1963-12-27 - Race to the Top
Summary: Security is the gift that keeps on giving.
Related: -
Theme Song: None
hope tommy 

Broken, harsh landscapes. Unidentifiable smells. The occasional sight of a hostile person. Welcome to the future.

…more specifically, the future about a second after the run became that took Tommy and Hope from Central Park, New York, Civilization… to Jersey. Frank Shepherd still maintains residence out in the city where Tommy was born; the two bedroom house isn't exactly in the best part of Springfield, nor is it a model to encourage other residents to shape up the neighbourhood. The paint's peeling, one of the windows is boarded up, there may or may not be a hole in the room where a squirrel… or a cat… or a tiger, or something jaunts in and out of the attic at it's leisure.

It's probably the squirrel. Really.

Nonetheless, as he approaches the door — plucking the key from under the doormat (which, rather than 'Welcome', proudly proclaims 'Go Away') and using it to turn the lock. "Believe it or not, this place /is/ safe. Especially while Frank's out of state. Not that someone with moves like yours would really have to worry about /him,/ but… not /having/ to worry about him in the first place is worth it, trust me on that."

Far from the Ritz, but with her concern for people chasing her… a place that would probably take a few more holes without people batting an eye was probably the better chose anyways.


When it comes to shelter, Hope really isn't the sort of girl to turn up her nose at an intact house. She's not some sneering socialite used to dinners in white gloves and fine china, shifting between her townhouse in the Upper West Side to a 'cottage' in the Hamptons with more square footage than Rhode Island. Neither does she have the disposition to roll her eyes at the mess of peeling paint, dead plants, and unshoveled snow.

That latter is actually the fact likely to make her the most uncomfortable, and prone to exiting by window. Though the place might be low on a real estate agent's list of sales, best described as 'cozy' and 'full of potential,' to her it's fine.

The redhead scrunches up her nose and peers at the windows, measuring distance to the ground. Or the rooftop. "Is the heating going to be a problem? I can make do without. I don't know how you guys keep houses warm. Potbelly stove or something?" The tug on her cheekbone gives her bright eyes an even narrower aspect, and she shifts on her toes. Let's admit it: speed is a bit of a thrill.

Supercharged speed, that's even more addictive. In a flash, she's circled the house twice, giving the rear gate if any a once over and returning back to Tommy's side. "No signs of a fire pit, so we must be in the twentieth century still. Kinda disappointed not everything comes with a bunker. I was told it was the thing by a homeless guy under the bridge." Which bridge? Take one's pick. After the troubles this year, probably a quarter of New York is homeless.

Her bag is shouldered again, the contents of a life stuffed into a khaki sack.


"Only in the living room," Tommy admits, motioning to the aforementioned busted window. "The place is actually pretty well-insulated, but, uh, there was this lamp, and it decided to learn how to fly. From the inside. I think it was trying to escape." Tommy offers a bit sheepishly, before opening the door.

This takes them into the living room; and honestly, the décor doesn't really improve — the white-glove crowd would likely think it years abandoned. The poor would feel right at home. The furniture — a couple sofas, a coffee table — is old, worn in places. The best sign that it's not someone entirely impoverished that lives here? The television.

It's a /color/ television.

"We've got a space heater over there," motioning, "if you decide you want don't want to /literally/ chill out in here. Uh. TV works. Kitchen's through that archway — fridge should be stocked… food's probably the one thing Frank does right, nothing too complex or time consuming to make." As far as he knows, after all, she's a fellow speedster. Which means thinking in fast forward and the drawbacks that come along with it, too. "No bunker; not even a basement. Two bedrooms. You can have your pick… my old room," Pointing down a hallway, "is kinda empty now, but it's still got a bed and stuff," …the 'and stuff' will actually arrive in a bit, as Tommy /had/ moved everything but the bed out. But that's besides the point. It'll get there! "Frank's room probably has a comfier bed, other things like that. You're welcome to anything you want, too." Tommy doesn't mind giving. Especially when it's not /his./

The bunker comment? That gets a grin. "I'm not sure if bunkers happened yet." He taps his head lightly, chuckling. "Side-effect of the time travel. I've got memories from then and now and they don't always agree." Pause. "…does that happen to you, too?" He's genuinely curious. He knows it does to Billy.


