changehistory: ([Hiro] --More than a friend)
"Your worst enemy could be your best friend, and your best friend your worst enemy." - Bob Marley

Three hundred and fortyish years was a very long time to carry something--a grudge, a hurt, a remorse, a hope. It didn't matter what, really, except that it lay there inside of him, fine for a decade or so, and then flaring up with a flash of pain so searing that it was clear time was not taking the edge off of anything. Everything had gone so wrong. For the first time in his life, he'd known what it meant to be someone to someone else, to be admired, to be a friend, to have a mission--a purpose. He'd belonged, even as an outsider in a country that was never going to be his, when he could no longer bring himself to return to his own. Had he overreacted? Undoubtedly, if it were about the girl, but gods. It was never about the girl, not truly.

"We did make a good team, you and I. You showed me how to be to a hero, how to love... and then you took it all away."

He would never have looked at Yaeko, much, save for Hiro's insistence it was his destiny. If he were truly, desperately, honest--he hadn't been looking much at Yaeko, anyway. The strange young man from the future drew him, with his stories of Kensei and the man he was supposed to be. He didn't have words for what he wanted, not really, not then, or for what he was feeling, but he'd have done--had done--just about anything for him, to get him to smile.

And then he'd taken it all away, ripped off the mask and proven the lie beneath and God, but after so long that shouldn't still sting. Adam wasn't sure he was even angry anymore (though each time he tried to convince himself he wasn't, he felt the words tumbling around like all the other lies in his head). But he wasn't angry about Yaeko. He was angry about...he didn't have the words for it, not really, not until the moment he watched Hiro marry Claire, and felt that snapping line in his head that slipped around and hit with a sting that hurt more than it should have after so long, after so many loves in between, after finding someone he wanted to spend the rest of his life--what an amazing concept, that--with.

He hadn't been good enough, he thought. And for nearly three and a half centuries, the lack of it, the hurt of it, the rejection of it had festered, echoing in each repetition, each betrayal, each loss until it was magnified beyond all measure, and he didn't know how to extricate it anymore. It wasn't all Hiro's fault, not by a long shot. Adam had made his choices, and others' had made theirs, never even knowing of the strange young man yet to be born in some distant future Adam only dreamed about. But somehow, every time he looked at him, it all came crashing back, like some overwhelming sense of failure, of not enough, of all he had to fight back against to be someone, to make something of himself, to prove them all wrong.

The friend had become an enemy, and the enemy had become a symbol, and try as he might Adam didn't know how to turn the symbol back into a friend.
changehistory: ([Peter] - fear me love me do as I say)
Regrets I've had a few
But then again, too few to mention
I did what I had to do
I saw it through without exemption
I've planned each charted course
Each careful step along the highway
And more, much more than this
I did it my way


Standing behind Peter as he strained toward the vault, Adam felt a quiver of anticipation rising inside of him. After all these years, all this time, things were finally coming to a head. He'd dreamt of this moment for decades. Hearing the fools hadn't destroyed the virus after all had just cemented his planning. Had it not been available, he would have found another way, but this...oh, this had poetic justice. And using the child of Arthur and Angela after they had left him in there to rot? That was even more sweet.

It had all come together so easily, like destiny was guiding his steps. The boy in the cell next to him, of not only the right parentage to exact his vengeance, but the skills needed to usher in the new world order. Winning him over had been the first triumph, each lie he believed another, all leading to this moment, when Peter gave him exactly what he wanted.

And then what?

The mocking whisper was one he'd pushed aside more than once the past few days. The closer they drew, though, the louder it grew, and the firmer he was forced to make his resolve. He would not regret this action, would not let doubt to sway him. This was right. It was necessary. He'd come too far, worked too hard, planned too carefully to let anything sway him from his goal now.

The metal bulged; the door swung open. Adam moved toward the vault, casting Peter a sideways look.

