It's Not The Answer You're Looking For


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Also Featuring:

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Scene Title It's Not the Answer You're Looking For
Synopsis Raquelle calls upon Richard for help with a personal issue, only to find each of them called on to help Walter Renautas unravel the past.
Date November 20, 2019

3:30 pm
“Pretty Ricky. You are overdue for a shave and a trim. Meet me at the Salon, bring your new big dick energy pocket book and I’ve got an appointment with some diva named Cinderella, if you can bring what you know about her that would be awesome.”
Seen 3:36 pm

Some Time Later

Cambria Salon & Day Spa
November 20th
5:47 pm

There are some threads that you don’t pull on, because things start to unravel but there’s only one thing in that information from Richard he received months ago that he still can’t reconcile. Cindy Morrison, aka Squeak’s Surrogate being an associate of his fathers that…nobody knew about and someone Miguel doesn’t remember?

That’s like missing lyrics in a performance piece where all the music is there but words missing.

That is why this evening, Raquelle has asked Miguel to accompany him to the Salon which has been closed for the day. His hair is a darker brown currently, with auburn edges and tips but he’s got his hair tousled stylishly and is dressed ‘down’ for him. Dark jeans, a black and sparkly blue long sleeved t-shirt and a leather vest, complete with wallet chain and dark blue converse sneakers. Make-up as on point as ever.

There is a flash of glittery blue nail in the lighting of the salon as he is rolling out the blueprints to the salon. Coffee has already been put on and Raq’s jittery as he gestures with a pencil. Jitters thanks to the disappointing looks from Azami at the fact that he had started smoking again. He has been trying to cut back again but damn. “I trust Bolibaby to get the house secure, and don’t want to worry Haha or the girls but I need to make some changes to the Salon to make it a safe place.” He speaks softly to Miguel as they wait for Richard’s arrival.

“Last salon got shot up when people started acting like damn fools. So need to get the windows replaced with something more bullet proof.” He also shows off and gestures to the backroom on the blueprints and circles how there is actually a basement. Just no obvious entrance to it. “I didn’t repurchase the old salon again because I needed a space I could convert to…a place for the people who need to hide can hunker down.” He looks to his father with a quirk of a well groomed eyebrow. “Could really use help on figuring out how much money I’m going to ask heterosexual sugar daddy for…”

His eyeliner rimmed eyes dart flicker with the uncertainty that exists from years of having his requests for things like performance attendance and etc denied. But he’s a grown ass man now, so his jaw just sets as he turns back to the blue prints, holding a pencil out for Miguel.

“Shot up?” Miguel is still struggling with that one. He leaves the mental labor about Raquelle and Richard’s relationships for Azami to explain to him later, lest he make an ass out of himself. “Have… have you ever thought about moving?” There's a very serious look from Miguel to his son, even as he unbuttons the sleeves of his shirt and begins the process of rolling them up. “Also maybe turn the heat down a little unless this is also your sauna,” comes with a lopsided smile.

“But seriously,” Miguel’s voice takes on that fatherly tone, as if he always was available to give his son advice. Perhaps he's just making up for lost time. “Kansas City has to look better than this… Escape From New York chic you’re living in. Maybe safer, too?”

“I don’t think that he’d be able to deal with safer, to be honest,” is Richard’s casual observation as he steps out of the back room instead of coming in through the front door, “There wouldn’t be as many people he can help, and your son’s the sort of person that needs to be helping people. In his own indescribable way, admittedly…”

He’s dressed casual for the occasion, but not all the way down to his grungy action wardrobe; a black button-up shirt and slacks, no tie, the top button undone. Hair’s gotten a little scraggly and there’s definite five o’clock shadow showing.

A smile crooks up at the corner of his lips, “You must be Miguel. Good to finally meet you.”

“Last time I tried to leave New York, you sent me the money to do it and I got relocated to Eltingville, and the bastards took the money.” Raquelle smirks gently and rolls his eyes. “The temperature will go down soon, I adjusted the thermostat.” He worries his bottom lip though. “Next time I left was because there was a war going on.”

“Doesn’t matter where I move, a DNA test will put me and my family in the crosshairs of opportunistic assholes.” Then he marks Richard’s entrance with a hint of a smirk, to hide the sheepishness that flickers over his features for a split second. “Alas, I am the progeny of two of the most stubborn people to ever exist…this is you and my mother’s fault. All that Latin spice, caucasoid curiosity and Japanese tenacity? Gave me a big dick, natural swagger, a strong jawline, a gorgeous complexion, a high sex drive and metric fuckton of not knowing when to run away.”

