I Saw Him


chess3_icon.gif eve4_icon.gif

Scene Title I Saw Him
Synopsis Two friends travel together to take two very different paths into their minds' pasts, via Refrain.
Date December 9, 2018

Cat's Cradle

This is a bad idea.

Her mind tells her that, but her feet still propel her forward, as Chess opens the door to Cat’s Cradle. It’s close to closing time, and most people are on last call — or last toke, as the case may be. Chess’ dark eyes skim the bar and the crowd, looking for the owner. It’s possible she’s not there, but any time Chess has ever gone to find her, she’s where Chess looks. She isn’t sure if that’s due to Eve’s ability or just luck.

If she isn’t here now, maybe it’s a sign Chess should scrap this idea — this bad idea. But the look in her eyes is a desperate one. There’s pain there, a deep and consuming grief that sometimes quiets to a dull ache, but now and then rears up again to make itself known, to overtake everything else. To blot out everything else that’s good or healthy or happy.

It’s a bad idea. But she looks for Eve anyway.

Down through the first floor and hallway leading to the Oracle Room, the door stands open for the young woman, smoke curling out from the room beyond the threshold.

There sitting in the back of the room sits Eve, laying out across a large, plush purple pillow. A dark gray simple cotton dress hangs on her and she lifts her hands in greeting. "Booooomer." In a singsong voice, "I was waiting for you!" Exhaling a thick plume of smoke that wafts around the room, a fire crackles in the corner. The fans pulling hard, allowing fresh air to curl into the hazy space. The smell of cinnamon is in the air mixed with other scents, incense burning.

"Are you okay?" An eyebrow rises and she goes to get to her feet coming towards her friend joint half hanging from her lips.

The younger woman doesn’t open her mouth to lie. There’s no reason to lie. She doesn’t have a good poker face — unless looking pissed off at the world counts — at the best of times. Whatever’s wrong, it’s been held down and pushed back, but that question from a friend is enough to open the floodgates.

She walks into Eve’s arms, head down until she can burrow it against the taller woman’s shoulder. Her own arms wrap tight in a hug, and Eve can feel the wet heat of Chess’ tears through the fabric of her dress at her shoulder.

Finally, she speaks. “I can’t remember his voice. The words, yeah. But not his voice. I have a picture so I have his face, still, but I can’t… I can’t remember how it sounds. I can’t remember how my name sounds when he says it.” The words come in hitches, her shoulders rising and falling.

Taking Chess in her arms, Eve holds her and rocks her gently side to side. Her eyes water as she knows who the younger woman speaks of. She remembered why Miles was there in the first place, what she saw. What they prevented together. "He is here." Tapping Chess's temple gently before tapping the middle of her chest lightly, "And here." A sad smile on her lips.

"Your gift is physical but sometimes there are ways to go back. Ways to see who we have lost."

There's a look over her shoulder and Eve takes Chess' chin in her hands. "Drugs are bad but only in excess unless it's heroin." Ushering Chess over to the pillow seats, she flops down herself and looks over at her friend. "Moderation though," as she goes to pull out blue syringes of Refrain that she swiped from their earlier operation. "Going on trips with friends is the safest way, it's not a solution but if you're forgetting. Maybe.. a refresher course."

For once, Chess takes the sympathy and warmth offered to her, holding on to Eve tightly. Eventually she snuffles, looking up with wet eyes and face, hair sticking to her cheeks as she snorts, something that’s almost a laugh.

“I’m pretty sure there’s other drugs that might be considered a bad idea. LSD. PCP. Come on, weren’t you a kid in the Nancy Reagan War Against Drugs era?” she manages, though the smile at her own joke doesn’t make its way up to her eyes.

She follows Eve deeper into the room, moving to the sofa to perch there. She looks like she might jump up and run away an moment — alcohol and denial have always been her ways of finding oblivion. But this is why she’s here.

“How long does it last?” she asks softly, eyes on the blue glow of the syringes.

"Listen Nancy just needed to smoke a j with lil ol me and she would have chilled out. I named a bong after her! It was a dragon." She liked dragons except the Samson kind. Shuddering as Eve pats Chess' back, "PCP, never went near that stuff. Saw a friend Randy on it once, he bashed his face into a motel wall, I had to wiggle out of the tiny hotel window!!" She just couldn't use the front door.

"Oh Boomer it feels like forever but maybe an hour, not much of your time for what you can gain." A brief grimace, "I will say the last time I did Refrain is when I time traveled and got my head cut off but that was with a time fairy! I think we're just fineeeee." Prepping the first shot, she looks down at Chess' arm, "I'll be here," tripping as well but she'll be here. "We can compare notes when we're out. Just remember. It's all in your headddd," in a singsong voice.