He wouldn't let anything stop him now. Especially not a pair of warm brown eyes and a crooked smile and the cold realization he might never see them directed at him with any fondness again. He could live with the regret. He'd have to.
changehistory: (Upset/looking down)
Scars are souvenirs you never lose
The past is never far
Did you lose yourself somewhere out there
Did you get to be a star
And don't it make you sad to know that life
Is more than who we are


There wasn't much he'd packed in the back of the rental car, just one suitcase with some warm clothes and his shaving kit. He left the laptop and cell phone sitting on the table in the nook in the kitchen. He'd picked the vehicle up before the wedding, parking it behind the townhouse, ready to go. Slipping away and getting home while the festivities were still going on wasn't that difficult. There were plenty of people there, after all. He'd danced with the bride, danced with Baileigh, danced with Peter, danced with Angela, then kissed Claire goodbye and told her to have a happy honeymoon "just in case" he missed her later. He even congratulated Hiro with a smile and a bow.

Then he left.

The only stop he made on the way out of town was by Nathan's to slide an envelope through his mail slot. In it was a power of attorney to take care of real estate decisions, the account number and password where he'd put the money for the property, as well as Adam's list of his top two properties for the Company and a request that Nathan go ahead and make a bid, if possible. He didn't say where he was going, or why, or when he'd be back, just that he might be gone a while and needed Nathan to take care of this for him so they didn't lose out, and he'd be back. He tried to think of something else to say, to offer an explanation, but he couldn't even put it into words for himself, and the words he did have weren't ones he could say to his son.

Saying them to Peter had been hard enough and left him feeling more raw and vulnerable than he could rightly stand. Words had power, and speaking them aloud had crystalized thoughts that had been ephemeral before, caught in the darker recesses of his mind, but not pulled forward into his consciousness. When he thought about it again, it was like he couldn't breathe, like he was back in that coffin he still had nightmares about, and something inside of him was screaming, but no one could hear.

It was all such a delicate balance, and it could all fall apart in an instant. Peter's words echoed in his head, and his offer hung there. The man Adam had been a year ago would have taken it, wound his fingers through Peter's hair and said, yes, give him up, choose me. He'd have demanded it the second he saw a sign Peter would have folded. But he didn't want it on demands, and he didn't want it ever to be spun that he made Peter give up something he wanted, loved, needed...anything. He couldn't take the risk of being accused of taking away something from Nathan more than he had--that he'd ordered his son hurt.

He couldn't, any more than he could have said anything to Claire about Hiro, or talked about the conflicted rise of emotion he chose to turn away from when he saw Angela, for Peter's sake. It all tangled and twisted up in him, his past colliding into his present, and acting on what he wanted would push into and potentially destroy the future he wanted to build. One wrong move, one misstep, could cost him Nathan's regard, nevermind the situation with Peter--he'd seen how easily Nathan turned from Angela and she raised him. He, Adam, was so much less to his son, and he knew it. Giving in to his hurt over the past, wounds centuries deep and more recent traumas, would do nothing but hurt the granddaughter he'd so carefully cultivated. Admitting his regret over what Arthur stole from him and Angela would only make things even more awkward with Peter than his tantrum had.

However, even leaving it up to Peter left a knot in his stomach. It could all go so wrong, and that was just the romance. Restarting the Company, moving forward with some new plan, having to find a way to balance goals and try and talk Peter around to understanding that collateral damage was necessary for real change, making sure Hiro didn't turn Claire away from all the work he'd done starting to groom her, keeping Nathan involved, but not making him think they were doing anything too wrong...

He'd worked so hard the past two years. He had everything he'd wanted within his grasp, and more now than he'd ever thought possible. Except, he'd been here before. He'd had people he trusted, had people he considered family, had people he loved, and look where it had gotten him. The past kept coming back and staring him in the face, and Angela and Hiro's presence so close didn't help him shake it off, constant memories of where it all started and where it all went so wrong always there.

His lungs were burning, and he realized he wasn't breathing. He hadn't been breathing for weeks, not really. He needed air and room to think without all of it pressing in on him. Maybe he should have told someone where he was going, or at least that he was, but he didn't know. He maneuvered out of the City, and kept going until he hit I-80. Then, still with no particular destination in mind, driving on instinct and nothing else, he headed west.
changehistory: (Greater good)
This time will be different.

