1964-01-26 - Rude Awakenings
Summary: The reality hurts more than words will say.
Related: N/A
Theme Song: None
tommy hope 

The trip to Hell's Kitchen for its relatively cheap foods may not have achieved its stated purpose — food — but it certainly fulfilled another overarching goal, albeit not in the ways anyone wanted. By the time the cybernetic soldier vanished into ether, slipping out of time, it left the speedsters to make their descent. Sadly the dropped bags of groceries in the street are gone, snatched up by a hooligan or an urchin worthy of the title. Nothing unattended lasts for long around here, not when money is a currency as fluid as identity, fists, or guns. It doesn't much matter, anyways. Swiping a few coins is perfectly acceptable to the young woman, and she's prepared to turn herself over to the vagaries of thievery to get some cash.

So one wallet later, and another visit to another cheap market, they have an armful of goods to replace the ones lost. Call it charity spread out to the community even if they aren't the food pantry. East Village hums with activity and it's not with a little paranoia that she takes point to scout out the apartment before entering it with Tommy.

Hope's expression is as much as one can expect, cold and ashen, closed off to the world for the moment. The focus on unpacking their groceries is more important than addressing bitter reality.


Tommy's been staying with Hope ever since the destined meeting… that didn't go exactly to plan by anyone's standards. He's also been quieter than usual. For the one with the gift of gab, well… he didn't know exactly what to say at a time like this. All this time, Hope had been counting on Nathan to be Nathan. To pick up where they left off and have that rock-solid ally. Assured that it wouldn't mean her vanishing back into time? Tommy wanted that, too.

What they got wasn't expected. They didn't get /shot,/ which was a plus, but far from the joyful reunion. So he'd let her stew for a little while — that's why he runs when things start to boil over. To just… explode and not have anyone bother him for a while. They still had things to do and she seemed willing enough to do them, though, so not bothering her while it was being done seemed a fair compromise.

Of course, once they get back to the apartment, that changes /just/ a little bit. When she declares the all clear and lets him come in? He moves wordlessly to a bag — focusing his attention on getting the things needing refrigeration into said fridge, first. It's when he opens the door to said wintery wonderland that his mouth opens, too.

"You gonna be alright, Spicecake?"


In Tommy's defense, what is there to say? He may well have been justified in someone saying body slide one, and possessing tech that not even his era invented, conceived, and conceptualized. At least she has that going for her; she's not a liar. Perhaps he believes it to be dodgy. But the stark contrast of realities laid out before them is quicksand, and she can't swim.

She wordlessly pulls out a carton of eggs, a loaf of bread, butter. Cheese in a block, rather than melted goop in a box. Basics end up put away in some manner of organization, probably by colour and stackability more than anything else. Even with the milk already there, the fridge is fairly empty. Staring into it, expression morose, her eyes are flat and fairly cold. Moving around Tommy isn't avoiding him, legitimately missing a collision here and there. But her movements are stilled; the tremendous capacity for telekinesis is still hers, however.

He can see that for himself, how every loose object in the room is several inches above where it should be when she stops moving and stares out through the kitchen to the street beyond. It's hard to say if leaves are also floating. Hopefully not.

"It's not supposed to be like this. We lose one another. The other goes looking. We find one another. We don't… just… not be there."


With the cold things put away, the rest can wait for the moment; taking care of Hope? That can't. Well. It could. But he doesn't want it to. He firmly realizes that the disappointment means that his role in being her support has likely increased, at least for now. It's not a duty he takes lightly. So when she's stopped moving, rather than collect all the floating items, he's at her side. Then a step behind. Hugging her from behind, his head resting against her shoulder.

"I know. Well. I don't know. Like I said, messed up family tree. Trees? Whatever." A flick of fingers waves that off. "But… that /was/ him, right? Kinda?" he asks her, trying to let his mind work in the kind of ways that it usually doesn't. Deep thought. It's a scary prospect. It also involves compiling every detail from the time travel movies he can remember and putting them into order.

