Asking For A Friend


richard4_icon.gif robyn7_icon.gif

Scene Title Asking For a Friend
Synopsis If I can't let go, will you carry me home?
Date June 11, 2021

Yeah, Buoy!

Somewhere off the Virginia Coast

Robyn hadn't bothered looking back as she climbed her way back up to the Yeah, Buoy!'s deck and into the falling rain. Her thoughts are as jumbled as they ever are, but in this moment no one could blame her. She's quick to walk to the railing that looks out at the tumultuous sea around them.

Swallowing back a spike in anxiety, she leans against the slick rail and exhales a long held breath. The rain doesn't bother her, it never really has. And as long as she feels stable and secure up here, the churning waters they just a short time ago climbed out of won't bother her either.

It's not like she can focus on that anyway, a nice change of pace from the last few hours of her life. Both her hands rise, held in front of her like she's holding a basketball or something similar, and begin to glow, producing an intense but shallow cast light around her. More importantly, light brings with it heat, even if it's only the faintest amount.

It's something to focus on, at least, besides… well.

A discomfited grunt of breath is the first sign of Richard’s presence on the deck, one hand coming up a bit to shade his eyes further. “Try not to disintegrate me or anything,” he quips as he walks fully onto the deck, hand dropping and gaze averting to keep from stinging them further.

He walks along up over to the rail not far from her, one hand dropping down to rest on it. “Been awhile since I was out in a boat like this,” he comments, apropos of nothing, “Was on the run from Petrelli then… just me, Tyler, and a girl named Bebe.”

There's a huff of a chuckle from Robyn, though she doesn't take her eyes off the water over the railing. Fingers curl in, diminishing the light she releases into the air. "You know, for as much as I joke that I'm capable of it," she notes with a somber distance to her voice, "I don't think I ever could. If that makes you feel better."

The light fades entirely, leaving her without her small source of heat but hopefully no longer bothering Richard. Instead she leans against the railing, silent as she considers something. "Peter or Arthur?" Petrelli, that is. "Could be either, from what you've told me." There's a slight grin on her face, though she doesn't look over at Richard to reveal it. "Don't think I ever met Bebe. Have you talked to Tyler recently? I sure haven't."

“I haven’t seen her since before the war. She was one of Logan’s… girls, before she got loose. I think she drove that boat off south,” Richard admits, his head tilting back a bit to look at the sky, rain pattering down on his face in a chill wash that wakes him up more,“I hope she’s living a good life, wherever she ended up. She deserves it.”

He looked back over, a wry smile, “Arthur. Me and Peter had our issues, but we were never enemies. Tyler, well— depends on which. The ones we found down south, yeah, I set them up in Detroit with a security team for the kid. Made sure she had a trust fund and everything.”

As Richard looks up, Robyn glances over at him and then follows his gaze upwards. Unlike him, hers doesn't lower back down as he continues. "I should've checked in with them before we left. Seen how Noel was acclimating to not being in the ninth layer of hell." It certainly was cold and lonely enough in Antarctica for that.

Still staring at the stormclouds overhead, Robyn lets her arms fall back down to her side. "Can I ask you a question, if you're up to it? Honest responses only." Richard might already have an idea what she's thinking, but she barely lets a beat pass before asking: "How badly do you think shit is fucked right now? Askin' for a friend."

“It’s pretty bad,” Richard admits candidly, fingers sliding over the rail, gathering up droplets of rain and watching them spill in a tiny rivulet along the rounded metal, “The best way we had of getting back is gone. We’re being conspired against by— well, the same means that Endgame used back in the day, but with more resources behind it. And there’s a grief-stricken and confused godling that’s possessed Adam Monroe of all people that wants to literally wipe the planet out and start over.”


He looked up, and managed a smile for her, “You gotta have faith, Robyn. In something. We always said we were saving the world— well, we’re just turning the dial to 11 this time. And we won’t fail this time, either.”

