1964-08-27 - Ice Cream Social
Summary: Hope meets Bucky and Kai and ice cream.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
kai hope bucky 

There's an assassin in the pool. Because Bucky can't resist the water. Somewhere safe and private - no one will sneak up on him, no one cares about the arm. He's in a t-shirt and swim trunks, the former presumably to hide the ugly rim of scarring around the graft…..and at the moment, he's floating idly on his back, squinting past the haze of light pollution to see if he can't see a star or two.

An entire pool, just full of water. Not even water that you can drink. Just…full of water, for the purpose of swimming in it, for fun. It's one of the many things Hope finds strange about the past. The present. Civilized society in general still throws her for a loop, but the pool is definitely on the list of strange things. So it bears studying.

She wasn't expecting to find it occupied, though. She's in cast-off cargo pants with the hems torn to her length, with a mens undershirt, when she steps out onto the roof, pausing at the sight of someone in the pool. "Oh, uh. Hi," she calls over, raising a hand awkwardly.

That has him turning upright, rolling to put his feet down on the bottom and stand on his feet. He tosses his head to flick sodden hair out of his face, blinking at her. "Hi," he says, amiably. The arm gleams in the shimmering glow of the pool's internal lighting. "Water's fine," he adds, promptingly. Though she's not precisely dressed for swimming, not yet.

Hope's brows rise when she notes the arm, coming to the edge of the pool and sitting down to start rolling up the legs of her pants. "Is that…I mean, you just go…swim in it?" she nods toward the pool, as if she's just not convinced about this quite yet. Better question than the arm, at least. For a minute. She'll get there.

"Yeah," he says, a little blankly, regarding her with open curiosity. "It's chemically treated so nothing bad or infectious grows in it. It's made for swimming, though not for drinking or bathing in to get clean, really. You….you were from the future, right?"

"That's the short version, yeah," Hope smiles ruefully back at him, slowly sinking her feet into the water as she sits on the edge. "Hope," she introduces herself, offering out a hand. "And you were…Bucky, right?" She doesn't seem to be worried about the water or afraid of swimming, really. It's more the entire idea of a pool that has her weirded out.

He nods at that. "James is my real name. Bucky's just a nickname given me by an old friend. The blonde guy, Steve," he clarifies.

"Yeah, I know who Captain America is," Hope grins, amused. "I kind of had no one but Nathan for, well. Most of my life. So. Lots of stories. Captain America. Red and Slim. The Avengers, the X-Men. I mean, I get the impression that things are probably not the same as they were in his stories. Whether that's because they were stories or because of a time shift sort of thing, I don't really know, but. I've got kind of an idea about things. Sort of."

"How far in the future are we talking?" he asks, after a beat or two to mull that over. "I wasn't sure I heard you say. And who's Nathan?"

"Far enough for people to mix their DNA with cockroaches to survive nuclear winter. To achieve space travel and lose it." Hope sets her elbow on her knee, propping her chin up in one hand. "For humanity to die out and the remains to rekindle again. So…a lot. Nathan's time travel regulator broke, and we could only go ahead for a while, and this guy who was chasing us decided the best way to catch up to us was to basically destroy as much of the world as he could so there wasn't much of a future for us to go to," she explains. "So things got ugly. Nathan's…was…" She catches the inside of her cheek between her teeth, frowning. "My dad, in every way that counts."

"You know what," he says, taking a step or two into shallower water, "You're one a' the few people I've met who sounds like she's got a worse story than I do. I'm sorry to hear all that. It's hard to lose family, that I do know. I'm not going to preach to you about hope - I bet ou've had a bellyful of that. But sympathy, that I got."

"Usually I'm the one doing the preaching," Hope laughs, pushing a hand through her hair. "Sympathy doesn't accomplish much. Nathan didn't raise me to whine about it. He raised me to do what I needed to do. That's what he died for, too. So. I can't waste my life feeling sorry for myself." She tilts her head, watching him before she nods to the arm. "Nathan had one of those, too," she notes, smile quirking. "Although I doubt yours is a techno-organic virus."

