1963-12-03 - The Past Sucks
Summary: An anomaly catches some people's eyes
Related: Out of Time Plot
Theme Song: None
fitz liv hope jeanne-marie 

It's late in the day, and an unusual disturbance around the Daily Bugle has caught the attention of some, and the ire of others. Mostly, New Yorkers have taken to ignore whatever brews behind Jameson's operation: some agree whole-heartedly in JJ's ideals. Others have been rather adamant that he gets whatever comes to him from the mutant community. Also from Spider-Man.

That isn't someone worth messing with, likely.

The sun set awhile ago, and the streets are still, but something is amiss. Like a sixth sense, the paper calls to some. The cool breeze rips between a pair of buildings in midtown.

Leo Fitz picks up his paces as he moves. He shyly peeks around one of the buildings and emits a high-pitched whistle…. and receives a whistle back. "I swear Sleepy, if you are onto nonsense again, I will put you in for scrap metal without telling Jemma — "


There was no sixth sense that guided Liv Sigrunsdottir here. Just blind, stupid luck — and the fact that she was observant enough to catch a glimpse of Fitz during her walk home from work.

Curiosity had won out in short order and, with a heavy coat on over her suit and her braid spilling out from beneath a knit cap, Liv has been tailing him for the last block and a half. She doesn't mean to snoop or violate his privacy, but his bearing just seems… worrisome.

And she is prone to worry.


Hope is still not settled in this time yet. She could be at the Frost Institute, or she could have stayed in Westchester. Either of those would be safe and secure, certainly. But she's still not sure why she's stuck here, or when she's going to find a way out. So she wanders. She at least managed to get herself a pair of pants and a wool coat from a military surplus store, so she's more comfortable as she walks through the night, getting a feel for the city.

Some things are almost familiar. Distant memories of the distant future. Maybe if she walks enough of the streets, something will give her an idea. That whistle, though? She frowns to herself, turning a corner in search of the source.


Evening, fall, New York. Not that Jeanne-Marie— Better known as Aurora, or even just Rora, international trend-setting fashionista— cares one way or the other about fall in New York. Except it does let her luxuriate in a nice fur jacket. So there is that.

She makes her way along the sidewalk with the pace of someone that has absolutely nowhere to be but where they want to be, and nothing to otherwise worry about. She in fact, isn't even worried about the way her hair is drawn up over one pointed ear— how else are people supposed to see the absolutely gorgeous earrings she's decorated it with?

The one person that deigns to notice the shape of her earlobe and give her trouble staggers away shortly after, groping their way along a wall as if blinded while the crisp click of heels continues down the pavement.


Sleepy, for its part, roams along the ground, buzzing and whirring and echoing something, but it's also… not coming back. "Sleepy!" Fitz calls in a stage-whisper. "Come — " but then the bot begins to climb the side of the building.

"This isn't funny!" he calls back to the robot. "Jemma is going to kill us! We were only supposed to check on the anomaly and then head — Sleepy!" his lips purse and he rubs the back of his neck as he slips around the corner. "Come back here!" He calls again.

Leo is distracted enough that when the burst of blue light emits from the rooftop of the Bugle that he almost misses it. The ripple of energy, however, pushes all measure of life backwards.

Fitz is pushed back from his hiding spot around the building, getting forced hard against the one adjacent, and crumpling to the ground with a loud groan. "…take Sleepy, she said… it'll be fun… she said…"


Speaking of being forced out of hiding — there's an audible WHUD and a muffled "owf" around the bend from where Fitz has fallen, and shortly thereafter, a very worried-looking Liv hurries into view, taking a quick look around — ah! There he is.

"Fitz? Are you okay?" Liv calls, keeping her eyes aimed up towards the roof as she paces his way. "Sorry, sorry — you looked worried, so…" You know what? He can yell at her later. She points up, then gives him a curious look.


Hope looks up at the flash of light, starting to push herself against a wall just as the explosive force follows. It saves her a little bit of the impact, but not much. Biting back a yelp, she winces, then gives herself a once over before she starts toward the sound of those voices. For now she stays silent - there's no telling who was coming through with that light, and they might not be friendly.


