It had been a while since Sunshine had gone out to actually experience the beach. The water on the east coast was much warmer than the California waves. That didn’t stop her from leaving the base and taking in the rays amongst other humans. For the most part they left her alone. On occasion she…
Nitro hadn’t had time to himself in what felt like ages. He didn’t have that much of a problem with it, but now that he was on his own, taking a walk through town, he realized how much he missed his privacy.
He also had so much to think about, he felt like his brain was about to implode upon itself.
The man’s autopilot brought him to a bar, and Nitro grinned at the wave of nostalgia. It was a nicer bar than he usually would have frequented, but a bar is a bar nonetheless.
Stepping into the smoky atmosphere, he looked around as he walked up to the counter. Smiling at the bartender, he ordered a beer and wandered over to the pool tables. It had been almost a year since he’d played, but he liked the familiarity.
It was hours before he finally looked up from his solitary game of pool. The first thing he noticed was the pouring rain outside. The second was the familiar face that just came through the door.
“Sunny!” He called with a huge grin, walking up to the bright young woman.
“Yeah… And telepathy. I didn’t get much destruction-wise,” she said, her tone sheepish as she rubbed the back of her neck. The thought of her pregnant mother made her smile, knowing that she would never have more children. Andraste laughed a bit, smiling at her father. “I know. I thought… it would be interesting, seeing it from this perspective.”
“It’s…interesting meeting you as an grown woman. I now know I’ll have to watch out for you,” he laughed, grinning at her. “Imagine me, an old man, never letting a guy get near you. I’ll never have grandchildren.”
He turned away from her, chuckling to himself and shaking his head. “C’mon, let’s go see Amelia.”
There was nothing, aboslutely nothing, that Nitro could do or say that would disappoint her. Everything he was, everything he could be, was everything she loved about her father - he was her idol. “It… is rather odd, yes….”
Andraste bit her lip as she shook her head. “I am about your age now. I… just had to come back for a visit… and no, I haven’t seen… mother yet.”
“So…time travel?” he asked, chuckling. “Why come back, anyway? Especially to this point in time! I mean, right now you aren’t much more than a heartbeat with one hell of a sucker punch.”
“I… I’m not crying,” she mumbled, wiping her eyes with the too-long sleeve. She recalled when he had teased her for crying as a girl jokingly, but she had wanted to impress her father and has said she’d never cry again. Even now she didn’t, instead drowning her sorrows in alcohol and other… less tasteful things that her mother wouldn’t approve of.
“Why would I be crying? I’m just… happy to see you.”
“You’re clearly crying, Andraste,” he said with a small smile, noting the flash of dark emotion that flitted behind her eyes. “But…I’ll drop it.”
He rubbed the back of his neck as he looked around for a moment, suddenly nervous. Nitro felt like he something to live up to, like he was expected to be this huge deal and he was about to let this girl down. “This is really strange. You look about…well, my age. Have you seen Amelia yet?”
She grinned against his chest, his scent warming her and filling her until she thought she might burst. It didn’t take much for her to start crying again because of the way he talked about her mother, but she shook her head and kept her face hidden in the familiar plaid of his shirt.
“Andraste. You two named me Andraste.”
Nitro chuckled as he hugged her tightly. “That’s one of the few names we agree on,” he murmured against the top of her head, breathing in her unfamiliar scent.
But as he began to feel a wetness soak through his shirt, he pulled back and held her at arm’s length, confused. “Why are you crying?”
A laugh escaped her lips at the look on his face, knowing that he knew exactly who she was - her heart soared, her eyes brimming with tears again. She stepped closer to him, leaning into his touch as her eyes squeezed shut.
“I… I came back. From your future. I… had to.”
Nitro laughed, an almost desperate sound as he wrapped his hand around the back of her head and pulled her into a hug. His arms went around the woman and lifted her off her feet for a moment.
“I don’t know your name yet. I mean, we have a list, but Amelia—your mom I mean. I mean,” he stuttered to a stop. “This is really weird…”
She sighed when she felt the crackle of energy in the air, seeing the look in his eyes. It was obvious that he was somewhat nervous, scared of being found out… well, there was a way to change that.
Andraste sighed and met his eyes again, her brow creasing slightly as she projected her own memories into his head - images of a little girl in jean shorts and a blouse, tousled brown hair pulled back in a sloppy braid as she chased a dog around a grassy field with a rather attractive young couple looking on; the tall man at a tea party with the same girl, talking with her about school as if it were perfectly normal to do so with pink ribbons in his scruffy hair; the same girl, but older, sharing dessert with the blonde woman she had described earlier; Nitro and his lover at a high school graduation for a young, beautiful woman with blue eyes and dark hair, the look of glowing pride on his face one rarely worn.
The woman hoped he’d understand… that it would click in his head. She wasn’t ready to say it aloud just yet.
As the flood of memories hit him, so came the emotions that sent him stumbling back, his breath knocked out of him. He blinked back happy tears, his energy withdrawing from the surface of his skin. With a few gasped breaths, he looks up at the girl and took a tentative step forward, slowly lifting his hand to touch her cheek lightly.
“We ha—haven’t named…how?” he whispered, voice hoarse with emotion.
A soft, bemused laugh left the woman’s lips at how awkward he was, his body stiff. She drew back a bit and wiped her eyes, her light blue-green meeting his obsidian. “You’re seeing Amelia… Amelia LeFroy. Tall, blonde, French… Very, very rich.
“Your birthday is September 7th, your favourite colour is yellow, you cut your own hair until 1978… At that point you finally trusted someone else to cut it.” Andraste wiped her eyes, smiling a bit. “I know you don’t get it, but… take a good look at me. Guess who I am.”
Nitro pulled away from her sharply, his mouth forming a tight line as he searched her face with his eyes. How did this woman he’s never met know so much about him. The woman’s green eyes were so familiar, the same eyes he had been looking into every night before he fell asleep. There was a familiar shape to her jaw, similar to the one he saw in the mirror, and high cheekbones like the woman he loved.
Sucking a breath in through his nose, he took another step back and narrowed his dark green eyes.
“What is your name?” he asked slowly. He sent energy down his one arm with a cautious glare. “And don’t you dare be fucking with me…”
Andraste’s lips parted in quiet surprise, her eyes welling with tears at the mere sight of him. It brought back so many emotions, so many memories… He had been her hero. Everything from his shaggy brown hair to his intense height to the deep green of his eyes screamed familiarity, and she couldn’t stop herself when she rushed forwards and hugged him, squeezing her eyes shut.
“I know who you are.”
He froze, his arms held out awkwardly. Looking down at the woman, with her face buried into his chest, Nitro cleared his throat and looked around, hoping that Amelia wasn’t seeing this and taking it the wrong way. Their relationship, though established, was still young and a bit fragile.
“Uhm, no offense, hun,” he began slowly, patting her back. “You’re pretty and all, but I’m seeing someone—and how do you know who I am?”
nitro-glycerin started following you
Nitro looked at the woman standing a few yards away from him, her eyes alight with unnamed emotion, yet her face a stony mask.
He waved slightly at her, a slow, welcoming smile spreading across his face.
“Hey,” he began with a grin, walking up to her with his hand out for her to shake. “You must be new. I’m Nitro.”