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25 September 2007 @ 01:10 pm
Fic post: We Breathe the Same Air (The 4400)  
Title: We Breathe the Same Air
Fandom: The 4400
Warnings/Spoilers: None

Written for the challenge at ficwriters_anon, which was loads of fun.



Cassie watches Kyle's chest move up and down as he sleeps, feeling her lungs match the same rhythm - in out, in out.

For as much as she shares with him, she thinks, she really shouldn't be self-aware. She's the manifestation of Kyle's 4400 ability; she should by all rights be nothing but this era's oracle of Delphi, a mouthpiece through which the future speaks - not a self-aware, fully-formed person, a woman with thoughts, desires, goals. Even affection for the people she must help and occasionally sacrifice. Lately, with the things she's maneuvered into being, she wishes she were an automaton.

Not that she'll ever tell anyone but herself.

Her vision of the future is like some huge, ever-changing, interconnected map: Isabelle freed here, the meeting with Jordan following that like a pearl on a strand, the building of Promise City. The past has collapsed into one timeline, but that solid line ends at the present moment and then spiders out into a crazy network of potential futures - the death of Jordan Collier leading to riot and devastation, the Marked pouring their hatred and fear of change into the rest of humanity leading to destruction and devastation, Isabelle losing her mind with grief at repudiation from her father and bringing the whole world down to death and devastation -

Nearly every future leads back to that devastation, that moment in time where the seas become deserts, the trees die, the wild animals go extinct or change beyond imagining and what's left of humanity retreats to domed cities to nurse its bitterness. There's only the one strand of pearls, one timeline that leads to something different, something hopefull. Cassie sees it lit like fairy lights in front of her, superimposed on everything she does, everywhere she goes. She knows the right path, but lately, getting Kyle to trust her blindly is like pulling teeth, and she's starting the see the wrong paths creep ever closer, kissing against each moment of every day. They're so close to becoming reality, they push greedily at every decision nexus. Sometimes it's like watching a crowd of lemmings running along a cliff, knowing that she can herd them with nudges and stomped feet, and also knowing that if just one breaks in the wrong direction, every single other lemming will follow. She projects calm assurance to Kyle and his uncertainty, even though she feels nothing but taut fear.

Kyle twitches and sighs in his sleep; Cassie twitches and sighs with him. She feels his dreams rumbling under the surface of his mind, something about Jordan limned in golden afternoon light. Cassie wonders suddenly if Kyle is attracted to Jordan, focuses on the timelines and searches. It's not indicated anywhere; Kyle's attraction is merely pure hero worship. She's surprised to feel a little sad about that - she imagines seeing muscles sliding under sweat-slicked skin, Kyle's cropped blond head framed by Jordan's loose brown hair and beard - and feels a thrill. It's a fantasy entirely hers. Kyle's breathing picks up in time to her own heartbeat, his face scrunching up in discomfort, and she viciously blocks the thought. She watches Kyle settle back into his own dream.

Restraint and strict adherence to the right path - it's the only way to safeguard humanity. But right now, Cassandra feels very, very lonely.


Comments and con-crit are very welcome.
 
 
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