He knows where he erred last time, where he went too far, where he let himself falter. He trusted the wrong people, and didn't trust those he should have. As furious as the world around him occasionally makes it, stepping back he's seen there is still good in it, and he feels like both Abraham and God arguing for the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah, searching for just ten righteous men to save the world.

Not that he cares much for righteousness, but in the reasons given him, again and again, and those that echo in his head, the analogy holds true and sure.

There are some he'd save, protect with all he has, but the rest...he tries to see what Peter sees in them, and all that comes to him is the constant patterns, repeating over and over again, stretching back across centuries and continuing unabated, increasing in their destructiveness, and while giving lip service to "progress" and moving forward, away from the ills of the annals of history, in truth doing nothing to correct them. War, famine, environmental degradation, new plagues, prejudice and inequality, religious persecution...he can't watch the news for fear of what he might do if he lets it all in to wash over him.

There cannot be salvation without radical change. The world is continuing on a hurtling path toward its own destruction, and someone has to step up and derail it, set it on a new course all together.

Sometimes he thinks he's the only one who sees it. No one else is stepping forward with any grand plan, nor any small one with a chance to grow, so it will have to be him, as he always has known it would be.

But this time will be different. He'll make certain of it.
changehistory: (Upset/looking down)
[ooc: Peter referred to is [livejournal.com profile] hadtobeahero]

The air felt different in his lungs. Every breath he pulled in held death in it--disease, carcinogens, the time it took to draw and release it that was a moment he could not get back, a moment that pushed him closer to the inevitable. He was aware of them in the heaviness that settled somewhere in his chest, frightened of each cough that exploded out of sitting someone close to him on the subway, aware of the smoke that curled through the air in the bars he used to frequent with such delight. His fingers curled around the heavy glass that held the amber elixir that he once counted on to wash away the agony of life, and stared into it and only saw potential ends--liver cells dying off, inattention on the streets making him prey for a mugger, a sharp curve in the road he wasn't alert enough to maneuver.

For 337 years he had lived without fear. Nothing could touch him; nothing could harm him; nothing could stop him. Now he jumped at shadows, waiting for his past to catch up with him. A bullet, a knife in the back, a betrayal with a kiss as the cord tightened enough to strangle off air and shut off the light forever. He was alive, yes, but the refrain reverberated in his brain, For now. It was a cruel irony that he had learned to cherish the moments he had with the mortals in his life, so aware of the fleeting nature of their lives, but now that his own joined them, that fleetingness haunted him to the point that cherishing seemed near impossible.

There was so little time left to do anything, to see anything. So little time left to love, to build a life. He'd dreamt of showing him the world, of watching the future unfold in all its glorious manifestation under their careful guidance. The world they could create together, the one he could bring into being with him by his side...it fluttered there just out of grasp in his dreams, then dissipated with the dawn of another day closer to the end. Not just his end, either. Anything could happen at anytime to either of them. His golden boy was no longer a god, no more than he was, and the formula that had given him at least a measure of his strength back was out of reach to restore Adam to any sense of power. It was a fluttering hope he clung to in moments when he dragged himself up from despair. Maybe, somewhere, somehow, some vial existed, but then the light flickered out on that. Suresh wouldn't recreate it, not to help him, and the catalyst was gone anyway with the bullet in Arthur's brain.

He was a dead man. It might take another fifty or sixty years--if he was lucky--but Arthur would have his revenge, and Adam would die. Ashes to ashes; dust to dust. Life moved by in shadows. They said the terminal found a new appreciation in life, that food tasted sweeter and the people they loved seemed dearer, but he couldn't find the will in the devastation. He wanted to. He didn't want to waste these moments, didn't want to waste this chance. Because if he was dead, at least he wasn't dying alone. That was something to cling to, but if he couldn't pull himself up by the proverbial bootstraps, he might, mightn't he? Peter might go, and then his one bright spot would be gone.