It is pretty much an unprecedented expereince that something is able to push Aurora back without her being able to counter the motion. She doesn't lose her footing, she just… slides back along the sidewalk, her form blurring oddly in fits and starts as she attempts to move against the force of the energy and fails. She comes out the other end swearing vehemently and most unladylike, albeit in a French dialect. Well, so much for being in a generally good mood after her visit with actual friends. It was never going to last anyway.


"Bloody hell," Fitz swears softly to himself rather than Liv. "I'm… fine." And then, as if following up on some unanswered question, he notes, "And, for the record, still not a nazi," evidently he had feelings about Wanda's comments the other day. He tries to shuffle from his spot on the ground, but the force of the blast was enough to cause aches and pains.

"Sorry. Just… prickly," he mutters back towards her. His chin lifts, finally following Liv's line of sight and he frowns. "That. That would be the anomaly. Where did Sleepy go?!" He jumps to his feet only to double over. His ribs still hurt from the prison-construction-accident. "We need to get Sleepy, it'll just — " and there's the darned copter… moving closer to the anomaly. He frowns. "Well. Shit," it's not in his nature to swear.


"I never thought you were," Liv tells Fitz with an apologetic smile, immediately moving over to check on him when he doubles over. "Sorry about her. Someone never learned how to approach people for help," she says wryly.

She twists in place to peer up towards the roof and narrows her eyes, briefly biting her lip. "That's Sleepy." Not a question. She nods once and rises to her feet, bouncing lightly on her toes. "I'll go get him. You stay safe, get your breath back."

And then the Asgardian is leaping upwards towards the roof. You can use superhuman strength for a lot of things if you think to.


Hope rounds the corner just in time to see Liv leaping for the top of the building. She blinks, following her path back down to get a look at Fitz instead. "Um." She raises a hand, waving awkwardly. "Hi. So. Did you…see anyone come from there?" she points toward the roof and the source of the light.


Jeanne-Marie shakes her head, to clear it, and finds herself… not that far from the others. Convenient. She follows Hope's gesture, looking upward, spots Liv on her ascent, and scowls deeply. Oh, yes, this is just where she wanted to be this evening. In the thick of something. Still… it couldn't hurt to hang around a little and see if anything interesting happens. She doesn't have any plans tonight and hotels get so dreadfully *boring*.


Fitz watches Liv leap upwards, and manages a small frown. "Sleepy needs reprogramming," he mutters sullenly until Hope distracts him. "Uh." He's SHIELD. This is supposed to be top secret or something. "Uh," he tries again, but he's not a field agent. "Uhhhh," he extends the syllable further.

"Nothing?" he actually asks rather than answers Hope. "I mean, nothing is nothing. There was… huh. Just… Spider-Man?" he shrugs. It's the Bugle, that's plausible, right?

Of course, just after he blames Spider-Man, another burst of blue energy sends Fitz flying backwards out of nowhere, and collapsing into the building again. "Bollocks," he mutters.

Sleepy has edged closer and closer to the energy source, and manages to get close to the newest rip in the space-time continuum. The large metallic spaceship that is now parked on top of the Bugle disappears from sight moments after Liv reaches the summit of the building. Yeah, something is off.


Luckily for Liv, she manages to latch onto the edge of the roof just before the second burst of energy erupts outwards, and she hangs on for dear life. She does not want to take a trip across the street that way, thank you very much. So she is very relieved when she drags herself up onto the roof, none the worse for wear.

Just in time to see a spaceship. Which then immediately vanished.

Narrowing her eyes, Liv quickly digs a quarter out of her pocket and just… gives it a toss towards where she is virtually certain she just saw a spaceship parked.

The quarter sails through the air and then bounces off the seemingly empty air, bouncing off of nothing.

Warily, Liv leans back to peer over the edge of the roof. "…Fiiiiiiitz? Can you go call the Baxter Building? It's, uh. It's kind of urgent."


