Popsicle Stand

past_amelia_icon.png past_doctor_icon.png past_finnegan_icon.png past_nobara_icon.png past_tilly_icon.png

Where: Las Vegas

When: September 6, 1955

What: A negotiation is… attempted.

Luckily, no one needed to go back to that house again. Inside Primatech Paper's upper levels, a trio of Company agents stand in front of a blank, white wall. Amelia has a hand on their first mysterious stranger's arm. Their boss called him John, and if that isn't his name, no one's corrected it. But she has her hand on him as he stares at the wall. He's been staring for a few minutes now. Finnegan and Nobara have been left with their other mysterious stranger, the man calling himself The Doctor. He's cuffed, but seems to be taking it well. Or, if not well, quietly.

They've all been told what their mission is. Come back with Tilly. There was no 'or else' or alternative solution. And they all know it's on them if they fail. No pressure or anything.

"So when exactly are we going back?" ask Finnegan, glancing at John. "Has it been hours or just days or are we going to pop in there in the middle of freakin' Easter dinner and find our lady barefoot and pregnant and married to some lounge lizard?" Like Tilly would do that. At least he thinks she wouldn't do that.

While he speaks casually and jokingly, there's the cool muzzle of a gun angled at Doc's side; his free arm rests on top of the man's shoulder probably more heavily than his comfortable, a loose fist curled just next to the man's jaw. A very silent reminder not to fuck shit up.

In a pair of nondescript slacks and a thin-lapel blazer, Nobara is certainly not his usual flashy self- even when they did this the first time, he angled for something more spectacular than was necessary. It seems he did learn his lesson about not sticking out. the gray and black, and pale blue of the shirt underneath marks him as in a subdued mood. Rather than hang over one of the two relative strangers with them, Nobara has apparently decided to linger somewhere between, watchful.

"Hopefully not. I don't know if she would survive that." The asian man quips, tone light and hands in his pockets. Tilly and kids? Like picturing a dog trying to rear baby birds, to him.

"He's going to get us to as close to the date we left as he can manage, aren't you, John?" Amelia tilts her head as she looks at the man. John takes his eyes off the wall and looks at her to nod. "As close as I can manage. It isn't… I meant, I can't—" "Don't sweat it, I know. Just get it going, yeah?"

The Doctor looks over at Nobara with a smirk, "You'd be surprised. Some people really take to it." He glances over at Amelia there, and she narrows her eyes in his direction.

"Punch him for me."

But before anyone can, the wall starts to split apart, a shining light breaks through the crack before it starts to spread open. Through the wall, a parking lot starts to come into view, ading in like an old movie. The colors turn from dull and muted into vibrant and lifelike. And then John stumbles and Amelia reaches to hold him up. "Whoa there, Johnny."

Finn doesn't quite comply with Amelia's request, but lifts that fist to give a light bump to the back of the man's head. No love lost here.

"Show time," he says, returning his hand to the other man's shoulder to keep a good grip on the Doctor should he decide to bolt.

"Don't try anything. I didn't see anything too horribly altered from pulling you out of this timeline the last time, so I won't hesitate to kill you this time, kapiche?" the agent growls to their bargaining piece. "Don't pull anything and you'll be rid of me forever."

He moves forward cautiously.

"Kiss it, handsome." Nobara lifts a corner of his mouth, into a half-smirk, half-sneer, before turning his attention to the wall, brows lifting. That looks familiar, doesn't it? He falls into place just behind Finn and the Doc, giving the latter a lingering, scathing little look. He has the feeling none of this would be an issue if this guy had behaved himself in the first place, and it shows.

"I am going to assume we feel the same, Amelia." That said, Nobara also has no bad feelings about putting anyone else out of business. Dog eat exploding-dog world out there.

"Well, of course it didn't alter anything," The Doctor says with a brief chuckle before he steps in with Finnegan to cross back into 1955. Amelia and John are the last two through, and she looks around the empty parking lot, glowing a bit golden as the sun sets over the horizon. But she looks from Nobara to The Doctor and back, lifting a shoulder before she comments, "I'm not sure I'd like him to kiss me." As if that were honestly what they were talking about.

