1964-03-17 - Never Trust Robots
Summary: Tommy has to warn Hope he's bringing a girl over. But it's not what she thinks.
Related: N/A
Theme Song: None
tommy hope 

It's later on at night after a round of check-ins by the speedster — Tommy's been doing the rounds every night to make sure none of his /other/ teammates end up getting nabbed like Lorna did, because, well. It could totally happen. But now? He's coming back into the apartment — using the front door with his key, then turning to lock it behind him. Once this is done? A spot on the nice, comfy sofa awaits him…. and he claims it and its two nearby neighbours, flopping down unceremoniously and just /sprawling/ out. Because he can.

"Spicecaaake?" he calls out, head turned towards the cushions. "You home, baby?"


Speedster check-ins might find Hope fast asleep in their booby-trapped bedrooms. None of their electronics are on the grid because a good number of them are cobbled together in a slapdash fashion, jury-rigged out of components most people wouldn't think to run, all because they get the closest they can to any form of quasi-modern-ish tech. No doubt if she could raid Wayne Manor, or maraud Mojo's house, the nomadic Messiah would have a better selection. That said, she's fast asleep with two guns under her pillow, and electricity rigged to shock someone with a snap of a wire. This is, after all, a girl used to surviving in dystopian conditions. But she has to sleep.

Mind she's been asleep in the middle of Mutant Town more often than not lately for reasons that involve an awareness the ghetto provides a shocking array of options. Or they involve her cybernetic ursine parent. Though the shout makes her stir, and the near silent click of a hammer on a silenced machine pistol announces to the very slow that, yes, she's awake. Groggily she opens her eyes, scouring a look through the dim curtains. None of the tripwires are hit. The modified claymore on the roof didn't go off.


Of all the people he checks in on, Hope is the one he worries about the least. She's the one he'd panic the most over losing, but honestly? If Hope doesn't /want/ to be taken, Tommy's pretty darn sure she'll be exactly where he left her.

So when there's not the immediate response, he does finally get up. Walking slow through the apartment as to /not/ set off any of the boobietraps, because… well. That would just be bad, alright?

So he pokes his head into the bedroom. "Babe?" There she is. A smile lights his face and he moves to join her on the bed. Why? Because honestly, it's a cozy place to be. Cheeks are kissed in quick succession because he can. "Sleep well?"


In fairness, Hope may not be the all-seeing, all-powerful dancing Messiah in any right. She possesses a limited number of abilities but, when ripping her away from the three things she cares about — bear, boyfriend, gun — then someone is bound to discover what happens when she uncouples any sort of morality from her busted moral compass. Always a concern.

The reckless actions the redhead could take are limited, though, in part by someone moving the apartment possibly aware of the countless fine lines of fishing wire, the bells, the various little bits that give away presences. Hey, it's low tech, but the high tech stuff is too easy to fail.


"Stupid city." Yep, that's the Hope everyone knows and Tommy probably doesn't like. Or does. She will never admit she herself is a bear cub, but there she is, resting her chin on her hands. Not paws. "No. Dad wanted to tell me about something messing with the reality envelope around the planet and the odds are terrible."


In fairness, Tommy rather likes /all/ Hopes. From the grumpy and grouchy to the overly amorous and everything in between. So he's content to settle on the bed with her and just… /be/ there. Arm reaches out to drape across her, fingers running lazily along her back as she talks.

"Well, you know. It might be a stupid city, but it's our city." Tommy replies, bumping his shoulder gently against hers. "Saw your Dad again? That's good." Pause. "Well. Less good with the whole… edge of extinction kinda thing. Don't suppose we have a spaceship handy to run away from the whole mess, do we?" He's joking, clearly. Probably.


Hope is, admittedly, a chameleon in all ways but personality. Her personality is her own. So when she lifts her head, the fuzzy state of dystopian despair will only last so long. "Yeah. Out and about, got himself trapped again in a… private bunk, let's call it that. I'm not allowed to laugh about him. And I had a spaceship for a while. That's how I saw most of space. Why I could talk to Cheeseburger Man and Groot about it. Most of the time it was a hell hole to be on because, you know, Apocalypse."