But the air felt different in his lungs, and every shadow held menace, and for the first time in centuries he was afraid. He hated it, and sometimes, in his darker moods, he thought Arthur had gotten the better, fairer, end.
changehistory: (Broken)
There were times and occasions upon which Adam Monroe wished he could still get drunk. He'd, mostly, accepted his inability to do so centuries ago, but sometimes the sheer lack of an escape from his own thoughts, from himself, was a frustration that made him nearly hate the ability he cherished. In the burn of the whiskey, the slip into a haze, there had been comfort, release, reprieve that was denied him now. Instead he had to look for it in other places--the warmth of another's body, the burn of muscles pushed beyond endurance in a grueling workout, the adrenaline and pain of an instigated fight against someone sure to take him down. It was far more complicated that way, all around, and more interpersonally complicated. The whiskey had been simpler, pushing him toward oblivion he could lose himself in.

He stared at the glass on the table in front of him as if it were personally responsible for its contents being unable to provide a solution to the ache that scraped at his insides, making him feel raw. Didn't it know he wasn't supposed to feel that way? Not anymore, not him, not after everything he'd gone through. He wasn't supposed to have been charmed by three little towheads with their blue eyes and sticky faces and fingers. The possibilities they presented of a life he could have, an intriguing array of what ifs and maybes wherein he had found something like peace, like home, with others like him, not having to hide...And family. A family like he hadn't had since before he left England's shores on a boat bound for Japan, one he didn't have to leave, didn't have to lie to or lie for because of what he was...

They'd been here. Three little imps, far too precocious for their own good and his peace of mind, and each of them his, each of them representing some chance, some fate, some place where he...belonged. Representatives of hope, shining little beacons in their own ways, and he'd just been getting to know them, just had a chance to start to learn their smiles, pick up on their quirks, figure out just how much Stephen needed to eat, and that Eden had inherited his gift for snark and that Piera really needed to be kept away from sharp objects to not keep freaking out the neighbors, but he couldn't help but be proud of her spirit, and then...they were gone.

He'd told himself it didn't matter, not really. They were home with him and their respective mothers, just fine, back in their worlds. It wasn't like he'd lost them or they were hurt or in trouble. They were where they belonged. And he might never see them again, a small voice whispered. Because they couldn't all be just from his future. Maybe one, maybe even two, but at least one of them had to be from a different world, an alternate timeline, and that meant...he'd never see them again. He was left with the knowledge he had a son out there somewhere he would probably never get to know. There was a comfort in the idea that maybe the girls were possible, that he'd hold his daughters one day, but he couldn't be certain of that, either. After all, Elle and Claire had both had children with others as well, and who knew which timeline any of them had come from. He might not see any of them ever again. Telling himself over and over again that it didn't matter worked for a few days, a week or two.

But when he'd walked into the classroom to start his new job teaching at the prep school and seen all those young faces looking back at him...it mattered. It mattered with a visceral pain that he couldn't deny, couldn't talk himself out of. Already a bit nervous at the prospect of teaching for the first time and shaky from the fight over the weekend, all those bright shiny faces had made him nearly freeze up. Somehow he got through it, got through the day, managed to smile and charm and go over the lessons he'd prepared, but he couldn't find the glee with which he'd taken the job. All those young minds to mold, to introduce to the greatness of the likes of Machiavelli, even, and all he could think about were those he wouldn't have the chance to teach, to rear, to raise.

And so he found himself in the bar, because it was ritual from the days gone by so long before that no one else remembered them, staring at a glass filled with an amber liquid that would do nothing for him, even if he downed a bottle of it. It was the simplest programmed response, even after all this time, but it wasn't going to help. A fight or a fuck would've been more productive, but he wasn't sure he had the heart for the former after the weekend and the latter had been in even shorter supply lately, so he sat, and he stared at the glass as if it would magically supply the answers, and he wished to God he could still get drunk.
changehistory: ([Angela] [Peter] Hallelujah)
Baby I've been here before
I've seen this room, I've walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew you
I've seen your flag on the marble arch
But love is not a victory march
It's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah


If he closes his eyes, quiets his thoughts, he can hear her voice in the recesses of his mind, warm in the dark with promises he let himself believe in, promises that he wanted to cling to, even when things went wrong and she turned cold. Gold bands on her finger and his, different in style and time, divided them, each driving a deeper wedge, but there was something still that lingered that he couldn't bring himself to release her from. It was supposed to be different; life was supposed to finally shape itself into something that made sense instead of a sequence of vignettes connected only by a sense of failure and betrayal, where each wound struck a bit deeper, carved away another vital piece. But here he lies, trying to pull her to mind and when it brushes over him, wringing a reaction he thought long gone, it hurts, like a razor blade slicing deep into his skin. He pinned it all on a girl, gambled it all on a smile, trusted himself to a pair of brown eyes and believed that the world could be reborn, and that he'd found the one to bring it forth. Every hurt, every disappointment, every betrayal was a necessary step on the path to her.

Well there was a time you let me know
What's really going on below
But now you never show it to me, do you?
But remember when I moved in you
And the holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah


He was wrong. He was so very wrong, he tells himself, over and over, hardening his heart to the feel of the bed beneath him, chilling it to drop below the temperature of the walls they've encased him in. Once again, he's alone, and worse than alone, he's left with her voice, with the memory of his belief, his foolishness, taunting him in the dark, the recriminations he wants to spew out, but there's no one to hear. The heat of anger freezes over, encasing him slowly behind a new barrier, frigid and unyielding. The fire of passion chills to the iciness of retribution. There's a hollowness he feels carving out inside of him, where it aches when he remembers in his dreams, everything that was and could have been. Days of warmth and nights of fire, when everything seemed possible and life was his for the taking and he truly knew what it meant to be invincible. It hurts to be separated from that, hurts to remember, and so he buries it deeper until he can no longer bring it to mind, until the smell of her skin, and the feel of her hair no longer haunts him. And when the opportunity comes, it is easy to give the order. He barely recalls her face.

Well, maybe there's a god above
But all I've ever learned from love
Was how to shoot somebody who outdrew you
It's not a cry that you hear at night
It's not somebody who's seen the light
It's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah


The boy has her eyes. It's a little thing that worms its way under his skin and into the recesses of his mind, sparking up first in his dreams in a dark motel room, jerking him awake. Not his father's eyes, but hers. He watches him through the next day, suspicious and withdrawn, sniping remarks more quick to fall from his lips, watching the confusion, the flare of hurt in the boy's eyes with something like satisfaction. It doesn't matter he doesn't know the reason for it. The sins of the fathers, or mothers, as it were. He hurts, and he oughtn't. Nothing should hurt anymore, not after so long. His skin shouldn't hum when the boy touches him in concern, either. That's a path he's not treading again, not with those treacherous eyes. He refuses to melt the ice again. Surely he's learned the lesson by now? Yaeko. Hiro. Helene. Louisa. Theresa. Angela. He's not fool enough to let that crooked smile warm his heart, even as he finds his own lips returning it without a thought. He'll play the game, but on his terms, and this time he won't forget the danger. This time he'll win.
changehistory: (Evil smirk)
"Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful." - Joshua J. Marine

The house stood on a hill outside the city, looking down on it in one direction, and toward the ocean in the other. It was a commanding view, one could argue even the best in the city, possibly even on the whole of Londinium, and standing out on his balcony looking down toward the city, Adam allowed himself a moment to enjoy it. Below him the city teemed with life, people moving along the streets, shuttles cruising through the air. He could see the port where the larger ships would land, and he smiled slightly, watching one of them and wondering if any of his wandering children were on it, coming home. The 'verse had grown, expanded since they'd been forced to leave Earth--still a bitter point of contention for him that it was best not to look at too closely--and with planets spread out and colonized throughout the solar system he supposed it was too much to hope they'd all choose to settle on the same one. They weren't joined at the hip, after all, and it probably wasn't fair to keep calling them children, not anymore, even if he always would have the advantage in years. They had their own now, their own experiences, their own heartbreaks, their own losses, their own successes. They'd broken and mended, fallen apart and come back together. And he had a large house on top of a hill, looking down on a city he owned far more of than anyone realized.