Bucky looks down at it. "No," he says. "This is just an experimental alloy prosthesis. I lost part of the original arm in a war. They cut off the rest and grafted this on." He manages not to sound bitter or disgusted. Just kind of resigned. It's been part of him for so long…..and he still hates it.

"But you're the one wearing it," Hope points out, kicking slowly under the water. "You're alive. That means you're winning, or you won. You're the one who decides what it means to you." Speaking of speeches about hope. Apparently she's the expert on the subject.

Which he concedes with a raise of his brows, and an impish little grin. "Well, I'm holding 'em off for now," he says, inclining his head to her.

"That's the spirit," Hope grins, though the smile fades shortly after as she looks up toward the sky. Or, more accurately, the skyline. "There are…a lot of people here. In this time. It's a lot, right?" she asks, looking back to Bucky. "Don't you ever feel kind of…crowded?"

He looks around, up at all the buildings filled with people. "No," he says, looking back to her. "Not really. I grew up very close to here, and the population density was always insanely high. I'm used to it. It's the reverse I don't like, honestly. Being out in nowhere, alone."

"That's kind of all I know," Hope admits. "Everything that's here, now…seems like sensory overload. Except," she pauses, raising a finger. "Peanut butter. I kind of feel like absolutely everything that is way too much can be made up for with peanut butter. And maybe hair brushes."

This is even weirder than he is. That takes some doing. "This is one of the densest population centers in the world, now, though. It's not all like this. Most of it's nowhere near close, in fact. But I know how that feels. I was ….a long time away, somewhere cold and remote, as a prisoner. I have times where it's like that for me, too." Then he grins at her. "Hair brushes, really? And peanut butter. Have you tried ice cream, yet?"

"Shockingly, things for being pretty didn't really survive the apocalypse." And yet, Hope doesn't actually seem to resent it. If anything, she seems a little bit guilty about having any interest in it at all. "What's ice cream?"

"Oh, you are in for a treat," he says, grinning suddenly. "It's basically sweet and creamy and cold, it comes in different flavors. Hell, I know there's some in the freezer downstairs. You wanna try some?"

Hope tilts her head, squinting a bit as she tries to imagine what he's describing. "Okay, well, that mostly sounds weird," she says, though a crooked smile curves as she pushes back from the edge of the pool. "But yeah, sure. I'll give it a try. I've eaten much weirder things."

"Let me get dried off and change," he adds. "I'll meet you down in the kitchen in a few minutes." HE climbs out of the pool, towels himself off as much as he can without removing his shirt, and then he's heading for the stairs down. He's got one of the smaller rooms in the upper of the residential floors, and ducks in there to re-emerge in a bit in jeans, t-shirt, boots, and with his wet hair tied back.

It's a pretty safe bet that Hope doesn't exactly have a change of clothes. Not that she's going to bring it up with anyone. When he makes it down to the kitchen, she's already there, sitting cross-legged in one of the chairs at the kitchen table. There's exactly one light turned on, too. And it's the one that's least likely to be seen from the street, that doesn't block her line of sight to the outside. And yet she seems perfectly calm. It's not even fear or paranoia for the girl, it's just life.

He won't assure here there's no threat. The Russians could come for him, even here. Though that would be foolish of them, considering his room-mates. He still hasn't bothered to cover his arm. Then he's getting dishes out of the cupboard, and the ice cream he bought out of the freezer. A scoop from the drawer, and then she's served first: one little scoop each of chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla. He gets one, too. Sweets were a luxury not really doled out to Russian operatives….so he's making up for lost time.

"Ice cream, huh?" Hope takes the bowl, peering in and poking at it with her spoon. The truth is, she doesn't even know enough to ask what it tastes like. Chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry, none of them are things she's had a lot of experience with. So she just digs in, scraping off a bit of the strawberry first. "Oh, it's-" She starts to chew, only to find that it melts, leaving her licking her lips a bit awkwardly. "You're right. It's cold. And it's sweet. And it's…neither liquid nor solid. Huh."

