly striding across the street, heedless of traffic.


Well, the direct approach is…an approach. Heather eyes the distance between herself and Laura and hopes that her reflexes are fast enough to pull the girl out of the way if she has to. But the girl isn't on the "to be killed" list, so that's hopefully a deterrent. Compulsive tendancies or professional pride are often enough to keep a killer from going off-script, even one as out of touch as this one.

"She's right," Heather says, glancing at Laura before returning her attention to Wade. "You should go. You're not killing anyone here today." She's very certain of that, as firm as a kindergarten teacher laying down the law for a recalcitrant five-year-old. "If you plan to try, you can start with me, but I don't advise it. One way or another, your afternoon is cancelled, Mr. Deadpool. Please go."


Deadpool frowns beneath his mask as he's told in no uncertain but certain terms that he's not going to get to kill anyone today. Which just isn't going to be much fun either. In fact, it's going to be even worse than no fun. It's going to be pretty damn boring. And Deadpool doesn't like to be bored.

When he's poked in the abdochest, though, he cant help but to let out his Poolsbury Doughboy giggle.

"Siiiiiiiigh." Wade. You can't /say/ sigh. You have to pose it. "Fine. Go ahead." Deadpool siiiiiiiiiiiiiighs. "Happy?" Yes. "Can I go back to my awesome exit now?" Yes, yes. Of course. It's time for me to drive home from work anyway. "Thought as much."

Deadpool narrows his masked eyes at all those that are around that are not friends or enemies. "You haven't seen or heard or smelt the last of… CAPTAIN DEADPOOL!" Deadpool raises his hand to the sky and launches a webline of — wait, don't have webs. Deadpool raises his hand to the sky and launches a grappling hoo— wait, don't have one of those either. "WELL WHAT DO I HAVE?!"

Deadpool teleports.



A large grin draws Kitty's lips upwards as Laura stands beside her, acting as back-up. Her arms remain folded over her chest and then David is returning to the roof to help. That's right, no one in the crowd is dying today, folks! Heather is cast an equally measured nod. Right. People are good. Win one for Kitty.

But then Deadpool is disappearing, causing Kitty's eyebrows to draw together sharply. Her arms drop to her sides and she nods at the others. Obviously Deadpool was too intimidated. "Thanks," she says to the two women who are close to her. "That was good, Laura." Her head turns towards Heather, "And… thanks. He was… weird." Because he was.


Deadpool's disappearance has Laura scowling through Kitty's entire thank-you. These peole just keep running from her. How's she supposed to get a decent workout. "Thank you," she says, glancing sidelong at Kitty. Then her eyes shift to Heather. Laura isn't good at people. But body language, she understands. "There is no need to worry about me. I would have been fine," she notes matter-of-factly.


Although Deadpool is gone, David continues across the street. He's not going to let a silly thing like the immediate threat being over with stop him from clambering briskly up a fire escape to see if there really is a bag of cash to be had.

What do you know. And a nice rifle, too.

Glancing first to one side, then the other, David just invites himself right over to begin disassembling the rifle so it can be shoved into the bag. He'll just. Um. Take these. Before someone notices them. Nothing!


"I'll keep that in mind for next time," Heather tells Laura. She's not about to argue but she will take it with a pinch of salt. Just in case. "And, yes, that was definitely an odd one. I'll have to look into that, this sort of thing can't be happening. Are you girls going to be okay? Do you need a ride anywhere?" She hasn't forgotten about not letting David out of her sight, she really does need to catch up. On the other hand, she can call a car if she has to. Her manager can yell at her about it later.


Laura receives a very small cant of Kitty's head — silent consideration of something before she outwardly starts in on her teach the Weapons-to-be-people-routine. Knowing her current mission, Kitty gives Heather a grin and a small shake of her head, "Thank you, but we can take the train back to — "

"We hate the train," the girls reply in unison. "We require a vehicle to transport us. You must call."

Kitty's eyes widen and she gives the blondes a look, but doesn't correct them. Fighting seems fruitless.


Laura waits for Kitty's attention to return to her vicinity after the sisters' declaration, then adds quietly, "It would be… politic?" she's uncertain it's the right word. "…to allow them this. The train is very noisy. But I am more used to operating in unpleasant environments." She was a feild agent, the girls are… used to a controlled environment. She understands the difference, and the dislike for a train full of chaotic minds. To be honest, it's not her favorite way to the city, either.


The good news, Heather, is that once David has claimed Deadpool's abandoned swag as his very own? He actually comes back. With the heavy duffle bag slung over his shoulder, David weaves his way back across the street to rejoin the cluster of ladies outside the Bugle, his grip on the strap unconsciously tightening the closer he gets.