He saunters over towards Richard, offering a hand and arm for a bro-hug as he gestures towards Miguel. “Papa, this is Ricky Smiles aka Richard Ray. He helped us with mom. Rick and Stubbly, this is my father…he helped create me with my mother.”

Es bueno conocerte,” Miguel says as he steps in to shake Richard’s hand, “Raquelle has told me so much about you. Thank you, for keeping an eye on my gran oso and for everything you did for Azami.”

Miguel glances over at Raquelle and then smiles, proudly, before turning his attention back to Richard. “I'm sorry for causing all this trouble,” he can't help but apologize for his situation.

The one-armed embrace is returned, Richard’s hand thumping Raquelle’s back before he pulls away and steps over to reach out and clasp Miguel’s hand in a warm, secure grasp. “You didn’t cause any trouble - and all I did was ask some people in the neighborhood for a favor, that’s all,” he allows with a smile, “I’m just glad that you’re all together again here in the States. Well, what’s left of them. We might be a mess, but hey! At least we’re not fascists.”


A wry look to Raquelle, “I’ve given you too much time to come up with new nicknames.”

There is a pause as Raquelle just narrows his eyes at Miguel’s usage of that nickname. His mouth opens and then closes. The fruit is so low, but he leave it be because hey. Now his father is apologizing.

The hairdresser tsks softly. “You should know, I have an ever expanding Rolodex in my head that keeps providing new ones every day. No one knew, but that is actually my special ability. Some people can breathe fire. I can throw shade and come up with nicknames.”

He waggles his eyebrows and then turns back to where he has the blueprints spread out, allowing Richard and Miguel a moment. “Coffee’s where it always is. The vodka and Jack Daniels is in the back room.” He worries his bottom lip. “Get yourself a cup of whatever strikes your fancy…”

He quickly scribbles something that looks like a motion sensor in the corner of the blue print.

“You’re too kind,” Miguel tosses back at Richard, quietly, like slipping a thank-you letter under someone’s door and then running away. “My son might have forgotten his manners, but it’s important to show appreciation for people who go out of their way to make your life better. I can’t imagine how you two must have met,” he says with a glance down at the blueprints, “but I’m glad you kept my son safe during the war.” The war he’d missed.

Miguel is quick to move past the notions of appreciation, looking back and forth between Raquelle and Richard. “So, what’re we discussing? Are you a security contractor or something, too?”

“I have a wide portfolio of business interests,” is Richard’s easy non-response to Miguel’s question, stepping over instead of going for the coffee to look down at the blueprints with a slight furrowing of his brow, “So what’s all this? I’m guessing you didn’t call me here because you’re offended that I’m getting scruffy.”

The blueprints were a clue.

There is a quirk of an eyebrow and a hint of a squint at Miguel as he mentions manners but he just snorts and sucks his teeth as he turns back to the topic at hand.

Raquelle glances between Miguel and Richard. "Multi-Tasking here. One…gonna need your help making some subtle and almost covert changes to the Salon to increase the security and turn it into an actual safe zone…locations."

He takes a deep breath. "And two, I told my parents about what you sent me about memories, and there is one piece that concerns me. I know Squeaks. You mentioned a surrogate mother named Cindy used to somehow know or work with my dad and…my family really cannot take many more surprises." He finally looks up from the blueprints.

"What do you know?"

When the name Cindy is uttered, Miguel looks distant and uncertain of something. His focus goes long, far, and Richard’s seen in before in his many friends who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress. Swallowing down a lump in his throat, Miguel looks back to Richard and Raquelle with a forced smile. But there’s something gnawing at the back of his mind, something that goes unsaid. Miguel isn’t a spy, wasn’t a Ferry operative, this world of cloak and dagger that Raquelle is dragging him into is at once unfamiliar and, yet somehow, comforting. It’s the unknown quality of that comfort which makes it uneasy.

“I can absolutely help with number one,” says Richard with an easy motion to the blueprints, “No problem there at all. As for the other…”

He looks over to Miguel, his lips pursing a bit at the look to the man. “I’m sorry, Mister Cambria. I wish that I could simply leave you and your family alone to recover now that you’re all together, but… I believe that everyone deserves to know the truth about themselves and their lives. Those bastards erased entire marriages, destroyed lives for what they felt was the greater good, and…” A shake of his head, “Not all ends justify the means. What do you want to know?”

