Bring Your Heart

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peyton2_icon.gif rhys_icon.gif

Scene Title Bring Your Heart
Synopsis One needs to pack their empathy when traveling to the past, as well as when asking others to do so.
Date September 16, 2010

Upper East Side Peyton's Apartment


The skies are gray and rain falls heavily down on the streets of Manhattan's upper east side. Concrete is slicked wet and the glow of headlights and tail lights riddles the busy streets like Christmas gaudy ornamentation, all flicker and flash. Outside of a highrise tenement building looming as far away from the border to the Ruins of Midtown as possible in this neighborhood, taxi cabs and pedestrians create a rive-rlike flow of foot traffic and vehicular traffic, all across from an even busier hotel building.

The man waiting outside of this apartment building, however, isn't waiting for a cab, but instead is waiting for a tennant to return home on a rainy afternoon. A teenage boy in gray slacks held up by crisp red suspenders over a black button-down shirt looks inconspicuous, even so does his black and white spiral umbrella with a remarkably garish plastic bengal tiger handle. The black and white wingtip shoes are just the touch he needs to add some class to his old-world charm.

That Rhys Bluthner has forsaken the paper crane he was going to leave in Peyton Whitney's mailbox is because of the content he'd read in it. Hiro Nakamura may feel that what this seer is needed for can be explained in a handwritten letter, but Rhys Bluthner knows something about familial struggles.

They require a more personal touch.

The subway station a little down the street isn't far from her apartment, but it's far enough that in the rain and without an umbrella, Peyton looks more like a drowned rat than the paparazzi darling she once was or the business woman she's striving to be. The rain plasters her dark bangs against her forehead, though she did have the sense to wear a platinum-hued trenchcoat over the gray sweater dress, gray tights, and high black boots that keeps the rest of her dry in the rainy fall weather. One would think that, dressed for rain, she might have remembered an umbrella to go with the raincoat, and she did — it's simply left at her office, and in the respite from the rain on the way from office to subway, Peyton was optimistic about the rest of the commute.

The woman doesn't pay much attention to the young man as she approaches her building, her dark eyes briefly touching upon him as they would any stranger. Her mind is on other matters — mostly on the dry interior of the building and the fact she'll have to come back out in the rain to take her dog for a walk. Being responsible is sometimes overrated.

That the spiraled white and black umbrella angling over Peyton's head comes unexpectedly is the least of the brunette's concerns. Rhys Bluther is nothing if not cordial, and perhaps a ladies man if such things could be believed at such a young age. "Miss Whitney?" Both of the rosy-cheeked young man's brows lift up slowly, a smile flashing across his face as he offers her — admittedly late — shelter from the rain, though still keeping himself close. After all the rain would do terrible things to his neatly combed coif of hair.

"I was wondering if I could have a moment of your, um, of your time?" There's something sheepish about everything Rhys is, from his soft and effeminate voice to the apologetic expression creeping up on his face. Though who in their right mind goes out in this weather without a jacket on?
Rhys has reconnected.

Strangers should make Peyton nervous, but it's a lesson she doesn't seem to learn — also, she can't imagine someone with such cherubic looks and meticulous fashion sense being in the Humanis First! ranks. She also isn't sure why a teenager would be waiting for her outside of her apartment building, and Peyton's mind is a curious one. Her brow lifts with surprise when suddenly she is offered refuge from the rain by the young man, both younger and smaller than the tall brunette.

That she is so easily found is starting to disturb her — just last week Logan was waiting for her outside of her building. She might have to consider selling the family apartment and getting something a little more private, she thinks to herself, though her face simply shows a politely guarded smile to Rhys.

"Sure…" she says tentatively, though her dark eyes dart to the door of her building, noting her doorman hasn't quite seemed to notice her, as he's on the warm, dry, inside of the lobby with the door closed.

Flashing an approving smile to Peyton, Rhys follows her into the building's lobby past glass doors and wary doormen eyeing the young man and Peyton both in turn, making certain that he's a guest and not merely someone trying to slip in under the radar. The lack of defensive body language or wary looks from Peyton assures him that — at least as far as Peyton is concerned — the boy who'd been loitering outside for an hour was okay to let in.

It's only in the lobby that Rhys lays many of his cards down on the table. "I— came here to talk to you about your father," the boy offers with a crease of his eyebrows upwards in concern. "I— I know this isn't a very easy topic to discuss with you, but— it's extremely urgent that we have this conversation."

Looking down to the tiled floor as he swings his umbrella away from the taller young woman, folding it closed, Rhys amends his request. "I need to talk to you about your father, Albert."

