Expiration Date


castle3_icon.gif eve_icon.gif gates_icon.gif

Scene Title Expiration Date
Synopsis Everything has an expiration date. And Eve's time has ran out.
Date January 1, 2021

Rikers Island Prison

The last few days haven’t been good ones for Eve Mas.

Since her outburst in the recreation room and her attempts at suicide, she’d been remanded to a private care unit in the medical ward. Eve is familiar with the intravenous drugs they give her, even if only peripherally. The Institute had her on some of the same things, balanced her out, made her more cognizant. That’s what made her later requests — ones with significantly more clarity — all the more harrowing.

Now it was clear Eve Mas didn’t just want to die, she needed to. The alternative turned out to be worse.

Three days after her move to the medical ward and Eve has lost all will to fight. She is like a different person and not because of the medication. Eve’s physical condition has so rapidly deteriorated that specialists were called in from Fournier-Bianco to look her over. The results of their tests were unfortunate at best. Eve’s cells are necrotizing at a rate faster than her body can replenish itself. Her organs are failing. Within a week she will slowly and painfully die.

The physicians studying Eve’s condition are as baffled by it as they are concerned for her well-being. But there is nothing the doctors can do aside from minimize her pain and delay the inevitable…

Which is how we have the situation here today.

Rikers Island Prison
Medical Ward

Rikers Island, NYC Safe Zone

January 1st
6:26 am

Agent Gates and Castle enter the medical ward of Rikers Island Prison just before six-thirty in the morning on a rainy first day of the new year. Gates has taken something of a back seat in his approach as Castle’s pace has hastened. Ever since word of Eve’s deteriorating condition reached the Department of the Exterior it became clear that this would need to be a matter they handled personally.

The two agents find Eve Mas not confined to any quarters, but sitting in an otherwise unoccupied and sterile cafeteria within the medical ward, seated at a round table with eight fixed seats arranged around it in a circle like petals on a flower. The wallpapering in the space is that of a pristine pine forest rather than simple white tones. It gives the space warmth that the bone white tabletops can’t.

On spotting Eve, pale as a corpse, blotchy with bruises and burst blood vessels in her eyes, Gates falters in mid-stride and lets Castle take the lead.

Hastening steps had been an understatement. Castle had barely managed to get into their suit properly this morning, and apparently, they didn’t manage to put on matching shoes for some reason. One of their shoes was red, and one was black, but the type of shoe and size of the shoe was more or less the same. The jacket wasn’t done up, the tie was undone, the coat hung open, their curly hair had been slicked back with water and that was about it, but there was an obvious lack of attempt to put on the song and dance of the agent that they usually tried to do when on the job.

No, they’d not bothered this time. The energy about them had been nervous, unable to stay still during any moment that they had been expected to, rocking back and forth whenever made to wait, fidgeting and chewing on lips, but also uncharacteristically quiet even then. Not even muttering at themselves.

Only when they get into the sterile cafeteria and see her do they finally stop moving for a moment, blinking and tilting their head to the side, before glancing back at Gates as if looking for some kind of support— before they continue forward a few steps. “What is happening to you? This shouldn’t— you survived the Crossing, you survived Detroit, you— is it because you were negated? Did we do this?”

Their voice falters in more ways than one, emotion clouding words, but also their accent falters in and out, muddled and inconsistent.

Bloodshot eyes stare into the wall lamely, Eve's chest heaving up and down, labored as it had gotten harder to breathe. She wheezes a little, the arrival of the agents has the woman slowly turning her head. Mane of dark hair hangs, lifeless, brittle and… white? There are streaks there in her hair of a white color… maybe blonde. The weirdest thing is her left eye which is no longer brown but a bright piercing blue and not her original eye color. "I told you," She tries to laugh and only ends up coughing rather harshly. Tiny droplets of blood decorate her fingertips and she puts her hand in her lap. The tone of her voice is ragged, the worse she's probably ever sounded. "I was on a tick tick, ticking clock dearie." She makes a sound behind her teeth and tries to wave her hand but Eve doesn't have the energy to, do so "I've died four times. What's a fifth?"

A pause. "You seem quite distressed." Eve raises an eyebrow, maybe they were a sensitive person.