Raquelle looks to his father for a moment, concern in his eyes as he takes a deep breath, murmuring softly in Spanish. “Papa, don’t worry, takes a deep breath. It will be okay.”

Before he looks back to Richard, offering the other man a pencil as he turns to face the blueprints, not daring to look at either of them in the moment as he asks. “What do we need to know? Everytime the name comes up, he goes somewhere else in his head. Who is she? Where is she?”

“That is an excellent question, Raquelle.”

He’s back.


Walter Renautas stands at the front of the store, hands folded behind his back and chin lifted up ever so subtly with one brow raised. Miguel startles when he sees him, jolts back and balls his hands into fists. “You have a lot of nerve coming back here, pendejo!” Miguel shouts back at the ghost, to which Renautas tilts his head to the side and narrows his eyes.

“I apologize for my previous intrusion,” Renautas says with a step forward, “but as it so happens I have come to believe the woman you are seeking answers to may be connected to an event of grave importance.”

“So, as far as I…” Then they’re suddenly interrupted, and Richard’s half-way to his feet before realizing who the man in the front of the store is. He relaxes, straightening the rest of the way up and bringing a hand to pinch the bridge of his nose. “Jesus, Walter. I’d say ‘don’t do that’ but I know you literally can’t help it.”

A deep breath to slow the adrenaline-race of his heart, “Do you think you can help shed some light on the situation?”

AFTER he just tells his father it’s going to be okay, and he’s waiting to hear what Richard has to say, there is a STRANGER in his shop. This is not abnormal, after all Raquelle helps alot of people that need help.

But that voice and that face are oh too familiar and Raquelle’s hackles rise much like his father’s, jaw setting and eyes widening when Richard just greets the mothereffer. There’s a flicker of uncertainty, worry of betrayal, annoyance, and confusion all dancing across the hairdressers features and he just places a hand on his hip and narrows his eyes. He just moves to stand closer to his father and fold his arms over his chest.

“Richard…” Yes, he knows his name. But he only uses it when he’s being serious or he’s seriously pissed off. “This is the home invader who scared me and my family. He better have something fuckin’ good to say.”

“You have a lotta’ nerve showing up here after what you did to the kids!” Miguel shouts at Renautas, though the old man seems undeterred by such frustrations. Lifting one hand in a pacifying gesture, Renautas steps through the shop, closing to a conversational distance with the three.

“I apologize, but it was unavoidable. Sometimes what I do…” Renautas says with a slow wave of that raised hand from side to side, “is highly imprecise. However long ago that was, it seems time hasn't quite healed that wound. But I ask you, set aside this frustration to a more productive moment.”

Miguel balks at being told to bottle up his frustration, firing a look at Raquelle and Richard and then back to Renautas. “Why?” He asks the old phantom.

“I can show you answers — some answers — to the questions you've been asking.” Renautas replies smoothly. “Who is Cindy Morrison, and what is her connection to you all?” Renautas raises one eyebrow. “I would like to inquire after these answers together, so that we might all learn.”

“Easy. He really… can’t help it,” says Richard with a shake of his head, one hand rubbing at the nape of his neck as he looks to Raquelle and Miguel, “I know Walter can be pretty— unsettling sometimes, no offense, but he’s the best hope we have of recovering everything that the Company took from us, and finding the way forward. He’s trying to sift through a beach and find specific grains of sand, though. That isn’t easy.”

“He’s a friend, and he’s trying to help. Trust me in that, at least, both of you.”

Raquelle doesn’t unfold his arms though for a moment as he just regards ‘Walter’ with narrowed eyes. Nodding his head towards his father at the comment about the girls. “Your friend needs to find a way to knock. My girls have seen a lot of shit they shouldn’t have at their age. I don’t need them accidentally carried along in memory trips about stuff they don’t understand.”

But he does move even closer to Miguel, reaching out to rest an arm over his father’s shoulders and lean the side of his head against his for a moment, taking a deep breath. A move he subconsciously mirrors from when he was muuuch smaller and behind held in the man’s arms. “You have answers, we have questions, I can take my earrings off and beat Richard up behind the shop afterwards if this happens to be a trick. Let’s go.” He drawls semi-jokingly but his jaw tenses as he takes a deep breath, eyeing both Richard and Walter warily.

Renautas raises one brow, looking to Miguel who comes to stand beside Raquelle in a show of solidarity. The old phantom blinks a look over to Richard, that one brow rising higher in silent judgment.

