2010-04-23: Finding Home

Starring:

Cody_V5icon.pngTracy_V5icon.png

Guest Starring:

Millions of little children (NPC'd with the help of Sydney)

Date: April 23, 2010

Summary:

Tracy's grieving time is interrupted by the constant presence of children, Cody shows up to add one more… though somehow ends up taking 3.


"Finding Home"

Tracy's Safehouse - New Jersey

Safe as houses. Isn't that how the saying goes? The safe house in New Jersey doesn't need the moniker anymore; it's just a house, just as safe as its distant neighbours.

The bright light of day shines in every window, and even the front door, a beacon with its red paint, is open. A spring breeze flows in as people flow out, coming and going to a couple of vehicles parked in the driveway. The people here don't have much to call their own, but what they do have, they're packing up and preparing to leave. Inside is full of activity. A couple of adults whisk past to talk in the driveway by a car with two boys (one of whom is named Stantonio). But now that they can leave, not everyone knows where to go.

Just inside the house, Tracy stands near the door, her back to the living area with its old furniture. Arms folded over a warm grey shirt and camisole, she watches — and sometimes oversees — the comings and goings. This whole thing is bittersweet for her, and it doesn't wouldn't take an expert in psychology to see that she's unsettled.

Sitting in her spot at the kitchen table, Kristi-Ann Larson stares at the kitchen. She's been doing this a lot lately; the kitchen is her place of solace. Tilting her head, she runs a hand over her stubbled hair — it's beginning to grow back in. With a sigh, she turns to face Tracy, "Misses Strauss… " her eyebrows furrow. She's rather unsettled lately, an odd thing for a ten-year-old girl. But then these are odd circumstance.

"PEW PEW PEW!" David peeks out from the living room and sends little telekinetic projectile spit-wads through the air. With everyone getting their lives together, the kids are running amuck (some of them anyways).

A single spit wad hits Kristi-Ann in the cheek. "EWWWWW!!! That is so gross!! You shouldn't do that, you're gonna make people sick!!"

"I ain't sick! I'm awesome!" is David's reply as he places his hands on his hips a la Superman.

A yellow cab pulls up to the house with the red door and little Stantonio perks up as he sees the driver. The curly haired blonde man taps the steering wheel as his blue eyes stare directly at the boy. A small nod is given to the ex-detainee. They've seen each other before, once late at night on the roof of another safehouse. Stantonio quickly turns to tug on the sleeve of one of the adults talk but by the time they look the cab is gone and in its place a blonde woman (that he also recognizes) and a small black haired boy (that he does not) are all that is left.

Cody turns her head toward the family in the driveway and she lifts her free hand to wave at Stantonio. He earns a small smile, it's a great day for so many of the former refugees, finally being able to go home. For Cody, it's been bittersweet. Knowing that she would eventually be left alone in the warehouse, she's been considering giving it back rather than just spending her life's saving to purchase it.

"Come on Joshua, there's someone here that you want to see." She smiles down at the little boy and then hefts him up into her arms rather than letting him run ahead.

Tracy is in her old world and the antics of the kids don't quite draw her out of it. Sure, they get her attention — the once-blonde girl did call her name — but she's slow to glance their way, and distant and unconcerned when she does. The sound of a vehicle on a relatively quiet road does, though, and she takes a step into the open doorway, arms still loosely crossed. Of course, she recognizes Cody instantly, surprised to see the woman. As for the dark-haired boy in Baker's arms, Tracy gives him a notably wary look before giving the former agent a very restrained smile. "Cody." The unspoken question follows obviously: what are you doing here?

Joshua, meanwhile, wraps his arms around Cody's neck and looks at the house wide-eyed. The little guy actually seems excited, if anxious, but he doesn't ask who they're here to see. He probably doesn't want to be wrong!

David bounces at the sight of visitors, and his first instinct is to run upstairs. This causes his blonde counterpart to roll her eyes before she turns back to stare at the kitchen, still convinced that she should watch it intently. Moments later, David returns with his arms full of various toys (as limited as they may be) which he lowers on the living room floor, beaming the whole time. With a lopsided grin he glances at Cody and then Joshua, "You guys wanna… play wif me?!" Yes. Visitor's. Every seven year olds dream come true.