"And… who says he's not still out there looking for you, too? You said you were supposed to come back to like, the twenty-tens." There's a pause, and a slight grimace. "The years /I/ left." There's a part of him that wonders if he, or his family, are responsible for this. That thought goes unvoiced. "He could be there looking for you and not realize that you're here. You said something about a school. Maybe if we go find that school and leave him a message that /he'll/ get when he gets there in, y'know, fifty years…" There's another slight grimace to that. They'll be near-seventy when they get back to when he left.

"…maybe he'll realize the mistake and come find you now. Maybe just because I thought up this crazy plan he's going to show up in our living room in three, two, one…" Nothing. "…or maybe we have to /do/ it, first." Pause. "The note thing, not /do it./" He's trying to be serious. Trying. "I dunno. Time travel is weird, and I'm no Reed Richards."


"How many men do you think there are with a cybernetic eye and arm? His secrets aren't entirely mine to say. I mean… he could have vetted me if I got real into the weeds with him. But he deserves that privacy." Hope's loyalty to the man she remembers as her father is fierce, even if it happens she also might be staring his younger self or alternate self in the face, and there's the danger of his clone, a horror unto himself, also running around. Nothing is simple, nothing is safe, and her bearings would imply that. Her head dips down. "I've repaired his arm countless times. It's not like anyone walking around knows very much about it except that Native American guy who has his panties wet for everything tech. I don't even remember his name very well. Not that it matters. My dad's gone. Even if he is my dad."

And that brings the floating objects to a violent shudder, though not quite explosive. Blessed are the small things, right? She scrubs the palms of her hands up to her eye sockets, pressure giving a little release to the sting of her eyes. Nothing prohibits him from hugging her, no wall of energy about to fling him backwards from her regardless of how fast he is. Telekinesis is ugly that way.

"You can't have a bunch of yous in the time stream. It doesn't work that way. Or at least not most of the time, I mean, there is probably tech out there or insane people who leap back to encounter themselves. It's why Bishop can't murder me as a baby. He already tried, I grew up. He failed. He keeps dodging through time to find me but the older I get, that's the age he encounters me. There's no baby Hope and big Hope and old Hope in a room together. I'm pretty sure we would tear the universe apart with paradoxes if that were the case, or one would cease to exist without some crazy godlike powers." She looks at her hands, dropping them away from her face, and bracing on the counter after giving his arm a pat. "My dad… if that Nathan is here… isn't. He's gone. Maybe we'll see one another again in some other future, some other time stream. I mean, that can happen but it won't be here, not with me. Not unless that one goes away and somehow comes back. And I am guessing on the era. We were trying to get to the school, to this really powerful mutant who might stop all the mayhem coming. Or something. Dad was never really clear. I think he was trying to give me back, in hopes I might salvage some kind of normal life. Like, seventeen years too late, but the thought counted. And here we are. Were."

Her thumb runs over the ridge of her brows. Hard to stop moving. "I can't deal or think about fifty years from now. Not with this… this ancient scientific crap around me that does absolutely nothing, and even if it did, I'm not a super genius. Reed Rich… what, he's alive now?"


"Hope, with some of the things I /have/ seen, I don't take anything for granted. Nothing at all. If I did… none of this would make sense. /I/ wouldn't make sense. So. You know. I have to take some things on faith." As weird as /that/ is to say. Then there's a slight pause, and a squeeze that follows. "You have trouble with names from back then too, huh? I'll keep the description in mind, though. Native American with wet panties."

He's probably been the target of telekinesis — Billy's — for one reason or another in the past. He knows the basics, but arms around her was worth the risk. Frankly, if it helped to toss him around like a ragdoll? He'd let her. He's tough enough to take it! At least in his own head.

"Gotcha." is offered; she's the expert on time travel as far as he's concerned. He's the crash test dummy. Of course, her suggestion gives him /another/ thought. "Well, if two Nathans can't exist in the same now, then maybe we need to help /this/ Nathan finish whatever he's doing now, so that he can get out and your Dad can get in?" is his helpful attempt at being helpful. The thought about Bishop is filed away for safe keeping for an entirely different set of thoughts. Her questioning on Reed Richards jumps to the front of the line.