“My husband would have liked you,” Renautas says with a glance down to the floor, a hesitant smile spread across his face, “you remind me of him when it comes to family.”

“All fire and fury.”

Fort Hero

Caduceus Labs

Long Island, New York

June 12th

7:12 pm


De acuerdo, solo relájate.

Fluorescent light drains the color away from what little there is in a concrete-walled room with a two-way mirror installed in it. Miguel Cambria is here, young and full of energy, his floral-print button down shirt open at the collar. He is hunched forward over the back of a metal folding chair, in which sits a woman younger than even Miguel, maybe sixteen years old. She has delicate but defined features, a prominent and regal nose, eyes so blue they feel unreal, long and dark hair down to her waist. She’s crying.

“Cindy,” another voice calls out in the room, and this time it is a familiar one. Walter Renautas stands opposite of Cindy and Miguel, looking much as he did a moment ago when Richard and Raquelle saw him, if perhaps a smidge thinner. “I know this is difficult, but we’re here for you.”

“What the hell is this?” Present-day Miguel breathlessly asks as he watches his younger self place his hands on Cindy’s shoulders supportively. Cindy looks up to the younger Miguel, smiling nervously as she reaches up to rest a thin hand on his, then turns her glassy, blue eyes to Renautas.

“Whenever you’re ready,” Mr. Renautas says, briefly looking to the large mirror in the room before turning his attention back to Cindy.

Richard returns that look from Walter with a single brow upraised, as if to challenge the other man with ‘don’t prove me wrong’. Then they’re gone. Then they’re somewhere else, somewhen else.

“It’s a memory,” he explains quietly, “A discrete moment in the past. We’re not physical, the people here can’t… see us at all. It’s part of what the Company took from you, when you left them, Mister Cambria.”

Fire. Fury. Family. It all blurs together for Raquelle. There is a softening around his eyes at the mention of a husband spoken of in the past tense but it is also one more glass shard that twists in the soft tissue of all his real and present fears.

Then the world shifts and this time instead of panic, there is focus as he takes in all the details he can like he is studying a script or new piece of music. He takes a deep breath and exhales slowly thru his nose as he watches the ghost of papa past interact with the other people.


He watches how closely the two interact and he just glances over to Miguel for a moment with a curious tilt to his head and then looks back to the tableau when Walter reappears as…wait what?

"…I saw a movie like this once but everybody in it was like high so…"

Cindy closes her eyes and Miguel’s younger self steps back from her and tucks his hands into his pockets. “Okay,” Cindy whispers, then once she’s found her voice repeats, “okay,” firmly. Renautas looks into the two-way mirror, then turns back to the concrete room.

“There is a man on the other side of this glass, I’d like for you to descr— ”

“No there isn’t.” Cindy cuts Renautas off, her brows furrowed. “It’s a woman. She has red hair, and a labcoat. She’s drinking a coffee, but she just stopped when I said that.” Miguel and Renautas look at one another, followed by a glance to the mirror.

«I think we can move on,» comes a woman’s voice through a loudspeaker in the ceiling. Mr. Renautas adjusts his tie and nods, while young Miguel gently claps his hands on Cindy’s shoulders.

You’re doing great,” Miguel says reassuringly before he steps back again. Renautas, clearing his throat, looks briefly up to the ceiling and then takes a few steps toward Cindy in the chair.

“Alrighty, Cindy. Now,” Renautas glances up at Miguel, then back down to her as he pulls a black and white photograph from his pocket. “Open your eyes and look at this photograph.”

Richard recognizes the blonde man in the picture immediately. It’s Adam Monroe.

Cindy studies the picture, her brows creased together in worry. “Is… he a bad man?” She asks, looking first to Renautas, then over her shoulder to Miguel. Miguel can’t bring himself to say anything, just shifts the focus back to Renautas who likewise struggles with the answer.

“He is,” Renautas replies, though there is a lacking conviction behind his tone. “Can you tell me where he is?” Cindy swallows, audibly, and closes her eyes again. Behind her eyelids, Cindy’s eyes dart from left to right, her brows knit and her head tilts to the side as if inspecting something.

“He’s… I see him.” As Cindy confirms that, Renautas looks quickly back to the two-way mirror, then turns back to Cindy as she continues. “He’s on a beach, it’s night-time where he is. Barefoot. The waves are coming in, and he looks… tired.”

“Where is the beach?” Renautas pushes gently.