At the little bit of commotion a certain redheaded girl skips down the stairs. "Why's it so — " she stops midway on the stairs and stares at Cody and the small kid in her arms.

"Tracy, sorry to barge in on you like this but I've come to…" The redhead staring at them gives her pause and she slowly lowers the boy to the ground. "…Find Mary McClellum." It looks like Mary found them by the way she's staring at them. "Joshua, is this Mary?" She keeps a hold of the boy's hand, thinking that perhaps she should have dosed him with inhibitor formula before they left the waerhouse, just in case he got a little too excited.

"Joshua, remember to keep control," she warns softly and then giving him a small smile and nod of encouragement. "We found their parents and I arranged to bring them home."

Looking over at the boy with the toys, her eye twitches slightly and then she gives him a tight smile. "Not right now, maybe Joshua and Mary will want to in a bit." Turning toward Tracy she purses her lips and takes a small breath, "Have you found all their parents yet? Were any of them in custody?"

Joshua scrambles into the house, tugging at Cody's hand, his round face bursting into a smile so seldom seen it might as well have been extinct. Now, it's bright. Thankfully, the kid's ability seems to be tempered by pure joy. "Mary!!"

Tracy is waylaid in all her answers by what appears to be a reunion in progress, and steps quickly out of the way to let it happen, her arms lowering down to her sides. "No, it's— it's fine," she replies distractedly, watching the kids. No matter what state of mind or mood she happens to be in, she can't help but start to smile in earnest. "Mostly," she answers, a serious edge to her voice. "Some of them are … so small," she adds quietly. For example, Mary, who she looks to again now. "She couldn't tell us where to take her. She's not the only one."

"JOSHUA!!!" the redhead ambles down the stairs and runs open-armed to embrace her brother; it's been so long that she wasn't even sure there'd come a time she'd see him again. She beams from ear to ear. "Joshy! Joshy! Joshy! Guess what?! I missed you! I can even tie my shoes now!!" Her eyes widen as she nods incredulously.

Meanwhile, Kristi-Ann finally slides off her kitchen chair and runs a hand over her blonde hair that is, essentially, stubble. "She can tie her shoes but can't make my hair grow back," she mutters about Mary before sighing heavily.

Watching the two children reunite brings a small smile to Cody's face, her attention has been diverted from Tracy for a little while. But not for long! Soon the agent is turning back to the political aide and staring up at her. "I'd suggest having Rebel scour the missing children for familiar faces. They couldn't have been gone from home for more than a year or so."

When Kristi-Ann comes into view, Cody's eyebrows raise a little and she steps forward. "Well you don't seem naturally bald," she smiles and then runs her hand over the top of the little girl's head, ending her touch only when the girl has a respectable shoulder length of new blonde hair. "How's that then?"

Mary has made herself a target for a hug. Joshua all but tackles the little girl just to cling onto her. He's still a little guy of few words — obviously his sister is the talkative one.

Tracy watches Cody and Kristi-Ann for a moment, anticipating the girl's excitement, before she answers. She steps away from the entrance and comes to stand next to the other woman. "Not everyone has a family to go back to," she points out, reluctant to say such a dismal truth when there's a happy reunion right in front of them. "But, some way or another… everyone'll get a home."

As a relatively little gal, Mary collapses underneath Joshua. as she too clings to him. But her pride continues to shine through. "EEEEEE! You need to see my shoes!"

"I'm not naturally bald!" Kristi-Ann exclaims, although she smiles as her hair grows. "Lookit Misses Strauss! Lookit!! Lookit my hair!! Thank you misses hair lady!" She runs her hair over her blonde tresses. "I know Mister Petrelli said I was beautiful bald, buuuuuut I think I look better with more hair!" She's virtually beaming. "I can't wait till…" she clamps her mouth shut with a frown before sighing again and turning back towards the kitchen..