"Yeah, uh…" Pause. "Wait here. I won't be long. Please. Just stay for me. Okay?" Off he goes! There's a run through the city at incredible speeds. An unauthorized visit to the back rooms of the New York Bulletin. A searching through old newspapers until he finds the one he wants. Then the return — without even stopping to change the typeface for tomorrow's headlines. That will come at a time or more jocularity. This is not that time.

The whole event takes maybe a minute, and when he's back, he's holding up a paper from December 9th, 1963 that reads 'FANTASTIC FOUR ON BAXTER BLOWUP' — with a picture of the eponymous Reed Richards right on the front page. "See? This is from last year. He's /here./ He's… actually not that far from where we're standing." he explains, pointing to the references of the Baxter Building. Then looking at Hope. Flashing a hopeful smile. "Did I do good?"


"A little bit. It's sometimes hard to keep the details straight. I have them, but they get out of order or the specifics start eroding if I don't really force myself to remember." Pushing her hair off her face doesn't save her from her long bangs falling right back. "I think it's a pretty standard hazard without something to dampen it. I don't know. Right now, I don't know."

Leaning forward, she utters a soft noise of dismay and then Tommy is off, leaving her to her own devices. They haven't a couch yet, so the choice is pretty plain: she's going to go flop instead on a pile of clothes that ended up carried over. Because what other choice does she have? Dropping down into a seated position, she leans forward, her head tilted forward and her arms wrapped around her knees. It's not as though she has much of a choice about feeling good or bad.

When he returns a few minutes, seconds, hours later, there she still remains, nursing her own discomfort and disquiet. Because shock and awe is not the best choice right now. She looks up with his return, eyebrows arching a bit.

"Huh. You brought me a paper? I get it, I need to read." Tongue pressed to her teeth, she takes the paper and peers down at the image above the fold. Eyes widen. "Whoa. What the… That… He's around? I mean… he's around. He shouldn't be around, I thought, this is super early. But he is here, and all the aliens. Has someone been messing with the universe? I mean seriously, have they? Because I am seriously screwed up here, and this is too big to deal with absent a bed and a couch and a lot of cookies."

A pause. "We were lucky to have cookies."


When Hope takes the paper from him, he takes the opportunity to flop down on the pile o' clothes with her. Not so much sitting as sprawling. Resting his head against her. Constant contact. Physical assurance that she's not alone. Despite how it might feel right now.

"Told you." Tommy agrees, bobbing his head once. "He's the smartest guy I can think of. I don't know about if he was supposed to be here now or not…" the speedster's memories are probably more fractured than any of the time travelling teen triad, given that he was just yanked along for the ride and forcibly rewritten en route. "…hell. If we're gonna reveal the not-from-around-here cards, he might even be able to put in a word towards getting you real papers. But he works for the government, now. So, your call and I back you up."

Then he's twisting a little — far enough for a barely audible 'pop' to be heard as a muscle realigns in a way that seems to content him. Then back so that he can look at her. "Cookies are good. So is chocolate. Ice cream. Raw cookie dough. Say the world and you'll be bathing in desserts."


They need furniture, that much is plain to see. Eventually they can obtain some and make the apartment less empty, less thrown together. The note will be made in the back of her brain, already added to the list of things to do. The list grows by the day, no less, however much she might wish otherwise. Rubbing her leg up against Tommy's reaffirms she is aware of his presence, even if her emotions are a turbulent mess.

"I don't know. What am I going to do, walk up and tell him 'Hi, I'm from the future, can you help? Sounds like a right disaster for trouble, at least." She purses her lips slightly. "I mean, good way to be thrown in jail or interrogated. I don't trust government people, and he's government, isn't he?" Nothing she can do about that, but one can call that distrust a mutual thing. Or it comes from Cable; he's seen cybernetic bear dad. It has to make sense, yes?

"I'm not sure what." She pulls out the black and red device marked with a phoenix, exchanged for her pendant. Her thumb runs along the curve. "I miss him. And it really sucks he's not here, not the man I knew. He looked healthier, he burned like… if you could feel the way I saw him. It's like he was a full battery, a whole sun, instead of burning so much energy on us. You ever wonder what someone famous was like in their prime? Like that." Probably an apt description; he's seeing his parents in their relative youth, still inexperienced and brimming with power and potential.