A tiny smirk curved his lips as he took a sip of whiskey from the glass he held, more for the familiar taste than anything else. It wasn't the original plan from so long ago, of course, by any means. It wasn't how he'd meant things to go. Humanity still crawled, spread itself out, wreaked itself upon new shores. The recent broadcasts revealing the latest upset in humanity's leaps forward to bettering themselves were...unfortunate, but he did have to admire the spirit of those that got the news out. Suresh had nearly come apart at the seams, but, well. What's done was done. They couldn't be connected to it, not that anyone was crying out for individual names yet anyway. It was "them." The Alliance. The government. The faceless, formless, shapeless entities that made the world work the way it worked. The minds, the money, the shadows in the background...He drained his glass.

Plans came and plans went. The virus had failed, clearly, but Suresh's formula had proven useful there for a while. They'd flourished, had their moment in the sun. Of course, compassion had nearly killed them, and had failed to save their planet, in the end. Too many people, too many resources gone, too much industry destroying the atmosphere itself--just as he'd predicted. But they'd survived, and now here they were, with a new world, and here he was with the power to wield to shape it. This was just a minor setback, nothing to worry about, not really. He was here, in the center of the universe, as it were. Another century, and he could claim to have seen a millenium. He'd survived wars, imprisonment, betrayal, and he was still standing, and his family was still standing, and his little empire was expanding through the shadows. He told Suresh to breathe, sent him back to the lab to work on the new project, and sent a wave to Gabriel to get his ass home and calm his geneticist down. Problem solved. Peter was late returning home from whatever mission he'd scampered off on this time, but he'd be back soon enough, and Adam seriously doubted he would ever connect the news back to what Adam and Mohinder had been working on a dozen years before. And Claire...well. She'd never judged him. Baileigh and Sark could be counted on to handle things on their end. If there was ever any official investigation by some independent source, they would find everything they needed to crucify everyone but him. Which would, of course, leave him standing with even more power than before.

A quiet cough interrupted his thoughts.

"Yes?"

"Your guest has arrived, sir."

"Then by all means, please show Miss Serra up."

What could have been a regrettable situation really couldn't have worked out better if he'd planned it, he decided as his smirk softened into a genuine smile and he turned his back on the city, leaned against the balcony rail, and waited for his butler to reappear with Inara. He really couldn't wait to hear her account of events.

[ooc: xposted for RP to [livejournal.com profile] dontrightly_die]
changehistory: ([Peter] - Not broken)
"You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present."

I've been dying inside
Little by little
Nowhere to go
But goin' out of my mind
In endless circles
Runnin' from myself until
You gave me a reason for standing still


Adam stared at the ceiling listening to the whine of the heater as it kicked on spitting warm air out into the chill of the motel room. He was freezing, so it was a good thing, though he supposed he could have crawled under the covers long ago to fight back the cold, but the cracks and lines in the plaster were far more fascinating at the moment than any pressing need for physical comfort. Bob hadn't kept the cells all that warm. Cold was a longtime friend; central heating was still new in the grand scheme of things. The ceiling in Hartsdale had been smooth, perfectly painted without a ripple or ridge for his gaze to dance over and trace, but this one...it was interspersed with vertical snags, jagged lines breaking up one long one tracing across the width of the room from the window to the wall that separated the room from the bathroom. Long and winding, it wasn't a straight line, but it followed a course, a path set in motion from whatever started it to a clear destination, even as each new crack tried to divert it, to push it from its intended destination. But it knew where it was going; it knew it had to do what it was intended to do, to fulfill its destiny, to reach the other side of the room, as it were.