Maybe he has memories of Apocalypse. Maybe he doesn't. The name sure as hell never left her, even in the finer details are skidding all over around memory.


There's a few moments of silence as he tries to comprehend what was said. Then the cracking of a smile. Then he drops his face down against the sheets and stifles his laughter as best he can, even if muffled laughter can still be heard. "I promise not to tell him you told me." he offers once he can regain his composure, lifting his head back up to look over at her. "You can razz the Doc about being a girl sometime if you want, though. He's good for teasing." And doesn't take it too seriously, a bonus in Tommy's book.

"I /was/ wondering how you got to see all those planets. It was either that or, like, alien abduction." Pause, grin, "And as far as I know, I'm the only one that's been probing you that way." Snicker.

As for Apocalypse? The name brings… a raised eyebrow. His old team never had a run-in with him, so… "Oh, you mean like, the biblical end of the world? That's /real?/ Shit. Maybe I oughtta start going to church."


"You think it's funny but that's like getting locked in private space for reasons usually related to guns. Or because he's even further from the future than me." Shrugging, Hope slides the gun back under the pillow while Tommy is busy laughing his face off. "At least for part of it. He lived there but he was born earlier. I mean, I'm not his kid grandmother or something weird. You… wait, Doctor girl? That doesn't make a lick of sense, Shepherd." A finger jabs into his side, knowing and pointy. He isn't escaping.

Not when she wriggles it around between his ribs. "Yeah. I lived like…" Her brows narrow in a notched vee over her eyes. "I can't even tell you how long. They use different measurements in space and then, when humanity kind of gave up on Earth, it was even more complicated. Say like a while. I went to a few different planets but never for long. Hard to get off-ship privileges when I wasn't even supposed to be there. And then there was Bishop and his posse of punks following me around." Cue another nose wrinkle.

He might be giving her raised eyebrows about Apocalypse, and the redhead sighs again and rolls onto her back, careful not to get shot by her own guns. Safeties are back on though. "The biblical what?" Sorry, faith lessons lost here. "Yes, he's most definitely real. And he probably wants to cause something other than the end of the world. More like lead the world in his own image. And remake all the mutants to love him lots like the living god he says he is cause he's the first of us, and fuck all the humans, they can die, because they're not good enough and their society is corrupt and all that. So maybe he's the end times for them. But be the bestest baddest ass master of all, sure, that would be Apocalypse. He's a mean sonovabitch. Dad hates him. So do I. Not because of Dad, but because of what the hell he'd do to us."


"Oh. Well. I guess it's not /really/ that funny. Maybe it was just the way you said it." Tommy replies, before jumping a bit at the poke, and rolling over onto his back… and laughing even more. Helpless beneath her touch. Which doesn't stop for several seconds before he tries to bat at her hand to get her to stop. "Remember? Cat. Potion. I had boobs?" That reminder amuses him greatly.

"Well. It's nice to know we'll keep living on when we screw up the planet. Especially if the planet's in danger of being screwed up sooner than later. I mean, I /like/ Earth, all my stuff's here… but if it gets blown up or something, I wouldn't mind getting the hell outta dodge." Especially with her. Preferably with their families, too. And friends would be a nice addition to round it out. Especially /their/ friends.

"Yeah… it sounds like where you come from there all kinds of bad guys running around, and it's starting to look like they're on their way to now just like we came… you know, what with Mojo, and now this Apocalypse…" There's a crinkle of his nose to that. The guy sounds like all kinds of bad news. "…at least you're not flying solo anymore, right?" Granted, there's more than just him; there's the bear, the Brotherhood, the Contingency Plan, /his/ family… she's got a whole support nerwork building up that few would mess with in their right mind.

…granted, most of the named enemies aren't exactly /in/ their right minds. "'cause your enemies are mine, too. It's just how it works."

"…speaking of alone, I wanted to tell you something. When I was out in Chinatown checking on Ava, I ran into this girl."


