2008-02-12: Good Luck

Starring:

Cam_icon.gif Niki_icon.gif

Summary: Niki comes to say good luck (but not goodbye) before Cam goes to his new foster family.

Date It Happened: February 12th, 2008

Good Luck


Mt. Sinai Hospital, Pediatrics Ward

By the time Niki can make it to the hospital, Cam's been moved up to pediatrics. A nurse would direct her to his room, though, which he shares with a few other kids. When she gets to him, Cam's reading a comic, one of the ones Bekah gave him earlier. He's been changed into a hospital gown (all the better to cool off in), and still has an IV in his arm, but otherwise looks pretty healthy now. Just a tiny bit pale.

Indeed, Cam is granted a visitor, despite the late hour; one of the very few people allowed to see him who aren't staff at the hospital, and walking a fine line at that. Niki exchanges a kind word at the door with the nurse who guided her here, then steps inside the room. She's holding a cream-coloured trench coat around herself, covering up the slightly dressy clothes underneath. "Cam?" she broaches softly, a query.

Cam blinks, looking up to Niki. Then he brightens, sitting up a bit straighter, "Niki! Did they change their mind? Can I go back home with you?" He sounds very hopeful.

There's a wariness about Niki as she approaches the bedside — not wariness directed at the boy, per se, but at the situation, her place in it. Not to mention how she has to answer Cam. "… No, sweetheart." The term comes naturally, even though she doesn't remember the time spent with the foster child. She smiles — sympathetic, apologetic — and tugs a chair closer, sitting down on its edge and leaning over her knees. "I came to say … good luck," she places a hand on Cam's arm, near his wrist, away from the IV. "And that I'm sorry things didn't work out the way you wanted. That— maybe we wanted."

Cam sits back again, sort of a slump of disappointment at the answer. "Oh." He moves his arm so he can grab hold of Niki's hand, though. "It's not fair." Then he looks up, as something occurs to him, "They're not taking Micah away too, right?"

Niki squeezes the hand a little bit and shakes her head, trying to smile reassuringly despite her furrowed brow. "No," she says, not as confident as she ought to be on that fact. Leaning closer, she clamps her other hand over Cam's as well, her arm looping under the bed rail. "They told me the family you're going to is really great," she says. "And— they'll be … stable. I know that's something I couldn't always offer."

Cam looks relieved at the answer, and nods a little. "Good. 'Cause it was stupid when they wanted to take him last time." He leans back again and shrugs a little to the last. "I don't need 'stable'. I can take care of myself fine, did it for a whole year."

The boy's answer prompts the blonde woman to tilt her head ever-so-slightly to one side, looking at him in a new light. She moves one hand to brush hair slowly away from his forehead with gentle fingers, just to examine this young near-orphan she used to care for. Why? How did he fall into her lap? What happened to him that he made it on his own for almost a year? And should she take the time to find out now that he's being whisked away? "I don't even know you at all," Niki says with a kind of wonder.

Cam looks back up to Niki at that, and says, "You will once you get your memory back." Then, joking, he says, "Then you'll wish I was around again, so I could make ice cubes for you." Then more seriously he says, "I shoulda told someone, when you started forgetting stuff. But ya said you were alright."

"Ice cubes," Niki repeats with a small laugh — that one's new to her, it would seem. Trailing her hand down Cam's face, she lets it stay there for a moment. "It's not your fault. Okay? It just happened. It was never supposed to go that far."

Cam nods quickly and smiles. He places his other hand on the railing opposite from the side Niki stands on. His skin grows very cold and a somewhat thick layer of frost forms over the metal. Not enough to draw attention from anybody else in the room, though, but obvious when you're looking right at it. "That's why I got too hot in school today." Then he looks up again and nods a little, saying softly, though not quite convinced, "Ok."