"We should be close to their base, if the Doc's mind isn't totally full of lies," she adds, stepping forward with John in toe.

"I brought you right to where you asked, miss. I swear," John adds shakily, but the agent doesn't seem to be paying him much attention.

"Are we sure he belongs back here?" Finnegan says, looking past the Doctor to Amelia with brow knit. "I still think he's full of shit, and it'd be easier just to eighty-six him rather than leave him back here to fuck shit up all the more. He apparently isn't too worried about talking "shop" in front of the two men with them.

"Yo, Doe. You know this guy? Should he be back here watching Sammy Davis and the rat pack sing at the Sands or should he be checking out Celine Dion and playing video poker with us?" These words are tossed at the faltering manipulator.

"Good job, Johnny. And nooo, that's not what I meant. The misbehaving, chica." Nobara asides to John for the first, turning an eye to Amelia at the second part as they gather on the other side. "I'm not sure of anything, except that I am increasingly irritated by time travel. Here I thought my first time would be magical, too." Err.

"Personally, I think he'd look fetching inside a tyrannosaur." Just saying. But that is neither here nor there. Nobara takes a quick look around, subconscious in his shifting behind anyone taller, all in keeping a reasonably low profile.

"We're not sure. But this is where we got him from, so this is where we're leaving him. Don't worry, whatever bad he's done, he's already done it. By our time. Or something." Amelia shakes her head and pulls out her own gun. John squeaks a little, but she just shakes her head at him. "It's not for you, Johnny."

So he's a little relieved when he looks over at Finnegan, and he nods a little. "I know him some. He has an office here. Comes by the hotel. People know him. He's not— I mean, I think I'm the only…" A statement which has Amelia laughing. Amusedly, she looks over at Nobara when she taps her temple with a knuckle. "You want me to hear you, gotta think a little louder. I'm a little preoccupied." With what, she doesn't say.

But the Doctor smirks, bringing his watch up to fiddle with a little. It's off. "Yes, send me further back, I'm sure that'll keep me from altering history as we know it." But then, to Finnegan he says, "If you kill me, you've really no chance of finding your friend, you know." And, as if on cue, there's a whirring sound from above as a helicopter comes into view over a set of buildings at the far end of the lot. "Of course, that's assuming you have a chance as it is."

Finnegan doesn't respond, but his eyes narrow and his jaw sets, a tacit "touche" that unfortunately lets the Doctor know he's earned a point. He really needs to work on his poker face, but anyone who's seen him in a casino knows he likes the stupid slot machines.

"That our welcome wagon?" he says to Amelia, squinting up at the helicopter and curling his fingers tighter around the collar of the doctor's suit, his gun sliding up the man's rib cage a bit.

Nobara isn't a coward, per se, he just likes being …alive. He takes up the space just behind and to Finn's empty side, happy to have a defaulted shield. His lips purse, and his eyes narrow along with Finn's as the helicopter rattles into sight. Putting a grip around the gun under his own jacket, he watches with that usual dose of healthy apprehension- yet his tone is as bold as it usually is.

"Looks like. What a lovely sentiment- and me without any housewarming gifts…"

"They knew we were coming," Amelia says, her eyes narrowing as she looks in the direction of the helicopter. When the wind kicks up around them, she lifts a hand to keep dirt from getting into her eyes, but there's a distinctively disturbed look on her face. She's not used to not knowing what's going on.

The Doctor flinches when the gun moves into uncomfortable places, and he tilts his head, perhaps a bit embarrassed of reacting as well. "Careful with the suit," he says, "it's a rental." Which is a lie, but he's being dismissive.

When the helicopter lands, they can see that there are several bodies inside, although it's hard to see them clearly looking into the sunset as they are. John shrinks, too, not being too keen on being a part of all this, but stuck here all the same. But as they start to climb out, one of them is holding a gun on someone.

Tilly longs for the days of waterboarding.

And other such modern day methods of interrogation and studying of Advanced. Strange a wish as that may sound.

But when you've been poke, prodded, kept awake, then put to sleep only to be woken back up with a few holes in you that God - if you believe in such a thing - did not bless you with at birth, you might yearn for modern methods of studying strange things. Like CAT scans and MRI's. Makes the Company's methods seem downright humane.