“I…” Cindy’s brows furrow. “I don’t recognize the buildings. It’s dark. There’s…” her head tilts to the side again, “there’s… I think there’s someone else here with him.” Suddenly, Renautas’ back straightens and he sucks in a sharp breath.

“That’s enough Cindy. That’s all for now.” As Renautas tries to compel her to stop, Miguel flashes a worried look to him.

Cindy continues, unable to look away. “She’s… they’re looking up. Her eyes are… she’s…”

“Ok, Cindy. You can stop now.” Renautas takes Cindy by the shoulders, giving her a gentle shake.

“What’s wrong?” Miguel sharply asks, coming around Cindy’s side. “Walter, what’s wrong?”

“I can…” Cindy’s voice becomes hoarse, her eyes shut and flicking from side to side.

Victoria!” Renautas shouts over his shoulder, “Get Charles down here, now!” When he looks back to Cindy, he has her face clutched between his hands. “Cindy, you have to stop. Open your eyes.” Miguel is starting to panic.

“I can… see,” Cindy’s brows crease together, she leans forward as if searching for something.

Cindy!” Miguel yelps, Renautas’ worry making him panic further.

“I can see… eye to—”


Renautas smacks Cindy across the face hard enough that he knocks her out of the chair. “Walter!” Miguel shrieks as Cindy collides with the floor. She lets out a scream, belated and strangled, then scrambles back across the floor holding her stinging red cheek in one hand, tears welled up in her eyes. She’s gasping, as if she’d been holding her breath the entire time.

Immediately Renautas looks guilty, glancing down at his hand as if it betrayed him. His eyes wander away from Cindy, away from Miguel. “I’m— I’m sorry she— she was in danger.” Miguel isn’t so much as listening as he is crouching down by Cindy’s side with a hand on her shoulder, looking up balefully at Renautas.

You told me this would be safe!” Miguel barks back at Renautas, who looks away and down to the floor in silence.

Having watched this entire drama play out, Miguel’s older self touches a hand to his own cheek where Cindy had been smacked. He looks to Richard, then Raquelle. “I don’t understand what’s going on here,” Miguel whispers, as if the past might overhear him. “God, look at me,” he says with a shake of his head. “Did I… really care that much about her?”

As she mentions someone else, as Walter begins to panic, Richard feels a dread sinking into his bones… and as she starts saying those words he grimaces. “Fuck,” he breathes out, rubbing a hand at the nape of his neck, “It’s that infectious…”

He looks over to Miguel, saying quietly, “It seems so. The two of you appeared together— more than once when I’ve gone through things. You were close, at the very least.”

The younger Cambria is watching the scene unfold with a slight squint, head cocking to the side curious as his keep being drawn to Miguel and Cindy. Their closeness, their contact…the emotional responses and there’s a slight twitch in his jaw. He cannot afford to go down that road in his mind but it keeps playing over and over again…

You..had a family…

Raquelle chooses however to be mature and just jump at the slap, holding his chest and giving Real Walter a side-eye. Before sighing softly at Richard mentioning that the Miguel and Cindy show was something he’s seen before and he swallows hard, lowering his eyes. “Seems that way Papa.” Is his only response so whether or not Miguel cared that much about her.

“What’s going on? Infectious?” He finally asks of Richard.

Fort Hero

Caduceus Lab

July 8th


“His plane landed.”

The room is the same, but it's like it skipped a frame. Or twenty.

“He's… on his way to St. Petersburg now. They're waiting for him at his hotel.”

Cindy looks less stressed than she did the last time she was seen, the vibrant yellow of her sundress brightens up the dull gray of the room. Miguel — the one of this last era — stands beside the open door to the room, arms crossed over his chest and attention locked on Cindy.

“Are they going to move on him?” That voice is a new one to this tableau, coming from a woman Richard only loosely recognizes from Phoenix’s shared database on the Company Founders. Blonde hair, overly tanned, pale but cold eyes; Susan Amman, the telepath that drove Kaylee from Adam.

“Yes,” Cindy answers, “they're armed. Ivan won't get there in time to intercept.” Her brows furrow and she opens her eyes to look at Susan, who in turn looks over to Miguel with a silent stare, then back down to Cindy.

“Can you warn Agent Raines?” Susan asks, and Miguel bristles, but doesn't speak up.

“I can try,” is all Cindy says before lowering her head and intensely furrowing her brows. Miguel is careful and slow on his approach to her. “Claude is… on the street. I'm trying to find something to… a means to…” Miguel reassuringly rests hands on her shoulders. “A television.

