Nate wakes with the rising sun, and looks over at a still-sleeping Emma, Piotr lying behind her, his arm slung over her waist. Suddenly, Nate is struck by why Piotr says things like "waking up to make sure you're still breathing," andhe sits there watching the two of them for a few moments.
Finally, he reaches outside their tent for his pants, finally dry from yesterday's water fight. He dresses and steps out into the faint light of the early morning. I only went out flying... He leaves the impression in Emma and Piotr's minds, before he cloaks himself and pushes into the sky.
Nate still can't get over the feeling of soaring over the world, it all being so small, and he doesn't know why he doesn't do this more often. It's an effort to land where he needs to, the office of the Northern Cheyenne down below him.
It's a small building that looks more like a house than and office for a large group of people, and he feels the eyes of the woman behind the desk sizing him up when he enters. Nate can feel the distrust the moment he steps in, and it takes a few moments before it hits him that of course. I'm white.
"Can I help you?" she asks, almost tiredly, and she does this every day, parading her "culture" because it's the best way to screw over the people who screwed them over in the first place.
Nate doesn't skirt around the issue, merely asks, "Do you know of a man who goes by the name of Forge?" Once it's out of his mouth, he can't take it back. He could have pretended he wasn't looking before, but now it's official. He's looking.
Because Theresa was dead at home, and she's alive here. Cyclops was a long-haired jerk at home, and here he's not a bad guy. Jean Grey was his best friend for most of his childhood at home, and here she's... out to get him. Piotr and Kitty were married at home, and here they're only friends. Things are different here, and if his Forge is dead, maybe this one is alive, and right now... he really wishes his Forge wasn't dead so he could talk to him.
The woman's eyes close up their last bit of hospitality, and Nate waits to hear "He died," come from her mouth or her mind. Or maybe for her to tell him she knows no one by that name, because he doesn't even know Forge's real name. He never asked. People have different codenames here, too.
Instead, she says, "I am afraid I cannot give you the whereabouts of registered Northern Cheyenne without pressing need."
Nate resists telling her how pressing this really is, because he knows what she means is assisting criminal investigations. Instead, he focuses and he's digging in her mind, their minds, trying to find the scrap of information that will show him.
There's the clap of a hand on his shoulder. It's an old man, maybe so old as his seventies. He's wrinkled, grey-haired, and there's something about him that suggests that the jeans and teeshirt he's wearing are merely disguise. Nate wonders when he got here, but the woman behind the desk is waving hello to him, and handing him a cup of coffee, so he must work here too.
The old man turns to look at him, coffee mug in his hand, and he says, "You should respect others enough not to search their private thoughts."
Nate has no real answer to that, and he asks, "Where is Forge?"
His question seems to throw the man off a little, but finally he answers, "You were his student."
"That isn't an answer," Nate replies.
Finally, the man says, "Albuquerque. He left over a decade ago, but he still keeps in touch."
Nate is about to turn and leave with that, but there's something that makes him say, "Thank you," first.