She and Bucky are in the kitchen, apparently trying ice cream. For the first time, on Hope's part.

"Yeah," he says, too busy watching her to really pay attention to his own. By the smell of chlorine and the way his hair's slicked back, someone's been in the pool…but he's dressed and dried now. "Each color tastes a bit different. That pink stuff is strrawberry." He's going to end up feeding her like a mother bird, just to see how she reacts to different things.

"Hullo," Kai calls, poking around the manor. There's a click-click of doggy nails on the floor, and before Kai gets to the kitchen, he's preceded by a little dog, not much bigger than a cat, ugly and wiry and brown. Happy little thing, though. When it spies Bucky, it trots over to him, tail whipping back and forth. Clearly, the pooch knows the metal-armed man.

"Wha's strawberry?" Hope asks around a larger mouthful of the stuff, poking at the rest of the scoop. "Aren't strawberries some kind of fruit? This does not look like fruit. Fruit definitely doesn't melt." Her pants are rolled up to her knees, but she doesn't look like she's gone for a swim. Although given the state of her clothes, it might have been good for them. When Kai calls out, she changes the way she's holding her spoon, suddenly ready to use it as a weapon. Just in case. Although it's clear she doesn't need to in short order.

Oh, he knows that kind of thing, all too well. "That's Kai. He's okay. Yes, strawberries are a kind of fruit, but their juice can be used as flavoring, which is that one there," A nod at the pink stuff. "Hey, Kai," he says, cheerfully, before he leans down and scratches the little dog's ears. "This is Kevin, he's a good dog, yes he is," Well, now they can both claim they've heard the Winter Soldier babytalk to a little mutt.

Kai ambles into the kitchen, and he says, "There's my boy." To the dog, presumably. The dog's tongue lols, so happy for the scritches. The little animal sniffs at Hope cautiously. Friend? Or not friend? He looks about as intimidating as a particularly cautious teddy bear. Kai himself has an easygoing stance, and he flips a wave to Hope. "Hey, how's it going? I'm Kai." To Bucky, he says, "There you are."

"Huh. Oh. Hey. Ooh." Hope winces, mouth falling open. "'at's cold. Oh, my head." One eye squinted half shut, she manages to wave with the spoon to Kai. "Hi. I'm Hope." She looks to Kevin, but one new person and a sudden brain freeze is about all she can handle at the moment.

"Press your tongue to the roof of your mouth," advises the Winter Soldier, old hand when it comes to a cold headache. If only that worked in cryo. "Here I am," he agrees with Kai, affably. He looks cheerful, especially for him.

Kai perks up. "Ooh, ice cream." He scoops up the dog, who wags its tail and licks his face. "There's a good boy," Kai murmurs to the wee beast. "Are you one of us or just visiting?" he asks. He leans against the counter near Bucky. "Same question to you, stranger. I keep seeing you out of context."

Hope quirks a brow at Bucky but gives it a try, nodding once the sudden dagger between her eyes fades away. "That's complicated," she answers Kai with a wry smile, going back to her ice cream at a more measured pace. "I'm a mutant, though. How long I'm here for is the complicated part. And it's here or with the X-Men, but it seems like I've got a better chance of figuring it out if I'm here, so I guess I'm one of you?"

"There's more in the freezer," Bucky says, thickly. His own tongue's gone a bit numb, with those mouthfuls. "I bought it, so you can eat it, Kai. And…..I don't know that I've got a context," he adds, as he ruffles Kevin's ears again. "She's from the future," he adds, to Kai.

Kai heads to the freezer and helps himself, scooping a huge portion into a bowl. "What kind of future doesn't have ice cream?" Kai asks, pulling a face. "No wonder you're here in a better place." He leans against the counter again and starts shoving the sweet treat in his face. "I'm from a different world," he says. "Welcome to the manor."