There's a jab of Eve's hand, quick as she presses the liquid into Chess' arm. "If you think too hard about it you might chicken out so HERE YOU GO!" Hurriedly grabbing her own dose, she snuggles in close to the large pillow she lays on and sticks herself as well. "I love you Boomer." As she presses the needle to pale flesh. Light blue liquid glowing in their veins.

Eve’s pep talk about using drugs, given Chess’ relative inexperience, is not exactly encouraging. She looks like she might be about to protest but then her arm is already penetrated by the sharp filament of metal, and she gasps, not so much in pain but in surprise.

She looks like she might retort, but again, this is why she’s here, so instead she nods, reaching to catch Eve’s fingers in hers.

“I love you, too.” She doesn’t say it often enough — or much at all, really. Perhaps it’s because she wishes she had said it more often to the person she hopes to see in the memories that may or may not come.

Chess’ eyes close, and she wills her mind and the drug to bring forth the memories she seeks.

“So I heard Chelsey tell Krista that Grady wants you to ask her to prom.”

That’s the abrupt greeting Chess gives as she climbs into the passenger seat of Miles’ car. She smells of chlorine, her hair still damp and thrown into a loose bun. Besides her JanSport backpack, she has a plastic tote of her wet towel and swimsuit, fresh out of the pool. She makes a face at whatever’s playing on the radio station and reaches for the controls to change it.

She doesn’t sound mad. They’re best friends, Chess and Miles. But she doesn’t sound happy either, even though she’s never had a problem with Grady specifically. She’s not friends with anyone, really, besides Miles.

Miles looks over at Chess with raised eyebrows, a little surprise in his expression — whether from the abruptness or from the actual content — before he grins. “Oh,” he says, “so she has a friend who likes your friend, huh?” His tone is light, teasing. Maybe he hasn’t noticed the tone? But no, the expression on his face makes it clear that's not the case. In contrast to her, he is definitely amused.

“You say it like it’s a death sentence. Do you know something I don’t? Is she secretly a vampire or something? Because I could get behind that, I won’t lie.” He pulls away from the curb, his grin getting, if possible, even wider.

“You know them better than I do.” Chess leans against the door, turning to look out the windshield “I didn’t take you for a Twi-hard, Miles Dylan. I may have to rethink this whole friendship thing.”

Her lips tip upward slightly, but then the smile falters.

“You can go with her. You don’t need my permission,” she says. As if he asked for it. One hand reaches up to push a dark strand of hair out of her eyes. “I’m sure it’s not her fault that most of her friends are assholes.” Of course, in Chess’ assessment, everyone at the school is, excluding herself and Miles and one or two of the teachers.

“I can’t help it. I’m Team Edward all the way. He’s so dreamy.” Miles sighs wistfully, glancing out the window as his lips part in his best Kristen Stewart vacant expression. He doesn’t hold it too long, though, both because he laughs a second later, and because he should actually be looking at the road.

The laugh turns into a snort at her next words, though. “Thanks for letting me know,” he says, “I wasn’t sure.” His expression softens a little bit then, even though there’s still the tease in his voice. “Maybe they’re just misunderstood. There isn’t much that breeds assholery like a couple years in high school.”

He quiets for a moment or two, before adding, “I don’t want to ask Grady to the prom. Mostly because I don’t have the money for an epic promposal.” A hint of the grin is back as he cuts a glance toward her again.

Chess angles a look at him for the impression, but simply rolls her eyes, a small smile tipping her mouth upward again. But again, it’s a fleeting thing.

She doesn’t look back his way after he declares his lack of interest in Gray and/or the prom, staring out of the windshield for some time. She doesn’t smile or laugh at his joke. Finally she speaks.

“She’s not as terrible as the rest of them. If you want to go, you should go with her.” She huffs out her version of a laugh. “She’s the only one I won’t judge you for liking. Just so you know.”

“That’s the kind of ringing endorsement you really want from your best friend when you’re going to ask someone out,” Miles retorts, as though there hasn’t been that long pause. As though they’re just talking, and the outcome of this conversation doesn’t have weight beyond the superficial.

However, it’s his turn to pause then, and even though he still sounds flippant when he goes on again, he doesn’t look at her. “Besides,” he finally says, “I don’t like Grady. I like someone else.”

There’s a fleeting furrow of brows and flash of eyes in his direction, before Chess looks back to the windshield. “You know my opinion of everyone at this school,” she says flatly. She’s not one of them. She doesn’t like most of them. “It’s about as ringing of an endorsement as you’re gonna get. At least she doesn’t call me freak to my face. That’s more than most.”