“Claude,” Cindy says to the air as a line of blood trickles out of her nose, “Claude you have to go to the Corinthia Hotel, the KGB are moving on Gorbachev.”

Susan leans away from Cindy, looking at the two-way mirror. She then angles a look at Miguel and notices he's stepped away from Cindy to the doorway. Susan returns her attention to Cindy who exhales a sharp sigh and snaps her eyes open, scrubbing at the blood on her upper lip.

“Did he get the message?” Susan asks with a rise of her brows. Cindy shakes her head, then shrugs.

“I don't know,” Cindy whispers, apologetically. “It doesn't work like that.”

“We’ll know when Ivan reports in,” comes from the doorway where Arthur steps into view, moving into the exam room around Miguel. “You've run out of time, Susan. I'd like to borrow Cindy. We have far more pressing matters to attend to.”

Arthur, ensuring a democratic Soviet Union is a pressing matter. If the KGB kills Gorbachev before he connects with Agent Spektor we— ”

Stop!” Miguel shouts from the back of the room, drawing all eyes onto him. “Stop arguing! Look at her,” he says with a motion to Cindy, one hand on her arm. Arthur and Susan pause, regarding the weary girl, then look at one another in silence. Susan exhales a sharp and frustrated sigh and storms out, leaving Arthur alone with Miguel and Cindy.

Arthur says nothing, not until Miguel has said his peace. “Cindy isn't a spy plane for you to just— to just— ” Miguel splutters, and Cindy slowly reaches up to rest a hand on Miguel’s.

“I want to do this,” Cindy says in a hushed tone. “It'll be okay,” she then turns her attention to Arthur. “Mr. Petrelli swore he'd keep me safe.” Miguel looks up to Arthur, dubious of that promise.

“Nothing more for today,” Miguel insists, “please. You've been doing this non-stop. There has to be another way.”

To see his Father defensive like this. Like this over another person sparks a simmering, broiling, fear drenched emotion he cannot identify and Raquelle swallows hard as he watches the scene continue to unfold. He’s using the style of clothing and his father’s apparent age here to do the mental math. And the thought hammers around in his head even though he tries to ignore it. It is like finding out your parent has a second family you didn’t know about and while he's glad the poor (?) Cindy has someone like Miguel in her corner. Proud even. He tears up ever so slightly and his breathing hitches. Every shoulder touch, every hand touch, every look of concern is echoed by a memory of years of resentment formed of distance and disappointment.

“Fuck you, Petrelli,” Richard all but hisses under his breath at the promise that’s referenced; reaching out a hand to clasp Raquelle’s shoulder, squeezing lightly to try and reassure his friend. This is the past, after all. Nothing that can be changed here.

Not without splintering the timeline further.

Arthur closes his eyes with a marked patience and massages one hand at the side of his head. “Look, Miguel, if we can't find where Adam and that thing went, more people are going to die. They'll blame us, and then we’ll all be pariahs. Then the whole world will be united against us, right up until that creature kills everyone.”

Miguel slides his hand from beneath Cindy’s. He sighs, deeply, and looks down to the floor. “Cindy…” he says in a hushed voice.

“I'll be fine,” Cindy replies back. Turning to look back at Miguel. “You should go help Vee and Agent Smith with what Mr. Drucker wanted.” Cindy's dismissal has Miguel sucking in a slow breath and then exhaling a sigh as he scrubs one hand at the back of his head. “Just one more, then I'll rest.”

Raquelle’s turned his forearm up so he can scribble things on it, his marker quickly marking his pale and partially tattooed skin with various names and initials. That Cambria set to his jaw, almost a mirror to the determined set he’s witness in his father’s younger self. His hand trembles slightly. The flicker of the last time he saw his father as a child, preparing to fly to the US as he asks if he’ll be coming back one day and that his Papa would come to see them. Flashes of him asking his mother over and over again. Because Papa Promised.

Miguel looks up at Arthur, then to Cindy. “Promise?”

“Promise.” Cindy replies, no fingers crossed except the ones in her heart.

Raquelle turns to glance over of Miguel and just stares at him for a few moments, lashes fluttering to keep tears from falling and he inhales sharply and it sounds a lot like a sniffle but he doesn’t let any fall down his cheeks as he looks to forearm. “Good to know she had you.” Is what he says, that’s all he says as he tries to stay focused.