Hope pauses when Kai mentions his origins, looking between him and Bucky a few times. "See, this is where I feel like maybe there was a failure of communication at some point in the future, because if there was a whole different world then I feel like sending me into the future would have been a second choice. Although, benefits of into the future, able to come back almost immediately being fully grown. Mostly grown," she corrects herself, going back to the bowl for more ice cream.

"There are other realms, with other sentient races. He's an elf, he comes from Alfheim," Bucky says, jerking a thumb at Kai. "I know, it's weird."

Kai waves to Hope again. "Hello," he says. Given a closer look, those eyes are rather luminous. Sure, he can pass for human, but once the world 'elf' is mentioned, it fits. It really fits. He's a fey thing. Kevin, who Kai put down in favor of ice cream, whines at him as he gazes up. Ice cream for dog? Kai shakes his head. No ice cream for dog. While people are watching. "Alfheim's nice," he says, "but Midgard is better."

"I'm not sure it's weirder than coming from the future," Hope muses to Bucky, turning a crooked smile on Kai before she starts in on the vanilla ice cream next. "But I'm sure it's a nice place. I mean, I hope it's a nice place. If you're here because it's been destroyed, then I'm sorry." It says a lot about her life, really, that those are the options.

"I still want to see Alfheim," Bucky maintains, between bites of ice cream. Even odds he licks the bowl, when he's finished.

Kai shakes his head and says, "Oh, no, Alfheim's still around. My parents are from there. I was born here, so I like it here better. Here doesn't have my grandmother. What happens in the future?" He then holds up his bowl and tells Bucky, "Look." Like where's his trophy for eating a bowl of ice cream? "You'll see it sometime, mate."

"Bad things," Hope answers Kai. The vanilla is less exciting than the strawberry, but it still has the lion's share of her attention. "Some lady with powers basically wishes most mutants out of existence. Or not them, but suddenly all but about a hundred don't have powers anymore. And new mutants stopped happening. It looked like mutants might be going extinct. Until I was born. But there were a bunch of crazy fanatics who wanted me dead, so they sent me into the future with Nathan. Except there was this other guy who came from a different, more awful future, and he was convinced that I was the reason for that future, so he wanted to kill me too. He came after us, and broke the regulator on our time travel so we could only go forward. Then, to make it easier to track us into the future, he basically destroyed civilization. So there were the cockroach people. And then there was nothing - we totally survived off recycled astronaut pee. Then there was…Oh, Apocalypse. And Stryfe." Which clearly mean something more to her than the words. "Emil and the two cities. The Brood…"

"So, what do we have to do to prevent this awful future. There's been a lot of fuss about mutants now, but…." Bucky' taking this very seriously. It takes his mind off his problems./

Kai shakes his head slowly and says, "I have no idea who any of those people are." Then he says, "It sounds to me like all of those places are horrible, and you should stay here with us in the sixties, where mutants are on the brink of getting their rights and there's only a slim-to-probable chance we're all going to blow ourselves up in a themeronuclear war."

"That's the thing," Hope shakes her head to Bucky. "I'm not sure if I should do something. You start messing with the past and you've got no idea what you might change, you know? I could never be born. Or I could be born, but someone who made a difference wouldn't be. Or maybe me coming back here is what sets off that awful future. There's no way to know."

"It's beyond me," Bucky says, somberly. And then he nods at Kai using a bowl. "We'll get you trained some day, elf. Well done. I'll even wash that bowl for you."

"Don't get used to it," Kai says around another mouthful of ice cream. He licks his lips, then says, "The way I figure, you're here. That's done. If any of these futures could unfold, and so far they're all terrible, what difference does it make? Maybe this is the one chance you get to make the future good. But you don't know. I think all you can do is live where you're at and do the good you can do."

"Sounds…complicated," Hope sighs, but at the moment, there's ice cream to enjoy. "This is good, though. Thanks," she says around it, offering an awkward smile.

Kai goes home.

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