You Are You


cash_icon.gif lance_icon.gif

Scene Title You Are You
Synopsis After certain revelations about Cash's past and Lance's future, he finally confronts her with the truth.
Date July 1, 2018

Park Slope - Prospect Park

Finding Cash has often never been an easy task, but then again she often seemed to show up when certain people were making an attempt to find her. However, she had given some instruction about where to look for her sometimes, even if most the time all that had been left been there had been a garden and rocks. Or rock gardens. But she had said that, should she be needed, she could be found in Park Slope, in what had once been Prospect Park. South of the old boathouse. Near the camperdown elm and padogatree. The elm's surrounded by an iron fence, eroded and dying— the tree itself looks healthy.

Because someone's been caring for it in the last year, nursing it back to health. And that person happens to be siting up against the iron fence. Though at first glance it might be mistaken by just about anyone else as a statue of pale gray stone. A statue of a woman, resting, with her eyes closed.

It took Lance some time to build up the nerve to come look for her, but finally he has; dressed light for the weather, jeans and a worn t-shirt a bit too large for him with the faded logo on the front of it reading Else Kjelstrom and the Shattered Skies. A messenger bag is slung over his shoulder, and as usual his foot-falls are silent as he picks his way through the area, ducking under some hanging vines until he spots that rusty old fence.

He hesitates for a moment, and then brings one hand up as he approaches, "Ah— hey. Cash?"

The footfalls might be silent, but when someone literally sees by vibrations there's a certain ability to notice when there's an sudden absense. When the usual little blades of grass that shift in the breeze make no vibration for a moment— when the ground itself seems to grow silent. That might have alerted her before he raised his hand and spoke.

Or maybe it hadn't. Either way, she doesn't look surprised. But then again, Cash rarely showed surprise. As she stands, the stone melts into dull brown clothes, skin and hair and gray blue eyes as she looks over toward him.

"Lance," she responds simply, but her eyes shift to his arm, as if checking on it. The one that had been injured. Even if he hadn't noticed her being around during any of that.

It's easy not to look surprised when your facial features are liteal stone, after all. There's no sign of permanent damage to Lance's arm, although from habit he's still favoring the other; it'll take him awhile to get over that, as muscle memory does what it does best. The young man treads over closer, slowing as he gets nearer to her, a smile tugging uncertainly up at the corner of his lips.

"So. Um," he clears his throat, all rehearsed words falling right out of his head. He only finds one, blue eyes watching her for a reaction. "Kasha."

Sometimes, very rarely, there had been small tics of emotion across her face. A twinge of an eyebrow, the way her lips set. This however, is different. A few moments after he says that name, almost as if it took that long for her to realize what he'd said exactly, she inhales, probably the closest to a gasp he's ever going to get from her, and her equivilent of it. The lines of her face seem to tighten, as if her muscles are attempting to take on that stone expression that she might yet regret no longer posessing. The fact her body doesn't immediately melt into it, though, might say something as well.

"Is that why you are here?" she asks, voice softer than usual, not as tight and controlled.

"I just…" Lance's fingers slide back through his hair, scrubbing anxiously at the back of his head as he watches her, "I mean, it's— well. It was a bit of a surprise, finding out…" The tip of his tongue briefly moistens his lips as he looks away to the tree, then back to her, "Why didn't you tell me? All this time, and you kept it a secret— and everyone knew, didn't they? That's why you stayed away from them."

For a long moment, Cash watches him, eyes sliding over his features as he speaks, hearing a voice that his had rather quickly turned into. The voice she remembered. Voices change slightly with age, but not that much. Not once the voice sets. And once his had, it sounded like him. Like the man he would become one day.

"I did not say anything to you because I wanted you to grow up without the burden of a future that once was and would not be again. To find your own life. I stayed close because I — "

That stony, steely persona she often holds onto breaks for a moment and she looks away, toward the tree, her hand shifting to the necklace she always wore. With two rings on it. "I wanted to see what you would become."

A voice, now, that so many have heard over the airwaves. Lance smiles ever so faintly, his hand dropping back to his side. "Yeah, I… I guess that would've been a lot to deal with," he admits, "'Oh, by the way, I'm Kasha from the future. Also in the future you're some kind of bad-ass freedom fighter and we got married'. Awkward."

His gaze alights on those two rings, and after a moment he asks, "I hope you're… not disappointed in that. I mean, what I've made of my life. And all that."

"No. I am not disappointed," Cash responds with an immediate shake of her head, albet a very subdued one as she looks back at him. "You still have a long way to go, as well, but you have grown into a good young man. If a little prone to getting into trouble." But, from her hint of a grin, that too was not unexpected of him.

Hand dropping from the two rings she steadies herself before she adds on, "I can tell you anything you want to know. As long as you understand it does not affect who you are now, or who you will become."

The edge of a grin back, Lance's head canting a bit to one side. "If you didn't expect me to get into trouble, you never knew me," he quips, knowing she expected it, "I've done my best. I try to look out for the others, and… you know. Do what I can."

Hands spread to either side, then, "It couldn't. I mean, we're not living in some wasteland with robots hunting us, so that— would never be me."

"No. It would not." Be him. There were some similarities, of course, between the two worlds, but the differences were still there. And Cash doubted that certain circumstances would repeat. "And it should not be." Even if it breaks her heart a little to admit it.

"I already helped you cheat with your ability a little, but I figured you would not have minded that much." And by you, she meant the other him, really.

"I'm not complaining," admits Lance, his smile widening a little, "Who knows, maybe because of that head-start I'll figure out things I can do that he never did."

He hesitates, and then says, "I… thank you. I mean I know you had your reasons, but— " A slow breath in, "Thank you for— being there for me. All these years."

