Ripples

Participants:

hiro_icon.gif rhys_icon.gif

Scene Title Ripples
Synopsis Upon his return from a temporal errand of dire proportions, Hiro talks to the one who sent him there.
Date August 12, 2010

Manhattan: Jittetsu Arms


There's catharsis, in tearing something down, starting all again.

Jittetsu Arms has been stripped of everything not nailed down, save for the things that are more expensive to move than they are to take, such as the heavy desk, some of the stands that once held katanas and blades in ribcage shapes, all gone. Dust settles on everything, and even though the sun is high in the August sky above, there is a sense of dusk, about this place. The empty front room of the raided store is empty and lonely, looking just as one would expect if one were to peer through boarded over windows.

The backroom is a different thing entirely. It might be excessive, to use so much of it, but this is time and space we're talking about. Twine and string sags from its own weight, where it strings from wall to wall, more space provided in between when one isn't just looked at a few mere decades, no. There's a black string and then plain brown twine, pinned in adjacent corners and coming to tangle together, wrap around and wind for the next fifty years. Bright red, dark blue yarn seems patriotic. It's all very still, and only so many people might make sense of it.

When Hiro appears, it's without fanfare. The impression of air moving around him, dark eyes opening to observe that everything is as he left it. He brings with him the smell of an Argentinean jungle, and fine black hairs come free of his low ponytail from the efforts of timely skydiving.

"It works, doesn't it?"

The voice isn't Hiro Nakamura's, but that of a boy ten years Hiro's junior. Heard but unseen, his hard-soled shoes click and clack on the concrete floor of the map room, his silhouette splashed across a folding screen depicting the classic Great Wave off Kanagawa in shades of blue, white and sepia.

That this place has become a makeshift home for the wayward youth was a part of their arrangement. Enough shelves and cabinet space in the left-behinds of Jittetsu's former owner to start rebuilding what's been lost and left behind over the years. "I can tell, things feel different." That he speaks mostly in present tense was jarring at first, less so than the actual context of what he had to offer, though.

Dragging a black suit jacket down from where it is draped over the screen, the boy on the other side offers a crisply spoken, "See?" in a very told you so tone of voice.

Stepping out from behind the screen and meticulously adjusting his navy blue and gray necktie, the auburn-haired teenager offers his profile to Hiro in dignified position. No more tattered jeans, no more wrinkled t-shirts. While Hiro Nakamura has been correcting history, Rhys Bl├╝thner has been correcting his wardrobe.

The time traveler isn't sure what he might say. Very nice? Or where did you get that is closer to the tip of his tongue, but in respect of Rhys' wardrobe and the state in which the boy had been in upon first encounter, Hiro says nothing at all. For a good long few moments. Then, he's moving, the one sword that remains in the building currently strapped to his back, but getting removed and set down with care upon one of the surfaces back here that is certifiably without dust, although it seems to all get cleaner by the day.

"It works," is reluctant and clipped, an adult wary of encouraging a child. There's a monotony to his tone, and only a tremulous kind of firmness disguised in the dampened vowels of his accent, the sharp syllables. "If you say it works. But it is against the code, to change the ways of history."

The sheathed sword is laid down, and he is peeling off black gloves, his back turned. All the better to hide his expression, too thoughtful.

"If we don't challenge history we don't accomplish anything," Rhys explains with a dismissive flip of one hand to sway at a newspaper clipping hanging from one of the strings that reads 300,000 estimated dead in bold, block print. "You said yourself that you want to try and change things, what happens to all that save the Cheerleader, save the world stuff, hmm?" Both of Rhys' brows raise in quirk, curious sentiments to his temporally confused juxtaposition of past and future tense all jumbled up into present.

Straightening the lapels of his suit jacket and then plucking a piece of lint off of his black double-breasted vest, Rhys marches over with a click-clack of his shoes to where Hiro is standing, still looking expectantly at the swordsman.

"Besides, we're only preventing the damage that's already done, right? Just because we might nudge one or two things favorably in our own direction while we're there isn't any reason to be all in a huff. If we undo too much that's already been done, we're changing the here and now, aren't we?"

Both of Rhys' arms cross over his chest, head pointedly quirking to the side as auburn bangs brush across his brows. "We're smoothing out the bumps from someone else's mistake and, you know, maybe adding a fresh coat of paint along the way. We're still here right?"

There's a feigned tone of seriousness donned as Rhys lifts both hands and wiggles his fingers at Hiro ominously, "No big scary rift," is added in a sing-song voice.

He's familiar with the concept of nudging, which is why Rhys earns another pause, that constant inner struggle that those who know Hiro— those very few— are familiar with. A sharp look out the corner of his eyes though show that Hiro is as unimpressed with finger waggles as he is with what the youth has to say.

"We— " A minor hesitation, but he allows that word to keep. "— find the ones who make the mistakes. Using the present to our advantage, instead of touching the past." Mistakes seems wrong, seems too accidental to the things being described. A syringe of negation ready, prepared, for when the flying man attacks by surprise, falling like a stone from the sky. Hiro's fingertips dance over the hilt of the sword he's laid down, the weapon his father used to wield.

Turns, then, almost at Rhys' height, short of stature but making up for it in the level of his stare. "I suppose you know the names and the faces of the ones creating the— bumps," is a query he knows the answer to. His tone adds the silent, seeing as you know so much.

That's where Rhys grimaces and looks away from Hiro, only when asked to produce results does he shirk back and offer a slow shake of his head. "Not… precisely," isn't really the answer Hiro wants to hear. "I can see them better when they're closer to where it is I am. Twenty years away or more and things start to get blurry and harder to read." Rhys lifts up one hand to run fingers over his hair making sure every ingle strand is in place.