Peyton has no intention of bringing the young man up to her apartment. When he mentions her father's name, the question on her lips, ridiculously, is which? but he answers that before she gives voice to the single word. Her brows furrow together when Rhys mentions Albert by name, and she glances toward the elevator, then back to the leather couches set out in the lobby for guests, then back to the elevator.

It isn't the brightest thing to do, inviting a stranger into her home, but then she's invited dangerous people into the apartment before. "Come on," she says in a terse whisper, and heads toward the elevator, giving a nod to Frank the doorman that all is well with the world.

In the elevator, she jerks a nod toward the security camera and then back to him, her dark eyes slightly narrowed as she appraises his face for any sign of guile she can find. When the doors ding open to her floor, she leads him to the apartment and unlocks the door, stooping to catch a barreling half-grown puppy before Von can get red fur all over Rhys' pristine trousers.

Shutting the door behind her, she stands once more. "He's dead," she adds, her low voice terse and solemn.

"And I'm sorry," Rhys offers in a quietly apologetic tone of voice, lifting up one hand to sweep back a single errant lock of hair as he leans his umbrella by the door. Breathing in deeply, the young man folds his arms over his chest, then furrows his brows as he looks across the apartment to the living room, where a black and white leather jacket is folded over the arm of Peyton's couch.

The jacket is not hers, and… it matches his shoes.

"Have you heard of a man named Hiro Nakamura?" In the comfort and security of Peyton's apartment, Rhys drops that name with the hopes that it will be recognized. "Because if you do, that will make all of this so much easier on poor little old me."

Her dark eyes follow his blue gaze across to his jacket, and her brows furrow, a question on her lips once more, though once more he interrupts her before she can ask. She nods toward the couch. "If that's not yours, we have a problem, because someone else has been in my apartment. If it is yours…" she trails off, not sure what to follow up with. She'll call the police? Unlikely.

Still, he's caught her attention, and she moves to sit on the sofa, apparently not that worried that it belongs to a burglar or would-be rapist, murderer or kidnapper. Most don't have that good of taste.

"Yeah, I know who he is," she says, pulling off her trench coat and draping it on the other arm of the couch before she sits.

"He forgot to let me get my coat," Rhys explains apologetically, ducking his head as he takes a few, hesitant steps towards the sofa. "I was supposed to leave you a letter, a reuqest for help from Hiro to you… unfortunately I couldn't bring myself to do it." Walking over to the coffee table, Rhys leans down to pick up something else he'd left behind — a paper crane.

Exhaling a sigh, Rhys crushes it in his hand, turning blue eyes to Peyton. "There is a man, traveling through time, trying to unseat key moments in history in order to change something in the present…" looking askance to the door, Rhys slowly shakes his head. "He's trying to unwrite history, and in doing so unwrite all of our lives, make us cease to exist." That she knows who Hiro is, is the only reason he's laying such heavy truths on her narrow shoulders.

"I believe that he has sent an assassin to murder your father long before you're conceived." When Rhys looks up, there's a tension in his brows and a downwards turn of his lips. "I'm like you, Peyton… I see things. But what I see, are the ripples of the past echoing into the future, where you see the present. I— you have to be the one to go back."

That much, at least, is offered with a weary smile. "You have to go back to save your father."

Reaching out for the crane, Peyton blinks when it is crumpled, her delicate features crumpling as well by confusion. Her eyes widen as she listens, shaking her head as her lips part, no words coming out.

"I… why would they try to kill him? What would that change, that's so important to these people changing history? Did … did my father kill someone important with his power? I mean — I don't think he didn't anything worth killing him to keep from happening," she murmurs, her mind spinning with any reasons why her father should be singled out in this madman's scheme of unwriting the past, the present and the future.

Her eyes widen and she shakes her head again, this time vehemently. "How in the world can I stop someone from killing someone? I … I don't know if you can look in on my past or my future, or how your powers work, but if you can, you should know I can't fight, I can't save someone, I can't even save myself."

"You," Rhys says in a rueful whisper, "sell yourself far too short." When blue eyes alight to Peyton, the slim young man is slowly approaching the brunette, tucking the crumpled crane into his pocket as he walks. "You rfather is a very important man, because without him, there would be no you. If I had to guess," Rhys explains with a rise of his brows, "Without you… something in history would change drastically."

With a slow, steady shake of his head, Rhys looks down to the floor. "A child can be an amazing inspiration for a parent. Your father was a very smart, very powerful man…" he lifts a hand up to the back of his neck as he says that, rubbing slowly. "You just need to warn him, and maybe…" a smile ghosts across Rhys' lips, "maybe keep an eye out for him?"