She’s quiet for a moment, reaching for the radio again to change the station when one song shifts into another. It’s an awkward pause before she finally asks, “Who?”


Eve shudders and looks over Chess to make sure she's alright, eyelids fluttering as the drug that she injected into her veins takes hold, pulling her away from the physical, pulling her away too…

"We aren't doing anything," Peter states as he slowly pushes up to his feet, leaving his beer on the table. "I don't need your friendship, I don't want it either. I don't care if this whole goddamned world burns to the ground overnight, because you know what?" Peter's nose rankles. "I'm not going to be the one responsible for it this time." At least not through anything but inaction.

"You follow me, wherever I wind up, and don't think I won't make sure you don't follow me a second time." Two fingers point threateningly at Eve, and as Peter's hand slowly lowers, his lips downturn into a frustrated frown. "I'm sick and tired of people wanting to be in my life. I'm done, it's over. I'm getting the hell out of this city before it does any more damage to me."

There's a weakness in his tone, a brokenness, helpless. "I tried to fight and look what happened. I'm done. Leave me alone."

"Shut up."

"You were used.. manipulated.. into the things that led to that." He knows what she means by that. "It's something that you probably will never get over, but you have to try." She persists with him, he doesn't look so good. Walking up closer to Peter, she tilts her head at him. "Don't you act like you're gonna kill me. You aren't the monster that they tried to create," she gets closer and shakes her head. "It doesn't matter if you want my friendship, we bonded way long before this. Our paths were intertwined the night that we all met underground." She stands straighter to look at Peter in the eye.

"Not letting you do this alone, I won't." her own voice cracking as she shakes her head. "You might not think it's the best idea, but you don't need to be alone. Nobody does." Her hand shakes a little as she looks away from Peter. "If you leave the city, I leave the city." It's that simple, unlike most people.. who probably give up on Peter. Eve isn't one of them.. mostly because she's not all there in the head. But the other reason being.. she can't let him suffer anymore. Not like this.

"So let's go. Right now." She arches an eyebrow at the man of multiple abilities. "Stop fighting, just let it go."

There's a long, pointed stare leveled to Eve. Admittedly, it takes on a momentary softness, at least up until Peter exhales a sigh, eyes closing and brows furrowing together. At first, it looks like an expression of marked frustration that washes across Peter's face, the throbbing bass-line and beat of electronic music pounding against the walls of the basement and the inside of Peter's skull.

Filtering out the incessant noise however, is what Peter is actually doing. Kaylee Anne Thatcher is a young, talented woman. In Peter's hands, her scalpel-precise telepathy is just as sharp and just as dangerous. When wielded aggressively, as Peter has suddenly seen fit to do, it takes on a whole different milleau, inspired by his training with Matthew Parkman's brand of telepathy, honed more recently in the battle at Breakneck Road.

Eve, Peter's psychic voice resonates in her mind, Leave me alone.

It isn't a request, it's a command.

December 9th, eight years ago. It was the last time Eve saw him alive.

Eve's eyelids flutter as her head knocks back and to the side, "Petey no.." she whispers as she's lulled to the memory, the last time she saw him alive. The threads and edges of the memory tying around her psyche and closing in, pulling her in closer to the source. Her fingers twitch in a random order, muscles in her face jump.


In her reverie, Chess almost looks like she’s sleeping, and in that near-sleep, she looks so much younger — the worry leaves her features and there’s no tautness in each muscle; she’s not poised, ready to run at the slightest hint of danger, as she has been for the past eight years. Her lids are mostly closed, fluttering now and then as the memory plays out behind them in her mind’s eye.

When she asks who, Miles snorts, and just shakes his head. “Mr. Hammond,” he says. “Something about his shirt stains just calls to me.” He rolls his eyes, but he’s smiling as he glances toward her. Quickly, though — the gaze definitely doesn’t linger.

“Who do you think, Chess?”

It takes a moment. She looks like she might snap at him — there’s a tic of muscle in her mouth, a slight movement of her head, but something stays that instinct, and she quiets. A second or two later, her breath catches in her throat, and she turns to look at him. There’s hope in her eyes, but also fear, and something deeper, that feeling that’s been growing since the moment he first spoke to her.

“But… since when… I wasn’t sure if…” None of her starts-and-stops make their way to a full sentence, until she lands on, “Were you going to ever tell me?” in a bit of an accusatory tone. Pot, kettle, black.

Miles shrugs, shaking his head at her first question. Can one really pinpoint when something like that shifts? He looks over at her for a moment — not too long, considering he’s driving, but a moment. “I’m telling you right now,” he points out. He does not point out that she could have told him the same thing, too, at least, so there’s that.

“So,” he continues. “Now you know. Want to go to prom?” He smiles, “I’m not going to do a promposal for you, though.”