"That could have been worse," David mumbles lowly, offering the lot of them a strained smile. He eyes Kitty for a moment, hesitating as his gaze flicks askance at Heather, uncertain. Not like him at all. "…Katherine. Remind me, the next time I see you. I met someone this afternoon that I wanted to speak to you about."


"I'm going to call a car from the girls. Someone in the motorpool is sure to do me a favour." Heather casts about for a likely-looking cafe and spots one on the corner not far from the protest, doing a brisk business. "Why don't you girls go get some tea or soda and wait there, if you'd like. I'll have the car come get you. You'll know it's the right one by the odd-looking plates." There's a payphone not far from the Bugle, of course. Anonymous tips have to come from somewhere convenient.

Now, David has her attention. "As for you." Heather exhales sharply, worried. He's not himself but she's one to talk. She musters up a smile, anyway. "It's good to see you again, it's been too long, David."


Laura actually makes good points. "I suppose," Kitty's nose wrinkles, "that we could accept a ride. If there is one to be had. And, you're right in a way, they did make it all of this way without," she squints, and lets the blondes have this one, "too much," it was a lot, "complaining."

Her lips purse slightly at David's thought. "Oh. I'll try to remember to remind you. I hope you're getting along well with all those files I gave you." Because it was a lot and Kitty is thrilled to have them out of the mansion finally.

She tilts her head towards the cafe on the corner, "How about we go get some sodas?"

The blondes look at Laura for approval. "We have never had soda. Will it rot our minds? We do not want anything that — "

"It's sugar. You'll be fine," Kitty suggests.


Laura perks. She LOVES soda. "Oh, yes," she agrees quickly. She hasn't been this emotive since Piotr offerred her food and agreed to pizza. She's quick to pick up one of the sisters' hand again. "Soda is great. The caloric density…" Laura basically loves ingesting ANYTHING your deitician says NO to. She's gonna love being an American. "It's sweet and delicious and you can share a couple, it'll be fine…" she assures them happily as she guides them off in the direction Kitty's indicated.


Normally, 'as for you' would not make David tense up, certainly not coming from Heather. But it's been a very strange couple of weeks. Once she smiles, though, his expression relaxes and he offers her a weak one of his own. "It really has. I didn't realize you were in town, but I've been a bit, ah… out of touch." He clears his throat quietly. "Is Mac with you? It's been an age." Normal. He can… he can be normal.

He glances over at the girls as they start planning a trip to the cafe for sodas, looking mildly bewildered. Speaking of normal. David gives Kitty a somewhat distracted nod. "I'm about halfway through with them. Thank you."


"Oh." Heather sounds like someone's punched her in the chest. She stops hunting in her bag for her change purse and gathers herself up again. "Of course you don't know," she says a bit unsteadily. "No one does. He's not here. Mac died, David. Just. Almost a year now. Everything's…" She adjusts her phrasing to accomodate the company they're in. "The shop's closed. It's over. I just…I'm just a researcher now. I moved for — well. Reasons." She gives David a wan smile and a shrug.


The blonde in the front nods and squeezes Laura's hand, "Yes. Then we shall go," she says."

Yet even with that spoken, the blondes hesitate, and even drag along the sidewalk as Laura grasps the leader's hand. The one in the back almost acts as an anchor as she curiously stares at Heather. Rather inappropriately, she reaches out to grab at the woman's sleeve. "Be careful," she warns.

The words are enough to snap the other sisters' attention, and they spin around, feeling a very important message from their trailing sister, "He may seem normal, but he teeters. We know."

"It's more than that," the blonde who is still trying to pull on Heather's sleeve replies. "There are some rabbit holes Alice can never leave. Rabbit holes that pull her into another realm, reality, and altered state of being. Your mind can be corrupted."

"But we are not there to do so," the one holding Laura's hand returns.

"But someone will. There will always be more."

Kitty, however, just stares at the blondes and shakes her head. "We'll come back for them later — come on Laura. I need a drink…"


David's attention has snapped right back to Heather with his news, his eyes wide in genuine shock. "He's… Christ, I had no — Heather, I'm so sorry," he stammers, beginning to take a step forward.

And then the blondes are… themselves. David stops right where he is and blinks at them, his brow creasing and his grip on the bag once again tightening without his realizing it. Why is his mouth dry? Probably because he agrees with them.

"I'm fine," David mutters, giving his head a short, firm shake. He's fine. He's not defective, he's fine.


"Bullshit, David." Heather has never minced words. "You're less fine than I am. Walk me to the payphone, David. We'll get your friends home and then get you fed. I think we need to catch up." This is the part she's good at, she's done it for years. She clears her throat and gives David a pointed look until he offers her his arm, almost reflexively. Heather takes it and steers them toward the payphone. "Thank you, David. I'm not letting you out of my sight until I see you eat, at least." At least.

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