Another promise. Another lie, and Richard brings a hand up to rub over his face, exhaling against his palm in a shaky sigh. “Fucking Petrellis,” he mutters, echoing his earlier words, “You knew damn well what stressing clairvoyance can do, and… nngh.”

“Sorry. Sorry.” Pulling himself together, he straightens up, glancing over to Walter with a brow’s lift as he tries to push back his own emotions on this particular matter. Memories of another time, and another clairvoyant. And what happened to her in another world.

Walter Renautas, the phantom out of time, seems to have seen enough in this moment. The frustrated sound he makes in the back of his throat comes with a wave of his hand that dismisses the moment in time entirely. But it is Raquelle’s emotional context, the pain and conflict, that informs where his ability takes them next.

Far afield from answers to the questions Walter is seeking.

Primatech Paper Research

Hartsdale, NY

December 22


“You sons of bitches!

A scream erupts through the green-painted halls of the Primatech Paper Research facility in Hartsdale. Richard has seen this place in countless photographs from his Project Icarus files, the Company facility destroyed with the Formula back in the late 80s. The same place he saved Claudia Zimmerman from death in. But here, now, there is a different drama in play.

The Miguel of Richard’s era recognizes the sound of his own voice like an airhorn. His back straightens and eyes widen. Raquelle can hear the desperation in his voice, and pinpoints the location of the screen to a windowed office just within their line of sight. Renautas spectral form steps through the windowed wall as though it weren’t there to get a closer look. Inside the room, Miguel Cambria is strapped to a chair, leather restraints on his wrists and ankles, one going across his brow. There are several people in the room, all of whom make up something of a rogue’s gallery.

“Any day now, Arthur.” Maury Parkman asserts, his brows furrowed and one hand on the side of Miguel’s head. He appears to be restraining a part of Miguel, placing a mental block around his access to his ability, because Miguel looks like he wants to kill every single person in the room. The shortest man in the room, with a red carnation pinned to his jacket, Richard also recognizes from Institute records and Wolfhound’s hunts.

Caspar Abraham.

Fuck you, Petrelli!” Young Miguel shouts, spitting at Arthur, to which Arthur extends a hand and shoves Miguel back against the chair with an unseen force, vibrating the air. Caspar watches Arthur’s reactions, closely, but when he doesn’t say anything or remark on the telekinesis just smiles and looks back to Miguel, withdrawing a penny from the inner pocket of his suit jacket.

“Mr. Parkman,” Caspar says to Maury, “you’ll want to disengage when this starts or you might find yourself experiencing some collateral damage.” Gently, Casper presses the penny to Miguel’s forehead with his thumb. Miguel, struggling under restraints both mundane and supernatural, screams until his voice goes hoarse.

The older Miguel, silent, has a hand clapped over his mouth and tears streaming down his cheeks.

Richard grimaces at the sight of the room, of the men within in. “This is— the redaction,” he explains quietly, motioning to Caspar, “That’s Caspar. He can remove memories. He puts them in those pennies for— safe keeping.” Maury gets a glare. Of course Arthur’s favorite toadie would be involved.

He looks to Miguel with a look of sympathy, “You didn’t want to let them make you forget Cindy. You fought them to the end, it looks like, Mister Cambria.”

Raquelle closes his eyes when he hears his father’s younger self screaming and he lets the full body shiver rack his taller frame. He writes down a few more names and such on his arm, his hand shaking like crazy.

At least he knows he fought. He knows he…resisted whatever this was.

He looks over to Richard, narrowing his eyes. “Do we know where the pennies are?” And then he looks back to his father and sighs, taking a deep breath. He edges closer to his father and after a moment drapes an arm over his shoulders to offer him the support of his embrace.

“Papa…Esuchame. Mirame.” He encourages the man, swallowing his own pain and hurt like he always does. “You love so hard and so completely. She was lucky to have had you.”

As young Miguel’s legs kick and his back arches subtly against the chair, as Caspar Abraham begins the process of carving out a hollow where memories of four years linger, Miguel’s older self is frozen in dread and anguish. He sucks in a shuddering breath, the existential horror of what was done to him — to others — comes into a sharp and harrowing focus.

“We don't need to see this,” Renautas says as an aside, as if anyone would disagree with him.

He doesn't wait for confirmation.

The Present

Cambria Day Spa & Salon

When the nightmare of the past comes to a shocking close, Miguel nearly collapses were it not for the proximity and strength of his son. “They took it all,” Miguel whispers in a horse, hiccuped sob. “They took it all away,” comes again with a keening, childlike sense of suffering.

