Fifth Sense


sf_asami2_icon.gif sf_brynn2_icon.gif sf_daphne2_icon.gif

Scene Title Fifth Sense
Synopsis In the process of being healed after the attack on her life, Brynn gains the full use of one of her senses.
Date March 13, 2021

The Breaking Pint


She can hear again. Muffled, at first. Strange. It doesn't sound like the quality the coils of her implant provide her. And even when she places a hand to the side of her head, the magnets haven't been replaced anyway.


She can hear some of the same notes. Shifting sounds. But the sounds of voices, they're just… different.

"Hold still. It'll be…"

There's discomfort in her ear, sharp and small, caused by something she can't see. But something is pulled from it, and after that, she can hear even more clearly. The muffled sounds become… profound.

"There's shrapnel in your eyes, and I know this sucks," Asami tells her tiredly in the dark. "But just be brave for me, and I'll get it out and you healed in…"

A tiny wire is pressed into Brynn's hand.

"No time at all," her healer promises.

Comparatively, that is the case. It takes only minutes of discomfort and pain for pieces of metal to be extracted from where they've lodged and cut deeper, her face wiped at with a wet cloth to rid it of streaming blood. Prickling warmth, like the kind she felt on her head and in her ear, needles its way over her damaged eyes and into her skull.

And then, miraculously, her sight is restored, too. And she can look down and see the wire in her hand belongs to her cochlear implant.

The two of them are in a bar Brynn's never been to before, a blood-covered woman in blonde joining them behind it. Asami turns away as her hand falls, reaching for a poured shot from her seated position on a stool. "I think I'll take that drink now," she says gratefully, and tosses it all back in one go, so bone-tired she looks as though she might sleep like the dead soon.

Brynn still hasn't managed to unfist her hands from Asami's shirt. Not until she actually hears what she thinks is Asami's voice … even though it sounds really strange. Still, there is relief at being able to at least hear. "Asami, are you okay?" she asks quickly, her hands finally loosening enough to let the other woman move around at least. "Is … Jac! Where is Jac?"

She didn't hear the woman behind the bar. And there are all kinds of extraneous sounds she usually doesn't really have through the implant — at least, not exactly like they come through now.

With the terror finally easing just a bit, now Brynn's body is shaking so hard the young woman has a slight stammer. "Who were they? Why did they throw a bomb?" Even as Asami heals her eyes, the tears are running. The young woman turns her face into the gentle touch as the blood is wiped away and she gets her first glimpse of where they are.

"How did you do that? Am I…?" Her trembling hands reach up to touch her eyes and then she stares at the coil that pulled itself out of her ear, stunned. It's too much to take in all at once… so she sits there letting the tears flow unimpeded as she struggles to wrap her head around it all.

"Jac's… fine," Asami answers, reaching for the pour for Brynn to nudge it to the bar before where she sits. "She was injured, but Daphne here pulled her from where you were. And your mom took her to Isaac. So… she'll be just fine."

She looks to the young woman with a small sigh. "I don't know who they were, kiddo. They were hired to hurt you and Jac, though. If we'd not gotten you out…"

Asami doesn't answer the question of if she's okay, at least not directly. "I had a dream last night, that your mom would get a phone call like the one she got from Jac. I'm just glad we got there in time. That Daphne…" She looks up to the bartender with a grateful flick of her eyes.

"I healed you, though, with Isaac's ability. You should be just fine now." Tiredly, she gives a small smile. "Let me know if something doesn't feel right, but I think… I think I got it all."

Reassurance aside, it's going to take time for the shock to wear off. Brynn is still staring blankly at the coil in her hand. "My… my ears feel funny," she admits. "Your voice … my voice…" she reaches up with her other hand, both hands still bloody, and touches her throat. She still has that kind of flat intonation of the deaf … and now it sounds different to her. Clearly her eyes have been fixed.

She looks up at the silent blonde, who seems to be just taking it in quietly and keeping her own counsel for now, and then to Asami. "Nobody even paid attention," she offers in the wondering tone of someone in shock. "Just … drove by. Explosion happened and …" and for her, nothing. Sight and sound gone.