Robyn is quiet as Richard answers her question with exactly the response she was expecting - she had asked for honest answers only, after all. Taking a deep breath, she hangs her head and closes her eyes. "I hope they still have cigarettes in the Pelago," she mutters as her fingers drum on the railing. "God I could use one right now."

With that distracting thought offered, she glances back upwards. "I'm not good at faith anymore, to be honest. Hell, to me, the best advice I got recently was to have faith in myself, because I'm the only one I can count on." A moment passes and she steps back from the railing, a sour expression on her face. "I guess that has a different meaning now." One finger runs down the wet railing, and she frowns. "Though I guess it's closer to the spirit of how it was meant."

“Fuck, don’t remind me,” Richard grimaces, glancing away at the mention of cigarettes, “I’ve technically quit, but sometimes I’ll sneak one.” A mirthless ‘heh’ of breath, “Don’t tell Liz.”

“I just…” He draws in a breath, leaning back, “I’ve been analysing events for a long time now, trying to see things like Edward does. I’ll never manage that, of course, I don’t have his ability but… there’re patterns. There’s a hand at the wheel of this ship, Robyn, I promise.”

“We didn’t come this far only to have it all end because of some moldy Babylonian god stuck inside an asshole Brit from the 3rd century.”

"Well, when you put it that way." There's a multitude of arguments brewing in Robyn's mind, but she's smart enough to realize it's neither the time nor the place for that particular argument. "For what it's worth, I'm supposed to have quit too. And drinking." Her own dry chuckle follows that as she leans back against the railing. "The first thing I'm doing when we get in is finding a place to have a whiskey, though. Or whatever it is they still have around."

Maybe she hopes that's a little less worrying given the context of the day.

"I guess the second thing I'm going to do is… try and find her. Me. Whatever the actual fuck you call that kind of situation!" Arms thrown into the air in an exasperated manner, Robyn turns to face Richard again. "She's supposed to be dead, Richard! Twice over! I should be thrilled, but I'm fucking terrified!"

“You’re not going to get any arguments from me that you shouldn’t, I mean— look at my history of meeting other iterations of myself,” Richard points out dryly, “So look at it this way…”

A grin’s flashed, eyebrows going up, “It can’t possibly be worse than Ezekiel was.”

Robyn's shoulders sag at the mention of Ezekiel, and she lets out an exaggerated sigh. "I suppose I should be glad it's here, and not Arthur's world. Or the virus world." A hand reaches up, scratching at the back of her head. "I just… I have no idea how I'm supposed to go about this. What to say. She met Magnes, and I know he told her about me. I wouldn't want to meet me after that."

There's a long moment as she turns away from Richard, wiping rainwater from her brow before she leans back against the railing. Eyes cast up at the sky, her next words come almost as a whisper: "That's not why I'm scared though," she admits. "This is hard enough, having to see my mom and dad. I don't want to get attached. Whether we stay or leave, it's all so… ephemeral."

“In the long run, isn’t everything?” Richard turns as well, leaning back against the railing beside her and folding both arms over his chest, “Look, I— get it, I do. This is fucking hard. We may never find a way back, and even if we do, we might just get…”

He shrugs his shoulders up a little, “Poof.”

“But we gotta keep fighting, Robyn. For our kids. For the world. We gotta tell ourselves that even if it’s all… ephemeral, it still matters. Because it does.”

Robyn stares at Richard for a moment, before shaking her head and sinking back against the rail. "I'm not worried about dying. Or anything that sort of ephemeral. Of course it all matters, but what happens to us, it's, uh…" She raises a hand and waves it back and forth as she tries to find the right words.

"It's acceptable losses," she offers after a moment. "But these people?" A lazy point is offered into the distance towards what she thinks is the north. "Let me frame it this way - if you were coming here and your mom was still here, would you want to leave?" She looks back at him, and then her eyes widen.