Hope gives Fitz a look as he stumbles through excuses. "Yeah, no, not unless-" She makes air-quotes with her fingers. "'Spider-Man' has a chronal regulator. In which case, I should talk to him, but that's not nothing, that's someone time-sliding." This time she's ready for the flash of light, grabbing hold of a dumpster just before the wave of force that follows it.

Her brows rise at the glimpse of metal up above. "Someone with a spaceship. That's new." Who the hell is this kid?


Jeanne-Marie does a slightly better job countering the force of the energy blowing outward this time, but she still ends up hitting her back against a wall. This time the french rolls for a fair bit longer, before the dark-haired woman throws her hands up, fur coat practically bristling as she does so.

"Mon ostie de saint-sacrament de c?lice de crisse!" she spits irritably. "That's it. C'est finis, I'm too tired for this shit. First I have to fly commercial, now there's time travelling space aliens— I didn't sign up for a fucking scifi show…"


Fitz lifts his chin to stare at Liv when she calls him. He lifts a single finger, but then Hope interrupts the thought that isn't formed. He stares openly at Hope a few beats, notes, "Time-sliding?" his jaw works around the words. "And how would you know about temporal anomalies?" And then looks back towards Liv, "Uh. So… you think we need the Fantastic Four, yeah?" he squints. "That's… not … good?" it's more a question than an agreement.

Sleepy, meanwhile, has decided that it should be able to enter the aircraft. The machine stops atop the surface of the vessel, and with a few pings, begins to rap against the surface of the vehicle.

…Is Sleepy knocking?


From up on the roof, Liv can't quite hear what Hope is saying to Fitz. Not over the far louder French swearing coming from somewhere close by. She casts a curious look in that direction, momentarily distracted.

"Ah, yes. Yes. We need Doctor Storm," Liv calls down towards Fitz. …wait. Taptaptap? She turns around to see Sleepy knocking on the spaceship and her expression blanches. Without thinking, she rushes away from the ledge and towards Sleepy, reaching out with both hands.

"Nnnnnnnononono, buddy, let's — this isn't our job, Sleepy. Back to Fitz! Come on!" So full of optimism.


"Sure. There's time-sliding, which is moving through time, and then there's body-sliding, which is moving through space. Body-sliding takes a little bit more, but time-sliding is- Well, it makes you puke." Because clearly, that is the pertinent information Fitz needed from Hope.

Hope lets go of the dumpster, taking a few steps back to get a better look. Aurora gets a curious glance over her shoulder at the string of curses - newer and more interesting than spaceships, apparently - before she's back to looking up. "You could say I'm a temporal anomaly. And I'm looking for my Dad, who is a temporal anomaly, while on the run from someone who is also a temporal anomaly, so I can get back to the right time in the future to do…whatever the hell it is I'm supposed to do. The guy after me definitely didn't have a spaceship last time, though." A beat. "We blew that up."


Jeanne-Marie does not escape the scene before Hope renders her explanation within earshot of the pointy-eared mutant. is her hearing better for the shape? Who can say. The point is the whole lot of exposition Hope delivers falls on her stabby little ears and can't go unremarked, and her eyes swivel towards Hope. "I must ask… have you ever listened to yourself, dear? Because I would have myself committed if I said a scant half of that in my most fevered dream." And she should know— she's been crazy.


Knock and the door will be opened. A white light emits from nowhere as the ship opens up. A moment's silence sees no movement, and, in fact it almost seems as though the light is all there is. Of course, at that moment, Sleepy sees fit to fly into the vessel.

"Like.. the Invisible Woman?" because there could be another Doctor Storm, right? Maybe. Fitz's face scrunches into a scowl as he looks towards Hope. "I feel like I met someone like you once," he frowns. "Maybe. Maybe not." The scowl deepens as Jeanne-Marie calls Hope crazy. "Uh…" he lifts a single finger. "A multiverse is entirely theoretically possible. I once read a paper on it. Actually think Doctor Richards wrote it. Fascinating, real — " but now is not the time to geek out.