Asami furrows her brow at Brynn's struggle with the shift in sound quality. As gently as she can, she tells her, "The bomb did a lot of damage. I didn't want you to lose your hearing entirely, and… needed to be able to talk to you without…"

She lifts a hand, fingers splayed generally in the direction of her forehead and crown, finding it hard to remember the word for telepathy properly. Miming will hopefully suffice.

Dropping her hand back to the bartop, she considers the state of things. "It… I don't know. What happened to you sounds like what happened to Nova and Isaac in their near-miss car accident, except…" Her eyes narrow. "Once they walked away, it doesn't sound like they were pursued. And they were after you. You're lucky I got there when I did."

"Have a drink, Brynn," Asami suggests to her quietly with a nod to the shot set before her. "It'll help your nerves."

Inadvertently, a bark of laughter escapes Brynn. The kind that implies she's hasn't quite caught up to her own reality yet. Her bloody hand briefly, absently, touches one of her ears. "I never had any hearing til two years ago… you … you fixed my ears for real?" Not something she ever would have thought to ask for. Not that it could have been asked for until this bizarre stage of her life anyway. "This is what it sounds like to everyone?"

The slender brunette climbs very shakily to her feet, still kind of oblivious to the fact that she has drying blood all over the place as yet. Lowering herself to a barstool carefully, she asks in surprise, "Nova and the senator were attacked??"

Although she wraps her hand around the small glass, Brynn doesn't try to raise it to her mouth yet. She's feeling rather disconnected from herself and there's the vague observation from the back of her mind that she'll likely spill it if she tries anyway. So far, aside from the shaking and the bouts of tears, the young woman seems to be holding herself together. When it all hits, it seems probable that she'll lose it for a while then. But for now, she simply accepts everything Asami tells her with that sort of disassociated sense of calm.

The fact Daphne is this quiet suggests she was more fazed by the traumatic events than she let on, but she also was leaving Brynn and Asami to the healing process without her colorful commentary. Now she approaches with a folded t-shirt from the bar’s small supply of merchandise — the charcoal gray t-shirt proudly bears the bar’s logo. It’s hardly the most fashionable garment Brynn Petrelli has ever worn, but at least it’s clean.

“Unfortunately we don’t sell sweatpants,” she says with a wry smile. “Now that you mention no one noticing and whatever happened to … Nova? And the senator… I find it a bit strange no one ever did respond to the 9-1-1 call. Except I guess in the whole scheme of everything we’ve seen and had happen, that’s just a bad day for public service, I guess.”

Her expression turns a little wry, since the bar is patronized by the police and other emergency workers. “Are they coming for everyone like us?” she asks Asami in a quiet, solemn voice that doesn’t sound like herself to her ears.

"Yeah, this is what it sounds like," Asami says with a sympathetic smile to Brynn. "Welcome to the land of the hearing." Perhaps (read: almost certainly) she should treat this with a different air than she does, but she doesn't. She gives a glib greeting, then moves right on.

"Those two had an incident right after they came to the house that day, two months ago." She's certain Brynn remembers the one. "They're fine. Obviously." Isaac's even been in the news, though not for good reasons.

Asami questions to herself again if it's just the result of years of dark deeds catching up with that organization, or maybe something else that caused that to happen, though…

When Daphne nears, she nods gratefully at her for the shirt. Anything would help here. The question, though, makes her take pause, and she doesn't have a brave face.or a false confidence she puts on while mulling it. Unlike the woman from her second set of memories, she can't muster an unfailing poker face. All she can do is reticently agree, "It… it is weird no one ever showed up. It's both good and bad they didn't, but… extremely abnormal."

Her eyes flit back up. "They might be after us," she's forced to admit. "This isn't even the first attack like this. Kaylee— she was also attacked. But it was different. It happened by her co-workers, people she knew, and…" How to couch this? "She had to fight for her life. The Foundation's space was a mess, blood everywhere. Or… There should have been. By the time I got there, it was like it'd never even happened, save for how Kaylee was covered in blood. Everything had— reset." Asami frowns.