"Fuck. I'm sorry, that was- thoughtless." She lets out a long sighs, a hand running down her face. "I'm so caught up in myself I'm not thinking of you all. How do you think your mom is doing? It… at least it sounds like she'll be relatively fine at least…"

Richard arches an eyebrow a little at the question about if his mother was here, and then he gives his head a little shake. “I’m sure she’s fine— especially with Ria there, I’m more worried about— well. Anyway.”

He brings one hand up, waggling it her way, “If we find a way back, just— bring them with us?”

"Because there's too many assumptions in that line of thought," Robyn remarks quietly, still staring out at the water. "Will we be able to come back? Will our method be safer than how we got here? If not, will we somehow get more suits? What if we don't have enough? Will they even want to go? Will OSI even let me? What about Matthew?" Her elbow slips against the slick railing as she moves to run her hand over her mouth and sigh.

Huffing out a breath, she leans back and turns to look at Richard. "I know you say have faith. Alright, I'll give it a go. But my faith still has limits." Lips quirk side to side, and she gives an exasperated roll of her neck. "I don't even understand how we could get back and-"

She stops mid-sentence, brow furrowing. She looks away, looking confused and thoughtful for a moment.

“If you focus on the negative results,” Richard observes, “You won’t have what you need to push through to get the positive results. We’ll find something on the way. It’s what we do - what we’ve always done.”

Then he reaches out, a hand sliding over her shoulder, “The OEI won’t stop us. And we’ll get you back to Matty, Robyn. If you don’t have faith in some higher power - have faith in me.”

Robyn holds up a finger like she's bidding him to pause, but something he says distracts ehr from the thought she had been brewing. "OSI couldn't stop me if they wanted," she offers in a rough tone. "I don't even think they really will, why would thay?" Her brow wrinkles as she half turns to look back at him. "I mean, I get it, there's reasons, but it's all- what ifs. Anxieties and worries. Realities I have to consider, I don't-"

Her lips thin, and she turns away from him for a moment. "You know I'm planning to transfer to their department when this is all said and done, right?" Of course he wouldn't, the question is rhetorical. "Assuming I don't quit the whole thing. I've been promising Matt I'd do that."

Taking a deep breath, she raps her knuckles on the wet railing, before leaning closer to Richard, an arm pulling around his waist to match the one on her shoulder - if she can't use light for warmth, she'll use him. "I need to talk to your mother," she says in a low voice, abruptly.

“You want to work under Marcus?” There’s surprise in Richard’s tone, eyebrows knitting together, “I mean, I suppose it’d be good to have someone in there that we can trust, but…” It seems that he bears doubts about the idea. Maybe he’s just concerned about Robyn doing it.

As she reaches out to draw him closer, he shifts in a bit, lending her that warmth– and moving in to hear her quieter words. “Mom? Why? What do you need?” His own tone is equally low, private against the backdrop of the rain and seas..

"I don't know Marcus," Robyn admits as she presses her cheek against his shoulder. "But I've come to know the rest of them. They're good people. Secretive, but then, aren't we as well?" It's a somewhat earnest question she poses to him, only waiting a moment before she continues. "What they're doing, it's something I know. Something I'm interested in. Something I loathe, but that also means hopefully I won't get too caught up in it." Her shoulders rise and fall in a shallow shrug. "It's a thought, one that wasn't immediately thrown out when I brought it up."

A lingering silence leaves only the sound of the falling rain, before Robyn sucks in a deep breath. "I want to know how the Looking Glass works," she continues, closing her eyes. "I have an idea. I need to talk to, or you can. Tell her you're asking for a friend."

“Marcus Raith is a sonuvabitch that I trust less than I trust Samson Grey,” says Richard, and that’s saying something. He gives his head a tight shake, “But– I mean, I don’t exactly have a timeline phone, Robyn. I can’t reach mom right now.”

“Unless you mean when we get back? Or it’s something I can answer?”

Robyn's brow furrows as shakes her head. "That's… a pretty hefty condemnation, but… I stand by it, for now," she admits. "I'd like more insight into what they do, either way." The subject of his mom earns a moment of thought, and a chuckle. "We do, though," she offers in an amused voice. "It means having an intermediary, but I have Elliot and Wright. I just wanted to ask you before I ran off to you mom, given how we thought things were left there."