She turns fully and regards each of the agents and gestures with a shaky hand to the seats across from her. "I am blessed to never be held prisoner. Never be truly bound. Not for long. But it comes at a price," Eyes flick to Gates, "This body is not my own." The admission is a rough one to get around but it's made even worse by what she says next. "It's the body of a friend actually, I'm not sure how I… I got in here." Looking down at her skin, bruised and blotched, "Her name was Niki… and Jessica Sanders. I guess she died there, in the city that day."

"Whatever my gift really is, it changed this body to look like me. But the process has reversed. I don't have much time in this corpse and there's no real way to know what happens next. Do I float on? Do I move to another? Was this my second shot?" Eve looks down at the table and the sketches that are laid out around the table. It's a wonder they allowed her to even touch them after so triggered she seemed to have gotten the last few days.

“Post-mortem transubstantiation,” Gates says with a spread of his hands as he approaches. “That’s the working classification. But we don’t know all the bells and whistles, honestly. The DoE knew you hijacked a corpse, knew whose as well, but I don’t think the particulars of this situation were really clear to us at the time. I’m not one-hundred percent sure they’re all clear to you, either.”

Gates doesn’t approach to the same distance as Castle. He stands a few feet away, hands tucked into the pockets of his slacks. They have the entire room to themselves, no one to listen. “Now, we’re not about to submit you to torture — which, I will clarify, this is — so we’ve secure a cadaver of an individual that donated their body to scientific endeavors. It’s sitting in the morgue here, right now. Only one in the locker.”

Gates looks over at Castle, then back to Eve and grows quiet. As if he doesn’t want to interrupt something any more than he already has.

“Was it supposed to go like this? Is she supposed to— be all night of the living dead?“ Castle says, still kneeling down in front of Eve and looking as if they are— rather displeased with this entire situation, waving their hands about rather dramatically for a moment before letting them drop. Gates at least is calm. Gates at least is able to make the important statements. “Right. The body.”

It isn’t as if they hadn’t talked about what needed to be done. But everything was still going to change coming up.

“As Agent Gates said, we’ve got a body for you to go into. Hopefully, you get another shot at this, but this whole rotting to death thing is— It’s torture. We don’t want that for you.” They’re still upset, but they seem to be settling down a little, as if hearing what Gates had to say had calmed them a little, as if the refresher of the body on-site, on everything that they had known, was all that they had needed. There was, oddly enough, still tears in their eyes.

After a slow exhale, they spread their hands out as if to offer options, “So any way you would prefer to die, mum?”

Gates closes his eyes, pinches the bridge of his nose with his fingers, and exhales a long-suffering sigh as he paces away from the two. This will probably take a moment.

"I have some friends who were testing me, trying to see what I was capable of." Eve leaves their names out of it and averts her gaze a bit, "We can ask what they've found." She meant it when she said she wanted that work to be used to help people in the future, in whatever way it could be. "I don't know much, that's for sure. I do know or have a strong inkling that I go somewhere. It.." Eve falls silent. It was too hard to explain. "I saw something, before I woke up. I mentioned it before. But I'm remembering more of that time, I think. I think I was having visions, something and I think-"

"You've what," Eve lifts her head and looks between the two. "…how interesting! Could you tell me how they passed?" It's said with a fair bit of reverence, someone whose hand was used to dealing death or mayhem was learning to respect that part of life with each of her own deaths. This is all banking on Eve actually will leap.

The fear of this being the end for real this time makes her want to vomit but it's not like she has much in her stomach to relieve herself of anyway.

Then Castle kneels in front of her and Eve tilts her head, angling her head downwards and beginning to shake it from side to side, "What are you-" She pauses and registers the tears, looking confused and over to Gates, then back to Castle. With the messy curls, with the insufferable attitude and love of humor. "How?" Eve's hoarse laugh turns into a cough and she covers her mouth and leans towards her knees until the spell passes. The world seems to be revolving around her slowly as she stays there. Her forehead pressed against Castle's. "Well, you're much too old for me, to have birthed you. Mmm?" If she could have a mother from a different timeline interacting with her, why not a child?

"Are you sure I'm your mummy love? Not confused?" Adopting a English accent and lifting her head, she can't explain why she has tears in her eyes. Maybe because Eve knew it was true, wanted it to be true. "Oh…" Her bottom lip quivers and she lifts a hand to touch Castle's cheek with her thumb, "The Old Bat? Noooo," It was the only thing that made sense, none of her other sisters would be of the right age… none of this made sense.