She's pretty sure they've poked around in her head too if that last rousing from the depths of medication induced slumber and matching gauze covered stitches are indication along her temple and into a bit of her hairline. But at least they've kept her doped on painkillers, though Tilly suspects that it's not been purely to counter any pain from the surgeries so much as the interference of it with her ability and keeping her from maintaining a firm enough grasp on her ability to remove the injuries and toss them on someone else. She did that only once, and it wasn't met with a thank you.

But then, then there was the trip. Not the chemical kind she's been on. Like, in an old plane - to her - a gun to her much akin to the good drs predicament. She's tired, loopy and looks it with blonde hair bedraggled, dressed in simple clothes - for this era - and as she's hauled from the helicopter there is very very very little resistance from the Company agent who's pretty disoriented from drugs and holy shit the rotars on this helicopter are pretty damned fast.

And pretty.

"Like I fucking care," Finn says coldly, tension clearly getting the best of him. He does, despite the snarl, ease up a little on the gun's nose in the ribs, but he keeps his hand on the man's collar.

He glances over his shoulder with narrowed eyes at Nobara as the other agent moves backward. "One of us, one of them ain't just so I can be your damn meat shield, princess," he growls.

"If you think I can take helicopter fire like a man, you're a bit mistaken." Nobara does, however, sidle out from behind him when it is clear the thing isn't going to be firing anything just yet. "You're just bigger than me, nothing on your DNA." Nobara shrugs once, eyes moving to study the people getting from the copter. It's not as hard to realize one of them is who they came for. Nobara lets out a small, seething breath from his nose. Now he's the one to step forward, standing relatively to the front this time.

"I have the feeling there's going to be a barter, Finn."

The gun on Tilly raises to point to her temple, the very one with a bandage over it right now. Her captor yanks her toward him, as she needs a little assistance just now. But it's someone entirely different who steps forward to speak. "Mister and Misses Finnegan, isn't it? I see you've brought some friends," he says, the lights in the parking lot turning on. Those paying attention might remember the man that arrested Tilly at the party. "Which one of you is cleared for negotiations?"

That, he seems to address to the group as a whole, at least.

And there's now bright lights, causing the blonde in captivity to squint at the heightened brightness. She wants to raise an arm to shield and see who's across the way but with the mr. and mrs. Finnegan, well, she knows who at least is there. Finnegan and Amelia. "Melly! Did you bring me a gun this time?!" Oooops, she probably shouldn't be talking and she claps a hand over her mouth even as there's a gun pressed to her temple. "let the negotians commence" muffled and heard only by her captors.

"Bullets don't discriminate, asshole," Finnegan tosses to Nobara, apparently taking out his anger at the situation on the other agent. "My size just makes me a bigger target and a better date."

His grip on the doctor tightens at the sight of Tilly, and his gray-blue eyes scan those holding her. "Ladies first, right? Send her over first so we can see she's all right," he calls — probably not that easy, but it's worth a shot. He glances at Amelia for any insight.

"Well, I wouldn't know about the better date…" The boys can fight fight all they want, as long as it doesn't interfere. Saves them from going off on the enemy, perhaps. Nobara stands his ground now, one hand in his jacket, the other at his side. He lets Finn do the talking, for now, sticking to trying to examine Tilly from afar. It roils his stomach to have to wait, but he needs to.

That is, unless something else starts happening, again- then it'll just be a fussy mess.

The subject of ~size~ gets Amelia to lose her upset expression for a moment, turning instead to grin in Finn's direction, "Yeah, it does." But the momentary amusement cuts off when Patrick speaks up again.

"Well, we're done with this one, but you've got a little menagerie of… special people over there, Mister Finnegan. Why don't you send your lady over first and we'll get this all sorted out." Amelia looks over their way as a couple of burlier types stalk over. One is heading for her and John, but the other is coming unmistakably for Nobara. She lets go of John, who simply starts to run, and she points her gun that way as a threat first, but starts to fire when the man doesn't stop. Across the lot, Patrick starts to shove Tilly back toward the helicopter while her former captor starts shooting at the three Company Agents.