"You know… Between Parkman and his kid Molly, I bet they'd be able to find relatives for all of them. That Molly kid, she seems pretty willing to help a good cause." Goodness knows this cause is possibly one of the best ones they could ever come up with. Cody nods toward the little blonde that's disappearing into the kitchen again and frowns. "What's her story?" Then it dawns on her, "Oh… the Senator…" She still hasn't found time to go lay flowers or send a card or whatever you do when someone dies. Usually Cody just has a drink for them. In Brayden's case, maybe a beer would do nicely.

Her blue eyes dart toward the reunion of children again and then over to the seven year old with all the toys in the middle of the room. She wanders over toward him and crouches down to take a look at him. "What's your name, kid?"

Parkman, Molly; strangers to Tracy. "I don't … know who you're talking about, but if you can help get them where they need to go… then… that's a good thing," she says earnestly. She smiles at the other girl with her revived blonde locks, only to sober up and purse her lips midway between a smile and a frown. She's glancing away when Cody focuses on the kids. Tracy folds her arms again, moving back to lean lightly against the wall.

"I— I will!" Joshua finally speaks up. He bounces back, a veritable ball of energy (and sugar), and climbs onto the base of the staircase. "You ran away! I knew you got away."

"I'm David! David Robert Jones, ma'am!" he offers her his hand to shake. He may be little, but he has some sense of manners. Maybe. "Pleasure 't swap howdies with ya, ma'am." He's grinning ear to ear. "Sure you don't wanna play? I have cars. Cars are awesome. One time, one time, one time I made a car run over Barbie when I was playing with my sister. I got in trouble." He shrugs and continues to smile.

"I'm fast!! SO fast!" she beams still as she clings to him tightly. "I tried to help you, but I couldn't! They were like really mean and fast."

"Parkman can read minds… his kid can find anyone on the planet. They were both staying with me for a while." Cody says, turning her head slightly toward Tracy before refocusing on the kid in front of her again. "Well David Robert Jones, you sound like you're from Texas or somewhere down yonder," comes the drawl from the agent, almost mimicking his accent perfectly. "You ever been to Nascar?"

Dividing her attention between the visible children, Cody tries to keep a conversation with Tracy going. "You find this one's family yet? He's pretty talkative." Then she grabs one of the little cars and begins buzzing it around with the little boy. She's gotten a bit of practice at that while entertaining Baby Parkman.

Tracy gives the reveal of the mentioned strangers' abilities a considering lift of her brows. Quite the powers. As for the boy, David… "No. No, he's still in limbo." Remarkable, then, that he's so upbeat. "Has everyone at your place found their way back?" she ventures. Back home, back to their lives?"No word from KeLyssa," she adds, though she doesn't sound especially torn up about it; it's dismissive. There's no more threat of Gallagher leading anyone back here.

Joshua, all smiles, the haunted look vanished from him, answers his sister. "It's okay, Mary. I don't 'member a lot of stuff after. But I got saved…" After nearly slashing everyone to pieces. He cringes and leaves that part out.

"Nascar is like 'm dream. Imma gonna drive in one day," David's Texan drawl is still shockingly upbeat. "When I git home, I'll go. Ya'll see," he smiles as he snickers at the car buzzing around. He sends a car of his own buzzing on a collision course with Cody's. As he nears her he begins to make exploding sounds.

"I'm glad you're okay," Mary nods at Josh wide-eyed. "I thought you were gone. Same with Mommy and Daddy. I'm glad I don't have to live here forever. That would be horrible." Her cheeks flush as she glances at Tracy, "Sorry Misses Strauss."

"It didn't take long for Lambert to move back to her place, I don't know if the Parkmans are going to stay in New York or go back to wherever Janice lives. For now, the whole clan is still at the warehouse, because of the space thing." As for Erin, Cody remains quiet. "What about you? How many have you moved? I saw Stantonio found his family…"

She darts her eyes over to the two little McCellums as they catch up with each other. Then her eyes are back on David, "Yeah? What city in Texas you from David? I hear they have a great race every year in Fort Worth, you ever been there?"

No offense is taken by 'Misses Strauss' — the little redhead is right, it would be horrible. No one should have been forced to live like this. "It's Tracy," she reminds Mary lightly.