"How is this possible?"

“See? Under all that crazy, you’re quite clever,” Castle says with a laugh, sounding amused at all the conclusions that she’s drawn based on a single word. “You didn’t even assume I was from the future. Though I guess if you keep dying like this me being from the future might be a bit unlikely.” But it could explain a reason they would be super upset really, besides the whole— it’s their mum. So they claim, at least.

“Listen, there’s not really time to explain it all. Giving you that much— let’s call it my insurance policy. Just in case you don’t end up in the body we prepared for you. Now I know you’ll come right back to us, cause you’ll want to hear the story of how we ended up here.” And they leave out the second reason. What if this ability doesn’t work as they want— if she just dies— they wanted her to know— at least— who they were.

Reaching up, they touch the woman’s changing hair, very gently as if afraid the slightest touch will hurt her. “But you didn’t answer my question. How do you want to go? I’m sure you’ve had some pretty traumatic deaths, so we can try to make this one a little more pleasant. Like just going to sleep. You can lay down in my lap and we can give you some medicine to fall asleep until you just won’t wake up again in this body.”

"Mind your tongue, you're speaking to your mother." Eve's own laugh echoes Castle as she stares into their eyes and there's a light there that had previously been thought to be extinguished. "Not so hard to imagine, when your grandmother you work with isn't from this world either hm?" The news has shaken something in Eve, to be reunited with her long thought dead mother, to be made aware of a child of hers from a different world. "Time fairy, just like your cousin. You know it runs in the family, mmm?" Her hand goes to Castle's chin, holding him there in her weak grip. "Our line? The Mas line? Full of powerful people, determined and survivors. What you must have survived to get here, to me."

True to Eve, she leans into her child's touch of her hair and closes her eyes. She did have a decision to make still. "HA! You're just as clever." Eve would come back if she woke up somewhere else. Castle would never be free of his mother. The family would be reunited.

Who’s the daddy?



….that guy from around the corner she met once that said wouldn't it be lovely if the world ended and it was just the two of them left on it?

"Oh! Well there are so many ways to die dearie. Let's go down the list, shall we?" As if she was beginning to list the times they had walks in the park together when Castle was a babe. "Car crash… beheaded… exploded twice. We could go bigger, bloodier and-" Eve stops herself and coughs then looks at Castle sheepishly. "That would be traumatic for you," And Eve was a mother now, you didn't traumatize your child. Unless you were a crazy seer, which has Eve's thoughts on just how Castle was raised by her. "How did you not die… as I raised you?" Eve looks closely at Castle and doesn't blink. "Amazing, I can raise children! I told Gilly the monkey wasn't any indication! I-"

Eve coughs again this time rather strong and she leans forward and sags against Castle's shoulder. "Ok, ok, talk later. We will." Eve would will herself to return if she wasn't going to attempt such a feat before, she couldn't die yet. Not now. At least not permanently. She wishes she learned how to drain the life from the energy she was so drawn too. "Let's try a fancy cocktail, nice mixture of drugs." Her tone is whispery but she turns her head just so to say, "Fancy drugs to go night night, yes?"

Her extra pale hand grips Castle's shoulder, "You can sing me a song, rock me to sleep mmm?" If Castle was in fact Eve's child then they know this energy, the way Eve's tone cements into iron resolve, this will not be goodbye if she had anything to say about it.

As if something said was funny, Castle laughs a little. “You can’t tell me what to do,” he jokes cheekily, that hint of an Irish accent peeking out for a moment, before they shake their head and start to take off their coat, getting settled on the floor into a more comfortable position and folding the coat into their lap. “Little disappointed you didn’t ask me to shoot you. What kid doesn’t want to shoot their mum once in a while,” they joke with a grin— or did they?

That doesn’t last long, though, as they add quietly, “I know just the song.”

Within moments, they’re singing, very softly.

I see the moon; the moon sees me
shining through the leaves—

Twenty-six Years Ago

Flood Timeline

Pacific Ocean
Near the Philippines

January 1, 1994

— of the old oak tree
Oh, let the light that shines on me
shine on the one I love.