"It was surreal. Like when we teleported to Japan. Just…"

Her voice falters, her understanding of reality spinning wildly out of control with it as she refaces the memory she'd been unable to find the words to explain well to anyone else.

As she's reaching for the shirt with a smile of thanks, Asami's words make her jerk visibly. "Mom was attacked?!?" Her hand crumples the T-shirt tight in her fist and she demands in a strained voice, "What the heck is even happening right now??" Her whole world is imploding.

Looking between the two women, Brynn definitely gives the impression of being completely overwhelmed. And she finally catches sight of herself in the mirror behind the bar too. A horrified gasp accompanies a flood of tears in gray eyes. Lifting a trembling hand to her face, still streaked with drying blood though Asami healed her and cleared out her eyes, she whispers, "This is a nightmare. It can't be real." Pulling in a shuddering breath, the young woman tries to pull herself together. "I … I should wash up."

The shot glass is left on the bar, and as she slides off the stool Brynn's knees give way. She catches herself on the bar and it seems to finally be hitting her. "I want my mom!" It's the forlorn wail of a girl in so far over her head that she can't see daylight.

Daphne remains uncharacteristically quiet as Asami explains what happened to Kaylee. Her expression is grim, and she’s about to ask a question when Brynn crumples. She reaches out to keep her from falling, then squeezes her shoulder sympathetically.

“Me, too, kid,” she says. “I’m sure she’ll be back soon. If not, I can bring you home or wherever you want to go that feels safe, okay? You can let her know where you are if we do that. You guys need some food or anything? Help restore some of the energy? I’m drained just from jumping around a few times; you both must be exhausted. My cook’s not in for a few hours yet but I can find something in the kitchen.”

It's a good thing Daphne's hand is there to help steady Brynn, because when she starts to break down all Asami seems capable of doing is turning and staring. She's in the middle of her own struggle, a different sort of reality turning on its head, and her ability to throw a life-preserver for others has been phenomenally lacking throughout this prolonged, overall experience.

She breaks out of it, somewhat, after Daphne offers her help. "Your mom is gonna need you to be strong," Asami states blithely. "This is hard. It's not going to be easier. And she's strong, too, but she'll need you. Okay? You and your sister both. So just…" Her brow furrows. "Get it out now. And then wipe yourself up."

Leaning back in her own seat, she blinks wearily and then looks down the bar, in the direction of the kitchen. "Something to eat would be great. I'm not sure there's much left in me right now." She looks back in Daphne's direction to add, "Thank you, though. For this, for— stepping in. For saving Jac."

Stiff upper lip and all that. Right? Brynn's tears will not be stifled quite so easily, but she nods to Asami emphatically. "If Jac's okay, then me and Mom will be too." If they've got nothing else, they have each other. She looks up at Daphne with a grateful expression. "Thank you. Thank you so much for helping my sister."

Sure, she's still shaking in Daphne's hands, but the reminder that her mom will need her is enough that the young woman starts to try to get herself together. And then she looks at Asami with wide eyes. "Did Mom… lose her temper?" Oh crap. Is her mother out there ready to go through walls and beat people with their own arms?!?! Oh no!

“You don’t have to thank me for that. Just glad I was in the right place at the right time,” Daphne says to Asami with a lift of her shoulders. “Just wish I’d gotten there a little faster so we could have skipped all the painful parts, for everyone involved.”

To Brynn, she shakes her head. “She was pretty calm, but none of us were the ones who hurt you, so I don’t think she would have taken out her anger on us,” she says, unaware of the difference between Kaylee Petrelli and the strong alter ego taking up residence in her head. “If Senator Faulkner is capable of doing what Asami here is, she’s in good hands.”

Daphne turns toward the door that will bring her to the kitchen. “Help yourself to whatever,” she says, waving a hand to the bar, before she’s out of sight.

Asami is capable of a small smile for the wish they could have avoided all of this. Wouldn't that have been nice? She nods to Daphne as she heads off, considering maybe another pour for herself as she's not really feeling the shot she took at all, now that the burn of the taste has gone.