"First rule of time slides, expect what you knew is never the full truth. Takes a while to acclimatize." There's a big word used without too much trouble, though she overenunciates it syllable by sharp syllable. Hope smoothes out her messy red hair, given the launch into Mach stupid always causes a bit of a windblown knotting. Her fingers aren't sufficient for the task. She really needs a brush.

Her shoulder lifts to slide the canvas webbed strap deeper towards her neck. "I know what happens in my timeline. Then a few others, they seem to agree a bit. My da — Nathan — saw it even worse. So what I think I know, and what is, those are like two separate buckets. My time is real for me, but maybe no one else here. Just those who come from then. I get used to it being malleable." She gives Tommy one of those blunt, measured looks. "I mean, what else am I gonna do?"

Apparently stick it out in a house owned by a stranger out of state. She doesn't even remotely approach the master bedroom, skewing a look and sticking her tongue out. "Nooooo way. I'm not staying in this Frank guy's bed. If your bed is clean and you're not using it, and it hasn't got bed bugs or something, cool."


Tommy Shepherd has never been accused of being the most attentive person in the room. Far the opposite, aloof, oblivious, asleep… all of these have been directed at him.

Of course, that's usually when the topic is boring. This topic is a girl.

So he /does/ take note of the attempt to comb, making a mental note. "Good to know. I mean, not that I really expect to make a habit of it or anything… but it seems like it's to be expected with my family." There's a roll of the eyes that's not /entirely/ unaffectionate there. He'd rather be entertained by crazy than bored. That much is true. Her dad's name is noted also — he /did/ say he'd help look for the man, after all. As for what else she might do? Tommy grins, "Honestly? I could think of a few things. Most of them would lead to trouble, though, and I get that you're not trying to go in that direction." …although the idea of painting the town red — quite literally — has it's appeal.

As for the rooms? "Yeah. Most of the bedding-stuff is actually at.. well, another place I stay sometimes. But I'll bring it back; it's been laundered and stuff, so no worries there." There /is/ a bit of a grimace to the thought of Frank's bed. "…yeah, I think the floor, hard as it is, would probably be a better option than /that./ I think I'll go that route," Yes, he's going to stay there while she's there. Not all the time, granted, but at least sleep there. If she's got trouble coming her way? He wants to meet that with her. Because instincts. "So, yeah, this is the place. Key's under the mat if you decide to hop out without me, I'll see what I can do to arrange a place after this, or at least extend the stay…" Running to Vegas, stealing Frank's plane ticket? Definitely an option. "…but that's pretty much it. You hungry?"


It's probably in Hope's best interest not to tell a stranger she can pick and set the locks like no one's business. Really not that tough, deadbolts aren't much of a match. "Mmmhmm." All those words and she rolls out a fairly committal sound, even while poking her hand into her worn pack and pulling out a slim folding comb. She snaps it open and forcibly drags it through her knotted hair, trying to at least smooth that out.

"I don't think I'll be sticking around too much. I mean, I have things to do." She tries to soften what could sound harsh, giving Tommy a nod almost absently while staring up at the ceiling and possibly building a blueprint in her head. It'll help if she has to wake up and move fast in the night. Or day. "This place is huge. So many people. I've never been in a city so big and the way it's laid out doesn't make a lick of sense yet. At least their trains have halfway decent maps."

She winces when pulling on a tender snarl, but keeps combing, careful to pick up any loose strands lying around. Don't want anyone knowing a redhead has been in the building, right? "It looks good though. Better than anything I got right now."

Stifling a bit of a snicker at her own predicament, she shrugs. 'Wouldn't say no to food. I learned not to turn up my nose unless I thought it was poisoned, and you wouldn't lure me all the way out here to poison me and dump my body somewhere. Not worth it to go to all the effort." Smooth, Hope. Real smooth."