She opens her eyes. She feels air against her cheek and her mother’s hands in her hair. Her mother’s voice drifts through the air as the waves gently lap the side of the boat. She’d been asleep, her mother singing to her. Her whole body feels heavy and warm and safe, and she curls even more against her mother’s leg.

Over the mountain, over the sea,
back where my heart is longing to be
Oh, let the light that shines on me
shine on the one I love.

She loves this song. This song is meant for her. Mother always sings this song to her at night. But it wasn’t night; the sun was up now. It was a new year, she knew this and morning, and she should get up soon, but she didn’t want to. Here she was safe.

I hear the lark; the lark hears me
singing from the leaves of the old oak tree
Oh, let the lark that sings to me
sing to the one I love,

She heard the birds even as her mother sang about them. That meant they were near land. They would get to see people today, probably, meet people, talk to people. She would get to learn something new. She liked learning; she liked meeting people. Maybe they would get new clothes. New food. On the edge of her vision, a child stumbled into view. A curly mop of dark hair visible as he moved about, playing with something in his hands.

Over the mountains, over the sea
back where my heart is—

Suddenly, her mother stopped. “Basil, darling, what are you playing with?”

The little boy held up his toy triumphantly and called out, “A knife!”

“I see, dear. Just don’t cut anything important,” mother said with a fond smile before looking down at the child in her lap, fingers returning to the light-colored hair. “You can sleep a little longer, my princess.”

She makes a soft sound of contentment and closes her eyes again.


— longing to be
Oh, let the lark that sings to me
sing to the one I love.

As Castle stops singing, the doses of medicine have been administered, and their hand returns to Eve’s hair. To wait. And while they wait, they just hum. The same tune as before, the same lullaby. Something for her to fall asleep to.

She hums in time with them, staring up into the ceiling. Soaking in what is to be close to your child, "Must be my kid.." Eve's eyelids have been fluttering more as time goes on. Her other eye had begun to fade lighter, matching the other blue. "Sharp tongue, good taste." Her vision dims, and she feels a coldness creep in and from where can't be discerned.

"You'll mind… your mama.. watch." It was hard to tug at his ear in her current state, and so she settles for a soft knock of her head against their chest. "Strike the loom."

Time feels different now; her mind feels strange. She's never had a death so slow, so painless.

"Thanks for letting me see my mama, Gates." Eve wants to say more, but her time is up, her head lulls and falls onto Castle's chest totally, hair fading into a blonde tone more and more as time goes by.

Eve's soul leaving the stolen body.


unknown_chess_icon.gif unknown_gillian_icon.gif unknown_gillian2_icon.gif unknown_lene_icon.gif unknown_nathalie_icon.gif unknown_peter_icon.gif

Eve awakens to the sound of screams.

As she jolts up into a seated position, Eve can feel the scalding heat of the sun on her face. The ground smoke under her, and as she rises amidst stalled rows of traffic her eyes are drawn to the brilliant form of a full eclipse darkening the sky. Except, there’s something different about it. Waves of auroral light are coming off of the sides of the eclipse, swirling like a massive spiral in the air, the arms of which touch down on either end of the horizon.

Screams of panic draw Eve’s eyes back down toward the ground where hundreds of people are rushing past her, bursting out of their cars and running down the street away from something. There is a wall of fire approaching, not entirely unlike dreams of the nuclear blast that destroyed Manhattan. Except this isn’t it.

This is the Safe Zone. This is the end of the world.

What Eve is experiencing slows down, so much that she can make out the people running by her. Gillian, running alongside a tall and thin man with gray hair that Eve doesn’t recognize, hand-in-hand.

Peter is there, alive with no scar, jogging down the street behind them with Jolene. Jolene turns, looking at the fire, but Eve’s attention is drawn away to another familiar face in the crowd.

This time it’s Nathalie, pushing through a crowd of fleeing civilians. She’s running toward the wall of fire and is followed by Gillian — another Gillian — whose normally Hazel eyes burn a bright and unnatural blue, and with her is Chess whose eyes also burn that same unnatural blue.

An explosion in the distance causes Eve to spin around and she sees herself as a young girl, standing with her arms at her side and eyes burning a bright gold. Young Eve lifts one hand, as if offering it to her older self. But there is something in her hand, squirming, writhing.

