Nyx: Holy Hades it's been a while.

Puff: *nods, mouth full of vegetables*

Nyx: Between moving and preparing for what promises to be an incredibly tedious year at uni, writing just sort of took a back burner...heh heh. But I'm back! And I will finish this, I promise! I don't own Twilight or Push, all music and such belongs to respective owners blah blah blah. Happy reading!

Chapter 18.

The temperature had dropped drastically and the wind had picked up, my breath visible every time I exhaled. I stood and stuck my hands into my armpits in an attempt to warm them, looking over my work. The snow chains were in place over the tires, criss-crossed over the tread to give the car more traction in case the roads iced over.

I tugged on a length of linked metal to make sure it was secure and did the same with the other wheel before I turned to go inside, aching for a hot shower. "All good?" Cassie asked, putting plates on the table and I danced a little near the front door in an attempt to warm up.

"Yeah, it's freaking cold out there," I shivered, shaking out my fingers.

"Go shower," she told me, "I took the chicken out of the oven like you told me."

"Nothing else?" I gave her a suspicious look. Cassie wasn't the greatest cook in the world, she could make simple things like hot dogs, but give her something a little more complicated and the kitchen would be half on fire. Cassie mimed drawing a halo around her head and feeling a bit assured I went upstairs to indulge in a hot shower.

Kicking off my shoes and gathering my things before I shivered down the hall to the bathroom, turning on the water and letting it heat while I stripped down to my birthday suit and hopped on in. I flinched back at first as the hot water hit my frozen skin then sighed and relaxed as I began to thaw out.

I stayed in the shower so long that I felt lethargic, wanting to fall asleep standing against the shower wall and holding in a whine as I put on my Scooby Doo pajamas and dragged myself downstairs, "You look beat," Cassie commented.

"It's the shower," I yawned and took a seat, taking the plate Cassie offered me and digging in slowly, my fatigued limbs causing me to move sluggishly. Cassie sat down with her plate as well and we started to eat in silence, "Charlie working late?" I asked, though the answer to the question was obvious.

"Yeah," she said and there wasn't any more conversation, our plates half empty when the doorbell rang and we both exchanged a look. I got up with a sigh and trudged to the door, not bothering to ask who was behind it before opening it. "Oh hey Nick," I said tiredly, unsurprised to see him, hearing the low squeal of Cassie's chair being pushed back from the table as she rushed to greet our visitor.

"You clean up good, Hobo Joe," Cassie said from behind me and Nick danced in place, attempting to warm up after standing out in the frigid air for about ten minutes. I stepped aside to let him in, waggling my eyebrows at Cassie from behind his back and she made a face at me; with the excess hair cut away from his face, Nick was quite the cutie and with him looking like a respectable member of society again Charlie's suspicion of us taking in a stray person would be dispelled.

"Smells good," Nick said taking a whiff of the air, "What's cooking?"

"Baked chicken and rice pilaf," I answered, making him raise an eyebrow at me.

"You cook?" he asked.

"Fuck you," I retorted, "do you want some or not?" he raised his hands in surrender.

"I would love some," he said, obviously trying to get me to diffuse and Cassie elbowed me as she passed to sit in her chair. "You two most definitely didn't change," he said, taking a seat at the table after draping his coat over the back.

"Is that a bad thing?" Cassie asked, handing him his plate once I filled it and a fork.

"Thanks," he said, forking up a bit of rice, "and no. It's actually kind of refreshing." What he said was understandable, considering the world we were in. People had to adapt to survive, but in his case, with his girlfriend – sorry, I meant fiancee – going completely bonkers and trying to shoot him in the face it was doubly understandable.

Kira had always seemed off to me and my instincts never really led me wrong but what was surprising was Cassie backing me up on it; at first I wanted to believe it was because of her eensy weensy crush on the Mover currently sitting at the table and eating dinner with us.

Cassie and I had yet to talk about why she'd kept her vision of Kira from Nick and his presence here was starting to make me have itchy feet again. Cassie's kept visions from me once or twice before, but realized that was a stupid thing to do when I went into a situation completely blind and ended up making it worse or bringing about the result Cassie didn't want to tell me about anyway.

As for her reasoning for her not telling Nick the truth when he asked if we had anything on his missing beau, I was stumped, it could've been that the vision would have been devastating for Nick to hear or that it was of no use at all in the little quest he sent himself on. "So why are you here, Nick?" I asked, "Other than to eat my food, of course."

"I didn't come here to mooch," he told us, "I really didn't, but I wanted to talk to you guys." Cassie and I exchanged a look, before looking at Nick who was watching us.