There's a noncommittal shrug; if he felt harshed? He's not making it obvious. "I'm just offering the roof. Your call if you use it and for how long." Tommy points out, waving a finger in her direction. "It's like offering to share cookies. If someone doesn't take you up on the offer? Means more for you." Pause. "Well. That doesn't translate /exactly/ well here, but… you get the picture. Probably."

There's a chuckle to the comment about the city… and a grin. "I'll pick up a map for you, too. I get a discount, so it's cool." Five fingers worth of one. "They don't have cities like this when you're from, huh? Or where, maybe. Sometimes I forget that you're like me." Fast. They can exist anywhere they choose. Most people he knows don't have that luxury.

Then he's heading for the kitchen — or more specifically he's /in/ the kitchen. No need to hide powers here, and Speed doesn't do slow. Most of the time, anyways. "Cool, we've got… uh…" cue the sound of cupboards, "…canned soup, chips, twinkies, toast, got a handful of TV dinners…" he trails a moment, peeking his head out. "And don't undersell me, cutie. If I were trying to poison you, this is /exactly/ where I'd do it. Nobody'd notice a body being out of place, especially with the river just a run away." Pause. "…but given that there's other things I'd far /rather/ do to you… I think the worst you might go through is a bit of undercooked food. And that would be accidental."


A slow bank has to follow because she has to parse what on earth Tommy is getting at. Ground control to Major Hope, the circuit's dead… Her head tilts and she gives him a momentarily puzzled expression. "Uh huh. I'll pretend that made sense to me. I'm good with bedding or no bedding, I've got my cloak." Somewhere, she has a cloak. Probably in the bag of holding she's using to carry her worldly possessions. "And your room is okay. It really is. And I know where the key is, thank you. But… what does that have to do with cookies?"

Literal isn't really how she is, but sometimes the bouncy thought patterns stall out as she has to circle back and figure out the meanings. "A map would be helpful. I got the one for the subway, but I don't really like traveling on it. It's too confined, too many people. Someone shows up, that's a lot of collateral damage." She runs her hand over the back of her neck then, comb still sticking up in her hand like a conductor's baton or a toothy wand. From House Gryffindor, five points for wearing shoes inside and ninety points for being stabbed by a spork-wielding tentacle monster.

Then Tommy goes flying by and she practically rolls her eyes. "Soup is a good thing. I can do a lot with that, especially if it has meat. No meat, no problem." Peace making, gruff and direct girl style, is earned there. "Yeah, but you go to all this trouble when you could have done me in way closer to the city, less traveling and lots of convenient spots. This is connected to you, not exactly the best way to go about it. So what are those other things you'd rather do? Are you secretly dying to play capture the flag or something?"


Tommy has partially disconnected.


"If I had a nickel for every time I'd heard that…" Tommy laughs, "…and I'm not entirely sure myself, but I can't help but be in the mood for cookies myself." …though the suggestion that she's okay either way? That's definitely noted. Hope's not a girl for fancy things. …this is kind of a bonus in Tommy's mind. Plus, a not-quite-grand effort might count as a grand effort. This is noted.

"Consider it done. I'll grab maps for the tri-state area. That's about where I /usually/ stick to, so it's a start, at least."

From the kitchen, the sounds of a can opener working — at high acceleration, and pots banging around because microwaves have not been invented yet — then the 'whoosh' of gas igniting in a safe method, and the cooking begins. Once that's started? There's the opening of a door at high speed. Tommy's out already. He's back in a few seconds later, walking back into the living room with a handful of maps — New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania represented — and a hair brush. The variety of items is held out towards her to accept or deny as desired. "Soup'll be ready soon. It's vegetable beef, so, best of both worlds, right?" Then there's another laugh. "Again, you don't know me very well." He used to literally sign his name to some places that he vandalized just so the cops would come bother his parents. That thought brings a mischievous twinkle to his eye, and a grin. The question about what the other things he'd like to do are? There's a cough. He didn't expect that. A moment is spent thinking about how much to spill…

…eh, why not.