A snake devouring its own tail.

Some Time Later

Eve Mas awakens from a nightmare with a sharp intake of breath. The window to the hospital room she awakens in shows a bright, sunny sky. Though not one so apocalyptic as a moment ago. Agent Gates stands at the back of the room, arms crossed over his chest and Castle in a chair scooted close to the side of the bed.

“I’ll be damned,” Gates says, leaning away from the wall. “That was a hell of a show.”

“I— suppose that’s a word for it,” Castle responds quietly, as they adjust their coat for the twentieth time since the carcass started to rearrange itself in front of them. “I especially liked the use of hell, though. Very appropriate. At least she didn’t sprout horns at the end of it.” Had they expected her to do that? Possibly. It had been a show after all, watching the body twist and reform slowly to go from what it had been to Eve Mas. “At least she didn’t end up in another body. We don’t have to go looking for her.”

Though they knew she would seek them out now it still made things a lot easier. Eve Mas was nothing if not unpredictable. Much like the chaotically dressed Agent standing next to Gates?

“I wonder if she’ll stop trying to hurt herself now that she’s gone and died. Cause we’re not going to be able to pull fresh corpses out left and right.” And this would have to satisfy whatever that had been. Or so they hoped.

"Did you take any video?? Who was this?!" Gesturing to Gates. Eve wants nothing more than to see her transformation for herself, but alas her body is changed and she is now Eve again or has her body again, confusing. "We could go viral," She doesn't consider it a small thing to borrow a body and she closes her eyes briefly.

“Yeah, that’s not happening.” Gates cuts that aspiration off promptly.

Thank you, Niki and Jessica.

…and hello… new friend.

The pinching of her own arm makes her sit up and look down at her body again, checking that all of her toes are there. Boob check. "Sometimes all you need to do is shed a little skin. I feel… mmm mm mmmmgood." Eyes flare crimson and Eve blinks as what she experienced comes rushing back to her, eyes widen and mouth drops open. "I knew it. I was right." Her shoulders quake as a low laugh rumbles it's way from her stomach to her chest. "I'm afraid I may need to die more and more dearie." There's excitement in her eyes, Castle knows the look. She's found something. She's seen something. "The Entity had a benefit to being displaced from time mm? In the space between, the In Between. They can see across the timelines, push events to a certain outcome. It's how I ended up with the Sight. They had Foresight but they lost it once they crossed back over here."

The gears in Eve's head begin to spin slowly, ramping up in speed as she gets going. "I think I go there when I die, the In Between! The first time I had a strange dream but I knew it was real. I knew it wasn't like any other dream. It's how I learned of your grandfather, child," Eyes on Castle and then to Gates, "I just had another one, this one more.. intense." More intense than finding out about your birth father and mother's tragic non relationship? Eve's face twists in confusion and she grabs a section of her thick hair and gently tugs at it. "Not one Gilly but two, my Chess… the people were screaming. Terror. An eclipse.."

Eve shakes her head roughly and looks between the two agents, eyes lingering on her child.

Gates looks at Castle, then leans against the wall by the window. “Firstly, let’s not go jumping to conclusions about how any of this works. We don’t know what the long-term repercussions of this are on you and we’d like to remind you that you’re still in prison pending a trial.”

That out of the way, Gates takes a deep breath and looks at Castle, then Eve. “I’m going to need you to write down what you saw. Draw it. Whatever. We weren’t prepared for you to get some sort of vision, but it’s an interesting development. I’ll make sure you have supplies.”

"Oh for Goddess sake, fuck the trial. We have a world, no, worlds to save. We don't have any time-" Eve stops herself and rubs her temples. Clearly in a state from her return.

"When is this fucking trial?"

“Bloody hell, this is revenge for all the trouble I caused as a teenager, isn’t it?” Castle asks the air, or perhaps themselves, shaking their head a little as they look toward the woman who is not even that much older than them to be honest. But close enough. “Listen. We know the world is in danger. We do have some time, though, so let’s make good use of it rather than trying to rush into something without the knowledge of what we’re doing.” That sounds a little less frustrated than a moment ago, and even the accent is slightly different.

Had their eyes changed a bit as well? No, it was probably just the way the light hit them.