Renautas is silent, eyes averted to the floor at first, then to Richard. This still wasn't the answers he was looking for. But for the Cambrias, it may just have been.

Everything Miguel learned about himself, his capacity to care for others, the bonds of relationships he undoubtedly formed with friends, with Azami and a young Raquelle, all of that was taken away. Formative years of his life wallpapered over by an artificial series of memories crafted by a relative stranger in Charles Deveaux.

Perhaps Miguel is now realizing why he was such a bad father, why he was so distant, why it felt like he never got to know his son. Because no matter how good artificial memories are, they will always be just that.


A step takes Richard to Miguel’s other side from Raquelle - a hand resting on the man’s shoulder, squeezing there warmly. “I’m so sorry,” he says quietly, “They did this to— so many people. We’re doing what we can to undo some of the damage, but…” Those years are gone. Those memories are gone. And nothing can bring them back.

His head lifts, then, a single brow lifting in silent questioning towards Walter.

Raquelle just huffs out a breath, letting his own tears because fuck mascara at a time like this. He just turns his head to kiss Miguel’s temple and murmur softly in Spanish. “Now we know Papa. Now we know.”

He sniffles and takes a deep breath as he regards Richard with a quirk of an eyebrow and a quick shake of his head. “Where are the pennies and where is Cindy now?” Is all he asks with the hint of a squint. He remembers Walter is still there quickly does a double take.

The hairdresser just stares for quite some time, keeping an arm wrapped around his father. “If the events happened, they weren’t erased. They still exist out there in the history of what happened to my dad. I’m gonna thank you. I still think you’re creepier than a motherfucker but.” He looks back to his father. “We…needed to know.”

“To the best of my knowledge, they now belong to Wolfhound. Though some were hidden better, further, deeper away. I can’t guarantee that any of those pennies still exist in a place where they can be found. With Caspar dead, we may never know without the right interpersonal connection, and I did not know Mr. Abraham well enough to hazard a guess on that.” Walter’s answer isn’t what Miguel would have wanted, but he appends that disappointment with something, perhaps, more hopeful.

“Cindy Morrison may well be alive,” Walter says with a hint of optimism in his tone. “I can feel her… presence, not as distantly as others who have died. But in order to find her, we would need to find someone who possesses a close interpersonal relationship with her to compliment Miguel’s.” Walter nods to Miguel, then looks back to Raquelle. “Then, I would need you and this individual,” he says to Miguel, “to come together. Then we might be able to find out where she went… or where she is now.”

Exhaling a sigh that must be an affectation, Walter Renautas reaches into his waistcoat and pulls out a pocket watch. He glances down at the stilled hands of the watch face, then closes it with a soft click. “I believe I have something to go on here, but it will take more time.”

“Squeaks,” says Richard with a slight shake of his head, “Jac Morrison. Cindy was a surrogate for her birth, she should do, but— unfortunately— she’s over on the west coast and out of contact right now.” He brings a hand up, rubbing over his face, “Naturally. I’ll keep looking for her the normal way, but…”

A cautioning glance to the others, and he starts to say something— then stops, shakes his head, “Well, there’s always hope. And that’s something.”

His gaze sweeps to Walter, and he smiles faintly, “Time is a funny concept though. It’s not a line, after all. Is there anything I can do to make it easier, Walter?”

Raquelle just takes another deep breath, glancing over to Miguel again and then his eyes dart between Walter and Richard. There is nothing more for him to say here. He just draws himself up to his full height and stands near his father in quiet support and a thoughtful expression.

Walter is silent, staring down at his feet as though he would divine some answer in the shine of his shoes. In that silence, Miguel moves to wrap an arm around his son, drawing him close and cradling Raquelle’s head against his shoulder. “Lo siento, fui un mal padre,” he whispers against his son’s hair. That murmured speech seems to draw Walter from his vacant stare, turning attention first to the Cambrias, then to Richard.

“I think we’ve been going about this all wrong, Richard.” There’s worry in Walter’s voice at that assertion. “We’ve been looking into these redactions for answers, and we’ve found so many that we’ve lost sight of what it is we truly should have been looking for…” Walter glances over to the Cambrias for a moment, then back to Richard again as if that bond was part of what he’d discovered.

“We need to look for the question.”

And with that cryptic insight, Walter is gone.

But, likely, not for long.

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