"Right. Baxter Building. I'll… walk there," he looks over his shoulder. This night is getting increasingly weird.


You know what would be a horrible idea? Following the wayward dwarf as it boards the mysterious spaceship.

You know what Liv is doing? Sketching a cross over her chest with her fingers before she, yes, follows the wayward dwarf as it boards the mysterious starship.

Slowly, warily, Liv creeps along after Sleepy, her hands out at her sides as she whispers after the drone. "Sleepy! Get your aft back here!" she hisses. "I am relatively certain Fitz did not build you for first contact!"


"Oh no, not multiverse. I mean, I guess that's a theory. The guy who's been chasing me's more of the mind that if he kills me before I do whatever he thinks I'm going to do, then all the people he's already-" Hope is half-way through the explanation before Jeanne-Marie's comment sinks in.

"Yeah, I can see where you'd think that," she agrees evenly enough. "Except there's a spaceship on the roof over there that came through a rift in time, so…" She pauses, looking back to Fitz. "Big guy, white hair, metal arm, glowy eye?" she asks, hopeful. "Not really great with the social skills?"


Jeanne-Marie rolls her eyes as Fitz starts contradicting her opinion. For the love of… what's the american term? It's so short, so concise, so… "Nerd." Ah, right, that's it. It jumps from her lips in a sort of exasperated way, practically unbidden in how it's summoned from the depths of her soul to express how little she wants to hear about SCIENCE.

"Is it? Because I've seen some metal on top of a roof and a blue flash that wasn't terribly pleasant but could be anything because… surprise, I don't know what the fuck it is. It is certainly NOT a foregone conclusion that you aren't… what is the term. It's quaint… ah, yes. Quacking mad. You could be quacking mad." A pause. "No, that is not quite it…"


From the depth of the vessel, Liv can hear the following conversation.

"…you didn't open the door to let the 60s robot into the vessel… did you?" the woman's voice, clipped, angry, unhappy scolds markedly.

"But it was adorable," a man's voice objects. "Just imagine what I could do with that. I bet it's virtually a collector's item — " he clips back.

"This is not…" the woman sounds irritated. The edge in her voice is obvious.

Sleepy, meanwhile, lingers a few feet from Liv. It's entirely possible she can get the bot and run.

"I'm detecting… I think we're breaking something. I see a change in the timeline, we can't get back, we need to go…" a computerized voice replies.

Fitz has already begun to head to the Baxter Building. He's not chatting anymore, he's moving forward… into a jog.


Quickly, Liv reaches out to grab onto Sleepy by the chassis. If the drone had a mouth to clamp a hand over, she would, judging by the look she's giving it. (So quick to anthropomorphize the little guy. Once you give them a name…)

But then the conversation hits her ears, and Liv stops, blinking slowly and peering deeper inside. She's used to understanding languages, she doesn't really have any other setting, but… is that english?

Well, hell. Now Liv is curious. Never let it be said that Liv is intelligent, because rather than get while the getting is good, she creeps further inside with Sleepy tucked under one arm. Just a quick look. What could it possibly hurt.


"Are you just gonna…" Hope watches Fitz jog off, tilting her head. "Yep, you're just gonna walk to this other building. Okay. I'll, uh. I'll keep an eye on the-" A sidelong look toward Jeanne-Marie. "Spaceship."


Oh, this is rich. Well, far be it for Aurora to just leave it there. She raises a brow, and leans slightly in Hope's direction. "That's odd. because it isn't in space. And I don't think we saw it come from space. So if you aren't simply a child in desperate need of medication— any medication, I think— it would, at best, be a timeship, now wouldn't it." Why the fuck is she even arguing about this? Oh right, because being a pain in the ass for everyone around her is like her primary joy in life.


Liv's peek around the corner is met with a large bolt of bright white light that forcefully ejects her from the vessel in one foul swoop. As she flies through the air, she can hear the voice, "This is why you aren't allowed to pilot the controls!" the woman's voice is angry.