"I don't know what I'm going to do. Soldier on. Keep doing what we're doing. Yeah?"


All things would come in time; it wasn't a process that promised to be quick, even when considering the two people chiefly involved. Maybe they'd throw a party and have entrants bring a piece of furniture each. It'd be a good way to end up with twenty chairs. Maybe go dumpster diving, or garage sale-ing, or… who knew. They had options, and they had time. At least he thought they did; there was the nagging thought that any day, that Bishop could show up and the chase would /really/ be on. Or maybe the hunter would become the hunted. A strong network of allies would help with the latter thought, and it's one that Tommy /definitely/ keeps in mind.

"Do good things, keep your nose clean. Prove your worth as a person — you don't have to prove it to me, obviously…" she's managed that feat plenty of times. "…but Richards is a hero. He's one of the Fantastic Four, and probably works with that ACT-F force that goes out looking for E.T., too. If you run in their circles… maybe he'll decide you're too valuable as an ally to be some kind of experiment." Much like his team did with him; so he speaks from experience.

"I know you miss him." Tommy admits, nuzzling his head against her side lightly. "Maybe… just maybe it'd be a good idea to get to know /this/ him too. Maybe you'll understand him in ways that you never would've otherwise. We can have him over for dinner. I can make horrible excuses for burgers and he can threaten to break my face if I break your heart. It'll be great." He can't help himself. He has to try for a little levity. Try for a smile. "But yeah, I get it. There's a lot of people I kinda recognize — the Beatles, or one. You know, those Brits on the radio? In /my/ day, they're legends. Now… they're just starting out. We're gonna go see them live at some point. Elvis, too. He's still alive."

Now he lets his eyes close. Relaxing a bit. Hand reaching out to rest on her lap. "We'll figure something out, and whatever it is? We'll do it together. Promise. Until then? Maybe we do what your dad wanted. Live a… kinda… normal life. Throw parties. Have barbeques on the roof. Hook my brother up with anyone who looks like they might dig guys and wait for the fireworks. God knows he's not gonna stick /himself/ out there." Billy /really/ needs to tell Tommy about Teddy, clearly.


"Yeah," Hope agrees. "I intend to know him. Nathan gave me this and he wouldn't have done that unless he really intended to." Her eyes are narrowed, focused upon the device in her palm, and that is enough to warrant a soft, quiet sigh out of her. "I promise it'll all work out. I need a little more space to process this over the next few days, and if you catch me bawling my eyes out, just pretend it's totally a weird girl thing and never actually happened. Your usual Hope has been replaced by Charity, the tiny lame version who just looks a lot like me and isn't." Her attempt at humour is probably variable in its success, but think of the children! Err. The possibilities abound for bad puns.

Moving right along, she arches an eyebrow at Tommy's plans for his already attached twin, and she shakes her head. "I have no idea how you people go about that. I read a magazine article the other day and you would not believe the stupid recommendations it offered. I'm supposed to court me and I need a chaperone, and a whole lot more stuff that is absolutely never going to happen. Too late for a chaperone. I mean, we go to a party, obviously I'll stick close. But I'm not even supposed to hold your hand until we're married for ten years." Emphatic nod follows here, proof entirely of the skill and the talent she holds for deception. At least she can sell it well. Reed Richards is forgotten for the moment and, instead, she rubs her cheek with her knuckles. "So, yeah, we're going to have to come up with something better to do than moping because I'm going to lose it otherwise, maybe."

Cue activity request, which is reasonable. She pulls his hand up to her cheek and nips his palm.


"That's my girl. Make the best out of a crappy situation. Really is all we can do at a time like this." Tommy agrees, taking note of the little device. He's got to lean up to get a proper look, but… it's memorized nonetheless. Some kinda bird? …didn't her pendant look something like that, too? Must be like a family crest or something. Something to be kept in mind, but not weighed upon too heavily; not yet, at least. As for the next few days?