That's a terrible joke.

"I'm … I haven't done anything important, and …" she bites off the words that follow in her head: and I'm not going to live much longer. Peyton closes her eyes, pushing back tears that spring up behind those lids back.

"Fine, I'm listening. But … but what am I supposed to say to him? 'Hi, I'm your daughter you haven't had yet, watch out for someone coming to murder you'? I mean… doesn't that break all sorts of rules with time travel? I'm not a scientist or anything, but that's always like a bad thing, right? What if just knowing that I exist changes things? I read that short story about the dinosaurs in high school — going back and trying to keep things the same is impossible," the clairvoyant argues. "He might meet me and hate me and decide to use condoms."

Snickering, Rhys does his best to try and look as sympathetic as possible; he comes off more as just impish. "Dear, you don't have to tell me twice about A Sound of Thunder." There's a raise of Rhys' brows at that and an amused crook of his head to the side. "We have a clean-up team in place to, ah, sanitize some memories— among other things. You can tell him whatever you want, truth be told, as long as he survives the incident… we've noticed a pattern that whoever's doing this? He doesn't make a second move on the same timeline."

Resting his hands on his hips, Rhys looks over to his coat, then back to Peyton. "Think of this as…" there's a shift of Rhys' eyes skyward, "think of this as an opportunity to have some time with your father. To— to talk to him, learn about him… to…" there's a look askance to the jacket again, then back to Peyton.

"I know what it's like to lose a parent," the boy explains tiredly, his smile as weary as it is sympathetic. "I want you to be able to spend some time with yours…"
From afar, to (Ellis, Peyton): Brooklyn embrace
To (Brooklyn, Peyton), Ellis pages: I am ready when you are my bbs

"A clean up crew…" Peyton echoes, a little shiver running through her. Those dark brows knit again, and the tears that come too easily spring back to her eyes. The time she knew of her father was mere days, the time she had with him was mere minutes. The anger and resentment of how she lost him, moments after finding him, had eclipsed any feelings of mourning. How does one grieve what they never had?

She swallows hard, and nods, slowly. "Okay," she murmurs in a soft voice, staring down at her feet where the fox-eared dog has curled, seeming to sense that this is no time to scratch at the door or demand dinner. Instead, Von simply lies, his muzzle resting on his paws, worried brown eyes glancing up from piqued brows now and then, watching the two humans interact.

"Okay," she repeats. "I'll do it… do I have to keep this secret? I have … there's someone who would want to know about these people who are messing with the past." Funny, Cardinal talks of their mission as 'murdering the future' but this is taking it a little too literally.
"You can tell Richard," Rhys so very pointedly notes. "He's already received a crane of his own, you both have some work to do in helping Hiro and I prevent history from falling apart at the seams…" Moving to where his coat is draped over the arm of the sofa, Rhys picks it up and slings it over one arm, then looks back to Peyton with a tired smile.

"Make the most of the time you have, Peyton. Because— because a child's time with their parent is a precious thing, something that shouldn't ever be cut short." Looking over to the apartment windows, Rhys notes the rain outside, then looks back to Peyton and offers a wan smile.

"You can keep my umbrella," he notes with a look to the folded object leaning next to the door. "My taxi will likely be glowering at me in the lobby anyway."

A soft huff of surprise and humor escapes Peyton's lips as he mentions Cardinal. "Okay," she murmurs. "I'm sorry you lost your father as well," she adds a little more softly, the fact he's younger than her, more innocent than her, despite his odd old-man sort of wisdom, pulling at her empathy and compassion.

Peyton swallows hard again, and clears her throat. Back to business. "So… when will I do this? Do I need to get anything prepared?" She should find something of Winslow's from one of the houses she's inherited, something to prove that she knows him — except she doesn't know him. But that can change — the second chance to know him is a strange and unexpected gift from this strange teenager.

Looking thoughtful for a moment, Rhys slowly shakes his head, looking back to Peyton. "I didn't lose him," is an odd thing to say with all his talk of sympathy, "I have to find him, first." Ominous, that portent is, that in order to lose his father, Rhys must first find him. That is something of a riddle, part of the very enigma that the young man is.

Turning to Peyton's door, Rhys hesitates and wheels back around on his heels. "Monday, we'll say. You'll be meeting someone on Pier 12 at the harbor in Battery Park City at noon. He'll know you when he sees you," is offered with a wink and a smile. "Other than that, just make sure to pack your heart…"

"…and your sympathies."