And as Liv and the bot are pushed out of the vehicle, the door shuts quickly with a buzz. Seconds later, air displaces around the vehicle and with a flash of that same blue energy (that will force all backwards once again), it disappears once again.



That is a highly indignified noise that Liv makes when she catches the bolt square in the face. She keeps both arms wrapped protectively around Sleepy as they're sent flying backwards out of the ship, her knit cap knocked clear off from the impact. Aw, man. She loved that hat.

The Asgardian impacts the wall of the building across the alleyway with a sharp "WHOOF!" and drops straight down, landing in an awkward heap where Fitz had been standing not long before.

Blue eyes blink rapidly and Liv lets out a little cough, arms still wrapped around the drone.


Hope squints at Jeanne-Marie for a long moment, then finally nods. "Time ship, granted," she concedes, then pauses, looking up in consideration. "Maybe the ship offers some kind of shielding from the nausea. That, or they've got no fabric interior in there."

Which is right about when the light flashes and the ship disappears, sending Liv flying. "That's…" She traces the Asgardian's arc, starting toward her landing point to get a look. "Are you okay?" Or alive?


Jeanne-Marie doesn't even take her hands out of her pockets as Liv sails out of the ship from the blast, whitling lowly in a descending scale until she lands, at which point Aurora winces. Okay, she's not wholly heartless. Maybe.

She doesn't move when Hope wanders off to check, but there is this soft breeze when the younger woman reaches Liv, and Aurora is… well, just standing in roughly the same relative spot she was before, hands still in her pockets.

Her eyes scan Liv briefly, and then she drawls in a bored tone, "I hope you weren't too hopeful for the finals, darling. Because that was perhaps a three at best."


Just after the time ship has disappeared, Fitz jogs back to the Bugle. He doubles over and holds his shins to catch his breath. "I think," he starts as he rasps, "the press seems to be," he waves a hand warily, "…outside the Baxter Building… can't get… close…" he huffs harder as he begins to see spots. He really should run more.

"..something about… something…" his eyes glaze over. "…cumquats." That seems likely.

Sleepy, meanwhile, has become an incredibly amiable robot under Liv's arm. It buzzes helpfully once.


"I'm all right," Liv croaks, blinking a few times more to clear her head. Woof. She takes a quick look down at Sleepy before, carefully, she starts shifting around to get back to her feet. Ow. This is fine.

Once she's upright, Liv gives Sleepy an affectionate pat on the… top… before she holds it out towards Fitz and gives a very light toss. Off to your papa, dummy. "I, uh. Found him," she calls towards Fitz. See? She helped!

Please ignore the fact that she just got shot out of a space/timeship and fell off a building, and looks it. Shhh. Liv is beauty and grace. She glances between Hope and Jeanne-Marie, rubbing at the back of her neck. Hm.

"Don't suppose either of you got the plates on that thing, did you?"


Hope blinks at Jeanne-Marie when she reappears right next to her, tilting her head as she reaches out her senses for just what it is the other woman can do. "Oh," she says, surprised. "Huh. So you can…"

As Liv heads toward Fitz, Hope soaks in a bit of that power, getting a feel for it. Liv and Fitz are over there? She'll just zip over. How hard can it be, right? She borrowed Tommy's speed once before.



Hope disappears from Aurora's side, but when she tries to come to a stop by Fitz and Liv, she zips right past them, banging into the side of the building a few feet away.

"Okay, so, that was a little stronger than anticipated," she groans.


Jeanne-Marie doesn't. Even. Blink. "You mightn't want to do that, dear child," she notes with a deep, deep current of understatement. This time Aurora walks the distance. "You're lucky you didn't run off the edge of the earth. Mon dieu." Does having her powers borrowed without permission bother her? Why on earth would she begrudge someone wanting to be her? She's sure Hope will learn, one way or another. Her eyes trail down to Liv.