"Which I guess means…" the boy goes on to add with a wandering stare turning to the walls, "that if you want me to properly identify them, you're going to have to take me back further in time." He's a little too excited about that prospect for both his good and history's good.

There is a quirk of what could almost be a smile at Hiro's mouth, at that initial shrug off, for all that he would love results — it's something of a point proven. The almost-smile is quick to vanish away again, as if in fear of his face cracking as a result, but more in response to the proposal that Rhys offers, a shade of annoyance flickering in Hiro's dark eyes before he turns a shoulder to all the preening, the pale-eyed wandering gazes, discomfort in the set of his shoulders. "You need to stay here," he says, after a moment, and it almost, this time, doesn't sound like rebuke. A hand goes out to nudge his knuckles against where a thread of his web hangs too low.

"It is more important for you to observe the rifts than the faces. But I cannot do this alone, or I will get lost. And then everything will be lost. Besides," and his voice levels into some tone of wryness, now, some old humour flickering, "do you see yourself going back?"

He moves towards where a navy thread wraps around one of identical make but different origin, converging to tangle. The handsome profile of Nathan Petrelli is clipped to it. "Where I went was only a year ago," he points out.

"That's not enough," Rhys offers in quiet contemplation, ducking beneath one of the strings and looking for the clipping connected to it. This piece of sooty gray yarn where clothespinned is an article reading REAPER CLAIMS ANOTHER LIFE. "The people causing the ripples aren't just going a year or two back, Hiro, they're all— everywhere." Walking along the path of the string, Rhys traces the gray thread all the way back to where it's pinned against a wooden support post.

"Your map doesn't even go far enough back," the boy explains with a twang of the gray yawn, sending particles of yarn fiber to hang in the air. "The distortion from things out past fifty years are hard to tell, but I'm feeling the faintest of echoes as far back as one hundred years, Hiro. Do you know how big those ripples will be when they crash on the shores of this time?"

Both of Rhys' brows lift up and his head shakes as he throws his hands down at his side with a frustrated huff of breath, shoes rapidly click-clak-snapping back across the concrete floor. "Take me back just a little bit, maybe the sixties or the seventies… I might be able to narrow things down some, even if just for a little while."

Leaning in towards Hiro, Rhys' pale eyes stare up at Hiro's far darker ones. "Then maybe we could stop off in Paris, Milan, Beijing?" A hesitantly playful smile crosses Rhys' lips, "I could stop by a Parisian boutique and you could, I don't know, wear pleated pants and meditate under a waterfall? Is that what you do? Is that why there's no shower here?"

Talk of Parisian boutique and pleats as notable features get that same kind of flat glance, a no, but nice try mixed in there somewhere. "You are fearless," Hiro tells the youth instead, "but you have a lot to learn. I am not the Tardis." He turns, then, looking out at the rebuilt web, so much of it the same as it was before, but some of it different too, than how it used to be, casting different shadows on the cement. He wonders if Rhys would be able to see how he had learned his swordsmanship in this same space, against a man who is now dead.

Knows better than to ask. "There are things I must do first. My own ripples and my own mistakes need to be undone. Until then, you will have to see what you can from this time. If nothing changes, I will take you back to see."

"I know you're not retarded," no that's not what he said Rhys, "I never said you are. But if you keep not letting me go and help you and do all this on your own maybe you are," he pinches two fingers together with a snap of one raised hand to demonstrate distance, "maybe this much," eyes narrow, "a little retarded."

That's still not what he said.

Rolling his eyes and blurting out an exasperated sigh, Rhys tosses both of his arms into the air, then folds his hands behind his head. "Fine, fine. Go do your time knightly samurai thing and be all stoic but when you come back and time is wound up in knots and everything you love looks like one big temporal pretzel don't go saying that," here come the rapidly crooking air-quotes, "maybe I should've listened to Rhys!"

Then both of the teen's hands flap out to his side and he turns around on one heel, stomping a few feet away before whipping around again and pointing a jabbing finger at Hiro. "Oh and for the love of God, Hiro. If we're going to be saving all of time and space, you are not doing it in a black fleece sweatervest and cargo pants."

Those priorities may not be properly aligned.

The Tardis, Rhys. How do you even correct something like that, Hiro doesn't know, but he feels that maybe if you're going to be saving a whole space-time continuum, it's in your best interest to be read up on the relevant literature. He stands knightly and stoic as ever in the face of blustery frustration, and in the blink of an eye, Rhys is pointing at thin air. In the same spanning second, Hiro reappears to collect up his sword, though doesn't sling it over a shoulder just yet.

"The sooner you find your parents," he notes, "the better."

That wasn't quite right either, Hiro, but he's gone before Rhys can object, vanishing in a spin of dust motes in the air, black fleece, ponytail, and samurai sword all.

Herky-jerky posture from trying to turn around and properly brandish a finger at Hiro one too many times, Rhys just looks around the empty warehouse and creases his brows together wordlessly. His hands drop down to his sides, green eyes sweep around the string-tangled floor, and then shoulders slouch as Rhys wraps jacketed arms around himself.

Blinking slowly, his green-eyed stare diverts to the floor, tongue rolling on the inside of his cheek before snorting out a frustrated grunt while on the verge of something that almost looks like tears.

"I'm going to order take-out and not save him any," is really the best revenge Rhys can think of as he storms out of the string room with a click-clack-click of his shoes on the floor.

Feigning frustration is easier than admitting the truth though.

He knows where his parents are.

But he's not so sure they care.


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