“But if you don’t make a huge ordeal out of it and don’t put it on Facebook, how will we know it ever happened?” Chess asks, wide eyed, but her smile is growing. She doesn’t answer, at least not explicitly, and instead nods her head to the curb.

“Stop the car, yeah?” she asks.

They happen to be driving by a large park, so it’s easy enough for him to pull over. She waits until he does so, glancing between him and the road, then just at him. Her smile has slipped away, though her eyes are bright as she studies his face.

”I think you’ll just have to hold the memory in your heart.” Miles pulls over as instructed, and once he’s turned off the engine, he turns to her. His eyes search her face, moving over familiar features that have suddenly become new again, when seen from this light. The light of After. “Don’t cry on me, now,” he says, still teasingly. “‘Cause you know if you start crying, I’ll start crying, and I’d rather be making out.”

It’s sort of a joke, but not completely one, considering that he leans in a moment later.

By the time he’s turned to her, she’s already taken off her seatbelt and pulled her feet up on to the seat so she can lean across the center console and tug him to her — not that she needs to, because he’s already leaning that way.

“I am not going to cry ,” she says, fingers splaying out against his chest to stop the forward momentum to clarify this matter. “And I don’t care about prom. We can go if you want.” Her eyes study his face, flicking left to right, as if to read what lies behind them. Her voice drops, softer. Sweeter. “I just want to be with you. Wherever that is.”

She closes that distance between them with a kiss, and with the kiss, the divide between friend and more. Before and After.

Eventually, Chess opens her eyes. A hand comes up to her cheek to find it wet from tears. Her fingers press to her lips — still feeling the kiss of the memory. Still hearing his voice in her ears. She glances at Eve, still lost in her own hallucinations and then slowly moves, nearly silent, to where the woman pulled out the blue glowing syringes, taking two to slip into her courier bag.

She doesn’t leave, at least, curling back up and leaning against Eve, to wait for her to return from her own trip.


Eve’s eyes flutter open, a pale shade of blue in her pupil, flickering like the activity light on a computer case.

The door slams, echoing through the garage.

In my eyes, indisposed

A song plays over the radio, echoing through the garage. Sliding out from under his mustang, Eric Mas looks up to his young daughter holding a torque wrench in her hands. Behind her, Valerie stands with anger in her eyes. Eric slides a bit further out from under the car, then sits up. “What's up?”

In disguises no one knows

“Eve go to your room.” Valerie hisses, tears welled up in her eyes. Eve looks back and forth between her parents, shoulders hunching as she slinks back toward the wooden steps to the house her mother has just come down from. Valerie takes a step over to Eric, lips downturned into a sharp frown.

Hides the face, lies the snake

“You look like you swallowed a lemon, Val,” Eric says as he wipes axel grease off on his jeans, pushing up to his feet. Eve has slowed her pace, eavesdropping on her way to the door onto the house. “What's up?”

The sun in my disgrace

“You ratted me out to Linderman?” Valerie spits her words out quietly, sharply, turning to look back over her shoulder. “Eve I said go to your fucking room!

Boiling heat, summer stench

Eve scrambles, up the stairs and through the door, flinging it open and then swinging it around to slam shut behind herself. Back to the door, she can hear the music still, and the ringing tones of her parents shouting at one-another.

'Neath the black the sky looks dead

Chest rising and falling, Eve wipes tears from her eyes and swallows back a frustrated sob. She hears her mother screaming at her father, though the context of the argument is lost on her. But the fear, the anger, the panic; that's all real.

Call my name through the cream

Eve runs, through the house, out of the house. Onto the street, down the street. It was the first time she'd run away from home.

And I'll hear you scream again

It wouldn't be the last.

Eve's eyelids flutter open and she gasps as she sits up, colliding with Chess' shoulder gently. "Mom." She remembered that day. It wasn't the last time she ran, or that they fought. It wasn't.. she never talked about her family much. "Oh Boomer.." tears running down her face. They both seemed to have emotional moments. Peter and her parents, all lost. She couldn't save any of them. "What did you see hun?"

Curling up next to her friend she gets ready to lay her head down on the large pillow before a shock runs through her, "Linderman." Her parents connection to the Company grew.

The younger woman lifts her head, blinking a moment before she finds her bearings, shaken from a doze. Chess stares up at Eve and reaches to wipe the tears from the precognitive’s face.

She lifts her brows as she contemplates the other woman’s revelations, but lets it pass. Her own memory is held tightly, cards close to the vest, a private moment that she was lucky enough to see again. She leaves Eve with her own as well.

“I saw him,” she murmurs, to answer Eve’s question, in a voice husky from swallowed tears.

“Thank you.”

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