Her attempt at humor draws a laugh— he's got a good sense for when people are trying to make jokes, given that it's a self-defense mechanism for him. "Right. I'll leave you be, but I'll be /around./ That way when you want me near, you come get me. When you don't? I'll figure other things out to do." Pause. "Given, y'know, everything and the fact that we don't have cell phones? If you go out, leave me a note on where? I'll do the same. If I don't see you within, like, a day of when you're supposed to be back, I'll come looking and loaded for bear. With ammo. Promise." Because it could mean Bishop. She might want him to come looking even sooner, for all he knows. He'll let her be the judge.

To the recommendations of the day? Tommy grins, "Wouldn't they be scandalized if they knew the truth of what we're doin'? I'm pretty sure some of the things we do haven't even been thought up, yet." And he's entirely amused by this fact. Although her does cough a bit at the sound of the /other/ 'm' word. Considering he's still got trouble with the 'l' one, no big surprise there. "But hey, from the sounds of it… we've earned it. I'd walk into Hell and knock Lucifer's teeth down his throat for you, and I'm pretty sure you'd do the same for me. Should mean we're eligible for fringe benefits." Wink.

As for things to do? "You were gonna teach me to move like you do. How to shoot." Pause. "…I wanna learn how to take one apart, too. When Nathan pulled that big fuckin' gun on you… I realized I don't have a good plan b other than 'run really fast' for things like that. I thought about exploding it, but… he was too close. It could've been bad. I don't think it shot bullets." Then she's pulling his hand around and nipping at his palm…

"Or, y'know, we can get some ideas from the Discovery Channel and worry about being /productive/ later." Cue that grin that she's probably come to know so well, dimples and all.


If he understood what that symbol meant - once, what it portended for her future, and no longer will. She might have words. On the same surface, though, she puts back the comm link. Everyone seems to have one of these nowadays, but chances are hers do things that no one else's do, except their owned versions. Her smile lasts for a moment and not much further than that. Preoccupation requires her attention elsewhere, anyways, and drifting through the tangle of her emotions related to a firebird is really not high on the list of activities she wants to follow.

"I meant to say I'm not abiding by all these silly rules. You want me, you say so. I want you, I'll tell you I really need you here, right now, and I'm not one of those crazy people who needs ten miles of space or something. That's more it. We don't need a chaperone because seriously, I think your brother might get hives if we started kissing." Mischief suggests she might not be all that bothered by blowing off Billy's eyebrows; again, this is very possibly borrowed from the other twin, but chances are fair to partly sunny she herself has a mischievous streak a mile wide and unpracticed because no one ever lets her out to play. The cough makes her pause. "What? Seriously, you should get a beer and read a Cosmopolitan with me. These magazines are so, so bad. Like, how girls are supposed to stay home and make paper flowers for /everything/. And then how appliances are awesome, when is a man moving too fast, and all the rest of that. It's like we went back to the dark ages. It's as bad as the undergarments. Cover up everything and pretend it doesn't exist!"

Triumph as far as she is concerned is a fearful thing, met by a few objects clattering back down to the tabletop. "You want me to teach you parkour? That's perfectly cool, I'd love to. It's the nearest thing to flying, though considering all things, I'm pretty sure I could fly right now. When he pulled that gun, you know I was SOL same as you, right?" Not the truth. What she could have done is all around them, but it's not a conscious reflex on her part other than letting her boiling over emotions have their expression so nothing, including herself, explodes. That would be awkward. "You know run away and live to fight another day is a totally valid approach. That's what he counsels me to do all the time. Hide, fire, run away. No one but the dumb and the dead stand out in the middle of things, banging their chests to draw attention. You know, you had a pretty decent chance of running behind him and disarming him if you knew a few techniques. Wouldn't recommend it, not knowing how much Dad's got in there — um, Nate. If you had to? Run down the damn wall, or zigzag. Never, ever run in a straight line." As Rickon is an idiot Stark demonstrated. Surely Tommy was around for that?

"It didn't shoot bullets. It's an energy weapon and I remember the make well enough. I don't have any of my kit with me, and that hurts, but man. If we could get our hands on that, it would almost be home. Though he sticks me with the grasshoppers all the time, I can shoot the big ones, too."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License