2009-09-30: Fragments Of Yesterday's Tomorrow



Date: September 30, 2009


Pieces of past futures still exist in the present.

"Fragments of Yesterday's Tomorrow"

Enlightenment Books - Back Room

It's early morning and while Lachlan is training a dog that Cass has deemed too dangerous for Abby to be around, the curly haired brunette is settling her daughter into the back room for the day. The expanding store is still getting things back together. The kinks are getting worked out, the books organized and reorganized. However, the owner is currently not paying attention to that. Instead, she's in the back waving around a fluffy doberman plush doll in front of Abby's face. She's attempting to get her daughter to giggle and settle down so that she can do the other opening duties with a happy baby and not a cranky one. "Sh sh sh, Abby. You love mini-Padfoot! I brought mini-George, too, if you want that!" Yes, she has a stuffed orange tabby cat in her diaper bag.

"I wonder if she'd rather have a meerkat," a voice suddenly says from the corner of the room. None of the doors opened to admit him, and there wasn't more than a slight shifting sound right before he suddenly appeared in the corner. Peter's lost some of his finesse with knocking, but he seems to think certain friends don't quite need it. "Hey, Cass," he adds, before he moves closer to look around the plush doberman to the one thing that he'd hoped to perserve from that future he saw two years ago… "Hey Abby," he says, reaching a finger out to her small little hand. No bombs, no running in fear, no hiding from the bad men in the government. This baby shouldn't have to worry about any of that… but she might. That's why the smile doesn't last.

Cass doesn't exactly jump at the sudden appearance of Peter. She's mostly used to it by now. However, she does start a bit, turning quickly to see her friend in the corner. She doesn't berate him or tell him that he startled her, because he should know that by now. And she really doesn't mind it so much because it's Peter. In his case, she doesn't really care if he knocks or not. "Aren't you going to say hello to Uncle Peter, Abby?" Abby gives something akin to a gurgle. "Close enough." Placing the small plushie in the bassinet with the baby, she shifts a little so that she can greet Peter properly. "Hey Peter." Noticing the fading smile, her head tilts a little to the side. "What's up?"

There's a moment of silence from Peter as he stays close to the tiny baby, trying to push her hand around his finger so he can give her a bit of a shake. It doesn't last long, but most babies have a grabbing reflex, so he doesn't have to do it that much. "I always did want a niece. I only found out I had one when she was sixteen and she was far too old for this kind of stuff," he says, keeping his eyes on Abby for a moment before he finally looks away, allowing her to let go of his finger and grab mini-Padfoot instead, if she chooses. "There's some stuff going on. People are missing. I'm not sure exactly how many, but there's a lot of them. Over half a dozen, at least. All with abilities. And it's not the Company this time. It's someone else. It looks like it could be the government."

Though Cass doesn't stray far from Abby, she smiles when Peter attempts to get her to grab his finger. Fascinated by human sponge, she grasps on with her mouth hung open in wonder. Everything in this world is just so fascinating to her. Clinging to the doberman now instead, she watches the exchange between her mother and her mother's friend, she seems to almost comprehend. Though a hand remains on the bassinet, she frowns at Peter's information. "Missing? Is it…is it anyone we know?" Not that that matters the most to her, but it does matter. The mention of the government makes her frown. Before she may have argued that how does he KNOW it's not the Company, but now she knows now to ask something like that. "Is there any sort of pattern? The people? The abilities?" Some way to make sense of it.

