Murphy's Law (3/5)
By Anne Olsen
Rating/warnings this chapter: This Fic has been rated in accordance with the approved TTFF Rating System.
OK (Oz/Kiwi spelling/grammar etc) - PG - Angst, drama.
Author's notes: This fic is part of the 'Tears in Heaven' series. More info and stories in this timeline can be found at http://www.angelfire.com/ab7/shadesandechoes
It can be read on its own but there are references to previous stories in the arc.
This fic will also be archived at the new Expressions site.
Summary: The new breakout witnesses a grizzly murder, and insists that his new history teacher is responsible. Are things really that simple?
Disclaimer: The Tomorrow People belong to Roger Damon Price, Thames/Tetra and ITV television. Highlander is the property of Panzer/Davis, Rysher/ Gaumount Televison. Stargate SG1 are owned by Stargate (II) Productions, Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Products.
Alex MacDonald belongs to me and shouldn't be used without permission.
Thanks to: Big hugs to Megan for her support and beta reading. Also to Sakura for her wonderful eye for typos, beta reading and helpful comments. And Wendy for her suggestions and comments.
Feedback to: anneo @ paradise.net.nz
Adam glanced around the playing field after he materialised, searching for any sign of what Alex had described. The rain had slowed to a light drizzle - it must have previously been much heavier, judging by how damp Alex had been when he'd arrived at the ship.
His eye caught something brightly coloured lying in the mud next to a patch of gorse, and he walked over to take a closer look. It was a school bag, Alex's schoolbag to be precise, according to the name written on the side.
"There's someone here, guys," Ami said, frowning "I'm picking up on some weird vibes. I think they're coming from over there." She gestured towards the group of pine trees bordering the sports field.
An Immortal? Adam remembered his and Megabyte's initial meeting with Methos back in November as he focused his abilities on the area Ami had indicated.
"Weird," said Megabyte. "That feels just like when we first met the old guy." The sensation was growing stronger the closer they got to where Ami figured was ground zero. Did all Immortals give out the same vibes?
Remembering the name Alex had given his history teacher, Adam felt his suspicions grow. O'Neill, as in Jack O'Neill; surely if this was who he suspected it probably was, he wouldn't be so arrogant as to use the name of the man in charge of SG1?
A familiar figure glanced up when they approached the bank of the creek behind the group of trees and for some reason Adam didn't feel as surprised as he thought he should be. The Immortal was on his knees, leaning over a body, correction a headless body, and Adam felt the bile rise in his stomach after taking in the scene in front of him.
Methos groaned. "I swear you kids are following me," he said, his tone reflecting his apparent disgust. "Either that, or I'm getting paranoid in my old age."
"I knew it," muttered Megabyte, rolling his eyes. "O'Neill. Kinda obvious wasn't it?" So he hadn't been the only one who had picked up on that interesting coincidence.
"Well the guy is hardly going to be running checks on himself if he wants to find me, is he?" Methos shrugged. "Made perfect sense at the time. Still does, if it hadn't been for you kids. Now I'll have to start again. Have you any idea how time consuming all this changing identities is these days. A thousand years ago, things were so much simpler."
The immortal rose to his feet, turned, and gazed at Ami long and hard with an expression that Adam decided he didn't particularly like. /Stop over reacting/, he told himself. /You're just in protective mode, as usual./ At least protective mode was better than what he'd been feeling earlier when Alex's arrival had brought all his thoughts of Lisa to the surface again. He'd noticed the look Megabyte had given him when her name had been brought up, although he was sure his friend didn't suspect how much he was still hurting from what had happened the night he'd gone after the American girl.
"Aren't you going to introduce me to your rather attractive friend? Or are you just going to stand there with your mouths on the ground?" Methos had a way of coming straight to the point.
"Ami, this is Adam Pierson, or Jack O'Neill as I suspect he's calling himself these days."
"Adam Pierson? As in /the/ Adam Pierson?" Ami looked the Immortal up and down, giving him the same once over he'd given her. Adam grinned. Trust Ami to give as well as she got.
"Nope," said Methos, shrugging. "That's my evil twin brother." He bent down and wiped his sword on the grass at his feet.
/God, he's still got the blood from his victim on it,/ thought Adam, noticing the casual action. /These people do this for survival,/ he reminded himself. Survival or not, it wasn't doing much for his peace of mind, let alone the state of his stomach.
"Don't you think it's a bit much following me around the globe?" Methos asked. "I told you in Colorado that I was done with the whole babysitting scenario. Putting a Tomorrow Person in my history class, doesn't that sound rather like overkill?"
"We didn't know he was one of us," Adam protested, trying to avert his eyes from the body Methos was still leaning over.
"You brought up the whole paranoid thing," pointed out Megabyte in his usual tactful manner, his eyes darting around the sports field, looking anywhere but at the body. "I'd stick to that theory if I were you." His normally pale skin seemed to be developing a slightly green tinge to it, a shade Adam was sure was mirrored on his own
The dark-haired Immortal stood, blocking their view of the corpse, his expression softening as though he was remembering something or someone. "This is part of being Immortal," he reminded them. "Don't think for a moment that I enjoy doing this, because I don't. But if it comes down to them or me, I'll take me everytime."