“You need to listen to Gates here and document your visions, so we can break them down and figure out what we’re working with. And then, you need to take care of this new body of yours that was so kindly donated to science. I know you think you need to go and see more, but the person this had been? They sacrificed themselves so that you could have this chance again. Let’s not let their sacrifice be wasted by throwing them away too soon.”

"Heh, my dear child. Deciphering what The River has shown me is what I do best," And maybe blowing things up as well. "And this one was way too juicy, not just the foretelling of a tea party. No."

At the urges to not fling herself into a knife or a bullet from her child? Dear Child. Eve slightly rolls her eyes and gives a head, "That must be the part of you from whoever your father is talking, but I agree. Enjoy the new sack of bones." She's grateful to whoever this is but she's not looking forward to who she's going to start seeing in the mirror soon. "I sometimes experience their memories, I hope they weren't a pervert." Or maybe it could bring her some entertainment in this wretched place. Regardless of the ethical issues surrounding that, the slightly older woman nods her head.

"Yes, paper. Charcoal. Colors. Painting is my favorite but colored pencils will do, we need to get the hue just right. Yes. Conduits. Yes." A dark eyebrow arches, "There's an extra Black Conduit running around this world, and we'd better find it."

A lightbulb goes off in Eve's brain, and she eyes Castle, "That reminds me! What is your name?" She would have gone for something different than that she knows for sure. Although maybe the other her did and if that was the case then Eve was gonna have to have a word.

Agent Castle,” Gates interjects, not to Eve but rather addressing the agent. “I’m going to get Ms. Mas her required supplies. You keep her company and don’t let her leap off a tall building just yet, hmm?” He eyes Eve, then looks back to Castle on his way toward the door.

There’s a long moment when Castle’s just closing their eyes as if trying to shut out the levels of embarrassment that they’re feeling at this moment. Or to stave off a headache. Or something. It’s a dilemma, certainly, whatever is going on inside their head as they wave a hand in Gates’ direction to show that they are listening and acknowledging that he’s going to go get the supplies—

They hadn’t been prepared for a vision, but they probably should have been. “Agent Castle is what they call me in the Department,” is what they finally say, after Gates has left through the door. That question had already been so aptly answered anyway. “You named me Basil, though.”

"Ahhh, there it is. Sounds like me. Sounds like you." Just like a mother Eve doesn't seem to notice Basil's embarrassment or she's willfully ignoring it. As Gates walks away, "Like the Great Mouse Detective!" Leaning in close to her son and winking, stretching her toes, feeling the limits of this body which there weren't that many seeing as she had changed it to her body.

It worked.

She had stolen more time. Long term consequences or not, this truly changed many things for someone as impulsive as Eve. Someone afraid of not truly being free. The possibilities were beginning to bubble over within the Woman That Wouldn't Die but all of that could wait because she had a true treasure right in front of her. Something, someones that she would never want to be free of. "Come now we have much to discuss, you and I."

A rogue grin, "All before your bedtime."

“…yes, mother, like the Great Mouse Detective,” Basil responds dryly, pressing a hand against his face for a moment. Because now he definitely was Basil. And he was definitely him. At least for the moment. “I don’t have a bloody bedtime. I’m over thirty years old.” Perhaps he was regretting having told her now? Maybe a little. But there had been reasons why. They had wanted her to know, in case it didn’t work. In case something went wrong. And because it was hard to keep hiding it.

“We can catch up later. We have plenty of time for that now that you’ve got a new body.” There’s some shifting of tones again, as the accent changes from mostly Irish to something a little more neutral, and they feel a little more— they. “Why don’t you tell me what you saw instead, while we wait for Gates to get back with the art supplies. You mentioned something about Chess?”

Eve is loving it.

"You should have a bedtime! Bedtime is very important, for your brain dearie. Honestly how was I raising you?" But that is also besides the point right now. They have business to attend to, saving the world and whatnot. "Yes Chess," Eyeing Castle, "I'll need to see her straight away. And her sister Alix. Very important."

As to what else she saw?

"Total utter chaos. Mayhem in a bottle shaken up and sprayed all around. There were people everywhere… a fire, wall of flames…."

Eve goes on but she leaves out about the Conduits. Keeps the blue eyes to herself, for what she fears they mean. Fearing what it means for them all.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License