It had been set on a road, pushed and pulled and prodded and forced, splitting the plaster in two, dividing it against itself, and cracking slowly further and further, more and more as time went on, heading toward an inevitability that anyone with foresight should have known was coming. It would reach the wall. Then it would widen. The crack would grow; this wasn't the sort of place that repaired such things. No one would come in with any care to fill it in, and even if they did, it would always be there, different than the other. You could see where it started, there by the window, the force that something applied. Perhaps the window was opened too fast. Maybe something flew in. Possibly it was just shoddy workmanship from the start, never meant to stand the test of time, but expected to, anyway. Something always started it, though. Something came along and applied more pressure than it was meant to bear, and it cracked. The crack grew, a line through time, stretching out, now, over him and further, there, across the bed next to him and over the boy sleeping in it that destiny brought to his side, to the cell next to his, an answer to prayers to a God Adam no longer believed listened.

So easy to shift, to turn, to look at him, really look, to see, but he kept his gaze on the ceiling. If he looked, if he saw...there were lights that lit the ceiling from a car in the parking lot and he closed his eyes against them, blocking out the crack and the temptation to turn his head as well. Everything had a beginning. Everything had a purpose.

He couldn't let himself be diverted from his.

Falling faster
Barely breathing
Give me something to believe in
Tell me it's not all in my head
Take what's left of this man
Make me whole once again
changehistory: (Fallen hero)
[ooc: This was my, "WTF, the writers are being illogical, and that wouldn't happen" moment, of how, if they were going to insist on 3x06 "Dying of the Light" that this is how it should've gone instead. Because the way it happened made no logical sense. So, there, writers! Uh, possibly spoilery for that ep except AU ending?]

The man in the bed hooked up to the machines that were keeping him alive, though barely, was possibly the last person Adam Monroe expected to see. He stared, shock spreading across his face.

"I heard you were dead..." Glancing back at the doctor and then at the young man who'd brought him here, then back at Arthur, Adam still tried to piece it together. It wasn't hard to guess what Arthur wanted, looking at him there. His blood, obviously, to cure him from whatever had done this to him, to get him up off the bed and then...he must be the one behind the stealing of the formula. Whatever. Adam hardly cared, but it was interesting to consider that Arthur and Angela were pitted against each other.

Then Arthur's thoughts were in his head, dark and twisting inside of him, and for the first time in centuries, Adam knew real fear. "No..." He tried to back away, but the young man, impossibly strong, stopped him, dragging him forward and forcing him to kneel as Arthur reached for him. "Don't do this...!"

But he was doing it, his cold hands tight on Adam's, and he could feel energy pulling out of him, painful almost as it slid along his nerves and filled the man across from him. He struggled, but there was nothing he could do, no escape, and then, just as abruptly as it had begun, it was over. The young man released him, and he slumped slightly, staring up in horror as Arthur pulled the tube from his throat and sat up in the bed, casting a slight smirk at Adam.

"Ah, it feels good to breathe again."

"What have you done?"

"You know exactly what I've done..."

"But why...? I would have given you whatever blood you needed..."

"Very accommodating of you, Adam, but I'd rather be in charge of my own survival this time. But, thank you. For the thought. And the immortality. Knox will show you out. I'm sure you're eager to get a taste of freedom after all these years...consider it my thank you gift."

Adam pushed to his feet, staring at Arthur, trying not to let the horror he felt, the bits of himself that he felt were missing overwhelm him. "How could you do this to me?"

"It's nothing personal. You just had something I wanted." Arthur turned to go, then paused at the door, to glance back over his shoulder. "Oh, Adam...if you see Angela, do tell her I send my love, would you?"

He was gone, and Adam sagged slightly, leaning against the bedpost. He could feel his heart hammering in his chest, and drawing breath was nigh unto impossible, but Knox's fingers curled around his arm, pulling him back toward the door.

"I can take you back where I found you, if you want," he offered, with an air of indifference.

Numbness was spreading--was it shock, he wondered?--as Adam forced his feet to move, following him. Rage would follow, he was sure. And then a need for vengeance, to right this. But right now, he couldn't feel anything at all, but fear.

"It doesn't matter," he said. For the first time in three centuries, mortality was staring him in the face. "I'm a dead man anyway."

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Adam Monroe

February 2014

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