"Well. Other than taking down the problem children that want to make a mess of the only person I know who's as fast as I am…" Because Pietro has yet to show him this. "…I should probably try to give you some sorta tour of the past so you don't have as much culture shock as you probably will. A high-speed snowball fight would be awesome, and so would doin' the horizontal mambo… well, I mean… you're from the /future./ Further than I am. I'm workin' on figuring out what we can do /now/ that wouldn't be old hat for /you/ because something ten times better exists where you're from." His mental image? Back to the Future. Part 2.


ROLL: Hope +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 37


Where she's from… it's a better part of valor not to say much about the future, at least the one she comes from. The crooked lift of her mouth is not a true smile, having no way to reach the sylvan pools of her narrowed eyes. "We don't play much. Life's tough where I come from. Lot of people scraping by to make ends meet." She raises her shoulders slightly and casts a look off into the kitchen, following her nose to the heating beef bouillon and suspended vegetables caught in that mouthwatering tin. Truth told, Hope is not a high maintenance girl. Being on the run from hunters and powerful mutants usually means one lives as they can, and there's no time or place for fancy airs. "One of those things people here take for granted. They've got time to play and walk the streets doing… Whatever they do."

It might allude to an era without cinemas (she didn't know what they were), restaurants (simple eating), and even parks. Witness the unease at their meeting with Teddy.

Hope can fish out a bowl and a spoon or both, and plunk them on whatever counts as a table. She uses a dish rag just fine to wipe down a counter, that much available to her. Stacking up the maps in a neat pile is also in her bailiwick while Tommy uses the stove and she hangs back to mostly watch. Another huge difference: intact road networks, road networks at all, and so many towns. So many people. "You telling me you're running down all of these all the time? No wonder you need a box of chips, that's a lot of space." Her thumb runs over the blue lines and converging black and white ones, a backbone of the artery connecting New York to Connecticut and eventually Boston.

"A snowball fight? No lasers or anything. Just actual balls we make with our hands. You're on, target practice." She scoots a chair back and puts her pack on it; that thing is heavy, and it has to be. Her comb goes in; so does the new brush. Braids will come later. "Um. You got any soap for washing up? I'll need to clean my clothes, probably after the snowball fight. There's not much around here I recognize. Like, I don't even see a shaker." A shaker. "You probably still got tubs this far back?"


Tommy can't help but frown a bit at Hope's description of the future. Yeah, the future he's from? Rocks. The one she's from? …not so much. "Alright. Then I'm making it my personal mission to show you fun. You know, aside from helping you find your dad and stuff. Because a girl who's gotten to be my age, but really hasn't gotten to /enjoy/ herself? That's almost a crime."

He's following along on the walk to the kitchen — and yes, he's grabbing a bag of chips as he does. Bag is opened, chip scooped out. Popped in mouth. Crunch. Rinse and repeat a few times. He really does prefer no-prep time food. Whether that means nabbing something from somewhere /out,/ or just grabbing something like chips. "Yeah, pretty much. Especially when I'm looking for something. I ran up to Canada a few days back to look at Christmas trees. I might run out to Vegas in a few days. A friend of mine suggested California, too." A grin and a shrug, pot is stirred, watched… and eventually cooked to satisfaction. Then it's time to taste-test — this is done by dipping a chip in and scooping some out - and finally, to pour into a bowl with is delivered to the table for Hope. "I run because I can, sometimes because I have to, sometimes I just want to. I mean, hell, you probably understand better than anyone."

As for the latter? He grins. "No lasers, no rocket launchers, just balls of packed snow and hopefully not ice. We'll see who can hit who." In Tommy's mind? Probably a fair fight. Even with powers. "Soap? Sure." And he's off again. This time he's back faster. With soaps — a bar, shampoo, conditioner, and towels of various sizes. Some department store is missing a few things, but better that than trust things at Frank's. "…and, y'know. If you need help reaching anything, I'm here for that, too." Wink. "For clothes I'm /pretty sure/ we have laundry machines in this decade… shaker… like a salt shaker? Well, probably at restaurants, but we've got canisters." Pause. "And yeah, tubs and showers both, but none of those fancy hand-held sprayer things."