"I don't think la SAAQ registers timeships. Or whatever." Well. This has been… an amusing diversion. Mostly. Starting to turn a little boring, though. Even if watching Hope smash herself into a building formed a new and unanticipated highlight.


"Gee, thanks, Liv, that's fan — " but Fitz is interrupted by Hope crashing into the wall. His eyes follow the current-speedster, and his mouth gapes wordlessly as his gaze trails back towards Liv. There are no words. And it shows.

He takes Sleepy and shakes his head before looking over the bot. "Well, I'm interested to see what kind of data this fellow picked up. Should be something worth having. Sorry about the Fantastic Four. Seriously, there's some kind of hubbub down at the Baxter Building. Lots of murmurings about rumours. Something gossipy… "

He issues a one shouldered shrug, "Went in one hear and," he snaps. "If it'd been about a paper? That I would've remembered."


"Timeships," Liv echoes, even as her braid gets whipped up into the air from the force of Hope zinging past her. She stares after her for a moment, then shares a long look with Fitz. No. No, there are no words at all.

Slowly, Liv wanders over to stand more properly with Fitz, loosely folding her arms over her chest. "It's okay about the Four. I thought it might be… you know. Something to sic ACT-F onto, but they were speaking english in there," she says in a low, puzzled-sounding voice. Does she care about gossip 'round the Baxter? Eh. Not really.

She cares a little more about whether or not Hope's knocked her own block off.


Hope raises a finger to Jeanne-Marie. Not even the fun one, just her index finger. Point granted to the speedster. She's just going to lean here against this wall for a minute while the little birds and stars stop spinning around her head. It takes a minute, but less time than expected.

Clearing her throat as if nobody saw that and none of it happened, she pushes off the wall to look back to the others. "Hey, so," she asks Fitz. "If you got the right readings, do you think you could recreate it? The portal, not the ship, don't really care about the ship."


"Least she didn't go off like a lighthouse," Aurora mumbles, mostly to herself. Okay. so… as far as she can tell, she's pretty much exhausted all the entertainment value of this corner of town. Might just tbe time to—

"Seriously?" she eyes Hope. "Do you often ask people on the street if they'd consider opening a great ripping hole in time for you? C'est chie."


"I need to get Sleepy back to the lab," to see whatever is on it. "Then Jemma and I can figure out what exactly that was and why it's here." Maybe. Or he can just get really excited about the science around the potentiality of a multiverse.

Hope's request, however, grants Leo pause. "Uh…" Fitz's expression turns thoughtful. "Maybe? I don't think anyone has managed to create a temporal anomaly on purpose? Not really," his nose scrunches. "But maybe with Jemma's help?" he waves his hand. And then he starts the nervous ranting: "I can engineer a lot of things… It'd require strange precision. And more than that… a lot of theory that we don't really have… so… maybe…"

A glance is given to Jeanne-Marie and he manages to stop his rambling and theorizing. He stares at Hope a few beats and then notes, "You… hit your head pretty hard there, huh?" He turns to Liv, "Maybe we should get her back to a hospital?" He turns back to Hope, "At least have Jemma poke at your ribs. Just know she's merciless and unsympathetic. If a piece of your creation falls on you, you'll endure the blame for not wearing gloves. Like a person always needs gloves." Regardless, Fitz is heading back towards SHIELD headquarters.


And Liv is right behind him, thank you. "If we could punch a hole through space-time, I don't think it would be a terribly wise thing to do," she notes over her shoulder in an odd tone of voice, as if this is something that should be obvious. In a much quieter voice, just for Fitz's ears, she adds: "Certainly not for someone we don't even know."

Just keep walking, Sigrunsdottir. She sticks close to Fitz, absently reaching up to fix her — "Oh, damn it. I lost my hat."


"It's actually not that-" Hope sighs, shoulders drooping. "The past sucks," she mutters, kicking a pebble down the sidewalk. "It's cool!" she calls after Fitz and Liv. "You just take another thousand years to figure it out. I'll probably still be waiting when you get there!" She's given up on not sounding like a crazy person. Clearly.


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