"How long have you guys been living here?" he asked and the question immediately made our hackles raise a bit, suspicion making my gut heavy, he recognized the looks on our faces and shook his head, "No no, I'm just asking because I'm curious," he said, "I've had to move so many times in the past three years it's ridiculous."

"We've been here for three years Nick," Cassie said, her tone a bit wary and he looked surprised.

"Really?" he asked, "And you haven't been squeezed out?"

"Trust me, we're surprised too," I muttered, still watching him and his face suddenly went completely grim as he looked between us, concern making his brow furrow.

"Have you heard anything while you were here?" he asked, "Knowing you two, I would have assumed you would be in the loop."

"Last we heard, Division was having a shadow quasi-war with the Chinese," I told him.

"Division is under new leadership now," Nick said, "he or she is the one who struck up an agreement with the Chinese." Cassie and I exchanged another look, as it hit us just how blind we really were.

We'd had no idea of the changes made to the secret government bureau intent on hunting us down and turning us into little tinker tailor soldiers, and with it being under new leadership without the war keeping its attention that meant it was only a matter of time before we had to boot it out of here.

"Word is, he or she is just as ruthless as Carver," Nick said sounding hollow.

"Doesn't anyone know who the new leader is?" Cassie frowned.

"Whoever it is, they're keeping their identity a secret," Nick said after shaking his head, "and they're being incredibly careful about it too. I don't even know if Emily is still alive after the last time I saw her."

"Which was...?" Cassie asked.

"A few days ago," Nick said, "that's why I want to find Kira." I had no words, sitting in my seat completely frozen stiff as our old friend slapped us with a big reality check; though I'd been trying to mentally prepare us for another move it still came as a shock and I realized just how much I'd gotten used to the quiet life and how much I would miss it when it came time to leave.

I was aware of Cassie and Nick talking a little more, hearing them but not really listening and my stomach felt like it had been filled with cold lead, my appetite completely vanished. I barely noticed when Nick got up, grabbed his coat and left, snapping out of it when Cassie punched me in the boob. Immediately my hand went to the injured breast, giving her an offended look, "What the fuck Cass?" I demanded.

"You've been sitting there zoned out for nearly fifteen minutes," she told me, "it was creeping me out."

"Now you know how I feel. That hurt," I pouted and then shoved my plate away, my appetite effectively ruined and I felt exhausted all over again. "Did Nick leave?" I asked, once the smarting sting in my boob faded, and Cassie picked up my plate then hers, carrying them into the kitchen.

"Yeah," she said, "he'll stop by tomorrow before he leaves town to keep looking."

"Speaking of Little Miss Crazy," I stood and followed her, leaning against the door jamb, "you lied when he asked if you had Seen anything." she paused in the middle of rinsing before starting to move again. "What I saw wasn't important," she said, sounding stiff, the words forced but I watched her carefully, reading between the lines. Usually when Cassie said something 'wasn't important' it meant it had already happened or there were too little details.

"You saw her make an attempt on Nick's life didn't you?" I asked, frowning.

"No," she shook her head, "I couldn't see her all that well, like she was trying not to make any choices. But I saw her leaving a little house by the beach, obviously the house she shared with Nick. After that there wasn't anything else."

I frowned, finding that a bit odd but not entirely out of place considering a lot of our kind tried to disappear and keep Division's Watchers from tracking them down. Not all of them were successful, considering most Watchers worked in different ways; most saw decisions, or choices, while others saw an infinite number of pathways, like the complicated branches of a tree or maze, multiple choices branching out into other paths as different possibilities became evident.

Our mom was considered incredibly powerful and entirely unique because what she saw was set in stone, seeing weeks and years ahead, but it also made her kind of nutty, manic almost. Her visions became her obsession, the alcohol numbed her inhibitions (though she didn't really have any when she was sober), allowing sharp images through but it also became her way to get rid of the background noise, us included.

While our mom muttered to herself in between shots of whatever poison she'd decided on that week, scribbling on whatever paper she could get her hands on, Cassie and I were left to our own devices, struggling to survive.

When our mother left us behind when we were only nine, I had been angry at her for a really long time for abandoning us, and in a way I still was.

I turned to go upstairs, wanting to bury myself under the covers and start over tomorrow, completely worn out while Cassie continued to wash the dishes behind me, not saying a word as I went to bed, leaving her to do her chore alone in silence.

Nyx: Not much of a chapter, but we're building up to a major point. Trust me.

Puff: *crunching obnoxiously on a carrot*

Nyx: So...thoughts?