"One of many futures. Rule one of the future, it isn't the only future you could possibly have." Hope forces herself to sit up a little more, pushing her pillow lower under her shoulders. "Earth sometimes makes it. Sometimes Earth doesn't. People play a big role in whether that happens, but Dad ran a diagnostic program to determine likelihood of survival and…" Her voice trails off, as she lifts her hands and wobbles them to demonstrate said odds to be less than spectacular. Then again, this is the girl for whom whole continents died in titanic gouts of fire, radiation, and fear. Nuclear winters and instant wars all to corner the cybernetic bear she calls Dad.

Puts a new light on things, eventually. "We went back a few times to nicer places. Not the empty ones, though the populated places were never safe to stay long. But I liked those ones for a little bit. You know, there was this one time, we showed up and everyone wore these breezy, cool clothes and went around with bottles of stuff, caring about nothing. So, you know, Dad was like right out of there. They were all wearing flowers and listening to music, I don't get what the problem was. About to be massacred."

Or it was the Summer of Love, and there are places you do not take a teenager. At all. Ever.

"Mojo's pulling people apart. Tearing them away from their moorings, seeing what it does. I know what kind of sick screw up that is. He's pulling strings to tear them apart and dangling them. He did it with you and your brother. Lorna and that guy. Ava, who does she have? Teddy, that's easy. Billy. Me, you. Or Dad. Domino? Dad." Her opinion there is pretty darn clear in a wrinkle of a nose. "So you met a girl. Please tell me her name wasn't Maja Domo because that is a robot I will shoot."


There's a solemn nod to the explanation on futures and their various branches. It's a sobering prospect to think that the future he came from? Not the only one out there. That things won't play out the same way, or at least might not. On the plus side? It should mean he won't vanish into the ether when he's supposed to be born /normally./ "Well then." he trails off for a moment, propping his head up on one arm and seeking one of her hands out with his free one. "Whatever happens? I wasn't kidding before. We're in it together. I'm pretty lucky that the people I care about can take care of themselves, and have backup everywhere they look. So if the planet burns… I know who I'm coming for first."

There's a thought that crosses his mind; discuss planetary /escape/ plans? Maybe wait until things get a little more dire. Or until he figures out that the Doctor can gate to alternate /dimensions,/ at which point that becomes a very proper exit point that all should run towards.

"Kinda makes sense. The more people around to see you the more chances that Bishop guy might find you, 'cause Joe Schmoe on the streets doesn't have reason one to keep your secrets safe." There's a twist of his lips to that. She's in a populated time now. Her dad's here, too, now. Could her time /now/ be running out? "Sounds like a pretty funky time, though." Pause. "Actually, it kinda reminds me of…" Tommy's support hand leaves his head to cover his mouth. Oh, he thinks he knows why they got out so fast.

"…that figures, I guess. Kinda a reverse take on 'united we stand'. Pull us apart and we might do what he wants, maybe." Pause. "…I can't deny it'd be a damn good motivator." There's a frown at that. He knows there's a lot he'd do for the members of his team and family. Things that they probably wouldn't approve of. He does pick up one thing, though.

"…your not-aunt's got the hots for your dad, huh?" Well. It seems more likely than old war buddies. Plus the thought's highly amusing. "And I thought my family had weird first re-meetings. No, not Maja Domo. Her name's Nico. Uhh," What was her last name? "Nico Minoru. I don't think I've ever seen a robot dress like /that,/ though."


Given the means by which Tommy was born, don't count on that. No telling what the hell an immortal Sorcerer and whatever his mother shakes out to be achieve when they feel like putting their minds to something. Or have a difference of opinions. Just so many variables, so many possibilities, and no one likely to be able to answer that question with any degree of satisfaction for him. Such is the nature of life. Even cosmic firebirds and planet eaters have to contend with points of ignorance.

"Pretty sure the planet won't burn. Lighting a fire and hoping the embers bright devour the solar system is a bit excessive, even for a teenager." Except, you know, aforementioned big flaming bird. Potentially the same dimension where it goes 'I choose you, Hope-a-chu' and she flaps her arms around unhappily at it. "Reminds you of someone else in time or another place? Yeah? You know I remember when this whole place?" Wave of her hand. "Was a swamp. Dad made me go get cattails and we cooked oysters on the beach. No buildings around but someone threw a spear at us. Poor people. I doubt they survived another century."