But maybe another wouldn't help either.

Brynn's question regarding her mom brings that small, sardonic smile back to her face. She waits until Daphne's moving away before saying, "She got mad, yeah," with a small nod in the affirmative. "She was scared, for you both. So Valerie kind of… took charge, but— no arms were broken. No walls torn down. If I'd have found out who hired those guys, she'd probably hunt them down, but…"

With a thoughtful narrow of her eyes that tries and fails to pass itself as a small wince, she looks back to Brynn. "I was kind of pressed. More worried about getting you out safely."

Brynn gets settled back on the bar stool and though she's never really been a drinker, she picks up the shot that got put in front of her seat a few minutes ago and with only a brief hesitation manages to gulp about half of the relatively small amount before choking and coughing while it burns all the way down. This, after all, is a girl raised in a champagne and wine world.

With her eyes watering now from the burn of the alcohol as much as from her tears of panic, she sucks in a breath and wheezes out, "Are you healing yourself too? Is Mom sure Sena— Isaac will help?" The last time she laid eyes on him and Nova, he was pretty pissed off.

Asami bites back an amused chuckle at Brynn's expense over her reaction to the drink. It's not her fault, after all. She doesn't need that. The question back to her gives her a needed distraction. "Me? Yeah, I'm—"

She glances away to the countertop, pinching two pieces of a shattered bullet back together to show it off. "I don't really— get a choice anymore in healing. There's a helicopter pilot with the NYPD…" The explanation brings her eyes to half-lid, something quiet and solemn taking her over. "That's his ability. He's not indestructible, but he's damn near immortal. Closest thing to it, anyway."

Asami flashes a forced smile as she sets aside the shrapnel in the other small pile on a stack of unfolded napkins. The foreign objects are a mixture of what was ailing them both a frighteningly short time ago. "As for Isaac…" And there's that solemnity again. The regret. "If it's her, he'll help. She didn't do anything to harm him. And Jac… she doesn't deserve what happened to her. So he'll— yeah, he's going to help."

With a wry look back to Brynn, she supposes with some levity, "Or Valerie'll threaten to break him in half, and then he will."

There's a subtle grimace at that. Brynn still is not sure how she feels about Valerie — the shift in her mother is positively terrifying for the girl when it happens. "Okay," she says softly. She knows Asami was hurt, but she's grateful that coming after her is not a reason that Asami might die.

There is a moment of pause and she asks softly, "Are we even safe to go home anymore? I don't understand any of this. Why are they trying to kill us?"

Asami can only let out a slow breath, trying to not give a flippant reply indicating safety. They're all clearly not safe anymore. Her emotions are reigned in, and she does her level best to keep a stoic expression. "I don't know why they're after us. Those… two didn't strike me as government agents. And if the government are the ones after us for our powers, then…"

She shakes her head once. "I don't know, Brynn, why they'd want to kill you. It… didn't seem to be over your abilities." The beginnings of a frown are smoothed away. "Home may be safe. But so little seems to be anymore. You two were in broad daylight— your mother, at work."

The swing doors to the kitchen open and swing closed behind Daphne who carries a couple of plates. There’s nothing fancy, since there’s no cook on duty, and she certainly isn’t the one slinging pub grub for the bar. Scrambled eggs and toast are about all that’s in her wheelhouse, so that’s what they get.

She picks up one of the slices of toast to crunch into herself, before remarking around the biteful, “We were fine until we had the powers. It doesn’t explain some of the other weirdness like Tokyo looking like it hadn’t finished rendering or something. That’s the part that doesn’t compute with the rest. Super powers, maybe I can deal with, but… whatever that was.”

The platinum blond shakes her head, leaning against the bartop. “Anyway, one of us will pop you home so you don’t have to be out in public,” she tells Brynn. “I’d probably lay low or at least… maybe have a bodyguard with you if you go out.”

Brynn's eyes come up to Daphne and she swallows hard. "I need to call my mom. I … don't know if she wants me to go home after all this. And I need to know if my little sister is okay."