Taking in the sight of the miraculously appearing frost, Niki's eyes widen — she gets the very same expression she had the first time she saw Cam use his power, seeing as if it's new. There's more wonder in her eyes this time around, in fact. "You're special too," she says with a hint of rhetorical questioning. Both hands wrapping around the rail closest to her, she leans in closer, keeping her voice quiet. "But your new family — they're probably gonna be normal. If you run into any trouble, Cam… you can call me. I dunno if that's allowed within the foster rules, but whatever." She reaches into a deep pocket of her coat, hunting a moment before retrieving some manner of business card, but she doesn't give it to Cam just yet.

Cam nods with a smile to her reaction, "Uh-huh. And you understood me." Then at the quieter words he nods a little again, seeming relieved again at that offer. "I can?"

"I might not remember taking care of you, Cam, but I know there must've been a good reason. You seem like a good kid," Niki says sincerely, smiling, her voice pitching upward to a more casual tone before quieting a moment later. "Something I've learned since I woke up— " Her term for coming 'to after damaging her memory. " —the world's a crazy place. Especially for people like us." She twists toward the bedside table, finding a pen in the drawer.

Cam nods quickly in agreement with that, and says, "Yeah, it sure is. 'Specially since we have to hide it so much." He scratches his arm near the IV absently, as he watches Niki get the pen. "I really like Brubaker, but wish there was really a school like Xavier's, for kids like Micah and me. Where we wouldn't have to hide."

Niki looks over from flattening the card on the table, pen at the ready. "Maybe some day there will be." She writes N. S. and two phone numbers on the back, 'cell' and 'home'. She stands up and hands it down to Cam. Of all things, it's a business card for the Senator of New York, Nathan Petrelli.

Cam smilers, "Hope so. Before I'm too old to go, too," he adds. Then he takes the card and blinks as he looks at it, "You're working with Peter's brother?" He looks a bit confused. But after a moment he nods and says, "Ok, thanks."

"Yeah," Niki confirms, a tone of warmth and conviction slipping into her voice as she does so. She doesn't think anything of Cam's question at first, but quickly does a small double-take, blonde brows coming together, a picture of surprised curiosity. "Wait, you know Peter?"

Cam nods quickly to that and says, "Yeah. When the social worker tried to take me and Micah away last time, you took us to stay with him for a few days. He was nice."

The simple explanation — ending with 'he was nice' — draws an unusual reaction from the woman. Her expression grows dark in a second, conflicted, and she looks away from the boy in the hospital bed, distracted by her own thoughts. "I took you to him?" She sounds unsure on that point — almost skeptical. But instead of burdening Cam, she shakes her head and dismissively smiles. "Never mind. When are you going to your new place?"

Cam nods quickly to that and says, "Uh-huh. You trusted him. More'n anybody else, I think, 'cept D.L." Then he shrugs and answers, "Tomorrow morning, I think. Soon as they say I'm back to normal and can go."

Something about Cam's answer regarding Peter seems to shake Niki, who shifts uncomfortably under the layer of her coat, but for Cam's sake, she keeps dismissing it. "That soon!" she exclaims instead with a smile. Supportive. "You're gonna do fine, Cam. Sometimes— " Her smile changes, and it's quite unlike any side of her that Cam would have seen before: full of optimism, but more significantly, innocent. " —it can be okay to have a fresh start." She leans over the hospital bed to give him a kiss at the top of his forehead.

Cam nods a little and says, "I don't wanna go." Still, at her words and kiss he smiles, and reaches up to wrap his arms around her neck for just a moment in a quick hug.

Niki lets the hug linger as long as it needs to and stands up straight again. "'Night," she says softly. A sliver of sadness and regret shows, as she prepares to leave the foster child in the hospital bed — she'd be heartless not to feel it, and she's anything but that. She heads for the door, stopping just short. "Remember, now that I know you again, I won't forget you," she says before stepping out into the hospital corridor.

Cam leans back again after holding the hug a few moments, and nods a little, saying softly, "Night." He nods a little to her reminder, which has him smiling a little again, and he gives a small wave. As soon as she's gone, though, he rolls over and buries his face in his pillow.

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