A/N: I don't own any canon characters from Push, or the world they live in, only my take on what their lives might be like given a few years from the movie's end.
Those of you who have followed me here from my vampire fanfics, I hope you give this one a shot! I fell in love with the movie Push, especially Chris Evans, and used him as a bit of a model for my new vampire series. I love the universe the movie built with people being born with various psychic powers. I promise, I will have a Vampire Diaries story coming soon now that I've finished writing my latest book, but this story was just dying to come out first!
This fic takes place 4 years after the end of the movie, which makes Cassie around 17 and Nick around 25ish.
For those of you unfamiliar with the world of Push, Cassie is a Watcher, which gives her the ability to see the future. Nick is a Mover, which gives him telekinetic powers, and Kira is a Pusher, which gives her the ability to control anyone's mind simply by catching their eye. Division is a government funded group that uses people that have these and other abilities, with no regard for their freedom or lives.
When I was younger I used to believe in happily ever after. Then again, I also believed in the Easter Bunny, Santa and promises.
I used to think once we got ahold of the serum, that we'd finally have Division by the balls. With that magic bullet we'd bring them down, I'd get my mom back, and we'd ride off into the sunset. Nick would, of course, eventually get tired of Little Miss Trouble and kick her to the curb, right around the time I graduated from a training bra and he would suddenly see me in a new light. We'd be good for each other, take care of each other, and with Division gone, we might stand a good chance at a normal life together.
Yeah... that never happened.
It's been four years since that night atop the tower, when we walked off into what I thought was a happy ending. Two years since I last saw him. Two months since I last saw my mother. Two weeks since I last saw her, the bitch who was responsible for it all. A few urgent words, a few threats and there I was, right back where I started, trying to save Nick's life before it was too late.
You could have knocked me over with a feather when Nick's face popped into my mind's eye. It had been a long time since I'd stopped trying to watch him; it was too painful to see him with her right after we'd parted ways. They used the words "move on", it sounded better than abandon, but it amounted to the same thing. It wasn't like they tossed a ball out the car door and left me by the side of the road as I ran off after it, they'd found a "good home" for me before leaving for parts unknown. Well, good enough to lessen their guilt no doubt.
A nice family, in a nice house, with a nice school, and a nice dog in a nice town, safe from the dangers of Division. I finally had a permanent roof over my head, three square meals a day and people who worried about whether or not I needed to go to the dentist, or had holes in my shoes.
I hated it.
I barely lasted a month before I took off, the white bread life was just too hard to assimilate and it didn't stop the visions of what was to come; visions that branded me a freak in suburbia. After that I just drifted from big city to big city, it was easier that way. No one pays attention to a teen girl in a teeming metropolis, and I was mostly left alone to make my way, with only occasional run-ins with Division. I like to think they did it just to fuck with me every now and again, let me know they could find me whenever they wanted me.
I knew I'd have to see him again when I got the vision of Nick, even before Kira showed up with her thugs. He looked almost exactly the same, scruffy brown hair, worn t-shirt and jeans under a beat up leather jacket, just as I remembered him, except for a hardness around his eyes that wasn't there before. Apparently a lot had changed in the past two years, but not so much that I still didn't find him irresistibly appealing and I wasn't sure what that meant, if anything. I was a far cry from the skinny little girl who'd found him in Hong Kong four years ago, but a girl never forgets her first real crush.
I've changed a bit myself since I first met Nick. I'm taller, but not by much, I read somewhere that too much caffeine stunts your growth. The way I slammed back red bulls, I was surprised I hadn't shrunk with age. I hadn't dyed my hair in a while, I outgrew that phase with no lasting effects, so my hair hung in greasy blonde locks down my back - not exactly the look I'd been hoping for the first time I saw him again, but beggars can't be choosers, I was just happy to find him alive in time.
But I forgot, you don't want a walk down memory lane, you want to hear about the crisis du jour. Well, set 'em up then, it's a long, bumpy ride.
Morning. Well, not morning in the strictest sense of the word. But morning for Nick those days didn't ever start north of the noon hour. It was an occupational hazard staying up too late, he rationalized to himself, but mostly he just didn't dwell on it as he lighted the first cigarette of the day.
The knock at the door had him frozen with the match halfway between the pack and the cigarette. It was probably nothing. Not that he got many visitors at The Hitching Post, a roadside motel he'd been holed up in for the past few months. The knock came again, and Nick let go of the match a fraction of a second too late, hissing over the sting of heat as it singed his fingers. "Alright, I'm coming…" he called out, pulling on a pair of jeans without looking too closely at how clean they were. "Yeah?" he blinked at the bright sunlight, only partially obscured by the blonde standing in his doorway. He didn't recognize her, but a smile instantly tugged at the corner of his mouth, more of an instinct than anything else when confronted with a pretty girl. "Can I help you?"
"Ugh, not looking like that you can't," she snorted, and he looked down at the stained wife beater he wore. Okay, so maybe he could use a shower and a shave, but he hadn't had any complaints in the lady department. The girl seemed largely unimpressed though, pushing past him into the motel room. "So, this is where you're living now, huh?" she commented, studying his room with more interest than she looked at him, in a way that pricked at his nerves.