Tilly stumbles, co-ordination not her strongest suit right now, as she's unceremoniously being shoved toward the helicopter. Loopy on painkillers her grasp of her own ability has been slim at times, but right now she hopes that this is one of those slim times as she attempt to take the worst of her surgical injuries - or all of them, right now her ability isn't picky - and toss it at one of the shooters.

And dig her heels in, refusing to go back. No fucking way is she going back.

With Amelia firing at the gunman running, and Nobara to back him up, Finnegan pulls his weapon higher yet, pressing it against the Doctor's temple so it's more visible threat.

"You want him back? Hold your fucking fire!" he shouts — one chance. If they don't want the Doc, he'll shoot him on principle, from the looks of it, before unloading his weapon on the gunman to boot. "Get Tilly!" he shouts at Nobara. "Don't blow up the fucking helicopter," he thinks to add — it's not that far away, and the idea of helicopter shrapnel at this range doesn't paint a particularly pretty picture.

See? This is exactly the problem. Nobody wants to play nice. Nobara draws his weapon, firing immediately at the man coming at him, aiming for the right leg and shifting from the spot as he does so. His other hand lights up like a small firework, magenta motes of light bleeding between his fingers. These guys saw what happened last time, in the club- so when the Japanese man starts running sidelong and throws them up in his wake- it is apparent that staying still is a bad idea. The trajectory is high- the four little orbs flung upwards soar like golfballs, reaching the top of respective arcs and plummeting speedily back to earth, amongst the enemy bodies.

Nobara owes Tilly enough to listen to Finn, no questions asked. He makes a wide curve in his run to get nearer- busy enough, between fire and trying to see what they're doing with her.

Unfortunately for Tilly, as she tries to tap into her power, she comes up empty. She's left with feet and hands and a stubborn disposition to fight with, and that doesn't seem to be going too well, either, because as she digs in, Patrick just scoops her up and flings her over his shoulder. Maybe he was a fireman in a former life.

Amelia's shots only hit once, that first bullet nestling into an arm before the man dodges. But she moves, also, not to far but keeping the man away from a certain portal to the future as well as herself.

Nobara's shot misses, as his man was ready to dodge, given Amelia's gunplay over there, but when the orbs light up and get tossed, he moves out of their way, but runs toward the same end as Nobara, if from a different angle.

Seeing the gun to The Doctor's head, the gunman stops and looks back to Patrick, who just gives a little nod before he turns to fire toward the oncoming Nobara. Apparently, the mysterious Doctor isn't high on their priority list. And while he fires at Nobara, the other gunman tackles Amelia to the asphalt.

Well. That sucked and holy crap, little more gentler please. Stitches! But when you don't have a gun, abilities, and are high as a kite in a mary poppins movie, you go with plan B. Plan B involves getting a mouthful of patrick and biting hard as she can, digging fingers where fingers shouldn't be and other playing dirty. Fuck any stitches that may pop.

Poor Doc doesn't know that Finn doesn't know that Tilly's ability has run dry for the moment, so Finnegan pushes the man away from him only to then shoot him in the gut. It will bleed out but not kill him immediately — just the type of injury that would be useful for Tilly to toss onto Patrick or the other gunman.

It's all good in theory, anyway.

That frees up his aim to fire at the gunman and begin running toward Tilly, aiming at Patrick and looking for an angle safe enough not to accidentally hit the healer.

The orbs hit the ground amongst feet, popping and rattling. Decoys, of a sort. But this also means they'll never be able to tell which aren't deadly, either- they looked the same as before. A tricky thing.

"Fuck!" Nobara expresses his emotions very clearly, veering off in a zag away from where he was hoping. At this point, the one man is chasing him around, and the other is threatening to cause this to happen in circles. The next orb to fly out of his free hand flings right at his pursuer- this time, however, it isn't one of those harmless flashbangs.

It's the biting that does it, really. Teeth sinking into flesh is not at all the kind of fighting Patrick was expecting and he ends up tossing Tilly off his shoulder and onto the hard, gritty ground below. Stitches pop. Dirt grinds in. Infections begin, no doubt. And there's 2012, just behind the shiny gateway in the nearby wall. With it's antibiotics and it's dermabond and its fluffy pillows.