"Not that I can tell," Peter says, sticking close to the tiny little girl, even she's now clinging to the stuffed doberman. Such tiny things are why he does what he does. "They've been taken from multiple states, even different countries. One girl was grabbed in Mexico, another in India. All with the same basic MO. Guys in mask with taser guns. None of the men seemed to have abilities, and they all looked highly trained. I witnessed three of the captures with one of my abilities." An ability she knows something about, too. "Many of them were children, or young. One was a fully trained Company Agent, who put up quite a fight. Of the abilities— I only know a few of them… I didn't see any pattern. Some of them weren't dangerous." There's a pause. "One of them might be Micah. Niki's son. I— I found out about him first, actually. From Cam. He's staying at my apartment right now cause…" There's a pause, his mood drops about twenty degrees, and he pulls his hand away from Abby. "I found out Niki and DL are dead. Have been for a while. An accident in Vegas, I guess…"

The information given to her makes Cass rock Abby's bassinet gently. It's a reassurance that the important things in her life are okay. The very idea of someone attempting to take Abby away with tasers and masks terrifies her. She can feel her heart beat speeding up just thinking about it. "That's terrible," she says of them taking children. Knowing that it may be Micah that was taken, too, well, that's even worse. The news of Niki…that makes her eyes widen, the rocking of Abby stops abruptly. "What?" How did she not know? How could she not have known. It had been a little awhile since she had talked to Niki last - her living upstate and all. "Awhile? How long is awhile?"

"I don't know. I'm not even sure exactly what…" Peter trails off, shaking his head. It's a topic he's not really comfortable talking about, apparently. It's one of many. But this one's a little closer to home. The last time he saw her, they'd said good bye. He hadn't thought it would really be forever. "You'll have to ask Cam or Kitty for more of the details, if they got 'em. I'm trying to find Micah so he can be asked too. There's… finding people who are missing isn't something I'm any good at lately." Between his missing brother and now the half-dozen odd missing Evolved. "I just wanted to warn you, so you could warn Lachlan and anyone else. I'm trying to check up on people."

Though Cass can tell this is a subject that Peter doesn't want to talk about, she can't help but keep thinking about it. Niki. Dead. It doesn't quite compute yet. Though she doesn't ask him any more questions, there's a long silence as she attempts to think that over. It hasn't sunk in. "I will," she says softly of asking Cam or Kitty. It's the least she can do. After a moment, she adds, "I'll warn Lachlan. And anyone else I can think of." As for Nathan and everyone else, well, she doesn't know what to tell him about that. "We'll find them." She almost said him, there. Even if the last time she spoke to Nathan he was still technically Logan. "Thank you. Do you need help with it? Or anything?"

Last time he'd seen his own brother was… a long time ago. But his brother had seen him after that point. The joy of time travel. Peter doesn't seem sure what to say exactly, so he just looks down at the baby who doesn't understand all of the horrible things that could be going on in the world. Here he'd thought he made a better world for this baby to grow up in, and maybe he only made a different world. Still better, for the moment. New York isn't in ruins. Warfare isn't broken out in the street. Her parents aren't in hiding. Yet. But who knows how long it will take for things to turn around? It was only two years the first time he went forward…

"I— I always need help, but just keep your ears open and call me if you hear about anything happening. Lachlan can probably have the dogs keep an eye open too. The guys wear masks and combat gear. And they're not afraid to grab eleven year old girls, or fully trained combat agents, either… So make sure he's extra careful. I know— more to worry about is probably the last thing you need. With your baby. I'm sorry. I wish I had better things to bring up."

Maybe all there is are different worlds. As far as Cass is concerned, this is a better world than any of the other futures. At least she's alive than this one. And not crazy, or addicted to a power drug. Plus, Abby is involved. And any future with Abby is good as far as Cass is concerned. "Of course I will." That's not out of the ordinary for her. "I'll let Lachlan know. If you could get something with their smell on it, he could give that to the dogs to get a better pinpoint on them. I know that's a tall order." With a bit of a wry smile, she looks over at Peter again. "Luckily, I don't have anything to worry about for myself in that department." She has no power any more. Reaching out, she finally takes a hand off of her baby's bassinet to attempt to give Peter a hug. He always seems to need one lately. "Honestly, Peter, it's okay. I'd rather stay in the know. The more we know, the better we can protect against them. How are you doing?"