Figures he doesn't know what she's talking about. Hope sighs, already anticipating the damage to her hands. "We have these machines you put your clothes in and they bombard them with sonic particles to remove the dirt. They vibrate a bit, but the mag lev is awesome for working quick. There's another spot device that lifts out the stains with a particle beam that you run over the clothes, but you have to do it individually on a scan. The orbital is nicer."

And there is 1960s fascination with the future colliding with a girl from the back half of the 2100s or something of that ilk, at least for part of it. She shrugs her shoulders lightly and looks at the building collection of goods. Some part of her ought to ask. The better part? It already knows. Tommy can find it in her eyes, the survivor's instinct painted in her expression. Collusion between thieves, as it were.

"How long it take you to run to California, and how is it safe to cross old Colorado? It's under like three miles of sand." She pokes her finger at the maps. "You aren't dodging all the dunes all the time. Glass diving's dangerous." Is she serious? Hard to tell, especially as she'll pounce the soup as soon as it won't burn her tongue.

Two spoonfuls down and Hope gives him a bit of a smirk. "Have fun, huh? I thought pegging you with more snow than you thought possible would count as fun. Shows what I know." Hint, not a lot. "So, Speedy Gonzales, you're gonna teach me how to dance and have fun. Where do we start?"


"Right, washing machines. Uh. Just… more… low tech than what you described, I think. I've never really bothered to figure out how they work aside from put clothes in, turn knobs, pull clothes out. As long as they got the job done, that was pretty much the part that mattered to me, y'now?" he replies, leaning back on the counter and popping a few more chips. "They're probably slower than you're used to, too."

Now, Tommy thinks. "To Cali? About an hour. Though I think I can get there faster." He thinks he /has/ gotten there faster. That's something else that bothers him. He feels like he used to be faster. "Colorado? Pretty safe but for the sno— wait, /three miles of sand/?" Tommy shakes his head, "Last I checked, it was all about the snow over there, so I had to watch out for icy roads. Even in my time." Pause. "You should stay back here. Your time.." he waves a hand, "Really sounds like a downgrade. Although glass diving sounds just a little bit fun at our speeds."

"Oh, the snowball fight's part of it. IF you can hit me. Nobody has in YEARS." Tommy points out, a challenging grin on his features. There's a part of him that thinks she just might, though. "If you don't know how to dance? That's definitely in. Roller skating. Professional massages. Big, big meals." Yeah, he noticed the whole 'barely scraping by' thing too. "Disneyworld. Surfing. /Beaches./ When you've got moves like we do… there's no limit to what you /can/ do."


ROLL: Hope +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 18


Hope pauses midway through putting her spoon to her lips, and then splutters with laughter. "For real? No, Colorado is not consumed by the ground down remains of the Rockies. It's not that bad. I don't think." A shake of her wild red locks tamed only a little by the comb floods her shoulders, and she pulls her headband down, only to tug the worn cloth back up over her brow. It gives her the look of a deranged lion, but whatever. "Dangerous because all the forest fires in the dead wood, but not under all the sand. That just comes from a really good book I read once."

Ooh, she reads books or holo displays, whatever comes from her future that leaps beyond Tommy's. Her chair creaks as she sits back, pinning down the stack of maps before they fall into her lap. "Beaches? That sounds pretty nice. I didn't grow up near the water. Above it for a while, but mostly inland." It's another of those points in the will not talk about pile. "But it's freaking cold out here, so beaches wait til spring or do you run down to California and go to the beaches there where Baja fell off? Those cliffs, totally enormous." Serious? That's up to him to figure out while she gobbles a few of the chips up with passable manners, but they're close to being like a soldier's: she eats quick, neat, and no seconds.

"Yeah, I don't know how to dance," it comes to mind for her to add. "But you weren't talking dancing, you were talking shagging." Busted. "Or whatever they call it where you're from. Tab A into Slot B." Blowing over her fingers, she gives a rare grin.

Proof she's not from 1963? Right there.


"Well, at least they have more books in your future than just the bible written in Braille." Tommy counters, flashing a grin. No, he doesn't really mind being toyed with about what may or may not be in the future. Because honestly? His own concept of it is pretty messed up anyways. And he's fairly certain he'll be a wicked awesome cyborg when the future comes, rather than a boring old man.