The Doctor falls to a knee, a hand moving to cover the bullet hole in his stomach. He looks toward the helicopter, then toward the time portal and starts going thataway toward the future. Apparently hoping to pass under the Company Agents' radar. Amelia, for one, is too busy wrestling a much bigger fellow to notice. Her gun fires, but it does little but deafen ears at the moment.

Nobara finds one of his attackers shot down before Finn turns to try to get a shot on Patrick. Too many bodies get in the way, but with Tilly on the ground, at least only one is someone he needs to worry about. But only until Nobara's plasma strikes against the other man and blows him backward into the helicopter. He slides to the ground in a heap, unconscious, if not dead.

And there's oxycontin, and pandora radio and… MRI machines to figure out if she's missing a kidney or not after one of her medically induced naps. Shit hurts enough past the painkillers and much like the good Doctor is making for 2012 sitting so pretty, so too is Tilly, as she gets to her feet and heads homeward.

Like a drunk, and sometimes, not even upright.

As Tilly makes her way to the portal, Finnegan aims that weapon on Patrick, though he does throw a worried glance to Amelia with her dance partner. One thing at a time — but it's clearly distracting him.

"Y'all need to get a new definition of negotiations, pal," he tells the man as he fires his gun — at this point, he really only needs to shoot to disable and get his team's asses through the portal, but he's pissed off. The shots are aimed at chest then head, two quick pulses of his trigger finger, no time to waste.

Somehow, the sound of that small concussion and the man flying backwards provides a little solace for Nobara. He rounds on one heel after he hears the impact, lifting his pistol to center it defensively. Tilly is getting to her feet, and he provides cover fire for her until he can actually get to her, offering himself as support. Nobara might be flaky, but his friends are his friends, even if he had to abandon them after getting them stuck decades in the past. Ahem.

Helping her get home now is the least he can do.

Nobara and Tilly make it to the gateway without problems, nod even the Doctor is blocking their way. Although a trail of blood leads along the floor for a bit before it disappears. The mystery continues.

Patrick turns to look, which might be a classic mistake, as Finn speaks, but he doesn't get to answer, since bullets slam into him and he slams back into the opening of the helicopter. It's going to be a mess in there.

And speaking of messes, Amelia's face is a bit of one, where she's clearly taken a few hits. But she's on top now, a knee grinding into one of his palms while her fists take turns on either side of his face. He's still awake, though, still struggling to get the upper hand again.

"Hey there Nobby" Tilly goofily offers up to Nobara as they make it through the portal, Terra Firma circa 2012 underneath her feet. She sags against the agent, the world going a little grey around the edges.

"Took you long enough"

Another one bites the dust, and Finnegan is free to turn his feet toward where Amelia duels with the other thug.

When he gets there and can see that Amelia has the upper hand, he makes a show of admiring the handiwork, tipping his head and watching with some amusement. But, time's a ticking and who knows what kind of state Johnny Doe's in, so he doesn't dawdle too long. "Much as watching you straddle a guy is exciting, we gotta jet, sweetheart," he says, stepping closer to deliver a bullet to the man's head.

That done, he offers his free hand to Amelia's. "Time to blow this popsicle stand."

The stress of knowing that the Doc is no longer on this side where they can see does not last long; somehow they knew the team was coming, and perhaps being rid of that one is a blessing in disguise. As they reach 2012, Nobara laughs against Tilly's shoulder, exasperation on his brow as he wraps his arms around her- half an embrace, if you want to call it that, though mainly for support as she leans onto him.

"I'm so sorry it did." Nobara plants a small- Platonic- kiss on her cheek. There wasn't anything he could do about the return, which at least soothes some personal guilt. Not out of the woods yet, but halfway there.

Amelia looks up as her wrestling buddy is so much splatter on the asphalt, a small smile curves despite a split lip. "I suppose I can find better things to straddle later," she says before she takes his hand, clearly needing the help up. Of course, once she's on her feet, she's pretty stubborn about walking herself toward the future.

As far as John Doe, well, he's back home and that's good enough for her.

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