“Samson’s certainly been more straight and truthful with me,” Richard mutters, glancing off to the waters, “At this point… anyway.” He looks back, a brow lifting, “Oh. Yeah, I suppose that would work, if Wright could get to her. Hopefully they don’t have her locked up in heavy security somewhere– what’d you want to ask, though?”

He smiles a little, wry, “I’m no physicist but I have experience on the practical end.”

Still keeping close, Robyn leans forward once more. Forearms resting against the wet railing, she sighs and stares out at the water for a long moment. "How it works, what it… needs to work," she offers with a slight hang of her head. "I pay attention more than people give me credit for, particularly as of late. And as far as I can tell… we might have everything we need to tear our own hole in reality."

It's not impossible, at least. Magnes and Mateo had done it before.

“Tall order,” Richard muses, head tilting in a thoughtful manner, “…gravity, power, frequency. Hell, in theory you can cross between strings without needing a portal at all but we’ve never been able to artificially do it yet. The overlay effect is still a mystery.”

"Not by my sight," Robyn offers, half turning to look up at him. "You're thinking too big, too granular. Do you know what I saw, when you strip away all the machinery, all of the mechanical science, all the presentation?" For a moment there's a hint of a smile crossing her lips, but it fades quirk as she turns to look back at the ocean.

"Sound and light," she offers, rather than leave him guessing. "Obviously there's more to it. Literally my gears are still turning, but- we." She huffs out a breath. "We have the Aperture."

“Hm. Could work,” Richard brings one hand up to rub his chin thoughtfully, brow knitting a little, “The Aperture should provide the initial singularity– I’d be interested in knowing how the fuck it works, mind– but you might be able to enlarge it. Maybe.”

Wry, “Risky, but better than dying to a solar flare..”

"Right!" Robyn half turns back to him, pointing a finger at him. "Maybe an audiokinetic to sustain the frequency, right? And then…" She naps a finger, a smile forming on her face. "We rip it open wider."

That proud smile fades after another moment, Robyn exhaling a breath sharply as she leans against Richard again. "That's assuming she'll help out. I can't- I worry about pushing myself that hard, much less doing it on my own. Julie was quite clear that exerting my ability that much could kill me."

Closing her eyes, she takes adeep, quiet breath. "I'd still try, though."

“If you’re faced with a choice between certain death and possible death but the chance to save everyone around you,” says Richard quietly, “It’s an easy choice. I’ve had to make it before. It sucked, but it worked.”

He nudges his shoulder against hers, “I believe in you. And Julie’s a pessimist.”

"Julie's a bitch," Robyn notes, unable to hide her amusement as she smirks - a much needed change from the direness of just a short time ago. "But she's still a doctor with more knowledge on the subject than I have. I'm going to lean towards any caution she gives me." It sounds like Robyn doesn't know about the fact that Julie isn't at the hospital anymore.

"But I guess it doesn't matter. We'll see eventually." Assuming they don't find a better way.

“Julie’s…” Richard grimaces, “…had issues. She’s even stopped seeing her court-appointed therapist, and honestly I’m worried about her. It’s why I took her on at Raytech, to try and give her a fresh start…”

“It never hurts to come up with contingencies like this, though,” he encourages.

"Yeah." Rapping her knuckles twice on the railing, Robyn stands up a bit straighter, though she doesn't move away from Richard yet. "Thanks. I know a lot of people would… they'd try to talk me out of it. 'The risk isn't worth it' or 'it's too dangerous'." Looking up at him, she nods. "This is why we're friends, you know. We're too good at going along with each other's bullshit, no matter how crazy it is."

Not entirely true, but close enough.

“I thought it was because you needed someone to talk music with,” Richard quipped back, hand squeezing her shoulder before he pushes off the rail, “C’mon. Let’s get belowdecks and warm up.”

It’s easier to do insanely dangerous bullshit if you don’t have the flu.

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