Because, seriously. Laser fingertips..

"It's a good run. Really pretty in the fall, when you get the leaves changing. Occasionally I'll run the whole of Route 66, just because." There's a glance over at Hope's bag, heavy as it looks. "I started doing Florida and California ever since I got fast. Until then the beaches weren't nearly as interesting, but now? Year round fun in the sun. I don't suppose you packed a bikini in there, did you?" Tommy asks, laughing. He watches as she swipes some chips; he doesn't complain, he can get more. Whether the cupboards or the store.

"I know how to dance." Pause. "I'll have to figure out which ones are era-appropriate before I go all Johnny B Goode, though." He's pretty sure it's too early for bumping and grinding, for example. Pretty sure. He'll wanna check. As for being busted? Unlike some other folks, he doesn't bat an eye, "Uh, yeah? Like a friend of mine used to say, it's the most fun you can have for free." Okay, maybe /one/ eye, because that's definitely a wink that meets her grin.


Meet the half-cyborg father of hers, and see about whether it's so cool to be one, especially when he's overtaken by a techno-organic virus. Yeah, not so awesome, even if Hope will sock anyone who implies Nathan's less than awesome - - in the junk, no less. She plays not at all fair on that matter. "Yeah, we have books. We're not barbarians, we're just all preoccupied." Dystopian futures do have some perks, right? Like awesome devices that do chores for you and living wages! Because an absence of manpower will cause that, all in all. "My future has good things, they're just different here. Totally different. How can I explain when it doesn't even make sense any more to me? I've seen the stars, cities in space, but here all they show are books with weird jar domes over the pointy towers on the Moon. Now I wonder if that's what it looks like. Time sliding is harsh."

She's traveled around the world and still roaming in search of answers, and it means so little. Her soup is about empty, and she flashes a look to the chips. Maybe just one. "A bikini? Uh, no. No one said I'd go to a beach here. Or anywhere. I was supposed to go to school, and thought they'd have better clothes." She is going to eat the rest of those chips, just you watch, except Tommy might have trouble keeping up with how fast she swipes them.

Licking crumbs from her fingers, she says, "Was that the friend you shagged or the one you bragged to? Cause I'm pretty sure that never changes. And people around here, they're pretty uptight about…" She waves her hand. "Everything. My dad's probably going to rip your head off, you know. Especially if you do it with the lights on and eyes open. Can't look and touch, you know."


In all honesty? His opinion would probably remain the same. Because Chicks Dig Scars, and movable metal ones? Probably even moreso. "Well, I can't deny that. I mean, it /does/ sound like you've got some awesome stuff. The shakers, for example. Getting that done in a hurry? Major bonus." Tommy agrees. Then again, anything that makes things happen faster is aces in Tommy's book. Of course, when she goes on? "…see, that's /exactly/ what I mean. Some of the stuff back here that we do… it just won't compare." Pause. "…but I bet it'll still be nice having all you want to eat."

Notably? He's tilted the bag in her direction. And stopped taking from it. Just happily prattling on while she eats. He'll swipe food from somewhere later. Maybe raid Pietro's cupboards again. Say what you want about the man, he knows how to shop for groceries. "Well, we can do something about that, too. Most people don't realize that we can get to France by foot, and I hear they have the best this time of… well… time." The Beach Boys wouldn't write the song about it for two more years, though. "It's supposed to be the fashion capital of the world, so we can see about getting you some more threads, too, if you want. Another nice part about being us — nowhere's out of reach, so anything we want…" Just reach out and grab 'em.

"The one I shagged," Tommy admits freely, "Though I think she bragged almost as much as I did." But what was her /name?/ That's gonna bug Tommy for a while. Well. It would've. At least before his brain connected very important dots. "Points for me for not being from around here, then." he replies, "…and I'm pretty sure that'd be his right if he can catch me," he agrees, before pausing and giving her a long look over. "…but with you? I'm thinking it'll be worth it."