Her voice has a flat cadence to it, the inflection is off compared to most people — and for the first time in her life, she can really hear herself the way everyone else hears themselves. She keeps touching her throat as if expecting to find something wrong there, but it's just that everything has wholly different sound through an eardrum than it does when conducted electromagnetically through bone.

"Asami…." Brynn looks at the woman who has changed her whole world for a second time in the space of just a few weeks. "What is she talking about, Tokyo not finished rendering?" She's totally lost.

Asami accepts the plate gratefully, flipping egg up onto toast to maximize the energy-per-bite amount. Her movements are sluggish, but unfailing. She's not disoriented amounts of tired, which she's relieved about.

Her head doesn't lift when Daphne makes the comment about Tokyo. She fixes herself a sandwich made of the food she's been brought.

She pauses midchew when Brynn addresses her, uncertain just how to answer the question posed to her. Should she beat around the topic? Asami glances up to Daphne as though for advice before setting her food back down. "We left town," she decides to say, careful in word choice and tone. "When I woke Daphne's ability and fixed her, we teleported. To Tokyo, briefly. But…"

She rubs a hand along the side of her neck. "Something was wrong. It wasn't Tokyo. It… it was almost like it was broken. Like reality itself was…"

Asami swallows, her mouth dry as she looks back to Daphne.

The young woman’s worry for her mom and her sister draw a nod from Daphne. She can appreciate that, being a mom herself — she’d want her kid to let her know she’s all right. Her stomach tightens at the thought of seeing Corbie in the state she’s seen these two young woman, and she rubs her eyes to press back the tears that spring up there.

“Text your mom for now — tell her you’re okay, and safe, with us,” she suggests. “We’ll get all three of you back in one place somehow.”

Daphne quiets as Asami explains what happened to them in Tokyo, or wherever it was they went. Her gaze settled on the other woman’s face, and she tips her head. “You said someone told you not to leave the city. You told me not to leave the city. What happens if we do? Is it all like that? How?

Asami's explanation makes the tremors of shock worse for Brynn and she lifts her phone to text. Mom… where are you?! I wanna come to you. I'm with Asami and another lady, we're okay. But things are SO WIERD.

Brynn puts the phone down on the bar and takes another shaky, shuddering sip of the alcohol — so gross! — before trying to eat some of the egg in front of her. She just doesn't know what else to do.

Asami shakes her head instinctively, feeling as though she doesn't have enough information to even answer. But she does, another perspective murmurs in the back of her mind, and she takes a moment to chew over her next bite before offering up her observations.

"Violette told me not to leave the city— the friend who warned me agents were coming for me, who was waiting for me after I jumped off the roof of the Linderman building and discovered I could fly. I… trust hi— he— them." Her eyelids flutter in her moment of conflict before she settles. "I thought the advice came because it'd be more difficult for tracking systems to keep up with my movements if there were… more people around. The way OPTICA functions in tracking the population outside of aggregating records specifically attached to you is unclear, but it's long been suspected to be more aggressive than publicly let on."

Her brow furrows as she looks back up, half-concerned, half-apologetic. "I specialized in cybersecurity before my life fell apart, so I just… assumed. But maybe it's worse than that. Something… something else entirely."

On the verge of declaring her suspicion, she suddenly scoffs nervously at herself. "—But that's ridiculous," Asami scolds her unspoken thought. "I've lived outside New York. I'm from outside New York. I only moved here a few years ago. I-I…"

She trails off, concerned and uncertain.

Despite the warning not to leave New York, Daphne takes a breath, scrunches nose and closes her eyes, and does just that.

Asami's eyes widen as she recognizes the look on the blonde's face, but it's too late for her to do anything about it. "Daphn—!"

Lawrence, Kansas

She stands in the middle of the small town’s downtown. It’s a stupid thing to do, really, but she plans to zip right on back to New York in a second. This is for science, folks.

And for a split second, it looks fine: cars and pick-ups line Main Street, flanked on either side by quaint brick storefronts. But it’s wrong — there’s not a single person to be seen, though she can hear a conversation nearby, from invisible pedestrians. It’s so close, she should be able to reach out and touch them — only they aren’t there.