Do the math. New York before the Dutch showed up. Maybe before Elizabeth was cast out as a bastard by her desperate father, and maybe before his father won the War of Roses. It's like talking to someone who waved at Cleopatra, possibly.

"Tommy." She rolls her head on her pillow and arm, looking at him. "I can do bad things, for good causes. I guess it stands cause… You've seen Dad. Survival is everything. I would rather not meaninglessly sacrifice myself, but I will sacrifice for the good of the many. Sometimes that means many. I try to walk a good path, I do, but sometimes I fear there are bridges to cross into darker places because it's not safe for others to do it. Definitely not your brother. Preferably not you. Fact is, though, I trust your moves and sometimes you're going to have to trust me even if it seems really bad. Sometimes I don't get much to work with and I have to make the best of limited options, but if that gives me a shot of getting us all out, I will. Dad always said Charles would set me right. Maybe he would've. He's not here." Okay, not really. "Charles may be a good, noble man. I'm a girl angry at a big spineless slug for fucking up my friends. Me, sure, I get it, I deserve it, but not them." Her fingers flick lightly and she tips her head. "Nico, like Nicholas or Nicole? Meenoru, Nih-ko Meenoru. That's a hell of a bouncy name."


Of course, a lot of Tommy's mindset? Involves going with his gut on things. It's the kind of thing that gives him piece of mind on more than a little of the strange things that goes on in his life, regardless of the real truth behind it. "Kinda, yeah. Uh. If I'm right about it, I think the two of us will fit right in. If your Dad doesn't realize what's going on and just nope you the hell on out of here." Especially since he did it before. "When this place was a /swamp?/ Damn. I mean, they talk about Jersey being a swamp, but…" he trails off, shifting around some to that he can rest his head somewhere on her leg. Picture of lazy comfort, right there. "…you've had an interesting life, Spicecake. I hope I can keep up."

This from the guy who can move before most can think. Of course, he recognizes that he pales compared to /her/ version of his talents. At least for now.

"I'm not one to judge you on morals. God, Hope, I'm the /last/ one to judge /anyone/ on morals, and…" he pauses for a moment, thought obvious in his eyes as he watches her. Making decisions in his head. "…I love you, Hope, and maybe more importantly? I /trust/ you. You're the /one/ person I can say that about." It was two, before Billy decided to throw in with SHIELD. The folks? There's still doubt there. They haven't yet, but eventually they /do/ give him and Billy up. And he becomes /this./ He'll rely on all of the above to a point, but trust is a sacred thing to Tommy. "Whatever happens. Maybe it'll burn me someday, but I've got enough faith in you to think it won't." There's a bit of a grin, here. "Maybe I'm just a stupid teenager for thinking like that, but, I do. Who's Charles? I might know him if he was from when I was." Try that sentence five times fast. "Like Nicolette. Apparantly, her folks killed somebody and they're after her, too. And she can do /things./" Pause. "I told her I'd keep an eye out for her." Someone had to. As a former loner himself, he knows this. "…and I invited her over sometime to show off what she can do. Maybe not the smartest play by me, but…" fingers point between them. "Honesty. You get it. Besides. I didn't want some strange girl to show up unannounced and you to think the wrong thing."


Trust. Trust is a funny thing. It banks up like love or respect, and one withdrawal can sabotage everything for a lifetime. Some people earn none of it, and she values it beyond any currency. Doesn't mean Hope has a sugar glider's idea what on earth to do with it, though, or the mushy feelings that go with such admissions. Tell most girls in this age you love them and they start twittering stupidly in 140 squeals or less then show their friends letter jackets, rings or lipstick. Not Hope.

"Yeah, we'll see how far that goes if you see me floating on a cloud of brimstone, curling horns, spidery batwings, and the ability to spit acid that opens holes into space or something. Trust me, there are weird people out there and I'm their voodoo doll. It's possible you get hurt, I get hurt, but I try to keep collateral down."