"You're telling me you can get me to France. Europe France, not some town called France in this state or something." Oh child, how little doth she know! Hope puts down a chip and looks at him with unblinking eyes. "You're not talking about catching a ship. Seriously, how the hell… over a pole? There's no ice up there or… no, maybe there is?" Wrinkling her brows, her thoughts melt away with leaving Tommy the opening as big as the hole in the Titanic's hull, and she goes into her thoughts for a time in order to poke around and find something suitable to say other than 'Does the Eiffel Tower still exist' or 'what about aliens?'

Next stop, sanity. Whatever train of thought departed, it's chugging along happily. There's a stop at Reason, and next up, Parametertown. "Yeah. So, here's the thing. I don't go talking about who I shagged. Girls — well, anyone, really — don't tend to do that with people already taken, either. That's a really good way to get into a fight, and I don't need to be considering any of this. So if you're interested in a thing once and hopping along to a bunch of other people, or keeping a few girls on the side, that's not really something for me. I have enough going on without being thought of a crazy future Jezebel girl. I owe it to you and myself to be better than that. Because I'm not crazy. Or a Jezebel."


"Europe France." Tommy confirms, though it might be another case of memory working against him. Can he still run over water, even just fifty miles? …he hasn't checked in a while. Doing so seems smart. Preferably before the run. "With the Eiffel Tower and everything. You see, there's this bridge that Russia built over to Alaska in order to make it possible to drive from Europe all the way to America. Good commerce or something like that." Three… two… Tommy can't keep a straight face, and bursts out laughing. "But seriously, the Bering Strait makes it pretty easy, you just gotta make sure you don't bring shoes that you don't wanna get wet, because your soles /will/ touch. But if you're moving fast enough…"

Then the other. And that stops him cold. Oh, that makes for a tough decision. He pauses a moment in silence, watching her. Adding up the pros and cons. There's certainly a share of cons, and they all have names.

…but on the pro side? She's not related to him when everyone else seems to be. She's from the future, too. She's /fast./ She's not high maintenance. She's got a nice body from what he can tell, and a pretty face.

"The past is part of my past. Or it used to be. Honestly, I'm not even sure if that's happened yet. Or if it will. It was also… very different than what most people think a relationship is. Even different from what /I/ think one is." A pause. "But, if you're serious about the two of us becoming an item, exclusive and all — and you're not gonna go jetting back to the future without me — I think I could give that an honest shot." Pause. "Unless your last name happens to be Maximoff. Or Strange."


She's got the body of an athlete in peak performance under there, albeit the sport of 'not dying by Omega mutant' is pretty bloody rigorous and different from just about everything else. Still, there isn't much excess anywhere. Starvation diets - - by speedster standards - - will do that too. The fact she's wearing basically borrowed clothes doesn't help reveal much, which in part is the point. Big coat with lots of pockets is more important than wearing brushed denim pants stylishly pegged to her ankle to show off those trim upper parts of her feet. Clutch the pearls, showing off ankles, how the Victorian Sixties must be shocked by waders and womanhood.

She finishes up the bowl of soup and pushes her seat back, carrying it over to the sink. Rinsing a dish is so easy even a time-displaced messiah for mutant kind can do it. A good rinse of it, water poured from the faucet after the line chugs and coughs, and there she is. Mundane, normal. Not moving at Mach whatever and a half.

"I don't really care about the past, unless some chick named Yolanda or Kate is going to show up and try to shoot me for having her man. Some people do casual, and some don't. I know only that I would be really ticked off if someone I was with also had other pieces they were with and I don't know. Or I do know, and I'm not sure I'm okay with it." First inkling of the ginger haired, green-eyed monster? Check. They're volatile with tempers.

She looks over at Tommy, fishing around for whatever passes as a dish towel, rag, or barring all that, her shirt. It'll dry. "This sounds all clinical as hell. Next we'll psychoanalyze one another for fun." Please no. "I won't leave without warning. I can't. Nathan is a priority for me, and maybe he's going to have an agenda. But totally, I'll tell you. We talk. Like normal people. They talk, right?" About going to the future, being hunted by Marauders, murdering innocent mutants by the thousands, and staying in bed late. Normal things. She doesn't know normal.