"I agree. In these cases ignorance does no one any good," Peter says, fingering at the edge of her desk for a moment, even if— you know, he knows better than that. He pulls his hand back. "I can get some personal possessions, but considering they were taken from all over the country and other countries… it's hard to tell if they're anywhere within scenting range for the dogs. It's worth trying, though." As much as it'd been worth trying to find Nathan. "I'm— I'm okay. Worried with all this going on. It— it reminds me of… the future. It's not the same, but…" If it were the same, a month ago the woman in front of him would have died. If it was the same, it would be the other way around. "The government rounding people up… if it is the government… This is exactly what I joined the Company to stop. Harmless people who just wanted to live their lives being treated like criminals."

Cass has never been a fan of ignorance. In fact, her store is here to combat just that very thing. Not to mention the fact that the more she knows, the better she can prepare her family. "Yeah." But maybe if they're that well traveled, they'll come through New York again and they could have a lead. "But, I guess every little bit helps." Especially now. "You're always worried. When I first met you you were worried." Cass gives Peter a reassuring smile. "People always want to study and understand what they don't know. Some people want to do it through force because they don't register that the people they're testing on are people." The Company was a main issue with that. "You can't stop everything bad that happens. We'll fight this, too."

"Maybe I should be able to," Peter says quietly, looking toward the baby. Even if she's right, there's still that small statement, something he's always felt. If he can do so much, why can't he do everything? Why can't he fix everything? "You're right— I'm a worrier. I don't think that'll ever change," he adds after a moment, glancing up and giving her a hint of a smile. "At least one thing from that future came true," he adds, reaching out to touch the tiny baby hand again. "More than one thing, I guess. But the things that mattered. The rest— you're right. We'll fight whatever comes. Cause that's all we can really do." He lets his hand drop away. "You know where to find me, right?"

"It's too much for one person, Peter. You're not Atlas." Even if sometimes he may feel like he carries the world on his shoulders. "Everyone needs help." Cass moves to give him a reassuring squeeze on the shoulder. He's like family to her, he's to be Godfather of her daughter, after all. "I don't think it will ever change, either. But, try not to let it get to you." As for what came true in the future, the brunette smiles down at her baby. "The important parts. The good important parts, that is." From what she's heard, the other important parts are good to have been left out. "I do. And you know where to find me. I may ask you to babysit in a bit; if you're free." There are few people that both Lachlan and Cass trust to put their precious baby in the protection of.

"I know," Peter says, though it seems more… quiet than understanding. Like he believes he should be able to do it all on his own. It almost seems like a failing to him that he's not, when it didn't used to feel that way. Possibly because of his brother or some things that have happened in the past. "Ask me anytime. I can always spare some time to babysit. It's probably one of the calmest things I could be doing," he says, honestly, before backing away a few steps. "See you later, Cass. Good luck with the store. I honestly can say I miss working with you."

No matter how many times Cass attempts to get Peter to understand that he can't fix the entire world, she knows he'll never believe her. Of course, that doesn't mean that she'll stop thinking that or saying it. That's just the way she is. "Thanks. It's hard to get a babysitter that can put up with Lachlan." He tends to be overprotective of Abby. Plus, Peter gets along with their menagerie of animals. She smiles and puts the hand that was on Peter's shoulder onto the head of Abby. It's comforting just to touch her. "I'll see you soon, Peter. Thank you, it's funny, but I've really missed working here most of the time." It's her second home, like always. "I miss working with you, too. Maybe another time, when there's nothing left to fight against, you can come back."

"Lachlan's a puppy," Peter adds, grinning for a moment. "A little bit longer with Abby around, and he'll probably be hugging me when I walk in the room." It's almost a joke, but it isn't. Abby lightened her husband quite a bit, made him a better man. Her husband saved his life in the future, for which he will forever owe him. "Let me know. I might be able to spare a couple shifts here, as well as babysitting," he adds, before he steps back another step. "I'll never stop having something to fight for," he adds after a moment, a truth that they both know of. As long as he's alive, there will always be something worth fighting for. A moment later he closes his eyes, and as unceremonially as he appeared, he's gone.

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