Looking down at the sidewalk, it seems she’s floating above it due to a lack of perspective, a lack of texture. When she looks back to the buildings, it’s like something has eaten them away — porous gaps seem to have rotted through their core.

Before it can get worse, and Daphne knows it will, she closes her eyes, and thinks of home — her bar, even if she doubts its very reality right now.

The Breaking Pint, Brooklyn, New York

Brynn starts to say something and then Daphne vanishes. It leaves her gaping for a moment.

Too many jumps, too fast. Daphne returns in no more than three seconds, and falls to her hands and knees on the wooden floor of the bar.

“Definitely not just Tokyo,” is all she can breathe out.

Asi curses under her breath, scrambling to her feet.

A blink later and Daphne is right back where she started but on the floor. "Wow," she murmurs, jumping off her stool to go help the woman. "Does pushing the abilities make all of us tired?" Brynn looks curiously at Asami. It doesn't seem to make her mom tired, but the girl's experience is really limited. She helps Daphne to a seat.

"What's not just Tokyo?" She isn't sure she wants to know any more than she does, but Brynn isn't certain she has a lot of choice anymore.

Kneeling by Daphne to help her back up, Asami manages to shake her head when Brynn asks her question. "Different abilities require different energy. Yours doesn't take much at all, just … focus. Bending time and space is," she pauses to let out a laugh at her own expense, knowing how tired she is from her earlier excursion. She leaves Daphne to Brynn and her own devices, taking a half-step back.

Answering, at this moment, isn't something she enjoys doing. "Anything outside New York," she answers faintly, looking haunted.

Perhaps if she'd looked hard enough while weaving through traffic during her very brief escape across the border, the one where she was driven off the road and into a dead-end, she'd have seen the signs of the world beginning to become…

Asami begins to voice something, teeth braced to support whatever she means to say, but it doesn't come. Not really. Her eyes close and she gives up on it, shoving her hand in the pocket of her coat instead. She looks away and down to the screen as she pulls it out, then back up to Daphne. She offers it out.

"This is going to get worse before it gets better," is the only thing she can think to say. "Call yourself from this so you can get in touch with me if anything else…"

Starts to behave like unreality, she supposes.

Brynn’s help earns her a tired, subdued smile from Daphne, and she lifts her shoulder in response to the question once she’s standing. “I think if it’s just me, not bringing others, it’s fine. And maybe not so many so close together. It’s hard to really practice it and keep it hidden at the same time. It’s fine if I just boop from one room to the next in my own house, though.”

Leaning against the bar for some added stability, Daphne considers the other question. What’s not just Tokyo. She lets Asami’s answer stand — a non answer. It’s impossible to explain without seeing — or at least, she lacks the words.

Accepting the phone, she taps the digits of her own phone, which buzzes in her pocket. Passing the phone back, she nods her agreement. “We need to keep everyone safe. If they went after these girls, nothing’s going to stop them from going after the rest of us like that.”

"I want my mom," Brynn whispers. She's just barely 22 years old. And although privileged in this life she's had with her family after she was adopted, she is also very much a sheltered young woman. This is all too much for her. She looks down at her phone and texts her mother, pleading for a meeting place. She needs to go home.

And then she suddenly swallows hard and asks, "What if they're tracking our phones?" Looking at Asami, she adds, "You need to warn everyone you've… unlocked like this. Maybe …. maybe it's happening to all of us." Maybe they're going to be rounded up and … yeah, there goes the panic again.

Taking back her phone, Asami looks uneasy, eyes not lifting from the still-active screen of it. With Daphne and Brynn both telling her the same thing, she reluctantly tabs through the phone until she's penning a text.

"I'd asked Nicole to see if No—" She bites her tongue before looking back up. "To see if she could contact the last of us who isn't awoken that I know of. I'll ask her to change course, to see if she can't get us all together. Because…"

They're not wrong. The situation was dangerous, and would only get worse from here on.

"… Who knows what will happen next."

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