"Come on in, why don't you?" he muttered, shutting the door behind him. "Look, not that I don't mind the company, but do I know you?" He'd had too much to drink the night before, had he picked her up in a bar somewhere? She didn't look familiar, but they did get their share of traffic from the highway that went through the north end of town. She wore a faded green hoodie paired with a short, denim skirt and scuffed brown cowboy boots that didn't quite go with the pierced eyebrow or the multiple silver hoops set in her ears or the sooty black eyeliner that framed her pale, blue eyes. Overall she was still a hottie, but something about her felt… off.
"Typical," she sighed, settling down in the only easy chair, propping her feet up on an empty milk crate.
Something about the way she said it tugged at his memory and then he placed her, his jaw dropping at the realization. "Ho…ly…shit! Cassie?" It seemed incredible that she would actually be there, acting like it had been a week since he'd seen her instead of… how long had it been? Nick stared at her, struck dumb, which wasn't easy to do. Cass just sat there, waiting for him to get over it, watching him with those cool blue eyes that saw too much. "What are you doing here?"
"I could ask you the same thing. What the hell are you doing out here in the middle of Pisspot Texas, Nick?"
"Watch your language," slipped out automatically and it struck him as funny how quickly the instinct surfaced. A roll of the eyes was given and he realized he couldn't exactly fault a girl her age for marginally bad language. How old was she again? He didn't remember those curves the last time he'd seen her. She was staring at him and belatedly he remembered she'd asked him a question, and he waved it off. "I got tired of dodging legbreakers and decided to set out for the open skies. What, you don't like it out here?"
"Are you kidding me? Who can relax in all the open spaces and clean air? I can't sleep unless I have my earbuds in, the silence is deafening," she shuddered and he knew what she meant. Usually he drank until he passed out, so it wasn't a problem, but on the odd days he was too strapped for cash to buy booze, sleep was hard to come by. "The real question is, do you like it out here?" her face scrunched up with skepticism and he saw the little girl he'd known peeping out of her expression. It was enough to make him smile.
"I do, I like the quiet. It's a welcome change, don't you think?"
"I think too much hayseed and beer has seeped into your brain to think clearly."
"Okay then, how about you tell me what you're doing here? Do your parents know you came out here to visit me?" He tried to inject a sterner note into his voice to counteract the fact that she'd knocked him for a loop. Cassie in his motel room… he couldn't get over it.
Another roll of the eyes was given. "Those dweebs weren't my parents and you know it," she scoffed. "I left them ages ago."
"You left them…" That wasn't the way it was supposed to happen. They'd left her with a good family, a chance for a real life. Twice in the space of ten minutes she'd managed to shock him; he was almost afraid to ask her anything else.
"Don't pretend you care," her eyes narrowed bitterly and he felt his heart twist with guilt for leaving her in the first place.
"I do care…"
"Save it, it's ancient history," she waved him off, and his guilty words fell silent at the look on her face. "I didn't come here to relive our glory days. I came to save your sorry ass… again."
"Does my ass need saving?" his brows climbed skyward. There had been no sign of Division for the past year, and even then at last contact, it was just a phone call from Kira telling him in no uncertain terms to stop trying to find her. As far as he knew, Division didn't give a shit about him anymore. Nick watched as she dug out a sketchbook from her voluminous bag. Gone was the ratty little black book, this one was a regular artist's book, spiral bound, about the size of a diary.
Cassie flipped it open the right page and handed it over. "Here's you, getting gunned down in front of a Tasty Freeze. Does any of that look familiar?"
Nick accepted the book, a low whistle leaving his lips at the scene depicted. No longer the childish scrawl in rainbow colors, she'd obviously taken the time to perfect her talent, the sketch was well rendered in regular pencil, the shading giving it depth and amazing detail. Was this really the same girl who had drawn him with X's over his eyes like a cartoon? "I recognize the place alright, but I don't recognize these two guys, who are they?"
"I was sorta hoping you could tell me that, I haven't exactly been keeping tabs on your life this whole time."
He wasn't quite sure why, but Nick couldn't help but feel a little disappointed to hear that. Not that he expected her to think about him often, they'd all moved on. Still, he hadn't though she would completely forget about him. "No, I've never seen them before, what do they want with me?"
"Based on the big pool of blood surrounding your head, I'm thinking your death," she deadpanned. "See the blood coming out of your ears? Bleeders."
"Is that blood? It's hard to tell when everything's one color," he tilted the page a little and she ripped it from his hands.
"Yeah well, one color was all I had to work with, so shut it," she frowned, fingers tracing over her artwork.
"No, it's good, way better than your drawings before, I'm sorry," he backpedaled, leaning over her shoulder to get another look, only then noticing the dark smudges on her fingers, a sign that she spent a lot of her time sketching with graphite. "What's this?" he tapped the page in the corner where a small object lay partially obscured in the dirt.
"It's a syringe. The syringe. Do you still have it?" she looked up at him and Nick was glad he didn't have to see that light of hope fade from her eyes.
"Not with me, but it's safe."
"She doesn't know where it's hidden, does she?"