"But you killed him," said Adam. There must have been a choice, surely. There was /always/ a choice when it came to killing. He took a deep breath, trying to keep calm after the smell of the blood hit him. He could feel it permeating through him, almost to the extent of overwhelming his other senses, and the urge to vomit grew stronger the longer they were in the vicinity of the body. Fighting the desire to teleport away right then and there, Adam was convinced this was going to stay in his memory for quite some time. How could Immortals live like this?
"So what did you think I was going to do?" asked Methos, the sarcasm in his voice obvious. "Invite him out to dinner and hope he changed his mind?"
"You could have least talked to him." Adam felt as though he should at least go through the motions, even though he suspected he was wasting his time.
"So you wacked him because you had no choice? Is that it? Yeah right." Megabyte wasn't quite so subtle, no surprise there.
Taking refuge against a nearby tree, Ami's gaze alternated between Methos and her fellow Tomorrow People. Considering the comments she'd made after Colorado about how much she wished she'd met the Immortal she was suspiciously quiet.
[You okay?] Adam 'pathed, feeling concerned.
[As fine as I'm going to be with that in front of me. Thanks, Adam.] Ami was watching Methos closely, waiting for his reply to Megabyte's statement.
Adam watched Megabyte's reaction to that title and mentally cringed. /Uh oh./ Methos had just effectively waved a red flag at the bull with that one.
The Immortal continued on, smirking and seemingly unaware of his faux pas. "I'm not like you. The sooner you work that out the better. And here was I actually thinking you were listening to what I told you in Colorado. My mistake." Methos rolled his eyes, an expression of disgust on his face.
"I was kind of busy at the time trying to stop you getting your head cut off,' Megabyte retorted, his voice rising in pitch, as his complexion changed to match the colour of his hair. Adam put his hand on his friend's shoulder, trying to calm him down but Megabyte ignored him.
"Oh yes," continued Methos. "That's right. What an idiot - how remiss of me." He threw the Tomorrow Person a look of contempt. "Like I need a couple of kids to help me in that department."
"Me...Pierson..." began Adam, trying to smooth things over.
"Don't waste your breath, Adam," It was hard to miss the sarcasm in Megabyte's voice. "He's a lot older than us. He knows better than we do."
Methos snorted and muttered something in another language which, judging from the tone of the words, didn't sound particularly polite. After glancing around the surrounding field, he then checked his watch. "Taking your time with this one, aren't you guys?" he said under his breath to no one in particular before turning tail and walking across the grass, pointedly ignoring the Tomorrow People.
"Megabyte!" chastised Ami. "That was rude."
"He started it."
/Time to change the subject,/ thought Adam. He knew how this conversation would end or rather not end, and he really wasn't in the mood for it. "Let's go see how Alex is doing," he suggested. "We'll come and talk to Pierson tomorrow when he's calmed down. It must have been a shock for him running into us again like that."
"Right," muttered Megabyte. "Poor guy. He looked so shocked too." The redhead shrugged, then frowned "Guys, slight problem in case you've forgotten." He indicated what was left of Methos' opponent.
Adam nodded. "I'll ring the police anonymously before we go. I can't see Pierson coming back to clean up, after what we've just said to him."
"I wonder what Immortals do with all these headless bodies?" Megabyte voiced Adam's other concern. "I mean it's not as though there's a branch of them who go round doing clean up duty." He grinned. "Who knows? Maybe there's a whole society of people out there who dedicate their life to watching these guys and cleaning up after them."
"That's a sick idea, Megabyte, you know that, right?" Ami didn't seem impressed.
Megabyte shrugged. "No sicker than the whole wacking heads to survive thing."
"I don't know about you, guys," Adam interrupted, "but I just want to get out of here and back to the ship. As soon as I find a phone, we're gone."
Reaching into his jeans pocket, Megabyte pulled out a brightly coloured cellphone and threw it towards his friend. Adam raised an eyebrow and the American grinned in reply. "Dad has this weird idea that he likes to be able to get hold of me. He's gotten even more paranoid since Roswell. Seems to think I'm going to wander off and find trouble." The redhead shrugged. "Can't understand why."
"I had no idea, I truly had no idea." Bill shook himself mentally, suddenly realising what he was doing as Dawson's words echoed in his mind. He took in the shocked expression on the man's face. Dawson had truly believed that the kids were some kind of lab rats, nothing more.
He searched the man's face, trying to decide if he could trust him. After a few moments he reached out his hand and helped Dawson to his feet. "I'm sorry," he said, not sure of what exactly to say next. "I'm not sure what came over me." As soon as the words were out, Bill realised how stupid they sounded, even to himself. He'd known full well what had come over him. The thought of someone hurting his kids had pushed him over the edge, just like it had when Masters had tried to kill his son in Roswell. Hell he wouldn't blame Dawson if he threw him out then and there. One lapse of control and that month of research and related work could be heading out the window.