"I think we have a lot in common," Peyton murmurs quietly. "I found … Albert… just in time to lose him," Peyton says, the name of her father awkward on her lips, something she hasn't spoken of to anyone but Faye, and little at that.

t She stands finally to move toward the door, to walk him out. "So you know everything about me. Do I get to know your name?" she asks, a small smile curving her lips as she looks at the younger boy. "I'd say it's nice to meet you, but I'm not really sure how I feel about this yet. I guess I'll have to wait until Monday."

"I know enough," Rhys opines with an appreciative smile and a tip of his head forward. "But not everything. Anyone who tells you they know everything about anything, is lying about all those things." There's that impish smile again, even as Rhys is turning and offering out a hand to Peyton, one brow lifted and a smile spread broad across his face.

"Rhys Bluthner," the boy introduces himself with a cordial tilt of his head forward, "and from where I stand, it's a pleasure to meet you, miss Whitney. Most of Hiro's clients aren't nearly as fashionable nor as cultured as you are."

He's— is he hitting on her?

"Enchant√©," Peyton says with some amusement as she takes his hand, and giving a dip of her head. "Good luck with the rest of whatever this mission is, Rhys. Your power — it might be something of interest to Richard and the work we're doing together." Redbird is a good front for such vague declarations, though of course she means the chessboard behind the business that is Endgame. "Do you have a way for me to get in contact with you, should we ever need your services? Or, you know, if you just want to go shopping. I'm low on shopping buddies these days, and I could use a second opinion once in a while."

"I'm in high-demand right now, but… maybe once all this business with someone trying to untangle our little knot of time," Rhys offers with a tilt of his head to the side, "I might be able to be inclined to lend a helping hand. But," there's an arch of one of Rhys' brows, "until then if you need to leave me a message, I'm staying at a place called Jittetsu Arms in Chinatown. I ah— don't use phones." There's a squint at that and a shake of his head.

But then, finally addressing the last offer, Rhys slaps a hand on his chest. "An' darling, I will shop circles around you, so you'd best be ready to wear your performance heels."

Peyton's shoulders shake in a silent giggle at the bold statement that she actually has no doubt he can make good on. "It's a date then. Sometime in the future, if we still have a future," the brunette says warmly. It's rare she bonds so quickly with a stranger, especially while she's sober of all things, but the young man feels like a kindred spirit. "A consulting basis will work for us, if you mean it. Obviously, only after this work is done — though I have a sense that it's the kind of thing that never is," she murmurs a little sadly, knowing that is the case for Engame — or at least Cardinal and Liz.

"Thanks for talking to me and not just leaving the note, for what it's worth. I appreciate that," she adds quietly, before repeating, in that more businesslike tone of hers, "Noon, Pier 12, Battery Park, Monday."

Offering a faint smile to Peyton, Rhys reaches out and lays a hand on her bicep, squeezing gently. There's a long moment where he watches her, his expression shifting from mirthful to rueful in a few short moments. "History only ever repeats itself," Rhys explains with a slow shake of his head, eyes averting to the floor.

"Oh and— ah— don't… don't worry too much about that note," the boy dismissively notes, opening the apartment door with a lopsided smile and steppingout into the hall. "I think I conveyed the point a whole lot better in person. You— you have a good day, Peyton, and remember to make the most of the time you get."

Content to leave that his parting commentary, Rhys slips out into the hall, his jacket still slung over one arm, even as he begins fishing around in his pocket to retrieve the crumpled paper crane. As he rounds the corner to the elevator, there's a hushed voice in the hall that sneaks up on the teen.

"Did you tell her?" Hiro Nakamura asks in a wary tone of voice, one brow raised. Looking back over his shoulder, Rhys offers a hesitant smile and then eyes the paper crane in his hand. "Oh, I— yeah. Yeah I did, she'll be good to do it, ah, I told her to meet you at noon at the pier on Monday."

Looking down to the paper crane in his hand, Rhys glances back up to Hiro nervously. "C'mon, let's go. We still have a few more stops to make…" Even as Rhys is dismissing the issue, Hiro is warily eyeing the young man, before laying a hand on Rhys' shoulder.

"Yes, we do," Hiro intones as he closes his eyes and concentrates. In that moment, Rhys eyes the grainy photocopy on the crumpled and partly unfolded paper crane, a soldier in a metal helmet seated in front of a horse holding a rifle with a bayonette affirxed to it. At the bottom of the note, there is scrawled handwriting.

All that Rhys can clearly see, is the name attached to it.

Thomas J. Zarek.

Hopefully he hasn't made a terrible mistake.


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