"I am sure you will. You always came up with some interesting ideas," Cash had never been one to use the slang terms of the future, which might be why she hadn't exactly stood out as one of them, even if others had picked up on it. She hadn't stopped him from learning them, though.

She just always felt the need to live up to something she couldn't explain. And how she spoke had been part of it.

"I wish I could have been there more. But you are welcome. One of the reasons I came back was because I knew you would have been the first person to offer to go."

"I probably would've," Lance admits, one shoulder lifting in a shrug. It's just how he is, and he knows it.

She's watched for a moment, before he asks, "What was I— he— like? How did you two— no, nevermind, that's prying." A wrinkle of his nose, "But what was he like? I don't know much about— your time, I hear it was pretty awful is all."

"He was a lot like you. Older, but determined, loyal to his people, always worked hard to help them in any way that he could, even while still possessing that mischevious glint in his eyes that set him apart from the rest." Cash responds, that fondness coming through in her voice. "As for us— I am not sure I could tell that story. Not because it is prying, but because it is long and complicated."

And history.

"I missed him, but I see pieces of him in you. While at the same time, you are growing into an entirely different young man."

"What about the other, uh, the rest of the Lighthouse?" Lance cocks his head a little, "Were they still around then…? Joe, and Paul, and Brynn and Juni and all them?" Thinking of the others before prying too much about himself of course.

"I never knew Brynn," Cash admits after a moments hesitation. "Things were different. Joe and Juniper and Paul, your sister, they were all around. So were Lucy and Mala, though." Lucy and Mala, who both died of the virus after they had arrived from the future. The first of many changes. The saddest ones, too. She had grown up with those two, and had mourned them.

"Bray was killed when I was… seven. He took down a robot to help us escape. Justin was captured and I never knew what happened to him. You and Paul and Joe were the main recon group. You three created the Lighthouse Cant." Which, yes, was the actual name for it.

"Mala… Lucy," Lance swallows at the mention of them, feeling the pain still after so long and shaking his head, "I knew it was bad, but… damn. They're alive somewhere else, though— we saw a tape. They said it was a parallel world, or something like that, Magnes was there shouting about Mala."

"Shit's gotten weird," he confesses.

A parallel world. And Magnes is alive. "Anything seems to be possible." But yes, shit's gotten weird. "Mala and Lucy were still alive when I left, as were Juniper, Joe, Paul and Hailey— So if whatever world we had left behind still exists, they exist there too. We lost them here, but— somewhere, they are growing up." Hopefully somewhere good.

"I guess… if there are infinite worlds, they're happy somewhere," says Lance in quiet, thoughtful tones, looking over to the tree, "That's enough."

A few beats of silence, and then he looks back to her with a rueful smile, "Guess you know that better than anyone, though."

That actually makes her laugh. Cash did laugh sometimes, but it was rare. And often it had been because of him. "I do know a little, yes. Sometimes seeing how people are different is nice, sometimes it is sad. With you it is both, but for different reasons."

Sad, not because she's disappointed, because she's proud. But sad because she misses him, even then. "Now that you know, do you want me to… continue as I have been." Watching him from a distance.

"I'm sorry," Lance says with a slight shake of his head, stepping closer and offering her a faint, sad smile, "I'm sorry I'm not— him, and sorry that you lost him."

Then at the question, he regards her for a long moment, as if considering her question.


"No, because— you don't have to hide, Cash," he says, hands spreading to indicate her, "You're just— sitting out here all alone. You can come see the gang, you can— Jolene isn't even sure if you're still here. You don't need to, like, lurk on rooftops or whatever you've been doing." A grin, the last part teasing. Of course she hasn't been lurking on rooftops. Right?

"I am protecting the tree," Cash responds after a moment, though she does nod. He is right. She has been hiding away, watching from a distance. The last time she saw one of the ones who came with them— well— it had been a long time ago. "I will— try." But she does move closer, reaching up toward him without actually touching him, though she might want to.

"You are you. And he was him. You are the same, but you are not. And that is fine. You never have to apologize for not being him. Ever."

"I don't think the tree's going to burn down if you go hang out with your friends for lunch," is Lance's dry observation, "I know Jolene'd love to see you."

"I don't think the tree's going to burn down if you go hang out with your friends for lunch," is Lance's dry observation, smile crooking up at the corner in that way it has, "I know Jolene'd love to see you."

She reaches out, and after a moment he lifts his own hand to catch hers, "C'mon. We can go sit down and get some lunch at the Market, I can catch you up on all the gossip."

"I am hungry. I think it's been a month since I ate," Cash responds with a small grin, not exaggerating, either. Her ability has some strange effects on her body, after all, not just the ability to age. "You can tell me about this gossip, and I can tell you all about the Dungeons and Dragons campaign you ran for ten years."

Cause it's easier to talk about fake heroics in a future world than real heroics and horrors of the one they actually lived through. "I was a druid." As if he couldn't guess.

"Oh man," Lance grins broadly, "Yeah, you gotta tell me— I should start a game. I wonder if there're any books sitting on the shelves in the Market… c'mon."

A tug to her hand, and he starts walking if she lets him pull her along, "And Jesus Christ— look, I know you don't need to eat in that form, but still. Don't make me get all Gillian at you."

While she could easily keep him in place if she wanted, especially if she shifted back into stone form, Cash doesn't fight at all as he tugs her along. In fact she can't even hide that grin that shows up. She wouldn't admit it, but she missed smiling sometimes.

Because he was the one person who could bring it out easily.

And she hadn't felt like it was right until now. But now he knew. And even if the future would never be, she could still love this cutting of the same plant. Even if it would never be the same.

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