Instead of reacting the way he was expecting, Dawson's expression seemed to soften into something akin to empathy. The man headed back to the bar, and reached behind the counter, bringing out the bottle of whisky he'd offered earlier. This time he didn't ask but instead poured two glasses, brought them back to the table and sat down. "Drink," he told Bill. "I get the feeling you need this even more than I do."
Bill hesitated for a moment, but then pulled up a chair opposite Dawson and gulped down the drink he'd been offered, savouring the taste and warmth of the liquid. Dawson had given him an olive branch of sorts and he'd be a damn fool not to accept it. He needed to find out what exactly Dawson knew about the kids, and what information he had that could be used to help protect them from Trent. Whatever Trent's plans were, it was obvious they weren't anything Bill wanted to hear. Just the fact he'd been working alongside Masters was enough to send a chill running through him.
"So your son is one of these teleporters?" asked Dawson, getting straight to the point.
Nodding, Bill could sense the other man watching; he was waiting for a reaction and an answer. He began to feel calmer as he hunted for the right words to explain without giving too much away. The alcohol was starting to take effect.
"One thing puzzles me," continued Dawson, "and I'm going to be blunt, because I think we need to get our cards on the table. Whether you decide to trust me is up to you, but at least hear me out first."
"Get to the point," Bill said, nodding again, "then we'll think about trust. From where I'm sitting, I haven't seen anything that makes me think we can trust each other yet, but I'm listening."
"The thing that puzzles me," repeated Dawson, "is that if your kid has been experimented on, how did you manage to get him away from Trent and his goons in the first place? With all the research that seems to have been put into this project, why would they just let him and his friends go?"
Something about this man told him he could be trusted but it wasn't his life he was gambling with here. Maybe if he told part of the truth and waited to see how Dawson reacted? "The kids aren't an experiment, Dawson," Bill took a deep breath before continuing. "This is Mother Nature, not science. The teleportation is something that comes naturally to them." He remembered what Adam had told him once. "To them it's as natural as breathing."
"Mother nature?" asked Dawson, a frown creasing his brow. "Do you mean as in freak of nature or evolution?"
"Okay, that makes sense. It would also be the reason why Trent and the others would perceive them as a threat. I think you and I have a lot more in common than I first thought," Dawson decided, shaking his head.
Bill frowned, wondering what the hell Dawson going on about. It was time to throw out a few of his own questions. Dawson had made a show of getting straight to the point, so would he. "Has this got anything to do with Immortals?"
A look of resignation crossed Dawson's face and he rolled his eyes. "I knew it," he muttered. "What do you know about Immortals?" Dawson shrugged. "If such a thing exists that is."
"You were the one who said we needed to get all our cards on the table. If I tell you about the kids, you have to tell me your secrets too. Works both ways."
"Let's just say that there are people who would like to see Immortals wiped off the face of the planet much the same way as your kid and his friends," Dawson sighed.
"Do you condone that action?" Bill's gaze met Dawson's as he asked the question. It was likely the guy could lie, but for some reason Bill doubted he would. Still, there was no point in taking chances at this stage of the game.
"No I don't. Look, Damon, I haven't spent most of my adult life watching Immortals to have their Game thrown away by some lunatic who perceives a threat that doesn't even exist."
Dawson's mention of the Game wasn't an accident, Bill surmised. He was trying to find out exactly how much he knew about Immortals and the way they lived. Now was the time to match that information with some of his own. "Adam Pierson."
"That answers that one," Dawson said, pouring himself another drink. Seeing Bill's puzzled look he continued. "I noticed you listening to Mac and I talking about him. That's how you knew to ask about Immortals. Usually the only way people know about Immortals is if they've met one. They're very careful about covering their tracks, Pierson in particular."
"Yes, I had kind of noticed that about the guy," Bill smirked. "He's not exactly forthcoming in the information department. Only gives out what he knows is going to annoy the hell out of you."
"Yep that sounds like him," Dawson laughed, taking another swig from his glass. "So where did you have the pleasure of meeting up with him?"
"Figures," Dawson said, raising one eyebrow. "Does Pierson know about the kids?"
Bill hesitated. He really wanted, really needed to trust the man sitting opposite but the years he'd spent covering up the existence of the Tomorrow People had made him wary. Dawson was direct, he'd give him that, but two could play at that game. "How do you know about Immortals?" he asked his possible ally.
"Touche," Dawson replied with a twinkle in his eye. He took another swig of whisky. "I suppose this trading of information should go both ways if we're going to trust each other."
"Works for me," Bill told Dawson. "You already know about the Tomorrow People. I think it's about time you told me about how /you/ fit into all this." He smiled slowly. "I've come to the conclusion that you aren't working with Trent and his goons. So how come you know all about their plans?"
Dawson grimaced. "Thanks for the vote of confidence, I think. Tomorrow People? Is that what you call the kids?"
Nodding, Bill suddenly realised that he'd given the older man a piece of information he'd been unaware of. "That's what they call themselves," he corrected. He glanced at the clock over the bar for what seemed the tenth time that evening. This was going to be a long night. "Before you tell me about your place in the scheme of things, I have an important question for you."
"Oh?" A look of surprise crossed Dawson's face.
"You wouldn't have any coffee? I don't know about you, but I know I'm going to need some before the night's out."
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