Hope rubs down the bowl and puts it back in the cabinet. "I don't know what my last name is. I'm called Hope Summers. Summers is my dad's name, Nathan's. But my mom died when I was really small, and we never… she didn't write anything on the records for my dad. I'm not even sure about her. Try not to get old. They massacred my whole town and the hospital when I was born. So you know what you're getting into."

An eyebrow arched, she casts a flaming look towards him, all challenge and a thousand shades of prey to predator, or two predators stalking one another. "What kinda name is Strange? What's next, Damian Grimsfyre or Ravenscar?"

He's given an instant of warning, then she dusts to motion, pulling on the same mutation rippling over her genetic code. Tweaking his collar and dusting his cheek with the tips of her hair, if he doesn't stop her, it's catch as catch can into the snow.


Tommy has partially disconnected.


Tommy has partially disconnected.


"I'm not anyone's man." Tommy points out. Not right now, at least. Although that does bring an amused glint to his eye. "So you're sayin' if we become a we, you might try to shoot girls who try to steal me away?" Tommy can't help but grin at that. "Okay, I changed my mind. /Totally/ worth it. There's something special about being wanted like /that./" It puts the spotlight on him in all the best ways. Sure, some partially innocent bystanders may get hurt in the process… but that's /love./

He notices the fishing around, and there's a blurring and a moment later, a dish towel goes flying towards her. That at least was in the house, it seems. "Yeah, same here. My brother brought me here, and I think he was working on getting us back… but I'll keep you updated on that one, too." It seems only fair. Although he's less sure that he wants to go — did he have anyone in the future to go back to? Billy remembered someone, but Tommy… not so much.

"Mine's Shepherd. Sortakinda, anyways. It's a long, weird story… that I'm not entirely sure you'd believe if you heard." he replies, rubbing at the back of his head. "Well. Maybe you would, considering. But… long story short, my parents who are jerks probably aren't my parents, and my real parents are… kinda strange, really." Pun intended.

Then she's joking on the name, and he's opening his mouth to respond because he can't help but do so… until she grabs him. And yes, he might have a shot at reacting…

…but what fun would that be? Away they goooo~!


If Isabelle, Jane, Lisa, Melissa, Nancy, Octavia or Phoebe show up to argue with Hope, be damn sure she's going to shoot them before they can get her first. There is no question in her mind about defending herself, but there is an equal likelihood she might shoot Tommy if he ends up two, three, or six-timing her with some other gal. On the other hand, he probably would like the drama of a shootout like the Old West. No doubt Billy will demand Teddy show him equal flirtation, and Pietro will be left scratching his head.

Hope goes flying out into the snow, moving fast enough that trails curve through the unplowed sidewalks and barren lawns, awash in layers and chunks of fallen ice, thrown slush, and worse things besides. She can zigzag around plenty of barriers, leaping up onto a fence and running along that with the surefooted quality of a mountain goat crossed with a Harrier jet. Hawkmouflon!

The zip puts her around the subdivision and crossing the bow of her own initial path, eventually springing up — oh bloody hell, high! — with a jump that sets her upon someone's roof, and they might wonder why Santa came late, tramping over their shingles to the patter of just two little feet. Or what sounds like the whole northern Quebec caribou herd, just back from Lilliput.

Where, oh where, is Tommy Shepherd?


Oh yes. Tommy would most definitely enjoy every minute of it. The one to be fought over, the star of the show! The spotlight is kind to Thomas Shepherd, and he will gladly bask in its light.

…although in fairness, he is going to make a proper effort to keep that from happening. Intentionally. At least in a way that could somehow be his fault. The light of a laser isn't nearly as kind as the limelight.

But away he went, into the snow! Not following her /right/ away, instead taking a moment to gather ammo. A dozen or more balls built into a little pyramid and carried around when he does take his run, trying his best to avoid /directly/ following her tracks in order to get the jump on her.

…however? It seems just as, if not more likely that she'll get the jump on him, instead. Onwards, to battle!

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