Her gaze tips. "I see. She does things. There's may things that could be but you know me. Live and let live until she can't. I get it. Besides, she does something real bad, you call your brother in and then we sit on his wormhole butt until my dad shows up if he gets frisky."


Which, admittedly? Makes it easier to say again and again. Because it's almost like a secret shared between the pair, not shouted from the rooftops with expectations raining down from on high. Maybe a little strange from the one who loves all eyes on him, but something that's… as personal as this? Seems best kept between them. In his mind.

Her description of herself just brings an amused glint to his eyes and a wider grin to his lips. "You wanna see how far it'll go? Do it. See if it bothers me. I'm no zealot, and while all this," a hand motions along her body, "is admittedly a pretty sweet bonus and what first got my eyes your way?" Honesty. "I kinda like the things that go on inside your head, too." A nod to this. "I've gotten hurt before. If you get hurt…" he trails for a moment, considering. "…you know I'm gonna try and help. You tell me not to…" Another moment to consider that possibility. "…I'm probably stupid enough to try anyways. Take what you get, yeah?" Shrug.

A nod, "No idea /what/ she does. Couldn't show me in public." Pause. "That sounded bad. Uh. I think it meant that what she does is flashy. She knows I have a girl." Another nod to this; he made it clear! "Sounds like a plan."


I don't wanna be bad, says the soul condemned to hell. I don't know how to be good, says the shade on the road to perdition. That's how rough life can be.

Not to say that confessions of love don't make it sweet, but their rarity from her maybe makes them more significant when she says it. Hope deals with soft squishy effects by hiding or glossing over, though the effect is there, her black humour a defense. That, they have in common. "Seriously, I doubt you were attracted to my shining personality or my great wealth. It's not like I have a fancy name or fancy clothes or a fancy apartment. Speaking of that, I figure we got to set up another run to pay for it unless your friend can make money rain out of the sky no one is going to question us about." Fine, her plan is a little off-colour, but more likely than she knows. Why the heck Billy doesn't just magic himself up a bank account totally makes him something like Stephen's likeness. Makes one wonder where the light-fingered side comes from. Apples, trees.

"Flashy. Well, cool. We can make something nice to eat for someone hunted by her parents, and maybe let her get some rest if she's not half-bad. If she's half-bad; depends, our kind of bad? Bet Raven has an idea or two but I hate throwing anyone to the wolves in that… place." A generic reference to Mutant Town is plainly visible in the way lips curl and eyes narrow, saturated by a disdain deeper than oceanic trenches, dangerously aligned. "I got it, baby, you want me to say aggressively you're mine, and I am not sharing you with some flashy girl with a bouncy name, no matter what she wears. And news flash, Shepherd, robots project whatever clothes they like. I'm sure you can find one that flies around butt naked, cackling to itself, and fascinated by the reflection of itself in its shiny chrome chass-assis." She totally made that awful pun.


"What can I say? It takes a knockout to distract me from food when I'm hungry." Pause, grin, "All three of those pizzas were meant for me, by the way. I'm sure you know that by now. Billy /mooooched./" But Tommy allowed it, because his twin made a solid wingman. And was the only person he could trust, at the time. "Guessing she couldn't make money rain out of the sky. She said she was sharing a little place with some lady she couldn't even understand half the time. Who knows, though? Maybe she's just Billy-morals." A bit of a shrug to that, before he nestles in against her a little more cozily. There's a definite comfort to being able to just curl up with someone like this, to be sure.

"You got a plan for us, or we playing the race to make enough for rent?" Because they've done both, working as a team and solo. "Yeah, definitely. I mean, I /know/ bad parents, and hers sound like they make mine sound like angels." And that's saying something when compared to the /Shepherds./ "But we'll get to know her, get a feel for her and roll things forward from there, yeah?" Then Tommy, countering her disdain with levity, has that twinkle in his eyes once more. "I'm just /trying/ to make sure people don't get shot out of /my/ fault. If you've got your heart set on sharing me, that's your call to make." he teases, winking at her. Of course, the comment about robots? That just makes him grin from ear to ear. "Next robots we meet, I'm gonna ask to dress like, I dunno. A sexy mariachi band or something. It'll be great. We'll take pictures."

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