"Over half. It's just a few now," Tracy glances to David, "Everyone's ready to leave. This place'll be empty soon enough." After a moment, with a small laugh — or something like it — the advisor adds reflectively, "…Hard to believe."

Speaking of leaving, Tracy pushes off the wall, strolling closer to the stairs. She pauses before addressing the younger McClellum. "You should get your things," she tells the girl, though it doesn't sound much like an order, in this instance. "'N'… say your goodbyes. Cody and — Joshua? — they're gonna take you home."

Wrinkling his nose, David shrugs, "I dunno where." And this is the problem. He can't remember; his seven year old brain can't remember where he lived before coming here. "Was born in Katy. But we moved before the bad guys got 'm." He pouts — he really has no idea where his parents are, but at least he remembers his own name.

"H-h-home," Mary repeats as she feels the word on her tongue. It's unfamiliar, odd, uncomfortable, but oddly warm at the same time. She clings to Joshua's arm as she pulls him towards the stairs. "I gotta pack my stuff! C'mon! You can help and tell me about your adventures!"

"Well David Robert Jones who was born in Katy, if it's okay with Miss Strauss, do you want to come with me too? I bet we can find your mom and dad really quick." Then she turns to Trtacy and shrugs her shoulders, "I'll any of the ones you can't find back with me. If you want or… I could just come and stay with you." She gives Tracy a rather wide smile and bats her eyelashes. She's pretty certain that Erin must have detailed the more horrible parts of living with her. The garbage disposal of a stomach, the singing in the shower at 5am every morning… The list goes on and on.

"Oh wait… that's not such a great idea. I have to head down south. Tell you what, I'll send someone over." Turning to David again, she gives him a big smile, "Katy! Well that's a fine town to be born in. Was there lots of desert where you moved to?" If it's just another area of Texas it'll be a lot easier.

"…Thanks," Tracy says with a brief smile — tight, for a long as it lasts, but ever-so-slightly amused too. "I have it handled, for the most part— " She cuts herself off purposefully, forcing herself to pause and take a slightly different response. "But— you know, the faster these people get home the better. That'd be great." She sounds sincere, for what it's worth. "Lemme know who to expect."

"I like ya and ya play with cars so… yes, I'll go with ya!" David grins broadly as he nods towards her. "I wanna git home, even though it's nice here," he jumps off the floor and walks to the door. "We kin leave the toys for the other kids. We need to. Then they 'ave somethin' to play with."

"Well then, better get upstairs and pack your clothes. Take a few toys though, all we have is baby toys and I bet Joshua and Mary would really like it if you brought a few of yours so you could all play." Though the siblings wouldn't be with them more than a night, Cody will have to break it to the cheerful little boy later. She helps him up and pats his back as she sends him racing up the stairs with the other two.

"I don't know how you managed with a bunch of kids this long. It was hard with Ski — Joshua, he can't control himself too well if he gets scared or angry." Looking around, Cody spies a few of the cracks in the paint of the walls and follows them with her eyes. "Looks like you had a bit of trouble though… I'll get my boss over here as soon as I see him again." Which should be in about fifteen minutes but who's counting.

"It's … been … challenging," Tracy admits, her gaze following Cody's around the house. "Their abilities were the least difficult. At least they can learn how to control them. Some of them— have made progress." The rest though, kids being kids… thank God there were enough adults in the house to keep things smooth. Most of the time.

Straightening her poise slightly, Tracy gives Cody a considering look, hedging, just slightly, on suspicious. "Your boss?" she asks innocently enough, though there's nothing innocent about her criticizing look. "What is it that you do now?"

"Officially? I'm an assistant to Doctor Ray over at Lane Industries… but you'll be meeting my unofficial boss." Cody gives Tracy a strained smile, narrowing her eyes as she peers at the woman. "I'm not sure if this is really all over, Tracy. So I'd appreciate it if, after you meet my boss, that you'd keep it on the low down that you ever saw him." After the request is made, she walks over to the stairs and calls up them. "Okay kids! Come on, time to go! Let's move it little soldiers!"

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