It wasn't lost on him that Cassie didn't use Kira's name, it wasn't a word that had left his lips often in the past year either, though for different reasons. "No, she doesn't know where it is. But there is a Tasty Freeze near where it's hidden," he frowned, chewing on the inside of his bottom lip as he thought that over. Would he put himself in more or less danger if he went to retrieve the syringe now? What would he do with it anyway? It wasn't like it had done them any good in their efforts to retrieve Cassie's mother. Since Division had used Kira's blood to distill a new version of the serum, they'd stopped coming after it.
"Well shit, that complicates things," Cassie muttered sourly, and Nick bit back the admonition against language that sprang to his tongue. "Alright, forget I came here then," she rose from her chair.
"You're leaving?" he blinked. "Just like that?"
"Just like that. I warned you to stay away from the syringe and avoid any Tasty Freeze like the plague, my job is done here. The rest is up to you. Have a nice life, Nick." Looping the bag over her shoulder, she headed for the door and Nick scrambled after her.
"But you just got here…" Longer legs gave him the advantage as he beat her to the door, leaning against it to block her way.
Cassie stopped, fixing him with a flat, unfriendly stare. "Don't pretend you actually want me here, I know all too well how you want me out of your life."
"Don't say that, it's not true."
"Isn't it? I didn't see you tracking me down to visit for old times sake, did I?" Nevermind that she wouldn't have been there anyway, Nick had already admitted that he'd had no idea she wasn't with her foster family and a flush of guilt stole up the side of his neck.
"You're the Watcher, not me. Why didn't you ever contact me?"
"Oh please," another eyeroll was given. "Three's a crowd, you made that perfectly clear."
Only he'd been alone for over a year, sinking deeper and deeper into solitude. "I guess I deserve that." Nick walked away from the door, giving her the opportunity to leave if she wanted to. "For the record, I thought I was doing you a favor, giving you a shot at a normal life."
Cassie's head canted to one side, looking at him like he'd just said the stupidest thing she'd ever heard. "I'll never have a normal life, Nick. I'm not normal. Neither one of us is."
She was right, of course. And he couldn't help but shake his head. "I'm sorry, Cass. I guess I fucked up," he sighed, sinking down on the side of the bed. He'd pushed her out of his life, all because Kira wanted a little bit of normalcy for all of them. He'd listened because it sounded good in theory, but he had to admit, he'd purposely glossed over the doubts he'd had at the time in order to make her happy. He would have done it and more. In the months that followed, he had to wonder, had she Pushed him to get him to do what she wanted? Or was he just that much of a selfish dick to want some alone time with Kira?
When he looked up again, Cassie was still watching him, an inscrutable look on her face. Instead of leaving, she let the bag slip off her shoulder, crossing the room to stand before him. "You always were kinda stupid," she patted his cheek, a half smile tilting her lips before she returned to the chair to wrestle with the boots.
"So, you're staying then?" She shot him a look that rather expressively said 'duh', but said nothing as she continued to pull at the boot. "If you're going to stick around for a while, maybe you should think about blending in a little then?" Her look might pass in the city, but she was sure to turn a few heads in the small Texas town.
"What? I am blending in, I got the boots, don't I?"
Given the excuse to look, he couldn't help but notice shapely legs encased in ratty, old, brown cowgirl boots below the narrow denim skirt. With an effort he pulled his eyes away, mentally smacking himself upside the head for looking at her like… a girl. "You look… ah…" Nick swallowed, unsure how to complete that sentence without looking like an ass or insulting her. Or both.
"Hey, you'd look like this too if you just spent the last four days in the back of a bus with the unwashed masses of the South." Cassie tucked a strand of lank hair behind her ear self consciously. "You still haven't told me how you ended up down here. How can you stand this place?" she looked around the motel room with obvious distaste.
"It's not so bad…" he shrugged, brows coming together as he realized just how dingy the place was. Not quite as old and decrepit as his place in Hong Kong, but somehow worse, because no matter how run down that building had been, he'd at least made the effort to pick up after himself back then. His current abode boasted fast food wrappers that were more likely to get up and walk themselves out of the motel room than see the inside of a Hefty bag.
"Don't sweat it, Nick, I've stayed in worse." The boot came free and its mate soon joined it on the threadbare carpet. "I'm gonna hit your shower, maybe you could get us something to eat and then we'll talk, okay?"
"Uh… yeah…" Somehow she had him right where she wanted him, and Nick could only nod as she grabbed her bag and disappeared into the bathroom. He stood there staring at the bathroom door for long seconds until he heard the water turn on with a squeak and a groan and he shook himself out of it, slipping out to hit the corner store for a couple of hotdogs and a bottle of scotch. Something told him he was gonna need it to steady his nerves.
A/N: Okay, let me know what you think! For those of you who saw the movie, I hope I am doing justice to their characters in what I imagine they'd be like, given the set of circumstances I've dealt them. For those of you who follow my writing but haven't seen the movie, I hope you will! Chris Evans is fantastic in Push, and his chemistry with Dakota Fanning is awesome, despite the fact that they aren't the obvious romantic coupling due to her age.
As always, Feedback is love.